History in UzbekistanEdit This
Located in the heart of Central Asia between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers Uzbekistan has a long and interesting heritage. The leading cities of the famous Silk Road-- Samarkand Bukhara and Khiva--are located in Uzbekistan and many famous conquerors passed through the land. Alexander the Great stopped near Samarkand on his way to India in 327 B.C. and married Roxanna daughter of a local chieftain. Conquered by Muslim Arabs in the eigth century A.D. the indigenous Samanid dynasty established an empire in the 9th century. Its territory was overrun by Genghis Khan and his Mongols in 1220. In the 1300's Timur known in the west as Tamerlane built an empire with its capital at Samarkand. Uzbekistan's most noted tourist sights date from the Timurid dynasty. Later separate Muslim city-states emerged with strong ties to Persia.
Russian trade with this region grew during the 16th and 17th centuries and in 1865 Russia occupied Tashkent. By the end of the 19th century Russia has conquered all of Central Asia. During this time hostilities between Russia and Great Britain were prevented by Afghanistan which served as a buffer state between the two empires and through an agreement that East Turkestan was to be under Chinese rule.
In 1876 the Russians dissolved the Khanate of Kokand while allowing the Khanates of Khiva and Bukhara to remain as direct protectorates. Russia placed the rest of Central Asia under colonial administration and invested in the development of Central Asia's infrastructure promoting cotton growing and encouraging settlement by Russian colonists.
In 1924 following the establishment of Soviet power the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan was founded from the territories of the Khanates of Bukhara and Khiva and portions of the Fergana Valley that had constituted the Khanate of Kokand.
Due to the Soviet policy of cutting across existing ethnic and linguistic lines , most of Tajiks live outside border of what is known as Tajikistan today.The largest number of Tajiks are living in Uzbekistan, where the majority of Tajiks are forced to be registered as Uzbeks (the Tajiks on the official Uzbeki data, make about 4% of the population of this republic), but the real number of Tajiks living in Uzbekistan believed to be nearly 42 percent (11-14 millions) of the population.
Tajiks in Uzbekistan are settled in the valleys of rivers Zerafshan, Shirbadarya, Fergana valley (all around: Chust, Kasansoy, Marghilan), Sorkh ( to the south from Kokand ) , Jizzakh province, on the right inflows of the river Surkhandarya, Chorvok area, in the upper Kashkadarya, Burjmolla, Sukh enclave, Khiva and other areas. Tajiks are the majority of population in cities Samarkand and Bukhara .During the Soviet era Moscow used Uzbekistan for its tremendous cotton-growing and natural resource potential. The inefficient irrigation used to support the former has been the main cause of shrinkage of the Aral Sea to half its former volume making this one of the world's most important environmental disasters.
Uzbekistan declared independence on September 1 1991. Islam Karimov former First Secretary of the Communist Party was elected President in December 1991 with 88% of the vote; however the election was not viewed as free or fair by foreign observers. Most government leaders are former Soviet or Communist officials; the dominant political party the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan is the former Communist Party.