Major Events Relevant to Central Asian History

Part 2 (Since 1600)

by Mark Dickens

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The first diplomatic contacts between Moscow and Bukhara.

early 17th cent.
The Kalmuks, part of the Oyrat tribal confederation, migrate from Jungaria to the Volga.

The Oyrats who stayed in Jungaria conquer Semirechye.

The Manchu Qing dynasty is established in China.

The Russians reach the Pacific Ocean.

Clashes between Russian and Chinese troops in Manchuria.

The rule of Khan Teuke over the reunited Kazakh hordes.

The end of Shaybanid rule in Khiva.

The Treaty of Nerchinsk between Russia and China ends border clashes in Manchuria.

early 18th cent.
Oyrat raids on the Kazakhs.

The first Russian military expedition to the Kazakh Steppe under Peter the Great.

The first Russian military expedition to Khiva ends in a massacre of Tsarist troops.

The Oyrats defeat the Kazakh Middle Horde north of Lake Balkash.

The Afghans invade Persia, bringing to an end the Safavid dynasty.

Kalmuk and Oyrat raids into northern Transoxiana.

Nadir Qoli Beg (later Nadir Shah) drives the Afghans out of Persia.

The Kazakh Lesser Horde accepts Russian protection.

Nadir Qoli Beg takes Herat.

The founding of the Russian fort at Orenburg.

Nadir Shah takes Ghazna and Kabul and occupies Delhi.

The Kazakh Middle Horde accepts Russian protection.

The invasion and subsequent domination of Transoxiana by Nadir Shah.

Part of the Kazakh Great Horde accepts Russian protection.

The establishment of the Durrani dynasty in Afghanistan.

The Uzbek Mangit dynasty begins to rise to power in the Khanate of Bukhara.

The Chinese defeat the Oyrats in Jungaria.

The Chinese conquer the Tarim Basin, resulting in the Khojas fleeing to Kokand.

The Uzbek Kungrat dynasty begins to rise to power in the Khanate of Khiva (or Khorezm).

Eastern (Chinese) Turkestan is officially renamed "Xinjiang" by the Chinese.

The Chinese attempt to bring the Kazakhs into a vassal relationship.

Some Kalmuks migrate back to Jungaria and the Ili Valley from the Volga.

The Crimean Tatar Khanate is absorbed by Russia.

The Mangits succeed the Astrakhanids as rulers of the Khanate of Bukhara and adopt the title of Emir.

The establishment of the Uzbek Khanate of Kokand.

The Kungrats (in Khiva) adopt the title of Khan.

The Khojas revolt against Chinese rule in Altishahr (the Tarim Basin).

The Khanate of the Kazakh Middle Horde is abolished by Russia.

The Khanate of the Kazakh Lesser Horde is abolished by Russia.

The establishment of the Barakzai (or Mohammadzai) dynasty in Afghanistan.

Kazakh revolts against Russian rule.

Kazakh resistance to Russian rule under Kenesary Kasimov (1802-47).

The First Opium War results in China's defeat at the hands of the European powers.

The First Anglo-Afghan War results in the British capturing Kabul and Qandahar.

The imprisonment and execution of Stoddart and Conolly by Emir Nasrullah of Bukhara.

The revolt of the Six Khojas in Altishahr.

The Khanate of the Kazakh Great Horde is abolished by Russia.

The Taiping Rebellion in China.

The founding of Alma-Ata (then called Fort Vernoe) by the Russians.

Russia is defeated in the Crimean War.

Kazakhstan comes fully under Russian control, who now hold the Syr Darya line (from the Aral Sea to Lake Issyk Kul).

Muslim rebellions in Yunnan and Shaanxi provinces in China.

The Khojas revolt in Altishahr.

The Second Opium War, again resulting in China's defeat.

Yaqub Beg (c. 1820-77) establishes an independent state in Altishahr.

The Russians create the Province of Turkestan.

June 1865
The Russians capture Tashkent.

The Russians create the Governorate-General of Turkestan, with Tashkent as its capital.

The Russians create the Governorate-General of the Kazakh Steppe, with Orenburg as its capital.

May 1868
The Russians capture Samarkand.

June 1868
The Khanate of Bukhara becomes a Russian protectorate.

