Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires 1908- 1918 by Michael A. ReynoldsThe break-up of the Ottoman empire and the disintegration of the Russian empire were watershed events in modern history. The unravelling of these empires was both cause and consequence of World War I and resulted in the deaths of millions. It irrevocably changed the landscape of the Middle East and Eurasia and reverberates to this day in conflicts throughout the Caucasus and Middle East. Shattering Empires draws on extensive research in the Ottoman and Russian archives to tell the story of the rivalry and collapse of two great empires. Overturning accounts that portray their clash as one of conflicting nationalisms, this pioneering study argues that geopolitical competition and the emergence of a new global interstate order provide the key to understanding the course of history in the Ottoman-Russian borderlands in the twentieth century. It will appeal to those interested in Middle Eastern, Russian, and Eurasian history, international relations, ethnic conflict, and World War I.
Ten Minute History - The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Birth of the Balkans (Short Documentary)
Partition of the Ottoman Empire
On October 30, , aboard the British battleship Agamemnon , anchored in the port of Mudros on the Aegean island of Lemnos, representatives of Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire sign an armistice treaty marking the end of Ottoman participation in the First World War. Though the Ottoman Empire—in a period of relative decline since the late 16th century—had initially aimed to stay neutral in World War I , it soon concluded an alliance with Germany and entered the war on the side of the Central Powers in October The Turks fought fiercely and successfully defended the Gallipoli Peninsula against a massive Allied invasion in , but by defeat by invading British and Russian forces and an Arab revolt had combined to destroy the Ottoman economy and devastate its land, leaving some six million people dead and millions more starving. As early as the first week of October , both the Ottoman government and several individual Turkish leaders contacted the Allies to feel out peace possibilities. Britain, whose forces then occupied much of the Ottoman territories, was loath to step aside for its allies, particularly France, which according to an agreement concluded in would take control of the Syrian coast and much of modern-day Lebanon. Though Britain alone would engineer the Ottoman exit from the war, the two powerful Allies would continue to grapple over control in the region at the Paris Peace Conference, and for years beyond.
The Ottoman Empire was one of the mightiest and longest-lasting dynasties in world history. The chief leader, known as the Sultan, was given absolute religious and political authority over his people. While Western Europeans generally viewed them as a threat, many historians regard the Ottoman Empire as a source of great regional stability and security, as well as important achievements in the arts, science, religion and culture. This put an end to 1,year reign of the Byzantine Empire. Istanbul became a dominant international center of trade and culture. The Ottoman Empire reached its peak between and , during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
The Fall of the Ottoman Empire. By , the Ottoman Sultan could claim rule over a domain that stretched from the deserts of Libya in Africa to the snow-covered mountains of Armenia and Kurdistan.
The book deals with relations between France , Britain and the Muslim world, a topic that has become tragically topical over recent weeks. France and Britain were allies in World War I , but they were also bitter rivals when it came to dividing up spheres of influence in the hoped for break-up of the Ottoman Empire — something both nations correctly anticipated would be a result of an allied victory in the conflict. The wishes of the local population, whether they were Muslim, Christian or Jewish , were not considered to be a deciding factor at all. Britain wanted its chosen area, particularly Palestine , as a shield for the Suez Canal — a vital link to British India. It also wanted access to oil in present-day Iraq. France wanted access to the same oil and saw itself as a protector of Christian interests in Syria and Lebanon. The crucial question was territory rather than people.
It restored the Ottoman constitution of and brought in multi-party politics with a two stage electoral system electoral law under the Ottoman parliament. The constitution offered hope by freeing the empire's citizens to modernize the state's institutions and dissolve inter-communal tensions. Instead, this period became the story of the twilight struggle of the Empire. Despite Ottoman military reforms , the Ottoman Army met with disastrous defeat in the Italo-Turkish War —12 and the Balkan Wars —13 , resulting in the Ottomans being driven out of North Africa and nearly out of Europe. This treaty, as designed in the conference of London , gave a nominal land and permitted the title Ottoman Caliphate compared with Vatican ; a sacerdotal - monarchical state ruled by the Catholic Pope , not to be a further threat but just powerful enough to protect Britain from the Khilafat Movement. The occupation of Constantinople Istanbul along with the occupation of Smyrna Izmir mobilized the Turkish national movement which ultimately won the Turkish War of Independence.