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

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of History

Module overview

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.


  • Students  enrol via the on-line Module Sign-Up system. Students are advised of the timing of this process via email by the Faculty Office

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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 (worth 50%)
  • One review essay of 2,000 words (15%)
  • One essay of 2,500 words (25%)
  • Class presentation (worth 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)



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules