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Khanates of the Caucasus

The Caucasus in the early 19th century following Russia's annexation of Georgia. XVIII-XIX.
Iran's khanates in the Caucasus and the Iranian Azerbaijan, 18th-19th centuries.[1]
Map of the khanates in the Caucasus and the dates of their conquest following the Russo-Persian Wars.

The Khanates of the Caucasus, or Azerbaijani (Azeri) khanates[2] were various Dagestan) from the late Safavid to the Qajar dynasty. The Khanates were mostly ruled by Khans of Turkic (Azeri)[3] origin[4][5][6] and were vassals and subjects of the Iranian shah (King).[7] Persia permanently lost a part of these khanates to Russia as a result of the Russo-Persian Wars in the course of the 19th century, while the others were absorbed into Persia.

The khanates ultimately absorbed by the Russian Empire were:

Apart from that some remote parts of Dagestan were governed by largely independent rural communities/federations before the Russian conquest of the area:[12]

From ancient times until the arrival of the Russians most of the above area was part of the Iranian world,[13] and was under a large degree of Persian control (Transcaucasia and parts of Dagestan). For the Khanates that remained Persian after the Russian conquests over Persia in the 19th century, see Khanates of the Iranian Azerbaijan.

See also


  1. ^ According to one source, "In Safavi times, Azerbaijan was applied to all the muslim-ruled khanates of the eastern Caucasian as well as to the area south of the Araz River as fas as the Qezel Uzan River, the latter region being approximately the same as the modern Iranian ostans of East and West Azerbaijan." Muriel Atkin, Russia and Iran, 1780-1828. 2nd. ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press Press, 2008, ISBN 0 521 58336 5
  2. ^ The term Azerbaijani (or Azeri) khanates is used by several authors:
    Tadeusz Swietochowski. Russian Azerbaijan, 1905-1920: The Shaping of National Identity in a Muslim Community. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 0521522455
    Azerbaijani khanates and the conquest by Russia In 1747 Nadir Shah, the strong ruler who had established his hold over Persia eleven years earlier, was assassinated in a palace coup, and his empire fell into chaos and anarchy. These circumstances effectively terminated the suzerainty of Persia over Azerbaijan, where local centers of power emerged in the form of indigenous principalities, independent or virtually so, inasmuch as some maintained tenuous links to Persia's weak Zand dynasty. Thus began a half-century-long period of Azerbaijani independence, albeit in a condition of deep political fragmentation and internal warfare. Most of the principalities were organized as khanates, small replicas of the Persian monarchy, including Karabagh, Sheki, Ganja, Baku, Derbent, Kuba, Nakhichevan, Talysh, and Erivan in northern Azerbaijan and Tabriz, Urmi, Ardabil, Khoi, Maku, Maragin, and Karadagh in its southern part. Many of the khanates were subdivided into mahals (regions), territorial units inhabited by members of the same tribe, reflecting the fact that residue of tribalism was still strong.
    Tadeusz Swietochowski. Russia's Transcaucasian Policies and Azerbaijan: Ethnic Conflict and Regional Unity // In a collapsing empire. Feltrinelli Editore, 1993. Стр. 190.
    An Armenian oblast' (district) was created on the territory of the former Azerbaijani khanates of Erivan and Nakhichevan, yet remarkably there followed no large scale manifestation of ethnic strife in the countryside.
    Firouzeh Mostashari. On the religious frontier: Tsarist Russia and Islam in the Caucasus. I.B. Tauris; New York, 2006. ISBN 1850437718
    The Caucasian Campaigns and the Azerbaijani Khanates
    The success of the Russian campaigns in annexing the Transcaucasian territories was not solely due to the resolve of the generals and their troops, or even their superiority over the Persian military. The independent khanates, themselves, were disintegrating from within, helplessly weakening one another with their internal rivalries.
    Marshall Cavendish Corporation. World and Its Peoples: Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. ISBN 0761475710. Стр. 751.
    The Azeris.
    In a series of wars with Persia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Russia gained the Azeri khanates north of the Araks River, which still forms the frontier between Azerbaijan and Iran.
    Robert Strausz-Hupé, Harry W. Hazard. The idea of colonialism. Praeger, 1958. Стр. 77.
    In 1804 Russian troops occupied the khanate of Ganja, and this was followed by the surrender of several other autonomous Azeri khanates in western Azerbaijan.
    Alexander Murinson. Turkey's Entente with Israel and Azerbaijan. Routledge, 2009. Стр. 2.
