Научная статья на тему 'The Caucasian War of the 19th century:civilizational conflict and its functional specifics'

The Caucasian War of the 19th century:civilizational conflict and its functional specifics Текст научной статьи по специальности «История и археология»

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The Caucasus & Globalization
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THE CAUCASIAN WAR / POSITIVE-FUNCTIONAL CONFLICT / CIVILIZATIONAL CONFLICT / KARTLI-KAKHETIAN KINGDOM / GEORGIA / RUSSIAN EMPIRE / THE RUSSIAN CONQUEST OF THE CAUCASUS / CULTURAL BILINGUALISM / TRANSFORMATIONS IN IMPERIAL POLICY / THE CAUCASIAN THEME IN RUSSIAN CULTURE

Аннотация научной статьи по истории и археологии, автор научной работы — Pashchenko Irina, Urushadze Amiran

The authors rely on the civilizational approach and the theory of positive-functional conflict to discuss the nature and specific features of the Caucasian War. They supply new arguments to substantiate the civilizational nature of the Caucasian War of the 19th century. With this aim in view, they identify and analyze its functional repercussions: the emergence and development of cultural bilingualism; the transformations in imperial policy; and the appearance of the Caucasian theme in Russian culture.

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Текст научной работы на тему «The Caucasian War of the 19th century:civilizational conflict and its functional specifics»

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

Irina PASHCHENKO

Ph.D. (Philos.), Head of the Laboratory of North Caucasian Affairs, Institute of Socio-Economic and Humanitarian Studies, Southern Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences (Rostov-on-Don, the Russian Federation).

Amiran URUSHADZE

Ph.D. (Hist.), Junior Researcher at the Laboratory of History and Ethnography, Institute of Socio-Economic and Humanitarian Studies, Southern Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences (Rostov-on-Don, the Russian Federation).

THE CAUCASIAN WAR OF THE 19TH CENTURY: CIVILIZATIONAL CONFLICT AND ITS FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICS

Abstract

The authors rely on the civilizational approach and the theory of positive-functional conflict to discuss the nature and specific features of the Caucasian War. They supply new arguments to substantiate the civilizational nature of the Caucasian War

of the 19th century. With this aim in view, they identify and analyze its functional repercussions: the emergence and development of cultural bilingualism; the transformations in imperial policy; and the appearance of the Caucasian theme in Russian culture.

The article was prepared as part of the project "Practices of Violence in the Northern Caucasus: Genetic Features, Forms, Dynamics and Trends"; grant of the President of the Russian Federation MK—4453.2011.6.

88 HHSHAfflCABffiS&HLOBALnHAHI^RI Volume 6 Issue 4 2012

Introduction

The Caucasian War is one of the central events in the history of the region's incorporation into the Russian Empire. It cannot be described as merely a military-political confrontation; it has no clear chronological limits or geographical boundaries, no clear demarcation of the warring sides, nor is there a date on which the war was declared or a date on which a peace treaty was entered. Historians cannot agree on the conflict's name—"the Caucasian War."1 What we know about the conflict (its individual episodes and heroes) cannot be correlated with its understanding, which calls for conceptualization of a vast body of empirical data. This, in turn, calls for a civilizational approach to the Caucasian War and its historical context, which allows us to draw on a wider range of hitherto untapped sources and reinterpretation of well-known evidence.

The effects of the war on the destiny of the Caucasian world were overwhelming. The conflict not only destroyed, but also created new attitudes and meanings that go far beyond certain imposed confrontational parameters. We will proceed from the positive-functional conflict theory formulated by Lewis Alfred Coser, one of the classics of conflictology. A conflict of the positive-functional type causes losses and destruction (inevitable in any war); it also stimulates social changes leading to a better social order, norms, and behavior. It defuses tension among those involved and preserves relations between the conflicting sides. Such conflicts are better described as interaction in which the sides come to know one another better, while better understanding helps to transform hostile relations into cooperation or, at least, coexistence. This means that we should discern in the Caucasian War, a far from simple, or rather, complicated event, "those consequences of social conflict which make for an increase rather than a decrease in the adaptation or adjustment of particular social relationships or groups."2

The Caucasian War as a Civilizational Conflict

Historians of the Caucasian War agree on the whole that it was triggered in 1801 when the Kartli-Kakhetian Kingdom was joined to the Russian Empire.

