History of Khiva - Part 10

In the 1860s, the Russian Empire launched an all-out attack on Central Asia. This was not the first Russian invasion of Central Asia. Cossacks led by ataman Mechai made a raid on Khiva during the rule of Khan Arab Mukhammad (1602-1623). When the khan was not in Khiva, thousands of Cossacks burst into the city of Urgench, robbed its inhabitants, and attempted to carry away thousands of young prisoners of both sexes. However, on his return Ara Mukhammad overtook the Cossacks and annihilated them.

Sometime later, another detachment of Cossacks guided by ataman Shamai made a raid that also ended unsuccessfully. Kalmics caught the ataman, and the Khivan people destroyed his Cossack detachment. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Peter I, trying to establish trade relations with India through Asia, made an attempt to penetrate Khiva; however, more important governmental affairs distracted his march to Khiva. Later, Kojinapas, a very well known merchant of Khiva, while visiting with Peter I in Russia in 1713, told the tsar that the lower portion of the Amu Darya was awash in golden dust. Peter I equipped two military expeditions. The first, lead by Colonel Bukhholtch, came to the upper Sir-Darya from Western Siberia in 1715 but did not find any gold. In 1717, the second expedition, headed by Alexander Bekovich-Cherkasskyi, a prince of Kabardin, was sent to Khiva with a friendly proposal appearing as a show of patronage.

The secret plan was:

1. To build a fortress for a thousand people near the harbor of Amu Darya where the mouth of the river used to be.

2. To search for a location near a dam or a location where it was possible to build a fortress in secrecy with the possibility of building another city nearby.

3. To win the Khan of Khiva to faithfulness by granting him Russian citizenship, while making him promise a guard to take care of our interests.

4. While with Khan, obtain information about Khan of Bukhara. If possible, drive him to friendship but if it's not possible to make him take citizenship, the khans may also live in poverty.

5. Give 500 greben to a thousand yaitch Cossacks with their Commander Dragun. The commander is to look after the Cossacks and must strictly demand his people to be polite with the inhabitants.

Bekovich-Cherkassky erected three fortresses on the western coast of the Caspian Sea. In 1717, Bekovich-Cherkassky, under the pretence of diplomacy, moved to Khiva with his detachment of more than two thousand men. But his attempt to penetrate the heart of Central Asia was stymied when Khan Shergazi informed him the city of Khiva was incapable of placing and feeding such a large amount of people.

In spite of protests from his officers, Bekovitch divided his troops into five separate detachments of 400-500 men each. The people of Khiva immediately exterminated almost all of them, including Bekovich. Survivors that were strong and healthy were made to do earth moving works. So, the plan of Peter I ended ingloriously.

Orenburg’s military governor, General-Major V.A. Perovsky in 1824, conducted the next expedition to Khiva. The purpose of his trip was to abolish Kazakh clan rule and replace it with three sultans of tsarist choice. However, this roused the Kazakh leaders and the steppe became rose in resistance. Seizing upon these events, the Khan of Khiva, Alia-kuli, extended the hand of friendship to the
Kazakhs, which caused dissatisfaction in Petersburg.

Alexander I ordered the Asian Committee, which oversaw the situation in Kazakh steppe to investigate the state of affairs. Having learned of the alliance, the committee concluded that «It is necessary to restrict the people of Khiva to the bounds of Khiva forever; only in this way is it possible to keep calm and force obedience to our Kirgiz order». Alexander I approved the decision of the Committee on the 5 August 1825.

In 1834 V.A. Perovsky equipped the Movo-Alexander fortification on the northwest coast of the Caspian Sea. He began to build a strengthened line between Orsk and Troitsk dispossessing Kazakhs from their pastures in the process. This policy from the tsar caused great dissatisfaction among the Kazakh population. In 1837 the Kazakh people struck against Russia. This revolt led to the decision to march on Khiva. On 14 Flovember, V.A. Perovsky advanced from Orenburg with his detachment of more then 5000 men, two guns, and thousands of camels. But they could not secure the border of Khiva khanate, and, having lost most of his men and camels, was forced to retreat. Alla-kuli khan subsequently freed a portion of the Russian captivities and sent them to make a trade contract with Russia. As a result of the feeble march on Khiva, the government of tsarist Russia made a decision to deal with the khanate diplomatically.

