Milestones of History
History and modernity, the past and the present are unbreakable. They are the link to which are strung the events of the past, like pearls. From early generations down to the latest, stories and myths are told, traditions and customs are taught, and documentary evidence of the past is passed on. Each epoch leaves behind monuments in the form of cities that existed before and also works of art. And all this comprises the foundation of people's inheritance, their historical property.
Uzbekistan is a country of an ancient civilization. There are thousands of monuments of archaeology and architecture preserved on its territory. Numerous manuscripts and items of both ancient and recent past of the area are kept in research centers and museums, In recent years, significant changes have been observed with regard to the true historical past of the area, spiritual values and traditions of the people that inhabited the region. Thus, a deep and objective study of the history of the peoples of Uzbekistan, based on first-hand sources, now has been launched in the country. National festivals and rituals have been revived, freedom of faith is fully maintained, and the national self-conscience and dignity of the peoples now residing in Uzbekistan have been recovered.
The identities of tens of great personalities - statesmen, scientists and thinkers - are being restored in the country.
The celebration of remarkable dates is significant vis-a-vis restoring the national self-consciousness and historical culture of the area. The 2500th anniversary of the world-famous cities of Bukhara and Khiva, 660th anniversary of the great statesman, Amir Temur (Tamerlane), the jubilees of the greatest scientists such as Akhmad Al-Farghony, ImamAl-Bukhary, Bakhauddin Naksbbandy, Ulugbbek, Navoi, and many others were celebrated nationwide. All of these festivals were launched under the auspices of UNESCO, and have received wide international response. Besides, each celebration served as vivid evidence of the enormous contribution our ancestors had made with their treasury of global culture.
Uzbekistan, being at the heart of the Central Asian region, served and still continues to serve as a center for important historical events. Therefore, while talking about the history of its people, looking at the events and studying the monuments of the past, it would be impossible to stay within today's geographical and administrative borders. Since both in ancient and medieval times, the territory of present Uzbekistan was fully or partly a part of neighboring provinces, or still - united them into one historical and cultural unit and state. From ancient times the historical fate of the peoples of Central Asia has been closely interconnected with each other, making one historical area stretching from China to India.
Along with that, the people's history and the one of its contemporary identity (i.e., its naming) could not be considered the same, due to the point that the former is much more ancient than the latter. And naturally, the history of the Uzbek people doesn't commence from the times when the term "Uzbeks" came on the scene, but from the most ancient times of emergence of human society in the given territory.
The current territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan is one of the seats of an active primitive settlement. The traces of primeval humans in the form of primitive labor instruments, habitation, and temporary settlements are found in various zones ranging from mountain tracts and sands of the Kyzyl Kum deserts.
The climatic conditions and favorable ecological environment of the Central Asian region served important prerequisites for emerging here of initial dwellings of ancient humans and development of
As the places of their habitation, the primitive men used to choose mountain slopes, river valleys, and plains with an abundance of wildlife - animals, birds, and fish.
Mostly, initial inhabitants used caves for their shelter. This period is usually referred to as the Lower Paleolithic (about from 700-600 until 100000 years B.C.) Some stone tools of this period were discovered in (hc.Sokb River valley (The Selengitr cave), flood-lands of the Okhangaron River (The Kolbuloq settlement), Baysuntogh Mountains and Zarafshon oasis (Omonkuton, Zirabufoq, and Kulurbuloq).
Using scientifiqtechniques on stone labor instruments and their typology, scientist point to some big cultural periods of that epoch.
The largest monuments of the Middle Paleolithic (100000-40000 B.C.) are Obirakkmat, Khojakent, Policy, Kolbuloq (Tashkent province), Omonquton, .Kuturbuloq, Zirabuloq, Kbojamazghil (Samarkand province), and Uchtut (Navoi province).
The Teshiktosb cave, discovered in Surkhandarya province in 1938, is a classical example of the Middle Paleolithic. Besides the remains of a fireplace, animal bones, and work tools, the scientists also discovered a Neanderthal boy's burial place alongside the horns of a mountain goat, which served as evidence of some kind of spiritual existence, and probably, religious views of primitive men.
