History of Uzbekistan

The history of Uzbekistan has also sufficiently long period with a great many vestiges as nothing disappeared without a trace. By reason of its location between the main two rivers of Central Asia – the Amu Darya (Oxus and Jaihun) and the Sir Darya (Jaxartes and Saihun) and on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, the riches of the region and geographically convenient location attracted many of invaders. Even though Uzbekistan witnessed to a lot of violent and constant invasions in its past, it was one of the cradles of the world civilization.

There had been a lot of invasions which was followed by ancient states and empires such as Achaemenids, Macedonians, Sogdiana, Greko-Bactria and Kushanids Empire, Khorezm, Margiana, Turkish Kaganate, and etc. in this area until Arabs conquered the territory. At the end of the VII and the beginning of the VIII century the present day territory of Uzbekistan, Central Asia was invaded by Arab Caliphate. At that time the area was famous for its masters and craftsmen not only in Central Asia but also in the West and East. Encroachers called the land "Movarounnahr" which means “the land beyond river” in Arabian, the territory between the two rivers and Khorasan, lying to the south of the Amu-Darya River. From that time on Islam was converted and replaced Buddhism as the dominant religion of the territory. Next invasion was followed by Samanids which caused to the prosperity of the cities in Central Asian territory and made them into big commercial, cultural and scientific centers of the East. Later Gaznevids, Karahanids and Seljuks came to the area to conquer and controlled it for some period.

In the XIII century Genghis Khan, the leader of Mongols, invaded the area which had been an important center in the Muslim world by the X century. In addition to the conquest he brought a great deal of violent destruction and burnt a lot of libraries with thousands of valuable scientific and literary books, and destroyed almost the whole constructions as well as a great many of historically important buildings in the area.

Amir Timur is one of the kings who achieved a great success in establishing strong and centralized state. In the XIV century the start of Amir Temur’s reign made a turn in the peoples' life of Central Asia. As a result of his successful series of military campaigns, he founded a powerful state and made Samarkand as a capital of his empire.

After Amir Temur’s death his politically stable and powerful empire started to crumble while Shaibani Khan was leading Uzbek tribes with major invasions from the north at the beginning of the XV century. From that time on Uzbeks played a main role in political life of Central Asia. Later on the territory, three independent khanates appeared there such as Bukhara, Khiva and Kokand dominated between the XVI and the XIX centuries.

Geopolitically important region and natural resources, mainly cotton and leather in the territory which the three khanates occupy attract the attention of many neighboring countries. One of the potent empires was Russia which played main role in political life of Asian continent at that time. Russian empire started to subjugate the territory of the khanates gradually in the middle of the XIX century and as a result in 1867 Turkestan Governorship was founded and Tashkent became an administrative center of it.

After the October Revolution in 1917, at the end of 1917 and the beginning of 1918 Soviet Government was proclaimed in Turkestan region. Central Asia was divided into national territorial entities and as a result Uzbek Soviet Socialistic Republic was formed as a part of former the USSR.

Finally the state declared its political independence on the 31 st of August, 1991 which the official name was the Republic of Uzbekistan. From that time on the 1 st of September was proclaimed as an Independence Day and still it is celebrated as a national holiday.

Between the period of September 1991 and July 1993 more than 150 countries of the world recognized officially. The country was a member of the United Nations from March 2, 1992. Furthermore, Uzbekistan is a member of a lot of social, economic, financial, world and some continental organizations such as the UNDP, the UNICEF and UNESCO, the World Bank, the World Organization of Public Health Services, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization of Economic co-operation, the Economic Association of the Black Sea countries and many others.

From the time of obtaining independence, the country’s era of free development began in the history of present-day Uzbekistan as well as in its social and economic life.