Already from older Palaeolithic there are finds (Karatau). During the Neolithic, herdsmen and farmers established themselves in the area. Most of Kazakhstan was covered by the Andronovo culture during the Bronze Age. The economy was differentiated during the Iron Age: on the one hand, nomadic livestock management played an increasingly important role, and on the other, irrigation agriculture was further developed. Most of Kazakhstan was inhabited at this time by things (Asian shoots), and as a stage part of the Silk Road, the area contributed to the contacts between the Hankei Empire in China and the Roman Empire.
Despite the archaeological finds in Kazakhstan from the time before Kr.f. it is not possible to trace the complex ethnic history of the Kazakhs further back than to the Middle Ages and to the nomadic tribes that lived on the plains of Turkestan, dominated by the Mongolian Golden Horde. In the 15th century, the tribes were united into a political unit from which the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct ethnic group. Eventually, the Kazakhs were divided into three different khanas, the Great, Middle and Little Hordes, a distinction that is still essential to the Kazakh identity. Repeated attacks by other nomadic tribes in the 18th century led the Kazakh khanates to seek protection from the Russian tsar. Gradually, Russia’s influence increased at the expense of the Khan by adding governors, levying taxes and establishing border towns. Increased influence of Russian peasants after the cessation of life in 1861 and increasingly harsh administrative orders gave rise to Kazakh revolts, which were defeated by the Russian Empire and its militarily superior Cossack regimes.
In 1868 Kazakhstan was declared a part of Russia. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Kazakhstan. The Russian rulers, who called the Kazakhs “Kyrgyz” in order to linguistically distinguish them from the Cossacks, began a rapid modernization of Kazakhstan, which included the extraction of metals and oil, the construction of railways and the emigration of Russians. Following the decision, a general Kazakh dissatisfaction with the tsar power increased that the empire’s non-Russians would also be mobilized as soldiers in the First World War. A revolt in Kazakhstan demanded 150,000 deaths in 1916 before it could be temporarily defeated. The Russian February Revolution of 1917 aroused a Kazakh national movement and revived the bloody, mainly ethnic conflict. Neither did the October Revolution of the same year lead to peace, but the contradictions between the anti-Bolshevik Kazakhs and the Russian Bolsheviks lasted until 1919, when Lenin, with the help of the Red Army, could harm the Kazakh nationalists and hand over power to a so-called revolutionary committee. A large number of Kazakhs fled across the border to China.
A Kazakh autonomous republic within Russia was created in August 1920. In 1936, Kazakhstan gained the status of an independent Soviet republic. The Soviet power accelerated modernization, including by completing Turksib, a railway that connected Central Asia with the Trans-Siberian railway. The collectivization of agriculture took a long time to implement because of the yet nomadic society. During World War II, several Soviet people were relocated to the sparsely populated Kazakhstan, including Crimean Tatars and Vulgate Germans. Oppositions between Kazakhs and immigrants worried Moscow, which sought to stabilize the situation, among other things, by placing Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary in Kazakhstan in the mid-1950s. In 1954, the erosion of 25 million hectares of “virgin soil” for grain production in northern Kazakhstan began, with severe erosion problems as a result.
The riots broke out in Alma-Ata in December 1986 as a result of the appointment of a Russian to succeed a corrupt Kazakh as party leader in Kazakhstan. The incident, the first in a series of national conflicts that shook the Soviet Union during Gorbachev’s reform period, once again aroused the Kazakh national movement. Ethnic conflicts between Kazakhs and Russians haunted Kazakhstan in 1989. The Kazakhs’ national struggle against the Russian-dominated Soviet power concerned the colonial economy, the privileged position of Russian language and Russian culture, and the nuclear weapons tests in Semipalatinsk. Through the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan became an independent state in December 1991. In the new state, Nursultan Nazarbayev (President 1991-2019) has had a strong personal power.
Nazarbayev was the last leader of the Soviet Communist Party in Kazakhstan. He was also one of the most eager advocates for continued cooperation between the former Soviet republics. That is why Kazakhstan declared itself the last Soviet republic in December 1991. Nazarbayev was elected president the same month. He had then gained popularity among the population because he was seen as a bridge between the two dominant population groups, Kazakhs and Russians.
In November 1997, the capital was moved from Alma-Ata to Astana in northern Kazakhstan, which then had a large Russian population. The reason was that President Nazarbayev wanted a capital that had better rail communications with all regions and where most major cities could be reached within an hour by air.
After being re-elected several times, Nazarbayev surprisingly resigned from the presidential post in March 2019. He was succeeded by the Senate Speaker, the former Prime Minister Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, who then won in the June presidential election.