History of Middle East Midterm #2

Terms in this set (38)

Al-Nahda (Arabic: النهضة‎ / ALA-LC: an-Nahḍah; Arabic for "awakening" or "renaissance") was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Egypt, then later moving to Ottoman-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon, Syria and others. It is often regarded as a period of intellectual modernization and reform.
In traditional scholarship, the Nahda is seen as connected to the cultural shock brought on by Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, and the reformist drive of subsequent rulers such as Muhammad Ali. However, recent scholarship has shown that the Middle Eastern and North African Renaissance was a cultural reform program that was as "autogenetic" as it was Western inspired, linked to the Ottoman Tanzimat and internal changes in political economy and communal reformations in Egypt and Syro-Lebanon.
The Egyptian nahda was articulated in purely Egyptian terms, and its participants were mostly Egyptians, and Cairo was undoubtedly the geographical center of the movement. But al-Nahda was also felt in neighboring Arab capitals, notably Beirut and Damascus. The shared language of Arabic-speaking nations ensured that the accomplishments of the movement could be quickly picked up by intellectuals in Arab countries.
In the Ottoman-ruled Arabic regions, major influence and motive were the 19th century tanzimat reforms of the Ottoman Empire, which brought a constitutional order to Ottoman politics and engendered a new political class, and later the Young Turk Revolution which allowed proliferation of press and other publications.
Hussein bin Ali, GCB (Arabic: الحسين بن علي الهاشمي‎, al-Ḥusayn ibn 'Alī al-Hāshimī; 1854 - 4 June 1931) was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 until 1917, when he proclaimed himself and was internationally recognized as King of the Kingdom of Hejaz. He initiated the Arab Revolt in 1916 against the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman Empire during the course of the First World War. In 1924, when the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, he further proclaimed himself Caliph of all Muslims. He ruled Hejaz until 1924, when, defeated by Abdul Aziz al Saud, he abdicated the kingdom and other secular titles to his eldest son Ali.

Though there is no evidence to suggest that Sharif Hussein bin Ali was inclined to Arab nationalism before 1916. The rise of Turkish nationalism under the Ottoman Empire, that culminated in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution, nevertheless displeased the Hashemites and resulted in a rift between them and the Ottoman revolutionaries. During World War I, Hussein initially remained allied with the Ottomans but began secret negotiations with the British on the advice of his son, Abdullah, who had served in the Ottoman parliament up to 1914 and was convinced that it was necessary to separate from the increasingly nationalistic Ottoman administration. The British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, appealed to him for assistance in the conflict on the side of the Triple Entente. Starting in 1915, as indicated by an exchange of letters with British High Commissioner Henry McMahon, Hussein seized the opportunity and demanded recognition of an Arab nation that included the Hejaz and other adjacent territories as well as approval for the proclamation of an Arab Caliphate of Islam. McMahon accepted and assured him that his assistance would be rewarded by an Arab empire encompassing the entire span between Egypt and Persia, with the exception of British possessions and interests in Kuwait, Aden, and the Syrian coast. But after protracted negotiations, with neither side committing to clear terms, including on key matters such as the fate of Palestine, Hussein became impatient[citation needed] and commenced with what would become known as the Great Arab Revolt against Ottoman control in 1916.

Following World War I
In the aftermath of the war, the Arabs found themselves freed from centuries of Ottoman rule. Hussein's son Faisal was made king of Syria but this kingdom proved short-lived as the Middle East came under mandate rule of France and the United Kingdom. The British government subsequently made Faisal and his brother Abdallah kings of Iraq and Transjordan, respectively.
Leader of Egyptian modernization in the early nineteenth century. He ruled Egypt as an Ottoman governor, but had imperial ambitions. His descendants ruled Egypt until overthrown in 1952. (p. 652)

Muhammad Ali's goal was to establish a powerful, European-style state.[23] To do that, he had to reorganize Egyptian society, streamline the economy, train a professional bureaucracy, and build a modern military.

His first task was to secure a revenue stream for Egypt. To accomplish this, Muhammad Ali 'nationalized' all the land of Egypt, thereby officially owning all the production of the land. He accomplished the state annexation of property by raising taxes on the 'tax-farmers' who had previously owned the land throughout Egypt. The new taxes were intentionally high and when the tax-farmers could not extract the demanded payments from the peasants who worked the land, Muhammad Ali confiscated their properties.

