CENTRAL ASIA vii. In the 18th-19th Centuries



vii. In the 18th-19th Centuries

I. From the fall of the Toqay-Timurids through the Russian conquest.

By the beginning of the 12th/18th century Central Asia was in a state of a deepening political and economic crisis, which manifested itself in the decline of the ruling dynasties and central government in both the Uzbek khanates of Central Asia (Bukhara and Ḵᵛārazm), in the resurgence of tribal forces, disruption of economic life, and increasing interference of the steppe nomads into the affairs of the sedentary states (Kazakhs in Bukhara and Turkmen in Ḵᵛārazm). The tribal leaders were acquiring greater power and auton­omy from the central government, while the latter, not having its own military force (other than small khans’ bodyguards, mainly Kalmak, Russian, and Persian slaves), could only maneuver between the powerful chieftains, aligning with some of them against the others. But such alliances were not stable, and a general political instability resulted. It was aggravated by a decrease of state revenues as a result of a decline of international caravan trade through Central Asia, the spread of tax exemptions to big landlords, and the declining authority of the central government in the provinces. In Bukhara, this negative development must have taken place already under Sobḥānqolī Khan, to judge from the fact that it was quite evident at the very beginning of the reign of his son and successor ʿObayd-­Allāh Khan (1114-23/1702-11). This ruler tried to reverse the process and to limit the power of tribal chief­tains, probably with the support of urban population, but his miscalculated financial policy (see bukhara iii, p. 518) triggered a rebellion in Bukhara in 1120/1708, which ended in a compromise between the government and the rebels and alienated those very sections of the population that could have given him support. ʿObayd-­Allāh Khan became the victim of a conspiracy of Uzbek amirs and was assassinated in 1123/1711, and under his successor, Abu’l-Fayż Khan (1123-60/1711-47), the central government lost all its authority, and the country practically disintegrated into a number of tribal principalities. Balḵ finally separated from the khanate and was ruled by Uzbek chieftains, who, however, invited puppet khans from among the descendants of Walī-­Moḥammad Khan from Khorasan (see Akhmedov, pp. 230-31), while the Farḡāna (Fergana) valley had been independent since the end of the 11th/17th century (see below). Wars between various rival tribal group­ings affected most of all the central part of the khanate. In 1135/1722 Ebrāhīm Bī (Biy), chieftain of the Keneges tribe, together with several other tribal leaders, started rebellion in Samarkand, where they enthroned Rajab Sultan, a cousin of the khan of Ḵīva, Šīr Ḡāzī (ʿAbd-al-­Raḥmān Ṭāleʿ, pp. 68-69; Abduraimov, pp. 169-174). Rajab Sultan sought help from the Kazakhs, who then ravaged the central regions of Transoxiana for seven years, destroying fields and orchards and pillaging cities and villages (Moḥammad-Wafā Karmīnagī, fols. 19b-21b). Urban and rural population began to flee from the areas most seriously affected by these disturbances, so that, according to a Bukharan historian of the 13th/19th century, Samarkand was entirely abandoned, and in Bukhara only two city quarters (goḏar) re­mained inhabited (cf. Bregel, 1989, p. 518). On the other hand, the flight of population from the central regions contributed to the development of peripheral areas, especially to the growth of cities in the southeastern part of the khanate and in Farḡāna. By 1142/1730 the Kazakhs had left Transoxiana, but the central govern­ment was unable to reassert itself, and in the 1140s/1730s its authority remained limited to some of the districts closest to the city of Bukhara (see Vel’yaminov-Zernov, 1855, Appendix, p. 22). In Bukhara itself power was gradually concentrated in the hands of the khan’s atalïq (ātālīq), Moḥammad-Ḥakīm Bī Manḡīt.

At the same time, political and economic decline made itself felt in the khanate of Ḵīva as well. The rule of the ʿArabšāhī dynasty (pp. 244-45) came to an end between 1106/1694 and 1140/1727, and, although total political disintegration similar to that in Bukhara did not follow immediately, the northern, predominantly nomadic, half of the country, known as Aral, seceded and during more than a century remained most of the time not only independent from, but also at war with Ḵīva. From the end of the ʿArabšāhī rule there was a marked increase of the Turkmen presence in Ḵᵛārazm, and the Turkmen tribes of Sālor, Čowdūr and Yomūt took part in the feuds between different Uzbek factions. This increasing role of Turkmen in Ḵᵛārazm coincided with the expansion of Turkmen tribes into northern Khorasan after the fall of the Safavids. The khans of Ḵīva Šīr Ḡāzī (1126-39/1714-27) and Īlbārs (1140-52/1728-39) also used this opportunity to repeatedly raid Khorasan. Nāder Shah was at first unable to retaliate, being engaged in wars elsewhere, but in 1150/1737 Reżāqolī Mīrzā, son of Nāder Shah, captured Balḵ, crossed the Amu Darya, and launched an attack on Bukhara, not Ḵīva. He defeated the army of Abu’l-Fayż Khan and besieged him in Qaršī (Karshi), but had to return to Balḵ either (according to the Central Asian historians) because of the news of the arrival of Īlbārs Khan with a large army to help the Bukharans or (according to Mīrzā Mahdī Khan Astarābādī and Moḥammad-Kāẓem) because he was just recalled by Nāder Shah (see Moḥammad-Wafā Karmīnagī, fol. 36a; Moʾnes and Āgahī, p. 164; Mīrzā Mahdī Khan, Tārīḵ, p. 111; idem, Dorra, p. 402; Moḥammad-Kāẓem, II, p. 603). A major cam­paign against both Uzbek khanates followed in 1153/1740. After Nāder Shah crossed the Amu Darya near Čārjūy, Moḥammad-Ḥakīm Atalïq and a number of other Uzbek chieftains came to his camp and offered their submission; Nāder Shah marched on Bukhara, set up his camp in a suburb of the city, and received there the submission of Abu’l-Fayż Khan himself. The city of Bukhara was spared Persian occupation, but the khanate had to provide 200 thousand ḵarvār of grain and fodder to the Persian army; it also had to supply 10,000 horsemen, under the command of Mo­ḥammad-Raḥīm, son of Moḥammad-Ḥakīm Atalïq (see Moḥammad-Wafā Karmīnagī, fols. 49a-50a; Mo­ḥammad-Kāẓem, Moscow, II, pp. 525-42; ed. Rīāhī, II, pp. 786ff.). Nāder Shah next turned to Ḵᵛārazm. He defeated the army of Ḵīva in two battles and besieged the khan in the city of Ḵānqāh. After a seven days’ siege, Īlbārs Khan surrendered and, by order of Nāder Shah, was put to death together with twenty of his amirs, and several days later Ḵīva also surrendered. Nāder Shah set free all slaves in Ḵīva (Persians, Russians, Kalmaks), of whom he made 12,000 Khora­sanis return to Khorasan, where they were settled in a newly built town named Ḵīvaqābād (Ḵīvaābād), 4 farsaḵs from Abīvard. The Khanate of Ḵīva had to provide the Persian army with 1,000 ḵarvār of grain and 4,000 horsemen. Nāder Shah left Ḵᵛārazm after installing a certain Ṭāher, a relative of the Bukharan Janids, as khan. (On Nāder Shah’s Khivan campaign see: Mīrzā Mahdī Khan, Tārīḵ, pp. 132-35; Moʾnes and Āgahī, pp. 165-67; Moḥammad-Kāẓem, Moscow, II, pp. 548-72, 581-82, ed. Rīāḥī, II, pp. 802-21, 825-28. See also Mīr ʿAbd-al-Karīm Boḵārī, text, pp. 48-49, tr., pp. 104-06; ʿAbd-al-Karīm explains the execution of Īlbārs Khan as revenge for the killing of three ambassadors sent to the khan by Nāder Shah.)

Nāder Shah’s domination in Central Asia remained largely nominal, and he did not interfere in the internal affairs of the two khanates, except for suppressing a Turkmen rebellion in Ḵᵛārazm in 1158/1745 (according to Moḥammad-Kāẓem, Moscow, III, pp. 170-73, ed. Rīāḥī, II, pp. 825-28, the resettlement of Persian slaves to Ḵīvaqābād took place after this campaign). When Ṭāher Khan was killed in Ḵīva as a result of a popular uprising and the Qezelbāš garrison in Ḵīva was mas­sacred in 1155/1742, Nāder Shah was satisfied with the assurances of allegiance by the Uzbek nobility of Ḵᵛārazm and an additional 5,000 Uzbek soldiers and entrusted the reign to a son of Īlbārs Khan (Mīrzā Mahdī Khan, Tārīḵ, p. 141; Moʾnes and Āgahī, pp. 167-­68). Both khanates were actually ruled by the chieftains of the Manḡīt tribe, who enjoyed Nāder Shah’s support, but it was only in Bukhara that the Manḡīts stayed in power also after the shah’s death.

