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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

The Russian Empire 1450–1801

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Russian Empire 1450-1801
Author(s):

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.003.0001

The introductory chapter develops the theory of the early modern Russian empire as an “empire of difference,” typical of large continental Eurasian empires. It explores strategies of governing such empires: coercion; broadcasting a supranational ideology by enacting and embodying ideology in ritual and the built environment; constructing the minimal elites, institutions, and practices (taxation and mobilization of resources, military presence and recruitment, criminal justice) needed to govern; tolerating local traditions, languages, and religions where they did not threaten those central goals. It also explores motivations for empire building, finding trade and resources the primary drivers of empire in both early modern Europe and Russia.

Keywords:   empire, Eurasia, politics of difference, state building, ideology, Mongol empire, Silk Road, ritual, Kyiv Rus’, Ottoman empire

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