Uzbekistan – On the Silk Road
Uzbekistan has a greater wealth of historical resources than its neighbors (historically significant cities, symbols, monuments, manuscripts, etc.), which are used intensively for the creation of a new post-Soviet nation-state with the corresponding awareness and undoubtedly serve the stability of the regime. “The use of regional Central Asian cultural and historical symbols is so eagerly pursued that the impression of an occupation of Central Asian regional history by the nation-state of Uzbekistan arises”, as Uwe Halbach writes very aptly in his article ” Ideological underpinning of sovereignty”.
To get a first visual overview of the course of history from the beginning to the present in the area of today’s Uzbekistan, it is worth looking at the atlas of Uzbekistan.
According to aristmarketing, today’s Uzbekistan is located in the area that has a millennia-old history with ancient state traditions. In its current form, Uzbekistan only emerged as a Soviet republic in the 1920’s. The following is a brief overview of important historical events from antiquity to 2011.
In ancient times, nomads and oasis farmers shaped the land called Bactria. There were also Greek influences through the Alexander empire in the 4th century. v. BC, as well as Buddhist influences thanks to the world-famous Silk Road and proximity to India. Since ancient times, part of the most important land route between Europe and the Middle East to East Asia, the Silk Road, ran through what is now Uzbekistan.
Islamization. In the course of the Arab wars of conquest, Islam prevailed from the beginning of the 8th century. After the victory of the Arab-Persian caliphate over the Chinese in 751, Bactria finally belonged to the Islamic world. The following period was determined by the Samanids in Bukhara (819 to 1005), a dynasty that belonged to the Arab-Persian caliphate. Today, neighboring Tajikistan claims the historical legacy of the Samanid dynasty for itself.
From 999 onwards, Turkish khans of the Qarluken tribe (known as Qarachanids ) ruled Bukhara. Further west of the trunk of the Oguz Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea between pushed to the south, they dove as Seljuks in 1040 again in Khorassan on. After 1141 the Khorezm Shahs and their rivals, Kara Kitai, who fled China, determined politics in the region.
Expansion of the Mongol Empire. Copyright By User: Astrokey44 GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
“Mongol Storm”. In 1220 the Mongols came. Despite many rivalries among the tribes, the era before the Mongol storm was considered a culturally very high-quality time with flourishing cities and extensive trade. The Mongol period was ruinous, the city population had to endure wars among the nomad tribes, which shattered the country. The rest periods were hardly sufficient for the reconstruction.
Timur. The last of these destroyers was Timur (Tamerlan) (r. 1370-1405). He generously supported his two capitals, Bukhara and Samarkand, with money, artists and craftsmen from foreign countries. His buildings are still present today. Then came his grandson Ulug Beg, and the country blossomed under him shortly before the arrival of the real Uzbeks. The Uzbeks themselves were originally a Turkic people with common roots with the Kazakhs. Together they came from (West) Siberia. Her name is derived from Uzbek Khan. The Uzbeks saw the White Horde of Scheibani Khan as their homeat. Scheibani Khan conquered Bukhara and Samarkand from the descendants of Timur in 1500 and founded the Uzbek Empire. But only the victory over Babur, who was born in Andizhan near Gishduwan / Bukhara in 1512, secured the Uzbeks possession of the land between Amu-darja and Syr-darja, the north remained with the allied Kazakhs. The Uzbek Empire benefited from the caravans in the 1600’s. The economy, architecture and painting flourished in the 16th century. In the long run, however, the Uzbeks were cut off from developing world trade. There were also internal problems. In the second half of the 17th century the country experienced a modest bloom again under the princes of the Janid dynasty from Astrakhan.
Premodern states, Russian conquest. Around 1800 three states emerged almost at the same time: the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva (Greater Khorezm Empire) and the Khanate of Kokand. In the 19th century, the region came into the interests of England and Russia, which eventually gained colonial rule over what was then Central Asia through a war. While the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khiva Khanate had to cede territories to Russia, but remained under the Tsarist protectorate as independent states, the third state previously existing in what is now Uzbekistan, the Kokand Khanate, was completely annexed by Russia. From the areas conquered under Russian rulein Central Asia the General Government of Turkestan was formed.
Soviet time. After the revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks took over power in Tashkent as well as in the Russian heartland, and in 1918 the former General Government of Turkestan became the Turkestan Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic (Turkestan ASSR). In 1920, with the support of the Bolsheviks, the rulers of Khiva Khanate and the Bukhara Emirate were overthrown, the People’s Republic of Khorezmia and the People’s Republic of Bukhara were proclaimed and cooperation agreements were signed with the USSR.
After the October Revolution, the Uzbek SSR was formed on October 27, 1924 from parts of the Turkestan ASSR, founded in 1918 and the People’s Republics of Bukhara and Khorezmia (former Khiva Khanate), which had been part of the USSR since 1925. Tajikistan, which was initially an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Uzbek SSR, was separated from Uzbekistan in 1929 as an independent Tajik SSR. The Karakalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karakalpak ASSR), which was initially part of the USSR, was incorporated into Uzbekistan in 1936. The capital of Uzbekistan was initially Samarkand, replaced by Tashkent in 1930.