Tanzimât, Goals

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The Tanzimât (Ottoman Turkish: تنظيمات), literally meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire and to secure its territorial integrity against nationalist movements from within and aggressive powers from outside of the state. The reforms encouraged Ottomanism among the diverse ethnic groups of the Empire, attempting to stem the tide of nationalist movements within the Ottoman Empire. The reforms attempted to integrate non-Muslims


The ambitious project was launched to combat the slow decline of the empire that had seen its borders shrink, and was growing weaker in comparison to the European powers. By getting rid of the millet system, the Ottoman Empire hoped to be able to control all of its citizens. One of the major ideas behind the Tanzimat was to be more open to various demographics to attract more people to the Ottoman Empire. By getting rid of the millet system the Ottomans wished to build a more centralized government in order to further their direct control of the empire and to increase the legitimacy of Ottoman rule. The Ottomans were also growing scared of a possible intervention of the European powers on Ottoman affairs which was most likely a driving reason for the Tanzimat Reforms. Because of this growing fear from the outside as well as fear of internal strife between Muslims and non-Muslims; Ottoman rule decided to revamp their government, which came by way of the Tanzimat, to allow more religious freedom to all. Also they did not want a repeat of the Crimean War, which was caused by Russia's incursion into the Ottoman Empire in the 1850s. They thought that the Great Powers would accept the Tanzimat as long as reforms were ongoing, leaving them to act as enforcers of these goals.

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