The decision was neither easy nor prompt: the top officials knew that the geopolitical dividends created by this new acquisition would be balanced off by new responsibilities—from that time on security of the Transcaucasian borders would be Russia's concern. Russian historian Zurab Avalov wrote the following: "Indeed, we can see that unification of Georgia with Russia has caused a lot of disagreements on foreign policy issues in the State Council—an extremely rare occurrence in the history of the Council at that time."3

After long deliberations, Georgia joined the Russian Empire and the royal Bagrationi dynasty was dethroned and deported. This meant that the fundamental problems created by acquisition of the Caucasus shifted from the theoretical to the practical sphere to create the political background of the Caucasian War of the 19th century, an armed clash between two different world outlooks and symbolic and axio-logical systems. Historians have arrived at the conclusion that the Caucasian War should be "more correctly described as a meeting and conflict of cultures in the area of civilizational fracture."4

1 A group of researchers (the V.B. Vinogradov School) insists that this name is inapplicable. One of the most popular books on the history of the conflict is called The Caucasian Wars and Imamat of Shamil (N.I. Pokrovsky, Kavkazskie voyny i imamat Shamilia, ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2009, 580 pp.).

2 L. Coser, The Functions of Social Conflict, Free Press, Glencoe Il., 1956, p. 8.

3 Z.D. Avalov, Prisoedinenie Gruzii kRossii, Zvezda, St. Petersburg, 2009, p. 123.

4 D.I. Oleynikov, "Chelovek na razlome kultur. Osobennosti psikhologii russkogo ofitsera-gortsa v period Bolshoy Kavkazskoy voyny," Zvezda, No. 8, 2001, p. 95.

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

The sides knew next to nothing about each other; very soon ignorance developed into mutual misunderstanding and a protracted conflict. The Caucasian peoples divided by different ethnic and religious affiliations and a multitude of local languages formed a community of sorts not limited "to similarity of approaches and facial features. This similarity went much deeper and sprung from geographical proximity and the impact of similar, to some extent, historical factors and similar everyday conditions."5

This community survived and developed thanks to "common rules of the game," common symbolic systems, traditions, and customs, and balanced relationships. The latter is best illustrated by the mountain dwellers of Daghestan and Georgia (the Tushins in particular), the relations between which are best described as "struggle/enmity which followed certain rules (today you steal our cattle and take prisoners, tomorrow we come to you to do the same) and which never developed into a war of extermination."6 The Caucasian ethnicities remained very close in all spheres: economic, political, cultural, and religious. They had common highly specific sociocultural institutions and regulators—atalychestvo (fosterage), abrechestvo (robbers or guerillas), kunachestvo (blood brothers), and feud. As the Russian Empire pressed further into the mountains, it learned to exploit some of the local institutions to consolidate its position7 and to resolutely oppose others. In the late 18th century, the empire was still inclined to accept a certain share of local "arbitrariness;" in the early 19th century, the imperial administration launched an uncompromising struggle against "the predatory way of life of the local people."8

Many of the Caucasian traditional sociocultural institutions could not coexist with the empire's "civilizational mission." Russian officers regarded the mountain people as "savages" to be "civilized and pacified" to become "peaceful" and "useful" subjects of the "white czar."9

In the 18th and first quarter of the 19th centuries, the Russian generals and top officials dispatched to the Caucasus knew next to nothing about their new posts and the local specifics. Appointed commander of the troops and Chief Civilian Administrator, General Yermolov wrote the following to his friend Mikhail Vorontsov (who served as Caucasian Vicegerent in 1844-1854): "I shall rule the land of which I know nothing; I shall have to deal with problems absolutely unknown to me, which means that I stand little chance of pleasing the government. What a bitter thought! I shall do my best though!"10 By that time, the Georgian kingdom had been part of the Russian Empire for fifteen years, while the Russian administration had spread far and wide across the Caucasus.

Very soon ignorance of the Caucasus turned into disinclination to get to know it11: the Russian authorities paid no heed to the local customs—they merely imposed new rules and insisted on their fulfillment. Here is what General Yermolov wrote to his friend Prince Vorontsov: "I am gradually sorting things out. The locals are not used to order and stupid people think it bizarre."12 Disdain for the local customs and traditions is easily explained by the fact that, starting in the latter half of the 18th century, it was the Westernized elite that arrived in the Caucasus to look after Russia's interests. These officers and bureaucrats, typical products of the era of rationalism, were absolutely sure of their

5 Formy natsionalnogo dvizheniia v sovremennykh gosudarstvakh: Avstro-Vengria, Rossia, Germania, ed. by A.I. Kastelianskiy, Print shop of the Obshchestv. Polza Partnership, St. Petersburg, 1910, p. 471.

