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Kazakhstan’s historical and demographic processes in researches of M.K. Kozybayev

18 September 2013
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As we know, academician M.K. Kozybayev is the author of 800 analytical, scientific and publicistic works, including 30 monographs and more than 50 collective and multi-volume books. M.K. Kozybayev’s scientific and publicistic articles about little-known pages of Kazakhstan’s history published in republican journals and newspapers generated a lively interest of readers. Materials about demographic crisis of the 1930s caused by enforced collectivization in Kazakhstan attracted of a special attention.

According to researches of scientists and M.K. Kozybayev, the history of Kazakhstan had several stages changed the demographic situation in the Kazakh steppe.

These are, first of all, military Cossack colonization began in the 18th century, massive peasants’ shift from Russia to Kazakhstan in the second half of the 19th century, suppression of the national liberation movements in the 19th century as well as the rebellion of 1916, famine if the 1930s, special resettlements of repressed people, development of virgin lands, great constructions of «the communist epoch», caused significant migration of different nations. That was the main reason of changes in demographic situation especially in Kazakhstan.

Even Tsarist administration never raised doubts about integrity and safety of Kazakh ethnic territory and always outlined in all reforms related to Kazakhstan that the land (of districts and, in future, regions) permanently belonged to Kazakh municipalities o the basis of the borders existed from ancient times. And the borders of that territory form modern Kazakhstan (Mukanov M.S. Ethnic territory of the Kazakh people in the 18th — beginning of the 20th centuries. Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, 1991, p. 57) which Constitution guarantees integrity, indivisibility and inviolability of the territory. 

Until recently, during the Soviet period, the fact that colonial policy of the Russian Empire and its reactionary nature made an immense contribution to bankruptcy and migration of the Kazakhs to other regions and bordering countries (such as China, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, and to name but a few) was kept back.

The main reason of decrease of specific weight of indigenous population and the ratio between the Kazakhs and other ethnic groups was migration of Russian and Ukrainian population. Peasant colonization of Kazakhstan became more prominent during the last decade of the 19th — beginning of the 20th centuries as a result of the Stolypin Agrarian Reform. Only over 46 years (1871-1971) more than 1,6 million people settled in the region (without those who came back) and the majority of them arrived in 1907-1913. As a result, in the end of the 19th — beginning of the 20 th centuries the process of formation of multi-national society in Kazakhstan accelerated (Bekmakhanova N.E. Multi-national population of Kazakhstan and Kirghizia during the period of capitalism, Moscow, 1986, p. 161, Alekseenko N.V. Population of Kazakhstan before the revolution, Alma-Ata, 1981, p. 70, Bekmakhanov Ye.B. Accession of Kazakhstan to Russia, Moscow, 1957, pp. 274-276).

By the beginning of the 20th century representatives of approximately 60 nationalities, including Turkic-speaking people (Uzbeks, Uighurs, Kirghizs, Karakalpaks, Tatars, Bashkirs and so on), Germans, Poles, Mordva, Dungans, Tajiks, Jews and many others lived in the region (Alekseenko N.V., op. cit.).

During the World War I the population of the Kazakhs decreased rapidly that could be explained by the declining natural increase of population and serious increases in mortality. These were the consequences of the defeat of the rebellion in 1916 when hundreds of the Kazakhs were killed by members of punitive expedition or forced to migrate from the Empire. 150 thousand Kazakhs migrated from the Semirechensk region in 1916. Thus, the foundation for transformation of the Kazakh into the minority on their native land was laid. 

Ibrayev S.I.

(North Kazakhstan State University, named for M. Kozybaev) 

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