- Amanullah Khan
name =Amanullah Khan
title =King of the God granted Kingdom of Afghanistan and its dependencies [ [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/Afghanistan/barak14.htm Royal Ark] ]
February 28, 1919- January 14, 1929
father =Habibullah Khan
mother =Sarwar Sultana Begum
date of birth =
June 1, 1892
place of birth =
date of death =death date and age|1960|4|25|1892|06|1
place of death =
place of burial=
Amanullah Khan (June 1, 1892 – April 25, 1960) was the ruler of
Afghanistanfrom 1919 to 1929, first as Amirand after 1926 as Shah.cite encyclopedia |last=Poullada |first=L. B. |encyclopedia= Encyclopædia Iranica|title= AMĀNALLĀH|url= http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/v1f9/v1f9a020.html|edition= Online Edition|publisher= Columbia University|location= United States] He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairsfrom the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change.
Amanullah Khan was the third son of the Amir
Habibullah Khan. When he helped assassinate his father on February 20, 1919, Amanullah was already installed as the governor of Kabul and was in control of the army and the treasury. He quickly seized power, imprisoned any relatives with competing claims to the Kingship, and gained the allegiance of most of the tribal leaders. Russiahad recently undergone its Communist revolution, 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 in India on May 3, 1919, beginning the third Anglo-Afghan war. After initial successes, the war quickly became a stalemate as the United Kingdom was still dealing with the costs of World War I. An armisticewas reached in 1921, and Afghanistan became an independent nation.
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
Europeand Asia. He also advanced a modernist constitutionthat incorporated equal rightsand individual freedoms with the guidance of his father-in-law and Foreign Minister Mahmud Tarzi. His wife, Queen Soraya Tarziplayed a huge role in regard to his policy towards women. Unfortunately, this rapid modernization created a backlash and a reactionary uprising known as the Khostrebellion was suppressed in 1924. He also met with many Bahá'ís in India and Europe where he brought back books that still exists in the Kabul Library. 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 Unionand 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 Forceconsisting of donated Soviet planes.
After Amanullah travelled to
Europein late 1927, opposition to his rule increased. An uprising in Jalalabadculminated in a march to the capital, and much of the army deserted rather than resist. Through public support Habibullah Kalakanibecame the next king of Afghanistan. However, his rule was short lived and was soon replaced by Nadir Khan. In early 1929, Amanullah abdicated and went into temporary exile in India. Amanullah Khan attempted to return to Afghanistan, however he had little support from the people. From India, the ex-king traveled to Europe and settled in Italy, and later in Switzerland. Meanwhile, Nadir Khan made sure his return to Afghanistan was impossible by engaging in a propaganda war. Nadir Khan accused Amanullah Khan of kufrwith his pro western policies.
Amanullah Khan died in
Zurich, Switzerland, in 1960. Very few of his many reforms were continued once he was no longer in power.
History of Afghanistan
Reforms of Amanullah Khan and civil war
* [http://afghana.com/SocietyAndCulture/amanula.htm Amanulla Khan: Betrayal of Nadir Khan]
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