The Russians establish a fort at Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea.

Russian forces occupy the Ili Valley.

Aug. 1873
The Khanate of Khiva becomes a Russian protectorate.

The Khanate of Kokand is annexed by Russia.

The Chinese begin their reconquest of Xinjiang.

Queen Victoria is proclaimed "Empress of India."

Yaqub Beg dies of poisoning.

Kashgar falls to the Chinese, under Tso Tsung-t'ang.

The Congress of Berlin halts further Russian advancement into Afghanistan.

The Second Anglo-Afghan War.

The Transcaspian Railroad is begun.

Jan. 1881
The Russian slaughter of the Turkmens at the Battle of Gok-Tepe, resulting in the creation of the Transcaspian province.

The Treaty of St. Petersburg between Russia and China results in the return of the Ili Valley to China.

The Russians introduce American cotton into Turkestan.

The Russians occupy the Merv oasis, thus completing the conquest of Turkestan.

Xinjiang officially becomes a Chinese province.

Muslim revolt in the Ferghana Valley against Tsarist rule.

The Trans-Caspian Railroad reaches Mary (Merv).

The border between Afghanistan and Russian Turkestan is determined by the British and the Russians.

The Trans-Caspian Railroad reaches Samarkand.

Mass immigration of Russian and Ukrainian settlers into the Kazakh steppe.

Riots in Tashkent due to a cholera epidemic.

Muslim uprising in Andijan against the Russians.

Russia annexes the eastern Pamirs.

The 1905 Russian Revolution.

The Russo-Japanese War.

The completion of the Orenburg-Tashkent Railroad, linking Turkestan to European Russia.

The founding of the Young Bukharans in Bukhara.

The Republican Revolution in China brings the Qing dynasty to an end.

The founding of the Alash Orda party amongst the Kazakhs.

World War I

Central Asian uprising in protest over conscription into labor units of the Russian army, resulting in the slaughter of many Kazakhs by the Russians.

Mar. 12(Feb. 27),1917
The "February" Revolution in Russia, resulting in the establishment of the Tashkent Committee of the Provisional Government and the Tashkent Soviet of Worker's and Peasant's Deputies.

Apr. 1917
The Bolshevik Party affirms it support of the right of all nations within Russia to separate and form independent states.

Apr. 1917
The First Pan-Kirghiz (Kazakh) Congress in Orenburg.

Apr. 16-23, 1917
The First Central Asian Muslim Congress in Tashkent demands the cessation of Russian colonization and the return of confiscated lands.

May 1-11, 1917
The First Pan-Russian Congress of Muslims in Moscow.

July 21-26, 1917
The Second Kazakh Congress in Orenburg.

Sept. 3, 1917
The Second Central Asian Muslim Congress in Tashkent proposes the creation of an Autonomous Federated Republic of Turkestan.

Nov. 7(Oct. 25), 1917
The Bolshevik "October" Revolution in Russia, resulting in the Tashkent Soviet seizing power from the Tashkent Committee.

Nov. 1917
The White Cossacks, under Ataman Dutov, cut off Central Asia from European Russia.

Nov. 15, 1917
The Third Regional Congress of Soviets in Tashkent decides to exclude Muslims from local government.

Nov. 15, 1917
The Bolshevik Declaration of the right of nations of Russia to secede and the freedom of Muslims to practice Islam.

Nov. 19, 1917
The Bolsheviks in Tashkent create the Council of People's Commissars to rival the Menshevik-dominated Tashkent Soviet.

Nov. 25-27, 1917
The Fourth Central Asian Muslim Congress in Kokand results in the creation of the Muslim Provisional Government of Autonomous Turkestan.

Dec. 5-13, 1917
The Third Kazakh Congress in Orenburg proclaims a Kazakh nationalist government under the leadership of the Alash-Orda in an attempt to halt the spread of Communism into the Kazakh steppe.

Jan. 1918
The Fourth Regional Congress of Soviets in Tashkent declares war on the Kokand Government.

Feb. 18, 1918
The Muslim government in Kokand is crushed by the Tashkent Soviet and the Red Army, resulting in the slaughter of many Muslims.

Feb. 1918-Sept. 1920
The first phase of the Basmachi Revolt.

Mar. 1918
The Russian Civil War begins.

