Peter First

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Azerbaijan in the first half of XVIII century. Expansion policy of Peter the I; the dynasty of Nadir shah.

Safavid state was in great political and economic rests in the first half of XVIII century. The treasure of the state was so empty that, sultan Hussein (1694-1722) ordered to smelt items of Ardabil vaunt, which possessed to his ancessors. Feudals and governors used from the weakness of the state and tried to create independent regions as well. The circumstances of ordinary people was much harder at that period. A.P.Volinsky that was sent to Iran by Peter the I, in 1716 wrote: “ In Azerbaijan , which is considered the grown source of the Safavids state, the plaints haven’t been planted for 7 years, that’s why people offered from hunger. The forms of taxes were increased.” At that time three types of taxes were added Feudal exploitation and its expansion caused to the resistance of settlements as well. So that at these circumstances national movements for independence increased in Azerbaijan as well as in other regions of Safavids state. In 1707 Car and Balaken society reveled against shah dynasty. Then this revolt expander to Tebriz and Mugan. These revolts were prevented with great difficultly. Car settlers began the struggle against administration again in 1705-1711. During this revolt they attacked to the administrative centre of Northern Azerbaijan – Shamakhi. In 1709 Shaki, Shirvan and Mughan people joint to this revolt. According to A.D.Volinsky, they withdrew Shah’s governer and appointed their win presentative there as well. There were organized plenty of revolts in Southern, North – Eastern Azerbaijan, Southern Daghistan and Iran. In 1709 there took place revolts of craftsmen and porr people in Tabriz. At that period revolts against feudal united with the struggle and national movement for independence. The first half of XVIII century was prominent with struggle against Turkey and Iran in Azerbaijan. Shirvan became the Centre for this struggle against Iran. In 1720 – 1721 struggle against Iran authority expanded and the leader of revolts Haji David appealed. Russia in order to acquire the throne in Shirvan and Daghistan. But at that period this wasn’t in convenience with Moscow’s interests and Peter I didn’t help him. That’s why Haji David invaded Samukh with the help of Surqay khan of Qaziqumukh in 1721 and captured the city. Tsar regime that reasoned the plundering of Russian craftsmen, being in Shirvan at the revolt of Haci Davud, prepared of expansion of Caucasus and pre-Caspian regions. Russian administration declared both Haji Davud and Turkhay khan enemies of Russia. Thats why, Haji Davud went to the side of Turkey-great rival of Russia. After one year from Shirvan revolt the capital of Saphavid’s dynasty – Isfahan captured by Afgan tribes. All authorited of Saphavids as well as Shah Sultan Huseyin were arrested. Khan’s son was able to run and declared himself shah, under the name of Tahmasib II (1722 – 1732) Annex of pre-Caspian regions by Russia.

Russia, which extended its international power and strength, its social-economic and political spheres needed Azerbaijan goods such as sick, cotton, wool, fruits, spices and etc. in order to develop its industry. But this wasn’t only reason for Russia’s expansion to Caucasus. So, as Haji Davud run to Turkey and wanted aid from this country, this could be the sign of Turkey power and its strength in the region. That’s why Russia wanted to prevent this action as well. After the victory over Sweeden in 1721, Peter the first made the invasion from Astrakhan with his great number troop and 274 ships. In 1722 Russia’s prominent military and state officials as L.N.Tolstoy, F.F.Apraksin, M.A.Matruskin escorted the tsar Russian troops acted in two directions : by land and marineways. When Peter I was in Astrakhan, he sent to the people of Shirvan and pre-Caspian regions “Declaration”(“Manifest”). This was the first document, written in Azeri language. Here Peter...
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