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Lecture 2: European Imperialism and the Ottoman Empire Lecture Plan: Background: Ottoman governance Ottoman Decline & defensive modernisation Westernisation.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 2: European Imperialism and the Ottoman Empire Lecture Plan: Background: Ottoman governance Ottoman Decline & defensive modernisation Westernisation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 2: European Imperialism and the Ottoman Empire Lecture Plan: Background: Ottoman governance Ottoman Decline & defensive modernisation Westernisation & impact on post-independence politics Conclusion: politico-economic transition and contemporary problems

2 Ottoman Empire in 1856

3 Ottoman Empire in 1914

4 Ottoman Governance 1350-1918: Multi-national, -linguistic, -religious empire: oMajorities: Christians in Balkans, Turks in Anatolia, Arabic-speakers in Fertile Crescent, Egypt & N. Africa Mosaic society: autonomous religious millets; family/tribal fragmentation; regional decentralisation Unifying ideology: Islam (Caliphate) & Empire Sultan-Caliph: Islamic legitimation; absolute ruler; central function: guarantor of justice (adala); consultatitve Diwan; Grand-Vizier; firman (edicts); tax-farming; mamluk army Elites' intl origins: Greeks/bureaucracy, Christian-origin Mamluks (slave soldiers); Turkish landed elite

5 Ottoman Decline European pressure + internal tension re- orientation of political/economic structures Declining economic base of empire: –Western economic penetration: loss of trade routes, decline of traditional industries, growing debt to Western capital markets ( states) European military pressure (Rus, Aus, UK, Fra) Internal disintegrative pressures (e.g. Egypt): Nationalism among Christian minorities in Balkans (cf. European trends)

6 European Imperialism: Creeping Conquest and Occupation piecemeal dismemberment of Arabic-speaking realms by British & French over 100 years: –Algeria (1830) and Egypt (1882), to the post-WWI establishment of Mandates in the Fertile Crescent Settler Colonialism: Palestine & Algeria –European settlement uproots & peripherizes native populations, subordinates & transforms remnants of traditional indigenous societies Indirect control: –Egypt, Suez Canal, bankruptcy & Dual Control

7 Ottoman Decline & Defensive Modernisation Reforms (Tanzimat): strengthen without disrupting traditional order: mil.- bur. modernisation/centralisation, defend borders, ensure tax collection oConsitutionalism: limit Sultan's power; create politically aware population with rights, giving a stake in society & its defence osecular law: Islam seen as divisive & obstacle to modernisation omilitary: conscription, taxation & standing army onationalism: empire weak for lack of shared sense of nationhood Consequences: oRise of new middle class: reform requires Western-style education/professions, Western ideas of modernisation, nationalist, democracy among new middle class. oSplit in Ottoman elite: reformists (modern military, bureaucrats) struggle with traditionalists (military, religious, warlords) omilitary: early moderniser/nationalists: first Western-educated, mission of border defence à nationalists wanting a strong empire oProblem of Identity: which 'national' identity could unite the empire? Ottomanism (Muslim elite, not masses/minorities), Islamic revival (antagonises secular middle class & Christians linked to West), Linguistic nationalism (e.g. pan- Turkism alienates Arabs)

8 Ataturk and Mehmet Ali Turkey: WWI Collapse of Ottoman Empire –Ataturk a military hero, member of CUP/Young Turks Nationalism: mobilises Turks against W designs on Anatolia –External threat + half a century of nationalism 'arouses sleeping Turkish nation Secular Turkish republic based on –i. ethnicity & language, and ii. territory (Anatolia) Economic independence through statist modernisation Political dilemmas: –'democrats' vs. authoritarian-nationalists: democracy would empower traditional leaders (since 'the people' remain too traditional) –Turkification alienates Arabs reinforces early Arabism Egypt: Mehmet Ali / Muhammad Ali: –Standing army conscription economic reform bur. centralisation –Nationalist gel Egyptian nationalism

9 Imposition of a Western-Style State System WWI: fragmentation into many small states –Hussein-MacMahon (1915-16), Sykes-Picot (1916), Balfour Declaration (1917), Treaty of Sevres (1920) Artificiality: –some have traditional roots consolidated by state system: Egypt, Yemen, but … –others are artificial, e.g. protectorate over Kuwait & dismemberment of Syria (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan) Consequences: instability –Division: military-political weakness of small feuding states –Irredentism: discontent w/ 'artificial' boundaries Arab nationalism aims to unite: one nation, one state (cf. European nationalism)

10 Economics & Modernisation Incorporation of local economy into global capital as periphery –export raw materials, import manufactured goods: –Capital accumulation difficult commercial agriculture for export (e.g. Egypt's cotton) –Financial vulnerability & revenue fluctuations hard to plan Modernisation: spread of urbanisation, infrastructure, education, limited industrialisation –traditional artisan industries undermined by W mass production –Decline of traditional middle classes, income polarisation (later) exploitation of local oil reserves, owned by W MNCs Conclusion –Econ: Difficulties of development –Pol: territorialisation internal tensions (Plaestine, Kurds)

11 Conclusion European modernity: economic & technological (industrial revolution) + cultural-political (nationalism, centralisation) Economics: Industrial Revolution economic initiative with Europe Ottoman decline & European penetration Ideology: strong impact of European ideologies: nationalism perceived as source of unity and therefore strength increasingly popular; Islam (at times perceived as obstacle) later radicalises under continued Western dominance Strategic: Industrial Revolution European military technology & production capabilities > Ottoman shifting power balance Postcoloniality: imperialism (divide et impera strategy) + economics (new economic system & classes) creates internal divisions which cause post-independence instability ('weak' or 'unfinished' states, artificial liable to collapse) (Cf. Ottoman Empire: hybrid, parallel governance)

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