Democratic Republic of Georgia

Last updated
Democratic Republic of Georgia

საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკა (Georgian)
1918–1921
Anthem: "Dideba"
(English: "Praise")
Democratic Republic of Georgia 1920.svg
Claimed borders of the Democratic Republic of Georgia
CapitalTbilisi
Common languagesOfficial
Georgian
Government Republic
Chairman  
 1918
Noe Ramishvili
 1918–1921
Noe Zhordania
Historical era Interwar period
 Established
May 26 1918
February 11, 1921
February 25, 1921
Area
1919107,600 km2 (41,500 sq mi)
Population
 1919
2,500,000
Currency Georgian maneti
ISO 3166 code GE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Transcaucasian Federation.svg Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic Flag of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1922–1937).svg
Turkey Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg
Today part of
Two disputed regions
Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia.svg  Abkhazia
Flag of South Ossetia.svg  South Ossetia

The Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG; Georgian :საქართველოს დემოკრატიული რესპუბლიკაsak’art’velos demokratiuli respublika) existed from May 1918 to February 1921 and was the first modern establishment of a Republic of Georgia.

Georgian language official language of Georgia

Georgian is a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians. It is the official language of Georgia.

Georgia (country) Country in the Caucasus region

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

Contents

The DRG was created after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917. Its established borders were with the Kuban People's Republic and the Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus in the north, the Ottoman Empire and the First Republic of Armenia in the south, and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in the southeast. It had a total land area of roughly 107,600 km2 (by comparison, the total area of today's Georgia is 69,700 km2), and a population of 2.5 million.

Russian Empire Former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Kuban Peoples Republic

The Kuban People's Republic was an anti-Bolshevik state during the Russian Civil War, comprising the territory of the modern-day Kuban region in Russia.

Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus former country

The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was a short-lived state situated in the Northern Caucasus that existed from 1917 until 1920. It broke away from the Russian Empire during the February Revolution, shortly before the start of the Russian Civil War.

The republic's capital was Tbilisi, and its state language was Georgian. Proclaimed on May 26, 1918, on the break-up of the Transcaucasian Federation, it was led by the Georgian Social Democratic Party (also known as the Georgian Menshevik Party). Facing permanent internal and external problems, the young state was unable to withstand invasion by Russia's Red Armies, and collapsed between February and March 1921 to become a Soviet republic.

Tbilisi Capital city in Georgia

Tbilisi, in some countries also still known by its pre-1936 international designation Tiflis, is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, since then Tbilisi served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917, then part of the Russian Empire, Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus.

Red Army invasion of Georgia military campaign by the Red Army

The Red Army invasion of Georgia, also known as the Soviet–Georgian War or the Soviet invasion of Georgia, was a military campaign by the Russian Red Army aimed at overthrowing the Social-Democratic (Menshevik) government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) and installing a Bolshevik regime in the country. The conflict was a result of expansionist policy by the Russians, who aimed to control as much as possible of the lands which had been part of the former Russian Empire until the turbulent events of the First World War, as well as the revolutionary efforts of mostly Russian-based Georgian Bolsheviks, who did not have sufficient support in their native country to seize power without external intervention.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Republic in the USSR (1922–1991) and sovereign state (1917–1922 and 1990–1991)

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, previously known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or simply Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, and afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1922 to 1991, then a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group. The capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara.

Background

Nikolay Chkheidze, president of Georgian Provisional Assembly, later of Constituent Assembly Nikolay ('Karlo') Chkheidze (1864-1926), Georgian Menshevik politician (small).jpg
Nikolay Chkheidze, president of Georgian Provisional Assembly, later of Constituent Assembly

After the February Revolution of 1917 and collapse of the tsarist administration in the Caucasus, most powers was held by the Special Transcaucasian Committee (Ozakom, short for Osobyi Zakavkazskii Komitet) of the Russian Provisional Government. All of the soviets in Georgia were firmly controlled by the Georgian Social Democratic Party, who followed the lead of the Petrograd Soviet and supported the Provisional Government. The Bolshevist October Revolution changed the situation drastically. The Caucasian Soviets refused to recognize Vladimir Lenin's regime. Threats from the increasingly Bolshevistic deserting soldiers of the former Caucasus army, ethnic clashes and anarchy in the region forced Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani politicians to create a unified regional authority known as the Transcaucasian Commissariat (November 14, 1917) and later a legislature, the Sejm (January 23, 1918). On April 22, 1918, the Sejm – Nikolay Chkheidze was the president – declared the Transcaucasus an independent democratic federation with an executive Transcaucasian government chaired by Evgeni Gegechkori and later by Akaki Chkhenkeli. [1]

February Revolution first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917

The February Revolution, known in Soviet historiography as the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution, was the first of two revolutions which took place in Russia in 1917.

