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Your Guide in Central Asia


History of Uzbekistan

History of Uzbekistan

Some parts of present-day Uzbekistan have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The first states in the region were Khwarazm, Bactria, Sogdiana, and the Parthian Empire, in the first millennium BC . The territory was consolidated under the Achaemenids in the 6th century BC , until it was conquered by Alexander the Great, 329–327 BC . The Greeks were displaced by the Tochari in the 3rd century BC . From the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD Uzbekistan was part of the Kushana Kingdom. This in turn was replaced by the Ephthalite state. 

In the 6th century the area was part of the West Turkic Kaganate, a loose confederation of largely nomadic tribes. By the 8th century the region was conquered by the Arabs, who introduced Islam. The Ummayid dynasty was displaced by the Abbasids in 747–750. In the 9th century the Samanids took control of most of Central Asia, including Uzbekistan. Turkic tribes again began to push into the area from the east in the 10th century, eventually forming the Karakhanid state. A lesser part of that state, Khwarazm, grew more powerful in the 12th century and came to dominate most of Central Asia. 

Genghiz Khan's Mongols invaded in 1219, conquering all of Central Asia by 1221. In 1224 Genghiz Khan's son Chagatai was made ruler of this area. As Chingisid influence waned, Timur (Tamerlane, 1336–1405) established an empire in Samarkand. Upon his death it split into Khorasan, ruled by his son Shah Rukh, and Maweranahr, ruled by his grandson, Ulgh Beg. Although Timur is now claimed as the father of the modern Uzbeks, more likely candidates are the Sheibanid, nomadic Uzbeks who fought to take the area in the early 16th century. They settled among the other populations and became farmers, making Bukhara their capital. 

In the 16th century Khwarazm, Balkh, and Khiva separated from Bukhara, becoming separate principalities. Bukhara was conquered by Persia in 1740, but sovereignty was retaken soon after by the Mangyt dynasty, which ruled until 1920. In the early 19th century the Kokand Khanate grew powerful in the eastern part of present-day Uzbekistan.

Russia had begun trading with Bukhara, Khiva, and Kokand in the 18th century. Concern about British expansion in India and Afghanistan led eventually to Russian conquest, which began in the 1860s and ended in the 1880s, when Uzbekistan became part of Turkestan guberniia, with Bukhara and Khiva administered as separate emirates under Russian protection. 

In 1916 Tsar Nicholas II issued a call for Central Asian males to be drafted into labor battalions. This sparked resistance throughout the region, including in Uzbekistan, which was violently repressed. During the conflict from 1917–1920, Uzbekistan was the site of competing attempts to create governments; the Bolsheviks announced a short-lived Turkestan Autonomous Republic, while a Muslim Congress also attempted an Autonomous Government of Turkestan. Red Army forces intervened savagely, but armed resistance continued as late as 1924, in the so-called Basmachi Rebellion. 

The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created in 1925. In 1929, Tajikistan, which had been an administrative sub-unit, was elevated to full republic status, changing the boundaries. They were changed once again in 1936. 

Untill 1991 Uzbekistan was one of 15 republics of the Soviet Union .

On 31 August, the 6th Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Council declared the political independence of the country, which was officially named the Republic of Uzbekistan. 1 September was proclaimed Independence Day.

From September 1991 to July 1993 the Republic of Uzbekistan was officially recognised by 160 states. On 2 March 1992 the country joined the United Nations

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