With the Crescent Above Us 2.0: An Ottoman Timeline

Similarly AHII was very russophilic, even going so for as to present a few of his sister's and daughters as prospective wives of NII which was actually seriously considered by the Russians with the added clause of conversion.
This......is something else.
Not only the city educated elites, even rural peasants were identified to be very liberal in pre-1878 OE. Many liberal young ottomans in the first and second ottoman parliament's, a plurality even came from the rural Muslim countryside for example.
I think rural people 'acting' liberal is different in regards to political party adopting liberalism as ideology. And I bet those young Ottoman representatives were amongst the few in their respective constituencies to have the privilege of attending a western style curriculum at least in one stage of their lives. The rural liberalism is just lax enforcement of religious restrictions and stuff and as the religiously plural Ottoman villages in most of Balkans and parts of Anatolia and Sham tended to be, there would be more interaction between different religions due to various daily needs. This is in stark contrast to cities where Different communities choose seperate intersection and ghettos for themselves and avoided each other unless necessary. So whilst the peasants may be behind rise of liberalists, I think the support is more specific, like supporting your local officer's son or the younger brother of a benevolent merchant because they are your shots at reaching the power and do something better for their respective community.

In short, liberalisation of Ottoman society to the bottom is still possible but we need a couple decades and a school construction campaign like the previous TL. Ottomans can still surpass Russia in terms of literacy by the beginning of 20th century,if by a small margin.
 
This......is something else.

I think rural people 'acting' liberal is different in regards to political party adopting liberalism as ideology. And I bet those young Ottoman representatives were amongst the few in their respective constituencies to have the privilege of attending a western style curriculum at least in one stage of their lives. The rural liberalism is just lax enforcement of religious restrictions and stuff and as the religiously plural Ottoman villages in most of Balkans and parts of Anatolia and Sham tended to be, there would be more interaction between different religions due to various daily needs. This is in stark contrast to cities where Different communities choose seperate intersection and ghettos for themselves and avoided each other unless necessary. So whilst the peasants may be behind rise of liberalists, I think the support is more specific, like supporting your local officer's son or the younger brother of a benevolent merchant because they are your shots at reaching the power and do something better for their respective community.

In short, liberalisation of Ottoman society to the bottom is still possible but we need a couple decades and a school construction campaign like the previous TL. Ottomans can still surpass Russia in terms of literacy by the beginning of 20th century,if by a small margin.
Certainly yes, a lot of rural liberalism had to do with local politic and family culture, but I would not estimate rural liberal culture either. The ottomans by the product of having a smaller population base than the Russians will find it easier to have its population more literate in the future.
 
If Alien exist and see how human treat other humans as worse than an animal they probably surrendered their belongings to us because scared to see the human cruelty
One should never underestimate human cruelty, I suppose.
Is there a chance to see Bolivia joining the Paraguayan War on the side of Francisco Lopez?
As this could lead to Peru and Chile joining the Triple Alliance (Quintuple Alliance), as they were in border disputes with Bolivia over the Atacama desert.
Lopez had been dead for six years by the time of the POD, so unlikely. The War of the Pacific started fairly soon, however, and as the outcome was in question for some time (more due to Peru's efforts than Bolivias, if memory serves me well), it could well go a different way to OTL.
I'm a little sceptical that the Sino-Japanese War would happen on schedule with a POD so early, but you haven't steered the timeline wrong so far and I'm intrigued by what you have planned for the reigon.
What were you expecting, Japan going to war with Spain over it's Pacific holdings instead?
That would be great
Most certainly would, as Japan would get Spanish Pacific isles in exchange for recognizing the First Philippine Republic.
I will also agree with @SenatorChickpea here. Qing politics vis-a-vis Japan were extremely volatile, and would have likely led to war yes, but the nature of the war being essentially the same despite a bit different treaty is hard to swallow, especially how connected the Qing Self-Strengthening Movement and the Ottoman Tanzimat were. The Qing in the 1860s were very much inspired by the Ottoman Tanzimat, in-fact Liu's book on the Self-Strengthening movement in China identifies the Tanzimat as one of the major drivers of modernization in China. The success of atleast the military part of the Ottoman Reforms would have led to a radically different Qing military push, considering the Ottoman defeat in 1878 and subsequent default in 1881 forced the Qing to literally upend its plans and create new ones.
Okay, so about the Japan thing. This isn't exactly the same war that we had in OTL (I've avoided going into much detail about it up to this point, as I don't want to spoil what it is that will make 1894 such an important date). The war has followed a largely similar course to OTL, and I figured on this for a number of reasons. The first is that Cixi was already in a position of power by 1877, and while I'm aware that there has been some revision of her rule and that she wasn't single-handedly holding back the self-strengthening movement, I haven't been won over by the Jung Chang theory that she was some proto-feminist modernized. While she certainly contributed more to the process of reform than subsequent Chinese reformers would admit, Cixi's efforts in the self-strengthening movement were still inadequate as was demonstrated by China's collapse from 1894 onward. Although it is interesting to consider that China largely maintained her international position and even made some gains before this point.