The period of Upper Paleolithic (40-30000 to 12-10000 B.C.) is characterized by the development of an early type of modern man, the Cro-Magnon man. The remains of this period are mostly found in Surkhandarya, Samarkand, and Tashkent provinces. The types and forms of labor instruments were further improved by the passing of time. Besides stones, animal bones and wood were also used for their tools. Based on the distribution of labor, generic relationships changed, and patriarchy emerged. Along with that, by that time, primitive men began engaging in the so-called primitive literary handicraft work and drawing by crafting women figurines, various decorations, and primitive writing on the rocks.
The period of 12000-5000 B.C. is known as Mesolithic. The mastering of hunting instruments (heads of arrows and spears, and other) and taming of animals were the characteristic features of the period. The people that resided by that time on the territory of Central Asia mostly hunted and fished. More than 100 places were discovered just in the Ferghana Valley pertaining to that period.
The time between 6000 and 4000 B.C. is termed as the Neolithic period, or the so-called new Stone Age. Now man improves the techniques of making tools, for grinding, sawing, and drilling. Besides, man began making ceramic tools. And further, families based on couples began spreading all around at that time.
At that time the southern zones of Central Asia are known to have been the settlements of numerous groups along the water basins.
The early hunters and fishermen of the time settled on the territories of present day Khorezm and Bukhara oasis. The largest of the researched areas of such remains is Janbas-4 settlement. The remains of a large tent-like dwelling (300 sq. m) has been discovered there, where several families used to stay.
The next historical period of 3000 to beginning 1000 B.C. is known as the Bronze Age. Man learned how to produce bronze - a metal much firmer than copper. Numerous Bronze-Age tools such as knives, daggers, work and cosmetic tools, as well as many other items used in everyday life were discovered. Hunting and fishing was gradually replaced by activity in settlements with use of tamed (domestic) animals. Thus, the distant-pasture cattle breeding and agriculture with natural irrigation at first, and further - artificial, becomes the main sphere of man's activity. Three local centers of the ancient agriculture of the Bronze Age were discovered in the south of Uzbekistan. These are Sherobod, Bandikhon, and Sborchi oasis local centers.
In this regard, the so-called Sopollitepa settlement is one of the closely researched physical evidences of that period, the settlement represents a huge countryside-like area with a square fortress at its heart with various types of houses, handicraft, and other structures similar to residential areas inside the fortress. Agriculture based on primitive artificial irrigation, cattle breeding and fishing was the main activity of the local ancient settlers. Ancient kitchenware and other housing tools were discovered to have been made out of clay with further burning at the local workshop.
Thus, early agriculture, based on both natural and artificial irrigation, on the territory of Uzbekistan is thought to have seen its emergence and rise during the first quarter of 2000 B.C. The size and nature of settlements, separate burial complexes, and numerous remains of ceramic tools bear witness to a period of social and occupational division of society, and sharp labor distribution. In its turn, it led to the emergence and further development of urbanized cultures.
The first half of 1000 B.C. is a period of further development of ancient society, with class structure and early states arriving on the scene. Also, this is period of discovery of iron, which played a significant role in the entire process of human development. Thus, since those times up to now, iron has always been a basic material tool for humanity.
The discovery of iron and other technical improvements served as a basis for the rise of labor productivity in different spheres, and, especially, in agriculture. The areas under arable lands increased, the system of irrigation canals and barrage structures improved (e.g. canal and dam discovered in Bandikhoh oasis), handicraft with blacksmiths and arms works, in particular, were further improved at that time. The early practice of exchanges came on the scene. In the middle of 1000 B.C. metallic coins became widespread.
The remains of the early Stone Age on the territory of Uzbekistan date back to eight to sk centuries B.C. in the ancient provinces such as Bactria, Khorezm, Shosh, and Ferghana Valley.
Large centers of the early Stone Age are also known. They are Bandikbon, Kuchuktepa, Talashkan, Kyzyltepa, Chirik-rabat, and others with well-fortified settlements. The remains of ancient agriculture were discovered in oases in Kashkadarya, Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand provinces.
The end of 2000 and beginning of 1000 B.C. is characterized as the downfall of primitive society, and rise of large territorial units, which became the prototypes of the formation of the first states.
Ancient states. Thus, in early 1000 B.C. ancient territorial and tribal units emerged on the territory of Uzbekistan.
The convergence of the social-political interests becomes a peculiar feature of the ancient cultural regions of the area, let alone climatic borders and forms of existence. Predicated on the three basic factors - geographic, form of existence (otherwise can be termed as "economic"), and social - ancient state formations came on the scene on the territory of Uzbekistan. In particular, Big Khorezm was a big and powerful kingdom with a developed agriculture and state irrigation system. The settlers grew wheat, barley, and rice.
