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Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865--1923

Jeff Sahadeo

Publication Year: 2007

This intensively researched urban study dissects Russian Imperial and early Soviet rule in Islamic Central Asia from the diverse viewpoints of tsarist functionaries, Soviet bureaucrats, Russian workers, and lower-class women as well as Muslim notables and Central Asian traders. Jeff Sahadeo's stimulating analysis reveals how political, social, cultural, and demographic shifts altered the nature of this colonial community from the tsarist conquest of 1865 to 1923, when Bolshevik authorities subjected the region to strict Soviet rule. In addition to placing the building of empire in Tashkent within a broader European context, Sahadeo's account makes an important contribution to understanding the cultural impact of empire on Russia's periphery.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

I owe debts of gratitude to many people and organizations that assisted me in this project’s realization. Musallam Juraev and Ergash Umarov offered invaluable aid to navigate Tashkent’s libraries and archives. I encountered friendliness...

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Note on Transliteration

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pp. xi

Just as this work involves the encounter between two cultures, it involves the encounter between two languages. I have wrestled with issues of transliteration for some time. I employed the standard Library of Congress system to render Russian...

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pp. 1-11

“If I die as governor-general,” read the words of K. P. fon Kaufman on a monument erected to his memory in the center of Russian Tashkent in 1910, “please bury me here, so that all may know that here is true Russian soil, where no Russian...

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Prologue: Tashkent before the Russians and the Dynamics of Conquest

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pp. 12-21

On the eve of the 1865 Russian conquest, Tashkent was a center of trade in Inner Asia. Active artisanal and manufacturing sectors profited from the city’s position along routes linking neighboring khanates and extending to...

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1. Ceremonies, Construction, and Commemoration

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pp. 22-56

Residents of the new “Russian section” of Tashkent anxiously awaited the arrival of Konstantin Petrovich fon Kaufman, the first governorgeneral of the province of Turkestan, on November 7, 1867. Tashkent was to become the administrative...

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2. Educated Society, Identity, and Nationality

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pp. 57-78

Tashkent Russians reached beyond ceremonies to frame values and roles in colonial society. Leading administrators and intellectuals engaged in a search to define the character and purpose of their endeavors on the frontier, at once part...

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3. Unstable Boundaries: The Colonial Relationship and the 1892 “Cholera Riot”

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pp. 79-107

On June 24, 1892, a Central Asian crowd crossed the Ankhor canal into the Russian section of Tashkent. The crowd sought to prevent Muhammad Yaqub, Asian Tashkent’s chief administrator, from meeting City Commandant Stepan R. Putintsev. Muhammad Yaqub intended to report widespread...

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4. Migration, Class, and Colonialism

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pp. 108-136

“The growth of Tashkent has engendered the development of a proletariat, the inevitable evil of all European societies, the dark, reverse side of our civilization. It will be easier to combat this evil now, before it lays its tenacious roots.”1 N. A. Maev printed this...

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5. The Predicaments of “Progress,” 1905–1914

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pp. 137-162

On November 24, 1905, the Tashkent newspaper Sredneaziatskaia Zhizn’ featured an article entitled “Down with Progress.” Its author stressed the dangers of recent political changes to Russia’s quest to bring “culture” and “civilization” to Central...

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6. War, Empire, and Society, 1914–1916

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pp. 163-186

A large crowd of Russian women gathered around the store of local merchant Paizu Umirzakov in the early morning of October 22, 1916. Rumors had circulated that Umirzakov was withholding large supplies of meat, then in extremely...

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7. Exploiters or Exploited? Russian Workers and Colonial Rule, 1917–1918

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pp. 187-207

Social tensions in Tashkent, as across the Russian empire, exploded in the revolutions of 1917. The colonial environment posed special challenges for Russians and Central Asians alike. In the aftermath of the sudden collapse of tsarist power, Tashkent Russians...

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8. “Under a Soviet Roof”: City, Country, and Center,1918–1923

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pp. 208-228

This summer 1920 analysis by the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party revealed continuing frustration at Tashkent Russians’ ability to maintain imperial privileges even as Bolshevik representatives from Moscow purged and...

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pp. 229-236

Governor-General K. P. fon Kaufman and the first generation of tsarist administrators in Tashkent began their mission with confidence. Imperial rule in Central Asia could bear witness to a state now ready, in the wake of the Great Reforms, to assume...


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pp. 237-238


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pp. 239-284


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pp. 285-303


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pp. 305-316

E-ISBN-13: 9780253116697
E-ISBN-10: 0253116694
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253348203

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 17 b&w illus., 4 maps
Publication Year: 2007