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1837Russia's Quiet Revolution$
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Paul W. Werth

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826354

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826354.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Think More About Camels

Think More About Camels

(p.125) 7 Think More About Camels

Paul W. Werth

Oxford University Press

Russia’s military campaign against the khanate of Khiva in 1839–40 is noteworthy for its disastrous outcome. Planned for the winter months in order to obviate the absence of water in the arid Kazakh steppe, the campaign encountered an uncommonly severe winter, which imposed exceptional hardships and compelled the expedition to return to the outpost of Orenburg. Felled largely by the decimation of its camels in the cold winter, the campaign is enmeshed in larger changes unfolding in Russia’s relationship to Kazakhs, Central Asia, and the wider world. A growing Russian attitude of European superiority and preoccupations with great-power status after the defeat of Napoleon equipped tsarist elites with an enhanced sense of entitlement. The year 1837 proved critical for translating these sentiments into attempted conquest. Russian activity in the region also served as the midwife for an intense British Russophobia.

Keywords:   imperialism, Orenburg, steppe, Kazakhs, Khiva, Central Asia, Vasilii Perovskii, Russophobia, camels

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