In Bukhara, the death of Moḥammad-Ḥakīm Atalïq in 1156/1743 was followed by a new wave of tribal feuds, during which the city of Bukhara itself was sacked by rebellious Uzbek tribes (1158/1745). To help restore order Nāder Shah dispatched Moḥammad-Raḥīm Bī, son of Moḥammad-Ḥakīm, with Qezelbāš and Ḡelzī troops to Bukhara, and Abu’l-Fayż Khan was deposed. According to Moḥammad-Kāẓem (Moscow, III, pp. 399-400, ed. Rīāḥī, III, p. 1120) a twelve-year-old son of Abu’l-Fayż, ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen, was proclaimed khan, but the earliest known coins of ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen are dated 1160/1747 (see Vel’yaminov-Zernov, 1858, p. 408; Davidovich, p. 239). In any event, Moḥammad-Raḥīm apparently became atalïq (thus according to Moḥammad-Kāẓem, loc. cit.) and actual ruler (cf. ʿAbd-­al-Karīm Boḵārī, text, p. 51, tr., p. 111, according to whom the deposition of Abu’l-Fayż took place only after the death of Nāder Shah). With the help of his Qezelbāš and Ḡelzī supporters, Moḥammad-Raḥīm Atalïq was able to defeat the rebel Uzbek tribes of Mīānkal (the central part of the Zarafšān valley) and consolidated his rule in Bukhara by appointing his men to key positions in the administration. After the assas­sination of Nāder Shah (1160/1747), Moḥammad-Raḥīm Atalïq had Abu’l-Fayż Khan killed, probably in the same year, to judge from the date of the coins of Abu’l-Fayż’s son and successor (see above). ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen was also killed by order of Moḥammad-Raḥīm Atalïq, but the exact date is not clear (apparently between 1163/1750 and 1164/1751, see ʿAbd-al-Karīm Boḵārī, text, p. 52, tr., p. 115; Vel’yaminov-Zernov, 1855, II, Appendix, p. 16; idem, 1858, pp. 411-12). According to some sources, ʿAbd-al-Moʾmen was succeeded by another nominal khan, named ʿObayd-Allāh, who did not belong to the Janid dynasty, but in 1167/1753 Moḥammad-Raḥīm Atalïq himself was proclaimed khan (Vel’yaminov-Zernov, “Monety,” pp. 411-412); according to other sources, the enthronement of Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan occurred in 1160/1756 (Bartol’d, 1963, p. 279; the known coins of Moḥammad-­Raḥīm Khan do not have dates). The assumption of the title of khan by a non-Chingizid—contrary to the steppe tradition, which until then had been adhered to by the Uzbeks—had been “legitimized” by the earlier marriage of Moḥammad-Raḥīm to a daughter of Abu’l-Fayż Khan.

During all of his reign, Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan had to fight rebellious Uzbek tribes, whom he finally managed to pacify, but only after destroying several tribal fortresses and resettling the most troublesome groups. He reconquered Šahr-e Sabz, Ḥeṣār, and Kolāb and annexed such outlying areas as Ḵojand, Tashkent, and Turkestan. He lost, however, the regions south of the Amu Darya to Aḥmad Shah Dorrānī. When Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan died in 1172/1758, his grandson from a daughter, Fāżel Töre, was en­throned, while Moḥammad-Raḥīm’s uncle, Dānīāl Bī, was made his atalïq, but when several Uzbek tribes and provincial rulers rebelled, Dānīāl Bī deposed Fāżel Töre and put Abu’l-Ḡāzī, a Janid prince, on the throne as a puppet figure, while he himself was actual ruler. Under Dānīāl Bī the Manḡīt administration became stable, and his son and successor, Šāh-Morād (1200-15/1785-1801), deposed Abu’l-Ḡāzī and ascen­ded the throne himself. He and the subsequent rulers of the Manḡīt dynasty used amir as their main title (see bukhara iii).

In the khanate of Ḵīva the period of turmoil lasted longer than in Bukhara. The Manḡīt chieftains sup­ported by Nāder Shah were able to stay in power only for four years after Nāder’s death, and in 1165/1752 they were eliminated by Ḡāyeb Khan, a Kazakh Chingizid (Moʾnes and Āgahī, p. 171; in the Year of the Hen, i.e., 1153/1753). Ḡāyeb Khan attempted to gather more authority in his own hands but had to flee to the steppe when the Uzbeks again rebelled and his second successor, Tīmūr Ḡāzī Khan, was assassinated in 1177/1764 (Moʾnes and Āgahī, pp. 174-75). All the power in the country was now in the hands of Uzbek amirs, who used to invite khans from the steppe and depose them at will (a practice described by ʿAbd-al-­Karīm Boḵārī as ḵān-bāzī, text, p. 79, tr., p. 180). There were also fierce clashes between different Uzbek and Turkmen tribes, in which the chieftains of the Qongrats (Qonqrāt), apparently the largest Uzbek tribe in Ḵᵛā­razm and traditional enemies of the Manḡīts, gradually gained the upper hand, but not before the (Turkmen) Yomuts had captured Ḵīva in 1184/1770 (Moʾnes and Āgahī, p. 240), plunging the country into the state of total anarchy. Moḥammad-Amīn Inaq (Īnāq), the leader of the Qongrats, defeated and banished the Yomuts later the same year, but he continued to enthrone puppet khans from the Kazakh Chingizids, and during his entire rule as inaq (to 1204/1790, see Moʾnes and Āgahī, p. 308) he had to fight numerous rivals from other tribes. Under his son, ʿAważ Inaq (1204-18/1790-1804), the position of the inaq of Ḵīva was strengthened, and ʿAważ Inaq’s son and successor, Eltüzer Inaq, felt strong enough to depose the Chingizid puppet khan and have himself proclaimed khan (1219/1804; see Moʾnes and Āgahī, p. 425), founding the new dynasty of the Qongrats.

In the 12th/18th century a third Uzbek khanate emerged in the Farḡāna region. From the end of the 11th/17th century most of this region had been under the authority of the Naqšbandī shaikhs (khojas, ḵᵛājas) of the village of Čādak in the northern part of the valley, while the area of Ḵojand at its western end was dominated by the Uzbek tribe of Yüz. The leaders of another Uzbek tribe, the Ming, in the western part of the Farḡāna valley east of Ḵojand, gradually gathered strength and extended their influence to the entire valley. Šāhroḵ Bī Ming eliminated the khojas of Čādak in 1121/1709-10 (Nīāz-Moḥammad, p. 21). Another Ming ruler, ʿAbd-al-Karīm Bī, founded the city of Ḵoqand (Ḵūqand) in the western part of Farḡāna in 1153/1740 (ibid., pp. 28-30), which became the capital of the Mings. During the rule of Nārbūta Bī (ca. 1183-1213/1770-98) Farḡāna was finally united under the Mings and enjoyed relative stability, which contributed to an influx of population from other areas, especially Transoxiana and Kāšḡar. Nārbūta’s son and successor, ʿĀlem (1213-25/1798-1810), was the first Ming ruler to assume the title of khan and can be considered the founder of the dynasty. A genealogical legend, tracing the origin of the Ming rulers back to Bābor and thus relating them to Chingizids, provided the legitimization of the dynasty for the Uzbeks.

Thus, by the end of the 18th century three new Uzbek dynasties emerged in Central Asia, two in the previously existing states, Bukhara and Ḵᵛārazm, and one that founded a new khanate, that of Ḵoqand. However, these events did not simply belong to dynastic history but were indicative of some more important processes. The earlier political and economic decline of Central Asia (see above) can be attributed primarily to the decline of the international caravan trade in Asia and the growing isolation of Central Asia from the main routes of commercial and cultural exchange, parallel to the degradation of the Chingizid dynasties, the increasing role of nomads in the political life, and the growing independence of tribal chieftains, all of which combined to produce political anarchy. By contrast, the new economic and political revival may be attrib­uted to the growth of trade with Russia, which became especially rapid by the end of the century and helped the recovery of the old cities and the development of new urban centers and must have made more prominent the social and political role of the urban population, which by its very nature needs political stability. At the same time, there was a growing tendency toward sedentarization among the nomadic population, es­pecially the Uzbeks, and a part of their nobility, which had already acquired substantial landed property and wanted to develop it as their main source of income, was being drawn closer to the urban leadership. The greater political centralization in Central Asia that became evident by the end of the 12th/18th century can be attributed to these two convergent processes.

Such an explanation of the changes that took place is hypothetical, but in the case of Ḵᵛārazm, at least, it is confirmed by evidence showing close ties between the rising Qongrat dynasty and the notables of the Sarts, the local sedentary population (see Bregel, 1978). Similarly, some sources mention support given to Dānīāl Atalïq by the population of the city of Bukhara against the rebellious Uzbek tribes (see Chekhovich, 1956, p. 89).

In their centralizing efforts the three new Uzbek dynasties had to overcome the strong resistance of trib­al nobility. In this respect there was some similarity in the activity of the first energetic rulers of these states: Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan, Dānīāl Atalïq, and Šāh-­Morād in Bukhara; Eltüzer Khan (1218-21/1804-06) and Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan (1221-40/1806-25) in Ḵīva; and ʿĀlem Khan and ʿOmar Khan (1225-38/1810-­22) in Ḵoqand. The founders of these dynasties had to fight numerous wars with their opponents from other tribes, killing many and bringing the rest to submission. In Ḵᵛārazm these wars ended with the conquest of the town of Qongrat and the final annexation of Aral in 1226/1811. In Bukhara the tribes had already been sub­dued by Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan and Dānīāl Atalïq, but the final blow to the Uzbek tribal nobility came only under Amir Naṣr-Allāh (1242-77/1827-60), nick­named Amīr-e Qaṣṣāb (Amir the butcher) for his ruth­less extermination of all his opponents. For the same reason ʿĀlem Khan of Ḵoqand was nicknamed ʿĀlem-­Ẓālem (ʿĀlem the tyrant). In all three khanates the rulers organized military forces under the command of the khans’ own appointees, separate from the tribal militia. These were standing troops, mostly infantry (sarbāz) equipped with firearms, including some rudi­mentary artillery; in Ḵᵛārazm and Ḵoqand they appeared already at the beginning of the 13th/19th century, in Bukhara only in the 1240s-50s/1830s under Amir Naṣr-Allāh. They were recruited from the sedentary population, sometimes slaves or former slaves. Despite their small number and poor training they provided the central government with some leverage against the militarily declining Uzbek tribes. In addition, the khans of Ḵīva and Ḵoqand employed non-Uzbek troops, in Ḵīva Turkmen and in Ḵoqand Ḡāḷčas (i.e., Tajik mountaineers) and Afghan mercenaries.

The strengthening of the central government, how­ever, resulted in the establishment of despotic monar­chies. Bureaucracy increased, especially in Ḵᵛārazm and Ḵoqand (in Bukhara it was already fairly ramified), in which persons of low or, at least, non-Uzbek origin, such as former Persian slaves, Sarts, Turkmen (in Bukhara), and Tajiks (in Ḵoqand) but tied to the sov­ereign by personal loyalty often held key positions. There were, however, substantial differences between the administrative systems of the three khanates. The Khanate of Bukhara, by far the most populous and the richest of the three, was also the most autocratic, and the tribal nobility there retained very little of its former influence, although the Manḡīt aristocracy held a disproportionately great number of administrative positions. The provincial governors, though only appointed officials, exercised a great deal of autonomy; the collecting of taxes was their job. In Ḵᵛārazm, which was smaller and had a centralized irrigation system, the administration of the state was more centralized; very little authority was delegated to the provincial gover­nors, and taxes were collected by specially appointed officials from the central government once or twice a year. At the same time, the leaders of the Uzbek tribes, especially the Qongrat, the khan’s own tribe, had some influence on the khan, who, in accordance with the old steppe custom would consult them on all important matters. The tribal population (Turkmen, Karakal­paks, Kazakhs, Uzbeks of Aral) was not under the jurisdiction of provincial governors but were ruled by their own autonomous chiefs. The administrative system of the Khanate of Ḵoqand was closer to that of Bukhara, with the khans as despotic as the amirs of Bukhara and much of the local authority delegated to provincial governors.

Ethnically all three khanates remained highly heterogeneous. Bukhara had the greatest percentage of Per­sian-speaking Tajiks, especially in Bukhara and Samarkand and in the eastern part of the country, the foothills and the mountain valleys of the western extensions of the Pamirs. In the countryside in the central part of the Transoxiana, Tajiks often lived intermingled with Uzbeks and Turkic-speaking groups who lived there before the advent of the Uzbeks; some of them became Turcophone, although they would not call themselves Uzbek, a name that throughout the 13th/19th century was used only for the tribal population. A large portion of the sedentary people—in the cities probably the majority—were bilingual and identified themselves more with their locality than with any particular ethnic group. In the Amu Darya valley, from Kerki to Čārjūy, there was a sizeable Turkman population, which in many places was also interspersed with Tajiks and Uzbeks, however. In Ḵᵛārazm ethnic divisions were more distinct. The old sedentary Iranian population, which had been finally Turkicized during the Mongol period, the Sarts, was concentrated mainly in the southern part of the country, both in the cities and countryside. The Uzbeks, although mixing freely with them, retained their tribal affiliation and separate identity, and the majority of them lived in the northern half of the country (the nomadic or seminomadic groups in the Aral). The Turkmen, who formed com­pact tribal groups along the southern and western fringes of the oasis of Ḵᵛārazm, made up almost 25 percent of its total population in the mid-13th/19th century, and the Karakalpaks, another compact group, occupied a large part of the Aral. Similar distinct ethnic divisions existed in the Khanate of Ḵoqand. There the sedentary population consisted of Sarts, tribal Uzbeks (Mings and others), and Tajiks (both the Tajiks of Farḡāna, who retained their Persian language, and the mountaineers, Kūhestānī or Ḡāḷča). The nomadic population, concentrated mainly in the central and northern parts of Farḡāna, consisted of Kipčaks and Kirghiz, but increased greatly after the annexation of the southern portions of the Dašt-e Qepčāq and the Kirghiz lands (see below). In all three khanates the tribal Uzbeks still had a somewhat higher social status, providing most men for the army and filling most positions at the court and in the central and provincial administration. However, their elite already had to share power with that of the Sarts and the Tajiks. Their monopoly on the military was also lost. In Ḵᵛārazm the Turkmen provided the best fighting force and, in exchange for their service, enjoyed a partially tax-­exempt status. In Ḵoqand Kipčaks and Kirghiz were at least as important militarily as the Uzbeks.

In the cultural field the Khanate of Bukhara is often considered as having been the most advanced, being the main heir to the great cultural achievements of Transoxiana in earlier periods, with the city of Bukhara still the center of Islamic religious life and learning in Central Asia. But after the Timurid period it had be­come a hotbed of extreme bigotry rather than a center of enlightenment. By contrast, Ḵīva and Ḵoqand, although inferior to Bukhara in various aspects of material life and much less important as religious centers, showed greater dynamism in certain spheres of secular culture. The most notable example is the vigorous literary activity in these khanates, especially the development of literature in Chaghatay, both original and translated from Persian. Of the three states the Khanate of Ḵīva was the most Turkic, with Chaghatay as the language of literature and chancery and Persian only known by the learned and probably still surviving among some Sarts as the second language. The culture of the Khanate of Ḵoqand was bilingual, though Tajik was used more than Turkic in literature and was almost the sole language used in the chancery. In the Khanate of Bukhara, Tajik was practically the only language of literature and chancery, and Trans­oxania was therefore looked upon as a Tajik country by the Uzbeks of Ḵᵛārazm, who used to refer even to the troops of Bukhara, somewhat contemptuously, as the Tajik army, although it contained mainly Uzbek soldiers. The linguistic picture reflected fairly well the relative importance of Turkic- and Tajik-speaking groups in the urban life of the khanates.

The trend towards centralization and unification in the political life of Central Asia in the 13th/19th century remained inconclusive. Parts of sedentary areas were not incorporated in either of three khanates. The principality of Šahr-e Sabz, less than fifty miles south of Samarkand, was completely independent from Bukhara for at least three decades under the chiefs of the Uzbek tribe Keneges, traditional enemies of the Manḡīts, and the amir was able to subjugate it only in 1856, after numerous military campaigns. Farther east, the province of Ḥeṣār, whose ruler was a close relative of the amir, for most of the time remained semi­-independent. The principality of Ura-Tübe, between the khanates of Bukhara and Ḵoqand and dominated by the Uzbek tribe of Yüz, was a bone of contention and the cause of frequent wars between these khanates, though neither managed to annex it. The mountain principalities of Kolāb, Qarātegīn, and Darvāz also remained independent (the last two under Tajik rulers), except for a very brief period in the 1240s-50s/1830s, when they were subjected to Ḵoqand, and lived their own life, being very little connected with the rest of Central Asia.

Attempts at territorial expansion made by the rulers of all three khanates after their internal unification met only with partial success. The least successful was Bukhara. Šāh-Morād captured Marv and installed his own governor, but in 1238/1823 the oasis of Marv, which was now inhabited by Turkmen after having been devastated by wars and its sedentary population having been deported to Bukhara, was lost to Ḵīva. In 1259/1843 wars with Ḵīva over Marv were renewed and continued until 1271/1855, when the local Turk­men became independent from both khanates. Šāh-­Morād also attempted to regain the regions of Afghan Turkestan previously lost to Aḥmad Shah Dorrānī, but without success, and the Amu Darya remained the border with Afghanistan. The frequent wars with Ḵoqand, mainly over Ura-Tübe, were equally unsuc­cessful. In 1258/1842 Amir Naṣr-Allāh, taking advan­tage of a rebellion in Ḵoqand against Moḥammad-ʿAlī Khan, was able to capture the city of Ḵoqand itself; but three months later the Bukharans were driven out by popular rebellion. As a final result of these wars the area of the khanate under the Manḡīts was somewhat reduced, rather than enlarged.

