Azerbaijan History

Prehistoric age

The territory begins on the slopes of the Caucasus, extends along the shores of the Caspian Sea to the Iranian border. Since the Paleolithic Period, Azerbaijan was one of the asylums for mankind. Its residents, who were mainly farmers and ranchers, lived in these territories since the 7th and 6th centuries. Azerbaijan is one of the places that in the language of historians and archaeologists is called “the cradle of humanity”. One of the oldest asylums of prehistoric man is the Azíj cave. As archaeological excavations have shown, the valley between the Araxes and Kurá rivers, is one of the oldest homes in human civilization.

At the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century, class society began to form in Azerbaijan. Signs of the first urban civilizations appear in this society. According to the cuneiform writings in the first part of the III millennium in the territory of the southern and southeastern basins of Lake Urmía the first Azerbaijani state was formed.

From the year 2300 BC on the territory of the southern basin of Lake Urmía the second ancient Azerbaijani state Lullubi was formed. In the second part of the third millennium the ancient Kúti state was formed. In the 7th-6th centuries in the south-west of Azerbaijan the Cimmerian kingdom Scythian-Saco was formed.

At the end of the 4th century and at the beginning of the 5th century, the state of Albania from the Caucasus appeared in the north of Azerbaijan, which was bordered in the south by the Araxes River. The territory of Albania included different peoples, most of whom were Turkish speakers. Around the year 313 BC Christianity spread in Albania. In the 4th century BC in the south of Azerbaijan the state of Atropatene was established, which already had great Hellenic influence.

In the 1st and 4th centuries when the entire Caucasus came under the authority of the Romans, Albania was the only state developed in education, languages and culture and it continued to be independent. The Albanian church was independent from other churches and carried out Christian propaganda among the Turkish-speaking peoples of the North Caucasus.

Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan

After the Revolution of 1917, the premises were laid for the establishment of independent states in the national territories on the margins of the former Russian empire. The 28 of maypole of 1918 was proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (RDPA) in the eastern part of the southern Caucasus, the first democratic state proclaimed Islamic world.

The November to January of 1920 the Supreme Council of the Paris Conference (Versailles) recognized de facto independence of RDPA, whose capital, Baku, and had at that time diplomats and consuls representing 20 countries.

However, between 1919 and 1920 the internal situation in the RDPA and its international relations worsened considerably. The country found itself at the center of a fierce struggle between the Entente countries, Turkey, Russia and Iran, each pursuing its own geopolitical objectives in this strategically important and oil-rich region. Azerbaijan begins to lose its territories especially to the benefit of Armenia, mainly Iraq (now Yerevan).

The policy of the Bolshevik Government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) did not recognize the People’s Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. The departure of the 11th Red Army towards the borders of the RDPA in the spring of 1920, the aggression of the Dashnáks-Armenians (dashnaktsutún – Armenian terrorist party) against the RDPA in Karabakh and Zangazúr, the terrorist acts of the Armenian and Bolshevik parties against The Azerbaijani civilian population within Azerbaijan and the socio-economic crisis in the country were factors that ultimately weakened the RDPA and led to the occupation of its capital by the 11th Army on April 27 and 28, 1920.

Soviet period

The 70-year period of membership in the USSR marked a new and important stage for the Azerbaijani state, during which the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic achieved significant successes in terms of social, economic and cultural development.

In the economic sphere, the country became an appendage of the Soviet economy with regard to fuel, raw materials and agriculture. In the cultural sphere, after the substitution of the Latin alphabet by the Cyrillic, the links with the written sources of the spiritual culture of the Azerbaijani people were severed.

During the Soviet period, as a country located in Asia according to COMMIT4FITNESS, Azerbaijan lost the territories of Zangazúr, Goychá, part of Nakhichevan and other districts, to the benefit of neighboring Armenia. As a consequence, the territory of Azerbaijan, which in 1920, the RDPA period, had 114,000 km, was reduced between 1920 and 1991 until reaching 86.6 thousand km.

During World War II, Azerbaijan supplied oil to much of the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front, while about 600,000 Azerbaijanis fought against Nazi Germany. The Operation Edelweiss was carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of its important oil resources.

From 1988 to 1990 the National Democratic Movement of Azerbaijan carried out an active campaign for the restoration of the independence of the country. In 1988 the expulsion of Azerbaijanis living in Armenia began. The Soviet Government did not have the strength to put an end to the unconstitutional acts of Armenia and prevent militarized formations and terrorist groups from being sent to Azerbaijan. When the conflict began, 186,100 people lived in Nagorno Karabakh, of which 138,600 were Armenians (73.5%) and 47,500 Azerbaijanis (26.5%).

Thanks to the constant efforts of the patriotic forces of the Azerbaijani people, the 30 of August of 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted the Declaration on the restoration of state independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan History