In this article, the authors investigate the reasons, process and consequences of the liquidation of the traditional institution of Khan power by the Russian Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, the tsarist government began a unilateral elimination of the Khan's power in Kazakhstan, for which sufficient data, military resources and funds appeared in the Russian Empire. The Genghisids represented by the Khans and sultans, who personified the independence of the Kazakh Khanate, were discredited in the eyes of the nomads. The work was written on the basis of written and archival sources; the article contains documents from the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire. In the 18th century, border settlements and trade were the main Russian interests in the Steppe, and to this end, Russian officials were ready to support Kazakh leaders who were loyal to the power of the Russian Empire in Kazakh lands. By the early 19th century, the growing influence of the Central Asian Khanates, as well as the Qing Empire, prompted the Russian authorities to actively establish a more direct form of government over the Kazakhs. Based on the available data, it can be argued that in the case of the display of the personality of Uali Khan in previous historical studies, stereotypes of public perception of the last ruler of the Middle Zhuz emerged, which were formed through the results of the liquidation of the Khan's power by the Russian Empire. In the course of an objective study of historical sources, scholarly historians still find out how much the existing work is fair in relation to a politician of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
The Kazakh-Dzhungar wars turned into a serious problem over time and for the first time forced Kazakh leaders to formally seek military alliance and protection from the Russian Empire, an event that marks a fundamental shift in power relations in the Kazakh steppes. The Russian Empire needed a suitable convenient reason and legal basis for the subsequent liquidation of the statehood of its neighbors. These ideas will shape the policy of the Russian Empire in the region for many decades.
Materials and methods
A significant part of factual and analytical materials was obtained from archival sources, including those declassified in 2018–2019. Most of the historical sources are archival documents presented in the form of reports, decrees, reports, essays, letters and other documents. For example, the funds of the Historical Archive of the Omsk Region store a large array of information related to the topic of our research. Researchers
are also studying materials from the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire; the article contains some documents from the first collection compiled under the leadership of M.M.Speransky. Based on these materials, the authors tried to reconstruct the era of the Kazakh Khanates during the reign of Uali and study the regional policy of the Russian Empire, using methods such as: logical and comparative research methods. The fundamental principles are scientific objectivity and historicism, which imply the need for a deep analysis of events and facts, their objective assessment in order to form the most adequate picture of the past reality. The dialectical method of cognition of natural and social phenomena is used as a methodological basis for the study.
Abulkhair Khan of the Younger Zhuz took citizenship of the Russian Empire in 1731 [1, р. 21]. Anticipating this event, in 1726 he asked for permission to enter the territory of the Russian Empire. In 1730, Empress Anna Ioannovna offered him Russian citizenship on similar conditions that were granted to the Bashkirs and Kalmyks. As you know, most of the Kazakh nobility opposed the negotiations. Abulkhair Khan in 1731, at the suggestion of the Russian government, made unsuccessful attempts to bring the Khiva Khanate under the authority of the empress. With the mediation of Abulkhair, the Khan of the Middle Zhuz Abulmambet and Sultan Ablai received citizenship of the Russian Empire. In 1742, another attempt was made, now against the Karakalpaks who had taken Russian citizenship in Orenburg.
Russian negotiations with the Kazakh nomadic elite were extremely important, it was during these negotiations that the idea of building a fort on the Or River first arose, where Kazakhs could trade with Russian merchants who did not have direct access to the Central Asian caravan trade. Kazakhs were also interested in barter trade at the borders. Becoming Russian subjects promised them temporary permits for winter crossings to the inner parts of the empire's border. In the first decades of the 18th century, the Russian Empire did not interfere in the internal or external affairs of the new and, to a greater extent, formal subjects. There were no attempts to penetrate the empire deep into the territories of the Kazakh Khanates. The steppe was a kind of buffer zone between the Russian empire and Qing Dynasty [2, р. 16] (Fig. 1).