Certainly the Chinese could have done better in their modernization and the war, but Chinese modernization was always going to be somewhat more haphazard than smaller nations due to a number of reasons. Even if the Ottomans had won the war in 1877, it seems likely to me that the Chinese will continue to rely on European military advisors rather than taking too many lessons from the Turks. The main impact internationally has been the loss of Russian reputation, rather than a huge improvement in Ottoman reputation.

Japan's victory over China in 1894-95 may not have been foreseen by many contemporary observers, but the more I read about the war the more I'm convinced that without some POD deeper in China or Japan's past, the war would happen at some point once Japan had felt its strength had reached a sufficient level to remove China's influence from Korea.
I'm a bit late to this party. But still hope the feedback is okay!

Eh, while the Ottoman Government and the Young Turks made a big deal out of the OPDA, it wasn't that big of a deal. It was its legal nature as a foreign body supervising the Ottoman Economy that was more problematic than its economic front. Economically, in many ways, for the post-1881 bankrupt Ottomans, OPDA was essentially a valuable economic tool. It allowed the government to take loans with impunity with very little interest making it easy to pay back, and the smaller countries such as Spain and Netherlands who were represented in the OPDA despite having given little to no loans to the Ottomans opened the Ottoman market to a wide variety of trade. This can be seen in the 1897 Ottoman-Greek War when the OPDA essentially bankfunded the Ottoman War Effort for little to no gain at all. Despite the bankrupt manner of the Ottoman Government, the Ottomans had around 20% of its revenue go to the OPDA, not a third. Without an Ottoman government declaring a third default in 1881, Around 10 - 15% would be more economically realistic, speaking from the perspective of an Economic Historian.
It's excellent to hear some feedback from you!

