By the early 1800s the Ottoman Empire faced serious challenges.
Provincial rulers called Pashas increased their power.
Economic problem, corruption added to the problems
A. Nationalist Revolts Break out
Internal, multinational revolts weakened the Ottoman Empire
Peoples of North Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East all threatened to break away from the Ottoman rulers and gain independence.
The Balkans, Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians and Romanians all gained their independence.
Revolts against Ottoman rule broke out in Arabia, Lebanon, and Armenia.
All were suppressed except Egypt.
B. European Pressure Increases
European powers all hoped to gain territory in the crumbling Ottoman Empire.
France seized Algeria in the 1830s and wanted more territory.
Russia wanted to gain control of the Bosporus and Dardanelles. (water ways show on the map)
Control of these straits would give Russia access to the Mediterranean Sea.
British tried to stop the Russians, because they saw it as a threat to its own power in the Mediterranean and into India.
In 1898 the Germans also hoped to increase its influence in the region by building a Berlin-to-Bagdad railway.
Efforts to Westernize
Ottoman rulers who wanted reforms look to the West for ideas.
They reorganized their bureaucracy (government administration) and system of tax collection.
Built railroads, improved education, and hired Europeans t train modern military.
Young men sent to the West to study science & technology
Returned with Western political ideas about democracy and equality.
Reforms brought improved medical care, revitalized farming
These reforms actually created new problems:
Population explosion, which increased competition for the best land which led to conflict.
The adoption of Western ideas also increased tension
Many objected to changes inspired by foreign culture.
Repressive sultans (rulers of the Ottoman Turks) rejected reform and tried to rebuild the autocratic power structure of the past.
Ottomans traditionally let minority nationalities live in their own communities and practice their own religions.
But 1890s nationalism was igniting new tensions between the Turkish nationalists and other minority peoples who sought their own states.
The tensions triggered a brutal genocide of the Armenians – Christians living in the eastern mountains.
Genocide – the deliberate attempt to destroy a racial, political or cultural groups
The Muslim Turks accused the Christian Armenians of supporting Russian plans against the Ottoman Empire.
The Armenians protested the repressive policies put upon them by the Turks.
The sultan and tens of thousands slaughtered
Over the next 25 years between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were killed or died from disease or starvation
1800s – semi-independent province of the Ottoman Empire
Reforms made by Muhammad Ali – ambitious soldier appointed governor of Egypt by the Ottomans, used the opportunity create by Napoleon’s invasion and civil war to seize power in 1805.
Muhammad Ali Introduces Reforms
“father of modern Egypt”
Political and economic reforms – improved tax collection, backed large irrigation projects to increase farm output.
Increased Egyptian participation in world trade.
Brought in Western military experts to train and build his army.
Conquered land from Arabia, Syria, and Sudan
His legacy – set Egypt on road to become a major Middle Eastern power.
BUILDING THE SUEZ CANAL
Look at page 301
After Ali, other rulers weak, Egypt became under foreign control
1858 – French entrepreneur organized a company to build the Suez Canal
Suez Canal info
The Suez Canal is a waterway in Egypt that stretches for more than 100 miles. It connects the Mediterranean and Red seas, shortening the travel distance from Western Europe to ports in East Africa and Asia. After it opened in 1869, Europeans ships no longer had to sail around the southern tip…