Russian Caucasus

Armenia 1918-1922

In May 1918, Armenia declared independence from Russia. The KARS district, with an Armenian population - Russian since 1878 - was occupied by Ottoman troops, eventually to be integrated into the Turkish Republic.
Mountainous Armenia (or what was left of it) was a landlocked republic, with limited communication and trade. Even worse, the enclave of NAGORNY KARABAGH was surrounded by Azeri territory; on the other hand, the Azeri enclave of NAXITCHEVAN was separated from the remainder of the Republic of Azerbaijan by a strip of Armenian territory. The young republic of Armenia gave a new home to large numbers of Armenian refugees from the Armenian districts now again under Ottoman/Turkish rule.
A consequence was hyperinflation.

In May 1918, Armenia declared independence and a republic. In August/September, Ottoman & German forces crossed Armenia on their way to oil-rich Baku, which they took from Entente troops. Core areas of Armenia remained unoccupied, though. On Oct. 30th the Ottomans asked for an armistice, on Nov. 11th the Germans; the great war ended.
There were plans for a greater Armenia under British protection (the British had occupied BATUM in Dec. 1918); such a greater Armenia was foreseen in the TREATY OF SEVRES, which Turkey never ratified. The provinces the Armenian government now fought fought had largely been depopulated of their Armenian inhabitants during the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE in 1915-1917. British support turned out to be lukewarm, U.S. support of merely diplomatic nature; the Armenians were defeated by the troops of the Turkish Republic under KEMAL ATATÜRK. On December 2nd 1920, the Armenian government signed the TREATY OF ALEXANDROPOL, ceding all the provinces which had been part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914, as well as Kars and Alexandropol itself.
In November 1920 the Red Army invaded, proclaiming Armenia a Soviet Republic. In March 1922, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan established the FEDERATION OF TRANSCAUCASIAN SOVIET REPUBLICS.

Library of Congress, Country Studies : Armenia
DOCUMENTS Maps : Caucasus 1919-1920, Caucasus 1922-1936, Armenia 1919-1920, Armenia 1920-1922, from Atlas of Ethnic Conflicts, Ideological Clashes and Border Disputes

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 4th 2004

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