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Tajikistan
This article is part of the series:
History of Tajikistan
Early History
Islamic Conquest
Tajikistan in the Russian Empire
Tajikistan Under the USSR
Since Independence

The current Tajik Republic harkens to the Samanid Empire (AD 875–999). The Tajik people came under Russian rule in the 1860s. The Basmachi revolt that broke out in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917 was quelled in the early 1920s and Tajikistan became an autonomous Soviet socialist republic (Tajik ASSR) within Uzbekistan in 1924. In 1929 Tajikistan was made one of the component republics of the Soviet Union – Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR) – and it kept this status until 1991.[1]

Tajikistan gained independence in 1991, and has experienced three changes in government and a civil war since then. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997 but its implementation has progressed slowly.

Contents

Pre-Islamic Period (600 BC–AD 651)

Tajikistan was part of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex in the Bronze Age, candidate for Proto-Indo-Iranian or Proto-Iranian culture. Tajikistan was part of Scythia in Classical Antiquity.

Most of modern Tajikstan had formed parts of ancient Kamboja and Parama Kamboja kingdoms, which find references in the ancient Indian epics like the Mahabharata. Linguistic evidence, combined with ancient literary and inscriptional evidence has led many eminent Indologists to conclude that ancient Kambojas (an Avestan speaking Iranain tribe) originally belonged to the Ghalcha-speaking area of Central Asia. Achariya Yasaka's Nirukta[2] (7th c BCE) attests that verb Śavati in the sense "to go" was used by only the Kambojas. It has been shown that the modern Ghalcha dialects, Valkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yagnobi, mainly spoken in Pamirs and countries on the headwaters of the Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".[3] The Yagnobi dialect spoken in Yagnobi province around the headwaters of Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana, also still contains a relic "Śu" from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".[4] Further, Sir G Grierson says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha till about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian.[5] Thus, the ancient Kamboja, probably included the Badakshan, Pamirs and northern territories including Yagnobi province in the doab of the Oxus and Jaxartes.[6] On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north by Uttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara. Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana/Fargana—in the Sakadvipa or Scythia of the classical writers.[7] Thus, in the pre-Buddhist times (7th/6th c BCE), the parts of modern Tajikstan including territories as far as Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana formed parts of ancient Kamboja and the Parama Kamboja kingdoms when it was ruled by Iranian Kambojas till it became part of Achaemenid Empire.

Sogdiana, Bactria, Merv and Khorezm were the four principal divisions of Ancient Central Asia inhabited by the ancestors of the present-day Tajiks. Tajiks are now found only in historic Bactria and Sogdiana. Merv is inhabited by the Turkoman and Khorezm by Karakalpaks, Uzbeks and Kazakhs. The Sogdians were famous for being tall, massive, and of a fair colour, possibly resembling the Scythians. Among them Bactria and Khorezm were kingdoms during different period of history unlike Sogdiana and Merv which were geographical locations and vassals of different kingdoms. Sogdiana was made up of the Zeravshan and Kashka-Darya river valleys. Currently, One of the surviving peoples of Sogdiana who speak a dialect of the Sogdian language are the Yaghnobis and Shugnanis who live in the Northern region of Tajikistan around the Zeravshan valley. Bactria was located in northern Afghanistan (present-day Afghan Turkestan) between the mountain range of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (Oxus) River and some areas of current south Tajikistan. During different periods, Bactria was a center of various Kingdoms or Empires, and is probably where Zoroastrianism originated. The "Avesta"—the holy book of Zoroastrianism—was written in the old-Bactrian dialect; it is also thought that Zoroaster was most likely born in Bactria. Khorezm was a powerful Kingdom during some periods of its history, and is located south-east of the Aral Sea in what archeological discoveries indicated used to be a very fertile area. Merv is located in the Amu-Darya basin south of Khorezm.

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Achaemenid Period (550 BC–329 BC)

Achaemenid empire at its greatest extent

During the Achaemenid period, Sogdiana was one of the provinces of the Persian empire. Among the cities of Tajikistan, Panjakent and Istarawshan are founded in that period.

Hellenistic Period (329 BC–90 BC)

Map of Alexander's empire.