In practice, Muhammad Ali's land reform amounted to a monopoly on trade in Egypt. He required all producers to sell their goods to the state. The state in turn resold Egyptian goods, within Egypt and to foreign markets, and retained the surplus. The practice proved very profitable for Egypt with the cultivation of long staple cotton. The new-found profits also extended down to the individual farmers, as the average wage increased fourfold.
In addition to bolstering the agricultural sector, Muhammad Ali built an industrial base for Egypt. His motivation for doing so was primarily an effort to build a modern military. Consequently, he focused on weapons production. Factories based in Cairo produced muskets and cannons. With a shipyard he built in Alexandria, he began construction of a navy. By the end of the 1830s, Egypt's war industries had constructed nine 100-gun warships and were turning out 1,600 muskets a month.[26]

However, the industrial innovations were not limited to weapons production. Muhammad Ali established a textile industry in an effort to compete with European industries and produce greater revenues for Egypt. While the textile industry was not successful, the entire endeavor employed tens of thousands of Egyptians.[26] Additionally, by hiring European managers, he was able to introduce industrial training to the Egyptian population. To staff his new industries, Muhammad Ali employed a corvée labor system. The peasantry objected to these conscriptions and many ran away from their villages to avoid being taken, sometimes fleeing as far away as Syria. A number of them maimed themselves so as to be unsuitable for combat: common ways of self-maiming were blinding an eye with rat poison and cutting off a finger of the right hand, so as to be unable to fire a rifle.

Muhammad Ali of Egypt with his officials in Cairo.
Beyond building a functioning, industrial economy, Muhammad Ali also made an effort to train a professional military and bureaucracy. He sent promising citizens to Europe to study. Again the driving force behind the effort was to build a European-style army. Students were sent to study European languages, primarily French, so they could in turn translate military manuals into Arabic. He then used both educated Egyptians and imported European experts to establish schools and hospitals in Egypt. The European education also provided talented Egyptians with a means of social mobility.

A byproduct of Muhammad Ali's training program was the establishment of a professional bureaucracy. Establishing an efficient central bureaucracy was an essential prerequisite for the success of Muhammad Ali's other reforms. In the process of destroying the Mamluks, the Wāli had to fill the governmental roles that the Mamluks had previously filled. In doing so, Muhammad Ali kept all central authority for himself. He partitioned Egypt into ten provinces responsible for collecting taxes and maintaining order.[26] Muhammad Ali installed his sons in most key positions; however, his reforms did offer Egyptians opportunities beyond agriculture and industry.
Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth century preacher and scholar, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).He started a revivalist movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of practices such as the popular "cult of saints", and shrine and tomb visitation, widespread among Muslims, but which he considered idolatry, impurities and innovations in Islam. Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saud offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement would mean "power and glory" and rule of "lands and men."The movement is centered on the principle of tawhid, or the "uniqueness" and "unity" of God.[18]

The alliance between followers of ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud's successors (the House of Saud) proved to be a rather durable alliance. The house of bin Saud continued to maintain its politico-religious alliance with the Wahhabi sect through the waxing and waning of its own political fortunes over the next 150 years, through to its eventual proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, and then afterwards, on into modern times. Today Mohammed bin Abd Al-Wahhab's teachings are state-sponsored and are the official form of Sunni Islam in 21st century Saudi Arabia despite the fact that majority of its Sunnis are non-Wahhabis. This makes adherents of Wahhabism a "dominant minority" in the country.

Conservative, puritanical sect of Islam started by Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab in the 18th century; Quran the basis of life; anti-innovation because innovation is brought by outsiders; took refuge with the house of Saud; became the spiritual leader of the Kingdom with the Saudi family as temporal rulers
Qasim Amin (pronounced [ˈʔæːsem ʔæˈmiːn], Arabic: قاسم أمين; born 1 December 1863, Alexandria,[1] died April 22, 1908, Cairo) was an Egyptian jurist, Islamic Modernist and one of the founders of the Egyptian national movement and Cairo University. Qasim Amin was considered by many as the Arab world's "first feminist". An Egyptian philosopher, reformer, judge, member of Egypt's aristocratic class, and central figure of the Nahda Movement, Amin advocated Egyptian women's rights, declaring they were "slaves of their husbands," with no identity of their own and that this refusal of natural rights kept the nation in the dark.

