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Shape and development of capitalist relations in Azerbaijan

Changes occurred all over the world in the second half of the 19th century, influenced to socio-economic life of Azerbaijan too.

Industrial rise in the Russian empire, which began after the abolishment of serfdom, shaped demand to essential sources of raw-materials in the environs. In the process of development of capitalism the economic ties between Azerbaijan and Empiral industry strengthened, traditional fields of agriculture enlarged, new industrial fields on the production of raw materials shaped. In 1861, Moscow businessmen Alekseyev and the brothers of Voronins founded silk fabric in Khanabad with 432 equipment and 500 workers, which produced production in an amount of 500 million rubles per-year. In 1855-1865s, there were constructed copper plants in Gedebey and in the same period there were created cobalt and kvass-alunit plants in Dashkesen. There was set paraffin plant of Kokorev and Qubonin in Surakhani in 1859 and in 1853, paraffin plant of Javad Melikov in Baku. At the beginning of 70s of the 19th century, there worked 47 paraffin plants in the industrial region of Baku. The abolishment of obligatory labour of peasants, who were attached to oil wells in 1864, as well as the abolishment of payment system in oil industry pushed the development of this important industrial field. This essential industrial sphere, which had been ruled with payment system for a long time began to develop and Baku became the world oil centre.

Peasantry reform of 1870

New industrial relations were realized with essential lacks in Azerbaijan villages. Tsarism, which obliged to abolish serfdom, delayed the realization of peasantry reform in the environs. The peasantry reform, implemented in Azerbaijan in 1870, differed from the peasantry reform, realized in 1861, in Russia with its content, size and goals. Tsar governments did not give vehicles to Azerbaijan peasants for the bought of land parts from their land-owners, the bought of these land parts was not obligatory in Azerbaijan and etc. The statute of May 14, 1870, did not liquidate feudal-dependance relations in Azerbaijan. It was not casual that the bought of land parts on the basics of the statute occurred very rarely. On the other side the statute of May 14, concerned only to privately-owned peasants, who constiuted only 13% of rural population, not to fiscal peasants, who constituted 70% of rural population in Azerbaijan.

Neverthless, despite of all limitations, the statute of May 14, 1870, shaped suitable conditions for the extension and development of capitalist industrial relations. So, for instance, commodity-monetry relations in the village enlarged much more, the number of industrial fields gradually increased and they passed to commodity output. All of these events contributed to polarization in village, strengthening of migration of landless peasants to industrial centres, becoming strained the class confrontation.

At the result of the shaped enlargement of commodity output, the necessity of large markets, as well as because of the strengthening of demand of industrial centres of empire to cheap raw-materials and labour, there was exploited Tiflis-Baku railway in South Caucasus in 1883, trade navigation in the Caspian Sea, which contributed to the development of commodity-monetry and commodity-capitalist relations, facilitated to the entrance of North Azerbaijan to world economy. From the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, there began to extend cotton-growing industry, there formed cotton- refining industry in Iravan, Nakhichevan, Goychay, Javad and other regions of Azerbaijan and such fields as growing grapevines, gardening and tabacco-growing began to constitute to the demands of empiral industry.

In the examined period, various regions of Azerbaijan specialised in one or another field of agricultural industry, the use of improved labour tool extended here. There occurred difficulties, deep social process, there appeared new classes of bourgeoisie-kulaks and rural proletariat in villages. If the rural bourgeoisie was represented by kulaks, who afforded to form their housekeeping by new means, the rural proletariat consisted of poor people, who possessed smallest land parts,but did not have opportunity to provide themselves with this and obliged to work as hired ones.

Although increased capital delayed the development of industrial relations in Azerbaijan village, the number of people, who were engaged in money-lending were small. Generally, the representatives of kulaks were engaged in both money-lending and other fields of industry.

The preserve of feudal remainings delayed the development of capitalist industrial relations. Industrial relations entered to village with great difficulties in the second half of the 19th century. The existence of feudal yoke, the addition of new confrontations between kulaks and poor people, as well as colonial repression much more aggravated class relations in Azerbaijan village. Cruel colonial policy and obligatory christianization, which were realized by tsarism caused to powerful uprising in Zakatala, led by Haji Murtuz in 1863. It was not casual that at the end of the 19th century, the peasantry movements against feudal, kulak and national yoke much more intensified and they turned into military uprisings in several areas as well. At the end of the 19th century, the most bright expression of class fought in the villages were the movements of gachags. Gachag Nebi, Gachag Kerem, Deli Ali, Suleiman, Yusif and other legendary national revengers conducted fought against beys, kulaks, tsar officers in Zangezur, Nakhichevan, Kazakh, Ganja and other territories for a long time.

Further progress in oil industry. Shape and development of oil monopolies

In the examined period, there was felt essential reviving in the industry of Azerbaijan, especially in the oil industry. The reviving in oil industry, which began after the implementation of the line of technical improvements (if there was extracted 539 thousand pud oil in Baku in 1864, this sign was 1685 thousand pud in 1869) and after the sold of oil lands to private owners (1872) this field rapidly developed. New oil fountain (1873-1874), the revealing of new rich oil lands, cheapness of labour forces, technical improvement and etc. contributed to quick rise in the extraction of oil, as well as the incline of local, Russian and foreign capital to this field. Year by year the member of oil companies increased. If in 1873, there were 12 such companies in Baku, their number reached to 140 (15 of them were big firms) in 1899. If in 1875, there was extracted only 5,2 million pud oil, the extraction of oil reached to 667,1 million pud in 1901. This number consisted of the half of world extraction of oil, as well as 95% – extracted in Russia. Even in the mid of 90s of the 19th century, the oil industry of Azerbaijan promoted other countries and became the first in oil extraction country over the world.

Wild exploitation of wells gave high profits to oil companies. For example, if initial capital of the company of brothers Nobel, founded in 1873 equaled to 3 million rubles, this amount reached to 11 million rubles after 11 years.

Oil-refinery industry was also developing. There began to be consructed new plant region, called Black city in Baku in 1873. In the further period the fabrics and plants were built in Black city – in Keshle and in White city. There were 148 oil enterprises in Baku in 1890. In 1899, there worked 88 paraffin, 4 benzine, 5 oil and many other plants in Baku. The utilization of fuel oil in Russia increased from 7 million pud in 1880, to 264 million pud in 1900, i.e. it rose in 37 time.

The exportation of oil products from Baku extended too. In 1883, the Baku oil withdrew American oil from Russian market and in 80s, it began to contest with American oil in European and Asian markets.

There were constructed oil-refinery plants, which worked on Baku oil in several countries of Europe (Germany, Austria).

The oil-pipe of Baku-Batumi, set in 1897-1907s, essentially enlarged the opportunities of export of Azerbaijan oil.

In the second half of 80s, there occurred “fuel oil crisis” in Baku, on the ground of which, oil businessmen of Baku burned 26 million fuel oil in order to free land stocks, since they could not find profitable markets abroad. In the beginning of 90s, oil industry fall into much deeper crisis. During this crisis, which was accompanied by the fall of prices, there occurred the process of intensive consentration of industry shape of monopolistic unions and bank capitals. If ¼ of big firms possessed 75% oil extraction, this number reached to 87,3% in 1901. The weight of the firm of Nobel brothers in general extraction of oil consisted of 1,9% in 1880, but in 1890-20%. The portion of joint-stock capital reached to 89,4% (165,3 million) in oil industry of Baku in 1901. The assembly of oil-businessmen, created in 1884 and “The Union of Baku paraffin-plant owners” (the firms, which were included to this union produced 94% of Baku paraffin) played an important role in the development of oil industry as well.

There were developing other industrial fields such as-copper extraction, cotton-refinery, silk-refinery-spheres in this period, as well as there shaped new industrial centres. Baku became the biggest industrial centre of not only North Azerbaijan, but also whole Caucasus. In 1897, there lived 20% (about 114 thousand people) of all population in Baku guberniya. In 1889-1902s, the number of population in Baku reached to 21,6 thousand people because of immigration to the city. The growth of population in several cities constituted 63-147%. At the end of the century, the number of population of Yelizavetpol (Ganja) constituted 33 thousand, in Shusha-26 thousand, in Nukha-25 thousand, in Shamakha-20 thousand and in Quba-15 thousand people.

There shaped new socio-economic forms of class in Azerbaijan- bourgeoise and proletariat in the second half of the 19th century. The bourgeoise of Azerbaijan, consisted of big oil-businessmen, owners of other fabrics and plants were multinational from the beginning. There were included the representatives of Russian (Kokrev, Shibayev, Qubenin and etc.) and Armenian (Lianozov, Mantaashev, Qukasov and etc.) capital along with Azerbaijanis (H.Z.Tagiyev, M.Naghiyev, Sh.Asadullayev, A.Quliyev, Dadashov and others).

In this period the role of national bourgeoise was great in the history of Azerbaijan. Really, the profits of Azerbaijan national bourgeoise based on the exploitation for obtaining more products as its everywhere in the period of capitalism. Political and economic interests of the representatives of this bourgeoise were related with tsar governmental circles as in all environs of Russian Empire. Neverthless, most of them played progressive role in the history of Azerbaijan. Certainly, the progressive role of national bourgeoise influenced to the development of Azerbaijan culture, enlightenment, national-cultural identity and economy (it is enough to take into account the activity of H.Z.Taghiyev). Generally, Azerbaijan national bourgeoise played progressive role in historical development.

The proletariat of Northern Azerbaijan consisted of peasants of Northern and Southern Azerbaijan, Norhtern Caucasus and along Volga. As the bourgeoise the proletariat of Azerbaijan was multinational from the beginning. Oil industrial workers of Baku, the workers of metallurgy, light and food industry, railway transport constituted leading line of labour class of Azerbaijan. But it is not right to consider that the working class of Azerbaijan consisted of only Baku proletariat. Many people worked in industrial enterprises in the uyezds of Azerbaijan, as well as there existed heired labour in agriculture. According to census, the number of proletariat in the uyezds of Azerbaijan reached to 100 thousand people at the end of the 19th century.

