Amanullah Khan

Amanullah Khan

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Amanullah Khan (June 1, 1892 – April 25, 1960) was the King
King
- Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

 of the Emirate of Afghanistan
Emirate of Afghanistan
The Emirate of Afghanistan began with the end of the Durrani Empire and the reign of Dost Mohammad Khan in 1823 and ended when Amir Amanullah Khan became Shah in 1926. This period was characterized by the expansion of European colonial interests in Central Asia...

 from 1919 to 1929, first as Amir and after 1926 as Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

. He led Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 to independence over its foreign affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

 from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change. He was the first Afghan ruler who attempted to modernize Afghanistan on western designs. However, he did not succeed in this because of a popular uprising by Habibullah Kalakani and his followers. On 14 January 1929, Amanullah abdicated and fled to then neighboring British India while Afghanistan fell into a civil war. From British India he went to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 where he died in Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, in 1960.

Early years


Amānullāh Khān was born on June 1, 1892, in Paghman
Paghman
Paghman is a town in the hills near Kabul, Afghanistan. See also Paghman Gardens. It is center of the Paghman District which has a total population of 120,000 people, and another 20,000 returnees are expected , of which 70% are Pashtuns and 30% Tajiks.. Paghman District is situated in the western...

 near Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Afghanistan. He was the third son of the Amir Habibullah Khan. Amanullah was already installed as the governor of Kabul
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

 and was in control of the army and the treasury, and gained the allegiance of most of the tribal leaders.

Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 had recently undergone its Communist revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, leading to strained relations between the country and the United Kingdom. Amanullah Khan recognized the opportunity to use the situation to gain Afghanistan's independence over its foreign affairs. He led a surprise attack against the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 on May 3, 1919, beginning the third Anglo-Afghan war
Third Anglo-Afghan War
The Third Anglo-Afghan War began on 6 May 1919 and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. It was a minor tactical victory for the British. For the British, the Durand Line was reaffirmed as the political boundary between the Emirate of Afghanistan and British India and the Afghans agreed not to...

. After initial successes, the war quickly became a stalemate as the United Kingdom was still dealing with the costs of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. An armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 was reached towards end of 1919, and Afghanistan was completely free of British influence.

Reforms


Amanullah enjoyed quite a bit of early popularity within Afghanistan and he used his influence to modernize the country. Amanullah created new cosmopolitan schools for both boys and girls in the region and overturned centuries-old traditions such a strict dress codes for women. He increased trade with Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

. He also advanced a modernist constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 that incorporated equal rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 and individual freedoms with the guidance of his father-in-law and Foreign Minister Mahmud Tarzi
Mahmud Tarzi
Mahmūd Bēg Tarzī was one of Afghanistan's greatest intellectuals. He is known as the father of Afghan journalism...

. His wife, Queen Soraya Tarzi
Soraya Tarzi
Soraya Tarzi, known mostly as Queen Soraya, was the Queen of Afghanistan in the early 20th century and the wife of King Amanullah Khan. She is the only woman to appear on the list of rulers in Afghanistan, although wife of King Amanullah Khan...

 played a huge role in regard to his policy towards women. This rapid modernization created a backlash and a reactionary uprising known as the Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 rebellion was suppressed in 1924. He also met with many Bahá'ís
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 in India and Europe where he brought back books that are still to be found in the Kabul Library
Kabul Library
Kabul Library is one of Afghanistan's oldest and largest libraries, located in the capital Kabul. It includes books in many languages and topics including a vast majority in Persian, Pashto and Arabic. The library was built by king Amanullah Khan. It still exists today and is open to public. Most...

. This association later served as one of the accusations when he was overthrown.

At the time, Afghanistan's foreign policy was primarily concerned with the rivalry between the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the United Kingdom. Each attempted to gain the favor of Afghanistan and foil attempts by the other power to gain influence in the region. This effect was inconsistent, but generally favorable for Afghanistan; Amanullah was even able to establish a limited Afghan Air Force
Afghan Air Force
The Afghan Air Force , formerly the Afghan National Army Air Corps and Afghan National Army Air Force , is one of seven "corps" of the military of Afghanistan, responsible for air defense and air warfare. It was officially established in 1924 and for most of its history has functioned as a small...

 consisting of donated Soviet planes.

Revolt and abdication


After Amānullāh travelled to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in late 1927, opposition to his rule increased. An uprising in Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

 culminated in a march to the capital, and much of the army deserted rather than resist. In early 1929, Amanullah abdicated and went into temporary exile in then British India. His brother Inayatullah Khan
Inayatullah Khan
Inayatullah Khan Seraj was the King of Afghanistan from 14 January 1929 to 17 January 1929. He was the son of former Afghan King, Habibullah Khan...

 became the next king of Afghanistan for a few days until Habibullah Kalakani took over.

However, Kalakani's nine months rule was soon replaced by Nadir Khan on October 13, 1929. Amanullah Khan attempted to return to Afghanistan, but he had little support from the people. From British India, the ex-king traveled to Europe and settled in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and later in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Meanwhile, Nadir Khan made sure his return to Afghanistan was impossible by engaging in a propaganda war. Nadir Khan accused Amanullah Khan of kufr
KUFR
KUFR is a radio station broadcasting a Christian radio format. Licensed to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, the station serves the Salt Lake City area. The station is currently owned by Family Stations, Inc....

 with his pro western policies.

Death



Amanullah Khan died in Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, in 1960. His body was brought to Afghanistan and buried in the eastern city of Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

. Very few of his many reforms were continued once he was no longer in power.

See also

  • History of Afghanistan
    History of Afghanistan
    The written history of Afghanistan can be traced back to the Achaemenid Empire ca. 500 BCE, although evidence indicates that an advanced degree of urbanized culture has existed in the land since between 3000 and 2000 BCE. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived to Afghanistan in 330 BCE...

  • Reforms of Amānullāh Khān and civil war
    Reforms of Amanullah Khan and civil war
    Amānullāh Khān reigned in Afghanistan from 1919, achieving full independence from the British Empire shortly afterwards. Before the Treaty of Rawalpindi was concluded in 1921, Afghanistan had already begun to establish its own foreign policy, including diplomatic relations with the Russian Soviet...

  • Lycées Esteqlal and Malalaï in Kabul

External links