Free Custom «A History of the Modern Middle East» Essay Paper

Free Custom «A History of the Modern Middle East» Essay Paper

The nineteenth century marked a pivotal movement in the history of human since various activities took place. Notably, historians referred to it as modern revolution. On the other hand, scientists referred to process of change as ‘autocatalytic’, a period of the Big Era Seven changes in human society. Scientists used the term autocatalytic to describe the chemical process but in a historical context. Truly, this process precipitated a change. Since roughly 1750, there has been a steadily moving sequence of changes, which, as a result, has transformed the way of life. Furthermore, there was a dynamic interaction in various areas thus contributing to change in many areas, as well. According to Donald (2005), these areas included economical, industrial, political, enlightening, and environmental. The global changes have become self-perpetuating and ever moving in the manner that the human population has greatly benefitted. This paper aims at discussing some of the major forces that have reshaped the economy of the Middle East during the nineteenth century, whether the Ottoman Empire was at the danger of falling by the eighteenth century, and finally discuss whether the Islam was fundamentally hostile to the course of modern reforms.

Discuss the main forces reshaping the economy of the Middle East during the ninetieth century. Think about these aspects of the problem:

What was new about nineteenth-century trading patterns?

Donald (2005) asserts that the 19th century witnessed a dramatic change in the international trade through the incorporation of India and British Empire thus ending Manila trade through Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence. The Chinese trade also fell in the hands of Western powers like England, United States, and France through treaty ports such as the Shanghai and Southern Asia.

Trading patterns changed and instead of importing factors of production, the country imported goods. Most countries imported labor-intensive goods from china. For instance, this is a practice that was mostly used by the United States and the US could import goods produced with China labor instead of importing Chinese labor. This era also saw major economic consolidation because of industrialization. Donald (2005) also observes that market integration of world markets took place, and as a result, this made economies be more vulnerable to financial crashes.

Which Middle Eastern were the biggest beneficiaries of the new economy? Why?

Middle Eastern nations that were the biggest beneficiaries included India, Japan, and China, which alternated as being the largest economies. China was the major economic power, and in that regard, it encouraged and invited many nations to the East thus attracting European commerce and exploration. The above-mentioned countries benefitted because of the “Silk Road” which became the main East-West trading route in Asia while the “Straights of Malacca” served as the main sea route.

Particularly, Japan also managed to develop its economy as a result of the comprehensive reformation that took place in the nineteenth century. Through the reformation, Japanese ensured that their economy grew well through the nineteenth century. Another thing that led to this massive economic success was the Japanese strategic resources.

Simultaneously, Southern Asia also prospered due to technological advancements and the trade. This simultaneous growth was as a result of the opening of the Suez Canal where products from Philippines were traded to various parts of Europe. Moreover, both the Dutch and British created their own trading companies in order to control trade flow in Asia. According to William and Martin (2008), this move saw the formation of two companies namely: British East India Company and Dutch East India Company for British and Ditch respectively.

What effect did the growth of European trade have upon the industrial and agriculture sectors of the economy?

There were various positive impacts that were brought about by the European trade upon the industrial and agricultural sector in the medieval age. As a result of the trade, William and Martin (2008) intimate that agricultural products and tools were sold to the farmers thus harnessing farming. For instance, Asia witnessed an increase in yield Because of rapid global technical advancement brought about by the European trade, markets became increasingly integrated, and prices of various agricultural products fell greatly. In addition, it led to the increased sophistication of agricultural markets.

Was the Ottoman Empire in danger of falling apart by the end of the eighteenth century?

The main political goals and strategies of provincial leaders

The autocratic and imperial system employed by the Ottoman Empire went through slight change over the centuries. Economic problems are some of the issues that can be considered to have led to the loss of almost a quarter of the territory of the Empire. The situation was considered worse in Constantinople, which had a huge number of refugees fleeing the Balkans. Politically, they were not well organized, and the Sultans ruled the entire Ottoman Empire. The sultans could only consult few trusted advisors. The sultans in a self-imposed exile led to their Empire drifting apart, and after the British invaded the Suez Canal, the Crete received support from the Greeks. William and Martin (2008) assert that this led to a war between the Ottoman Empire and its former province and for the first in history. The Ottoman won without asking for any support.

