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The History of Crimea and Circassia as Portrayed in 19th Century Encyclopedias


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Kim, Hong
Term Paper, AP European History Class, June 2009



Table of Contents
I. Introduction
I.1 Objective of Research
I.2 Method of Research
I.2.1 Standard of Selection of Parts within Relevant Articles
I.2.2 Translation and Dealing with Gothic Font
II. Crimea
II.1 Encyclopedia Articles on Crimea
II.1.1 Edward Balfour's Cyclopaedia of India, Article Krimea
II.1.2 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1902, Article: Crimea
II.1.3 Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Krim
II.1.4 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Krim
II.1.5 Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, Article : Krim
II.1.6 Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Krim
II.2 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Country
II.2.1 Britain
II.2.2 German States
II.2.3 Denmark and Sweden
II.3 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Period
II.3.1 Before the Crimean War
II.3.2 After the Crimean War
III. Circassia
III.1 Encyclopedia Articles on Circassia
III.1.1 Edward Balfour¡¯s Cyclop©¡dia of India 1873, Article : Circassia
III.1.2 Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, Article: Caucasia
III.1.3 Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Circassien
III.1.4 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tscherkessien
III.1.5 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tscherkessen
III.2 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Country
III.2.1 Britain
III.2.2 German States
III.3 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Period
III.3.1 Before the Russo-Circassian War
III.3.2 During the Russo-Circassian War
III.3.3 After the Russo-Circassian War
IV. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Appendix



I. Introduction

I.1 Objective of Research
            The objective of this paper is to evaluate the objectivity and reliability of 19th century encyclopedias (until c.1920) by analyzing their portrayal of the history of Crimea and Circassia. Both Crimea and Circassia had been victims of Russia¡¯s territorial expansion in the late 18th and early 19th century. Whether there exists a difference in the portrayal of the history of these defeated nations by encyclopedia and whether these views changed with time is the questions attempted to be answered. Thus the comparison and analysis is done by country and by period. Encyclopedias available were English, German, Danish, and Swedish encyclopedias. Two pivotal events, the Crimean war and the Russo-Circassian war, were selected to divide the periods for analysis.

I.2 Method of Research

I.2.1 Standard of Selection of Parts within Relevant Articles
            Articles corresponding to Crimea and Circassia were sought for. Different keywords such as "Krimea," "Krim," "Circassien," "Tscherkessien" were used for different languages and encyclopedias. Within the articles, sections dealing with the history were considered and they were usually located at the end of these articles. However, the whole period of history was not considered. For Crimea, its history was dealt from the emergence of the Crimean Tatars, and for Circassia, from when Russians started entering the region, which is generally from the period of Ivan the Terrible.
            For some encyclopedias it was necessary to look for other articles to find the history of Crimea or the history of Circassia. In case of the Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, the history of Circassia was located in the history section of the article on Caucasia.
            In cases of short articles without a section of history, portions of other sections were selected to represent the general characteristic of the encyclopedia article.

I.2.2 Translation and Dealing with Gothic Font
            For encyclopedias of languages other than English, translation was necessary. In most cases, existing translations were accepted, and for other articles or certain phrases requiring translation, the Google translation engine was implemented with additional checking with the dictionaries of the language.
            Gothic fonts were interpreted looking up each letter from a Gothic-Antiqua font table.

II. Crimea

II.1 Encyclopedia Articles on Crimea
            The original version of the selected parts of the encyclopedia articles are given below. The translated versions are given in the appendix. In cases of encyclopedia articles of Gothic fonts, the Antiqua font version is given in the body and the scanned image of the original encyclopedia article is given in the appendix along with the translated version.

II.1.1 Edward Balfour's Cyclop©¡dia of India 1873, Article : Krimea
            "The great Turanian or Tartar family of languages is spoken by all the tribes from the Himalaya to Okotsk and to Lapland, and includes the Hungarian, Krimean, and Turkish ..."

