This article is from the Armenian Review 39, No. 4-156 (1986), pp. 47-72. The original pagination has not been kept intact and the paragraphing has been altered for web use.
This web edition © 2001 Dennis R. Papazian.


The Changing American View of the Armenian Question: An Interpretation

Dennis R. Papazian


The recent assassinations of a number of Turkish diplomats throughout the world by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG) have dramatically brought the Armenian question back before the American public for the first time since the late 1920s.

These two underground groups, and others which operate in the same fashion, declare to be seeking a solution to the Armenian case, including justice for the murder and deportation by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915-16 of more than 1.5 million Armenians in the first genocide of the 20th century.(1) Their avowed goal is to compel the present Turkish government to stop denying that genocide. With the exception of the government which came to power immediately after World War One during the Allied occupation of Istanbul, denial has been the policy of successive Turkish governments.(2) Further demands of the Armenian groups are for reparations to be paid to the survivors and to the heirs of the victims, the return of Western Armenian territories and independence for the Armenian homeland.

The Armenian people have borne their grievance peaceably for decades, and the vast majority of Armenians today still seek remedies in the political arena. Beginning in 1973, however, systematic attacks have been carried out against Turkish governmental officials throughout the world. Since 1973, over twenty-five Turkish diplomats or members of their families and staffs have been killed, and many others have been wounded.(3)

The American news media, as one would expect, dramatized these assassinations. What was not to be expected, since the Armenian massacres were a cause célèbre in the United States from the 1890s to the 1920s, was media ignorance of the Armenian Genocide. Most of the journalists used such words as "alleged," "purported," or "claimed" when referring to the horrors of 1915-16.(4) This hostile stance of the American press, especially when juxtaposed to the friendly and sympathetic ties which existed between the Armenian and American people from the 1830s to the 1920s, seems grotesquely out of place.

The purpose of this article, therefore, is to discover why the American people are no longer outraged--as they once were--by the Armenian Genocide, to identify the major trends of the American view of the Armenians, and to trace the changing character of official U.S. policy toward the Armenian question. Since the relevant literature is vast, and attitudes complex, this article will only outline major trends, using both primary and secondary sources, and illustrate those trends with examples.


EARLY TRAVELERS

The American people first became aware of the Armenians through the "researches" of scholars, adventurers and missionaries seeking to expand and improve European and American knowledge of the Near East which, at the beginning of the 19th century, was still a part of the "unknown" world.(5) These works, most often quite meticulous in their descriptions, may be loosely compared to anthropological studies of exotic places, peoples and customs made by academics in our own times. However, these early works all shared the European biases and ethnocentrism of the 19th century, the prejudices of social Darwinism, and a sense of the obligation of superiors toward "lesser breeds without the law."(6)

It was, however, the American missionaries who were the most significant group in shaping an American view of the Armenians and, apparently, the Armenian view of Americans. From the 1830s "until the 1930s missionary and philanthropic interests were the chief American ties to the Near East. It was during the First World War and peace settlement that direct political influence by Protestants was largest."(7)

The American missionaries in the Ottoman Empire were under the general direction of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), founded in 1810 by Congregational and Presbyterian churches in New England, and it was the first organization in the U.S. to establish missions abroad. The American Board arose out of the Second Great Awakening, which impelled not only the foreign missions, but also the antislavery, temperance, and peace movements.(8)

The classic book of this early Protestant missionary period is entitled Researches of the Rev. E. Smith and Rev. H.G.O. Dwight in Armenia.(9) It was the product of an exploratory trip made by Dwight and Smith through Anatolia (presentday Turkey) and north Persia in 1830 and 1831 under the most trying conditions. Their investigation disabused the American Board of its dream to evangelize the Muslims of the Near East; therefore, in 1831 the Board shifted its interest to the "spiritual enlightenment" of what it called "the degenerate [Christian) churches of the East," including, apparently, the Armenian church in the Ottoman Empire.(10)

The missionaries were prolific writers, and their diaries, letters, reports and journal articles fill tens of thousands of pages with the most detailed and thorough descriptions and evaluations of people, places and events.(11) They were also a highly dedicated, morally upstanding, and well-educated group of men and women: "The sixty some missionaries . . . who went to Turkey before 1844 had an average of five years of advanced education, begun in such colleges as Yale, Amherst, Dartmouth, Williams, and Middlebury, in an era when only two per cent of the people in the United States went to college."(12) These American missionaries brought the New England brand of American civilization, democracy and Protestant Christianity to the Armenians in Turkey. No single foreign group did as much in bringing about the Armenian national and intellectual awakening of the 19th century.(13)

The missionaries believed that their effectiveness depended on serving the physical as well as the spiritual needs of the people. They established missionary stations, usually compounds surrounded by walls, which contained churches, schools, creches, and--since most of the missionaries were trained in medicine--medical clinics and hospitals. The American missionaries also founded and ran colleges in most of the important cities of the Ottoman Empire; by 1891, there were nine, five of which were located in areas with large Armenian populations. These nine colleges were Robert College in Constantinople (1862), the American University of Beirut (1864), the American College for Girls in Constantinople (1873), Central Turkey College in Aintab (1876), Euphrates College in Kharput (1878), Central Turkey Girls' College in Marash (1882), Anatolia College at Marsovan (1886), St. Paul's Institute at Tarsus (1888), and International College at Smyrna (1891). The Armenians were a substantial proportion of those who enrolled in the five American colleges located in Anatolia.

As their efforts expanded, the missionaries struggled with many questions. Should priority he given to individual or social salvation, education or evangelism, philanthropy or preaching, accepting the native culture or fighting it, cooperation with the Turks or protection of the Armenians and other minorities? Injustices abounded in the Ottoman Empire, especially in regard to the Armenians, so this last question was hardly academic. These issues were never resolved in their entirety by the American missionaries, but the one clear resolution was their decision to protect the Armenians, whom they came to consider as their special wards.

By 1914 the Turkish "field" was the largest American missionary effort in the world. It included over twenty stations, one hundred and fifty personnel, one thousand native workers, and fifteen thousand members in one hundred and thirty Armenian evangelical churches.(14) Up until the 1920s, the missionaries worked under the assumptions that the United States was a Christian nation and a Protestant country. That attitude was passed on to the Armenians, and it helped to shape their expectations of the U.S. government.


THE ARMENIAN QUESTION IN AMERICA

The Armenian question began to be noticed by the educated public in America following the abortive Tanzimat reform movement of the mid-19th century in the Ottoman Empire and Article 61 of the Congress of Berlin (1878). Two outstanding examples of this genre are Noel and Harold Buxton's Travel and Politics in Armenia(15) and Henry F.B. Lynch's Armenia: Travels and Studies.(16) The latter, in particular, is still considered a valuable reference source on Armenia at the turn of the century.

