Russian America

Russian America : An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867

3.92 (14 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Russian Empire is usually thought of as an expansive continental realm, consisting of contiguous territories. The existence of Russian America challenges this image. The Russian Empire claimed territory and people in North America between 1741 and 1867 but not until 1799 was this colonial activity was organized and coordinated under a single entity-the Russian-American Company, a monopolistic charter company analogous to the West European-based colonial companies of the time. When the ships of Russia's first circumnavigation voyage arrived on the shores of Russian America in 1804, a clash of arms between the Russians and the Tlingit Indians ensued, and a new Russian fortpost was established at Sitka. Russian America was effectively transformed from a remote extension of Russia's Siberian frontier penetrated mainly by Siberianized Russians into an ostensibly modern overseas colony operated by Europeanized Russians. This book examines how Russians conceived and practiced the colonial rule that resulted from this transformation.
Under the rule of the Russian-American Company, the colony was governed on different terms from the rest of the empire, a hybrid of elements carried over from Siberia and those imported from rival colonial systems. This approach was particularly evident in Russian strategies to convert the indigenous peoples of Russian America into loyal subjects of the Russian Empire. The first comprehensive history bringing together the history of Russia, the history of colonialism, and the history of contact between native peoples and Europeans on the American frontier, this work is invaluable for understanding the history of Alaska before its sale to the United States.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 154.94 x 220.98 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 15 hts
  • 0195391284
  • 9780195391282
  • 2,171,932

Table of contents

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Review quote

An invaluable study for understanding how the possession of Alaska fit into the larger context of the Russian Empire's continuous expansion since the sixteenth century. * Pacific Historical Review * Written in an engaging style, meticulously researched, tastefully illustrated, and scrupulously documented, Russian America is an authoritative work that makes valuable contributions to the histories of Russia, imperialism, and colonialism. Covers the historical and historiographical terrain with a commendable concision and clarity. * Slavic Review * Placing his book within the larger framework of the new imperial history, Vinkovetsky offers an impressive overview of the thoughts and actions of naval officers, the administrators of the Russian American Company, and state actorsEL.Vinkovetsky's narrative deftly shows how practices in Russian America were variations on time-tested ways of administering the Russian Empire. * Kritika * Will likely serve as the standard work on the subject for many years...The book is now the most reliable source on the Russian colony. * Journal of World History * A valuable and thought-provoking contribution to the increasingly sophisticated body of literature on Russian America. * Alaska History *
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About Ilya Vinkovetsky

Assistant Professor of History, Simon Fraser University
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Rating details

14 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 14% (2)
4 64% (9)
3 21% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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