II.1.2 Encyclopedia Britannica 1902, Article: Crimea
            "After the destruction of the Golden Horde by Tamerlane, the Tatars of the Crimea elected, about 1428, a khan for themselvez, a descendant through Toktamish of Jinghis Khan, one Hadgy, who assumed the name of Ghyrey, his capital being at Solkhat, now Esky-Crim. This khanate continued independent until the conquest of Crim by Mahomet II. (1475), who made the khan prisoner, and sent the Genoese and other Christians into servitude and slavery. The khans, thenceforth the vassals of the sultans, were at the head of a warlike race, by whom the Russian provinces were being continually devastated until the year 1777, when Suwaroff dispersed the troops of Dyvlett Ghyrey, who fled to the Caucasus, and the usurper Selim Ghyrey ascended the throne under the protection of Catherine II. He was, however, forced to appeal to Russia for succour against revolt amongst his own subjects, and the Crimea was eventually annexed to the Russian empire by order of the empress, August 1, 1783, the treaty for its cession by the Porte being signed January 9, 1784.
The Crimea was occupied by the allied forces of Great Britain, France, and Sardinia during the Russo-Turkish war of 1853-56. The British and French troops landed near Eupatoria, September 14, 1854, and did not evacuate the peninsula until July 12, 1856, during which period were fought the battles of the Alma, Tchernaya, Balaclava, and Inkerman, and the formidable fortress of Sevastopol was reduced by siege. "


II.1.3 Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Krim
            "1441-1783 tatar. Chanat unter türk. Oberherrschaft, seitdem russisch."

II.1.4 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Krim
            "1478 ernannte Muhammed II. den Tataren Mengli Gherai, der sich zu ihm geflüchtet hatte, zum Khan der K., doch blieb derselbe u. seine Nachkommen Vasall des Grossherrn, s. Tataren (Gesch.). 1736 drangen die Russen zum erstenmal unter dem Feldmarschall Münch in Taurien ein u. verwüsteten es. 1757 wurde der seinen Unterthanen verhasste Alym Gherai von den Nogaitataren vom Thron gestossen u. Kerim Gherai zum Khan ernannt. 1764 führte er 50,000 Tataren gegen die Russen u. verheerte Neu-Servien. Nachdem die Russen unter Dolgorucki 1771 in Taurien eingefallen waren, gaben sie dem Saheb Gherai den Khantitel, dieser trat der Kaiserin Katharina II. Kertsch u. Kinburn ab u. behauptete sich nach langem Kampfe, s. ebd. 1779 räumten die Russen die K., u. der Khan derselben wurde verpflichtet, seine Wahl durch den Grossherrn bestätigen zu lassen, allein da innere Streitigkeiten fortwährten,[826] auch Saheb Gherai seine Häfen durch russische Schiffe blockirt u. sich selbst durch Potemkins Armee bedroht sah, so überliess dieser die K., Kuban u. die Insel Taman den Russen. Die Pforte, von Österreich u. Frankreich verlassen, sah sich genöthigt, hierzu ihre Zustimmung zu geben. 1783 verleibte Russland die K. seinem Reiche ein. In den Jahren 1854?56 war die K. der Schauplatz des Krieges zwischen Russland u. den mit den Türken vereinten Westmächten (Frankreich u. England); mit der Zerstörung u. Einnahme Sebastopols (s.d.) fand der Krieg. welcher mit der Landung bei Eupatoria begonnen hatte, sein Ende."

II.1.5 Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, Article : Krim
            "K. blev under Folkevandringerne efterhaanden erobret af mange forstjellige Folkeflag. I det 13de Aarh. kom det under Dshingiskhans Sønnesøn Batu of blev Midpunktet for en uafhængig Stat, der efter lange Stridigheder med Genueserne, som havde bemægtiget sig Kaffa og andre Punkter paa Svbkysten, maatte erkjende Tyrkiets Overherredømme I Slutningen af det 15de Aarh. Først i Slutningen af det 18de Aarh. lykkedes det Russerne at bemægtige sig Landet, og det varom den af dem skabte Flaadestation of Fæstning Sebaftopol at den mærkelige Kamp førtes, der næten i et heelt Aar holdt Europa i Spænding og fom endte med Sebastopols Fald den 9de Septbr. 1855."

