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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Western Borderlands in the Eighteenth Century

Western Borderlands in the Eighteenth Century

(p.103) 5 Western Borderlands in the Eighteenth Century
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores the eighteenth-century expansion of the Russian empire west and into the Black Sea steppe, culminating in the political and judicial reforms of Catherine II in 1770s–80s that destroyed many existing local autonomies. It details general tolerance of German institutions and elites as Russia acquired Livonia where a Baltic German nobility ruled over enserfed Latvian and Estonian peasants and summarizes Catherine II’s populationist importing of German and other settlers to the Volga and Black Sea steppe. The integration of Zaporozhian Cossacks and Sloboda Ukraine is explored and particular attention given to the political, economic, and cultural development of the Kyiv-based Ukrainian Hetmanate, whose national consciousness developed despite gradual loss of political autonomies. The chapter details the conquest of Crimea (1782) and three partitions of Poland (1772, 1793, 1795) that brought most of modern day Ukraine and Belarus’ into the Russian empire with a population that included Catholics, Uniates, and Jews.

Keywords:   Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, partitions of Poland, Hetmanate, Ottoman empire, Livonia, Baltic Germans, Black Sea steppe, Crimea, Ukraine, Orthodoxy

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