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History of Georgia

Georgia's early history is intertwined with iconic history, although many historians debate the accuracy of this history and call much of it fiction. None-the-less, the history has been intertwined with truth and today the truth doesn't seem as important as what the people believe to be true.

The Georgian people are descended from Noah's (as in Noah's Ark) great great grandson, Kartlos. Later in their history, the land became well known as a rich land and was home to the Golden Fleece from the stories of Jason and the Argonauts (Golden Fleece) from Greek "mythology."

Moving to unquestionable fact, Georgia's modern history began much earlier than most modern countries. Their language and ethnicity are extraordinarily unique and date to about the 300s, about the same time that they officially adopted Christianity, the second country in the world to do so. Although being briefly divided between Persian and Byzantium control, Georgia is very mountainous and in about 500 they again became independent. This back and forth struggle continued for a few centuries, but Georgia typically remained independent until the Mongols arrived in the 1200s. This event latter allowed other invasions, creating a long period of brief takeovers until the 1700s and 1800s when the Russians took the country over.

During the 1800s Georgia received many of the same changes Russia was experiencing, including introductions from the industrial revolution, including improved infrastructure and increasing personal freedoms. Despite the Russian, and various other occupiers, Georgia's language and culture remained and some sub-ethnicities in the mountains were wholly unaffected by these outsiders since they were too isolated to ever even contact these foreign rulers.

After a couple years of independence starting in 1918, the collapsing Russian government's successor, the Soviet Union invaded Georgia and took over the country for the duration of their rule. The Georgians suffered particular hardships during this period since the second Soviet leader, Josef Stalin was an ethnic Georgian and he wanted to "revolutionize" his people, so did much to install Soviet culture in place of Georgian culture and history.

In 1991 Georgia gained independence as the Soviet Union collapsed. Unfortunately, Georgia had little order, was corrupt, and much of the country was too rural and mountainous to control. This led to a period of independence movements from South Ossetia and Abkhazia as other parts of the country were rife with street fighting, looting, political corruption, and the country became known as the kidnapping capital of the world.

After protests in 2003, political power shifted, major reforms were made, and internal safety and international politics vastly improved. However, few locals saw improved living standards or increasing wages. Plus, this new government, seeking to join NATO, had upset Russia and those relations were further damaged in 2006 when Russia closed their international borders with Georgia. Relations further deteriorated in 2008 when Russia "invaded" South Ossetia "to protect the Russian minority" there.

This page was last updated: March, 2013