17609Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism
- Aug 7, 2006In a message dated 8/7/2006 11:29:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Vova H" writes:
"The one thing you can say about the Romanovs, since the accession of
Mikhail Feodorovich, is that they have gone out of their way to ruthlessly
suppress and exterminate Russia's native populations, they just haven't been
terribly successful at it."
Please present evidence to back up this statement.
The only group that has been "suppressed" as government policy were the
Old-Believers, primarily for political reasons, because the Russian
perceived them as a security threat. At one point, that perception was
probably justified, given that many Old-Believer groups were opposed to the
However, under Nicholas II, that policy was reversed.
No "native populations" in Imperial Russia were ever "suppressed"No "native
"exterminated""exterminated"<WBR>, as our interlocutor claims. There were no
was no analogue to "Indian wars",
No, they were just Uncle-Tommed out. It was specific Imperial policy to
categorize the native population as "inorodtsy" (different from us. . . ).
There's your analogue.
According to Akademiya Nauk anthropologist B. Dolgikh, Russians started the
elimination of the Yukaghir and the Koryak in 1635. Study of the Yukaghir is
indicative. The initial aim was to collect tribute in the form of sable furs
from the native people and to build fortified towns along the banks of the
River Yana. From there, they proceeded to the Indigirka, and then on to other
areas. The Kolyma Valley was settled around 1643. The new settlers built
towns to facilitate the collecting of tributes from the local inhabitants. The
towns also served as places to keep hostages. Special detention houses were
filled with hostages, held in order to force their relatives to bring in more
pelts. Approximately 6 % of the adult males were permanently kept hostage.
However, the Russians realized that this reduced the number of able-bodied
hunters, so toward the end of the 17th century the system was changed and, instead
of prime males, youngsters were detained. The mortality rate was high. The
anthropologist B. Dolgikh considers hostage-taking to be one reason for drastic
decrease in the Yukaghir population following the Russian invasion. The
Russians managed to put a strain on relations between the Chukchi, the Koryak and
the Yukaghir people. Among Russian officials there was competition for the
right to collect tribute from the local people. The result was that some of
the tribes had to pay tribute and supply hostages twice or more. Resistance
was punished by wives and children being taken captive. Thus in the 17th
century a lot of Yukaghir women were in the hands of Russian officials and
traders. Dolgikh claims that between 1770 and 1780, for example, approximately 10 %
of Yukaghir women of marrying age lived with officials and traders. The
imbalance between the number of men and women, warfare, intermingling with
neighboring peoples and the smallpox epidemics which ravaged Yakutia in 1657,
1659--1660 and 1691--1692, all contributed to a marked decline in the Yukaghir
population. While in the mid-17th century the Yukaghir numbered approximately
4,700, by the 1680s the population had fallen to 3,700 and by the end of the
century the number was 2,600 (B. Dolgikh). Thousands of people continued to fall
victim to venereal diseases and frequent famines and in 1861 there were only
1,000 Yukaghir in the province of Yakutia. In the 17th century the invaders
did not have time to put ideological pressure on the Yukaghir or any other
native people of Siberia. Conversions to the Russian Orthodox religion were
random (The Yukaghir were given a drink and, when drunk, were made to cross
themselves). Systematic conversions began in the early 18th century after a
church had been built in the fort of Zashiver, on the Indigirka.So, holding
hostages and forcing high mortality sounds pretty bad to me. The Yukaghir, who
once blanketed eastern SIberia, are now down to less than 500 people. I give
you your Indians.
there were no exterminations, and there were no forced conversions to or
from a religion. Those ethnic groups which converted to Orthodoxy, like the
Mordva, Ossetiny, &c, did so of free will. Those who remained Muslim, Buddhist,
or pagan, did so freely. Hence, Russia still has substantial Muslim,
Buddhist, and pagan populations.
Free will? You're serious? That's why Kaufmann and Bogolyubov had large
cadre of priests with them when the invading armies pulled out of Orenburg?
According to Bororas (Ak. Nauk), the eastern Siberian tribes were so upset at
Russian efforts that they banded together for the purpose of squashing
whatever Russian military influence could be brought to bear on them. That is why
the Koryak are one of the few nationalities who retained their ethnic identity
even beyond Stalin.
And although this remark will get me in trouble, let's talk about Orthodoxy
in Alaska. It's significant that Orthodoxy never spread among the Indians in
Alaska and California, despite a major Russian presence. Why: the Aleut
cosmology at time of contact had plenty of creation myth and death rite
symbology which had orthodox parallels. So, Aleut conversions, no problem. The
Tlingit continued attacking until 1867. The California Indians essentially
ignored the Russians, as did the Haida and the Tsimshian. For what its worth,
the latter two had no problem with Sheldon Jackson.
The seiges of Khiva and Boukhara under Aleksandr II were political
moves, aimed at counterbalancing growing British influence in Central Asia.
Let's see if I understand this -- where were the thousands of British troops
in Central Asia? There were none.
Note that the Khans of Khiva and Boukhara remained in power, simply
reckognizing the authority of St Petersburg, and that the populations remained
Really? Is this why Khokand disappeared? And why the entire Shakhriyabz
valley was suppressed, vacated, and opened for Russian settlement - even with a
new name - Ferghana. And seeing how Russian adventurism in Central Asia
started in the 17th century, why blame the Brits? Yes, two of the three
Khanates survived as vassal states, but the die were cast: the locals could not
stand Russians, and revolted every time they got the chance, all the way to the
1905 revolution and then the October revolution. Don't forget the Sufi
revolt of 1898 (that would be Mohammad Ali Khalfa) who called for jihad against
the Russians, not suppressed until practically the entire party was put to
death. Then the draft board riots and stripping of autonomy in 1898, 1905, and
1916. 1905 also saw the rise of the Jadid, who were also suppressed by
shipping out to the Dal'nyj Vostok by the Gossudar, but that bit him later, when
they returned in 1917 only too happy to serve the Commies.
As for the war in the Caucasus, ask any Ossetin or Ingush about the
There was no Russian policy to exterminate Chechens, only a policy to defend
innocent people (many of them non-ethnic Russian) from ruthless bums.
Not so simple. A lot of these innocent people don't want to be defended by
Russians. The Caucasus Wars went from 1817 to 1864, and the one thing we can
say about all of them is that the Russians got their clocks cleaned. Those
innocent people hated their defenders so much that widespread guerilla
warfare (not just from Chechens) continued for almost a half century, and at least
from the viewpoint of Western historians, is the single cause of the problems
in the Caucasus today. Read your own national poets (Pushkin, and
Shevchenko, although he's a Ukie). Fact is, Russians were in the Caucasus for the
same reason Americans were on the 48th parallel - Manifest Destiny. It's just
that the local populations were defeated. Could that be why Shamil is still
considered a hero in the area today?
Most (if not all) of the ethnic problems in modern Russia are the creation
Lenin, Stalin, and communist ethnic ideology.
And they go back to the Messianic attitude (similar to the Brits' "White
Man's Burden") of the Russians, in assuming that the entire Asian landmass was
waiting for that infusion of Russian kulchur...
On Russian relations with ethnic minorities, I recommend reading N. Ya.
Danilevskiy, Rossiya i Evropa.
Yessir, I'll get right on it. Sorry Professor, there are more sides to
Russian history than one.
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