Astana and even Almaty are new cities,
but are heir to many influences which have shaped
Central Asia. This land of vast deserts, sweeping
steppes, ancient cities and high mountains has been
a crossroads of cultures and conquerors for millennia.
I. ORIGINS AND ETHIMOLOGY
The first occurrence of the name "Kazak"
is registered in a Turkish-Arabic dictionary of
1245, which was probably compiled in Egypt of the
period when it was reigned by the Mamelukes (guardsmen)
who came from the steppes of Kazakstan and the region
north of the Black Sea, were called "Kypchak"
Turks" in Muslim sources, "Polovets in
ancient Russian annals and "Komans" in
European and Byzantine chronicles and were ancestors
of the Kazaks and other Turkish-speaking peoples.
The word "kazak" means "independent", "free", "wanderer",
"exile". But in the 13th-century Egypt this word
was not yet used as an ethnic name. It acquired
this meaning later on the territory of Kazakstan
in the 15th-16th centuries. Thus, the original meaning
of the word "kazak" is a social one: at first it
had neither political nor ethnic content, but designated
a free person that broke away from his people and
lead a life of an adventurer. The word was also
used to designate a group of nomads that has broken
away from the state to which they used to belong
and with which they were in the state of war. Such
people were the nomads of Khan Abulkhayr's state,
or the Uzbek Khanate, that formed after the break-up
of the Golden Horde on the territory of Kazakstan
of the 14th-15th centuries. The subjects of Abulkhayr's
state came from different Turkish-speaking nomadic
tribes, but they also had common name "Uzbeks".
They were nomadic livestock breeders and obeyed
their leaders-sultans from the clan of the Genghisids
some of whom defied Abulkhayr's authority, like
his distant relatives Janibek and Ghirei. Together
with their supporters, they moved to Zhetysu (Semirech'e),
the land in south-eastern Kazakhstan that was destined
to become the site of the Kazak capital. As they
escaped the despotism of a ruler, they were called
"kazaks". But since they still belonged to Uzbek
tribes, they were called "Uzbeks-Kazaks".
After 1468, the hour of triumph came for Ghirei
and Janibek, who managed to unite all Uzbek-Kazaks,
enemies of Abulkhayr's dynasty, in the steppe from
the Volga to the Irtysh. Ghirei and Janibek, who
became co-ruling khans, and their supporters preferred
to be called Kazaks, by the name under which they
had wandered and won the victory. Since the time
of Ghirei's rule, the word "Kazak" began to oust
the word "Uzbek" as the name of the country's inhabitants.
Burunduk Khan (1473-1511) was already known as a
ruler of Kazaks.
II. A LONG JOURNEY
The earliest people here were Aryans, members of
a "white" race. It is said that the Kazaks, despite
their current oriental appearance, were in the beginning
fair and long-nosed. Conquest and intermarriage
have produced the people we see today. Their history
began around 2000 BC, when tent dwelling nomads
started moving south and west across Central Asia.
They had no written language, but the Assyrians
wrote of them in the 9th century, BC. It is thought
that they may have been the ancestors of the Medes
and Persians, who originated the first monotheistic
religion, named after its founder, Zoroaster.
They were succeeded by new groups of Aryans, the
Scythians and Sarmatians, who had a similar nomadic
life style. Although they, too, were without a written
language, they are known to have been extremely
clever, taming the horse, inventing the stirrup,
and producing crafts of great beauty and utility.
Both the Greeks and the Romans have left us written
records of their encounters with these skillful
mounted warriors. Next came the Huns, or Hsiung-nu,
as the Chinese called them, another race of fierce
fighters on horseback. Unlike their predecessors,
who spoke an Iranian language, the Huns were the
first of the Turkic peoples to sweep across Central
Asia. According to the Chinese who described them
as , "hairy", they had prominent noses and deep-set
eyes. When the Chinese subdued the Hsiung-nu in
52 BC, wealthy Roman matrons began to wear diaphanous
silk from China. With Central Asia at peace, several
trade routes were developed which ultimate1y came
to be known as the Silk Road.
Along the Silk Road There was never on the Silk
Road, but rather a network of routes across mountain,
steppe and desert. Starting from the Han capital
of Chang-an, near the Yellow River, these routes
traversed Asia and the Middle East, ultimately ending
in the Levantine ports of Antioch, Acre and modern-day
Beirut. From there, the precious cargos of silks,
spices and crafts were carried by ship to Rome and
Alexandria in the ancient world and ultimately to
Venice and Constantinople during the Middle Ages.
As the Silk Road developed, some nomads became town-dwellers.
Although the horse was still important to their
way of life, they lived most of the year in houses,
and they had shops and farms. The Sogdians, for
example, ruled a powerful empire from their capital
at the site of present-day Samarkand. Defeated by
Alexander the Great in 329 BC, they nevertheless
maintained a sophisticated civilization until the
7th century. The nomadic Kushans also settled and
reigned over a Buddhist empire stretching from Northern
India to the shores of the Aral Sea from the first
to fourth centuries. Other nomads, including the
Huns, were reluctant to give up their vagabond lifestyle,
and waves of these peoples periodically rolled across
Central Asia, disrupting the Silk Road trade from
time to time.
Throughout the era of the Silk Road, powerful cultural
influences traveled both east and west. Nestorian
Christians and Manichaeans fled east, driven first
by Zoroastrian and more orthodox Christian prejudice
and then by the jihad (holy war) of Islam. Buddhist
pilgrims like the widely-travelled Hsuang-sang came
west to study at famous centers of learning. In
674, the Zoroastrian King of Persia fled to China
before the fierce onslaughts of the soldiers of
Islam. Both the Tibetans and the Western Turks allied
themselves with the Arabs against the Chinese in
a power struggle for Central Asia. In 749, a Chinese
army was defeated near modern-day Tashkent by a
joint Arab-Turk force. The Muslims swept aside their
Turkic allies once tile Chinese were defeated. All
of Central Asia was forcibly converted to Islam,
and Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian shrines were
destroyed or desecrated.
The Mongols and Their Heirs The Arab Caliphate soon
disintegrated because of sectarian struggles, and
Central Asia again fell prey to a series of conquerors,
including the Seljuk and Uighur Turks. The most
successful of these were the Mongols, led by Genghis
Khan and his descendants. Their rapid conquest of
the lands stretching from the Yellow River to the
Black Sea brought another era of stability along
the Silk Road, allowing Marco Polo and other Europeans
to live to tell the tale of their adventures.
Unlike the peoples who had previously conquered
Central Asia, the Mongols were described by contemporaries
as yellowskinned with slanting eyes and high cheek-bones.
It is the blending of these two ethnic groups which
produced the modern-day Kazaks whom you'll see on
the streets of Almaty and other cities of Kazakhstan.
The Mongols conquered the largest empire in history,
but their days of glory lasted little more than
In 1368, they were driven from China, although their
Western arm, ultimately known as the Tatars, continued
in power in Russia for another 300 years. One of
Genghis Khan's collateral descendants, Tamerlane,
established another empire in Central Asia, with
its capital in Samarkand. His cruelty and munificence
were both legend. The glories of his city, including
his tomb and the ruins of the mosque he built in
honor of his favorite wife, are still visible today.
Tamerlane also left behind important structures
in western Kazakstan. The next group of conquerors
were the Uzbek Turks, who gave their name to our
neighboring country, Uzbekistan. They, too, were
known for their ferocity in war and their artistic
sensibilities in peace. It was an Uzbek who founded
the Mogul dynasty in India in 1526.
