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Historical Outline

Azerbaijan is one of the oldest spots of civilization, a country with a rich and ancient history. A rich cultural heritage has been created on its territory over the span of many millenniums, contributing to the treasure-house of World culture.
The discovery of Azykh cave, the earliest habitation of man to be found in the world, and a number of habitations of the ancient stone age prove that Azerbaijan enters the zone of anthropoids to reveal the birthplace of mankind. The main traces of civilization are viewed in Azerbaijan. In the 3rd millennium B.C. the process of tribe formation was going on here and by the 1st millennium B.C. the first political formations had emerged. Azerbaijan State system was being formed in the 9th century B.C.: Manna state with high economic and cultural level had emerged. The pantheons of divinities were created. Manna believed in natural phenomena; the Sun, the Moon.

In the first part of the 6th century B.C. Manna was conquered by Media. The official religion was Zoroastrism, the spread of which was connected with self kindled resources of oil and gas.

A great part was played by the Atropatena and Caucasian Albania in the process of the formation of separate state structure on the territory of Azerbaijan in antiquity. The name of the country is connected with the name of the Atropatena ruler - Atropat which was later transformed into Azerbaijan. It is in Atropatena that the process of formation of Azerbaijan nationality began.
In the 3rd-5th centuries the Azerbaijan state system was strengthening. Christianity was penetrating into Azerbaijan. In Transcaucasus one of the first apostolic Christian churches appeared spiritual and secular life was progressing. At the beginning of the 5th century the Albanic alphabet was introduced and promoted the development of education. The unique monuments of culture and literature, architectural traditions of that period have been preserved to the present.

Azerbaijan was conquered by Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century and made part of the Arab Khalifat. However Babek Khorramdin Azerbaijan national hero fought against Arab invasion for 23 years and restrain Azerbaijanis independence but due to betrayal of Persian leader Afshin, he was arrested by Arabs and afterwards Islam was forced by Arab invaders to Azerbaijanis.


Azerbaijan enriched the world culture, gave the world a brilliant gallery of scientists, poets and architects.
In the medieval centuries there was a succession of states: Gara-goyunly, Ag-gounly, Sefevids states were in power in a successive way.

A rivalry between states to involve Azerbaijan into the sphere of their interests resulted in striking inner destabilization in 18th century A number of independent state formations - Khanates appeared. The contradictions between Russia, Turkey and Iran deepened in the 18th-19th century. Wars were waged over Azerbaijan. The Turkmanchay Treaty of 1828 between Russia and Iran separated Azerbaijan and its people: the northern part of Azerbaijan was conquered by Russia, its southern part became a part of the Iranian state. The 20th century entered the history of the Azerbaijan people as the period of radical changes in socio-economic, political and cultural life. A range of upstream and downstream industrial branches were intensively developing in Azerbaijan. Baku turned into the world centre of oil extraction and refinery yielding more than half of the world's and 95% of Russia's oil extraction totals.
The cultural life enlivened. Various branches of science were developing, newspapers and magazines started to be published. Formation of political societies, organizations and parties for dissemination of progressive, democratic ideas contributed to the process of becoming and developing a national identity and fuelled the growth of the liberation movement of the people.
February, 1917: The fall of the tsarist monarchy in Russia created favourable conditions for the development of national movements in its border lands.

May 28, 1918: Azerbaijan rehabilitated its state structure - the Independent Azerbaijan Republic was established. Having existed for 23 months, it collapsed. Troops of the 11th Red Army came to Baku. In December, 1922 Azerbaijan became a part of the USSR and a socialist republic was formed with the attributes of state - Constitution, flag, national anthem, state emblem.
In 1991 state independence of Azerbaijan was restored, the Constitutional Act of State Independence was adopted. The Constitution of independent Azerbaijan Republic was adopted on November 12, 1995. This event marked a new stage in the history of Azerbaijan people - the epoch of democracy and progress.


On 12 of December of 1945 Azerbaijanis in southern Azerbaijan established Azerbaijani National Government and got their independence from occupier Iran. Jafar Pishavari was selected as Prime Minster and national south Azerbaijan government was created. But one year later, on 12 of December 1946, despotic government of Iran invaded south Azerbaijan and massacred over 50.000 Azerbaijanis and since then south Azerbaijan is under occupation of Iran.