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Baku - Caucasian Albania

There are several hypotheses regarding the origins of the name "Azerbaijan." The most common theory is that Azerbaijan was eponymously named after Atropates or Atarepata, an Iranian Median satrap (governor), who ruled a region found in modern Iranian Azarbaijan called Atropatene.[1] Atropates' name is believed to be derived from the Old Persian roots meaning "protected by fire."[2]

There are also alternative opinions that the term is a slight Turkification of Azarbaijan, in turn an Arabicized version of the original Persian name Âzarâbâdagân, made up of âzar+âbadag+ân (âzar=fire; âbâdag=cultivated area; ân=suffix of pluralization); that it traditionally means "the land of eternal flames" or "the land of fire", which probably implies Zoroastrian fire temples in this land.

Azerbaijan is the name of the region stretching from the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains along the Caspian Sea to the Iranian plateau. As a political or administrative unit and a geographic notion, Azerbaijan's boundaries were changing throughout history. Its northern part, on the left bank of the Araxes River, was known at times under different names – Caucasian Albania in the pre-Islamic period, and, subsequently, Arran.[3]

With the collapse of Tsarist Russia in 1917, the Musavat ("Equality") Turkic Federalist Party, which had pan Turkic elements within it[, met in Tbilisi on May 27, 1918 to create their own state, which they named Azerbaijan. According to some sources, the name Azerbaijan was adopted in order to claim north western Iran. The Bolsheviks re-conquered the Caucasus and kept the name Azerbaijan, in hopes of later adding north western Iran into the Soviet Union. Mohammad Amin Rasulzade, the leader of Musavat party, later admitted a mistake in choosing the name Azerbaijan for the state, saying that Albania (referring to Caucasian Azerbaijan) was different than Azerbaijan ??????/(referring to Iranian Azerbaijan). Rasulzade Also declared his eagerness to do "whatever is in his power to avoid any further discontent among Iranians
The earliest known inhabitants of what is today Azerbaijan were the Caucasian Albanians, a Caucasian-speaking people who appear to have been in the region prior to the host of peoples who would eventually invade the Caucasus. Historically Azerbaijan has been inhabited by a variety of peoples, including Persians, Greeks, Romans, Armenians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and Russians.

The first kingdom to emerge in the territory of present-day Republic of Azerbaijan was Mannae in the 9th century BC, lasting until 616 BC when it became part of the Median Empire, which later became part of the Persian Empire in 549 BC. The satrapies of Atropatene and Caucasian Albania were established in the 4th century BC and included the approximate territories of the present-day Azerbaijan nation-state and southern parts of Dagestan.

Islam spread rapidly in Azerbaijan following the Arab conquests in the 7th–8th centuries. After the power of the Arab Khalifate waned, several semi-independent states have been formed, the Shirvanshah kingdom being one of them. In the 11th century, the conquering Seljuk Turks became the dominant force in Azerbaijan and laid the ethnic foundation of contemporary Azerbaijanis. In the 13-14th centuries, the country experienced Mongol-Tatar invasions.
Azerbaijan was part of the Safavid Persian Empire during the 15th–18th centuries. It also underwent a brief period of feudal fragmentation in the mid-18th to early 19th centuries, and consisted of independent khanates. Following the two wars between Qajar Persian Empire, as well as the Ganja, Guba, Baku and other independent khanates, and the Russian Empire, Azerbaijan was acquired by Russia through the Treaty of Gulistan in 1813, and the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828, and several earlier treaties between the Russian tsar and the khans concluded in the first decade of the 19th century. In 1873, oil ("black gold") was discovered in the city of Baku, Azerbaijan's future capital. By the beginning of the 20th century almost half of the oil reserves in the world had been extracted in Baku
After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, Azerbaijan together with Armenia and Georgia became part of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the republic dissolved in May 1918, Azerbaijan declared independence as the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic( They chose the name of Azarbaijan for their state it means that they don't like their own name!!! so they like the name of our Iranian province). The ADR was the first Muslim republic in the world and lasted only two years, from 1918 to 1920, before the Soviet Red Army invaded Azerbaijan. In March 1922, Azerbaijan, along with Armenia and Georgia, became part of the Transcaucasian SFSR within the newly-formed Soviet Union. In 1936, the TSFSR was dissolved and Azerbaijan became constituent republic of the USSR as the Azerbaijan SSR.

During World War II, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The primarily objective of Adolf Hitler's Operation Edelweiss offensive was to capture Azerbaijan's oil-rich capital of Baku. For the war effort, Soviet oil workers were obliged to work non-stop and citizens were to dig entrenchments and antitank obstacles into order to block a possible enemy invasion. However, Operation Edelweiss was unsuccessful. The German army was at first stalled in the mountains of Caucasus, then decisively defeated at the Battle of Stalingrad.

