The Non-Russian Nationalities

  • Stephen Jones
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series


This chapter must begin with some qualifications. It does not represent original research and only makes limited use of Soviet sources. It attempts to assess some past and current thinking on the ‘nationalities question’ in 1917 among Western scholars. It is interpretative, and aims to raise questions about assumptions and approaches rather than provide answers. The chapter’s first section will address some theoretical problems associated with ethnicity and national identity, and the second half, in the light of this discussion, will look at the non-Russian national movements in 1917.


National Identity National Consciousness Socialist Party National Movement Russian Revolution 
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  1. 10.
    This is the view of most Western students of this period. See, for example, T. Rakowska-Harmstone Russia and Nationalism in Central Asia: The Case of Tadzhikistan (Baltimore, 1970, p. 24) who argues the ‘Basmachi bands’ were based on clannish and religious ties. P. A. Zenkovsky in his Pan Turkism and Islam in Russia (Cambridge, Mass., 1960) supports the view that among Russian Muslims in 1917 ‘Islam revealed itself to be stronger than any national or racial program’ (p. 139). Marie Broxup in her article, ‘The Basmachi’ (Central Asian Survey, vol. 2, no. 1 (July 1983) pp. 57–77)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Olcott, in her article ‘The Basmachi or Freemen’s Revolt in Turkestan 1918–24’ (Soviet Studies, vol. XXXIII, no. 3 (1981) pp. 352–69)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 33.
    For some debate on this issue, see Graeme Gill ‘The Mainsprings of Peasant Action in 1917’ (Soviet Studies vol. XXX, no. 1 (1978) pp. 63–86)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. John Kress, ‘The Political Consciousness of the Russian Peasantry: A Comment on Graeme Gill’s “The Mainsprings of Peasant Action in 1917”’ (Soviet Studies vol. XXI, no. 4 (1979) pp. 574–80).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 34.
    A. Adams, ‘The Awakening of the Ukraine,’ Slavic Review, vol. XXII, no. 2 (1963) p. 218.Google Scholar
  6. 44.
    See for example Pipes, op. cit., p. 73; S. L. Guthier, ‘The Belorussians: National Identity and Assimilation 1897–1970’, Soviet Studies vol. XXIX, no. 1 (Jan. 1977), pp. 37–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 57.
    S. Guthier ‘The Popular Base of Ukrainian Nationalism in 1917’, Slavic Review vol. 38, no. 1 (1979) p. 31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 61.
    H. R. Weinstein, ‘Land Hunger and Nationalism in the Ukraine, 1905–1917.’ Journal of Economic History, vol. 2, no. 1 (1942), p. 35.Google Scholar

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© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1992

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  • Stephen Jones

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