Why did the Ottoman Empire attempt to reform itself?
When the Ottoman Empire was at its territorial height in the 16th Century, it was the most technologically advanced nation in the world, and was greatly feared by the Christian nations of Europe. However, from then on the empire began to decline relative to the western nations, which advanced significantly in technological and political terms, and succeeded in acquiring large empire in the Americas and Far East. Following the Napoleonic Wars and the rise of nationalism, Greek nationalists started to agitate for independence, which they succeeded in doing with British, French and Russian assistance, while an Albanian general, Mohammed Ali, took control of Egypt, declared independence and conquered much of the Ottoman Empire's Arabian territory, and came close to taking Constantinople. It was only the western powers intervention from preventing the Ottomans being overthrown completely.
After these events, the Ottomans realised they had to reform to catch up to the western world as a major power, and also to guarantee their own empire's independence.
In 1828, Murad III, Sultan committed to reform, as a first step violently purged the Janissaries, the Sultans traditional bodyguard who over the centuries had become unreliable and were against reform and modernisation. He replaced them with a modern professional army based on western models with modern uniforms and equipment, and adopted modern tactics. It was also under his reign that the Tanzimat was enacted, which started in 1839 and was continued by his successor, Abdulmecid.
Over the decades, the Ottomans made a very good job of reforming and modernising. The empire that was nearly destroyed in the 1820s had become a modern nation state, which in 1876 opened its first parliament, albeit with limited powers. Also in this period, they decisively defeated Serbia and Montenegro, crushed the Bulgarian rebels and very nearly defeated Russia one-on-one in the war that followed. However, the aftermath of the war was disastrous for the Ottomans. They only lost due to a lack of unified leadership, also being vastly superior in weaponry and, initially, in numbers.
The Ottomans lost Bulgaria and Bosnia, which provided a third of the Empire's revenues, and Sultan Abdulhamid II then suspended parliament, partly holding them responsible for the defeat and feeling strong government was necessary following the instability that followed defeat.
However, under Abdulhamid's autocracy, local governmental democracy flourished, and the empire continued to invest in education and modernisation of the empire.
His autocracy, however bred resentment, which culminated in the Young Turk revolution, starting in 1908, which resulted in severe instability, which Italy took advantage of to seize Libya, and Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro seized the remaining Ottoman territories in Europe.
Even so, the armed forces were modernised, and it took WWI to dismember the empire, and even then the Allies had a hard time, mainly due to underestimation. In Palestine the Ottomans held off a British army ten times its size for three years, and the Gallipoli campaign was also a success, where a young army officer, Mustafa Kemel (Ataturk) made his name.
After the empire was defeated, he was able to muster an army that drove the Allied and Greek forces completely out of Turkey, and abolished the Sultanate which had failed to support him, and proclaimed the modern Turkish Republic.
In the West, the 19th Century is often seen as a period of terminal decline for the Ottomans, which was the perception at the time, is totally inaccurate.
Thanks to the reform movements, the Ottomans were incalculably stronger at the turn of the 20th Century than they were at the turn of the 19th Century.
The Hatt-i-Humayun was an Ottoman declaration passed in 1856 in order to end the Dhimmi Status of Non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire, mostly at the prodding of the British and French Empires. While the Dhimmi Status was certainly a critical part of Islamic Law and Islamic Society through most of Islamic History (600s to 1800s), the Dhimmi Status was eventually abolished in the mid-1800s by the Ottoman Caliph. In 1839, as part of the Tanzimat…
As the Eurasian peoples moved towards and into the Empire, The Romans could not match them in numbers, and started recruiting them into its army. While this stabilised the situation initially, the inevitable happened and the now-Gothic army took over in the Western Empire. The Eastern Empire was able to reform itself and continued on.
There has been two constitutions.First 1876-1878, sultan closed the Parliament using Otto-Rus War at that time. Second in 1908. The first was formed by sultan to satisfy the European reform and Turkish intellectual demands, the second was force-formed by Turkish intellectuals called 'Ittihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti'. The goals are easy to find out. The Muslim population in Ottoman Empire which these people belonged were mostly uneducated. Literacy was 3%. The empire was falling. All the…
What was an attempt to reform and strengthen the Roman Catholic Church during the Counter Reformation?
Catholic Answer It is known as the Catholic Revival or Catholic Reformation, but it has long been know by protestants as the Counter-Reformation, in which they call their own revolt against the Church, the reformation. But the Catholic reformation was already in force before the protestant revolt, and, in fact, Martin Luther was a member of the Catholic reformation before he left the Church and started his own. from the Catholic Encyclopedia The term Counter-Reformation…
The Hatt-i Humayun edit by Turkey in 1856 was the most progressive reform attempt of the 19th century for Turkey. The reform act had several important goals such as:1. Creating Ottoman national citizenship for all persons within the empire; 2. Abolishing the old civil authority and religious hierarchies; 3. Equality before the law for everyone regardless of religion; 4. Allowing for the eligibility to hold public office regardless of religion; 5. Reforming the tax system…
What vote did the Republicans request to attempt to kill the healthcare reform bill at the last minute?
During his time in Arabia, Shah Waliullah thought deeply about the problems faced by Muslims in the Mughal Empire. The Empire was in decline and Muslims were disunited and vulnerable to attacks on their religion. Shah Waliullah realized that reform could not come from the weak leadership in Delhi and that it would come from within the Muslim community itself.
How did steps taken by Paul III and Paul IV to reform the Catholic Church differ from Protestant reforms?
Roman Catholic Answer We seem to have a sematic problem here, to reform means to to make something better, to improve it. The protestants revolted against the Church, the disagreed with the Church and left it, they did not attempt to reform it. So the most obvious answer is that the Popes attempted reform, the protestants didn't.
This is a vast topic. Essentially, the Reformation began as an attempt to **reform** the Catholic church, and when the latter showed itself incapable of reforming itself (at least at the time) Martin Luther and others issued a solemn "Protest" in 1529 and relectantly broke away to form their own church. Later of course further divisions followed. (The word "Protest" gave rise to the nickname "Protestant" for the reformers). Please also note that there have…