History of Turkmenistan Turkestan SSR 1918-1924

Governorate of Transcaspia, 1879-1897

The Russian conquest of Transcaspia was undertaken from the General Governorate of Caucasia, from the port of Baku. The main tool of the Russian opening of Transcaspia was the Transcaspian Railway, the construction of which was begun at Turkmenbashi (Krasnovodsk; the fortress of Krasnowodsk had been built in 1869) in 1879, toward Ashgabad and Merv (Mary). The conquest of Transcaspia was completed by 1885. An Anglo-Russian treaty of 1887 fixed the border between Russian Transcaspia and Afghanistan. Formally, the Governorate Transcaspian Region was established in 1881, capital Ashgabad.

In 1897 Transcaspia was detached from Caucasia and placed under the General Governorate of Turkestan.
Seen both from Tiflis (seat of the General Governorate of Caucasia) and from Tashkent (seat of the General Governorate of Turkestan), Transcaspia was a remote and underdeveloped region. The Russian administration of Transcaspia had the reputation of being extraordinarily corrupt (Pahlen Report 1908-1910).
The forced conscription of Turkmen into labour battalions in 1916 caused the Basmachi Revolt.

Major Events relevant to Central Asian History (since 1600), from oxuscom
Article Basmachi Revolt, from Wikipedia
Basmachi. Turkistan National Liberation Movement, 1916-1930s, by H.B. Paksoy
Basmachi Rebellion 1916-1931, from ACED
Article Russian Turkestan, Transcaspian Region, Transcaspian Railway, Basmachi Revolt, from Wikipedia
The Baha'i Community of Ashkhabad, its Social Basis and Importance in Baha'i History, by M. Momen
DOCUMENTS List of Statesmen of Turkestan ASSR, from World Statesmen
Basmachi Movement from Within : Account of Zeki Velidi Togan, by H.B. Paksoy, from Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative
Article Transcaucasia, Krasnovodsk, Transcaspian Region, Geok-Tepe, Askabad, Merv, from EB 1911
Articles Transkaspisches Gebiet, Krassnowodsk, Aschabad, Merw/A>, Gök-Tepe, from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, in German
Articles Transkaspien, Transkaspische Eisenbahn, Aschabad, Merw, from Brockhaus Konversationslexikon 1894-1896, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 14th 2007

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