A number of books were published in England, the United States and even in Canada following the Hamidian massacres of 1894-1896, when the Armenian case became something of a moral issue in Europe and America. They bore such title pages as "Turkey and the Armenian Atrocities: A Graphic and Thrilling History of Turkey, the Armenians, and the Events That Have Led Up to the Terrible Massacres that have Occurred in Armenia, with a Full Account of the Same, so Bloody and Brutal in Character and Extent as to Shock the Entire Christian World, by the Rev. Edwin M. Bliss, assisted by Rev. Cyrus Hamlin (founder of Robert College), Prof. E. A. Grosvenor of Amherst college, and other Eminent Oriental Scholars; also several eye-witnesses of the Greatest Massacres; with an introduction by Miss Frances E. Willard."(17)

These books, although showing a rather sophisticated understanding of contemporary European imperialism and its effect on the Armenian question, tended to dramatize the issue as that of a pious Christian minority being persecuted by an infidel Muslim majority, and, accordingly, they were a call to the Christian governments and peoples of Europe and America to come to the aid of the suffering Armenian Christians. There was an even larger outpouring of books and articles following the Genocide of 1915-1916, and numerous reports were written by American missionaries and American consular officials residing in Turkey, as well as relief workers, journalists, military men and travelers.(18)


THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN VIEW

What did contemporary Americans know about the Armenian Genocide? They knew a great deal, in fact, perhaps more than any other people at the time. American consular officials, for example, were prime witnesses, since the U.S., as was then the practice, had several consuls stationed in the Ottoman Empire--specifically at Aleppo, Kharput, Smyrna, Mersina, and Trebizond--either within the areas of the slaughter or in the path of the deportations.(19)

Their reports to the U.S. ambassador in Constantinople were specific and blunt. Consul Leslie Davis of Kharput, a man of vast experience in the Ottoman Empire, wrote in his dispatch of July 11, 1915 to Ambassador Morgenthau in Constantinople: "The entire movement seems to be the most thoroughly organized and effective massacre this country [Turkey] has ever seen."(20) Two later reports by Consul Davis were so critical of Turkish actions that the Ottoman government repeatedly frustrated Davis's persistent efforts to wire or even mail them to his chief.(21) In the first of the two, he writes: "Another method was found to destroy the Armenian race ... . A massacre would be humane in comparison with it."(22)

The second report is even more trenchant. Davis writes: "That the order is nominally to exile the Armenians from these vilayets [provinces] may mislead the outside world for a time, but the measure is nothing but a massacre of the most atrocious nature .. . . There is no doubt that this massacre was done by the orders of the Government, there can be no pretense that the measure is anything but a general massacre."(23)

These reports were typical of dozens arriving at the American embassy, not only from American consuls, but also from American missionaries stationed at posts throughout the Ottoman Empire, especially in the Armenian provinces.

The American ambassador to Turkey (1913-1916) was the distinguished New York financier, Henry Morgenthau, a Jewish immigrant from Germany. Ambassador Morgenthau was appalled by the news from his consuls, which, he asserts, "recited horrors as would stretch the imagination."(24) Ambassador Morgenthau also had verification of the facts of the genocidal process from other European officials residing in Constantinople; however, for the purposes of this paper, only the American view will be recounted.

Ambassador Morgenthau was on familiar terms with Talaat, Enver and Jemal Pashas--the ruling triumvirs of the Young Turk government--who exercised their power both as members of the government and, perhaps more importantly, as leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). The CUP party exercised absolute power over the Turkish government at all levels, in a way similar to the Communist Party's control over the Soviet government in the 1930s.

Morgenthau protested several times in person to Talaat about the Turkish annihilation of the Armenians. He kept notes of their meetings, which he transferred to his diary and later published in his memoirs, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.(25) Morgenthau attests that he implored Talaat: "I do not appeal to you in the name of any race or any religion, but merely as a human being. . . . You have told me many times that you want to make Turkey a part of the modern progressive world. The way you are treating the Armenians will not help you to realize that ambition; it puts you in the class of backward, reactionary peoples. . . . "(26) Talaat cynically retorted that since Americans were not being mistreated Morgenthau had no cause for complaint.(27)

"But Americans are outraged by your persecutions of the Armenians," insisted Morgenthau. "You must base your principles on humanitarianism, not on racial discrimination, or the United States will not regard you as a friend and an equal."(28) Morgenthau pressed on: "You say that, if victorious, you can defy the world, but you are wrong. You will have to meet public opinion everywhere, especially in the United States. Our people will never forget these massacres."(29)

Talaat then tried to justify the Genocide: "They [the Armenians] opposed us at Van and at Zeitun, and they helped the Russians."(30) Morgenthau countered: "Suppose a few Armenians did betray you. Is that reason for destroying a whole race?"(31)

It was not only American consular and diplomatic officials who bore witness to the Genocide. Many reports, including eyewitness accounts, appeared in contemporary newspapers and journals, including The New York Times, the Literary Digest, The Independent, the Missionary Review, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, Current History, The Century, and The Nation.(32) These articles were almost universally pro-Armenian, and they flooded America.

Seen in the light of the contemporary American conviction that a terrible genocide had taken place, it seems peculiar that the American media would today speak of an "alleged" genocide. Morgenthau, for all his powers of observation, intellect and character, turned out to be a poor prophet. The American people are hardly "outraged" today, and they certainly seem to have "forgotten."


ACCOUNTING FOR CHANGE

The most obvious reason for the current lack of knowledge is that it has been fifty-five years since the American public was well informed on the Armenian question, and over seventy years since the Genocide. Public memory is short, and those who attempt to lead or mislead the public are very much aware of it. This fact has spawned the great public relations and propaganda industries of the 20th century. Adolph Hitler was certainly aware of it when he sent his S.S. Death's Head units into Poland. He instructed them to "kill without mercy," cynically answering his own rhetorical question as to the significance of the inevitable public outcry: "Who today remembers the massacre of the Armenians?"(33)

There are, however, groups in society who are the supposed keepers of the public memory, such as historians, diplomats, government officials, intellectuals and churchmen. What accounts for their lack of interest in safeguarding the fact of the Armenian Genocide?

Many things have changed since 1915, not the least of which has been the American people themselves, their personal interests and their public agenda. Perhaps just as importantly, the Armenian question has changed with the times, chiefly as a result of the Genocide. The old Armenian question was how to ensure the fundamental human rights of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, be it through reform of the Turkish government or autonomy of the Armenian provinces. Then, the Hamidian massacres of the Armenians at the end of the 19th century and the Young Turk Genocide of 1915-20 effectively emptied the Armenian homeland of Armenians. Of the some three million Armenians who lived in the multi-national Ottoman Empire before the First World War, less than 70,000 remain today. There are hardly any recognizable Armenians living in the Armenian provinces (the large majority of those who remain in Anatolia live in the larger cities in western Turkey), and, when the older generation has passed away, there will be almost no Armenians alive anywhere in the world who were born in the Armenian homeland.

