• By: Eric Murphy

Brief History of a Young Republic

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

On Tuesday, October 13 the Embassy of Kazakhstan to Canada is celebrating the Kazakh State’s 550th birthday with a round table seminar at Carleton University.

The event is called ‘Kazakhstan – A Young Country with an Ancient History,’ and that’s an appropriate name, since despite the 550th birthday, Kazakhstan only became independent of Russia in 1991. The Kazakh Khanate though, has a much longer and incredibly rich history.

Kazakh 1The Khanate was founded in 1465 in part by Kerey Khan, who brought the Kazakh people together and became the state’s first Khan. The Khanate remained independent under a long line of warrior Khans over the next 250 years, but in the mid 18th century the Russian Empire began absorbing the Khanate under its rule.

The modern Kazakhstan region remained part of the Russian Empire until 1917, when the unrest leading to the Russian Civil War allowed it to briefly return to independence as the Alash Orda. But when the Russian Bolsheviks won the civil war in 1920, they quickly reclaimed the Alash Orda. Kazakhstan finally re-emerged as the republic we know today after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Embassy’s seminar will feature history professors from Stanford, Columbia and of course, Carleton University. The lecturers will cover some of the Khanate’s most fascinating and turbulent eras, with an introduction from Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Konstantin V. Zhigalov and a reception to round off the afternoon.

The seminar will run from 2 to 4 p.m. on October 13 in room 608 at Carleton’s Robertson Hall, admission is free and registration is encouraged, but not required. You can find out more info on their event page here.