Chapter 16 Section 3

Central Asia

Silk Road

Travelers joined caravans making the 4,000 mile journey between China and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Great Game

Great Britain and the Russia Empire began to struggle to control the region. Russian troops began to move southward, and British leaders wanted to stop them before the troops could threaten British's possessions in India.

Nuclear testing

Between 1949-1989, southwest of Semey (later renamed Semipalatinsk) became a vast nuclear testing site called "The Polygon". Scientists exploded 470 nuclear devises. The Polygon was so close to Semey that the citizen could see the mushroom clouds. Underground explosions cracked walls that were 50 miles away.

Cultures Divided and Conquered

When the soviets took control of Central Asia they divided the region into 5 new nations that correspond to the largest ethnic group. They are Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek. Although the people of Central Asia are divided by a number if ethnic and political loyalties, there are unifying forces in the region as well. Most people often speak Russian, once the region's official language. Also, most Central Asians speak languages related to Turkish.