A genocide is the organized killing of a group of people for the express purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. As a rule the organizing agency is the state, the victim population is a domestic minority, and the end result is the near total death of a society. The Armenian Genocide conforms to this simple definition. In 1915 the Young Turk government of the Ottoman Empire proceeded with plans to eliminate the Armenians. By 1918 it had succeeded in destroying most of the Armenian communities in the empire. By 1923 when the Nationalist Turks founded the Republic of Turkey to replace the Ottoman state, for all intents and purposes Armenian society has ceased to exist in Asia Minor. How did this happen? Why were the Armenians selected for extermination? Why did a whole nation come to such a fate? Why did the Turkish state go to such a policy? Why has the world remained silent about the first genocide of the twentieth century? In all of the causes, two sets of factors stand out, one set having to do with the status of the Armenians, and the other set relating to the political system devised by the Ottoman Turks. Before the two groups of people were permanently seperated from one another, they lived in a community of constant tension marked by the lowness of one group, the Armenians, and the dominance of the other, the Turks. In this unequal arrangement of two groups of people sharing the same communities is where the problems of contradiction came about. The institutionalized Ottoman system left little room and allowed no occasion for the fullness of the dignity of the Armenian people. The Armenians faced the arresting question of how much longer could they endure before being destroyed. People in earlier years did not live self-conscious lives and they too were confronted with this crisis. For a thousand years they had learned to live with the rules that deprived the Armenians of the abilit…

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