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Revolutionary events in Russia of 1917 - 1920 in perception of the Adyghe intellectuals

UDK 947.084.2 (470.62/.64)


© 2011 Z.Ya. Emtyl

Kuban state technological university, Kuban State Technological University,

Moskovskaya St., 2, Krasnodar, 350072, Moskovskaya St., 2, Krasnodar, 350072,

Perception by the Adyghe intellectuals of revolutionary events in Russia 1917 - 1920 which became a powerful push for active judgment of further ways of social and political development of the people is analyzed. The orientation and forms of political activity of the Adyghe intellectuals are detected.

In this article we analyze the perception of adigei intelligentsia of revolutionary events in Russia 1917 - 1920, which became powerful impulse for active comprehension of further ways of social and political development of nation. The trend and forms of political activity of adigei intelligentsia are revealed.

A problem "the intellectuals and revolution" are for long years of one of central in the general historiography of the intellectuals. Despite steady scientific the interest shown to it it did not become a subject of special research attention in the Adyghe national context while the Adyghe intellectuals showed big political activity after fulfillment of the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917 and played a significant role in development of political process in the North Caucasus.

By the tradition which developed in the Soviet historiography the position of the Adyghe intellectuals was regarded as reactionary, forced "to go revolutionary events among Adyghe under the right flank...", "in ranks opposite the working mass of Russia" [1, page 43; 2, page 27; 3, page 8]. She, according to the Soviet historians, sought to keep the people in slavery, to take in bourgeois authorities key posts and by that to keep the influence [3, page 21]. The tendentious, distorted treatment was received also by the important political actions organized on an initiative or with active participation of the Adyghe intellectuals.

Unfortunately, in the Soviet historiography attempts to understand the true purposes and motives of its political activity during the revolutionary period were not made. It looks especially strange that in the 70th there was an awareness of need of avoiding dogmatism and stamps in definition of the relation of the intellectuals to revolutionary changes. The statement was called into question that bulk took it active anti-Soviet positions [4, page 215; 5, page 53]. Obosnovy-

need of application of especially differentiated approach as the most important methodological condition of studying history of the intellectuals of the revolutionary period vatsya [6, page 25].

Great opportunities in development of a problem opened in connection with emergence in a modern Adyghe historiography of a number of the works based on new research approaches. They allow to look differently at essence of socio-political processes in the Adyghe society during revolutionary changes and participation in them of the national intellectuals [7 - 10]. Hit in the field of research attention of various parties of manifestation of political activity of the Adyghe intellectuals during the revolutionary period allowing to reconstruct more fully perception of transformations by it in Russia and participation in the political process which gave a powerful impulse for active judgment and search of ways of further social and political development of all people is connected with the adoption of new approaches in a modern historiography. The ethnic question became the central question of public life for the Adyghe intellectuals. In new political circumstances she felt not only a possibility of creation of conditions for maintaining national cultural identity of the people, but also its self-determination. Bourgeois freedoms under which banner there was revolution gave to the intellectuals the hopes pinned on the organization of national life.

Formation of the Adyghe intellectuals happened during complex socio-political changes in life of mountaineers of the Northwest Caucasus. Completion of the Caucasian war, inclusion in structure

The Russian Empire and also mass resettlement of Adyghe from the historical homeland set the task of self-preservation of the people in the first row.

Contents and orientation of social and political activity of the Adyghe intellectuals were defined in many respects by external factors. During the difficult period of opposition of various social and political forces she tried to get support of those who most, according to her, were capable to promote registration of national sovereignty of Adyghe. At the same time the intellectuals were much more indifferent concerning social and economic, class policy of the political forces fighting for the power. The political situation in the country dictated orientation to pragmatic behavior.

The main part of the Adyghe intellectuals performed with support of the purposes of bourgeois and democratic transformations in the country. She was convinced that Adyghe can receive self-government and autonomy by cooperation with Provisional government [3, page 8]. Taking into account it she developed active work of "entry" into new authorities. At the initiative of the intellectuals already on March 8, 1917 in the ESA-terinodare the meeting of mountaineers of the Kuban region which expressed recognition of the new power and readiness of cooperation with it took place.