6 Yu.Yu. Karpov, "Traditsionnoe dagestanskoe obshchestvo: k printsipam modelirovaniia sotsialnogo prostranst-va," in: Lavrovskie (sredneaziatskie-kavkazskie) chtenia 2002-2003, St. Petersburg, 2003, p. 18.

7 Here is an example: the local imperial authorities borrowed the practice of hostage taking (amanats) from the local people and used it extensively.

8 It is interesting to note in this respect how the imperial administration readjusted its ideas about ishkil or baranta (seizure of property for debts) (for more detail, see: V.O. Bobrovnikov, "Ishkil v Dagestane XVII-XIX vv.: obychay ili prestuplenie na iuzhnykh granitsakh Rossiiskoy imperii," Vostok, No. 2, 2006, pp. 67-73).

9 Kavkaz i Rossiiskaia imperia: proekty, idei, illiuzii i realnost. Nachalo XIX-nachalo XX vv., Zvezda, St. Petersburg, 2005, p. 46.

10 Pisma A.P. Yermolova M.S. Vorontsovu, Zvezda, St. Petersburg, 2011, pp. 23-24.

11 See: V.V. Lapin, Armiia Rossii v Kavkazskoy voyne XVIII-XIX vv., Evropeyskiy Dom Publishers, St. Petersburg, 2008, p. 236.

12 Pisma A.P. Yermolova M.S. Vorontsovu, p. 37.

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

civilizational superiority over those whom they called "ignoble savages" and "perfidious and unreliable people" who could not be trusted because of "their fickle and crude nature."13

In his The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus, British historian John Baddeley offered a striking example of mutual misunderstanding: after several days of fierce fighting over the Kumyk village of Aksai, the Russian generals invited several influential men for negotiations. The next day, "the men of Aksai, numbering 300, made their appearance and were escorted into the fort. Two Russian generals at once began abusing them in Tartar using insulting terms and accusing them of the grossest treachery." Obviously unaware that in the Caucasus personal weapons were a sign of a free man, they rudely ordered the mountain folk to hand over their daggers. The response was prompt—the generals were slaughtered. "The soldiers inside the fort ran after the Kumyks, firing their guns, and those outside, seeing the fleeing crowd pursued by their comrades, attacked them in turn and destroyed them almost to a man."14 Misunderstandings of this kind were fairly frequent.

The mountain dwellers regarded the Russian Empire as a military power to be used in their interests. According to prominent expert on the Caucasus P. Butkov, the North Caucasian societies, which formally expressed their "obedience" to the empire, called themselves dosas (friends) of Russia and no more.15 At the same time, "soldiers of the empire" demanded complete obedience from the locals. Punitive expeditions against the mountain dwellers who sheltered those who raided villages, Cossack villages, and forts along the border were the most frequent types of punishment because hospitality was a must among the mountain people as a sign of honor and dignity; those who disobeyed fell into eternal disgrace.

Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky described one of such episode in his long story "Ammalat-bek." In vain a Russian captain demanded that those who sheltered the wanted khan obey the Russian laws, their oath of allegiance, and their duty—the mountain dwellers remained loyal to tradition.16

When penetrating the area of traditional Caucasian culture, imperial law and order tried to bend the autochthonous society to the disciplinary practices of modernity. As time went by, the sides, the empire in particular, realized that confrontation of that sort offered no way out. Russia sustained thousands of casualties; the war depleted the country's material and financial resources, while victory remained as far away as ever. The Caucasian War proved a complete disaster. On the other hand, the war, which went on and on, brought the enemies closer together. First, they borrowed tactical tricks, weapons, and uniforms, then laws and customs of war, and later moved on to other spheres of human activities.

The Functions of Conflict: Cultural Bilingualism, Transformations in Imperial Policy, the Caucasian Theme in Russian Culture

The Caucasian War had no theater; clashes flared up across the entire vast territory of the Caucasian macro region (the Northern Caucasus and the Transcaucasus). Hostilities differed greatly from

13 M. Khodarkovsky, "Of Christianity, Enlightenment, and Colonialism: Russia in the North Caucasus, 1550-1800," available at [http://www.vaynahgb.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=224%3Amichael-khodarkovsky-of-christianity-enlightenment-and-colonialism-russia-in-the-north-caucasus-1550-1800&catid=63%3Agenocide&Itemid= 100&lang=en].