Ambassadors were sent to Khiva and Bukhara but the diplomatic maneuvers didn't produce prolonged peace. In 1847, tsarist troops moved from Orenburg and Western Siberia to the Khiva border. However, the Crimean War forced Russia to postpone expansion into the Transcaspian region. Before the decisive all-out attack against the khanate occurred, a disagreement arose between the Ministries for Defense and Foreign Trade. D.A. Malutin, a Minister for Defense, supported action in Central Asia but Vice Chancellor Qorchakov insisted on being careful, fearful of how action might affect England-Russian relations. The territory between Amu Darya and Sir Darya was carefully watched not only by Russia but also by England, whose own aggressive plans to obtain the region were hidden by the protests about the security of India. Thus, the khanate became a competitive arena between England and Russia. The Minister of Finance supported Gorchakov's idea and rejected immediate offensive operations; however, D.A. Malutin eventually won the dispute.

In 1864 military forces from Russia began an attack against Kokand and Bukhara. These khanates were weakened as a result of intensified wars and lacked trained troops. They sustained defeat after defeat.
By 1868 a significant portion of the Kokand and Bukhara was occupied. During this period, only Khiva remained independent. But its fate had already been determined. The tsar attempted to «open» Khiva to Russian entrepreneurs. In 1867, a Turkestan general-governorship was organized for the Sir-Darya and Semerechensk regions, and K.F. Kaufman was appointed as the first governor-general of Turkestan.
When he arrived in Turkestan, he sent a letter to the Khan of Khiva expressing his hopes of developing friendly relations. But the Khan didn't show an interest in expanding economical and political relations with his forceful neighbor. When he did not reply, a new letter was transmitted in the autumn of 1863, using sharper tones, and hinting at a similar fate to that which had befallen the Bukhara and Kokand, who now were «made to live in peace» and maintain «good neighbor relations.»

However diplomatic the efforts of the governor-general were, the Khan of Khiva did not reciprocate them. Thus, K.P. Kaufman prepared to march against Khiva. The idea received support from N.A. Krijanovsky, Orenburg Governor-General and the Deputy of the Caucasus. The initial troops from the Caucasus military detachment, headed the Colonel G. Stoletov, put ashore on the western coast of the Caspian Sea near the Krasnovodsk Gulf. There, they built the city of Krasnovodsk, which was designed to be used as a springboard for future attacks on Khiva from the west. In early 1870, K.P. Kaufman had begun preparations for an open march on Khiva; however, under pressure from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, a special meeting determined the march was not reasonable. In January of 1871, K.P. Kaufman was given an order to fortify the mouth of Irekbei on the way to Khiva khanate. A circle around the Khiva khanate was simultaneously created. Meanwhile, the general-governor continued to place diplomatic pressure upon Mukhammad Rakhim Khan II, demanding him to open Khiva for Russian trade and not to tax Kazakh tribes who took Russian citizenship.

But the Khiva rulers refused these demands and put forth their own demands: Russia must not liquidate the independent Khiva khanate in pursuing its Central Asian policy.

After conquering Tashkent and Samarkand, and establishing agreements with the Kokand and Bukhara khanates, Russia turned its attention to Khiva, which had become an asylum to all opponents of the Russian Empire. Realizing this, the Khan of Khiva khanate attempted to establish negotiations with Petersburg, bypassing the Governor-General of Turkestan. At the same time, the Khan sent a second ambassador to the Governor-General of the Caucasus. However, all of his attempts turned out to be in vain.

The Khan also sent an ambassador to the vice-chancellor of India, who received him; but the negotiations provided no results. Until November, the military establishment in Russia had not had an opportunity to develop a strategy in Central Asia due to their continued rivalry against England. Now the fate of the Khan of Khiva was sealed.