In the second half of the 19th century, there occurred essential event in the history of Azerbaijan-there shaped Azerbaijan bourgeoisiean nation. There were included various classes and social stratums: industrial, trade and rural bourgeoisie, peasantry, proletariat, craftsmen, clergy and etc. At the result of aggravation of confrontations among the new shaped classes there began to intensify class strife in Azerbaijan beginning from 70s of the 19th century. In 1872, the copper- extraction workers of Gedebey came out on strike, in 1880-1881s the tobacco-workers of Baku went on strike for several times. There participated 5000 people in the big strike of Baku in 1891. In the 90s of the 19th century, there occurred the uprisings of workers of tobacco- fabrics, silk-refinery enterprises of Nukha, various enterprises of Absheron and etc. for several times. But these strikes were not organized and the strikers mentioned only economic demands.

Beginning from 80-90s, there began to extend Marksist literature in Azerbaijan. There was revealed the “Manifest of Communistic party” by the Baku police in 1885. In 1889, there was created first labour circle in Baku. M.Mammedyarov, B.Dadashov, M.Kasimov and other Azerbaijan workers participated in this social-democratic circles, which appeared in 1896-1897s and their number reached to 6, in 1899.

Although, first social-democratic circles founded the future of proletariat uprisings, the absence of organized centre in Baku delayed this process.

The dependence of Iran from England and Russia strengthened much more in the beginning of second half of the 19th century. Southern Azerbaijan fall under the influence of Russian empire. This region of Azerbaijan was backward agrarian region. Even the sold of state lands, called khalise in 1886, did not make rural producers land- owners. Most part of these lands in Southern Azerbaijan passed to the lands of nobility. Ten thousands of peasants migrated to the North for seeking loaf of bread.

South Azerbaijan was the richest region of Iran. The city of Tabriz played the role of most important trade way of the East. Shah bourecracy did its best to obtain much more profits from Southern Azerbaijan by any vehicles. Such events, giving to the output of tabacco and tobacco items to the monopoly of English capitalist, Talbott negatively influenced to lifestock of workers. Industrial enterprises were closed in South Azerbaijan with the pressure of Russian businessmen. The policy of the government, the plundering of the population by Iranian monarchy and foreign capitalists caused to several big national movements in Southern Azerbaijan in the second half of the 19th century. There begun national movement against Tabriz governor- Sahib-Divan ended in 1881, by his withdrawing from Tabriz. By the pressure of national movements Shah government obliged to annulate the monopoly, given to Talbott. In 1893, there happened powerful uprising under the leadership of Zeynab pasha in Tabriz, which was directed against the speculation of grain.

The development of culture in the second half of 19th century

There began new phase in the development of science and culture in Azerbaijan in the second half of the 19th century. In this period there formed democratic intellegency, which reflected progressive traditions and enrichments of Azerbaijan culture, developed various spheres of literature and science as well as shaped national theatre, libraries, new newspapers and etc. In 1875, H.Zardabi began to publish the paper of “Ekhinchi” (“Arable farmer”), which was considered the beginning of Azerbaijan press and in 1894, N.Narimanov opened the first Azerbaijan Public library-reading hall in Baku. They, as well as N.B.Vezirov, S.A.Shirvani,   S.M.Qanizade,   Q.B.Mahmudbeyov,   R.B.Efendiyev, C.Mammedquluzade, Kh.B.Natavan and others opened new pages in the development of science and culture of Azerbaijan. Progressive representatives of our culture, who struggled against national and class yoke, also against superstitions and fanatism stayed in the positions of enlightenment and democratic world-outlook.

The publishing paper of “Azerbaijan” in Tabriz in the 50s of the 19th century, founded the basics of local press in Southern Azerbaijan, in this city there was opened “Medrese-i Nasiri” in 1896, in 1877, “Tabriz State Medrese” and in 1888-school of “Usuli-cadid”, which was founded by the “father of enlightenment of Iran”, Mirza Hasan Rushdiyye. There were published the papers of “Ziya”, “Ziyai- Kavkaziye” and “Keshkul” in Azerbaijan language in Tiflis in 1879.

They were published by the brother Seid and Jalal Unsizadeh. In 80-90s of the 19th century, there were published the papers of “Caspi”, “Baku”, “Baku news” in Russian language in Baku, in which were enlightened socio-economic and political processes.

Articles and other materials which were published in above- mentioned papers contibuted to the growth of social and national identity, the understanding about the necessity of national unity.

The formation of Azerbaijan bourgeoisiean nation was expressed in development and strengthening of all signs, which characterized the nation. Azeri Turkish became common-national language as the language of peoples’ negotiation, literature and press. It enriched with new words, became common-national and unit language in literature, science and agricultural life. The concept of “millet”, which was brought to literature and press by M.F.Akhundov concerned to the second half of the 19th century. The paper of “Keshkul”, which extended the idea of Azerbaijan nationality on its pages, firstly used the concept of “Azerbaijan nation”.

About Ismayil bey Zardabli

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