After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, Bactria, Sogdiana and Merv, being part of Persian Empire, had to defend themselves from new invaders. In fact, the Macedonians faced very stiff resistance under the leadership of Sogdian ruler Spitamenes. Alexander the Great managed to marry Roxana, the daughter of a local ruler, and inherited his land. Following Alexander's brief occupation, the Hellenistic successor states of the Seleucids and Greco-Bactrians controlled the area for another 200 years in what is known as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. During the time period from 90 BC to 30 BC, the Eastern Scythians destroyed the last Hellenistic successor states and, together with the Tocharians, (to whom they were closely related) created a Kushan Empire around 30 AD.

Kushan Empire (30 BC–AD 410)

For another 400 years, until AD 410, the Kushan Empire was a major power in the region along with the Roman Empire, the Parthian Empire and the Han Empire (China). Notable contact was made with local peoples when the envoys of the Han Dynasty journeyed to this area in the second century BC. At the end of the Kushan period, the Empire became much smaller and would have to defend itself from the powerful Sassanid Empire that replaced the Parthian Empire. The famous Kushan Shah Kanishka promoted Buddhism and during this time Buddhism was exported from Central Asia to China.

The Hephthalites (AD 410–565)

The Hephthalites are considered to be another Scythian-related tribe although there is controversy about their name (which means 'White Hun') which normally refers to Mongolian-Turkish invaders. As later archeologists discovered, there are many factors that proved that Hephthalites were a bunch of many tribes with different origins. That means they were Turks, Mongols and some lesser scythian tribes that were turkizised (mostly by language). Their language was a Turkish dialect. In Bactria, their administrative language was the bactrian language. The Hephthalites were destroyed in 565 AD by a combination of Sassanid and Kök-Turk forces.

Göktürk Rule (565–658)

The origin of the Göktürks is uncertain, but it seems likely that they had lived to the South of the Altai Mountains until the year 542 AD. Chinese sources suggest that they were descended from the Huns and located to the North of them. (The Huns being another proto-Turkish tribe).

Islamic Empires (710–1218)

Arab Caliphate (710–867)

The Age of the Caliphs      Prophet Mohammad, 622-632      Patriarchal Caliphate, 632-661      Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750

The Transoxiana principalities never formed a viable confederacy. Beginning in 651 AD, the Arabs organized periodic marauding raids deep into the territory of Transoxania, but it was not until the appointment of Ibn Qutaiba as Governor of Khorasan in 705 AD, during the reign of Walid I, that the Caliphate adopted the policy of annexing the lands beyond the Oxus. In 715 AD, the task of annexation was accomplished. The entire region thus came under the control of the Caliph and of Islam, but the Arabs continued to rule through local Soghdian Kings and dihqans. The ascension of the Abbasids to rule the Caliphate (750 - 1258) opened a new era in the history of Central Asia. While their predecessors the Umayyads (661 - 750) were little more than leaders of a loose confederation of Arab tribes, the Abbasids set out to build a huge multi-ethnic centralized state that would emulate and perfect the Sassanian government machine. They gave the Near East and Transoxiana a unity, which they had been lacking since the time of Alexander the Great.

Samanid Empire (900–999)

For many years before the Arab invasion, Central Asia was divided into many different regions such as the Kingdom of Merv, Sogdiana, Bactria, Khorezm, Badakhshan: the only exception was Kushan Empire that was now reduced to parts of eastern Iran. Islam spread rapidly in Transoxiana. The new religion was received mostly by popular acclaim, for it promised greater social mobility and created favourable conditions for trade. With Islam there came Arabic that became the language of Abbasid court. It must also have stimulated the emergence of the Modern Persian language (Dari), in which the share of loan-words from Arabic fluctuated from 10 percent in the vocabulary of Rudaki (9th to 10th centuries) to 40 percent in the writings of Baihaqi (11th century). All in all, "the volume of Arabic lexicon, its share in the vocabulary of the Dari language remained exceptionally high until the first quarter of the nineteenth century."

