The first states appeared within the territory of the present-day Kyrgyz Republic in the 2nd century B.C. The most ancient historical documents on Kyrgyz statehood were written by a well-known Chinese historian and chronicler Sim Xian that dates back to 201 B.C.
By the late 7th to early 8th century A.D. the Kyrgyz people had become a significant force respected by the powerful nations of Central Asia, and by the fourth decade of the 9th century they founded a vast nomadic empire known as the Kyrgyz Kaganate. The traditional and cultural background of the Kyrgyz people and the ethnonym “Kyrgyz”, which is interpreted by the Kyrgyz people themselves as “forty maidens”, each a traditional ancestress of a family line, support the assumption that the Kyrgyz Kaganate consisted of 40 tribes.
Between 1870 and 1880 the territory of Kyrgyzstan became part of the Russian Empire. In 1918, Kyrgyzstan became part of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. As a result of the State Division of Soviet Central Asian Republics, in 1924, the Kara Kyrgyz (since 1925 – Kyrgyz) Autonomous Region was established within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic; in 1926, the territory was transformed into the Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and in 1936 – into the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1991, Kyrgyzstan proclaimed itself an independent and sovereign state known as the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, and since the 5th of May, 1993, it has been officially named as the Kyrgyz Republic.