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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Imperialism In The Middle East - 1314 words
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http://college.hmco.com/history/west/mckay/western society/7e/students/outlines/ch26.htmlWestern penetration of Egypt Muhammad Ali built a modern state in Turkish held Egypt that attracted European traders. He drafted the peasants, reformed the government, and improved communications. The peasants lost out because the land was converted from self-sufficient farms to large, private landholdings to grow cash crops for export.Ismail continued the modernization of Egypt, including the completion of the Suez Canal, but also drew the country deeply into debt. To prevent Egypt from going bankrupt, Britain and France intervened politically. Foreign financial control provoked a violent nationalistic reaction in Egypt that led to British occupation of the country until 1956.Natural ResourcesBeginning in the 1800s, imperialism was also practiced in the Middle East.
The prime attraction for most European nations was the presence of vast oil fields. The machinery produced as a result of the Industrial Revolution required oil to keep numerous moving parts lubricated. As the internal combustion engine became more popular around 1900, oil was also needed as a fuel. Strategic LocationStrategy also played a major role in the European conquest of the Middle East through imperialism. Two areas that Europe paid particular attention to were the Suez Canal and Palestine.Suez CanalThe French originally set out to build the Suez Canal in 1859
However, Britain soon became jealous because of the potential impact the shortcut between the Mediterranean and Red Seas could have on trade with its Indian colony. In 1875, the British wrested financial control of the Suez Canal away from the French, and eventually made all of Egypt a protectorate in 1882.PalestineAfter WWI, the newly formed League of Nations gave Great Britain a mandate over Palestine. Palestine's location on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea seemed like a great prize to the British, but problems soon erupted. It became clear that both Arabs and Jews claimed the region as a homeland.Ambiguous British foreign policy heightened tensions between the two groups as each was given a conflicting promise . For their support in WWI, Britain promised Arabs independence. Later however, in the Balfour Declaration, Britain promised to establish a national homeland for the Jews.After WWII, Palestine would be renamed Israel and given to Jews as a homeland to provide shelter from atrocities such as the Nazi Holocaust in Europe. Inevitably, fighting broke out between the two groups which still remains to be resolved today.http://www.sta.cathedral.org/depts/history/c ho/ch15e.htmlUS Imperialism in the 1890s #80: The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire in the 1850s --Huge state, mostly Muslim. Some Jews, many Christians.
Turks = ruling class. Muslims served in the army, non-Muslims paid taxes. People of different religions lived side-by-side, each governed by his own religion. Religious officials = all responsib le to Turkish government for their own people. --Western Europeans enjoyed regime of 'capitulations,' or special rights earned in treaties with Western powers. Turkey could charge no more than an 8% tariff, Europeans = exempt from most taxes, and Europeans = guaranteed European courts of law. --Thus, Ottoman Empire totally lacked sense of nationalism, national unity, sovereignty, uniform law, secular state. Empire had fallen behind greatly.
Turkey = 'sick man of Europe,' and what would come of its long decline = the Eastern Question. By 18 50s, Empire = falling apart. But still, Empire = huge. --Crimean War of 1854-56 opened new phase of Ottoman history. Turks tried to modernize and consolidate from 56-76.
War showed Turkish military and political weaknesses, pointed especially to a need for organization. War proved superiority of French an d English systems. Attempts at Reform and Revival: 1856-76 --Ottoman government issued a great reform edict in 1856. Main purpose = to create a national citizenship for all members of the empire: abolished civil authority of religious heirarchs, established equality before the law and eligibility for civil of fice w/out regard to religion. Tax reform, guarantee of security of property, abolition of torture, and prison reform. Promised to combat government corruption. --For 20 years, Ottoman government tried seriously to make this work. Western and liberal ideas = free reign. Newspapers.
A Turkish revival in literature: translations of Western master works, and large Ottoman histories. Railroads and foreign loans. But there was strong resistance to the change. And most Turkish officials = untrained, unqualified for the work at hand. Thus, movement mostly failed, and Ottoman govt repudiated 1/2 of its debt in 1874. New, more reforming minister deposed old sultan and set up Abdul Hamid II in 1876. Minister continued the reform at a new pitch.
But Hamid promptly initiated a reaction. Reaction after 1876 --Hamid ruled until 1909 as a terrified animal. Lashed out at any attempt to erode or reduce his power. Suppressed his domestic population with massacres, exiled political dissidents. Also came to fear designs of imperialist powers in Europe.
--Although might have wanted a more humanitarian regime in Turkey, Europeans definitely did not want a strong Turkey impossible to colonize. --Pan-Slavism: Slavic nationalist movement. Favored and patronized by Russian government because it diverted attention from domestic problems and inadequacies. Slavs in Ottoman empire = willing to use Pan-Slavism as means for combatting their Turk rul ers. Revolution broke out in Bulgaria and Bosnia in 1875,76, and Russia declared war on Turkey in 1877. --British = again willing to fight the Russians: had to protect the Suez Canal, which = within the Ottoman Empire.
Before the war, English commercial interests in India and Far East = blossoming, and Canal = the key to it, the 'lifeline of the Empire. ' Also had to prevent Russian domination of the Black Sea, and thus, the possible construction of a Russian fleet there. --But Russia = soon winning, and in treaty of San Stefano, 1877, got several concessions from Turks: gave Russia extensive territory along Black Sea, gave independence to Serbia, Rumania, and Bulgaria, and promised reform in Bosnia. England = infuriat ed, and Anglo-Russian, if not all-European war = impending. --But Bismarck called for congress of all European great powers at Berlin. Europe once again tried to assert itself as a unity and revive the much-battered Concert of Europe.
Congress kept peace of Europe at the expense of Turkey: Russians gave up tre aty of San Stefano, but still got their territories along Black Sea, and Serbian and Rumanian independence. Bulgaria = made semi-independent. Austria-Hungary = allowed to 'occupy and administer' Bosnia. British got Cyprus. French = allowed into Tunisia. G ermany got nothing: Bismarck said he = an honest broker, and his sole interest = European peace.
--Although took care of war for now, Congress left many problems for later, helped cause WWI. Neither Balkan nationalists nor Russian Pan-Slavs = satisfied. Turks = indignant. Turkey = a greater temptation for all European great powers. Germans and Ge rman $ entered Turkey, increasing their influence. Egypt and North Africa --Egypt: 1850s and 60s = a time of progress. Government, court system, and property law = modernized.
Cooperated with French in building the Suez Canal. Encouraged shipping in Red Sea, allowed French and English to build railroads. Increased export of cotton. Egypt = drawn increasingly into the world market. Khedive became westernized, commissioned Aida from Verdi. --But all this cost $, borrowed mostly from England or France.
Egypt = soon in financial trouble, temporarily relieved by selling Canal shares to England. Khedive = abdicated, replaced by a Western puppet. Nationalists rebelled, and in a pattern repe ated throughout colonial world, opposed both foreigners and government, the government for aiding foreign interest. Resistance = defeated by British, who stayed there until after WWII. Egypt = thus a British protectorate. Khedive = protected by the Britis h, who helped the Egyptian economy.
--French objected strongly to British presence in Near East, for French had by far the greatest investment there. To compensate for British gains, French built a N. African empire in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco. GBr and Germany in turn objected to Frenc h growth. Fertile grounds for WWI. --Young Turks took control of government in 1908, forced restoration of constitution, introduced many reforms. Bulgaria announced full independence, and Austria annexed Bosnia.
Italy took Libya, 1912.
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