Elisabethpol Governorate

The Elisabethpol Governorate (pre-reform Russian: Елисаветпо́льская губе́рнія, tr. Yelisavetpólskaya gubérniya; Azerbaijani: Yelizavetpol quberniyası; Armenian: Ելիզավետպոլի նահանգ), also known as the Ganja Governorate (Azerbaijani: Gəncə quberniyası) after 1918, was a guberniya ("governorate") of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire, with its capital in Elisabethpol (Ganja). The area of the governorate stretched 44,136 sq. kilometres[1] and included 878,415 inhabitants by 1897.[2] The Elisabethpol Governorate bordered the Erivan Governorate to the west, the Tiflis Governorate and Zakatal Okrug to the north, the Dagestan Oblast to the northeast, the Baku Governorate to the east, and Persia to the south.

Elisabethpol Governorate
Елисаветпольская губернія
Coat of arms of Elisabethpol Governorate
Administrative map of the Elisabethpol Governorate
Administrative map of the Elisabethpol Governorate
CountryRussian Empire
ViceroyaltyCaucasus
Established1867
Abolished1920
CapitalElisabethpol (Ganja)
Area
 • Total44,296.15 km2 (17,102.84 sq mi)
Highest elevation4,466 m (14,652 ft)
Population
 (1916)
 • Total1,275,131
 • Density29/km2 (75/sq mi)
 • Urban
12.24%
 • Rural
87.76%

GeographyEdit

The area of the governorate includes the southern slope of the main Caucasus range in the northeast, where Mount Bazardüzü and other peaks rise above the snow-line; the arid steppes beside the Kura river, reaching 1000 ft. of altitude in the west and sinking to 100–200 ft. in the east, where irrigation is necessary; and the northern slopes of the Transcaucasian escarpment and portions of the Armenian Highlands, which is intersected towards its western boundary, near Lake Sevan, by chains of mountains consisting of trachytes and various crystalline rocks.[3]

Elsewhere the country has the character of a plateau, 7,000 to 8,000 ft. high, deeply trenched by tributaries of the Aras. All varieties of climate are found in the snowclad peaks, Alpine meadows, and stony deserts of the high levels, to that of the hill slopes and of the arid Caspian steppes.[3]

HistoryEdit

Elisabethpol Governorate was created by the decree "On the transformation of the administration of the Caucasian and Transcaucasian region" dated December 9, 1867.[4] The province included the Elisabethpol Uyezd of the Tiflis Governorate, the Nukha and Shusha uyezds of the Baku Governorate and part of the abolished Ordubad uyezd.[5] By the same decree, the Kazakh and Zangezur uyezds were formed as part of the province. In 1873, due to the disaggregation of the uyezd, three new uyezds were formed in the Governorate - Aresh, Jebrail and Jevanshir.[6] The governorate included lands of the former Ganja Khanate, Shaki Khanate, and Karabakh Khanate. It bordered with Baku Governorate, Tiflis Governorate, Erivan Governorate, Dagestan Oblast, and Persia.

From 1905, there were attempts by Armenian intelligentsia of the Russian Empire to separate the highland areas (commonly known as Mountainous Karabakh) from the rest of Elisabethpol into a zemstvo (self-governing rural community) province.

On the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in May 1918, the Elisabethpol Governorate was renamed to the Ganja Governorate in an effort to de-Russify the region. The neighboring Democratic Republic of Armenia claimed the entirety of the western highland sections of the governorate which as a whole formed a small Armenian majority, however, Armenian control did not exceed the western parts of Zangezur, Kazakh and Karabakh. In 1919, the entirety of Karabakh south of the Murov Range with British support was separated into the Karabakh General Governorship, following the subjugation of the Karabakh Armenian Council.

The governorate provincial system was abolished in the early 1920s after the Sovietization of Azerbaijan. In early 1921—after the Sovietization of Armenia—a Dashnak Armenian revolt that spawned in Yerevan spread to the Zangezur Uyezd, becoming known as the Republic of Mountainous Armenia. The rebels led by Garegin Nzhdeh finally departed Zangezur in the summer of 1921 after receiving guarantees the district would remain part of Soviet Armenia.

In the present-day, the territory of the former Elisabethpol Governorate forms the bulk of western Azerbaijan and adjacent areas of northeastern and southeastern Armenia.

Administrative divisionsEdit

The uezds ("counties") of the Elisabethpol Governorate in 1917 were as follows:[7]

District Russian name Capital Population Area
1897 1916 sq. vst. sq. km.
Aresh Арешскій уѣздъ Aresh (Agdash) 67,277 99,400 2,318.16 2,638.21
Jevanshir Джеванширскій уѣздъ Terter (Tartar) 72,719 75,730 4,654.06 5,296.61
Elisabethpol Елисаветпольскій уѣздъ Elisabethpol (Ganja) 162,788 272,477 8,726.00 9,930.73
Zangezur Зангезурскій уѣздъ Gerusy (Goris) 137,871 226,398 6,742.92 7,673.86
Kazakh Казахскій уѣздъ Kazakh (Qazax) 112,074 137,049 5,096.52 5,800.16
Karyagino (Jebrail) Карягинскій уѣздъ Karyagino (Fuzuli) 66,360 89,584 3,276.81 3,729.21
Nukha Нухинскій уѣздъ Nukha (Shaki) 120,555 185,748 3,685.03 4,193.79
Shusha Шушинскій уѣздъ Shusha 138,771 188,745 4,423.28 5,033.97

DemographicsEdit

The 1886 population estimate was 728,943, living in 3 cities (Elisabethpol, Nukha, and Shusha) and 1521 villages.[8] According to 1886 statistics reported in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary,[8] the Orthodox Christians constituted 0.21% of the Governorate's population, and various sektanty ("sectarians") around 1% (~7,300 people). This means that most of the ethnic Russians in the governorate at the time (1.11% of the Governorate's 728,943 population in 1886) were members of various sectarian communities such as Doukhobors and Molokans.

