The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians

By Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu; Zaenaefde A. Ragozin | Go to book overview

BOOK I. CHAPTER III.

Homogeneousness of the Country--Its Vast Plains were Destined to Political Unity--Uneven Population--How, for a Length of Time, it was Distributed after an Utterly Artificial Manner--Relative Importance of the Various Regions--Vital and Accessory Parts--Russia a Country Born of Colonization--Her Double Task and Consequent Contradictions.

THE physical diversity of the various regions of the country must not blind us to their homogeneousness. Russia is so naturally one, that, short of an island or a peninsula, no country in the world is more clearly stamped for the dwelling-place of a nation. Through all their differences, all their physical and economical oppositions, the two great zones of North and South belong together like two halves that complete each other and cannot be separated. In the first place they have in common the soil, the plain, which admit of no barrier, no possible boundary; in the second place, the climate is common to both; the winter, which for weeks and weeks gathers them under one mantle of snow. In January you can sleigh it from Arkhangelsk or Petersburgh to Astrakhan. The absence of snow would be for the South as dire a calamity, and nearly as rare as for the North. As in the southern steppes, so in the forests that skirt the polar circle, the rivers are ice-bound for months. The Sea of Azof freezes just like the White Sea, and the northern half of the Caspian just as the Gulf of Finland. The Black Sea is the only one of Russian seas the ports of which are not all closed by ice in exceptionally severe winters1; but the limans, or broad estuaries of the great rivers, do freeze up almost regularly. As a rule, the navigation on the Black Sea is not in

____________________
1
See preceding Chapter, note 6.

-35-

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The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • A Word from the Translator. iii
  • Author's Preface. Written Expressly for the American Edition. vii
  • Contents xiii
  • List of Maps xxi
  • Part I. the Country and Its Inhabitants xxiii
  • Book I. Nature, Climate, and Soil. 1
  • Book I. Chapter Ii. 15
  • Book I. Chapter Iii. 35
  • Book Ii. Races and Nationality. 54
  • Book Ii. Chapter Ii. 63
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iii. 77
  • Book Ii. Chapter Iv. 95
  • Book Ii. Chapter V. 122
  • Book III. the National Temperament and Character. 138
  • Book Iii. Chapter Ii. 161
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iii. 179
  • Book Iii. Chapter Iv. 195
  • Book Iv. History and the Elements of Civilization. 223
  • Book Iv. Chapter Ii. 241
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iii. 256
  • Book Iv. Chapter Iv. 282
  • Book V. the Social Hierarchy: the Towns and Urban Classes. 305
  • Book V. Chapter Ii. 322
  • Book V. Chapter Iii. 334
  • Book Vi. Nobility and Tchin. 346
  • Book Vi. Chapter Ii. 362
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iii. 381
  • Book Vi. Chapter Iv. 390
  • Book VII the Peasant and the Emancipation. 403
  • Book Vii. Chapter Ii. 422
  • Book Vii. Chapter Iii. 436
  • Book VII Chapter Iv. 450
  • Book VIII. Mir, Family, and Village Communities. 474
  • Book Viii. Chapter Ii. 486
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iii. 505
  • Book Viii. Chapter Iv. 521
  • Book Viii. Chapter V. 534
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vl. 548
  • Book Viii. Chapter Vii. 563
  • Index 581
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