1st Edition

Peopling the Russian Periphery Borderland Colonization in Eurasian History

    304 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    308 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Though usually forgotten in general surveys of European colonization, the Russians were among the greatest colonizers of the Old World, eventually settling across most of the immense expanse of Northern Europe and Asia, from the Baltic and the Pacific, and from the Arctic Ocean to Central Asia. This book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the Eurasian past by examining the policies, practices, cultural representations, and daily-life experiences of Slavic settlement in non-Russian regions of Eurasia from the time of Ivan the Terrible to the nuclear era.

    The movement of tens of millions of Slavic settlers was a central component of Russian empire-building, and of the everyday life of numerous social and ethnic groups and remains a crucial regional security issue today, yet it remains relatively understudied. Peopling the Russian Periphery redresses this omission through a detailed exploration of the varied meanings and dynamics of Slavic settlement from the sixteenth century to the 1960s. Providing an account of the different approaches of settlement and expansion that were adopted in different periods of history, it includes detailed case studies of particular episodes of migration.

    Written by upcoming and established experts in Russian history, with exceptional geographical and chronological breadth, this book provides a thorough examination of the history of Slavic settlement and migration from the Muscovite to the Soviet era. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of Russian history, comparative history of colonization, migration, interethnic contact, environmental history and European Imperialism.

    List of Illustrations, Maps, and Tables

    About the Authors and Editors


    Archives Cited and Other Abbreviations

    Russian Colonizations: An Introduction (Nicholas B. Breyfogle, Abby Schrader, Willard Sunderland)

    Part 1: Muscovy, Expansion, and the Limits of Migration

    1. Claiming Siberia: Colonial Possession and Property Holding in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries (Valerie Kivelson)

    2. Containment vs. Colonization: Muscovite Approaches to Settling the Steppe (Brian J. Boeck)

    3. Grant, Settle, Negotiate: Military Servitors in the Middle Volga Region (Matthew P. Romaniello)

    Part 2: Colonization on the Imperial Russian Frontier

    4. Agriculture and the Environment on the Steppes in the Nineteenth Century (David Moon)

    5. The "Ethic of Empire" on the Siberian Borderland: The Peculiar Case of the "Rock People," 1791-1878 (Andrei A. Znamenski)

    6. Resettling People, Unsettling the Empire: Migration and the Challenge of Governance, 1861-1917 (Charles Steinwedel)

    7. Progress or Peril: Migrants and Locals in Russian Tashkent, 1906-14 (Jeff Sahadeo)

    Part 3: Population Politics and the Soviet Experiment

    8. Acclimatization, the Shifting Science of Settlement (Cassandra Cavanaugh)

    9. The Aesthetic of Stalinist Planning and the World of the Special Villages (Lynne Viola)

    10. "Those Who Hurry to the Far East": Readers, Dreamers, and Volunteers (Elena Shulman)

    11. The "Planet of One Hundred Languages": Ethnic Relations and Soviet Identity in the Virgin Lands (Michaela Pohl)

    Part 4: Conclusions

    Colonizing Eurasia (Alfred J. Rieber)




    Nicholas Breyfogle, Abby Schrader, Willard Sunderland