For the final fixation of Russia in the northern region of Kazakhstan there was not enough a military footprint, there was also the necessity of its agricultural reclaiming and including it into the internal market of Russia.
While solving a very important strategical task that concerns the insertion of Kazakh steppes into Russian empire structure by means of creation the net of military Cossack fortifications, Russia also needed an economic provision of new serf lines. Moreover, the necessity of the market to sell off its goods, as well as the cheap sources of raw materials and the prospects of the economic community with China and Central Asia increased the role of the flat trade in this region. The trade played a great role in the policy in the relations with Kazakh rulers.
The effective way of colonization was a long-haul trade that not only strengthened the economic links with the steppe and that was ministerial to the penetration of the other way of life through items of material culture, but it also solved the real-world problems: the replenishment of governmental treasury due to customs duties and supporting the lines with a provision.
At the second half of XVIII century in the northern region of Kazakhstan it was possible to assign two main trade centers. The are: Orenburg -Troitsk and Petropavlovsk.
The center of trade in the middle of XVIII century was Orenburg, which had "the shopping arcade with 150 small shops, and at steppes, not far from the city, there was the Exchange arcade with 148 storehouses and 344 small shops; the shopping arcade was used for autumn and winter trade and the exchange arcade was used to summer trade with asians". (1) The main items of trade in Orenburg were cattle and bread, the sail of which form 1745 to 1759 had averaged about one million of rubles. (2) The governor of Orenburg reported to Ekaterina II that "Kirghiz people came to the exchange in a big quantity, sometimes there could be exchanged 14 thousands of rams..." (3) So the barter trade in Orenburg had a big value and provided a benefit to merchants and governmental treasury.
In 1753 there were approved the rates goods taxes (these goods were brought to Orenburg and Troitsk), then there appeared the regulation for a boundary trade and there were opened the salt shops. The Government demanded the checkup and the security of the trade with the nomads. According to all these documents all Kazakh people who came to Orenburg, Orsk and Troitsk for a barter trade had to hand over their weapons in the custom house. The shops were supposed to have special military orders.
The barter trade in Orenburg became very popular and it made large profits to the merchants and to the state treasury. The governor of Orenburg I.I. Neplyuev gave an incentive to this kind of trade while using different ways: he invited Russian merchants to commerce in Orenburg; in order to attract Kazakh khans to the goods he gave the different presents such as flour and cereals; he allowed 200 families of trade Kazan Tatars to move to Orenburg. He also used the violent ways. So, in 1744 thanks to his petition and the Senate decree all the merchants that were supposed to be resettled to Siberia for their crimes, they were sent to Orenburg. Those people who made the commerce in the wrong places and without the government permission, were punished.
I.I. Neplyuev forbade to make commerce with Kazakh people in the wrong places, though Ablai and «people who supported Russian empire» (the foreman of the middle horde Kulsars and Kulyaks, who lived close to the trade lines) asked about the permission to sell of their goods at these places. He offered to send Kazakh people who wanted to make commerce to Irtysh to Yamyshevskaya and Semipalatinskaya regions because the trade was permitted there and there were a lot of merchants with the goods.
It´s necessary to point out that the urge of Orenburg governor I.I. Neplyuev to control the trade in this region was like an obstacle to its development in the new territories and it blocked the economic developing of the nearest territories.
Orenburg and Orsk didn´t provide the population with goods in enough quality and they didn´t cover all Kazakh stocks and tribes of the whole northern region.
As far as a military consolidation of new lines grew up and there appeared the purpose of strengthening the influence of power on Middle Zhuz that sultan Ablai longed for and whose loyalty the authorities were interested in, there was opened the barter trade with Kazakhs in Troitskaya fortress. For the most part Kazakhs bought bread, paper and metal products, manufactory products, tea, sugar, offering instead their cattle and products of cattle-breeding. The goods of economic culture were as the guard of Russian way of life into the Kazakh steppes and they also destroyed the traditional way of life. That´s why the collegium of Foreign Affairs supported the «the put of bread from that side to the foreign countries», because they supposed that «Asiatic people ate only meat and milk earlier, but now they begi8n to buy bread and that they will get pluses because of bread».
The efficient geographical position of Troitsk that was situated in the intersection of Russia, Siberia and Kazakhstan caused the importance of its role in the trade in the east of Russian empire. The evidences of it are the following: the establishment of the direct commerce way from Siberia to the Troitsk fortress; then the appearance in Troitsk barter market of Moscow, Tyumen, Putibl, Urzhumsk and other merchants, who wouldn´t go so far if it was not profitable; then the permission since 1753 to make a commerce in Troitsk fortress as well as in Orenburg; it increased customs duties; the transformation of Troitsk fortress promoted the development of the barter trade
The barter trade of Troitsk showed an effectiveness of long-haul trade, its important role in supporting of Russian influence on Kazakhs. That´s why there was opened a barter trade in Petropavlovskaya fortress and then in Presnogorkovskaya fortress in 1766. Both sides held an interest in opening of long-haul trade in Novoishimskaya line. We can find a proof in correspondence of the representatives of colonial authorities and in Kazakh gentility. For example, Ablay sultan addressed to lieutenant colonel P.Roden, who was the commander of Uyskaya military line in 1759: "my nation and I ask you to let Kyrgyz people exchange flour and grits in Saint Peter fortress". (4)
The result of the petition was the establishment of Petropavlovsk commerce, which was observed by the commander of Siberia corps I.I. Shpringer as the powerful procedure because it provided Russian government with a wide rode to the steppes. In order to encourage the trade in the territories in 1764, the government made a decision to assign some money for the treatment of the comers to the territory of Kazakh people and Central Asiatic merchants.
