1st century to 8th centuryAccording to Tacitus, the Huns of Kushan were already in the Turan lowlands of Atyrau Province by 91AD. By the early 4th century AD, a Kushan noble called Malkar of Khi, had become leader of the Huns settled there. Malkar is accredited with first leading the Huns into the Volga Delta where they found the Alans. In alliance with Dulo the Alan king, Malkar went on to forge ten tribes into the first proto-Turkic tribal confederation. The Dulo clan's first proto-Turkic Empire spread its influence as far south as the sub-continent under the Kitolo and as far west as Central Europe under Attila's Dulo.
Wresting control of Turkmenistan from the Sasanian Empire in the 5th century AD, Malkar's "Dulo" Confederation of Ten Tribes caused a migration of Khurasanis into Dagestan as the Caucasian Avars. As a result of this backfire, the Sabirs settled there were forced to attack the Alan strongholds of the Dulo Ten Tribe Confederation in the Kuban steppe. To strengthen their position, Malkar's Confederation of Ten Tribes now under the leadership of Ernakh entered into an alliance with Byzantium at Phanagoria in the 460s AD. In the 550s AD, the Caucasian Avars pushed further conquering Phanagoria and forcing Sarosios of the Alans to petition Byzantium for land.
Within a few years, the Dulo "Ten Tribe" Confederation in Atyrau Province allied themselves to the Ashinas forming the Western part of the Gokturk Empire and were able to snatch Phanagoria back from the Avars renaming the Sabirs as Khazars under the rule of Kaghan Kazarig. By exposing the Avars' close ties to Persia, once again the Ten Tribes of the Dulo clan entered into alliance with Byzantium. The earliest well-documented state in the region was the Turkic Kaganate, or Gokturk, Köktürk state, established by the Ashina clan, which came into existence in the 6th century AD. However, the Dulo clans Ten Tribes soon seceded from the Gokturks to become the Western Turkic Kaghanate which thrived until 630s AD when they became the Khazars.
Dulo Kaghan Kubrat refused to accept Khazar rule and was cut-off to establish the short-lived state of Old Great Bolgary. It disintegrated upon his death, with the majority migrating west where they carried out the first Hungarian conquest in 677. Kotrag settled in the northern Volga region to establish Bolgary, and Batbayan's Balkars who settled down with the Circassians north of the Caucasus. The Kara-Khazars in the Atyrau Province eventually sided with the Oghuz and revolted against the Aq-Khazar state to establish the Yabghu Oghuz State of the Kara dynasty which produced the southern Seljuks. The Kara tatars thrived until their dynasty was taken over by Temujin.
8th century to 15th century
The Qarluqs, a confederation of Turkic tribes, established a state in what is now eastern Kazakhstan in 766. In the 8th and 9th centuries, portions of southern Kazakhstan were conquered by Arabs, who introduced Islam. The Oghuz Turks controlled western Kazakhstan from the 9th through the 11th centuries; the Kimak and Kipchak peoples, also of Turkic origin, controlled the east at roughly the same time. In turn the Cumans controlled western Kazakhstan roughly from the 1100s until the 1220s. The large central desert of Kazakhstan is still called Dashti-Kipchak, or the Kipchak Steppe. The capital (Astana) was home of a lot of Huns and Saka.
In the 9th century, the Qarluq confederation formed the Qarakhanid state, which then conquered Transoxiana, the area north and east of the Oxus River (the present-day Amu Darya). Beginning in the early 11th century, the Qarakhanids fought constantly among themselves and with the Seljuk Turks to the south. The Qarakhanids, who had converted to Islam, were conquered in the 1130s by the Kara-Khitan, a Mongolic people who moved west from Northern China. In the mid-12th century, an independent state of Khorazm along the Oxus River broke away from the weakening Karakitai, but the bulk of the Kara-Khitan lasted until the Mongol invasion of Genghis Khan in 1219–1221.
After the Mongol capture of the Kara-Khitan, Kazakhstan fell under the control of a succession of rulers of the Mongolian Golden Horde, the western branch of the Mongol Empire. The horde, or jüz, is the precursor of the present-day clan. By the early 15th century, the ruling structure had split into several large groups known as khanates, including the Nogai Horde and the Uzbek Khanate.
