Central Asia and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Look at the Balance Sheet at the Centennial
Although it happened thousands of miles away, and did not reflect any of the local political currents at work in 1917, the October Revolution had a profound impact on Central Asia.
The Soviet system, while brutal and callously profligate with human life, was not simply a continuation of Russian colonialism in another form. In Central Asia, it was a radically modernizing regime that transformed what had been a culturally and politically unassimilated colony of the Tsarist Empire into the nation states we know today. All five Central Asian states still bear a heavy Soviet imprint in their governance, institutions and identity.
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Alexander Morrison is Fellow and Tutor in History at New College, Oxford. From 2014 - 2017 he was Professor of History at Nazarbayev History in Astana, Kazakhstan. He is the author of Russian Rule in Samarkand 1868-1910. A Comparison with British India (Oxford, 2008) and is currently writing a history of the Russian conquest of Central Asia. http://oxford.academia.edu/AlexanderMorrison