Imperial Borderland: Bobrikov and the Attempted Russification of Finland, 1898–1904
by Tuomo Polvinen
translated by Steven Huxley
Duke University Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-8223-1563-6
Library of Congress Classification DL1065.5.B62P6413 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 948.9702

In 1904 the Russian Governor-General in Helsinki, Nikolai Ivanovich Bobrikov, was assassinated by a Finnish nationalist. In this study by Finland’s leading diplomatic historian, Tuomo Polvinen examines the tense and troubled relationship of Finland to the tsarist empire and the nature of Russian nationality policy at the turn of the century.
Bobrikov’s appointment to the Grand Duchy of Finland in 1898 by Nicholas II led to a policy of intensified Russification that ended nearly a century of political equilibrium between the two states. With access to previously unavailable Russian archival material, Polvinen provides a uniquely balanced and informed view of this dramatic new phase in Russian-Finnish relations. Presenting Bobrikov in the overall context of Russian policy toward Finland, Polvinen investigates such issues as Bobrikov’s goals for Finland, the effect of Russian politics on its Finnish policy, and the influence of Russian journalists during this crucial period.
Offering insight into the workings of the Russian government and its borderland policy during a time of rising international tension, Imperial Borderland will attract readers of Baltic, Finnish, Russian, and Scandinavian history. Those with an interest in the continuing importance of nationalism and nationalities policy in this region of the world will also find this book valuable.

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