The Eastern Question

More notes from “The emergence of the modern Middle East”

The so-called “Eastern Question” refers to the fate of the Ottoman Empire. If on one hand European powers wanted to take advantage of its territories, on the other hand they feared its collapse because they knew what would follow: an all-European fight to gain power over the remnants – with Russia as the main bidder. Something which would destabilize and destroy wonderful wonderful Europe 😛

Then my notes get messy. A certain Muhammad Ali enters the picture (not this guy, no haha). He’s Albanian, he’s from 1801 -maybe- and he’s BOLD! He somehow takes control of Egypt becoming its de facto ruler and the creator of modern Egypt. Not a bad job title to have, admittedly. He’s all reforms, autonomy and progress. He rocks it.

Meanwhile in the Balkans, nationalist Christian movements try to break away from the Ottomans and succeed: Greece is the first to proclaim its independence (yay, I found it on Wikipedia!). It takes a while (1821-1832) and it includes the 1827 naval battle of Navarino, which is important because the Sultan asks Muhammad Ali to help him with his navy there: “I’ll give you Syria if you do!”. Muhammad Ali accepts.

And here my notes get extremely messy. I’m confused. Because they say

takes Palestine and Syria in 1832, defeats Ottomans. Twice. Ottomans + Russia profectorate. Britain wants to remove M. Ali and with Russia forced him back to Egypt. But he got it as inheritance = dynasty rules until 1952!! 1854 Outbreak of Crimean war Russia VS Ott, BR, FR – protection of Chr holy places in Palestine, 1856 Peace of Paris keep Ott integre. Sultan promised better treatment of Chr minorities = need for reform to save the Empire (and turned out not saving it, but making the ME what it now is).

Woah. So what about Muhammad Ali in the end? And who won what, with the help of whom? Where, when, why? I’ll have to do some extra research 😉

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