The strategic geopolitical position of Transcaucasia, a region that both links and separates teh Russian and Near Eastern spheres, was emphatically demonstrated during the existence of the independant Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, 1918-1921. The three neighboring states, born amidst war and revolution, manifested many common traits and concerns but, Armenia alone had been the subject of international diplomacy. The persecution of the Armenians in the ottoman Empire to the point of annihilation in 115 had evoked worldwide expressions of sympathy and outrage. At the end of World War I, the statesmen who gathered in Paris to negiciate the peace settelements were committes to the establishment of a free, self-governing armenian state.
In Volume I of this work, Professor Hovannisian presented and assessed the organizational efforts of the TranscaucasianRepublics, theirs conflicts and acjievements and, theirs relations with the Allied and Assiciates Powers and the rival Red an White forces of Russia. On the first anniversary of the armenian Republic, the governement declared teh theoretical unity and the independence of the Eastern (russain) armenian and Western (turkish) armenian Provinces. But in fact, the Ottoman armies still stood in turkish Armenia, the turkish Peace settlement was undrafted, the armenian refugee population was unable to repatriate and, the United States remained undecided about accepting a protective mandate over Armenia.
Now in Volume II, Professor Hovannisian carries the history of the armenian Republic to the Spring of 1920, integrating domestic, regional and international themes. During that period, the State ministries developed and the political parties – striving to create a common external front- entered into negotiations for a coalition cabinet, a legislature and a peace delegation of United Armenia. The Western orientation of the government was influenced by the belief that a period of external support would be essential to the achievement of lasting independence. Such views notwithstanding, the british infantry Divsion in Transcaucasia was withdrawn, the announced italian Replacements did not arrive and, the United States, instead of reaching a decision on the Mandate, sent new missions of Inquiry to the Near-East and scaled down its participation in the Paris Peace Conference.
By the beginnig of 1920, the Allied Powers, in retreat on the turkish Peace Settlement, proposed a united armenian State with boundaries considerably smaller than previouly anticipated. Even the granting of de facto recognition to the existing armenian Republic by the Allied governments was clouded by the advance of the Red Armies to the flanks of the Caucasus Mountains and the consolidation of the turkish nationalist Movement in the turkish armenian Provinces. As the Republic of Armenia approached its second anniversary, the future of the armenian People still hung in the balance.