The country of Azerbaijan is relatively small and situated along the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea. It is also situated near the Armenian Highlands, which are located in the west. There was an ancient tribe that lived in the area for a long time, and much of the tribe has been unearthed by digs that have taken place over the years. For a long time, Azerbaijan was ruled by the Achaemenid Empire, which was the dominant force during much of ancient history. Eventually, Azerbaijan would be conquered by a series of empires, being annexed and released several times prior to the formation of modern Azerbaijan as it is known today.
There are several empires that have come in and conquered Azerbaijan over the years. The Arab Conquest of Iran included Azerbaijan, and it was one of the first major empires to own the area. Then, a few centuries later, Turkic tribes came to the area, under the control of the Seljuq dynasty, and quickly spread their influence over the years. Then, as the centuries moved forward, the number of Persian speakers gradually dropped. The Turkic language they spoke is known as Azerbaijani today.
Russia and Persia have been at war several times during the past few decades. There were a few wars fought in the 19th century. The first took place between 1804 and 1813. The second was fought from 1826 to 1828. Following the end of these wars, Persia was forced to cede some territory to the Russian Empire, which included Azerbaijan. Russian sovereignty was recognized over Azerbaijan as a component of these treaties, and Azerbaijan did not have a national identity for a long time.
Once the Russians took control of the area, Azerbaijan was not considered an independent republic for more than 80 years. Then, in 1918, the Russian Empire fell. Azerbaijan got its independence once again, and the country became the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The name Azerbaijan was adopted but the country was invaded by the USSR in 1920. At the time, it was simply known as the Soviet Union, and it remained a part of the USSR through World War II and after. Azerbaijan was a part of the Warsaw Pact, and it was considered to sit behind the Iron Curtain.
Azerbaijan was a client state of the USSR until 1991. In 1991, the USSR collapsed, and overnight, many of these countries were given their independence and had to set up a government. In 1991, Azerbaijan was established, and the country has been growing ever since. It is still a poor country that has hostile relations with a lot of its neighbors, but Azerbaijan has become more stable during the past few years. To this day, Azerbaijan still has hostile relations with Armenia, but the two are not openly at war with one another. That could change in the future.
The country of Azerbaijan is 106 years old, founded in the year 1918.