Ottoman Brothers Analysis

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Pages: 5

Notions of Brotherhood throughout the Late Ottoman Period:

In Ottoman Brothers, Michelle Campos attempts to dispel the misconceived notion of the role of ‘ethnic nationalisms’ in the last Islamic Empires disintegration. By utilizing a wide range of sources, Campos illustrates how the Ottoman Empire was far from a ‘prison of nations’, where ‘natural nationalisms’ slowly deteriorated the national composition. That it was, in contrast, a melting pot of ethnicities sharing in the faith of newly acquired liberties. Campos’s specific focus on Twentieth-Century Palestine highlights the broader challenges faced by the evolving empire as a whole. Amongst these challenges is the overall failure of the Ottoman bureaucracy to deliver the promises
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The usage of the term Ottoman after the revolution is indicative to the changes that were taking place. Instead of referring to the bureaucratic elite, as in they, Ottoman was now reflected in first person, as in ‘we’ and ‘us’. As Campos cites, “this bond of kinship and brotherhood was seen as having been born of the revolution, literally through the constitution and through the bonds of imperial citizenship.” The practice of this new citizenship was captured in local councils of the CUP. Due to the CUP’s involvement in restoring the constitution, they were seen as the bearers of modern citizenship and thus attracted a considerable following. As a result, many local branches of the committee began to spring up after the revolution across the empire. Membership to these committee’s was religiously diverse, but was dominated in age by younger members of the white-collar middle class establishment whom were products of the modern education system. The religious diversity is seen in the leadership of the Jerusalem branch, which elected a ten-member leadership committee of five Muslims, four Christians, and one Jew.
Foreign infiltration was amongst the hottest topics circulating through Ottoman society post revolution. This is due, in part, to the prevalence of capitulations and how they affected local Ottoman trade and prosperity. Long standing privileges awarded to foreign coffers left Ottomans virtually unable to compete economically. Although Ottomans were not able