Apr. 1918
The Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) is established.

July 1918
A Russian Social Revolutionary government captures Ashkabad from the Tashkent Soviet and appeals to British forces in Persia for assistance.

Nov. 1918
The Congress of Muslim Communists in Moscow creates a Muslim Bureau within the Russian Communist Party (RCP).

Feb. 1919
British forces withdraw from Ashkabad.

May 1919
The Third Anglo-Afghan War results in the Afghans signing a friendship treaty with the new Soviet regime.

May 1919
The First Conference of Muslim Communists of Central Asia proposes a "Unified Turkestan Soviet Republic."

July 1919
The Third Congress of the Communist Party of Turkestan decides to exclude Muslims from government posts in Turkestan.

Sept. 1919
Red Army troops break Dutov's blockade of Central Asia.

Oct. 1919
The Turkestan Commission is sent by Lenin to take over authority from the Tashkent Soviet.

early 1920
The Reds emerge victorious in the Russian Civil War.

Jan. 15, 1920
The Turkestan Commission proposes the division of Turkestan into separate ethnic republics.

Jan. 20, 1920
The Fifth Congress of the Communist Party of Turkestan proposes a Soviet Republic of Turkic Peoples and a Turkic Red Army.

Feb. 2, 1920
Soviet troops capture Khiva, resulting in the abolition of the Khanate of Khiva and the end of the Kungrat dynasty.

Feb. 1920
The Tashkent Soviet recaptures Ashkabad.

Mar. 1920
The Alash Orda government gives up resistance to the Bolsheviks.

Apr. 4, 1920
The People's Republic of Khorezm (Khiva) is established under the leadership of the Young Khivans.

Aug. 26, 1920
The Kazakh (then called Kirghiz) ASSR is created.

Sept. 1920
Soviet troops capture Bukhara, resulting in the abolition of the Khanate of Bukhara and the end of the Mangit dynasty.

Oct. 6, 1920
The People's Republic of Bukhara is established under the leadership of the Young Bukharans and the Bukharan Communist Party, with Faizullah Khojaev (1896-1938) as chairman and then premier.

The second phase of the Basmachi Revolt.

Jan. 1921
The Muslim Bureau of the RCP is dissolved.

Mar. 14, 1921
The Soviets depose the Young Khivan government of the People's Republic of Khorezm.

Oct. 1921
Enver Pasha (1881-1922) arrives in Bukhara to assist the Soviets and switches allegiance to the Basmachis.

Feb. 1922
The Bukharan Communist Party comes under the control of the RCP.

Aug. 1922
Enver Pasha is killed, resulting in the gradual crumbling of the Basmashi Revolt.

Nov. 1922
The Turkish nationalists, under Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) abolish the Ottoman Sultanate.

Dec. 1922
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is created, with the Turkestan and Kirghiz (Kazakh) ASSRs included as parts of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR).

Mar. 1923
The First Conference of the Turkestan ASSR and the People's Republics of Bukhara and Khorezm establishes the Central Asiatic Economic Council, resulting in the economic and administrative unification of the three republics.

June 1923
Stalin denounces "Sultan Galievism" and the Muslim Communist aspirations for an independent Turkestan.

Oct. 1923
The Republic of Turkey is proclaimed, with Mustafa Kemal as its first president.

Oct. 1923
The Khorezmian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) is established, replacing the People's Republic of Khorezm.

Intermittent Basmachi operations against the Soviets in Turkestan.

Jan. 1924
The death of Lenin and subsequent rise of Stalin to full power in the USSR.

Mar. 1924
Mustafa Kemal abolishes the Ottoman Caliphate.

Sept. 1924
The Bukharan SSR is established, eplacing the People's Republic of Buhkhara.

Oct. 1924
The National Delimitation of Soviet Central Asia results in the abolition of the Turkestan ASSR, the Bukharan SSR, and the Khorezmian SSR and the establishment of the Turkmen SSR, the Uzbek SSR, and the Tajik ASSR (as part of the Uzbek SSR).

Oct. 27, 1924
The Turkmen and Uzbek SSRs are created.

The Sino-Soviet Agreement re-establishes diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Mar. 15, 1925
The Tajik ASSR is created.