The Mings were much more successful. ʿĀlem Khan had conquered Tashkent in 1224/1809, and the posses­sion of this city gave the khanate great advantage both because of the economic importance of Tashkent as a rapidly growing center of trade with Russia and because of its strategic location close to the Kazakh steppe. Soon Tashkent served as a springboard for the expan­sion of the Khanate of Ḵoqand into the steppe. In 1230/1815 ʿOmar Khan conquered Turkestan, which had earlier nominally belonged to Bukhara. Soon after that the entire southern part of the Dašt-e Qepčāq, from close to the Syr Darya delta in the west to the Ili river in the east, was incorporated into the khanate. A fortress named Āq Masjed was built in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya controlling the trade routes to Russia from Tashkent, Bukhara, and Ḵᵛārazm. Under Moḥammad-ʿAlī Khan (1238-58/1822-42), son and successor of ʿOmar, the expansion continued even more vigorously. In 1241/1826 troops from Ḵoqand came to Kāšḡar in support of the anti-Chinese rebellion of Jangir (Jahāngīr) Ḵᵛāja. The second campaign into Eastern Turkestan took place in 1246/1830, when Kāšḡar, Yārkand, and Khotan were captured; three months later the troops had to return, but the next year, after negotiations with China, Ḵoqand obtained the right to collect customs duties in the six cities of Eastern Turkestan. An offensive against the Kirghiz of the Tien Shan, which began in 1246/1831, had more lasting territorial results: all regions inhabited by the Kirghiz were annexed, and within a few years a number of fortresses were built on the Kirghiz territory and especially along the Chinese border, thus securing the new acquisitions. Similarly, fortresses were built in the Kazakh steppe. In 1250/1834 Moḥammad-ʿAlī Khan also conquered the Tajik mountain principality of Qarātegīn, which remained under authority of Ḵoqand for more than twenty years (during the first ten years together with Darvāz, another mountain principality). By the end of the 1830s the territory occupied by Ḵoqand, although probably not its population, had therefore become larger than that of the other two khanates.

The Khanate of Ḵīva also embarked on territorial expansion from the early years of the Qongrat dynasty. Its main efforts, similar to those of the Mings, were directed toward its nomadic neighbors: Karakalpaks and Kazakhs in the north and Turkmen in the south. The Karakalpaks, most of whom had migrated during the 12th/18th century from the middle course of the Syr Darya to the eastern shores of the Aral Sea and partly to the Amu Darya delta, were subdued in 1226/1811 by Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan and resettled in the Amu Darya delta. In 1231-37/1816-22, after a series of Khivan military raids, a part of the Kazakhs of the Junior Horde (Kši Žuz), who had their winter pastures between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya, recognized the authority of the khan of Ḵīva and began to pay zakāt. The expansion into the Kazakh steppe continued under Moḥammad-Raḥīm’s successor, Allāh­qolī Khan (1240-58/1825-42). Several small fortresses were built near the lower reaches of the Syr Darya, based on which the Khivan troops could go far into the steppe collecting zakāt from the Kazakhs of the Junior horde; similar expeditions were directed to the Kazakhs nomadizing on the Üst-Yurt plateau, west of the Aral Sea. The main targets of the Khivan expansion, however, remained Khorasan and the Turkmen tribes living along its northern rim. Immediately after the uni­fication of Ḵᵛārazm in 1226/1811 Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan began a series of almost annual military cam­paigns against Khorasan and the Turkmen, primarily the Teke tribe in Aḵāl and Atak. In his campaigns in Khorasan he sometimes received support from Kurdish khans discontented with the governor of Khorasan, Moḥammad-Walī Mīrzā (the later khans of Ḵīva also used to take advantage of the feuds in Khorasan and received help from some of the local khans). These campaigns, however, were never aimed at territorial acquisitions but were rather marauding raids, and did not penetrate very far into Persian territory. By the end of Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan’s reign most of the Tekes had to recognize the authority of Ḵīva, and Turkmen would supply soldiers to the Khivan army during its campaigns against Khorasan and pay zakāt (sometimes only when military force was sent to collect it). How­ever, Ḵīva was not able to establish any strongholds in Khorasan (as it had done in the 10th/16th century, when the ʿArabšāhī khans had their appanages there). Raids against Khorasan and the Turkmen continued until 1271/1855 under Allāhqolī Khan and his successors, causing much devastation. During these cam­paigns some Turkmen groups were forcibly brought from Khorasan to Ḵᵛārazm and settled there, while others migrated to Ḵᵛārazm voluntarily, boosting the Turkmen population of the khanate and strengthening the Khivan army, but also increasing the number of potentially unreliable subjects in Ḵᵛārazm itself. The oasis of Marv, inhabited by the Sarïq (Sarēq) and Teke Turkmen, was subdued by Ḵīva in 1239/1823 and was ruled by a Khivan governor, but was again lost in 1259/1843 after the Turkmen rebelled and allied themselves with Bukhara. This caused a war between Ḵīva and Bukhara and a series of raids against Marv and its new submission by Ḵīva in 1265/1849. The submission did not last long, and from 1267/1851 Moḥammad-Amīn Khan was leading annual campaigns against the Turkmen of Marv. The Turkmen received some help from the Qajar governors of Daragaz, who sent a small garrison to Marv, but in 1270/1854 Marv was conquered by the Khivans. Already in 1271/1855, however, the army of Moḥammad-Amīn Khan was routed by the Turkmen when he turned against the Teke of Saraḵs, and the khan was killed. Persian troops under Farīdūn Mīrzā Qajar participated in this battle on the side of the Turkmen, and after the victory Farīdūn Mīrzā installed a Persian governor in Marv. Soon after this a struggle for domination in Marv between the Sarïqs and the Teke began. The Sarïqs were supported by the Persians, but the Teke were victorious. In 1277/1861 a Persian army under Ḥamza Mīrzā Ḥešmat-al-Dawla was sent against Marv but was totally defeated by the Turkmen under Qowšut Khan. Two years earlier, in 1275/1858, the united forces of the Göklens, the Teke of Aḵāl, and the Yomūts had defeated the Persian army under Jaʿfarqolī Khan near Qarrï-qaʿla (near the Sumbar river). These three victories made the Turkmen tribes of northern Khorasan entirely independent of both Ḵīva and Persia, and all the gains of the previous expansion of Ḵīva into the Turkmen lands were lost.

The lack of political unification of the whole of Central Asia combined with the probably even more important fact that the khanates were incompletely centralized, especially Ḵīva and Ḵoqand with sizeable nomadic and semi-nomadic populations, had serious consequences for the future of the region. While the pro­cess of sedentarization of these groups was accelerated in the 13th/19th century, the khanates were unable to provide irrigated lands to all of them, and struggle between the old sedentary and the newly sedentarized population groups became a major source of instability in Ḵīva and Ḵoqand. The nomads also resented the government’s attempts at tightening the administrative control and increasing their taxes. In addition, the Turkmen of Ḵᵛārazm apparently lost interest in the increasingly unsuccessful and unprofitable military campaigns of Ḵīva. In 1271/1855, after the disaster at Saraḵs, a Turkmen and Karakalpak rebellion began in Ḵᵛārazm, which continued intermittently until 1284/1867 (the Karakalpaks lasted only 6 months). Such protracted hostilities weakened the khanate economically and politically. Substantial parts of lands that had been irrigated in the first half of the century were now devastated and abandoned, and the khanate had to stop all its military ventures in the south. In Ḵoqand the conflicts between the sedentary and the sedentariz­ing groups, especially the Kipčaks, grew even more acute, and after the defeat of Ḵoqand and its brief occupation by the amir of Bukhara in 1258/1842, violent fights between them broke out frequently. For about eight years (1260-68/1844-52) all power in the country belonged to the Kipčaks, who were seizing the lands of the sedentary population and committing numerous acts of violence, until Ḵodāyār Khan (first reign 1261-75/1845-58) organized a coup followed by the massacre of a large number of Kipčaks. This did not, however, put an end to internal feuds in the khanate in the course of which pretenders to the throne were supported by the Kipčaks together with Kirghiz and other nomads, and Ḵodāyār Khan lost his throne twice (1275/1858 and 1280/1863). Meanwhile the Rus­sians had already begun their military advance into Central Asia.

II. The Russian conquest of Central Asia and the first decades of Russian rule.

Direct contacts between Russia and the sedentary states of Central Asia became possible only after the conquest of the khanates of Kazan (1552) and Astra­khan (1556) by Ivan the Terrible. In 1558 Anthony Jenkinson, a representative of the English Muscovy Company, went from Moscow to Ḵīva and Bukhara, trying to find a land route to China and carrying an official message from the tsar to the local rulers. He returned the next year accompanied by envoys from Ḵīva, Bukhara, and Balḵ. This event is usually regarded as the beginning of regular diplomatic exchanges between Russia and the Central Asian khanates. The exchanges were concerned primarily with the questions of trade, as Russia was gradually becoming Central Asia’s main trade partner, but also with the release of Russian subjects captured by Kazakhs and Kalmyks along the Russian borders and by Turkmen on the shores of the Caspian Sea and sold as slaves to the Central Asian khanates. The Russian government constantly tried to obtain their release, but without much success. This did not, however, cause any major crisis in the relations between the two sides before the 13th/19th century. While the relations between Russia and the sedentary khanates were not marred by serious incidents until the early 12th/18th century, Russia’s relations with the Kazakhs, its immediate neighbors, were becoming more and more strained because of the slow encroachment of Russian settlers on the Kazakh pastures along the northern fringes of the Kazakh steppe and frequent exchanges of plundering raids between the Kazakhs and the Russians. In 1715 Peter the Great, prompted by information about the internal feuds in the khanates, as well as rumors of gold deposits found in Central Asia and wishing to find river routes from Central Asia to India, sent two military expeditions: one from Astrakhan to Ḵīva, under the com­mand of Prince Bekovich-Cherkasskiĭ, with a force of about 3,000 men, and another from Tobolsk up the Irtysh river, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Buchholtz, with a detachment of more than 4,000. Both expeditions ended in failure: the Bekovich party was totally annihilated by the Khivans in 1717, while the Buchholtz party was repulsed, with heavy losses, by the (Mongol) Junghars in 1716 near Lake Yamyshevo.