On the 23 February 1872, at a special meeting convened under the chairmanship of the Ministry for Defense, the Governors-General of Turkestan and Orenburg, and the Chief of Staff of Asian affairs finalized their plans. It was necessary, to decided, to force Khiva's hand. A plan of military operations was laid out. The leaders of the military expedition not to add Khiva to the Russian possessions, but simply to subjugate it to Russia’s demands gave K.P. Kaufman. Kaufman wasn't pleased by this order and before the march began in 1872, wrote a letter to the Ministry for Defense indicating that the «last orders concerning Khiva compromise me before these khans».

All attempts by the governor-general to obtain permission to join Khiva to the Russian
The Government rejected Empire. It was explained that Russia did not want to strain diplomatic relations with England.

By not «keeping» the Khiva khanate, the government wanted to show that they had no aggressive purposes other than the «isolation» of the Khiva khanate. On the 12 December 1872, Alexander II approved the decision. In his report, Milutin wrote, «the point of the plan for operations, determined by the agreement of the Ministry for Defense and chiefs of the regions, is to attack the Khiva khanate from two sides: from the east with Turkestan military forces and from the west with a joint detachment of Orenburg and Caucasus military forces».

During this period, life in the Khiva khanate was extremely difficult. The clergy and feudal leaders of the khanate, headed by Matmurat, demanded Mukhammad Rakhim-khan II to take decisive action against Russia; however, the merchants, trade, and handicraft strata of Khiva, who were interested in the development of economic relations with Russia, maintained an opposing position. They tried to prompt a peaceful settlement of Russian and Khiva relations.

Matmurat was more persuasive, and Khiva had begun to ready itself for war. In February 1873, troops from Orenburg, Orsck, and Uralsk, lead by the General ?. Verevkin marched to Khiva. In March, another detachment from Djizzakh, and Kazalinsk, led by General Golovachev also marched toward Khiva. Governor-General K.P. Kaufman was also in this detachment. In March and April of the same year, two other detachments, from Krasnovodsk and Mangishlak, joined in the march. The detachment from Mangishlak was then joined by troops from Verevkin in May. The detachment from Krasnovodsk could not get across the border of the khanate due to lack of water and poor planning, nonetheless, tsarist Russia sent an army consisting of 13,000 men and fifty-six guns against Khiva.

The Khan of Khiva and his retainers considered the khanate and Amu Darya to be inaccessible from Kizil-kum (Turkistan), hence, only the fortresses in the northern portion of the country were fully equipped, partially Ak-Kalia and the lake of Dau-Kari. But there were defensive fortresses neither on the western nor on the northern boundaries of the khanate; external wars and internal politics had weakened of armed forces of the country.

The heart of the defense force consisted of naukarg, which were formed from members of the people's volunteer corps, Turkmen horsemen were used during the war, each one armed and equipped to protect one portion of agriculture land with the area of thirty — fifty tabard. Such lands were called atlig, from the words ots (horse) and atlilg (rider) and were free from government tax in exchange for military service.
K.P. Kaufman and Verevkin had already entered the border of the Khanate before they met any serious opposition, and had reached the walls of its capital by the end of May, The naukarg Khiva put up resistance to Verevkin's troops. In response, Verevkin attacked Khiva fiercely. On the 28th of May, the Khan, accompanied by Matmurat and some ten other Turkmen, left Khiva, At this time, Mukhammad Rakhim's younger brother, Atadjan Tura, was pronounced Khan, and Emir Al-Umar as Regent. But the people of Khiva did not permit the real Khan to enter the city. As Khiva struggled to find a ruler, some factions negotiated with the Russians. General Verevkin, yearning to distinguish himself in action, used the time produced by the delay to plan a dramatic seizure of Khiva by storm, having crashed the gates by grenade, the general acted as if his troops were occupied in battling for the city. Then, when the detachment of K.P. Kaufman formed into a column, his troops were already at the opposite end of the city and conducted their ceremonial march to the city. Thus, ?.?. Verevkin could claim that he was the conqueror of Khiva and his troops could reap the rewards for accomplishing it.