Russians and Soviets Now the Russians began to move,
first driving out the Tatars, then colonizing Siberia
in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th, they
successfully took the Caucasus from the Shah of
Persia but suffered defeat in their first attempt
at establishing power in Central Asia. They were
not to be defeated for long. During the 19th century,
the Russians and the British played a "Great Game"
of geopolitics and espionage with Central Asia as
the prize. In its own way, each empire won and lost.
The British kept the Russians out of India and Afghanistan.
The Russians took the Central Asian khanates in
rapid succession: Tashkent in 1865, Samarkand and
Bokhara in 1868, Khiva in 1873 and the Turkoman
fortress of Goek-Tepe in 1881.
One of the first steps in the Russian expansionism
was the quiet annexation of Kazakhstan during the
first half of the 19th century, followed by the
establishment of a fortress at the site of modern-day
Almaty in 1854. The "Great Game" was only ended
by the advent of World War I and the rise of the
Bolsheviks. The Russian fortress was built at the
site of a former Silk Road town originally called
"Almaty" by the Kazaks and destroyed by the Mongols.
The Russians named the new town which grew up around
the fort "Vierney", and by 1887, when it was destroyed
by earthquake, it had a population of 12,000. In
the early 20th century, Vierney was hit by two more
transforming forces: another earthquake in 1911
and Soviet takeover in 1921.
The 19th century was the period when perhaps the
most famous Kazak in history lived, Abay Kunanbayev.
His memory is honored today in Almaty with a statue
at the intersection of Dostyk and Abay Avenues and
by the Abay Kazakh State Theater of Opera and Ballet.
A poet, educator and composer, Abay was born into
a traditional family in Semipalatinsk.
Educated in a Koranic madrassah, he was also versed
in Kazakstani folklore and greatly admired Russian
culture, especially writers like Pushkin and Tolstoy.
Influenced by exiled Russians in the 1870s and 80s,
he became an ardent champion of friendship and brotherhood
between the two cultures. His poetry and other writings
helped pave the way for the social and economic
revolution which came to Kazakstan in the next century.
By World War I, the Kazaks had developed their own
political leadership. They were initially exempt
from serving in the war, but in 1916, they were
conscripted, and they rebelled against this infringement
of their rights. After the 1917 Revolution in Russia,
the Kazak leader Ali Khan Bukeiklianov commanded
a Kazak army called the Alash Orda and demanded
independence from Russia. During the Russian Civil
War which followed the October Revolution, the Alash
Orda fought both the Red (Bolshevik) and the White
(monarchist) armies but ultimately had to submit
when the Reds won.
The Soviets renamed Vierney "Alma-Ata", a Russification
of the original Kazak name meaning "Father of Apples."
They also made it the capital of Soviet Kazakstan
and began to lay out the modern city we see today
with its broad, tree-lined streets, monumental buildings
and many parks. Before the modern city really developed,
the Soviets used Alma-Ata as a place of exile, Leon
Trotsky being the most famous of those banished
to repent between mountain and steppe.
The Soviet cultural influence was strong in both
city and country. Many urban Kazakhs today are very
"Russified", and visitors with experience elsewhere
in Asia may be surprised to find the Kazakhs not
as "Asian" as one might expect. Religious observances
were discouraged and even banned, and most churches
and mosques were closed. Kazakh singers were retrained
so that the "plaintive" Asian sound was replaced
by that of Russian opera. The ballet and symphony
were nurtured, while traditional music and dance
were neglected. Russian dishes came to be served
along side, or even instead, of traditional Kazakh
III. ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY OF KHAZAKHSTAN
Territory of Kazakhstan has come to be mastered
by man nearly a million years ago. As early as the
age of Lower Paleolith the ancient man settled down
on these Karatau lands fit for normal life, rich
with game and wild fruit. It is there that they
have found ancient settlements of Stone Age. By
and by, in the centuries of Middle and Upper Paleolith
the man came to master Central and Eastern Kazakhstan
and Mangyshlak area.
As have been shown by excavations of the neolythic
settlement Botay in the North Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan
constitutes the area of horse-mastering (breeding)
and that of formation of nomad civilizations. Archeologists
revealed dwellings, numerous hand-made articles
of stone and ivory which present the ancient history
and archeology of Kazakhstan in the Stone epoch
in an altogether new way.
As early as the Bronze Age, some four millenia ago,
the territory of Kazakhstan was inhabited by tribes
of the so called Andron and Begazy-Dandybay culture.
They were engaged in farming and cattle-breeding,
they were fine warriors who handled combat chariots
marvellously. To this day we can see images of chariots
drawn on rocks where ancient people would arrange
their tribal temples and sanctuaries with the firmament
as their natural cover. On the surfaces of black
cliffs burnt with the sun people would chisel out
scenes of dances, images of sun-headed deities,
mighty camels and bulls as impersonations of ancient
Burial mounds of noble warriors scattered all throughout
Kazakh steppes are known for magnificient size of
mounds and burial vaults proper. Particularly famous
are such necropoles in the steppes of Sary-Arka
and Tagiskent in the Transaral area. People of that
epoch were not only fine warriors, shepherds and
farmers but also skilled metallurgists. They would
take bronze and manufacture axes, knives, daggers
and various decorations thereof.
It were they who initiated development of copper
which is being practiced to this day - they are
Zhezkazgan and Sayak copper quarries of today. Ancient
people lived in large settlements and ancient towns
surrounded with walls and fosses. These towns were
inhabited with warriors and craftsmen, priests and
farmers. These tribes lived on the territory of
Kazakhstan for about a thousand years - from the
XVIIth century BC to IX-VIII centuries AD.
Later on they were ousted by Saks. Such was the
name given to this tribe by ancient Persians. The
Chinese called them "se" whereas Greeks chose to
call them Scythians. They were essentially nomads,
semi-nomads and farmers. Yet, first and foremost,
they were excellent horsemen. In fact Saks were
the first ever horsemen in the world to master arrow-shooting
at full tilt.
In VI-II centuries BC Saks set up their first state
with its centre in the Zhetysu (Semirechje) in South-East
Kazakhstan. Kings of Saks were at the same time
high priests. Saks had written language and mythology
of their own, they were known for their well developed
art of world standard labelled in research papers
as "animal-styled art". Respective subjects were
represented by predators and herbivourous animals
and the struggle therebetween. Sheer masterpieces
made of gold and bronze serve as worthy exhibits
of best museums of the world.
Linguistic situation was just as complicated. As
is traditionally believed, in the course of the
first millenium BC the population of Kazakhstan
was mostly represented by native speakers of Indo-European
and Indo-Iranian languages. However, of late, they
are inclined to think that tribes of the Bronze
Age, particularly those of Saks, included tribes
that spoke prothoturkic languages.
In the Issyk burial mound that harboured the world-famous
"Golden Man" they have found a silver bowl whose
bottom bore an incription consisting of 26 characters.
They have failed to read it to this day. Some think
that the incription is made in one of the Iranian
languages, others insist on its prothoturkic origin.
Anyway, this must be the very period that highlighted
formation of the cast of mind and the language of
medieval and modern Kazakhs, their phychological
stereotypes, in fact, of many an element of their
culture, everyday life and folk rites.
