This has always been the case, since historiography has been used by the state since its inception for ideological propaganda. As Jerome K. Jerome remarked on this, "in war, the soldiers of every country are always the bravest in the world. The soldiers of a hostile country are always treacherous and treacherous - that is why they sometimes win."
Every nation has its own specific themes, revolving around the idea of its own exclusivity about the past successes of the nation or, conversely, about its troubles.
For the Kazakhs, the attitude towards their own history is more inherent as the greatest tragedy on a planetary scale. "Men - Kazakupyn mykіlіp, weң tіrіlgen" ("I am Kazakh, who died and resurrected a thousand times") and "Tozaңtyk ңzіnen aman-sau қalyppyz" ("We survived in hell") - these are the nails on which Kazakh historiography hangs.
But the trouble lies in the fact that this woeful picture is not too closely tied to known historical information. In fact, the same Dzungars or Kalmyks, which in Russian historiography are portrayed as eternal, merciless and bloodthirsty offenders, the Kazakhs never organized such battles ascribed to them. But the fact that the descendants of the terrible Oirats scattered throughout the territory of various countries are now so small and virtually devoid of their own statehood, the Kazakhs played a huge, one might even say, decisive role.
Similar needs to be compared with similar, and it should be noted that, for example, at the beginning of the XVIII century, the Kazakhs as a people were comparable to the neighboring nomadic peoples like the Dzungars, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, Karakalpaks, Kyrgyz. The number of all these peoples ranged from 50 to 500 thousand people. Thus, according to Russian documents (of course, very approximately), the number of Kyrgyz was from 80 to 120 thousand people, Bashkir - 80-100 thousand, Karakalpak - 60-80 thousand, Kalmyks - 120-160 thousand people, Kazakhs - 300-XNXX , Dzungar - 400-400 thousand. By modern standards, these ethnic groups would be included in the group of endangered, but for that time it was a good number, allowing the people to hope for the continuation of its history.
However, by the end of the XIX century, the picture changed in a very significant way. The number of Kyrgyz in Russia was about 200 thousand people, Kalmyks - 190 thousand, Karakalpaks - 100 thousand. Several tens of thousands of descendants of the Dzungars, who mingled with the Khalkha-Mongols and the descendants of the Kalmyk fugitives 1771, lived in the territory of the Qing Empire. But the Kazakhs at that time only within the Russian Empire numbered about 4 million people. That is, the number of Kazakhs in less than two centuries has increased at least 10 times!
In this regard, they can be compared only with the Bashkirs, whose number grew at the same pace and in 1897 amounted to about 1 million 300 thousand people. But, alas, the Bashkirs failed to maintain these rates in the future. At present, their number in Russia is only about one and a half million people and has been declining in recent years.
And we must also take into account the colossal territorial acquisitions made by the Kazakhs in the 18th century! The territory controlled by the Kazakh tribes at the beginning of the same century, from west to east, was limited to the space from Emba to Sarysu (and part of the Syr Darya was occupied by Karakalpaks). Jungars roamed in Zhetysu and Sary-Ark, and on the territory of modern western regions, Bashkirs and Kalmyks considered themselves the absolute masters. But the Kazakhs, having managed to turn the tide in their favor, during the same 18th century managed to recapture land and occupied a colossal territory. Moreover, even the Russian authorities, subsequently occupying part of the northern Kazakh nomads, in turn allocated to the Kazakhs territory on the right bank of the Urals and the right bank of the Irtysh. And it does not interfere to recall that the Qing authorities simply did not have enough forces to absorb the northeastern Dzungarian lands, which the Kazakhs occupied without prior arrangement, on the basis of which the rights to them were subsequently claimed by the Russian throne.