14 J.F. Baddeley, The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus, Longmans, Green & Co., New York, Bombay and Calcutta, 1908, pp. 150-151.

15 See: Yu.Yu. Karpov, "Traditsionnye gorsko-kavkazskie obshchestva: k probleme osobennostey funktsionirova-niia v svete istorii interpretatsiy," in: Traditsii narodov Kavkaza v meniaiushchemsia mire: preemstvennost i razryvy v sotsiokulturnykh praktikakh. Sbornik statey k 100-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia Leonida Ivanovicha Lavrova, Peterburgskoe Vostokovedenie, St. Perersburg, 2010, p. 124.

16 See: A.A. Bestuzhev-Marlinsky, Kavkazskie povesti, Nauka Publishers, St. Petersburg, 1995, p. 13.

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

the Russian army's previous experience in Europe. In the Caucasus, an officer familiar with the very specific "Caucasian method of warfare"17 could be proud of this. The situation demanded detailed knowledge of the region; Russian officers acquired it in the course of service; in many cases this knowledge became a way of life.

Relatively recently Russian historiography acquired a new concept—"cultural bilingualism." In linguistics, bilingualism means perfect command of two languages, while in culture this denotes the dual nature of man living under the influence of two different cultures.18 This concept can be used to identify different types of cultural bilingualism in the Caucasus. The individual type of cultural bilingualism could be observed among the Russian soldiers and officers of the Separate Caucasian Corps (since 1858 the Caucasian Army), bureaucrats of the imperial administration, and those Caucasian mountain people in czarist service and/or educated in Russian educational establishments.

Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov, who fought in the Caucasian War with the Tenginskiy infantry regiment, spoke about a "true Caucasian, semi-Russian, and semi-Asian creature in whom devotion to Oriental customs predominates."19 The poet had in mind both the military and civilian bureaucrats of the Russian Empire who, for different reasons, found themselves in the Caucasus. The "true Caucasian" phenomenon was a type of cultural bilingualism, namely, service bilingualism. Service cultural bilingualism is a product of adaptation to the places of everyday activities. This quality was not predetermined in the Russian military and civilians who served in the Caucasus, but it was potentially present. In other words, service cultural bilingualism was an instrument which harmonized relations with the reality of the external world and an alternative to permanent civilizational confrontation. Service cultural bilingualism was a catalyst of strong corporative mobilization. The non-Russian officers perceived themselves and the Special Caucasian Corps as a whole as "a special bellicose people which Russia has opposed to the belligerent peoples of the Caucasus."20

There were mountain dwellers who rose high in the Russian army and fought together with it in the Caucasian War.21 It is a well-known fact; the empire needed them to staff the chronically understaffed military and administrative institutions in the Caucasus. In fact, officers from among the local mountain peoples knew the local traditions and customs and frequently enjoyed personal respect; this meant that they could better cope with the task of "final pacification of the Caucasus."

Besides service cultural bilingualism, the Caucasian War produced another phenomenon, viz. extreme cultural bilingualism, acquired by the individual in a borderline situation in the face of death. This is largely true of Russian soldiers and officers who were either taken prisoner or deliberately took to the mountains after committing a crime or serious official misdemeanor. To survive, these people had to adjust to the new ethnosocial milieu. Cultural bilingualism was a strategy or practice of survival in extreme conditions.

Collective cultural bilingualism could be observed among the Cossacks of the Caucasian Line (the Terek, Grebenskaya, and Black Sea Cossack troops): their traditional cultural attitudes (the high status of men and militarized culture) were typologically close to the imperatives of the mountain dwellers' everyday life. The Caucasian War limited but never disrupted the peaceful contacts between mountain societies and Cossack settlements on the Caucasian Line they maintained in the 18th and early 19th centuries.22 The Cossacks and mountain folk had little in common but were not

17 "Memuary grafa de Rochoira, adiutanta imperatora Aleksandra I," in: Kavkazskaia voyna: istoki i nachalo. 1770-1820-e gody, Zvezda, St. Petersburg, 2002, p. 341.