The OPDA was certainly a mixed bag, and I'd hoped that it was clearer. Murat Birdal's book on the OPDA was my main source for this section, and the main argument is that although the OPDA did serve a number of important purposes in allowing the Ottoman government to raise capital at more favorable rates than had been the case previously, it still did mark a loss of the empire's sovereignty. It's worthwhile noting that the OPDA certainly resulted in less of this loss than say, Egypt's OTL takeover by the British did. Although the OPDA was responsible to the creditor nations, it allowed a cushion between them and the empire's economy that avoided direct economic colonization. Perhaps some of the numbers in my update are a bit wonky considering the empire's improved financial situation but to my knowledge, the figure of a third is broadly correct when it comes to how much of the Ottoman budget went toward servicing its debt in the Hamidian era. Shaw's figures suggest that the percentage varied between 29% to 36%.
The Problem of Victory is often that the lessons of defeat are not learnt. Outside of the Principality of Rumelia that was created in 1881, the remnants of Ottoman Bulgaria saw a renaissance of administrative and economic growth due to defeat lessons in the region. Locals were appeased, and promises were kept, allowing for some semblance of loyalism to return back. Indeed Kardzhali IOTL rose up in revolt in support of the Ottoman Government in 1912-13 as a result of this. A quirk of winning a war here to see indeed.
Considering how disastrous the Russo-Turkish War was in OTL, it's amazing the empire managed to come out in as good a shape that it did. The process of reform was altered to be sure, but it wasn't stopped. But of course success in war can have a powerful psychological effect, especially in a short war. The Ottoman government here is not in the mood for compromise with its Christian subjects, and in a time of growing European power, this may well prove disastrous.
Sultan Abdulhamid II was not a Russophobe however. According to his biography by Gundognu, Abdulhamid II was very much a Russophile, despite the deep political and historical animosity between St. Petersburg and Constantinople. His letters to the British where he expressed wonder at the Russian 'Civilization and Authority' highlight a sense of awe at Russian Culture. Indeed, the multiple Russian artists who found work in his court also add support to his russophilic tendencies. I find it slightly improbable that he would publicly support the idea of an anti-Russian Coalition, where he would be more disposed to bring Ottoman Support to Russia. The 1881 - 1911 Ottoman-Russian near alliance (to the point a marriage alliance was explored in 1892!) is an impossibility i would presume due to the nature of 1878 war ittl, but certainly better relations under AH II is a given. The idea that two nations will always be enemies is a fallacy that i hope this timeline will avoid.
Abdulhamid's policies toward the Russians were... complicated, to say the least. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to call him a Russophile, even though his reign certainly saw better relations with the Russians than had existed for a long time previously. Abdulhamid's policies toward the Russians were born largely out of a sense of the empire's vulnerability, as well as his sense of betrayal at the hands of the British. Remember that in OTL, the British had made some signals that they would support the empire in the event of a Russian invasion (thanks Disraeli), they refused to intervene and finally took Cyprus as a gift for all their hard work rolling back Bulgaria's borders from the whopping San Stefano borders. This likely influenced Abdulhamid's decision to follow a more pro-Russian policy in OTL, and it hasn't happened ITTL. In addition, the issue of Eastern Rumelia is not there to drive the Ottomans and the Russians closer together.

All this being said, Germany aside, Abdulhamid trusted none of the great powers, which was kind of ironic when one considers Bismarck's disregard for the empire.
Eh not really. Alexander III and early Nicholas II both pursued very pro-ottoman policy to the point that Alexander iii stated in 1886 that Tsargrad was only a dejure claim and nothing much else. AIII was serious when he made this remark. The Russian foreign office basically stopped every mention of the claim except for the yearly dejure reports. Similarly AHII was very russophilic, even going so for as to present a few of his sister's and daughters as prospective wives of NII which was actually seriously considered by the Russians with the added clause of conversion.
Again, I'd consider this as something that would be changed by the POD. The Russo-Turkish war of OTL had netted the Russians a very troublesome Bulgaria, and a small slice of Eastern Anatolia. Here the Russians had a humiliating defeat inflicted on them by the Ottomans, and there will likely be a revanchism that simply did not exist in OTL.
The bolder part is not particularly true however. Liberalism was seen in the aftermath of Tanzimat as the great cause that would save the Empire from the clutches of the encroaching Europeans. It was only the apparent failure of this liberalism in the wake of the 1878 War that liberalism became a reviled ideology in most of the OE, for it had 'failed' in its promise to save the empire. If you read accounts from the day to day people in the OE prior to the war, as shown in Sohrabi's book on Ottoman constitutionalism, most citizens expressed wonder and a bit of hope regarding Liberalism. With victory in 1878, Liberalism would absolutely be a very powerful force in internal Ottoman politics.
So, on liberalism in the Ottoman Empire. It honestly depends on the type of liberalism that you're talking about. There was certainly a lot of resentment of the authoritarian nature of Abdulhamid's rule, but it seems that much of the opposition to his regime found its base in the growing middle classes of the empire. Indeed the Young Ottomans were largely an elite movement.

Liberalism itself is rather hard to pin down the further one looks into it. While Constitutionalism spread widely in the 19th and early 20th centuries, many constitutions were promulgated in profoundly illiberal states such as Prussia or Japan. Sabahaddin and his faction of liberals found little popular support for much of their existence within the Ottoman Empire.
I think it has to do with Empire’s education system and literacy rate more than the idea actually being palatable. Western style education system no matter what will produce a bunch of liberals ( no matter the number) even in the most extremist of factions as seen in ME post colonial era political movements like Ikhwanul muslimeen and such. And Ottoman society was not just the urbanites of Constantinople or Rumelia, it was a diverse and disparate one, you know that more than me😁
Education within the Ottoman Empire certainly seemed to produce liberals, or at least people against the autocracy of the Sultan. Events such as the 1909 counter-coup were supported in a large part due to the "rankers" within the army, those who had not been taught in the modern military academies but those who had been promoted from the ranks. These men often had a more traditional outlook on politics compared to those in the CUP.
*sniffs, throws a tissue on the floor, missing the bin*
Ideology.
The trashcan of human thought.
"It is easy for an academic at a round table to claim that we live in a post-ideological universe, but the moment he visits the lavatory after the heated discussion, he is again knee-deep in ideology"
This......is something else.

