History of Kyrgyzstan


     The territory of Kyrgyzstan as well as the entire Central Asia is regarded as one of the most ancient centres of human civilization. Archaeological studies proved the primitive human (homo habilis) was mastering this region as long time back as in Stone Age. Ancient Kyrgyz people – the ethnos known in the Central Asia since first millennium BC - have carried their ethnic self-name on through millenniums to our days.

First state formations had appeared on the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan in the second century BC when agricultural regions of the South Kyrgyzstan had been made part of the ancient state of Parkana.

In the 4-3cc BC, ancient Kyrgyz tribes were part of a powerful nomadic tribal union (Huns) seriously threatening China. It was then when construction of the Great Wall of China started. In the 2-1cc BC, some part of the Kyrgyz tribes, escaping the authority of Huns (Hunnu), moved on to the banks of the Yenisey river in Siberia ("Ene-say" in Kyrgyz language means "Mother-river") and the Baikal lake ("Bay-kel" in Kyrgyz means "Rich-lake"). It was at that area where Kyrgyz had obtained their first ever statehood - the Kyrgyz Khanate, which then became a centre of consolidation and cultural development of Kyrgyz people. It was at that time when Kyrgyz’s first ever written language, based on runic script, had been created and been preserved to our days in the ancient stony monuments.

Later the Kyrgyz state had fallen under the blows of foreign conquerors that brought about loss of the Kyrgyz written language but did not affect memory of the nation. Unprecedented by its scale, the ancient epic poem "Manas" is a real authentic encyclopaedia incorporating events of history of Kyrgyz, priceless information on Kyrgyz society and public life as well as old-time traditions, customs and way of life of Kyrgyz people.

In the 5thc AD, nomadic tribes of the Northern Kyrgyzstan began transiting to sedentary lifestyle. First written sources witnessing to the fact that Tian Shan was inhabited by Kyrgyz tribes belong to the 10th c. AD. Well known are scenic Antiquity-time petrogliphs of Saymaly-Tash. The unique stone drawings speak to the high level of civilization and culture of Kyrgyz of that time. Hitherto, notorious Burana Tower and unique Uzgen architectural complex catch imagination of a traveller to witness high skills of medieval architects and builders.

From the middle of the … century to the beginning of the 10th c. AD territory of the Great Kyrgyz Khanate was including regions of South Siberia, Mongolia, Baikal, upper reaches of Irtysh river, part of Kashgar, Issyk-Kul lake area and Talas river valley. The period of blooming of the Kyrgyz state was marked not only by conquests but also by intensive international trade with Chinese, Tibetans, peoples of the South Siberia and Central Asia. It was then when Kyrgyz, having gained a victory over the Uyghur Khanate, have for the first time entered to the territory of Tian Shan. However, in the 10th c AD remaining under the Kyrgyz control were only South Siberia, Altai and South-West Mongolia.

In the 11th-12th cc AD, the Kyrgyz lands grew shorter to include only Altai and Sayan mountains. At the same time, scattered over enormous territory, Kyrgyz tribes took active part in multiple events that enriched history of the Central Asia. Kyrgyz not only were able to preserve their ethnic identity but also to play a role of a centre of attraction to other ethnic groups.

The final stage of the Kyrgyz ethnogeny is connected with Mongolian, Oyrat (Kalmak), Nayman and other Central Asian peoples. From 13thc AD, Kyrgyz had to wage bloody wars for independence from different conquerors.
In the second half of the 15th c., on the territory of the present-day Kyrgyzstan, as a result of unification of Kyrgyz tribes, for the first time independent Kyrgyz Khanate was formed to include in its confines majority of the Kyrgyz tribes. Thus Kyrgyz nation has formed.

Big importance Kyrgyzstan played on the Great Silk Road. The city of Osh - a main city of the south of the modern Kyrgyzstan - for many millenniums, because of its favourable geographical location, was a transit city of the Fergana branch of the Great Silk Road. Inhabitants of Osh serviced travellers and merchants and their caravans. As a suitable place for trading and exchanging goods, Osh also attracted traders, craftsmen, cattle-breeders and tiller.

In 1863, Northern Kyrgyzstan has become part of Russian empire, and in 1876 same happened to the Southern Kyrgyzstan. After the victory of the Bolshevik’s October revolution of 1917, Kyrgyz people as all other people of the former tsarist Russia has become part of the Soviet Republic.

In 1918, Soviet power was established on the territory of Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyzstan made part of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). However, Kyrgyzstan has obtained its own statehood only six years later when, in Moscow, the 2nd session of the VTSIK (Central All-Soviet Executive Committee) on 14th October 1924 has approved of the Resolution issued by TSIK (Central Executive Committee) of the Turkestan ASSR “On national delimitation of Soviet republics of Central Asia” and the Kara-Kyrgyz (since 25th May 1925 - Kyrgyz) Autonomous Province as part of the Russian Soviet Federation (RSFSR) was constituted to be then, on 1st February 1926, reorganised to Kyrgyz ASSR and, on 5th December 1936, - to Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic.

Their national independence and national sovereignty Kyrgyz people have achieved, in a peaceful way, after disintegration of the Soviet Union. In October 1990, at a session of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic a decision has been taken as to rename the Kyrgyz SSR to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. On 15th December 15, 1990 the Supreme Soviet has passed “Declaration on Sovereignty of the Kyrgyz Republic” and on 31st August, 1991 – “Declaration of Independence of Kyrgyzstan”. Thus, the day of 31st August in Kyrgyzstan has become and is celebrated as Independence Day.

5th May 1993, first Constitution of independent Kyrgyz Republic was passed. 10th May 1993 Kyrgyzstan has introduced its own national currency - Som.

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