Trans-Siberian Railroad

Dublin Core

Title

Trans-Siberian Railroad

Subject

Amur Region, Part 3

Description

The Trans-Siberian Railroad was the material display of Russia’s desire for a permanent foothold on the Pacific coast. Not long after the Amur region had come under Russian control, the imperial government recognized the need for a railroad to connect the region with the Russian heartland. Such a railroad would bolster Russia’s internal development of the region and project Russia’s military power. Ames’ account of Russian railway construction provides a full description of the trans-Siberian railroad’s construction, but the most notable points regarding the Amur region is that construction began simultaneously at Vladivostok as in the west, and that the first completed segment ran through Manchuria. Ultimately, an all-Russia link would be completed in the Amur valley by 1916.
In particular, Russia’s desire for a militarily secure railroad arose from the concern that the Amur region, recently acquired from China, might return to the Chinese. Fears of reconquest by demographic means became common in the period. These fears had real roots in the massive settlement program, described by Marks, that the Qing dynasty had enacted in Manchuria. The notion of a few Russian outposts against the entirety of China would remain a latent ethnic concern even into the Soviet and modern era, and the trans-Siberian railroad was a means of improving the odds of permanent Russian settlement in the Amur region.
However, the greater railroad projects in the Amur region did not simply represent a means of bolstering Russia against the Chinese threat. In the late 19th century, Russia saw itself as much of a colonial power as any European state, and the railroad held promises of facilitating a Russian expansion into China. Marks notes how the most ambitious of Russians even hoped for an expansion of Orthodoxy into China through railroads extending into China. While that would not come to pass, the construction of the trans-Siberian railroad and its Manchurian branches provided the infrastructure needed for any sort of economic, military, or social control over China by Russia.

Creator

Group 3

Source

Ames, Edward. "A century of Russian railroad construction: 1837-1936."American Slavic and East European Review (1947): 57-74.

Marks, Steven Gary. Road to Power: The Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Colonization of Asian Russia, 1850-1917. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.

"File:Banknote 5000 rubles (1997) back.jpg" From Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed February 12, 2014. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Banknote_5000_rubles_%281997%29_back.jpg

Date

1891-1916

Event Item Type Metadata

Duration

25 years (1891-1916)

Event Type

Construction of the trans-Siberian railroad in the Amur region.

Participants

Russian Empire

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