The historical territories of Azerbaijan, bordered on the Great Caucasus from the North, the Alagoz chain, the basin of the lake Goycha and the Eastern Anatoly from the west, the Caspian Sea from the East and Sultaniye-Zanjan-Hamadan from the south, is a place of the primary cultures which gave the start to modern civilization. In those territories historically belonged to Azerbaijan people they established rich distinctive culture and the state system.
Sounding of ‘Azerbaijan’ regularly changed along the history. Historical sources reflect former names of Azerbaijan as Andirpatian, Atropatena, Adirbijan and Azirbijan.
The territory of Azerbaijan is rich with archeological monuments which prove it to be one of the regions of the primitive men’s first settlement. Archeological finds of the caves of Azikh, TAglar, Damjili, Dashsalahli, Gazma(Nakhchivan) and other monuments, the shin-bone of the most ancient Azikh man (Azikhantrop) lived 300-400 thousand years ago in the Age of Asheul prove the abovementioned theory.
Great states such as Manna, kingdom of Iskit(Skit, Skif), Atropatena and Albania appear on the lands of Azerbaijan in the 1st millennium BC and the 1st millennium AD. Those states played distinctive role in perfection of ruling traditions, in history of the economy and culture of the country and in formation of united people.
Since the first centuries AD Turkic language was gaining priority among minor people and ethnic groups lived in the territory of Azerbaijan. Turkic language was the means of relation between the north and the south. This fact played important role in formation of united folk for the reason that monotheism was absent in Azerbaijan at that time. The belief to the head God of the Turks did not prevailed over other spread religions. Zoroastrianism, fire-worship, belief in the Sun, the Moon, the Sky, the stars, ground, water etc. still existed. Christianity was widely spread in the northern part of the country, i.e. in some places of Albania, especially in western mountainous regions. Acceptance of Islam in the 7th century made a great change in the history of Azerbaijan.
In the middle of the 9th century Azerbaijan re-establishes its traditions of the state system and in the lands of the spread of Islam we see new states: Sajis, Shirvanshakhs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis.
After Arabic Khilafet fell into decay since the mid of the 9th century Turkic-Islamic empires increased their role in the Caucasus, in all the Near and the Middle East. States ruled by such Turkic-Islamic dynasties as Sajis, Shirvanshahs, Salaris, Ravvadis, Shaddadis, Shaki governors, Saljugis, Eldanises, Mongols, Elkhanis-Hulakus, Chobanis, Jalayirs, Teymuris, Osmans, Garagoyunlus, Aggoyunlus, Safavis, Afshars, Gajars and others remained in the history of the state system of Azerbaijan, of the whole South Caucasus and the Near and the Middle East.
State system establishment of Azerbaijan progressed between the 15th and the 18th centuries and later. The great empires of the period Garagoyunlu, Aggoyunlu, Safavi, Afshar and Gajar were directly ruled by the Azerbaijan dynasties.
İn the reign of the great statesman of Azerbaijan Uzun Hasan (Hasan the High)(1468-1478) the emperor of Aggoyunlu appeared as a great military-political entity in the whole Near and the Middle East. State system establishment of Azerbaijan had been developing. Uzun Hasan aimed to create strong centralised state embracing the territory of the whole Azerbaijan. For this purpose he composed ‘Ganunname'(the about the Law). He made one to translate Gurani-Kerim (Koran) into azeri, ordered Abu Bekr Tehrani to write Oguzname (Oguz epic) in the name of ‘Kitabi-Diyarbekerriye’.
The distinctive importance carries out the period of the late 15th and early 16th , when the prominent statesman and the grandson of Uzun Hasan Shah Ismail Khatai(1501-1524) realized his grandfather’s wish and united all the territories of Azerbaijan under his control. He created a centralized Azerbaijan state -Safavi; the capital was Tebriz. During the reign of the Safavis state system establishment in Azerbaijan progressed. Azerbaijani had been the sate language. Reforms carried out by Shah Ismail, Shah Tahmasib and Shah Abbas and other Safavi rulers, their internal and foreign policy changed the state of Safavi to one of the greatest empires of Near and the Middle East.