The middle of the first millenium AD is a fairly
important stage in the history of all Turks in general
and Kazakhs in particular. The period is marked
with manifest changes in ethnic media: predominant
now there become Turkic tribes which chose Altai
as their natural centre. Written sources of the
VIth century register the term "Tyurk" which is
pronounced as "Tutszyue" by the Chinese and as "Turk"
Archeological study of Turkic monuments makes it
possible to somehow compare "these" Turks with certain
Turkic tribal associations. In the Sayano-Altai
region they have identified certain archeological
cultures which might well be likened to early Kyrghyzes,
early Kypchaks or early Oguzes. In the course of
not infrequent intestine wars, tribal discords,
struggle for power and pastures a part of Turkic
tribes that inhabited steppes and valleys of Kazakhstan
moved southwards - to Central Asia ( say, Tyurgeshes,
Karluks, Kypchaks, Uzbeks, Oguzes, Turkmens-Seldzhuks),
to Asia Minor, to Caucasus (Turkmens and Seldzhuks),
to Eastern Europe (Kangars and Pechenegs, Kypchaks-and-Polovtsians,
Torks-and-Oguzes, black Klobuks and Karakalpakians).
Starting from the IV-th century up to the beginning
of the XIII-th century the territory of Kazakhstan
was the seat of West-Turkic, Tyurgesh, Karluk Kaganates,
of the state made by Oguzes, Karakhanides, Kimeks
and Kypchaks. All of them successively replaced
one another up to the very Mongol invasion. After
the invasion, i.e. in the beginning of the XIIIth
century, there have shaped up uluses of the Mongol
Empire of Zhuchi-Khan and Zhagatai which later gave
birth to Ak-Orda, Mongolistan and finally to Kazakh
Essentially all these states were mixed economies.
Tribes of cattle-breeders had farming tribes as
their neighbours, steppes and cities supplemented
each other. Such cities as Taraz, Otrar, Ispijab,
Talkhir were set up right in the way of the Grand
Silk Route which served as a reliable link joining
antiquity and Middle Ages, the West and the East:
Japan, Korea and China with Central Asia, Iran,
the State of Seldzhuks, Rus, Byzantium, France and
It is through the Grand Silk Route that dancing
arts, painting, architecture and music made their
way from one people to another. Incidentally, it
was the way along which various religions advanced:
Manicheism and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam
with the latter becoming predominant (starting from
the VIIIth century) and subsequently the only faith
of Kazakhs. In late XIV - early XVth century on
the bank of the Syrdaria-river, in the city of Turkestan
they erected a religious sacred place worshipped
by all Turkic-speaking nations - a complex of Khodja
The nation that inhabited the territory of Kazakhstan
would avidly absorb and assimilate all the ideas
and achievements of various civilizations making
-in its turn - its own contribution to the treasury
of world culture, be it economy or handicraft or
music: among numerous accomplishments one may name
a mobile dwelling "yurta", saddle and stirrups for
a horse, combat arts on horse-back, carpet ornaments
and silver juvellery, sweet melodies and music reminding
of an impetuous gallop of steppe horses...
All these factors have determined integrity and
continuity of ancient and medieval history of Kazakhstan.
IV. MODERN HISTORY OF KAZAKHSTAN
On the whole the process of formation of the Kazakh
ethnic national group came to completion in XIV-XV
By virtue of many ethnopolitical and economic factors
on the territory of Kazakhstan there formed three
ethnoterritorial associations - Senior, Middle and
Junior Juzes. Division into juzes was the actual
reflection of the complex process - formation of
the Kazakh ethnic national group, it left its characteristic
stamp on local cultural and every-day specifics
of its development. Kazakh Khanate shaped up in
the middle of the XVth century. Extension of estates,
consolidation of statehood, active foreign policy
pursued by the First Khans, particularly by Kasymkhan
in early XVIth century, later on gave way to ever
growing intestine wars and mass roamings-off of
The 2nd half of the XVI century witnesses another
political upswing of the Kazakh Khanate, relaxation
of intestine feud, development of cattle-breeding
and farming economies, progressing trade relations,
increasing contacts with Russia and other contiguous
The rule of Tauke-Khan is marked with compiling
a code of rules of common law - "Zhety Zhargy" which
specified basic principles of social law and order
and state structure. However political disunion.
strivings to strengthening independence of juzes
manifested by certain khans and sultans, lack of
internal market - all these factors weakened the
Khanate making it helpless in the face of outer
enemies. From the beginning of the XVIIth century
plundering raids of Jungars into Kazakh lands became
ever more frequent. That's why Tauke-Khan made an
effort of uniting the three Juzes. Kazakh Khanate
torn apart by intestine wars and contradictions,
weakened in wasting combats with the aggressor wages
a desperate struggle for its independence.
The main events of the war with Jungars occur in
1723-1727 known in the history as "the years of
the great disaster" ("Aktaban shobyryndy"). A decisive
role in countering the Jungar aggression belongs
to All-Kazakh congresses where - by virtue of the
decisions of biis (tutor-guides) of all the three
Juzes (Tole-bi, Kazbek-bi and Aiteke-bi) - they
try to take measures to form a people's volunteer
corps, a unified front of defence to counter Jungar
raids. Indeed, All-Kazakh congresses contributed
tangibly to the formation of the corps (1727 - at
the river of Bulanty; an Anrakai battle in 1729)
to retailiating Jungar aggression. No small contribution
was made by the activities of folk batyrs Kabanbay,
Bogenbay, Nauryzbay, Karasay, owing to Abylay's
military talent, etc.
The aggravated economic and political situation
generated the issue of joining Russia, a process
that lasted nearly 150 years. Abulkhair, Khan of
the Junior Juz exasperated by the ongoing weakening
of the Kazakh Khanate as a result of the exhausting
war had to accept the terms of the Junior Juz's
joining Russia. Efforts of the "opposition" headed
by Sultan Baraka to impede the negotiations and
frustrate formalization of the act of the Junior
Juz' joining Russia ended in a failure and on October
10, 1731 a part of the assembly of Kazakh elders
supported the decision.
Kazakhstan's joining Russia implied incorporation,
peaceful and military colonization and a naked conquest.
The year of 1732 highlighted formal incorporation
of a certain part of the Middle Juz by Russia. The
oath sworn by a group of sultans and elders of the
Junior and Middle Juzes (Abulmambet, Abylay) in
1740 stipulated joining of only a part of the Middle
Juz. Major regions of North-East and Central Kazakhstan
were incorporated in the empire in the 20¾ -40s
of the XIXth century being the consequence of the
defeat of the national-liberation war waged by K.Kasymov
and political moves undertaken by tsarism.
Seizure of Turkestan, Shymkent, Aulije-Ata and other
settlements by tsarist troops in the 60s of the
XIX century which required participation of quite
powerful armed forces completed the conquest of
the territory of the Senior Juz by Russia. Joining
of Kazakhstan and - later on - that of Central Asia
made it possible for Russia to successfully compete
with the British Empire.
Political and economic status of Kazakhstan in the
middle and the end of the XVIIIth century features
the following: aggravation of internal discord in
the Junior juz; expansion of economic relations
with Russia; development of barter trade; aggravation
of the land issue; first moves in colonial policies
of tsarism in the agrarian issue.
The second half of the XVIIIth century is marked
with the formation of Abylay's Khanate, the very
person who was one of the organizers of effective
rebuff against Jungar aggressors. He pursued a policy
of double citizenship - that of both Russia and
China. Indepth transformations he initiated added
to consolidation of Kazakh feudal statehood, enhanced
adherence to an independent policy.
