The Elusive Empire: Kazan And The Creation Of Russia, 1552-1671 by Matthew P. RomanielloThe Elusive Empire: Kazan And The Creation Of Russia, 1552-1671 by Matthew P. Romaniello

The Elusive Empire: Kazan And The Creation Of Russia, 1552-1671

byMatthew P. Romaniello

Paperback | January 30, 2012

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In 1552, Muscovite Russia conquered the city of Kazan on the Volga River. It was the first Orthodox Christian victory against Islam since the fall of Constantinople, a turning point that, over the next four years, would complete Moscow’s control over the river. This conquest provided a direct trade route with the Middle East and would transform Muscovy into a global power. As Matthew Romaniello shows, however, learning to manage the conquered lands and peoples would take decades.
    Russia did not succeed in empire-building because of its strength, leadership, or even the weakness of its neighbors, Romaniello contends; it succeeded by managing its failures. Faced with the difficulty of assimilating culturally and religiously alien peoples across thousands of miles, the Russian state was forced to compromise in ways that, for a time, permitted local elites of diverse backgrounds to share in governance and to preserve a measure of autonomy. Conscious manipulation of political and religious language proved more vital than sheer military might. For early modern Russia, empire was still elusive—an aspiration to political, economic, and military control challenged by continuing resistance, mismanagement, and tenuous influence over vast expanses of territory.

Matthew P. Romaniello is assistant professor of history at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, editor with Charles Lipp of Contested Spaces of Nobility in Early Modern Europe, and editor with Tricia Starks of Tobacco in Russian History and Culture.
Title:The Elusive Empire: Kazan And The Creation Of Russia, 1552-1671Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:January 30, 2012Publisher:University of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299285146

ISBN - 13:9780299285142

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations   


Glossary of Terms   


1. Imperial Ideas   

2. Conflicted Authorities   

3. Foreign Interests   

4. Loyal Enemies   

5. Irregular Subjects   

6. Subdued Rebels   





Editorial Reviews

“Matthew Romaniello’s interesting book . . . is coherent, well grounded in the sources, and persuasive. His Elusive Empire is a real achievement casting a new light on the periphery of the expanding early modern Russian state.”—Cahiers du Monde Russe