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Great Civilizations fall on Hard
Middle East
• Geopolitics - “The Great Game”
– Showdown between Russia and Britain in
the Middle East
• Russia: Expansion into Indian Ocean
• Britain: Protect links to India
• Trade
– Gain concessions for desired Middle
Eastern commodities
• Example: Persia: tobacco, rugs
Keys to Influence
• Weakness in the Region
– Decline and disintegration of the Ottoman Empire (Egypt)
• Technology Gap
– Despite advanced status, still well behind industrial Europe
• European Debt
– Middle East lacks the capital resources for economic
development, so they borrow money from Europe
– Example: Suez Canal
Imperialist Influence
• Indirect Rule (Case Study: Egypt)
– The British never officially takeover Egypt
– However they:
Control the khedives
Advise all Egyptian administrators
Control finances and foreign affairs
Occupy Egypt with the army to ensure British
interests are protected
Reaction and Resistance
• Westernization
– Adopt European
technology and values
to remain independent
– Examples
• Egypt: Muhammad Ali’s
• Ottoman
Empire/Turkey: Young
Reaction and Resistance
• Islamism
– Violently resist
European intrusion
through strict
adherence to
“traditional” Islamic
– Examples
• Sudan: Mahdist
• Arabia: Wahabism
Reaction and Resistance
• Rational Islam
– Defend against
imperialists by adopting
science and technology
of the West, while staying
faithful to the religious
principles of Islam
• Examples
– Persia/Iran: Jamal al-Din
al-Afghani and the
Tobacco Boycott
• Economic Imperialism
– Western corporations move into Middle
East and takeover critical sectors of the
economy, laying the foundation for more in
the 20th century (Cf. Oil Companies)
• Anti-Western Sentiment
– Hostility towards Europe on the rise, lays
foundation for hostile relationship between
the continents in 20th century
Reign of Qianlong
• Qing Dynasty
– Manchu rulers from north
replace the Ming and
become the first foreign
dynasty to rule China
since the Mongols
• Significance
– During the rule of Qian
long in the late 18th
century, China reached
the peak of its power and
Opium Wars
• Evolution of the Opium
– British begin smuggling
opium instead of bringing in
silver to obtain Chinese
• Significance
– Treaty of Nanjing forces
Chinese to submit to
humiliating terms, opening
several more ports to trade
and granting foreigners
special privileges in these
areas (extraterritorial
Taiping Rebellion
• Hong Xiuquan
– Prophetic figure who
organizes massive
rebellion against the Qing
• Significance
– Besides the tragedy of
the event, we should
know what this means in
light of the Mandate of
Self-Strengthening Movement
• Westernization
– Some Chinese conclude that
reforms are necessary to spur
• Significance
– Failure: Conservatives like the
Dowager Empress Cixi block
reforms, increasing the gap
between China and the West
Boxer Rebellion
• Society of the
Harmonious Fists
– Chinese group attacks
foreigners such as
businessmen and
missionaries in protest to
growing Western power
and influence of
• Significance
– Rebellion is put down by
alliance of European
armies, demonstrating
the power and influence
of Europe at this point
Revolution of 1911
• Chinese Nationalism
– Alliance of revolutionary
groups led by Sun Yat-sen
overthrows Qing Dynasty and
establishes a Western style
republican government in its
• Significance
– Only the end of over 2000
YEARS of continuous
imperial rule in China
Coach Lerch’s Final Thoughts
• Typically, the decline of a Chinese dynasty
merely marks the beginning of the rise of a
new according to the Mandate of Heaven
• But what happens if you abolish imperial
rule? Or does it not really get abolished, only
transformed? Or what happens when you
deny the religious ideas that make up the
Mandate of Heaven? Or does the Mandate
continue in a different way, maybe not all that
different than it was before? Deep thoughts