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Russian AmericaAn Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867$
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Ilya Vinkovetsky

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391282

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391282.001.0001

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The Paradox of Overseas Colonialism for a Continental Empire

The Paradox of Overseas Colonialism for a Continental Empire

(p.6) 1 The Paradox of Overseas Colonialism for a Continental Empire
Russian America

Ilya Vinkovetsky (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the place of Russian America, aka Alaska under Russian rule, in the context of nineteenth-century Russian Empire and colonialism around the world. Overseas colonialism was not in the Russian imperial repertoire, so in their one and only overseas colony the Russians adopted colonizing strategies from West European colonialisms and blended them with conquest strategies that they carried over from Siberia. The result was a Russian overseas colonial system, a new hybrid form of colonial rule. This chapter analyzes the formation of Russian America as a colony, introduces its indigenous peoples, and analyzes their responses to being drawn into Russia's political sphere of influence and the international fur trade. It situates Russian America in the context of colonial studies, Russian imperial history, and Native American studies, and empire studies.

Keywords:   Russian America, Alaska, colonialism, overseas colonial system, Russian Empire, Siberia, Native Americans, hybrid, fur trade, empire studies

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