The Republic of Karakalpakstan, or Karakalpakia (Uzbek Qoraqalpog’iston Respublikasi, Karakalp. Qaraqalpaqstan Respublikası / Karakalpakstan Respublikasi) is a republic within the Republic of Uzbekistan. The capital and largest city is Nukus. The largest region of Uzbekistan in terms of area – […]
The Republic of Karakalpakstan, or Karakalpakia (Uzbek Qoraqalpog’iston Respublikasi, Karakalp. Qaraqalpaqstan Respublikası / Karakalpakstan Respublikasi) is a republic within the Republic of Uzbekistan. The capital and largest city is Nukus. The largest region of Uzbekistan in terms of area – (or 40% of the territory of Uzbekistan). The population at the beginning of 2020 is approximately 1 million 910 thousand people. There are two official languages in the republic – Karakalpak and Uzbek.
The Khorezm culture influenced the formation of the state and monetary system of the Oghuz state, which was formed in the first half of the 9th century. The inscriptions on the Oghuz coins belonged to the Khorezm alphabet.
In the 10th century, a new flourishing of the city life of Khorezm begins. Arab sources paint a picture of the exceptional economic activity of Khorezm in the 10th century, with the surrounding steppes of Turkmenistan, western Kazakhstan, as well as the Volga region – Khazaria and Bulgaria, and the vast Slavic world of Eastern Europe becoming the arena for the activities of Khorezm merchants.
In 1218, Genghis Khan sent an embassy to Khorezm with a proposal for an alliance. Khorezmshah Ala ad-Din Muhammad II refused to make a deal with the “infidels” and, at the suggestion of the ruler of Otrar, Kayir Khan, executed the merchant ambassadors. Genghis Khan demanded the extradition of Kaiyr Khan, but Muhammad refused to extradite his mother’s cousin and again executed one of the participants in the next Mongolian embassy. In the spring of 1219, without completing the conquest of China, Genghis Khan sent an army of 200,000 to Khorezm. Khorezmshah did not dare to give a general battle, leaving his army scattered in separate detachments in the cities and fortresses of the entire state. One after another, under the onslaught of the Mongols, all the large Khorezm cities fell. All of them were destroyed, and many Khorezmians were destroyed.
The history of the Karakalpak people begins with the Nogai Khanate, formed at the end of the XIV century under the leadership of Idigu (Edygei), the leader of the Nogays (Mangyts). After the death of Idigu in 1419, the struggle for the throne intensified, and the khanate was losing its strength. In the second half of the 16th century, the Nogai Khanate is divided into three parts – the Horde of six uluses, the Small Horde and the Big Horde.
Monument to the Karakalpak classic Ajiniyaz.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Nogais were defeated by the Kalmyks, who seized the regions of the Volga and Yaik. The Nogays were forced to move to the Crimea, and the Karakalpaks, who were part of the Horde of six uluses, went to the Aral Sea region on the banks of the Syr Darya and settled there. In the public life of the Karakalpaks, an important role was assigned to beks and batyrs (military leaders). The beks were the leaders of the Karakalpak clans: they solved problems related to law and economy.
In the 16th century, the Khiva Khanate was created, which, along with the Bukhara Khanate (Bukhara Emirate) and the Kokand Khanate, was one of the three Uzbek khanates in Central Asia.
In 1512, a dynasty of Uzbeks, who had fallen away from the Shibanids, stood at the head of an independent khanate in Khorezm. In the 16th-17th centuries, the Karakalpaks were subordinated to either the Bukhara khan or the Khiva khans. The reign of the famous khan-historian Abulgazi (1643-1663) and his son and heir Anush-khan were periods of relative political stability and economic progress. Large-scale irrigation works were undertaken, and new irrigated land was divided between Uzbek tribes, who became more and more sedentary. Khorezm, due to the scarcity of its own economic resources, waged wars with Bukhara and the Safavids, and the Turkmen of the state raided Khorasan.
The last representative of the Shibanid-Arabshahid dynasty who ruled in Khorezm was Ilbars Khan II, who was killed by Nadir Shah in 1740.
By the beginning of the 18th century, the Karakalpaks living on the banks of the Syr Darya were striving for unification, in which Kuchukhan, the Taburchak and Chaib sultans played an important role. As a result, the Syr Darya Karakalpaks led by Eshmukhammad (Echkimkhan) united into the Karakalpak Khanate. The borders of this state passed along the upper course of the Syr Darya. The state also coexisted with the Kalmyks of the Volga region, the Bashkir ulus and the Kazakh Younger Zhuz. In 1723, when the Kalmyks captured the middle part of the Syr Darya, the Karakalpaks were again forced to flee and divided into two groups.
The first group went to the upper course of the Syrdarya towards Tashkent, and the second group settled along the lower course of the Syrdarya. Thus, the Karakalpaks were divided into “upper” and “lower”.
The lower Karakalpaks settled on vacant lands between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya and engaged in agriculture here, irrigating them with waters from the Kuvandarya.
In the 17th-18th centuries, the main political force in the Khiva Khanate was made up of the Uzbek tribes: Kungrats (Uzbeks), Naimans, Kiyats, Mangyts, Nukuz, Kangly and Kipchaks. In the struggle for power in the second half of the 18th century, the Uzbek tribe Kungrat won.