Policy of manoeuvring conducted by the ruling circles
of Russia strengthened its confidence in abolition
of Khan's power in Kazakhstan. After Bukey (1817)
and Uali-Khan (1819) died, Russia no longer appointed
new khans. In 1822 by virtue of introducing the
"Charter on Siberian Kyrghyzes" Khan's power in
Kazakhstan was officially abolished. Instead they
set up counties. To step up colonization of the
territory they introduced a Russian system of administration
which resulted in a protest on the part of the Kazakh
population which - subsequently - expressed itself
in a national-liberation struggle of Kazakhs within
the Russian empire. In sum, the Kazakh people raised
the banner of freedom more than 300 times. Starting
from the second half of the XIXth century Kazakhstan
represents a completely shaped up colony of the
Further process is characterized with an intensification
of colonial forms of mastering of the territory,
creation of military-supporting bases of tsarism.
Development of capitalism in Russia affects the
specifics of social, economic and political status
of Kazakhstan. In 1867-1868 tsarism performs an
administrative reform. On July 1867 Alexander the
IInd signed the draft of the Regulation on Administering
Semirechje and Syrdaria regions", and on October
21, 1862 - the draft of the "Regulation on Administering
Turgay, Uralsk, Akmolinsk and Semipalatinsk regions".
Bukeyev horde became a part of the Astrakhan province.
Late in the XIXth century colonial specifics of
the agrarian policy of tsarism brought about a gradual
shift in the proportion of nomadic and settled population.
There have shaped up new forms of economies: a settled
cattle-breeding one and a settled farming one. Social
differentiation of the Kazakh society becomes ever
more pronounced. A part of economies comes to be
envolved in market relations. Now quite typical
is the engagement of impoverished Kazakhs in various
industries that emerged in Kazakhstan in the last
quarter of the XIXth century. Local merchants initiated
a new practice of trade - they started arranging
fairs. Over the last decade of the XIXth century
they built some 482 km of railway lines. Development
of transit trade is also underway. In context of
the Kuldzha Treaty of 1851 trade links with China
come to be more intensive. In commercial systems
there appear elements of usury and private entrepreneurship.
By the beginning of the XXth century the following
regions constituted the territory of Kazakhstan:
Syrdaria and Semirechje ones (Turkestan general-governorship
with the centre in Tashkent), Akmolinsk, Semipalatinsk,
Uralsk, Turgay (Steppe general-governorship with
the centre in Omsk); Mangyshlak - Transcaspian region;
Inner (Bukeyev) Horde (in the Astrakhan province).
Further intensification in colonization of Kazakhstan
is closely associated with capitalist relations
increasingly penetrating Kazakhstan. It brings along
sharp class differentiation in the countryside,
mass impoverishment, greater involvement of people
in various industries and budding protest against
colonial and social oppression becomes ever more
pronounced. First uprisings are of spontaneous and
uncoordinated nature though. In 1905-1907 there
spring up sporadic social-democratic groups (mostly
on the initiative of political exiles). The year
of 1907 signified commencement of the realization
of the Stolypin's reform and adoption of the "Law
on election to the State Duma" which resulted in
depriving nations of Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan
of their electoral rights. There occurs ever growing
intensification of the process of emigration of
peasants from the European part of Russia to its
outlying districts in context of settling the land
problem in the metropoly. Consequently they withdraw
pasture areas from nomadic cattle-breeding economies
(by 1917 there have been withdrawn over 40 mln dessiatinas
(1 dessiatina = 2.7 acres).
Colonial oppression weighed hard on the living standards
of the Kazakh people. Ever growing taxes and duties,
land withdrawal generate aggravation of internal
contradictions in the Kazakh countryside, a crisis
in cattlebreeding economies.
Invariably, social and economic conditions generated
prerequisites for a rising national movement. On
the scene of the struggle for leadership there appears
traditional elite and nascent Kazakh intelligentsia.
A. Bukeikhanov places himself at the head of the
all-national liberal and democratic opposition.
In context of reawakening of national awareness
there occurs consolidation of Turkic-speaking nations.
In 1913-1918 they issue a newspaper "Kazakh". Russia's
taking part in the WWI triggered a universal economic
crisis. There form obvious prerequisites for a struggle
of Kazakhs for their freedom and independence. The
tsar's Decree of June 25, 1916 on requisition of
Kazakhs for works in the rear served a natural pretext
for the national-liberation war waged by Kazakhs
in 1916. B.Ashekeyev, A.Imanov, A.Zhanbosynov, T.Bokin
and others stood at the head of this movement.
The war of 1918 crowns the national-liberation movement
of Kazakhs within the Russian Empire. Victorious
February revolution in Russia brought about an overthrow
of the tsarist government. It was a period of dual
power in the country: the power of the proletariat
and peasantry represented by the Soviets of Workers'
and Soldiers' Deputies and the power of bourgeoisie
and land-lords represented by the Provisional Government.
Upon the overthrow of tsarism, in Kazakhstan too,
they started organizing Soviets of Workers' and
Soldiers' Deputies. It went on hand in hand with
the emergence of bodies of bourgeois power: all
sorts of "executive committees", "civil
committees", regional or district commissars
appointed by the Provisional Government.
Victory of the February revolution and the development
of revolutionary movement spanning February and
October of 1917 triggered a tendency when various
strata of the Kazakh society came to be actively
envolved in politics, in setting up all sorts of
political, professional and youth organizations.
In process of ever growing revolutionary movement
and rising class differenciation they came close
to settling immediate problems of class, social
and political import: some followed the banner of
Bolshevism and Socialist revolution - others the
banner of the "Alash" party to uphold
the idea of shaping up a Kazakh national autonomy
within the framework of a bourgeois-and-democratic
Organizationally, the party of "Alash"
was formalized at the first All-Kazakh congress
in Orenburg in July 1917. It was in fact a party
of liberal orientation. Establishment of Soviet
power in Kazakhstan took several months: from late
October 1917 to March 1918. The party of "Alash"
and its leaders would not welcome the October revolution:
on December 5-13, 1917 in Orenburg they convened
the second All-Kazakh congress that announced formation
of a bourgeois autonomy under the name of "Alash"
and setting up of a government represented by a
"provisional people's council" named "Alash-Orda".
In the period spanning late October 1917 and March
1918 Soviet power was established mostly in cities
and other more or less significant settlements of
Kazakhstan. The process of establishment of Soviet
Power in most of the Kazakhstani countryside went
on up to the very beginning of the Civil war.
Armed struggle in Kazakhstan was part and parcel
of the Civil war waged by the whole of the country.
It was thrust upon by overthrown parasitic classes
and foreign imperialists. For this reason hostilities
in Kazakhstan were of less importance compared with
the situation on the main fronts of the Civil war.
In March 1919 VTsIK (All-Russia Central Executive
Committee) of the RSFSR announced amnesty to the
"Alash-Orda". In those days Turgay group
of the "Alash-Orda" headed by A.Baitursynov
turncoated to support Soviet power. On August 26,
1920 they formed an Autonomous Kyrghyz (Kazakh)
SSR within the RSFSR.
The victory over the interventionists and the White
Guardists made it possible to proceed with peaceful
economic construction. March 1921 signified the
beginning of the transition to the new economic
policy which enhanced development of agriculture
because at that time producers were really interested
in the benefits derived from their labour.
The end of the 20s-30s is marked with an upsurge
of peasant uprisings to counter forced collectivization
which brought about mass deaths of people. "Kazakhstani
tragedy" - such is the name of this man-made
disaster in history. The 30s is the period of establishment
of totalitarianism in Kazakhstan which entailed
massive political repressions, ever-present and
omnipotent in all spheres of social and political
In 1939-1941 Kazakhstan is transformed into a major
basis for production of non-ferrous metals, coal,
oil, it becomes a region of developed agriculture.