During the 18th century, the Kazakh Zhuzes had already adopted nominal Russian citizenship. But it would take a long time to more fully integrate them into the Russian Empire. However, the question arises: what content did the Kazakhs of the 18th century put into this process of «joining» and obtaining Russian «citizenship»? To answer this question, it should be mentioned that no state entity will voluntarily renounce independence and its territories; for the Kazakhs, these agreements were formal. It should be noted that Rus-
Серия «История. Философия». № 1(101)/2021sian citizenship was generally accepted by those groups of Kazakhs who lived near the border. As in Siberia, in the Kazakh steppe expanses, as well as in the Bashkir and Kalmyk lands, the Russian colonial expansion was not so much a serious battle as a slow restriction of traditional nomadic routes through the construction of fortified forts, trade, as well as the planned migration of Russian peasants from the densely populated depths of the empire. Kazakh leaders and ordinary nomads found that legal pastures were dwindling and political and economic opportunities were squeezed in many ways. In the Kazakh steppes, Russian officials portrayed the purpose of building fortresses as defensive fortifications. Ultimately, the military lines of the fortresses played a more aggressive role.
The political moves of the Russian Empire were aimed at discrediting the representatives of the elite of the Kazakh Khanates, who, despite the difficult martial law, did not intend to erect imperial power on a pedestal. The Russian Empire consistently strengthened its presence in the steppe region by erecting a line of fortresses under the plausible pretext of protecting the civilian population from the raids of the Oirat troops. A similar explanation for the construction of such outposts was given for Dzungaria. Thus, in a relatively short period of time, all fortified posts under construction formed a broad foothold for Russian policy in the region. Preventive measures brought tsarism to a greater extent towards the end of the 18th century. The political intrigues of the empire at the next stage curled around the sultans who had enormous powers in the Kazakh society.
In 1735, at the request of Khan Abulkhair, the foundation of the Orenburg fortress was laid. The city was located at the confluence of the Ori and Ural rivers. Later the fortress was renamed Orsk. The territories occupied by the Orenburg fortress were retrained from Kazakh lands to the category of «internal» regions of the Russian Empire. Orenburg served as a major trade center between the European part of the empire and the Kazakh steppes, Central Asia. In the future, the Russian government considered Orenburg as a military foothold for the empire for further advancement deep into the territories of the Kazakh Khanates.
By the end of the 18th century, Russian fortified lines formed a huge loop that surrounded the Kazakhs on the western, northern and eastern borders, consolidating in the territories of Kazakh traditional pastures. The map shows that the borders of the Kazakh lands were limited in the north by the lines of fortifications of the Russian Empire. The forts extended in a line from Semipalatinsk along the Irtysh River northward, westward along the southern borders of Siberia and Omsk, and a line stretching southward to Uralsk in the Urals, then to Orsk and the Caspian Sea [3, р. 17] (Fig. 2).
If in 1730 and 1740 the Russian Empire had formal citizenship of the Kazakh Khans, then during the 18th century the Russian authorities in Orenburg and Tobolsk, and then in Omsk, gained greater control over the Khans and the population of the Younger and Middle Zhuzes. In the 18th century, border settlements and trade were the main Russian interests in the steppe, and to this end, Russian officials were ready to support Kazakh leaders with a penchant for the Russian side. By the early 19th century, the growing influence of the Central Asian Khanates, as well as the Qing Empire, prompted the Russian authorities to actively establish a more direct form of government over the Kazakhs.
It will be nearly a century before the Russian Empire can claim relatively secure control of the Kazakh steppes. But early concessions in accepting citizenship had already undermined the power of the Kazakh Khans to some extent.
In 1801, the Russian authorities, after continuous annexations, issued permission for most of the Younger Zhuz to roam on the «inner lands» and occupy pastures in the interfluve of the Volga and the Urals. This is how the Inner Horde (Bukey Horde) was formed. During the first half of the 19th century, a significant number of Kazakhs living within the Russian fortified lines came under the direct control of the Russian colonial administration. As a rule, the local population found itself in frequent conflicts with peasants, Cossacks and Bashkirs due to the lack of vital grazing lands. The largest group of Kazakhs within which fortified lines were erected in the annexed «inner» territories were the Kazakhs of the Inner Horde. The tsarist policy in relation to relations with the Bukey Khanate was of a patronizing nature, demonstratively demonstrating some of the positive aspects of interaction with the Russian authorities. Further, the tsarist government issued a personal decree to the Orenburg governor G.S. Volkonsky «On the transition of the steppe Kyrgyz to the inner side of the Urals and on the subordination of the Kirghiz-Kaisak minor Horde of Bukey Sultan with the people of his Orenburg Border Commission» [4, р. 435]. In 1808, during a severe famine caused by the lack of pasture for livestock, about 20 thousand Kazakhs were resettled to the territory of the Bashkir cantons. The Emperor issued a decree granting them land plots, payment of cash benefits for farming and exemption from taxes for 10 years. Liaising between such divided groups was prohibited. Tsarism planned to acquire loyal people among the local population to carry out its own policy.
