Bukhara People's Soviet Republic BPSR

Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic (BPSR)


a Soviet republic in Middle Asia during 1920-24. It was formed as a result of the victory of the antifeudal, anti-imperialist popular revolution in the Bukhara Khanate (supported by the Red Army) in 1920. The area of the BPSR was 182, 193 sq km, and its population was over 2.2 million, mainly Uzbeks, Tadzhiks, and Turkomans. The BPSR bordered on the Turkestan ASSR, the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic, and Afghanistan. Its capital was the city of Staraia Bukhara.

By mid-1920, during the period of the Civil War and military intervention, a revolutionary situation facilitated by the consolidation of Soviet power in Turkestan had taken shape in the Bukhara Khanate. The isolation of Bukhara’s economy from Soviet Russia and the Turkestan ASSR, the emir’s orientation toward imperialist England, the heavy tax burden, crop failures, and the arbitrariness of the Bukhara authorities worsened the situation of the dekhkans (peasants) and artisans, provoking their growing discontent with the existing regime. The Bukhara Communist Party (BCP, established 1918), headed by N. Khusainov, A. Aliev, N. Kurbanov, A. Turaev, and others and relying on the aid of the RCP (Bolshevik), began to prepare the revolutionary forces of the people for an armed uprising. The headquarters of the Turkestan Front supplied weapons and uniforms to the Bukhara fighting detachments that were forming. The Fourth Congress of the BCP, held in Chardzhui on Aug. 16-18, 1920, called for an uprising by the toilers of Bukhara. By this time, the Bukhara armed detachments numbered 5, 000 fighting men. The Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of Turkestan mobilized 500 Uzbek and Tadzhik Communists, putting them at the disposal of the CC of the BCP as political workers. On Aug. 23, 1920, an armed uprising began in Sakar Bazar (Chardzhui Beylic). A party center for the direction of the uprising was established on Aug. 25, 1920. On August 29, the insurgents and the Bukhara Red detachments occupied Staryi Chardzhui. A body of the insurgent people’s power—a revolutionary committee, which turned to the Turkestan Commission of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR (and through it, to the government of the RSFSR) with a request for aid—was established in the course of the struggle. The Soviet government sent units of the Red Army headed by M. V. Frunze to Bukhara. Between August 29 and 31, Khatyrchi, Kitab, Kermine, Ziiautdin, Karshi, Shakhrisabz, and other cities were liberated, and on Sept. 2, 1920, Staraia Bukhara was liberated. On September 14, the supreme bodies of power took final shape: the All-Bukhara Revolutionary Committee and the Council of People’s Nazirs (commissars). On October 8, at the First All-Bukhara Kurultai (congress), the representatives of the people proclaimed the BPSR, which by its state structure was a revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. The BPSR was a transitional stage to the Soviet socialist republic. On Mar. 4, 1921, the RSFSR and the BPSR concluded a union treaty and economy agreement that established the interrelations of the two republics on the basis of fraternal friendship and political and economic aid. The constitution of the BPSR was confirmed in September 1921. Reflecting the distinctive features of the BPSR, the constitution recognized the right to private property in land and the basic implements and means of production, granted the vote to a number of representatives of exploiting classes, and so on. Relatives of the overthrown emir, high officials of the emirate, and beys were deprived of the vote. On Feb. 1, 1922, the BCP was accepted into the RCP (Bolshevik).

Between 1920 and 1923, a bitter struggle on the territory of the BPSR unfolded against the Basmachi, who seized a sizable portion of the republic (eastern Bukhara). The All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR offered much assistance to the BPSR in Soviet construction and in the struggle against the Basmachi. The Red Army, supported by the toiling masses of Bukhara, smashed the main force of the Basmachis. The First (Fifth) Congress of the BCP, held in 1921, adopted a resolution on the implementation of land reform and other revolutionary democratic reforms. Between 1921 and 1924 the lands of the emirate and the beylic were confiscated and distributed to the dekhkans.

In order to eliminate economic dislocation and to rehabilitate and develop the national economy of the Turkestan, Bukhara, and Khorezm republics, in March 1923, by the resolution of the first economic conference of Turkestan, Bukhara, and Khorezm, there was an economic amalgamation of the three republics, and a unified economic center was formed—the Middle Asian Economic Council. During 1922-23, the government of the RSFSR turned over to the BPSR equipment for several textile plants: 50 million rubles were allocated without compensation for the rehabilitation of the national economy. With the reestablishment and growth of industry, the number of working-class cadres from among the local nationalities grew. By the middle of 1924, nine trade unions (over 20, 000 people) had been organized in Bukhara. In the beginning of 1924, the government of the RSFSR granted the BPSR a long-term interest-free loan amounting to 1 million rubles for the crediting of small peasants’ holdings. The dekhkans received aid from the government of the BPSR in the form of seed, draft animals, agricultural implements, and monetary loans. As a result, the total sown area reached prewar levels, and irrigation and livestock raising were rehabilitated. The dekhkans organized into unions (koshchi). Successes in economic construction created the prerequisites for the transformation of the BPSR into a socialist republic. On Sept. 19, 1924, the Fifth All-Bukhara Kurultai of Soviets adopted a resolution renaming the BPSR the Bukhara Soviet Socialist Republic, which was liquidated on Oct. 27, 1924, as a result of the National-State Demarcation of the Soviet Republics of Middle Asia, and became part of the reformed Uzbek SSR, Turkmen SSR, and Tadzhik ASSR (since 1929, the Tadzhik SSR).


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