Russian California, 1806-1860. A History in Documents / Volume I
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The development of the Russian state was marked by a steady growth of population and especially territory. Its colonial expansion was mainly an eastward movement in search of profitable resources, the way west being blocked by other European powers and the way south by other empires (Ottoman and Chinese). The push to the east proceeded rapidly and distantly, being eased not only by the absence of foreign opposition and native disunity but also by Siberia's interwoven river network and the North Pacific's convenient causeway of the Aleutian chain, plus the lure of 'soft gold' (furs) in the form of Siberian sables and Pacific sea otters.
Table of Contents
Contents: Volume I: Introduction; Documents: Parts I-III; PART I The Russian Advance to Spanish California, 1806-1812: Imperial Chamberlain Nikolay Rezanov, Governor Alexander Baranov, and Manager Ivan Kuskov. Part II The Formation of Russian California: The Ivan Kuskov Decade, 1812-21. Part III Russian California and Relations with Mexican California, 1822-1824: Governor Matvey Murav’yov, Agent Kirill Khlebnikov, and Manager Carl Schmidt.
James R. Gibson is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University in Toronto; Alexei Istomin is Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.
'Gibson and his co-editors are to be commended for the scholarly undertaking that has produced such substantial work on the RAC's history in California. ... Having focused such considerable attention on one of Russia's smallest colonial projects, we can only hope that the Hakluyt Society will continue to publish equally outstanding collections on the other parts of the Russian Empire. In the meantime, the field undoubtedly is enriched by such professional publications.' Russian Review