The failure of Peter’s ventures in Central Asia showed that attempts to establish Russian presence in the khanates would be futile as long as they were separated from the Russian territory by hundreds of miles of steppes. Peter the Great himself is said to have realized that the Kazakh horde “is the key and gate to all the Asian countries and lands, and for this reason it is necessary that this horde be under Russian protection” (Donelly, p. 212). The subsequent Russian governments therefore directed their attention to these steppes and their Kazakh inhabitants, while continuing the usual trade and diplomatic relations with the khanates. In the first quarter of the 18th century, when the Kazakhs were suffering from Junghar raids, the Russian govern­ment took advantage of their difficult situation, as well as the desire of some of the Kazakh rulers to strengthen their own position within the Kazakh society with Russian support and had a number of Kazakh khans and tribal chieftains take an oath of allegiance to Russia between 1731 and 1740. This allegiance remained purely nominal until the end of the 18th century, when the Russian government took steps to transform it into a real submission in order to protect the growing Russian settlements in Western Siberia from Kazakh raids and, especially, to protect the rapidly growing Russian caravan trade with the Central Asian khanates. This could not be accomplished without a political stabilization of the steppe and the establishment of a firm Russian authority there. But here the Russian interests clashed with the interests of the Central Asian khanates, particularly those of Ḵoqand and Ḵīva.

While Russia was expanding southward into the Kazakh steppe, the khanates of Ḵoqand and Ḵīva were simultaneously expanding northward (see above). The expansion of Ḵīva into the territory of the Junior Horde, and especially an active support given by Ḵīva to all Kazakh leaders who did not recognize Russian authority, together with plundering of Russian trade caravans by Khivan troops or by the Kazakhs under the Khivan patronage, as well as the accounts about the Russian slaves in the khanate, increasingly worried and irritated the Russian government. Several years of growing tension resulted in a military expedition against Ḵīva undertaken in winter 1839/40 from Orenburg. It ended in failure: the Russian troops suffered from a severe winter and after heavy losses of men and pack animals they had to turn back. After this setback the Russian government reconsidered its strategy. Attempts at immediate conquest of the Khanate of Ḵīva were abandoned, and instead the Russians strengthened their positions in the steppes and moved them closer to the sedentary areas of Central Asia. This finally made it possible to bring the Kazakhs to submission and created a springboard for the conquest of the khanates. In 1847 the Raimovskoe (from 1851 Aral’skoe) fortress was built near the Syr Darya delta to serve as a Russian base in the southern part of the steppes, and other fortresses followed. Simultaneously, Russian positions advanced also on the eastern side of the Kazakh steppe, and in 1847 a fortress named Kopal was built in the Samirech’e region. The Russian advance on the Syr Darya and in the Samirech’e alarmed the Khoqandians, and in 1852 Khoqandian and Russian troops clashed twice on the Syr Darya. In 1853 Russian troops under Perovskiĭ, governor general of Orenburg, captured Āq Masjed, the Khoqandian stronghold in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya, which was then renamed Fort Perovskiĭ. In the east, the Russians at the same time crossed the Ili and occupied the southern part of the Samirech’e. In 1854 the fortress Vernoe was founded in this region, later to become the city of Vernyĭ (modern Alma-Ata).

The Russian advance on the Syr Darya and in the Samirech’e was the beginning of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the Central Asian khanates, which in a short time led to their conquest. The motives for this conquest were manifold, and it is hardly possible to indicate any “main cause.” Already in the Russian expansion into the Kazakh steppes political and military considerations (defense of the southern border) were closely connected with commer­cial interests (security of Russian trade caravans). While Russia was gradually annexing the steppes and coming into collision with the Central Asian khanates, new motives for her expansion emerged. Rapid development of Russian industry in the second quarter of the 19th century had no parallel in the growth of the purchasing capacity of the population, a great majority of which, until 1861, were serfs. Therefore Russia needed foreign markets for her industrial goods not less than the more industrialized Western nations. Since these goods were not competitive on the European markets, a natural direction for the Russian trade expansion was to the east, especially to Central Asia, a region with strong traditional commercial ties with Russia. By the mid-19th century, the prevailing opinion in Russian commercial circles was that under the political conditions of Central Asia the only way to ensure the Russian trade interests in that region was to establish Russian rule there or, at least, firm political control. An additional and important argument for such a solution was the grow­ing fear of British trade competition in Central Asia. The advocates of Russian expansion even warned about similar British schemes and demanded that British advance to Central Asia through Afghanistan be fore­stalled by prompt Russian action. It is doubtful that the Russian government at any time took seriously the British threat to Central Asia, but it was used as a justification for the Russian expansion.

Although Russian trade interests in Central Asia figure prominently not only in contemporary Russian writings but also in many official Russian documents, it is not at all certain that the political and military decisions of the Russian government concerning Central Asia were dictated primarily by these economic con­siderations. It seems that Russian global political interests, especially related to the Anglo-Russian rivalry, played an equally, sometimes even more, important role in determining the Russian policy in Central Asia. After its defeat in the Crimean War (1853-56) Russia was eager to restore its military prestige and position among the European powers. It also tended to use its expansion (or threat of expansion) in Central Asia to put pressure on Britain in European affairs.

The Central Asian khanates played only a passive role in the political game in which their future was decided. Their military means to resist the Russian expansion were totally inadequate against the overwhelming military superiority of Russia. The rulers of the khanates, who had little, if any, knowledge of the outside world, did not appreciate the imminent danger and made no serious attempts to join their forces to mount resistance. Sometimes they even tried to avail themselves of the difficult situation of a neighbor pressed by the Russians to snatch a piece of territory for themselves (see below).

It took Russia 22 years from the beginning of the offensive in 1864 to complete the conquest of entire Central Asia south of the Syr Darya, after first occupy­ing all steppe regions in the south that had been under the control of Ḵoqand. Planned already in 1854, the occupation had been delayed by the Crimean War and was not undertaken until 1863. In the meantime the Russians made attempts to achieve some of their goals by peaceful means, especially improving trade con­ditions for the Russian merchants, for which purpose a mission headed by N. P. Ignat’ev was sent to Ḵīva and Bukhara in 1858. The mission gave no results and only strengthened the opinion among the high Russian officials that military action was needed. A broad offensive was preceded by a number of reconnaissance raids in 1858-63, especially to the south of the Ili. In 1863 a considerable part of the mountainous Kirghiz country to the south of Lake Issyk-Kul was annexed to Russia. In 1864 an agreement between Russia and China was signed, in which the frontier line between the two states was established, thus protecting the rear of the Russian troops advancing into the Khanate of Ḵoqand from the east (see Khalfin, 1960, p. 180). In December 1863 the tsar signed a decree requiring that a new border line should be drawn through Sūzak (east of Syr Darya) and Awlīā-Ata (present-day Jambul in Kazakhstan) and later even farther south, adding Chimkent (in southern Kazakhstan) and Turkestan to the Russian territory. The Khanate of Ḵoqand, the first target of the Russian offensive, took belated measures to strengthen its defenses in Tashkent and in the steppe regions. The Russian troops set out in May 1864 from the Syr Darya line and the Trans-Ili region and had little difficulty in capturing Turkestan and Awlīā-Ata. The establishment of the “New Khoqandian” line was announced, and Major-General M. G. Chernyaev was appointed its commander. Chernyaev continued the offensive, but in July 1864 he was repelled from Chimkent, which was defended by the ruler of Ḵoqand Mollā ʿĀlem-qul. Soon after this, however, the army of Bukhara invaded the Farḡāna valley, ʿĀlem-qul had to leave Chimkent, and Chernyaev, seizing the opportunity, went in and in September 1864 captured the city. A week later he moved against Tashkent, but here, too, he was repelled by the Khoqandian garrison.