At 2 o'clock on the 28th of May, the reunited tsarist troops entered the Khazarasp gate and General K.P. Kaufman demanded reform from the Khan, promising him to leave him in power.

The Russians turned to subjugating the Turkmen of the khanate. Then, on the first of June, Atadjan-Tura wrote a letter to the real Khanseid Mukhammad Rakhim 11, coupled with orders from Kaufman. He was asked to return to Khiva and to retain his throne. Having received the letter and «assured that the Russian would not kill him and send him to Siberia,» the bare-1 headed Khan decided to submit to the tsar troops. He came accompanied by his younger brother Murad-Tura, divan Matmurad, and other members of the ruling clique. Kaufman received him «as the bare-head of the Russian Empire».

Before the summer was out, Kaufman had forced a treaty on the Khan and set in place a ruling council. The Khan of Khiva was forced to agree to reject any relations with neighboring possessions or khanates, and not to make treaties on trade and other pacts, without first obtaining permission from the highest Russian power in the Central Asia. Moreover, the Khan would not to conduct any military operations. This gave the Russian administration not only the control of all the actions of the Khan, but also the internal affairs of the khanate. The boundaries of the khanate were also determined in the treaty: Khiva possessed the right bank of the Amu Darya river, and Khan was to compensate for all the losses and award the former landowners with the lands on the left bank of the river. In accordance with the treaty, «The steam ships and other ships from Russia, either government or private, are given a permission to sail freely along the Amu Darya». The ships from Khiva and Bukhara had the right to sail along the Amu Darya River only with permission from the highest Russian power in Central Asia. This series of items mandated the political subordination of the khanate in order to protect the advantages and privileges of Russian merchants and manufacturers. This aspect of the treaty caused great dissatisfaction among the powerful traders of Khiva, who made the Khan ask for reconsideration on some of the articles of the treaty.

The conquest of Khiva opened the khanate to Russian; the treaty stated: «Russian merchants and caravans can freely travel in the khanate and enjoy the patronage of the local government. The Khan will be responsible for the security of caravans and storehouses». The Russian merchants were free from all kinds of obligations and given rights for free transit and trade. In order to oversee trade and commerce, the Khivans were given the right to have their own agents (karavan-bashes). Regarding disputes over trade: The khanate of Khiva has an obligation to investigate the complaints and claims of a Russian citizen and, if they are well-grounded, to certify them.» In the case of a claim between a Russian and Khivan citizen, if they were in the territory of the khanate, the case was to be even to a Russian official to be considered. The government of the Khan was ordered to take a different judicial role for matters involving Russians. For example, for crimes against a Russian citizen in the territory of the khanate, «the government of Khan is responsible to capture and turn him over to the nearest Russian official».

Finally, in accordance with the treaty, the khanate of Khiva was to pay to cover the cost connected with March to Khiva. The Treaty of Qandiman was the result of an open aggression and a colonial policy carried out by the tsarist autocracy. However, it should be noted that the khanate and its capital, profited from the order of economic life and security on trade promoted by the consolidation of all territory into an integrated economic relationship.

The seizure of the khanate by Russia promoted the development of local production. The railroads built in Turkestan connected important markets and, from an economical point of view, played an important role for the region. Khiva's role as a trading city was strengthened. With its modern public life, the city attracted people from abandoned and neglected areas, and introduced them to education and culture. It elevated them from patriarchal dependence and ancestral prejudice while presenting them with the new demands and habits associated with urban life. Thus, the development of Khiva was integrally connected with the expansion of its trade-transport operations; five large and eleven middle-sized Russian firms were operating in Khiva by the turn of the century. There were six cotton-cleaning plants (three of which were operated by local merchants) one caravanserai, fourteen grocery and specialty stores, other stores owned by local merchants, a warehouse, and a transportation office, and a Western Society of Friendship. The majority of the industrial enterprises belonged to the Russians, but there were also local manufacturers such as: Allaberganov, Al-lakulov, Aminov, Kurjanniyazov, brother Baklavas, Samandarov and others. The domestic industry was also significantly developed. There were about sixty different types of handicraft. The city was famous for its master jewelers, coppersmiths, engravers of wood and stone, leatherworkers, and tailors, among others. The handicraftsmen were manufacturers and, at the same time, brokers of their own production. The dukans (shops) of many of the handicraftsmen served as workshops.

