Part One։ The process of formation of parties in Eastern Europe and Near East in the 1880s-1890

Gevorg S. Khoudinyan
The profound geopolitical shifts that are taking place in Europe and the Near East as a result of the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine are expanding our understanding of the region called “Eastern Europe” before our eyes. A new environment is being created for all countries from the Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea and the Near East, which were once part of the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. The second stage or cycle of crystallization of the national aspirations of the peoples of this world-wide region begins.

As a result, there was a need for a more in-depth study of the first stage of this process, in which, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, national parties were the main subjects of national aspirations of the countries and peoples of the region in the whole region from the Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea and the Near East. Therefore, the process of almost simultaneous emergence of national parties in these countries and peoples is not the result of a worldwide conspiracy, but a reflection of the objective regularity that A. Toynbee once characterized with simple concepts of challenge-response.

The author examines the national histories of national parties, which at the end of the First World War laid the foundations of statehood in the countries of Eastern Europe and Near Asia in a single channel of self-determination of peoples and the emergence of national states – giving a characteristic of each of its subjects. In the Armenian political reality, this process in 1890-1892 was led by AR Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), in Macedonia, which also fought against the
Ottoman yoke, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (1893).

It is no coincidence that it was then – in the late 1880s-early 1890s that the first circles of the Young Turks appeared in Turkish reality, which reflected the same process with the help of social Darwinist ideas of the struggle for the existence of biological species, because the pan-Islamism of the new Ottomans was gradually replaced by pan-Turkism, which was based on pagan ideas of nomadic Turkic tribes in a civilizational environment alien to them.

During the same period, the movement of the inhabitants of Crete intensified for the implementation of the so-called Megali idea of uniting the Greek population of the subject territories of the Ottoman Empire with Greece, which also included ethnic Macedonians and Albanians.

Another major center of inter-national friction contributing to the formation of national parties in Eastern Europe in the early 1890s was Galicia as the former territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The article analyzes the process of the emergence of the main Polish and Ukrainian national parties – the Polish Socialist Party (1892) and the RussianUkrainian Radical Party (1890).

At the end of the study, the political ties of the AR Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) with individual representatives of the populist movement in the Caucasus and the first contacts with Young Turk figures in Geneva in the period 1890-1897 are revealed.