Under Russian and Soviet rule

The policy of Russian Czarist administrators was to leave local government in the hands of traditional institutions and not to interfere with native religion and customs. There were few Russian settlers in the countryside, but large Russian populations did appear in the cities, especially in Tashkent, the administrative center of Russian rule. The main changes were the building of railroads and a great expansion of cotton cultivation.

Resistance to Russian and Soviet rule

In 1916, the Basmachi Revolt, an uprising of local Muslims against Russian Czarist (and later Soviet) rule, began in response to the seizure of land and grain and efforts to impose new laws on the population. It spread throughout central Asia before being crushed by the Bolsheviks in 1932. Following the Russian Revolution, a Congress of Central Asian Muslims, held in 1917 in Kokand, elected a national council and declared autonomy. In 1918, Soviet troops from Tashkent seized Kokand.

Uzbek SSR in 1924

Initially, Soviet rule in the region manifested itself in the formation of Turkestan ASSR and nominally independent "people's republics" at Bukhara and Khwarazm. The Uzbek SSR replaced these in 1924.

Industrialization during the Soviet period

Uzbekistan underwent considerable industrialization during the Soviet period, although the new industries relied heavily on workers and engineers from other parts of the USSR. The USSR was also responsible for major social and cultural changes such as: the spread of literacy, the weakening of Islam, and the abolition of the veil for women, although many customary practices survived under the surface. At the same time, the economy was distorted and the environment harmed by the imposition of the cotton monoculture.