Ethnic Diversity and the Centralization of Power in Early 20th Century Russia

Tipy Dagestana

Russia was and still is a land of incredible ethnic diversity. I find it amazing that imperial Russia was able to assert dominance and control over such a large expanse of land and the multitudes of different cultures it contained. I chose this picture to illustrate this diversity. The description of the picture states that pictures is a Sunni Muslim man of undetermined nationality wearing traditional dress and headgear, with a sheathed dagger at his side. He also wears a what appears to be a military medal on his chest. He presents himself as a warrior. For the Tsars to assert and keep power over such a diverse and possibly warlike populace had to require incredible influence that could not last forever. Freeze talks about how the minorities throughout the Russian controlled lands were already becoming restless as early as 1863 (256). Coerced assimilation by Alexander III was partially to blame. By undermining the ethnic minorities imperial Russia was slowly destabilizing its power structure and maybe leaving it vulnerable to the revolutions of the early 20th century.

Permanent Record: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000001213/

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