Greatly influenced by the works of Darwin, Amin is quoted to have said that "if Egyptians did not modernize along European lines and if they were 'unable to compete successfully in the struggle for survival they would be eliminated," by the works of Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill who argued for equality of the sexes and believed was analogous to the "evolution of societies from despotism to democracy, Amin believed that heightening a women's status in society would greatly improve the nation. His friendships with Mohammad Abduh and Sa'd Zaghlul also influenced this thinking. Amin blamed traditional Moslems for Egyptian women's oppression saying that the Quran did not teach this subjugation but rather supported women's rights. His beliefs were often supported by Quranic verses. Born in an aristocratic family, his father was a Kurdistan governor, and his mother the daughter of an Egyptian aristocrat. A

This would soon be his role model in his struggle to liberate the Egyptian women. His crusade began when he wrote a rebuttal, "Les Egyptiens. Response a M. Le duc d'Harcourt" in 1894 to Duke d'Harcourt's work (1893), which downgraded Egyptian culture and its women. Amin, not satisfied with his own rebuttal, wrote in 1899 Tahrir al mara'a (The Liberation of Women), in which he blamed Egyptian women's "veiling," their lack of education, and their "slavery," to Egyptian men as being the cause of Egypt's weakness. He believed that Egyptian women were the backbone of a strong nationalistic people and therefore their roles in society should drastically change to better the Egyptian nation. Amin is known throughout Egypt as a member of the intellectual society who drew connections between education and nationalism leading to the development of Cairo University and the National Movement during the early 1900s.
The Tobacco Protest, was a Shi'a revolt in Iran against an 1890 tobacco concession granted by the Shah to Great Britain. The protest was held by Tehran merchants in solidarity with the clerics. It climaxed in a widely-obeyed December 1891 fatwa against tobacco use supposedly issued by Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi.

Beginning in the 19th century, the Qajar dynasty found itself in a precarious situation due to an increasing foreign presence within Iran. Reeling from devastating losses against the Russian Empire in 1813 and 1828 as well as the British Empire in 1857, not only was the Qajar government forced to grant countless concessions to these foreign powers, but Iranian bazaaris (merchants) were left in a highly vulnerable position as they couldn't compete with the numerous economic advantages gained by merchants from Europe.[1] According to the accounts of foreigners living in Iran at the time, the Qajar dynasty was highly unpopular among the populace and was perceived as having little concern for the welfare of its residents. Later accounts by British eyewitnesses suggest that the reason why the dynasty had not been overthrown sooner in the face of widespread discontent was due to British and Russian intervention that essentially propped up the shah.[2]

In 1872, Nasir al-Din Shah negotiated a concession with Baron Julius de Reuter, a British citizen, granting him control over Persian roads, telegraphs, mills, factories, extraction of resources, and other public works in exchange for a stipulated sum for 5 years and 60% of all the net revenue for 20 years. The Reuter concession was met with not only domestic outrage in the form of local protests but the Russian government was also hostile towards the concession as well.[3] Under immense pressure, Nasir al-Din Shah consequently canceled the agreement despite his deteriorating financial situation. While the concession lasted for approximately a year, the entire debacle set the foundation for the revolts against the tobacco concession in 1890 as it demonstrated that any attempt by a foreign power to infringe upon Iranian sovereignty would infuriate the local population as well as rival European powers, in this case the Russian government, who had their own interests in the region.[4]
The Young Turks (Turkish: Jön Türkler, from French: Les Jeunes Turcs, or Turkish: Genç Türkler) were a political reform movement in the early 20th century, favoring replacement of the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Empire with a constitutional monarchy. Later officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP; Turkish: İttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti), their leaders led a rebellion against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the 1908 Young Turk Revolution.With this revolution, the Young Turks helped to establish the Second Constitutional Era in 1908, ushering in an era of multi-party democracy for the first time in the country's history.

After 1908, the Young Turks' umbrella political party, the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), began a series of modernizing military and political reforms across the Ottoman Empire. However, the CUP soon began to splinter as many of the more liberal and pro-decentralization Young Turks left to form an opposition party in late 1911, the Freedom and Accord Party (also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente), with much of those staying in the CUP favoring a generally nationalist and pro-centralization policy. In a year-long power struggle throughout 1912, Freedom Accord and the remaining members of the CUP vied for control of the Ottoman government, the year seeing a rigged election by the CUP and a military revolt by Freedom and Accord.