In general, contact with the European civilization that absolutely dominated on the planet at that time on the planet had a very sad effect on the peoples who were, as they say, in the stage of tribalism. And it was not always the military superiority of the regular European troops. Diverse communities of natives and Aboriginal people disintegrated, primarily due to the internal shocks caused by the cultural influence of the “pale faces”. The former institutions broke down and went into oblivion because of their irrelevance, and nothing new appeared in their place. As a result, the processes of degradation and extinction of entire ethnic groups began.
Some researchers have predicted a similar future for the Kazakhs. So, for example, A. Kharuzin wrote: "No matter how sad it is, but one has to say that the Kirghiz (i.e. the Kazakhs - R. T.) will probably follow the general path of extinction of foreigners ... They will not die to the blind “law of extinction of foreigners,” but due to the living conditions that they first had been torn off from the old order and brought together with another alien, then put them in competition with other ethnic groups having more ancient cultural traditions behind them — everyone who did not merge with the element or Russian or Tatar ".
However, as is known, the Kazakhs not only did not die out, but also managed to adapt to new circumstances. In this regard, the authors of ethnographic works almost unanimously noted the sharp difference between the Kazakhs and other nomadic ethnic groups. For example, V. V. Radlov pointed out: "The Kirghiz differ sharply from the nomadic Türks of the Altai, and in their way of life and thinking they are at a higher level." In turn, L. Meyer, speaking of the Kazakhs, noted that "from the mental side, they compare favorably with other Asian people; the sciences are quite accessible to them, they are especially easy to understand the analytical way of presentation; however, quite extensive mental abilities are often found between them to understand such synthetic inferences that could never have been supposed available to underdeveloped people. "
Of course, these remarks were rather politically incorrect from the point of view of the present day, and, by the way, the conclusions from this were made appropriate. So, K. K. Kraft, noting that in former times the Kazakhs in their raids were taking captive many Russians, asked such questions: “Isn't this a mixture of the blood of the highest race with the blood of the natives, you should see one of the reasons that the Kyrgyz people does not suffer the fate of many ethnic tribes who are even in the best conditions - extinction, but reveals vitality, vitality and the desire for higher culture? Isn’t this refreshment of the blood one of the reasons that the Kyrgyz would freely and skillfully transfer to in becoming one level, and sometimes ahead of aboriginal farmers - Russian colonizers? ".
Of course, one should not strictly judge a researcher who left us a lot of important and valuable information about the history and culture of the Kazakh people. Moreover, at least he asked about the nature of Kazakh success, which even many of our historians, philosophers or writers cannot continue to conceive, who continue to mourn the ancestors' sufferings.
Meanwhile, historical sources still harbor a lot of not-meaningful information about the past of the Kazakhs. It is these facts that are not publicized that explain how, for example, the Kazakhs managed to achieve hegemony on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. The first and main secret of the Kazakh military victories (contrary to the usual ideas, wandering from one author to another) was the fact that the Kazakhs mastered firearms weapon the first of the nomads of the region. It was with the use of firearms that the loudest victory over the Dzungars in 1643 was associated, when the entire 600 Kazakh soldiers managed to stop the 50-thousandth Dzungar army in the mountain pass.
Subsequently, the Dzungars also began to use the “fiery battle” and even took the lead by mastering the production technology of artillery, but the rest of the nomadic peoples who were opposed to the Kazakhs could not bear with them in this component. So, in the course of frequent in 20-s. XVIII century. Kazakh-Kalmyk clashes Astrakhan governor APVolynsky noted that "Kalmyks, of course, can disappear if so much kasaki go on them, they are so timid in front of Kasaka, for example, where 5 or 6 are five, and Kalmyks are five or by six thousand, they cannot resist them, because kasaki have more squeals than bows. " In turn, AI Tevkelev noted that the Kazakhs “use little saidak, and the war has most of the fiery gun without locks with wicks. Bashkirs in a military case use only one saidaq with bows, and there is no Nikakov fire gun”.