The new Armenian question, then, is whether the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and their heirs, as well as the progeny of the victims, whether in Turkey or abroad in the Diaspora, are due acknowledgment of the wrong, restitution of material property, indemnity for their losses, and access to their homeland. This question is further complicated by the fact that the eastern portion of the Armenian homeland, which experienced brief independence after the First World War, is now incorporated in the Soviet Union as one of its fifteen constituent republics. A portion of Armenia, then, is within the USSR, while the larger part of the homeland is incorporated in present-day Turkey. Both of these states figure heavily in contemporary U.S. foreign policy.


WORLD WAR ONE: THE VICTORY OF NATIONALISM OVER IMPERIALISM

The coincidence of the Armenian Genocide and the First World War was not fortuitous. Turkey joined the Central Powers against the Allies (although not at war with the United States) and fought to preserve what was left of her empire in the Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa, and eastern Anatolia (the Armenian provinces). The Young Turks, having abandoned the idea of Ottoman constitutionalism, became virulent nationalists. While the Ottomans had originated in Central Asia, in a strange--and perhaps subconscious--way they considered southeastern Europe their rightful domain.(34) After all, their first capital in the West was at Adrianople in the Balkans, and their goal for many years was the conquest of Vienna and the Hapsburg lands. For decades, the Muslim Ottoman Turks lorded it over their ethnic relatives in Europe, the Christian Hungarian Turks.

The Ottoman Turks had been driven out of Europe in stages, first by the Hapsburgs and then by the Russians. They had only nominal control over North Africa and Arabia, and so they decided to make their stand as a newly nationally self-conscious people in Anatolia. Anatolia was chosen to be the place of their new European-fashion nation-state. Their only obstacle was the indigenous peoples who would not assimilate, mostly located in the eastern provinces, particularly the Armenians, the Assyrians and the Kurds.

Furthermore, the Young Turks flirted with pan-Turkic ideas. Many of them would rebuild and enlarge the Medieval Turkish empire, one that would stretch from Turkey-in-Europe through Tartar-Turkish Azerbaijan and on into Turkish Central Asia. Here again, the Armenians would be in the way.

The Young Turks consciously took advantage of the First World War both as a distraction and as an excuse. Following the war, the Armenian question was to become a part of the peace negotiations by which the Europeans would divide the world, and, inevitably, in a world dominated by "realists," it became a minor issue.

The Armenian question, too, changed. Nationalism, in a way, was forced on both the Armenians and the Turks by European political standards and ideals. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson wanted to use nationalism as a positive force for international stability. His efforts to "make the world safe for democracy" had a vision of each of the peoples of the world with their own nation-state, and the nation-states organized into a League of Nations where international problems could be settled amicably under the rule of law.

The Armenians, who had only demanded human and civil rights within the Ottoman state, began to think of autonomy for their provinces under a European or Christian governor. In the 1900s they had cooperated with Ottoman liberals and the Young Turks in their efforts to establish a constitutional government. Now the Armenians wanted an independent state, possibly under a mandate of the League of Nations. The friends of the Armenians therefore had to face new, more complex issues.

Events moved swiftly in the East with the unexpected rise and expansion of Bolshevik Russia and Ataturk's Turkey. Justice for the Armenians might now require more than a peace treaty or legal sanctions; it might require the use of force against new armies.


A HOUSE DIVIDED: A CHANGING AMERICA

America was rapidly changing at the turn of the century. It was moving from a rural to an urban society, immigration was in full flow, the population was rapidly increasing, industrialization was moving ahead at a brisk pace, business and capitalistic interests were extending their control over foreign affairs, and American foreign policy was losing its missionary orientation. The New England intelligentsia--Christian, moral and internationalist--was losing its dominance. Yellow journalism was pandering to a new mass audience. And the general disillusionment that followed the First World War was producing a "lost generation." There was a revulsion against the cynicism and complexity of Old World politics, great fright of the specter of Bolshevism, and a return to isolationism.

By the 1920s the Americans were tired of the struggle of the Great War and disillusioned by the seemingly more exhausting struggle for a just peace. The American people wanted a return to normalcy, almost as if all the idealism of a generation had been burned out. The business of America became business, and the material excesses of the "Roaring Twenties" led, almost inevitably, to the depression of the 1930s.(35)

America's previous idealism--to make the world safe for democracy--had led the United States into the war. Then it was also the driving force to seek a just peace. It was not to burn out until the peace process seemed to be captured by self-serving international duplicity.

The immediate need after the war, however, was to save the Armenian refugees and civilian victims of the genocidal carnage in Turkey. Therefore, the missionary bloc immediately became devoted to the truly vast programs of the Armenian and Syrian Relief (ASR),(36) later to be called Near East Relief (NER). Most of the missionaries supported Woodrow Wilson - that high-minded man of the soon-to-be passing "age of innocence" - in his attempt to write a just peace agreement, foster the League of Nations, and to have the United States adopt a mandate over Armenia .(37)

Early in 1915, a "Persia War Relief Fund" was initiated by the Presbyterian Board of Missions. A few weeks later a group of Presbyterians and Jews organized a Syria-Palestine Committee. Because of Turkish censorship and the isolation of the Armenians in the interior of Anatolia and the Syrian desert, it was not until September, 1915 that Ambassador Morgenthau requested the U.S. government to contribute $100,000 for Armenian relief. Shortly thereafter a Committee on Armenian Atrocities was organized.(38)

The Rockefeller Foundation was persuaded to contribute $20,000 to the latter effort, but it insisted that the three relief groups merge, which they did as the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief (ACASR).

Information sent from the Committee made the front pages of The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor as well as the sensational yellow press. Editors of the Literary Digest, the American Review of Reviews, and the Independent served as trustees of the ACASR and used the pages of their journals to raise funds. Protestant and Catholic churches, as well as Jewish synagogues, volunteered their pulpits and journals to publicize the tragic fate of the Armenians.(39)

In 1917 the ACASR, as it became better known, was able to enjoy the speaking services of such noted persons as Henry Morgenthau, Oscar Straus, Abram Elkus (who succeeded Morgenthau as American ambassador to Turkey), Charles Evans Hughes (former Supreme Court justice and soon to serve as secretary of state), and William Howard Taft (the ex-President and soon to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court).(40)

By the end of 1915, $176,000 had been raised. Two million dollars was collected in 1916, and another two million dollars was raised in 1917. In 1918, seven million was raised; and, in 1919, contributions reached an unprecedented nineteen million dollars. The total sum would perhaps be today's equivalent of several hundred million dollars.(41)

A nationwide fund-raising organization was created by 1917, and with the help of presidential proclamations creating Near East Relief Days the fund-drives acquired a semi-official character. Food and clothing were collected at fire houses, police stations, and public schools. A concerned public gave personal jewelry, family heirlooms, and wedding presents. Money was sought from all conditions of men through schools, fraternal societies, Sunday Schools, and by door-to-door solicitation, but much money, half or more, came from community war chests and the American Red Cross. Never before had overseas philanthropy enjoyed such a broad base.(42)

 

AN AMERICAN MANDATE FOR ARMENIA

Such a public outpouring of newspaper and journal articles, speeches and sermons, the support of prominent people, and the unprecedented grassroots philanthropy, convinced President Wilson that he had the backing of the American people in finding justice for the Armenian survivors of the Genocide and a solution to the Armenian question.

