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Ethnic And Class Conflicts In Turkestan

1961 words - 8 pages

Despite the fact that the Russian mobilization of human and material sources during World War I impressed for its self-discipline, there was a considerable crisis in manipulating the civil industry. Russia concentrated its main workforce on the military munitions, therefore, the railway system paralysed, which meant a fail in military transportation. Administration needed to do something to compensate the labour shortage. The problem was solved, though not decisively; by the issuing of decree to conscribe a local “tuzemcy” for defence works. The local population of Central Asia started to rebel soon after the issuing of decree. There was an uncertainty in whether the decree was issued correctly or not; Russian officials were already conscious of the risk of rebel. The discontent over growing number of Russia settlers competing for the water and land resources and the policy of confiscation of grazing land by Resettlement Administration are amongst the long-term causes of a revolt. While trying to acquit the policy of colonization in the view of “benevolent influence” of sedentary Russian colonials over nomadic Kazakh-Kyrgyz lifestyle (Paul Nazaroff 1934), Tsarist colonial regime failed to recognize the discrepancy on interests of the nomads. Western scholars use to emphasise the political and social issues of the revolt (Brawer 1996), stressing the discontent of the nomads on massive land confiscation. Brawer highlights that western scholars account that the general opposition was due to the military call of people, who previously were exempt from it. However, the main misleading part of this statement is that there was no difference between the revolts of different parts of the resistance. Unlike western scholars, Soviet and Kazakh historians in the post-Soviet years use to claim that the main reason of the revolt was the Tsarist Colonial Oppression and the issuing of decree was served as only an accidental cause (Tomohiko 2000, Ryskulov 1925). By Kazakh historians, rebellion seems to possess more national-liberation character. However, according to Tomohiko, the Colonial Oppression may only hold the partial truth, the real reasons of a revolt by far more profound. This essay will attempt to emphasize the possible reasons of the rebellion and the motives of the rebels of 1916 revolt in different areas, mainly in Turkestan and Semirechie oblast, providing deep analysis of the primary and secondary sources.
At the beginning of the rebel of 1916 was considered as a minor one by Russian authorities. In reality, it led to prolonged consequences. Question on whether the suppression of a revolt was prepared or not is a source for debate amongst historians. While some of them seem to have reasonable arguments on the preparedness of the Tsarist administration, others try to persuade the contrary. The Ryskulov`s work “Vosstanie Kirgizov i Kazakhov v 1916 godu. Sbornik Materialov” can be taken as an example that have quite reasonable arguments on that the...

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