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Siberian Middle Ground: Languages Of Rule And Accommodation On The Siberian Frontier

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how in the period from the first decades of the seventeenth century to the middle of the nineteenth century the Russian imperial state encountered and ruled over one of its most remote territories, and how the people who populated that territory responded to imperial rule. In studying imperial languages of description and self-description in North-Eastern Siberia in the seventeenth-nineteenth centuries, the author reconstructs an original semantics of imperial historical experiences. In the Siberian case, this original semantics of imperial experiences appears to have been no less complex than in the European part of the Russian Empire. In Siberia, Alfred Rieber's concept of "sedimentary society" developed in application to European Russia's layers of social and institutional memory acquires geopolitical and chronological dimensions as Siberian practices retained elements drawn from the Mongol, Muscovite, and imperial periods of Russian history.

Keywords: imperial rule; Russian imperial state; sedimentary society; Siberia; Steppe Duma



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