Tsarist autocracy is a form of autocracy specific to the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which later became Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire. In it, all power and wealth is controlled by the Tsar. They had more power than constitutional monarchs, who are usually vested by law and counterbalanced by a legislative authority; they even had more authority on religious issues compared to Western monarchs. In Russia, it originated during the time of Ivan III (1440−1505), and was abolished after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Caucasus region in Eurasia bordered on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Turkey, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the north by Russia

The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, but is today accepted by the majority of scholars as being part of Asia.

Many Georgians, influenced by the ideas of Ilia Chavchavadze and other intellectuals from the late 19th century, insisted on national independence. A cultural national awakening was further strengthened by the restoration of the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church (March 12, 1917) and the establishment of a national university in Tbilisi (1918). In contrast, the Georgian Mensheviks regarded independence from Russia as a temporary step against the Bolshevik revolution and considered calls for Georgia's independence chauvinistic and separatist. The union of Transcaucasus was short-lived though. Undermined by increasing internal tensions and by pressure from the German and Ottoman empires, the federation collapsed on May 26, 1918, when Georgia declared independence. [2] Two days later both Armenia and Azerbaijan declared their independence as well. [3]

Ilia Chavchavadze Georgian poet and politician; a saint of Georgian Orthodox Church

Prince Ilia Chavchavadze was a Georgian writer, political figure, poet, and publisher who spearheaded the revival of the Georgian national movement in the second half of the 19th century, during the Russian rule of Georgia. He is Georgia's "most universally revered hero."

Georgian Orthodox Church national church

The Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in full communion with the other churches of Eastern Orthodoxy. It is Georgia's dominant religious institution, and a majority of Georgian people are members. The Georgian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in the world. It asserts apostolic foundation, and its historical roots must be traced to the early and late Christianization of Iberia and Colchis by Saint Andrew in the 1st century of new era and by Saint Nino in the 4th century AD, respectively.

Tbilisi State University university

Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, is a public research university established on 8 February 1918 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Excluding academies and theological seminaries, which have intermittently functioned in Georgia for centuries, TSU is the oldest university in Georgia and the Caucasus region. Over 18,000 students are enrolled and the total number of faculty and staff (collaborators) is 5,000. According to the U.S. News & World Report university rankings, TSU is ranked 359th in the world, tied with the University of Warsaw.

History

Recognition

National Council meeting, May 26, 1918. Georgien Parlament Unabhängigkeit.jpg
National Council meeting, May 26, 1918.

Georgia was immediately recognized by Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The young state had to place itself under German protection and to cede its largely Muslim-inhabited regions (including the cities of Batum, Ardahan, Artvin, Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki) to the Ottoman government (Treaty of Batum, June 4). However, German support enabled the Georgians to repel the Bolshevik threat from Abkhazia. German forces were almost certainly under the command of Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein. Following the German defeat in the First World War, British occupation forces arrived in the country, with the permission of the Georgian government. Relations between the British and the local population were more strained than they had been with the Germans. British-held Batumi remained out of Georgia's control until 1920. On December 25, 1918, a British force was deployed in Tbilisi too.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

The Treaty of Poti was a provisional agreement between the German Empire and the Democratic Republic of Georgia in which the latter accepted German protection and recognition. The agreement was signed, on May 28, 1918, by General Otto von Lossow for Germany and by Prime Minister Noe Ramishvili and Foreign Minister Akaki Chkhenkeli for Georgia at the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti.

Batumi Place in Adjara, Georgia

Batumi is the capital of Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the second-largest city of Georgia, located on the coast of the Black Sea in the country's southwest. It is situated in a Subtropical Zone at the foot of Caucasus. Much of Batumi's economy revolves around tourism and gambling, but the city is also an important sea port and includes industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing. Since 2010, Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical 19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town.

