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At the root of trust in inter-ethnic relations in Kazakhstan in the early twentieth century

04 December 2013

Scientific debate around the essence of nationalism in contemporary social science dedicated mainly to the study of development of a particular ethnic-cultural or political community of people, understood as a nation. Competing essentialist ways have common view that nation begins with the conflict between rival ethnic groups and fighting elite groups for the formation of the nation. In the debate in recent years about the nature of the nation and nationalism, ethnic conflicts around issues and causes deepening of distance and alienation between the rise of different ethnic groups, ignored factors objectively help maintain interethnic harmony and trust.

These factors, as shown in many countries, often contribute to the blocking action of the ruling elite, designed to split the society, do not give a competitive relationship to develop split into «us» and «them» and the subsequent discovery of violent conflicts and «ethnic cleansing». Analysis of the history of inter-ethnic relations shows significant influence of popular culture and mental installations population emerging from the generalized and past experience of cohabitation and cooperation, the formation of trust between people of different nationalities, socio-output attitudes of individuals beyond ethnic solidarism.

Until the end of the 19th century the imperial administration, mindful of the sad experience of Bashkir revolts of the 18th century and the national liberation movement of the Kazakh people, trying not to interfere in the internal life of the Kazakh population, gradually introducing the administrative-territorial division and regular taxation. The tax burden was quite gentle. Annual per house tax, in the 60 years of the 19th century was 3 rubles in silver, in the early 20th century increased to 4.5 rubles or slightly higher cost-year-old sheep is the primary measure of value for Kazakh herdsmen [1, p.228].

Simultaneously, the Kazakh population paid «ticket fee», «repair fee», etc. German researcher F.fon Schwartz in 1900 wrote: «Taxes pay little Kyrgyz, and Russian government will charge fees only to the extent of about seven brands, which is the annual value of one sheep per house or family per, which, especially for people whose herds are many thousands of heads, over, not too burdensome. From conscription Kygyz fully released, like all peoples Turkestan»[2, c.181]. Blagoveshensk notes insignificance of the tax burden, constituting «a percentage of the average costs Kyrgyz family».

In his opinion, nomads suffer «because in the desert there is no money, no credit… Tax’s amount established by rural municipality elect and the village residents themselves distribute taxes on individual yurts. So, at least, the law prescribes. In fact, village meetings interfere richer people… tax distribution depends more on the clerk, judgments which often rely on livestock in individuals, but is almost never indicated in its entirety to the detriment of the poor»[3, p.267]. Much more serious was the taxation authorities Kokand and Khiva in southern Kazakhstan. Thus, in the early 19th century. Kokand annual taxation authorities in the Aral Sea was 6 sheep pert tent. In addition, people had to give the gifts for tax collectors.
The third of the harvest had to be charged. There is also a mandatory taxes include charges of coal, wood and hay. With each year the tent took 24 bags of coal, and 4 of the pack haloxylon 1000 sheaves of reeds and hay. If some households could not cope with these levies, the return kokandtsy took with them cattle [4, p.110].

Sh. Valihanov pointed out that official tax regime as extortion of local officials was not only ruinous thing, but also open robbery by Cossack officers, encourage theft of livestock. In 1858, during a trip Orenburg governor-general Katenin officials, despite the ban, gathered 60 thousand rubles in silver, using them for their own needs. In Semireche Colonel Abakoumov so robbed Kopal district that venerable elders went to nag, having 8–10 cattle sheep [5, p.30–31].

Measures of royal administration on establishment of foundation of the state system in the nomadic environment caused sharp criticism in modern Kazakh historiography. N. Masanov believes that «within the Russian state has been a significant increase in non-economic forms of exploitation of the Kazakh nomadic population, both through the tax system and through numerous abuses by officials and government officials," [1, p.229]. I. Erofeeva carefully notes, «was absent before the Kazakh Khanate withdrawal from the nomads of the surplus product by non-economic means and methods in the Russian Empire became universal and acquired a permanent character. Henceforth guarantee continuous communication of all grassroots cells Kazakh society with the supreme power of the state.

No coincidence the fact taxation Kazakh population tsarist officials interpreted as the main evidence for the extension of the Russian crown to the entire territory of Kazakhstan»[6, p.186–187]. In his latest work, devoted to debunking of myth-making in the Kazakh historiography, N. Massanov still found no direct influence administrative and fiscal policy of the Russian state to ruin the Kazakh economy, the vast majority of which was still outside the legal framework of the Russian state [7, p.118].

