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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53852
Doc. No:TL23806
Call number:‭3217852‬
Main Entry:Sean Pollock
Title & Author:Empire by invitation? Russian empire -building in the Caucasus in the reign of Catherine IISean Pollock
College:Harvard University
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:482
Abstract:This dissertation is the first study to focus on Russia's attempts to build its empire in the Caucasus in the reign of Catherine II (1762-96). Prior to the reign, Russia's presence in the region was concentrated at Fort Kizliar and in a handful of Cossack settlements on the left bank of the Terek River in the North Caucasus. During the reign, Russia sent teams of scientists to study the Caucasus; built its first border across the entire North Caucasus region; settled thousands of its subjects there; claimed suzerainty over a growing number of Caucasian peoples; cut a military road through the Caucasus Mountains; extended a protectorate over Eastern Georgia, and planned to do the same in Western Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Russia's expansion in the region was neither inevitable nor irresistible, however. Catherine's government was initially cautious, pragmatic, and opportunistic in its approach to the Caucasus. Following the rise of Prince Grigorii Aleksandrovich Potemkin (1739-91), it pursued a policy of expansion on both sides of the mountain range. After his death, it sought to consolidate its position in the North Caucasus and to avoid entanglements in the South Caucasus. Unlike traditional studies of Russia's expansion in Caucasus that focus on the epic initiatives and forceful personalities of its ruling elites, my study approaches the problem from multiple angles, and attempts to show Russian empire-building in the region as a negotiated process. Russia was not the only power with interests in the Caucasus, nor was it the only force capable of shaping events there. It had to compete for influence with interstate rivals, and it had to cope with the peoples of the Caucasus, who, after all, stood to lose and gain the most from Russia's imperial pretensions in the region. The peoples of the Caucasus have often been portrayed as the passive objects of Russian empire-building, or else as its sworn but doomed enemies. In this study, they are shown to have played varied and important roles at every stage in the process. They sometimes invited Catherine's government to build its empire in the region; more often, they sought and found ways to subvert and resist its attempts to do so. In either case, Russia ignored these groups at its peril. This study will be of interest to scholars of Catherinian Russia, Russian-Caucasian relations in the formative eighteenth century, and Russia's relations with the Crimean Khanate, Ottoman Empire, and Qajar Iran.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Catherine II, Empress of Russia; Caucasus; Diplomacy; Empire; Foreign policy; Ottoman Empire; Russian; European history; International law; International relations; Slavic literature; 0314:Slavic literature; 0335:European history; 0616:International relations; 0616:International law
Added Entry:E. L. Keenan
Added Entry:Harvard University