Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II

Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Abdülhamid II was the last Ottoman Sultan to wield real power. During his 33-year rule, the Empire saw a period of decline, marked by rebellions in various parts of the state. His reign – known as the Hamidian Era – even featured an unsuccessful war with Russia (1877-1878), followed by a successful war against Greece in 1897. However, these gains were tempered by intervention from Western European powers.

Watch Kurulus Osman

In accordance with an agreement with the Republican Young Ottomans, Abdul Hamid II promulgated the Empire’s first Constitution, an indication that progressive thinking was influencing his early rule. However, due to disagreements with the Ottoman Parliament, he later suspended both this short-lived constitution and the parliament itself. Modernization continued during his reign; these reforms included a bureaucracy overhaul, the construction of railways including the Rumelia Railway and Anatolia Railway, as well as the Baghdad Railway and Hejaz Railway – not forgetting population registration systems, control over the press and even a modern law-school in 1898. Education was particularly transformed by many professional schools being created for fields such as law, arts, trades, civil engineering, veterinary medicine among others. Even though Istanbul University had been closed by Abdul Hamid II in 1881 as part of restrictions on constitutional reformers and progressive intellectuals, it was re-opened two decades later and a network of secondary schools were established across the Empire. German firms were significant in helping develop railway networks around the same time – which costed the Empire its economic sovereignty due to its finances falling under control of Great Powers through their Ottoman Public Debt Administration.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top