The Samanid dynasty that ruled (819–1005) in Khorasan (including Eastern Iran and Transoxiana) was founded by Saman Khuda . The Samanids were one of the first purely indigenous dynasties to rule in Persia following the Muslim Arab conquest. Not until the reign (892–907) of Saman Khuda's great-grandson, Ismail I (khown as Ismail Samani), did Samanid power become extensive. In 900, Ismail defeated the Saffarids in Khorasan (area of current Northwest Afghanistan and northeastern Iran), while his brother was the governor of Transoxiana. Thus, Samanid rule was acclaimed over the combined regions. The cities of Bukhara (the Samanid capital) and Samarkand became centres of art, science, and literature; industries included pottery making and bronze casting. After 950, Samanid power weakened, but was briefly revitalized under Nuh II, who ruled from 976 to 997. However, with the oncoming encroachment of Muslim Turks into the Abbasid Empire, the Samanids were effectively defeated; in 999, Bukhara fell under a combined force of Ghaznavids and Qarakhanids. Ismail II (d. 1005), the last ruler of the dynasty, briefly fought (1000–1005) to retain Samanid territory, until he was assassinated.

Although short during this period art and science of the Tajiks flourished, and many scholars of this period are still very highly regarded, notably Ibn Sina (Avicenna). The modern state of Tajikistan considers that the Tajik name and identity, although in existence for thousands of years in this area, began its formation during the Samanid period.

The attack of the Qarakhanid Turks ended the Samanids' reign and Samanid era civilization in 999 and dominance in Transoxiana passed on to Turkic rulers for nine centuries to come.

Qarakhanids (999–1211) and Khwarezmshahs (1211–1218)

After the collapse of Samanid Dynasty, Central Asia became the battleground of many Asian invaders who came from the north-east.

The Mongols and their successors (1218–1740)

Mongol Empire (1218–1370)

The Mongol Empire swept through Central Asia invaded Khorezm and sacked the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, looting and massacring people everywhere.

Timurid Empire (1370–1506)

Timur, founder of the Timurid Empire, was born on 8 April 1336 in Kesh near Samarkand. He was a member of the Turkicized Barlas tribe, a Mongol subgroup that had settled in Transoxiana after taking part in Genghis Khan's son Chagatai's campaigns in that region. Timur began his life as a bandit leader. During this period, he received an arrow-wound in the leg, as a result of which he was nicknamed Timur-e Lang (in Dari) or Timur the Lame, corrupted in the West to Tamerlane. Although the last Timurid ruler of Herat, Badi az Zaman finally fell to the armies of the Uzbek Muhammad Shaibani Khan in 1506, the Timurid ruler of Ferghana, Zahir-ud-Din Babur, survived the collapse of the dynasty and re-established the Timurid dynasty in India in 1526, where they became known as the Mughals.

Shaybanid rule (1506–1598)

The Shaybanid state was divided into appanages between all male members (sultans) of the dynasty, who would designate the supreme ruler (Khan), the oldest member of clan. The seat of Khan was first Samarkand, the capital of the Timurids, but some of the Khans preferred to remain in their former appanages. Thus Bukhara became the seat of the khan for the first time under Ubaid Allah Khan (r.1533-1539).

The Astrakhanid (Janid) dynasty (1598–1740)

The period of political expansion and economical prosperity was short-lived. Soon after the death of Abd Allah Khan the Shaibanid dynasty died out, to be replaced by the Janid or Astrakhanid (Ashtarkhanid) dynasty, another branch of the descendants of Jöchi whose founder Jani Khan was related to Abd Allah Khan Through his marriage to Abdullah Khan's Sister. The Astrakhanids are also said to be connected to The Hashemites Due to Imam Quli Khan's status as a Sayyid. Their Descendents today live in India.

Persian and Bukharan rule (1740–1920)

Afsharid dynasty (1740–1756)

In 1740, the Janid khanate was conquered by Nadir Shah, the Afsharid ruler of Persia. The Janid khan Abu al Faiz retained his throne, becoming Nadir's vassal.