    The core territory of modern-day Azerbaijan, i.e. Shirvan, Quba and other Azeri Khanates in the Caucasus, served historically as place of refuge for Persian and later Russian Jews.
    Galina M. Yemelianova. Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union. Routledge, 2009. Стр. 149.
    With the fall of the Safawid empire in 1722, a number of independent khanates emerged on the territory of modern Azerbaijan. Among them were the khanates of Bakı, Gəncə, Qarabağ, Quba, Naxçıvan, Şirvan, Şəki, and Şamaxı. By 1805, the khanates of Qarabağ and Şirvan had become protectorates of the Russian Empire. In two wars between Russia and Qajār Persia in 1804–1813 and 1826–1828, the Russians conquered other Azerbaijani khanates.
    Svante Cornell. Azerbaijan Since Independence. M. E. Sharpe. ISBN 0765630044. Стр. 7.
    One of the most direct results of the weakening of Iranian central power was the growing independence this granted to the khanates of both northern and southern Azerbaijan.
    Henry R. Huttenbach. Soviet Nationality Policies. Mansell, 1990. Стр. 222.
    The pattern of the Russian conquest varied: in some cases, notably in the Azerbaijani khanate of Ganja, the emirate of Bukhara, the khanate of Kokand and Turkmenistan, violence and bloodshed were involved.
    Bohdan Nahaylo, Victor Swoboda. Soviet Disunion. A History of the Nationalities Problem in the USSR. Simon and Schuster, 1990. Стр. 12.
    Its inhabitants being Shiite, the Azerbaijani khanate was more closely linked with Persia than with their Turkish kin. Peter the Great defeated Persia and annexed the Derbent and Baku regions of Azerbaijan in 1724.
    Stephen K. Batalden. The Newly Independent States of Eurasia. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997. Стр. 110.
    The 1812 Treaty of Gulistan and the 1828 Treaty of Turkmanchai ended the two Russo-Persian wars and brought Azerbaijani khanates north of the Aras River under Russian control.
    Heiko Krüger. The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. A Legal Analysis. Springer, 2010. Стр. 7.
    The Karabakh khanate became one of the most important and largest of the Azerbaijani khanates… At the end of the 18th century the Azerbaijani khanates were under an increasing threat of being occupied by the Persian and Russian Empires. Various khanates, including Karabakh and Erivan, joined forces on the initiative of the Karabakh khan.
    Edward Allworth. Muslim Communities Reemerge. Historical Perspectives on Nationality. Duke University Press, 1994. Стр. 47.
    One of the first consequences of the conquest was the gradual dismantling of the Azerbaijani khanates, the principalities that had formed the political structure of the country. The khanates of Ganja, Shirvan, Talysh, Baku, Karabagh, Sheki, Nakhichevan, Derbent, and Kuba disappeared, one after the other, for the most part during the 1830s and the 1840s, and the process of breaking up these traditional polities contributed to the weakening of deeply rooted local particularisms
    Andrew Burke. Iran. Lonely Planet, 2010. Стр. 136.
    Long a key fortress and citadel guarding the Ottoman-Persian frontier, Maku was one of many Azerbaijani khanates that gained semi-independence in the chaotic period following the death of Nadir Shah in 1749.
    Encyclopedia of World Cultures: Russia and Eurasia, China. Edited by Paul Friedrich. G.K. Hall, 1994. Стр. 243.
    Some Lezgin tukhums were, at different times, under foreign feudal overlordship (e.g., the Lak Khanate of Kazikumukh and the Azerbaijani khanates of Shemakha, Kuba, and Derbent).
  3. ^ World and Its Peoples: Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2006. ISBN 0761475710. Стр. 751.
    The Azeris.
    In a series of wars with Persia at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Russia gained the Azeri khanates north of the Araks River, which still forms the frontier between Azerbaijan and Iran.
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Online: History of Azerbaijan
  5. ^ Russian Azerbaijan, 1905–1920 By Tadeusz Swietochowski page 272
  6. ^ Russia and Iran, 1780-1828 By Muriel Atkin, Page 16-20
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457
  8. ^ ?Baddeley, chapt XV has this southwest of Tarki and north and east of Koysubu and Dargi.
  9. ^ possibly Akhmedkent west of Derbent, see Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin.
  10. ^ Marie Broxup, The North Caucasus Barrier: The Russian Advance Towards the Muslim World, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1996, p. 31ff
  11. ^ Arthur Tsutsiev, Atlas of the Ethno-Political History of the Caucasus, Map 3, 2004
  12. ^ Hans-Heinrich Nolte (ed.), Innere Peripherien in Ost und West, Verlag Franz Steiner, 2001, p. 151 (German)
  13. ^
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