During the second half of 1000 B.C. the ancient regions of Bactria, Khorezm, and Sogdiana saw the invasion on the part of the Achaemenid tsars, and were further annexed to their huge empire as eastern provinces.
The Bactrian lands, according to ancient sources and "History" by Herodotus, occupied a special place in the Achaemenid Kingdom. The Bactrian troops are reported to have participated in vital campaigns led by Achaemenid tsars as the bravest and best trained. Bactria was also one of the richest provinces that paid levies with gold and precious stones.
The struggle of eastern provinces to obtain political sovereignty gained more momentum given their prospering economies at that time. In this regard, Bactria stood at the forefront of those events. Agriculture based on irrigation with use of water-dams and large reservoirs provided the basis for the ancient Bactrian economy.
During that period, town planning, fortification, architecture and various handicrafts also developed. Trade was expanded towards not only neighboring provinces, but also towards contiguous states. The first caravan roads were laid, which later would become the main pathways for the Great Silk Road.
The first millennium B.C. had become the time when ancient agricultural provinces of Uzbekistan began integrating with the world by qualitatively changing their social structures. And it was an important era for enriching their economic and cultural potential.
In the 4th century B.C., the Empire of Alexander the Great came on the scene of the world history.
In late 330 B.C. Alexander captured Bactria's capital, town of Bactri. However, Alexander's troops ran against fierce opposition on the part of the unified troops led by a talented Sogdian called Spitamen. Raging fierce attacks on the defense, Alexander managed to move forward further along the right bank of the Amu Darya and captured Samarkand, the capital of, Sogdiana. The nomadic tribes are said to have supported the population of Bactria and Sogdiana against the Greek and Macedonian invaders by launching sudden raids that caused great damage to Alexander's troops.
Following steadfast opposition on the part of the local masses, Alexander the Great had to look for support from the local aristocracy, as well as use various political tricks, and come to compromises.
Partly, he was successful in doing that. In late 328 B.C., by way of grafting the local elite, military tricks, and betrayal, he succeeded to stifle the rebellion in Bactria and Sogdiana, leading to the death of Spitamen.
However, the population in some captured towns and fortresses kept resisting the invasion, and Alexander sometimes had to recapture them by siege, as had been the case, for example, with Samarkand. In the summer of 327 B.C., he succeeded in reestablishing his nominal rule in Bactria and Sogdiana.
The invasion brought tough ordeals, death and destruction to towns and settlements, which once prospered and lived their own life. The cruel and severe war with aggressors broke the economy as a whole, trade, and cultural life of Bactria, Sogdiana, and Khorezm.
But at the same time, it should be underscored, that creation of the "world empire" by Alexander the Great in one way or another led to the prospering of trade and cultural relations between the countries that were the part of that empire. The war also brought Greek and Macedonian merchants. The recovery of Greek coins in Central Asia serves as a witness to active trade relations that existed in the region. Nevertheless, it did not last long. Following the death of Alexander in June 13,323 B.C., the local provinces of a once huge empire, moved along the path of gaining political independence.
The second half of 3000 and 1000 B.C. the area where once stood the huge empire of Alexander the Great saw creation of many other big and small states with their own features of development, increase in trade, handicraft art, and renewed town planning.
Thus, the Kushan Kingdom emerged as one of the powerful states in 1000 B.C. The peak of its rise the kingdom has seen late 1st century A.D. - beg. 2nd century A.D., when it comprised of the territories of present day Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and the southern provinces of Uzbekistan, Alongside Rome and Han empires, it turned into a world power. One of the most renowned rulers of the kingdom was Kanishka. His rule witnessed the competition of the kingdom with Han's China over Eastern Turkestan, through which vital trade routes used to pass along.
Still, one of the significant events of the rule by Kanishka was a declaration of Bactrian language and writing as official in the kingdom. From that time on, writing on coins followed in Bactrian, but not in Greek or Indian languages.
