Javakhk under the control of Russian Empire - The Russian Empire implemented a classical imperial policy in Transcaucasus. Javakhk as well as all Caucasus was the colony of Russian Empire. In 1840, Javakhk was incorporated in the department of Georgia-Imeretia, then in 1846 in the Region of Tiflis, along with some other Armenian provinces as the Lori, the Dachir, etc…
In 1874, Javakhk is organized as a Province
within this same Region.
As early as 1830, the GARABEDIAN school is founded in Akhaltzkha and the MESROPIAN school in Akhalkalak.
Thus, on the first of January 1916, in the Verin Javakhk only, 110 villages were accounted with a total 107 000 inhabitants, of which 82 800 were Armenians2.
The Russo-Turkish war of 1878, and the echo of the persecutions suffered by their brothers in the Western Armenia, mobilized the Javakhetian youth. Detachments of Fedais were created. Funds were raised, etc ….
After the war, the regions of Kars, Ardahan and Artvin passed to the Russian Empire.
The project of ‘Alexandrapol Region', myth or reality ? - The armeno-tatar struggle of 1905-07 is felt as a shock in Javakhk too. The Javakhktzis realize then the importance of ethnic boundaries. They feel the necessity to be regrouped within a purely Armenian Region. This will become the question of ‘Alexandrapol Region', conceived by A. Chahkhatouni.
The aim of the Alexandrapol project was to create a new Armenian administrative region, along those of Kars and Erevan, centered by the city of Alexandrapol (Gumri). This new region had to include the provinces of Dashir (Tashir), Javakhk, Chirag (Shirak), Lori and Pambak, all of them inhabited by Armenians.
This project was widely debated, and finally the main Armenian and Georgian nationalist parties ended by adopting it. The Georgians, represented by Jordania and Ramishvili, leaders of the Menchevic nationalist party, adopted the project in 1917. Their main aim was to get rid of overdue Armenian provinces, in order to gain their independence in best conditions.
In fact, their major problem resided in the ethnic composition of Tiflis, a city they aspired to have as capital, but almost 50% of its inhabitants were Armenians. In these conditions, they had no particular wish to add the burden of more than 300 000 additional Armenians in their boundaries.
The project of ‘Alexandrapol Region' was finally adopted in 1917 by the Russian Government in St Petersbourg. The Prime Minister Kerenski signed the decree in presence of Menchevic leaders, Georgian nationalists Dzereteli and Tchkheitze.
Unfortunately the October Revolution and the coming to power of the Bolchevics, followed by the Turkish invasion of Javakhk in 1918, did not allow the application of this decision.
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