Sources 1. The establishment of the ADR and its first activities
Domestic policy of the ADR and its cultural and educational activity
In 1917 the October Revolution overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave the power to the local soviets dominated by Bolsheviks. As the revolution was not universally recognized outside of Petrograd there followed the struggles of the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and ended with the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. When Russia was involved with the internal clashes, in these circumstances Azerbaijani people could establish the first democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world.
First of all, Elected deputies of the Constituent Assembly from Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia created the Seim, and its inaugural meeting took place in Tiflis on February 10, 1918. Two weeks later, on February 24, it proclaimed the establishment of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. As these nations had a lot of contradictions among themselves, soon the Seim fell apart. On May 26, 1918, the Democratic Republic of Georgia declared independence and this marked the end of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic.
On May 27 1918 the Azerbaijani faction constituted itself into the Azerbaijani National Council (NC) and M.A.Rasulzade was elected its chairman. The Azerbaijani National Council immediately undertook parliamentary functions and proclaimed the foundation of the "Azerbaijani Democratic Republic" on 28 May 1918 and declared the National Charter. After the proclamation of independence, the next step in organizing the world's first Muslim republic was the choice of a Prime Minister. This fell upon Khan Khoiski, who formed his cabinet the same day, May 28. He began his work by notifying foreign governments of the establishment of the Azerbaijani Republic, with a temporary capital at Ganja. Meanwhile, in Batum, the Transcaucasian delegation split up and each of the successor states negotiated its own conditions of peace. On June 4, all three signed their separate treaties of "peace and friendship" with Turkey. Unlike the case of Armenia or Georgia, there was some substance to the term friendship describing the Azerbaijani-Ottoman settlement. Azerbaijan not only retained all its territory, but also under Article IV of the treaty received the promise of Ottoman military assistance for restoration of security and the recovery of Baku. Soon the "Army of Islam" under its commander Nuri Pasha had arrived in Ganja. In September 15 1918 Baku was freed from the Central-Caspian Dictatorship, which succeeded Baksoviet. In September the ADR government moved from Ganja to Baku.
The first parliament of the republic opened on December 5, 1918 and Ali Mardan Bek Topchubashov was elected its chairman. During its existence the ADR had formed 5 cabinets; Fatali Khan Khoyski was the Prime Minister of the first 3 cabinets; Nasib Bek Yusifbeyli was Prime Minister of the last 2 cabinets.
Despite existing for only two years, the ADR managed to achieve a number of measures: Azeri language was declared the state language; the 3-color flag and the national anthem were created; the Baku State University was established in 1919; the national army was created in May 26 1918, independent financial and economic systems were formed; women gained the right to vote, equal rights for all, etc.
After a major political crisis, the Fifth Cabinet of Ministers of the ADR resigned on April 1, 1920. On April 25, 1920, the Russian XI Red Army invaded Azerbaijan, entering Baku on April 27. To avoid further bloodshed, the deputies complied with the demand and the ADR officially ceased to exist on April 28.
Sources 2. Anti-Azerbaijan policy of the Baksovet. Genocide of Azerbaijanis in March 1918
In 1917 the October Revolution in Petrograd overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave the power to the local soviets dominated by Bolsheviks. This immediately initiated the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR). As the revolution was not universally recognized outside of Petrograd there followed the struggles of the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922.
After the October Revolution, on November 13, 1917, a group of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries (SR) proclaimed the Baku Soviet, a governing body, which assumed power over the territory of Baku Governorate under the leadership of Bolshevik Stepan Shahumyan. S.Shahumyan, kept contacts with Dashnaktsutyun and viewed it as a source of support for eliminating Musavat influence in Baku.
The events in Baku were well planned and were implemented by the military formations Armenian terrorist organization Dashnaktsutyun and Bolsheviks, looking for the cause and to forcibly change the ethnic composition of Baku. It should be noted that the six months before the genocide, Azerbaijani party Musavat during the elections in Baku City Council won three times more votes than the Bolsheviks. This caused an alert for Baku Bolsheviks, as Baku was one of the few industrial centers former Russian Empire. In addition, it was actually the only center of oil production in which so craved Bolshevik power in Russia.
