Imperial Rule

Imperial Rule

Alexei Miller
Alfred J. Rieber
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 220
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  • Book Info
    Imperial Rule
    Book Description:

    Renowned academics compare major features of imperial rule in the 19th century, reflecting a significant shift away from nationalism and toward empires in the studies of state building. The book responds to the current interest in multi-unit formations, such as the European Union and the expanded outreach of the United States.

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-14-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction: Imperial Rule
    (pp. 1-6)
    Alexei Miller and Alfred J. Rieber

    The present volume is the product of a project on the comparative history of empires launched in 2001 at the Central European University.¹ The individual contributions were originally presented in 2003 at an international conference in Moscow and revised in light of commentary and discussion during and after the conference. The project was designed as a contribution to the history of state building that has recently signaled a significant shift away from nationalism to a study of empires. In part the changing emphasis may be due to theoretical exhaustion following a period of richly diverse interpretations of the formation, development...

  4. 1. Nationalism and Imperial Rule
    • The Empire and the Nation in the Imagination of Russian Nationalism
      (pp. 9-26)
      Alexei Miller

      In 1885 the noted literary historian Aleksandr Pypin published an article in the European Herald (Vestnik Evropy), entitled “The Volga and Kiev.”¹ He begins it by recounting a conversation he once had with Ivan Turgenev, known for his mastery of the literary treatment of nature. In the course of the conversation it becomes clear that Turgenev has never been on the Volga. For Pypin this serves as a starting point for his argument that “Russian literature has not explored the Volga,” that “the Volga is absent in Russian painting as well” (188–189). “If we are truly so committed to...

    • The Russians and the Turks: Imperialism and Nationalism in the Era of Empires
      (pp. 27-46)
      Norman Stone, Sergei Podbolotov and Murat Yasar

      Comparing Russia and Turkey might appear to be a far-fetched enterprise. The differences are obvious, even too obvious to be dwelt upon at any length. There is a problem as to definition—what was nationalism about—and there is a difficulty as regards effect and timing. Russian nationalism (as distinct from empire-loyalism) is a nineteenth-century creation and Turkish nationalism came into being even later. Russian nationalists did not have to create a state until very, very late in the day—the end of the twentieth century, where Lenin’s body still lies in Red Square next to the symbols of imperial...

    • Imperial instead of National History: Positioning Modern German History on the Map of European Empires
      (pp. 47-66)
      Philipp Ther

      The initial inspiration for this article comes from recent models of empire.¹ If one may combine Dominic Lieven’s and Alfred Rieber’s definitions of empire, it amounts to be “a very great power that has left its mark on the international relations of an era,” “a polity that rules over wide territories and many peoples” which has left “a major impact on the history of world civilization,”² and which is not based on a democratic, but on a dynastic or ideological legitimization of power. Although the German Empire established in 1871 fully complies with this definition, the historiography about 19th century...

  5. 2. Legitimacy and Imperial Rule
    • Justifying Political Power in 19th Century Europe: the Habsburg Monarchy and Beyond
      (pp. 69-82)
      Maciej Janowski

      Two connected problems gave rise to the present essay.¹ The first is that of the specific character of imperial legitimization. Did “empires” and “nation states” (however imprecise the division between them) try to justify their power in the same or in different ways?

      The second problem is that of specifically “modern” or “pre-modern” modes of legitimizing political power. We would probably tend to treat some arguments as more “traditional” (e.g. divine right of kings) and others as more “modern” (e.g. popular sovereignty). Even casual knowledge of the sources demonstrates, however, that numerous authors tend to “switch” (often in the same...

    • Schism Once Removed: Sects, State Authority, and Meanings of Religious Toleration in Imperial Russia
      (pp. 83-106)
      Paul W. Werth

      If Orthodoxy occupied an explicitly privileged place as the “preeminent and predominant” faith of the Russian Empire, the imperial state nonetheless forged important ties of co-operation with other confessions and its representatives. Indeed, the American historian Robert Crews has argued recently that the state in Russia served as a patron of recognized confessions, “committed to backing the construction and implementation of ‘orthodoxy’ within each recognized religious community.” By assuming this obligation, “the state became deeply enmeshed in intraconfessional disputes as the guardian of religious ‘orthodoxy’ for the tolerated faiths” in Russia. In this respect, imperial Russia represented a “confessional state,”...

    • Redefining Identities in the Late Ottoman Empire: Policies of Conversion and Apostasy
      (pp. 107-130)
      Selim Deringil

      This chapter is an exercise in comparative history. It aims to put conversion and apostasy in the late 19th century Ottoman Empire in the context of world historiography.

      The chapter will compare the Ottoman and Russian Empires. My main focus will be perforce the Ottoman case, as the primary sources at my disposal are mostly Ottoman archival documentation. Nor do I claim in any way to be an expert in Russian history. I will therefore rely on secondary sources for my discussions of Russian cases. As such the paper has no claims to being an exhaustive study on the topic,...

  6. 3. Core and Periphery
    • Empire on Europe’s Periphery: Russian and Western Comparisons
      (pp. 133-150)
      Dominic Lieven

      The aim of this paper is to compare Europe’s main empires on the continent’s western and eastern peripheries. Above all, this means a comparison between the Russian and British empires, though some reference is also made to Spain. In this paper I will make no reference to another useful comparison between empires of the European periphery, namely that between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. I have covered this angle elsewhere myself.¹ Moreover, it will be tackled by other contributors to this conference’s papers. My own paper concentrates on what seem to me to be the core attributes of empire: on...

    • The Spanish Empire and its End: A Comparative View in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Europe
      (pp. 151-160)
      Sebastian Balfour

      A striking feature of bibliography of the Spanish Empire and the consequences of imperial collapse in 1898 is its relatively high degree of self-absorption. This seems to mirror the international isolation of its dynastic elite at the time, reliant until the Spanish–American War on family and religious connections rather than on engagement in the system of international relations for the preservation of its empire. It also reflects a traditional view held among Spaniards and foreigners until recently that Spain had a unique destiny. In the 1930s, W. H. Auden wrote

      “… that arid square, that fragment nipped off from...

    • The Russian–American Company as a Colonial Contractor for the Russian Empire
      (pp. 161-176)
      Ilya Vinkovetsky

      The Russian–American Company (Rossiisko-Amerikanskaia kompaniia, also referred to here, for convenience’s sake, as the Company and the RAC) holds a crucial place in the history of Russia’s colonialism between its founding in 1799 and the transfer of Alaska to the United States in 1867. Literature on the formation of the RAC tends to stress its evolution from the merchant-run, Siberia-based fur trading companies that preceded it.² Yet I would stress the Company’s novelty in the Russian setting, and emphasize that only with the creation of the RAC did the Russian government commence the conscious construction of a colony in...

    • The Comparative Ecology of Complex Frontiers
      (pp. 177-208)
      Alfred J. Rieber

      The advance and defense of frontiers has always played a central role in the destiny of continental, Eurasian conquest empires. Frontier maintenance absorbed large resources, influenced the evolution of imperial ideologies and institutions and largely defined relations with the external world. Attempts to consolidate and incorporate frontiers into the imperial body politic left a tripartite legacy to both the peoples and the nation states that emerged following the retreat and collapse of the Eurasian Empires during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first legacy was a tradition of violence and instability that characterized the histories of the frontiers along the...

  7. List of Contributors
    (pp. 209-210)
  8. Index
    (pp. 211-212)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 213-213)