Swamps, sorghum and saxauls

Marginal lands and the fate of Russian Turkestan (c. 1880-1915)

Beatrice Penati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article deals with rain-fed tilled land (bahārī) and wasteland in Russian Turkestan. On the basis of archival and published sources, the numerous twists and turns of Russian surveying policies before and after the endorsement of the 1886 Turkestan Statute are shown, and problems posed by the specific, mutable nature of bahārī land to the mechanism of land-tax allotment within each rural community, in particular for nonresident households are focused on. The 1900 amendments to the Statute radically changed the way land-tax was raised on bahārī land: thereafter it was to be calculated on the basis of its surface area instead of as a share of the harvest. Moreover, provisions passed in 1900, but fully implemented only in 1908, extended fiscal liability to wasteland whence villagers could earn an income through grazing, collecting firewood and other activities. It is demonstrated that these measures brought about a significant expansion in fiscal revenues, thus helping to narrow and ultimately redress the deficit in the Turkestan krai's primary budget, which had been a persistent problem since the region was originally annexed in 1865.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalCentral Asian Survey
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sorghum
swamp
wasteland
taxes
statute
liability
surveying
surface area
grazing
income
rural community
amendment
revenue
deficit
budget
land
marginal land
land tax

Keywords

  • Cadastral mapping
  • Land-tax
  • Rain-fed agriculture
  • Russian Turkestan
  • Wasteland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Development

Cite this

Swamps, sorghum and saxauls : Marginal lands and the fate of Russian Turkestan (c. 1880-1915). / Penati, Beatrice.

In: Central Asian Survey, Vol. 29, No. 1, 03.2010, p. 61-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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