Siberia: From a Penal Colony to a Modern Region

London Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume | Issue | Compilation
Authored by Emmanuel Oladipo Ojo , NA
Classification: FOR Code: 120599
Keywords: siberia, soviet union, russia, penal colony, revolution, resources, development.
Language: English

This paper examines three phases in the history of Siberia within the larger context of Russian history. It points out that following its conquest and annexation by Russia during the reign of Ivan IV (the Terrible), Siberia became a penal colony for criminal elements, book radicals, revolutionaries and other sundry offenders. The sustained attempt by Russian Tsars to keep ‘unwanted elements’ out of circulation in European Russia did not only result in a heavy human traffic to Siberia; it led to the planting of ‘seeds of cities’ there and inadvertently became ‘a rite of passage’ for the men and women who turned it into a ‘gigantic laboratory of revolution’ and kindled the revolutionary flame that so fatally consumed tsarism and autocracy in Russia. The paper contends that Siberia became an open graveyard under Stalin and examines some striking opposites and trajectories in the history of the region. 



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