1874 Mitchell World Atlas – Russia in Europe, Sweden, Norway


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Russia in Europe; Sweden & Norway on this beautiful hand colored map from the Mitchell World Atlas of 1874.

The Russian-Turkish War began in 1877 and ended a year later. The conflict was between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition, who were led by the Russian Empire. This divide is visible on the map as Russia's western border. This map shows where the European and Islamic worlds came together.

The war originated from Balkan nationalism. Russian hopes for recovering land lost during the Crimean War and attempts to free Balkan nations from Ottoman rule were also contributing factors. Russia succeeded in claiming several provinces and Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro finally gained independence. This war caused a conflict between the International Red Cross (European) and Red Crescent (Islamic) Movement emblems. The cross was first accepted as the sole emblem for protection of military medical personnel, however during the war, the Ottomans felt it reminded them too much of the Crusades. So, they elected to use the Red Crescent instead. This ultimately became the symbol of the Red Crescent Movement in most Muslim countries. The division led to the Magen David Adom controversy, which resulted in yet another emblem.

In Russia, the Kazan demonstration of 1876 marked the appearance of the Land and Liberty. As it was illegal to criticize the Russian government, the group had been conducting its meetings in secret. The movement split on tactics and three years later, the People's Will was formed, branching off of the Land and Liberty. The group advocated for violent action to achieve reform and planned to assassinate Alexander II. In 1881, they succeeded in murdering the Czar by throwing an explosive at his carriage. His death brought the end of hopes to reform the system from above. Alexander III, the new Czar, entered with renewed vigor.

From 1814 to 1905, Norway and Sweden were united. Sweden allowed Norway to keep its parliament, but both countries were ruled under one king. Industrialization and the large scale immigration to North America during the 1860s led Norway to eventually establish a parliamentary system of government in 1884. The union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905.

In Norway, cultural expression from the 1840s to the 1870s was dominated by romantic nationalism. Within this lay a heavy emphasis on the uniqueness of the nation's nature and identity. The movement was characterized by nostalgia. Context can be provided by the nation's four centuries as a Danish province and treatment as cultural backwater by the Danish absentee government. Norway's partial independence with Sweden proved still too restricting and independence wasn't gained until 1905. Romantic nationalism had a significant impact on national identity in Norway, even after it was overshadowed by other cultural movements.

Archival reproduction print from high resolution scan


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