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The Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century In the political history of the weakening Ottoman Empire, the 19th century has been the “longest”

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century In the political history of the weakening Ottoman Empire, the 19th century has been the “longest”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Powers and the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century In the political history of the weakening Ottoman Empire, the 19th century has been the “longest” century. In the political history of the weakening Ottoman Empire, the 19th century has been the “longest” century. Realizing that the Empire was no more able to shape its own fate, the Ottoman monarchs and the newly risen political institution in the Ottoman state, the Sublime Porte (Bab-ı Ali) and Ottoman political élite sought to achieve the survival of the Empire according to a new foreign policy doctrine: the European “balance of power”. Realizing that the Empire was no more able to shape its own fate, the Ottoman monarchs and the newly risen political institution in the Ottoman state, the Sublime Porte (Bab-ı Ali) and Ottoman political élite sought to achieve the survival of the Empire according to a new foreign policy doctrine: the European “balance of power”.

2 France had been for centuries the main partner and sometimes ally of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. However, during the Napoleonic Wars, it have occupied the Ottoman province of Egypt and, at the end of the same era, lost its “greatest great power” status in the European politics. France had been for centuries the main partner and sometimes ally of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. However, during the Napoleonic Wars, it have occupied the Ottoman province of Egypt and, at the end of the same era, lost its “greatest great power” status in the European politics. Like in the earlier century, in the 19th century, the Russian Empire was to be the “most dangerous” Great Power for the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were to fight Russia in four different occasions during the century: , , , Like in the earlier century, in the 19th century, the Russian Empire was to be the “most dangerous” Great Power for the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were to fight Russia in four different occasions during the century: , , , The Russian tsar, Nicholas I was to name the Ottoman Empire “the sick man of Europe” in 1853, just before the Crimean War.

3 Unfortunately for the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Russia has emerged as the “greatest land power” – replacing France - among the five existing Great Powers (Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria). The Empire of the Romanovs was to stay as such until the appearance of a united German Empire in the European political scene in Unfortunately for the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Russia has emerged as the “greatest land power” – replacing France - among the five existing Great Powers (Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria). The Empire of the Romanovs was to stay as such until the appearance of a united German Empire in the European political scene in The Habsburg empire of Austria was anxious about its leading position in the “German” central Europe versus the rising force of the Prussian state of the House of Hohenzollern. The Habsburg empire of Austria was anxious about its leading position in the “German” central Europe versus the rising force of the Prussian state of the House of Hohenzollern. Moreover, Austria was looking forward to enlarging its territories in the Balkans at the expense of the the Ottoman Empire.

4 Prussia, overrun by the Napoleonic France at the beginning of the century, was to build up and restructure its reputated military power. While doing so, the state of the Hohenzollern was not to provoke its giant neighbor in the East, Russia. Prussia, overrun by the Napoleonic France at the beginning of the century, was to build up and restructure its reputated military power. While doing so, the state of the Hohenzollern was not to provoke its giant neighbor in the East, Russia. The main concern of the Prussian crown was to achieve the German unification at the expense of the traditional “big brother” of the German world, Austria. For Prussia, the fate of the Ottoman Empire, the “Eastern Question”, was not at all a part of the foreign policy prorities.

5 Britain was left in the 19th century as the only able and willing power to protect the Ottoman Empire. It had the confirmed mastery of the seas at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and wanted definitely to see the Turkish Straits at the hands of a weak and friendly Ottoman Empire rather than the mighty Russian Empire. Britain was left in the 19th century as the only able and willing power to protect the Ottoman Empire. It had the confirmed mastery of the seas at the end of the Napoleonic Wars and wanted definitely to see the Turkish Straits at the hands of a weak and friendly Ottoman Empire rather than the mighty Russian Empire. Britain was anxious about the Russian military power after the fall of Napoleonic France and considered Russia as the future power to struggle with. Britain, together with the Second French Empire of Napoleon III, went as far as fighting on the side of the Ottoman Empire in the Crimean War

6 Attention Britain was to play the role of protector of the Ottoman Empire and to be the main actor of the Sublime Porte’s balance of power policy in the 19th century until the Berlin Conference of 1878!

7 At the beginning of the 19th century, the then Sultan Selim III was a reformer ruler, he believed in the necessity of large –scale reforms for the survival of the Empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, the then Sultan Selim III was a reformer ruler, he believed in the necessity of large –scale reforms for the survival of the Empire. However, his “New Order” (Nizam-ı Cedid) was genuinely disliked by the janissary military clan and the reformer Sultan was dethroned in 1808, in the middle of the Russo-Ottoman War of , by a revolt of the latter. However, his “New Order” (Nizam-ı Cedid) was genuinely disliked by the janissary military clan and the reformer Sultan was dethroned in 1808, in the middle of the Russo-Ottoman War of , by a revolt of the latter. In July, 1808, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, the influential feudal ruler (ayan) of Rusçuk invaded Istanbul by his personal forces numbering troops. In July, 1808, Alemdar Mustafa Pasha, the influential feudal ruler (ayan) of Rusçuk invaded Istanbul by his personal forces numbering troops.

8 It was too late to save the ill-fated monarch but the revolt was suppressed and Mahmud II was enthroned under the protection of Mustafa Pasha, the new grand vizier. It was too late to save the ill-fated monarch but the revolt was suppressed and Mahmud II was enthroned under the protection of Mustafa Pasha, the new grand vizier. As an initiative of the new grand vizier, Sened-i Ittifak (Bill of Alliance) was signed between the monarch and the provincial rulers (ayans). It was a late constitutional chart in the Ottoman Empire - and also proved the weakness of the central government. As an initiative of the new grand vizier, Sened-i Ittifak (Bill of Alliance) was signed between the monarch and the provincial rulers (ayans). It was a late constitutional chart in the Ottoman Empire - and also proved the weakness of the central government. In a further revolt of the janissaries, the reformer grand vizier was killed and the Sultan had to give concessions to the former, such as the abolishment of the new model army “Sekban-ı Cedid”. In a further revolt of the janissaries, the reformer grand vizier was killed and the Sultan had to give concessions to the former, such as the abolishment of the new model army “Sekban-ı Cedid”.