In 1990, Azeris gathered to protest Soviet rule and push for independence. The demonstrations were brutally suppressed by Soviet intervention in what Azeris today refer to as Black January. In 1991, however, Azerbaijan re-established its independence upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, the early years of its independence were overshadowed by a war with Armenia and separatist Armenians over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Despite a cease-fire in place since 1994, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the predominantly ethnic Armenian territory. Since the end of the war, Azerbaijan lost control of 14 - 16% of its territory including Nagorno-Karabakh itself. As a result of the conflict, both countries faced problems with refugees and internally displaced persons as well as economic hardships.

However, former Soviet Azeri leader Heydar Aliyev changed this pattern in Azerbaijan and sought to exploit its wealthy oil reserves in Baku, something that Azerbaijan has become famous for. Aliyev also cleaned up gambling and was able to cut down the country's unemployment rate substantially. He also sought closer relations with Turkey while simultaneously making efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict peacefully with Armenia. However, the political situation in Azerbaijan remains tense especially after Aliyev, nearing death, selected his son Ilham as his party's sole presidential candidate. Azeri opposition forces are not satisfied with this new dynastical succession and are pushing for a more democratic government.

منطقه ای که امروز جمهوری آذربایجان نامیده می‌شود در گذشته به نام آلبانیای قفقاز یا آران و شیروان نامیده می‌شد. و اصولا آن سوی رود ارس تا سال ۱۹۱۸ هیچ گاه نام آذربایجان نمی‌داشت این منطقه پس از جنگهای ایران روس و طی معاهده ترکمنچای به همراه دیگر شهرهای قفقاز جنوبی از خاک ایران جدا گردید و به روسیه تزاری ملحق شد و پس از آن اتحاد جماهیر شوروی میراث دار این تغییرات گردید. در سال ۱۹۱۸ حزب مساوات با تحریک ترکان عثمانی و بر اساس عقاید پان‌ترکیسم دولتی تشکیل داد و نام آن را جمهوری مستقل آذربایجان نامید در سال ۱۹۲۰ این حکومت به وسیله بلشوویکها سرنگون گردید.

دوران باستان

حدود نه قرن پیش از میلاد اقوام آریایی (مادها) در این سرزمین سکنی گزیدند و در قرون هفتم و هشتم پس از شکست ایرانیان و سقوط دودمان ساسانی اعراب بر این سرزمین مسلط شدند.

در دوره سلجوقيان حكمرانان محلي آذربايجان كه خراج گزار سلجوقيان بودند اين سرزمين را اداره مي كردند. دوران سلجوقيان دوران شكوفاي ادبیات فارسی در منطقه آران و شيروان است. مشهورترين شاعران اين دوران نظامي گنجوي , خاقاني شرواني مي باشند.

حمله مغول و تیمور
در قرون سیزده و چهارده میلادی با حجوم مغولها و تاتارها(تيمور لنگ)سلسله هاي محلي ور افتادند. در قرن پانزده میلادی خانات محلی تحت سلطه آق قویونلو ها، تا به سلطنت رسیدن شاه اسماعیل صفوی به قسمت عمده اران، شروان و قره باغ تسلط داشتند. آران و شروان (جمهوری آذربایجان) جزو اولین مناطقی بود که شاه اسماعیل صفوی تحت سلطه خود در آورد. بعد از جنگ تاریخی چالدران این منطقه به اشغال ترکان عثمانی درآمد تا دو باره هشتاد سال بعد ایرانیان(شاه عباس) موفق به بازپسگیری این منطقه شدند.

افشار و قاجاریه
در قرون بعد تحت حکومت افشاریه و سپس این سرزمین در داخل حکومت قاجاریه قرار داشته که در نهایت به سال ۱۲۰۷ خورشیدی در پی پیمان ترکمانچای میان ایران و روسیه از ایران جدا و به ضمیمهٔ روسیه تزاری شد.

جمهوری دمکراتیک آذربایجان (آذربایجان دمکراتیک جمهوریتی) در سال 1918بدنبال فروپاشی روسیه تزاری اعلام موجودیت کرد. رهبری این جمهوری را محمد امین رسولزاده از حزب مساوات آذربایجان بر عهده داشت. سران این دولت نام آذربایجان را بر این جمهوری گذاشتند که با اعتراض روشنفکران ملی ایرانی آذربایجان روبرو شد. ولی به دلیل ضعف ایران و پشتیبانی بلشویکها نتیجه بخش نبود.

در اتحاد جماهیر شوروی
از سال ۱۹۲۰ با پیروزی بلشویکها جمهوری آذربایجان یکی از جمهوری‌های تشکیل دهنده اتحاد جماهیر شوروی سوسیالیستی بود.

جمهوری آذربایجان در روز ۳۰ اوت ۱۹۹۱ در خلال فروپاشی اتحاد جماهیر شوروی اعلام استقلال نمود

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