Editor: A.L.P. Burdett
Author:N/A ISBN: (10) 1-85207-960-6 Published: 1996 Paper: Printed on acid free paper Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish See sample pages:
This collection of key documents provides background information on present-day conflicts in the Caucasian region, and includes historical maps from British, French, German, Russian and Ottoman sources.
The aim of this work is to depict the evolution of major boundaries of Transcaucasia and the Northern Caucasus as measured and agreed by the international community at certain historic watersheds. Through extensive research into diplomatic and military records of the British government, we have attempted to trace descriptions of recognised frontiers and boundaries. The documents, used in conjunction with the map box, will depict evolving geopolitical claims of the key states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and North Caucasia; but also territories such as Daghestan, Circassia, Kars, Elisavetopol, Abkhasia, Kouban, at times subsumed into the larger states, are covered.
This zone of ancient geological collision, riven across its centre by the jagged line of the Elburz range, with the deceptive refuge of Ararat in the south; [the Caucasus] exemplifies the truth that extremes of geography make for extremes in human conflict. There have always been disputed areas, where first tribes, then nations, converged in certain parts of the Caucasus, but it is the disputes of the international powers of Russia, Turkey and Persia which dominate discussion on boundaries in the 19th century. As Russia extended its hold on the Transcaucasian provinces from the north, firstly through Georgia (declared part of Russia in 1802), then throughout the 19th century over parts of Armenia and Azerbaijan, pushing back Turkey and Persia (Iran), the territorial basis of the region known as Transcaucasia evolved. Intra-regional conflicts emerge and are assessed following the events of the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution and the intense diplomatic activity of the following years.
The period after the Great War and the Russian Revolution saw a variety of regional independence movements, before the Caucasian republics were assimilated into the Soviet Union. New territorial claims arose in the aftermath of the Second World War and are described, but beyond this point in time relevant material is not found in the British records and the present collection ends.
Material is drawn chiefly from the Foreign Office, Cabinet and War Office records of the British government, deposited at the Public Record Office, Kew, Surrey, and represents coverage of key issues as evenly as possible. However the material can only reflect the available documents: for example, because of the strictly bilateral nature of some of the agreements affecting frontiers, such as the Treaty of St. Petersburg (1834), these are not found among British records.
British interest in Transcaucasia was an indirect result of the usual diplomatic measures and exchanges principally aimed at maintaining influence and monitoring developments between Russia, Turkey and Persia. Documents in the first segment reflect this more distant role. However, Britain´s direct involvement in the two major Asiatic frontier commissions of 1857 and 1878 left a legacy of paperwork. The third major section of British records reflects the period of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Paris Peace Conference, both covered in detail.