Bukhara Khanate

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bukhara Khanate


a feudal state in Middle Asia from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. It was founded by Sheibanids on the ruins of the Timurid state. The name “Bukhara Khanate” appeared at the end of the 16th century, after the capital of the state was transferred from Samarkand to Bukhara.

The khanate’s greatest political strengthening and territorial expansion were associated with the activity of Abdullah-Khan II (ruled 1557-98): it conquered Balkh and Fergana (1573), Tashkent (1576), Khorasan—including Herat and Mashhad (1582-83), and Khorezm (1593-94) and established commercial and diplomatic relations with the Russian state. Handicrafts and trade developed in the cities, and construction proceeded. After the death of Abdulla-Khan and the murder of his son, the Sheibanid dynasty in the Bukhara Khanate ended.

Under the rule of the Ashtarkhanid dynasty, the Bukhara Khanate experienced internecine struggle and war with Safavid Iran, the Kazakhs, and the Khiva Khanate. Feudal fragmentation increased in the first half of the 18th century. In 1740 the Bukhara Khanate was conquered by Nadir Shah. After the death of Nadir in 1747, as a result of internecine wars, power passed to the Mangyt dynasty, whose members called themselves emirs. The political and economic situation of the khanate stabilized somewhat, although feudal fragmentation was not eliminated. The system of feudal land ownership that had formed in the 16th century continued, with small modifications. The main land categories were amliak (state lands), mul’k (privately owned lands), and vakuf (lands of the Muslim clergy). The peasants, who were virtually deprived of land, cultivated it as métayers. Under the regime of Emir Khaidar (1800-26), wars against Khiva, and later Kokand, began anew. They continued up to the annexation of Middle Asia by Russia. The khanate was repeatedly shaken by popular uprisings, one of the largest of which was the uprising of the Khitai-Kipchaks (1821-25).

In 1868, after the defeat inflicted on the emir’s forces near Samarkand by the Russian Army, the Bukhara Khanate was annexed to Russia, with the status of a vassal state. Relations between the Bukhara Khanate and the Russian Empire were regulated by treaties of 1868 and 1873. When the Bukhara Khanate was annexed to Russia, its general level of development was very low: agriculture was backward, and industry was at the level of underdeveloped small-scale handicraft production. As the national economy of the Bukhara Khanate was drawn into the all-Russian market, capitalism began to penetrate Bukhara, albeit very slowly: commercial farming—above all, the cultivation of cotton—began to develop. On Sept. 2, 1920, the toilers of Bukhara, supported by units of the Red Army, overthrew the emir’s regime. At the First All-Bukhara Kurultai (congress), representatives of the people proclaimed the Bukhara People’s Soviet Republic (Oct. 8, 1920).


Ivanov, P. P. Ocherki po istorii Srednei Azii (XVI-seredina XIX v.). Moscow, 1958.
Istoriia tadzhikskogo naroda, vol. 2, books 1-2. Moscow, 1964.
Istoriia Uzbekskoi SSR, vols. 1-3. Tashkent, 1967-68.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The origins and evolution of the Basmochi (literally "robbers") movement in the Bukhara khanate and across many areas of Central Asia against the Bolsheviks from 1917 into the mid-1920s is analysed here without the ideological blinkers or the straitjacket which used to afflict Soviet social scientists.