Georgia's Declaration of Independence - 1918

The Georgian National Council, during its plenary sitting of May 26, 1918, declared as follows:

For several centuries Georgia existed as a free and independent State.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Georgia voluntarily allied herself with Russia, with the stipulation that the latter should protect her from enemies without.

In the course of the great Russian Revolution conditions arose which resulted in the disorganisation of the entire military front and the abandonment of Transcaucasia by the Russian Army.

Thus, left to her own devices, Georgia, and with her all Transcaucasia, took into their hands the direction of their affairs, creating the necessary organs for this purpose; but under pressure from exterior forces the links which united Transcaucasian nationalities were broken and the political unity of Transcaucasia was thus dissolved.

The present position of the Georgian people makes it imperatively necessary that Georgia should create a political organisation of her own, in order that she may escape from the yoke of her enemies and lay a solid foundation for her free development.

Accordingly, the Georgian National Council, elected by the National Assembly of Georgia on November 22nd (December 5th), 1917, declares: -

1. In future the Georgian people will hold sovereign power, and Georgia will be a State enjoying all the rights of a free and independent State.

2. Independent Georgia’s form of political organisation will be a Democratic Republic.

3. In case of international conflict Georgia will always remain neutral.

4. The Georgian Democratic Republic will apply itself to establishing friendly relations with all nations, and especially with neighbouring nationalities and States.

5. The Democratic Georgian Republic offers to all inhabitants of her territory a wide field for free development.

6. The Democratic Georgian Republic guarantees to all citizens within her territory all civil and political rights, without distinction of nationality, religion, social position or sex.

7. Until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the National Council, with the addition of representatives of the minorities and the Provisional Government responsible to the National Council, is at the head of all Georgian administration.

On the 12th of March, 1919, the constituent assembly of Georgia confirmed the preceding act in the following terms:

"At its first sitting on the 12th of March, 1919, the constituent assembly of Georgia, elected by citizens of both sexes, according to the direct, equal, universal, secret, and proportional electoral system, proclaims before the world and history that it fully confirms and approves the act of the independence of Georgia, declared at Tiflis by the Georgian National Council, May 26, 1918."

The source of this text is Constantin Kandelaki's The Georgian Question Before the Free World, pp. 180-181. It has been compared to the text in Dumbadze, The Caucasian Republics, pp. 47-48, with only very minor differences noted.