The main ways of creating a state in A. Bokeikhan's works

In the article the questions of state formation in the early twentieth century in the works of A. Bokeikhan are considered. During this period, there is a transition from armed resistance to the colonial policy of Russia to the enlightenment of the people through the distribution of periodicals and literature. The Kazakh intelligentsia studied in higher educational institutions of Russia and European countries. It was the enlightened Kazakhs who began to spread the idea of the national state independence of the Kazakh people. The authors of the article show the influence of the ideology of the Soviet period, aimed at oblivion of pre-revolutionary history. The main basis for the position of people from Alashorda is the land issue. On this issue, an analysis was made in the articles and studies of A. Bukeikhanov and the program of the Alash party, which were published in the Kazakh newspaper. Particular attention was paid to the works of researchers of the history of the movement, and then the Alash party. The opinions of the Kazakh intelligentsia are considered: T. Shonanuly, A. Baitursynov, M. Chokai, and also conducted a historiographical review of the main works written on this topic is conducted. The experience gained by A. Bukeikhanov, when he was a member of the Russian Cadet Party, played a fruitful role in his future state activities. The issue of land was acute during the period of Tsarist resettlement policy and was repeatedly discussed on the pages of the periodical press and touched upon in individual scientific journals. Ways of solving the land issue were proposed by A. Bukeikhanov and people from Alashorda during the February and October revolutions of 1917. It was during this period that congresses of Kazakhs were repeatedly convened at the local level to solve actual problems and were subsequently considered at the first and second all-Kazakh congresses. The question of giving the land for renting is still relevant.


Land is the most valuable treasure for Kazakh people inherited from generation to generation. Our people have always protected their land to the last drop of blood. Emperor Maude of the Ancient Huns could sacrifice his favorite horse or even his beloved wife for the sake of preserving the peaceful life of his country, but when the matter concerned the land issue, he was steady. Khans' struggle for the Kazakh land, the war with the Dzungars, the national-liberation revolts during the colonial period, the heroic deeds of the Alash intelligentsia should never be forgotten.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Kazakh people faced the following objective: not to lose themselves as a nation under Russian governance and to create their own national state. In this regard, Kazakh intelligentsia led by A. Bokeikah proposed several ways of creating a national state. One of the main principles among them was the land issue. It is because the state means the land, territory. State and land cannot be separated, these concepts are identical. Alikhan Bokeikhan said: «Until the Kazakh people master their lands through science and technology, the land will not be given either to private ownership or to the settlers, and also all the wealth of land that is above the ground and under the ground belong to the Kazakh state. According to A. Bokeikhan: «Every little stone of it belongs only to Kazakh people».

Methods of research

The theoretical and methodological basis of the research in this field is the degree of knowledge of the problem. Great importance for writing the article work is the work of domestic scientists dedicated to the problems. In this study, we mainly relied on Soviet and modern literature as well as Bukeikhanov's research.

Literature review

The aim of our work is to analyze A. Bokeikhan's work on the most important problem, the land issue and show its correlation to the present days.

This article cheats research and literature of such authors as Т. Omarbekov, Sh. Omarbekov's «National Approach to History and Historiography of Kazakhstan»; A. Bokeikhan, «Full collection of 7 volumes of his works»; B. «Karkaraly petition» by Nasenov; R.M. Zhumashev, M.S. Amrina in the 19th century and the20th century, ethno-social development of Central Kazakhstan (according to F.F. Shcherbina expedition) and others. It has also been widely used in research into internet resources.

To achieve the goal we analyzed the following works of A. Bokeikhan: «The third Duma and the Kazakhs», «The fourth Duma and the Kazakhs», «Election», «An open letter», «A letter of response», «Rotation», «Old road», «Land committee», «Congress of peasants and Kazakhs of Turgay region», «To Kazakh people», «All-Siberia congress» and the others.

