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The Great Game of GenocideImperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians$
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Donald Bloxham

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273560.001.0001

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Prologue: Eastern Questions, Nationalist Answers

Prologue: Eastern Questions, Nationalist Answers

(p.29) 1 Prologue: Eastern Questions, Nationalist Answers
The Great Game of Genocide

Donald Bloxham

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines four interconnected themes from the early nineteenth century up to 1914: external political, military, and economic engagements with the Ottoman empire; the development of subject Christian nationalisms within the empire, leading to autonomy and/or secession, or pressure for those ends; the entrance of Muslim refugees into the shrinking empire from the Caucasus and from lost Ottoman lands in the Balkans, which simultaneously introduced an embittered, anti-Christian constituency and increased competition for land resources; and Ottoman governmental policies regarding each of these developments, from the reform period of the mid-century, through the reign of Abdülhamid II, with its accompanying massacres of Armenians and great power pressure for Armenian reforms, to the ‘second constitutional period’ from 1908 onwards in which the Committee of Union and Progress came to the fore. It also discusses the origins and aims of Ottoman reform, social change and ethnic polarization in the Ottoman empire, the internationalization of the Armenian question, pan-Islamism under Abdülhamid II, the Armenian political parties, and Turkish-Armenian polarization in the era of the Balkan wars.

Keywords:   Ottoman empire, Armenians, nationalisms, Armenian question, massacres, pan-Islamism, social change, refugees, reform, Committee of Union and Progress

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