The first people began to appear in these places about 300 thousand years ago. Starting from the 2nd millennium BC. nomadic pastoralism and irrigated agriculture became the main occupations of the locals. At the end of the 1st millennium BC. the nomadic Iranian tribes of the Saks came here, and later the Turkic-speaking Huns. The first large states arose on the territory of modern Kazakhstan in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC, these were the Kangyuy state (on the Syr Darya River) and the Usun tribal union (in Semirechye). Starting from the 6th century AD. on the territory of modern Kazakhstan, the Turkic peoples created many states as part of a single Turkic Khaganate, which dominated from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean. In the southern part of the kaganate, one of the branches of the Great Silk Road passed, connecting the West with the East. These lands were called Turkestan. In the 8th century, Turkestan and other southern territories fell under the rule of the Arab Caliphate, from that time Islam and the Arabic language began to spread here. Approximately in the 9th-10th centuries, two new Turkic states appeared on the territory of modern Kazakhstan: in the south and east – Karakhanid, and in the west – Oguz. The Oguz state was forced out by the Kipchak tribes, this part of Kazakhstan is still called the Kipchak steppe at the present time. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Kazakhstan.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the Kazakh states were conquered by the Mongols led by Genghis Khan, most of these lands later became part of the Golden Horde, whose dominant religion was Islam. In 1391, after the defeat of the Golden Horde by Emir Timur, it broke up into the western (White) Ak-Orda and the eastern (Blue) Kok-Orda. The weakening of the power of the Mongol khans allowed the Kazakh sultans Zhanibek and Kerrey to form the Kazakh Khanate in the middle of the 15th century. The people who followed the sultans began to be called Kazakhs, that is, “free”.
The main enemies of the Kazakhs since the formation of the Kazakh Khanate were the eastern Mongolian tribes, especially the Dzungars. The Kazakhs could not resist strong “neighbors” and began to seek support from the Russian Empire. In 1731, one of the Kazakh khans took the oath of allegiance to Russia. The Kazakh lands had a favorable geopolitical position, which is why the Russian Empire gradually began to annex these territories. In the Kazakh Khanate, the khan’s power was liquidated, and the authorities actively agitated Russian peasants and Cossacks to move to these lands. However, the local population was against the Russian expansion, the Russian punitive troops more than once had to pacify the uprisings of the Kazakhs. Despite this, by the middle of the 19th century, all the lands of the Kazakh Khanate were annexed to Russia.
During the October Revolution, when Emperor Nicholas II abdicated the throne, the leaders of the Kazakh intelligentsia united in the Alash party, whose main goal was to create a democratic Kazakh republic. However, as a result of numerous battles, with the support of the Red Army, by 1920, Soviet power was still established in the Kazakh regions. These territories became part of the Kyrgyz Autonomous Republic, which in 1925 was renamed the Kazakh Autonomous Republic. In 1936, the Kazakh ASSR was transformed into a union republic within the USSR – the Kazakh SSR. The Soviet government pursued a tough policy towards the local population: nomadic Kazakhs were forced to switch to a sedentary lifestyle and join collective farms, their land and livestock were taken away. Also at the end of the 30s, many concentration camps were built in the Kazakh SSR, the republic became a place of exile for Poles from Western Ukraine and Belarus, Koreans from Primorye and Sakhalin, Volga Germans, Greeks from the Krasnodar Territory, Karachays, Balkars, Chechens and Ingush from the North Caucasus and Crimean Tatars. In addition, in the period from 1954 to 1960, during the development of virgin lands, hundreds of thousands of people from various parts of the USSR moved here. All this led to the fact that by 1960 the share of Kazakhs in the republic decreased to 30% and the Kazakh SSR became the only republic where the titular nation was in the minority. The Soviet nuclear project also had a negative impact, when in the middle of the 20th century the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was built on the territory of Kazakhstan. Numerous nuclear tests have caused damage not only to nature, but also the health of the local population. In Soviet times, at the end of the 50s of the 20th century, the Baikonur Cosmodrome was built in Kazakhstan, from which the first artificial Earth satellite was launched and from which the first man went into space.
In 1991, after the collapse of the USSR, the independence of Kazakhstan was proclaimed. The first president of the independent republic, Nursultan Nazarbayev, initiated the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is worth noting that today Kazakhstan takes an active part in world politics: since 1992 it has been a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in 1998 Kazakhstan and Russia signed the Treaty of Eternal Friendship and Cooperation, in 2000 In 1999, in Astana, between the heads of 5 states (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), the Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed, in addition, it was Kazakhstan that initiated the Conferences on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.