Sounding of 'Azerbaijan' regularly changed along the history. Historical sources reflect former names of Azerbaijan as Andirpatian, Atropatena, Adirbijan and Azerbaijan.
Most ancient archeological and paleontological materials recently found on the territory of Azerbaijan prove that first primitive men settled here 1.7-1.8 million tears ago. Great states such as Manna, kingdom of Iskit(Skit, Skif), Atropatena and Albania appear on the lands of Azerbaijan in the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.
Acceptance of Islam in the 7th century made a great change in the history of Azerbaijan.
Islam turned a strong push in the formation of unique people and the language and quickened this process. Common religion of Turkic and non-Turkic ethic groups brought to formation of the same traditions, widening of kinship relations and deepening of the integration process in the territory of Azerbaijan.
In the middle of the 9th century Azerbaijan re-establishes its traditions of the state system and in the lands of the spread of Islam new states appeared. Prosperity touched all the spheres of the politics, economy and culture with the appearance of the independent states. Thus starts the period of Azerbaijan Renaissance.
State system establishment of Azerbaijan progressed between the 15th and the 18th centuries and later. This period carries distinctive importance. The prominent statesman Shah Ismail Khatai(1501-1524) united all the territories of Azerbaijan under his control. He created a centralized Azerbaijan state -Safavi; the capital was Tebriz. During the reign of the Safavis state system establishment in Azerbaijan progressed. Azerbaijani had been the sate language.
After Savafi fell into decay Nadir shah Afshar(1736-1747), a prominent Azerbaijani commander, continued ruling traditions in Azerbaijan territories. He strengthened the borders of the former empire and in 1739 occupied the Northern India including Deli. After Nadir Shah's death his great empire fell into decay and in the second part of the 18th century the struggle of Azerbaijan for freedom gave the birth to new smaller states; khanates and sultanates were established.
At late 18th century the government of Iran passed to the dynasty of the Gajars(1796-1925) of Azerbaijani origin. Their main policy was to unite all the territories once ruled by their ancestors.This gave the start to long lasting wars between the Gajars and Russia, aimed to occupy the Southern Caucasus. Azerbaijan was divided between the two empires. The north part of Azerbaijan joined to Russia, while the south of it to Iran kingdom ruled by the Gajars. This historical event determines the origin of new political-geographical notions: "The North Azerbaijan"(or "Russian Azerbaijan") and "The South Azerbaijan" (or "Iranian Azerbaijan").
In 1836 Russia liquidated free Albanian church, subordinated it to Armenian Grigorian church and thus created a favorable condition to grigorianization and armenianization of the ancient population of Azerbaijan - the Christian Albans. Armenians started claims to Azerbaijani lands. Later the tsarist Russia made the next effort: it armed Armenians and began mass genocide against Turkic-Moslem Azerbaijanis and gave start to the genocide of all Azerbaijanis and the Turkic-Moslem population of the southern Caucasus.
In March 1918 the dashnak-bolshevik government executed the terrible genocide against Azerbaijanis. But the interference of Turkey brought victory to liberation movement in Azerbaijan. In May 28th of 1918 the northern Azerbaijan witnesses the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan - the first Parliamentary Republic in the history of the people of Azerbaijan, the first democratic, legal and secular state in the whole East and Islamic world.
In the period of Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan parliamentary experience had been gained in two stages. The First period lasted from May 27th till November 19th of 1918. In may 28th the Parliament declared about independence of Azerbaijan, assumed governing of the country and adopted historical Declaration of Independence. The Second period of parliamentary experience of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan or the Baku period, started from December 7th of 1918 and lasted only 17 months.
The North Azerbaijan completely turned into the Soviet state after the call the first Soviet Conference of Azerbaijan SSR in May 6th of 1921. The first Constitution of Azerbaijan SSR was adopted in May 19th.
In the thirties of the 20th century the Azerbaijani people met with repression. 29 000 people were subjected to repression in 1937. In the 60th of the 20th century Azerbaijan witnessed drawbacks in many spheres of its economy, industry and agriculture Despite of former successful achievements of Azerbaijan people.
The situation changed in 1969 when Heydar Aliyev started his first period of governing Azerbaijan. To make Azerbaijan one of the most advanced republics of the Soviet Union under totalitarian regime, Heydar Aliyev being a great fanatic of his people implemented the programs of great reforms in all the spheres of life. All creative works carried out by Heydar Aliyev in the first period of his government stirred up the national pride, national self-consciousness, the feelings of freedom and independence and in the 70th of the 20th century Azerbaijan made the next step towards the national liberty movement-the step of progress.
The late period of Azerbaijan state establishment has started with the adoption of the Constitution Act 'about the State Independence of Azerbaijan Republic' on October 18th of 1991, on the eve of the fall of the USSR and is still successfully going on.
Separatist- terrorist groupings of the Autonomous Provision of Nagorny Karabakh and Armenian armed forces began military actions for invasion of Nagorny Karabakh (the Mountainous Karabakh) with the help of the military units of USSR Armed Forces located in Armenia. In 1993 Kalbajar was occupied. The June was the period of deep political crisis. On people demand Heydar Aliyev came to power.
Heydar Aliyev's return was decisive in salvation of Azerbaijan. He prevented the risk of the Civil War. As a wise strategist he took into consideration the real conditions. He realized the strength of our enemies and their supporters, plans and dangerous position of Azerbaijan among them and found the way out in cease-fire.
The authority and fame of Azerbaijan in the international world is growing continuously. The stability in the country and carrying out internal reforms positively affect the extension of the international relations. Azerbaijan Republic, basing its foreign policy on principles of equality and mutual interest, is an open act state for all the states of the world.