Georgia's relations with its neighbors were uneasy. Territorial disputes with Armenia, Denikin's White Russian government and Azerbaijan led to armed conflicts in the first two cases. A British military mission attempted to mediate these conflicts in order to consolidate all anti-Bolshevik forces in the region. To prevent White Russian army forces from crossing into the newly established states, the British commander in the region drew a line across the Caucasus that Denikin would not be permitted to cross, giving both Georgia and Azerbaijan temporary relief. The threat of invasion by Denikin's forces, notwithstanding the British position, brought Georgia and Azerbaijan together in a mutual defense alliance on June 16, 1919. [4]

On February 14, 1919, Georgia held parliamentary elections won by the Social Democratic Party of Georgia with 81.5% of the vote. On March 21, Noe Zhordania formed the third government, which had to deal with armed peasants' revolts incited by local Bolshevik activists and largely supported from Russia. These became more troublesome when carried out by ethnic minorities such as Abkhazians and Ossetians.

However, the land reform was finally well handled by the Georgian Social Democratic Party government and the country established a multi-party system in sharp contrast with the "dictatorship of the proletariat" established by the Bolsheviks in Russia. In 1919, reforms in the judicial system and local self-governance were carried out. Abkhazia was granted autonomy. Nevertheless, ethnic issues continued to trouble the country, especially on the part of the Ossetians, as witnessed in May 1920. Some contemporaries also observed increasing nationalism among the Social Democratic Party of Georgia leaders.

Downfall

Noe Ramishvili became the chairman of the first government of the Republic. In 1930, he was assassinated by a Bolshevik spy in Paris. Noeramishvilipic.jpg
Noe Ramishvili became the chairman of the first government of the Republic. In 1930, he was assassinated by a Bolshevik spy in Paris.

The year 1920 was marked by increased threats from the Russian SFSR. With the defeat of the White movement and the Red Armies' advance to the Caucasus frontiers, the republic's situation became extremely tense. In January, the Soviet leadership offered Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan an alliance against the White armies in South Russia and the Caucasus. The Government of the DRG refused to enter any military alliance, referring to its policy of neutrality and noninterference, but suggested negotiations towards a political settlement of the relations between two countries in the hope that this might lead to recognition of Georgia's independence by Moscow. Severe criticism of the Georgian refusal by Russian leaders was followed by several attempts by local communists to organize mass anti-government protests, which ended unsuccessfully.

The leaders of the Second International visit Tbilisi, 1920. International II leaders in Tiflis.jpg
The leaders of the Second International visit Tbilisi, 1920.

In April 1920, the 11th Red Army established a Soviet regime in Azerbaijan, and the Georgian Bolshevik Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze requested permission from Moscow to advance into Georgia. Though official consent was not granted by Lenin and Sovnarkom , local Bolsheviks attempted to seize the Military School of Tbilisi as a preliminary to a coup d'état on May 3, 1920, but were successfully repelled by General Kvinitadze. The Georgian government began mobilization and appointed Giorgi Kvinitadze commander-in-chief. In the meantime, in response to Georgia's alleged provision of assistance to the Azeri nationalist rebellion in Ganja, Soviet forces attempted to penetrate Georgian territory, but were repelled by Kvinitadze in brief border clashes at the Red Bridge. Within a few days, peace talks resumed in Moscow. Under the terms of the controversial Moscow Peace Treaty of May 7, Georgian independence was recognized in return for the legalization of Bolshevik organizations and a commitment not to allow foreign troops on Georgian soil.

Refused entry into the League of Nations on December 16, 1920, Georgia gained de jure recognition from the Allies on January 11, 1921. [5] This, however, did not prevent the country from being attacked by Soviet Russia one month later.

After Azerbaijan and Armenia had been Sovietized by the Red Army, Georgia found itself surrounded by hostile Soviet republics. Moreover, as the British had already evacuated the Caucasus, the country was left without any foreign support.

According to Soviet sources, relations with Georgia deteriorated over alleged violations of the peace treaty, re-arrests of Georgian Bolsheviks, obstruction of convoys passing through Georgia to Armenia, and a strong suspicion that Georgia was aiding armed rebels in the North Caucasus. For its part, Georgia accused Moscow of fomenting anti-government riots in various regions of the country, and of provoking border incidents in the Zaqatala region, disputed with the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The Lori “neutral zone” was another challenge, as Soviet Armenia categorically demanded that Georgia withdraw the troops that had been stationed in the region since the fall of the Armenian Republic.

