POLI SCI 351 Chapter Notes - Chapter Making of Modern Middle East pg 1-30: Tanzimat, Islamic Modernism, Arab Nationalism

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The Making of the Modern Middle East (pg 1-30)
- Spread of Islam occurred in 7th century CE - remarkably quickly
- Appealed to those who were excluded from Mecca’s wealth, offering them a
vision of society in which one’s uprightness and obedience to the word of God
measure worth over material well-being
- Mongol invasion in 1258 CE
Changing Contexts: The Challenge of the West:
- General trend: European powers becoming increasingly powerful. As a result of both
natural byproducts of this, and purposeful effort to impede there, there is a large
encroachment on the Middle East from Europe
- Around 17th century, switch in the balance of power - as Western European powers
began to trade w/ New World, the Ottoman Empire lost its power, and was hurt
economically and militarily
- In the view of the European great powers, the Ottoman empire became a threat to
interrupting the balance of power - it no longer was a military or power threat, but
because it was lagging behind in strength, it was going to become dedent and have some
effect on the current European dynamic
- Ottoman empire realized that drastic change was necessary, but faced a challenge of
centralizing power in an empire with such ethnic, linguistic and political diversity -
Abdulmecid I introduced a series of reforms called the Tanzimat reforms -- mid-late
19th century - aimed to modernize the state military and introduce educational reforms, to
build up security practices and to centralize economic systems
- Really interesting political thing happened here == in order to deal with the diversity of
the empire, the Ottoman government stressed a proto-nationalism called Ottomanism -
stressed that all citizens were equal members of the same political community and bound
by a common allegiance to the state -- the result was that it politicized differences and
created a “minority” == those who lost privilege felt deprived and angry towards those
who gained privilege -- led to emergence of political tensions that contributed to its
dissolution after WWI
- Tanzimat ended when Ottoman parliament is elected in 1877
- Successor of Tanzimat is Abdulhamid II - stresses the importance of the Islamic
aspect of Ottoman identity, especially b/c he saw Western influence threatening
and thought Tanzimat reforms had only aggravated that threat
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