Chatper 16

section 3 ~Victoria Davis

Historical events

  • In 1842 two British officers were captured in the Central Asian town Bukhoro, the ruler kept the officers for months in an underground bug-pit. The British Empire decided that they were not safe in Central Asia.
  • Nuclear testing- Until the late 1980s, the Soviet nuclear industry was the economic mainstay of Semipalatinsk( originally called Semey)the citizens could see the mushroom clouds of the above explosions. Underground explosions cracked walls in towns 50 miles away, the testing caused a widespread of health problems. The winds spread nuclear fallout over a 180,000-square-mile area. Exposure to it caused birth defects, mental illness, harmful effects of radiation, etc...
  • The Great Game- interest in Central Asia began growing again. In the 19th century when Great Britain and the Russian Empire caused a struggle for wanting control over the region.The Russian troops were moving southward, and British leaders wanted to stop what was going to happen, so the troops could not threaten Britain's possessions in India. Both sides recruited daring young soldiers/officers who made journeys through Central Asia in disguise. Author Conolly was a British officer , who was executed , called this struggle between the countries "the Great Game".


  • When the Soviets took over Central Asia, they used the differences among the different ethnic groups to establish their own authority in that region.
  • Soviet planners shaped the region into 5 new nations that corresponded with the largest ethnic groups--- Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek.
  • When they drew the border lines of these nations, they left large numbers of one ethnic group as minorities in the neighboring republics from other ethnic groups.


  • Yurts- among the nomad's possessions and their tents called yurts
  • Lifestyle is nomadic of the Central Asian peoples, although it is not as widespread as it once was.
  • Nomads are people with no permanent home.
  • One group has organized a network of shepherds' families in Kyrgyzstan who are willing to take in guests to save their nomadic tradition.


  • they have an uncertain economic future
  • they have oil and gases reserved in the Caspian Sea
  • Engineers have recently found oil fields in Kazakstan and Turkmenistan, these finding has triggered what some are calling the new "Great Game".