But the victory of the people is forged, of course, not only and not so much on the battlefields. Another extremely important factor in the conditions of a sharply continental climate and regular, like the current financial crises, jutes (incidentally, by the way, in accordance with folk omen, most often in the year of the hare) was a unique system of Kazakh mutual support. As Ch. Ch. Valikhanov wrote, “besides innate sensitivity, kaysak makes compassionate a fear understandable to everyone today or tomorrow to impoverish itself through ram or case so frequent in the steppe. Mutual assistance to each other provided by kaisaks in the latter case is worthy of imitation and an enlightened European. "
In general, mutual assistance for nomads has always been characteristic, we can recall the laws of the same Genghis Khan, where great attention was paid to this issue, but the Kazakhs were more jealous about these principles until the transition to a half-tired and sedentary lifestyle. By the way, one of the greatly inflated myths is the idea of the extraordinary fragmentation of the Kazakhs. Of course, the Chingizid clans permanently challenged the power of each other, and the tribes competed for the nomads, but mostly the case was limited only to Barymty, and even individual killings caused a huge resonance. But the matter did not reach the bitter mutual extermination, as in the case of the Dzungars or the Nogays. So, A.I. Tevkelev, commenting on the possibility of using the Kazakhs of the Younger Zhuz against the Middle Zhuz, if necessary, noted that "the Kirghiz with the Kirghiz will not be chopped, and such a Kirghiz horde will all remain worthless."
Another very important circumstance that influenced the course of history was the social system itself, where freedom was considered the main value. Historians usually mention this in a negative context, considering that the absence of a strong centralized state and the endless feuds of tribal nobility and Chingizids among themselves prevented the development of a single course for the ethnic group. For example, P.S. Pallas said: “Numerous Kyrgyz people live in unlimited liberty in comparison with Kalmyks, who have so many small lords over themselves. Every Kyrgyz lives as a free lord, and therefore the Kyrgyz are not as terrible as other enemies ".
However, iron discipline and strict obedience to the authorities, often bringing success to the Oirat on the battlefield, eventually led to a national catastrophe in 1771, when the Kalmyks unanimously supported the adventure of their rulers to move to China. And for example, Yu. Kostenko, who devoted his work to the study of this displacement, spoke of these fundamental differences as follows: "In Kalmyks ignorance, poverty and the absence of any freedom in the life of the people naturally forced them to complete dependence and unconditional obedience to their owners. Such a passive obedience is not seen in other nomadic peoples, such as Kirgiz who are distinguished by their love of freedom; Kalmyks have this characteristic trait, which is why we pay attention to it. "
In general, among Kazakh rulers such adventurous plans also often arose. For example, the leaders of the Younger Zhuz in the same 18th century had long been carrying out the possibility of moving to the Kuban and uniting with the Nogai. But it was impossible to implement such projects due to the resistance of the masses.
The Kazakhs had very peculiar relations with the Russian authorities. Other nations that were on the path of an ever-expanding empire usually chose either the path of struggle and, like the Circassians, suffered huge losses, or completely obeyed and accepted the new rules of the game, which also had a destructive effect on ethnicity. However, the Kazakhs, voluntarily recognizing themselves as Russian subjects, for almost a hundred years remained de facto independent. And after the liquidation of the khan's power up to the end of the 60's. XIX century, in the steppe continued to maintain a very high level of self-government.
First, of course, purely economic circumstances contributed to this. From the middle of the XVIIIth, the Kazakhs became the largest suppliers of livestock to the Russian markets, and this trade was extremely profitable for the Russian merchants. At the same time, the Kazakhs became consumers of a huge amount of Russian goods that were not of interest to the same Europe. Therefore, some representatives of the Russian authorities by all means interfered with the transition of the Kazakhs to a sedentary lifestyle, believing that they are valuable for the empire only as cattle breeders. A. I. Levshin in connection with this exclaimed: "Is the benefit gained by Russia from establishing ties with the Cossack hordes to be questioned? What other people would give us in the same large number of works that we exchange now with them? And who would take from us all those goods that we now release to them? "
Secondly, the low-water Kazakh steppes, semi-deserts and deserts did not allow the Russian military to turn especially even when the highest permits came from St. Petersburg to “adequately punish the Kirghiz people for their insolence.” As soon as the troops only came out of the Line, the steppe telegraph began its work, and the auls of the nomads took off from the spot and went into the steppes, where the troops did not risk going, because it was pumped very badly, which was most clearly demonstrated by Major General MM’s march. Traubenberg in 1771 and the campaign of Count V. A. Perovsky in 1839.
