B8 rev 8/2016 Ellis
Eurasia Empires in the Age of Imperialism,
I. The Ottoman Empire
A. Egypt and the Napoleonic Example
1. In 1798, Napoleon invaded Egypt and defeated the Mamluk forces he encountered there.
Fifteen months later, after a series of military defeats, Napoleon returned to France, seized
power, and made himself emperor.
2. His generals had little hope of holding on to power and, in 1801, agreed to withdraw.
Muhammad Ali emerged as the victor in the ensuing power struggle.
3. Muhammad Ali used many French practices in an effort to build up the new Egyptian
4. He established schools to train modern military officers and built factories to supply his
5. In the 1830s, his son Ibrahim invaded Syria and started a similar set of reforms there.
6. European military pressure forced Muhammad Ali to withdraw to the present-day borders
of Egypt and Israel.
Muhammad Ali remained Egypt’s ruler until 1849, an
d his family held onto power until
B. Ottoman Reform and the European Model, 1807
1. At the end of the eighteenth century, Sultan Selim III introduced reforms to strengthen the
military and the central government and to standardize taxation and land tenure. These
reforms aroused the opposition of Janissaries, the nobility, and the ulama.
2. Tension between the Sultanate and the Janissaries sparked a Janissary revolt in Serbia in
1805. Serbian peasants helped to defeat the Janissary uprising and went on to make Serbia
independent of the Ottoman Empire.
3. Selim suspended his reform program in 1806, too late to prevent a massive military
uprising in Istanbul in which Selim was captured and executed before reform forces could
retake the capital.
4. The Greeks gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. Britain, France, and
Russia assisted the Greeks in their struggle for independence and regarded the Greek victory
as a triumph of European civilization.