The crisis nature of the nomadic lifestyle and the existing stringent environmental restrictions on nomadic population growth have long been studied by scientists of study of nomads and handling these issues casts doubt on hasty conclusions and market the deliberate ethnocide against colonial oppression and nomads. According to calculations by the absolute majority of researchers nomads no required minimum livestock and, on this basis, there are various forms of exploitation of ordinary nomads — pastoralists. The situation was exacerbated by natural disasters and animal diseases.

The most frightening for the steppe was jute — starvation due to drought or deep snow precluded cattle get grass. In the Kazakh steppe large jute when perished from half to three quarters of all livestock, repeated every 6–11 years, with small local jute occurred annually. Kazakh proverb aptly characterizes nomadic economic instability and reads as follows: «Livestock belongs Buran and the strong enemy» [8, p.159–160]. According to Kazakh representations most unfavorable and dangerous period accounted for 12-year-old animal reckoning on Year of the Rabbit times in 36 years. Russian official and local historian W. von Gern quoted elderly Kazakhs «large livestock losses occur once in 20–25 years. Local cases are the same from starvation, storms and icy conditions often»[9, p.34]. As a result, jute 1891–92 years in some areas, nomads have lost up to 90% of horses, sheep 80% and 60% of camels during 1912–13, the livestock losses were estimated at 42% [8, p.543].

Ecological «niche» occupied by nomads limited demographic population growth opportunities. On the territory of Northern Eurasia, even in the late 19th and early 20th century was characterized by the maximum demographic reproduction high fertility, high infant mortality and low population growth. The surplus population was thrown out to the periphery of the nomadic area, or else die as a result of natural disasters and tribal wars. Prior to the beginning of large-scale agricultural resettlement Russian domination objectively contributed to the rise of the Kazakh economy, getting rid of the burdens of constant militarization inherent satellite nomadic lifestyle.
Uyama Tomohiko Japanese researcher believes that the failure of the introduction of regular military service of the steppe «once again show a deep distrust and even fear, which royal officials treated his subjects in Central Asia, despite the smug statements about its power» [10, c.207].
Experience the Great Patriotic War and the active participation of the former «foreigners» in the decisive battles will rightness Turkestan Governor-General Ivanov and the military Minister Kuropatkin who sought to involve the population in the army national borderlands. Demilitarization as all walks of life took place in almost all pacifying Russian nomads and carrying its own advantages, soon affected the demographic rise.

Russian villages and Cossack villages actively absorbed excess labor population of the number of impoverished nomads — Jataka. Cossack troops themselves located on the territory of Kazakhstan, is actively replenished come from Kazakh environment. In the first half of the 21st century due to the lack of women in the border lines was allowed redemption and conversion to Orthodoxy Kazakh girls, with the subsequent issuance married to Cossacks and retired soldiers.
Many people from the village also took Orthodoxy and included in the Cossack army. Russian explorer of Siberia G.Potanin recorded that many linear Siberian Cossacks were derived from the nomadic «aliens» in the villages and «many Cossacks baptized between Kyrgyz men and even Kyrgyz girls, so that you can meet the dance of the dark-skinned and flat faces, also can be hear a song that represents a mixture of the Kyrgyz language with Russian»[11, p.307].

However, two-way interaction of cultures was the same Siberian Cossacks «obey the strong influence of the Kyrgyz, followed by clothing and in their modes of domestic life prefer Kyrgyz language differently. This effect can also be seen on women «[11, p.308]. Groups of Russificated Kazakhs and Siberian Cossacks successfully absorb the local culture and assimilate alien element from the steppes contributed to the intensification of inter-ethnic contacts and overcome alienation and division between „us“ and „them.“

The emergence of the national question at the turn of the 19th and early 20th century’s, and strengthening inter-ethnic tensions in the territory of modern Kazakhstan was directly related to socio-economic and cultural shifts that took place in the Kazakh society and large-scale migration of farmers from the European part of the country, stimulating the nomadic economy crisis, the expansion kinship ties and strengthening of social differentiation.

Contemporaries observed change social behavior of bais (nobleman) significant part of those involved in the trade relationship and did not want to perform the traditional functions of patronage and assistance to the poor relatives. Social capital becomes mutual trust and relatives, and quite material goods destined for a particular host.

Known pre-revolutionary ethnographer and scientist of region study N. Konshin describing dissemination in the Kazakh environment usury prohibited classes for Muslim education „class of trading Kazakhs“ dominance in the village elders do not aksakals or respected people (village Adam), and rich bais, concluded: disintegrated generic beginning of Kazakh life… Bai yore was not just a rich man — it appreciated and its origins and ancestral ties.

