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THE CAUCUSUS. Three small nations. GEORGIA. Mainly mountainous Fertile soil in the valleys Warm, subtropical climate Tourism, tobacco, tea, silk & peaches Orthodox Christians (Eastern Catholic) Maintains close ties to Russia After communism , economy went down

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Three small nations


  • Mainly mountainous

  • Fertile soil in the valleys

  • Warm, subtropical climate

    • Tourism, tobacco, tea, silk & peaches

  • Orthodox Christians (Eastern Catholic)

  • Maintains close ties to Russia

  • After communism, economy went down

  • Recently, the economy is doing better


  • Landlocked, smallest nation of the former U.S.S.R.

  • Rug-making is a traditional craft

  • Due to its location, Between the Turkish and Russian Empires:

    • Armenia suffered great hardships

    • During WW-I, the Turks tried to kick-out the entire 1.7 million people out of Armenia in an act of genocide

      • Genocide: The attempted killing of an entire ethnic group

    • About 1/3 died or were killed


  • After communism, Armenia wanted all of its land back.

  • Invaded western Azerbaijan and took the land

  • 350,000 Armenians (Christians) in Azerbaijan were forced to leave Azerbaijan

  • 190,000 Azeri (Muslims) in Armenia left Armenia

  • Religious conflict, Christian v. Muslim


  • Rich deposits of oil, but earthquakes

  • Almost half of the population live rural (agriculture)

    • Goats, sheep, fruit, cotton & silk

  • Over 90% of the population are Muslim

  • Wanted to build an oil-pipeline to the Black sea through Russia

  • Russia didn’t like that idea


Azerbaijan & Pollution

  • After communism, the region is heavily polluted

  • The Caspian Sea is contaminated by sewage and oil

  • Overuse of pesticides and fertilizer left the soil damaged

  • The demand for economic recovery is more important than the environment


  • Kazakhstan (kah-zak-STAN)

  • Turkmenistan (turk-MEN-ih-STAN)

  • Uzbekistan (ooz-BEK-ih-STAN)

  • Kyrgyzstan (cyr-geez-STAN)

  • Tajikistan (tah-jihk-ih-STAN)

    • The “STAN” translates to “the land of”


  • Dusty, desert, lowland leading to grasslands

  • Summer rains bring less than 10”

  • Turkmenistan gets less than 3”

  • Some areas have large reserves of oil & natural gas

  • 1/5 of the population are Muslim

  • Does not support Islamic fundamentalism

    • Islamic Fundamentalism:The practice ofreligion based in the strict writings found in the Koran


G. Ethnic Traditions:

  • The nations of Central Asia contain a mixture of ethnic groups

    • Turkic

    • Russian

    • Ukrainian

  • Traditional ways of nomadic herding conflict with modern industry

  • Soviet-Central-Planners forced the nomads to live in cities to increase industry

  • Attempting to keep the peace between ethnic/religious groups


H. Environmental Impact:

  • Soviet planners ignored the affects of industry on the environment

  • Heavy use of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides caused heavy damage

  • Parts of this region are considered to be the most polluted in the world


  • Under Communism (Soviet Era), the rivers running into the Aral Sea were used for irrigation.

  • The Aral Sea is now 2/3 gone.

    • Less fresh water; more salt water

    • Fishing industry died


  • The remaining salt and sand blow over the remaining land and cause desertification

    • Desertification: The changing of arable land into desert. Usually caused when humans change the environment

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