TRANSCAUCASIA, a general name given, before the Rus sian revolution of 1917, to the governments and provinces of Russian Caucasia, excluding the steppe provinces of Kuban and Terek and the steppe government of Stavropol. It thus included the governments of Baku, Elisavetpol, Erivan, Kutais and Tiflis; the provinces of Batum, Daghestan and Kars; and the military districts of the Black Sea (Chernomorsk) and Zakataly. It is now applied to the three Soviet Republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, which from 1927 to 1936 constituted the single Trans caucasian S.F.S.R. Kars is now included in Turkey.
During 1919 the three Governments gradually established themselves under the protection of the British forces, though Armenia opened hostilities in January against Georgia and in August against Azerbaijan. In both cases the disputes (territorial in origin) were settled by British mediation. The British forces
evacuated the whole of Transcaucasia except Batoum on Aug. 28, 1919. In Jan. 1920, the Supreme Council sitting in Paris ac corded de facto recognition to the three Governments. On April 27-28 there was a revolution at Baku and the Azerbaijan Gov ernment was replaced by a Soviet republic which invited the Russian Soviet forces to occupy the country. Georgia and Ar menia, however, retained their independence for a time, and the former signed treaties with the Soviet Governments of Azerbaijan (May 7) and Russia (June 6), a step which Armenia refused to take. On July 7 the British forces evacuated Batoum and handed over the district to the Georgian Government whose independence was recognized by Soviet Russia in a second treaty signed in August. An Armenian Soviet Government was established in De cember whose independence was recognized by Soviet Russia.
On Jan. 27, 1921, the Supreme Council sitting in Paris ac corded de jure recognition to the Menshevik Government of Georgia, but on Feb. 12 there was a rising against this Govern ment in the country and a week later the Russian Soviet troops crossed the frontier. Turkish forces then occupied Batoum at the invitation of the Mensheviks, but withdrew on the signature of peace and the proclamation of a Georgian Soviet republic (March 19). In the following May a treaty of Alliance was signed be tween the Georgian and Russian Soviet Governments. Mean while the three refugee Governments from Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia had fled to Paris and there proclaimed a Caucasian Federation, asserting that the respective Soviet Governments did not represent the wills of the three peoples. The three Soviet Governments regulated their relations with Turkey in a treaty signed at Kars on Oct. 13, the provisions of which followed the lines of the treaty concluded in Moscow between Russia and Turkey, March 16. On March 12, 1922, the three Soviet Gov ernments signed an agreement establishing the Transcaucasian S.S.S.R. which, though in close alliance with the Russian Soviet republic, retained independence until the creation of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, July 6, 1923, of which it then be came a constituent member. (See RussiA.)