History of Kazakhstan

By | April 28, 2022

According to historyaah, the historical path of development of the Kazakh people and the formation of the modern Kazakh state is long, ambiguous, complex and multilayered. The first evidence of human life on the territory of Kazakhstan, confirmed by the finds of archaic stone tools, was discovered by archaeologists in the Karatau mountains and South Kazakhstan at the same time as the finds in the Zhou Kou Dian cave in China. Since the Paleolithic era, connections between the inhabitants of the territory of the countries of Central Asia have been traced.

Numerous archaeological monuments (settlements, burials, rock paintings) have been preserved, belonging to the Andronovo archaeological culture, which was characterized by monumentality and complexity of structures, high construction
technology.

Written evidence of the union of the tribes inhabiting the territory of Kazakhstan – the Saks – appeared in the middle. 1st millennium BC Herodotus and other authors tell of numerous Saka contacts with Achaemenid Iran, as well as of their heroic struggle against the armies of Cyrus, Darius and Alexander the Great. The Besshatyr burial ground and the Issyk burial mound, in which the remains of a noble Saka, called the
“Golden Man”, were found as remarkable monuments of Saka culture. Saka art was characterized by the Sako-Scythian “animal style”, which probably reflected the dominant type of economy – nomadic and semi-nomadic cattle breeding, in the shadow of which agriculture developed (in the valleys of the Chu and Talas rivers).

The political and ethnic map of Kazakhstan was significantly redrawn during the era of the Great Migration of Peoples and especially during the early Middle Ages (6-8 centuries AD). An important role in the process of ethnogenesis of the Kazakh people was played by the Turkic Khaganate, under whose authority the territories from the Bosporus to the Yenisei were. The formation of the Turkic ethnos proper took place in the 3rd-4th centuries. AD in the region of East Turkestan and Altai. The Turks had serious power, being the sole owners of the trade Silk Road to the Mediterranean countries. However, internal strife led to the fall of the Turkic Khaganate and its division into the Western Turkic, Turgesh and Karluk Khaganates. See ehistorylib for more about Kazakhstan history.

An active process of ethnic, economic, cultural and linguistic mutual influence of the tribes of Semirechie, East Turkestan and Central Asian Mesopotamia took place within the framework of the Karakhanid era (end of the 10th century), which arose on the territory of Kashgar and Semirechye. The state structure was based on hierarchical principles and was characterized by the separation of administrative control from the military. Islam, accepted by the authorities as the state religion, began to supplant the ancient Turkic religious ideas and runic writing, forming a new Turkic script based on Arabic script. The most famous thinkers of this period are Yusuf Balasaguni and Mahmud Kashgari. In the era of the Karakhanids, the cities of Kazakhstan received their special development, surpassing the cities of Europe in number, and such as Otrar, Taraz, Sygnak and Balasagun,

The course of the political, ethnic and cultural development of the region was changed as a result of the emergence of the Mongol Empire (13th century), when the Turkic tribes inhabiting Kazakhstan joined the ranks of the imperial army. This stage in the life of the Kazakh tribes covers the period from the 13th to the 15th century. and is closely connected with the history of the Golden Horde, one of the uluses of the empire created by Genghis Khan.

In the 14th and 15th centuries from the Kynchak-Mogai subgroup of the Kinchak group of Turkic languages, the Kazakh language proper, close to the Karakalpak and Mogai languages, stands out. Along with this, as a result of the collapse of the Golden Horde, on the site of which many states were formed, the Kazakh Khanate arose, founded in 1463–66, with its main headquarters in the area of Kozybysy (the northern part of Moghulistan).

The emergence of Kazakh statehood was followed by the process of collecting lands around the khanate and splitting the latter into three independent khanates – the Senior, Middle and Junior zhuzes. The most famous personalities who showed themselves in the fight against fragmentation, political disunity of the Kazakh people are Zhanibek and Kerey, as well as Khan Kasym, under whom the Kazakh state was most strengthened.

The economic basis of the latter was based mainly on the traditional way of life – nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoralism, although settled agriculture and urban culture continued to develop in the southern regions. The regulatory framework was mixed, when, along with the norms of Muslim law, there were norms of customary law codified in the 17th century. in the code of laws “Zhety-Zhagry”. The poetic and musical creativity of that time was most widely and vividly represented by the works of the heroic epic: “Kobandy-batyr”, “Er-tartyn”, “Kambar-batyr”, etc.

The strengthening of the Kazakh state inevitably led to the beginning of a long struggle for national sovereignty and independence with other neighboring major empire states: the Oirat state, China and Russia. The difficult foreign policy situation, internal strife forced the Kazakh rulers to pursue a flexible policy of maneuvering and compromises. A fateful decision was made by Khan Abulkhair, sending an embassy to Russia with a request to accept Russian citizenship, as a result of which, on October 10, 1731, the Younger Zhuz became part of the Russian Empire.

The process of national adaptation of the Kazakhs was by no means painless and smooth: there were a number of mass demonstrations that had an anti-feudal and anti-colonial orientation – uprisings led by Srym Ditov, Isatai Taimanov, Makhabet Utemisov and especially Kenesary Kasymov (1837-45). However, the completion of the accession of Kazakhstan to Russia (1860s) had another, positive side. The rapprochement and interpenetration of cultures has significantly enriched the world civilization with new discoveries, ideas and names: Chokan Valikhanov, a world-famous scientist; Abai Kunanbaev is a world-class writer, composers Kurmangazy, Dauletkerey, Tattimbet and others became famous all over the world.

The Soviet period in the historical life of Kazakhstan began in October 1917, when Soviet power was established within 5 months, and on August 26, 1920, the Kirghiz (Kazakh) Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was formed as part of the RSFSR (the capital is Orenburg). In 1936 it received the constitutional status of a union republic, and the capital was first moved to Kzyl-Orda (1925) and then to Alma-Ata (1929).

The period of formation of the administrative-planned state system in the republic was the most painful: firstly, within the framework of forced collectivization, which assumed a settled rural population, nomadic and semi-nomadic cattle breeding, a traditional economic national industry, was affected; secondly, significant damage was inflicted on the national culture and intelligentsia (in
particular, by replacing the Arabic alphabet first with Latin and then with Cyrillic, which separated the native Kazakhs from the written language on which traditional masterpieces of literature were created).

The Great Patriotic War and the post-war development of Kazakhstan forced us to take a different look at the industrialization of the country, which allowed the republic to turn into a powerful industrial and agricultural region, organically included in the all-union complex.

During the period of the struggle against fascism, about 430 factories were evacuated or built in Kazakhstan, and industrial production increased by 37%. A special place in the military merits of Kazakhstanis is occupied by the heroic actions in the defense of Moscow of the soldiers of the 316th Infantry Division, Major General Panfilov. 497 Kazakhstanis were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, of which 97 were Kazakhs (M. Mametov, A. Moldagulov, R. Kogikarbaev, T. Bigeldinov and others).

In the post-war period, a huge industrial potential was formed on the territory of the republic with a priority developed extractive industrial sector, construction was carried out (including the test site in Semipalatinsk and the Baikonur Cosmodrome), a campaign was carried out to develop virgin lands (largely controversial from an economic point of view), etc.

The main outcome of the Soviet period in the history of Kazakhstan is its transformation into an industrial-agrarian region, the formation of a large national intelligentsia (with a high and versatile level of education) and the creation of a highly centralized state vertical, deeply embedded in the all-union structures and making it possible to manage a multinational republican economic complex.

History of Kazakhstan