The Russian Empire prepared the ground for the elimination of the Khan's power by the twenties of the 19th century. The Russian government already had good reasons and some prerequisites were created by a whole series of projects. Measures were taken to increase the discrediting of the Kazakh Khans in the eyes of the majority of the steppe population. Frequently, the legal rights of the current rulers were violated by their oppositionists or competitors to the Khan's power. They were contenders for the Khan's title, who had not previously been elected to the Khanate for a number of reasons. They lacked influence and respect among the Kazakh nobility and the common population, or, presumably, nobility of origin and authority with great ambitions. According to tradition, the rulers were elected at the kurultais in the Kazakh Khanates — and the most authoritative candidates among the Chingizids were elected who had enormous political influence and respect, which at the same time meant a significant stability of his future rule. The intervention of the government of the Russian Empire in this important traditional rite introduced a huge destabilizing factor in the internal political processes of the Kazakh Khanates. Taking into account the colonial interests of the empire in this region of Central Asia, they were promoted to the positions of co-rulers of the legitimate Kazakh Khans — individuals who had significant political ambitions, and what is important, great loyalty to the royal power. This step further exacerbated the fragmentation in the Kazakh steppe.
The appointment of incapable and respected personalities by the tsarism as Khans to a large extent violated the traditional institution of power, lowered the respectful and benevolent attitude of the Kazakh population towards such co-rulers who sought only personal gain. They were often perceived as puppets of the Russian Empire, ranked among the tsarist officials. In addition, many influential and influential political leaders among the nomads were already in old age, and therefore did not pose a long-term and serious danger to the Russian Empire. Considering this factor, the tsarist administration only undermined the power of the aging noble Chingizids — who represented the elite of the Kazakh society, speculating with denunciations and complaints in the border territories. These conclusions are perfectly traced in considering the situation of the ruler of the Kazakhs of the Middle and Senior zhuzes, Uali Khan. The formation of his political views took place under the authoritative influence of his father — Ablai. State activity under the leadership of Ablai, and then independent government after the official popular election, showed a desire to follow in the footsteps of his father, maintaining good-neighborly relations with the great powers. Dual citizenship allowed for beneficial relationships with great powers and personal influence. Uali Khan clearly adhered to the set course, but the Russian Empire did not benefit from the calmness and increased cohesion in the Steppe.
According to historical sources, since 1795, openly and already quite officially, the border administration has incited a certain contingent of the nearby territories to issue denunciations and complaints in order to obtain direct citizenship of the empire. At the same time, this artificially caused wave of open unrest of the Kazakhs by Uali Khan was practically an isolated case of dissatisfaction with his rule. This requires a historical revisionism of the prevailing idea of the personality and time of the rule of the last Kazakh Khan, who was recognized by the two great powers. In this decision of the government, one can see directly political intrigues — in fact, it was a desire to deprive the legitimate ruler of the right to make decisions on such issues, in particular on citizenship, and to level the role of the ruling Chingizids in the interactions of the empire with the Kazakhs. That is, the acceptance of direct citizenship of the Russian Empire, bypassing the appeal to his Khan.
Tsarism pursued a far-reaching policy, putting forward the weak and removing strong rulers. For example, in opposition to the ruling Kazakh Khans, and bypassing the steppe traditions of electing Khans, tsarism arbitrarily appointed its Khans: in the Younger Zhuz on the right bank of the Yaik (Ural), Khan Bokey was appointed in 1812 [5, р. 29]; in the Middle Zhuz in 1815, the second Khan Bokey was appointed under the current legitimate ruler, Uali Khan. The choice by the tsarism of the Khans who had no authority among the population formed their negative image and, as a result, caused a negative attitude towards them. Taken together, everything led to a gradual weakening of the Khan's power. Also, such a policy contributed to the division itself within the Middle and Younger zhuzes, which was in favor of the empire.