After the funeral of Azerbaijani philanthropist Zeynalabdin Tagiyev’s son, Mohammed who died in Lenkoran held in Baku, the officers were present at the regiment, which served late, had to go back to the Lenkoran with the military ship "Evelyn". Armenians immediately spread rumors about that Azeri officers have ordered the destruction of the Russian population of Mughan, region in the Southern part of Azerbaijan. Taking advantage of the situation committee headed by Stepan Shaumian, disarmed officers from the ship. Muslim organizations tasked committee to return the weapons of the Azerbaijani officers. However, in response Shaumyan announced the attack on the Azerbaijani population in Baku.
Receiving broad support from the Bolshevik Russia, the Armenian formation on 30, March 31 to April 2 committed the carnage in Baku against the Muslim population, cruelly destroying up to 15 thousand people.
On April 13, 1918, within few days of the massacres, the Bolsheviks under the leadership of Stepan Shahumyan proclaimed the Baku Commune. This new body endeavored to nationalize Baku's oil fields, drawing them from the British, and to form the "Red Army of Baku", an undisciplined and poorly managed force composed largely of ethnic Armenian recruits.
March Days of 1918 had a profound effect on the formulation of Azerbaijani political objectives as well. While before Azerbaijani leaders only sought an autonomy within the Russian domain, after the Bolshevik-perpetrated massacres in Baku, they no longer believed in Russian Revolution and turned to the Ottomans for support in achieving total independence.
According to the decree published during the presidency of Heydar Aliyev, on 26 March 1998, 31 March events has been officially recognized as Azerbaijanis Genocide Day. This ordinance is a vital step in restoring the historical reality of what happened.
Sources 3. Foreign policy of the ADR. Participation of Azerbaijani delegation at the Paris Peace Conference
After the proclamation of independence, Fatali Khan Khoiski, who formed the first cabinet in May 28 1918, began his work by notifying foreign governments of the establishment of the Azerbaijani Republic. In June 4 the ADR government signed the treaty of "peace and friendship" with Turkey; so, Turkey was the first country recognized the independence of the ADR. Russia never recognized the ADR; even so, the ADR government remained neutral on the issue of the Russian Civil War and never sided with the Red or White Army. Throughout its existence from 1918 to 1920, the ADR had diplomatic relations with a number of states. Agreements on the principles of mutual relations were signed with some of them; sixteen states established their missions in Baku. Among the foreign activities of the ADR was the participation of Azerbaijani delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The Azerbaijani Peace Delegation in Paris consisted of the chair Alimardan Topchubashev, A.A. Sheykhulislamov, M. Maharramov, M. Mir-Mehdiyev and advisor B.Hajibayov. The main purpose of delegation was to achieve recognition of the independence of Azerbaijan.
Upon its arrival, the Azerbaijani delegation addressed a note to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, making the following requests: that the independence of Azerbaijan be recognized; Wilsonian principles be applied to Azerbaijan; diplomatic relations be established between the United States of America and the Republic of Azerbaijan. President Wilson granted the delegation an audience in May 28 1919, at which he displayed a cold and rather unsympathetic attitude. As the Azerbaijani delegation reported to its Government, Wilson had stated that the Conference did not want to partition the world into small pieces. Wilson advised Azerbaijan that it would be better for them to develop a spirit of confederation, and that such a confederation of all the peoples of Transcaucasia could receive the protection of some Power on the basis of a mandate granted by the League of Nations. However, despite Wilson's attitude, on January 12, 1920, the Allied Supreme Council extended de facto recognition to Azerbaijan, along with Georgia, and Armenia. The Allies recognized the Transcaucasian Republics partly because of their fear of Bolshevism, but their activities directed against Bolshevism, at least in Transcaucasia, did not go much beyond words.
The existence period of the ADR can be divided into three distinct phases. The first was that of the Ottoman occupation whose military authorities tended to regard Azerbaijan as a land to be one day united with Turkey. Ottoman occupation was replaced by the British whose forces arrived in Baku in November 1918. In the second phase the British presence provided Azerbaijan with temporary security from the Russian Civil War, and indirectly it encouraged the political development of the country along the lines of a parliamentary system of government. The phase of full independence that followed the British withdrawal in August 1919 was clouded by a growing sense of insecurity and isolation.
The survival of the Democratic Republic hinged on the stalemate in the civil war that would keep the Red and White Russian armies. By the spring of 1920 the Red Army had achieved victory, and on April 28 its troops invaded Azerbaijan, meeting with almost no resistance, as the Azerbaijani forces were trying to put down an Armenian uprising in Nagorno-Karabagh. Before the end of the month the Azerbaijani Soviet of People's Commmissars was formed in Baku.