The intellectuals which actively joined in political processes showed understanding that all North Caucasian people have to consolidate the efforts in fight for increase in the status not only at the level of certain areas and ethnic groups, but also all region. As confirmation to that serves creation in the spring of 1917 in Petrograd of Select Committee of mountaineers of the North Caucasus. The representatives of the democratic intellectuals of the North Caucasus anxious with the fate of the people who were not wishing to miss a propitious moment for national and democratic development of edge entered it [11, page 96]. It is important to note that two of ten of his members were Adyghe - Aytek Namitokov and Ismail Altaducov.

In the special address to mountaineers of the North Caucasus the Committee called for association of the North Caucasian people on the way of independent development. "Slogan of the moment unification, organization, - it was said in it. - Without unification of each people in yourself and all mountain tribes among themselves you awake are, still, weak and powerless to assert the rights and to protect the national state" [11, page 143]. Need of organizational registration of the movement of mountaineers for the rights and creations of the mountain regional organizations and also General North Caucasian mountain committee or council which could become "the true spokesman and the representative of the common, national and political, cultural and economic interests and expectations of all mountain tribes and the people was especially noted..." [11, page 143].

Understanding fatefulness of the present historical situation, members of the committee aspired with the maximum advantage for mountaineers to use developed polity-

chesky circumstances. They insisted on immediate creation of constant local governments on bases general, direct, equal and a ballot with that, "to be ready to the organization on the correct beginnings of elections to the Constituent Assembly" in which mountaineers "have to be presented adequately" [11, page 143]. Members of the committee saw the purpose in "comprehensive use of the stay in the capital, in the center of political life of the country, in the sense of direct immediate upholding before government agencies and the leading political organizations of the demands made by a present situation or the interests of mountaineers." [11, page 143].

In process of expansion of revolution against the background of all of the going deep contradictions the intellectuals began to realize more accurately need of consolidation of efforts of all mountain people of the North Caucasus. As a result of May 1, 1917 in Vladikavkaz the I congress of mountain tribes of the North Caucasus which made the decision on formation of the Union of the integrated mountaineers and tribes took place. The institutionalization of aspiration of the mountain people to self-determination found the expression in creation of the Union [8, page 35]. In the program the Union supported the federal principle of state system of Russia. Creation of mountain national and territorial autonomy as a part of the Russian federal democratic republic was recognized as the purpose of its activity. Each of the people was recognized as autonomous in the field of the internal narodokhozyaystvenny interests [7, page 51]. The union of the integrated mountaineers became the first experience on design of national-state development of the people of the North Caucasus.

Having felt some political freedom, the Adyghe intellectuals developed the educational and advocacy work for a raising of the political importance of the people. On taken place at the end of March - the beginning of April, 1917 in the city of Novorossiysk a congress of the mountain intellectuals of edge the decision on need of the edition of the Gorskaya Zhizn newspaper was made. It had to conduct work on explanation to mountaineers of their rights, to be "a tribune with which the word having any relation to mountain life could be distributed" [7, page 51].

Growth of political activity of Adyghe caused serious concern of the authorities. The chief of the Kuban gendarme management with fear notified office of the deputy of the Caucasus that among Adyghe noticeable strengthening of propaganda about the self-government expected by them is observed [12].

The political contradictions which aggravated to summer of 1917 between Councils and bodies of Provisional government inevitably led to increase of anarchy and radicalization of the public. Seeking to protect the North Caucasus from influence of Bolsheviks and increase of revolutionary movement, the Adyghe intellectuals of Kuban went for rapprochement with leaders of the Cossacks. It developed broad propaganda work in support of the Kuban Army government.

Since April, 1917 the inflow to auls of the Adyghe intellectuals living earlier in the city was observed. "Having settled among Adyghe, they were engaged in processing first of all of the aulsky intellectuals. be in good spirits, pleasing to the Kuban Army Government..." [1, page 45]. If to try to leave from the ideological stamps which developed in the Soviet Caucasus studies, then it is necessary to recognize that not the proximity of class interests, but aspiration in the conditions of the political chaos accruing in the country, weakness of the central power was the main cause of rapprochement of the Adyghe intellectuals with the Cossacks to find the real political force with which union will allow to achieve own political goals in the Cossacks.