The struggle between the two groups of Young Turks ended in January 1913, when the top leadership of the CUP seized personal power from Freedom and Accord in the Raid on the Sublime Porte. The subsequent CUP-led government was headed by interior minister and Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha. Working with him were war minister Enver Pasha and naval minister Djemal Pasha. These "Three Pashas", as they came to be known, exercised absolute control over the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1918, bringing the country closer to Germany, signing the Ottoman-German Alliance to enter the Empire into World War I on the side of the Central Powers, and carrying out the Armenian Genocide.
The Young Turk Revolution (July 1908) of the Ottoman Empire was the restoration of the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and ushering a multi-party politics in two stage electoral system (electoral law) under the Ottoman parliament by the Young Turks movement. Sultan Sultan Abdul Hamid II more than 3 decades earlier in 1876 established the constitutional monarchy, First Constitutional Era, only to last for two years before suspended. On 24 July 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid II capitulated and announced the restoration, which establish the Second Constitutional Era

Once underground organizations (named committee, group, etc.) established (declared) their parties.[1] Among them "Committee of Union and Progress" (CUP), and "Freedom and Accord Party" also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente (LU) were major parties. There were smaller parties such as Ottoman Socialist Party. On the other end of the spectrum were the ethnic parties which included; People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section), Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party in Palestine (Poale Zion), Al-Fatat, and Armenians organized under Armenakan, Hunchakian and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). ARF, previously outlawed, became the main representative of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire,[2] replacing the pre-1908 Armenian elite, which had been composed of merchants, artisans, and clerics who had seen their future in obtaining more privileges within the boundaries of the state's version of Ottomanism.
Who were the Young Turks? A group of young military and law students in 1908 who called for the constitution to be reinstated and rights to be guaranteed to all. Their demands were fulfilled July 24, 1908 due to the Ottoman government's fear of revolts.

What name did the Young Turks organize under? The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP).

What were the results of the 1908 Ottoman constitution? Laws were passed to guarantee greater political freedoms and education was made more available to Ottoman citizens. The public had more free speech and began organizations and discussed the future of the empire. However, "old regime" Ottoman citizens were dissatisfied with this constitution due to the fact that laws were temporal and certain jobs no longer existed.

How did the CUP become considered authoritarian? After a religious revolt in April 1909, the CUP became somewhat oppressive and pressured the parliament to pass laws limiting rights to prevent likewise revolts.

What inspired governmental and military reforms in 1913? Territorial losses ultimately influenced to the CUP to carry out a coup d'etat to regain lost territory while reforming the government. The First Balkan War primarily inspired this which can be accounted for by the fact that most European Ottoman territories were lost in this war.

What was the new government of the Ottoman Empire in 1913? The "Three Pashas" or the "Triumvirate", composed of Ismail Enver, Mehmet Talaat, and Ahmet Cemal. With the assistance of Germany, the Three Pashas were able to undergo governmental and military reforms.
Kemalism (6 arrows/isms of Kemalist ideology) Populism, Statism, Republicanism, Secularism, Reformism:


The Kemalist reforms represent a political revolution; a change from the multinational Ottoman Empire to the establishment of the nation state of Turkey and the realization of national identity of modern Turkey. Kemalism only recognizes a Republican regime for Turkey. Kemalism believes that it is only the republican regime which can best represent the wishes of the people.


The Kemalist revolution was also a social revolution in term of its content and goals. This was a revolution led by an elite with an orientation towards the people in general. The Kemalist reforms brought about a revolutionary change in the status of women through the adoption of Western codes of law in Turkey, in particular the Swiss Civil Code.

Moreover, women received the right to vote in 1934. Atatürk stated on a number of occasions that the true rulers of Turkey were the peasants. This was actually a goal rather than a reality in Turkey. In fact, in the official explanation given to the principle of populism it was stated that Kemalism was against class privileges and class distinctions and it recognized no individual, no family, no class and no organization as being above others. Kemalist ideology was, in fact, based on supreme value of Turkish citizenship. A sense of pride associated with this citizenship would give the needed psychological spur to the people to make them work harder and to achieve a sense of unity and national identity.


Kemalist secularism did not merely mean separation of state and religion, but also the separation of religion from educational, cultural and legal affairs. It meant independence of thought and independence of institutions from the dominance of religious thinking and religious institutions. Thus, the Kemalist revolution was also a secularist revolution. Many Kemalist reforms were made to bring about secularism, and others were realized because secularism had been achieved.

