According to BARBLEJEWELRY, the name of Uzbekistan is used to indicate the Federated Republic of Uzbeks (Uzbekskaja Soc. Sovet. Respublika), one of the eleven federated republics, which form the union of the Soviet socialist republics; it was established in 1922, bringing together parts of the territory of the province of Syr-daryā and the khanate of Bukhara, which constituted the south-eastern part of Russian Turkestan. It is limited to the north-west in part by the autonomous republic of Karakalpaki, to the north by the federated republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan), to the north-east and east by the federated republic of Kyrgyzstan and then by the federated republic of Tajiks; to the south it borders for a not very long stretch with Afghānistān; finally, to the west and, in part, to the north-west it is limited by the federated republic of the Turkmen. Within these limits Uzbekistan, which measures 172,000 sq km. surface, has a very irregular horizontal configuration, especially in the extreme NW. and to extreme NE.; moreover, the boundaries between Uzbeastan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz republic are, in particular, even more irregular, and this is because the republic of Uzbekistan represents an ethnic entity and not a geographical one. The variety in the forms of the relief is also great: the eastern part is mainly mountainous and extends over the western offshoots of the Hissar mountains, the Nura-tau range, the Zerafšan range, the so-called Turkestan mountains and part of the southern slopes of Čatkal-tau, and thus more than half of the Fergana basin belongs to Uzbekistan; the western part is becoming more and more flat, above all proceeding towards the north-west, and a desert region takes over from the wide valley of Zerafšan, almost everywhere occupied by sands. In addition to a part of the Fergana basin, part of the Tashkent basin also belongs to Uzbekistan. Starting from Alai (one of the largest chains of Russian Central Asia, which rises in the country of the Tajiks, against the Tansalai-Pamir system, we continue westwards with the three mountain ranges of Turkestan to the north, of Zerafšan and of the mountains of Hissar south of the course of the Zerafšan itself, and ends with the Nura-tau, a chain that extends the mountains of Turlkestan towards the north-west. The valleys enclosed between these latene, abundantly irrigated, have always had a high anthropic value, since they were always densely populated. As for the Čatkal-tau it must be remembered that it represents the south-west extension of the Ala-tau of the Talas, which in turn is the continuation of the Terskei-Ala-tau, or “Ala-tau solatio”; the Čatkal-tau limits the basin of the Fergana from the north-west, to which it sends its waters in abundance. If the two basins of Fergana and Tashkent are of an almost prodigious fertility due to the nature of the soil and the richness of the waters, the same is not the case for the territory between the Ǎmū-daryā and the Zerafšan course and for everything the territory to the north of these two rivers. It is a very arid region, which changes into a true desert as you move away from the areas where irrigation can be developed; man could only settle in the oases, lined up along the Zerafšan valley and along the lower course of the mū.
The climate everywhere has a distinctly continental character with very rigid winters, in which the average of the coldest month is several degrees below zero, and very hot summers with maximum temperatures comparable to those found in the deserts of northern Africa and Arabia. Especially exceptional are the temperature changes from day to night. In the flat area the winds are very violent, which raise clouds of dust and sand, and, during the winter, cause real snow storms. On the mountains, the climate has an alpine character, while above the better exposed slopes there is an almost exceptional mildness of temperatures and much greater humidity. The smitary conditions are far better in the elevated lands, while contagious diseases develop in the oases as a result of the polluted waters, with frequency of epidemics; one of the most common diseases is filaria medinensis.
The existence of a vast system of mountains, scattered here and there with powerful glaciers, quite rich in atmospheric precipitations, whose waters flow precisely to the west and north-west, presupposes a very conspicuous hydrographic system, which could lead to all ‘Uzbekistan incalculable benefits if climatic conditions do not hinder its development. Three major rivers run through Uzbekistan, the Syr-darja, the mū-daryā and the Zerafšan. The first of these, whose springs are located in the heart of the T’ien-shan system, after passing the Fergana mountain range with a narrow gorge, enters this basin, and, after having crossed it in all its length, takes the north-west direction to furrow the Tashkent basin; its average flow in the section between Fergana and Tashkent exceeds 1300 cubic meters. to the sec. L’ Āmū-daryā which arises from numerous springs, scattered throughout the territory between Indukush and Alai, after having lapped Uzbekistan for a short distance, marking its border with Afghānistān, enters the territory of Turkmenistan from which it will return to go out to cover a stretch of its lower course in the extreme north-west of Uzbekistan. On the other hand, the Zerafšan, that is “gold miner”, flows almost entirely in the territory of the Uzbeks. Polimetus degli ancients, which originates from the group of mountains of the same name and is fed by the waters of the glaciers and snowfields of the chains that enclose the upper course; arrived in the plain of Samarkanda, it starts in an infinite number of irrigation canals, which fertilize an area of over 458,000 ha., distributed among 120 oases. There are not a few tributaries of these rivers, but not all of them reach the main watercourse, as is the case with Zerafšan itself, once a tributary of the mū.
