From the origins to the 15th century
Historically the Afghanistan it was a frontier territory, exposed to cultural influences and the domination of India from the E, of the Iranian civilization from the West and of the peoples of the steppes from N. The most ancient settlements, from the Paleolithic age, are concentrated in the north of the country (Aq Kupruk, Kara Kamar); the Bronze age was prolonged until the beginning of the 1st millennium BC With the 6th century. BC all regions were conquered by the Persian Achaemenid dynasty; an inscription by Darius in Bistūn recalls Bactria and Gandhāra among the oriental satrapies of the empire. With the conquest of Alexander the Great (329 BC) and then under the Seleucids, the Afghanistan it opened to the cultural influence of the Greek Mediterranean. During the 3rd century. BC the eastern regions were subject to the Indian empire of the Maurya, while in Bactria it was established, starting from 250 BC, an independent Greek state, the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, with the administrative capital Ai Khānum. From 150 BC the Greek territories were invaded by nomadic peoples fromChinese Turkestan ; Buddhism then took over, supplanting the previous Zorohastrism. Islamism took root in the century. 9th and flourished under the Ghaznavid dynasty (10th-12th century), radiating towards India. THERE. it had a new epoch of splendor under the Timūridi, Iranized Turks (15th century).
Between the 1st sec. BC and the 1st century. AD the so-called Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhāra flourished, which would have profoundly influenced the Buddhist art of Central Asia (the oldest datable representation of the Buddha, attributed to the 1st century BC-1st century AD, comes from Dalunta, at Jalalabad). Between the 5th and 7th century. the Buddhist center of Bāmiyān flourished, with its dozens of artificial caves and two large statues of the Buddha (destroyed in March 2001 by the theocratic regime of the Taliban). With the Arab invasion of the country, together with religious conceptions, the buildings (palaces, mosques) and decorative art (chiseled bronzes, glazed ceramics, stuccos modeled with arabesques), characteristic of Islam, were imposed.
The Afghan State
In the century 16th began the expansion of the Afghans (until then the country was known in Islamic culture as part of the Khorāsān). Founder of the Afghan state can be considered Aḥmed Khān, the leader of the Afghan Abdālī who, on the death of Nādir Shāh of Persia (1747), proclaimed himself king in Qandahār, assuming the epithet of Durr-i Durrān (‘pearl of pearls’), hence his tribe took the name of Durrānī. His immediate descendants, who moved the capital to Kabul, were succeeded in 1826, with Dōst Muḥammad, the Bārakzā’ī family. Due to its strategic position, the Afghanistan it greatly interested Great Britain. In 1809 the first Anglo-Afghan treaty was stipulated, aimed at preventing a possible French or Persian invasion of India. The subsequent spread of the influence of Russia, which the Afghan rulers relied on to counterbalance the British influence, provoked the first and second Afghan war (1839-42 and 1878-79), which confirmed, not without difficulties and heavy losses, the English influence. The most notable Afghan ruler of the century. 19th was ´Abd ur-Raḥmān Khān, who broke the feudal power of the tribal leaders and set the country on the path of modernization. He and his successor Ḥabīb Ullāh remained faithful to the treaty with which the second Afghan war ended in 1880: the Afghanistan he enjoyed full internal independence and received subsidies from the government of India, but was tied to Britain in foreign policy.
In 1919, according to agooddir, Ḥabīb Ullāh was assassinated and his brother Nașr Ullāh, head of the anti-English faction, was proclaimed ruler.Another brother stood against him, Amān Ullāh, who, assuming power, proclaimed the holy war against Great Britain; thus began the third Afghan war, which ended (1919) with the treaty of Rawalpindi and the recognition of the independence of the to. by Great Britain, although victorious. There was therefore a decisive rapprochement with Russia (treaty of 1921), aimed at counterbalancing the always strong British influence. Amān Ullāh began a hasty work of Westernization, but his reforms, especially those in the field of education, shocked conservative circles, so that in 1928 a tribal revolt began, led by Ḥabīb Ullāh Ghazī, which in 1929 managed to rise on the throne, starting a government of terror, but was soon overthrown by Muḥammad Nādir Khān, a descendant of Dōst Muḥammad. He was proclaimed king (1929) and ruled until 1933, when he was himself killed. He was succeeded by his son Muḥammad Zāhīr, who promoted further, cautious internal modernization, and protected his independence during the World War II, later joining the United Nations.
After World War II, pursuing a policy of prudent equidistance between the two blocs, Zāhīr tried to resolve the issue of borders (agreement with the USSR in 1948 and with China in 1963), in particular in the southern ones, where the Pakistan was causing continued tensions (break in diplomatic relations in 1961-63). On the level of internal politics, the 1964 Constitution should have instituted parliamentary democracy, but the conflicts between the traditional forces prevented its application. The regime change that took place starting from the coup d’etat (1973) of the gen. M. Daūd, inspired by the needs of modernization and reform of the country, did not bring appreciable results, despite the economic aid of the Soviet, Chinese and Islamic states, nor did the Constitution establishing the Republic (1977), which conferred broad powers on the president, succeed in stemming the internal contrasts. A new coup d’etat (1978) brought to power the secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (Communist) NM Taraki, who found himself against the traditionalist Islamic classes and the mass guerrilla, fueled by them. Thus came the military intervention of the USSR (1979), following which B. Karmal was appointed prime minister. This ended up strengthening unity among the many guerrilla organizations, the mugiāhidīn, framed on an ethnic and territorial basis and supported by Pakistan. The international isolation in which the USSR found itself, together with the rise of M. Gorbačëv (1985), determined a gradual Soviet disengagement, which ended on February 15, 1989. In the meantime Karmal had been replaced (1986) by M. Najibullah, who unsuccessfully attempted a policy of national reconciliation. Although confined to rural areas and divided into hostile formations for ethnic and religious reasons (always Islamic), the guerrillas of the mugiāhidīn conquered Kabul (1992), forced Najibullah to flee and proclaimed the Islamic State.