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History of Uzbekistan

Prehistory and first states

The prehistory of Uzbekistan notifies that the territory of current Uzbekistan was already inhabited by Neanderthals in the Paleolithic era according to Obi-Rakhmat Grotto in Tashkent region (100 km in the north-east of Tashkent) and Teshik-Tash cave in Surkhandarya region, Southern Uzbekistan.

The emergence of the early (first) states in the territory refers to the VIII-VII centuries BC such as historical Sogdiana, Khorezm, and Bactria. The world popular tourist cities of Uzbekistan with ancient origins are Samarkand (VIII BC), Shakhrisabz (VII century BC), Khiva (VI century BC), Bukhara (IV century BC), Tashkent

Invasions of Central Asia

In 329-327 BC Alexander the Great, after conquering Bactria and Sogdiana, married Roxana, the daughter of the local ruler of Bactria. The resistance to the invaders was fierce, which forced Alexander’s army to remain in this area for a long time.

The flourishing of ancient Khorezm began in the 4th century AD. From 305 to 995 AD, Afrigid dynasty of Khorezmshahs ruled Khorezm.

In the 6th-7th centuries, some parts of modern Uzbekistan were a part of Bactria and Sogdiana, which were later was dependent on the Turkic Kaganate and the Sassanid Empire.

After the conquest by the Arabs, it was part of the Arab Caliphate. Since the second quarter of the 9th century, the territory of modern Uzbekistan has been part of the Samanid state. The Samanid state covers the territory of Maverannahr and Khorasan. During the reign of the Samanids, the foundations of state government (ministries) were formed, which existed until the beginning of the X century. At this time, science, culture and poetry flourished in the region.

At the end of the 10th century, the Samanid state fell under the onslaught of the Turkic nomads – the Karakhanids and Gaznevids. During the heyday of the Ghaznavid state, its rulers encouraged the development of science and culture. It was 1st renaissance of Central Asia! Outstanding scientists and poets (Al-Beruni, ibn Sina-Avicenna, Abu-l-Fazl Beykhaki, Gardizi, Ferdowsi and others) lived and worked at the court of the Ghaznavids. In the XII – early XIII centuries, the territory of modern Uzbekistan became part of the Khorezmshah state.  Genghis Khan and his army conquered the country during 1219-1221, after which the territory of Uzbekistan became part of the uluses (provinces) of his sons – Jochi and Chagatai.

Temurid’s Empire

In the XIV century, Tamerlane (1336-1405) (Amir Timur, Temur the Great) ruled. In his military campaigns, Tamerlane significantly expanded the territory of his state and conquered many adjacent territories, including Persia, Middle East, North India, Transcaucasia, eastern Desht-i-Kipchak and others. Samarkand was the capital of the state of Tamerlane. During the Timurid’s era, the all spheres of science, culture, architecture, education, and diplomatic relations with foreign countries flourished. High educational centers-Medresahs taught not only religion, but also science and poetry! It was a golden period – the 2nd renaissance of Central Asia.

Uzbekistan in XVI-XVIII centuries

In 1499, the troops of Sheibani Khan, the Uzbek Khan, the founder of the Bukhara Khanate, invaded from the Desht-i-Kipchak steppes on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. In 1500-1501, the Sheibanids conquered the Timurid’s capital Samarkand, which accelerated the fall of the Timurid’s state and founded their own Uzbek Bukhara Khanate, also known as the Sheibanid state.

The state formation of the Sheibanids was eventually divided in two: the Khiva Khanate and the Bukhara Khanate. In Khorezm, relatives of the Sheibanids, Arabshahids, descended from Arab-shah-ibn-Pilad, a descendant of Shiban in the 9th generation, ascended the throne. The Sheibanids (1500-1601), who later ceded power to the Ashtarkhanids (1601-1756), remained in the Bukhara Khanate of the ruling dynasties. After the Ashtarkhanids, the last dynasty from the Uzbek tribe Mangyts (1756-1920) ascended the throne and ruled Bukhara (by that time had become an emirate) until its abolition in 1920.

Power in the Khiva Khanate passed from the Arabshahids at the beginning of the 18th century to the Kazakh Chingizids, and from 1770 to 1920 to a dynasty from the Uzbek tribe of Kungrats, who ruled until the abolition of the Khanate.

From 1709 to 1876, the Kokand Khanate, formed by people from the Uzbek tribe Ming, also existed on the territory of modern Uzbekistan.

Tsar Russian invasion & SOVIET era

By the time of Tsar Russian Empire’s attack to Central Asia, there were three state entities: the Bukhara Emirate, the Kokand Khanate and the Khiva Khanate. All three state entities were not friendly with each other. It was the reason of Tsar Russian’s quick invasion.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Central Asia was part of the Russian Empire. At the beginning of the formation of Soviet power, despite the resistance of the local people, all of Central Asia became part of the Soviet Union and consisted of the Turkestan ASSR, the Bukhara Republic and the Khorezm Republic. From November 27, 1917 to February 22, 1918, an unrecognized independent state existed on the territory of Uzbekistan – Turkestan autonomy.

In January 1918, after the Turkestan autonomy refused to comply with the ultimatum presented – to recognize the power of the Soviets, 11 echelons with troops and artillery under the command of Konstantin Osipov arrived from Moscow to Tashkent to eliminate the self-proclaimed autonomy. From 6 to 9 February 1918, street battles took place, with significant casualties and destruction, in which more than 10 thousand civilians died. This operation undermined the confidence of the local population in the Russian revolution, central and local Soviet power for many decades.

The response to the liquidation of the Turkestan autonomy was a powerful national liberation partisan movement, known in Soviet historiography as the “Basmachi”, liquidated by the Soviet government only in the 1930s.

After the national-territorial delimitation of Central Asia, on October 27, 1924, the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic formed with its capital in the city of Samarkand. On September 1, 1930, the capital of the Uzbek SSR moved from Samarkand to Tashkent.

Being a part of the USSR, Uzbekistan turned into an industrial-agrarian republic with a developed light and food industry, heavy industry grew tenfold. The largest thermal (Tashkent, since 1971, Syrdarya, since 1975, Navoi, Angren State District Power Plant) and hydroelectric power plants (Charvak, since 1972) were built, the development of gas (Gazli field, since 1961) and oil fields, etc. appeared. branches of mechanical engineering (electrical, radio-electronic, instrument-making, chemical, aviation, etc.) New large cotton growing areas came up; Uzbekistan became a powerful cotton base of the USSR.

Independent Uzbekistan

In 1991, the August putsch in the capital of the USSR, Moscow, collapsed. Thanks to the initiative of President Islam Karimov, the independence of Uzbekistan was declared on August 31, 1991. On August 31, 1991, the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan adopted a resolution “On the proclamation of state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, as well as the Law “On the foundations of state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan”. On September 30, 1991, the Uzbek SSR got its proper name – the Republic of Uzbekistan.

 The new Uzbek government declared September 1- the Independence Day! Nowadays Uzbekistan is an independent country with its own flag, state song, constitution, army and president!