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Claiming CrimeaA History of Catherine the Great's Southern Empire$
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Kelly O'Neill

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300218299

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300218299.001.0001

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Military Service and Social Mobility

Military Service and Social Mobility

(p.124) 3 Military Service and Social Mobility
Claiming Crimea

Kelly O'Neill

Yale University Press

This chapter demonstrates how service, whether elected or appointed, had great potential as an integrative tool. It could also be used as a mechanism for preserving local social hierarchies. The provincial government itself was part of an imperial system that cultivated multiple jurisdictions and multiple centers of power—a kind of flexibility essential to the function of a composite multiethnic empire. This flexibility or layered structure had a resonance even in the army, which had long served as a mechanism for integrating non-Russian elites. This was a form of interaction with the tsarist regime that the Crimeans found palatable, and the chapter looks at how Russians and Tatars used stints in a series of light horse regiments to their own ends: as a tool for maintaining the stability of the borderland during wars with the Ottomans, and as a vehicle for the acquisition (or maintenance) of rank and power.

Keywords:   military service, social hierarchies, provincial government, multiethnic empire, imperial system, tsarist regime, Crimeans

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