Muslim Lands Fall to Imperialist Demands. Age of Imperialism. Egypt. After Napoleon withdrew from Egypt in 1801, Muhammad Ali seized power in 1805 and by 1811 he rid the Mamluks of their lands and privileges.
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After Napoleon withdrew from Egypt in 1801, Muhammad Ali seized power in 1805 and by 1811 he rid the Mamluks of their lands and privileges.
Ali adopted French practices to rebuild Egypt. He constructed a new army, military schools to teach European skills and sciences, and factories. Money came from confiscating Muslim land and forcing farmers to sell crops to government.
In 1841 European pressure forced Muhammad Ali to withdraw and Europeans were allowed to do business in Egypt.
Sultan Selim III introduced reforms for the Ottoman Empire. He wanted to create a European style military, bring governors under rule of the central government, and standardize taxes.
Reforms failed because Janissaries imposed reforms and in 1805 the Janissaries revolted. Also, Muslim scholars resented reforms and Greek independence in 1829 with help from western powers weakened the Empire. After 1839 the empire became dependent on European powers for survival.
Russians were attempting to seize Ottoman land. After the invasion of Syria by Muhammad Ali in 1833 a treaty was signed that recognized Russia as the protector of all Ottoman Orthodox.
In 1852, the sultan named France protector of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Russia protested and invaded Ottoman territories. War began in 1853 between Russia and the Ottoman Empire with France and Britain as allies.
The Holy Sepulchre is sacred to Christians. It is said to be the place where Jesus was buried. Russia, being the protector of Ottoman Orthodox Christians, was offended when France received the honor of being its protector.
The Crimean War lasted from 1853 to 1856. It was fought in Romania, the Black Sea, and the Crimean peninsula. British and French forces trapped Russian fleet in the Black Sea, Ottomans resisted on the Romanian front and Russia was outmatched at Sevastopol. Russia suffered from disease and their lack of railroads and official corruption led to their inability to supply forces and led to their defeat.
Foreign trade brought in large exports but there were few imports. National debt rose and reform groups called for a constitution and allowing all men to vote.
Young Ottomans believed empire would be dominated by European practices. These men promoted liberal ideas such as national pride and modern Islamic views. However, these calls were short lived when Sultan Abdul Hamid II suspended their work.