The Middle East

1661 Words7 Pages
Having set the benchmark of a modern civilization due to economic and industrial superiority, Western European powers had contemptuous feelings toward the Ottomans’ primitive regimes and their internal strife. In fact, the 17th and 18th centuries in the Middle East were periods marked by severe financial crisis, increased decentralization, and stronger external control by western nations. It was clear that members of Ottoman and Persian military and bureaucratic organizations needed to prove themselves worthy in comparison to the European nations in order to shift the global balance of power back towards the East. As a result, drastic political, economic, and social reforms were implemented in the Middle East throughout the 19th century that aimed to both reverse the process of fragmentation within the empires and attempt to regain authority on a both local and global scale. Today, historians often describe this period of transformation as the beginning of the “modern” history of the Middle East as we are still living the consequences of the changes that took place during that period. Throughout this essay, I will demonstrate that on the one hand some of the social reforms that took place in the region helped modernize the educational and cultural affairs of Middle Eastern societies, while on the other hand, the failed establishment of new economic and political policies in the empires helped strengthen European control over the region and subsequently set the stage for the

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