On May 24, 1920, Wilson sent a message to Congress asking permission to accept a European proffered mandate over Armenia. First he reaffirmed the American government's view of the massacres: " . . . the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian People have suffered."

Then Wilson made his plea for the mandate:

Not only because it [the resolution] embodied my own convictions and feelings with regard to Armenia and its people, but also, and more particularly, because it seemed to me to be the voice of the American people, expressing their genuine convictions and deep Christian sympathies and intimating the line of duty which seemed to them to lie clearly before us.. . . The sympathy with Armenia has proceeded from no single portion of our people, but has come with extraordinary spontaneity and sincerity from the whole of the great body of Christian men and women in this country. . . . At their hearts, this great and generous people (the Americans) have made the case of Armenia their own.(43)

But if President Wilson correctly read the mood of the missionary bloc, the clergy, the intellectual establishment, the opinion makers, and the grassroots of the American people, he certainly did not reflect the views of the new generation of political representatives of American capitalism and imperialism which was gaining ascendancy in government and who would lead America during the twenties.

Typical of that group and its economic and strategic interests was Major General James G. Harbord, who led the American Military Mission to Armenia and whose report was issued in 1919. His concerns were with revenues, creditors, public debt, and funding. His report is in striking contrast to Wilson's congressional message. Harbord wanted to keep the U.S. out of Europe, appealing to the Monroe Doctrine. Yet, at the same time, he states that a mandate for Armenia "would weaken and dissipate our strength, which should be reserved for future responsibilities on the American continent and in the Far East."(44) On June 1, 1920, the Senate, by a vote of 52 to 23, "respectfully [declined] to grant the Executive power to accept a mandate over Armenia as requested. . . . "(45)

In the end, realism conquered over idealism, but not without a fight. Wilson carried his plea to the American heartland to appeal to the silent majority, but his frail body was not up to the strain and he was brought down by a stroke. With his incapacity, an era of American history ended.

A category of writing to emerge from that era was that of the new generation Near East Relief worker who was more self-conscious of America's emerging power and who had not worked in the Turkish field as a missionary before the Genocide. These workers reflected a sharp edge of self-importance and thinly veiled contempt for the inhumanized survivors. How could it be otherwise? For months on end as they traveled from one camp to another they saw once fine Armenian ladies from sumptuous homes now starving, ragged and filthy, ravaging through garbage for a crust of moldy bread or insanely quarreling over a rotten vegetable.

Dr. Mabel E. Elliott, in her book Beginning Again at Ararat,(46) averred respect for the Armenians and yet, at the same time, reflected America's new perspective. Elliott was involved in the care of 40,000 orphaned Armenian children in the Caucasus and had worked in Marash and Ismid. Her relief work, in its scope and difficulty, had little precedent in history.

Yet, despite her heroic work, or perhaps because of it (social work burn-out is not unknown), she began to distance herself--and accordingly her strata of the American activist intelligentsia--from the Armenians. For those versed in American history, it was certainly ironic--possibly cruelly so--for Dr. Elliott to write: "Perhaps no American will ever fully understand the Armenian people. Three hundred years of pioneer life and almost unbroken peace have produced us. Three thousand years of war and hate and mixing of bloods in the maelstrom where East and West meet have produced the Armenian."(47)

Her naive interpretation of United States history was, unfortunately, typical of many Americans of that period. It should be noted that during the 19th century alone the U.S. fought the War of 1812, the Mexican War of 1846-48, the bloody Civil War, the war with Spain in 1898, and a three-year guerrilla war in the Philippines. This list does not include the exploitation of American blacks under slavery or the extermination of the American Indians which followed the Civil War, nor our interventions in Central America and North Africa.

Given such an incredibly benign and mystical view of America's past, it is little wonder that Elliott, as so many refined Americans, could self-righteously dismiss Armenia's fate: "Whether for better or worse the Armenians of the Caucasus are now part of the fate of Communist Russia."(48) And, by extension of the same logic, the fate of the Armenian homeland was to be determined by Kemalist Turkey.


DOLLAR DIPLOMACY: THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA IS BUSINESS

The original attitude of American writers, as we have noted, was to see the Armenian question, the massacres and the Genocide in terms of infidels versus Christians. That attitude was all but dead by the beginning of the 20th century. The next outpouring of materials for the most part reflect American philanthropy and secular idealism.

To these writers it was a question of America's friends (the Armenians) being persecuted by an unjust government (the Turks). It was a type of early human rights issue. Descriptions of Armenian suffering, calls for relief aid, and pleas for a just solution to their political problems continued to be printed and widely distributed even while the power structure in Washington was changing from a missionary and idealistic orientation to the business orientation which would come to dominate completely American politics, both at home and abroad, during the 1920s.

The Armenian question in America met its demise between the First and Second World Wars as an issue of real national concern and was relegated, at best, to the academic arena.

The U.S. State Department adopted the position that the Armenian question belonged to history, and that a resurgent Turkey--a possible source of raw materials and a field for investment--had to be courted. The State Department also saw Turkey as a welcome barrier to Bolshevik Russia. Common interest, it would seem, was creating a new alignment. It was not, however, until after the Second World War and Turkey's joining of NATO that the State Department began to deny the evidence of its own officials and its own records and take up the Turkish line that there probably had never been an Armenian Genocide at all. In the State Department's eyes, it seems, this denial of an old reality was a small price worth paying for Turkey's present cooperation.

The White House varied in its position during this period, depending on who and what party was in office and on other variables; but Congress traditionally refused to disavow the Armenians, while at the same time it would not, of course, do anything concrete.

In matter of fact, the Armenian question was all but dead in America by 1927:

In a burst of national good will, the United States seemed intent on freeing the Armenians from centuries of persecution. Americans from the halls of Congress to the church pews of Mississippi joined together in the effort. They delivered speeches, wrote letters, exchanged ideas, and donated millions of dollars. Within less than a decade, however, the Armenian cause was irreparably splintered and largely forgotten.(49)

The critical period of political activity was between 1920 and 1927, from the sovietization of Armenia to the defeat of the Lausanne treaty by the Senate. "The debate for the most part," claims Mark Malkasian, "took place in isolation from Armenian realities."(50) They developed in an environment of a resurgent Russia--now in the guise of a Bolshevik state--and a resurgent Turkey--now in the guise of Ataturk's republic. The outcome was determined, again according to Malkasian, by domestic American affairs: "Armenian nationalists fought American missionaries, Republicans battled Democrats, and the State Department grappled with philanthropic interest."(51)

The lines of battle, however, must have been much more blurred, and international affairs certainly influenced American thinking even among the supporters of the Armenians. In fact, support for the Armenians seemed to dwindle in direct proportion to the difficulties of the international situation as regards to the Armenians. If the Americans could have given the Armenians a homeland by the stroke of a pen or the outlining of a map, with little cost in money and no cost in lives, American support would not have faltered.

