The Russian Revolution and the Khivan Khanate

Introduction

What is a Khanate to do when his Russian supporters are overthrown by a revolution and he must now rely on a traitorous warlord to retain his throne? Read our article to learn about the Khivan Khanate during the Russian Revolution.

Listen to our episode or read our article below

Introduction

Last week we talked about the Russian Revolution and Central Asia, but we limited it to the urban areas of Turkestan and the Bukharan Emirate. Today, we’ll be discussing how Russia’s other protectorate, the Khiva Khanate, responded to the fall of the Tsars.

Khiva Under Russian Rule 1880-1916

As we discussed in our episode on Russian colonialism, Khiva was one of the two protectorates created by Tsarist Russia as it colonized Central Asia. It was smaller than Bukhara and not as wealthy or important to Russian officials, meaning the Khan could exercise great independence on how his territory was ruled, as long as he understood his protectorate was granted to him via Russian power. Khiva had been ruled by Muhammad Rahim until his death in 1910, when his son Isfendiyar took over. Isfendiyar passed minor reforms between 1910 and 1917 including support for a state budget, tax reform, and placing all government servants on a salary. He even supported the building of a reform madrasa and encourage the spread of the new-method schools championed by the Jadids. However, many of the reforms never became law and may have been lip service to keep the Russians at bay. Isfendiyar’s true focus was on his troublesome subjects the Turkmen.

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Episode 28-The Basmachi

Famine, civil wars, complete breakdown of authority-it only makes sense to join a guerilla movement that promises provisions and safety, right? Learn about the Basmachi, a group of warlords turned guerilla movement that became one of the Soviet’s most persistent headaches in Central Asia during the 1920s and 30s.

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The Russian Revolution and Central Asia-1917

Introduction

Did you ever wonder how the Russian Revolution affected Central Asia? This episode discusses how the various political factions in Central Asia-the Jadids, Alash Orda, the Ulama, and the Russian Settlers-responded to the fall of the Tsar and the rise of the Bolsheviks.

Listen to our podcast episode or read the post below

When we last discussed Central Asia, they were in the midst of the 1916 Revolt, which is now seen as the harbinger of the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil Wars. Today we’ll discuss how the Russian Revolution affected Central Asia.

Russian Revolution in Russia

February Revolution

1917 is an odd year for Russia, because it’s a period were militarily-things were beginning to look up, but socially and politically, things were at their lowest. Even though Russia had seen its greatest military victory in 1916 (one that cost them an estimated 3 million killed, wounded, or taken prisoner) and it was correcting its production issues, it was still facing a massive supply crisis because of an overstrained and broken transport system. This meant shortages of food, fuel, and basic household goods, rapid inflation, and corruption within the government and its military suppliers. Most fatal of all was the complete lack of trust everyone had in the Russian government. Governmental officials were either unacceptably incompetent or German spies and traitors. Even the staunchly monarchist General Aleksei Brusilov admitted that “Russia could not win the war with its present system of government.” (Figes) Everyone agreed that Russia was on the brink of a great catastrophe, but no one could have predicted it would have been at the hands of women tired of queuing for bread.

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History in 5ish Minutes: Fathers of the Jadids in Turkestan

In this episode we discuss two giants within the Jadid movement in Turkestan: Munavvar qori Abdurashidxon and Mahmudxo’ja Behbudiy. Both men came from religious families, both men were successful merchants, and both men believed that reform was the only way to save Turkestani society.

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References:

Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Empire, and Revolution in the Early USSR by Adeeb Khalid

Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent 1865-1923 by Jeff Sahadeo

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?

Listen to our episode above or read our blog post version of our episode below:

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?

Palestinian support links:

If Charity

Mrs. Najah’s Kitchen

United Palestinian Appeal

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

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Episode 26: The Russian Revolution and the Khiva Khanate

Today we are discussing how Russia’s second protectorate, the Khiva Khanate, reacted to the fall of the Romanov Dynasty. We’ll discuss Turkmen Revolts, a desperate Khan clinging to power, and a coup.

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A list of gofundmes and organizations around the country who support Asian-American communites

Our page listing LGBTQ organizations that support transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming peoples

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Episode 25-The Russian Revolution and Central Asia

Did you ever wonder how the Russian Revolution affected Central Asia? This episode discusses how the various political factions in Central Asia-the Jadids, Alash Orda, the Ulama, and the Russian Settlers-responded to the fall of the Tsar and the rise of the Bolsheviks.

If you enjoyed this episode, please donate to our Patreon

If you want to receive updates on our projects, join our newsletter

A list of gofundmes and organizations around the country who support Asian-American communites

Our page listing LGBTQ organizations that support transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming peoples

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Episode 23-Interview with Dr. Adeeb Khalid

This is a very special episode as we discuss the Jadids with renowned scholar, Dr. Adeeb Khalid. The Jadids were an Islamic modernizing movement within Central Asia that would later find common cause with Bolsheviks and create modern day Uzbekistan. We’ll be discussing who the Jadids were, their doctrinal development, and how they fit within our narrative of the Russian and Central Asian Civil Wars.

Dr. Khalid is Professor of Asian Studies and History as well as director of Middle Eastern Studies at Carleton College. He is an expert in his field and published numerous works on Central Asia including Making Uzbekistan: Nation, Revolution, and Empire in the Early USSR and the Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia. He has a new book coming out this May, Central Asia: a New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present which you can preorder at your favorite bookstore.

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Book Review for Making Uzbekistan by Adeeb Khalid

Rating: 5/5

Pros:

  • A comprehensive exploration into the creation of Uzbekistan and its neighboring states
  • A long overdue overview of an often-neglected region of the world
  • Well-researched and detail heavy but still easy to read

Cons:

  • Need to know a little about the region before reading
  • Is VERY detail heavy and needs to be reread to catch everything
  • Would have liked more info on the military campaigns waged by the Soviets

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