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Civilization Policy of Russia in Turkestan and the Role of Russian Peasants-Colonists in It (Second Half of the 19th–beginning of 20th Centuries)

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Abstract. The article analyzes the civilizing policy of the Russian Empire in the Turkestan Territory through the prism of peasant colonization from the moment of its conquest. The purpose of the article is to show the importance of the peasant factor in mission of “bringing civilization” to the Turkestan Territory against the background of other events in the spirit of the “burden of the whites”. The main emphasis is placed on everyday cultural and moral aspects of the influence of immigrants on the indigenous population of Central Asia. Article examines what was the perception of the native population by the colonists, what was the attitude of the lower classes to the question of the “civilization mission”. The author comes to the conclusion that the settlers played a much more serious role in the “civilizing mission”, incomparably greater than the activities carried out administratively through education and missionary work. The role of the economic and household influence of Russian colonists on the lifestyle of the local population of Turkestan is emphasized, expressed, first of all, in the transition of nomads to a sedentary lifestyle and technological improvement of the settlements of the natives. Among the disadvantages of this influence is the low level of literacy of the population, which hindered the process of cultural transformation in the region. The polarity of ideas and the diversity of views on the problem of the “civilizing mission” in general and the role of the peasantry in it, in particular, among Russian publicists in the period under review, are shown.

Keywords: Turkestan, colonization, immigrants, civilizing mission, peasantry, Central Asia, white man’s burden, missionary work, education.

For Citation: Kirilchik D.V. Civilization Policy of Russia in Turkestan and the Role of Russian Peasants-Colonists in It (Second Half of the 19th–beginning of 20th Centuries), in Novoe Proshloe / The New Past. 2021 No 2. Pp. 84-95. DOI: 10.18522/2500-3224-2021-2-84-95.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0) - Attribution-Non-Commercial License.

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