After the long period of Russian annexation and eventual abolition of Georgian monarchy and autocephalous status of the Georgian church by the Russian empire, Georgia plunged into cultural and national disintegration. Georgian churches and monasteries were governed by the Russian clergy who outlawed the Georgian liturgy and desecrated medieval Georgian frescos on various churches all across Georgia. Between the years of 1855 to 1907, the Georgian patriotic movement was launched under the leadership of Prince Ilia Chavchavadze, world renowned poet, novelist and orator. Chavchavadze financed new Georgian schools and supported the Georgian national theatre. In 1877 he launched the newspaper Iveria which played an important part in reviving Georgian national consciousness. His strive for national awakening was welcomed by the leading Georgian intellectuals of that time, Giorgi Tsereteli, Ivane Machabeli, Akaki Tsereteli, Niko Nikoladze, Alexander Kazbegi, Iakob Gogebashvili, etc.

The Georgian inteligencia made the statement which supported Prince Chavchavadzes aims for Georgian independence by declaring: "Our patriotism is of course of an entire different kind: it consists solely in a sacred feeling towards our mother land: ... in it there is no hate for other nations, no desire to enslave anybody, no urge to impoverish anybody. Out patriots desire to restore Georgia's right to self-government and their own civic rights, to preserve their national characteristics and culture, without which no people can exist as a society of human beings."

The last decades of the nineteenth century witnessed a Georgian literary revival in which there emerged writers of a stature unequalled since the Golden Age of Rustaveli seven hundred years before. Ilia Chavchavadze himself excelled alike in lyric and ballad poetry, in the novel, the short story and the essay. Apart from Ilia, the most universal literary genius of the age was Akaki Tsereteli, known as "the immortal nightingale of the Georgian people." Along with Niko Nikoladze and Iaskog Gogebashvili, these literary figures of Georgia contributed significantly in national revival and of the Georgian culture therefore designated by the people as the founding fathers of modern Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

Monument of Ilia Chavchavadze und Akaki Tsereteli in Tbilisi 

 

King Erekle II of Kartli and Kakheti (7 November 1720 or 7 October 1721 – 11 January 1798)

 

In 1769-1772, a handful of Russian troops of General Totleben battled against Turkish invaders in the Georgian kingdoms of Imereti and Kartl-Kakheti.

In 1783 Russia and the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti (which was devastated by Turkish and Persian invasions ) signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, according to which Kartl-Kakheti was to protection by Russia.

On January 8, 1801 Tsar Paul I of Russia signed a decree on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empire which was confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on September 12, 1801. The Georgian envoy in Sankt Petersburg Garsevan Chavchavadze reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Alexander Kurakin. In May 1801 Russian General Carl Heinrich Knorring dethroned the Georgian heir to the throne David Batonishvili and deployed a government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lasarev.

A part of the Georgian nobility didn't accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi's Sioni Cathedral and forced them to take an oath on the imperial crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were arrested temporarily.

The country was fully absorbed into the Russian Empire by 1804. In the summer 1805 Russian troops on the river Askerani and near Zagam defeated the Persian army, saving Tbilisi from its attack. In 1810, the kingdom of Imereti (Western Georgia) was annexed by the Russian Empire after the suppression of King Solomon II's resistance. From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars against Turkey and Iran, several formerly Georgian territories were annexed to the Russian Empire. These areas (Batumi, Artvin, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, and Abkhazia) now represent the majority of the territory of the present state of Georgia.

Georgian dissatisfaction with Tsarist autocracy and Armenian economic domination led to the development of a national liberation movement in the second half of the 19th century. A large-scale peasant revolt occurred in 1905 which led to political reforms that eased the tensions for a period. During this time, the Marxist Social Democratic Party became the dominant political movement in Georgia, occupying all the Georgian seats in the Russian State Duma established after 1905. Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili (also known as Joseph Stalin), a Georgian Bolshevik, became a leader of the revolutionary (and anti-Menshevik) movement in Georgia.

 

 

 

                              Georgian states between CA. 1450 and 1515, Andrew Andersen

 

In 15th century the whole area changed dramatically in all possible aspects: linguistic, cultural, political, etc. During that period the Kingdom of Georgia turned into an isolated, fractured Christian enclave, a relic of the faded East Roman epoch surrounded by Muslim, predominantly Turco-Iranian-Arabic world.

By the middle of the 15th century, most of Georgia’s old neighbor-states disappeared from the map within less than a hundred years. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 sealed the Black Sea and cut the remnants of Christian states of the area from Europe and the rest of the Christian world. Georgia remained connected to the West through contact with the Genoese colonies of the Crimea.