George XII ( October 10, 1746 - December 28, 1800 ) - the last king of Kartli-Kakheti ( January 11, 1798 - December 28, 1800 ). The son of King Heraclius II .
|Birth||October 10, 1746 |
|Death||December 28, 1800 (54 years old)|
|Burial place||Svetitskhoveli , Mtskheta|
|Spouse||1) Ketevan Andronikoshvili |
2) Mariam Georgievna Tsitsishvili
|Children||sons: David XII , John , Luarsab, Bagrat , Solomon, Teimuraz, Michel , Gibrael, Elizbar, Joseph, Spiridon, Okropir, Simeon and Heraclius |
Daughters: Barbara, Sofia, Nino , Salome, Hripsime, Guyana, Tamara, Anna and Anna
|Religion||Orthodoxy , Georgian Church|
In the literature, it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as George XIII. Grew up at the royal court. Since the 60s XVIII century participated in public administration. In 1765, Tsarevich George did not support the decision of Father Heraclius II regarding the harsh punishment of the participants in the conspiracy against the tsar, which caused disagreements between the father and son. Queen Darejan, the stepmother of Tsarevich George, who always opposed George XII and sought to quarrel the stepson with his stepbrothers, added fuel to the fire of the conflict.
In January 1798, when King Heraclius II passed away, George XII took over the reins. By this time he was very sick.
During his reign in Kartli-Kakheti, a very difficult internal and external situation developed.
George XII cared for the restoration of Tbilisi, destroyed by the Iranians in 1795. By his order, the tsarist officials conducted a census, and a monetary tax was imposed on the restoration of the tsar’s palaces, but the tsar spent the money collected on the arrangement of churches. Printing restoration has begun.
George XII tried to restore the "Morige jari" (royal guard, protection) of the era of Heraclius II. Being sick, the king nevertheless tried to eliminate the arbitrariness of the princes and put an end to internal enemies, but in vain.
He fought against the Iranian order and tradition imposed by the invaders during the raids.
George XII, striving for the unity of Georgian and Armenian Christianity, introduced Orthodox Christianity into the Armenian population.
George XII and his foreign policy
In foreign policy, George XII adhered to the "traditional" pro-Russian orientation. He asked Russia for the fulfillment of its obligations under the George Treaty of 1783, the introduction of the Russian army into Georgia, thinking that with their help he would be able to put an end to internal turmoil and settle the foreign policy position of the kingdom.
George XII asked the emperor of the Russian Empire to accept Georgia ( Kartli-Kakheti kingdom ) into Russia:
|“... so that from then on the kingdom of the Kartlosians should be considered to belong to the Russian power with the rights enjoyed by other regions located in Russia."|
He feared that the Georgian princes would start an internecine struggle, as a result of which Georgia would be conquered by Persia . Therefore, George XII wanted his son, David XII Georgievich , to take the throne after his death.
Letter from the last king of Kartli-Kakheti, George XII, to his ambassador Garsevan Chavchavadze of September 7, 1799 :
|“Provide them with all my kingdom and my possession as a sacrifice sincere and righteous and offer it not only under the auspices of the highest Russian imperial throne, but also fully grant them their authority and care, so that from then on the kingdom of Kartlosians is considered to belong to the Russian state with those rights, which are used by other areas located in Russia. ”  "Do not stop the royal title in my house, but allow the hereditary reign as it was under my ancestors." |
In St. Petersburg, on June 24, 1800, the Georgian Embassy submitted to the Foreign Affairs Collegium a draft document on citizenship. The first paragraph read: Tsar George XII "earnestly wishes with his offspring, the clergy, nobles and with all the people subject to him, to once and for all accept the citizenship of the Russian Empire forever, promising to sacredly fulfill all that is performed by the Russians." [four]
At an audience on November 14, 1800, Count Rostopchin and S. L. Lashkarev announced to the Georgian ambassadors that Emperor Paul I accepts the king and all the Georgian people as eternal citizenship and agrees to satisfy all the requests of George XII, “but not otherwise than when one from the envoys he will go back to Georgia to declare the tsar and the people there the consent of the Russian emperor, and when the Georgians reiterate with a letter their desire to enter into Russian citizenship. ” [five]
George XII was promised to leave him the right of the king until the end of his life. However, after his death, the Russian government intended to confirm David XII Georgievich as governor-general with the title of tsar, and Georgia to be ranked among the Russian provinces under the name of the Georgian kingdom.
