Social Disorder in Imperial Ferghana, 1905-1907
Situated between the Ottoman, Russian, and Persian Empires, the Ferghana Valley (the heartland of Central Asia) witnessed revolution, political upheaval and dramatic social transformation. But despite the numerous bandits, revolutionaries, and radicals, in the face of economic dislocation, hyper urbanization, and unlawful land seizure by Russian peasants, this restive area has been dismissed as a region where not much—in terms of revolutionary activities—was going on. This project examines multi-ethnic social movements—particularly banditry in the historically important Ferghana Valley at the turn of the century, when revolutions rocked the Persian, Chinese, Ottoman and Russian empires. This paper explores banditry as one of the major social movements that I use in my research to reveal the stresses of empire and one of the major destabilizing factors during the revolutionary era. In arguing that the Ferghana Valley was a region of tension and anger during the revolutionary years of 1905-1907, the paper reveals that this political uncertainty was expressed through banditry. In addition to displaying the social disorder and lawlessness of banditry during this "quiet" time in the Ferghana Valley, the research highlights the disruptive and extensive political and economic violence of the period.
Diaspora, Migration and Resistance in Eurasia