Main part

Regardless of the fact that A. Bokeihan was working as a Turgay Regional Commissioner during the Temporary Government, the land issue remained a major issue for him. Kazakh intelligentsia under the leadership of Alikhan were the first who supported political-democratic struggle for national state and they raised the land issue in Karkaraly petition. It says in Petition: «15) The lands alongside Irtysh were considered as the ancestral settlements of the Kyrgyz people from the ancient times, and were later given to the military. Also, other lands allocated to the use of the Kyrgyz by the Office should be given to the Kyrgyz as their native places forever. 16) Winter pastures and summer pastures of Kyrgyz people should remain in their property. 17) The fossil discovered in the mountain steppes is their property, and the factories that are built there are considered to be their ownership. Only in case, if they refuse to produce it themselves it can be given to other people for renting. And they have to pay every tenant rent» [1].

After the Karkaraly petition, the first question raised in the State Duma of Russia was the issue of land and it became a matter of concern for Russia. The agenda of the first and second State Duma considered the issue of land as the most urgent and topical at that moment. Kazakh people wanted to fully control, use at their discretion and manage their land. Kazakh intelligentsia understood that the land under Russian governance would be divided and robbed and that this fact could lead to anxiety among the people and disturb the peace.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the problem of the Kazakh land was very complicated. The right to participate in the State Duma was not given to Kazakh people from 1906. So, the following deputies of the Muslim faith: Dzyubinsky, Maksutov, Zhagiparov, Volkov, Vinogradov, Scalozubov, Shishkin and others were for Kazakh people and raised the land issue in the State Duma instead of Alash intelligentsia. The authors Omarbekov T., Omarbekov Sh. in the work «National view on the History and Historiography of Kazakhstan» quoted deputy Volkov's words from Transbaikal: «....Here you can see that Kazakh people suffered from lack of land: they had to emigrate themselves. It would be better to settle down the local population and only after that, the rest land should be given to frontiers. In the State Duma there is no even a law which distributes lands to local people». The steppe region (Akmola and Semey oblasts) were cut off hundred pieces of land, five thousand acres. And the main idea here is to give the lands for renting for a long time period to rich ones, and then to make those rich people the land owners in the end [2; 246]. Representatives of other nationalities pointed to land issues in the beginning of XX century as well.

Alikhan Bokeikhan in his article «The Third Duma and the Kazakh» reported Dzyubinsky's words: «At least we should not give the way to make Kazakh people pay taxes from their digged cannals, fields and gardens» [3; 405]. It is surprising that our deputies approved amendments to the Land Code not examining them when deputies of other nationalities raised the issue of the Kazakh land.

A. Bokeikhan pointed out how a deputy from Baku Zhagiparov defended the interests of the Kazakhs in the article «The Fourth Duma and Kazakhs: «Count Palen wrote in 1908, when checking the case in Turkestan»: There is no gentle people like Kazakh who stay quiet seeing injustice when they are given stony, alkaline land. How do they tolerate to this violence...» [2; 247].

In the newspaper «Kazakh» there is an article of A. Bokeikhan titled «N.L. Skalozubov» where he says that the member of the Russian State Duma N.L. Skalozubov served as a Kazakh deputy in the Third Duma, he never hesitated to defend the Kazakh people. Skalozubov says: «Kazakh people were given 15 acres of land. But how could they become farmers within so short time? How much time does it need to change the lifestyle of cattle breeding to a lifestyle of a farmer? Even a peasant has to pasture on Kazakh land. Even a Siberian peasant has to pasture because of the land's particular qualities. Working people have nothing in common with the politics, you are oppressing the people» [4; 281].

The tsarist government emphasized the importance of colonization by settling down Russian peasants to the periphery, including the Kazakh land. In this regard, they sent expeditions to study the Kazakh land. One of them was an expedition headed by F.A. Shcherbina in 1896–1903. A. Bokeikhan actively involved in the expedition. He participated in studies conducted in Pavlodar, Semey, Karkaraly counties which are subordinate to Semey oblast and Omsk county which is subordinate to Akmola region and gathered diverse data [5]. Taking into account water and soil, climate, peculiarities of business activity of Kazakh people, developing cattle breeding depending on settled way of life, analyzing the politics of resettlement he proved to Russian colonists that there is no land on Kazakh land. He proved it based on the results of the expedition.

