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KHIVA KHANATE. The Khanate of Khiva was formed in the early sixteenth century when Ilbars, a chieftain of Uzbek descent, succeeded in uniting a number of the local fiefdoms (beylik) on the lower reaches of the Amu Darya, in the territory of ancient Khwarem. By the early seventeenth century the khanate had become an important regional power. During the reigns of Abu al-Ghazi 1643-1663) and Muhammad Anushah (1663-1674) it continued to extend its sway westward toward the Caspian, northward to the river Emba, southward into Khorasan, and eastward into Bukharan lands.

KHIVA KHANATE

Inevitably this brought it into conflict with neighboring states such as the Emirate of Bukhara and Iran, as well as the nomadic Turkmen tribes. For the next two centuries the region was wracked by struggles between these rival powers. In the early eighteenth century the incumbent of the Khivan throne, Khan Shah Niyaz, sent ambassadors to Peter the Great to explore the possibility of Khiva being taken under Russian protection. However, this did not prevent the Khivans from annihilating the Russian expedition to the eastern shores of the Caspian led by A. Bekovich-Cherkassky in 1717. In 174o Khiva was conquered by Nadir Shah of Iran and regained its independence only after his death 1747

The remainder of the eighteenth century was marked by internal strife and fragmentation. Power passed into the hands of the tribal chiefs, and central authority was restored only under Inaq Iltuzer (r. 1804-18o6) the first ruler of the Qungrat dynasty that was to remain in power until the dissolution of the khanate in 192o. He was succeeded by Muhammad Rahim Khan (18o61825), an astute and able sovereign. During his reign the Khiva Khanate reached the widest limits of its territorial expansion, acquiring control over some of the Karakalpak lands. Relations with neighboring states were improved and a number of important domestic reforms undertaken, most notably in the fields of taxation and administration. This brought greater stability,  which in turn facilitated economic development. Much of this was based on the export of agricultural produce to Russia (cotton, hides, wool, and dried fruits), but the trade in slaves captured during raids on the surrounding lands was also extremely lucrative. The next halfcentury was a time of considerable prosperity, dramatically reflected in the splendid, richly-decorated buildings erected during this period. Literature written in the Chagatai language also flourished, in particular the genre of historical chronicles.

Russia had long had designs on Central Asia. A number of military expeditions were dispatched to the region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but none met with success (that led by General Perovsky against Khiva in 1839 was especially catastrophic). By 1870, however, Russian forces had all but encircled Khivan territory. The final assault on the khanate under the command of General Kaufman was launched in June 1873; the Khivans sued for peace shortly afterward, and in August of that year Khan Sa’Id Muhammad Rahim II signed the treaty whereby the Khanate formally became a Russian protectorate. It was allowed to maintain a degree of internal autonomy (although the khan had to agree to abolish the slave trade “for all eternity”), but its foreign relations were henceforth to be conducted by the Russians; furthermore, Russian merchants were to be accorded special tax privileges. The Khivans undertook to pay a heavy indemnity (2.2 million rubles, spread over a twenty-year period) toward the cost of the war. The lands on the right bank of the Amu Darya were ceded to Russia and were thus no longer even nominally under Khivan control.

The final years of the Khanate were plagued by factional infighting, particularly between the Turkmen and the Uzbek groups. In 1918 Khan Isfandiyar (r. 1910-1918) was assassinated at the instigation of the Turkmen leader Junayd Khan. He was succeeded by the last Khivan khan, Said `Abd Allah (1918-1920), who was little more than a puppet ruler. In April 1920 a communistled coup overthrew the remnants of the former administration a

KHIVA KHANATE. The Khanate of Khiva was formed in the early sixteenth century when Ilbars, a chieftain of Uzbek descent, succeeded in uniting a number of the local fiefdoms (beylik) on the lower reaches of the Amu Darya, in the territory of ancient Khwarem. By the early seventeenth century the khanate had become an important regional power. During the reigns of Abu al-Ghazi 1643-1663) and Muhammad Anushah (1663-1674) it continued to extend its sway westward toward the Caspian, northward to the river Emba, southward into Khorasan, and eastward into Bukharan lands.

