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The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552-1671 [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1552, Muscovite Russia conquered the city of Kazan on the Volga River. It was the first Orthodox Christian victory against Islam since the fall of Constantinople, a turning point that, over the next four years, would complete Moscow’s control over the river. This conquest provided a direct trade route with the Middle East and would transform Muscovy into a global power. As Matthew Romaniello shows, however, learning to manage the conquered lands and peoples would take ...

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The Elusive Empire: Kazan and the Creation of Russia, 1552-1671

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Overview

In 1552, Muscovite Russia conquered the city of Kazan on the Volga River. It was the first Orthodox Christian victory against Islam since the fall of Constantinople, a turning point that, over the next four years, would complete Moscow’s control over the river. This conquest provided a direct trade route with the Middle East and would transform Muscovy into a global power. As Matthew Romaniello shows, however, learning to manage the conquered lands and peoples would take decades.
    Russia did not succeed in empire-building because of its strength, leadership, or even the weakness of its neighbors, Romaniello contends; it succeeded by managing its failures. Faced with the difficulty of assimilating culturally and religiously alien peoples across thousands of miles, the Russian state was forced to compromise in ways that, for a time, permitted local elites of diverse backgrounds to share in governance and to preserve a measure of autonomy. Conscious manipulation of political and religious language proved more vital than sheer military might. For early modern Russia, empire was still elusive—an aspiration to political, economic, and military control challenged by continuing resistance, mismanagement, and tenuous influence over vast expanses of territory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Elusive Empire is the story of the colonial project and expansion down the multiethnic Volga, which made Russia a permanent great power. With attention to all parties involved, and based on massive, fresh archival research, Matthew Romaniello provides a surprising and exciting tableau and account.”—David M. Goldfrank, Georgetown University

“On the basis of impressive archival research, this book sets out a remarkable analysis of the policies, institutions, and modes of rule practiced in the newly conquered territories, thus providing a welcome view into how imperial rule took shape on the ground.”—Valerie A. Kivelson, author of Cartographies of Tsardom: The Land and Its Meanings in Seventeenth-Century Russia

“A thorough and painstaking discussion of the period in which the Russian Empire—and its Eurasian nature—was established.”—Peter Gordon, The Asian Review of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299285135
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 1/30/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 296
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Matthew P. Romaniello is assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, editor with Charles Lipp of Contested Spaces of Nobility in Early Modern Europe, and editor with Tricia Starks of Tobacco in Russian History and Culture.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations   

Acknowledgements   

Glossary of Terms   

Introduction   

1. Imperial Ideas   

2. Conflicted Authorities   

3. Foreign Interests   

4. Loyal Enemies   

5. Irregular Subjects   

6. Subdued Rebels   

Afterword   

Notes       

Bibliography   

Index

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