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Economic policy of tsarism

Tsarism did its best to create social column in the conquered territories. Tsarism which did not entrust to local governing class and which ignored their rights in first years attempted to create such column from foreign elements, but in the 40s of the 19th century, it conducted the course on the alliance with local feudal stratum. There were returned inherited rights to the lands of the khans and beys, who escaped to Iran because of various reasons. Rescript of December 6, 1846 and “Peasantry statute” of 1847, became the logic result of close relationship between tsarism and local feudals. On the basics of these laws, the lands, which belonged to beys and aghalars in the period of the existence of khanates were given to their complete properties, feudal obligations of peasants were legally registrated. It’s important to mention that the law of 1846 and peasantry statute as well as various regulations, which were composed by high officers of Tsarism (Ermolov, Starkov and others) did not cardinally changed land and bey- peasant relations in the first quarter of the 19th century, but strengthened the line of agrarian relations, which had been existing for several centuries.
Some non-essential innovations (for instance, providing of each peasant from male sex, who reached to 18 years old with 5 desyatin land part), which were examined in these laws were not implemented and stayed on papers. Generally, speciality of the policy of tsarism in socio-economic sphere, which was characteristic to this period (as to future decades) was that local bodies of tsar administration could not afford the difficulty of relations, formed during centuries in socio-economic life of Norhtern Azerbaijan, satisfied with the preparation of laws, which based on local traditions and confirmation of existing relations. Colonial organs, whose major duty was the increasement of profits of Tsar Treasury by any means, did not put in front of themselves to regulate socio-economic relations in Azerbaijan. They did their best to satisfy the interests of Treasury with keeping most part of lands in the property of state, applying of new and increasement of old taxes.

By the realization of single monetary system, measure of length and weight shaped conditions for socio-economic development of the country. Increasement of demand, to agricultural productions, extension of the spheres of agriculture and trade, related with the demands of empiral industry, caused to the development of trade-monetry relations in Azerbaijan. In the end of 20s of the 19th century, there began to be shaped first capitalist enterprises-manufactures in Azerbaijan. The first such enterprise was constructed by Petersburg businessman in the village of Khanabad (Nukha province) in 1829.

There occurred certain progress in the development of agriculture, trade and craft in Azerbaijan in the mid of the 19th century. In 1848, 11 years ago from the USA, in Bibi-Heybet (near Baku), there was digged first oil spring over the world.

After the concluding of Turkmenchay treaty close processes occurred in Southern Azerbaijan as well. The formal independence of khanates was gradually liquidated and there was shaped big socio- economic space with the centre of Tabriz. Although the basics of economy was constituted by agriculture, trade and craft were also developing, especially trade relations with Norhtern Azerbaijan, Russia and European countries extended most of all. For example, in 1851 there was exported silk in an amount of 4,95 million rubl from Resht to Russia.

Azerbaijan took essential place in internal and foreign policy of Qajars dynasty. The city of Tabriz was permanent residence of the successors of throne.

In 1848, there began powerful religious-political movement led by Seid Ali Muhammed (1820-1850) – Bab in Iran. Babism enlarged widely in Southern Azerbaijan too. There acted such successors of Bab in Southern Azerbaijan, as Mullah Muhammedali, Mullah Yusif, Zerrintac and etc. One of the big uprisings of babids took place in the city of Zenjan (Southern Azerbaijan) in 1850, under the leadership of Mullah Muhammedali.


The development of economy influenced to the improvement of culture as well. For the culture of this period, it was characteristic the strengthening of trends of realism and enlightenment. Such prominent scientists and literature men, as A.Bakikhanov, M.Sh.Vazeh, M.C.Topchubashov, Mirza Kazimbey, M.F.Akhundov, K.B.Zakir and others put essential trade in the field of science and culture. Mirza Shafi Vazeh (1796-1852) was well-known in Azerbaijan with his lyrics. His poems, translated into many languages, were encountered with pride in Europe for many years.

Orientalist works of prominent Azerbaijan scientists M.C.Topchubashov and Mirza Kazimbey were known in all over the world; these scientists were the founders of Russian Oriental studies.

Historiography was also developing in this period. The creature of that time were “Gulistan-i Irem” of Bakikhanov, chronicles on history of Karabakh, compiled by Mirza Adigozel bey, Mirza Camal Javanshir and Ahmed bey Javanshir as well as the works of Kerim agha Fateh on the history of Sheki khans. There lived and created such chroniclers as Muhammed Qazi, Muhammed Sadig, Abdurrazaq Dunbuli at that time.

One of the prominent people of the 19th century, was great dramaturgist, philosopher and poet Mirza Fatali Akhundov (1812-1878). Great dramaturgist was the founder of several literature janres in Azerbaijan literature, had essential services in the increasement of realistic direction in our literature.

Major theme of the creature of one of the prominent representatives of that period in Azerbaijan, Kasim bey Zakir (1784- 1857) was encountered with suffer and misfortune of social-political life.

Geographer, ethnographer, historian and poet Haji Zeynalabdin Shirvani, who made 37 years journeys to many countries of East-from India to Sudan also lived and created in this period. There were known such masters as, Gambar from Karabakh (restorater and decorater) and Avaz from Mughan (illustrater) at that time. There were published papers in Azerbaijan language such as, “Tatarian news” (1832), “News about this side of Caucasus” (1841-1846) in Tiflis. In the first half of the 19th century, there began to extend secular education in Azerbaijan.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

Author of t extbook for the higher educational institutions "THE HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN, from ancient times to the present day"