A short period of consolidation of the Russian conquests followed, during which the Russian govern­ment began to reorganize the annexed territories. In January 1865, all territories captured from Ḵoqand, from the Aral Sea to Lake Issyk-Kul, were united in one Turkestan oblast, and Chernyaev became its first military governor. He pursued his plans of capturing Tashkent, taking advantage of a new military campaign of the amir of Bukhara against Ḵoqand, and especially of the dissent among the population of Tashkent, where a pro-Russian party had been formed led by influential merchants interested in peace and trade with Russia. In May 1865, in a battle near Tashkent, the troops of Ḵoqand were defeated and Mollā ʿĀlem-qul killed. On 2 Ṣafar/27 June Chernyaev stormed the city, and on 4 Ṣafar/29 June it surrendered to the Russians. For a year after this the Russian government was considering the idea of creating an “independent” Tashkent khanate, but this plan proved infeasible, and in August 1866 the annexation of Tashkent was pro­claimed by a decree from the tsar.

Already before the formal annexation of Tashkent, the relations between Russia and the Khanate of Bukhara had become very tense. The invasion of Farḡāna in the summer of 1865 by Amir Moẓaffar-al-­Dīn and his arrival at Ḵoqand aroused Russian sus­picions about a possible joint action of Bukhara and Ḵoqand against the Russians in Tashkent. The amir demanded that the Russians withdraw from Tashkent, and in response all Bukharan merchants on the territory of the Turkestan region and the governorate-general of Orenburg were arrested and their goods sequestered. In the fall of 1865 skirmishes began between Russian and Bukharan troops to the south of Tashkent. In January-February 1866 Chernyaev crossed the Syr Darya and tried to capture the Bukharan town of Jīzak; the operation failed, and Chernyaev was recalled to St. Petersburg and replaced by General D. I. Romanovskiĭ. In May 1866, in the locality of Īrjār, the Bukharan army under the command of the amir himself was defeated and fled. The battle was followed by the capture of Ḵojand, the key to the Farḡāna valley (a part of the Khanate of Ḵoqand, which did not take part in the hostilities). Ḵojand was officially annexed to Russia together with Tashkent in August 1866, and the Khanate of Ḵoqand was thus reduced to the Farḡāna valley. The Russians submitted to Bukhara their conditions for peace, which were deliberately made unacceptable, and when the amir failed to comply the Russian troops resumed the offensive and took Ura-Tübe and Jīzak (in October 1866) and Yani­-Qurghan (in May 1867).

In July 1867 the Russian government decided how the conquered territories were to be organized: a new governorate-general of Turkestan, with the center in Tashkent, was created, which comprised all lands conquered by the Russians in Central Asia since 1847 and was subdivided into two oblasts, Syr Darya and Semirech’e. A year later, an administrative reform of the steppe regions was carried out; it divided the Kazakh territories into four regions, two of which were subordinate to the governor-general of Orenburg, and the other two to the governor-general of Western Siberia. This reform, together with the transfer of the Russian customs border from the old Orenburg-Irtysh line that had taken place two years earlier, marked the final annexation of the Kazakh steppe. The first Governor-General of Turkestan, who replaced Romanovskiĭ, was General A. P. von Kaufman. He was given almost unlimited authority, including the right to wage wars, conduct diplomatic negotiations, and conclude conventions and treaties with the neighboring states at his own discretion. This extraordinary power and the pomp with which he surrounded himself in Tashkent gained him the nickname “Half-Emperor” (Yarïm Pādešāh) among the population of Central Asia.

In January 1868 Kaufman imposed a commercial convention on Ḵoqand, which guaranteed the Russian merchants various privileges and symbolized the end of hostilities between the khanate and Russia (no formal peace treaty was concluded). In April 1868, Amir Moẓaffar-al-Dīn, yielding to the militant mullahs of Bukhara and Samarkand, proclaimed holy war against Russia. On 1 May Kaufman defeated Bukharan troops on the Čopān-Ata heights near Samarkand, and the next day Samarkand fell. On 2 June the army of Bukhara under the amir was again utterly defeated on Zīrabūlāq heights, after which the amir capitulated. On 9 Rabīʿ I/30 June he signed the peace conditions submitted by Kaufman. The khanate recognized the loss of all territories conquered by the Russians, agreed to pay war indemnity, and opened the country to the Russian merchants with the same provisions that had been established with the Khanate of Ḵoqand earlier. Although no formal clauses recognizing the Russian protectorate and limiting the sovereignty of the khanates were included in the 1868 treaties with either Ḵoqand or Bukhara, in fact they were both at the mercy of the Russians and had to comply with their demands. After the defeat of Bukhara, Russian attention was focused on Ḵīva. At the end of 1869 a detachment of Russian troops from Caucasus landed in Krasnovodsk Bay, on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea, where they founded the city of Krasnovodsk. During 1287-89/1870-72 several expeditions crossed the deserts both from the west and east in the direction of Ḵīva to reconnoiter. The khan of Ḵīva, Moḥammad-Raḥīm II (from 1281/1864), and his advisers showed a total lack of under­standing of the situation and claimed the Syr Darya as Ḵīva’s frontier, protested the Russian landing at Krasnovodsk, and supported the Kazakh revolt against the Russians on the Mangïšlaq (Manḡešlāq). In the spring of 1290/1873, Russian troops under Kaufman set out against Ḵīva from Tashkent, Orenburg, and two points on the Caspian coast. They met with little resis­tance, and on 13 Rabīʿ II/10 June Ḵīva was captured, and Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan surrendered to Kauf­man. Kaufman remained with his troops in Ḵīva for two and a half months, and in July he launched a brutal punitive raid against Khivan Turkmen, slaughtering hundreds of them and destroying their settlements. On 29 Jomādā II 1290/24 August 1873, Kaufman signed a treaty with Moḥammad-Raḥīm Khan, who in its first article declared himself the “obedient servant” of the Russian emperor and renounced his right to conduct independent foreign relations. Russia annexed the whole territory of the khanate on the right bank of the Amu Darya, as well as the entire Üst-Yurt plateau. Navigation on the Amu Darya was put under total control of Russia. The khanate was opened to Russian trade, and Russian subjects residing there received special legal status. The khanate had to pay a huge war indemnity.

Shortly after the conclusion of the treaty with Ḵīva, another was concluded with Bukhara, according to which Bukhara, while giving Russia some additional privileges in the khanate, still preserved its formal sovereignty. The Khanate of Ḵoqand, on the contrary, ceased to exist very soon. As a result of a popular discontent with the oppressive rule of Ḵodāyār Khan, disturbances began in the Farḡāna valley already in 1290-91/1873-74, which were suppressed by the khan, but in 1292/1875 a rebellion broke out under a religious leader who assumed the name of Polād Khan. The rebellion swiftly gained scope, was joined by the troops and local leaders, and assumed an anti-Russian character. Kaufman moved the Russian army into Farḡāna, put down the rebellion, had Polād Khan executed, and the Khanate of Ḵoqand was abolished on 5 Ṣafar 1293/2 February 1876; it was annexed to the governorate-general of Turkestan as Farḡāna oblast.

After the reduction of Bukhara, Ḵīva, and Ḵoqand, the turn came to the Turkmen. Having established themselves on the Mangïšlaq and in Krasnovodsk, the Russians advanced gradually into the Turkmen territory. First they were met mostly friendly by the coastal Turkmen, but very soon the behavior of the Russian troops, especially requisitions of great numbers of camels, tents, and food from the Turkmen, caused grow­ing resistance. In August 1879 a Russian expeditionary force under General A. A. Lomakin was repelled with heavy losses from the fortress of Gök-Tepe (near modern Ashkhabad), which was defended by the Teke Turkmen. A new campaign against the Teke started in 1880 under General M. D. Skobelev, who in January 1881 stormed Gök-Tepe after a three-week-long siege. About 15,000 Teke Turkmen were killed, and their resistance was broken. The oasis of Aḵāl was annexed to Russia and, together with the lands on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea that had been annexed earlier, formed the Transcaspian oblast subordinate to the vicegerent of the Caucasus. At the end of 1881 Russia signed a convention with Persia establishing the frontiers between the two states (see boundaries ii). The Turkmen of Marv, intimidated by the advance of a Russian military detachment in their direction, at the end of 1883 decided to accept the Russian sovereignty, and Marv was occupied by the Russians in March 1884. The Iolatan and Pende (Panjdeh) oases, further up the Morḡāb river, were annexed in the same year. The Russian frontier with Afghanistan between the Tejen (Harīrūd) and the Amu Darya was finally established in 1887 (see boundaries iii). The end of the Russian expansion in Central Asia was marked by the agreements between Russia and China in 1894 and between Russia and England in 1895, which established the boundaries in the Pamirs and secured most of this mountainous country for the Russian empire.