The Kemalist principle of secularism did not advocate atheism. It was not an anti-God principle. It was a rationalist, anti-clerical secularism. The Kemalist principle of secularism was not against an enlightened Islam, but against an Islam which was opposed to modernization.


One of the most important principles that Atatürk formulated was the principle of reformism or revolutionism. This principle meant that Turkey made reforms and that the country replaced traditional institutions with modern institutions. It meant that traditional concepts were eliminated and modern concepts were adopted. The principle of reformism went beyond the recognition of the reforms which were made.


The Kemalist revolution was also a nationalist revolution. Kemalist nationalism was not racist. It was meant to preserve the independence of the Republic of Turkey and also to help the Republic's political development. It was a nationalism which respected the right to independence of all other nations. It was a nationalism with a social content. It was not only anti-imperialist, but it was also against the rule of a dynasty or of any particular social class over Turkish society. Kemalist nationalism believes in the principle that the Turkish state is an indivisible whole comprising its territory and people.


Kemal Atatürk made clear in his statements and policies that Turkey's complete modernization was very much dependent on economic and technological development. The principle of statism was interpreted to mean that the state was to regulate the country's general economic activity and the state was to engage in areas where private enterprise was not willing to do so, or where private enterprise had proved to be inadequate, or if national interest required it. In the application of the principle of statism, however, the state emerged not only as the principle source of economic activity but also as the owner of the major industries of the country.

Kemalist social reforms The reform movement began with the modernization of the constitution, including enacting the new Constitution of 1924, and the adaptation of European laws and jurisprudence to the needs of the new republic. This was followed by a thorough secularization and modernization of the administration, with particular focus on the education system. The development of industry was promoted by strategies such as import substitution and the founding of state enterprises and state banks. Central to these reforms were the belief that Turkish society would have to Westernize itself both politically and culturally in order to modernize
Two Constitutional Movements:

The Young Turks Revolution of 1908:

The Young Turk Revolution (July 1908) of the Ottoman Empire was the restoration of the Ottoman constitution of 1876 and ushering a multi-party politics in two stage electoral system (electoral law) under the Ottoman parliament by the Young Turks movement. Sultan Sultan Abdul Hamid II more than 3 decades earlier in 1876 established the constitutional monarchy, First Constitutional Era, only to last for two years before suspended. On 24 July 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid II capitulated and announced the restoration, which establish the Second Constitutional Era

Once underground organizations (named committee, group, etc.) established (declared) their parties.[1] Among them "Committee of Union and Progress" (CUP), and "Freedom and Accord Party" also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente (LU) were major parties. There were smaller parties such as Ottoman Socialist Party. On the other end of the spectrum were the ethnic parties which included; People's Federative Party (Bulgarian Section), Bulgarian Constitutional Clubs, Jewish Social Democratic Labour Party in Palestine (Poale Zion), Al-Fatat, and Armenians organized under Armenakan, Hunchakian and Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). ARF, previously outlawed, became the main representative of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire,[2] replacing the pre-1908 Armenian elite, which had been composed of merchants, artisans, and clerics who had seen their future in obtaining more privileges within the boundaries of the state's version of Ottomanism.
See also: Decline and modernization of the Ottoman Empire (1828-1908)
Countering the conservative politics of Abdulhamid's reign was the amount of social reform that occurred during this time period. The development of a more liberal environment in Turkey strengthened the culture, and also provided the grounds for the later rebellion. Abdulhamid's political circle was close-knit and ever changing. When the sultan abandoned the previous politics from 1876, he suspended the Ottoman Parliament in 1878. This left a very small group of individuals able to partake in politics in the Ottoman Empire.[3]

In order to preserve the legacy of the Ottoman Empire, many Turks felt a need for modernization of the country. However, Abdulhamid's method of rule was not in line with the developing nation. The origins of the revolution lie in the organization of two political factions. Neither agreed with Abdulhamid's reign, but each had separate interests. The Liberals were the upper class groups in the Ottoman Empire, and desired a more relaxed form of government with little economic interference. They also pushed for more autonomy of the different ethnic groups, which became popular among foreigners in the empire. In a slightly lower class formed a different group- the Unionists. Members were of working class, and foremost wanted a secular government. These two groups initially formed out of the same intent- to return to the old constitution, but cultural differences divided them.[3]

