Princess Anna Taishina, the First Ruler of the Stavropol Baptized Kalmyks, 1737-1742

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The involvement of Kalmyk princess Anna Taishina in the process of baptized Kalmyks fitting into the economic, political and administrative-legal space of Russia is examined. Based on extensive documentary data, the author notes that the formation of a separate Kalmyk principality on the Middle Volga was the consequence of the Russian policy of Christianization and purposeful settlement of baptized Kalmyks outside the Kalmyk Khanate. The transfer of territories with a special ad-ministrative status to a sole female administration, albeit being under strict government control, is the only example in the history of Tsarist Russia. In the chronicles of the mid-1720-1730s Anna Taishina was mentioned solely in connection with the active political activities of her husband, Pyotr Taishin, and the interest of the Russian authorities in his services. A. Taishina was granted authority not due to coincidence: it was not only the unexpected death of her husband and the absence of high-born off-spring among the baptized Kalmyks, but also the desire of the Russian government to settle baptized Kalmyks in the remote territory. Within the short period of A. Taishina's reign, there were laid the foundations of the administrative-territorial structure of the Kalmyk settlement, its power structure and order of administration, economic and social development. The high legal status of the Kalmyk princess was evidenced by the transfer of the Kalmyk settlement to the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. It is confirmed that all innovations supported by the government were carried out on the initiative of Anna Taishina, or the Stavropol commandant, but always considering her opinion. The conclusion is that the order that took shape during the life of Anna Taishina set the vector for the development of the Kalmyk settlement until its abolition in 1842.

About the authors

Stepan V. Dzhundzhuzov

Orenburg State Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8937-5690

Dr. Habil. Hist., Professor of the Russian History Department

19, Sovetskaya Str., Orenburg, 460844, Russia


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