Manghit dynasty (1756–1920)

After the death of Nadir Shah in 1747, the chief of the Manghit tribe, Muhammad Rahim Biy Azaliq, overcame his rivals from other tribes with the support of the urban population, consolidated his rule in the Khanate of Bukhara, and was proclaimed khan in 1756. His successor, however, ruled in the name of puppet khans of Janid origin. The third Manghit ruler, Shah Murad (r.1785–1800), finally deposed the Janids and acceded to the throne himself. He did not assume the title of khan, preferring the title emir, as did subsequent Manghit rulers, because they were not of Genghisid descent. The Emirate of Bukhara was smaller under the Manghits than the khanate under their predecessors; it lost important provinces to the south of Amu Darya and the Syr Darya basin, and Merv, conquered by Shah Murad in 1785–1789, was lost in 1823. Under the Manghits, the administration of the country was more centralized.

Modern History: 1800s–Present

Russian Vassalage (1868–1920)

In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to spread into Central Asia during the Great Game. The expansion was mainly motivated by Russia's concern that the British would push north into Central Asia after consolidating their hold on India and Afghanistan. An economic motivation was connected with the American Civil War in the early 1860s, which severely interrupted the supply of cotton fiber to the Russian industry and forced Russia to turn to Central Asia as an alternative source of supply for cotton. Between 1864 and 1885 Russia gradually took control of the entire territory of Russian Turkestan from today's border with Kazakhstan in the north to the Caspian Sea in the west and the border with Afghanistan in the south. Tashkent was conquered in 1865 and in 1867 the Turkestan Governor-Generalship was created with Konstantin Petrovich Von Kaufman as the first Governor-General.[1][8]

Being more technologically advanced, the Russians had little difficulty in conquering the regions inhabited by Tajiks, meeting fierce resistance only at Jizzakh, Ura-Tyube, and when their garrison in Samarkand was besieged in 1868 by forces from Shahr-e Sabz and the inhabitants of the city. The army of the Emirate of Bukhara was utterly defeated in three battles, and on 18 June 1868 Emir Mozaffar al-Din (r.1860-1885) signed a peace treaty with the Governor-General of Russian Turkestan, Von Kaufman. Samarkand and the Upper Zeravshan were annexed by Russia and the country was opened to Russian merchants. The emir retained his throne as a vassal of Russia and made up his territorial losses by establishing, with Russian help, control over Shahr-e Sabz and the mountainous regions in the upper Zeravshan Valley in 1870 and by annexing the principalities of the western Pamir in 1895. At the end of August 1920 the last emir, Sayyid Alim Khan, was overthrown by Soviet troops. On 6 October 1920 the emirate was abolished and the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic proclaimed.

Soviet Rule (1920–1991)

The national-administrative divisions placed the ancient Tajik cities, Bukhara and Samarkand, outside the Tajikistan SSR when the borders were drawn in 1928. As citizens of the Uzbek SSR, many Tajiks came under pressure to conform to their newly-ascribed 'Uzbek' identity, and under threat of exile or worse for nonconformity, many were forced to change their identity. Tajik schools were closed and Tajiks were not appointed to leadership positions simply because of their ethnicity.

Tajikistan (1991-Present day)

In the last years of the Soviet Union (1986-1990), the Tajikistan SSR went through numerous positive changes due to mass protests and the initiative of a few notable members of the Majlisi Oli (Verkhovniy Soviet) or Parliament, which led the movement towards independence. During this time, use of the Tajik language, an official language of the Tajikistan SSR next to Russian, was increasingly promoted. Ethnic Russians, who had held many governing posts, lost much of their influence and more Tajiks became politically active.

Prominent independence movement leaders, also known as the Opposition, emerged. The Opposition led the mass protests in the capital city of Dushanbe and in August 1991 forced the ethnic Tajik Communist president K. Makhkamov to resign. The victory of Rahmon Nabiyev, another ethnic Tajik representative of the "old guard" from Soviet times, at the following presidential elections was disputed by a mixed opposition composed of nationalist liberals and Islamists. The political disagreements were an expression of the power struggle between different ethnic and regional groups, with people from the regions of Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan trying to wrestle power from hitherto dominant representatives of Leninabad and, to a lesser extent, Kulyab.[9] External influences, especially from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Russia also played a role. The increasingly violent clashes between the opposition and the government culminated in the Civil war in Tajikistan (1992-1997), in which the country was plunged into chaos and ethnic hostilities and at least one hundred thousand people were killed.[10][11] As a consequence of the war, after having been run by Leninabadis (people from the Khujand region) throughout the Soviet period,[12] Tajikistan is now almost entirely controlled by Kulyabis, from the home region of President Rakhmonov.

