Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919, King Amanullah unsuccessfully attempted to modernize the country.It remained peaceful during Zahir Shah's forty years of monarchy.A series of coups in the 1970s was followed by a series of civil wars that devastated much of Afghanistan and continues to this day.
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The root name "Afghan" was used historically in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, and the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian.
Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more specifically in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns.
However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "[t]he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan." Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world.
It has a population of approximately 32 million, making it the 42nd most populous country in the world.
It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and China in the far northeast.