Apr. 1925
The "Kirghiz" ASSR is renamed the Kazakh ASSR.

The Baku Turkological Congress proposes the adoption of the Latin script for all Turkic languages in the USSR.

Feb. 1, 1926
The Kirghiz ASSR is created.

Stalin purges the "Trotsky-Zinoviev" opposition.

The liquidation of the Kazakh Alash-Orda party by the Communists and the replacement of Kazakhs by Russians in the republican government.

Soviet anti-Islamic campaign launched, resulting in the disbanding of Islamic courts and waqfs.

The Latin script replaces the Arabic alphabet in Soviet Central Asia.

The forced collectivization of Soviet Central Asians.

Oct. 15, 1929
The Tajik SSR is created.

The completion of the Turkestan-Siberian Railroad.

The Soviets capture the Basmachi leader Ibrahim Beg.

Muslim revolt in Kumul (Hami), Xinjiang. Nov. 1933
The Turkish-Islamic Republic of Eastern Turkestan (TIRET) is established in Kashgar.

Dec. 1933
The beginning of Soviet control of Xinjiang under Governor Sheng Shih-ts'ai.

July 1934
The TIRET falls to Dungan (Chinese Muslim) forces.

The incorporation of the Karakalpak ASSR into the Uzbek SSR.

Dec. 5, 1936
The Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs are created.

The Japanese invasion of China.

Muslim revolt in Kashgar, Xinjiang, resulting in Soviet military intervention.

Stalin purges the Muslim Communist leaders.

Mar. 1938
The execution of Uzbek Communist leaders Faizullah Khojaev and Akmal Ikramov.

World War II

The Cyrillic script replaces the Latin Alphabet in Soviet Central Asia.

June 1941
Hitler invades the USSR.

Sheng Shih-ts'ai breaks with the Soviets and realigns Xinjiang with Nationalist China.

The Soviet government grants Islam official legal status in the USSR and establishes the four Spiritual Directorates.

Xinjiang again comes under the control of the Chinese Republican government.

The forced evacuation of Crimean Tatars, Meskhetian Turks, and other Caucasian Muslims to Soviet Central Asia.

Muslim revolt in Ili, Xinjiang.

Nov. 1944
The Eastern Turkestan Republic is established in Ili.

Civil War in China between the Communists and the Nationalists.

June 1946
The ETR disbands as a result of a treaty with Nationalist China.

The partition of British India and independence of India and Pakistan.

Oct. 1, 1949
The People's Republic of China (PRC) is established.

Mar. 1953
The death of Stalin and subsequent rise of Khrushchev.

The establishment of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China.

The Great Leap Forward in the PRC.

Oct. 1961
The 22nd Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Party Congress, at which the concepts of sblizhenie and sliianie are introduced.

Mass exodus of Kazakhs from Xinjiang to Soviet Central Asia.

Border clashes between Chinese and Indian forces in Kashmir.

The Sino-Soviet rift comes out into the open.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the PRC.

A military coup in Afghanistan abolishes the monarchy and establishes Muhammad Daud Khan as prime minister of the Republic of Afghanistan.

The death of Mao Tse-tung.

The rise of Deng Xiao-ping.

Apr. 1978
A Communist-backed coup in Afghanistan results in the assassination of Daud Khan and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

Jan.-Feb. 1979
The Islamic Revolution in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini.

Apr. 1, 1979
Khomeini declares Iran an Islamic Republic.

Dec. 1979
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan props up the Afghan regime in its battle against the mujehaddin.

The Iran-Iraq War.

Jan. 1985
Anti-Russian riots in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Mar. 1985
Mikhail Gorbachev is appointed as General Secretary of the CPSU.

The 27th CPSU Party Congress approves the policies of perestroika and glasnost.

Dec. 17-18, 1986
Anti-Russian riots in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan.

Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

Feb. 1989
Anti-Russian riots in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

June 1989
Ethnic violence in Uzbekistan between Uzbeks and Meskhetian Turks.

June 1989
Riots in Novyi 'Uzen, Kazakhstan.

June 4, 1989
The Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing.

Feb. 1990
Ethnic riots in Tajikistan.

Summer 1991
The breakup of the Soviet Union and the subsequent declarations of independence by the Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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© Mark Dickens 1995