II.1.6 Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Krim
            "men under 15:de årh. förjagades de af turkarna, hvilka en tid framåt styrde K. genom tatariska kaner såsom vasaller. Redan under Peter den store uppträdde ryssarna på K. och eröfrade Perekop,1697. Ett ännu mera förhärjande infall gjorde de 1736 och ökade sedan ständigt sitt inflytande under de herskande oroligheterna, till dess halfön 1783 helt och hållet införlifvades med Ryssland."

II.2 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Country

II.2.1 Britain
            The history of Crimea portrayed in Encyclopedia Britannica of 1902 is biased in favor of the Allies of Crimean war, which Britain was also a member of. This can be seen in the portrayal of the progress and outcome of the war. The invasion of the allied forces into the Crimean peninsula is written as "The British and French troops landed near Eupatoria, September 14, 1854, and did not evacuate the peninsula until July 12, 1856" (1) and the final siege of Sevastopol as "the formidable fortress of Sevastopol was reduced by siege." (2) The phrases "did not evacuate," "formidable fortress," and "reduced by siege" all contribute in building a victorious image of the allied forces.
            The impacts of the occupation of the allied forces on the Crimean people are also mentioned with positive connotations. This can be seen in lines such as "the females, more especially on the south coast, have quite given up wearing the yashmak, 'veil,' since the occupation of the country by the allies in 1854-56," (3) the wearing yashmak being one of the Muslim customs that the contemporary western Christians of the time did not appreciate.

II.2.2 German States
            The article on Krim (Crimea in German) of Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865 shows a relatively neutral stance in the portrayal of the history of Crimea. The annexation of Crimea by Russia is given in plain terms "In 1783 Russia annexed the Crimea," (4) a difference from the British encyclopedias. The Crimean war is also simple written as "In 1854-1856 the Crimea was a battleground in a war between Russia and the western powers allied with Turkey," it is not portrayed as one side withstanding the other.
            The more realistic depiction of the siege of Sevastopol shows greatest contrast with the Britannica. The siege is presented as the "destruction and fall of Sevastopol," (5) not as a "formidable fortress" being "reduced. Sevastopol was bombarded and occupied by the Allies; clearly, the word ¡°destruction¡± would be a more realistic portrayal of the event.

II.2.3 Denmark and Sweden
            The difference between Danish and Swedish encyclopedias' coverage on Crimean history and those of British and German encyclopedias is that the former shows little or no interest in the Crimean war. The history of the Crimean Tatars and their annexation to Russia is presented in a similar way; however, the Crimean war is dealt very shortly. This is in contrast to the British and German encyclopedias in which the event is dealt in multiple lines or even additional paragraphs.
            In the Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, it is simply said that the advance of Russians created a suspense that ended with the fall of Sebastopol. (6) The event isn¡¯t even referred to as a war, which is different from the Britannica where the Crimean war is referred to as the Russo-Turkish war of 1853-56.
            In the Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, the Crimean war or the occupation of Sevastopol is not even mentioned. The historical coverage of Crimea ends with "in 1783 the peninsula in its entirety was annexed into the Russian Empire." (7)
            The neglect of the Crimean war by the Danish and Swedish encyclopedias can be explained by their lack of relation to the war. Britain was a major player in the war as an active member of the Allies. The German states did not participate in the war; however, the war affected the political spheres in which they were greatly involved. The British and German encyclopedias had a clear reason to provide a lengthy coverage on Crimea and the Crimean war, while the encyclopedias of Denmark and Sweden did not. This shows how what an encyclopedia does and does not deal can depend on the interests of the country in which it was published

II.3 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Period

II.3.1 Before the Crimean War
            Most of the 19th century encyclopedias available were of the period after the Crimean war. The only available encyclopedia published before the war was the Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811 edition. However, it did not include an article on Crimea; a later edition of the encyclopedia, published in 1911, contains a brief article on Krim. Still, what we can see from the absence of articles on Crimea of this period is that even though the advancement of Russia into the Crimean peninsula was of political significance, the western countries, until this time, did not have much interest in particular to Crimea or their history.

