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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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Or Kalmyk Steppe, a territory or reservation belonging to the Kalmuck or Kalmyk Tatars, in the Russian government of Astrakhan, bounded by the Volga on the N.E., the Manych on the S.W., the Caspian Sea on the E., and the territory of the Don Cossacks on the N.W. Its area is 36,900 sq. m., to which has to be added a second reservation of 3045 sq. m. on the left bank of the lower Volga. According to I. V. Mushketov, the Kalmuck Steppe must be divided into two parts, western and eastern. The former, occupied by the Ergeni hills, is deeply trenched by ravines and rises 300 and occasionally 630 ft. above the sea. It is built up of Tertiary deposits, belonging to the Sarmatian division of the Miocene period and covered with loess and black earth, and its escarpments represent the old shore-line of the Caspian. No Caspian deposits are found on or within the Ergeni hills. These hills exhibit the usual black earth flora, and they have a settled population. The eastern part of the steppe is a plain, lying for the most part 30 to 40 ft. below the level of the sea, and sloping gently towards the Volga. Post-Pliocene "Aral-Caspian deposits," containing the usual fossils (Hydrobia, Neritina, eight species of Cardium, two of Dreissena, three of Adacna and Lithoglyphus caspius ), attain thicknesses varying from 105 ft. to 7 or Io ft., and disappear in places. Lacustrine and fluviatile deposits occur intermingled with the above. Large areas of moving sands exist near Enotayevsk, where high dunes or barkhans have been formed. A narrow tract of land along the coast of the Caspian, known as the "hillocks of Baer," is covered with hillocks elongated from west to east, perpendicularly to the coast-line, the spaces between them being filled with water or overgrown with thickets of reed, Salix, Ulmus campestris, almond trees, &c. An archipelago of little islands is thus formed close to the shore by these mounds, which are backed on the N. and N.W. by strings of salt lakes, partly desiccated. Small streams originate in the Ergenis, but are lost as soon as they reach the lowlands, where water can only be obtained from wells. The scanty vegetation is a mixture of the flora of south-east Russia and that of the deserts of central Asia. The steppe has an estimated population of 130,000 persons, living in over 27,700 kibitkas, or felt tents. There are over 60 Buddhist monasteries. Part of the Kalmucks are settled (chiefly in the hilly parts), the remainder being nomads. They breed horses, cattle and sheep, but suffer heavy losses from murrain. Some attempts at agriculture and tree-planting are being made. The breeding of livestock, fishing, and some domestic trades, chiefly carried on by the women, are the principal sources of maintenance.

See I. V. Mushketov, Geol. Researches in the Kalmyk Steppe in X884188 5 (St Petersburg, 1894, in Russian); Kostenkov's works (1868-1870); and other works quoted in Semenov's Geogr. Dict. and Russ. Encycl. Diet. (P. A. K.; J. T. BE.) KALNdKY, [[Gustav Siegmund, Count]] (1832-1898), AustroHungarian statesman, was born at Lettowitz, in Moravia, on the 29th of December 1832, of an old Transylvanian family which had held countly rank in Hungary from the 17th century. After spending some years in a hussar regiment, in 1854 he entered the diplomatic service without giving up his connexion with the army, in which he reached the rank of general in 1879. He was for the ten years 1860 to 1870 secretary of embassy at London, and then, after serving at Rome and Copenhagen, was in 1880 appointed ambassador at St Petersburg. His success in Russia procured for him, on the death of Baron v. Haymerle in 1881, the appointment of minister of foreign affairs for Austria-Hungary, a post which he held for fourteen years. Essentially a diplomatist, he took little or no part in the vexed internal affairs of the Dual Monarchy, and he came little before the public except at the annual statement on foreign affairs before the Delegations. His management of the affairs of his department was, however, very successful; he confirmed and maintained the alliance with Germany, which had been formed by his predecessors, and cooperated with Bismarck in the arrangements by which Italy joined the alliance. Kaln6ky's special influence was seen in the improvement of Austrian relations with Russia, following on the meeting of the three emperors in September 1884 at Skiernevice, at which he was present. His Russophile policy caused some adverse criticism in Hungary. His friendliness for Russia did not, however, prevent him from strengthening the position of Austria as against Russia in the Balkan Peninsula by the establishment of a closer political and commercial understanding with Servia and Rumania. In 1885 he interfered after the battle of Slivnitza to arrest the advance of the Bulgarians on Belgrade, but he lost influence in Servia after the abdication of King Milan. Though he kept aloof from the Clerical party, Kaln6ky was a strong Catholic; and his sympathy for the difficulties of the Church caused adverse comment in Italy, when, in 1891, he stated in a speech before the Delegations that the question of the position of the pope was still unsettled. He subsequently explained that by this he did not refer to the Roman question, which was permanently settled, but to the possibility of the pope leaving Rome. The jealousy felt in Hungary against the Ultramontanes led to his fall. In 1895 a case of clerical interference in the internal affairs of Hungary by the nuncio Agliardi aroused a strong protest in the Hungarian parliament, and consequent differences between Banffy, the Hungarian minister, and the minister for foreign affairs led to Kaln6ky's resignation. He died on the 13th of February 1898 at Prodlitz in Moravia.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Kalmuck'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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