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    Republic of Tatarstan (Tatarstan)

History

The first settlements in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan date back to Paleolithic period (100,000 years ago). In the 8-11 centuries, tribes of the ancient Bulgars, ancestors of the modern Tatars, began to populate the Volga region. The first state - the Volga-Kama Bulgaria - was set up at the end of the 10th century. The Bulgars were the first in Europe to begin to smelt iron and make qualitative leather goods, erect castles with central heating. The Bulgar mosques and medrese (Muslim clerical schools) diffused learning and culture in the neighbouring regions. In 1236 the Bulgar state fell under the pressure of the Mongol-Tatars. Many towns, i.e. Bulgar, Bilyar, Suvar, etc. were destroyed and set on fire. In the XIII-XIVth CC. the territory of the Volga-Kama Bulgaria became the part of the Turkic state Zolotaya Orda (Golden Horde). The collapse of Zolotaya Orda resulted in formation of a number of new states including the Kazan Khanate. It inherited ethnic, language, religious, cultural and trade-economic traditions of the Volga-Kama Bulgaria. Kazan became the capital of the newly formatted state. The Kazan Khanate ceased its existence in October 1552, after two-month siege when troops of Ivan 4 (the Terrible), numbering 150,000 people, conquered Kazan.

A path-breaking step in the way of reconstruction of state independence of the Tatar people was proclamation of the Volga region autonomy in 1920.

The end of this century brought new possibilities for reconstruction of state independence of Tatarstan. On 30 August 1990, the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Republic was adopted and signed. In line with people's will, referendum, held in March, 1992 and new Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, adopted on November 6, 1992 established a new state status of the Republic.

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