Armenia is a country which can be regarded as part of Europe or part of Asia. This country is in the Caucasus Mountains. Her neighbours are Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran.
The climate of Armenia is cold in winter and mild in summer. This country has no coastline so the climate does not vary hugely. The country is mountainous. The land is fairly fertile and very well watered.
The Armenian language is almost unique. It has its own alphabet. The letters often looks like letter ”U”.
The Christian faith came to Armenia very early. This is the first officially Christian country in the world. It is now secular. The Armenian church is autocephalous.
In the Dark Ages Armenia was much larger. At one point this nation ruled land from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. At other times the Armenians ruled much of what is now Azerbaijan.
Various empires have conquered this land such as the Byzantine Greeks. The Turks attacked this land too in the 10th century AD.
Armenia does not have natural resources to speak of. Armenians moved around the world as merchants. They traveled throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond. They settled in Romania, India and as far afield as Singapore.
The Armenians were surrounded by Muslim Empires. The Ottoman Empire was Muslim as was Iran. The Iranians conquered Georgia which was a nearby Christian land. Armenia’s only star of hope was Russia. Armenia formed an alliance with Russia.
Armenia became part and parcel of the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Russians moved to the country. Many Armenians learnt Russian. The Russians built the railways and factories. The Armenians and Russians usually got along very well. Socialist nostra were disseminated in Armenia. Some Armenians joined radical groups such as the Bolsheviks. One Armenian Bolshevik was Stepan Shaumpanian. He organized revolutionary activity in Azerbaijan.
There was an Armenian area of the Ottoman Empire. In the 1890s many Armenian civilians were killed by some Turkish people. In 1915 the Armenian Genocide took place. Some Turkish soldiers killed hundreds of thousands of Armenian civilians. They were killed directly by being shot and indirectly by being forced marched for hundreds of miles without food. Many Turks were innocent and some courageously saved the lives of Armenians.
Socialist nostra spread in Armenia prior to the Great War. In 1917 the Bolshevik Revolution took place in St Petersburg. A new communist government was proclaimed. Lenin became the Russian leader. V I Lenin proclaimed that non-Russian countries of the empire were allowed to become independent. Armenia became independent.
There was a significant Armenian minority in Azerbaijan. There was fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Many Azerbaijani civilians were slain.
Two years later V I Lenin had a change of heart. He decided that he wanted Armenia to be a communist state and to be united with Russia. Lenin was in touch with the Turkish Government. Turkey and Russia had been at daggers drawn for centuries. Turkey and Russia hatched a plot. They invaded Armenian simultaneously. Armenia was bested. She was forced to be the Armenian Socialist Soviet Republic. In 1922 Armenia became part of the newly formed Soviet Union. Armenia was briefly united with Georgia and Azerbaijan in the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In the 1930s collectivization came to Armenia. Farms were taken off peasants. Communist ideology was rammed down people’s throats. Those who were suspected of wanting independence were arrested by the secret police. They were interrogated under torture and sent to slave labour camps in Siberia. Many people were executed. There was a lively terror.
In 1941 the Great Patriotic War broke out. Armenians were conscripted into the Red Army. Many served with distinction.
After the Second World War more people from other republics moved to Armenia. By this time almost all Armenians were fluent in Russian which was the prestige language.
In the 1960s Anastas Mikoyan, an Armenian, became the Soviet head of state.
In the late 1980s the Soviet Government freed political prisoners. Freedom of speech was allowed. People campaigned for independence. There was fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
In 1991 Armenia became independent. Nagorno Karabakh was an Armenian region which Stalin gave to Azerbaijan. Armenia liberated this area. But in doing so the Armenian Army killed thousands of Azerbaijani civilians particularly at Khojali.
The war came to a close in 1994. But it is still a frozen conflict. There is sniping across the ceasefire line. Armenian controls 20% of Azerbaijan. Armenia is heavily reliant on Russian arms sales.
Many Armenians work abroad such as in Russia and Turkey. There are large Armenian expatriate communities in the USA, France, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria. Some of them are the tennis player Andre Aggasi, Cher and Dr Kevorkian. France recognized the Armenian Genocide for what it was. President Sarkozy was hailed as a hero in Armenia.
Surnames from Armenia end in ”ian”.
Brandy from Armenia is famous and highly prized.
The capital city is Yerevan.
The currency is the Dram.
Armenian Airlines in the national carrier.
Armenian is the official language.
This is not a rich country at all.
The Flag of Armenia is orange, blue and red horizontal bars.
Serzh Sargasyan was the president until 2018. He retired. He shoehorned his protégé into office. This man was forced out by huge protests.
- Which two continents can this country be regarded as belonging to? Two marks.
- Is this a country with a littoral?
- What is the capital of this land?
- What is its currency?
- Draw the flag. Five marks.
- What is the official language?
- Does it use the Latin language?
- What is special about the coming of Christianity to Armenia?
- Is the Armenian Church part of a wider church?
- Which country did Armenia fight in the 1990s?
- Was Armenia part of the USSR?
- Why did Armenia have an alliance with Russia in the 18th century?
- Which Armenian was the Soviet head of state?
- What was the Armenian Genocide? Five marks.
- Name three famous émigré Armenians. Three marks.
- What distinguishes Armenian surnames?
- Name five countries with significant Armenian communities?
- Is this a rich land?
- Name the neighbours of Armenia. Four marks.
- What is the climate like?
- What is the landscape like?
22. Why do many Armenians speak Russian?
23. Which country attacked Armenia in 1920 along with Russia?