In 1941-1945 Kazakhstan comes to be envolved in
the WWII, more particularly in the Great Patriotic
war against the invasion of fascist Germany. In
this period practically all Kazakhstani enterprises
put out only defence produce. Major industrial facilities
and cultural establishments are being evacuated
to Kazakhstan from western and central areas of
the USSR. The war years are filled with the selfless
heroic labour of millions of Soviet people in industries
and agriculture. In WWII Kazakhstan lost nearly
425,000 people. The Republic played host to hundreds
of thousands of evacuated people; whole nations
subjected to deportation amounted almost to 2,000,000
In 1946 again, the economy of the country is transferred
onto "peaceful rails". Particularly accelerated
was the erection of enterprises of construction
industry, they laid the foundation of the power
engineering basis of the industry. June 1946 marked
inauguration of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh
Late 40s - early 50s highlight consolidation of
the administer-and-command system. There extends
the network of GULAG camps (i.e. camps of the Main
Directorate of Corrective Labour Camps): Karlag,
Steplag, ALZHIR and others. Not infrequently there
occur repressions against certain scientists, representatives
of intelligentsia and others.
In 1954 top leaders of the country launch a campaign
of massive development of virgin and fallow lands
which entails a new influx of people arriving from
other republics of the USSR, they boost up housing
construction, that of cultural and mass facilities.
The years of the 50s - 80s are those coloured with
the struggle between the party-and-state bureaucracy
and the people. This 30-year span is characterized
by an offensive against the bureaucracy (so called
"Khruschev's thaw") and the bureaucratic
retaliation (L.I. Brezhnev, K.U. Chernenko) which
brought about a stagnation in the Kazakhstani society.
The above process coincides in time with a crisis
that burst out in economics. There occurs a rise
in monetary revenues of the population which outpaces
that of the commodity mass resulting in an overall
shortage of goods. By mid-80s expediency of radical
changes in the Soviet society have become as obvious
and compelling as never before. A certain part of
the political leadership of the country was well
aware of the necessity of urgent in-depth transformations
which would help overcome negative phenomena in
the development of the USSR.
The course of social and economic transformations
announced by Mikhail Gorbachov when he became the
topmost leader of the USSR, betrayed, initially,
the same tendency as the efforts of his predecessors
who did their utmost - when ascending to power -
to present themselves as exceedingly active democratic
reformers. The system of social, economic and political
actions aimed at reforming the society remained
in history as a notorious "perestroika".
An altogether new political atmosphere was swelling
up in the country. There sprang up all sorts of
plentiful controversial social movements, unofficial
organizations; all in all the situation displayed
all prerequisites for a transfer to a multi-party
system. At every meeting or a demonstration, in
the electorate clubs they would discuss topical
issues of everyday life, compelling problems of
the country's development.
A graphic manifestation of a clash, a sharp struggle
between the old and the new mentality was the well-known
developments that took place in December 1986 in
Alma-Ata. Young people came out to the square to
express a universal protest against the methods
resorted to by the administer-and-command system
which - as of old - demonstrated utter disregard
to the opinion of the population of the Republic.
The very life proved complete groundlessness of
rash and indiscriminate charges in nationalism advanced
against the whole of the Kazakh nation.
Elections of the USSR people's deputies held in
spring 1989 proved to be very important in context
of eventual transition to genuine democracy. For
the first ever time they were conducted on the basis
of alternative nomination and voting accompanied
by political competition.
V. RECENT HISTORY OF KAZAKHSTAN
Today Kazakstan is grappling with the free market
and an enthusiastic brand of deregulation that tends
toward anarchy. President Nazarbayev, a former Communist,
is imposing his ideas about democracy on the country
he hopes to turn into Central Asia's economic tiger.
The day of August 19, 1991 - the day of the abortive
attempt of a coup. President Nursultan Nazarbayev
of Kazakhstan addresses the people of Kazakhstan.
They issue Presidential Decrees "On the formation
of the Security Council of the Kazakh SSR",
"On the transition of state-owned enterprises
and organizations of Union subordination into that
of the Government of the Kazakh SSR", "On
establishing the gold and diamond fund of the Kazakh
SSR", "On closing of the Semipalatinsk
nuclear testing grounds", etc. In September
1991 there has been adopted a decision about disbandment
of the Kommunist Party of Kazakhstan.
Ongoing exacerbation of the economic crisis is underway.
There spring up new bank-like entities. Inflation
is on the rise accompanied by an ever aggravating
decline in the living standards of the majority
of the population. Such were the conditions in which
the authorities embarked on the road of developing
market economic relations. On December 16, 1991
they pass the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan
on Independence (a law of a Constitutional Law effectiveness).
On announcing its independence the Republic of Kazakhstan
has come to represent a politically independent
state with a multinational structure and a single
monolith organization. On August 30, 1995 at the
all-national referendum they adopted the currently
effective Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
At the moment major world companies open their representations
in the Republic, we witness an intensive increase
in the number of joint ventures, they elaborate
and implement projects of joint development of natural
resources and processing raws and materials, introduction
of advanced technologies in the agrarian sphere,
Tremendous natural resources of Kazakhstan, social
and political stability in the Republic make this
region one of the most attractive objects of capital
investments among other republics of the late Soviet
Republic of Kazakhstan has become a full-fledged
equal member of the world community to enjoy universal
recognition and support of absolute majority of
the states of the world. As of today Kazakhstan
has been recognized by 113 states including 105
ones that maintain diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan.
Today we witness consolidation of interaction, extension
of cooperation with most authoritative international
agencies. Among them is the UNO, the European Community,
the International and European Banks for Reconstruction
and Development, the International Monetary Fund,
the IAEA, the IFRCRCS, the UNICEF, the UNESCO, the
WHO, etc. The Republic has acceeded to more than
40 international conventions, it has signed almost
400 multilateral and over 700 bilateral agreements
In 1997 there has been adopted a decision on transferring
the capital of the country from Almaty to Akmola,
the circumstance conditioned by geopolitical and
economic considerations of Kazakhstan's development.
Finally, there has been elaborated and adopted for
realization a Programme "On measures for realization
of Kazakhstan's development up to 2030".
Neolith, XII - III centuries BC
|Formation of a cultural community.
The borders enclosed Kazakhstan, steppe areas
of West Siberia, the Altai, northern areas
of Central Asia. A tribal community, formation
of tribes and tribal alliances.Hunting, fishing,
rudiments of mining, weaving. Ever increasing
settled mode of life of the population as
the climate gets more damp and warm. Primeval
- early III centuries BC. Eneolith.
|Judging from the examination
of 200 ancient sites of settlements of the
Stone Age - transition to Eneolith on a local
basis as a result of development of production
forces. The population was ready to go over
to cattle-breeding as the climatic conditions
become more favourable for horse-breeding.
Close ties between the cultures of Central
Kazakhstan, Siberia, Urals and Central Asia.
Cattle-breeding, horse-breeding, woodworking,
bone carving, fishing, hunting, collecting
Age.IInd century BC
|Androne version of the Prothoeuropeoid
race (central, northern and eastern areas
of Kazakhstan). Mediter-ranean version of
the Europeoid race (West and South-West of
Kazakhstan). Steppes of Siberia, Priuralje,
Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Androne tribes
conducted mostly a settled way of life filled
with cattle-breeding and farming. Development
of mining and metallurgy. Cult of fire, the
Sun, the Moon and the stars. There appears
a cult of forefathers and a faith in the life
hereafter. Rites of imposing a taboo on cattle
and implements of production assigned by tribal
chiefs or rich families.
|Cattle-breeding tribes. Anthropological
type successive to Androne predecessors. Central
Kazakhstan. An alliance of tribes. Nomadic
cattle-breeding, mountain workings of copper
in Northern Pribalkhashje, those of tin on
the river of Ishim, in the mountains of Kokshetau.