Russian Empire census (1897)Edit

According to the Russian Empire Census of 1897, the Elisabethpol Governorate had a population of 878,415, including 34,776 men and 22,702 women. The majority of the population indicated Tatar (later known as Azerbaijani) to be their mother tongue, with a significant Armenian speaking minority.[9]

Linguistic composition of the Elisabethpol Governorate in 1897[9]
Language Native speakers %
Tatar[a] 534,086 60.80
Armenian 292,188 33.26
Kyurin 14,503 1.65
Russian 14,146 1.61
Udi 7,040 0.80
German 3,194 0.36
Kurdish 3,042 0.35
Belarusian 2,868 0.33
Tat 1,753 0.20
Georgian 1,239 0.14
Ukrainian 861 0.10
Polish 616 0.07
Kazi-Kumukh 581 0.07
Greek 558 0.06
Avar-Andean 461 0.05
Persian 338 0.04
Jewish 185 0.02
Lithuanian 116 0.01
Romanian 106 0.01
Other 534 0.06
TOTAL 878,415 100.00
Religious composition of the Elisabethpol Governorate in 1897[10]
Faith Male Female Both
Number %
Muslim 308,927 243,895 552,822 62.93
Armenian Apostolic 155,257 143,428 298,685 34.00
Eastern Orthodox 7,150 3,279 10,429 1.19
Old Believer 4,907 4,600 9,507 1.08
Judaism 1,013 1,017 2,030 0.23
Lutheran 1,605 1,616 3,221 0.37
Roman Catholic 685 183 868 0.10
Baptist 382 329 711 0.08
Armenian Catholic 68 37 105 0.01
Reformed 6 9 15 0.00
Anglican 5 6 11 0.00
Buddhist 1 1 2 0.00
Karaite 0 1 1 0.00
Mennonite 1 0 1 0.00
Other Christian denomination 1 2 3 0.00
Other non-Christian denomination 4 0 4 0.00
TOTAL 480,012 398,403 878,415 100.00

Caucasian Calendar (1917)Edit

According to the 1917 publication of the Caucasian Calendar, the Elisabethpol Governorate had 1,275,131 residents in 1916, including 676,377 men and 598,754 women, 1,213,626 of whom were the permanent population, and 61,505 were temporary residents.[7]

Nationality Urban Rural TOTAL
Number % Number % Number %
Shia Muslims 66,500 42.62 411,434 36.77 477,934 37.48
Armenians 45,254 29.00 373,605 33.38 418,859 32.85
Sunni Muslims 34,405 22.05 270,726 24.19 305,131 23.93
Russians 8,111 5.20 28,666 2.56 36,777 2.88
North Caucasians 493 0.32 10,673 0.95 11,166 0.88
Asiatic Christians 58 0.04 10,808 0.97 10,866 0.85
Other Europeans 367 0.24 7,048 0.63 7,415 0.58
Kurds 84 0.05 3,718 0.33 3,802 0.30
Jews 406 0.26 1,706 0.15 2,112 0.17
Georgians 366 0.23 664 0.06 1,030 0.08
Roma 0 0.00 39 0.00 39 0.00
TOTAL 156,044 100.00 1,119,087 100.00 1,275,131 100.00

Known governorsEdit

  • Fokion Bulatov, 1868–1876
  • Alexander Nakashidze, 1880–1897
  • Ivan Kireyev, 1897–1900
  • Nikolai Lutsau, 1900–1905
  • Yegor Baranovsky, 1905 (acting)
  • Alexander Kalachev, 1905–1907
  • Samkalov, 1907–1908
  • Georgi Kovalev, 1908–1916
  • Mikhail Poyarkov, 1916–1917[11]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Later known as Azerbaijani.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ (in Russian) Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedia[permanent dead link]: Elisabethpol Governorate
  2. ^ (in Russian) Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedia[permanent dead link]: Elisabethpol Governorate – additional information to the article
  3. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Elisavetpol". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 280.
  4. ^ Полное собрание законов Российской империи. Собр. 2-е. Т. XLII. Ч. 2. Ст. 45259.
  5. ^ Azərbaycan Xalq Cümhuriyyəti Ensiklopediyası: I cild. pp. 420–423.
  6. ^ Мильман А. Ш. (1966). Политический строй Азербайджана в XIX — начале XX веков (административный аппарат и суд, формы и методы колониального управления). Баку: Азернешр. p. 157.
  7. ^ a b Кавказский календарь на 1917 год [Caucasian calendar for 1917] (in Russian) (72nd ed.). Tiflis: Tipografiya kantselyarii Ye.I.V. na Kavkaze, kazenny dom. 1917. pp. 190–197. Archived from the original on 4 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b Елизаветпольская губерния (Elizavetpol Governorate) in Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Russian)
  9. ^ a b "Демоскоп Weekly - Приложение. Справочник статистических показателей". www.demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2022-05-18.
  10. ^ "Демоскоп Weekly - Приложение. Справочник статистических показателей". www.demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  11. ^ Lands of Ganja Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 40°40′58″N 46°21′38″E / 40.6828°N 46.3606°E / 40.6828; 46.3606