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Armenia: The Survival of a Nation 2nd ed. (Garland Studies by Christopher J. Walker

By Christopher J. Walker

This contemporary background of Armenia strains the affects selling Armenian nationalism, and areas the ancient, cultural and social matters firmly within the modern context. It assesses the influence of adjusting political attitudes, and offers short bibliographies of one hundred twenty major Armenian figures.

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When, on 29 September, Muravyev attempted to storm Kars, his forces were beaten back with heavy losses; nevertheless, conditions within Kars became so terrible that Williams was forced to surrender on 25 November. * The behaviour of the Ottoman troops during the Crimean war strengthened the conviction among Armenians that the way forward for them lay with Russia. They also saw that within Turkey they themselves only received a fair deal if there was a representative of the Western powers present – a fact from which they were later to draw some dangerous conclusions, but which for the moment only emphasised the extreme disabilities under which they laboured in Turkey.

The haphazard nature of the Russian campaign was again apparent, as it appeared that Russian forces were caught unprepared. But as a result of one of those stirring acts of bravery which adorn the pages of Caucasian warfare, the Russians saved the day. Krasovsky came to the rescue, in torrid heat and across harsh mountainous terrain, and defeated the Persians at Ashtarak in mid-July. This defeat was a severe blow to Persian morale, As a result Paskievich resolved to consolidate his gains, and to renew the siege of Yerevan.

In 1886 the Armenian clergy acquiesced in the demands, and the elementary schools were reopened. For ten years the conflict smouldered, with the government demanding further Russification and the Armenians resisting it, but at the same time trying to keep the schools open. While the conflict remained unresolved, developments occurred within the Armenian community which made the government yet more suspicious of Armenians. Revolutionary organisations began to make their appearance among them. The circumstances which gave birth to these societies derived without exception from the social and political condition of the Armenians in the Ottoman empire; and the revolutionaries initially devoted all their attentions to their brethren across the border.

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