From August 10 to August 17, 1917 the Adyghe intellectuals of the Kuban region organized a congress of mountaineers in the aul of Hakurinokhabl. The agenda included the questions, most significant for the Adyghe society: about a present situation, judicial reform at mountaineers, local government, spiritual management, about the attitude of mountaineers of the Kuban region towards the Abkhazian people, about Turkish and subject mountaineers of the Kuban region, mountaineers immigrants to Turkey, about national education and an agrarian question [13, page 240].

The congress recognized as a necessary form of government the democratic republic on the territorial and federal beginnings of regional autonomy [13, page 240]. Considering objectively existing complexity of definition of administrative-territorial borders in the North Caucasus, special attention the way of allocation of autonomy of mountaineers approved by participants of a congress deserves. According to it at introduction of autonomy of areas in the North Caucasus it was necessary to change the existing administrative-territorial division into areas and departments according to national peculiarities of the population. Mountain tribes of the Kuban region in view of their dispersion on departments and impossibility to group them in the uniform territory were offered to be allocated to special districts with head department in Ekaterinodar. The auls located in districts with the Russian population at introduction of local government had to have the right of representation [13, page 240].

In view of absolute prevalence in Kuban of the Russian population, delegates of the Hakurino-hablsky congress noted need at elections to different institutions on management of area to observe "the principle of a guarantee from minority". At the moment national autonomy of mountaineers of the Kuban region and Black Sea Coast had to be implemented through the Mountain regional Kuban committee and Mountain regional Kuban council elected at a congress. Their task included maintenance of gaining revolution, protection of an order and tranquility in auls, carrying out life of cultural and educational tasks and perhaps broad acquaintance of the mountain population with a present situation by appeals, lectures, etc. [13, page 240].

One of the major political affairs discussed at a congress. It should be noted that in the environment of the Adyghe intellectuals there was no unity of opinions on the matter. Bulk supported the union with the Cossacks, seeing in it the most influential political force without which assistance in the conditions of political chaos and weakening of the central power the solution of a question of increase in legal status of the Adyghe people was not represented possible.

However besides this point of view there was also another, caused by understanding that between Cossacks and non-residents serious collisions which can pass into a fight up in arms are about to happen. The aspiration of the Cossack tops to keep the privileges and domination in the Kuban region was the reason for that. Mountaineers had no reasons to quarrel with non-residents. Moreover, it was realized that if mountaineers go to the union with Cossacks, then it for them "will come to an end in a trouble" [13, page 239].

Especially actively this point of view at a congress was argued by A. Namitokov. He noted that mountaineers of Kuban and Black Sea Coast live scattered among the Cossack and settlements from another town that creates a disadvantage for the Adygei people at "emergence of any serious events" [14, page 20]. As history showed, this point of view was prophetical. It is remarkable that supporters of Bolsheviks who would support association of mountaineers with the nonresident population at a congress were not [13, page 239].

At the same time it should be noted that revolutionary events in Russia induced the Adyghe intellectuals to correct the historical injustice made concerning the Adyghe people most of which part as a result of colonizer policy of a tsarism appeared outside the historical homeland. After discussion of a question of immigrants in Turkey the congress issued the decree "Consider all the mountaineers who moved to Turkey political refugees and ask Provisional government to give them the chance after the end of war to return home on the rights of citizens of the Russian state" [13, page 241].

Level of the organization and results of work of the Haque-rinokhablsky congress allow to speak about a political maturity of the Adyghe intellectuals, its ability to make the adequate, weighed decisions around of the most important questions of public life of the people.

However October events sharply changed a situation in the country and extremely aggravated political contradictions in society. In difficult historical conditions the national intellectuals tried to comprehend the scenario of succession of events, most acceptable for the people, and to realize it, relying on support of the most influential political forces from her point of view. At the same time the intellectuals on the whole still remained far from in -

pro-owls of class opposition. Maintaining national and cultural originality, creation of national autonomy became an absolute priority in her political aspirations.

The policy for Adyghe - leaders of the Kuban Cossacks had a great influence on political orientation of the Adyghe intellectuals of Kuban. Seeking to catch acting through Adyghe of supporters, they allowed in structure Kuban Legislative nine representatives from mountaineers are glad [15]. Moreover, the resolution regional Legislative are glad and the Kuban government Adyghe were balanced in the rights with the Cossacks. Thereby the Cossacks showed readiness to assist the mountain intellectuals in the solution of a question of national self-determination.

The considerable part of the Adyghe intellectuals which received the name of bourgeois nationalists or revolutionaries in the Soviet historiography - nationalists, headed by S. Shakhim-Girey, A. Namitokov and M. Gatagogu, responded to this message and continued a course towards rapprochement with the Kuban regional glad, proclaimed on January 8, 1918 Kuban independent republic which is a part of Russia on the federal beginnings.

Considering activity of the Adyghe intellectuals in regional Legislative Rada, it should be noted that she took extremely active position directed not only on satisfaction of political, social and economic interests of the people, but also on consolidation of all forces in the region for protection of achievements of the February bourgeois-democratic revolution.

The agrarian question was one of the most sensitive issues in the region which had the paramount political importance. Adyghe - members of Rada - recognized that land problems in the region had to be solved fairly and that only accounting of interests of all parties will unite regional groups in fight against Bolsheviks. The Kuban Cossack army sought to reserve by all means all rights on possession, use and the order of the lands belonging to it [16, page 5].

The Adyghe intellectuals drew the attention of members of Rada that the similar position will inevitably lead to the conflict of interests not only with the mountain population of the region, but also with non-residents, pushing them to rapprochement with Bolsheviks, and pressed from the Cossacks at Rada's meetings of the fair solution of an agrarian question, considering that split in society thereby will be possible to prevent. In particular, M. Gatagogu paid attention that "until the Cossacks do not renounce from the rights in favor of the nonresident population, until then calm will not be" [16, page 3]. It should be noted that the unwillingness of the Cossacks to renounce the interests led to the fact that the huge mass of the nonresident population, as well as warned the Adyghe members are glad, gave support to Bolsheviks. It is necessary only to assume how events of Grazh-could be developed

the Don war in Kuban if the position of the Adyghe representatives in Legislative Rada prevailed.

Increase of threat from Bolsheviks forced the Cossack administration to look for the ally represented by white volunteer army. Merging of the Kuban government and regional are glad with the white movement gave a serious impulse of political reorientation of the Adyghe intellectuals of Kuban. Aspiration white to recreate Russia as the uniform and indivisible state, unwillingness to allow of any national autonomy did not correspond to her aspirations in any way.

The Adyghe representatives in the Kuban Rada appeared in the center of the conflict of the Kuban government and A. Denikin who was not recognizing independence of Kuban. Members are glad S. Shakhim-Girey, M. Gatagogu and A. Namitokov actively asserted the right of Kuban for formation of the independent state and were on the party of the "samostiyshchik" standing on positions of the confederative device of Russia. Moreover, A. Nami currents was a member of the Kuban delegation which signed in July, 1919. The contract of friendship in Paris between the Kuban government and Majlis of the mountain people of the Caucasus and also Kuban petitioning before the U.S. President T. Wilson for recognition by the independent state [17, page 78]. Soon rebellious Rada was dismissed and were sent by the order of command of white army in the south of Russia from borders of Russia with the ban of entrance on all the time of Civil war of 11 members of Rada asserting the right of Adyghe for national autonomy among whom there were S. Shakhim-Girey and M. Gatagogu who became, as well as A. Namitokov, political refugees [18, page 122].

Their expulsion became manifestation of the conflict of interests [13, page 240]. The great-power policy of white pushed away the Adyghe intellectuals from the union with the Cossacks and forced to look for new political allies.

Activity of the Adyghe national intellectuals of Kabarda had slightly other political focus. She did not begin to look for the ally acting through the Cossacks. In the conditions of the actual anarchy in the North Caucasus in the union with ideological leaders of other North Caucasian people of Terek she tried to create independent authorities. In the Tersky region the former government was replaced by regional executive committee. At the same time with active participation of the local intellectuals on March 27, 1917 in Nalchik the Nalchik civil executive committee into which active representatives of the democratically spirited Adyghe intellectuals P. Kotsev, G. Sokhov, M. Abu-kov entered was formed. They considered that the February revolution opened for the mountain people great opportunities in the field of representation of their interests in the central authorities. At the end of 1917 - the beginning of 1918 in Kabarda the civil executive committees which did not recognize the new power continued to work.

