- Sexuality and the law in the Ottoman Empire Shireen Hamza, JHIblog
- Was World War II the last colonial war? Branko Milanovic, globalinequality
- Seattle’s hard-Left secessionist movement has claimed its first territory Christopher Rufo, City Journal
- The Israeli political crisis: ideology or ethnicity? Ori Yehudai, Origins
- Ottoman bird palaces Atlas Obscura
- Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism (the 1960s) Barry Stocker, NOL
- Liberalism and sovereignty Edwin van de Haar, NOL
- Why not world government? Michaelangelo Landgrave, NOL
- Great analysis of Turkish-Saudi cultural war Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor
- Trump has reminded the West why it preferred US hegemony Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
- The “Redemption Arc” of criminal justice Maria Farrell, Crooked Timber
- The new map of Saturn’s moon, Titan, explained Caleb Scharf, Scientific American
I hope y’all had a chance to check out Ussama Makdisi’s essay on Ottoman cosmopolitanism from one of the nightcaps a few days back. It was excellent, and serves as good complement to Barry’s work on the Ottoman Empire here at NOL.
It’s especially good for a few reasons. First, it has a useful explanation of the mandate system that London and Paris experimented with. Second, it’s comparative and brings in lots of different modes of governance. Third, there is an interesting discussing about citizenship (consult NOL for more on citizenship, too). Lastly, it explains well why the Arab world continues to wallow in extreme inequality and authoritarianism.
Makdisi represents a shift in thinking in Arab circles away from victimization and towards self-determination and responsibility: no longer are the French and British (and Jews) to be reviled and blamed for everything that’s wrong with the Middle East. There is a shift towards internationalist thinking. The Americans now play a positive role in what could have been (and still might be) a freer Middle East. The British and French have factions now and some of them were supportive of Arab voices, some of them not. Arab scholars are finally benefiting from the American university educational system, probably because there are so many Arabs studying in the US now.
Makdisi’s piece is not a libertarian interpretation, but it’s a start.
- Can Ottoman nostalgia be a good thing? Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books
- Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism Barry Stocker, NOL
- What is global history? One good answer (and one not so good answer) Krishan Kumar, Times Literary Supplement
- The world without the moon Caleb Scharf, Life, Unbounded
- The Ottoman origins of capitalism (pdf) Kerem Nisancioglu, Review of International Studies
- The book on Marx that Arendt never finished Geoffrey Wildanger, Boston Review
- An insider’s perspective of the Algerian War Lincoln Krause, War on the Rocks
- The racing cheetahs of the 1930s Jennifer Noonan, Damn Interesting
That’s the subject of my latest at RealClearHistory (I submitted it before the vicious, anti-Muslim shooting in New Zealand occurred). An excerpt:
7. Chios massacre (March – July 1822). The Ottomans were bad people for a few centuries during the Middle Ages (RealClearHistory has more on the Ottomans here). In 1822, Istanbul massacred 52,000 Greeks on the island of Chios during the Greek War of Independence. The massacre was used deftly by imperial proponents in London, Paris, and Moscow, and further isolated the Ottomans from European diplomacy. As for the inhabitants of Chios, most were apathetic toward the rebellion until the massacre.
Here’s another one:
5. Massacre of the Latins (1182). In the 12th century, Roman Catholics in Constantinople, the capital city of the Roman Empire, were known as Latins and in 1182 they were slaughtered, driven out of the city, or sold into slavery. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died. The massacre occurred because the vast majority of non-Roman Catholic inhabitants were much poorer than the Latins of the city, due to the latter’s connections to the wealthy city-states on the Italian peninsula (Venice, Genoa, Pisa, etc.). The massacre also made it harder for the Pope to unify the Christian world, as the split between Catholic and Orthodox sects only became more hardened.
Lots of bad things have happened in Turkey and Greece and over the years. Please, read the rest. There’s more massacres, but also thoughts on the genocide-versus-massacre debate, and the sheer lack of knowledge that humanity possesses in regards to its own history.
- Ottoman nostalgia (back to the Balkans) Alev Scott, History Today
- Did post-Marxist theories destroy Communist regimes? Branko Milanovic, globalinequality
- Islam in Eastern Europe (a silver thread) Jacob Mikanowski, Los Angeles Review of Books
- Against Imperial Nostalgia: Or why Empires are Kaka Barry Stocker, NOL
This article analyzes the changing treaty law and practice governing the Ottoman state’s attitude toward the subjects of its most important neighbor and most inveterate rival: the Russian Empire. The two empires were linked by both migration and unfreedom; alongside Russian slaves forcibly brought to the sultans’ domains, many others came as fugitives from serfdom and conscription. But beginning in the late 18th century, the Ottoman Empire reinforced Russian serfdom and conscription by agreeing to return fugitives, even as the same treaties undermined Ottoman forced labor by mandating the return of Russian slaves. Drawing extensively on Ottoman archival sources, this article argues that the resulting interimperial regulations on unfreedom and movement hardened the empires’ human and geographic boundaries, so that for many Russian subjects, foreign subjecthood under treaty law was not a privilege, but a liability.
This is from Will Smiley, a historian at the University of New Hampshire. Here is the link.