Crimean Tatars in the Governing Bodies of the Taurida Province in the First Half of the 19th Century

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The author identifies the amount of Crimean Tatars who served as officials in Taurida Governorate in the first half of the 20th century. The article is based on archival data, address-calendars and mesyatseslovs of the Russian Empire. Russian politics in the region after the Crimean annexation was characterized by an active interaction with the local population. The imperial authorities gave the Crimean Tatars broad rights and involved them in civil and military service. Tatar murzas and beys who entered service closely interacted with Russian officials and thus got acquainted with the Russian language and culture as well as with the new legal system. While the largest number of Crimean Tatars were in service during the reign of Catherine II, their number began to decline under her successors. The author argues that the Russian authorities’ interaction with the Crimean Tatar nobility was based on mutually beneficial conditions. The state received the loyalty of local leaders, which provided stability and allowed for communication with the ordinary population. In turn, the murzas and beys received titles and ranks, which allowed them to increase their property and keep their social status. However, the number of Crimean Tatars in local government functions during the first half of the 19th century was low. They served in the governing bodies only by election from the nobility. This was a result of central policy but also of the low level of training among Tatar officials. Many of them were not familiar with legal procedures laws and could not read and write in Russian. Consequently, they preferred service in military formations, which was more prestigious and did not require special training.

About the authors

Alexandr S. Kravchuk

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University Russian Federation; Fevzi Yakubov Crimea Engineering and Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.

Kandidat Istoricheskikh Nauk [Ph.D. in History], Associate Professor of the Department of History, Fevzi Yakubov Crimea Engineering and Pedagogical University; Senior Researcher, Museum of History of V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University.

4, Academician Vernadsky Ave., Simferopol, 295007 Russia; Uchebny Lane, Simferopol, 295015 Russia


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