Cossacks and the Russian Empire, 1598-1725: Manipulation, by Christoph Witzenrath

By Christoph Witzenrath

Utilizing a variety resources, this booklet explores the ways that the Russians ruled their empire in Siberia from 1598 to 1725. Paying specific recognition to the position of the Siberian Cossaks, the writer takes an intensive review of ways the associations of imperial executive functioned in 17th century Russia. It increases very important questions in regards to the nature of the Russian autocracy within the early sleek interval, investigating the missed family members of an integral part of the Empire with the metropolitan centre, and examines how the Russian gurus have been in a position to keep an eye on the sort of great and far away frontier given the constrained potential at its disposal. It argues that regardless of this nice actual distance, the representations of the Tsar’s rule within the symbols, texts and gestures that permeated Siberian associations have been shut handy, hence permitting the advertising of political balance and beneficial phrases of exchange. Investigating the function of the Siberian Cossacks, the ebook explains how the associations of empire facilitated their place as investors through the sharing of cultural practices, attitudes and expectancies of behaviour throughout huge distances one of the contributors of corporations or own networks.

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Additional resources for Cossacks and the Russian Empire, 1598-1725: Manipulation, Rebellion and Expansion into Siberia (Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe)

Sample text

On the other hand, to codify and make even these norms controllable by specialists, an organization can be established, as in the eighteenth century German ‘friendship alliances’ (Freundschaftsbünde). Thus an institutional mechanism can be sustained as mere conventions, requiring a social base but not a permanent organization,70 as was the case with the Siberian Cossack Personenverbände. Such a notion provides a possible resolution of recent controversies about the form of Muscovite government in the seventeenth century.

While the latter presumption cannot be denied, treating distance as a given parameter misses the main point. Over the centuries, Russians have shown often enough that they disregarded distance to a degree difficult to imagine in most European environments. This disregard of distance depended on the institutional environment. What counted was that the focal points of the trading network, the central markets, the trading posts and fortresses were organized by common institutions. On their way to or from Moscow, Siberian Cossacks did not ask for the ‘essence’ of institutions, or which social structure deserved the name institution.

121 As shown in Chapter 1, Siberian Cossacks grasped this reality. It is these co-ordinating services the tsars provided that historians have underestimated. 123 Power was generated from a torrent of information collected, documented and compared in the chancelleries. Yet, unlike the stern and brutal reactions to Cossack and peasant rebellions on the western side of the Urals,124 town rebellions in Siberia were much more difficult to suppress. Any concentration of troops was too expensive to supply, and of necessity would have depleted the fur resources, which were paramount in any consideration of Siberian politics.

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