A large weaving mill (karhana) was located in Khiva. Hired labor was utilized there and included about thirty-one silk weavers in five dukans. There were also large dye factories and creameries located in Khiva. The mode of life for the handicraftsmen had been significantly changed. The handicraftsmen working at nights began using oil lamps instead of wick light. Sewing machines, known as Zingers», were used in tailoring. The new equipment used in production played a positive role in the development of handicraft and labor productivity.

European handicraftsmen arrived in Khiva, starting new workshops with new equipment.

The bazaars of Khiva continued to be important in economy life of the khanate. There was organized wholesale (especially for cotton manufacturing). There were storehouses for goods from Russia. The Transcaspian railroad opened new horizons of trade. Trade with Russia grew. The Russian manufacturers send various types of printed cotton from the firms of Kokushkin, Konovalov, Sokolov, Bogomasov, Sheremetev and linens from Mindavsk. The handkerchiefs of Yakunchikov were in a great demand in the market of Khiva, in the nineteenth century, Khiva had already become established as an industrial trade center. The city had trade relations with Bukhara, Turkestan, Percy, and Afghanistan, imported goods included indigo, china, all possible fabrics, silk, paper, medical substances, tea, corn, flavorings, rice, cattle, gold and silver ingots, spice, fresh fruit, dried fruit, sugar, and other items. In the early twentieth century, the amount of large industrial trade firms Gradually increased. In 1900, there were about twelve firms; in 1910 that number grew to twenty; in 1913 there were twenty-two firms with an annual turnover 3 — 20 million rubles. Russian banks began to become active in the khanate.
The demand for literacy and secular science increased with economic development and the growth of bourgeoisie society. From the 1880s, there was increasing interest in education. Russian indigenous schools opened on the invitation of a well-known statesman, Palvan Mirza bashi (Komil Khorezmi). The Russian teachers taught children arithmetic, Russian, and world history. Muslim teachers taught the maktab program. Maktab primary schools were operated in mosques, and here Imams taught children about famous men, the Arabic alphabet and how to read the Koran. The duration of this education was eight years.

Some pupils went on to secondary and higher education. Madrasah education, consisted theology and Arab grammar, Moslem philosophy, scholastic law, arithmetic, and geometry. In Khiva alone, there were approximately 120 madrasas, sixty-three karkhana. Only boys studied in maktabs and the madrasah. The wives of imams and teachers organized home schools for girls from well-to-do families. They were taught to read the Arabic alphabet and the Koran. The influence of the clergy on the cultural life of Khiva was very considerable. Khiva and Bukhara were the centers of Muslim theology. There were ninety-four mechets (mosques).

The echo of events from the Young Turk revolution (1905-1907) rolled into the Khiva Khanate. There was increased talk about the reformation of the country, the ways of democracy, and social progress. A movement for reformation began and was called djadidizm (from Arabic usuli-djadid, new method). The leader of Khiva djadidi was Islam-hoji. The djadidi represented an attempt by the liberal bourgeois to change the government of Khiva by reform. They did not criticize Islam or the shariat and they demanded only that some innovations be instituted in the struggling education system and that greater attention be paid to certain aspects of secular education. The bourgeois of Khiva also wanted to stop Russian peasants from migrating to the Khanate.

In 1906 and in 1911 two modern schools opened in Khiva. The teachers used new teaching methods, but they also taught the children the principles of Koran and shariat as found in the maktabs. Nonetheless, the Moslem clergy were negative to such new schools. Meanwhile, the djadio movement worked to reform the old schools, and open more new ones.