In 1763, a representative of the Uzbek clan Kungrat Muhammad Amin, who had the title of Inak, came to power in Khorezm (in Russian historiography it was called the Khiva Khanate).
Muhammad Amin pursued a policy of restoring the country’s economy after a severe crisis in the middle of the 18th century. During his reign, large irrigation works were carried out in Khorezm. Pursuing a tough domestic policy, although at first he experienced great difficulties and setbacks, he was gradually able to establish relative peace and political stability in the state. According to the historian Agakhi, Muhammad Amin allowed a large group of Karakalpaks to settle within the state.
He was able to prevent two invasions: from the Bukhara Emirate in 1782 and from the nomadic Turkmen tribes in 1770. In 1790, a representative of the Uzbek clan of the Kungrat, the son of Muhammad Amin-biy inak Avaz inak, came to power in Khorezm (in Russian historiography it was called the Khiva Khanate).
Avaz continued his policy to restore the country’s economy. During his reign, large irrigation works were carried out in Khorezm. The state maintained relative peace and political stability.
Avaz inak had to fight with the Aral tribes, who constantly rebelled against the Khiva rule. In 1793, the uprising was led by the brothers Khoja Murad Sufi and Tyura Murad Sufi (descendants of the Uzbek Kungrat clan, to which the Khiva rulers also belonged). The uprising was suppressed, but the Aral tribes were finally subdued only during the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan I (1806-1825 ).
To strengthen and develop statehood, Muhammad Rahim Khan I carried out a number of important reforms in the country. To improve the governance of the country, a supreme council was established at the court, the opinion of which was taken into account by the khan. A new tax reform was carried out, customs affairs were streamlined. Muhammad Rahim Khan I was the first of the Kungrat rulers to issue silver and gold coins.
During the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan I, the centralization of the state increased. He ended the struggle for “gathering” the lands around Khiva. In 1808-1809 a campaign was made against the Chovdurs. In 1811, the Aral tribes were finally conquered. In 1812-1813, the Kazakhs of the lower reaches of the Syr Darya were conquered. In the 1820s, Merv was conquered.
Muhammad Rahim Khan I continued the policy of restoring the country’s economy. During his reign, large irrigation works were carried out in Khorezm.
During the rule of Allakuli Khan, the policy of strengthening the centralization of the state continued. In 1828, the uprising of the Saryk tribes was suppressed. Allakuli Khan continued his policy to restore the country’s economy. During his reign, large irrigation works were carried out in Khorezm. In 1830-1831 a canal was built to Kunya-Urgench.
Allakuli Khan was keenly interested in events in the world and studied foreign languages. Unlike all the Central Asian rulers of his day, he read and wrote freely in Russian.
Allakuli Khan, in alliance with the Kokand Khanate, repeatedly attacked the Bukhara Emirate. He made five campaigns to Khorasan. In 1845, after the death of Rakhimkulikhan (1842-1845), his brother Muhammad Amin Khan came to power in the Khiva Khanate.
During the reign of Muhammad Amin Khan (1845-1855), the efforts of the central government to pacify the nomadic tribes met with some success. Muhammad Amin Khan undertook more than 10 campaigns to Merv and Khorasan.
During the reign of Muhammad Amin Khan, diplomatic relations were maintained with Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and Afghanistan.
In December 1846, the envoys of Khiva, Klych Niyazmukhammedov and Shukrullabay Miskinov, arrived in Orenburg. On March 9, 1847, they arrived in St. Petersburg. The ambassadors raised the question of demolishing the Raim fortification, built by Russia near the mouth of the Syr Darya, to which Nicholas I refused. The years 1847-1848 were spent in small military clashes between the Khiva detachments and the tsarist military units. Failing to achieve success, Muhammad Amin Khan again switched to a peaceful solution to the issue. In 1850, Khiva’s ambassador Khoja Mehrem Allaberdyev visited St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, all negotiations on strengthening ended in nothing.
In 1855, the Khiva ruler Muhammad Amin Khan died tragically in the battle near Serakhs. After his death, power in Khorezm passed to Abdullah Khan (1855), who, however, six months later also died in the struggle against nomadic tribes. Then Kutlug Murad Khan ascended the throne. He was killed in an assassination attempt.
In 1856, after his death, the son of Muhammad Rahim Khan I Said Muhammad Khan (1856-1864) came to power in the Khiva Khanate. He brought order to the state and prevented the attacks of nomadic tribes.
During the reign of Said Muhammad Khan, diplomatic relations were maintained with Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and Afghanistan. In 1863, Said Muhammad Khan received the famous traveler Arminius Vamberi.
In 1864, after the death of his father, Said Muhammad Khan, Muhammad Rahim Khan II came to power.
He was an educated ruler, in his youth he studied at the Arab Muhammad Khan madrasah in Khiva. One of his teachers was the outstanding Uzbek poet, historian Agakhi.
During the reign of Muhammad Rahim Khan II, diplomatic relations were maintained with Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Iran, and Afghanistan. Muhammad Rahim Khan II was the last independent khan of Khorezm. In 1873, despite resistance, the khanate found itself under the protectorate of Russia. Lieutenant general from 1896, cavalry general from 1904. Emperor Nicholas II in 1902 bestowed the title of “Lordship” on the Khan.
Until 1873 – as part of the Khiva Khanate, then – in the Amu Darya department of the Syrdarya region.
After the establishment of Soviet power in 1918, it became part of the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic and the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.Share this tour
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