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State Building In The South Caucasus Before 1917

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Chapter Summary

In the 18th and 19th century the power of Russia in the South Caucasus was established. This was done through the use of extensive and disproportionate violence. Since the South Caucasus was divided in small kingdoms, princedoms, and khanates, some areas decided to join the Russian Empire voluntarily, enabling them to find an ally against neighboring rulers. Since 1878, the division in the South Caucasus as part of the Russian Empire was a fact. On December 18, 1800, Czar Paul (1796-1801) declared Kartli-Kakheti's annexation to Russia. After the incorporation of Kartli-Kakheti in 1801, the Russians annexed the West-Georgian principality of Mingrelia in December 1803 and forced King Solomon II of Imereti to accept Russian sovereignty in 1804. In 1812 Guria became part of the Russian Empire. The mountainous region of Svanetia was the last major part of present-day Georgia to be incorporated into Russia, in 1858.

Keywords: Georgia; Guria; Kartli-Kakheti; khanates; Russian Empire; South Caucasus; Svanetia



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