1945-1953 History of Kazakhstan 1964-1985

Kazakhstan 1953-1964

Political History . The attitude of Moscow regarding Kazakhstan changed drastically. Hitherto regarded the dumping ground for suspicious minorities, it was now regarded a promising frontier (Virgin Lands Campaign, Baikonur). Ethnic Kazakhs rose in the party ranks. In 1960, for the first time, an ethnic Kazakh, Dinmukhammad Kunayev, was appointed First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party.
In 1954, Kengir Labour Camp saw the Kengir Uprising.

Foreign Affairs . In 1954, across the border in Xinjiang (PR China) the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture was established.

Economy . The Virgin Lands Campaign resulted in the sharp increase of Kazakhstan's agricultural production, mostly produced in the country's north. Coal production centered on Karaganda was increased. The Virgin Lands Campaign had a side effect; water diverted from the Amu-Darya to irrigate cotton fields in Uzbekistan caused the Aral Sea to shrink (in a process lasting decades), and the lake water's salt content to rise, causing the decline of the fishing industry. The Druzhba pipeline system, transporting oil and natural gas from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to central Russia, and the Soviet satellites of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and the GDR, was constructed in 1964.

Demography . The population estimate for 1953 is 7.316 million, that for 1964 11.511 million (J. Lahmeyer).
Following the death of Stalin, the first of the deportees were permitted to return (Azeris).
In a massive program to economically develop unused lands (Virgin Lands Program), between 1954 and 1962 an estimated 2 million settlers, mostly ethnic Russians, were settled in Kazakhstan (mainly in the north of the country). In 1962, Kazakhs living on the Chinese side of the border, fleeing drastic reforms, crossed into Kazakhstan.

Technology . After World War II, Kazakhstan was the testing ground for Russia's nuclear program, the first nuclear device being exploded at Semipalatinsk in 1949. In 1955, Baikonur Cosmodrome was constructed, to become the launching site for Russia's satellite and space program.

STUDENTS' PAPER Choi Eunsol, The History of Kazakhstan as Reflected in the New York Times, 1920-1969
Timetable History of Kazakhstan, from BBC News
Major Events Relevant to Central Asian History since 1600, timeline from oxuscom
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan History, from About Kazakhstan
Articles Baikonur Cosmodrome, Aral Sea, Druzhba Pipeline, Kengir Uprising, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Kazakhstan by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Kazakhstan, from Population Statistics
REFERENCE Chapter XXII : Antique Worlds of Central Asia, pp.450-474 in : John Gunther, Inside Russia Today, NY : Harper & Bros. (1957) 1958 [G]
Adventures in Central Asia, pp.220-251 in John Gunther, Meet Soviet Russia, NY : Harper & Bros. 1962 [G]
Zev Katz, Kazakhstan and the Kazakhs, pp.213-237 in : Zev Katz et al. (ed.), Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities, NY : The Free Press 1975 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 3rd 2002, last revised on October 13th 2007

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