The Ukrainian Question: The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

The Ukrainian Question: The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

The Ukrainian Question: The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

The Ukrainian Question: The Russian Empire and Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century

Synopsis

"This pioneering work treats the Ukrainian question in Russian imperial policy and its importance for the intelligentsia of the empire. Miller sets the Russian Empire in the context of modernizing and occasionally nationalizing great power states and discusses the process of incorporating the Ukraine, better known as "Little Russia" in the time, into the Romanov Empire in the late 18th and 19th centuries. This territorial expansion evolved into a competition of mutually exclusive concepts of Russian and Ukrainian nation-building projects." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Since the early 1990s, a great number of books have been published in English that have “Russia and Ukraine” or “the Russian–Ukrainian encounter” in their titles. The majority of these books are devoted to current political issues, but a fair share of the publications is about history. They invariably note that a special role in imperial policy toward Ukraine was played by the Valuev Circular of 1863 and the Ems Edict of 1876, whereby the tsarist government imposed a host of prohibitions on the publication and circulation of books and other printed materials in the Ukrainian language. Up to the present day, however, the circumstances under which these documents were adopted and the reasons why they remained in force longer than any other prohibitive measures of their kind—namely, until the revolution of 1905—have been a matter of more or less educated guesswork. This book provides a response to these questions. Using archival documents, it reconstructs in minute detail, sometimes on a day-by-day basis, the process of the adoption of administrative decisions that eventually resulted in these prohibitions. This reconstruction is of interest not only to historians of Russian–Ukrainian relations, but also to those who are studying more generally the mechanisms of imperial government and nationality policies in the late imperial period.

The book traces in detail the public polemic over the “Ukrainian question”—that is, it provides important material for those interested in the way public opinion influenced bureaucratic decision making in the Romanov empire. The book also offers a new perspective on one of the central questions of late imperial history, that of the correlation between the empire and the nation in Russian public thought. The book shows why the “Ukrainian and Belorussian questions” occupied a special place in Russian nationalist thought, and why this resulted . . .

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