Gold mining in the area of Stepnyak, Bestobe,
Maikain. Emergence of jewellery production.
IX - VII
|Emergence of nomadic cattle-breeding
VI - IV
|Conventional name- Savromate
- Sarmate group of tribes. West and North
Kazakhstan (present-day territory of Atyrau,
West-Kazakhstan, Aktobe and - partially -
Kostanay regions). Alliance of tribes. Cattle-breeding.
Fire-worshippers. The cult roots in the Androne
IV centuries BC
|East-Iranian tribes. Indoiranian
ethnic and linguistic communities. Impact
of tribes of Central Kazakhstan and Semirechje
on East Kazakhstan. Basis of the antropological
type: Europeoid one with a slight admixture
of the Mongoloid one, predominant are features
of Androne type with a transition to a type
of Central Asian interfluve. East Kazakhstan.
Monuments of the Zaisan basin are close to
those of Semirechje. Culture of the Pavlodar
Priirtyshje, closely related to that of the
North of Kazakhstan, gravitates to the communities
of West Siberia, to the culture of nomadic
Ugor tribes. The names of the tribes failed
to reach our times. Southern, steppe areas
of East Kazakhstan are associated with the
name of Saks. On the whole all of them are
closely related tribes. An alliance of Sak
tribes. Cattle-breeding. In VII-VI centuries
BC - formalization of Scythian-and-Siberian
animal style in fine arts.
|On the territory of Zhetysu
(Semirechje) a process of formation of Usunes'
statehood is underway. Following the example
of Khoresm there spring up cities in the area.
IV centuries BC
|Saks-Tigrakhauda, same as
Massagets Day (Dakhs) in the South of Kazakhstan,
Issedones in Central Kazakhstan, Arimasps
in South East Kazakhstan constituted the Sak
tribal alliance. Partially northern areas
constituted the Savromate confederation of
tribes. Proliferation of Mongoloid groups.
|Nomadic state of the Usunes.
Emergence of fighting squads of the Usunes.
BC - early XV century AD
|Functioning of the Grand
of the kangyuis in the area of Talas, Syrdaria,
the Otrar basis. It possessed certain attributes
of a state. First attempts of minting coins.
of 47 BC
|The first wave of Huns' advance
to the territory of Kazakhstan. Alliance of
tribes headed by a ruler (shanjuy), a Council
|The second wave of Huns'
advance. Their proliferation lasted nearly
552 - 554
|Turkic kaganate. First allusion
of the name of Turks. A nomadic state. Nomadic
cattle-breeding. Emergence of a written language.
Tengrianism, an effort of introducing Buddhism
as a state religion.
|Disintegration of the Turkic
Kaganate into West and East areas with the
centre in Semirechje. The capital is Suyab
in the Chu valley. Synchretization of two
fun-damentals - a society based on cattle-breeding
and that based on settled farming.
|Kimek tribal alliance was
comprised of 7 tribes: Eimur, Imak, Tatar,
Bayandur, Kypchak, Lanikaz, Arzhlau. All of
them integrated in Kazakhstan from Central
Asia. They inhabited the Irtysh area with
the capital in the city of Kimakiya in mid-reaches
of the Irtysh-river. In VIII-X centuries there
forms an ancient Turkic (Kimako-Kypchak) linguistic
group. Tengrianism, Buddhism, Christianity
of Nestorian persuasion.
|Formation of the Kimek federation
(confederation). Inheritable power. Taxation
VI - first
half of the IXth century
|Major composition: North-Iranian
tribes. Ousting of the Iranian languages by
the Turkic ones. Political subordination to
Turkic dinasties, incorporation in West-Turkic,
Tyurgesh and Karluk Kaganates.
|Existence of Tyurgesh Kaganate
and its disintegration in 756. It occupied
the territory lying between the rivers of
Chu and Ili, thus controlling caravan routes
of Semirechje. Headquarters: Big ones in the
city of Suyab, the Minor ones - in Kungut.
The Turkic language. Tengrianism.
VI - VIII
|Sogdians in Semirechje. Assimilated
themselves within the Turkic environment.
Development of farming and construction. According
to experts Buddhist temples were built by
of the VIIIth century
|Karluks (pertaining to the
Europeoid type). They were comprised of 9
groups. First inhabited the area between the
West Altay and the Tarbagatay, then migrated
to Semirechje. Karluk confederation of tribes.
Cattle-breeding, hunting. The Turkic language.
|Arabs. In 910 Arabs undertook
a number of aggressive crusades to Central
Asia and South Kazakhstan. Dissemination of
the Arabic culture and language (Al-Khorezmi,
Al-Farabi, Al-Biruni, Ibn Sina). Caliphate.
Cattle-breeding, hunting. Cities: Jend, Farabzi,
Synak, Sauran, etc. Tengrianism. Shamanism.
By and by - Islam.
|The Karluk State.
IX - early
|Oguzes. 22 tribes. Mongoloid
racial look is predominant. Initial areas
of settling were South Eastern regions of
Central Asia, then Semirechje and Syrdaria
basin. An early feudal state. A confederation
of tribes with the capital in Yangikent.
|The State of Samanides.
early XIth centuries
|The Kimek Kaganate
|The State of Karakhanides
- a Kaganate. A feudal hierarchic system.
Horse-breeding, farming. State religion -
- early XIII centuries
|The Naimans. The Naiman alliance
of tribes of segiz-oguzes sprang up in mid-VIII
on the territory between the Upper Irtysh
and the Orkhon, i.e. from the Khangay to Tarbagatay.
In early XII - late XIII centuries they appeared
in East Kazakhstan and Semirechje. Ongoing
was the process of formation of uluses of
nations not obligatorily blood-related to
each other. Each ulus was ruled by a Khan
and common law was at work. Such system may
well be regarded as "a state of initial
type". Nomadic cattle-breeding. Hunting.
People lived in nomad tents made of felt.
There was no money whatsoever. A kypchak group
of languages. Kiraites. Part of the Kiraites
were Christians of Nestorian persuasion.
|A Kypchak association. In
ethnogenesis of Kazakhs a fairly tangible
role belongs to East-Kypchak tribes which
in XII-early XIII were quite close to an ethnic
national group. Upper reaches of the Irtysh
(Central Kazakhstan). By the end of the XIth
century they occupied a huge territory of
Kazakhstani steppes from the Irtysh in the
East to the Volga in the West with certain
groups penetrating in Mangyshlak. The XIth
century gave birth to the name of Desht-i-Kypchak
(Kypchak steppe). By the middle of the XIth
century Kypchaks reached South Russian steppes,
that's why in Oriental sources East Kypchaks
came to be called Desht-i-Kypchaks. State-wise
association of Kypchaks. The stage of the
formation of early feudal relations. Social
and class inequality. Private ownership of
cattle, land, pastures.
|The Golden Horde. Prior to
the 60s of the XIIIth century it was a part
of the Mongol empire. The great Khan was the
head of the Genghisides. He possessed a concentration
of military, legislative and administrative
power. The country was administered on the
basis of written legal norms and legislative
regulations - the so called "The Great
Yasa" of Genghis Khan. Divan as the central
executive body. Islam.
|The Ak Horde. The Ak Horde
comprised the eastern portion of the Juchi
ulus. Its territory embraced a part of the
present-day Kazakhstan to the East of the
Ural river and to the North of the Aral Sea
and the Syrdaria river. From 1428 the power
changed hands to the dinasty of the Shaibanides.