On November 23, 1800, the emperor gave a rescript in the name of George XII, on the acceptance of his kingdom into Russian citizenship, he further wrote:
|“We have been declared, we received with our highest grace and goodwill also the mercy of our most gracious testing of your petitions to accept you into our citizenship.”|
On December 22, 1800, Emperor Paul I signed a manifesto on the annexation of Georgia to Russia.
The Georgian ambassadors read out the “petitions”, which proclaimed David XII the interim ruler of the country until his approval by the Russian emperor.
George XII and the abolition of the monarchy in Kartli-Kakheti
Foreign Policy at the End of the 18th Century
Weakened by external and internal wars, Turkey still did not want to reconcile with the loss of its influence in the Transcaucasus, where Russia began to take its place slowly but steadily. Turkey threatened to take revenge on the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom for the fact that Georgia contributed to the implementation of Russia's political plans in the Middle East. But already in 1799 , Turkey was virtually unable to oppose the military-political power of Russia.
More actively fought for the restoration of its former influence in Eastern Georgia, Iran. The active political cooperation that ensued after the Battle of Krzanis between Georgia and Russia greatly alarmed both the rulers of Iran and other Russian rivals in the Middle East - England and France.
Meanwhile, the acute political contradictions between England and France forced each of these countries to persuade Russia to their side; in spite of the fact that none of these states wished Russia success, for political reasons they did not dare to openly impede the advance of Russian troops in the East. Georgia and the whole of Transcaucasia were in the center of attention of the rival states. It became clear to everyone that at present all the advantages were on the side of Russia. It directly bordered on Transcaucasia . The Kartli-Kakheti kingdom recognized Russia as its political ally and patron. The road to Georgia was opened to Russian troops. England and France tried only by hidden political intrigues, then with the help of Iran, then with the help of Turkey, to prevent the advance of Russia in the Middle East. For the same purpose, England and France recognized the claims of Turkey and Iran to supremacy in the countries of the Caucasus as legitimate.
Relations of George XII with the Russian Court
The accession to the throne of George XII was marked by a new offensive of intrafeudal reaction. The tsar’s brothers, instigated by their mother, tsarina Darejanoy, forced the sick and weak-willed George XII to approve the succession order, according to which the throne passed to the eldest in kind. Thus, Tsarevich Yulon, the son of Heraclius, became the heir to the throne. George XII soon abolished the new succession order. As a result of this, an irreconcilable enmity arose between the king and his brothers. Around the princes, tavads dissatisfied with George began to group. The royal court was divided into two camps; the split took on an extremely dangerous character in the context of the country's political crisis.
George XII and the diplomats who took his side sensibly assessed the situation in the state; they understood that the only way to prevent civil strife in the country was armed assistance from Russia, in the amount necessary to ensure the external and internal security of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom. Since at that time Russia was particularly interested in the future of Georgia, George XII decided to insistently seek the Russian government to fulfill the obligations assumed under the 1783 treaty.
In April 1799, Emperor Paul I renewed the patronage agreement with the king of Kartli and Kakheti. However, Russian troops arrived in Georgia only in the fall.
On November 26, 1799, Russian troops entered Tbilisi. George XII met Russian troops three kilometers from Tbilisi.
The arrival of the Russian detachment had a tragic impact on the development of further events. The feudal reaction that was rampant in the country was ready, for the sake of personal interests, to agree to any agreement with the original enemies of Georgia - Turkey and Iran. It was clear to the supporters of Tsar George XII that the assistance provided by the treaty of 1783 was clearly insufficient to curb feudal anarchy and ensure the external security of Georgia, and George XII, firmly adhering to the Russian orientation, proceeded to revise points of the George Treatise.
