An Imperial Project for the Colonisation of Mirzacho’l
Keywords:early 20th-century Russia; Turkestan; Mirzacho’l; irrigation; colonisation; bills
This article studies the development and passage of the bill concerning the colonisation of land irrigated by the state in Mirzacho’l (Rus. Голодная степь, lit. Hungry Steppe), a large area of Central Asia, in the early twentieth century. The new principles of organised colonisation supported by the state have not been studied previously. On the eve of the revolution, there was a process of “nationalisation” of the empire which involved the transformation of relations between the centre and the periphery. During the discussions, the government formulated the purpose of agrarian colonisation of Turkestan in the interests of the empire, which was followed by active measures taken for the geopolitical and economic consolidation of the periphery. For the first time in history, the centre determined the image of settlers and their economy, setting the ambitious goal of creating a “Russian Turkestan”. The leading role was played by A. V. Krivoshein, head of land management and agriculture. The study refers to published and archival legislative and administrative documents, works of officials and statesmen, and materials from the State Duma. It is concluded that through legislation, the authorities organised the selection of wealthy settlersto be who had experience in agriculture and set a number of restrictions for them. The government intended to create a stratum of petty Russian farmers in Turkestan who would lead a profitable economy on irrigated lands without using hired labour: they would grow the cotton necessary for the state while ensuring the strengthening of economic ties with the imperial centre and serving as a role model for the indigenous population in economic and cultural terms. The bill also testified to the strengthening of Russian nationalism among the authorities. The study demonstrates that the government’s initiative as a whole received support in the Duma, which established the basis for the equality of all estates and reflected the debatable character of the need for national and cultural restrictions. However, the implementation of the law and the establishment of “Russian Turkestan” were interrupted by the war and the revolution.
Fomchenko, A. P. (1983). Russkie poseleniya v Turkestanskom krae v kontse XIX – nachale XX v. (sotsial’no-ekonomicheskii aspekt) [Russian Settlements in Turkestan in the Late 19th – Early 20th Centuries (Socio-Economic Aspect)]. Tashkent, FAN. 128 p.
Gins, G. K. (1913). Pereselenie i kolonizatsiya [Resettlement and Colonisation]. St Petersburg, S. n. 48 p.
Gosudarstvennaya duma. Chetvertyi sozyv. Stenograficheskie otchety. Sessiya pervaya v 3 ch. [State Duma. Fourth Convocation. Verbatim Record. Session 1. 3 Parts]. (1913). St Petersburg, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. Part 3. 2698 columns.
Gosudarstvennaya duma. Chetvertyi sozyv. Stenograficheskie otchety. Sessiya vtoraya v 5 ch. [State Duma. Fourth Convocation. Verbatim Record. Session 2. 5 Parts]. (1914). St Petersburg, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. Part 2. 1994 columns. Part 5. 1396 columns.
Gosudarstvennaya duma. Tretii sozyv. Stenograficheskie otchety. Sessiya tret’ya v 4 ch. [State Duma. Third Convocation. Verbatim Record. Session 3. 4 Parts]. (1910). St Petersburg, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. Part 3. 3246 columns.
Kotyukova, T. V. (2016). Okraina na osobom polozhenii… Turkestan v preddverii dramy [Periphery on a Special Ruling… Turkestan on the Eve of Drama]. Moscow, Nauchno-politicheskaya kniga. 391 p.
Ob otvode kazennykh oroshennykh uchastkov v Muganskoi stepi [On the Withdrawal of State-Irrigated Plots in the Mugan Steppe]. (2011). In Stolypin, P. A. Programma reform. Dokumenty i materialy v 2 t. Moscow, ROSSPEN. Vol. 2, pp. 291–292.
Otchet po revizii Turkestanskogo kraya, proizvedennoi senatorom K. K. Palenom. Pereselencheskoe delo v Turkestane [Report on the Audit of Turkestan Region, Made by Senator K. K. Palen. Resettlement in Turkestan]. (1909‒1911). St Petersburg, Senatskaya tipografiya. 419 p.
Pereselenie i zemleustroistvo za Uralom v 1915 g. (otchet o rabotakh Pereselencheskogo upravleniya za 1915 g.) [Resettlement and Land Management beyond the Urals in 1915 (Report on the Work of the Resettlement Department for 1915)]. (1916). Petrograd, Pereselencheskoe upravlenie. 398 p.
Pokorenie Golodnoi stepi [The Conquest of Mirzacho’l]. (1980). Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 323 p.
Prilozheniya k stenograficheskim otchetam Gosudarstvennoi dumy. Chetvertyi sozyv. Sessiya pervaya, 1912‒1913 gg. [Appendices to the Verbatim Records of the State Duma. Fourth Convocation. Session 1, 1912‒1913]. (1913). St Petersburg, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. Iss. 4. Razdel’naya paginatsiya.
Proekty zakonov, odobrennye Gosdumoi. Chetvertyi sozyv. Sessiya vtoraya, 1913‒1914 gg. [Draft Laws Approved by the State Duma. Fourth Convocation. Session 2, 1913‒1914]. (1914). Petrograd, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. Iss. 1. 915 p.
RGIA [Russian State Historical Archive]. Stock 1276. List 4. Dos. 428A; List 8. Dos. 22; List 9. Dos. 440; List 9. Dos. 841.
RGVIA [Russian State Military Historical Archive]. Stock 400. List 1. Dos. 3412, 4218, 4256.
Skryplev, P. (1913). Khlopkovodstvo i russkie pereselentsy [Cotton Farming and Russian Settlers]. In Voprosy kolonizatsii. No. 12, pp. 203‒224.
Tagantsev, N. S. (Ed.). (1914). Ustav o nakazaniyakh, nalagaemykh mirovymi sud’yami [Statute of Penalties Imposed by Magistracy]. Petrograd, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. 92 p.
Vereshchagin, N. D. (1951). Pereselencheskaya politika tsarizma v Syr-Dar’inskoi oblasti Turkestanskogo kraya v gody stolypinskoi reaktsii [Resettlement Policy of Tsarism in the Syr-Darya Region of Turkestan Region in the Years of the Stolypin Reaction]. Avtoref. dis. … kand. ist. nauk. Moscow, S. n. 15 p.
Vsepoddanneishii doklad Turkestanskogo general-gubernatora A. V. Samsonova o polozhenii Turkestanskogo kraya v 1909 godu [The Most Loyal Report of Turkestan Governor-General A. V. Samsonov about Turkestan Region in 1909]. (1910). Tashkent, S. n. 58 p.
Zapiska glavnoupravlyayushchego zemleustroistvom i zemledeliem A. V. Krivosheina o poezdke v Turkestanskii krai v 1912 g. [The Note of the Chief of Land Management and Agriculture A. V. Krivoshein about his Trip to Turkestan Region in 1912]. (1912). St Petersburg, Gosudarstvennaya tipografiya. 88 p.