The peculiarities of social-economic development in the end of 19th C.in South Caucasus and its impact on Armen.-Georg. interethnic relation
After the South Caucasus conquest from Russia at the beginning of 19th C., the territory became the part of Empire. So, the economic, administrative policy of center power stipulated for the re-formation of interethnic relations in region. The additional factor, which also stipulated for the re-formation of interethnic relations in South Caucasus, is the nationalistic movements in the peripheral parts of Empire. Indeed, the research period – from the end of 19th C. to the beginning of the 20th C. – is the phase of increasing of nationalism, formulation of new nationalistic visions and projects among Armenians, Georgians, as well as Tatars (Azerbaijanis).
One of the most important factors in social-economic sphere was the development of capitalism after the reformation in 1961. As the result of this reform, the new social-economic relations were started development. But the central issue and the crucial impact on interethnic relations of such transformation was the different involvement of Armenians and Georgians in this process.
That’s why, this period known as the phase of some tensions between two neighboring nations – Armenians and Georgians. The contradictions were manifested especially in the Georgian capital and cultural-economic center of South Caucasus – Tbilisi (Tiflis).
In frame of my speech, I would like to discuss the roots of these tensions and some contradictions from the viewpoint of peculiarities in social-economic transformations and historically defined situation. In brief, the several factors are:
· First of all, the Armenians in region centralized mainly in the cities – Tiflis and Baku (during the speech we represent statistic data, as well as the reasons of such demographic centralization).
· The capitalistic relations and new economic “rules” were more receptive and sensitive for Armenians, than for Georgians, because the social structure of two neighboring nations were completely different. The Georgians have the strong aristocratic social strata, which was the main social base of Tsarist power. But the Armenians haven’t it, because Armenians as the nation loosed this stratum as the result of external conquests before.
· The demographic imbalance in Tiflis, increasing of Armenian population during 19th C., as the result of social-economic and political actions.
· The increasing of role of Armenians in the city’s government.
· The formation of national projects by Armenian and Georgian intellectuals: the search of territory for national hearth, national revival, national state building.
Most of abovementioned factors, which were the roots of interethnic tensions between Armenians and Georgians, had the objective and unbiased. But the tension was increasing more and more, and was manifested in following years.