Tanzimat

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Tanzimat

(tän`zēmät), [Turk.,=reorganization], the name referring to a period of modernizing reforms instituted under the Ottoman EmpireOttoman Empire
, vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918. Modern Turkey formed only part of the empire, but the terms "Turkey" and "Ottoman Empire" were often used
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 from 1839 to 1876. In 1839, under the rule of Sultan Abd al-MajidAbd al-Majid
or Abdülmecit
, 1823–61, Ottoman sultan (1839–61), son and successor of Mahmud II to the throne of the Ottoman Empire. The rebellion of Muhammad Ali was checked by the intervention (1840–41) of England, Russia, and Austria.
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, the edict entitled Hatti-i Sharif of Gulhane laid out the fundamental principles of Tanzimat reform. Foremost among the laws was the security of honor, life, and property for all Ottoman subjects, regardless of race or religion. Other reforms, which sought to reduce theological dominance, included the lifting of monopolies, fairer taxation, secularized schools, a changed judicial system, and new rules regarding military service. Tanzimat ended (1876) under Abd al-Hamid IIAbd al-Hamid II,
1842–1918, Ottoman sultan (1876–1909). His uncle, Abd al-Aziz, was deposed from the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in 1876 by the Young Turks, a liberal reformist group.
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's reign, when the ideas for a Turkish constitution and parliament promoted by the vizier Midhat PashaMidhat Pasha
, 1822–83, Turkish politician. As governor of Bulgaria he succeeded within the few years of his tenure (1864–69) in raising the country from misery to relative prosperity. Schools, roads, and granaries were built from funds obtained by local taxation.
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 were rejected by the sultan.

Tanzimat

 

the name by which the reforms in the Ottoman Empire in the period from 1839 to the early 1870’s are known; in addition, the name by which the period itself is known.

The Tanzimat stemmed from several factors. Ottoman feudal society was in the midst of crisis. In the first third of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire had experienced a number of social and economic shifts. The oppressed peoples of southeastern Europe were intensifying their struggle for national liberation. The European powers were engaged in a growing rivalry in the Balkans and the Near East. Finally, the Ottoman Empire was threatened by further collapse from within.

The Hatt-i Şerif (“illustrious rescript”), the sultan’s edict proclaimed in the palace gardens of Gülhane on Nov. 3, 1839, marked the beginning of the first stage of the Tanzimat. The reform program of Gülhane, drawn up by Reşid Paşa (Reshid Pasha), the minister of foreign affairs, inspired a series of measures, including penal and commercial codes, laws on the abolition of the farming of taxes (the ushar), and a law on the founding of secular schools. The result was, in part, better administration and government, an improved judicial system, and the growth of secular education. Nevertheless, resistance on the part of the feudal reaction prevented the consistent and thoroughgoing implementation of the most essential promise made in the Giilhane edict—namely, guarantee of the security of life, honor, and property of all the sultan’s subjects. Reaction also hindered the implementation of some other reforms.

The Hatt-i Hümayun (“imperial rescript”), the sultan’s edict of Feb. 18, 1856, adopted under the presssure of the Western powers, which were at the time meeting at the peace conference in Paris, marked the beginning of the second stage of the Tanzimat. The reforms introduced in 1856 and thereafter represented a continuation of the Giilhane reforms. At the same time, they provided for innovations, which met primarily the interests of foreign capital and the non-Turkish comprador bourgeoisie. Foreigners received a series of privileges, including the right to own land, the right to establish foreign banks, and concessions for railroad construction, mining operations, and port and municipal facilities.

The Tanzimat as a whole contributed to a certain acceleration of Turkey’s economic development, to the growth of the Turkish national bourgeoisie, to the opening of a path for the bourgeois development of Turkey, to the growth of science and literature, and to the formation of a Turkish intelligentsia.

REFERENCES

Novichev, A. D. Istoriia Turtsii, vol. 3. Leningrad, 1973. Pages 81–198.
Shabanov, F. Sh. Gosudarstvennyi stroi i pravovaia sistema Turtsii v period tanzimata. Baku, 1967.
Engelhardt, E. La Turquie et le Tanzimat. Paris, 1882.
Tanzimat. Istanbul, 1940.
Kaynar, R. Mustafa Reşit paşa ve Tanzimat. Ankara, 1954.
Davison, R. H. Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 1856–1876. Princeton, N.J., 1963.
Sertoğlu, M. Türkiyede yenileşmenin tarihçesi ve Tanzimat devrim. Istanbul, 1973.

A. D. NOVICHEV

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