18 See: D.I. Oleynikov, op. cit.

19 M.Yu. Lermontov, "Kavkazets," in: Sochineniia, Vol. 2, Khudozhestvennaia literatura Publishers, Moscow, 1990, p. 590.

20 "Pismo kavkazskogo ofitsera k N.N. Muravyevu," Russkaia starina, Vol. VI, 1872, p. 545.

21 The "non-Russian" units in the Russian army reached their maximal numerical strength (24 thousand) in 1878 (see: Stoletie Voennogo ministerstva, Vol. XI, Voennoe ministerstvo, St. Petersburg, 1902, p. 394).

22 See: Ocherki istorii Kubani s drevneyshikh vremen po 1920 g., ed. by V.N. Ratushnyak, Sovetskaia Kuban, Krasnodar, 1996, p. 296.

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

alienated. The Cossacks never indulged in racist deliberation, one of the favorite occupations of the military-administrative imperial elite. Many of the Black Sea Cossacks could speak the local languages; they knew a lot about the mountain peoples' customs and were proud to be blood brothers of the mountain folk.23 The North Caucasian Cossacks were an intermediary of sorts in the civili-zational conflict.

For a long time, the Russian Empire remained convinced that military force was enough to "pacify the Caucasus"; it was expected that the military operations of the Russian generals would sooner or later convince the local people that resistance was futile. In fact, no military triumphs, the capture of Akhulgo in 1839 being one of them, quenched the gazavat of the mountain people—resistance was gathering momentum and became even fiercer.

The 1845 Dargin catastrophe of the Russian army convinced the imperial top crust that the Caucasian policy should be revised. This task was entrusted to Prince Vorontsov, who was appointed the first Caucasian Vicegerent (1844-1854).

The newly appointed vicegerent had little faith in a policy based on the use of force. "Violence will never be beneficial—its repercussions can be very bad indeed."24 He was not the first of the Russian top appointees in the Caucasus who tended to avoid violence25; as distinct from his predecessors, however, the new supreme commander had a program of action and vast administrative and economic experience.26

Semen Esadze, famous pupil of Vassili Potto, a "chronicler of the Caucasian War," summed up the policy of the Caucasian vicegerent as follows: "Prince Vorontsov was fully aware of Russia's main interest: joining the area with its many different tribes to the empire. To achieve this, the administrative system must become interested in all details of the peoples' lives."27 As the Caucasian Vicegerent, Prince Vorontsov reorganized education, encouraged trade, and institutionalized cultural life through public libraries, theaters, and periodicals.

He opened new schools (for Muslim children among others) and increased enrollment in the functioning schools and colleges. He personally supervised drafting of the Regulations for Educating Children from the Caucasus and Transcaucasus on Budget Money in the Higher and Specialized Educational Establishments of the Empire.28 The Caucasian Committee, which discussed, amended, and enacted the Regulations on 21 July, 1849, opened the doors of the best Russian universities to young men from the Caucasus. The Caucasian Vicegerent personally supervisedjob placement for the "Caucasian pupils" who returned home upon graduation.

Prince Vorontsov's educational efforts were appreciated: the local people realized that the empire was interested in them and their region. People of local origin rose high on the administrative ladder; many of them became lawyers, engineers, and doctors, an absolutely new phenomenon for the Caucasus. European education and enlightenment created new axiological landmarks, new aesthetic tastes, and cultural requirements.

What was done to encourage trade went far beyond the purely utilitarian commercial tasks: the "trade industry" was expected to push the mountain people closer to Russian habits, customs, and legal regulations. Indeed, brisk trade would create "new demands and needs," the satisfaction of which would overcome the local peoples' "predatory way of life" and teach them to appreciate an

23 See: O.V. Matveev, Istoricheskaia kartina mira kubanskogo kazachestva (kon. XVIII—nach. XX: kategorii voin-skoy mentalnosti, Kubankino, Krasnodar, 2005, p. 359.

24 Quoted from: S.S. Esadze, Istoricheskaia zapiska ob upravlenii Kavkazom, Vol. I, Guttenberg, Tiflis, 1907, p. 89.

25 General I. Anrep, who in the early 1840s filled the post of the commander of the Black Sea coastal line, serves as the best example. According to his contemporaries, he tried to win the mountain people over to his side "by his eloquence" (for more detail, see: Ya.A. Gordin, Kavkaz: zemlia i krov, Zvezda, St. Petersburg, 2001).