Inevitably this brought it into conflict with neighboring states such as the Emirate of Bukhara and Iran, as well as the nomadic Turkmen tribes. For the next two centuries the region was wracked by struggles between these rival powers. In the early eighteenth century the incumbent of the Khivan throne, Khan Shah Niyaz, sent ambassadors to Peter the Great to explore the possibility of Khiva being taken under Russian protection. However, this did not prevent the Khivans from annihilating the Russian expedition to the eastern shores of the Caspian led by A. Bekovich-Cherkassky in 1717. In 174o Khiva was conquered by Nadir Shah of Iran and regained its independence only after his death 1747

The remainder of the eighteenth century was marked by internal strife and fragmentation. Power passed into the hands of the tribal chiefs, and central authority was restored only under Inaq Iltuzer (r. 1804-18o6) the first ruler of the Qungrat dynasty that was to remain in power until the dissolution of the khanate in 192o. He was succeeded by Muhammad Rahim Khan (18o61825), an astute and able sovereign. During his reign the Khiva Khanate reached the widest limits of its territorial expansion, acquiring control over some of the Karakalpak lands. Relations with neighboring states were improved and a number of important domestic reforms undertaken, most notably in the fields of taxation and administration. This brought greater stability,  which in turn facilitated economic development. Much of this was based on the export of agricultural produce to Russia (cotton, hides, wool, and dried fruits), but the trade in slaves captured during raids on the surrounding lands was also extremely lucrative. The next halfcentury was a time of considerable prosperity, dramatically reflected in the splendid, richly-decorated buildings erected during this period. Literature written in the Chagatai language also flourished, in particular the genre of historical chronicles.

Russia had long had designs on Central Asia. A number of military expeditions were dispatched to the region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but none met with success (that led by General Perovsky against Khiva in 1839 was especially catastrophic). By 1870, however, Russian forces had all but encircled Khivan territory. The final assault on the khanate under the command of General Kaufman was launched in June 1873; the Khivans sued for peace shortly afterward, and in August of that year Khan Sa’Id Muhammad Rahim II signed the treaty whereby the Khanate formally became a Russian protectorate. It was allowed to maintain a degree of internal autonomy (although the khan had to agree to abolish the slave trade “for all eternity”), but its foreign relations were henceforth to be conducted by the Russians; furthermore, Russian merchants were to be accorded special tax privileges. The Khivans undertook to pay a heavy indemnity (2.2 million rubles, spread over a twenty-year period) toward the cost of the war. The lands on the right bank of the Amu Darya were ceded to Russia and were thus no longer even nominally under Khivan control.

The final years of the Khanate were plagued by factional infighting, particularly between the Turkmen and the Uzbek groups. In 1918 Khan Isfandiyar (r. 1910-1918) was assassinated at the instigation of the Turkmen leader Junayd Khan. He was succeeded by the last Khivan khan, Said `Abd Allah (1918-1920), who was little more than a puppet ruler. In April 1920 a communistled coup overthrew the remnants of the former administration and proclaimed the creation of the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic (PSR) on the territory of the Khivan Khanate. The Khorezm PSR survived until 1924, when it was incorporated into the newly formed Turkmen and Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Becker, Seymour. Russia’s Central Asian Protectorates: Bukhara and Khiva, 2865-1925. Cambridge, Mass., 1967.

KHOJAS 423

Skrine, Francis Henry, and E. Denison Ross. The Heart of Asia: A History of Russian Turkestan and the Central Asian Khanates from the Earliest Times. London, 1899. See especially pages 238ff.

SHIRIN AKINERnd proclaimed the creation of the Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic (PSR) on the territory of the Khivan Khanate. The Khorezm PSR survived until 1924, when it was incorporated into the newly formed Turkmen and Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Becker, Seymour. Russia’s Central Asian Protectorates: Bukhara and Khiva, 2865-1925. Cambridge, Mass., 1967.

Skrine, Francis Henry, and E. Denison Ross. The Heart of Asia: A History of Russian Turkestan and the Central Asian Khanates from the Earliest Times. London, 1899. See especially pages 238ff.

SHIRIN AKINER

Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/khiva-khanate/
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