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M.Matsaberidze:Formation of conception of Georgia as a nation-state in the period of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921)

In the period of the Democratic Republic of Georgia the problem of establishing Georgia’s state border used to be an issue of harsh discussion. The ruling Social-Democratic Party denied the idea of so called ‘ethnographic borders’ and supported the historic-strategic principle that was well documented by Ivane Javakhishvili in his work “The historic and modern discussion of Georgian borders” (1919).  

Ivane Javakhishvili used to establish the principle that had to become a key point for Georgian authorities while solving this issue: 

  • Georgia has historically established, well defined borders and in these borders Georgia will find easy to defend itself;
  • While defining borders Georgian authorities should consider the state interests;
  • For regulating relationships with the neighbors it is possible to go on compromise but without damaging the state interests.

The process of moving from position of “political internationalism” to the idea of

national interests can be vividly seen in the publications by several Social-Democratic Party representatives. This can be proved, for instance, by Viktor Nozadze’s letters published in the newspaper ‘Social-Democrats’ issued in Kutaisi in 1918. Practically Victor Nozadze was the pioneer to try to substantiate theoretically Georgia as a nation-state. His letter under the title ‘Democratic national state – Georgia’ was divided into two parts and published on March 9 and 11, 1919 in the newspaper ‘Ertoba’ (‘Unity’) (№№ 55 and 56). It also was followed by the note: ‘Some regulations of these letters are not shared by the editorial staff’.

It is not accidental as well that the abovementioned work was published several days before the Constituent Council of Georgia started to work on March 12, 1919. 

The conception of Georgia as a nation-state was considered while working on the constitution of Georgia in 1921. One of the main points for the Constitution Commission was creating of a strong national state. ‘Nowadays, our duty is to create whole, firm national body and avoid the reasons because of which the state is weakened and destroyed,’ the head of the Constitution Commission P. Sakvarelidze mentioned (Central historical archive of Georgia, fund 1833, description 1, case 180, page 177). 

At the same time, coming from the state interests, the ethnic minorities issue had to be solved. Providing the ethnic minorities’ interests was considered to be one of the main concerns, but at the same time ‘the minorities should acknowledge that our republic is their homeland as well and if the state is damaged they will also be hurt,’ (Central historical archive of Georgia, fund 1833, description 1, case 181, page 180). 

The proccess of formation of Georgia as a nation-state was interrupted by the soviet occupation. The results of this fact were revealed in the post-soviet period.

Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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