The Tsar, the Empire, and the Nation

Dilemmas of Nationalization In Russia’s Western Borderlands, 1905–1915
cover of The Tsar, the Empire, and the Nation
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Publication date: 
May, 408 pages
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This book addresses the challenge of modern nationalism to the tsarist Russian Empire that first appeared on the empire’s western periphery. It was most prevalent in the twelve provinces extending from the Ukrainian lands in the south to the Baltic provinces in the north, and in the Kingdom of Poland.

Did the late Russian Empire enter World War I as a multiethnic state with many of its age-old mechanisms run by a multiethnic elite, or as a Russian state predominantly managed by ethnic Russians? The studies seek to answer this main question while covering diverse issues such as native language education, interconfessional rivalry, the “Jewish question,” and the emergence of Russian nationalist attitudes in the aftermath of the first Russian revolution. The overall finding of the contributors is that although the imperial government did not really identify with popular Russian nationalism, it sometimes ended up implementing policies promoted by Russian nationalist proponents.


Transformations of Imperial Nationality Policy

Anton Kotenko, Inconsistently Nationalizing State: The Romanov Empire and the Ukrainian National Movement

Darius Staliūnas, Challenges to Imperial Authorities’ Nationality Policy in the Northwest Region, 1905–15

Malte Rolf, What Is the “Russian Cause” and Whom Does It Serve? Russian Nationalists and Imperial Bureaucracy in the Kingdom of Poland

Confessions in the Crossfire

Vilma Žaltauskaitė, Interconfessional Rivalry in Lithuania after the Decree on Toleration

Chiho Fukushima, The Struggle between Confessional and Nationalist Groups for the Chełm-Podlasian Region: the 1905 Decree on Tolerance and Former Uniates

Transformations in Education

Yoko Aoshima, Native Language Education in the Western Border Regions around 1905

Kimitaka Matsuzato, Politics around Universal Education in Right-bank Ukraine in the Late Tsarist Period

Jolita Mulevičiūtė, To Sense an Empire: Russian Education Policy and the Origins of Mass Tourism in the Northwest Region

Olga Mastianica, The Formation of Imperial Loyalty in the Education System in the Northwest Region in 1905–1915

The Problem of the Russian Right

Vytautas Petronis, Right-Wing Russian Organizations in the City of Vil’na and the Northwestern Provinces, 1905–1915

Karsten Brüggemann, Defending the Empire in the Baltic Provinces: Russian Nationalist Visions in the Aftermath of the First Russian Revolution

Vladimir Levin, Russian Jews and the Russian Right: Why There Were no Jewish Right-Wing Politics in the Late Russian Empire?

"The present volume appears at a moment perhaps timelier than the editors anticipated. Focusing on the so-called western borderlands, an area that comprised the German-dominated Baltic, the Ukrainian and Belarusian lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Kingdom of Poland (officially called the Vistula Land after 1863), the volume’s contributions focus on questions of nationality policy, confessional policy, education, and the Russian right in the period of the Duma monarchy. As a whole, the volume questions the significance of the constitutional changes of 1905 on nationality policy, suggesting that the willingness or unwillingness of centrally appointed officials to cooperate with nationalist politicians proved perhaps more decisive for the administration and political life of a given region than the press and religious freedoms granted along with the constitutional order."
"Insgesamt untermauern die Aufsätze die Grundthese des Sammelbands überzeugend und auf verständliche Art und Weise. Durch ihre unterschiedlichen thematischen und räumlichen Schwerpunkte vermitteln sie den Gesamteindruck eines Imperiums, welches nicht wusste, was es in seinen westlichen Territorien langfristig erreichen wollte und daher in erster Linie bemüht war, das Schiff über Wasser zu halten. Darüber hinaus erweist es sich als gewinnbringend, den Blick auf eine mittlere Untersuchungsebene zwischen dem Dorf und dem gesamten Imperium zu richten sowie zeitlich auf die Schlüsseljahre zwischen der ersten Revolution und dem Beginn des Ersten Weltkriegs zu fokussieren. Folglich ist den Beteiligten ein lesenswerter Beitrag zur Erforschung des Zarenreiches gelungen."
"This volume represents a crucial and indispensable contribution to the ongoing debate on the “nationalization” of the late Russian empire, but it goes much further in problematizing the conceptual and practical entanglements between the analytical categories of “nation” and “empire,” as such. Therefore, the collection edited by Staliunas and Aoshima will be highly relevant for all students of nationalism and empire in Eurasia."