II.3.2 After the Crimean War
            A conclusion on the change in historical coverage of encyclopedias by time was not reached, and this is thought to be for two reasons. First, after the Crimean war, there were no pivotal events that would significantly alter the general point of view of the encyclopedias. Second, there were no two articles on Crimea of the same encyclopedia but of a different edition. Consequently, it was hard to distinguish whether a difference in coverage existed due to the difference of the encyclopedias or of the difference of published year.

III. Circassia

III.1 Encyclopedia Articles on Circassia
            The original version of the selected parts of the encyclopedia articles are given below. The translated versions are given in the appendix.

III.1.1 Edward Balfour's Cyclopaedia of India 1873, Article : Circassia
            "Circassia, the Cherkas or Tcherkass of Asiaties, is on the northern face of the Caucasus. It contains many tribes of various appearance and dignitiy... the tribes seem to have been of dissimilar origin, but they are alike famed for the warlike habits of the men and the beauty of their young women ... "
III.1.2 Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, Article: Caucasia
            "Historical interest in Caucasia centres in the long and persistent attempts which the Russians made to conquer it, and the heroic, though unavailing, resistance offered by the mountain races, more especially the Circassian and Lesghian tribes ... Nevertheless the mountain tribes who inhabited the higher parts of the Caucasus were still independent, and their subjugation cost Russia a sustained effort of thirty years, during the course of which her military commanders were more than once brought almost to the point of despair by the tenacity, the devotion and the adroitness and daring which the mountaineers displayed in a harassing guerilla warfare ... Meanwhile Shamyl had roused the Lesghian tribes farther east and begun his twenty years' struggle for freedom, a struggle which called forth the sympathy and admiration of nearly the whole of Europe ... There the hitherto indomitable champion of Caucasian independence was forced to surrender to the Russians on the 6th of September 1859. Nevertheless the spirit of resistance in these stubborn mountaineers was not finally broken until 1864, when the Russians eventually stifled all opposition in the difficult valleys and glens of the western Caucasus. But this was followed, during the next fourteen years, by the wholesale emigration of thousands upon thousands of Circassians, who sought an asylum in Turkish territory, leaving their native region almost uninhabited and desolate, a condition from which it has not recovered even at the present day."

III.1.3 Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Circassien
            "Circassien, eine grosse Landschaft in Asien zwischen dem schwarzen und Caspischen Meer. Sie wird von mehrern Fürsten regiert, welche grössten Theils Russland unterwürfig sind. Die Einwohner sind theils der Mahomedanischen theils der Griechischen Religion zugethan. Sie werden für die schünsten Leute in der Welt gehalten. Ein Gesichtszug des weiblichen Geschlechts besteht darin, dass die Augenbraunen wie ein schwarzer Seidenfaden an der Stirne liegen."

III.1.4 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tscherkessien
            "Theil der Kaukasusländer in Russisch Asien; grenzt an das Land der Tschernomorischen Kosacken, Kaukasien ... ein verschobenes Viereck von etwa 45 Meilen Länge, 30 Meilen Breite u. etwa 1500 QM. Areal. ... Das eigentliche T., das von den eigentlichen Tscherkessen bewohnte Land, der westliche Theil des vorigen, etwas mehr als 500,000 Ew."