Administration of the conquered territories under­went several modifications (the most important in 1886) and received its final form only in 1899; it has remained unchanged until 1917. Since 1899 the governorate­-general of Turkestan consisted of five regions: Syr Darya, Farḡāna, Samarkand, Semirech’e, and Trans­caspia; the regions of Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk formed the governorate-general of the Steppe, and the regions of Turgaĭ and Ural’sk were subordinate to the minister of the interior. Following the pattern of the administrative structure in the rest of Russia, the regions were subdivided into uezds and the uezds into volost’s. The administration was military in character, however, and the governor-general was always a serving general subject to the war ministry (in the Steppe governorate-general, to the ministry of the interior). The governors of the oblasts and the “uezd commandants” were also military officers. All governors were both heads of the civil administration and commanders of troops quartered in their respective provinces. The administration of the lower units, heads of volost’s and elders of the kishlaks (villages), were natives elected by popular vote. Officially this system was called “military-­popular administration” (voenno-narodnoe upravlenie); it resulted, on one hand, from the Russian government’s belief that only firm military rule could keep the country in the hands of the Russians, by far outnumbered by the natives, and, on the other hand, from the desire to make the local administration as inexpensive as possible. Despite the efforts of a few able and devoted Russian officials, the general level of the administration of Turkestan was low even by the average Russian standards and was notorious for its malpractice and corruption.

The khanates of Bukhara and Ḵīva each had a special status. Bukhara did not officially become a Russian protectorate, and its amir was treated by the Russian government as an independent ruler. Amir ʿAbd-al-­Aḥad (1302-28/1885-1910) even played a visible role in Russian society, visiting Russia annually and being received at court in St. Petersburg. Until 1888 official relations between the khanate and Russia were con­ducted as before the Russian conquest, through the exchange of occasional embassies between Bukhara and Tashkent. Only in 1888 was the Russian Political Agency in Bukhara established, which gave the political agent a dual responsibility, to the foreign ministry in St. Petersburg and to the governor-general in Tashkent. Greater control of the khanate came with the construc­tion of the railroad through its territory and the establishment of Russian border posts on the Amu Darya, which also became Russia’s customs border in 1895 (see also bukhara iii). The Khanate of Ḵīva never enjoyed even a semblance of independence. All relations between the khanate and Russia were conducted through the commandant of the Amu Darya district (otdel) in Petroaleksandrovsk. The khan was not treated by the Russians as an independent ruler and did not often visit Russia. The reasons for the lower status of the Khanate of Ḵīva and its ruler under the Russian power were the difference in the circumstances of the conquest of Bukhara and Ḵīva and Ḵīva’s lesser economic and strategic importance. The two protectorates had one thing in common, however: the Russian government did not interfere in their internal affairs and administration, being content as long as peace was preserved, the rulers were in full command, and the legal rights of Russian subjects, especially merchants, were observed. The entire administrative and social structure of the khanates also remained unchanged, except that their armies were reduced and slavery was abolished. This policy of nonintervention attracted severe criticism, both from Russian liberals, who blamed the government for supporting backward despotic regimes within the Russian empire, and from many Russian officials in Turkestan, who, using the same arguments, demanded the annexation of Bukhara and Ḵīva, but the Russian government consistently rejected such demands, being reluctant to shoulder the financial burden of the administration of the khanates.

The Russian rule in Central Asia most of all affected its economy, though the changes did not occur over­night. At first the Russian administration did not interfere much with existing conditions, except in matters of security and general political issues, and for two decades the old system of landownership and taxes remained almost unchanged. Reforms were finally introduced by the statute of 1886 (see above), which called for the restructuring of the administration. In the sedentary areas, the land was proclaimed the property of those who cultivated it, “according to the custom.” The measure was of course political, intended to undermine the economic and social positions of the landed aristocracy, which as a rule was the section of the local population most hostile to the Russians (the waqfs, however, were not touched). Taxes were simplified and somewhat lessened. The system of land tenure, however, did not change significantly: most farmers were small owners, and various sharecrop systems were widespread. Contemporary Russian reports pointed out that farmers’ lands were increasingly parceled out and the land concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, a process caused especially by the growth of the market economy and the cotton production.

Demand in Russia for Central Asian cotton had increased sharply during the 1860s as a result of the Civil War in the United States, the main supplier of cotton until then. However, Central Asian cotton, being of inferior quality, could not replace American cotton, and, although its consumption in Russia continued to grow slowly after the Civil War, it could no longer compete with the American product: in the mid-1880s Central Asia supplied only 15 percent of Russia’s cotton needs. In the early 1880s, however, American cotton was introduced to Central Asia, and from 1884 to 1889, only five years, the area planted with American cotton became twice as large as the area under the local variety. At the beginning of the 20th century, more than a half of the total income from the agricultural production of Russian Turkestan (that is, without the khanates) came from cotton, and Central Asia supplied 50 percent of Russia’s cotton needs. Thus, Central Asia was on the road to becoming a land of one-crop agriculture, especially Farḡāna, whose cotton acreage was about two thirds of the total for the governorate-general of Turkestan. Russian influence on the development of other areas of agriculture was much less and was seen not so much in technical improvements as in the introduction of new or improved crops and the expan­sion of existing ones, such as the introduction of sugar beets and the Chinese variety of rice, as well as grapes for making wine. The Russian administration also had little success with the construction of irrigation works: two big projects, the irrigation of the Hunger Steppe, south of Tashkent, and the Imperial Estate in the Morḡāb oasis, gave only meager results. The local population was left to its own devices in building and maintaining the irrigation system, and no innovations were introduced by the Russians.

The industrial development of Central Asia under Russian rule was less dramatic than the changes in agriculture but was of great importance for the social and political life of the country. The basis for this development was provided by the railroads, the first of which, from Mikhaĭlovskiĭ Bay on the Caspian Sea to Kizil-Arvat (about 150 miles) was built in 1881 by Skobelev for strategic purposes. Only in 1885 was it extended to Ashkhabad. The railroad acquired com­mercial importance only by the end of the 1890s, when it was extended to Tashkent, with a branch line to Farḡāna. In the early 20th century a number of other branch lines were added, and in 1906 the railroad from Orenburg to Tashkent was completed. The railroads gave a tremendous boost to cotton growing, making the transport of the Central Asian crop to the textile centers in European Russia many times cheaper and faster. The railroads also contributed to the development of indus­try in the cities they connected. Beside the workshops servicing the railroad itself, the emerging Central Asian industry was limited mainly to the initial processing of cotton and other agricultural products; more than 80 percent of all enterprises were cotton-ginning mills. The first native enterprise appeared in 1886, and before World War I almost two thirds of the enterprises were owned by the locals. They were of small size and poorly equipped, but their importance for the political future of Central Asia probably outweighed their economic role. About 80 percent of all skilled workers (on the railroads practically 100 percent) were Russians, and this social group, new in Central Asia, was especially susceptible to the socialist propaganda brought from European Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

Skilled workers formed only a small part of the growing European population of Central Asia. Colonization of the country started already in the course of the Russian expansion, but it affected mostly the steppe regions. In the southern parts of Central Asia, where arable lands were usually available only after prior irrigation works, there was little possibility for Russian farmers to settle, and with few exceptions the authorities were reluctant to allow it. Here the flow of Russian settlers was directed almost exclusively to the cities. Only two cities in these regions were founded by the Russians: Skobelev (now Fergana) and Petroalek­sandrovsk. Elsewhere in the densely populated areas annexed from the khanates the Russians would add a “Russian part” to a city next to the “native” or “Asian” one. The most important of these Russian urban enclaves were the Russian “parts” of Tashkent and Samarkand. Russian Tashkent played a special role in Central Asia as it was the European colonists’ principal intellectual center. Its life was very much isolated from the local population, however, and affected it only superficially. On the whole Russian influence made itself much more strongly felt in administration and economy than in general culture, and in the khanates of Bukhara and Khiva it was even more limited because of the Russian policy of nonintervention (see above).


Literature cited in the text: ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Ṭāleʿ, Tārīḵ-e Abu’l-Fayż Ḵān, tr. A. A. Semenov, Tashkent, 1959.

M. A. Abdurai­mov, Ocherki agrarnykh otnosheniĭ v Bukharskom khanstve v XVI—pervoĭ polovine XIX veka I, Tash­kent, 1966.

B. A. Akhmedov, Istoriya Balkha (XVI­—pervaya polovina XVIII v., Tashkent, 1982.

V. V. Bartol’d, “Istoriya kul’turnoĭ zhizni Turkestana,” in his Sochineniya II/1, Moscow, 1963, pp. 257-433.

Yu. Bregel, “The Sarts in the Khanate of Khiva,” Journal of Asian History 12/2, 1978, pp. 120-51.

Idem, “Bukhara iii-iv,” in EIr. IV/5, 1989, pp. 515-24.

O. D. Chekhovich, “O nekotorykh voprosakh istorii Sred­neĭ Azii XVIII-XIX vekov,” Voprosy istorii, 1956, no. 3, pp. 84-95.

E. A. Davidovich, Istoriya monet­nogo dela Sredneĭ Azii XVII-XVIII vv., Dushanbe, 1964.

A. S. Donnelly, “Peter the Great and Central Asia,” Canadian Slavonic Papers 17, 1975, pp. 202­-17.

N. A. Khalfin, Politika Rossii v Sredneĭ Azii (1857-1868), Moscow, 1960.

Mīr ʿAbd-al-Karīm Boḵārī, ed. Ch. Schefer, Histoire de l’Asie centrale, Paris, 1876.

Mīrzā Mahdī Khan Astarābādī, Tārīḵ-e jahāngošā-ye nāderī, Tabrīz, 1266/1849-50.

