The Russian and the Ottoman Empires - Chapter 3

  • Created by: Roxy001
  • Created on: 27-01-20 18:20

Russian Expansionism

  • Russia was committed to a policy of expansionism
  • Russian empire was comprised of modern-day Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia - huge population lacked suffcient farmland = made condition of peasants miserable and hindered economic development 
  • Tsars sought to expand their territory into Central Asia, Balkans and to secure Trading posts in the Far East and to gain access to the Straits to help with trade
  • Anglo-Russian rivalry over Central Asia was already a problem by 1890 - termed 'the Great Game' and sparked a number of international crisis and sometimes outright conflict
  • Russia expanded towards Afganistan 
  • Britain increased its hold on the Indian subcontinent = gap between the Spheres of Influence got smaller 
  • Britain percieved Russia's expansionism in central Asia as a Direct threat to its most important colony, India
  • Britain hoped that Afghanistan would become a buffer state 
  • The Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-80 was sparked when Russia sent diplomats to Kabul and the Afghan ruler Sher Ali refused to allow Britain to send its own diplomatic mission 
  • War ended to Britain's advantage
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Rivalry over the Straits

  • Russia's coastline lay mostly on the Artic sea - most of shipping and trading were frozen for most of the year 
  • securing a warm-water port in the Turkish Straits was a long-term goal but it provoked the Crimean war with Britain and France in 1854-6 - resulted in the Black Sea clauses agreed at the Treaty of Paris in 1856 

1. No warships of any Navy could use the Black sea in peacetime = dashed Russias plan to build an impressive naval fleet there

  • Russia continued to pursue this objective 
  • In 1871 the Great Powers were prepared to allow a revision of the Black sea clauses 
  • Warships could now sail through the straits of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus but only if Turkish independence was threatened 
  • Russia continued to push for further revisions 
  • Decline of the Ottoman empire seemed to present opportunities to secure the Naval access to the Eastern Mediterrenean 
  • Raised the suspicion of Austria-Hungary (Balkan region) and Britain (viewed it as a threat to mediterreanean trade and security of India - Suez Canal)
  • In 1887 Britain, Italy, Austria-Hungary and Spain signed the Mediterrenean treaties to protect the Mediterreanean sea - limited Russias attempts of grater influence and protected the Ottoman Empire
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The Ottoman Empire in 1900: Part 1

  • Ottoman Empire was comprised of modern-day Turkey and its colonies in the Balkans (had included most of the Balkan states since the 15th century), African regions on the Mediterranean coast and territory in the Middle East (modern-day Iraq, Iran and Syria)
  • Ottoman Empire ruled over people of different Religions, Languages and ethnicities 
  • Had been a formidable power: in terms of its territorial extent - peak was in the mid-sixteenth century 
  • Turkish conrol of Europe was concentrated in the Balkans - 1800s witnessed a gradual erosion of its influence there 
  • As the Empire shrank and internal problems grew it earned the nickname 'the sick man of Europe' - first used by Tsar Nicholas I in 1853
  • statesmen of the Great powers deliberated over the consequences of the break up of the Ottoman Empire in a debate over the 'Eastern Question
  • Russiaand Austria-Hungary's rivalry in the Balkans seemed poised to disturb the peace of Europe 
  • Nationalism in the Balkans continued to weaken Turkish control - Greece was fifst state to overthrow Ottoman control and declare independence in 1830 = Treaty of Berlin recognised Serbian and Montenegrin independence from the Turks 
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The Ottoman Empire in 1900: Part 2

  • The Great powers were bolder in their actions and willing to expedite the Ottoman Empires decline 
  • France siezed algeria and Tunisia in 1848 and 1881
  • Under the Treaty of Berlin, Cyprus became a British protectorate, and in 1882 Britain occupied Egypt 
  • By 1900, Turkey had a large portion of its African territories still under control
  • Many sources of tension between the Great Powers of Europe - demonstrated tha they had avoided going to war with each other when Imperial rivalries surfaced 
  • Since 1815 the balance of power had effectively been maintained and large-scale wars had been prevented by diplomacy = harmony was known as the Concert of Europe 
  • Great Powers met whenever potential conflict arose 
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