I think rural people 'acting' liberal is different in regards to political party adopting liberalism as ideology. And I bet those young Ottoman representatives were amongst the few in their respective constituencies to have the privilege of attending a western style curriculum at least in one stage of their lives. The rural liberalism is just lax enforcement of religious restrictions and stuff and as the religiously plural Ottoman villages in most of Balkans and parts of Anatolia and Sham tended to be, there would be more interaction between different religions due to various daily needs. This is in stark contrast to cities where Different communities choose seperate intersection and ghettos for themselves and avoided each other unless necessary. So whilst the peasants may be behind rise of liberalists, I think the support is more specific, like supporting your local officer's son or the younger brother of a benevolent merchant because they are your shots at reaching the power and do something better for their respective community.

In short, liberalisation of Ottoman society to the bottom is still possible but we need a couple decades and a school construction campaign like the previous TL. Ottomans can still surpass Russia in terms of literacy by the beginning of 20th century,if by a small margin.
Liberalism was certainly more popular amongst Ottoman Armenians, particularly after the events of 1894-96, which demonstrated to many politically active Armenians that armed insurrection and rebellion were likely only to get many people killed, and instead, they wanted to work with the more moderate elements of the Ottoman establishment.

Liberalism is hardly the be-all and end-all at any rate. Liberalism failed to answer a number of important social questions in the West, which accounts for the rise of Social Liberalism in the United Kingdom at this time. Furthermore in the United Kingdom at least, Liberalism floundered on the Ireland question.
Certainly yes, a lot of rural liberalism had to do with local politic and family culture, but I would not estimate rural liberal culture either. The ottomans by the product of having a smaller population base than the Russians will find it easier to have its population more literate in the future.
Literacy will definitely be important, and at some point barring revolutionary change in Russia that occurred in OTL (the Tsarist government was making progress though), there is a good chance for the empire to overtake Russia.
 
Okay, so about the Japan thing. This isn't exactly the same war that we had in OTL (I've avoided going into much detail about it up to this point, as I don't want to spoil what it is that will make 1894 such an important date). The war has followed a largely similar course to OTL, and I figured on this for a number of reasons. The first is that Cixi was already in a position of power by 1877, and while I'm aware that there has been some revision of her rule and that she wasn't single-handedly holding back the self-strengthening movement, I haven't been won over by the Jung Chang theory that she was some proto-feminist modernized. While she certainly contributed more to the process of reform than subsequent Chinese reformers would admit, Cixi's efforts in the self-strengthening movement were still inadequate as was demonstrated by China's collapse from 1894 onward. Although it is interesting to consider that China largely maintained her international position and even made some gains before this point.

Certainly the Chinese could have done better in their modernization and the war, but Chinese modernization was always going to be somewhat more haphazard than smaller nations due to a number of reasons. Even if the Ottomans had won the war in 1877, it seems likely to me that the Chinese will continue to rely on European military advisors rather than taking too many lessons from the Turks. The main impact internationally has been the loss of Russian reputation, rather than a huge improvement in Ottoman reputation.

Japan's victory over China in 1894-95 may not have been foreseen by many contemporary observers, but the more I read about the war the more I'm convinced that without some POD deeper in China or Japan's past, the war would happen at some point once Japan had felt its strength had reached a sufficient level to remove China's influence from Korea.
Also apologies for derailing off the main subject of this timeline. I am just captivated with the geopolitical effects of a surviving First Philippine Republic would have on independence movements among the European colonies of Asia and Africa.
 
First of all a really great, interesting TL, LOVING IT!

But I have missed a few chapters over the week, is there something off with notifications if you watch a TL?
 