Thirdly, the same territory for the most part was not suitable for farming. True, after the abolition of serfdom in Russia, the resettlement of peasants to Kazakhstan acquired a fairly wide range, but these migrants were mostly limited to only a few regions, and the Kazakhs continued to wander in most of the rest of the territory.
Islam played a huge role in the Kazakh rise. The peoples who professed "pagan" religions, as a rule, very quickly gave up before the sermons of Christian missionaries and abandoned the old cults, after which assimilation began. The Muslim ideology, despite the general crisis in the countries of Islam, was able to withstand the cultural pressure of Orthodoxy.
It is also necessary to mention the purely practical benefits of Islam for the Kazakhs. In this regard, hygiene requirements in Islam were of particular importance. Of course, nomadic livestock raising does not in itself contribute to the maintenance of particular cleanliness in everyday life, but in comparison with other nomads who lived in monstrously unsanitary conditions, the Kazakhs looked in a more advantageous light. Thus, describing the Kazakh way of life, P.S. Pallas noted: "Kyrgyz, as usual, other Asian steppe peoples live in felt kibits, which differ from Kalmyk only because they usually are much bigger and cleaner, so XBUMX is more 20 a person can sit. In general, Kyrgyz people observe purity much more than Kalmyks in everything. "
Perhaps even more important was the prohibition of the Koran to consume alcoholic beverages. As you know, "fire water" was the cause of the degradation of many peoples and tribes of Siberia and North America, to which the Kazakhs are very close in genetic terms.
At the same time, the flexibility and sensitivity of the Kazakhs (which many consider to be spineless and an indicator of the lack of national pride) enabled them to master trade, crafts, agriculture, fisheries, and working professions as soon as possible. Already at the end of the 19th century, a small but completely brilliant layer of the national intelligentsia was formed.
These successes of the people, quite recently, in the eyes of the Europeans who did not differ from other "nomadic Tatars", aroused great interest among many researchers, who sometimes gave, perhaps, even too exaggerated a positive assessment of this process. This is especially true of such prominent scientists as V. V. Radlov and V. V. Grigoriev, who described Kazakh society in many respects from idealistic positions. But such was the impact of the impression of the actual reincarnation of the Kazakh people that was happening in their eyes.
Of course, there is no point in drawing the history of the Kazakhs only in iridescent colors. The first half of the 20th century has truly become an era of horror. The uprising of 1916, the Civil War, the famine of 1919-1920, the dispossession of kulaks, collectivization, repression, the Great Patriotic War together dealt a severe blow to the gene pool of the nation. The contribution that proceeded both naturally and consciously carried out Russification, during which part of the Kazakhs was assimilated by the “elder brother”, also made its contribution.
But after all, the Kazakhs managed to overcome this series of trials and not only survive and survive, but become one of the big ethnic groups in the post-Soviet space and gain statehood. Accordingly, in this regard, emphasis can be placed not only on the tragic aspects, but also to understand that during this period, the Kazakh ethnic group as a system successfully passed the test of strength, and this is also a victory to be proud of. With this, the Kazakhs once again confirmed their right to a place under the sun in this cruel world.
Therefore, in order to understand one’s own way, it is not necessary to travel across the seas and study the history of peoples who developed in a completely different time and space, when the experience of their own fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers is not yet fully understood and appreciated. Indeed, Kazakhs still face very serious challenges, which must be answered as well as their ancestors.