The Caucasus under soviet rule
In March 1917, the Russian Revolution overthrew the czar and put an end to the Russian Empire. All three Caucasian countries experienced a period of independence. They briefly aligned in the Federative Republic of Transcaucasia, in an attempt to provide more power to negotiate treaties and trade relations. However, the union soon fell apart. Armenia subsequently fought wars against its neighboring republics in an attempt to control territories predominantly inhabited by Armenians, such as the region of Nagorno-Karabakh held by Azerbaijan. The brief period of independence came to an end in 1920/21. From the spring of 1920 through 1921, the Red Army was sent into the Caucasus region to begin a campaign to control the three Caucasus countries. It met almost no resistance in Azerbaijan, since most of the Azerbaijani army was busy with an Armenian uprising in Uarabakh. As a result, in April 1920, Azerbaijan was the first to fall to Russia. Armenia fell to Russia by the end of the year, and Georgia fell in 1921. All the countries suffered after Stalin obtained full rule of the Soviet Union in the late 1920s. He directed the exportation or deportation to labor camps of many people even marginally suspected of opposing the Soviet regime. The Soviets also banned literature from popular authors, controlled the works of artists and musicians, and persecuted religious leaders, except for those of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Joseph Stalin, a Georgia native, was in charge of nationality affairs after the Russian Revolution of 1917. He decided to merge Armenia with Georgia and Azerbaijan. This union was to form a new political entity called the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (SFSR). The United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was founded in December 1922 with four constituent republics, one of which was the Transcaucasian SFSR However, in 1936, the Transcaucasian republic was dissolved, and the countries became constituent Soviet republics.