Determined to raise the fallen fortunes of his country, he first directed his efforts against the predatory Uzbegs, who occupied and harassed Khorasan.
After some reverses he regained both these places, but in 1501 his most formidable enemy, Shaibani (Sheibani) Khan, ruler of the Uzbegs, defeated him in a great engagement and drove him from Samarkand.
But in 1514 he was utterly defeated by the Uzbegs and with difficulty reached Kabul.
He seems now to have resigned all hopes of recovering Ferghana, and as he at the same time dreaded an invasion of the Uzbegs from the west, his attention was more and more drawn towards India.
Uzbegs and Kirghiz have but small affinity with the Mongol element of Asia.
In 1505 the city was occupied by the Uzbegs, who five years later were expelled by Ismail Khan, the founder of the Safawid dynasty of Persia.
There is a considerable trade in grain; but the commercial prosperity of Karshi is mainly due to its being a meeting-point for the roads from Samarkand, Bokhara, Hissar, Balkh and Maimana, and serves as the market where the Turkomans and Uzbegs dispose of their carpets, knives and firearms. Its coppersmiths turn out excellent work.
The dominant race is the Uzbegs, who are fanatical Moslem Sunnites, scorn work, despise their Iranian subjects, and maintain their old division into tribes or clans.
The native city in 1871 had 78,130 inhabitants, and in 1897 156,414, mostly Sarts, with Uzbegs, Kirghiz, Jews, Russians and Germans.
The Uzbegs were no one race, but an aggregation of fragments from Turks, Mongols and all the great tribes constituting the hosts of Jenghiz and Batu.
As the Durani) claims to be of Turkish origin; the Hazaras, the Chahar-Aimak, Tajiks, Uzbegs, Kafirs and others are more or less subject races.
Sultan Ahmad, eldest son of Abu Said, reigned in Bokhara; his brother, Ornar Sheikh, in Ferghana; but the son of the latter, the great Babar, was driven by the Uzbegs to Kabul and India.
Shah Abbas the Great commenced his long and glorious reign (1586) by retracing his steps towards Khorasan, which bad been reinvaded by the Uzbegs almost immeAbbas the diately after his departure thence with the Kizil-bash Great.
He was summoned to Shiraz to put down rebellion in Fars; and before he could drive out the Uzbegs, he had to secure himself against Turkish inroads threatening from the west.
In 1597 Abbas renewed operations against the Uzbegs, and succeeded in recovering from them Herat and Khorasan.
The establishment of internal tranquillity, the expulsion of interlopers and marauders like Turks and Uzbegs, the introduction of salutary laws and the promotion of public works of utilitythese alone would render remarkable his two-score years of enlightened government.
During his reign the Uzbegs were driven back from Khorasan, and a rebellion was suppressed in Gilan; but Kandahar was again handed over to the Moguls of Delhi, and Bagdad retaken from Persia by Sultan Muradboth serious national losses.
As to foreign relations, he received embassies from Europe and a deputation from the French East India Company; he sought to conciliate the Uzbegs by treating their refugee chiefs with unusual honor and sumptuous hospitality; he kept on good terms with Turkey; he forgave the hostility of a Georgian prince when brought to him a captive; and he was tolerant to all religionsalways regarding Christians with especial favor.
During his reign Khorasan was invaded by the ever-encroaching Uzbegs, the Kipchak Tatars plundered the shores of the Caspian, and the island of Kishm was taken by the Dutch; but the kingdom suffered otherwise no material loss.
In the meanwhile the Saduzai tribe revolted at Herat, and declared itself independent in 1717; the Kurds overran the country rous~d Hamadan; the Uzbegs desolated Khorasan; and the Arabs of Muscat seized the island of Bahrein and threatened Bander Abbasi.
Balkh fell to Ri~a Kuli, the kings son, who, moreover, crossed the Oxus and defeated the Uzbegs in battle.
Of Balkh, and contains 12,000 inhabitants, Uzbegs and Parsiwans.
Two-thirds of the total are Sarts and Uzbegs (of Turkic origin).