How Russia helped the Georgians to establish their own state

History 30/01/20 How Russia helped the Georgians to establish their own state

Since the mid 17th century the rulers of the various Georgian States regularly asked Russia about their acceptance in Russian citizenship. They pointed to the benefits from accession of Georgia to get Russia. The benefits were both geopolitical (the achievement of superiority over Turkey and Persia), and economic.

for Example, at the request of the Georgian king Irakli II to Empress Catherine II, aimed in 1782, it was said that, after the adoption of Georgia under the protection of Russia, the latter would receive annual taxes and spending in Georgia recruiting. In addition, king Irakli stressed the natural supply of wine and the best horses from Georgia to the Royal court.

the National Association of Georgia

In the late 18th century on the territory of Georgia there were several semi-independent States. The largest of these was the Kartli-Kakheti Kingdom in Eastern Georgia. It was concluded in 1783, the Treaty of the Russian protectorate and in 1801 was annexed to Russia. In the Central part of Georgia was Imeretia Kingdom with the capital in Kutaisi. In Western Georgia, located in the Principality of Samegrelo and Guria. In addition, part of the land inhabited by the Georgians, were directly part of the Ottoman Empire.

Joining the Russian Empire was provided primarily by the national Association of Georgia. For many centuries the Georgians were not a unified state. Kartli-Kakheti became part of Russia, as has been said, in 1801. Immediately following this, under Russian protection switched Samegrelo and Guria (1803) and Imereti (1804). As a result of Russian-Turkish war of 1806-1812 they were enshrined in the Russian Empire.

Georgian nobility considered joining Russia as an important step towards the connection of all Georgians in one state. This was clearly said Irakli II mentioned the petition to Catherine the great. He asked, immediately after the annexation of his Kingdom to Russia to start a war with Turkey for the accession of Akhaltsikhe pashalik. “When you follow with the Sultan of the world, – he wrote – and even then not to leave the judges under the Turkish possession, for onaya area Akhaltsikhskiy lies on the Georgian land, and the people there is Georgian and there is a lot of Christians.”

as a result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829, Akhaltsikhe district was annexed to the Russian Empire. After the war with Turkey of 1877-1878, the Russian Empire became inhabited mainly by Georgians district of Batumi.

at the same time the Georgians had the opportunity to participate in the conquest of the Caucasus along with the Russian. In 1810 part of Russia was included Abkhazian Principality. In the future, Russia’s relations with the Adyghe-Abkhaz (Circassian) peoples was difficult. From 1817 to 1864 raged Caucasian war, which ended with the deportation from Russia to Turkey the greater part of the Circassian tribes. The Georgians were devout Russian allies in this war and remained in the black. After securing the black sea coast for Russia, the Georgians have occupied part of the territory of Abkhazia. Due to this, until the 1990s, the Georgians were the majority of the population of this country.

Without becoming a part of the Russian Empire of a unified Georgian nation state to the present time could still not occur.

the Incorporation of Georgians in the Russian political culture

Know the countries included in the Russian Empire, fully retained their privileges and became part of the Imperial ruling class. As for Georgia, it meant that everyone in Georgia is traditionally considered a nobleman, received the rights and privileges of the Russian nobility. As the Georgians were Orthodox, there were no restrictions on them holding the higher government posts were not. Georgian nobles were completely equalized in rights with the Russian, the Georgian clergy – with Russian, the same applies to merchant categorys urban population.

Through the Russian Empire, Georgia had full access to the European Christian culture, than she could not dream under the dominion of the Ottomans and Persians.

the Losses of Russia because of Georgia

Due to the annexation of Georgian lands in Russia to strengthen its geopolitical positions in Transcaucasia. However, their defending was required of the constant wars with Persia, then Turkey, then with the mountain peoples of the North Caucasus. Relatively peaceful for Russia in the Caucasus in the 19th – early 20th century was only 1801-1803, 1814-1816, 1865-1876. and 1878-1913 years of the war he spent a large proportion of Russia’s GDP, they killed thousands of Russian people.

thus, according to estimates by Boris Urlanis, in each of the three wars (1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856) with Turkey on the Caucasus theatre was killed about thousands of Russian soldiers, in the war of 1877-1878 in the Transcaucasia not less than 5000. In modern reference books usually indicates that all the Caucasian war of the 19th century (taken largely in order to consolidate and secure the message with Georgia across the Caucasus mountains) cost the Russian army not less than 25 000 killed and died of wounds.

Writer and ethnographer of the late 19th and early 20th century, Director of the Tashkent teachers ‘ Seminary Michael Miropiev in the book “state Russian foreigners” was expressed that all the so-called Russian “colonies” have brought Russia more harm than direct material benefit.

Yaroslav Butakov

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