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Social and economic development of Kazakh society in XVIII — middle of XIX century.

Social and economic development of Kazakh society in XVIII — middle of XIX century. - e-history.kz
Change of Kazakhs’ specifics of economic occupations was in considerable measure defined by internal social and economic preconditions.

Cattle breeding. As a result of climatic conditions of Kazakhstan the main form of environmental management and population life support throughout three millennia was the nomadic cattle breeding — a special sort of making economy at which prevailing occupation is the extensive mobile cattle breeding, and the most part of the population is involved in seasonal movements.

The main feature of nomadic cattle breeding was the year-round maintenance of cattle on pasturage that was caused by deficiency of fodder and water resources.

Average extent of routes of a movement made 50 — 100 km within a year, but at separate clan groups (for example, aday, shekty, tabyn etc.) could reach 1000 — 2500 km

Features of habitat determined ways of use of natural resources as winter, spring, autumn and summer pastures by Kazakhs. For winter pastures coast of lakes, valleys of the rivers, mountain gorges, wood edges, low mountains and the southern slopes of hills, i.e. places where there were natural means of protection of herds from snow storms and winds were used. Autumn and spring pastures usually took place on nearby from winterings land grounds which were early exempted from snow cover. Summer pastures settled down, as a rule, in territories with a large supply of a drains accumulation, rather plentiful vegetable cover and existence of water resources of a natural origin.

Features of the geographical environment and requirements of life support of Kazakhs defined also specific structure of herd. Specific weight of sheep in it averaged 60% of all livestock, horses — 13, cattle — 12, camels — 4%. An important role in regulation of specific structure of herd was played by ability of animals to adapt for fast and frequent movements, and also possibility of their multi-purpose use in economic (meat, milk, wool) and political life (transport, military purposes).

In Kazakhstan there were two types of cattle breeding economy: the nomadic cattle breeding based on operation of artificial water sources, and semi-nomadic economy — on utilization of water resources of a natural origin.

The first type of cattle breeding economy was localized in areas with sharply expressed aridity and continentality of climatic conditions, low efficiency of a vegetable cover, lack of natural reservoirs (steppe, semi-desert, desert, mountain and foothill areas).

The big work spent by cattle-farmers for creation of a network of artificial wells and extraction of a necessary minimum of water, almost completely absorbed their energy resources and working hours which was subordinated only to interests and needs of nomadic cattle breeding. Limitation of water sources and forages dictated the increased frequency of migrations, short duration of stops and huge amplitude of a mobement. As a result of it in a structure of herds prevailed the most mobile and hardy animal species (sheep and camels), all subjects of material culture (yurta, house utensils) most fully corresponded to a nomadic way of life and cattle breeding economy. Such type of economic activity gained distribution on the peninsula of Mangyshlak, a plateau Ustyurt, in some areas of Priaralie, the Western and the Central Kazakhstan.

Other type of nomadic cattle breeding developed in the landscape zones, which was characterized by more uniform distribution of precipitation on seasons of year, the rivers with a year-round drain of water, existence of fertile sites of the soil and so forth. River andlacustrine valleys concern to them in steppe and forest-steppe zones, a foothill and mountain strip. Rather high efficiency of a vegetable cover and the best security with water-supplies determined the big duration of parking and less intensive mode of a movement in these areas, limited an area of migrations. For this type of economy existence of a bigger share of cattle and horses, smaller — camels and a small cattle was characteristic. Some features are traced and in character of a pasture of cattle: unlike the farms of the first type which were in a mode of a year-round movement, in farms of natural water use the stationary wintering and therefore construction of constant winter dwellings and economic constructions took place. Many cattle breeding farms had an opportunity to be engaged in the nearby wintering territory in agriculture and fishery. Specific weight of the second type of farms was especially considerable in East and North East Kazakhstan, Semirechye and some regions of South Kazakhstan.

