Khanates of the Caucasus
The Khanates of the Caucasus, or Azerbaijani khanates or Persian Khanates, were various principalities established by Persia (Iran) on their territories in the Caucasus (modern-day Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Dagestan) from the late Safavid to the Qajar dynasty. The Khanates were mostly ruled by Khans of Turkic (Azeri) origin and were vassals and subjects of the Iranian shah (King). 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:
- Caspian coast north to south:
- Shamkhalate of Tarki (1813 protectorate of Russia, 1867 abolished)
- Derbent Khanate (1806 occupied and annexed to Russia, same year abolished)
- Khanate of Mekhtuli
- Principality of Kaytak (also called the Utsmia of Karakaytak) ?
- Principality of Tabasaran (also called the Maisumat of Tabasaran)
- Quba Khanate (1805 protectorate of Russia, 1816 abolished)
- Baku Khanate (1806 occupied and annexed to Russia)
- Talysh Khanate, also called Lankaran Khanate (1802 protectorate of Russia, 1826 abolished)
- Javad Khanate, probably absorbed by Shirvan before 1800
- Interior Dagestan:
- Gazikumukh Shamkhalate or Shamkhalate of Dagestan which broke up into the following smaller states in 1642
- Gazikumukh Khanate (Russian influence from 1811, 1860 abolished)
- Avar Khanate (1803 protectorate of Russia, 1864 abolished)
- South of the mountains west to east:
- Erivan Khanate (1827 occupied by, 1828 annexed to Russia)
- Nakhchivan Khanate (1827 occupied by, 1828 annexed to Russia)
- Ganja Khanate (1804 occupied and annexed to Russia)
- Karabakh Khanate (1805 protectorate of Russia, 1822 abolished)
- Elisu Sultanate (1806 protectorate of Russia, 1844 abolished)
- Shaki Khanate (1805 protectorate of Russia, 1819 abolished)
- Shirvan Khanate (1805 protectorate of Russia, 1820 abolished)
- Shuragel Sultanate at junction of Georgia, Turkey and Persia
- Shamshadil Sultanate and Kazakh Sultanate, north of Lake Sevan and west of Ganja appear to have been subdivisions of Georgia
- Federation of Akhty
- Federation of Akusha-Dargo
- Federation of Andalal
- Djaro-Belokani now in Azerbaijan
- Koysubu or Hindal, around Gimry
- Rutul Federation
From ancient times until the arrival of the Russians most of the above area was part of the Iranian world, 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.
- Treaty of Gulistan
- Treaty of Turkmenchay
- North Caucasus
- South Caucasus
- Russo-Persian Wars
- Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
- Erivan Governorate
- Khanates of the Iranian Azerbaijan
- Western Azerbaijan
- According to one source, "In Safavi times, Azerbaijan was applied to all the muslim-ruled khanates of the eastern Caucasus as well as to the area south of the Aras River as far 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 preface, page xi
- 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.
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.
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.
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
- Ronald G. Suny. "They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide", (Princeton University Press, 2015), 70; "In 1828 the Russian army took the Persian khanate of Erevan (which nearly a century later would become the capital of independent Armenia) and established a new frontier on the Arax River".
- Rouben Paul Adalian. "Historical Dictionary of Armenia", (Scarecrow Press, 2010), 471; "(...) in the town of Ashtarak in Eastern Armenia during the period of the Persian khanates."
- David Marshall Lang. "The Last Years of the Georgian Monarchy, 1658-1832", (Columbia University Press, 1957), 153; "(...) and to obtain the Persian regent Kerim Khan's recognition of Georgian suzerainty over the Persian khanates north of (...)"
- Alexander Bitis. "Russia and the Eastern Question: Army, Government and Society, 1815-1833", (Oxford University Press, 2006), 223; "(...) Persian khanates north of the Arax."
- S. Frederick Starr. "The legacy of history in Russia and the new states of Eurasia", (M.E. Sharpe, 1994), 259; "(...) to welcome the Russian armies and the annexation of the Persian khanates north of the Araxes River between 1806 and 1828."
- Britannica online, "Azerbaijan", History section (link); "Persian-ruled khanates in Shirvan (Şamaxı), Baku, Ganja (Gäncä), Karabakh, and Yerevan dominated this frontier of Ṣafavid Iran. (...) After a series of wars between the Russian Empire and Iran, the treaties of Golestān (Gulistan; 1813) and Turkmenchay (Torkmānchāy; 1828) established a new border between the empires. Russia acquired Baku, Shirvan, Ganja, Nakhichevan (Naxçıvan), and Yerevan.
- World and Its Peoples: Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2006. ISBN 0761475710. Стр. 751.
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.
- Russian Azerbaijan, 1905–1920 By Tadeusz Swietochowski page 272
- Russia and Iran, 1780-1828 By Muriel Atkin, Page 16-20
- Encyclopedia of Soviet law By Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter van den Berg, William B. Simons, Page 457
- possibly Akhmedkent west of Derbent, see Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin.
- Marie Broxup, The North Caucasus Barrier: The Russian Advance Towards the Muslim World, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1996, p. 31ff
- Arthur Tsutsiev, Atlas of the Ethno-Political History of the Caucasus, Map 3, 2004
- Hans-Heinrich Nolte (ed.), Innere Peripherien in Ost und West, Verlag Franz Steiner, 2001, p. 151 (German)
- Multiple Authors. "Caucasus and Iran". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2012-09-03.