European Diasporas in Russia of the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries: National and Regional Formation Features (As Illustrated in the Case of Jews, Germans and Poles)

Vladimir Shaidurov, Olga Larina

Abstract


The imperial policy of Russia in the 18th and early 19th centuries led to the formation of various diasporas, with the largest being of Polish, Jewish, German and Finnish origin. They were the focus of attention of the tsarist administration while their status was regulated by a variety of laws. Specific features that distinguished social, political and economic development of the Russian Empire were behind the fact that different regions became home to emerging ethnic communities. Jews, Germans, Poles, Finns, Latvians, and Estonians moved to the outskirts of the state both by forced and voluntarily. Laws of the Russian Empire specified places they could reside in and types of economic activities they could undertake. This article is aimed at defining the formation features pertaining European diasporas in Russia in the late 18th and early 19th century on the national and regional scale. To this end we need to determine the nature of the emergence of the ethnic communities in the Russian macro-regions (such as Siberia), reveal specificity of the Russian legislation regarding Jews, Germans and Poles in historic different periods of the Russian Empire and give a quantitative characterization of the communities. Accomplishing this will make it possible to describe the way the European diasporas formed and developed in Russia over the 18th and 19th centuries. Our approach to these objectives is based on the assumption that Russia throughout the 18th and early 20th century was a classical empire with the diasporas being actors in the national and regional policies rather than existing in isolation. This will help determine the stages and nature of the diasporas' formation and their place in the economic, social and cultural life of individual macro-regions and across Russia. The basis for the study have been published sources and materials from Russian archives.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n5s1p460


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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