Abdulhamid II and the Ottoman Empire

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Who was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1876-1909?

Abdulhamid II

What did Abdulhamid II do at his accession?

He was girt with the sword of Osman

What was Abdulhamid II's attitude towards Arabi?

He was hostile

What did Abdulhamid II do to the administration of the country?

He increased the number of ministers

What were some of the troubles Abdulhamid II had to deal with?

Insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Study Notes

  • Abdulhamid II was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1876-1909.
  • He was the son of Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid and succeeded to the throne on the deposition of his brother Murad V.
  • He accompanied his uncle Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz on his visit to England and France in 1867.
  • At his accession spectators were struck by the fearless manner in which he rode, practically unattended, on his way to be girt with the sword of Osman at the Eyup Sultan Mosque.
  • He was supposed to be of liberal principles, and the more conservative of his subjects were for some years after his accession inclined to regard him with suspicion as a too-ardent reformer.
  • But the circumstances of the country at his accession were ill adapted for liberal developments. Default in the public funds and an empty treasury, the insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the war with Serbia and Montenegro and the feeling aroused throughout Europe by the methods adopted in stamping out the Bulgarian rebellion all proved to the new sultan that he could expect little aid from the European powers.
  • Nevertheless, he obstinately refused to instigate the reforms for which the European powers had been pressing.
  • Trouble in Egypt, where a discredited khedive had to be deposed, trouble on the Greek frontier and in Montenegro, where the European powers were determined that the decisions of the Berlin Congress should be carried into effect, were more or less satisfactorily handled.
  • In his attitude towards Arabi, the would-be saviour of Egypt, Abd-ul-Hamid showed less than his usual astuteness, and the resulting consolidation of England's hold over the country contributed still further to his estrangement from Turkey's old ally.
  • The sultan reduced the number of ministers and centralized the administration of the country in his own hands
  • Dissension between the Turks and the other ethnic groups in the empire continued
  • Minor troubles had occurred in 1892 and 1893 at Marsovan and Tokat.

Test your knowledge about Abdulhamid II, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1876-1909, and the historical events during his reign such as the insurrection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, war with Serbia and Montenegro, and his approach towards reforms and European powers.

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