The town of Termez became one of the largest trade and cultural centers of the Kushan kingdom. Its territory was fortified with a powerful defense wall. Buddhist religious complexes were erected along the suburbs of towns such as Koratepa, Cbingbiztepa, Fayoztepa, Zunnala, and others. Due to widespread practice of religious tolerance, the unique convergence of Hellenic, Indian, and nomadic cultures took place in both literary and material culture of the given epoch. Many samples, recovered from various settlements in the area, serve witness to the aforementioned.
The period of the Kushan rule saw new economic development with more sown areas and irrigation canals. Handicraft work was further improved.
By that time, rapid growth in trade was also observed, for example, between East and West along the well-established and safeguarded route of the Great Silk Road. The caravans carried silk, fur, varnished items, and many other things from China to the West. Trade with the Roman Empire also increased. The Roman-made items, discovered on the territory of former Bactria and Sogdiana, serve witness to it.
In the 3rd century the Kushan Empire began to face its gradual downfall, and suffered a number of defeats from the Sassanid monarchies. By the 4th century, the empire no longer existed.
Unlike the southern regions, the establishment of political units in the north of Uzbekistan began much later - the second half of 1000 B.C. One of the prerequisites that led to the union by nomadic and semi-settled tribes of the steppes and local agricultural oases served an invasion campaign launched by Alexander the Great in the area.
The state formation, namely Kangyui, is traced back to 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. The state is reported to have been located on the territory of north Central Asia, Tashkent oasis, and Tolas valley. The documentary evidence also reveals that the state had a large, well-trained army, which successfully withstood several enemy campaigns. Its population mainly consisted of Turkic speaking tribes. Some historians say that the new Turkic population and language was composed during that very period.
Kangyui had existed for seven centuries and left behind a perceptible trace in the history and literary art of Uzbekistan as an example of the merging of settled and nomadic traditions.
In the 2nd century B.C. Ferghana (Dawari) became a powerful sovereign state.
The Chinese Han rulers on a number of occasions failed to capture it. Despite numerous Chinese armies, Ferghana was never captured. The last attempt was undertaken in the 1st century, yet again followed by another failure due to the support rendered by the Kangyui troops.
The territory of Ferghana was densely populated in ancient times. The local peoples engaged in agriculture and horticulture, and in mountain areas - high pasture cattle breeding. The town of Gushan (now Uzgen) served as a capital for the state. Later on, according to historical evidence, the capital moved to the so-called town of Ershi (ruins of the settlement near the modern town of Markbamat). Traditionally, Ferghana has been famous for its grapes and wine. Weaving and pottery were the main types of craft in the state. The incursion into the state by the Ephtalites put the sovereignty of Ferghana to an end.
In the second half of the 5th century, the outsiders formed their own state by invading more lands in 457. Even though the new state subdued the large territory in the area, it was never a powerful and centralized state. Historical sources reveal that nearly 30 tiny city-states used to obey, including Tashkent, Ferghana, and Tokhariston.
The domains of the Ephtalites reached towards the area, namely Khotan in the north (Eastern Turkestan).
One source reveals the town of Badiyan as the capital of the state, and another - the town of Poykent (the Bukhara oasis).
The Ephtalites who emerged and existed as a military-political unit of nomadic tribes could not exert much influence over the lifestyle, traditions and rituals of the subdued areas with numerous urban populations. Nevertheless, they increased some elements of a steppe culture. In the 6th century the part of them settled in towns and later assimilated with the local population. The rest stayed on the steppes, and lived a nomadic and semi-nomadic life, mainly breeding the cattle.
Alongside agriculture and cattle breeding, trade occupied a special place in the local economy of that period. The Epbtalite rulers tried to gain control over the caravan routes of the Great Silk Road that ran along their territories.
Also, the given period saw the expansion of economic and cultural links with China, India, and Iran.
In the 6th century, various tribes and peoples of Altai, the area of Seven Rivers, and Central Asia joined together in the so-called Turkic khanate. In the early 7th century, the khanate broke up into Western and Eastern parts.
The increase in the economy, literary craft, and construction in the agricultural oases of Central Asia mark the 6th and 7th centuries. The silkworm, breeding, brought from China in the 5th century, and local weaving is revealed to have prospered in Ferghana.
The towns of Samarkand, Bukhara, Paykend, Termez, and a number of others in Khorezm and Chach are thought to have turned into centers of international trade. The prospecting of deposits and extraction of gold, silver, iron ore, and rock salt expanded in some regions in the area between the two rivers in Central Asia: the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya.