As a suggestion, the butterflies could cause the Kronprinz Rudolf of Austria's daughter of OTL, Elisabeth Marie, borns as a boy, keeping away the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from the imperial succession and stabilizing the Austrian royal family.

Another interesting (and islamo-wank-ist) butterfly could be the survival of the Shah of Persia Naser al-Din Qajar, who ITTL could avoid his assassination of OTL in 1896 and live about 10-15 more years, which would have stabilized the country and, that way, avoided the Persian political anarchy and chaos of OTL on the early 20th century.
 
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Maudoldu00

Banned
What would the ottoman and Rashidi emirate relation look like? If i remember the old timeline the Rashidi govern the desert area but it was filled with ottoman garrison. Would the same happened in this?
 
Also apologies for derailing off the main subject of this timeline. I am just captivated with the geopolitical effects of a surviving First Philippine Republic would have on independence movements among the European colonies of Asia and Africa.
It is an interesting idea though. I have a soft spot for the Philippines, I've worked with many Filipinos in the past (can't escape them when you're living in the Gulf). I guess the difficult part is actually getting the revolutionaries in a position where they can fend off the Spanish, Japanese, Americans or whatever imperialist comes a-knocking. But that's not something I've delved into too deeply for the time being.
First of all a really great, interesting TL, LOVING IT!

But I have missed a few chapters over the week, is there something off with notifications if you watch a TL?
I haven't noticed anything with the timelines I follow recently. Anyone else?
As a suggestion, the butterflies could cause the Kronprinz Rudolf of Austria's daughter of OTL, Elisabeth Marie, borns as a boy, keeping away the Archduke Franz Ferdinand from the imperial succession and stabilizing the Austrian royal family.

Another interesting (and islamo-wank-ist) butterfly could be the survival of the Shah of Persia Naser al-Din Qajar, who ITTL could avoid his assassination of OTL in 1896 and live about 10-15 more years, which would have stabilized the country and, that way, avoided the Persian political anarchy and chaos of OTL on the early 20th century.
Now, this suggestion is an interesting one. Franz Ferdinand could have been kept off of the throne by Franz Ferdinand's father Karl Ludwig, but from what I can ascertain, he wasn't promising material for emperor. A male child of Rudolf and Stephanie would be an interesting wild card, however.

Persia and Nasir al-Din is a topic that I've given quite a bit of thought to thus far (Persia of course being the main player of my previous timeline). While Nasir al-Din was more effective at keeping Persia together than his successors, his reign seems like something of a wasted opportunity as a whole. Until Reza Shah Pahlavi, no Shah was willing to do what was needed to create a modern Persian state, which was to crush the tribes and establish a strong central authority. Nasir al-Din did introduce a number of reforms but his tendency to hand off huge sections of the Persian economy to foreigners both retarded development and contributed to his own demise (he may have been assassinated on the orders of Jamal "al-Afghani" himself).
What would the ottoman and Rashidi emirate relation look like? If i remember the old timeline the Rashidi govern the desert area but it was filled with ottoman garrison. Would the same happened in this?
As in OTL the Saudis have been ousted from Central Arabia for the time being, but the Ottomans are likely to keep the Rashidis in power as long as they can. There may well be a move toward integration or independence in the future, but that depends on what happens between the British and the Ottomans in Arabia (which will get its own update some time in the future).
 
The Congo and Zanzibar - 1877 to 1894
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Brian Lewis; Catastrophe - Africa's Path to Subjugation: Routledge

Gordon and the Tragedy of the Congo

Belgium had been accepted as a state, in part, because of a desire for a neutral buffer between the three main powers in Western Europe. In 1885 its ambitious King Leopold II, who had long desired his own African colony, convinced the other colonial powers involved in Africa to accept his creation of a Congo Free State largely thanks to the same rationale. An enormous portion of Central Africa was awarded not to the Belgian state, but to King Leopold himself. Leopold had made a number of lofty promises for what his colony would achieve. The slave trade in the eastern part of the country, dominated by Arab-Swahili slave traders based in Zanzibar would be destroyed. The Congo basin would be opened up to European trade, offering a vast market not only for Belgian businessmen but for those of Britain, France, and Germany too. He would also provide a safe environment for missionaries to spread the Christian faith in the Congo. These were all high-minded goals but the reality of the Free State’s rule was to be vastly more insidious.