Members of the military tradition, military officers, among the Young Turks revolted. The defense of their shrinking state had become a matter of intense professional pride which caused to raise their arms against their state. The event that triggered the Revolution was a meeting in the Baltic port of Reval between the king of England and the tsar of Russia in June 1908. Though these imperial powers had experienced relatively few major conflicts between them over the previous hundred years, an underlying rivalry, otherwise known as "the Great Game", had exacerbated the situation to such an extent that resolution was sought. Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 brought shaky British-Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries that identified their respective control in Persia (eastern border of the Empire) and Afghanistan. Military officers fearing the meeting was a prelude to the partition of Macedonia, Army units in the Balkans mutinied against Sultan Abdülhamid II. A desire to preserve the state, not destroy it, motivated the revolutionaries.

The revolt began in mid-April[citation needed] (date is wrong) 1908 under Young Turk leadership. That year the Third Army in Macedonia marched against Constantinople.[4] Major Ahmed Niyazi, fearing discovery of his political moves by an investigatory committee sent from the capital, decamped from Resen on July 3, 1908, with 200 followers demanding restoration of the constitution. The sultan's attempt to suppress this uprising failed due to the popularity of the movement among the troops themselves. Rebellion spread rapidly due to the ideology of Ottomanism.

On July 24, sultan Abdul Hamid II capitulated and announced restoration of the 1876 constitution. On July 23, pressure from these organizations caused Abdulhamid to return to the old 1876 constitution, and relinquish his power.[5]

See also: Second Constitutional Era
The Ottoman general election, 1908 was put in effect during November and December of 1908. On the seventeeth of December, the Committee of Union Progress, a unionist organization, took majority in the parliament. Senate of the Ottoman Empire reconvened for the first time in over 30 years on December 17 1908 with the living members from the first constitutional area. Chamber of Deputies first session was on 30 January 1909. These developments caused a gradual creation of a new governing elite. In some communities, such as the Jewish (cf. Jews in Islamic Europe and North Africa and History of the Jews in Turkey), reformist groups emulating the Young Turks ousted the conservative ruling elite and replaced them with a new reformist one.

While the Young Turk Revolution had promised organizational improvement, once instituted, the government at first proved itself rather disorganized and ineffectual. Although these working-class citizens had little knowledge of how to control a government, they imposed their ideas on the Ottoman Empire. A small Liberalist victory, Kamil Pasha was appointed as the Grand Vizer. Kamil Pasha was a Liberal supporter and an ally to England. His policies helped to maintain balance between the Committee of Union Progress and the Liberals. Kâmil Pasha (5 August 1908 - 14 February 1909) and removed him from power. Mehmed Kâmil Paşa served again (29 October 1912 - 23 January 1913).

The Sultan maintained his symbolic position, and in April 1909 attempted to seize power (Ottoman countercoup of 1909) by stirring populist sentiment throughout the Empire. The Sultan's bid for a return to power gained traction when he promised to restore the caliphate, eliminate secular policies, and restore the sharia-based legal system. On 13 April 1909 Army units revolted, joined by masses of theological students and turbaned clerics shouting, "We want Sharia", and moving to restore the Sultan's absolute power. The 31 March Incident, on April 24, 1909 reversed the actions and restore the parliament by the Hareket Ordusu commanded by Mahmud Shevket Pasha. The deposition of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in favor of Mehmed V followed.

The Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906

The Persian Constitutional Revolution or Iranian Constitutional Revolution (Persian: مشروطیت‎ Mashrūtiyyat, or انقلاب مشروطه[1] Enghelāb-e Mashrūteh) (also known as the Constitutional Revolution of Iran) took place between 1905 and 1907. The revolution led to the establishment of a parliament in Persia (Iran) during the Qajar Dynasty.

The Revolution opened the way for cataclysmic change in Persia, heralding the modern era. It saw a period of unprecedented debate in a burgeoning press. The revolution created new opportunities and opened up seemingly boundless possibilities for Persia's future. Many different groups fought to shape the course of the Revolution, and all sections of society were ultimately to be in some way changed by it. The old order, which Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar had struggled for so long to sustain, finally died, to be replaced by new institutions, new forms of expression, and a new social and political order.

The system of constitutional monarchy created by the decree of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah that was established in Persia as a result of the Revolution ultimately came to an end in 1925 with the dissolution of the Qajar dynasty and the ascension of Reza Shah Pahlavi to the throne.

