Comparing Khazakstan and Belarus
Upon the break up of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared itself a sovereign nation from the USSR in 1990; in late 1991, Kazakhstan declared its independence, and held its first elections. The similarity in their modern governments is evidence to the numerous parallels in their history. The historical development of both countries was heavily influenced by the rule of the Mongols and the Tartars, also both Belarus and Kazakhstan would come under the control of the Bolsheviks and later in the 20th century the Soviet Union. Today, each country has established their own governments, both have developed working constitutions and are conducting their affairs separate from the former Soviet Union. In comparing the two adolescent countries this essay will look at their brief history, examine the establishment of their new governments branches: their executive office and its power, their legislatures, and judicial systems. Current military makeup, as well as membership in certain world organizations provides important insight into the progress of relatively newly created states. The most important factor in shaping the governments of a modern nation state is the historical development of that country, a brief history of the two nations will better help to understand the choices made during the state creation process.
A Brief History of Belarus:
Belarusians are believed to have descended from Slavic tribes, the Krivichi, Dregovichi, and Radimichi; who, between the 6th and 8th centuries settled first on the Daugava (Western Dvina) River and later in the vicinity of the Pripyat' and Sozh rivers. The medieval period of Belarusian history dates mostly from the last quarter of the 10th century, when Prince Rogvold ruled the local principality of Polotsk (Polatsk). In the late 10th century, Polotsk was annexed into Kievan Rus, the first significant East Slavic State. The Tatar invasions that destroyed Kievan Rus and the city of Kiev (Kyiv) in 1240 left the Belarusian territory relatively unscathed. In the 14th century Belarusian territory became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with its capital at Vilnius.
By the 16th century a Slavic culture had begun to emerge, symbolized by the translation of the Bible into the Belarusian language by Frantsysk Skaryna in 1517. In 1569, however, the Grand Duchy formed a political merger with Poland by the Union of Lublin, forming the Rzeczpospolita (Commonwealth) and making the sovereign of Poland also the grand duke of the Lithuanian kingdom. During this time, Belarusians faced pressure from the Poles to convert from Eastern Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism. The union lasted until the late 18th century, by which time the lands of Belarus had fallen under the control of the Russian Empire, as a result of the partitions of Poland that took place in 1772, 1793, and 1795. In 1839 the Eastern (Uniate) Catholic Church in the Polotsk region was dissolved, and the Lithuanian statute of...