But this early period was heady and hopeful indeed. Herbert Hoover wrote in his memoirs:

Probably Armenia was known to the American school child in 1919 only a little less than England. [They knew of] the staunch Christians who were massacred periodically by the Mohammedan [sic] Turk, and the Sunday School collections over fifty years for alleviating their miseries. . . .(52)

Originally the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief was conceived as a solely philanthropic venture, but events pushed it into the political arena. An elite group of prominent people came together in a new committee to coordinate the political efforts. This group included Charles R. Crane, an industrialist and a personal friend of President Wilson (later to serve on the King-Crane Commission to Turkey in 1919); Cleveland H. Dodge, also an industrialist and confidant of the president; and William W. Peet, a veteran missionary.(53) The Committee called for an independent Armenia consisting of the six traditional Armenian vilayets in Anatolia (called Turkish Armenia/, the eastern Armenian provinces of Kars and Erevan (called Russian Armenia), the vilayets of Trebizond (for an access to the Black Sea), and the vilayet of Adana in Armenian Cilicia, the locus of the Medieval Armenian kingdom.(54)

Their work was supported, perhaps by indirection, by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who introduced a resolution endorsing an independent Armenia stretching from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.(55)

Of all the Armenians active on the American scene, perhaps the most visible was an immigrant from Turkey, a prominent New York lawyer, Vahan Cardashian. From 1911 to 1915, Cardashian represented the Ottoman Embassy and its New York consulate. He resigned his post in 1915 when he learned that his mother and sister were among the victims of the 1915 Genocide; soon he became active in the American Committee for an Independent Armenia (ACIA).(56)

Cardashian sought to steer the ACIA toward direct support of the Armenian Republic which had emerged in the Caucasus on former tsarist territory, in the area called Eastern, or Russian, Armenia.(57) On the other hand, James L. Barton, foreign secretary of the ABCFM and also chairman of ACASR, and his missionary friends, while supporting selfgovernment for the peoples of the former Ottoman Empire, wanted to safeguard nearly a century of American Board investment in the Near East by placing these people under Western mandates.(58)

But neither answer was to be viable. The Allied decision to postpone peace with the Ottoman Empire, the rise of Ataturk in Anatolia riding on a wave of Turkish nationalism--and the rise of isolationism in America all worked against a solution. By November 1919, the Senate voted down the League of Nations, and the Wilson-Lodge feud was in full swing. When Wilson submitted the American mandate for Armenia proposal in 1920, it could be readily predicted that it would fail.

The incorporation of Eastern Armenia into Soviet Russia made the political solution all the more difficult. Once more the majority of the friends of the Armenians stuck to philanthropy. Yet in the fall of 1919, many leaders of Near East Relief and other phil-Armenians organized the Armenian American Society (AAS), to be led by Walter George Smith, a prominent Catholic, former head of the American Bar Association, and an executive committee member of Near East Relief. The AAS program was still internationalist when the rest of the country was moving rapidly into isolationism. They demanded, at this point, at least a "national home for the Armenians."(59)

By the summer of 1922, Mustafa Kemal had driven the Greeks out of Cilicia and executed a great massacre in Smyrna.(60) There could now be no Armenian homeland even in Cilicia without military action. The last Armenian area under Allied control was lost.

Three men perhaps characterize this pivotal period. The first was Admiral Mark Bristol, America's representative in Constantinople from 1919 to 1927; the second, Allen W. Dulles, of the Near East Division of the State Department; and, the third, Charles Evans Hughes, an original supporter of the Armenian cause who later became U.S. secretary of state.

Admiral Bristol did everything in his power to combat the pro-Armenians during Wilson's administration. Among other tactics, in 1919 he sent letters to important U.S. senators denying the ACIA's picture of the intolerable conditions in Armenia and linked the phil-Armenia movement to British and French imperialism.(61) This attitude became well accepted in certain circles of the State Department.

Allen W. Dulles, although a trustee of Near East Relief and a man personally distressed by Armenian suffering, tempered his emotion and sought to structure America's policy solely on pragmatism, not the discarded Wilsonian idealism.(62)

Hughes was perhaps Washington's greatest paradox. The keynote speaker at the ACIA's inaugural banquet and a recognized pillar of the Armenian cause, Hughes resigned from the ACIA on February 26, 1921, and served four years as U.S. secretary of state, apparently wrestling with a guilt-ridden conscience. While professing concern for the Armenians, he pragmatically sought an accommodation with both Mustafa Kemal, now Ataturk, and Lenin.(63)

The last act in the Armenian drama was the fight in 1927 over the Turkish-American Treaty of Commerce and Amity. At this point the State Department, in order to take the offensive against the ACIA, enlisted the aid of American missionaries and businessmen in Turkey, compiled reports, lobbied journalists, and dispatched speakers to argue against the Armenian cause.(64) The State Department went so far as to secure from the Armenian patriarch of Constantinople and Armenian protestant leaders in Turkey a repudiation of the pro-Armenian activists.(65) They even recruited Barton and several of his aged colleagues from the ABCFM for their campaign. Barton, to his credit, hesitated before joining. He wrote Dulles asking if, before abandoning his former wards, it were possible to first threaten Turkey that the United States would not conclude the treaty "until justice were done to the Armenians."(66)

Ultimately, and perhaps paradoxically, the missionary cause in Turkey fared no better than the Armenian cause. The apparent twelve pieces of silver turned out to be only base metal. Near East Relief did reach an accommodation with the Kemalists in 1921, but under such limitations that its program dwindled down to nine schools and an insignificant 1,400 students by 1927. Secularism and Turkish nationalism were required in the curriculum. By the Second World War, the American missionary system in Turkey was dead.(67) The missionaries had no fruit to show for a century of costly and difficult work in the Ottoman Empire, unless one were to point out--ironically--the Armenian survivors whom they had educated and the Armenian orphans whom they had saved.


AN ACADEMIC QUESTION

The attitude of American writers in the 1890s was, as we have noted, to see the Armenian question and the Armenian massacres in terms of infidels versus Christians. After the Genocide of 1915-16, the writings were a call for humanitarian relief and political justice for the Armenians. That concern, too, was all but dead by the 1930s.

With the exception of Congressional resolutions to assuage the hurt of the Armenians and some periodic presidential proclamations, the U.S. government relegated the Armenian case to the Department of State, which at best felt the Armenians to he an anachronistic nuisance. The State Department preferred to get on with its new Near East (now called the "Middle East") agenda, on which the Armenians obviously no longer had a place, and to accommodate Ataturk's Turkey, once more a genuine player in international affairs.

The subsequent public writings on the Armenian question were for a long time relegated to academic studies. The first of these studies concerned the "diplomacy of imperialism." They were done in the Germanic seminar style, with great emphasis on archival documentation, and were an attempt to put the great European expansion of the 19th century into some perspective. Seen in this new "objective" light, the Armenian question was only a minor episode in the great European scramble for colonies and spheres of influence, and what had happened to the Armenians in the dying Ottoman Empire became just one small detail in the overall picture of European expansion and colonial conflict.