After Savafi fell into decay Nadir shah Afshar(1736-1747), a prominent Azerbaijani commander, continued ruling traditions in Azerbaijan territories after Savafi fell into decay. Being of Turkic-Afshar origin from Azerbaijan, he strengthened the borders of the former empire and in 1739 occupied the Northern India including Deli. Despite of his great efforts he couldn’t establish the great centralized state.
After Nadir Shah’s death his great empire fell into decay and in the second part of the 18th century the struggle of Azerbaijan for freedom gave the birth to new smaller states; khanates and sultanates appeared in the territory of Azerbaijan.
At late 18th century the government of Iran passed to the dynasty of the Gajars(1796-1925) of Azerbaijani origin. Their main policy was to unite all the territories once ruled by their ancestors–the Garagoyunlus, the Aggoyunlus, the Safaviz and by Nadir shah and Azerbaijani khanates as well, under their government.
The liberty movement in Northern Azerbaijan concluded tragically. In March 1918 the dashnak-bolshevik government with S. Shaumyan at its head executed the terrible genocide against Azerbaijanis. But the interference of Turkey brought victory to liberation movement in Azerbaijan. In May 28th of 1918 the northern Azerbaijan witnesses the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan –the first Parliamentary Republic in the history of the people of Azerbaijan, the first democratic, legal and secular state in the whole East and Islamic world.
In the period of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan parliamentary experience had been gained in two stages. The First period lasted from May 27th till November 19th of 1918. In may 28th the Parliament declared about independence of Azerbaijan, assumed governing of the country and adopted historical Declaration of Independence. During 6 month period the Parliament composed of 44 turkic-moslem members, functioned under the name of the National Board of Azerbaijan and adopted very important historical decisions.
The Second period of parliamentary experience of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan or the Baku period, started from December 7th of 1918 and lasted till April 27th of 1920; only 17 months. By its decision from September 1st of 1919 the parliament established the Baku State University. The establishment of the national University was the most important event in the history of our people. Though the fall of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the Baku State University helped to preserve the ideas of Republic and played great role in re-gaining of the independence.
In lifetime of the DRA the parliament gathered 155 times. 10 of them were in the period of the National Board of Azerbaijan (May 27th -November 19th 1918), the rest 145 in the period of the Parliament of Azerbaijan (December 7th 1918- April 27th 1920).
Parliament discussed over 270 drafts. 230 of them were adopted. Active and business-like disputes caused the adoption of the laws on the third reading. During its 23 month live the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan proved that no colonial or repression regime, how cruel it might be, is in power to crush liberty ideals and state traditions of Azerbaijan people.
The Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan fell under the military attack of the Soviet Russia. State independency of Northern Azerbaijan was liquidated. In April 28th of 1920 in the territory of Azerbaijan the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan (SSRA) appeared instead of the Democratic Republic. The system of the independent state government established in DRA had directly been liquidated after Soviet occupation.
In the thirties of the 20th century the Azerbaijani people met with repression. 29 000 people were subjected to repression in 1937
In the 60th of the 20th century for objective and subjective reasons Azerbaijan witnessed drawbacks in many spheres of its economy, industry and agriculture Despite of former successful achievements of Azerbaijan people.
Hundreds of plants, factories and other production swatch established over the whole republic during 1970-1975. 213 great plant facilities started to function. In many important industrial spheres Azerbaijan won the first places in the Soviet Union. 350 kinds of products made in Azerbaijan were exported to 65 foreign countries.
The late period of Azerbaijan state establishment has started with the adoption of the Constitution Act ‘about the State Independence of Azerbaijan Republic’ on October 18th of 1991, on the eve of the fall of the USSR and is still successfully going on.