КАРТА ВАЖНЕЙШИХ МЕСТОРОЖДЕНИЙ ПОЛЕЗНЫХ ИСКОПАЕМЫХ АЗИАТСКОЙ РОССИИ. /Major Mineral Deposits in the Asian Part of Russia.
Govt. Trust Retro Print Cartography
Published 1922, St-Petersburg
Size: 22.25” X 31.75”
Condition: Scuffing and uneven impression.
A very rare map compiled by the geo-political committee of Petrograd (St-Petersburg) that depicts the mineral deposits in the Asian part of the former Soviet Union. The map was published after the October Revolution of 1917 that saw the Bolsheviks, under the command of Vladimir Lenin, end the Tsarist provisional government and transfer power to the Communist Party. That being said, the period between 1918 to 1920 is associated with civil war between different factions vying for control of the former Russian state, that also included foreign powers such as British, French and US troops briefly capturing different regions in Russia’s North and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East by Japan. This period is also associated with the state apparatus taking control of economic levers of the country. However, by 1922, which coincides with the publishing of this map, the consolidation of the institutional power by the Soviet Union was such that foreign powers, such as Germany, began to recognize this new entity in the international sphere and occupied areas such as Vladivostok were returned to the Communist regime in that same year.
The timing of the publication of this map is also of interest in that it coincided with the New Economic Policy that allowed for a partial return to a market economy. However, the New Economic Policy which began in 1921 was short lived. By 1924, the newly adopted constitution of the Soviet Union demanded for all public ownership of land and the means of production, and the eventual adoption of a command economy with the introduction of Five Year Plans starting in 1928.
Thus, this map is of great interest in that it was published at an important historical juncture in the Soviet Union when its institutional and political power was being consolidated and the beginnings of its economic strategy was being shaped and formulated. This eventually led the Soviets to become a hegemonic Super Power following the end of the Second World War. It is argued that geography, and by default cartography, “plays a dominant role in the relations between knowledge and power…”. This map, that locates the mineral riches, such as iron, silver, graphite, copper, oil, etc., of the Asian part of the Soviet regime is part of this knowledge base that allowed for the Communist regime to develop its power and briefly challenge Western economies in the loose bi-polar international system in the mid to late 20th Century.
(Sources: Marie de Rugy, Geography in the Colonial Context.)