History of Georgia
Between the fifth millennium B.C. and modern times, Georgia experienced numerous invasions and migrations from both the west and the east. Early on, Georgia was dominated culturally and politically by Greece and Persia. The Caucasus region was conquered by the Romans in 66 A.D. and remained under Roman control for 400 years. The Byzantine Empire also exerted a strong cultural influence, as did Islam with the invasions of the Arabs in the seventh century.
Between the 11th and 13th centuries, Georgia experienced a Golden Age of cultural, political and military ascendancy. This period came to an end in the 14th century with the invasions of the Mongols and the Persians. Russia annexed Georgia in 1801 and maintained control until 1918 when Georgia broke from Russia to form an independent state. However, in 1921 the Red Army invaded and Georgia became part of the Soviet Union.
In 1936 Georgia was recognized as one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union; however, it had little opportunity for self-rule. Under Stalin, a Georgian by birth, Georgian citizens experienced harsh repression of their rights and freedoms.
During the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia declared itself an independent state once again. In 1992 Georgia became a member of the United Nations and in 1995 Georgia's constitution was adopted and presidential elections were held. Today, although Georgia still faces many economic, political, and social challenges, it is an independent nation with a proud history and a rich culture.