Chapter 16

Section 3


The Silk Road- Traders called this route the Silk Road, because of the costly silk bought in China. The also carried gold, silver, ivory, jade, wine, spices, amber, linen, porcelain, grapes, perfumes, etc.

The Great Game- Great Britain and Russian Empire began to fight over Central Asia. Russian troops were moving southward, and British leaders wanted to stop the advance before the troops could threaten Britain's possessions in India.


Nuclear Testing- The nuclear tests were so close to Semey that citizens could see the mushroom clouds. Later, underground explosions cracked walls in towns 50 miles away. The testing caused a widespread of health problems, because the winds spread nuclear fallout.

Petroleum and Prosperity- More potential for oil to bring wealth to Central Asia. Regional leaders see great promise in the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea.

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Culture and Government

Soviets Form Nations- When the Soviets took control of Central Asia, they used the differences among ethnic groups to establish their authority. Soviet planners carved the region into five new nations that corresponded to the largest ethnic groups- Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek.

Language and Region- Even though Central Asia is divided into ethnic and political loyalties, there are also unifying forces too.

Important People

Nomadic Heritage- Central Asia's grasslands are ideal for nomadic people. Nomads are people that don't have a permanent home. When the Soviet were in control, the numbers of nomads decreased dramatically.

Yurts- Nomads tents are called yurts and they are the most valuable to the nomads.

Preserving Traditions- The nomadic lifestyle is not as widespread as it use to be. But many people are working on keeping the nomads traditions alive.