Agriculture. The second place in structure of economic occupations of Kazakhs was taken by agriculture. The centers of agricultural culture were localized, as a rule, in the most convenient for arable farming in the climatic relation regions of Kazakhstan. Such areas were in the northwest of the territory in basins of the rivers Sagyz, Emba, Ilek, Irgiz, Utva and Wil, Valleys of Mugodzhar mountains: in the Central Kazakhstan — valleys of an average flow of river Sarysu; in the south — across Syr-Darya, Kuvandarya and Zhanadarya: in the north — across Ishim, Nura and Turgay with their inflows; in East Kazakhstan at Kalbinsk and Tarbagatay ridges, in Karkarala's foothills; in Semirechye — on Lepsa, Aksa, Karatala's upper courses and on the average flow of Ili river. And a geographical position of these territories, orographical and soil climatic conditions, existence of water resources, intensity of cultural and economic contacts with the neighboring settled and agricultural people made a certain impact on level and the volume of the Kazakh agriculture, selection of agricultural cultures, extent of agronomical loans at neighbors, ways of use of agricultural products in economic and other purposes.

The relation of bulk of the nomadic population to agriculture was in direct dependence on a condition of its cattle breeding economy. Most sharply instability of the economic and social situation was felt by the Kazakh poor. Feeling big need for use of additional resources for receiving subsistence, it was compelled to turn to occupations by agriculture. By definition of Y.P. Gaverdovsky, E.K.Meyendorf, A.I.Levshin, sultan T. Seydalin and other eyewitnesses, occupation by agriculture, as well as some other subsidiary trades, was a "poverty" indicator at Kazakhs.

At the same time agriculture at needy individuals was in close dependence on a condition of this branch in farms of the most prosperous cattle-farmers which used work of share-cropper. So, in possession of Abylay khan caring of creation of the personal complex economy, an arable land was processed by tulenguts from among captured Russians and Kalmyks. "Many prosperous farms sow corn, using work of the poor people-baygushes deprived cattle, who become slaves for piece of bread” — stated in the middle of the XIX century by I.F.Blaramberg.

Exclusive layers of the Kazakh society by the right of the owner of fixed production assets appropriated a big share of the made public product. As a result of it development of agriculture at Kazakhs was accompanied by strengthening of exploitation of the dependent population.

In the majority of landscape zones of the region agriculture was, as a rule, irrigational. In the northeast regions of Kazakhstan with big natural reservoirs less labor-consuming bogarn (not irrigational) agriculture prevailed. Processing of the earth was made by shovels and ketmens, also peculiar plows or ralas were used, in the farms most close located to the Russian agricultural settlements — two-wheeled iron plows or ordinary "Russian saban", besides, wooden harrows, dragged or simply a rake.

For a crop rotation the refalse system of agriculture was characteristic when from year to year on the same place sowed millet, and after of exhaustion of the earth the fields were thrown for few years. At the end of the XVIII century the three-field method gained some prevalence in agriculture with which Kazakhs got acquainted on Ishim at the Russian peasants.

Millet which at an artificial irrigation and favorable weather conditions could be sowed two times a year and accordingly it allowed to reap a crop twice was the most widespread agricultural culture in economy of Kazakhs; millet and spring-sown wheat were grown up also. Productivity of cultures at well debugged irrigating network, despite difficulties of agriculture in the conditions of Kazakhstan, primitiveness of tools of agricultural work and ways of processing of the soil, was quite high. Agriculture in some farms of Young and Average juz was so successful that the Kazakh bread was acquired even by Russian merchants.

However as a whole agriculture didn't receive wide a distribution in Kazakhstan, it always had auxiliary, minor character.

House fields and crafts. A certain place in economic life of the Kazakh population in XVIII – mid. of the XIX centuries were occupied by such traditional occupations, as hunting, fishery, house trades and crafts. The considerable part of products of hunting went on internal consumption of nomads: production of clothes, food. Besides, skins of groundhogs, korsaks, foxes and wolves in a large number were delivered on exchange yards of the Orenburg and Siberian lines.

Small crafts were considered as an important source of life support: production of various products from a tree and metal, house utensils. In the Kazakh farms there were many handicraftsmen who "make archaks for saddles, sharpen wooden ware, smiths make knifes, spears... coppers from copper, brass shod work mount smaketones... and other small hand-made articles. According to Musa Chormanov, Kazakh silversmiths make headdresses for brides (saukele). They silver different things: dhuzngens (bridles), ers (saddles) and so forth".

Somewhat demand of Russian market stimulated production of various felts and processing of cattle breeding raw materials. Production of things from products of cattle breeding economy extended: manufacture of mutton, horse and goat skins, production of koshmas and lassos. Goat down found wide demand at Orenburg merchants.

