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Bukhara

BUKHARA

Established in the sixteenth century, the Bukharan khanate maintained commercial and diplomatic contact with Russia. Territorial conflicts with neighboring Khiva and Kokand prevented formation of a united front against Russia's encroachment in the mid-nineteenth century.

War from 1866 to 1868 ended with Russia's occupation of the middle Zarafshan River valley, including Samarkand, and the grant of trading privileges to Russian merchants. The 1873 treaty opened the Amu Darya to Russian ships; pledged the emir to extradite fugitive Russians and abolish the slave trade; and ceded Samarkand, leaving Russia in control of the water supply of the lower Zarafshan, including that of the capital.

Bukhara as a Russian protectorate was slightly larger than Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with a population of two and a half to three million. Urban residents comprised 10 to 14 percent of the total; the largest town was the capital, with population of 70,000 to 100,000. The dominant ethnic group was the Uzbeks (5560%), followed by the Tajiks (30%) and the Turkmen (510%). Bukhara was ruled by an hereditary autocratic emir. Muzaffar ad-Din (18601885) was succeeded by his son Abd al-Ahad (18851910) and the latter's son Alim (19101920).

In reducing Bukhara to a wholly dependent but internally self-governing polity, Russia aimed to acquire a stable frontier in Central Asia, to prevent Britain alone from filling the political vacuum between the two empires, and to avoid the burdens of direct rule. This policy succeeded for half a century. After 1868 no emir contemplated using his army against his protector; in 1873 Britain and Russia recognized the Amu Darya as separating a Russian sphere of influence (Bukhara) from a British sphere (Afghanistan); and the emirs maintained sufficient domestic order.

Russia's impact increased over the years. In the mid-1880s Bukhara's capital was connected by telegraph with Tashkent; a Russian political agency was established; and the Central Asian Railroad was built across the khanate. In the latter part of the 1880s three Russian urban enclaves, and a fourth at the turn of the century, were established; by the eve of World War I they contained from thirty-five to forty thousand civilians and soldiers. In 1895 the khanate was included in Russia's customs frontier, and Russian troops and customs officials were stationed along the border with Afghanistan.

Russo-Bukharan trade increased sixfold from the coming of the railroad to 1913. Production of cotton, which represented three-fourths of the value of Bukhara's exports to Russia, expanded two and a half times between the mid-1880s and the early 1890s, grew slowly thereafter, but doubled during World War I. Unlike Turkestan, the khanate remained self-sufficient in foodstuffs.

After the fall of the tsarist regime, Emir Alim resisted pressure for reforms from the Provisional Government and the Bukharan Djadids (modernizers). With the Bolsheviks in control of the railroad, the Russian enclaves, and the water supply of his capital from December 1917, the emir maintained strained but correct relations with the Soviet government during the Russian civil war.

In the late summer of 1920 the Red Army over-threw Alim. A Bukharan People's Soviet Republic, led by Djadids, was proclaimed. Russia renounced its former rights, privileges, and property in Bukhara, but controlled the latter's military and economic affairs. The Djadids were purged in 1923, and the following year the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic was divided along ethnic lines between the newly formed Uzbek and Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republics.

See also: central asia; khiva; nationalities policies, soviet; nationalities policies, tsarist; turkmenistan and turkmen; uzbekistan and uzbeks

bibliography

Becker, Seymour. (1968). Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 18651924. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Seymour Becker

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Bukhara, emirate of

emirate of Bukhara, former state, central Asia, in Turkistan, in the Amu Darya River basin. Part of ancient Sogdiana, it was ruled (AD 709–874) by the Umayyad Arabs and played an important role under the Samanid dynasties (875–1000). It was a trade, transport, and cultural center of the Islamic world. The Seljuk Turks ruled from 1004 to 1133; later, the realm was conquered by Jenghiz Khan (1220) and in the 14th cent. by Timur. The Timurid dynasties ruled until the invasion of Uzbek tribes early in the 16th cent. The Bukhara emirate was founded by the Uzbek Khan Sheybani, who between 1500 and 1507 conquered the Timurid domains in Transoxania. In 1555, Abdullah Khan transferred the capital from Samarkand to Bukhara, from which the state then took its name. Internal feuds weakened Bukhara, it split into a number of principalities, and in 1740 it was conquered by Nadir Shah of Persia. In 1753, Bukhara again became an independent emirate but did not recover its supremacy over Khwarazm, Merv, Badakhshan, Tashkent, and the Fergana Valley. Bukhara's population consisted principally of Uzbeks (who remained politically dominant), Sarts, and Tajiks. Defeated by Russia in 1866, the emirate became a Russian protectorate in 1868. In 1920, after a prolonged battle with Bolshevik forces, the last emir was driven into Afghanistan. The Bukhara People's Soviet Republic was established (1920) and lasted until 1924. In the same year it was proclaimed a socialist republic and was included in the USSR; a few months later, however, it was dismembered and divided between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

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