In a note presented on June 24, 1800 by the Georgian ambassador in St. Petersburg , the king of Kartli and Kakheti proposed that only the right of limited autonomous self-government be reserved for Kartli and Kakheti, provided that George XII and his heirs had the royal throne. Tsar Kartli and Kakheti agreed to submit to the power of the Russian emperor not only in matters of foreign policy, but also in the field of internal governance.
Emperor Paul I accepted the new proposal of George XII.
On September 23, 1800, another regiment of Russian troops arrived in Tbilisi. On November 7 of the same year, two Russian regiments under the command of General Lazarev, together with the Georgian detachments near the village of Kakabeti, on the banks of the Iori River , inflicted a brutal defeat on the invading robber detachments of the Avar Khan , who was carrying the son of Irakli, Tsarevich Alexander.
At the end of 1800, King George XII became seriously ill. During his illness, the supreme power gradually passed into the hands of the plenipotentiary minister of the Russian government under the Georgian tsar - Kovalensky and the commander of Russian troops in Georgia - General Lazarev. During this tense time, demanding the unification of all the living forces of the country, the feudal lords, grouped around the numerous princely candidates for the royal throne, even during the life of George XII, began a fierce internecine struggle that threatened the existence of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom.
The death of King George XII and the abolition of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom
The ruling circles of the East Georgian kingdom, turning to Russia with a request to increase the contingent of Russian troops in Georgia, hoped with their help to maintain their statehood and sovereign rights of the Georgian kings.
However, the government of Emperor Paul I, being well aware of the internecine strife erupting in Eastern Georgia, was waiting only for the right moment to abolish the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom. Favorable conditions for the implementation of the plan of the Russian government were created on December 28, 1800 - on the day of the death of the last king of the East Georgian kingdom - George XII. He was buried in Svetitskhoveli .
The death of King George XII and the transfer of power to David XII exacerbated the situation in the country. Queen Darejan and her sons categorically refused to recognize the power of Tsarevich David XII, as well as Georgia’s annexation to Russia.
According to the agreement concluded between Georgia and Russia, the throne of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom was to be inherited by the son of George, David XII, who was approved by the Russian emperor. But Paul I, during the life of George XII, decided to abolish the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom, turning it into one of the outlying provinces of the Russian Empire.
The emperor "to ensure the tranquility and security of the Georgian people" considered it necessary and possible to abolish (annex) the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom and establish a new (Russian) government to replace the old (Georgian) one. It was thereby violated  “Friendly” treaty of 1783. This was a major defeat for Georgian progressive politicians, since they failed to maintain the self-government of the Georgian people, even in the form of autonomy.
On January 18, 1801, a manifesto of Paul I on the annexation of the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom to Russia was published in St. Petersburg and Moscow . In mid-February of the same year, this manifesto was announced in Tbilisi. On March 12, 1801, as a result of a palace plot, Paul I was killed. His son Alexander I entered the throne. The State Council again considered the issue of Georgia’s accession to Russia. Given the important role of the East Georgian kingdom as the base of Russia in the Middle East, the Council of State decided to abolish autonomous governance in Kartli and Kakheti and introduce Russian governance in Georgian lands annexed to Russia.
As early as March 24, 1801 , tsarist officials removed David XII Bagrationi, who, after the death of George XII, was declared the heir and ruler of the Georgian throne. Instead, General Lazarev, the commander of the Russian army, who was here, was appointed the "ruler of Georgia." The interim board created under his leadership lasted one year.
In the meantime, the emperor approved the provision “on the governance of Georgia”, according to which the main task of the new government was to strengthen the positions of autocratic Russia in Georgia, annexation of other political units of the Caucasus, the development of the natural wealth of Kartli-Kakheti, assisting it in the development of trade, crafts and agriculture, tax collection, law enforcement.
