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History of Uzbekistan

The land in the upper reaches of the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers and their feeders was always different from other parts of Central Asia. Local people had rather settled than nomadic style of life. The ways of tillage and social structures almost had not changed from 6th century BC till 19th century AD. This region used to be the part of several ancient Persian states. In 4th century BC Alexander the Great went through this region together with his army and got married to the daughter of the local chieftain, who lived near Samarkand. Buddhism was imposed during Kushan government, and the opening of the Great Silk Road resulted in development of peace ties with other countries. The cities were growing rich and in size. In 6th century AD western Turks appeared here and brought Islam and written language. When they moved to more distant green parts, Persia established its authority again until Genghis Khan and his hordes invaded the territory. In 14th century with emergence of such governor as Timur (Tamerlane) Uzbekistan started to flourish again, and Samarkand became prosperous Islamic capital thanks to Timur’s patronage to arts. Approximately at this time some tribes of Central Mongolia identified themselves as Uzbeks. In 14th century they started to move south and finally conquered Timur’s empire. In 1510 they had already controlled the whole territory between the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers. Since this time this territory had belonged to Uzbeks. In the beginning of 18th century, khan of Khiva applied to Peter the First with request to help him protect his lands from Turkmens and Kazakhs raids. After that the interest of Russia in this land occurred. By the time Russia assembled the troops for conquering Khiva, khan had not been in need of their help, and almost whole Russian army was slaughtered. Not considering several little campaigns, the next Russian expedition to Central Asia was organized in 1839 by Nicholas I, who strived to prevent the strengthening of British impact in the region. But this aim was not reached. 25 years later one more attempt was made, and in 1875 the whole region belonged to Russia. After 1917 revolution, Bolsheviks declared the establishment of Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Turkestan, despite that most of habitants of Central Asia considered themselves as ethnic Turks and Persians, but not as habitants of separate state.

In October 1924 Republic of Uzbekistan was created, and in 1991 Uzbekistan declared its independence.