ABSTRACT

This chapter examines the settling of the Far East, which approximates the boundaries of the present-day Far East economic region. Throughout the colonial history of the Far East, the settlement system has been the skeleton for conquest, consolidation, development and integration. Whether it represented exploitation or integration, the focus of Far East development has traditionally been found in the settlement system. The Russian conquest of the Far East was part of the overall colonization of Siberia, which began with the famous exploits of Yermak in 1581. By the twentieth century, the migration of peasants, the increasing value of the Far East to the Russian economy and its strategic location in East Asia had clearly defined the region as an integral and important appendage to the Russian empire. The initial stimulus for settling Siberia and the Far East had come from the desire for wealth from the furs.