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The Ottoman Empire had 29 provinces with additional three tributary principalities, and Transylvania, which was a kingdom that swore allegiance to the empire. This empire was the largest and the longest serving Empires in history as was absorbed and granted autonomy. Ottoman Empire was also one of the most powerful political entities, and most countries in Europe felt threatened by the steady advancement of their political setting, which exercised its duties through the Balkans.

Civil and judicial administration of the Ottoman Empire was organized in a separate, parallel system of small municipal or rural units known as the “kazas” which was under the administration of “qado or kadi”. This civil system was mandated to check on the military system because those who represented the executive authority were not allowed to punish without considering the sentence of qadi.        

Their reaction to the empire on external woes

The reaction of the empire was to retreat, and this retreat led to the birth of Turkey. By the time Ottoman Empire was in decline, the weak rulers of the empire had opened up some ways of power struggle within various numbers of officials such as religious experts and Janissary commanders. Provincial administration and landowner came together with the aim of draining revenue from treasury. In addition, the general economy suffered, as a result, competitiveness of the imported goods, which ruined the local industries thus weakening the Ottoman Empire even further.

Was Islam fundamentally hostile to the cause of modernizing reform?

Islam was not necessarily hostile in regard to modernization reforms, but instead Islam and modernity were compatible. Therefore, Khater (2004) observes that Islam modernist saw the importance of further interpretation of principles and ideas of Islam in order to formulate emergent responses to cultural, scientific, political challenges of the West and modern life. The reforms that were proposed by conservative Muslim scholars known as “ulama” challenged thus leading to the establishment of laws and ideas. Islamic modernists contend that the “ulama” contributed to the problems that faced the Muslim community as well as the move to support the western dominion.

Discuss this question in relation to the New Order inaugurated by Selim III. Pay attention to these factors:

The conditions in which the New Order was born, and solutions that it proposed

It is a common knowledge that the first attempt to create an outstanding army in the Ottoman Empire was made by Sultan Selim III in the year 1792. An impressive achievement was seen when his “Nizam-I Cedid (New Order) was created. However, later on pressure mounted on the Janissaries, which made the Sultan succumb without using any means of force thus leading to disbanding of the corps in 1008 giving way to the New Order. Some of the reasons that led to the formation of the “New Order” included: great rural upheavals, profound change in the organized fighting forces known as “lev end”, growth of provincial dynasties and these were aimed at cooperating against demands by the government. The “lev end” or the locally mustered soldier, which was universal to all the societies, became the major Ottoman war making by 1750 (Khater, 2004). The recruits helped as a means of mobilizing, raising troops, and controlling banditry, and this took the Ottoman official military to greater heights that it abandoned the use of “lev end” recruits.

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The motivations of its opponents and why they triumphed.

The Ottoman areas with the majority of Muslims offered various distinguished regional challenges. There were three activists groups of religious movements who got their motivation from the traditional Muslim sources and they did not get any form of Western influence in their undertakings. According to Khater (2004), two of these activists called for fundamental change in the existing institutions. The three activists worked towards dealing with the existing challenges thereby forming a woven fabric of relationship between Muslim religious establishment and the Ottoman State. Their success was as a result of great strains that they put on Ottoman Empire thus weakening it further. They also undermined the legitimacy of the empire and thus they decided to sunder the larger portions of Muslim ummas who were held together by Ottomans. In addition, it opened the way for secular, nationalist movements thus ensuring their triumph.


The nineteenth century witnessed various changes in the history of human. Various sectors saw dramatic changes accompanied by dynamic interaction in various areas such as the economic, industrial, political, enlightening, and other environmental areas. The Ottoman Empire also faced various challenges that led to its final decline. The European Trade also affected various sectors such as the industrial and the agricultural both positive and negatively. It is worth noting that, despite the various efforts made by the Ottoman Empire, it was disadvantaged by several political differences.



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