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Azerbaijan: The Spirit of Revolution
Country Study > Chapter 1 > Historical Background > Within the Russian Empire > The Spirit of Revolution


The growth of industry and political influences from outside prompted the formation of radical and reformist political organizations at the turn of the century. A leftist party calling itself Himmat (Equality), composed mainly of Azerbaijani intellectuals, was formed in 1903-4 to champion Azerbaijani culture and language against Russian and other foreign influences. A small Social Democratic Party (which later split into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions) also existed, but that party was largely dominated by Russians and Armenians. Some members of Himmat broke away and formed the Musavat (Equality Party) in 1912. This organization aimed at establishing an independent Azerbaijani state, and its progressive and nationalist slogans gained wide appeal. Himmat's Marxist coloration involved it in wider ideological squabbles in the period leading up to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. After several further splits, the remainder of Himmat was absorbed into the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) shortly before Azerbaijan was occupied by the Red Army in 1920.

Data as of March 1994

Last Updated: March 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Azerbaijan was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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