III.1.5 Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Tscherkessien
            "1424 rissen sie sich von den Georgiern los u. verbreiteten sich in die Ebenen am Asowschen Meere u. kamen dadurch mit den Tataren in Berührung. 1555 unterwarf der russische Czar Iwan I. d. Gr. einen Theil der T., nahm die Tochter eines tscherkessischen Fürsten zur Gemahlin u. leistete ihnen gegen die Tataren Hülfe; bald gaben aber die Russen die Oberherrschaft ?ber die T. auf u. die T. wurden nun aus der Krim u. der grossen südrussischen Ebene von den Tataren hinter den Kuban gedrängt u. ihnen zinsbar. Doch erhielten sie sich ziemlich unabhängig u. in eigener Verfassung, bis 1704 ein Sieg über die Tataren sie auch von dem Tribut befreite. Um diese Zeit suchte auch Peter d. Gr. die T. zu besiegen, jedoch ebenfalls erfolglos. Der Friede von Kutschuk Kainardschi 1774 u. noch mehr, als sich die Russen 1783 den Kuban zur Grenze nahmen, brachte die Russen wieder mit ihnen in Berührung. Von muhammedanischen Völkern umgeben, hatten sie schon früher den Islam angenommen u. jetzt bewirkte der Widerwille gegen die Russen bei vielen Fürsten u. Stämmen die Bekehrung zum Islam. Bes. wirkte ein muhammedanischer Fanatiker Scheh Mansur in dieser Beziehung viel. Die Türken bauten 1781 die Festung Anapa, u. diese wurde nun der Hauptplatz der T., woher sie Waffen, Salz u. dgl. bezogen. Zwar nahmen die Russen 1807 Anapa, mussten es aber in Folge des Friedens von Bukarest 1812 wieder räumen. Die T. wurden nun von den Türken gegen die Russen gereizt u. unternahmen von jetztan fortwährend Einfälle ins Russische Gebiet. Die Beschwichtigung derselben durch den damaligen Generalgouverneur von Südrussland, Herzog von Richelieu, mittelst angeknüpfter Handelsverbindungen, msslang. 1824 unterwarfen sich mehre Stämma der T. der Pforte; 1829 durch den Frieden von Adrianopel wurde der Küstenstrich am Schwarzen Meere u. 1834 der Rest von Abchasien, gegen Erlassung eines Theiles der Contribution, im Vertrage zu Petersburg abgetreten. Allein von diesem Jahre an begann die Bevölkerung, welche sich nicht unterwerfen wollte, einen hartnäckigen Krieg gegen die Russen, der noch fortwährt, obwohl seit der Gefangennahme Schamyls in Gunib, am 7. Septbr. 1859, der Hauptkampf der Bergvölker mit den Russen erstickt ist"

III.2 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Country

III.2.1 Britain
            The Encyclopedia Britannica 1911's portrayal of the history of Circassia is strongly biased in favor of the Circassians in their resistance to Russian domination. The Circassian resistance is depicted as a noble and heroic fight against the evil assault of the Russians. This can easily be seen from the fact that the Circassian resistance, from the start, is referred to as the "heroic, though unavailing, resistance" and Russian advancement as "persistent attempts which the Russians made to conquer it." (8) The word "heroic" contains a strong positive connotation in favor of the Circassians.
            The heroic portrayal of Circassian resistance continues, "the tenacity, the devotion and the adroitness and daring which the mountaineers displayed in a harassing guerilla warfare." (9) The long series of positive adjectives "tenacity," "devotion," "adroitness," and "daring" used to describe a guerilla force shows the bias of the Britannica towards the Circassians.
            The Britannica displays strong sympathy towards the hardships of Circassians. The struggle of the Circassians is referred to as a "struggle for freedom, a struggle which called forth the sympathy and admiration of nearly the whole of Europe." (10) The validity of the statement that the Cricassians received the sympathy and admiration of "nearly the whole of Europe" must be questioned. It would be more correct to understand this view as the view of Britain whose political interest was against Russian dominance over Circassia. In this respect, the Britannica represents the political opinion of the nation, rather than taking a neutral stance as an encyclopedia.
            Furthermore, the outcome of the war is depicted in a negative tone towards the Russians. The final stage of the war is written as "There the hitherto indomitable champion of Caucasian independence was forced to surrender to the Russians ... during the next fourteen years, by the wholesale emigration of thousands upon thousands of Circassians ... their native region almost uninhabited and desolate." (11) Phrases "forced to surrender," "wholesale emigration," and "uninhabited and desolate" all contribute in building a negative image of the outcome of the war and the Russians.

