Nationalism and Internationalism in the Caucasus
When the Russian power first extended into the Caucasus over a century ago, the native population was split up into countless nationalities and tribes. At that time political nationalism was almost extinct among the Armenians, and was beginning to wane among the now vassal Georgians, while the Mahommedans were still recognizing the Viceregent of the Almighty on earth in the person either of the Shah of Persia or of the Sultan of Turkey. It is very probable that the development of nationalism was in part a method of protection for the smaller peoples against imperialist aggression and economic exploitation. The same cross-currents of nationalism and internationalism are to be observed in the political development of the Georgians. Perhaps the best compromise to break down the lines of division in the Caucasus would be the creation of a wide political autonomy for the whole of the Caucasus, with federated areas in which the Georgian, Armenian and Tartar democracies would respectively predominate.