Kingdom of Afghanistan
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Kingdom of Afghanistan
Kingdom of Afghanistan

? ? (in Pashto)
D? Afnist?n w?kman?n
? (in Persian)
P?deh?-ye Afnist?n
Mill? Sur?d
(English: "National Anthem")

Schahe ghajur-o-mehrabane ma
(English: "Our Brave And Noble King")
Location of Afghanistan
Common languagesPashto, Persian
Sunni Islam
GovernmentUnitary constitutional monarchy
o 1926-1929
Amanullah Khan
o 1929
Inayatullah Khan
o 1929
Habibull?h Kalak?ni
o 1929-1933
Mohammed Nadir Shah
o 1933-1973
Prime Minister 
o 1929-1946 (first)
Mohammad Khan
o 1972-1973 (last)
Mohammad Shafiq
LegislatureLoya Jirga
Historical eraInterwar Period · Cold War
o Succeeds Afghan emirate
9 June 1926
17 July 1973
1973647,500 km2 (250,000 sq mi)
o 1973
CurrencyAfghan afghani
Calling code93
ISO 3166 codeAF
Today part of Afghanistan
Part of a series on the
History of Afghanistan
"Interior of the palace of Shauh Shujah Ool Moolk, Late King of Cabul"
Related historical names of the region

The Kingdom of Afghanistan (Pashto: ? ?‎, D? Afnist?n w?kman?n; Persian: ? ‎, P?deh?-ye Afnist?n) was a constitutional monarchy in Southern and Central Asia established in 1926 as a successor state to the Emirate of Afghanistan. It was proclaimed by its first king, Amanullah Khan, seven years after his accession to the throne. The monarchy ended in the 1973 Afghan coup d'état.


Amanullah Khan was keen on modernizing the country, resulting in conservative forces causing social upheaval on a number of occasions. When he was visiting Europe in 1927, rebellion broke out again. He abdicated in favour of his brother Inayatullah Khan who only ruled for three days before the leader of the rebellion Habibullah Kalakani took power and reinstated the Emirate.[]

After 10 months, Amanullah Khan's Minister of War, Mohammed Nadir, returned from exile in British India. His British-supported armies sacked Kabul, forcing Habibullah Kalakani to discuss a truce. Instead, Mohammed Nadir's forces apprehended and subsequently executed Kalakani. Mohammed Nadir reinstated the kingdom, was proclaimed King of Afghanistan in October 1929, and went on to revert the reformist path of the last king, Amanullah Khan. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammed Zahir Shah, whose rule started in 1933 and lasted for 39 years. Mohammed Zahir Shah, the last King of Afghanistan, was eventually overthrown by his own cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan who successfully ended the centuries-old monarchy and established a republican Afghan government. It was under the leadership of Zahir Shah that the Afghan government sought relationships with the outside world, most notably with the Soviet Union, France, United Kingdom and the United States.[1]

On 27 September 1934, during the reign of Zahir Shah, the Kingdom of Afghanistan joined the League of Nations. During World War II, Afghanistan remained neutral and pursued a diplomatic policy of non-alignment. Though being neutral in World War II, Afghanistan had relations with Nazi Germany, but that was severed after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.[2]

Afghanistan was admitted into the United Nations on August 29, 1946.[3] In 1947, Afghanistan was the only United Nations member to vote against admitting Pakistan into the United Nations.[2] This was mostly done because of Kingdom's call for Pashtunistan. Nikita Khrushchev visited the capital of Kabul and endorsed the Afghan claims to Pashtunistan in 1955.[2] Afghanistan also became a member of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Mohammed Daoud Khan, Prime Minister of Afghanistan at the time, worked hard for development of modern industries, and education in the country. In July 1973, Daoud Khan staged a bloodless coup d'état while Zahir Shah was not in the country. The next month, Zahir Shah abdicated, hoping to avoid a civil war, which officially marked the end of the Kingdom of Afghanistan, and the beginning of the republic.


The Kingdom of Afghanistan bordered Iran on the west, the Soviet Union in the north, China on the east, and Pakistan on the south. The mountainous and mostly dry country was 652,200 square kilometres (251,830 sq mi). The strange shape and borders were a result of Afghanistan being made a buffer between Russia and Britain. The Wakhan Corridor is an example of the buffer. Snow was common in most areas during winter and rainfall was small.[4]


The country was made up of various ethnic groups such as the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks and many others.

The majority of Afghans were Muslim, approximate of 99% of the population. Around 80-85% of the Muslim population were Sunni, the rest were Shia.

Dari (Persian) and Pashto were the official languages of the nation. Many Afghans were bilingual and could speak both languages between each other.


Like the past and present day Afghanistan, the economy relied greatly on agriculture and mining.

The United States and Soviet Union both invested in Afghanistan's economy to try to gain influence during the Cold War. Such as the Four Point Program in 1951, when Afghanistan and the United States sign an agreement in Kabul to help assist the economic development in the economy, and the construction of a 100 km pipeline from Termez to Mazar-i-Sharif that was built by Soviet technicians and began in 1954. Afghanistan received $18,500,000 from the Export-Import Bank of the United States to help them purchase U.S. material, equipment, and services for the Helmand River Valley developmental project.

In August 1961, Pakistan closed the border with Afghanistan, due to Prime Minister, Daoud Khan's strong stance on Pashtunistan, but it re-opened in May after Khan's resignation.[5]

The country had deposits of talc, mica, silver, lead, beryl, chromite, copper, lapis lazuli, and iron ore.


King Zahir Shah's cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan, signed a $3 million arms deal with the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and a 32.5 million arm deal with the Soviet Union in 1956. The deal gave the Afghan military imported T-34 tanks and MiG-17 jet fighters. A quarter to third of all Afghan officers had trained in the Soviet Union by 1973.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Rubin, Barnett. "D?W?D KHAN". In Ehsan Yarshater (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica (Online ed.). United States: Columbia University. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ United Nations member states
  4. ^ Tate, George. The kingdom of Afghanistan: a historical sketch.
  5. ^ "Modern Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica. March 2, 2020. Retrieved 2020.

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