Chapter 26

Civilizations in Crisis:

The Ottoman Empire, the Islamic Heartland

and Qing China

 The Ottoman Empire had many reforms to establish western-style life. The leaders of Ottoman Empire adopted the science of West. They brought telegraph, railways and conscription from the Western. There were many revolts against the westernization, but Ottoman Empire became very dependent upon Europe. They maintained Islamic belief, which caused no change in social structure (caste system) and women’s role.

 Qing Empire in China had similar form of society. They adopted Chinese ways in bureaucracy and court ceremonies. They retained much of the political system of the Ming, although they assumed a more direct role in appointing local officials and reduced their tax exemptions. The examination system continued. The rulers appreciated the importance of arts and encyclopedias of Chinese learning. They also maintained the social system of the Ming. The highly emphasized the values of respect for rank and acceptance of hierarchy. Women continued under the dominance of elder males. Daughters were not preferred.

Selim III: Ottoman sultan (1789-1807) - In attempt to reform the crumbling Ottoman Empire, Selim III advocated for innovations within the dynasty in order to improve the administrative efficiency as well as to build a new army and navy. However, because of the Ottoman elite and Janissary corps who believed that Selim II's reform movements were dangerous to the empire, Selim III was attacked in a Janissary revolt and inevitably lost his life.

Mahmud II: 19th Ottoman sultan - Thought to be a much more skilled sultan than Selim II, Mahmud II continued Selim III's efforts for reform with a more far reaching strategy. Secretly raising a small professional military, he first began by ridding of the Janissary corp by stimulating a mutiny. Once the Janissary were out of his way, he proceeded by expanding his army as well as engaging the Western powers on diplomatic lines.


Tanzimat reforms: Western-style reforms within the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876 - A series of reform movements to reorganize society, the Tanzimat reforms proceeded first with improving education along Western lines, introducing European math and science, establishing postal and telegraph systems, installing new railways, establishing the circulation of newspapers, and ,perhaps one of the most important, enacting extensive legal reforms as well as a constitution that followed European standards. These reforms increased the Ottoman economy and supported the minority religious groups.

Abdul Hamid: Ottoman sultan (1878-1908) - In response to the growing threat of the Western power, Hamid attempted to restrain the force of Europe by returning to despotic absolutism. Nullifying the constitution and restricting civil liberties, particularly the freedom of the press, Hamid was mildly successful in depriving the westernized elite groups, while still supporting the continuation of Western developments such as arms, techniques, railways, and telegraphs. His rule came to an end by a coup in 1908.



Young Turks: Members of the Ottoman Society for Union and Progress - The Young Turks, exiled Turkish intellectuals and political agitators, founded the Ottoman Society for Union Progress in hopes of restoring the Ottoman regime. After gaining power through the coup that overthrew Abdul Hamid in 1908, the Young Turks restored the constitution, the printing press, and resumed the Tanzimat reforms. Although they had overthrown a despotic sultan, in the end they refused to hand over the Ottoman empire run by Turks.


Mamluks: Rulers of Egypt under the Ottomans - The term "mamluk" literally meaning "slave", the Mamluk cavalry were known as fighters of great prowess in the Islamic world. Although they had fought courageously against the oncoming force of Napoleon and his army in 1798, their ultimate defeat revealed the vulnerability of the current Muslim world. 

 Murad- Thought to be the head of coalition of Mamluk rulers in Egypt, they opposed Napoleonic invasion of Egypt and suffered devastating defeat. Failure destroyed the Mamluck government in Egypt and revealed the vulnerability of the Muslim core. 

Muhammad Ali: Controlled Egypt by 1811 - Impressed by the order of Napoleon's military force, Muhammad Ali quickly took power as the new ruler of Egypt. Devoting his time to creating a European styled military, he hired French officers, imported Western arms, and adopted Western tactics later to complete the most effective fighting force in the Middle East. Although his reforms were not only centered around the military, he failed to modernize other aspects of the Egyptian society. 

Khedives: Descendants of Muhammad Ali - A succession of rulers after Ali, the khedives became formal rulers of Egypt until overthrown by a military coup that placed Gamel Abdul Nasser to power in 1952. During their reign, movements to continue Ali's reforms had failed, and while the gap between the upper and lower classes widened, the khedives wasted much of the revenues collected on extravagant pastimes. 


Suez Canal: link the Mediterranean and Red seas -  A vital commercial and military link between the European powers and their colonial empires in Asia and east Africa. 


al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh: Muslim thinkers in Egypt during the latter part of the 19th century - Speculating the current situation of the Muslim world, thinkers such as al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh stressed the need for adoption of Western science and technology in order for the Islamic civilization to gain the capacity to innovate.

 Ahmad Orabi - Once a student of Muhammad Abduh, Orabi led a revolt in 1882 against the Egyptian government, as the Egyptian army general. The revolt, sparked by the khedives' efforts to save money by dismissing Egyptian regimes and officers, was crushed in 1882 when the United Kingdom invaded at the request of the khedives, which led to the commencing of the 40 year British occupation in Egypt.