In this new "scientific" history, concepts such as sympathy, justice, human rights and morality were all values which fared poorly. The clamor of small peoples for homelands only complicated international relations and was an unwelcome source of potential conflict among the great powers.

Many of these studies were designed to discover the cause of the "Great War," and most of them concluded that it was disorder in the Balkans and the revolt of these small peoples against the Ottoman Empire that brought the Powers into unrewarding conflict. Seminar logic accepted the nation-state ideal uncritically, and the primacy of European power politics was a given. The only variable, then, was the unseemly struggle of small peoples for vague and indeterminate "rights," struggles which upset the balance of the international system. If these small peoples could be kept silent /the term "suppressed" might be too emotive for this essay), then international conflict could be minimized. These values are innate to the works of such men as Sidney B. Fay, Bernadotte E. Schmidt, William L. Langer,(68) and the other major early-in-the-century diplomatic historians.

Writings of this sort also reflected an underlying philosophy of statism, namely that the nation-state was the highest form of human social development. Accordingly, any action taken by the government, even against its own people, was justified in the name of preserving the state, an end in itself. This concept reached a virulent and articulate expression in Nazi Germany, having found an equally virulent but less scientific expression in the Ottoman Empire of the Young Turks.

It was chiefly the Marxist historians who saw imperialism and international conflict as inherent in the capitalistic system, and the small nationalities--people in the "third world" in today's parlance--as the victims of imperial conflict, not the cause.(69)

Currently, there is a corpus of American academic works which seeks to deal objectively with the Armenians and the Armenian question. These writers accept the reality of the Armenian Genocide,(70) and yet, while sympathetic to the Armenians, they see the Armenian question as dead and the expectations of the Armenians for the fulfillment of old promises and treaties as unrealistic and naive.

The majority, however, see things differently. Following the Second World War and the division of the world into the camps of the two super powers, the Soviet Union and the United States, America determined that it was in its best interest to work out a closer alliance with Turkey. Turkey was to become a member of NATO and a bulwark against Soviet expansionism in the Middle East. In this context, writers saw Turkey not as an unpredictable third world power, alienated even from its Muslim co-religionists in the Middle East, but as an old and trusted ally. In effect the United States replaced Great Britain as Turkey's patron and defender, but without Great Britain's periodic demands that Turkey reform itself.

In these works dedicated to international relations, world politics and U.S.-Turkish relations, the Armenians were hardly mentioned at all, and, if they were, it was to suggest that earlier American writings were prejudiced against Turkey, and that the Armenian Genocide was exaggerated. Anyway, what was done was done, and the past was past. These works might be considered revisionist in their attitude towards the Armenians.(71)

Finally, we find at least one work that moves beyond revisionism, claiming that the Armenian Genocide did not take place at all. It is the work of Stanford Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw.(72) Thus, we come a full circle: the Armenian Genocide, witnessed by U.S. government officials in 1915, ceased being the first genocide of the 20th century and became not even the forgotten genocide but the genocide which never took place.


PROVOCATION THESIS

Fundamental to all the revisionists, those who claim that although there was an Armenian Genocide it was the Armenians who brought it on themselves, is the provocation thesis. Its most renowned and influential advocate was William L. Langer, who proposed it in his well known work, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902.(73) As regards the Armenians, he deals only with the Hamidian massacres of 1893-1896, and dots not cover the Genocide of 191516, which falls outside his expressed temporal limits (1890-1902), a fact often forgotten by later scholars who make reference to him.

The Armenian question, in Langer's view, was only a minor episode in the great struggle of the European powers for world domination. In his interpretation of the Armenian massacres, he worked chiefly from analogy with his understanding of the revolutionary movements in the Balkans, using Armenian sources only through aides. His view, in simplified terms, was that Armenian revolutionists twitted Sultan Abdul Hamid II until he was moved to massacre large numbers of Armenians of the empire in revenge. The revolutionists, who desired these massacres so as to invite the intervention of the civilized European powers who would not want to see innocent people killed, would accordingly twit the Sultan some more. This would bring on even larger massacres. Finally, the powers would be obliged to free the Armenians as they had freed so many of the Christians in the Balkans.

The forty-year-old Langer thesis would hardly be worth mentioning today were it not for the fact that subsequent historians have taken it up uncritically and anachronistically applied it to the Genocide of 1915-16. Its scholarly defects, in regard to the Armenians, have been amply demonstrated.(74)

First, the Armenian romantic revolutionaries of the Russian populist type who roamed Turkey in the 1890s were known by the sultan to be no threat, but only a convenient excuse for massacre. Cyrus Hamlin, the president of Robert College in Istanbul during the Hamidian massacres, wrote: "A number of professed patriots, Russian Armenians, began to stir up revolution. They falsely claimed to have revolutionary coteries formed through the Empire. . . . Armenian people were nowhere deceived. At a safe distance, in foreign cities,(75) revolutionary organizations sprang up under the same name, Hnchakist,(76) and began to belch forth their attacks upon the Sultan and his government and to call upon the people to strike for freedom. Absurd and wicked as this was, it answered Abdul's [sic] purpose perfectly. He had the papers translated and spread all over the Empire."(77)

Abdul Hamid, Hamlin continued, tried to justify his actions "by two falsehoods. . . . First, that there had been no massacre, and second, that it was the suppression of an Armenian rebellion. The signatures to these declarations were obtained by fearful tortures, in some cases unto death."(78) This Turkish stance has a familiar ring. The present Turkish government still maintains that there was never a genocide of the Armenians; and anyway, they brought it on themselves.(79) Apparently most people miss the logical inconsistency of this position.

The Armenian massacres of the 1890s by Sultan Abdul Hamid II and the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916 by the Young Turks (CUP) are both qualitatively as well as quantitatively different. The sultan was trying to hold together his dying empire, and he used the age-old technique of massacre to repress his subjects. The Young Turks, on the other hand, represented new, Western style nationalism and racist and Pan-Turkic ideologies. They committed genocide against subject peoples to make a Turkey for the Turks, in the European nation-state model.

The Armenian emancipation movement was also different during the two eras. In the first instance, as noted above, we have romantic, revolutionary Populists of the Russian school. At the beginning of the twentieth century we find the leading element to be the Dashnaktsutiun or Armenian Revolutionary Federation, a party which actually worked first with the Ottoman liberals and then with the Young Turks, seeking either full civil rights in an Ottoman republic or autonomy, not independence, for Armenia.(80)


THE VICTORY OF POLITICS: TURKEY, OUR ALLY

The theme "Turkey, our old and trusted ally" is represented by a dozen post-Second World War books which deal with "international relations," no longer "diplomacy." While they are generally not specifically anti-Armenian, they do presuppose that the Armenian question is no longer an issue and that the United States should act upon perceived political realities.

After the Second World War the United States did not hide behind the Atlantic but took the leading role in defending Europe and the Middle East against feared Soviet expansion. The Cold War brought on defensive leagues of the Western and pro-Western powers in the form of NATO, SEATO and the like. Turkey, which fought against the Allies in World War One and entered World War Two only at the last moment (on the winning side), became a member of NATO. In doing so, Turkey now became to the United States what it had been in the late 19th century to Britain, a client state to be supported as a part of America's own defense program.

