2021, vol. 9, no. 4. Khrapunov N.I.

2021, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 857-877

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-4.857-877


N.I. Khrapunov
V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University
Simferopol, Russian Federation

Abstract: Research objective: This paper aims at the revealing and analysing various documents, created in different countries of Europe prior to 1783, which suggested the change of the Crimea’s status and its accession to Russia, and the determination of interactions of these sources and general trends and principles behind discussions of the “Crimea question” in Russian and foreign public opinion.
Research materials: This research addresses a large body of sources, created in Russia and the West from the sixteenth to eighteenth century, discussing the future of the Crimea – political treatises, memoranda, historical works, and correspondence.
Research novelty and results: For the first time in the scholarship, the whole array of available sources on the planned accession of the Crimea to Russia has been analysed. It has been discovered that there were periods when the “Crimea question” was disputed in the West far more widely than in Russia. This “discussion” continued with the participation of very different authors, including the leading minds of the public discourse such as Voltaire or Francesco Algarotti. The attempts of the western intellectuals to influence the Russian government’s decisions have been demonstrated. Therefore, the accession of the Crimea is a product of not only “Russian imperialism”, as it is often suggested, but to a certain extent also of the Western Europe’s public mindset. Obviously, such a development was considered quite admissible in the West, and many authors viewed it positively both for international relations and for the internal perspectives of the region. The given article has exposed the dynamics in these arguments, with initial counter-Muslim rhetoric underlining the existential opposition of Christianity and Islam and the need for “returning” lands which had formerly belonged to Europe. When the Enlightenment era started, the further reason of Europe’s civilizing mission appeared. This mission was thought to be impeded in the Black Sea by the “backward” Islamic society. In Russia, the discussion of the future of the Crimea became topical in the second and third quarter of the eighteenth century, probably when the elite realized that the conquest of the peninsula had now become a reality.

Keywords: Crimea, Russia, Crimean Khanate, Ottoman Empire, public thought, projects

For citation: Khrapunov N.I. The Crimea Question in “Western” Projects, Political Treatises, and Correspondence from the mid-sixteenth century to 1783. Zolotoordynskoe obozrenie=Golden Horde Review. 2021, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 857–877. DOI: 10.22378/2313-6197.2021-9-4.857-877

Acknowledgements: This work was carried out within the framework of the state assignment No. FZEG-2020-0029 supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.


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About the author: Nikita I. Khrapunov – Cand. Sci. (History), Leading Researcher of the Research Centre for the History and Archaeology of Crimea, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University (4, Vernadsky Ave., Simferopol 295007, Republic of Crimea, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0001-6141-9487, ResearcherID: Q-8101-2017. E-mail: khrapunovn@mail.ru

Received   September 20, 2021   Accepted for publication  December 3, 2021
Published  Online December
29, 2021