Abulkhair-Khan stood at the head of the new
ruling dinasty. Islam. Shamanism.
|Mogulistan. By mid-XIV the
Chagataides state disintegrated into a western
and an eastern parts. The eastern portion
gave rise to Mogulistan. Its territory - South-East
Kazakhstan and Kyrghyzstan. Various handcrafts,
cattle-breeding, farming and trade.
|Abulkhair's Khanate(the state
of Uzbek nomads) included lands lying to the
East of the Nogay Horde: from the river of
Yaik (Ural) in the West to the lake of Balkhash
in the East and from the Aral Sea and the
lower reaches of the Syrdaria in the South
to mid-reaches of the Tobol and the Irtysh
in the North.
|The Nogay Horde with a biy
as the head of the state. And a Turkic-speaking
(Kypchak) council in addition.
|Kazakh Khanate. South-East
Semirechje - the valley of rivers Chu and
Talas. Cattle-breeding and farming. The Turkic
(Kazakh) language. Islam. The cult of Tengri.
|Yesim-Khan. The city of Turkestan
as a centre of the Khanate. Law-making activities.
|Orbulak battle. Victory of
Janghir Khan and Jalantos-batyr over the Jungar
|Tauke-Khan. Claims of Jungar
Khans to Kazakh territories. "Zhety Zhargy"
- a code of laws.
|A Khanate. Division into
3 juzes. Formation, centuries development
and consolidation of Kazakh statehood. Nomadic
cattle-breeding. Agriculture. Caravan trade.
|A congress of Kazakh tribal
rulers, sultans and batyrs in the Karakum.
|Jungar invasion into Kazakhstan.
Nomadic cattle-breeding. Mongol group of languages.
|Patriotic war of the Kazakh
people against Jungar invasion.
|Abulay-Khan - an outstanding
national (state) and military figure of Kazakhstan.
- first half
|Russia's maintaining fortifications
along Uralsk, of the Orenburg and Siberian
|1731: The Junior Juz Khan
takes out Russia's citizenship. Forced expulsion
of Kazakhs from the areas lying between the
Volga and the Yaik (Ural) rivers. Farming,
cattle-breeding, military service, various
handicrafts. Christianity, Islam. Commencement
of converting Kazakhstani population in Christian
|Uprising of Junior Juz Kazakhs
headed by Srym Datov against Russian proliferation.
|Formation of the Bukeev Khanate
in the area lying between the Volga and the
Ural rivers. Accountable to tsarist government
represented by the Orenburg Administration.
The Khan's Council as a consultative body.
The Khan had an office of its own. Agriculture.
|"Charter of Siberian
Kyrghyzes". Enclosed in West Siberia
are Kazakhstan's territories occupied by the
Middle and (partially) Senior Juz under the
name of "A region of Siberian Kyrghyzes".
Setting up of the Cossacks. Nomadic cattle-breeding,
farming. The Kazakh language. Moslems.
of Kazakhs headed by Isatay Taimanov and Makhambet
headed by Kenesary Kasymov. Khan Kenesary
Kasymov's proclaiming restoration of statehood.
|A feudal state. An aggression
of Khiva, Bukhara and Kokand against South
Kazakhstan. Invasion of a part of the territory
of the Junior, Middle and Senior Juzes.
- first half of the XIXth century
|The Kokand Khanate.
20 - 40s
of the XIXth century
|Formation of counties: Karkaraly,
Kokshetau, Ayaguz, Bayanaul, Akmola, Aman-Karagay
|Reforming of Cossack troops.
Commencement of peasants' migration to Kazakhstan.
|Commencement of peasant migrants'
settling on the territory of Kazakhstan.
|Formation of the Alatau county.
|Completion of the Senior
Juz' joining Russia.
|Reforms in administrative,
judicial and financial policies on the territory
of Kazakhstan. Formalization of regions, uyezds
|Uprising of Kazakhs in Uralsk
and Turgay regions and on the Mangyshlak.
|Establishment of the Turkestan
General-Governship within the Syrdaria and
half of the XIXth century
|Conspicuous Kazakh enlighteners
- Chokan Valikhanov, Ibray Altynsarin, Abay
of the XIXth century
|Two-stage migration from
East Turkestan to Semirechje.
|9,572 families of Uigurs
and 1,147 ones of Dungans. Formation of 5
early XXth centuries
|Development of cities, industries,
secular and religious education of Kazakhs.
|Census of the population.
Number of the population in the cities of
Kazakhstan: Uralsk -36,446; Ust-Kamenogorsk
- 8,721; Verny - 22,744; Pavlodar - 7,738;
Semipalatinsk - 20,216; Perovsk (Ak-Mechet)
- 5,058; Petropavlovsk - 19, 688; Kokshetau
- 4,962; Jarkent - 16,094; Karkaralinsk -
4,451; Kustanay - 14,275; Zaisan - 4,402;
Aulije-Ata - 11,722; Atbasar - 3,038; Akmolinsk
- 9,688; Irghiz - 1,512; Gurjev - 9,322; Turgay
- early XXth centuries
|Massive peasants' migration
to Kazakhstan from Russia.
|Upsurge of social movement
of Kazakhs - A.Baitursynov, A.Bukeikhanov,
M.Dulatov and others.
of Kazakhstan's peoples against colonial oppression
of the Russian autocracy.
1917 - March 1918
|Establishment of Soviet power
on the territory of Kazakhstan.
|IInd All-Kazakh Congress
in Orenburg. Formation of Alash-Orda - provisional
people's Council (Government) of the Kazakh
|Formation of the Autonomous
Kyrghyz (Kazakh) Soviet Socialist Republic
with the capital in Orenburg.
|A decree of the Central Executive
Committee of the Kyrghyz (Kazakh) ASSR on
returning to Kazakh working people of lands
withdrawn by tsarism in favour of big estates
of nobility and landlords as well as for monastries
and for the colonization fund.
|A decree of the Central Executive
Committee of the Turkestan Republic on renaming
the city of Verny into Alma-Ata.
|A decree of the Kyrghyz (Kazakh)
ASSR on returning to Kazakh working people
of lands withdrawn by tsarism in favour of
Uralsk and Siberian Cossack troops.
|Enactment of the USSR Central
Executive Committee on demarkation of Central
Asia. Reunification of all Kazakh lands within
the confines of the Kyrghyz (Kazakh) ASSR.
|By virtue of the Enactment
of the USSR Central Executive Committee the
Kyrghyz (Kazakh) part of Turkestan was annexed
to the Kyrghyz (Kazakh) ASSR. Rearrangement
of administrative division of the Kazakh ASSR
had been accomplished by the beginning of
1925. The population increased by 1,468,000
people to make a total of 5,230,000 people.
In 1926 Kazakhs constituted 61.3% of the whole
population. Ak-Mechet - the capital of the
|Transfer of the capital of
the Kyrghyz (Kazakh) ASSR from Orenburg to
|The Vth Congress of Soviets
of the Kyrghyz (Kazakh) ASSR. Restoration
of the historically correct name of the Kazakh
people and renaming of the Kyrghyz ASSR into
the Kazakh ASSR.
|Opening of the Kazakh State
|Session of the Kazakh Central
Executive Committee legalized transition to
the new, latin alphabet.
|Transfer of the capital of
the Kazakh ASSR from Kzyl-Orda to Alma-Ata.
|Construction of the Turksib
railway line. In May 1929 the number of those
engaged in the construction amounted to 39,500
workers and employees.
in the number of population made up nearly
2,000,000 people (Kazakhs), i.e. 49% of the
1928 - first half of 1933
|Confiscation of the economies
owned by major bais (rich people). Almost
145,000 heads of cattle were subjected to
|Armed uprisals of peasants,
opposition to forced collectivization and
the policy conducted by the Soviet regime.
