Azerbaijan History and Politics
People settled in what is now Azerbaijan as early as the Stone Age. The Asych Cave in Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the oldest dwellings of Stone Age people in Eurasia. Bones indicate a settlement up to 1.5 million years ago.
A large number of rock carvings were found at Qubustan. They originated between 40,000 and 5,000 years ago. Around 6000 BC BC the people settled down. They built houses and did agriculture.
Antiquity: Albania and many conquerors
In the 4th century BC The Kingdom of Albania was established in the area of today’s Azerbaijan. 65 BC The country came under Roman control, around the year 0 the Parthians conquered it.
In the 4th century Albania became dependent on the Sassanids. During this time, Christianity spread from Armenia to Albania. in the 6th century Albania came more and more between the spheres of power of Eastern and Persia (Sassanid Empire).
In 643 the Arabs invaded Albania. They conquered the country and forced the residents to adopt Islam as their religion. Christianity then disappeared.
Middle Ages: Shirvan Shah and new conquerors
From the year 799 the ruling family of the Shirvanshah ruled in an area that encompassed large parts of today’s Azerbaijan. Their realm was called Shirvan. The Muslim dynasty secured its empire against invading armies with numerous fortresses. In 1235, however, the Mongols successfully invaded and subjugated the Shirvanshah. They regained power in the 15th century, but in 1538 Shirvan became a Persian province.
Early modern times: Persian Safavids
The Persian Safavid dynasty established a great empire and also ruled in Shirvan. Azerbaijan briefly came under Ottoman rule in 1590, but the Persians recaptured the area. In 1723, Russia succeeded in ruling Azerbaijan for a few years, but it was also here that it was reconquered. After 1747, however, more and more khanates independent of Persia emerged. From 1800 onwards they often came between the powers of Russia and Persia.
Russian rule and oil production
At the beginning of the 19th century, today’s Azerbaijan came under Russian rule after the Russo-Persian Wars. The Azerbaijani khanates gradually became Russian provinces. In 1828 the Aras River was established as the border between Russia and Persia. Even today it is the border between Azerbaijan and Iran. In the 1870s, the systematic mining of oil began on the Absheron Peninsula. This meant an upswing for the Russian economy.
History of Azerbaijan from 1918 to the present day
In 1917, the February Revolution ended Russian tsarist rule. In the subsequent phase of upheaval, Azerbaijan teamed up with Armenia and Georgia. On May 28, 1918, the country declared itself independent as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. It was the first Islamic country and one of the first countries ever to introduce the right to vote for women.
There was a conflict with Armenia because, like Azerbaijan, it laid claim to the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In 1923 it was decided that it belonged to Azerbaijan. The Armenians living there were dissatisfied with this.
Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic (1922-1991)
On April 27, 1920 the Bolsheviks marched into Azerbaijan. They occupied the country and made it a Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union in 1922. The extraction of oil continued, but its importance declined when oil was discovered in other areas such as Siberia. In 1988 the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh flared up again. A few thousand Azerbaijanis fled. Armenians in turn fled from other areas of Azerbaijan, a country located in Asia according to thereligionfaqs.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan declared its independence again on October 18, 1991. Several presidents took turns in the first years of independence. They could not resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
That was because it continued. Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself independent from Azerbaijan on September 2, 1991. This is not recognized internationally, but Nagorno-Karabakh is independent in terms of the situation. Armenia occupied the area and again many Azerbaijanis fled. From 1994 there was an armistice, but later on there were repeated battles.
President Ilcham Aliyev (since 2003)
Ilcham Aliyev (in Azerbaijani İlham Əliyev) became President of Azerbaijan in 2003. He succeeded his late father, who had been president since 1993. His election was not seen internationally as free and fair. He was re-elected in 2008, 2013 and 2018. Aliyev is seen as a corrupt politician who has enormously enriched himself in his office.
How do people in Azerbaijan live?
In Azerbaijan there are big differences in rural and urban incomes. That means that you live very differently in a city like Baku than in a village like Khinalug. There are many high-rise buildings in Baku. In the village, the families live in small houses.
Here as there, however, the families stick closely together. The distribution of roles is mostly still traditional: the man works, the woman takes care of the household and the upbringing of the children. But there are also many women working in the city. Then the grandmother or aunt look after the children.