The Russian Revolution and the Alash Orda-1917

Introduction

The Russian Revolution provided the Kazakh intellectuals an opportunity to create their own government and redistribute land that had been taken from them by Russian settlers. But what sort of government can you create when you and your fellow indigenous intellectuals can’t agree on the best way to rule and the Russian Civil War is at your doorstep?

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It’s 1917 and Central Asia is adjusting to a Tsarless reality. To briefly recap, because a lot has already happened and it’s about to get even more complicated:

  • Russian settlers created the Tashkent Soviet in the city, Tashkent. It is purely Russian managed and was created in response to indigenous organizing.
  • Various indigenous peoples such as the Jadids, the Ulama, and even the Alash Orda spent all year organizing different organs of government, ending 1917 with the Kokand Autonomy. This is an independent state created in Kokand, a city that neighbors Tashkent, in response to the Tashkent Soviet.
  • The Bukharan Emir kicked out his Jadids and relied on conservative elements in his society to strengthen his hold on power before Russia returns.
  • The Khiva Khanate is dependent on a warlord that is planning a coup.

Up to this point, we’ve focused on an Uzbek/Tajik Jadid perspective. Today we’ll be switching focus to the Kazakh and Kyrgyz intellectuals in the Steppe and the creation of the Alash Orda government and the Autonomous Alash state.

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Episode 27-the Russian Revolution and the Alash Orda

The Russian Revolution provided the Kazakh intellectuals an opportunity to create their own government and redistribute land that had been taken from them by Russian settlers. But what sort of government can you create when you and your fellow indigenous intellectuals can’t agree on the best way to rule and the Russian Civil War is at your doorstep?

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