There are a lot of parallels between the Cossacks and the American Wild West. Americans to this day often reminisce about the Wild West, in particular how it is an example of forging one's own freedom in a new frontier. This has led to the idea of "American Exceptionalism" – a person can be anything they want here, so long they work for it, but the opportunity is there and always has been. The Cossacks pre-date this and seem to be a precedent to this idea of a "man on his own own land." Cossacks also didn't rely on slave labor as many landowners in the Americas did. That makes them a rather fascinating chapter in history, I would say. More exemplary of freedom than the mythical American Wild West.


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