The Dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire - Carlton Hayes - ebook
Opis

PRIOR to 1683 the advance of the Ottoman Turks had been pretty uniformly successful. In Asia they had established themselves as masters of Asia Minor, Armenia, Syria, Caucasia, the Euphrates valley, and the shore of the Red Sea. In Africa their conquering armies had appropriated Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria. In Europe they had subjugated the Tatars and Cossacks immediately north of the Black Sea; they had conquered the entire Balkan peninsula, including present-day Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Bessarabia, Bukowina, Transylvania, Hungary, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania; they had even exacted tribute from the Austrian Habsburgs; they had made the Black Sea, the Ægean, and the eastern Mediterranean their own, and occupied the islands of Cyprus, Crete, and Rhodes, as well as the smaller islands of the Ægean. The immediate occasion of the reversal of Turkish fortunes was the counter success of the expedition led by John Sobieski, the patriot Polish king, which in 1683 relieved the beleaguered city of Vienna and turned back the tide of Turkish conquest. But the real cause of subsequent Ottoman disasters was the decay of political institutions within the huge empire and the growing weakness of the army. After 1683, as the Turkish tide gradually receded, there slowly reappeared in the Balkans independent Christian nations that had long lain submerged under Mohammedan dominion. There also appeared the rising ambitions and waxing empires of the Austrian Habsburgs and the Russian tsars. More and more wistfully both Austria and Russia looked southward, intent upon profiting by the decline of Turkish power. And thus the decline of Turkish power created an intense rivalry between two great Christian empires and complicated the international politics of Europe for many generations...

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 85

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS

THE DISMEMBERMENT OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Carlton Hayes

PERENNIAL PRESS

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy this book, please leave a review.

All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.

Copyright © 2016 by Carlton Hayes

Published by Perennial Press

Interior design by Pronoun

Distribution by Pronoun

ISBN: 9781518364037

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND ITS DECLINE, 1683–1815

THE GREAT POWERS AND THE DISMEMBERMENT OF TURKEY IN EUROPE, 1815–1886

THE AUTONOMY OF CRETE AND LOSS OF THE TURKISH POSSESSIONS IN AFRICA

THE PROGRESS OF THE BALKAN NATIONS AND THE ATTEMPT TO REJUVENATE TURKEY, 1832–1912

THE BALKAN WARS, 1912–1913

2016

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND ITS DECLINE, 1683–1815

~

PRIOR TO 1683 THE ADVANCE of the Ottoman Turks had been pretty uniformly successful. In Asia they had established themselves as masters of Asia Minor, Armenia, Syria, Caucasia, the Euphrates valley, and the shore of the Red Sea. In Africa their conquering armies had appropriated Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria. In Europe they had subjugated the Tatars and Cossacks immediately north of the Black Sea; they had conquered the entire Balkan peninsula, including present-day Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Bessarabia, Bukowina, Transylvania, Hungary, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania; they had even exacted tribute from the Austrian Habsburgs; they had made the Black Sea, the Ægean, and the eastern Mediterranean their own, and occupied the islands of Cyprus, Crete, and Rhodes, as well as the smaller islands of the Ægean.

The immediate occasion of the reversal of Turkish fortunes was the counter success of the expedition led by John Sobieski, the patriot Polish king, which in 1683 relieved the beleaguered city of Vienna and turned back the tide of Turkish conquest. But the real cause of subsequent Ottoman disasters was the decay of political institutions within the huge empire and the growing weakness of the army. After 1683, as the Turkish tide gradually receded, there slowly reappeared in the Balkans independent Christian nations that had long lain submerged under Mohammedan dominion. There also appeared the rising ambitions and waxing empires of the Austrian Habsburgs and the Russian tsars. More and more wistfully both Austria and Russia looked southward, intent upon profiting by the decline of Turkish power. And thus the decline of Turkish power created an intense rivalry between two great Christian empires and complicated the international politics of Europe for many generations.

By the treaty of Karlowitz (1699) the Austrian Habsburgs permanently secured the greater part of Hungary, including Transylvania, and thenceforth looked with longing eye upon the other Ottoman provinces in the Balkan peninsula. The Russians, no less eager to expand at the expense of the Turks, by the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774) obtained Azov at the mouth of the Don. By the latter treaty the Tatars who inhabited the coastlands north of the Black Sea—from the Caspian to the Dniester —were made practically independent of Turkey, and the Sublime Porte (as the foreign office of the Ottoman Empire is magniloquently styled) recognized Russia as the protector of certain Orthodox churches in Constantinople. Before the close of the eighteenth century Catherine II of Russia had seized the Crimea (1783), extended her sway over the “independent” Tatars, and pushed the Russian frontier westward to the Dniester (1792).

During the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, Turkey was repeatedly threatened,—when Napoleon suddenly invaded Egypt (1798), when Russia and Great Britain opened hostilities (1807), when rebellion lifted its head in Serbia, in Adrianople, and in other parts of the empire. But Europe was then more concerned with her own intestine wars than with the Eastern Question, and in the confusion Turkey regained Egypt, although compelled to cede Bessarabia (1812) to the ever-advancing Russians, thus moving the Russian frontier from the river Dniester southward to the river Pruth.

