As revolution swept over Russia and empires collapsed in the final days of World War I, Azerbaijan and neighbouring Georgia and Armenia proclaimed their independence in May 1918. During the ensuing two years of struggle for independence, military endgames, and treaty negotiations, the diplomatic representatives of Azerbaijan struggled to gain international recognition and favourable resolution of the territorial sovereignty of the country. This brief but eventful episode came to an end when the Red Army entered Baku in late April 1920.
Drawing on archival documents from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, United States, France, and Great Britain, the accomplished historian, Jamil Hasanli, has produced a comprehensive and meticulously documented account of this little-known period. He narrates the tumultuous path of the short-lived Azerbaijani state toward winning international recognition and reconstructs a vivid image of the Azeri political elite's quest for nationhood after the collapse of the Russian colonial system, with a particular focus on the liberation of Baku from Bolshevik factions, relations with regional neighbours, and the arduous road to recognition of Azerbaijan's independence by the Paris Peace Conference.
Providing a valuable insight into the past of the South Caucasus region and the dynamics of the post-World War I era, this book will be an essential addition to scholars and students of Central Asian Studies and the Caucasus, History, Foreign Policy and Political Studies.
Jamil Hasanli is a former professor of history at Baku State University and Khazar University, Azerbaijan. In 1993, he was Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan and served two terms as a member of parliament of Azerbaijan from 2000-2010. He was also a History and Public Policy Scholar of Woodrow Wilson International Center in 2011, and has published numerous books and articles.
Introduction 1. The South Caucasus after the February 1917 Revolution and the Beginning of Diplomatic Struggles for the Region 2. The Trabzon and Batum Conferences: Azerbaijan's first diplomatic steps toward independence 3. Declaration of Independence and the First Steps of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs 4. The Diplomatic Campaign for the Liberation of Baku 5. Diplomatic Activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the End of World War I and the Allied Entry into Azerbaijan 6. Azerbaijani Diplomacy During the Preparations for the Paris Peace Conference 7. Expansion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Diplomatic Initiatives at the Peace Conference 8. Azerbaijan's Diplomacy Confronts the Claims of "Indivisible Russia" and "Great Armenia" 9. The Western Mandate and Efforts to Approach France, Great Britain, and Italy 10. The Growing Interest of the United States in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan 11. Lobbying in the United States and the Spread of National Propaganda in Western Europe 12. Recognition of Azerbaijan's Independence by the Allied Powers at Versailles 13. Azerbaijan and the International Situation on the Eve of the Occupation 14. Azerbaijani Diplomacy and the April 1920 Occupation. Conclusion