Government and law

Fragments of the Constitution of Georgia adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Georgia on 21st February 1921. Fragments of the Constitution of Georgia adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Georgia on 21st February 1921.jpg
Fragments of the Constitution of Georgia adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Georgia on 21st February 1921.

The Act of Independence of Georgia, declared on May 26, 1918, in brief, outlined the main principles of the nation's future democracy. According to this act, “the Democratic Republic of Georgia equally guarantees to every citizen within her limits political rights irrespective of nationality, creed, social rank or sex". The first government, formed the same day, was led by Noe Ramishvili. In October 1918, the National Council of Georgia has renamed the Parliament and announced new elections to be held on February 14, 1919.

Noe Zhordania, the chairman of the second and the third government of the Republic. Noe Schordania.jpg
Noe Zhordania, the chairman of the second and the third government of the Republic.

During its two-year history (1919–1921), the newly elected Constituent Assembly of GeorgiaNikolay Chkheidze was the president – adopted 126 laws, specifically, laws on citizenship, local elections, defence, the official language, agriculture, the legal system, political and administrative arrangements for ethnic minorities (including an act about the People's Council of Abkhazia), a national system of public education, and some other laws and regulations on fiscal and monetary policy, railways, and trade and domestic production. On February 21, 1921, facing the onset of Soviet aggression, the Constituent Assembly adopted a constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, the first modern fundamental law in the nation's history.

The chairman of the government was the chief executive post, approved by the parliament for one-year terms of office (the post could not be held for more than two consecutive terms). The chairman appointed ministers and was responsible for governing the country and representing Georgia in foreign relations. The 1919 government of Georgia adopted a law on jury trials. The right to trial by jury was later incorporated into the Constitution of Democratic Republic of Georgia of 1921.

International recognition

Under the terms of the Moscow Peace Treaty of May 7, Georgian independence was recognized by Soviet Russia in return for the legalization of Bolshevik organizations and a commitment not to allow foreign troops on Georgian soil.

The independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia was de jure recognized by Romania, Argentina, Germany, Turkey, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Estonia, among other countries.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in Exile continued to be recognized by many European states as the only legal government of Georgia for some time after 1921. The Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in Exile lasted until 1954 continuing to oppose Soviet rule in Georgia.

Political geography

Georgia's 1918–1921 borders were formed through the border conflicts with its neighbors and ensuing treaties and conventions.

In the north, Georgia was bordered by various Russian Civil War polities until Bolshevik power was established in the North Caucasus in the spring of 1920. The international border between Soviet Russia and Georgia was regulated by the 1920 Moscow Treaty. During the Sochi conflict with the Russian White movement, Georgia briefly controlled the Sochi district in 1918.

In the southwest, the DRG's border with the Ottoman Empire changed with the course of World War I and was modified after the Ottoman defeat in the hostilities. Georgia regained control over Artvin, Ardahan, part of Batum province, Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki. Batum was finally incorporated into the republic after the British evacuated the area in 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres of 1920 granted Georgia control over eastern Lazistan including Rize and Hopa.[ citation needed ] However, the Georgian government, unwilling to become embroiled in a new war with Turkish Revolutionaries, took no steps to take control of these areas.

The border disputes with the First Republic of Armenia over a part of Borchalo district led to a brief war between the two countries in December 1918. With the British intervention the Lori "neutral zone" was created, only to be reoccupied by Georgia after the fall of the Armenian Republic at the end of 1920.

In the southeast, Georgia was bordered by Azerbaijan, which claimed control of Zaqatala district. The dispute, however, never led to hostilities and relations between the two countries were generally peaceful until the Sovietization of Azerbaijan.

The 1919 projects and the 1921 constitution of Georgia granted Abkhazia, Ajaria and Zaqatala a degree of autonomy. Article 107 of the constitution gave autonomy to Abkhazia and Zaqatala. [6] However, due to the Red Army invasion, the exact nature of this autonomy was never determined. [7] It did however serve as the first time in the modern era that Abkhazia was defined as a geographic entity. [8]

The territory of the Democratic Republic of Georgia included some territories that today belong to other countries. It was circa 107,600 km2, compared to 69,700 km2 in modern Georgia. The Soviet occupation of the DRG led to significant territorial rearrangements by which Georgia lost almost a third of its territory. Artvin, Ardahan and part of Batumi provinces were ceded to Turkey, Armenia gained control of Lori, and Azerbaijan obtained Zaqatala district. A portion of the Georgian marches along the Greater Caucasus Mountains was taken by Russia.