26 From 1823 to 1844, when he was appointed Caucasian Vicegerent, Prince Vorontsov was Governor of Novo-rossiya.

27 S.S. Esadze, op. cit.

28 Russian State Historical Archives (RGIA), rec. gr. 1268, inv. 3, f. 17, sheet 28.

THE CAUCASUS & GLOBALIZATION

affluent and well-organized lifestyle. In short, the Russians and the locals would profit from this; trade would increase mutual trust and encourage the mountain dwellers' peaceful habits.29 The administration of the Caucasian General Vicegerency opened exchange offices.30 Trade contacts went far beyond commodity/money operations: peaceful trade contacts with the Russian newcomers gradually changed the lifestyle and everyday habits of the local people.

All of this was done to bring the recent settlers and autochthonous population closer together: Russia's military failures convinced the imperial top crust that escalation of violence would lead nowhere. The time had come to test cultural modernization and Kulturträger (a bearer of culture) instruments.

The Caucasian War fanned the interest of the Russian educated classes in the Caucasus and its people despite the scarcity of relevant information. It was at this time that a Caucasian tradition31 began taking shape in Russian literature. Pushkin, Bestuzhev-Marlinsky, Lermontov, Leo Tolstoy, and numerous less famous authors poured out a wealth of information in the form of their literary creations.

In Russia, the Caucasian literary tradition lived through the periods of Romanticism and realism.

The works of the period of Romanticism set Russia against the Caucasus in many respects. Authors who followed the tradition started by Lord Byron's celebrated Oriental Tales and influenced by the exotics brought into fashion by European Romanticism presented the Caucasus as the mysterious Orient. In the first half of the 19th century, the educated public in Russia concentrated on the problem of serfdom. This explains why Russian writers treated the Caucasus as the "country of freedom" and the abode of the "spirit of freedom." As such, it was counterpoised to the rest of the country. Romanticism stressed the geographic dissimilarities of Russia and the Caucasus; its paradigm hyperbolized the specifics of nature and, especially, the specific features of the mountain dwellers' psychology and social relations. Romanticism was responsible for glorifying violence in what Russian authors wrote about the Caucasus; they also lauded the new merciless "imperial Conquistadors" who terrified local population.

The Russian Romantic literature helped the Russian educated class to grasp the meaning and the historical context of the events that took place in the Caucasus in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While in the early 19th century, Russian society had known practically next to nothing about the Caucasus, by the middle of the same century, the literature of Romanticism supplied the audience, which wanted to know more about the Caucasus, with numerous substantiated ideas about the region.

In the 1830s-early 1840s, realism started moving to the forefront of artistic representations of the Caucasus. It was at this time that authors displayed much more interest in the region's ethnography; they developed a fundamentally different idea of war as a "curse" of mankind and an obvious desire to show man in everyday circumstances. Leo Tolstoy demonstrated the most resolute departure from the tradition of Romanticism. In some of his works he openly criticized the images born by the first period of the development of Russian literature about the Caucasus.32

The Caucasian literary tradition made the Caucasus fashionable in Russia and supplied wider knowledge about the region. It was mainly thanks to the Caucasian tradition present in the works of Russian writers and poets that the empire finally achieved the symbolic appropriation of its southern outskirts. The region struck root in Russian culture and found a place of its own on the mental map of Russian man.

29 RGIA, rec. gr. 1268, inv. 26, f. 8, sheet 193.

30 RGIA, rec. gr. 1268, inv. 26, f. 11, sheet 411.

31 See: A. Jersild, Orientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier, 18451917, McGill-Queen's University, 2002, p. 4.

32

See: L.N. Tolstoy, Kazaki. Povesti i rasskazy, Khudozhestvennaya literatura Publishers, Moscow, 1981, p. 27.

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Conclusion

The Caucasian War is one of the largest civilizational conflicts in history. The clash between traditional culture and the culture of modernity revealed their incompatibility, led to a prolonged armed confrontation, and produced numerous casualties on both sides. The scale of the conflict, which to one extent or another engulfed the entire population of the vast Caucasian region (the Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasus), destroyed the borders and the frontline of confrontation. It became a frontier territory—an area of peaceful contacts, interaction, mutual understanding, and cultural bi-lingualism. The Caucasian War, which seemed endless, forced imperial power to switch to a policy of cultural and social-economic expansion. These functional specifics of the Caucasian War made the Caucasus part of the Russian Empire.

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