I don’t think they officially owned them, but they could beat them, send them to war, forbid them…
Tatiana Kuzmic

Thanks for the thoughtful response. Hard to say why Lincoln freed the slaves when he did. He was quite patient, had a masterful sense of timing and almost always did well balancing competing interests. Lincoln’s actions may fit well with Tolstoy’s theory about public opinion driving change. Sensing that public opinion reached “critical mass” regarding the need for change, Lincoln freed the slaves. Perhaps the Czar was driven by similar impulses.

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