Armed forces

People's Guard of Georgia. Menshevik People's Guard.jpg
People's Guard of Georgia.

The People's Guard was the privileged military force in the country. Founded on September 5, 1917, as the Worker's Guard, it was later renamed the Red Guard, and finally the People's Guard. It was a highly politicized military structure placed directly under the control of parliament rather than the Ministry of War. Throughout its existence (1917–1921), the Guard was under the command of the Menshevik activist Valiko Jugheli. [9]

The DRG also formed its own regular army. The only part of it was armed in peacetime, the majority being on furlough and following their callings. If the republic had been in danger, they would have been called up by the General Staff, supplied with arms, and allotted to their places. General Giorgi Kvinitadze [10] was commander-in-chief, two times.

From March 1919 to October 1920, the Georgian army was reorganized. It consisted of 3 infantry divisions (later coalesced into one), 2 fortress regiments, 3 artillery brigades, a sapper battalion, a telegraph platoon, a motor squadron with an armored car detachment, a cavalry regiment, and a military school. A People's Guard consisted of 4 regular battalions. It could further mobilize 18 battalions, i.e., one division. Thus, in 1920, the Georgian army and People's Guard together comprised 16 infantry battalions (1 army division and an NG regiment), 1 sapper battalion, 5 field artillery divisions, 2 cavalry legions, 2 motor squadrons with 2 armored car detachments, an air detachment and 4 armored trains. Beyond staff and fortress regiments, the army totaled 27,000. Mobilization could increase this number to 87,000. The Georgian navy possessed 1 destroyer, 4 fighter aircraft, 4 torpedo boats, and 10 steamboats. [11]

Although the republic had access to almost 200,000 veterans of World War I with skilled generals and officers, the government failed to build up an effective defense system, a factor that greatly contributed to its collapse.

Economy

Agriculture was a mainstay of the local economy of Georgia, a typical agrarian country with long wine-making traditions. Land reform well managed by the government—Noe Khomeriki [12] was in charge of this project—contributed to a degree of stability in this field.

The manganese industry at Chiatura was of great importance to European metallurgy, providing about 70% of the world supply of manganese in the early 20th century. Traditionally, Georgia served also as an international transportation corridor through the key Black Sea ports of Batumi and Poti.

However, lack of international recognition and the government's only partially successful policy in the field hindered the economic development of the DRG and the country suffered an economic crisis. Some signs of improvement were observed towards 1920–1921.

Education, science and culture

The most important event in the country's cultural life during this turbulent period was indeed the foundation of a national university in Tbilisi (now known as the Tbilisi State University) (1918), a long-time dream of Georgians thwarted by the Imperial Russian authorities for several decades. Other educational centers included gymnasiums in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Ozurgeti, Poti and Gori, Tbilisi Military School, Gori Pedagogical Seminary, the Pedagogical Seminary for Women, etc. Georgia also had a number of schools for ethnic minorities.

The National Museum of Georgia, theaters in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, the Tbilisi National Opera House, and the National Academy of Art were in the vanguard of cultural life.

The newspapers Sakartvelos Respublika ("Republic of Georgia"), Sakartvelo ("Georgia"), Ertoba ("Unity"), Samshoblo ("Motherland"), Sakhalkho Sakme ("Public Affair"), The Georgian Messenger and The Georgian Mail (both published in English) led the national press.

Legacy

Bilingual plaque: "On May 26, 1918, in this hall the National Council of Georgia adopted the act of independence, thereby restoring the statehood of Georgia". Plaque commemorating the 1918 establishment of the First Georgian Republic.jpg
Bilingual plaque: "On May 26, 1918, in this hall the National Council of Georgia adopted the act of independence, thereby restoring the statehood of Georgia".

