Armenian Question

In 1828 the Russian Empire captured Eastern Armenia from Persia. Contact with liberal thought in Russia and Western Europe was a factor in the Armenian cultural renaissance of the 19th century. In the Ottoman Empire, the Armenians initially benefited with the rest of the population from the measures of reform known as the Tanzimat, and in 1863 a special Armenian constitution was recognized by the Ottoman government. These liberties were however unknown outside Constantinople, and the condition of Armenians in Anatolia was unbearable. A so-called "Armenia Question" emerged in the relations between the Ottoman Empire - "the sick man of Europe" - and European superpowers. After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, in which Eastern Armenians had taken part, Russia insisted in the Treaty of San Stefano that reforms be carried out among the sultan's Armenian subjects and that their protection against the Kurds be guaranteed. This demand was softened at the Congress of Berlin, but the "Armenian Question" remained a factor in international politics, with Great Britain taking on the role of Turkey's protector until the end of the century.

Having lost most of its territory in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire was afraid of losing Western Armenia as well, which would mean the end of the Ottoman dream of creating a pan-Turkic empire, stretching from Balkans to the Yellow Sea. A new state policy was formed, aiming at the final resolution of the "Armenian Question" through total annihilation of Armenians in their historic homeland of 3500 years. During the reign of sultan Abdulhamid Armenian massacres became a common phenomenon. In 1895, after Abdulhamid had felt compelled to promise Britain, France, and Russia that he would carry out reforms, large-scale systematic massacres took place in the Armenian provinces. In 1896 more massacres broke out in the capital and in Cilicia.


Armenian History

Table of contents

  1. Armenians
  2. Artashisian Dynasty
  3. Arshakunian Dynasty
  4. The Armenian Alphabet
  5. Arab Invasion and Byzantine Empire
  6. Bagratunian Dynasty
  7. Rubinian Dynasty
  8. Armenia Under Turkish Rule
  9. Armenian Question
  10. Armenian Genocide
  11. Armenian Soviet Republic
  12. Nagorno-Karabakh movement
  13. Armenia Today
  14. Coat Of Arms
  15. The Flag
  16. Timeline
  17. Mer Hayrenik
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