The Costs of Empire’ Unity in Late Imperial Russia

Результат исследований: Научные публикации в периодических изданияхстатья

Выдержка

The government constantly fretted over the “cost of empire”, which it understood as the expense
of possessing any borderlands as part of the state. The Ministry of Finance calculated the cost as the difference between state outlays for the maintenance of its administration and armed forces, the construction
of borders and towns, and the installation of railways, as well as other expenses from the treasury, on the
one hand, and budget revenue from all taxes and income the treasury received, on the other.The problem
of the cost of empire and the empire’s unity, however, is not confined to economic gains and losses. From
the empire’s point of view, the issues that played a huge role were the empire’s security, its military,
economic, and geopolitical power, messianism, cultural and religious predominance, the resolution of
internal political problems, the legitimization of the emperor’s rule, the prestige of the supreme authority
and the state, and other matters. For their part, the borderlands assessed the cost of empire and also took
non-material factors into account: the degree of security, the extent of the center’s civilizing mission, the
danger of assimilation and of the loss of ethnic identity, the desire for ethno-cultural autonomy, and others.
Appraising the intangible factors is much more difficult and, above all, more problematic, because the
perspectives of the center and the peripheral regions differ and it is often impossible to find consensus.The
relationship between the сenter and the borderlands of the Russian empire was so varied, multifaceted, and
dynamic that to express it through a single formula or scenario is impossible. The field of ethnopolitics
offers three several such schemes to describe the nature of relations between the center and the periphery:
the concept of hegemony, of internal colonization, and of diffusionism. Analysis of the center’s relations
with the borderlands in the imperial period shows that at various times and in various regions all three
scenarios have been realized, but most often the government followed the concepts of hegemony and
diffusion. Occasionally, one encounters elements of colonialism in the early stages of the acquisition of
the borderlands. Close administrative, legal, and economic integration on the basis of mutual advantages
continuously lies at the center of the government’s attention. But the main purpose of the supreme authority
and its government consisted of preserving the integrity of the empire. For this reason, they were prepared
to make any sacrifices on the part of the Russians. In extreme cases, however, they required that other
peoples of the empire also sacrifice their own interests for a time
Язык оригиналаанглийский
Страницы (с-по)155-182
ЖурналStudia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana
Номер выпуска1 (25)
СостояниеОпубликовано - 2019

Предметные области Scopus

  • История

Ключевые слова

  • the Russian empire, the cost of empire, the concept of hegemony, the concept of internal colonization, the concept of diffusionism, the factors of unity of the Empire, the policy regarding margins, economic history, social history

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abstract = "The government constantly fretted over the “cost of empire”, which it understood as the expenseof possessing any borderlands as part of the state. The Ministry of Finance calculated the cost as the difference between state outlays for the maintenance of its administration and armed forces, the constructionof borders and towns, and the installation of railways, as well as other expenses from the treasury, on theone hand, and budget revenue from all taxes and income the treasury received, on the other.The problemof the cost of empire and the empire’s unity, however, is not confined to economic gains and losses. Fromthe empire’s point of view, the issues that played a huge role were the empire’s security, its military,economic, and geopolitical power, messianism, cultural and religious predominance, the resolution ofinternal political problems, the legitimization of the emperor’s rule, the prestige of the supreme authorityand the state, and other matters. For their part, the borderlands assessed the cost of empire and also tooknon-material factors into account: the degree of security, the extent of the center’s civilizing mission, thedanger of assimilation and of the loss of ethnic identity, the desire for ethno-cultural autonomy, and others.Appraising the intangible factors is much more difficult and, above all, more problematic, because theperspectives of the center and the peripheral regions differ and it is often impossible to find consensus.Therelationship between the сenter and the borderlands of the Russian empire was so varied, multifaceted, anddynamic that to express it through a single formula or scenario is impossible. The field of ethnopoliticsoffers three several such schemes to describe the nature of relations between the center and the periphery:the concept of hegemony, of internal colonization, and of diffusionism. Analysis of the center’s relationswith the borderlands in the imperial period shows that at various times and in various regions all threescenarios have been realized, but most often the government followed the concepts of hegemony anddiffusion. Occasionally, one encounters elements of colonialism in the early stages of the acquisition ofthe borderlands. Close administrative, legal, and economic integration on the basis of mutual advantagescontinuously lies at the center of the government’s attention. But the main purpose of the supreme authorityand its government consisted of preserving the integrity of the empire. For this reason, they were preparedto make any sacrifices on the part of the Russians. In extreme cases, however, they required that otherpeoples of the empire also sacrifice their own interests for a time",
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The Costs of Empire’ Unity in Late Imperial Russia. / Миронов, Борис Николаевич.

В: Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana, № 1 (25), 2019, стр. 155-182.

Результат исследований: Научные публикации в периодических изданияхстатья

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