Late 19th-Century Russian Imperial Schemes and Habsburg-Potish Cartographic Borrowings in Galicia

in Mapping Europe's Borderlands

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780226744254
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226744278 | DOI:
Late 19th-Century Russian Imperial Schemes and Habsburg-Potish Cartographic Borrowings in Galicia

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This chapter examines Russian geographic visions of a historical, linguistic, and confessional order—rossiiskii and russkii—in terms of the ethnoschematized models that were borrowed, standardized, and conjoined to borderland priorities. Minority languages in Imperial Russia were subjected to ad hoc control and both “Rossification” and “Russification” measures in different provinces on an inconsistent case-by-case basis, particularly in the wake of the 1863–64 Polish uprising. While Russian geographic visions stressed a colonial manifest destiny eastward into “Asiatic” Siberia, Central Asia, and the Far East, Polish geographers insisted on their own vision of an eastern frontier, emphasizing Polish politics, culture, religion, and the desideratum of assimilation to modern Poland. As the tsars' de-Polonizing reforms favored a Russophone peasantry, the early modern legacy of borderlands in Ukraine and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was appropriated into all-Russian civil discourse that variably used rossiiskii and russkii after 1863, asserting the primacy of Russian language and high culture, especially in the education of “Polish” Slavic populations. In the nine provinces constituting Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Belarus, the collision of historical, territorial, and ethnographic claims by empires and nations was expressed by way of national intellectual borrowing and by states through their institutional practices.

Keywords: imperial Russia; rossiiskii; russkii; cartography; minority languages; Poland; borderlands; Russian language; intellectual borrowing

Chapter.  8323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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