Lilit Hr. Hovhannisyan
The documents of the USA State Department are of paramount importance from the point of view of the study of the official discussions in 1917-1920 on the issue of creating united and independent Armenia and also for the essence and content of their American perception. According to these documents in the final stage of World War I the United States began to participate actively in the repartition of the Middle East and Transcaucasia. This aspiration of the US foreign policy corresponded to the geopolitical goals of the Entente countries. It is no accident that the US became soon after an influential geopolitical actor in regional affairs.
The documents of the State Department of 1917-1918, in particular the recommendations on American conditions have to be submitted to the Paris International Peace Conference, the correspondence of the Secretary of State R. Lansing with the Ambassadors of the US to Great Britain and Great Britain to the US and with the representatives of the US Government in Europe and Supreme Military Council of the Allied States, as well as, with the other officials. Then the “14 points” of President W. Wilson presented to the US Congress on January 8, 1918 testify that the United States regarded the Caucuses as a part of the problem concerning Ottoman Empire and was interested in providing the autonomy for Western Armenia under the protection of the great powers as minimum and the independence as maximum, thereby recognizing the right of the Armenian people for free self-determination. However, the US Government was not in a hurry to provide financial, material and military assistance to Eastern Armenians and Eastern Armenia standing on the road to independence or to protect Western Armenia from the inevitable invasion by the Turkish army.
A considerable part of the US State Department’s diplomatic documents refers to the discussions of the question of mandates at the Council of Ten, then at the Council of Four of the Paris Conference in January-March and May, 1919. These documents cast light upon the offers of the Prime Minister of Great Britain D. Lloyd George on recognizing the independence of Western Armenia and endorsing the US mandate not only for Western Armenia but also for Transcaucasia. They represent Wilson’s position on the establishment of a separate American mandate for the western and eastern parts of Armenia and a united American mandate for Constantinople, Anatolia, Armenia and Transcaucasia, as well as, the viewpoints of the Heads of Allied powers, US high-ranking officials. Moreover, the King Craneʼs and J. Harbordʼs state missions explored the region in June-August, 1919, on the justifications for the idea of a united American mandate and the prospects of its implementation. Due to some of the documents referring to the reasons and conditions for the de facto recognition of the Republic of Armenia by the Allied powers on January 19, 1920, and by the United States on April 23, 1920, the essence of decisions on establishment of United and independent Armenia made by the great powers at the Conferences of London in February-March, 1920 and San Remo in April, 1920, as well as, the reasons for the US Senate rejection of Armenia’s mandate on June 1, 1920 and also the essence and legal-political importance of the undertaking of arbitral mission by W. Wilson for determination of the Armenian-Turkish border can be explained.
The State Department documents on listed problems are preserved in the National Archives of Washington and Yerevan. They are also included in the volumes officially published by the US Government in 1931-1947.