Caucasus, Persia, and our homeland. Eastern policy of Peter I

Caucasus, Persia and Russia.  Eastern policy of Peter I

Russian government grew rapidly and this could not affect the relationship Russian and Caucasian peoples. If the initial period of relations between Russia and the Caucasus, was placed between them wide "desert" (virtually uninhabited territory), where it was easier to meet a gang of robbers and steppe Udaltsov than a peaceful, agricultural settlement, by the beginning of the 18th century changed the situation radically. The entire place from Oka to Don and estuaries from Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod to Astrakhan was densely occupied chain towns and villages.

From now starts a chain marches on Caucasus, committed under Peter majestically Catherine I, Anna Ivanovna, Catherine II and Paul Petrovich. They became even more often as the borders of the Russian Federation approached the Caucasus. The reign of Peter I was a new step in the rapprochement between Russia and the Caucasus. By this time, began to tell an advantage over the Russian guns Crimean Khanate and the Turks. During the Russian-Turkish war of 1672-1681 years. tremendous Turkish-Crimean army failed to achieve a decisive victory over the Russian troops in 1696, the army of Peter takes Azov, created the Azov Flotilla. The Crimean Tatars are suffering a series of defeats in their own raids.

But the Caucasian affairs in the first two decades of the 18th century the Ottoman Empire was in a more fortunate position. Russian government got involved in a difficult and long war with the Swedish Empire, trying to gain a foothold on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Immediately sharply weakened Persia. The ruling Safavid dynasty degraded. The Shah of Iran Safi I (reigned from 1628 to 1642) died of alcoholism. His son Abbas II (ruled 1642 — 1667.) Was a lack of will and also indulged in drinking, and preferred to be in the harem, than to engage in politics. Municipal business was successful only because of the presence of good-quality Ministers. The scion of Abbas Soleiman Safi (who ruled between 1666 and 1694 years) are also preferred harem and wine, bad old suffered health. Quality management has continued to fall and come to an unsecured line. Corruption, the disintegration of the army, raided the Uzbeks and the Kalmyks, sapped power. Shah apparently also died because of alcoholism or related disorders (alcohol completely undermined, and so rather weak health of the ruler).

He was succeeded by Soltan Hussein (1694-1722), he was the last ruler of the Safavid dynasty, which was the sovereign ruler. He is also a huge part of the time was devoted to the harem and rest in lavish gardens, was a drunkard. Immediately he was a devout Muslim and a Shiite clergy under pressure, began a crackdown on Sufism, whose magical content was going to cut the official Shiism. There was also a rise in intolerance against Sunni Muslims, Jews and Christians. Adopted a resolution on forced appeal to the followers of Islam, Zoroastrianism. Naturally, this has seriously undermined the social world in Persia. The first inhabitants rebelled Afghan provinces, unhappy with the advent of on Sufism. In the 1717-1720 years. Sunnis revolted in Kurdistan and Shirvan. In Shirvan rebels quickly found a support in the middle of Turkey and lezghin Sunni tribes. In 1721 lezghin troops occupied the main city of Shirvan Shemakh and slaughtered the Shiites. The central government could not cope with other neuvvyazkami. In the Persian Gulf Arab pirates seized a number of islands. The authorities were not able to respond to the great plague in the north-western province.

In 1722, Mahmud Khan, the head of the Afghan army defeated the army of the Shah in the town Golnabad (8 March 1722). Then the Afghans laid siege to the Iranian capital of Isfahan. The city was not prepared for a siege, and from March to October 1722 from starvation and disease killed some 10-thousand people prefer. October 23, 1722 Isfahan surrendered, Soltan Hussein abdicated in favor of Mahmud Khan (a huge part of his sons were executed in 1725, and he himself in 1726). One of the sons of Soltan Hussein — Tahmasp managed to escape to the north of Persia, and made himself shah. In 1726, the service of Tahmasp entered kyzylbashskogo tribe of Nadir Afshar. Nadir showed the highest leader of the properties and in 1729 unleashed Isfahan, placing on the throne Tahmasp II, who had no real power in the country. Nadir went to war with Turkey, but their lack of skill Tahmasp actions led to the defeat and the loss of new territories. Nadir, using the general discontent Shah Tahmasp cast (he was killed in prison in 1740) and put him on the throne of his eight-month son Abbas III and declared himself regent. In March 1736, Nadir Khan overthrew and Abbas declared the Shah himself. Abbas was sent to jail for his own father Tahmasp in Sebzevar, where both of them, and executed in 1740. So Makar, the Safavid dynasty was overthrown and degenerated, and the Persian Empire was caused some serious blows, including the Caucasus.

The economic interests of the Russian Federation

Peter's reforms have led to the fact that the 18th century was the first all-Russian trading market to emerge. Russia's economic development has led to the expansion of trade and economic ties with the North and the South Caucasus, in general the East. A significant part of the trade with the East and the Caucasus region passed through the old Volga-Caspian route, which was long ago mastered the Russian negociant. Large shopping centers were Astrakhan and Nizhny Novgorod.