Now let's consider some of the external factors that allowed the Russian Empire to focus on the Central Asian region. By this time, the international position of the Russian Empire had changed as a result of the Napoleonic wars in 1805–1815. In the subsequent long period of relative peace, the tsarism allowed more attention to international relations in the Central Asian region. And the answer to this, in addition to a convenient geopolitical position, was to obtain the rights to exploit the rich natural and land resources of Kazakh lands. The Middle Zhuz was also part of a strategically important region, through which the routes of trade caravans traditionally passed. After the Napoleonic Wars, many state entities introduced new methods of government [6, р. 11–12]. The high degree of independence of the steppe territories, significant remoteness, as well as an important military factor in the Central Asian policy of the Russian Empire created the need for special state bodies.
In 1819, a structural subdivision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was formed — the Asian Department, and an interdepartmental body — the Asian Committee for doing business with Kazakhs, Khivans and Bukharians [7, р. 17–18]. In St. Petersburg, requests were repeatedly sent from Orenburg to send military units to the Kazakh steppes. However, permission was not issued for fear of undermining the security of trade of Russian merchants and arousing distrust of the Central Asian rulers in the policies of the Russian Empire. New management methods were required to create a modern bureaucracy. Relations with the Kazakh zhuzes, Bukhara, Khiva, China and Persia fell into the sphere of the committee's affairs. Among the activities was the establishment of new trade rules. The most large-scale and significant event for the Russian Empire prepared by the committee was the reforms to eliminate the Khan's power in the Younger and Middle Zhuzes.
In the Middle Zhuz, they could begin to liquidate the Khan's power only after the death of the legitimate ruler Uali Khan. In fact, after the increasing fragmentation of the Kazakhs after the death of Ablai Khan, and against the background of the gradual abolition of the Khan's power in the Younger Zhuz, Uali was able to delay the colonization of the Russian Empire for another 40 years during his reign. According to archival materials, Uali Khan took the same steps as his father to preserve the continuity of power. He received the title and mandate for his heir from the Qing emperor. However, after the death of Uali Khan, the Russian Empire did not allow delegations from the Kazakhs and the Qing Empire to meet, actively hindering the election of a new Khan. It is known from an extract on August 17, 1819 from the magazines of the main administration of Western Siberia about the intention to prevent the election of the next Khan: «We listened. According to the report of the commander of the Separate Siberian Corps in the list, informed me from your Excellency, about the death of the Middle Kyrgyz Horde of Khan Valiy (Uali), I have the honor to notify that in the project of a new formation of Siberian lines, at one time presented by me, the title of Khan, clearly useless, should be abolished. Although this draft has not yet received a decisive approval, in order not to complicate its implementation in the event that it is approved, I would consider it necessary to prescribe to the border authorities: the circumstances of his family, not only here, but also on the spot, as it can be seen from the report itself, is still dissatisfied with the authorities known, secondly, because in no case should the sultans and foremen on their own, without permission and without our leadership, proceed to the choice of the Khan. The example of 1781, which is contrary to this, means only the weakening of the then line authorities. Such an allowance may have the important inconvenience that if the choice falls on the unworthy, then the authorities will be put in a certain state with the party of sultans that will participate in the choice; third, finally, because it cannot be assumed that the choice made at the commemoration of the deceased Khan among ordinary steppe feasts could be thorough, and that all the sultans and foremen of the Middle Horde, of which many are in the department, on the eastern side nomadic steppes, and Vali (Uali) Khan himself was hardly known by name. 2. To instruct the commander of the Siberian corps to reject any choice. Meanwhile, and learn with certainty about the members of the family of Vali Khan, and those sultans, who, by right of kinship, by their families and by their influence in the horde, can earn the trust of our superiors...» [8, р. 151– 152].
The Russian colonial administration included the Middle Zhuz in the Omsk region. As a result, on the territory of the Middle Zhuz, the provisions of the «Charter on foreigners» («Ustav ob inorodtsakh» it’s meaning of different descent or nation) approved on July 22, 1822 were implemented [9, р. 394]. The charter for the governance of the Siberian peoples was prepared by the former Siberian Governor-General M.M. Speransky, who was included in the Asian Committee by the Russian Emperor Alexander I in July 1821.
