Middle-Eastern Politics Terms/Places/Study notes
Week 1: Ottoman Empire/History
Arab: A term that is used to define a group of people that share one or more similar
cultural and linguestic traits in Asia minor and parts of North Africa.
Caliph: Titles given to the four great Muslim leaders after the death of the prophet,
these years were known as golden years. Sultans of the Ottoman Empire began to
title themselves Caliph due to the prestige of it, which also exemplifies the Islamic
influence in the Ottoman Empire.
Capitulations: Granted by the Sultan allowing Europeans to establish trading
outposts in Ottoman territory in return for military aid when needed. Europeans
were able to deal directly with locals (not through state) and live in the empire
while not being subjected to empire law, but their nations law. Led to internal
rebellion due to European spread of nationalist though and discontent about
European influence and sacrificed the legitimacy of the state.
Divan: Advisory board to the Sultan, the speaker of the board was the Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier: Speaker of the Divan who speaks directly to the Sultan and
represents the opinions of the Divan.
Islam: A religion following the preaching and revelations of the prophet Mohammad
Janissary Army: Janissary Infantry were the elite military force of the Ottoman
Empire. They were non-muslim orphans taken in by the empire at a very young age,
had one of the best educated and healthy lives in the empire, was a very prestigious
position but were not allowed to marry or have children. Eventually they would be
perceived as a nuisance and the Sultan would initiate a mass extermination of them
Millets/Millet System: The millet system is a testament to the flexibility of the
Ottoman Empire as the millet system effectively allowed other religious cultures to
exist within a dominantly Islamic state. Each millet sent a representative to Istanbul,
if you broke the laws of the millet you were charged under the millet system set up
by your community. This being said, there was discrimination to non-Muslims and
there were some general empire laws that must be obeyed, but the millet system
was quite progressive for an empire of its time. i
Muslim: Someone who practices the religion of Islam
Sipahi Cavalry: A special mounted military guard for the Sultan, freely joined and
unlike janissary has economic incentives such as gaining land. In times of piece they
served as tax collectors. Sultan: The leader of the Ottoman Empire, sometimes referred to as the Caliph. Has
the final decision on all policies reflecting the empire, although European influences
late in the Empires life had the de facto control due to debt.
Tanzimat: Were a set of reforms that occurred over a period of 100 years in an
attempt to westernize the empire due to noticeably falling behind rising powers in
Europe. Set up European run military school, sent students abroad, instituted tax
reforms that eliminated tax farming, established universities for civil servants and
ministries. This created dissention amongst the elites which profited off of the tax
farming. Also promoted nationalism which was a leading theme in Europe during
this time period, leading to the Young Turks and similar nationalist movements.
Tamariots: Standard conscript army of peasents that fought the wars, land owners
would send peasants as payments to the Sultan.
Tax Farming: A form of income and method of control for the Ottoman Empire.
Local elites would tax the local population, keeping a decent portion for themselves
and sending an amount to Instanbul for the empire. This was effective in
maintaining control of the vast territory in the empire as it appointed local elites as
representatives of sorts and served to provide the necessary funds for the empire.
Ulema: An Islamic scholastic elite
Week 2: Zionism
Assimilation: Referring to the period of assimilation in Europe after the Jewish
Enlightenment that occurred after rule in Napoleons France. Granted Jews full
equality on conditions they accepted French law only and had loyalty to France.
Aliyah: The alyahs were a series of mass jewish movements from Europe to
settlements in Palistine. The first one was initiated by the Jewish organization Bilu.
Bilu: A series of Zionist groups that form into Bilu to prepare for the Aliyahs. Bilu
organizes first aliyah in 1882 to Palestine where people make their first Israeli
settlement. Second one occurs in 1904.
Dreyfus Affair (1891): Dreyfus was an officer in the French military, he was
accused of treason for releasing documents in 1891 even though it was clear there
was little evidence for such an accusation. It made jews in western Europe realize
that there was still discrimination against them, and gave rise to a western
European zionest movement. Theodore Herzl would be a major figure for this new
movement.Haskalah: A word representing the Jewish enlightenment that occurred starting in
Napoleons France due to equality they were granted as long as they obeyed French
law and were loyal to the state. Due to this dichotomy of loyalty, a large portion of
jews decided to immerse themselves in French culture, keeping religious faith
something that would remain in the house and turning away from traditional garb
Theadore Herzl (The Jew State): A leading critic of Western Europe as a haven of
jews in the post-dreyfus world. A leading figure for the mobilization of Western
European Jews to Palestine through his connections and the book The Jew State.
Helped form the World Zionest Congress, Jewish National Fund and the World
Moses Hess: Released his book before Herzl, first one who spoke of a Zionist
ambition for Jerusalem, did not connect well for the Western Jews but had obtained
a small following in eastern Europe.
Jewish Enlightenment/Secular Awakening: See Haskalah
Jewish National Fund: Set up by Herzl to prima