The development of trade in the North Caucasus, sought the creation of new reference pt. Main of them remained Terek village, standing at the mouth of the Terek. Around him began to appear Cossack villages. Terek town has become a kind of an attraction Russian people first Grebenski Cossacks. Grebenzen (lived in the foothills — "ridges"), as free settlers, living on the left bank of the Terek Sunzhi and right. The means of their existence was ranching and hunting. When Ivan the Terrible part Grebenski Cossacks was drawn to the "state service" and began to receive a salary. They were the sovereign's escort and protection of embassies merchant caravans, were part of the garrison of the Terek. Grebenzen can safely call the border since then. In the XVII century begins relocation Grebenski Cossacks in the left-sparing Terek, it ended just the beginning of XVIII century. The move was due to pressure Islamized neighbors ("Chechens Kumyks and began to attack the towns, to drive away the cattle, horses, and full of people") and the requirements of the central authorities, who want to put the Cossacks under his control. Cossacks because of attacks Highlanders were required to base instead of the old small villages, larger settlements: brood-rearing, Shadrin (Shchedrin), rump, and smooth. In 1721, the Cossacks were subordinated to the Military Board and included in the Armed Forces. In 1723 was founded the newcomer Russian Fortress — Holy Cross, which accommodated about one thousand families of the Don Cossacks.

By the early 18th century, the case of Iran and the Russian Federation have been peaceful. On both sides there were costs with friendly assurances, the exchange of gifts. Some residents of the adjacent power perceived Russian citizenship and became municipal employees. Iran has often visited the Russian negotiators with the sovereign's product. Went by sea from Astrakhan to the Lower wharf between Derbent and Baku, and from there went on Shemakh way. Overland route went f
rom the city to the Terek Tarkov, thence to Derbent. In Astrakhan hosted Armenian courtyard for guests to Transcaucasia. Russian negotiant Fyodor Kotov in the 17th century and visited Persia in 1623 outlined own way. Specifically, he noted that in the Persian capital of Isfahan in bolshennom trade row — Tynchake, there were 200 Russian stores. Everywhere he met fellow citizens — a Turk, in Shemakh, Isfahan.

Of the Russian Federation exported steel and wood products, fur, leather, linen, western felt. From the East and the Caucasus were silk and cotton fabrics, raw silk (last in the monopoly of the royal treasury), morocco leather, suede, oil, madder, rice, spices, and precious stones. In addition, prominent people to value certain kinds of cool weapons, such as swords Isfagan. East lures Russian entrepreneurial people. He was very profitable, though risky. Robbers on the way merchants could encounter on the Volga and the Caspian Sea and in the Caucasus Mountains. On the Volga bandit fishing, despite the best efforts of the authorities, was not translated until the end of XVIII century. On the Volga songs sounded dashing rogues:

"Once we go, my friends, is not the first year.
And we drink, eat everything ready on the Volga,
Colored dress wear stockpiled,
More lih whether our adversary villain
Adversary villain, the governor dashing,
Sends from Kazan frequent expulsion
Sends all the expulsion Fletcher,
Catch us enough good fellows,
Call us thieves, brigands.
But we, brothers, as thieves, robbers,
We are good people, all the guys Volga,
Yet we walk along the Volga is not the first year,
Theft, robberies have enough. "

Don people-fellows swam for "peasant coat" around the Caspian Sea, but under pressure from Moscow and at times perceived prohibiting solutions, so that "no one was walking to steal the Volga." Violators punished death. Some hiking Cossacks perceived very ambitious character, were fighting the whole operation to capture cities. In 1631, fifteen hundred of the Don, Zaporozhye and Yaik Cossacks came out into the Caspian Sea and robbed several merchant caravans. In 1632, the Cossacks have to "walk" along the Iranian coast. "We fought for Derbenyov, and under the bottom, and under Bakoy and Gilan Khvalynskoye land and sea (Caspian) pogrom, many beads with a lot of goods." At sea, the Cossacks were temporary basing points on the islands at the mouth of the Yaik (Ural) or nearby Turkmen, Persian coast. In 1636, a detachment of Ivan Polenova captured Iranian city Ferahabad, and then together with a group of Ataman Ivan Samara robbed caravans in the Caspian Sea and the mouth of the Volga. In 1647, the Cossacks plundered villages on the river Kura. Ivan Kondyreva squad in the 1649-1650 years. acted in the Caspian Sea is so famously that broke off trade affairs of Iran and Russia. The most well-known operation of the Cossacks began to raid Stepan Razin v1668-1669. Cossacks were not only very thorough "walk" along the coast of Persia, and was killed in a naval battle the Shah's fleet.

