1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kazañ (government)

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KAZAÑ, a government of middle Russia, surrounded by the governments of Vyatka, Ufa, Samara, Simbirsk, Nizhniy-Novgorod and Kostroma. Area 24,601 sq. m. It belongs to the basins of the Volga and its tributary the Kama, and by these streams the government is divided into three regions; the first, to the right of the main river, is traversed by deep ravines sloping to the north-east, towards the Volga, and by two ranges of hills, one of which (300 to 500 ft.) skirts the river; the second region, between the left bank of the Volga and the left bank of the Kama, is an open steppe; and the third, between the left bank of the Volga and the right bank of the Kama, resembles in its eastern part the first region, and in its western part is covered with forest. Marls, limestones and sandstones, of Permian or Triassic age, are the principal rocks; the Jurassic formation appears in a small part of the Tetyúshi district in the south; and Tertiary rocks stretch along the left bank of the Volga. Mineral springs (iron, sulphur and petroleum) exist in several places. The Volga is navigable throughout its course of 200 m. through Kazañ, as well as the Kama (120 m.); and the Vyatka, Kazanka, Rutka, Tsivyl, Greater Kokshaga, Ilet, Vetluga and Mesha, are not without value as waterways. About four hundred small lakes are enumerated within the government; the upper and lower Kaban supply the city of Kazañ with water.

The climate is severe, the annual mean temperature being 37.8° F. The rainfall amounts to 16 in. Agriculture is the chief occupation, and 82% of the population are peasants. Out of 7,672,600 acres of arable land, 4,516,500 are under crops—chiefly rye and oats, with some wheat, barley, buckwheat, lentils, flax, hemp and potatoes. But there generally results great scarcity, and even famine, in bad years. Live stock are numerous. Forests cover 35% of the total area. Bee-keeping is an important industry. Factories employ about 10,000 persons and include flour-mills, distilleries, factories for soap, candles and tallow, and tanneries. A great variety of petty trades, especially those connected with wood, are carried on in the villages, partly for export. The fairs are well attended. There is considerable shipping on the Volga, Kama, Vyatka and their tributaries. Kazañ is divided into twelve districts. The chief town is Kazañ (q.v.). The district capitals, with their populations in 1897 are: Cheboksary (4568), Chistopol (20,161), Kozmodemyansk (5212), Laishev (5439), Mamadyzh (4213), Spask (2779), Sviyazhsk (2363), Tetyushi (4754). Tsarevokokshaisk (1654), Tsivylsk (2337) and Yadrin (2467). Population (1879), 1,872,437; (1897), 2,190,185, of whom 1,113,555 were women, and 176,396 lived in towns. The estimated population in 1906 was 2,504,400. It consists principally of Russians and Tatars, with a variety of Finno-Turkish tribes: Chuvashes, Cheremisses, Mordvinians, Votyaks, Mescheryaks, and some Jews and Poles. The Russians belong to the Orthodox Greek Church or are Nonconformists; the Tatars are Mussulmans; and the Finno-Turkish tribes are either pagans or belong officially to the Orthodox Greek Church, the respective proportions being (in 1897): Orthodox Greek, 69.4% of the whole; Nonconformists, 1%; Mussulmans, 28.8%.  (P. A. K.; J. T. Be.)