Kazakh Khanate (1465–1731)The Kazakh Khanate was founded in 1465 on the banks of Zhetysu (literally means seven rivers) in the south eastern part of present Republic of Kazakhstan by Janybek Khan and Kerey Khan. During the reign of Kasym Khan (1511–1523), the Kazakh Khanate expanded considerably. Kasym Khan instituted the first Kazakh code of laws in 1520, called "Qasym Khannyn Qasqa Zholy" (Bright Road of Kasym Khan).
Other prominent Kazakh khans included Haknazar Khan, Esim Khan, Tauke Khan, and Ablai Khan.
The Kazakh Khanate did not always have a unified government. The Kazakhs were traditionally divided into three parts – the Great jüz, Middle jüz, and Little jüz. All zhuzes had to agree in order to have a common khan. In particular, in 1731 there was no strong Kazakh leadership, and the three zhuzes were incorporated into the Russian Empire one by one. At that point, the Kazakh Khanate ceased to exist.
The Kazakh Khanate is described in historical texts such as the Tarikh-i-Rashidi (1541–1545) by Muhammad Haidar Dughlat, and Zhamigi-at-Tavarikh (1598–1599) by Kadyrgali Kosynuli Zhalayir.
In the Russian Empire (1731–1917)Cossacks established the forts that later became the cities of Yaitsk ( modern Oral) and Guryev (modern Atyrau). Russians were able to seize Kazakh territory because the khanates were preoccupied by Zunghar Oirats, who in the late 16th century had begun to move into Kazakh territory from the east. Forced westward in what they call their Great Retreat, the Kazakhs were increasingly caught between the Kalmyks and the Russians.
Two of Kazakh Hordes were depend of Oirat Huntaiji. In 1730 Abul Khayr, one of the khans of the Lesser Horde, sought Russian assistance. Although Abul Khayr's intent had been to form a temporary alliance against the stronger Kalmyks, the Russians gained permanent control of the Lesser Horde as a result of his decision. The Russians conquered the Middle Horde by 1798, but the Great Horde managed to remain independent until the 1820s, when the expanding Kokand Khanate to the south forced the Great Horde khans to choose Russian protection, which seemed to them the lesser of two evils.
The colonization of Kazakhstan by Russia was slowed down by numerous uprisings and wars in 19th century. For example, uprisings of Isatay Taymanuly and Makhambet Utemisuly in 1836 – 1838 and the war led by Eset Kotibaruli in 1847 – 1858 were one of such events of anti-colonial resistance.
In 1863, Russian Empire elaborated a new imperial policy, announced in the Gorchakov Circular, asserting the right to annex "troublesome" areas on the empire's borders. This policy led immediately to the Russian conquest of the rest of Central Asia and the creation of two administrative districts, the General-Gubernatorstvo (Governor-Generalship) of Russian Turkestan and that of the Steppe. Most of present-day Kazakhstan was in the Steppe District, and parts of present-day southern Kazakhstan, including Almaty (Verny), were in the Governor-Generalship.
In the early 19th century, the construction of Russian forts began to have a destructive effect on the Kazakh traditional economy by limiting the once-vast territory over which the nomadic tribes could drive their herds and flocks. The final disruption of nomadism began in the 1890s, when many Russian settlers were introduced into the fertile lands of northern and eastern Kazakhstan.
In 1906, the Trans-Aral Railway between Orenburg and Tashkent was completed, further facilitating Russian colonisation of the fertile lands of Semirechie. Between 1906 and 1912, more than a half-million Russian farms were started as part of the reforms of Russian minister of the interior Petr Stolypin, putting immense pressure on the traditional Kazakh way of life by occupying grazing land and using scarce water resources. The administrator for Turkestan (current Kazakhstan) Vasile Balabanov was responsible for the Russian resettlement during this time.
Starving and displaced, many Kazakhs joined in the general Central Asian Revolt against conscription into the Russian imperial army, which the tsar ordered in July 1916 as part of the effort against Germany in World War I. In late 1916, Russian forces brutally suppressed the widespread-armed resistance to the taking of land and conscription of Central Asians. Thousands of Kazakhs were killed, and thousands of others fled to China and Mongolia.[curtis 2]
Many Kazakhs and Russian fought the communist takeover and resisted their control until 1920.