Armenia, being one of the cradles of civilization since ancient times, has been the center of contact and interaction of European and Eastern civilizations.
The Armenian people, interacting with different civilizations, have preserved and developed their unique culture, national image and way of life.
Due to that, through millennia, Armenians have reached the modern stage of human history.
The history of the Armenian people is the five thousand year history of the ethnos.
The substantive core of this history was also the history of the Armenian statehood, which is closely connected with the same civilizational keys.
The development of agricultural culture, the decline of tribal system, the strengthening of the positions of chieftains, the rise of city life in III millennium BC lead to the formation of the first state formations in the Armenian Highlands. At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, the first pan-Armenian state appeared – the Kingdom of Ararat (Urartu). One of the powerful civilizational bases of the Ancient World of the state level is being created, on which later other ancient Armenian kingdoms of Haykazuns-Ervanduni (Orontid), Artashesians (Artaxiad) and Arshakuni (Arstacid) arose.
For centuries, the Armenian people resisted external dangers not only by military force, but also by careful cultural values. The Armenians were the first in the world to adopt Christianity in 301 as the state religion, and in 405 they created their own alphabet.
After the decline of the royal dynasty of Arshakids in Greater Armenia (428), the Armenian system of nakharar-princes, as well as the Armenian Apostolic Church, remained the bearers of statehood.
For more than three centuries, the Armenian people fought against foreign invaders. As a result, in 885 the Armenian state was restored under the rule of the Bagratid royal dynasty. However, the integrity of this kingdom did not last long. It was fragmented into small kingdoms that became victims of the expansion of Byzantium. After 20 years of struggle for independence, the Bagratid kingdom fell in 1045.
Nevertheless, the Armenian people in 1080-1375 were able to recreate their statehood outside the Armenian Highlands in the historical region of Cilicia, in the south of Asia Minor. In 1198, with the coronation of Leon II the Great, Cilician Armenia became the Kingdom. Active military-economic ties were established between Cilicia and the countries of Western Europe.
Since the XI century, Armenia has been subjected to constant invasions and destruction by various nomadic tribes (Seljuks, Mongols, Turkmen). In the XVI-XVII centuries, the country became a bone of contention between the Ottoman and Safavid dynasties. This period became the most fateful for the Armenian people.
A new era for the Armenian people began in the middle of the XVII century with the rise of the liberation struggle against foreign domination, led by the Armenian Apostolic Church. The fiefdoms of Syunik and Artsakh, which have many features of Armenian statehood, become centers of struggle against foreign dominance. In 1720-1740, Armenian statehood was restored here for a short time.
At the beginning of the XIX century, Russia began to pursue its expansionist policy in the Caucasus. The Armenian people pined their hopes on liberation from the Persian-Turkish rule, provided all-round support to the Russian troops in their wars against the Ottoman Empire and Persia. But after the conquest of Eastern Armenia, the Tsars court forgot about the plans for Armenians liberation.
Nevertheless, the eastern Armenians received guarantees for the security of life under Russian rule. At the same time, Western Armenians continued to be subjected to brutal national, religious and social persecution in the Ottoman Empire.
The main axis of the sociopolitical life of Armenia in the last quarter of the XIX century was the issue of reforms in the regions of the Ottoman Empire populated by Armenians. It was enshrined in the San Stefano and Berlin treaties of 1878, entered the agenda of international diplomacy under the name “Armenian Question”.
The Armenian society perceived the “Armenian Question” as a problem of the liberation of Western Armenia. The Armenians gradually directed all their potential to its realization. The Hajduk liberation movement unfolds in Western Armenia. In the same time, the internationalization of the “Armenian Question” has a beneficial effect on Armenian culture at the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX century.
However, the authorities of the Ottoman Empire prefer a unique way of resolving the Armenian issue – genocide. The all-Turkish plan for the extermination of Armenians passes from Sultan Hamid II to the Young Turks, who came to power in 1908. During the First World War, they carried out a monstrous policy of physical extermination and deportation of Armenians.
In 1918, after the revolution in Russia, unfavorable political conditions were created for the Armenians in the South Caucasus. Turkish troops invade Eastern Armenia. Due to the Patriotic War of the Armenian people at the end of May, the enemy was defeated and driven back. As a result of the heroic battles near Sardarapat and Bash-Aparan, not only the Turkish plan to complete the policy of extermination of Armenians fails, but the Armenian statehood is also being revived. In battles, the Republic of Armenia is proclaimed.
In December 1920, the Sovietization of Armenia took place. In the first years of its existence, Soviet Armenia retains its relative sovereignty and some features of a nation-state. Armenia in 1922 became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (TSFSR) together with the Georgian SSR and the Azerbaijan SSR, and then joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the abolition of the Transcaucasian SFSR In 1936, Armenia became a union republic.
The Armenian people took an active part in World War II (1939-1945). More than half a million Armenians are fighting against fascism on different fronts.
After independence was declared on September 23, 1991, a presidential form of government was approved. In 2018, the Republic of Armenia again switched to a parliamentary form.
Under the conditions of the policy of repression of the Armenians living in Azerbaijan, in 1988 a national liberation struggle began in Artsakh. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic declared its independence on September 2, 1991, in full compliance with the fundamental norms and principles of the international law. The second Armenian state, not recognized by the world community, has chosen a presidential form of government.
ERAS OF ARMENIAN HISTORY
Lasts until the VI century BC. – From ancient times to the fall of the Ararat kingdom (Urartu).
Covers the period from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. – from the formation of the kingdom of the Yervandid dynasty to the proclamation of Christianity as the state religion.
Covers the period from the 4th century to the middle of the XVII century – from the proclamation of Christianity as the state religion to the rise of the Armenian national liberation movement.
Covers the period from the XVII century to 1918 – from the beginning of the Armenian national liberation movements to the proclamation of the Republic of Armenia.
Covers our days since 1918 – the history of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the history of the Republic of Artsakh