The trade in Petropavlovsk began successfully and its transactions in the first years gave extraordinary results. Among Russian merchants there were more ones from Siberia: Tobolsk, Tyumen, Tara. There also appeared the merchant from separate cities: Kazan, Tula, Kursk, Voronezh, Archangelsk. Sometimes there could be more than 100 merchants. Bukhara and Tashkent merchants went from Central Asia. The number of Kazakhs who came during one summer month could be from 500 to 650 people". (5)
In the trade of the territories there prevailed the barter character, but not a financial one, because while making commerce the Kazakh people couldn´t notice the non-equivalence of barter. The merchant established the necessary equivalent. For example, he could get a horse for seven arshines of blue broadcloth; for three arshines of the same broadcloth he could get a horse or for 14 arshines - 3 bulls. For two cast-iron boilers, a trivet and two bowls - two horses and one bull; for 80 clay bowls - a horse; it was possible to judge according to the following correlation: 25 arshines of a linen cost at that time 75 copecks; but a horse or a bull cost 7-8 rubles. The prices were spontaneous. Russian bought the pood of a beef for 40 copecks, a ram for 20 copecks, but they sold the pood the rye flour for 90 copecks. The horses of Kazakh people cost from 1, 5 rubles to 13 rubles, but in Orenburg it cost 15 rubles and more. So, at the beginning of the XIX century in Petropavlovsk custom house there were almost 84% of the whole cattle from Kazakhstan.
The prices for bread were also low, but it was caused by the policy. «It was supposed to sell bread to Kazakh people for low prices because they could have their own crops later and then they could become independent from the Russian influence and they had a chance to make good contacts with Hive and Bukhara who had the same believes».
There was also damage to the trade because of so-called privy commerce, which provided with goods only the population of these territories. That´s why the government that was an interested party in large profits, assumed some measures. In 1782 there was issued an edict of the Senate concerning the establishment of the custom-house chain and the necessity of the guards to stop the veiled export of the goods to the foreign countries. In 1784 the commerce collegium made a decision to give Petropavlovsk the functions of foreign trade (the conditions with Kyachta were the same). By the end of the XVIII century the commercial transaction achieved great results and it remained only behind Kyachta.
The turnover of the long-haul trade intensively involved northern regions of Kazakhstan into the market relations. Russian merchants were allowed to go out the line to steppe and the itinerant trade became a leading one. F.Helmolgz describes the conditions of itinerant trade: "the merchant who was going to the steppe loaded his cart with "the Kyrgyz goods" (it means bad goods which can not be sold in the city, such as cotton, tea, bad sugar) i.e. the goods had the worst quality and the lowest value. The merchant is traveling until the last good is sold. Goods were very expensive. A half of pound of tea and a pound of sugar cost a ram which price was 3-4 rubles. The merchant, when he was exchanging the goods, doubled the price but the price of Kyrgyz´s good was reduced twice. Also they cheated nomads who did not know the measure. " (6) Soon there appeared fairs in the steppe, for example Tainchakulskaya fair near Petropavlovsk. B.Zavalishin historian marked that "Petropavlovsk is the most important point of our trade with the West China and the whole Central Asia, not only on the Sibirian line, but also on Orenburgskaya one." (7)
The development of trade caused the appearance and the development of the production plants (in 1816 by the merchants of the second guild Ivan and Yakov Bolshakov there were opened the tallow-melting and leather-dressing plants), but in 1849 in Petropavlovsk there were opened 7 tallow-melting plants, 7 leather-dressing, 4 soap works and 17 brickworks.
All this led to the transformation of Petropavlovsk from the fortress to the city at the beginning of the XIX century, because it had an economic significance in the northern region of Kazakhstan.
The whole system of trade and economic relations played a great role the stabilization of the political climate in the region. The controlled trade in the fortifications made great profits to the Russian treasure and the merchants, and it also satisfied the requirements of the nomads in the goods and pulled them into the empire.
The analysis of long-haul trade condition in the northern region of Kazakhstan in the second half of XVIII century shows that it was an effective way of colonization and promoted the economic consolidation of the region in the empire.
The politics of social assimilation, military-civil colonization, long-haul trade strengthened economic and politic links of Russia with the steppe and at the same time they destroyed the nomad way of life, changed social structure, promoted the "absorption" of earlier free state and transformed it into the colony of Russian empire.
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- Kazakhstan - Russian relations in XVIII - XIX c. - Alma - Ata, 1964. - 109 p.
- Gaimester U. A. The Statistical description of Siberia. Part 2. - SP., 1854 - 323 p.
- The state archive of Omsk region F. 1 Op.1 D 179
- Gelmgolts F. Orenburg Menovyi court yard. The News of Orenburg Department of the I. R. G. S. Issue 3. - Orenburg, 1894. - 45 - 46 p.
- Zavalishin I. The description of Western Siberia. The Edition of a society of distribution of useful books - M., 1862. 134 p.