History of Afghanistan in the 20th/21th century Summary, only one pageInclude only important facts

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At the beginning of the 20th century, Afghanistan was still strongly under the influence of Great Britain, which controlled its foreign policy.

In 1919, after a rebellion, the British sign a treaty giving up their power over Afghanistan.  The date of the signing (August 19) becomes Afghan independence day.

1919-1929: Amanullah Khan tries to modernize Afghanistan sort of like Ataturk did in Turkey.  But he gets overthrown.

1929-1973: Nadir Shah and his son Zahir Shah officially rule the country and try to take more and more power for themselves but they have trouble effectively controlling all the tribes.  Zahir Shah is overthrown by a coup in 1973.

1979-1992: Soviet Union invades Afghanistan to try to help a communist government that had come to power.  This becomes their Vietnam and they fail to keep "their" government in power.

Up to 2000 -- civil wars between various factions.  Taliban take more and more power.

2001: After the 9/11 attacks, US and coalition forces invade and overthrow Taliban.  Since then, Afghanistan has been struggling to build a national government that can actually control the country.


parama9000 | Student

1919- British gave Afghanistan independence


1929-1973- Official rule, followed by coup

1979-1992- Soviet Union invasion

2000- Civil war

2001- National government struggles to control country