With a significant number of cattle, he kept it with the assistance of his poorer relatives, for which he support their existence. Generic honor demanded bai certain kind of generosity at the device all sorts of holidays and public „honor“ for him was sometimes more wealth.
But times have changed, and bai… became guided primarily by material interests… But relatives have not been forgotten — but help to them lose the patriarchal nature, poured into a mold sometimes very heavy exploitation of the poor»[12, c.111].
A.Sedelnikov in 1903 saw a sharp stratification of the village, which is charged with several wealthy families, depending on the position where the rest of relatives [13, p.209]. A.Bukeyhanov also writes about the expansion of tribal ties with sharp reduction in all sorts of aces (treats guests at the funeral).

Funeral diners and Toy (mass celebration of an event) is performed in a nomadic society reciprocal function, allowing extinguish dissatisfaction and poor relatives, Kazakh thinker in this regard, notice that as — one of the most ancient traditions of the nomadic population. Mass treats relatives maintained authority rich fellow who had to be generous. Now sober calculation replaced the generic altruism.

According to him, in the Kazakh society were interrelated processes: «For many reasons, the main of which is placement in a Russian steppe rudiments of civilization, contributed to calming the steppe, cementing influence disappears kind — one of the functions of species in decline: big aces made less and less» [14, p. 253–255].

Nomadic societies, even in the stage of recovery could not avoid acute social conflicts between relatives and deepening inequality of wealth. Solidarity and egalitarianism within the nomadic communities existed only in the relations of close relatives, allowing neighbors to keep at bay and in obedience dependent clients and subordinate clans.

Greatest visual conflict reached the decay of the traveler community and accordingly decline former collectivism and altruism distributed usually relatives. Ascriptive relationship did not extend beyond race and clan. In the heyday of nomadic societies internal conflicts «starred» by directing aggression outward to neighboring nations or foreigners.

«Pacification of the Steppe» and the establishment of the central government in the face of the colonial administration overlap these output channels of social energy. Propertied social groups drawn into the new social relations, could not or did not want in the same amount to maintain the impoverished relatives.

Mutual support in a limited range of the next of kin of the Kazakhs is preserved in the moment, but comprehensive regulatory role in the redistribution of the patriarchal clan society lose in the early 20th century. Inclusion in market relationships leads to the fact that in everyday life expire social values, cultural codes and norms, orders previously Kazakh relations within society.
Began at the turn of the century gave rise to large-scale peasant colonization of new sources of conflict. Nomads hardly put up with the loss of their lands alienated in the resettlement fund in favor of the Cossack troops. During the period of the Russian Empire nomadic childbirth finally distributed land. Eviction by stronger patrimony of weak tribal groups noted in the first half of the 19th century almost stopped.

On the territory of tribal nomads appeared stationary winter and summer parking. Redistribution of land and the influx of immigrants hastened the process of destruction of former social relations and deepening social differentiation within relatives, was perceived as a violation of justice on the part of the colonial administration. The situation is exacerbated intergeneric struggle for better pastures and grasslands.

Studying the history of inter-ethnic relations in Kazakhstan allows the complexity and painful process of folding confidence multiethnic environment, the presence of factors «repulsion» and simultaneously «pull» by the means of sincere friendship, often brotherly relations between different peoples and at the same time took place permanent conflicts of Land Management. It is obvious that the essence of the national question in Kazakhstan in the early twentieth century was somewhat different than it seems now.

The solution of it required a more balanced migration policy, taking into account the requirements of not only farmers, but also the local population. Imperial power could not stop the peasant «spill» in the Ural Mountains, but it is not cemented «aliens» rights in perpetuity used land fund, in order to avoid bureaucratic arbitrariness and settlers squatting. It was necessary to the introduction of legal and de facto equality of state-Russian population and «foreigners» by creating political institutions, specifically dealing with the national population of the suburbs.

Actually, attributing a particular ethnic group to «aliens» itself meant unequal status of subjects of the empire, «uncultured» nations and served as a source of ethnic alienation from the «core», became the subject of activities of activist groups, then overgrown national movement. But achieving this goal required a radical «reformatting» of national and social policy of the tsarist that was impossible within the dominant ideology and protective practices. Formation of ethnic solidarism became possible as a result of Soviet nationality policy, so often criticized in the scientific and pseudo-scientific environment.


(NKSU named after M. Kozybayev) 


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