All in all - 372 uprisals with a summary participation
of nearly 80,000 people.
Mass deaths caused by starvation and migration
of the population beyond the confines of the
|Transformation of the Kazakh
ASSR into a Union Republic (Kazakh SSR).
|Adoption of the Constitution
of the Kazakh SSR.
|Formation of the Kazakh SSR.
On June 24, 1938 - election to the Supreme
Soviet of the Kazakh SSR.
|Massive political repressions.
|The Great Patriotic war.
In war years 1, 196, 164 Kazakhstanis fought
among the rest of the combatting troops. Casualties
amounted to almost 410,000 of the Kazakhstanis.
|Deportation of whole nations
to Kazakhstan: Koreans, Germans, Karachays,
Chechens, Ingushes, Balkars, Kabardines, Kalmyks,
Crimean Tatars, Meskhet Turks of Georgia,
Ukrainians, Greeks, Georgians, etc.
|Commencement of development
of virgin and fallow lands.
|Census of the population.
Overall number of the population of the Republic
- 9,295,000 people with Kazakhs making up
2,787,000 people (29.8%).
|The Afghan war. 21,979 Kazakhstanis
|December developments. Almost
9,000 Kazakh youths had to leave Kazakhstan
and move to other Republics.
|Census of the population.
The Republic numbers 16,465,000 people.
|Declaration of state sovereignty
|Proclamation of state independence
|Adoption of the Constitution
of sovereign Kazakhstan.
|Adoption of the new Constitution
at the all national referendum.
|Elaboration of the Programme
of Kazakhstan's strategic development up to
December 10, 1997
|Akmola has become the new
capital of the country.
VII. UNDERSTANDING CENTRAL ASIA
Central Asia's recorded history begins in the 6th
century BC, when the Achaemenid Empire of Persia
held sway beyond the Amu-Darya River. In 330BC Alexander
the Great led his army to victory over the last
Achaemenid emperor and by 328 had reached Kabul
and the Hindu Kush. The aftermath of Alexander's
short-lived Central Asian empire saw an increase
in cultural exchange between Europe and Asia. Hellenistic
successor states disseminated the aesthetic values
of the classical world deep into Asia, while trade
bought such goods as the walnut to Europe.
No one knows for sure when the miraculously fine,
sensuous fabric spun from the cocoon of the Bombyx
caterpillar first reached the west from China. Even
after the secret of sericulture arrived in the Mediterranean
world, Chinese silk producers consistently exercised
the advantage of centuries of know-how. The demand
for this thread saw unprecedented trade upon what
became known as the Silk Road - a shifting web of
caravan tracks rather than a single road.
For a thousand years after the birth of Christ,
Central Asia was the scene of pendulum-like shifts
of power between nomadic hordes and the sedentary
civilisations of Eurasia's periphery. Horses, rather
than silk, had the greatest influence over regional
events, since the vast grasslands fed millions of
them. Mounted archers were the most potent military
force in the region. The Huns, the Western Turks,
Arabs and the Chinese all ventured into the region
during this period.
From 1219, Mongol hordes under the leadership of
Genghis Khan swept through most of Eurasia. The
ravages inflicted on the region were so harsh that
settled civilisation in Central Asia did not begin
to recover until Russian colonisation some 600 years
later. Genghis was brutal but he also perceived
the importance of reliable trade and communications,
laying down networks of guard and post stations
and introducing tax breaks to boost economic activity.
In modern terms, the streets were safe and the trains
ran on time. The resulting flurry of trade on the
Silk Road was the background to many famous medieval
travellers' journeys, including Marco Polo's.
The splits and religious divisions which followed
the death of Genghis led to the fracturing of the
Mongol Empire, the rise of the tyrant's tyrant,
Timur the Lame (aka Tamerlaine), at the end of the
14th century and the emergence of Kazaks as a distinct
people for the first time.
Springing from the descendants of Mongols, Turkic
and other peoples, the Kazaks went on to form one
of the world's last great nomadic empires, stretching
across the steppe and desert north, east and west
of the Syr-Darya and capable of bringing 200,000
horsemen into the field. The ruin of the Kazakhs
came from Oyrats, a warlike, expansionist Mongolian
people who subjugated eastern Kazakstan, the Tian
Shan and parts of Xinjiang to form the Zhungarian
Empire in the 1630s. The Kazakhs were savagely and
repeatedly pummeled, particularly between 1690 and
1720. This 'Great Disaster' made them susceptible
to the Russian expansion of the 19th century.
Enter the Bolsheviks (stage Left), who quickly liberated
the Central Asians from any ideas of self determination.
Although there were frequent demonstrations of discontent,
these were quickly and soundly defeated by the communists.
Meanwhile a charismatic young Turk named Enver Pasha
had bent Lenin's ear and convinced the Soviet leader
he could deliver him all of Central Asia and British
India. In reality Pasha had decided to ditch Lenin
and win himself a Pan Turkic state with Central
Asia as its core. A large army and some clever concessions
to the Islamic religion saw Pasha's support wane
and Moscow's reign prevail.
Kazakstan's traditional tribal divisions - the Great
Horde in the south, the Middle Horde in the centre
and north-east, and the Little Horde in the west
- were pasted over by the Russians and simply ignored
by the Soviets but remained important as social
and ethnic identifiers. In fact, nationalist confusion
is one of the major legacies of Soviet rule. Since
the republics of Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen
and Uzbek began to be created in the 1920s each
was carefully shaped to contain pockets of differing
nationalities with long-standing claims to the land.
The present face of Central Asia is a product of
this 'divide and rule' policy.
Soviet rule in Central Asia was a parade of ridiculous
ideas: assimilating the region's ethnic groups,
converting the steppe into a giant cotton plantation,
using Kazakstan as a 'secret' nuclear testing zone,
etc. The political, social, economic and ecological
disasters resulting from these experiments meant
all five republics had little to lose by declaring
their sovereignty when glasnost and perestroyka
led to the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. Later
that year they joined with 11 other former Soviet
states to form the Commonwealth of Independent States
In 1991, new country - the Republic of Kazakhstan
- appeared on the geopolitical map of the world.
Kazakhstan has a multi-millennia history and culture.
One of the central questions is the origin of its
native people, Kazakhs, and the development of their
statehood, culture, traditions, and relations with
other civilizations. If written sources are examined,
it can be concluded that the Kazakh statehood was
completely formed by 1470 when sultans Janibek and
Girey organized numerous tribes in the south-eastern
areas and combined them into a single 'Kazakh' tribe.
In the beginning of the 16th century, when Kasymkhan
ruled over these lands, the Kazakh khanate strengthened:
its borders were expanded and the khanate included
the cities of Turkistan, Otrar, Sairam, Sauran,
Sygnak, Suzak and Shymkent which were located on
the Syrdarya River. Kazakhs became well-known both
in Europe and Asia. The 16th century is a milestone
in the Muslim world history. This was the time when
a new age began.
V. Bartold, an outstanding orientalist, wrote: "In
the new history of Islam, the pace of changing dynasties,
the general instability of power, and small states
where no patriotism could exist came to there opposite
- uniting of states which took place there. We see
the Muslim empire of Great Mogul in India, then
Turkey, Persia..." That was the approximate
time when the Kazakh, Bukhar, and Yarken khanates
were established in Central Asia. Kazakhs, Uzbeks,
Kyrgyzes, and Karakalpaks, all speaking Turkic languages,
claimed their rights in the historic arena.