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SiberiaA History of the People$
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Janet M Hartley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167948

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167948.001.0001

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Exiles and Convicts

Exiles and Convicts

(p.115) Chapter Nine Exiles and Convicts

Janet M. Hartley

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the exiles and convicts in Siberia over the eighteenth and first three quarters of the nineteenth century. Since its opening up, Siberia was understood to be a place of punishment and banishment. The “exile system” arose essentially because Russia lacked a prison system. One aspect of the exile system was punishment. The other side of the exile system was a belief that convicts and exiles might prove valuable settlers in the remoter parts of Siberia and that they could be “reformed” in the process and turned into useful citizens. These two conflicting aims had a profound impact on the development of Siberia and helped to mould not only the nature of settlements there but also affected its social and ethnic composition, its cultural development, and the image of “Siberia” that was projected to the rest of the Russian empire, and to the world beyond.

Keywords:   Siberia, Siberian history, exile system, prison, reform, settlements

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