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Dynamics of development of trade of Russia and Persia through Astrakhan in the 80th to the first half of the 90th years of the 19th century

v. S. Bogatyrev


Work is presented by department of history of Russia of the Astrakhan state university.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.M. Lipchansky

In article the development and strengthenings of the Russian-Persian commercial relations through Astrakhan in the 80th of XIXv is considered. The role of Astrakhan as link in development of the Russian-Persian trade is studied. The emphasis is put on the statistical data borrowed from sources on the basis of which the line of growth of volume of the exported and imported goods is built.

V. Bogatyrev


The article is devoted to the development and strengthening of Russian-Persian commercial relations through Astrakhan in the 1880s. The author studies the role of Astrakhan as a link in the development of Russian-Persian trade. Special attention is given to the statistical data that help to draw the line of export and import growth.

Throughout centuries between Russia and Persia there were stable commercial relations that was defined substantially by geopolitical location of two states. The short-term periods of recession of turns in trade dialogue were defined by external causes, even the Russian-Iranian wars of the first quarter of the XIX century could not destroy the developed partnership in a root, and only Great Britain which becomes in the second half of the 19th century the main competitor of Russia not only in fight for domination in the Persian market, but also in opposition for concessions on opening of banks, construction of the railroads and use of natural resources that nearly developed in the 1880th into the open conflict could compete to the Russian influence in the XIX century, perhaps.

During this period Persia was also the main trade partner of Russia in the external bargaining which is conducted through Astrakhan. The natural cause to that is it isolation Caspian

the seas owing to what only with this state sea trade could be carried out [4, page 65]. In 1861 in Astrakhan there were already 39 Gostiny Dvor for the Persians and other Asians who are temporarily staying in the city [1, page 5].

But for the considered period it had no statistics of foreign trade, and about its participation in the international commodity traffic it is necessary to judge or by reports of other countries, or by more or less sketchy consular reports. Therefore it is extremely difficult to establish the general sizes of trade turnovers of this country and participation of Russia in them [4, page 73]. Therefore for consideration of the question posed the support only on local sources, in particular on data of the Astrakhan customs and Astrakhan merchant society for the considered period is represented unique. Rather general information of survey character contains also in works of authors of the pre-revolutionary period, however, considering trade vzaimodey-

a stviye of Russia and Persia, they provide only summary tables which are reflecting dynamics of growth or decrease in trade turnovers, but not capturing the essence of these processes and the reason, them caused. In particular it is known that at the end of the 1870th trade across the Caspian Sea was very insignificant and, conceding even White Sea (low goods turnover is characteristic of White Sea trade for all the 19th century), did not exceed 0.9% of the total trade turnovers of the country [6, page 17].

S. I. Gulishambarov, considering trade of Russia in general in Alexander III's reign, specifies that the volume of export and import through the Caspian Sea was rather small in relation to its volume through other seas. So, in 1881 the goods supply for the sum of 5.8 million rubles, and export for the sum of 3.6 was carried out while by other seas this year the import ratio to export in millions of rubles was the following: across the White Sea which caused a stir in the most insignificant turns after the Caspian Sea - 1.1/10.0; across the Baltic Sea - 228/185; by the Black and Azov seas - 69/148. Thus the sum of the general barter on sea borders was in 1881 651 million rubles while trade across the Caspian Sea, having limited to cumulative import and export to only 9.4 million rubles, made only 1.4% of the total trade turnover on sea borders [4, page 65]. Let's consider results of trade interaction not only by sea, and in general, taking into account overland highways. So in 1881 into Russia it was imported goods for the sum of 541 million rubles, including from Persia for the sum of 7.6 million rubles, and it is taken out goods for the sum of 506 million rubles, including to Persia for the sum of 3.9 million rubles [4, page 74].

Thus, import of goods also made 1.4% of the total amount of import of Persia, and export made only 0.77% of total amount. Thus, volumes of trade interaction with Persia for 1881 were rather insignificant, but further throughout all considered period the steady increase in volumes of trade through the Caspian Sea begins, and growth and import, and export of goods is observed. So even

in 1887 and 1891 when for the considered twenty-year period the smallest volumes of cumulative barter were observed, 2.5 and 2.6% of total number of the goods imported into Russia fell to the share of Persia respectively, and export to Persia made 1.2 and 1.4% of total number of goods. In 1893 the greatest share in total amount of the goods brought to Russia fell to the share of Persia, having made 2.99%, export of goods this year was also rather high, having made 2% of total amount. Significant growth of volumes of barter through the Astrakhan port during this period and high employment rate of employees of the Astrakhan customs is shown by the official report of the ship inspector to the chief of the Astrakhan customs of 1893 clearly. Data are provided in this official report

about the fact that in recent years the shortage of customs surveyors whose number for 1893 reached 60 people [2, op was constantly observed. 20, unit hr. 2590]. Increase in employment of employees of customs, according to the author of the report, is connected with the fact that in 1891-1892 "many steamship societies and private shipowners increased the transportable activity" [2, op. 20, unit hr. 2590]. Meanwhile it should be noted the fact that at increase in a specific share of trade with Persia the general and a little natural growth in foreign trade in general was not observed. So, if in 1881 to Russia the import of goods to the sum of 541 million rubles was carried out, in 1882 it made for the sum of 568 million rubles, and in 1883 - for the sum of 562 million rubles [4, page 74], then in the next years is observed considerable decrease in volumes of export to Russia. So in 1884 into Russia it was imported goods for the sum of 538 million rubles, in 1885 - for the sum of 434 million rubles, in 1886 - for the sum of 438 million rubles, in 1887 the smallest volume of the goods imported into Russia of 393 million rubles was recorded, it made only 70% of the total amount of cost of the goods imported in 1881 [4, page 74]. Meanwhile this year the largest volume of import of goods from Persia is observed, having exceeded indicators of all previous years, it made 9.1 million rubles [4, page 74]. During the subsequent period, i.e. since 1888 on