Deep, well-grounded, scientific articles on the Kazakh land issue were published in «Aykap» magazine and «Kazakh» newspaper.

The publishers of the newspaper «Kazakh» paid special attention to the problem of land and considered it as the first issue. But nevertheless, the publishing office does not want to comment on it. Only from the 10th issue, that is after 2 months later from the first publication they touched on the theme of the land issue. The reason was explained in the article «The Land issue» published in the very same issue: «We did not write about it before. Not because we have forgotten it or ignored it. It is as if everybody understands the word. It is a matter to think deeply and to investigate.... Our aim is to present all our thoughts on the land issue in details, and to give full evidence to every little thought. That's why we are not hurrying to write about it».

The problem of seizuring the Kazakh land during the tsarist government was risen in the newspaper «Kazakh»: «Kazakh people are in miserable position: all good lands are owned by peasants, Kazakh people cannot take even alkaline lands. The government is about to sell the land. Eventually, this law will come. I do not know what will happen to my brothers who are taking 15 acres, my heart bleeds for them..» [2; 245]. The article proves the fact that good land is passing into the hands of the strangers and analyzes its main causes.

Discussing the land issue, Alikhan Bokeikhan pointed out that all good lands were given to Russian peasants. He disagrees with both the Tsarist government and Duma members who illegally equaled peasants and nomads and gave them the same amount of land, 15 acres. It is impossible to breed cattle or till the soil on such desert lands. He could prove his point of view in the articles «The Open Letter» («Kazakh» newspaper, 1913, No. 24), «Kazakhs and their land issue in cabinets» («Kazakh» newspaper, 1913, No. 10), «Response letter» («Kazakh» newspaper, 1913, No. 28, 29, 36), «Two ways» («Kazakh» newspaper, No. 100, 101). In these articles, he says that Kazakh lands were reduced and now it is time to start something new, to stop sleeping, not to be lazy, and to be united. He shows that lifestyle has changed and people should change their minds.

At the beginning of the twentieth century Stolypin entered some laws. Sooner many landless peasants from the inner Russia settled down in the Kazakh land, and it made the matters worse.

The Council of Ministers approved Act on determination of the State Land fund in Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Turgay and Uralsk volosts and made amendments into Article 270 on Regulation the Turkestan territory on June 9, 1909. Therefore, it caused many troubles to Kazakh people. At that time, the Russian Empire began to accept laws and regulations on land use, even though they are not profitable for Kazakhs.

Alikhan Bokeikhan made cadastral valuation of lands and wrote the following in the article «Open letter» («Kazakh» newspaper, 1913, No. 24): «On June, 9 1909 the Council of Ministers approved it and if Kazakh people wanted to take land of 10 acres, they asked to take it as peasants did». He scrutinized Artciles No. 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 20 and goes on saying that they were not Laws, but Acts. Alikhan Bokeikhan publicly stated that it was not the Law, but the Act and that the actions of the authorities are illegal. He wrote: «Give Kazakh people enough place to breed the cattle and keep the nomadic style of life; these lands should be of a good quality, not deserts or alkaline lands (Article No. 6). It was said in the Law that if the lands for Kazakh people who move from one place to another according to a season are not enough, then rich Russians would give more place to them (Article No. 7). However, no one saw this Article in the action. It seems to me that is just the words». Next, «Are not we under the protection of the government with fair Tsar, State Duma and State Council? Or the Laws are not obeyed? Kazakhs, read the Law and think of it!» [4; 139-141]. Here we see that he wanted to lace Kazakh people's boots, showed violence of colonists.

