From Submission to Rebellion: The Provinces Versus the Center in Russia

By Vladimir Shlapentokh; Roman Levita et al. | Go to book overview

3
PREREVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA: THE CENTER UNCHALLENGED SINCE THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

In order to understand the importance of CP relations in the Middle Ages to contemporary Russia, one must first glance at the administrative map of the Russian Federation.


The Regional Structure of Kiev Rus'

On this map, for instance, there are the neighboring regions of Novgorod and Tver. Novgorod has its roots in the pre-Rurik period of Russian history. Tver has its foundations in the Mongolian period. Furthermore, consider the two neighboring regions of the Black-Soil Center, Kursk and Voronezh. The first dates back to the principality of Kiev Rus', whereas the second is the result of the feudal colonization epoch of the Muscovite state.

The northern part of western Siberia was developed by two waves of immigrants, separated in time by several centuries. The first wave originated in the Yermak period in the sixteenth century. The second wave, which dates back to the 1960s and 1970s, resulted from the development of the Khanty-Mansiy oil lands, after which that area became the main oil-producing region of Russia.

Other regions, such as the Republic of Tatarstan and the Astrakhan Region, were foreign states conquered by Moscow tsars in the mid-sixteenth century and became part of the Russian empire. These were in fact the first conquered territories of the fledgling empire. It should be pointed out that Tatarstan alone has preserved its native ethos, whereas Astrakhan has been turned into a common Russian province. Numerous similar examples can be given.

Before the end of the tenth century, the Kiev state consisted of a number of tribal unions, which preserved their autonomy. Historians name eight of them as

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