1893 the cumulative sum of cost of the goods imported into Russia fluctuated ranging from 391 up to 464 million rubles and only in 1894 slightly exceeded the level of 1881, having been the sum of 560 million rubles. Meanwhile volumes of the goods which are taken out from Russia did not undergo any systematic decrease or increase and only twice - in 1886 and 1892 export volumes, rather low for the considered period, were recorded. So, in comparison with the most successful 1888, export of goods from Russia decreased in 1886 and 1892 almost by 40%, having made only 484 and 476 million rubles. We see that increase in trade across the Caspian Sea is contrary to considerable reduction of import of goods to Russia and instability of the Russian export. And we observe especially steady growth since 1888. There is a natural question: what promoted growth of foreign Astrakhan trade at the end of the 19th century?

If to compare turnover of the Astrakhan trade to trade turnovers of St. Petersburg as largest trade city of Russia in the second half of the 19th century, then it becomes clear that it is impossible to consider expansion of trade interaction as process exclusively natural, connected with growth of urban population and need of satisfaction of the increased his requirements due to increase in a supply at all. It is valid if in 1856 34% of the general export and 42% of the general supply of goods fell to the share of St. Petersburg, then in 1876 only 21 and 22% respectively of the total amount of a supply and export fell to the share of St. Petersburg, and meanwhile the population of St. Petersburg increased in 1876 to 775,000 people, i.e. increased on 302,000, or by 64%, but, despite further increase in the population, the capacity of the foreign-going ships departing from the St. Petersburg port with goods, stretching in 1856 only to 456,000 t and which reached 1 million tons in 1876, i.e. more than doubled since the same time not only did not increase to the middle of the 90th of the 19th century, and still was reduced significantly (more than for 10%) [5, page 72].

Meanwhile throughout the second half of the XIX century the number of the Astrakhan merchants of the I guild steadily grew. So, according to the alphabet of the Astrakhan merchants of all three guilds which are signed up for 1855 in the Astrakhan merchant society 267 merchants from whom treated the I guild only 9 [2, op entered. 1, 9]. In 1876 from 393 merchants who are signed up in the Astrakhan merchant society, were registered as merchants of the I guild 25 [2, op. 1, 13]. In 1877 22 consisted of 374 merchants in the I guild [2, op. 1, 14]. In 1878 from 322 merchants 26 belonged to

I guilds [2, op. 1, 14]. In 1879 - 29 merchants from 331 treated the I guild [2, op. 1, 14]. And in 1889 from 550 merchants who are signed up in the Astrakhan merchant society already 38 treated the I guild [2, op. 1, 15]. That is, apparently from these data, the total number of the faces which are signed up in merchants not just grows, but steadily, considerably exceeding the general growth of merchants in percentage, the number of merchants of the I guild grows.

Actually steady growth of merchants of the I guild, and together with it and to expansion of barter with Persia, was promoted by trade policy of Russia and in general, and in east direction. So in work to P.B. Struva "Trade policy of Russia" published in St. Petersburg in 1913 rather in detail all customs tariffs adopted from the middle of the 19th century are considered. At acquaintance with the presented materials there is obvious a fact that customs restrictions in each new customs tariff are more liberal in comparison with previous less and less become by the number of units of type of goods, forbidden to import and export. Meanwhile on the Astrakhan direction, without looking even at separate cases of obvious manifestation of protectionism (so, in 1884 according to the instruction of Department of customs fees of July 9 the submission to department of the chief of the Astrakhan customs about cancellation of privileges for duty-free import of fish goods from Persia was satisfied; the decision on establishment of duty at a rate of 4 1/2 kopeks from pood [3, op was made. 1, unit hr. 3341]) situation even more

it is liberal. The Instruction of department of customs fees of March 12, 1894 to the chief of the Astrakhan customs is of great interest to us. This instruction indicates that duty-free import of goods of the European and colonial origin to the sum of duty collecting of 300 rubles is allowed to the Persian consul, the Persian goods it is authorized to take in an unlimited size duty-free according to conditions still of the Turkmanchaysky contract [3, op. 1, unit hr. 3476]. And certain merchants, according to the same archive materials, acquire often not just the right of duty-free import and export of goods, but also the right of import and export of the goods referred to category of forbidden.

Thus, the trade relations with Persia which fell into decay to the middle of the XIX century considerably became stronger for the next 40 years. This process was promoted equally and natural causes, such as growth of urban population though this factor played a role absolutely insignificant as trade had mainly transit character, only insignificant percent from the total amount of imported goods, satisfying needs of local community, but also in the middle of the 19th century Astrakhan

represented the city, rather small by the population sizes. The considerable value for further development of the Russian-Persian commercial relations had direct assistance of the government which was gradually passing throughout all second half of the 19th century from protectionism to a fritrederstvo. For further development of Astrakhan as large point of the Russian-Persian trade continued to play a role and its geostrategic location. For the beginning of the 1860th "on value of the only Caspian city which is reported the waterway with internal industrial and rich provinces, Astrakhan serves as the main point of supply of the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea Coast as bread and other Russian works and also point from which the Persian goods go in inside Russia; why the considerable trade cities of Russia belong to number enough" [1, page 4]. Except the above in the second half of the XIX century in Astrakhan the steamship companies open and though the main merchant fleet is still formed by vessels of sailing type, it cannot but promote simplification of implementation of relations between Astrakhan and the border provinces of Persia, first of all Gilyan and Astrabad mean here.


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