In fact, as soon as these two documents were entered, the resettlement institutions opened a campaign giving lands of 15 acres to Russian peasants as well as to Kazakh peasantry in order to gain the Kazakh lands and make Kazakh people settled.

In the article «Response letter» («Kazakh» newspaper, 1913, No. 28) Alash member Alikhan analyzed Switzerland and Australia's background in doing business, and concluded that in business doing it is very important to take into account the geographical features of the place: «One can breed the cattle even in a town. .. Kazakhstan is the center of cattle breeding; everyone who inhabited here bred cattle. .He said, «If your friends are blind, you have to shut your eyes». Business that people do for a living depends on the place andgeographical position. He conducted a thorough analysis and concluded that it is not easy to become an agriculturist; it needs to take into account the natural and geographical features of the Kazakh steppes.

On 8–15 October, the Siberian Autonomy Congress was held in Tomsk. During the work of the Congress, the Kazakh delegation led by A. Bokeikhan presented in details their program on land issue. And the main conclusions of the program are included in the «Alash» party program. A. Bokeikhan wrote an article «About All-Siberian Congress» («Kazakh» newspaper) where he discussed the land issue once more. At the congress he said that the main reason for leaving the «Cadet» party was the land issue. He followed saying that «Cadet» party is for privatization of land. But he disagreed because Kazakh people had never owned the land as a person, only as an aul or volost. He explained that if the land was privatized Kazakh people would sell it to Russian peasants and have nothing in the end as the Bashkirs did. [4; 268]. We think that the statement contained in this article by A. Bukeikhan should be taken into account in the Land Code, which is being discussed now.

We can divide A. Bokeikhan's main opinions as the following: «The big resettlement Institution estimated Kazakh land as 240 millions. According to this calculation there are 44 acres per Kazakh. Let us say that there are 5 people in a family, it means that there are 220 acres of land per family. ...In Aktobe, Kokshetau, Almaty there are many Kazakhs who do not have even the tenth part of those 220 acres. .Russian peasant is not welcomed to our land for a while until we take our land parcels ourselves. Land parcels given to a person or a family should depend on the soil and the nature. Let local Land Committees divide the land parcels among the people in every region and district» [4; 264, 265]. We think that Alikhan Bokeikhan's idea of having land parcels according to a business type is topical nowasdays. And if the people cannot cope with the lands, only then the government can give them to forefront European countries with developed agriculture for renting.

«...Let Kazakh people divide the land parcels as they wish: to aul, ulus or tribe. Aul, ulus, tribe that share the land should establish their order and be fair. Land for the population should be given from their neibourhood. . Let people living along the Irtysh river take «ten kilometers (ten verst)» land parcels from Irtysh. ... God has saved Kazakh people and they are still alive. Now land is people's treasure and their profit. Therefore we asked not to sell lands in our republic» [4; 264, 265]. A. Bokeikhan made an effort to explain the real reasons of politics aimed at cheating naive people.

In the article «Third Duma and Kazakh», published in the «Kazakh» newspaper, A. Bokeikhan states the problem of seizuring the Kazakh lands by law: «...On March 25, 1891 the «Steppe rule» was issued for Kazakhs who live in Zhetysu, Semipalatinsk, Akmola, Torgai and Uralsk oblasts. On June 21, 1886 the «Rule to manage Turkestan region» was issued for Kazakhs who live in Samarkand, Fergana and Syrdarya provinces of Turkestan». In Article 279 of this Code, there was no additional claim that if there is any extra land which is not used by Kazakh people it would be given to the government. If the law was in its original version, nobody could take Kazakh lands in Turkestan oblast and give it to peasants. The government introduced two sentences in addition to Article 279 to the Third Duma in 1911: «If there is any extra land which is not used by Kazakhs then the government will take it for their needs» [2; 242, 243]. He said that Zhetysu, Semey, Akmola, Torgay and Uralsk oblasts were captured first, and now it is time for Turkestan. He criticized the Law. At that time A. Bokeikhan analyzed the law of the Tsar's government and showed to people its ineffectiveness to Kazakhs. So how could the lawyers or agrarians do not analyze the Land Code? We should learn from our history.