In spite of these losses the dominions of the sultan still formed a noble empire, with its heart in Asia Minor and its head at Constantinople, and with arms stretching westward through Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, and Algeria to touch Morocco, southward to embrace the Gulf of Aden and the Persian Gulf, eastward to reach Persia and the Caspian, and northward to resist the Russians at the river Pruth and the Austrians at the Save. Over this vast realm ruled the padishah, “King of Kings,” “Shadow of God,” or, as the Europeans called him, the sultan—claiming to be the oldest male of the royal house of Othman, and the khalif or supreme ecclesiastical lord of all Islam. Notwithstanding his resounding titles the sultan was so notoriously victimized by his numerous wives, so dependent upon his grand vizier (prime minister) and divan (council of ministers), so completely at the mercy of his professional army—the Janissaries,—that his arbitrary authority was as often disregarded as enforced. This was especially true of the outlying provinces, like Egypt, where the governors (pashas) resembled tributary princes more than administrative officials. Everywhere the administration was paralyzed by insubordination and corruption. Officials purchased their appointment and used their powers shamelessly to enrich themselves by illegal extortions.

The worst effects of the sultan’s misgovernment were felt by his Christian subjects. It must be remembered that when the Turks first invaded the Near East, they had found numerous Christians and Jews living in Egypt, in Syria and in Armenia, and a solid Christian population in the Balkan peninsula. With all the ardor of a zealous Mohammedan the Turk believed that he should valiantly fight for his religion, should put to the sword all heathen idolators, and should strive to subjugate all Christian and Jewish peoples. Consequently the victorious Turkish armies of the fifteenth century had spared the lives of conquered Christians but had exacted heavy tribute. A few of the Christians embraced the Mohammedan faith, and thereby gained admission to the ruling class. But the vast majority remained Christians, and the Turks made slight attempt to convert them. Rather, the sultan recognized the Christian bishops,—above all, the (Greek Orthodox) patriarch of Constantinople,—as the spokesmen and representatives of the Christian population. The conquered Christian races thus became a submerged people, separated from the Turks by religion, by language, by costume, by manners, and, most of all, by hatred. For the Turks prided themselves on being valiant warriors and Mohammedans; they looked down with infinite scorn upon Christian peasants and tradesmen: the Christians were cattle—rayahs—fit for nothing better than to obey and to enrich the Turk. It was little wonder that the Christians regarded their arrogant conquerors with hatred. The ill-feeling was aggravated by the fact that under the corrupt misgovernment of the Turks, rapacious tax-collectors were allowed to demand what they would from the peasantry, and heartlessly to enforce their unreasonable demands, if necessary by seizing the peasant’s crops, or by forcing the peasant to watch his harvest rot on the ground. Moreover, unruly bands of brigands and irregular bodies of soldiery terrorized the country and repeatedly robbed the peasants. Worst of all were the occasional outbursts of religious fanaticism. Sometimes with provocation, and sometimes without, the Turks would fall upon Christian villagers, slaughter men, women, and children, and enrich themselves with plunder.

The situation was most acute in the Balkan peninsula, where the Turks, even including converts from Christianity, were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the rayahs, except in the northeastern part of Bulgaria, in Albania, and in the vicinity of Constantinople and Adrianople. The bulk of the population in what are now Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Rumania belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, the church which had definitely broken with the Roman Catholic pope in 1054. At the head of the Greek Orthodox Church was the patriarch of Constantinople, appointed by the sultan. The Russian Church, it is worth noting, while governed by its own synod, formed another branch of the Orthodox Church; and the Russian emperors consistently regarded themselves as co-religionists and natural protectors of all the Greek Orthodox Christians.

It would, therefore, have been easy, religion alone considered, for the Greek Orthodox majority in what are now Greece, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Rumania, to have revolted unitedly and with the friendly support of the Russians against the Mohammedan Turks.

The Near Eastern Question, however, was not to be answered so easily. As an indirect effect of the French Revolution, the sentiment of national and racial patriotism entered particularly into the situation in the nineteenth century and transferred the emphasis from religion to nationality. Consequently the struggles of the nineteenth century were to be essentially wars for national independence and aggrandizement, rather than crusades against the “infidel.” What had long been considered by the Turks as the herd of Christian “cattle” began to split into four or five major groups. Those who were once all Christian rayahs oppressed by their common enemy, the Turk, now insisted that they were Serbs, or Bulgars, or Rumans, or Greeks, or Albanians. The new enthusiasm for nationality was an echo of what was going on among Italians, Germans, Poles, and Czechs. But in the Balkan peninsula races were so endlessly intermingled that the principle of nationalism, instead of simplifying matters, prepared the way for bitter jealousies and fratricidal wars.

Since the very dawn of history the Balkan peninsula had been a dumping-ground for diverse races. Again and again barbarian hordes from the north and east had invaded the peninsula, and each succeeding invasion had left the blood of the Balkan peoples more mongrel, their languages more confused, and their gaudy costumes more diversified. Nevertheless, intermixed as the races were, at least four considerable “nations” rose in European Turkey during the nineteenth century and asserted their right to independent national existence.