Initially, it seemed as if Leopold had made all the right moves to establish his colony. The famous Victorian explorer Henry Morton Stanley had helped Leopold set up his initial colonies in the West of the Congo, and with the creation of the Congo Free State, Leopold appointed another famous Victorian hero, the British soldier Charles “Chinese” Gordon as the governor of the Congo. This appeared to be a match made in heaven, with Gordon nothing that Leopold “seemed much concerned with the mission to abolish this horrid traffic in innocent lives”. Gordon had misgivings about Stanley and hoped that he could set the colony on a different course, writing to his friend Richard Burton that he hoped he could “establish a civilized rule in the dark heart of the continent, without any the cruel methods employed by that man (Stanley)”. Gordon relished undertaking expeditions to the east of the Congo, fighting the Zanzibari slave traders who had begun to operate in the Congo to seize ever more slaves for the hungry plantations of the coast and islands. In 1887 a confrontation between soldiers loyal to Tippu Tip, the infamous Zanzibari slave trader, and those of the Force Publique, ended in a Free State fort being captured by Tip.

Gordon responded furiously, leading a large expedition that began to push Tip out of eastern Congo. However, his own force was ravaged by supply issues and disease, and it took the best part of 1888 to steadily reduce the Zanzibari presence in the area. At numerous times it seemed as if Gordon’s insufficient force was on the brink of disaster, and it is only through some luck and an unwillingness by Tip to commit fully to the destruction of Gordon’s force that he was able to survive. Furthermore, Gordon’s expedition was incredibly costly, and these were costs that Leopold did not wish to incur in a war that risked his still-vulnerable colony. By the end of 1888, Leopold issued a decree which stated that the native African population could only sell their products, such as ivory and rubber, to the state. This action violated one of Leopold’s promises to the other European powers, namely that the Congo would be open to free trade. This led to protests from many companies, and this forced Leopold to backtrack and explore other ways to raise revenues. For the time being, he commanded Gordon to stop his war against the Zanzibari slave traders in the east, but this incensed Gordon, who subsequently decided to resign his position as governor of the Congo.

But this was not the end of Gordon’s adventures in Africa. After he left the Congo, Gordon traveled to South Africa where he met Cecil Rhodes, who at that point was attempting to expand British (and his own) influence within central Africa. When presented an opportunity to foil the ambition of Leopold to expand his Free State into Katanga, Gordon agreed to lead an expedition which resulted in the defeat of the native King Msiri who Gordon regarded as the “worst kind of cruel, slaving despot” and bringing Katanga into the British Empire. It was just the kind of action that the late Victorian public was enamored with, a brave soldier fighting to replace a savage chieftain with the civilized rule of Britain. He finally returned to Britain in 1891 to a hero’s welcome, furthering his legend as a soldier for the empire and for what was seen as the virtues of Britain’s empire.[1]

As for the Congo, the situation for the locals deteriorated as the 19th century came to a close. Although the power of the Arab slavers had been weakened by Gordon, they still launched slave raids from the few bases that they maintained west of the Great Lakes, and there remained an uneasy equilibrium of power in the eastern province of the Congo until 1893 when Leopold, confident in the strength of his Force Publique at last, sent it to destroy what was left of the Arab presence in the Congo Free State. He presented this as finally fulfilling the aim of destroying slavery, which went some way toward mollifying opinion toward his Free State. However, this would prove to be short-lived as throughout the 1890s, stories of atrocities within the Congo Free State, caused in part by Leopold’s rapaciousness and desire to increase the profitability of his colony, began to filter into the European consciousness. One of the most influential and damning accounts of the situation in the Congo came from the Polish-born British novelist Joseph Conrad in his book Heart of Darkness, which painted a harrowing picture of the situation within the Congo. By the 20th century, the picture became clear. Arab slavery had been removed from the Congo, but it had been replaced by something that was far more horrifying.

[1] – Gordon’s recklessness in the Congo is forgotten, for the time being, it seems.

* * * * * *

Screenshot 2022-04-09 20.13.11.png


Zanzibar - A Colony of India?

