Early to modern times
Remains of human settlement have been found in the
vastness of Kazakhstan since the Paleolithic Age.
However, the country's history does not begin until the
end of the 5th century AD, when the local nomads came
under the rule of Turkic peoples. In the 10th century,
Kazakhstan became part of the Karachanid Empire, a
Turkish dynasty that ruled the region from the 9th
century. At the beginning of the 13th century, Mongols
conquered the country under the leadership of Genghis
Khan and established the empire of the Golden Horde,
which also encompassed large parts of Siberia until the
beginning of the 15th century. When the power of the
Mongol Empire vanished, the Kazakhs managed toto break
away from the Uzbek khanate (this means Muslim
principalities as successors to the Mongol Empire) and
to found their own khanate from three hordes: the small
horde in the west, the large horde in the east and the
medium horde in the center of Kazakhstan. Shortly
afterwards, the first state formation took place under
the khanate of Kasim Khan.
However, repeated raids by invading Mongols
eventually led to individual Kazakh leaders coming under
Russian protection in the middle of the 18th century,
which over the years put the entire country under
Tsarist rule and communist era
In 1868 Kazakhstan was annexed to the Russian Empire.
An uprising in 1916 was bloodily suppressed and from
1917 the planned industrialization of the country began
by the Russians, who soon - attracted by well-paid jobs
- provided almost half of the population. In 1920 the
Kyrgyz ASSR (autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) was
formed and in 1924 the areas of Syrdarja and the
Siebenstromland were added. In 1925 the country was
renamed the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Republic (ASSR).
Comprehensive collectivization in agriculture should
make the nomadic Kazakh people sedentary (also with the
help of coercive measures). Many Kazakhs fled to
neighboring China or slaughtered their cattle, which led
to severe famines in the early 1930s.In 1936, the Kazakh
Republic became a full member of the Soviet Union.
During the Second World War,
In 1954, a large-scale campaign to redevelop
agricultural land began under the Soviet President
Khrushchev. As part of these measures, numerous Russian
and other immigrants mostly came to Kazakhstan as forced
settlers and made the residents a minority in their own
country. At the same time, a nuclear test site of the
Soviet Union was founded in Kazakhstan, on which more
than 500 above-ground and underground nuclear weapons
tests were carried out from 1949.
In 1990 Kazakhstan declared sovereignty within the
USSR. According to AbbreviationFinder, Nursultan Ä. Nazarbayev became head of state.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan
declared independence in December 1991.
The nuclear weapons in the country were scrapped and
the nuclear test site near Semipalatinsk was closed.
Despite independence, the close economic ties with
Russia remained. A non-aggression pact with Russia,
China, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has been concluded and
troops at the borders have been reduced. In May 2001,
Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and
Kazakhstan concluded a security pact and set up a joint
Nazarbayev had been confirmed as head of state after
independence; 1995 re-election. The President's powers
were expanded by the new constitution of September 1995.
Nazarbayev tried to make the country economically
independent by privatizing the large state-owned
companies. At his initiative, the capital was moved from
Almaty to Astana in 1997. In 1999 he won another
landslide in the presidential election; however, the
OSCE expressed great doubts as to its legality, as the
most promising challenger had been excluded from the
candidacy because of an alleged violation of the
electoral law. The presidential elections in 2005 and
2011 (Nazarbayev was reaffirmed) also only partially met
the standards of the OSCE. The murder of opposition
politician Altynbek Sarsenbajew caused a sensation in
In his foreign policy, Nazarbayev tries to balance
cooperation with the West while maintaining good
relations with Russia. In domestic politics, he manages
to convert the wealth of resources into increasing
prosperity, at least in the cities. However, political
reforms are neglected and only a small elite benefits
from gas and oil resources. The human rights
organization Amnesty International has reported torture
in police custody and systematic repression of political
opponents in Kazakhstan.