The Turks, little known in the U.S. since the 1920s, now became "partners" in the fight against Communism. They proved their "loyalty" to America by sending troops to fight alongside the United Nations' forces in Korea. Their viciousness as fighters, which had been so abhorrent to the Americans of the 19th century, now became a badge of honor in the press. The Armenians, on the other hand, were forgotten, and became an unknown people.

Interestingly, in Europe the tradition of historical accuracy and even a concern for minority rights remains intact. The Minority Rights Group in Great Britain recently published a series of reports dealing with the human rights of "small" peoples, including the Armenians.(81) And, recently, there appeared a report produced by the Church's Committee on Migrant Workers in Europe on The Christian Minorities of Turkey(82) in which the current cultural genocide against the Armenians in Turkey is discussed.


BEYOND REVISIONISM AND BACK: THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POSITION

The move beyond revisionism, as was noted above, was made by Stanford Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw in their two volume history of the Ottoman Empire.(83) Fortunately for scholarship in general, and Armenian studies in particular, the vast numbers of factual and interpretational errors in these volumes have been widely publicized.(84) Yet, books sensitive to the Armenian case still come out of the American heartland. They are published by such institutions as Kent State University Press (Gidney), the Ohio State University Press (Daniel), the University of Minnesota Press (Grabill), and the State University of New York Press, Albany (Kerr).

The U. S. government is currently split in its position regarding the Armenian Genocide. The Congress, remembering its tradition, has passed in the past resolutions designating April 24 (the day the Genocide began) as a Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man. The executive branch is ambivalent. But the State Department still attempts to placate the Turks by abandoning historical truth as plentifully contained in its own archives.

It appears that recently the American media has turned from an anti-Armenian position to at least a more uncertain posture. The Wall Street Journal, confused by Armenian claims and Turkish counter claims, assigned one of its own editors at the time, James Ring Adams, to do a three-month study to seek the truth.(85) After his researches, Adams concluded: "In spite of the scholarly trappings, the Turkish defense relies on discrediting all contemporary Western accounts . . . So the Turks must make liars of men like Henry Morgenthau, American ambassador to Turkey from 1913-1916; the great English historian Lord Bryce, head of a wartime British commission to investigate the Armenian massacres; and his young research assistant Arnold Toynbee."(86)

The New York Times, after almost a decade of referring to the Armenian Genocide as "alleged," had their editors and reporters look at the plentiful evidence to the contrary, including contemporary articles in their own newspaper. Either The New York Times had to repudiate the historical record, including its own contemporary accounts, or had to abandon the sham of using "alleged." Finally, on August 10, 1983, it published an editorial entitled "Soiling the Altar of Freedom." In it the editor states: "In the crude arithmetic of terrorism, two wrongs make a headline. An indifferent world has indeed been reminded of past Turkish crimes against Armenians by a wave of killings morally indistinguishable from the massacres they protest. To that extent, terrorism 'works.' "

The editorial continues: "When modern Turkey refers to 'alleged' massacres of Armenians in Turkey during World War I, it ignores a damning abundance of evidence, slanders the dead and offends a proud and long-frustrated nationalism. That is the valid grievance of Armenians around the world."(87)

Furthermore, in a letter dated December 7, 1983, to Mrs. Alex Manoogian of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, Marvin L. Stone, editor of U.S. News and World Report, explains why the word "alleged" was used in an article in his magazine. He stated: "I took it [the use of the word "alleged"] up with the writer. . . . The following explanation comes from the reporter's reply to my query: 'The word "alleged" in our terrorism box came from the FBI report. I left it in because an FBI agent told me at the time that they were referring to the figure of 1.5 million killed--that they had no way of documenting how many actually were killed.' "(88)

Mr. Stone concludes that "there is no need for labeling the 1915 massacre 'alleged.' Since the event is historical fact, we will describe it as such in the future."(89)

It remains to be seen whether terrorism, if it continues, will encourage Americans to dig for the truth or whether it will only encourage prejudice and animosity. It also remains to be seen whether the academic community and the other keepers of the public memory choose to examine anew the plentiful evidence of the Armenian Genocide or whether they remain skeptical and indifferent. There are at present some positive signs of renewed interest. Perhaps U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau's prophesy will come true after all: perhaps the American people will not forget.

Return to Selected writings

 

1. Gerard Chaliand and Yves Ternon, The Armenians: From Genocide to Resistance (London: Zed Press, 1983). Tony Berrett, trans.

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2. For example, see: The National Congress of Turkey, The Turco-Armenian Question: The Turkish Point of View (Constantinople, 1919); and Kamuran Gürün, The Armenian File: The Myth of Innocence Exposed (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985).

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3. Time, August 23, 1983, p. 38.

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4. See, for example, The New York Times, June 3, 1982.

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5. For an excellent bibliography of these early works, see Bulletin, New York Public Library (Aston Lenox and Tilden Foundations, vol. 23, nos. 3, 4 & 5, 1919, pp. 127-335.

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6. See William J. Hamilton, Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia: With Some Account of Their Antiquities and Geology (London: J. Murray, 1842); and Edward Arthur Brayley Hodgetts, Round about Armenia: The Record of a Journey Across the Balkans, Through Turkey, the Caucasus and Persia in 1895 (London, 1896).

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7. Joseph L. Grabill, Protestant Diplomacy and the Near East. Missionary Influence on American Policy. 1810-1927 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971), p. vii.

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8. Grabill, p. 5; see also Charles Howard Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism: 1865-1915 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1940).

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9. 2 vols. (Boston: Crocker & Brewster, 1833).

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10. ABCFM, Annual Report 21 (1831): 48, as quoted in Grabill, p. 8.

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11. See the archives of the ABCFM, Houghton Library of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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12. Grabill, p. 10.

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13. For conflicting views on the Armenian awakening, see G. H. Chopourian, The Armenian Evangelical Reformation Causes and Effects (New York, Armenian Missionary Association of America, 1971); and James Etmekjian, The French Influence on the Western Armenian Renaissance (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1964).

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14. Grabill, p. 31

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15. (New York: Macmillan Co., 1914).

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16. 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1910).

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17. (Philadelphia: Keystone Publishing Co., 1896).

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18. For an extensive bibliography, see Richard G. Hovannisian, The Armenian Holocaust: A Bibliography Relating to the Deportations, Massacres, and Dispersion of the Armenian People, 1915-1923 (Cambridge, MA: Armenian Heritage Press, 1978).

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19. U.S. Department of State, Record Group 59, Internal Affairs of Turkey, 1910-1929 (Microfilm Publication 353:88 reels, especially 867.4016, reels 43-48. For a sampling of documents, see the Armenian Review 1 (1984).

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20. R.G. 59,867.4016/122, Consul Davis to U.S. Ambassador. July 11, 1915.

