Bulat A. Aznabaev, Doctor of historical sciences, associate professor, head of the sub-department of history the Republic of Bashkortostan, archeology and ethnology, Bashkir State University (32 Zaki Validi street, Ufa, Russia), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. In the historical literature it is established that the voluntary nature of accepting citizenship was due to the desire of the Bashkir clans to gain protection from external threats. However, the Russian state of the 16th – 17th centuries did not include the Ufa district in the all-Russian system of protection of the southern borders. The purpose of this work is to study the reasons for the voluntary entry of the Bashkirs into Russia in the middle of the 16th century.
Materials and methods. From the materials of the Senate fund for the Ufa province (Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts), a set of sources was isolated. These documents indicate the circumstances of the resumption of Russian citizenship of the Bashkirs in 1722. The methodological potential includes: a comparative historical method, the use of which allows us to compare the reasons for the first adoption of Russian citizenship by the Bashkirs (middle 16th century) and its renewal in 1722. The relevance of this approach is due to the fact that the Russian authorities and the Bashkirs themselves have repeatedly stressed that all the conditions of citizenship in 1722 corresponded to the provisions of the voluntary entry of the mid-16th century. Results. The tribal structures of the Bashkirs were united by horizontal ties, which excluded the possibility of creating a single center of power standing over the communities. All decisions affecting the interests of the clans were made only at popular assembly. However, since each clan district was the subject of land tenure, land disputes could not be resolved within the Bashkir polity in a legal way.
Conclusions. The Bashkir unification could exist only as an autonomy within the empire. Only this was the key to maintaining peace between clan structures in all matters related to land tenure. This dependence on an external equidistant arbiter manifested itself with particular acuteness after the uprising of 1704–1711. By 1716, a crisis was outlined in Bashkir society, threatening to develop into a civil war. As a result, a political compromise was found only with the decisive participation of the imperial authorities.
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