1861-1871 1878-1908






The Ottoman Empire 1871-1878



By 1871, the death of reform politicians Fuad and Ali Pasha and the French defeat in the Franco-German War had slowed down the pace of the reform process, the most eminent reform being the NEW CIVIL CODE, more deriving from Islamic legal tradition and less from French tradition than previous reform codes.
Yet the number of those who realized the decline of the Empire and the necessity of reforms grew; Sultan Abdulaziz was personally blamed. Rioting students in 1876 succeeded in having reformists being appointed ministers; the same year, Sultan Abdulaziz was deposed and his brother MURAD V. ascended to the throne. He soon was declared mentally incapacitated and deposed, succeeded by ABDULHAMID II. (1876).

In 1875 a Bulgarian uprising had been brutally suppressed, reports of Turkish atrocities being printed in the European press. In 1876 the Ottoman forces defeated the Serbs after the latter had declared war (RUSSO-OTTOMAN WAR). In 1877 the Russian Czar, seeing himself as the protector of the orthodox christians living in the Ottoman Empire, declared war; Russian forces, after significant sacrifice, defeated the Turkish forces, the Ottoman Empire being forced to sign the PEACE OF SAN STEFANO, which provided for the creation of a large, independent Bulgaria.

In 1876 Sultan Abdulhamid II. appointed MIDHAT PASHA Grand Vezir; an Ottoman CONSTITUTION was passed which provided for a national assembly, to which ministers were responsible, and which granted its citizens equal rights without regard to religion and ethnicity. With the foreign threat seemingly over early in 1877, Abdulhamid II. dismissed Midhat Pasha; elections to the national assembly were held and it duly assembled (1877), but it was dismissed with no visible results achieved, and not called again for 30 years.


see also History of Rumelia, 1815-1879






EXTERNAL
FILES
Abdulaziz Murad V., Abdulhamid II., from Ottoman Web Site
DOCUMENTS
REFERENCE Jason Goodwin, Lords of the Horizons, 1999, 352 pp.
Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, Oxford : University Press, (1961) 1969, 524 pp.
Article : Turkey, in : Statesman's Year Book 1878 pp.457-481 (on events of 1877) [G]



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 22nd 2002, last revised on October 2nd 2006

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