III.2.2 German States
            The German encyclopedia Pierer¡¯s Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865 takes a neutral stance in its portrayal of Circassian history and their resistance of the Russians. The resistance of the Circassians is not referred to as a heroic fight or a struggle for freedom. The war between the Circassians and the Russians is presented in a sequence of events without opinionated adjectives. The progression of the conflict is given plainly as "In 1781 the Turks built the fortress Anapa, which became the main Circassian supply of weapons, salt etc. The Russians took Anapa in 1807 ..." (12) The absence of opinionated adjectives such as "adroitness" or "daring" seen in the Britannica leaves out possible bias and allows the encyclopedia to take a neutral stance.
            The neutrality of the German encyclopedia in contrast to the biased portrayal of the British can be understood by the position of the German states in the international politics of the time. German states were increasingly becoming active members of international politics; however, this period of war between the Circassians and Russians was before the unification of Germany and the political interests of the German states were more limited to their own territory and neighboring states rather than extending far out into the lands of Circassia. In other words, the Russian advancement into Circassia was not directly against the political interests of the German states of the time; thus, a biased portrayal of Circassian history was unnecessary.

III.3 Analysis of Encyclopedia Articles by Period

III.3.1 Before the Russo-Circassian War
            The Circassien (Circassia in Germany) article in Brockhaus Converstions-Lexikon 1809-1811 was published before the Russian and Circassian conflict developed into a more serious scale in 1817. The first thing to note about the coverage of Circassia of this encyclopedia is that the coverage is very short. The article is only of a few lines containing a cursory description of Circassia, its location and its people. The short length of the article can be an indicator of the international neglect of the Circassian conflict with Russia before the development of the Russo-Circassian War.
            Another point worth noting is that the description of the situation in Circassia provided by the encyclopedia, "It is ruled by several princes, many of whom are subject to Russia," (13) is historically incomplete. The region indeed was ceded to Russia by Persia; however, the Circassians refused to accept the rule of Russia and were generally independent until that time. This shows how historical statements from cursory encyclopedia articles can be incomplete or even close to erroneous.

III.3.2 During the Russo-Circassian War
            An encyclopedia that was published during the Russo Circassian war is the Pierer's Universal-Lexicon 1857-1865. A noticeable difference from the article before the Russo-Circassian War is that it contains a more complete coverage of the Circassian people and their history. This can be understood by the increased international attention to the region due to the war.
            The Russo-Circassian War was concluded with the defeat of the Circassians in 1864. Though this year falls into the range of this encyclopedia edition, Pierer¡¯s Universal-Lexicon 1857-1865 does not contain the final outcome of the war. It only refers to dates until 1859 and comments that "the population unwilling to submit to Russian rule is involved in a continuous struggle, which still goes on." (14) It is inferred that there was not enough time to process updated information to include it into the edition. This shows how 19th century encyclopedias might not provide completely updated information to the year of its publication.

III.3.3 After the Russo-Circassian War
            The Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 was published almost 50 years after the Russ-Circassian war had ended. It describes the event from hindsight, commenting on the lasting consequences of the war such as the Diaspora of Circassians. (15)
The negative tone of Britannica in contrast with other encyclopedias in describing the outcomes of the war was explained above as a political bias. However, it can also be seen as natural response to the brutality the Russian army showed toward the Circassians after the war.

