• What was the Zartonk and why is it important?
• The Zartonk was the cultural and political
reawakening of the Armenians that happened
during the 1800’s
• The Zartonk shaped who we are as Armenians
• The Zartonk was what helped the Armenian
people start on their journey to freedom
• What impact did money have on the Zartonk?
• Although most Armenians were very poor, by the
late 1700’s and early 1800’s, there were several
places where some Armenians began to get
• Constantinople, Smyrna, Nor Nakhichevan, Tiflis,
Nor Jugha, Madras, Calcutta
• What did the rich people do with their money?
• In the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, the Armenian’s schools
were controlled by the church, focused on religious education,
taught in classical Armenian
• There were not many “good schools” for Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire, Eastern Armenia or Persia
• Rich Armenians sent their kids to Venice to the Mkhitarian
Vank, or to schools in France or Russia
• But the laws began to change in the Ottoman Empire and the
Russian Empire so that Armenians could start schools
independent of the Church
• Some rich Armenians took advantage of this and donated
money to start new schools, for their own children and also to
help the cause of education among all Armenians
• Russian Empire: Lazarian Institute in Moscow, the
Nercessian School in Tiflis, and Kevorkian Academy in
• Ottoman Empire: Sanassarian School in Garin; and NubarShahnazarian, Getronagan and Berberian Schools in Bolis,
Varag and Armash seminaries
• Alumni formed groups to start schools in Van, Moush,
Baghesh, Kharpert, Dikranagert, and Garin
• Other schools founded by American missionaries in Bolis,
Marsovan, Kharpert, Aintab, Marash and Tarsus
• Some of these schools made a big impact on our nation
because they trained the leaders of the future
Lazarian Institute, MoscowNersessian School, Tiflis
Getronagan School, Bolis
Sanassarian School, Garin
• There were no universities in Armenia or the Ottoman
• Armenians who wanted to go to college went to Europe
or Russia
• They studied history, science, literature, philosophy,
languages, etc
• They also learned about democracy, freedom and
justice and made contacts with other European
students who became important leaders in their
• Apovian’s books and the Mkhitarian Monk’s
grammar books in modern Armenian paved the
way for growth in Armenian literature
• The 1800’s also saw lots of Armenian
newspapers and magazines being published
• Gave opportunities for Armenian writers, poets
to write about romance, politics, current events
• Apovian, Raffi, Kamar Katiba, Ghevont Alishan,
Mkrditch Beshiktashlian, Mikhail Nalbandian,
Hovanes Toumanian, Leo, Krikor Ardsruni,
Yervant Odian, Hagop Baronian, Krikor Zohrab,
Taniel Varoujan
• The influence of European political thought
and world events helped shape new
generations of leaders for the Armenian
• Patriarch Nerses Varjabedian, Khrimian Hairig, Mikhael
Nalbandian, Mkrditch Beshiktashlian, Krikor Ardsruni and
other began to shape Armenian public opinion and
influence others
• In 1860, the Ottoman government allowed Armenians to
have their own constitution and legislature, centered
around the Church to run the affairs of the community
• This new legislature helped create a new leadership
• Many parts of this constitution still govern the way our
church is run today
• The most important aspect is democracy
• In 1862, the Armenians of Zeitun
revolted, protesting against the
confiscation of lands and the
settlement of Tatars from Crimea
into the area
• Secret organizations formed like the Black Cross Society,
Union of Salvation, and Protectors of the Fatherland
• Armenians started on a more active path to liberation
• From about 1880 onwards, bands of Fedayees began to
organize to defend the Armenian villagers
• Led by people like Arapo, Aghpiur Serop, Hriar and others

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