The 1918–1921 independence of Georgia, though short-lived, was of particular importance for the development of national feeling among Georgians, a major factor that made the country one of the most active independent forces within the Soviet Union. Leaders of the national movement of the late 1980s frequently referred to the DRG as a victory in the struggle against the Russian Empire and drew parallels with the contemporary political situation, portraying a somewhat idealized image of the Georgian First Republic.

On April 9, 1991, the independence of Georgia was restored when the Act of the Restoration of State Independence of Georgia was adopted by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia. The national symbols used by the DRG were re-established as those of the newly independent nation and remained in use until 2004. May 26, the day of the establishment of the DRG, is still celebrated as a national holiday — the Independence Day of Georgia.

See also

Notes

  1. Kazemzadeh 1951 , pp. 104–105
  2. Suny 1994 , pp. 191–192
  3. Kazemzadeh 1951 , pp. 123–124
  4. Sicker, Martin (2001). The Middle East in the Twentieth Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 120. ISBN   0-275-96893-6.
  5. Skinner, Peter (2014). Georgia: The Land Below the Caucasus. Narikala Publications. p. 469. ISBN   978-0-9914232-0-0.
  6. Papuashvili 2012 , p. 48
  7. Welt 2012 , pp. 214–215
  8. Blauvelt 2014 , p. 26
  9. (French) Valiko Djougheli.
  10. (French) Guiorgui Kvinitadzé.
  11. (in Russian) А. Дерябин, Р. Паласиос-Фернандес (2000), Гражданская война в России 1917–1922. Национальные армии. ACT, ISBN   5-237-01084-9.
  12. (French) Noe Khomeriki.

Bibliography

Further reading

Coordinates: 41°43′N44°47′E / 41.717°N 44.783°E / 41.717; 44.783

Related Research Articles

Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic constituent republic of the Soviet Union

The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union that existed from 1922 to 1936. It embraced Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As they were separated from Russia by the Caucasus Mountains, they were known traditionally as the Transcaucasian Republics. Created ostensibly to consolidate the economic situation of the region, the TSFSR was also useful in consolidating Bolshevik control over the states. It was one of the four republics to sign the treaty establishing the Soviet Union in 1922.

Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic union republic of the Soviet Union

Georgia, formally the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, was one of the republics of the Soviet Union from its inception in 1922 to its breakup in 1991. Coterminous with the present-day republic of Georgia, it was based on the traditional territory of Georgia, which had existed as a series of independent states in the Caucasus prior to annexation by the Russian Empire in 1801. Independent again as the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918, it was annexed by Soviet forces, who invaded it in 1921. The Georgian SSR was subsequently formed, though from 1922 until 1936 it was a part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, which existed as a union republic within the USSR. From November 18, 1989, the Georgian SSR declared its sovereignty over Soviet laws. The republic was renamed the Republic of Georgia on November 14, 1990, and subsequently became independent before the dissolution of the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991, whereupon each former SSR became a sovereign state.

Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic

The Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, also known as the Transcaucasian Federation, was a short-lived South Caucasian state extending across what are now the modern-day countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, plus parts of Eastern Turkey as well as Russian border areas.

Giorgi Kvinitadze Georgian military commander

Giorgi Kvinitadze was a Georgian military commander who rose from an officer in the Imperial Russian army to commander-in-chief of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. After sovietization of Georgia, Kvinitadze went into exile to France, where he wrote his memoirs of the 1917–1921 events in Georgia.

History of Adjara

The article refers to the history of Georgia's autonomous province of Adjara.

Azerbaijan Democratic Republic historic state

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, also known as Azerbaijan People's Republic or Caucasus Azerbaijan in diplomatic documents, was the third democratic republic in the Turkic world and Muslim world, after the Crimean People's Republic and Idel-Ural Republic. The ADR was founded by the Azerbaijani National Council in Tiflis on 28 May 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire. Its established borders were with Russia to the north, the Democratic Republic of Georgia to the north-west, the First Republic of Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. It had a population of 2.86 million. Ganja was the temporary capital of the Republic as Baku was under Bolshevik control. The name of "Azerbaijan" which the leading Musavat party adopted, for political reasons, was, prior to the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, exclusively used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.

First Republic of Armenia former country

The First Republic of Armenia, officially known at the time of its existence as the Democratic Republic of Armenia, was the first modern Armenian state since the loss of Armenian statehood in the Middle Ages.