The cotton growing, gardening, and viticulture was widely practiced in agricultural areas of the khanate. The grapes and wines of Ferghana were especially famous for their unique taste and preservation up to 10 years, and longer.
The prevailing religions of farmers were Zoroastrwnism and Buddhism. Also, there were communities of Jews, Manicheans, and vestorian Christians in the big cities. The majority of the populations both wrote and spoke Khoresm and Sogdian languages. The remains of various writings, including those on religious matters - Buddhist, Manichean, and Christian, are in the Sogdian language and alphabet, and witness to the cultural links maintained with India, Iran, and Syria.
The late 7th century saw the disintegration of the Western Turkic khanate into small city-states.
In the 7th and early 8th centuries the Arabs conquered Central Asia. The political split and civil war that reigned in Central Asia at hat time in one way or another made it easier for the Arab conquest.
The early 8th century saw the all-out invasion of the region led by the Arab commander and Governor General of Khorasan, Kutaiba bn Muslim (705 - 715). Taking advantage of the internal split, Kutaiba was quick to capture Tokhariston, and the area on the right bank of the Amu Darya.
In 705, Arabs fortified their positions in Chaganian, and moved further north - the area between the two rivers. In 723 the rulers of Ferghana, Chach, Nasaf, and the Western Turkic khanate set out against the Arab invaders by pushing them back to Samarkand.
The Sogdian revolt lasted for 10 years with participation of many of the local people. Thus, the entire region was engulfed with an anti-Arab march. A brave man of Central Asia, Mukanna, led one such rigorous revolt against the Arab rule. His movement has been named as "men in white". The "men in white" not only fought against the Arab rule in the area, but also - the one by local aristocracy, who used to side with the aggressors. The war for freedom lasted for more than 10 years and shook the powerful Arab caliphate, it is a vivid example of the fight for freedom by the people of Central Asia against invaders.
In the early 9th century the rule of the Arab caliphate on its territories began to gradually diminish. Thereafter, sovereign states started to emerge in the region, led by local dynasties.
In the late 9th century, the Samanid dynasty (819 - 999) gained full independence from the Arab caliphs, and spread its own rule from the northern slope of the Tian Shan to Gindikush and the Syr Darya steppes to the Persian Gulf.
The cities of Central Asia - large trade and cultural centers of their time - rose and prospered. The mosques and madrasah (educational institutions) were erected in many places such as Bukhara, Balkh, Samarkand, Termez, and others. Also, these cities became scientific centers, where the renowned scholars of the Orient such as Dakyky, Beruny, Avicenna, Faraby, and others lived and researched.
Especially, Bukhara saw its rise during the Samanids as the gathering place for the great scholars and literary men of the time. The city was famous for its library "Siwan al bikma" ("The Storehouse of wisdom"), used by Avicenna.
In the second half of the 10th century the Samanid dynasty entered its phase of shake-ups taking place due to separatist moves on the pan of local rulers, Thus, the support of the local elite towards Samanid rule began to gradually diminish, leading to its full dissolution.
In 999 the Ghaznavis and Karakbanids established their reign in the region. The latter subdued the vast territories stretching from inside districts of China to the Amu Darya River.
Within the Karakhanid Kingdom, the settled and semi-nomadic population used to prevail in the Khorezm and Tashkent oases, Ferghana, and partly on the territory of ancient Sogdiana.
By the early 13th century, Khorezm became one of the largest states in the East. Irrigation prospered and the number of big cities rose in the state. Its capital - Kokhna-Urgencb (Old Urgench) was famous for its handicraft industry. However, the internal class war weakened the state sufficiently enough, leading to the invasion by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan.
By 1221, the whole of Central Asia fell to the reign of Genghis Khan, Cities were destroyed, irrigation systems crushed, hundreds of thousands of people were killed and taken prisoner of war.
Following the death of Genghis Khan in 1227, Central Asia along with the area of Seven Rivers, and Eastern Turkestan made up the so-called ulus, or the land possessions ruled by the sovereign. As such, was appointed the second son of Genghis Khan, Chagatai, but the ulus was actually led by Makhmud Yalavach.
The decade of the 40s of the 14th century saw the disintegration of the Chagatai ulus into several states. The split and internal wars became worse and crueler. Taking advantage of the situation, in the second half of the 14th century, the great Amir Temur (Tamerlane) came on the scene (1336 -1405).