Idem, Dorra-ye nāderī, ed. S. J. Šahīdī, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962.

Moḥammad-Kāẓem, ʿĀlamārā-ye nāderī, Moscow, 1965; ed. M.-A. Rīāḥī, 3 vols., Tehran, 1364 Š./1985.

Moḥammad-Wafā Karmīnagī, Toḥfat al-ḵānī, ms. of the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies C 525. Moʾnes and Āgahī, Ferdaws al-eqbāl, ed. Yu. Bregel, Leiden, 1988.

Nīāz-­Moḥammad Ḵūqandī, Tārīḵ-e šāhroḵī, Kazan, 1885.

V. V. Vel’yaminov-Zernov, Istoricheskie izvestiya o kirgiz-kaĭsakakh i snosheniyakh Rossii s Sredneĭ Azieĭ II, Ufa, 1855.

Idem, “Monety bukharskie i khivin­skie,” in Trudy Vostochnogo otdeleniya Imp. Russ­kogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva 4, 1858, pp. 328-456.

Other sources: For references to indigenous sour­ces for the history of Central Asia in the 18th-20th centuries written in Bukhara and other Central Asian cities/khanates see individual articles. Historical works written in Russian Turkestan by local writers in Persian and Turkic are few and insignificant; the only notable exception is Moḥammad-Ṣāleḥ Ḵᵛāja Tāškandī’s Tārīḵ-e jadīda-ye Tāškand (unpublished, see Storey-Bregel, pp. 1199-1200).

Only a fraction of the Russian documentary material, mostly preserved in the archives of Moscow, Leningrad and, for the period after the Russian conquest also in Tashkent, Alma-Ata, Dushanbe, Ashkhabad, Frunze, and Orenburg, has till now been utilized, let alone pub­lished. The most important publication of Russian documents on the conquest of Central Asia is A. G. Serebrennikov, Turkestanskiĭ kraĭ. Sbornik materia­lov dlya istorii ego zavoevaniya, vols. 2-8, 17-22, Tash­kent, 1914-16 (other volumes remain unpublished in archives in Tashkent).

An equally important publication for the period of Russian rule is [K. K. Pahlen], Otchet po revizii Turkestanskogo kraya, proizvedennoĭ po vysochaĭshemu poveleniyu senato­rom gofmeĭsterom grafom K. K. Palenom, 19 vols., St. Petersburg, 1909-11.

Studies: General works: P. P. Ivanov, Ocherki po istorii Sredneĭ Azii (XVI—seredina XIX v.), Moscow, 1958 (the only existing work in Soviet literature that treats the history of Central Asia as one historical entity). Istoriya narodov Uzbekistana II, Tashkent, 1947.

Istoriya Uzbekskoĭ SSR I/1-2, Tashkent, 1955-­56.

Istoriya tadzhikskogo naroda II/2, Moscow, 1964. (The three last works are based on primary sources for the period before the Russian conquest, but references are mostly not given.)

A. Z. V. Togan, Bugünkü Türkili (Türkistan) ve yakın tarihi I: Batı ve kuzey Türkistan, Istanbul, 1942-47.

G. Wheeler, The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia, London, 1964.

O. D. Chekhovich, “K istorii Uzbekistana v XVIII v.,” in Trudy Instituta vostokovedeniya AN Uzbekskoĭ SSR III, Tashkent, 1954, pp. 43-82.

Idem, “K voprosu o periodizatsii istorii Uzbekistana (XVI-­XVIII vv.),” Izvestiya Akademii nauk Uzbekskoĭ SSR, 1954, no. 5, pp. 101-09.

L. Tillett, The Great Friendship. Soviet Historians on the Non-Russian Nationalities, Chapel Hill, 1969 (includes very valuable study of Soviet writings on the history of Russian conquest and rule of Central Asia, showing the unreliability of these writings).

Relations with Russia and Russian conquest (Central Asia in general). The most detailed, although badly organized, account is M. A. Terent’ev, Istoriya zavoevaniya Sredneĭ Azii I-III, St. Petersburg, 1906 (contains most of the facts used in later publications on this subject).

Other works: E. Allworth, ed., Central Asia. A Century of Russian Rule, New York, 1967. E. V. Bunakov, “K istorii snosheṇĭ Rossii s srendneaziatskimi khanstvami v XIX v.,” in Sovetskoe vostokovedenie II, Moscow and Leningrad, 1941, pp. 5-26.

N. A. Khalfin, Prisoedinenie Sredneĭ Azii k Rossii, Moscow, 1965.

Idem, Rossiya i khanstva Sredneĭ Azii (Pervaya polovina XIX veka), Moscow, 1974.

Idem, Rossiya i Bukharskiĭ èmirat na Zapadnom Pamire (konets XIX—nachalo XX v.), Moscow, 1975. (Khalfin uses and cites valuable archival material but is extremely biased, especially in his emphasis on the British threat to Central Asia and the beneficial consequences of the Russian annexation; the same is true—to varying degree—of all other Soviet works on the subject written after 1950.)

N. S. Kinyapina, “Srednyaya Aziya vo vneshnepolitiches­kikh planakh tsarizma (50-80-e gody XIX veka),” Voprosy istorii, 1974, no. 2, pp. 36-51.

L. F. Kostenko, Srednyaya Aziya i vodvorenie v neĭ russkoĭ grazhdan­stvennosti, St. Petersburg, 1871.

A. I. Maksheev, Istoricheskiĭ obzor Turkestana i nastupatel’nogo dvi­zheniya v nego russkikh, St. Petersburg, 1890.

G. Morgan, Anglo-Russian Rivalry in Central Asia 1810-­1895, London, 1981.

P. I. Nebol’sin, Ocherki torgovli Rossii s stranami Sredneĭ Azii, Khivoĭ, Bukharoĭ i Kokanom (So storony Orenburgskoĭ linii), St. Peters­burg, 1855.

A. L. Popov, “Iz istorii zavoevaniya Sredneĭ Azii,” in Istoricheskie zapiski IX, Moscow, 1940, pp. 198-242.

M. K. Rozhkova, Èkonomicheskie svyazi Rossii so Sredneĭ Azieĭ 40-e—60-e gody XIX v., Moscow, 1963.

J. W. Strong, “The Ignat’ev Mis­sion to Khiva and Bukhara in 1858,” Canadian Slavonic Papers 17, 1975, pp. 236-60.

S. V. Zhukov­skiĭ, Snosheniya Rossii s Bukharoĭ i Khivoĭ za posled­nee trekhsotletie, Petrograd, 1915 (review V. V. Bar­tol’d, in Sochineniya II/2, 1964, pp. 419-22).

On the period of Russian rule (until 1917) the best general work is R. Pierce, Russian Central Asia. A Study in Colonial Rule, Berkeley, 1960. Other works: A. M. Aminov, Èkonomicheskoe razvitie Sredneĭ Azii. So vtoroĭ poloviny XIX stoletiya do pervoĭ mirovoĭ voĭny, Tashkent, 1959.

F. Azadaev, Tashkent vo vtoroĭ polovine XIX veka. Ocherki sotsial’no­-èkonomicheskoĭ i politicheskoĭ istorii, Tashkent, 1959.

S. Becker, Russia’s Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 1865-1924, Cambridge, Mass., 1968.

M. Batunsky, “Imperial Pragmatism, Liberalistic Culture Relativism and Assimilatively Christianizing Dogmatism in Colonial Central Asia: Parallels, Divergencies, Mergences,” in Utrecht Papers on Central Asia: Proceedings of the First European Seminar on Central Asian Studies Held at Utrecht, 16-18 December 1985, Utrecht, 1987, pp. 95­-122.

H. Carrère d’Encausse, “La politique culturelle du pouvoir tsariste au Turkestan (1867-1917),” in Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique 3, 1963, pp. 374-407.

P. G. Galuzo, Turkestan—koloniya (Ocherk istorii Turkestana ot zavoevaniya russkimi do revolyu­tsii 1917 g.), Moscow, 1929.

D. Mackenzie, “Kauf­man of Turkestan: An Assessment of His Administration (1867-1881),” Slavic Review 26, 1967, pp. 265-­85.

L. P. Morris, “The Russians in Central Asia 1870-1887,” Slavic and East European Review 53, 1975, pp. 521-38.

M. Sarkisyanz, “Russian Conquest in Central Asia: Transformation and Acculturation,” in W. S. Vucinich, ed., Russia and Asia: Essays on the Influence of Russian on the Asian Peoples, Stan­ford, 1972, pp. 248-88.

M. P. Vyatkin, Sotsial’no-èkonomicheskoe razvitie Sredneĭ Azii (Istoriografi­cheskiĭ ocherk 1865-1965 gg.), Frunze, 1974.

(Yuri Bregel)

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

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Vol. V, Fasc. 2, pp. 193-205

Cite this entry:

Yuri Bregel, “CENTRAL ASIA vii. In the 18th-19th Centuries,” Encyclopædia Iranica, V/2, pp. 193-205, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/central-asia-vii (accessed on 30 December 2012).