A picture of Ahmad Orabi 

 Khartoum - As the British began closing in on Egyptian land, the Egyptians began strengthening their hold on Sudan. Khartoum, a river town, became the center of Egyptian administration in Sudan as they could not take hold of the plains west and east of the upper Nile.

 Mahdi - Mahdi  is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who is said to rule for a long period of time before the Day of Judgement and will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice, and tyranny. This Mahdi became Muhammad Achmad, he leader of the sudanic Sufi brotherhood. He began the violent holy war against the Egyptians and British but eventually fell ill and died with a new successor to take power.

 Khalifa Abdallahi- The successor of the Achmad, Abdallahi was given command of a large part of the Mahdist army, and during the next four years led them in a series of victories over the Anglo-Egyptians. He was the follower of Mohammed Ahmed or the Mahdi in the 1870s and was named Khalifa by the Mahdi in 1881. After the unexpected death of the Mahdi, Abdullah succeeded as leader of the Mahdists on the death of the Mahdi in June 1885, declaring himself "Khalifat al-Mahdi", or successor of the Mahdi. He was eventually defeated and killed by the British General, Kitchener, in 1898. 

 Nurhaci- Uniting the Manchu in the early 17th century, Nurhaci defeated the Ming dynasty and established the Qing dynasty in China. He was an important Jurchen chieftain who rose to prominence in the late 16th century in Manchuria. He reorganized and united various Jurchen tribes that were split up and created the Eight Banners military system. After he started this organization, he launched an assault on the Ming Dynasty and Korean's Joseon Dynasty. He started the Qing Dynasty conquering and his ancestors later on conquered all of China because of the solid foundation he had created. He retained much of the previous Chinese political and educational system during his rule.

 Banner Armies- Created by Nurhaci, the banner armies were eight units named after the flags that represented each tribe. They were utilized to defeat the Ming emperor and establish Qing Dyansty. The eight banners were administrative divisions into which all Manchu families were placed. They provided the basic framework for the Manchu military organization.

 Qing Dynasty- The last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China. The Qing dynasty forced submission of nomadic peoples far to the west and compelled tribute from Vietnam and Burma to the south. 

A picture of the Nurhaci in royal attire, and he is the leader of the Qing Dynasty who started the foundation of their conquest of China.

 Kangxi- One of the many rulers of the Manchu in the Qing dynasty, Kangxi was a Confucian scholar refined in the patrons of the Chinese arts. He is the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty as well as the second emperor to rule China properly. His reign of 61 years made him the longest reigning emperor of China in history. He and many other Manchu rulers employed thousands of scholars to create an encyclopedia of Chinese learning.

A picture of Kangxi, the second Qing emperor to rule over all of China, and the fourth Qing emperor. 

 Compradors- A wealthy new group of merchants under the Qing, the compradors sepcialized in the import-export trade on China's southern coast. Compradors held important positions in southern China buying and selling teak silk, cotton, and yarn for foreign corporations and working in foreign-owned banks. 

 Lin Zexu- was a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing Dynasty. He is the 19th century Chinese official who was charged during the 1830s with ending the opium trade in southern China. His persistent actions in stopping the opium trade led to the Opium War against the British, which ended in ultimate defeat against the powerful British navy.

A portrait of Lin Zexu, the chinese scholar and official during the Qing Dynasty. 

 Opium Wars - The Opium Wars divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860, were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire. The British victory demonstrated Western superiority over China.


 Taiping Rebellion- The Taiping Rebellion was a massive rebellion in southern China in the 1850s and 1860s led by Hong Xiuquan. Xiuquan had created an army that included regiments of Hakka women. In commercial frustration after the defeat in the Opium War, they sought to overthrow the Qing dynasty and Confucianism. This rebellion was a widespread civil war that had around 20 million deaths and many more casualties. This rebellion is considered one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.

 Cixi- Cixi was a conservative dowager empress who dominated the last decades of the Qing dynasty. She was a powerful and charismatic woman who unofficially but effectively controlled the Manchu Qing Dyansty in China for 47 years from 1861 to her death in 1908. He had made the greatest movements to block out reform movements during her reign.

A portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi 

 Boxer Rebellion- The Boxer Rebellion was a popular outburst aimed at expelling foreigners from China, but was put down by intervention of the Western powers. The uprising took place in response to foreign hegemonies in China, with grievances ranging from opium traders, political invasion, economic manipulation, to missionary evangelism. 

 Puyi- Puyi, a small boy, was the last emperor of China, and also the last Qing ruler. He ruled as the Xuantong Emperor from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912. Puyi's abdication in 1912 marked the end of centuries of dynastic rule in China, an dhe is also widely known as "The Last Emperor."

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