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Although the independent Republic of Armenia has existed since 1991, it is misleading to term it a homeland like, for example, Sweden is for Swedish Americans, for a few reasons.
First, for almost all of the past 500 years, Armenians have had no independent state.
At least one old manuscript raises the possibility of an Armenian who sailed with Columbus.
More documented is the arrival of "Martin the Armenian," who was brought as a farmer to the Virginia Bay colony by Governor George Yeardley in 1618—two years before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock.
Under 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule (1512-1908), the Christian Armenian minority—an industrious, educated elite within the Sultan's empire—had risen to a position of trust and influence.
One such subject of the Sultan, Calouste Gulbenkian, later became the world's first billionaire through negotiations with seven Western oil companies that sought Arabian oil in the 1920s.
C., were the various Aryan tribes of Armens and Hayasas who later melded to form the Urartu civilization and kingdom (860-580 B. These settlers developed advanced skills in farming and metal work.
The Armenian civilization managed to survive despite a steady succession of wars and occupations by much larger groups, including the Hittites, Assyrians, Parthians, Medes, Macedonians, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Tartars, Mongols, Turks, Soviet Russians, and now Azerbaijanis, in the 25 centuries that followed.
Armenia is still recovering from a severe 1988 earthquake that destroyed several cities and killed some 50,000 people.
Second, communism's avowed policy of quashing nationalists within its 15 republics rendered the status of the previous Soviet republic and its citizens as questionable among most diaspora Armenians.