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An uneasy alliance: nationalists and Bolsheviks at the creation of Bashkortostan

Busscher, Peter (2023) An uneasy alliance: nationalists and Bolsheviks at the creation of Bashkortostan. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, or Bashkortostan, was created as the result of a deal between the Bolsheviks and Validov’s Bashkir national movement. With the formation of Bashkortostan, the Soviet government established itself as a federation of republics with territorial autonomy. Historians have posited various explanations for the establishment of this system, ranging from the Richard Pipes “divide and conquer” position to the “affirmative action empire” argument of Terry Martin. This BPhil thesis examines the 1919 deal reached between the Bashkir nationalists and Bolsheviks to determine the fitness of these theories for this case. As I argue using primary sources, the collaboration between Lenin and the thoroughly non-Communist Bashkir nationalists can be explained by three factors: First, the strategic dictates of the Civil War increased the Bolsheviks’ willingness to compromise with potential allies. Second, Lenin and, to a lesser extent, Stalin were committed to a system of territorial autonomy and cultural sponsorship aimed at the minorities of the former Russian Empire. Third, the broader Soviet campaign of modernization and education reform was assimilable with the national program, most notably in the sponsorship of minority languages.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Busscher, Peterpjb84@pitt.edupjb840000-0002-0902-8195
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorPickett, Jamespickettj@pitt.edupickettj0000-0002-4061-4387
Committee MemberDaniel, Schaferdaniel.schafer@belmont.edu0000-0001-7883-8047
Committee MemberNancy, Condeecondee@pitt.educondee0000-0002-3996-139X
Committee MemberGregor, Thumthum@pitt.eduthum0000-0001-5345-0281
Date: 14 December 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 December 2023
Approval Date: 14 December 2023
Submission Date: 7 December 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 46
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: soviet, bashkir, tatar, history, russia, empire, nationality, national politics, policy, case study
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2023 17:44
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2023 17:44


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