The Treaty of Alexandropol: The End of an Era for Armenia

In the waning days of November 1917, the forces of Kemal Ataturk made a decisive move against Armenia, advancing into the city of Alexandrapol (which would later be known as Leninakan, and is now called Gyumri). This military action came at a time when Armenia was already grappling with the aftermath of World War I and the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian forces, demoralized and depleted, faced an overwhelming adversary. Under such dire circumstances, they were compelled to sign the Treaty of Alexandropol on December 3, 1920. This treaty spelled the doom for the dream of an independent Armenia, as it required the cession of significant territories to Turkey and effectively ended the sovereignty of the First Republic of Armenia.

The treaty was signed under duress and at a moment of political upheaval. Just a day before the treaty’s signing, the Armenian government had resigned, and power was transferred to a Soviet-backed government. This change rendered the treaty technically invalid, as the signatories no longer represented the Armenian government.

Despite its questionable legitimacy, the Treaty of Alexandropol had far-reaching consequences. It led to the Sovietization of Armenia and the establishment of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. The treaty also required Armenia to renounce the Treaty of Sèvres and cede over half of its territory to Turkey.

The aftermath of the treaty saw a truncated and transformed Armenian state, one that would exist under the influence of the Soviet Union for the better part of the 20th century. The Treaty of Alexandropol remains a poignant reminder of the turbulent times that shaped the modern history of Armenia and the resilience of its people.

This article provides a brief overview of the events surrounding the Treaty of Alexandropol and its implications for Armenia. For those interested in delving deeper into this subject, authoritative sources such as historical texts and academic articles offer a wealth of information on this pivotal moment in Armenian history.


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