Sochi conflict

Sochi conflict was a three-party border conflict which involved the counterrevolutionary White Russian forces, Bolshevik Red Army and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, each of which sought control over the Black Sea town of Sochi. The conflict was fought as a part of the Russian Civil War and lasted with varying success from July 1918 to May 1919, and ended through British mediation establishing the current official border between Russia and Georgia.

The Armenian–Azerbaijani War, which started after the Russian Revolution, was a series of conflicts in 1918, then from 1920–22 that occurred during the brief independence of Armenia and Azerbaijan and afterwards. Most of the conflicts did not have a principal pattern with a standard armed structure. The Ottoman Empire and British Empire were involved in different capacities: the Ottoman Empire left the region after the Armistice of Mudros but British influence continued until Dunsterforce was pulled back in the 1920s. The conflicts involved civilians in the disputed districts of Kazakh-Shamshadin, Zanghezur, Nakhchivan and Karabakh. The use of guerrilla and semi-guerrilla operations was the main reason for the high civilian casualties, which occurred during the nation-building activities of the newly established states.

Provisional National Government of the Southwestern Caucasus former country

The Provisional National Government of the Southwestern Caucasus, Provisional National Government of South West Caucasia or Kars Republic was a short-lived nominally-independent provisional government based in Kars, northeastern Turkey. Born in the wake of the Armistice of Mudros that ended World War I in the Middle East, it existed from December 1, 1918 until April 19, 1919, when it was abolished by British High Commissioner Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe. Some historians consider it to have been a puppet state of the Ottoman Empire.

Southern Front of the Russian Civil War

The Southern Front of the Russian Civil War was a theatre of the Russian Civil War.

The Treaty of Moscow, signed between Soviet Russia (RSFSR) and the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) in Moscow on May 7, 1920, granted Georgia de jure recognition of independence in exchange of the promise not to grant asylum on Georgian soil to troops of powers hostile to Bolshevik Russia.

The Georgian–Ossetian conflict of 1918–1920 comprised a series of uprisings, which took place in the Ossetian-inhabited areas of what is now South Ossetia, a breakaway republic in Georgia, against the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic and then the Menshevik-dominated Democratic Republic of Georgia which claimed several thousand lives and left painful memories among the Georgian and Ossetian communities of the region.

Battle of Baku

The Battle of Baku also known as the Liberation of Baku was a battle in World War I that took place between August–September 1918 between the Ottoman–Azerbaijani coalition forces led by Nuri Pasha and Bolshevik–Dashnak Baku Soviet forces, later succeeded by the British–Armenian–White Russian forces led by Lionel Dunsterville and saw briefly Soviet Russia re-enter the war. The battle was fought as a conclusive part of the Caucasus Campaign, but as a beginning of the Armenian–Azerbaijani War.

German Caucasus expedition research expedition

The German Caucasus expedition was a military expedition sent in late May 1918, by the German Empire to the formerly Russian Transcaucasia during the Caucasus Campaign of World War I. Its prime aim was to stabilize the pro-German Democratic Republic of Georgia and to secure oil supplies for Germany by preventing the Ottoman Empire from gaining access to the oil reserves near Baku on the Abşeron peninsula.

1920 Georgian coup attempt

The Georgian coup in May 1920 was an unsuccessful attempt to take power by the Bolsheviks in the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Relying on the 11th Red Army of Soviet Russia operating in neighboring Azerbaijan, the Bolsheviks attempted to take control of a military school and government offices in the Georgian capital of Tiflis on May 3. The Georgian government suppressed the disorders in Tiflis and concentrated its forces to successfully block the advance of the Russian troops on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border. The Georgian resistance, combined with an uneasy war with Poland, persuaded the Red leadership to defer their plans for Georgia’s Sovietization and recognize Georgia as an independent nation in the May 7 treaty of Moscow.

Giorgi Khimshiashvili Georgian general

Giorgi "Gogi" Khimshiashvili was a Georgian military officer prominent in the service of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–1921). He was executed by the Soviet authorities on charges of being part of an underground anti-Soviet organization.

Postage stamps and postal history of Georgia

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of Georgia.

11th Army (RSFSR)

The 11th Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, which fought on the Caspian-Caucasian Front. It took a prominent part in the sovietization of the three republics of the southern Caucasus in 1920–21, when Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia were brought within the orbit of Soviet Russia.