Expert board:

  • Scientific Council of RAS on economic history;
  • Research and Educational Center «The economic history of Central Russia and the Middle Volga region» of Ogarev Mordovia State University;
  • Center of Economic History of  Lomonosov Moscow State University

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«Economic History» (2018г. №41)


ISSN 2409-630X (Print), ISSN 2618-916X (Online)

DOI: 10.15507/2409-630X.041.014.201802.170-178

Marine S. Galstyan

Nizhnevartovsk State University  (Nizhnevartovsk, Russia), e-mail:





Introduction. Among the so-called “newcomers”, which began to form in Central Asia, the Armenians were a large and economically influential community. The aim of the article is to reveal the contribution of the Armenian community to the establishment and development of cotton growing in this region as one of the private examples of the successful coexistence of different peoples in Russian Turkestan. The phenomenon of peaceful and productive co-existence of different ethnic, confessional and other communities in the Russian imperial space needs careful scientific analysis and is not only of purely scientific interest. Materials and Methods. In the study, we used the general scientific method of the system approach and system analysis, as well as the historical-comparative, historical-system, methods of historical statistics. They allow us to consider the problem under study in the context of the peculiarities of coexistence and mutually beneficial economic activity of different ethnic and confessional communities, one of which was the Armenian diaspora, in Central Asia. Results of the study. We can argue that the contribution of Armenians to the development of cotton growing and manufacturing in Central Asia has been significant. They actively participated in the distribution of new, more productive varieties of cotton, in the expansion of cotton crops due to irrigation “revitalization” of lands; Armenian entrepreneurs opened factories, thereby creating jobs and transferring the cotton ginning industry to a new mechanized level; introduced completely new ways of processing cotton raw materials, including, setting up oil production. A number of agronomists, Armenians by origin, made a significant contribution to the creation of a scientific base for the development of Central Asian cotton growing. Discussion and Conclusion. There are ambiguous assessments of the role of Armenian entrepreneurs in the economic life of Russian Turkestan. This concerns the buyers who were accused of monopolizing the trade in cotton raw materials. However, it should be noted that without the intermediation of trade representatives who lent to dehkans the purchases of American varieties of cotton, switching to more productive varieties (and more profitable for the producers themselves), expansion of crops and, in general, rapid development of the cotton industry would not be so rapid successful. A mutually beneficial situation was created when the local population received loans from Armenian buyers to buy more productive sorts of cotton, which ultimately had a positive effect on the welfare of local farmers. Thus, the Armenian community made a significant contribution to the expansion of cotton production and the establishment of the cotton-processing industry in Central Asia.

Keywords: Armenian community of Central Asia, cotton growing, ginning plants, Russian Turkestan.


For citation: Marine S. Galstyan. Armenian Community of Russian Turkestan and the Formation of Cotton Industry in Middle Asia. Ekonomicheskaya istoriya = Russian Journal of Economic History. 2018; 14(2): 170–178. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.15507/2409-630X.040.014.201801.170-178


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