The movement did not end with the Revolution but was followed by the Constitutionalist movement of Gilan.

With the first provision (the fundamental law) signed by Muzzafir al-Din just days before his death, Iran saw legislative reform vital to their goal of independence from British and Russian imperialism. The three main groups of the coalition seeking a constitution were the bazaar merchants, ulama, and a small faction of radical reformers. These groups shared the goal of ending royal corruption and stopping the dominance of foreign powers. Revolutionaries argued that role of the shah was once again being used to keep the Shah, Qajar, and the other aristocrats wealthy at the expense of surrendering the country's resources and economy. They argued that whilst Iran's oil industry was sold to the British, tax advantages on import/export and manufactured textiles destroyed Iran's economy formerly supported by bazaar merchants. Muzzafir al-Din accumulated a fortune in foreign debt while selling off assets to repay the interest, instead of investing in Iran. This rift founded Iran's constitutional revolt. The fundamental law gave the elected legislature a final approval over all loans, concession, and budget. Further power was diverted from the shah with the supplementary fundamental law passed a few days later giving power over appointing ministers, and later a committee of mujtahids was introduced to confirm new laws abide by the shari'ah. Despite the ulama's best efforts towards independence from external dominance, in 1907 Britain and Russia capitalized on Iran's weak government and signed the entente which divided Iran among the two leaving a neutral zone in the center of the country. The end of this constitutional period came when members of the Majlis in the remaining neutral zone of Tehran dissolved under the issue of equal rights for non-Muslims, Russia then invaded Tehran and captured the city. While Iran did gain a constitution, the goal of Iranian independence was not achieved by the revolts.

Weakness and extravagance continued during the brief reign of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah (1896-1907). He often relied on his chancellor to manage his decentralized state. His dire financial situation caused him to sign many concessions to foreign powers, on an expanding list of trade items ranging from weapons to tobacco. The established noble classes, religious authorities, and educated elite began to demand a curb on royal authority and the establishment of the rule of law as their concern over foreign, and especially Russian, influence grew.

He had also taken out several major loans from Russia and Britain to pay for his extravagant lifestyle and the costs of the central government. In 1900 the Shah financed a royal tour of Europe by borrowing 22 million rubles from Russia. Iranian customs receipts served as collateral.

First protests[edit]

Bast at British Embassy, 1906
In 1905 protests broke out over the collection of Persia tariffs to pay back the Russian loan for Mozaffar ad-Din Shah's royal tour.[3] In December 1905, two Persian merchants were punished in Tehran for charging exorbitant prices. They were bastinadoed (a humiliating and very painful punishment where the soles of one's feet are caned) in public. An uprising of the merchant class in Tehran ensued, with merchants closing the bazaar. The clergy following suit as a result of the alliance formed in the 1892 Tobacco Rebellion.

The two protesting groups sought sanctuary in a mosque in Tehran, but the government violated this sanctuary and entered the mosque and dispersed the group. This violation of the sanctity of the mosque created an even larger movement which sought refuge in a shrine outside Tehran. On January 12, 1906 the Shah capitulated to the demonstrators agreeing to dismiss his prime minister and to surrender power to a new "house of justice," (the forerunner to the parliament). The Basti (protesters who take sanctuary in mosques) returned from the mosque in triumph, riding royal carriages and being hailed by a jubilant crowd.[3]

In a scuffle in early 1906 the Government killed a seyyed (descendant of the prophet Muhhamed). A more deadly skirmish followed a short time later when Cossacks killed 22 protesters and injured 100.[4] Bazaar again closed and the Ulama went on strike, a large number of them taking sanctuary in the holy city Qom. Many merchants went to the British embassy which agreed to offer protection to Basti in the grounds of their legation.[4]

Creation of the constitution[edit]
Main article: Persian Constitution of 1906
In the summer of 1906 approximately 12,000 men camped out in the gardens of the British Embassy. Many gave speeches, many more listened, in what has been called a `vast open-air school of political science` studying constitutionalism.[4] It is here that the demand for a majles (parliament; also means gathering in Persian; pronounced "Madj-less") was born, the goal of which was to limit the power of the Shah. In August 1906, Mozaffar ad-Din Shah agreed to allow a parliament, and in the fall, the first elections were held. In all, 156 members were elected, with an overwhelming majority coming from Tehran and the merchant class.