The fact that as candidates for the Constituent assembly on the Tersko-Dagestansky constituency from the Nalchik district there was no ethnic Adyghe while the Adyghe population was prevailing in the Nalchik district also demonstrates to weak distribution among the Adyghe intellectuals of Left-wing radical revolutionary ideology. The position of the Kabardian representatives and at a meeting in Pyatigorsk is very indicative on November 29, 1918. In particular, during discussion of a question of transfer of all power to Councils the representative from Kabarda Z. Dautokov-Serebryakov said that "the Bolshevist kingdom in Pyatigorsk" causes the most negative relation from Kabarda's population [2, page 34].

After declaration of the Tersky republic which part also Kabarda was the considerable part of its lands according to the principle of socialization was given to the next people. In masses the understanding ripened that existence as a part of the Tersky republic is not equitable to national interests of Kabarda. As a result the IV district congress spoke out in defense of territorial integrity of Kabarda, having recognized as illegal actions of the Extraordinary land commission on dissociation of the Kabardian lands [7, page 43]. Though the congress did not declare getting out of the Nalchik district of structure of the Tersky republic, its decision on the whole contradicted policy of the Tersky republic and confirmed political autonomy of the district.

In the atmosphere of national rise in summer of 1918 one of active public figures Kabarda Z. Dautokov-Serebryakov acted as the initiator of party creation "Free Kabarda". Provisions of its program rather eloquently spoke about political aspirations of the Adyghe intellectuals. In particular, in it Kabarda's right to arrange the life on self-determination bases was proclaimed. Creation of National council "for affairs purely Kabardian" and national army "from honest people without distinction of estates" was for this purpose supposed [19, page 31 - 32].

Owing to the fact that Z. Dautokov-Serebryakov and his supporters in the Soviet historical science were ranked as reactionary circles of the bourgeois intellectuals it is necessary to stop on the following item of programs of "Free Kabarda": "Party & #34; Free Kabarda" speaks out in defense, mainly... the simple people which are not knowing the rights, the received freedom. Princes and noblemen who wish to the people of the benefit are obliged to join us. From them who will take in head to bar the road to us the party will declare those Kabarda's enemies." [19, page 32]. The contents of this point do not allow to carry members of "Free Kabarda" to defenders of interests of an exploiter top and "suppressors of freedom" of the Kabardian people in any way.

In process of development of Civil war the political polarization of the Adyghe intellectuals occurs and goes deep. Out of its will it is involved in the most severe political struggle between white

and red. Though in 1917 the Bolsheviks did not get a little significant support of the Adyghe intellectuals, gradual strengthening of their positions begins with the second half of 1918. Transition of a part of the Adyghe intellectuals to the party of the Soviet power was caused, on the one hand, by the great-power policy of the white movement which threatened mountaineers with return to the imperial past, and with another - competently organized advocacy work of RSDRP (b).

The Soviet government resorted to broad promotion among mountaineers of provisions "Declarations of the Rights of the People of Russia", "Addresses of SNK to All Working Muslims of Russia and the East" which allowed "to win fluctuating at the moment, critical for the Soviet power, to lower discontent of those who potentially did not share the new ideas" [20, page 46]. The ideas of Bolshevik Party about the right of the nations for self-determination looked for the Adyghe intellectuals much more preferably and more clear, than the slogan of the white movement about the United and indivisible Russia. As a result support to Bolsheviks in the years of Civil war was given not only by a small Left-wing radical part of the Adyghe intellectuals, but also that which did not divide the political doctrine of Bolsheviks.

The movement of revolutionary mullahs which was widespread among the spiritual intellectuals of Kabarda became the brightest result of advocacy work of Bolsheviks. They, of course, were not consecutive Bolsheviks. Nevertheless in the developed political circumstances they connected a possibility of realization of the hopes of rather national self-determination and the organization of the public life of people on principles of Sharia with the Soviet power.

The analysis of set of the presented facts allows to claim that revolutionary events in Russia intensified the national movement in the North Caucasus at the head of which there were mountain intellectuals. During this period it acted as rather independent political force in the sense of the choice of policy guidelines. Public work of the intellectuals was characterized by active search of further ways of social and political development. Registration of national sovereignty of the people became its main maintenance, despite all variety of political positions.

Speaking about the choice of policy guidelines, it must be kept in mind that the intellectuals existed not in the closed space. Therefore it is quite clear that contents and orientation of its social and political activity were influenced by external factors. During the difficult period of opposition of various social and political forces she tried to be guided by those most of which, according to her, were capable to promote registration of national sovereignty of Adyghe.


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