Change of specifics of economic occupations of Kazakhs in considerable measure was defined by internal social and economic preconditions. Owing to processes of concentration of cattle at small part of individuals and ruin of needy cattle-farmers, impoverished people were compelled to look for other means of livelihood. On the rivers Ishim, Irtysh, Urals, Or, Syr-Darya, Kaspiysk and Aral the seas fishery gradually developed.

A common form of earnings in the first half of the XIX century was the hiring of workers to linear kazaks, where were poors who had no money to feed the family. They were employed as coachmen at post stations. Often immigrants for processing of fields employed Kazakhs, sometimes completely leasing them for part of a crop.

With industry development in the territory of Kazakhstan there was an opportunity to get a job at mines, plants on processing of agricultural production, salt-mines in Iletsk, Koryakovsk outpost, on Elton and Baskunchak lakes.

Trade. An important role in economic development of the Kazakh society was played by traditional commercial relations of nomads with the settled and agricultural states and people. In the second half of XVIII — middle of XIX the dominant position was occupied by commodity turnover with Russia. Barter of Kazakhs with Russian merchants concentrated generally in the North and the northeast of the region in such settlements, as Orenburg, Troitsk, Petropavlovsk, Semipalatinsk, Ust Kamenogorsk. Commodity turnover was mutually advantageous, and trade turnovers of merchants gradually increased. In 1858 all commodity turn of the Russian-Kazakh trade on the Siberian lines made 4,5 million, and on the Orenburg line — near 2,5 mln. rub. Thus the average annual cost of imported and exported goods through Semipalatinsk customs totaled in 40 — 50th of XIX century from 700 thousand to 900 thousand rubles, through Petropavlovsk — 1,8 million rubles, Omsk — about 100 thousand rubles.

Russian fabrics, especially cotton and woolen, metal products (axes, knifes, kitchen utensils), furs, yuftev skin, haberdashery were in great demand for the Kazakh population. Broad sale was found by cloth, sugar, salt. In the second quarter of the XIX century Kazakhstan becomes the main consumer of the Russian bread which is exported annually to the steppe through all ambits for the sum of 400 — 500 thousand rubles by bank notes. Metals were in considerably smaller demand for the Kazakh population, what was caused by a low level of development of craft production in the region and, therefore, higher need for finished metal products.

The cattle and production of cattle breeding farms were the main articles of export from the steppe. At the end of XVIII — beginning of the XIX centuries on ambits with Russia within one year bought over 1,5 million cattle and more than 100 thousand horses. In the middle of the XIX century only to the Irtysh line about 150 thousand horses, 3 million rams and 100 thousand bulls and cows for the sum up to 8 million rubles annually arrived. From other goods - fat, dressed wool, skins of animals, products from goat down, koshmas, felts, separate household goods prevailed.

For Kazakhs living in the east and the South of the region, trade with khanates of Central Asia, East Turkestan and China had a great value. Mainly developed was barter where a ram acted as an equivalent of consumer cost of goods. Trade between Kazakhs and neighboring Asian people was conducted on exchange yards and customs of ambits, in the large trade and economic centers of the East, such, as Tashkent, Bukhara, Khiva, Kokand, Chuguchak, Kuldzha. A large number of goods exchanged directly in Kazakh nomads’ camps.

Kazakhs acquired a large amount of paper fabrics, different copper and bronze vessels, fruits, Bukhara morocco, carpets, weapon (sabers, guns, knives, bows), products from at the Central Asian dealers. An important place in imported from Central Asia to Kazakhstan goods was taken by bread and rise.

Kazakhstan was of interest for Central Asian dealers mainly as the supplier of cattle. Many Syrdaria Kazakhs  brought in annually from 50 to 100 thousand rams to Bukhara, to Tashkent — about 200 thousand and to Kokand — about 100 thousand rams a year. The considerable part of the Kazakh cattle from Average and Senior juzes went also to Chinese customs to Kuldzha and Chuguchak.

A certain part of cattle breeding production of the Kazakh population was sold out in the steppe. It caused emergence of such social layer among local population, as dealers of goods — alyptasars. They played a role of the intermediary connecting visiting dealers with Kazakh cattle-farmers — consumers of goods. Especially actively developed a trade of alyptasars in Bukeev khanate where some of dealers became owners of solid current assets. However in middle of XIX century these phenomena didn't gain a wide circulation yet. Essential changes in development of the commodity-money relations at Kazakhs deep into and in breadth were characteristic only for the last quarter of the XIX century.

History and ethnology institute by Ch.Ch.Valikhanov name KN MON RK, 2013