Reflection of acculturation idea in the resettlement policy of the Russian Empire in Turkestan at the turn of the 20th century

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Abstract


The article deals with the resettlement policy of the Russian Empire in the Turkestan region in the context of acculturation. It is noted that the resettlement of Russian peasants in Turkestan was regulated by the generally accepted Russian legislation, but it had its own local features. The peculiarity of the Russian colonization consisted in the following: firstly, in the region there lived foreign-speaking population with a different mentality and a different religion; secondly, in the most areas Turkestan was conquered by force of arms, and this fact did not add local population’s confidence in the Russian authorities. Nevertheless, according to the author, the grounds for acculturation were at the beginning of the resettlement process, when there began to establish economic relations between Russian settlers and local residents. The analysis of the further resettlement policy of the Russian Empire leads to the conclusion that both objective and subjective reasons were the obstacle to further acculturation. The latter ones consisted in the incorrect decision of the Russian authorities on the isolation of the Russian-speaking population from the indigenous population, the withdrawal of “surplus” land from the local population, the excesses in the work of the Resettlement Department, whose members often abused their power. The negative role was also played by the commitment to the Russian authority, the Turkestan administration, and even Russian settlers’ adherence to the “civilizing mission of Russia”, explaining the necessity of introducing “wild” peoples to the European civilization, which served as an argument for justifying the need to bear the “good” to “unenlightened peoples”. The author makes the conclusion about the imperfection of the resettlement policy of the Russian administration, which consisted in the absence of the legal framework and clear plan of resettlement.


About the authors

Svetlana N Brezhneva

Leningrad state University named after A. S. Pushkin

Author for correspondence.
Email: brezhneva_s_n_@mail.ru
10 Peterburgskoe shosse, St. Petersburg, Pushkin, Russia, 196605

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