A. Bokeikhan explained peculiarities of settling down the Russian peasants on Kazakh land as follows: «... Those who want to settle in Akmola region usually send their s∞uts. They looked for convenient lands, rented a small land (for half or low price) from the Kyrgyz (Kazakhs), turned up the soil and tilled it. Thus, ensuring that land quality is high (in fact, virgin lands) they made a legal contract for a certain period. After the new settlers became convinced of the high quality of their land, they began to invite their fellow countrymen or take roving migrants». Analyzing the above said, you come to the conclusion that real reason of renting Kazakh land is unclear and dark for us, so it is necessary to be very careful in land renting issues. It is important to pay attention to this lesson in history when dealing with land issues [2; 231, 232].

Omarbekov T., Omarbekov Sh. in the chapter titled «Intelligentsia on the Importance of Land Issues in the Fate of the Kazakh Nation» in the work «National view on the History and Historiography of Kazakhstan» give a statement of one of the Alash members: «On another hand, the number of Russian settlers in the steppes has increased, fighting between the settlers and the Kyrgyz people has forced» [2; 239, 240]. This sentence has its own deep meaning. From it, we can conclude that now, when the land issue is aggravated too, the struggle for land can lead to interethnic tension.

«... Land norm and state governance are two different things. The surface of land changes but a country's traditions do not. ...The corrupted volosts' heads will act due to steppe rules. Our people have relations with the neighbours; they get married or get divorced. If there are any conflicts among them, there will be a dispute between a mullah and a Jewish man. Peasants do not have such overspread conflict as widow's conflict or bride price. What a scandal would be! Here is and example of how the land norm and state governance differ from each other». The conclusion from A. Bukeikhan's opinion is to stop bringing migrants to Kazakh land from outside, especially from Russia, and making conditions from the government's side to make Kazakh people adapt to a sedentary lifestyle [2; 252].

A. Bokeikhan in his article «Sailau» («Kazakh», 1913, No. 14) tells about the state of the Kazakh land: «... The land that a khokhol (i.e. of Russian nationality) plows every year is not his own, he just rents it for a while. Does he really concern that it wears out?» [3; 439]. The main conclusion that comes out of this is that nobody cares about Kazakh land, except for Kazakhs themselves. So who guarantees that the rented lands would not be wore out?

The author continued his thought in another article titled «Sailau» which was issued in 1913 No. 17, published in the «Kazakh» newspaper as follows: «...Kazakh people should change; they should be ready to compete with the others engaged in agriculture. If no, your lands will be captured not according to Law, but according to life rules: the strongest survives. He gives a vivid example of Bashkirs who gave their lands to rent for a penny and now graze livestock of the peasants» [4; 130]. Now, when there is the question of land renting, Kazakh people should bear it in mind.

The last project of the program «Alash» party, established at the First Kazakh Congress in Orenburg in July 1917 was dedicated to the «Land Issue». The program outlines this question as follows: «When Constituent Assembly prepares the basic law the land parcels should be given to local population first; Russian peasants should not come to Kazakhstan until Kazakh people take their land parcels and settle down; lands previously taken to Russian peasants but not used by them should be returned to Kazakhs; land parcels should be given by local Land committees; land parcel measure-norm should be given according to soil and business type; the extra lands should be given to zemstvo; when the number of population increases they should be given some more land; in Turkestan oblast water also should be shared; Kazakhs should take land parcels not to a person but to aul, ulus or tribe; they should establish their own rules and follow them. Land Law should not sell Land. Extra lands should be given to zemstvo. All the wealth that is above the ground and under the ground should be subjected to tax, but be governed by zemstvo. Forests and big rivers refer to state treasury and tress and small rivers to zemstvo» [4; 262].