Numerous notable individuals were murdered during the war and throughout the 1990s. This list includes journalist and politician Otakhon Latifi, journalist and Jewish leader Meirkhaim Gavrielov, and politician Safarali Kenjayev.

Since 1991, much of the country's non-Muslim population, including Russians and Jews, has emigrated due to severe poverty and instability. In 1992, most of the country’s Jewish population was evacuated to Israel.

Nevertheless, a number of opposition political parties have been legalized and are participating in elections, suggesting that the country may be stabilizing politically. Russian-led peacekeeping troops are based throughout the country (apart from their officers, most of these troops are, in fact, Tajiks), and Russian-commanded border guards were stationed along the border with Afghanistan until 2006.[13]

In the winter of 2007/2008, Tajikistan faced, and is currently still facing, an energy crisis. A combination of one of the harshest winters in 50 years, frozen hydroelectric reservoirs, and a cut in natural gas imports from Uzbekistan on January 24 has led to this crisis.

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b The History of Tajik SSR, Maorif Publ. House, Dushanbe, 1983, Chapter V (Russian).
  2. ^ Nirukta II.2.
  3. ^ Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 456ff, 468, 473, 474, 476, 500, 511, 524 etc; Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Asia, 1911, pp 801-802, Sir Griersen; India as Known to Panini, 1968, p 49, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Geographical Data in the Early Puranas, A Critical Study, 1972, p 164, Dr M. R. Singh; Bharata Bhumi aur uske Nivasi, Samvat 1987, pp 297-305, Dr J. C. Vidyalankar; Geographical and Economical Studies in the Mahabharata, Upayana Parva, p 37, Dr Motichandra; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, pp 127-28, 167, 218, Dr J. L. Kamboj; Sindhant Kaumudi Arthaprakashaka, 1966, pp 20-22, Acharya R. R. Pande.
  4. ^ Proceedings and Transactions of the ... All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118; Indian Culture, 1934, p 193, Indian Research Institute; Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 455-56, Dr G. A. Grierson; cf: History and Archeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries from the... , 1976, p 152, Dr Shashi P. Asthana - Social Science; Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahābhārata: Upāyana Parva, 1945, p 39, Dr Moti Chandra - India; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, p 128, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan).
  5. ^ Linguistic Survey of India, X, p. 456, Sir G Grierson; Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, pp 107-108.
  6. ^ Dr J. C. Vidyalankara, Proceedings and Transactions of 6th A.I.O. Conference, 1930, p 118; cf: Linguistic Survey of India, Vol X, pp 455-56, Dr G. A. Grierson.
  7. ^ See: The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa's Harshacharita, 1969, p 199, Dr Vasudeva Sharana Agrawala; Proceedings and Transactions of the All-India Oriental Conference, 1930, p 118, Dr J. C. Vidyalankara; Prācīna Kamboja, jana aura janapada =: Ancient Kamboja, people and country, 1981, Dr Jiyālāla Kāmboja, Dr Satyavrat Śāstrī - Kamboja (Pakistan).
  8. ^ W. Fierman, "The Soviet 'transformation' of Central Asia", in: W. Fierman, ed., Soviet Central Asia, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 1991.
  9. ^ [http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/eca/tajikbkg1005.htm Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder on Tajikistan October 5, 2001]
  10. ^ Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, page 8. Ahmed Rashid
  11. ^ Political Construction Sites: Nation-building in Russia and the Post-Soviet States, page 76
  12. ^ Дубовицкий, Виктор. Особенности этнической и конфессиональной ситуации в Республике Таджикистан. Февраль 2003
  13. ^ RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS BEGIN WITHDRAWAL FROM TAJIKISTAN, EURASIA DAILY MONITOR, Volume 2, Issue 78 (April 21, 2005)

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