A Plague on Both Houses?: Population Movements and the Spread of Disease across the Ottoman-Russian Black Sea Frontier, 1768-1830s
A PLAGUE ON BOTH HOUSES?: POPULATION MOVEMENTS AND THE SPREAD OF DISEASE ACROSS THE OTTOMAN-RUSSIAN BLACK SEA FRONTIER, 1768-1830sAndrew Robarts, M.S.F.S.Dissertation Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov, Ph. D.ABSTRACTBased upon a reading of Ottoman, Russian, and Bulgarian archival documents, this dissertation examines the response by the Ottoman and Russian states to the accelerated pace of migration and spread of disease in the Black Sea region from the outbreak of the Russo-Ottoman War of 1768-1774 to the signing of the Treaty of Hünkar Iskelesi in 1833. Building upon introductory chapters on the Russian-Ottoman Black Sea frontier and a case study of Bulgarian population movements between the Russian and Ottoman Empires, this dissertation analyzes Russian and Ottoman migration and settlement policies, the spread of epidemic diseases (plague and cholera) in the Black Sea region, the construction of quarantines and the implementation of travel document regimes. The role and position of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia as the "middle ground" between the Ottoman and Russian Empires in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is also addressed. The basic argument of this dissertation is that in response to significant increases in human mobility and the concomitant spread of epidemic diseases in the Black Sea region in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Ottoman and Russian states - identifying epidemic diseases (plague and cholera) as the primary "security threats" to their subject populations - moved to check the spread of disease across the Black Sea region through the imposition of stern anti-disease measures and the creation of new institutions of border and social control (quarantines).Drawing upon world-historical methodology, this dissertation adopts a regional framework to balance the prevailing historiography of Ottoman-Russian antagonism and conflict in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While not discounting geo-strategic and ideological confrontation between the Ottoman and Russian Empires, this dissertation emphasizes the "transnational" character of Ottoman-Russian relations in the Black Sea region in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. On the issues of migration management and disease control, Ottoman and Russian officials - at the imperial, provincial, and local levels - communicated about and coordinated their response to surges in population movements and the mutual threat posed by the spread of epidemic disease across the Ottoman-Russian Black Sea frontier.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.