The Swahili coast had a complicated history and had been ruled by Oman until 1856 when the Omani Empire was divided between the two sons of Said bin Sultan. Even before the creation of the Sultanate of Zanzibar, the area was dominated economically by the British through their Indian subjects. Americans too had been influential in the trade with Zanzibar but under British political pressure, their trade waned as the 19th century progressed. By the 1870s Zanzibar was firmly in the British sphere of influence, an important part of their informal empire. Attempts by Said bin Sultan to break free of the grip of the British had come to naught, and as a result, the British had to some extent encouraged the division of his realm between his two sons, though this was not seen as a partition by the people of both Oman and Zanzibar themselves.[1]

The Sultanate of Zanzibar thrived in this era of growing commerce in the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar’s trade increased briskly, including both imports of cloth and weaponry, and exports of ivory and cloves. This trade was particularly strong with India, which was by far the largest trading partner of Zanzibar. Not only did Indians dominate Britain’s trade, but Indians resident in Zanzibar filled the role of financiers for the Sultan, and their interests were often protected by their British overlords. Zanzibar was the entrepot of the East African coast, and British commercial houses in the area saw the task of maintaining British influence as paramount. Following the call of David Livingstone to claim Africa by commerce and Christianity, both businesses and missionaries were increasingly interested in the opportunities presented by the interior, which was claimed by the Sultan of Zanzibar but which in reality was dominated by powerful slave traders such as the infamous Hamad al-Murjabi, better known as Tippu Tip. By the mid-1880s however, the power of these slavers was declining, as they were challenged to the west by forces of the Congo Free State led by the British military hero Charles Gordon.

Tales of Gordon’s fight against slavery inspired those in Britain who wished to see the abolition of the institution globally, but British policy did not push the abolition of the slave trade onto her Zanzibari allies too forcefully.[2] Indeed prior to the signing of the Anglo-Zanzibar treaty of 1891 which confirmed Zanzibar’s status as a British protectorate, Zanzibar was an informal colony of India as much as it was of Britain. But this had already begun to change in the latter half of the 1880s when trading companies based in Britain, attracted by the numerous raw materials and products to be found in the interior, began to set up trading posts there. The interior of Zanzibar was also seen as an important gateway to Uganda, which became a British protectorate in 1894. As the British began to build infrastructure such as railways and ports, both British and particularly Indian migrants came to build the railways and administrate the country which was steadily falling out of the hands of the Arab-Swahili elite based in Zanzibar. By 1900 the influence of the old ruling class on the island of Zanzibar itself was waning in the interior, replaced instead by a new British ruling class which although theoretically serving only in an advisory capacity, had instead usurped control of the vast interior of the Sultanate.

[1] - Loyalties were still based along personal and tribal lines rather to the idea of a nation-state.

[2] – Although British pressure in OTL resulted in the end of slavery in Zanzibar (it was a slow process that took decades), they were happy to turn a blind eye when convenient. In German East Africa even German officials traded in slaves as late as the 1890s however.

* * * * * *

Author's notes - Hand-wringing over slavery within Africa was a common justification for the expansion of European colonies toward the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Of course, the Arab-Swahili slave trade was a very real thing, as was slavery in West Africa, but as I was researching this update (that German officials buying slaves thing is totally true), the more horrified I was at the sheer hypocrisy. It takes all kinds, I suppose...
 
It is an interesting idea though. I have a soft spot for the Philippines, I've worked with many Filipinos in the past (can't escape them when you're living in the Gulf). I guess the difficult part is actually getting the revolutionaries in a position where they can fend off the Spanish, Japanese, Americans or whatever imperialist comes a-knocking. But that's not something I've delved into too deeply for the time being.
Glad you think so, I got my interest from my ex. Also all the resources I have read make it very clear Japan would have left the Philippines independent in return for the former Spanish islands in Micronesia.
Tales of Gordon’s fight against slavery inspired those in Britain who wished to see the abolition of the institution globally, but British policy did not push the abolition of the slave trade onto her Zanzibari allies too forcefully.[2] Indeed prior to the signing of the Anglo-Zanzibar treaty of 1891 which confirmed Zanzibar’s status as a British protectorate, Zanzibar was an informal colony of India as much as it was of Britain. But this had already begun to change in the latter half of the 1880s when trading companies based in Britain, attracted by the numerous raw materials and products to be found in the interior, began to set up trading posts there. The interior of Zanzibar was also seen as an important gateway to Uganda, which became a British protectorate in 1894. As the British began to build infrastructure such as railways and ports, both British and particularly Indian migrants came to build the railways and administrate the country which was steadily falling out of the hands of the Arab-Swahili elite based in Zanzibar. By 1900 the influence of the old ruling class on the island of Zanzibar itself was waning in the interior, replaced instead by a new British ruling class which although theoretically serving only in an advisory capacity, had instead usurped control of the vast interior of the Sultanate.
Remind me why the British abolished Slavery again, because this undermines the whole point.
 
