The Russian Tsars' Control of the Kazakh Steppe Essay

The Russian Tsars' Control of the Kazakh Steppe Essay

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To what extent and in what ways did Russian Tsars control the Kazakh steppe between 1820 and 1890?

During political Kazakh khans of three Hordes gave oaths and signed papers of their inclusion to Russian Empire. Although the documents were signed, both sides did not obey them . Empire had not got any actual political power in the beginning of 19th century in Kazakh steppe, and numerous anti-Russian rebellions support this claim. The document of “Ustav o Sibirskih Kirgizah, 1822” made it possible to gain control of the steppe by creating a system with new approach of ‘divide and rule’. New policy included creating ‘elite’ with developed morals and literacy relying on the nobel families, so called Chinggisids, and land new administration policy. Rebellions, presence of national identity, resistance to settlement of nomads caused difficulties in establishing control in the steppe. However, even though there was some kind of oppositon from nomads, the policy was very successful. Russian empire was in control of the Kazakh steppe after mid-nineteenth century when steppe officially was divided into separate entities.
The Plan of Reorganization (1809) of Tsarist Russia did not take into account differences of central and peripheral parts. Imperial legislative law applied with restrictions and exceptions depending on regions, but general principle was decentralization of the Tsarist Russia by dividing it into several parts and concentration of the administrative units by integrating central and regional agencies. Speranskii’s “Ustav o Sibirskih Kirgizah, 1822” reform assigned administrative units and positions to create a new bureaucracy . When the position of khan was removed the unity of the nomadic tribes was destabilized. Thus...


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Malikov, Y. (2005). The Kenesary Kasymov Rebellion (1837–1847): A National-Liberation Movement or “a Protest of Restoration”? Nationalities Papers, Vol. 33, No. 4
Manz, B. F. (1987). Central Asian Uprisings in the Nineteenth Century: Ferghana under the Russians. The Russian Review, vol. 46, 1987, pp. 267-281
Martin, V. (2010). Kazakh Chinggisids, land and political power in the nineteenth century: a case study of Syrymbet. Central Asian Survey, 29:1, 79-102
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