|Governorate of Russian Empire|
Coat of arms
|-||Established||October 8 (old style), 1802|
|-||1918||63,538 km2 (24,532 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Ukraine|
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The Taurida Governorate (Russian: Таврическая губернiя, modern spelling Таврическая губерния, Ukrainian: Таврiйська губернiя, Crimean Tatar: Tavrida guberniyası) or Government of Taurida was a historical governorate of the Russian Empire. It included the Crimean Peninsula and the mainland between the lower Dnieper River and the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov It was formed after the Taurida Oblast was abolished in 1802 in course of Paul I's administrative reform of the South-Western territories that were annexed from the Crimean Khanate. The governorate's centre was the city of Simferopol. The province was named after the ancient Greek name of Crimea - Taurida.
The governorate was divided into eight counties (uyezds) and two city municipalities (gradonachalstvo),
three of them on the mainland:
- Berdyansk county (Berdyansk - Бердянскъ)
- Dnieper county (centre Aleshki - Алешки)
- Melitopol county (Melitopol - Мелитополь)
and five in Crimea:
- Eupatoria county (Yevpatoria - Евпаторiя)
- Perekop county (Perekop - Перекопъ)
- Simferopol county (Simferopol - Симферополь)
- Theodosia county (Theodosia - Ѳеодосiя)
- Yalta county (Yalta - Ялта)
- city of Kerch - Керчь
- city of Sebastopol - Севастополь
Before 1820 the governorate consisted of seven counties that included the Tmutarakan county on the Taman peninsula across the Strait of Kerch. Later were created the Yalta and Berdyansk counties. In 1804-29 there also existed a separate city of Theodosia and in 1914 Yalta county became the autonomous city of Yalta.
In 1917 the governorate was split, with most of its peninsular part forming the Crimean People's Republic, less the city of Sevastopol which remained the main naval base of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Republic.
The governorate bordered Yekaterinoslav Governorate and Kherson Governorate to its north. By the Strait of Kerch bordered with the Free lands of the Don Cossacks. It has natural borders while being surrounded by the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The mainland and the peninsular parts of the region differed a lot. The total area of the governorate was 63,538 km² of which the mainland portion consisted of 38,405 km² and is largely black earth steppe land. The population of the whole region was 1,634,700 in 1906. At that time, mainland part of the governorate was mostly populated by Ukrainians and Russians but had significant ethnic minorities of Germans, Bulgarians, and Armenians and Jews, while major ethnic groups of the Crimean peninsula were Crimean Tatars and Russians with German, Greek, Armenian, and Karaim minorities. Major urban centres were Simferopol, Sevastopol, Theodosia, Bakhchisaray, and Yalta in Crimea, and Aleshki (now Tsyurupynsk), Berdyansk, and Melitopol on the mainland.
- The Imperial census of 1897 found that the population of the governorate consisted of 1,447,790, with 762,804 male and 684,986 female.
|Ukrainian (Little Russian)||611,121||42.21|
|Russian (Great Russian)||404,463||27.94|
|Belarusian (White Russian)||9,726||0.67|
that did not identify
their native language
In 1897 289,316 people lived in the cities, constituting 19.98% of the total population. The ethnicities of the urban population were Russians (49.1%), Tatars (17.16%), and Jews (11.84%), with only 31 people living in cities choosing not to disclose their identity.
- By the Imperial census of 1897 there were around 1,100,000 Eastern Orthodox followers, just over 30,000 Catholic, around 70,000 Protestant Christians and about the same amount of Judaic followers. Only 13% of population were Muslims known in the Russian Empire as Magometians who mainly lived in the peninsular portion of the guberniya, Crimea itself. They were the main force that after the next 10 years established the first Muslim democratic state the Crimean People's Republic. Beside the Magometians and Jews there were only eight (8) other non-Christian followers in the whole guberniya (not necessarily Atheists).
|Judaism (Krymchaks, Subbotniks)||60,752||4.20|
|Other (Reformators, Anglicans, Baptists, others)||537||0.04|
- For further history see: History of Crimea
In 1783, the Khanate of Crimea was annexed by Catherine the Great’s Russia. Soon after this the Taurida Oblast was established. During the reign of Paul I the oblast was abolished, but soon (in 1802) re-established as a governorate (guberniya). It was a part of the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution of 1918.
Following the 1917 October Revolution, the ethnic Tatar government proclaimed the Crimean People's Republic on December 13, 1917, which was the first Muslim Democratic state. The Tatar republic covered the peninsular portion of the former governorate, while its northern counties ended up temporarily under jurisdiction of the Yekaterinoslav Governorate. However neither Ukraine nor the Crimea managed to hold on to their territories and were overrun by Bolshevik Red Guards in winter of 1917-18. The bolsheviks split the governorate territories between the Taurida Soviet Socialist Republic and the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog Soviet Republic briefly in early 1918 before being overrun by the forces of the Ukrainian People's Republic with a military assistance from the German Empire.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press