"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Unitary Russian State

Forthcoming next year is a study of early-modern Russian history that sounds to be invaluable in understanding Russian neo-imperial aspirations even today: Forging a Unitary State: Russia’s Management of the Eurasian Space, 1650–1850 by John P. LeDonne (University of Toronto Press, © 2020), 736pp.

About this book we are told the following:
Covering two centuries of Russian history, Forging a Unitary State is a comprehensive account of the creation of what is commonly known as the "Russian Empire," from Poland to Siberia. In this book, John P. LeDonne demonstrates that the so-called empire was, for the most part, a unitary state, defined by an obsessive emphasis on centralization and uniformity. The standardization of local administration, the judicial system, tax regime, and commercial policy were carried out slowly but systematically over eight generations, in the hope of integrating people on the periphery into the Russian political and social hierarchy.
The ultimate goal of Russian policy was to create a "Fortress Empire" consisting of a huge Russian unitary state flanked by a few peripheral territories, such as Finland, Transcaucasia, and Central Asia. Additional peripheral states, such as Sweden, Turkey, and Persia, would guarantee the security of this "Fortress Empire," and the management of Eurasian territory. LeDonne’s provocative argument is supported by a careful comparative study of Russian expansion along its western, southern, and eastern borders, drawing on vital but under-studied administrative evidence. Forging a Unitary State is an essential resource for those interested in the long history of Russian expansionism

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...