Topic: How and to what extent did resettlement shape the emergence of a common Kazakh identity?
Resettlement known as pereselenie in the context of Kazakh history means primarily the movement of settlers which is accompanied by forms of organization of territory and allocation of land resources. Resettlement is frequently associated with disregard of the rights of native population which is not the exceptional case with Kazakhs. Tsarist Russia was interested in holding the resettlement in order to ease land pressure. This essay will observe how resettlement influenced Kazakh identity. I will argue that resettlement bringing a lot of inconveniences to Kazakhs caused Kazakhs to unite for the protection against the common cultural threat thereby brought stronger sense of nation as a cohesive unit. This essay will be based on three following documents: Zapiska on Siberia by Krivoshein and Stolypin, Memoirs on Semirechie by K.K. Pahlen, and Kriukov’s view on resettlement.
Starting from 1861 to 1870 there was a large wave of samovolnye settlers and until 1905 the resettlement was under State control.
The economy of nomads was based on agriculture, hunting, fishing, military trade. Communal land rights were present as well as great variety of religious and ethnic groups.
The 1889 Resettlement law introduces strong state engagement in the choice of migrant households giving solid household more privileges.Therefore the Law marked a stronger engagement of the Russian Imperial State with pereselenie. Settlers’ migration to Siberia, the Steppe and Asiatic Russia gains speed. Up to 85% of settlers move out of any state control.
Stolypin states for modernizing policy towards the Russian village community so that living becomes easier.
Alexander Krivoshein proposes policies aiming at making the empire’s peripheries more profitable. Resettlement for him is a way to increase agricultural productivity and use up empty land, giving preference for khutor rather than communal organization of agriculture.
The document on the special opinion of the director of the Department of agriculture GUZiZN.A.Kriukov reveals how strong was resistance of Russian power against the nomadic culture. “Nomadic herding is anachronism which the state should do away with” is the statement proposed on the Session on land management of Kirgiz.
Although Hooks claimed that comes in accordance with the interests of the Kirghiz, in fact, did not happen. Citing statistics about the low population density of Steppes and Turkestan, Kryukov offers away excess land from Kyrgyzstan. Groundlessly claiming that the law is too soft on the Kirghiz, he pounces on a nomadic life calling it vagrancy, retards the development of the whole country.Moreover, Kryukov underlines the burden by saying how hard is it to change and resist Asian destinations.
Prime Minister Stolypin and Resettlement Department Head GUZiZ AV Krivoshein not very different from the ideas of the Kryukov. They build your application for the reduction of land for Kirghiz on favorable consequences for Kyrgyzstan. Thus, they claim that the earth will get market value, reduced infant mortality and population growth.
After the Shcherbina expedition the concepts of norm and izlishki were introduced. The norm relates to the standardized land size for 1 person. The difference between the whole territory and the product of number of people and norm consistsizlishki which are supposed to be taken from Kirghiz.
So there was a great issue of land, land rights and land resources. The Imperial law stated that ‘all land is state land’ whereas Kazakhs enjoy usage rights. However, the limitation to mobility through the liniya and granitsaaggravated the situation.
Most of the Kirgiz were badly affected. Maintenance of nomadic culture requires a lot of land and any loss of land is abrupt problem for nomads. Despite of the fact that some Kirgiz benefitted from the arrival of settlers and change in land rights i.e. private deals become possible according to customary law(adat and sharia) huge loss of land brought immense damage to nomadism.
In such context Kirgiz were united by the common problem and the resistance that they met enforced the recognition of people who defend their culture- nomadism.
Verba volant, scripta manent.
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