On September 12, 1801, a new imperial manifesto was published on the accession of the East Georgian Kingdom to Russia. In April 1802, this manifesto was published in Tbilisi and other cities of Kartli and Kakheti.
On May 8, 1802 , a new government was opened in Tbilisi in a festive atmosphere - the “Supreme Government of Georgia”, headed by the “Commander-in-Chief of Georgia” or “the Commander-in-Chief”. His assistant, mainly in civil matters, was the "governor of Georgia", who also was in charge of the most important of the four departments (expeditions) - the executive department. The chiefs and the other three departments were appointed Russian officials who communicated with the local population, who did not speak Russian, through advisers from representatives of the Georgian nobility. The latter were also appointed as judges in counties where the chiefs were Russian officers, referred to as "captain-correctional officers." Old bailiffs (selfishly) gradually gave way to new county-level administrative units. The whole of Kartli-Kakheti was divided into five districts: Gori, Lori, Dusheti, Telavsky and Signakhi. Each county had its own police, court, and prosecutor's office. The county treasurer was in charge of the business affairs of the county. City management was entrusted to the Russian commandants, whose assistants were appointed from representatives of the Georgian nobility.
George XII Family
George XII was married twice.
- His first wife was Princess Ketevan ( April 1754 - April 23, 1782 ), the daughter of Prince Papua Andronikashvili , who bore him 12 children.
- The second wife of the king in 1783 was Princess Mariam Georgievna Tsitsishvili ( 1768 - March 30, 1850 ), 11 children.
George XII was the father of fourteen sons and nine daughters.
- David XII ( 1767 - 1819 ), ruler of Georgia from December 1800 to June 1801
- John (1768-1830), Head of the Kakheti Royal House (since 1819), poet, translator into Georgian (including Voltaire ), author of the Georgian-Russian dictionary, as well as textbooks on mathematics and science.
- Luarsab ( 1771 - until 1798 )
- Bagrat ( 1776 - 1841 )
- Solomon ( 1780 - until 1798)
- Teimuraz ( 1782 - 1846 )
- Michelle ( 1783 - 1862 )
- Gibrael ( 1788 - 1812 )
- Elizbar ( 1790 - 1854 )
- Joseph (died before 1798)
- Spiridon (died before 1798)
- Okropir (1795-1857)
- Simeon (born in 1796 - died in infancy)
- Heraclius ( 1799 - 1859 )
- Barbara ( 1769 - 1801 )
- Sophia (1771-1840)
- Nino ( 1772 - 1847 ), was married to the sovereign prince of Megrelia Grigol Dadiani
- Salome (died in infancy)
- Hripsime (1776-1847)
- Guyana (1780-1820)
- Tamara (1788-1850)
- Anna (1789-1796)
- Anna (1800-1850)
- Georgian crown
- A. Tsagareli. “Diplomas and other historical documents of the 18th century relating to Georgia” vol. 2, no. 2., 1902, from 287–288
- Conquest or voluntary accession? Archived April 13, 2014 on the Wayback Machine . Otar Janelidze
- A. Tsagareli. Diplomas, vol. II, no. II. 1902 from 292-294. Note of the Georgian envoys of princes G. Chavchavadze, G. Avalov and E. Palavandov dated June 24, 1800.
- N. Dubrovin. George XII is the last king of Georgia. SPb, 1897.s. 165.
- Acts of the Caucasus Archaeographic Commission , vol. I. p. 181.
- Berdzenishvili N.A., Javakhishvili I.A., Janashia S.N. History of Georgia. Tbilisi, 1946, p. 419; Berdzenishvili N.A., Dondua V.D., Dumbadze M.K., Melikishvili G.A., Meskhia Sh.A., Ratiani P.K. History of Georgia, 1. Tbilisi, 1968, p. 387.
- George, Georgian kings // Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron : in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Fisher, William Bayne (1991), The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-20095-4 .
- Lang, David Marshall (1962), A Modern History of Georgia. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.