- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
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(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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CHAPTER XIII
THE COLONIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF SIBERIA
The population of Siberia : Russia’s steady expansion :
Former views on Siberia : Emigration to America : Im-
provements in recent times : Immigration to Siberia :
Siberia’s internal politics : Wealth of Siberia : Loans and
aid to colonists : Extent of the partition of land : Economic
position of the settlers : Profits of agriculture : Room for
many : Colonization has two sides for a nation
IT may seem strange to many that an agricultural
country like Russia should have possessed Siberia
for three centuries, with its almost inexhaustible
wealth and its boundless extent of fertile land, without
making more out of it than she has done. If wc ex
clude the recently acquired territories in Central Asia,
the population of Siberia and the East Asiatic provinces
may be put at about eleven millions. In other words, the
population of this immense country is less than 50
per cent. greater than that which wc find in the thinly
populated Scandinavian Peninsula, in spite of the fact
that vast regions, especially in southern Siberia, offer
far better conditions of life than the greater part of
Scandinavia.
A Russian author, who has written about Siberia,
its great possibilities and natural wealth, says that the
melancholy history of the country confirms in a certain
degree the opinion entertained of Russia by several
foreign inquirers—that she understands well enough
how to conquer new countries, but not how to colonize
them. The Russians are said to have no aptitude for
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