Scholars refer to “the Russian question” as a means in invoking several historical concerns. What forces were at work to generate a Russian expansionism and consolidation of outlying territories? For how long would an enlarged or enlarging Russia remain stable? Would individual nationalities and languages reassert themselves despite Russian conquest?
What role would Russia, a society of both the West and the East, play in European affairs, or in Near or Middle Eastern? Though these questions have been the focus of an enormous literature in the last two centuries, their origins lay in the fifteenth century.