VOLVENKO A.A. Between Recruitment and All-Estates Conscription: Cossack Military Service and its Transformation in the Late Imperial Period (1835–1917)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.7

Alexey A. Volvenko

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs, Taganrog Institute named after A.P. Chekhov (branch of the Rostov State University of Economics),

Initsiativnaya St, 48, 347936 Taganrog, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6932-5976


Abstract. Introduction. As the title implies, the article describes the evolution of Cossack military service in the late imperial period, which was completed with the formation of Cossack military service, which existed without significant changes until 1917.

Methods and Materials. The article is based on various papers: archival materials from the Russian State Military Historical Archive (Moscow), publications of contemporaries on Cossack issues of the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries, published in the pages of the magazine “Military Collection.” The analysis of historiography on the topic capacitated the author to reveal an overall perspective on the content and evolution of the Cossack service from 1835 to 1917, which was detailed in the narrative acquiring a multi-level structure. In this framework, the emphasis is on the explanation of the relationship between the individual elements of the service over several decades.

Analysis. For a long time, the form and content of Cossack military service were influenced by the geographical features of the location of a specific Cossack army, the theater of military operations, where Cossack units were used, military traditions, etc. After the Crimean War and with the end of hostilities in the Caucasus, and especially with the beginning of the epoch of “liberation”, the evaluation of the Cossacks and their service moved on to the press. The main platforms for the discussion of the Cossacks military and colonization functions were the periodicals subordinate to the War Ministry. Under the influence of D.A. Milyutin’s military reforms Cossack service was transformed, first on the basis of a conscription order, and then, with reference to the adoption of the general imperial Charter on military service (1874) it again acquired a mandatory character.

Results. The article concludes that emerging in the late 19th – early 20th centuries the service system implied more rigid centralization and unification, and the entire policy of the War Ministry until 1917 in relation to the Cossack service was aimed at its maximum adaptation to the army regulations and the requirements of modern warfare.

Key words: Cossack troops, War Ministry, Cossack service, recruitment, conscription, service systems, regularity, cavalry.

Citation. Volvenko A.A. Between Recruitment and All-Estates Conscription: Cossack Military Service and its Transformation in the Late Imperial Period (1835–1917). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2023, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 79-90. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2023.2.7.

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Between Recruitment and All-Estates Conscription: Cossack Military Service and its Transformation in the Late Imperial Period (1835–1917) by Volvenko A.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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