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21. They were finally smuggled into the U.S. Embassy in Istanbul in the shoe of an American missionary.

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22. R.G. /269.

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23. Ibid.

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24. Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1919), pp. 326-342.

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25. Op. cit. Morgenthau's notes and diaries are now in the U.S. archives in Washington.

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26. Ibid., p. 334.

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27. Ibid.

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28. Ibid.

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29. Ibid., p. 335.

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30. Ibid.

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31. Ibid.

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32. For photo-duplication of these articles, see Richard D[iran] Kloian, ed., The Armenian Genocide, News Accounts from the American Press: 1915-1922, 3rd edition (Berkeley, CA: Anto Press, 1985).

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33. Transcript of the Nuremberg Trials as reported in The New York Times, November 24, 1945. For a full analysis of the origin of that quotation, see Kevork B. Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide, Special Report Number 3 (Cambridge, MA: The Zoryan Institute, 1985).

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34. One may see Ataturk's attempt to Europeanize and secularize Turkey in this context. See Smith Hempstone, "Not Quite Ataturk's Dream," The Washington Times. December 19, 1986; William McGurn, "Turkey's Challenge to the Common Market," The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 1986; Sam Cohen, "Turkey to press for greater European ties," The Christian Science Monitor, December 18, 1986.

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35. William E. Leuchtenburg, Perils of Prosperity 1914-1932 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958).

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36. Syria in this context is "greater Syria," including Palestine, the Lebanon, northern Iraq, and present-day Syria.

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37. See James B. Gidney, A Mandate for Armenia (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1967).

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38. H. Morgenthau to R. Lansing, Sept. 3, 1915, in U.S. Department of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1915. Supplement (Washington: GPO, 19281, p. 988, as found in Robert L. Daniel, American Philanthropy in the Near East, 1820-1916 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1970), p. 150.

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39. Daniel, p. 153.

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40. Ibid.

 

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41. Abstract of Minutes of ACASR, Jan. 22, 1918, Rockwell Papers; Barton, Story of Near East Relief, pp. 408-409, as found in Daniel, p. 153.

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42. Daniel, p. 153.

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43. American Association for International Conciliation, "The U.S. and the Armenian Mandate," International Conciliation, no. 151 (June 1920): 13-16.

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44. Point 10.

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45. "The U.S. and the Armenian Mandate."

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46. (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924).

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47. Elliott, p. 16.

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48. Elliott, p. 340.

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49. Mark Malkasian, "The Disintegration of the Armenian Cause in the United States, 1918-1927," International Journal of Middle East Studies 16, no. 3 (1984): 349.

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50. Ibid.

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51. Ibid.

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52. Herbert Hoover, Memoirs: Years of Adventure, 1874-1920 (New York: Macmillan Co., 1951), p. 385, cited in Malkasian, p. 50.

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53. Grabill, p. 104.

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54. Grabill, pp. 109-110.

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55. James H. Tashjian, "Life and Papers of Vahan Cardashian," Armenian Review 10, no. 2 (Summer, 1957): 52.

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56. James H. Tashjian, "Life and Papers of Vahan Cardashian, Armenian Review 10, no. 1 (Spring, 1957): 8.

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57. Richard G. Hovannisian, The Republic of Armenia, 1918-1919, vol. 1 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971), pp. 309-310.

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58. Grabill, pp. 154-175 and pp. 228-231.

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59. Grabill, pp. 230-246; see also Gidney, A Mandate for Armenia; and Thomas A. Bryson, Walter George Smith (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1977).

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60. Marjorie Housepian (Dobkin), The Smyrna Affair: The First Comprehensive Account of the Burning of the City and the Expulsion of the Christians from Turkey in 1922 (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971).

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61. Malkasian, p. 358.

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62. Ibid.

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63. U.S. Archives, RG 59, 860J.4016P.81/174, cited in Malkasian, p. 358.

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64. John A. DeNovo, American Interests and Policies in the Middle East, 1900-1939 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1963), pp. 156-157, cited in Malkasian, p. 359.

 

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65. U.S. Archives, RG 59, 711.672/261, cited in Malkasian, p. 360.

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66. Ibid., 717.672/213, cited in Malkasian, p. 360 and footnote 706.

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67. Roger R. Trask, United States Response to Turkish Nationalism and Reform, 1914-7939 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971), p. 148, cited in Malkasian, p. 361.

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68. Sidney B. Fay, The Origins of the World War, 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan, 1930); Bernadotte E. Schmitt, The Triple Alliance and Triple Entente (New York: Holt, 1934); and William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902, 2nd edition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960).

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69. V. I. Lenin, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism," Ten Classics of Marxism (New York: International Publishers, 1930).

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70. Among them are Grabill, Bryson, Gidney, Daniel, Helen Fein, Irving Horowitz, Robert Melson, and Stanley E. Kerr, the author of The Lions of Marash: Personal Experiences with American Near East Relief, 1919-1922 (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1973).

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71. They were authored by writers like Roger R. Trask, John A. DeNovo and Lawrence Evans.

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72. Stanford Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, volume 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey, 1808-1975 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).

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73. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1935).

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74. Ronald G. Suny, "Background to Genocide: Western Historiography and the Armenian Massacres," 1982, a working paper; and Richard G. Hovannisian, "The Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire," East European Quarterly 6, no. 1: 1-26

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75. The Armenian revolutionary parties had their origin in such cities as Geneva--where many of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia were in foreign exile--Moscow, and Tbilisi.

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76. The Hnchaks followed the Russian Populist mold. Their name, which means "alarmbell," is simply the Armenian translation of the Russian name of Herzen's revolutionary newspaper, Kolokol, published in London.

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77. "The Genesis and Evolution of the Turkish Massacres of Armenian Subjects," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1898, p. 292.

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78. Ibid., p. 293.

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79. See Ambassador Sükrü Elekdag, "Armenians vs. Turks: The View from Istanbul," Letters to the Editor, The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 1983.

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80. Christopher J. Walker, Armenia: The Survival of a Nation (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980), pp. 189-182.

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81. David Marshall Lang and Christopher J. Walker, The Armenians, report no. 32 (London: Minority Rights Group, 1976).

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82. Brussels, 1979.

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83. (Cambridge University Press, 1977).

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84. See; for only two examples, Richard G. Hovannisian, "Rewriting History: Revisionism and Beyond in the Study of Armenian-Turkish Relations," Ararat, Summer, 1978; and Speros Vyronis, Jr., Stanford J. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, vol. 1, Empire of the Gazis: The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 12801808, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, London, New York, Melbourne, 1967: A Critical Analysis (Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies), offprint from Balkan Studies 24, no. 1 (1983).

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85. The results of his inquiry appear in three installments: August 9, 1983; August 12, 1983; and August 16, 1983.

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86. The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1983.

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87. The New York Times, August 10, 1984.

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88. Letter to Mrs. Alex Manoogian, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, December 7, 1983, in the files of the Armenian Research Center, The University of Michigan-Dearborn.

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89. Ibid.

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[Minor corrections made, August 23, 2001]

 

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