Having joined the divided territories of Central Asia, Amir Temur created a powerful state with its capital in Samarkand.
In 1380 Amir Temur launched military campaigns to other countries. As a result, Iran, Trans-Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Northern India, and others were conquered.
Amir Temur governed the vast country through his sons, grandsons, and confidants by appointing them as rulers in different regions and countries.
The establishment of a centralized country in the region paved the way for the development of economy broken apart by the rule of the Mongols. Also, agriculture prospered, as well as craftsmanship, internal and external trade. The living standards of the people were on the rise. Samarkand, especially, changed for the better very much. Talented artists, architects, and scholars from various countries worked and lived in the capital. Besides, the city became a unique center for both cultural and scientific development that dictated the fashion in art, handicraft, architecture, poetry, literature, music, and celebration of festivals and performances.
Thanks to his political power and goals, Amir Temur revived and improved the institutions of state, as well as social and military administration.
The brilliant rise of science, architecture, town planning, literature, both fine and applied arts represent this unique period.
Following the death of Amir Temur, his state broke up into two. The one in Khorasan with its center in Herat led by his son, Shokhrukh, and another in Maverannakhr (the area between two rivers, the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya; now Central Asia) - with its center in Samarkand, and led by Shokhrukh's son - Ulughbek, as well as other small areas, also ruled by the Temur descendants.
The borders of Ulughbek's state almost coincide with those of present day Uzbekistan. Ulughbek is known as a great medieval scientist-astronomer, both organizer and patron of science and the arts.
At that time great scholars lived in Samarkand, where an observatory was put in place, thus turning the city into a center for scientific thought. After the tragic death of Ulughbek in 1449, both Khorasan and Maveranakhr broke up into sovereign territories. Maveranakhr was now to be ruled by the counselor of Temur rulers, Shaykh Ubaydullah Khoja Akhror.
While Samarkand was taken over by both economic and cultural depression, Herat at the time saw a comparatively higher level of development. It was due significantly to the enormous work by the chief minister at Sultan Husseyn's court - Alisher Navoi, the poet and scholar. He patronized the people of art and science, administered the construction of madrasah, public buildings, canals, and bridges.
In 1499 the nomadic tribes from north - the Kipchak steppes -led by Shaybanikhan invaded Maveranakhr thus putting to an end the rule of the Temur dynasty in Central Asia. The nomadic tribes that came over as a result of the invasion gradually assimilated with the local population of the region. Furthermore, Bukhara took over the status of Samarkand as an economic and cultural center, and the rule of newcomers was to be referred to as the Bukhara khanate.
In the early 18th century, the Ferghana Valley separated from the khanate. Thereafter, another sovereign state - the Kokand khanate, was founded in the southeast of the region.
In 1505, armies led by Shaybanikhon captured Khorezm, but in 1512 the rule was taken over by another dynasty, which did not join hands with the former. From that time on, the Khiva khanate was founded with its capital located either in towns of Vazir, Old Urgench, or Khiva.
In the early 19th century, the Kokand khanate became one of the largest of its time. Due to the creation of the sole centralized state in Ferghana Valley, farming, commerce, and urban life as a whole saw their height. Also, handicrafts, pottery, and, especially, weaving prospered in the khanate. The khanate was famous for its cotton and silk materials. The city of Kokand turned into a center of production of writing paper.
By the middle of the 19th century, the territory of Central Asia considered to be an important economic region, which was the reason for tsarist Russia to map the all-out invasion of the khanates in the region.
In this regard, at first Russia paid a significant attention to capturing vitally strategic targets of the Kokand khanate. Despite fierce and brave opposition on the pan of the local population, in 1853 Russian troops captured the fortress of Okmachit, the so-called gates leading to Uzbek khanates. In 1860 the fortresses of Tukmak and Pishpak, in 1864 -Avliyoota, Turkiston, and Chimkent, and in 1865 - Tashkent, were captured. Later on, Tashkent has been made a capital of then newly established Turkestan oblast (province, region), and further in 1867 - the center of the Turkestan General Governance.
In 1866 Russian troops moved further deep into the territory of the Central Asia towards the premises of the Bukhara khanate. The tsarist Russian army invaded Jizzakh, Uratepa, and Yangikurgon. Following the fierce battles that took place in 1868 at Zirabulok and Chuponota, the troops of the khanate were totally crashed leading to the capture of Samarkand, the once prosperous center of Amir Temur's vast empire and one of the ancient capitals of Central Asia. As an outcome of the unfairly signed agreement between the parties, the Bukhara khanate paid huge reparations to tsarist Russia and turned into its protectorate.
Russian military campaign of 1873 to Khiva has also ended with enormous success for the Russian army. As a result, the Khiva khanate has lost its sovereignty, as well. In the captured area of the khanate, Russians are said to have established the Amudarya unit of the local rule.
In 1875 and 1876 the Russian government took advantage of the local revolt in the Kokand khanate. With a trick of assisting the then ruler of the khanate- Khudoyarkhan - in crashing the revolt, it sent its troops to the khanate. Thus, following such tricky campaign, the khanate had totally lost its sovereignty to Russia, and the Ferghana province, that joined the Turkestan General Governance, has been established in the area.
Henceforth, the territory of the contemporary Uzbekistan had been turned into the colony of tsarist Russia. Colonial administrative apparatus has been well put in place in the region. Issues of local agriculture and proprietorship are said to have been "tackled" first.
In the sphere of agriculture, the Russian government envisaged two main goals: first - to consolidate its rule in Central Asia, and then - exploit its economic potentials for the benefit of the ruling class in Russia.
Following the "Charter" of 1886 that came into force as a law in Turkestan, Russians began arriving in the area from central Russia. History reveals, they are said to have taken over the lands that belonged to local people. Besides, the Russian government paid a special attention in establishing Russian villages and settlements. This served as a pan of long-term policy of importing Russian language, culture, and way of life, in general, into the area.
The cotton grown in Turkestan was significant for the Russian textile industry. Hence, the cotton cultivation had been specially taken care of, and a cotton-plant itself stayed as a main agricultural crop for the years to come. Furthermore, the cotton imported from Turkestan had been fully exempted from custom duties. But starting from 1879, 40-50 copecks were charged as a custom duty from each 16 kg of imported cotton. And the cotton-growers were offered certain privileges in taxation. The Finance Ministry has firmly supported the Russian bourgeoisie in its policy of extending the cotton cultivation in Turkestan.
The economic policy conducted by the empire in Turkestan was aimed at turning it into a raw base, keep it as a market for realization of Russian goods, and finally, to exploit mineral resources of the area. Soviet rulers have continued such policy, respectively.
The Caspian, Siberian, and Orenburg railway lines, which mainly linked the center of the empire with its colonies in the area, played enormous role in terms of ruthless exploitation of the mineral resources of Turkestan.
Capitalism began extending in the region with arriving on the scene of numerous industrial enterprises. Local cotton served as a basis for the industrial sphere in the area. Putting their personal ambitions and economic interests ahead, Russian capitalists did not want to develop the local processing industry, but, otherwise, they have put all of the financial resources in expansion of trade.
The history of peoples of Central Asia, scientific research, press, reforms in education totally served the needs of colonialists. The way of life of population kept seeing its downfall.
Due to the rise of import of Russian industrial goods into the region at the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, many local craftsmen began losing their share in the market.
By that time, science and technology in Turkestan lagged in its development to those in Europe. Russian invasion of Turkestan further intensified ignorance, as well as economic and cultural collapse in the area. Given such situation in Turkestan, the jadid (renovators) movement came on the scene in the region. The movement put out its literature, as well. Thus, the state of affairs in the region at that time gave birth to a new literary movement, which called for renovation both in literature and poetry, propagated the idea of the struggle against Russian colonialism, gaining knowledge and education, and at the outcome, secure the national independence. Also, the jadid schools were established. In 1916 the peoples of Central Asia launched a massive revolt for national independence against Russian tsarism.
From November 1917 to March 1918, the Soviet rule was declared in the region. Thus, in 1920 the Khorezm and Bukhara people's Soviet Republics were set up.
Following the national and state demarcation in Central Asia, in 1924 the Uzbek S.S.R. was organized, and in 1925 it joined the U.S.S.R as a new republic of the union.
On August 31,1991 the Uzbek people realized their inalienable right, the one of self-determination. On the Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Council, the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, declared the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a great event in the centuries-long history of Uzbek people. Thus, Uzbekistan gained its true statehood in a peaceful and parliamentary way. The will of the people is secured with the constitutional law "On the basics of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan", and further confirmed by a national referendum.