The history of the statehood of Azerbaijan has about 5 thousand years. The first state formations arose in these lands at the end of the 4th – beginning of the 3rd millennium BC.
The favourable geographical position, favourable climatic conditions of Azerbaijan from ancient times aroused the great interest of various empires and states. In the period from III to VII century AD Azerbaijan was occupied first by the Sassanid Empire and then by the Arab Caliphate. Both empires resettled a large population of Persian and Arab origin. However, it was the Caliphate and Islam that it professed to play a key role in the history of the formation of the people and the Azerbaijani state. It was with the adoption of the Islamic religion that the history of Azerbaijan underwent a radical change. Islam gave a strong impetus to the formation of single people, language, customs, etc.
The adoption of Islam played a role in political formation: the states of Sadzhid, Shirvanshahs, Salarids, Ravvadids and Sheddadids were created on Azerbaijani lands. The Renaissance began. Each of these states left its mark on the history of the nation and became part of its cultural heritage.
Late XV – early XVI centuries – a new era in the history of Azerbaijan. The prominent statesman Shah Ismail Khatai managed to unite under his leadership all the northern and southern lands of Azerbaijan. Formed a single Safavid state with its capital in Tabriz, which eventually turned into one of the powerful empires of the Near and Middle East. The state included the territories of modern Azerbaijan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, eastern Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain, as well as parts of Pakistan, southern Uzbekistan, eastern Syria, and southern Russia (Derbent).
The prominent commander Nadir Shah, who came to power after the fall of the Safavid state, expanded the borders of the former Safavid empire even more. This ruler of Azerbaijan in 1739 conquered Northern India, including Delhi.
However, after the death of Nadir Shah, his empire fell. And in the second half of the XVIII century, Azerbaijan split into small states – the Khanate and the sultanates.
At the end of the 18th century, the Azerbaijani Qajar dynasty came to power in Iran. They began to introduce a policy of subordination of all the territories that were under the rule of Nadir Shah, including the Azerbaijani khanate, to centralized rule. Thus began the era of perennial wars between the Qajars and Russia seeking to seize the South Caucasus. As a result, on the basis of the Gulustan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828) treaties, Azerbaijan was divided between two empires: Northern Azerbaijan was annexed to Russia and Southern Azerbaijan – to Iran.
A significant event in the life of the Azerbaijani people was the proclamation of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic on May 28, 1918. This date is celebrated to this day as the Republic Day. The ADR became the first parliamentary republic in the East and, with its experience in building an independent state, adopted by progressive legislative acts and decisions, left a deep mark on the history of Azerbaijani statehood.
Unfortunately, the ADR lasted only 23 months. As a result of the armed intervention of the 11th Red Army, it fell. On April 28, 1920, the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed in this territory, which later became part of the USSR.
On August 30, 1991, Azerbaijan regained its independence. And from this moment begins the newest history of strong Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev, who came to power, despite the difficult geopolitical situation, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh and a huge number of problems within the country, was able to centralize power and lay the foundation of new Azerbaijan.
Thanks to his strategy and far-sighted policy that continues to this day, Azerbaijan has become a regional leader, a strong, prosperous country with deep roots of statehood.
The head of the modern Azerbaijani state is President Ilham Aliyev, who continues the path of national leader Heydar Aliyev.