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Azerbaijan at the Crossroads of Eurasia

The Tumultuous Fate of a Nation Caught Up Between the Rivalries of the World’s Major Powers

Fazil Zeynalov

Modern Azerbaijan came into being in 1991 following a national struggle for the re-establishment of its independence, initiated long before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is situated in a unique geographic location, at the crossroads of Eurasia and on the famous Silk Road that links Europe and Asia. It has been the stage of particularly rich historical events, testament to its ancient State traditions, the wealth of its cities, the violence of the imperial invasions. Today this secular country, facing war with Armenia, is central to the geopolitical stakes in the region, whether in terms of the international strategies of major powers or the geo-economic considerations of oil and gas exports to Europe. It has put in place a multi-faceted foreign policy and initiated political and economic reforms as it moves towards a better future.

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Chapter III – The emergence of new Azerbaijani feudal States

Extract

Chapter IIIThe emergence of new Azerbaijani feudal States

The liberation wars and the increasingly undermined central authority weakened the Caliphate and made the breakup of the empire an inevitability. Towards the end of the 9th century, the local dynasties, although they were still weak, quickly began to consider the possibility of independence and opposed all higher authority. New feudal States thus emerged on the territories of Azerbaijan and some of them even survived the conquests of the great empires.

3.1. The States of northern Azerbaijan

During this period, Caucasian Azerbaijan was divided between the Shirvanshah and Shaddadid States and the principality of Khachen.

3.1.1. The Shirvanshah State

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