Trade people threatened not only the robbers. Court could delay or split nepogoditsa. Marching through Dagestan negotiators were required to pay fees at the crossing of borders of different domains, with all this, there was no guarantee that they will not be robbed free "mountain people" or even the rulers themselves. For example, in 1660, Tarkovsky Shamhal robbed a capital Shorin, Filateva, Denisov and Zadorina 70 thousand rubles (at the time it was a very great deal). Merchants could offend demanding "gifts" the local bureaucracy, to arrest without a visible background, fooling the exchange of products and so on salting Artemy Volyn noted that "neither of which civilization negotiators do not utesneny as Russian, which are majestic and persecution of exceedingly Obidimo persian ". Yet the gains from trade with the East, forced to go to the Russian people that risk.

Silk trade

In the 17th century, Our homeland has been involved in the silk trade. By this time the former value majestically Silk Road was darkened. After the collapse of power Timur, Central Asia was divided into a lot of large and small estates, which were a continuous struggle. Besides sea voyage from China to the Persian Gulf took about 150 days, and the caravan route from Azov in Beijing about 300 days. And one merchant ship was carrying as much cargo as large caravan of several hundred camels. But the collapse of the entire system does not mean the decline of some of its individual units. Persia was the main supplier of fabrics and raw silk. Of the kingdom of Sicily silk-weaving skills spread on Italian and German states, France (Lyon became one of the most famous centers of production), Flanders and the Netherlands. But the creation depended on the supply of raw materials. In addition to the prestige and aesthetic properties silk had a very fundamental to the quality of Western Europe (due to the small level of hygiene), he let the reproduction of parasites.

Precious fabrics, "pavoloka" have been known in Russia since the time of the Old country. Brocade (from the Persian word "brocade" — matter), "Oksamit", "purple", "scarlet" has long been used to sew the princely robes, church covers, priestly vestments. More common in the 16-17 centuries. silk fabrics were velvet, damask, satin, taffeta and others (Russian sources since more than 20 known species of imported silk fabrics). Is located in the suburbs of global trade routes and just emerging from the Troubles Russia suddenly acquired a lucrative position in the market of silk. So according to a Swedish resident in Russia, travel from Gilan (this pre-Caspian province gave almost half of the Persian silk) to Hormuz in the Persian Gulf has been long in 86-90 days, each camel carrying two bales of silk and costs about 2 rubles. 63 kopecks., And the way to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea was shorter than that of the same goods and costing of 1 rub. 50 kopecks. Negotiators were able to score with money.

Part of the silk was in transit to the West, but European negotiators do not have the right to travel to Iran via Russia and were required to deal with the Russian guests, who held the highest value. The first Europeans in the road Persian Gulf paved the Portuguese, they were followed by the British and the Dutch. Between the Dutch and the British Fighting broke even act. Then, in the French region of leaked. The Europeans tried to infiltrate Iran and North. But all attempts have failed to agree with Moscow. In 1614 and 1620. politely but firmly sent the British, in 1615 — the Dutch, in 1629 — the French and the 1664 — Swedes. Moscow bureaucrats explained the ban treasury losses and merchants, or sought to provide support means and an instrument that was already unprofitable Europeans.

Only after a small duchy of Holstein in 1634 managed to prevail upon the metropolitan government: the company of German merchants won the right to free trade with Persia and India for 10 years, but during this time the Germans were paying a year in Russian treasury 600 thousand thalers (300 thousand) . It is interesting that even then one of the German merchants — Otto Brugeman, offered Moscow a specific plan to boost trade in eastern Russia. He proposed to capture the Russian Caspian coastal regions of Persia (Gilan, Mazandaran and Astrabad) to establish greater control over the part of the Iranian silk production, and at the same time for fishing, seaports and other profitable enterprises. Then in Moscow on the proposal of strategic importance, did not respond (the time has not come yet).

But even then, Moscow tried to direct and to control the export of Iranian silk through Russia, resorting to the help of the newest merchants Julfa (Armenian suburb of Isfahan). Resettled Armeni
ans from their homeland in the 17th century to take in hand silk trade, not only in the Caucasus, and Iran. In 1667, representatives of the company in Moscow signed a contract, but its implementation vosprepyadstvovalo uprising of Stepan Razin. The new contract was signed in 1673. But to put the export of silk only in Russia could not. In Russia every year to invest a total of about 1 million pounds in year. According to estimates representative of the Armenian company and the Shah's envoy Gregory Lusikova, the yearly export of Iranian silk in Europe was over 48 thousand pounds (8 million bales in the bale was 6 pounds). The main thread of silk was the caravan ways through Turkish Izmir and Aleppo, and the Persian Gulf, where the trade of that product controlled by the British and the Dutch.

Do not forget about the silk trade, and Peter A.. By order of the Senate of March 2, 1711 vserasprostraneny preferential conditions were not only on the members of Julfa, and on the other Armenian merchants, which should facilitate the task of multiplication Persian bargaining.

Peter I was planning to develop not only trade with Iran and the East, he looked a lot further. Ruler of different real strategic global planning …

To be continued …

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