|Kingdom of Georgia
საქართველოს სამეფო (Georgian)
|Anthem: Tavisupleba (1990-Present)
|Government||Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Irakli Kobakhidze|
|-||Occupation by the Soviet Union||1941|
|-||Liberation by the Turkish Army||1944|
|Time zone||UTC (UTC+4)|
|Drives on the||right|
- “Bridges, surrounding trees and churches, all steeped in melancholy; The Mtkvari’s pristine water flowed, turning, trickling, And the blue firmament undulated in its ripples”
Nikoloz Baratashvili -Thoughts on the Mtkvari’s Banks
Georgia is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its population numbers about 3.718 million.
Years of European-German economic funding have boosted the economy, making Georgia one of the strongest economies in the Caucasus. On the EDB Index, Georgia ranks among the top 10 and is one of the fastest-growing economies in Eurasia.
The Democratic Republic of Georgia had been founded after the Russian Revolution of 1917. However, the new state was fragile due to both internal and external factors. In mid-1918, the German Empire offered protection in return for Prince Joachim of Prussia taking a newly created throne in Georgia, which was accepted (Treaty of Poti). Joachim was coronated in March 1919, and took the regnal name of David VII, named after the great king of Georgia David IV the Builder.
The arrival of the German troops in Georgia coincided with the growing German-Turkish rivalry for Caucasian influence and resources, notably the oilfields near Baku, Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, on the Caspian and the associated rail and pipeline connection to Batumi on the Black Sea (Baku-Batumi pipeline). Early in June 1918, the Ottoman 3rd Army under Vehip Pasha renewed its offensive on the main road to Tiflis, and confronted a joint German-Georgian force. This skirmish permanently disrupted German-Turkish relations, causing the decline and fall of the Central Powers in the post-war period. In October of 1918, Germany invaded Azerbaijan to ensure the safely of German oil interests - two additional German divisions were moved from the Balkans and Ukraine to advance on Baku. After a brief conflict (the German-Azerbaijani War), Azerbaijan was forced to concede its economic independence (and more importantly, its oil) to the German Empire. In 1925, the new Baku-Batumi pipeline was constructed, which brought economic prosperity to Batumi and the surrounding region of Adjara. Foreign investment flowed in from Europe and America, making Georgia one of the most industrialised and economically prosperous nations of Mitteleuropa.
The Soviet Union threated Georgia’s newfound independence by attempting to assassinate key officials, as well as David VII himself, and by stirring up revolts among the Armenian population. While these revolts were contained and put down by the Royal Georgian army, they caused considerable turmoil and instability to the new state.
On the 7th of February, 1922, David VII commited suicide, leaving his 5 year old son Karl Franz (later George IX) to succeed him as king. Joachim’s marriage to Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt had been incredibly troubled, which led him into a bout of deep depression. A Regency Council led by Prince Georges V. Matchabelli served Karl Franz for 12 years, until his 18th birthday in 1934. Matchabelli groomed George IX to be invested in Georgian society, culture and language. George IX married Princess Maria Bagration of Mukhrani, daughter of Prince George of Mukhrani, head of the royal house of Mukhrani in 1940, and later had three children with her.