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Old 09-07-2019, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
You do run into semantics issues though, as there was a million variations. So 18th century Russian conscripts from Peter I to 1793 were conscripted for life. After that the term was 'only' 25 years, which in the brutal conditions of the Russian army, which was often deliberately starved and under-equipped for fiscal reasons, might as well have been for life anyway.

Technically they weren't slaves. They retained certain minimal legal rights, at least in theory. But the difference between a Russian serf and a full-on slave was mighty thin.
Quite honestly, it seems the only difference was that it was technically illegal to kill a serf, but it really wasn't enforced. Otherwise, it was just semantics.