Independent Georgian Democratic Republic

Declaration of an Independent Georgian Democratic Republic. May 26, 1918


Original Source: S. A. Piontkovskii (ed). Grazhdanskaia voina v Rossii, 1918-1921 gg. (Moscow 1925), pp. 678-79.

For many centuries Georgia existed as a free and independent state.

At the end of the eighteenth century, surrounded on all sides by enemies, Georgia voluntarily joined Russia on condition that Russia defend her from external enemies.

During the years of the great Russian Revolution, an order was established in Russia which made for the destruction of the military front and the abandonment of Transcaucasia by the Russian army.

Left to her own resources, Georgia, together with all Transcaucasia, took the management of her destinies into her own hands and created appropriate organs for that purpose; however, the pressure of outside forces brought about the disruption of the union which had held together the peoples of Transcaucasia, and caused the downfall of the new political entity.

The present situation of the Georgian people imperatively dictates the necessity of creating an independent political organization as a safeguard against hostile powers and a solid foundation for free development.

Accordingly, the National Council of Georgia, elected by the National Assembly of Georgia on November 22, 1917, now publicly proclaims:

1. Henceforth the people of Georgia are a sovereign people and Georgia is a legally independent state.

2. Independent Georgia is politically established as a Democratic Republic.

3. In the event of any international conflict Georgia will remain neutral.

4. The Georgian Democratic Republic endeavors to establish friendly relations with all members of the society of nations, particularly with neighboring peoples and states.

5. The Georgian Democratic Republic guarantees civil and political rights to all citizens within its boundaries without regard to nationality, creed, social position, or sex.

6. The Georgian Democratic Republic offers wide opportunities for free development to all peoples living within its territory.

7. Pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the government of Georgia is headed by the National Council, augmented by representatives of national minorities, and by a Provisional Government, responsible to the National Council.

Source: James Bunyan, ed., Intervention, Civil War, and Communism in Russia, April-December 1918 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1936), pp. 51-52.

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