[PAST EVENT] Russia and the United States in the Antebellum and Civil War Periods: Mutual Representations

Thursday, January 31st 2013
3:30pm
Washington Hall, Room 201
241 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Lecture delivered by Ivan Kurilla, Visiting Fellow at the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University.
Full Description
Professor Kurilla's talk will focus on the four decades close diplomatic relations and military cooperation between the US and Russia: from the late 1830s through the 1870s. Not only was this the longest period of friendship between the two nations at the state level, but the reciprocal popular opinions were also quite positive. During the Crimean War American surgeons worked in Russian hospitals in Sebastopol, and during the Civil War Russian Navy ships appeared in New York Harbor.

Professor Kurilla argues that such a rapprochement was the result of the domestic political agendas of the two countries and similarities of geopolitical interests. Both nations were undergoing the process of quick transcontinental territorial expansion, modernization of national armies, and reforms that led to the emancipation of slaves/serfs. Kurilla also argues that the mutual perception could change overnight, depending on the shifts in the political agenda in each country.
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