9 In the Greek Rebellion starting in 1821 in Pelloponnesia (Morea), the janissary troops proved to be unefficient once again. In the Greek Rebellion starting in 1821 in Pelloponnesia (Morea), the janissary troops proved to be unefficient once again. In their revolt of June 1826, the loyal troops of Mahmud II and the people of Istanbul fought together the janissaries and anhilated this old military clan. In their revolt of June 1826, the loyal troops of Mahmud II and the people of Istanbul fought together the janissaries and anhilated this old military clan. However, the annihilation of the janissary clan did not help the suppression of the Greek Rebellion in Morea. However, the annihilation of the janissary clan did not help the suppression of the Greek Rebellion in Morea. The modern Egyptian land and naval forces of Mehmet Ali Pasha, led by his son Ibrahim Pasha in Greece, achieved to suppress the rebellion, however, in 1827, the combined fleets of Britain, France and Russia destroyed the joint Ottoman-Egyptian-Algerian fleets at Navarino. The modern Egyptian land and naval forces of Mehmet Ali Pasha, led by his son Ibrahim Pasha in Greece, achieved to suppress the rebellion, however, in 1827, the combined fleets of Britain, France and Russia destroyed the joint Ottoman-Egyptian-Algerian fleets at Navarino.

10 After this foreign intervention of the Great Powers, the rebellion restarted with a great élan and succeeded. After this foreign intervention of the Great Powers, the rebellion restarted with a great élan and succeeded. Moreover, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1828 and its armies reached Edirne in the west and Erzurum in the east. Moreover, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire in 1828 and its armies reached Edirne in the west and Erzurum in the east. In September 1829, the Edirne Treaty recognizing the independence of Greece was signed between the Russian and Ottoman empires. In September 1829, the Edirne Treaty recognizing the independence of Greece was signed between the Russian and Ottoman empires. The following year, the defeated France of the Napoleonic Wars, occupied Algeria which had formerly lost its fleet in Navarino. The following year, the defeated France of the Napoleonic Wars, occupied Algeria which had formerly lost its fleet in Navarino.

11 In 1831, Egyptian armies of Kavalalı Mehmed Ali Pasha led by his son claimed and occupied the Syrian and Palestinian provinces of the Ottoman Empire as a compensation of their losses in Navarino. In 1831, Egyptian armies of Kavalalı Mehmed Ali Pasha led by his son claimed and occupied the Syrian and Palestinian provinces of the Ottoman Empire as a compensation of their losses in Navarino. The advancing Egyptian forces defeated the Ottoman troops in several battles and reached Kütahya in Anatolia. The advancing Egyptian forces defeated the Ottoman troops in several battles and reached Kütahya in Anatolia. Mahmud II invited Russian troops to Istanbul in order to protect his capital from his rebel governor. Mahmud II invited Russian troops to Istanbul in order to protect his capital from his rebel governor. Anxious about the stunning successes of Mehmed Ali and Russian intervention, Britain and France enforced the Treaty of Kütahya in April 1833 to the conflicting sides. Anxious about the stunning successes of Mehmed Ali and Russian intervention, Britain and France enforced the Treaty of Kütahya in April 1833 to the conflicting sides.

12 Accordingly, Mahmud II had to leave the governorships of the provinces of Hedjaz, Syria, Palestine and Adana to the autonomous governor (Hidiv) of Egypt, Mehmed Ali Pasha. Accordingly, Mahmud II had to leave the governorships of the provinces of Hedjaz, Syria, Palestine and Adana to the autonomous governor (Hidiv) of Egypt, Mehmed Ali Pasha. In July 1833, the Ottoman and Russian empires signed the Treaty of Hünkar Iskelesi promising Russian help against Egyptian threat and restricting the passage of the foreign ships from the Straits according to the interests of the Tsar. In July 1833, the Ottoman and Russian empires signed the Treaty of Hünkar Iskelesi promising Russian help against Egyptian threat and restricting the passage of the foreign ships from the Straits according to the interests of the Tsar. However, in August 1838, in order to win its support against his rebel governor, supported to some extent by France, Mahmud II gave large commercial privileges to Britain. However, in August 1838, in order to win its support against his rebel governor, supported to some extent by France, Mahmud II gave large commercial privileges to Britain.

13 On 21 April 1839, Mahmud II restarted his war on Mehmet Ali Pasha, however, his army was defeated at the battle of Nizip. On 21 April 1839, Mahmud II restarted his war on Mehmet Ali Pasha, however, his army was defeated at the battle of Nizip. Fearing from the implementation of the Treaty of Hünkar Iskelesi, Britain and France intervened quickly and this time returned the governorships of the province of Hedjaz, Syria, Palestine and Adana to the Ottoman crown. Fearing from the implementation of the Treaty of Hünkar Iskelesi, Britain and France intervened quickly and this time returned the governorships of the province of Hedjaz, Syria, Palestine and Adana to the Ottoman crown. The new and young Sultan Abdulmedjit under the pressure of a handfull statesmen and Great Powers proclaimed the “Imperial Edict of Reorganization” (Tanzimat) on November 3, The new and young Sultan Abdulmedjit under the pressure of a handfull statesmen and Great Powers proclaimed the “Imperial Edict of Reorganization” (Tanzimat) on November 3, 1839.


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