October 1906 marked the first meeting of the majles, who immediately gave themselves the right to make a constitution, thereby becoming a Constitutional Assembly. The Shah was getting old and sick, and attending the inauguration of the parliament was one of his last acts as king.[3] Mozaffar ad-Din Shah's son Muhammed Ali, however, was not privy to constitutionalism. Therefore they had to work fast, and by December 31, 1906 the Shah signed the constitution, modeled primarily from the Belgian Constitution. The Shah was from there on "under the rule of law, and the crown became a divine gift given to the Shah by the people." Mozaffar ad-Din Shah died five days later.


Execution of "Constitutional Imperial Government" followers by Cossack soldiers, Tabriz, Iran

Inside Parliament
Within the decade following the establishment of the new majles a number of critical events took place. Many of these events can be viewed as a continuation of the struggle between the constitutionalists and the Shahs of Persia, many of whom were backed by foreign powers against the majles.

The following January Shah Muhammad Ali, the 6th Qajar Shah, came to power. He moved to "exploit the divisions within the ranks of the reformers" and eliminate the Majles.[3] In August 1907 an Anglo-Russian agreement divided Iran into a Russian zone in the North and a British zone in the South. The British switched their support to Shah, abandoning the Constitutionalists.[3]

Persia tried to keep free from Russian influence through resistance via the majles to the Shah's policies.
Majles brought in Morgan Shuster to reform treasury against initial desires of Russia and the Shah. Russia expelled him.
Reza Shah seized power and curtailed the power of the Majles.
The First Constitutional Era (Ottoman Turkish: مشروطيت; Turkish: Birinci Meşrutiyet) of the Ottoman Empire was the period of constitutional monarchy from the promulgation of the Kanûn-ı Esâsî (meaning "Basic Law" or "Essential Law" in Ottoman Turkish), written by members of the Young Ottomans, on 23 November 1876 until 13 February 1878. The era ended with the suspension of the Ottoman parliament and the constitution by sultan Abdülhamid II, with which he restored his own absolute monarchy.

The first constitutional era did not include any party system. At the time, the Ottoman parliament (known as the General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire) was seen as the voice of the people but not as a venue for the formation of political parties and organizations.

The elections for parliament were held in accordance with the provisional electoral regulations. The parliament (General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire; Ottoman Turkish: Meclis-i Umumi) was composed in two stages. The lower house of the bicameral legislature was the Chamber of Deputies (Ottoman Turkish: Meclis-i Mebusan), while the upper house was the Senate (Ottoman Turkish: Heyet-i Ayan). The initial selection of deputies was made by administrative councils in the provinces (also called "Meclis-i Umumi").

After the establishment of the General Assembly in the provinces, the members selected the deputies from within the assembly to form the Chamber of Deputies in the capital. The Chamber had 115 members and reflected the distribution of the millets in the empire. In the second elections, there were 69 Muslim millet representatives and 46 representatives of other millets (Jews, Phanariotes, Armenians).

The second body was the Senate, and the members were selected by the sultan. The Senate had only 26 members. It was designed to replace the porte, and the Grand Vizier become the speaker of Senate.

The two elections happened between 1877 and 1878.

The Second Constitutional Era (Ottoman Turkish: ايکنجى مشروطيت دورى; Turkish: İkinci Meşrûtiyyet Devri) of the Ottoman Empire established shortly after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution which forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II to restore the constitutional monarchy by the revival of the Ottoman parliament, the General Assembly of the Ottoman Empire and restoring of the Ottoman constitution of 1876. The parliament and the constitution of First Constitutional Era was suspended Abdul Hamid II in 1878 after only two years of functioning. Young Turks joined many political parties and groups for the first time in the Empire.

A series of elections during this period resulted in the gradual ascendance of the Committee of Union and Progress's (CUP) domination in politics. The second largest party, with which the CUP was involved in a 2-year power struggle, was the Freedom and Accord Party (also known as the Liberal Union or Liberal Entente) founded in 1911. The period surved an attempt by reactionaries to re-institute absolutism. After World War I and the Occupation of Istanbul on 13 November 1918 by the Allies, the parliament's decision to work with the Turkish revolutionaries in Ankara by signing the Amasya Protocol and agreeing in 1920 to the Misak-ı Millî (National Pact) angered the Allies, who forced the sultan to abolish the parliament. The last meeting on 18 March 1920 produced a letter of protest to the Allies, and a black cloth covered the pulpit of the Parliament as reminder of its absent members.