The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (The Wilder House Series in Politics, History and Culture)

Terry Martin

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0801486777

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Soviet Union was the first of Europe's multiethnic states to confront the rising tide of nationalism by systematically promoting the national consciousness of its ethnic minorities and establishing for them many of the institutional forms characteristic of the modern nation-state. In the 1920s, the Bolshevik government, seeking to defuse nationalist sentiment, created tens of thousands of national territories. It trained new national leaders, established national languages, and financed the production of national-language cultural products.This was a massive and fascinating historical experiment in governing a multiethnic state. Terry Martin provides a comprehensive survey and interpretation, based on newly available archival sources, of the Soviet management of the nationalities question. He traces the conflicts and tensions created by the geographic definition of national territories, the establishment of dozens of official national languages, and the world's first mass "affirmative action" programs. Martin examines the contradictions inherent in the Soviet nationality policy, which sought simultaneously to foster the growth of national consciousness among its minority populations while dictating the exact content of their cultures; to sponsor national liberation movements in neighboring countries, while eliminating all foreign influence on the Soviet Union's many diaspora nationalities. Martin explores the political logic of Stalin's policies as he responded to a perceived threat to Soviet unity in the 1930s by re-establishing the Russians as the state's leading nationality and deporting numerous "enemy nations."

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The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers

The Communist Horizon (Pocket Communism)

The Communist Horizon (Pocket Communism)

The Ghost of Stalin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for the eastern nationalities, many of whom had recently been subject to mass Russian colonization, to legitimate the presence of the former great-power nationality. 110 B. Rodievich, "Korenizatsiia apparata v avtonmniakh i raionakh natsmen'shinstv RSFSR," Revoliutsiia i natsional'nosti, no. 12 (1931): 113. There was no exact definition of a nationally mixed soviet. Usually it meant about 20 to 50 percent national minority. m Soveshchanie upolnomochennykh, 125. Implementing the Mfirmative

policy politicized ethnicity by linking it to the control of administrative territory. Second, such ethnic contention tended to become more severe when this connection between ethnicity and administrative territory was further linked to control over agricultural land and when ethnic divisions coincided with former estate (soslovie) divisions. When invidious estate categories, such as inorodtsy or peasant, were identified in a given region with a single ethnic group, they served the function of

(1932): 144-145. These statistics are incomplete but do illustrate a significant penetration of the Ukrainian language into the cultural work of trade unions. Although heavy industry remained less Ukrainized, given the total russification of these industries, the progress made there was actually most striking. The Ukrainian language was readily accepted in circumstances requiring only a passive knowledge of Ukrainian. Lectures were frequently conducted in Ukrainian. The percentage

great-power chauvinism, the establishment of Mfirmative Action programs in higher education, and a major push to implement korenizatsiia in the eastern national territories. The Campaign Against Great-Power Chauvinism In the same June 1930 speech in which Stalin declared that cultural revolution meant the flourishing, not the liquidation, of national cultures, he likewise rebuked those activists who had questioned the established principle that great-power chauvinism was a greater danger than

Tatar work brigade when the Russians attacked the Tatars, yelling "Beat the Tatars, beat the Tatar dogs!" 180 This one brawl led to four "large trials" of fifteen offenders and sixteen smaller trials in the first half of 1931. When Russians attacked twenty newly arrived Tatars at the Bereznikovskii factory in the Urals and beat up five of them, the Russian perpetrators were tried in public and sentenced to a severe term of five years of hard labor. 181 Show trials were not reserved only for such

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