The Tanzimat: Reform in the Ottoman Empire Essay

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The Tanzimat: Reform in the Ottoman Empire During its prime, the Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and most powerful empires in the entire world. Unfortunately for the Ottomans, various problems arose, and eventually the empire started to decline. This resulted in a period of reform, known as the Tanzimat. Between 1839 and 1876 numerous changes were made to the empire, but whether they were truly effective is still debated to this day. Sultan Mahmud II, and various other Europeanized Ottoman bureaucrats initiated what is known today as the largest reform movement in the history of the Ottoman Empire. The Tanzimat changed life in the Ottoman Empire drastically, and completely revolutionized how the Ottomans lived. Previously, the…show more content…
Many of the reforms dealt with issues, like the educational system, the military, the legal codes, and the economy. In 1859, the Civil Service School was established, and in 1868, the Imperial Ottoman Lycée at Galatasary was formed. Graduates from these institutions were highly successful in gaining state employment and occupied positions of authority. An elaborate secondary school system was also created, which was placed under the authority of the government. Schools were also established to train soldiers, sailors, and other key military personnel. These schools utilized European style curriculum and taught using westernized methods of education. Using the French civil code as a template, new penal and commercial codes were introduced into the empire. 2 A system of secular courts, called nizame, was established, and dealt with issues involving both Muslims and non-Muslims. The Mejelle was created in 1876, which was a civil code that contained European legal codes, but still maintained an Islamic framework. The Ottoman Empire was highly influenced by European customs, but still managed to stay true to its Islamic roots. Economically, the Ottoman Empire changed dramatically due to the penetration of Europe into the Middle East. Europeans invested vast amounts of money into Middle Eastern commerce, and access to credit became much easier, which eventually led to the downfall of the empire. When times got rough for the Ottoman
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