The Spirit of Revolution

The Spirit of Revolution

The growth of industry and political influences from outside prompted the formation of radical and reformist political organizations at the turn of the century. A leftist party calling itself Himmat (Equality), composed mainly of Azerbaijani intellectuals, was formed in 1903-4 to champion Azerbaijani culture and language against Russian and other foreign influences. A small Social Democratic Party (which later split into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions) also existed, but that party was largely dominated by Russians and Armenians. Some members of Himmat broke away and formed the Musavat (Equality Party) in 1912. This organization aimed at establishing an independent Azerbaijani state, and its progressive and nationalist slogans gained wide appeal. Himmat's Marxist coloration involved it in wider ideological squabbles in the period leading up to the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. After several further splits, the remainder of Himmat was absorbed into the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) shortly before Azerbaijan was occupied by the Red Army in 1920.

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