IV. Conclusion
            The contrast between the British and German encyclopedias in their portrayal of Crimean and Circassian history well illustrates the possibility of political bias of encyclopedias. British encyclopedias, the Britannicas, favored the party against the Russians in both cases. In the case of Crimean history, it was dealt fairly until the point of Russian annexation of Crimea and the Crimean war, where the Allies were portrayed as victorious peacekeepers. In the case of Circassian history, the Circassian resistance of the Russians was portrayed as a heroic resistance and a struggle for freedom against ruthless invaders. The German encyclopedias took a more neutral stance on both cases, avoiding opinionated adjectives and narrating the history on a factual basis. The political bias of British encyclopedias and the neutrality of the German encyclopedias can be understood by different national interests. Britain had participated in the Crimean war and was against the advancement of the Russians; it is natural that Britannica was in favor of the Allies in the Cirmean war and the Circassians in resistance to Russain rule. However, the German states were concerned of political issues of a more limited scope related to their neighboring countries. Thus, the German encyclopedias did not have a political motive to favor one side, leading to a more neutral and realistic viewpoint. Danish and Swedish encyclopedias were also considered in the case of Crimean history, and their cursory coverage of the event illustrates their lack of political interest in the event. The differences between encyclopedias reflecting the political interests of their nation illustrate how encyclopedias, believed to be among most objective sources, can be politically biased.
            Differences among encyclopedias exist not only by country of publication but also by the period in which it was published. The pivotal turning points considered were the Crimean war and the Russo-Circassian war. The general tendency of the change of the articles before and after the war was that they were greatly developed in length with additional paragraphs of their history. The articles of Crimea and Circassia before the wars contain cursory descriptions of the area and the people. Some of the historical statements in such short articles were incomplete or even erroneous, incapable of fully depicting an event or situation. In such cases of short articles, the statements should not be accepted as absolute but be questioned of its reliability. Tendencies of changing views following the progress of events and outcomes were also observed.
            Encyclopedias are widely accepted as one of the most objective and reliable sources of information. However, through comparison of multiple encyclopedias of the 19th century, and analysis of their difference by country and by period, it was found that encyclopedias do reflect the political interests of their nation, and that their views and their intensity of coverage of a certain topic vary greatly with time. The objectivity and reliability of encyclopedic information should be questioned on a case-by-case basis. Encyclopedias should not be accepted as sources of absolute information or be used in its entirety, but rather be used as sources of first hand information as a reference for further research.


VI. Notes

(1)      "Crimea" from Britannica 1902
(2)      ibid.
(3)      ibid.
(4)      "Krim" from Pierer¡¯s Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865.
(5)      ibid.
(6)      "Krim" from Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863.
(7)      "Krim" from Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899.
(8)      "Caucasia" from Britannica 1911.
(9)      ibid.
(10)      ibid.
(11)      ibid.
(12)      "Tscherkessen" from Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865
(13)      "Circassien" from Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811.
(14)      "Tscherkessen" from Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865.
(15)      "Caucasia" from Britannica 1911


Bibliography

Primary Sources
Note : websites quoted below were visited in May 2008.
1.      Balfour, Edward. Cyclopaedia of India, 2nd edition, vol. 1: 1873.
2.      Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 1st edition, vol. 2: 1771.
3.      "Crimea Encyclopaedia Britannica, 10th edition: 1902, posted by 1902 encyclopedia
4.      "Caucasia" Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition: 1911, posted by 1911 encyclopedia
5.      "Krim" Brockhaus Kleines Konversations-Lexikon, 5th edition 1911, in German, posted by Zeno
6.      "Circassien" Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon, vol. 1: 1809, in German posted by Zeno , English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/circenc19.html#br1809
7.      "Krim" Pierer's Universal-Lexikon, vol. 9: 1860, in German posted by Zeno, ; English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/krimenc19.html#pi1857
8.      "Tscherkessien¡± Pierer's Universal-Lexikon, vol. 9: 1860, in German, posted bt Zeno ; English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/circenc19.html#pi1857a
9.      "Tscherkessen" Pierer's Universal-Lexikon, vol. 9: 1860, in German, posted by Zeno ; English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/circenc19.html#pi1857b
10.      "Krim" Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog, 1858-1863 edition, in Danish, posted by Project Runeberg ; English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/krimenc19.html#ak1858
11.      "Krim" Nordisk Familje-Bok, 2nd edition: 1884, in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg ; English translation posted on WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/russia/krimenc19.html#nfb1876


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