According to the following «Charter on Siberian Kirgizes» published on July 22, 1822 by Emperor Alexander I [9, р. 417], the administrative-territorial division of Northern Kazakhstan consisted of auls, volosts and districts. The district itself consisted of 15–20 volosts, the volost formed 10–12 auls, the auls (Kazakh village) united the smallest unit of the new administrative-territorial division — kibitki, numbering from 50 to 70. The new management system introduced excluded the presence of the supreme Khan power, now from among the nomadic elite; the descendants of Genghis Khan were elected only the senior sultan [10, р. 413]. According to the charter, senior sultans ruled districts, sultans ruled volosts, foremen ruled auls.
Until the mid-19th century, Russian expansion was largely pragmatic, not ideological, and driven mainly by commercial, military, and strategic concerns.
The empire needed new lands and resources. The multiple increases in the population in the Russian Empire naturally entailed the problems of increasing living space, the task of providing the population with food, energy and other resources. Obviously, the world's resources are limited: the states that created colonial empires took a more stable and advantageous position. The metropolises significantly increased their profits through the supply of raw materials, cheap labor from the colonies. The increased demand increased the level of exploitation to provide the necessary resources. And the most important problem in the work of the demographic engine was the need to expand territories.
The Russian bureaucratic administration focused primarily on ethnic and cultural differences in administrative or financial problems. Loyalty and religious affiliation seemed to be more important than ethnicity. In the 19th century, the ideological tone of Russian colonial expansion changed as the government developed new and sharper imperialist goals.
Empire building by European rivals of the Russian Empire and new forms of nationalism provided an ideological foundation for Russian expansion, and from the time of Nicholas I Pavlovich Romanov, imperial leadership and officials became pickier about national and ethnic differences.
In the 1822 «Charter on Siberian Kirghiz» Mikhail Speransky initiated the practice of describing the indigenous population of Central Asia in the register of subjects of the empire under the general name «for- eigners». The tsarist government actively pursued a policy of «Russification» of non-Russian regions, in particular, mainly in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States, where language differences were the smallest, but, perhaps, for this reason, most were a threat to imperial cohesion.
In regions such as Central Asia, where the many differences were much more significant, the representatives of the tsarist government used colonial intervention. The territories of Central Asia were presented to them as captured colonies with foreign traditions. These shifts in imperial relations will affect many aspects of historical processes. Borders were constantly changing; tsarism was aimed at switching the vast Kazakh steppes into the frontier of the Russian Empire, which dragged on for centuries.
In conclusion, in combination, numerous factors weakened the power of previously influential and respected Kazakh rulers. The existence of a powerful institution of the Khan's power did not allow the Russian Empire to conduct political and economic expansion as rapidly as it had hoped for. In connection with the above, after the death of Khan Bokey, and soon after the death of Khan Uali, the tsarist government moved to an active phase of liquidating the Khan's power, Alexander I approved the «Charter on Siberian Kirghiz». The last legitimate ruler of the Middle Zhuz was Uali Khan. His eldest son Gubaidulla Sultan, according to the new charter, was elected senior sultan of the Kokchetav external district. Gubaydolla has repeatedly sought «Khan's dignity, which he was, however, resolutely denied» [11, р. 75]. To strengthen his position, Gubaidulla Sultan negotiated with the Qing Empire in order to recognize the Khan's dignity. The tsarist administration feared the influence and popularity of the heir to Uali Khan. Preventing a meeting with the Qing envoys and confirming his title, the tsarist administration sent Gubaidulla into political exile in the city of Berezov, Tobolsk province. Despite the fact that Uali Khan did everything possible to preserve and maintain good-neighborly relations with the empires, all the necessary measures to consolidate and transfer the Khan's power to the successor, including the title of gong from the Qing Empire, with his death, there were no restraining factors for the abolition of the institution of the Khan authorities in the Middle Zhuz. Thus, the «Charter on Siberian Kirghiz» demonstrated the expansionary nature of politics in this strategically important region. The main reason was the desire to create a colonial empire, which followed in the next historical period — world wars. All events are interconnected, tsarism planned to gain access to the rich resources of the Kazakh lands. The Russian Empire carried out the elimination of the Khan's power by violent methods and ignored the resistance offered. Nevertheless, the tsarist government was not able to fully control the processes of change in the environment of the local population necessary for the empire, which they themselves had previously encouraged, and could never unconditionally dictate the conditions of assimilation and submission.
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