The very arid climate, the difference in altitude and the diversity of exposure mean that the type of vegetation varies greatly: in the high mountain region, where the climate is more harsh and the soil is rocky, the vegetation is limited to a few plants of alpine character, with an abundance of summer pastures, which attract nomads with their herds; along the valleys and in the foothills the vegetation is rich in tall trees, conifers and broad-leaved trees, and the cultivation of cereals, cotton, Artemisia china is becoming more and more frequent, and where the humidity is greater, the ash, the plane tree, the fig tree and the wild vine thrive; last come the oases of the plain, irrigated by the waters of the rivers. Animal life is represented in the mountains by wolves, foxes, bears, marmots, wild goats and the very rare Ovis Poli ; in the steppes, from hares, foxes, jackals, wolves, moles, porcupines, from a variety of martens, from swallows and from the steppe rooster, fast and robust flyer, and from numerous reptiles.
The first news about the cities and regions that make up today’s Uzbekistan, for the Russians, date back to the 12th and 13th centuries when traffickers from the cities of Chiva and Bukhara reached the Russian markets. After the conquest of the kingdoms of Kazan and Astrakhan and especially after the conquest of the U al region, the Kyrgyz Steppe was, at the end of the century. XVI, sufficiently known to the Russians. During the following century, ambassadors were sent to Chiva and Bukhara with the aim of establishing closer commercial relations and attempting the way to the Indies; with Peter the Great new attempts were made to penetrate the country located south of the lands of the Kyrgyz and Karakalpaki, but they were not followed up. The conquest of the Kokand khanate with the capture of the city of Tashkent dates back to about the middle of the century. XIX; it is followed by the subjugation of the Zerafšan region, the territories located on the right bank and the mū-daryā delta and the khanates of Chiva and Bukhara. The collapse of the Tsarist government made its effects felt right from the start in all of Russian Turkestan, so much so that the feast of freedom was celebrated in Tashkent on 10 March 1917; revolutionary riots of an anti-militarist nature broke out a few months later, a Muslim government was established in November 1917 which was opposed by the Bolshevik government of Tashkent, for which there were riots and massacres, which not even the proclamation of the autonomous federated republic of Turkestan was able to calm (April 30, 1918). Finally, on April 14, 1921, the central executive committee of Moscow proclaimed the autonomous Soviet republic of Turkestan with the provinces of Syr-darja, of the Transcaspiana, of the Fergana, of Samarkanda and of Semirecia; administrative political order, which had to undergo other changes before reaching today’s arrangement, with the constitution of the five federative republics of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The current population of Uzbekistan, which amounts to over 5,000,000 residents, With a density therefore of 29 residents per sq. km, is made up of three quarters of Uzbeks (v.). Today the Uzbeks can be distinguished according to their way of life as nomads, semi-nomads and sedentary; these live in the cities, while the others gather during the winter in certain places and in the other seasons they roam the steppe. Even among the Uzbeks the ethnic unity is breaking up, as they tend to become more and more confused with another category of residents, the Tailors, a mixed race, but with a prevalence of an Iranian element. Today the Uzbeks stand out for their skill as farmers.
The basis of the economic life of Uzbekistan is agriculture, and in fact over 1,630,000 ha. of land are subjected to regular cultivation; of these two thirds are destined for cereals and a quarter for cotton, which is equivalent to about 63% of the cotton cultivation in the whole USSR. ‘Uzbekistan, increasing irrigated areas. Irrigation particularly favors horticulture, which ensures an abundant production of melons, watermelons and other vegetables. Industries, which had remained behind for a long time and of a domestic character, have now had a new impetus: a power station has been built in Čirčik; a combine textile was founded in Tashkent; workshops for the manufacture of agricultural machinery and other factories for different industries have been opened in the major inhabited centers.