Britain and Russia: A Historical Comparison of Two Great Empires




Cook, Sarah

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This work examines key elements of the British and Russian empires in order to present a new perspective on how much these two entities hold in common. Though radically different on the surface, Britain and Russia possess similar national characters and historical experiences. This work is not an attempt at a comprehensive record of the British and Russian empires and their similarities. Rather, it focuses on specific ideas –the two nations’ beginnings, their imperial ideologies, the Great Game in Central Asia, both nations’ modern identity crises – in order to prove greater similitude between Britain and Russia than has previously been discussed as part of the historical narrative. A variety of primary sources are used, though secondary sources make up a great deal of the evidence presented. This thesis is not chiefly a reinterpretation of sources, but a re-conceptualization of the information and interpretations already part of the historical narrative.