Alikhan, in his response to the investigator from the Unified State Political Department in 1929 said: «My attitude to land policy is as follows: Russians and Kazakhs can not be given an equal share of land, as Russians are much more better experienced in land cultivation. That is why they always dominated the Kazakhs, and eventually they forced the Kazakhs to go away. This is my «nationalist» attitude to the issue of land» [6]. He worried about national interests till the end of his life.

The Kazakh intelligentsia, surrounded by «Alash» party, was deeply concerned with the Kazakh land issue. As an example we present T. Shonanuly's words: «The most beautiful and plentiful Kazakh lands as the rivers Zhaiyk, Tobol, Irtysh, Ishim are occupied by foreigners The best places of Zhetysu were also on the riverbanks of the same rivers».

The conclusions of A. Bokeikhan on the land have influenced M. Shokai and other national intelligentsia. In this regard M. Shokai continues his position: Alikhan always told us, «If you want to be a useful person for the nation, first of all study carefully the Russian land policy in our country». He said, «This policy will show you what to do» [2; 244].

A. Baityrsynov also made land issue top priority. In the article «Kazakh offence», written in 1911 in the newspaper «Aykap» he says: «If Kazakhs who think only about today and forget about tomorrow, sell the land and be happy for a moment, then they will roam. Those who do not hesitate to give lands for renting would not hesitate to sell it. They could not sell it as if it was government's property. I am sure that many people wanted to give lands for renting It is all the sign of ignorance» [2; 241].

Nowadays the question of giving the land to rent is urgent and topical. A. Bokeikhan, A. Baitursynov and other Kazakh intelligentsia said about its real threats a hundred years ago. That is why if we say that the land was privatized, that is the deprivation of Kazakh liberty. The whole country and its territory should be common to Kazakhs. We are sure that land is а state property and it is the guarantee of the Motherland. It is the ways and directions that Alash intelligentsia followed. In the beginning of the twentieth century the Alash intelligentsia saw that the colonial system of Russia did not take into account the national peculiaritiesof the Kazakh steppes in the state administration. Secondly, Alikhan Bokeikhan says that only in the independent country the problem of land will be solved. But in some cases, the state does not take into account the peculiarities of the Kazakh people that causes a big dispute. Some issues today have to be solved.


Kazakhstan needs a state comprehensive policy in order to solve the problem of land. It means to take into account national specifics; it is better to grade-up breeding livestock than immediately starting farming business. State authorities should consider the land issue from these points of view. Still, it is necessary to deal with the production of cattle in addition to grain in the Kazakh steppes. Alikhan Bokeikhan and Alash intellectuals set these issues a hundred years ago, and they are still on the agenda. A. Bukeikhan, A. Baitursynov, M. Shokai, T. Shonauly, K. Kamenegeruly said that one should be very careful when discussing the land issue. Having analyzed all the said above we conclude that the Law that solves the land issue should serve the national interests. Alash intelligentsia proves it in the early twentieth century. It is a lesson from the history we should never forget.



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  3. Akkululy, Zh.S. (2009). Alikhan Bokeikhan shyharmalarynyn 7 tomdyk tolyk zhunahy [Alikhan Bokeikhan's full collection of 7volumes]. (Vol. 3). Astana: Saryarka [in Kazakh].
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  5. Zhumashev, R.M., & Amrina, M.S. (2015). XIX h. sony men XX h. basyndahy Ortalyk Kazakstannyn etnoaleumettik damuy (F.F. Shcherbina ekspeditsiisy malimetteri boiynsha) [Ethnosocial development of Central Kazakhstan in the late 19th century and the beginning of the XX century. (According to the expedition ofF.F. Shcherbin)]. Karaganda: KarMU baspasy [in Kazakh].
  6. Zhurtbai, T. (2010). Abaktydahy alash [Alash in the detention center]. Retrieved from [in Kazakh].
Year: 2019
City: Karaganda
Category: History