[skip to content]

Department of History

H343 Reform, Resistance and Revolution: the Ottoman Empire 1876-1909 (I)

Course Code:
154800197
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year
In the Ottoman Empire of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the key question confronting the political élite was: "How can this state be saved?" Precisely what the Ottoman state needed rescuing from depended on one's point of view, but the chief culprits were variously identified as the despotism of Sultanic rule, Great Power encroachment, abandonment of the Empire's Islamic basis, a failure to modernize, bankruptcy, etc. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course aims to provide an appraisal of a critical period in the formation of the modern Middle East. At the end of the course, students should foster an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages inherent to working with different type of primary historical sources. 

Scope and syllabus

This course begins by examining the three main competing solutions-reform, resistance, and revolution-each linked to a vision for the Empire's future informed by a particular reading of its past.

Attention then turns to some of the more important trends taking place away from the political sphere, including such topics as education, gender, dress, literature, architecture, religion and 'culture.' A variety of primary sources, ranging from archival documents and official pronouncements to photographs and satirical cartoons, constitute the core material for this course.

Method of assessment

Exam (50%), 2 x Coursework (20%/3,000 words each), class presentation 10%. 

Suggested reading

  • Berkes, N. The Development of Secularism in Turkey (1964);
  • Deringil, S. The Well-Protected Domains (1998);
  • Findley, C. Ottoman Civil Officialdom: A Social History (1989);
  • Hanioglu, S. The Young Turks in Opposition (1995)