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The Kenesary Kasymov Rebellion (1837 1847): A National Liberation Movement Or “A Protest Of Restoration?”

1360 words - 6 pages

The Kenesary Kasymov’s rebellion was critically scrutinized by Yuriy Malikov, who describes the nature of this rebellion. One of the great events occurred in Kazakh lands in 19th century is the rebellion, which was driven by Kenesary Kasymov and his people against Russian colonization. The period of ten-year struggle, between 1837 and 1847, coincides with many possible factors that is argued by Western and Kazakhstani historians. Some contend that the aims of the rebellion was national-liberation movement that Kenesary wanted to embody symbolizing whole nations’ wish. Another interpretation of revolt was “a protest of restoration” – Kenesary’s effort to retrieve Kazakhs’ traditions and past sociopolitical position. In Yuriy Malikov’s words, the primary aim of Kenesary’s uprisings was neither national-liberation movement nor “a protest of restoration.” In his view, fundamentals of the revolt’s composition in both national-liberation movement and anti-modernizing protest were not satisfied. Lack of massive support did not make the Kenesary’s rebellion widespread and national movement and was the reason of the revolt’s failure. However, Malikov gives quite implicit arguments, which are not clearly supported by other authors. Even though, he surpassed the Kenesary’s letters to the Russian government and has many restrictions tangent to Russian colonization, which was the main point of Kenesary’s revolt. I disagree with the Malikov’s hypothesis because lack of comprehensive information about Russian colonization, not including the Kenesary’s letters and biased arguments which was not actually supported or supported only by one group of people in society.
Kenesary Khan’s insurgency has attributes of national solidarity, which fostered liberation movement. However, the author refutes that Kenesary Khan’s uprisings as national-liberation movement showing that there was no clear national identity in the steppe, which might be seen in the process of rebellion (Malikov 2005, 8-10). It was convincing illustration that frequent conflicts and skirmishes among the different clans show that tribal identity outweigh national identity. Though tribal identity was over the national one, it did not imply that national identity was not in the steppe society at all. According to Atkinson, the English traveler, there was “bloody struggle” between the Elder and Middle Hordes, where he shows that crossing each other’s borders will be hazardous for either of them (Malikov 2005, 9). In addition, the Middle Horde’s invasion and massive attacks on Younger Horde was expository argument that shows no close relationships among Kazakhs (ibid). Consequently, this Malikov’s implication made careful consideration that it is unlikely that Kazakhs could have national beliefs. However, the author did not provide how these conflicts among tribes affected to national identity. The common beliefs and traditions of steppe society could not be considered separately according to author’s...

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