An extract on #animalfanatics
The Kidarites were a nomadic clan, the first of the four Huna people in Afghanistan. They are supposed to have originated in Western China and arrived in Bactria with the great migrations of the second half of the 4th century.
Dost Mohammed Khan gained control in Kabul. Collision between the expanding British and Russian Empires significantly influenced Afghanistan during the 19th century in what was termed "The Great Game". British concern over Russian advances in Central Asia and growing influence in West Asia and Persia in particular culminated in two Anglo-Afghan wars and "The Siege of Herat" 18371838, in which the Persians, trying to retake Afghanistan and throw out the British, sent armies into the country and fought the British mostly around and in the city of Herat. The first Anglo-Afghan War (18391842) resulted in the destruction of a British army; it is remembered by first-hand account as an example of the ferocity of Afghan resistance to foreign rule. The Second Anglo-Afghan War (18781880) was sparked by Amir Shir Ali's refusal to accept a British mission in Kabul. This conflict brought Amir Abdur Rahman, known by some as the "Iron Amir", to the Afghan throne. During his reign (18801901), the British and Russians officially established the boundaries of what would become modern Afghanistan. The British retained effective control over Kabul's foreign affairs. Abdur Rahman's reforms of the army, legal system and structure of government were able to give Afghanistan a degree of unity and stability which it had not before known. This, however, came at the cost of strong centralisation, harsh punishments for crime and corruption, and a certain degree of international isolation.
Afghanistan remained neutral during World War I, despite German encouragement of anti-British feelings and Afghan rebellion along the borders of British India. The Afghan king's policy of neutrality was not universally popular within the country, however, and Habibullah, Abdur Rahman's son and successor, in 1919 was assassinated, possibly by family members opposed to British influence. His third son, Amanullah, regained control of Afghanistan's foreign policy after launching the Third Anglo-Afghan War with an attack on India in the same year. During the ensuing conflict, the war-weary British relinquished their control over Afghan foreign affairs by signing the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1920. In commemoration of this event, Afghans celebrate August 20 as their Independence Day.