History from 1747-1978

 Soviet Afghan War

 Taliban Rule


Important Dates in Afghan History



October 1919















April 1919




1747 Afghanistan is officially unified by Ahmed Shah. The unification of Afghans and creation of the country came after centruies of fighting the Moghuls and Safavids. The first state is known as the Durrani Empire which was ruled by Ahmed Shah from 1747-1773.


1809 The Afghan kingdom disintegrates into three principalities: Kabul, Kahdahar, and Herat.


1837 Iran, with the support of the Soviets, invade Herat. The Afghan army along with British advisors defeat the Soviet forces.


1838 The Russians offer an alliance to the ruler of Kabul, Emir Dost Mohammmed against Britian. British capture Dost Mohmammed and deport him to India.


1839 Beginning of the first Afghan-British War.


1842 British army is badly defeated. Out of 16,500 British troops, only one made it out of Afghanistan alive. Dost Mohammed resumes control but becomes a British Ally.


1863 Dost Mohammed occupies Herat and restores unity to the kingdom before his death.


1878 Beginning of the second Afghan-British War.


1880 The British are defeated and withdraw from Afghanistan. In exchange for independance and aid agianst Russia, Abdur Rahman accepts British control over his foreign affairs which reunited Afghanistan (again).


1919 (April) Beginning of the third British-Afghan War. Amanullah Khan becomes the new imir in April and immediately declares Afghanistan free from British control. Thus on May 6th, the British officially declare war on Afghanistan.


1919 (October) The British win the war, but are overwhelmed by recently ended World War I, and are forced to recognize sovereignty of Afghanistan.


1923 Amanullah signs the first Afghan constitution.


1933-1946 Through World War II, Afghanistan remians neutral.


1947 Britian withdraws from India and Pakistan is granted independance. Afghanistan votes against a Pakistan memberhsip in the UN.


1953 Prince Daoud becomes Prime Minister of Afghanistan.


1963 Prime Minister Daoud claims Pakistani land belongs to Afghanistan which reulsts in the closing of the border. The royal family demands Prime Minster Daoud's resignation. Zahir Shah becomes king of Afghanistan and institutes pro-western policies.


1964 King Zahir grants a new constitution, which bars royal family from parliment, grants freedom of speech and of the press, and gives women the right to vote.


1973 King Zahir is overthrown by Daoud. Daoud resumes power with support of the Soviets. Daoud suspends the 1964 constitution and proclaims new Afghan Republic with himself as president.


1975 The shah of Iran attempts to reconcile the border differences between Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Daoud becomes estranaged from Soviet Union.


1978 In a coup attempt lead by Afghanistani communist forces, President Daoud and thirty members of his family are killed. The Soviet Union immediately recognizes the new communist government and later in the year invades Afghanistan to support the communist rule.


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