This class is part of a three-course cycle in the Near Eastern Studies and History Departments and is intended to provide students with a systematic and consecutive survey of the political and social history of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. Chronologically the second course in that cycle, it focuses on the later part of Ottoman history (ca. 1600-1922). The three courses are offered as a sequential unit, but can also be taken on their own. The current course will provide a bridge between the early Ottoman history course in the NES department and the modern Turkish history course in the History department. It will also complement courses on Ottoman cultural and intellectual history taught in the NES department.
As a survey of the last three centuries of the history of the Ottoman Empire, this course covers political, social, religious, legal, as well as institutional topics and analyzes them in their proper historical context. Students will be exposed to a variety of primary sources and secondary literature and learn to approach them analytically. They will also engage in both research and writing about humanistic themes pertaining to Ottoman history. This course emphasizes critical writing and discussion and challenges the students to apply the insights of the class to related issues in their studies of other states and societies in various historical periods.
Commencing with an overview of the Ottoman ‘Classical Age” (ca. 1300-1600), this course will trace the history of the Ottoman Empire from its grandeur under Süleyman “the Magnificent” to its collapse in the first quarter of the 20th century, touching upon different themes such as:
- crisis and the notion of decline in the sixteenth century;
- Ottomans’ struggle to maintain “superpower” status up to the end of the 18th century;
- changes in land tenure and military institutions;
- the Ottoman economy &/vs. “world economy”;
- social fabric, family life, gender relations;
- social unrest & religious movements;
- “constitutional” struggles;
- decentralization and the Porte’s response;
- Ottoman response to the new world order (Tanzimat);
- reform and disintegration;
- the transformation towards nation-states and national cultures
Attendance and participation (20%), Two Reading Analyses/Writing Assignments (3-4 pages each, 20%), Midterm (combination of short questions and essays, 20%), Term Paper with revisions (12-15 pages, 40%).
Undergraduate students interested in the political and the social history of the Turkish people in general and that of the Ottoman Empire in particular. Especially interested may be concentrators in NES and History.
Twice weekly lectures, each 1.5 hours in length. No GSI involvement.