Bye bye Zanzibar. How long until actual colonisation takes place, or will it be more indirect like the trucial states of Arab Gulf? RIP those indians if someone like Idi Ameen ever takes charge in East Africa.
 
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So it appears that the Portuguese Pink Map project had the same outcome TTL? It´s a shame dut to the butterflies it could lead, but unless a more mellow and diplomatic british premier is in charge which accepts the portuguese proposals, little could be changed in that regard.
 
Glad you think so, I got my interest from my ex. Also all the resources I have read make it very clear Japan would have left the Philippines independent in return for the former Spanish islands in Micronesia.

Remind me why the British abolished Slavery again, because this undermines the whole point.
Why the British abolished slavery is certainly an important question, and one that I'm not sure has an easy answer. For sure, there was the real moral imperative that had been pushed along by men such as William Wilberforce. I believe that a great many Britons at the time genuinely abhorred the horrors that slavery meant for millions of people. But of course, it was expedient for British power as well. Stopping the slave ships of other countries not only allowed the Royal Navy to treat the Atlantic as its own sea, but it provided some justification for other British actions. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Britain banned it because it had become unprofitable, however.

An independent Philippines aligned to Japan would certainly be interesting, and I do wonder what that would mean for America's position in Asia. I suppose it would depend on whether the Spanish-American War happened in a similar way and timeframe to OTL (not likely).
Bye bye Zanzibar. How long until actual colonisation takes place, or will it be more indirect like the trucial states of Arab Gulf? RIP those indians if someone like Idi Ameen ever takes charge in East Africa.
Zanzibar is a protectorate, but still one with a good deal of autonomy, similar in some ways to the Arab Gulf. However, places such as OTL Kenya and Tanzania still have great amounts of relatively empty land that may well be desired by settlers.
So it appears that the Portuguese Pink Map project had the same outcome TTL? It´s a shame dut to the butterflies it could lead, but unless a more mellow and diplomatic british premier is in charge which accepts the portuguese proposals, little could be changed in that regard.
Don't get me wrong, the map is pink, covered in British pink that is! OTL the British were somewhat hampered in expansion due to their need to hold Egypt, but here of course the burden is shared with France. Among other things, this may well slow down French expansion in Africa whilst allowing the British more opportunities to nab territories that it didn't in OTL (Katanga being a prime example).
 
A Bloody Dawn - Anatolia, 1894
Talori, 1894

The Kurds were here again. They came every year, to collect their “tribute”. For here in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, there were not one, but two masters. As well as taxes to the regular government, the Armenians had to pay money and give various goods to the nomadic Kurdish tribes. But this year, they would be refused.

Last year, the tribute had included the pretty young daughter of one of the villagers, and this had been a step too far for many. Everyone’s wives, daughters or sisters were now at risk of being dragged into the harem of one of these savages and subjected to a kind of treatment that none of them dared imagine. So they would not meekly hand over whatever was demanded. They would fight.

Abdullah was the first to know that something was wrong. As they approached the village, they could not see any sign of life. No farmers tilling their fields, no children playing outside. No sooner had he stopped riding forward, than a gunshot rang out from the village. The man beside him fell off his horse, face down on the dusty ground. Abdullah let out a yell and charged forward along with his fellows.

Where the villagers acquired the guns, who knows. The Hunchaks and Dashnaks had both been arming civilians, hoping for a great revolution that would create a free Armenia. But for the village of Talori, they could wait no longer while these bandits and brigands took the food from their children’s mouths and their womenfolk from their homes. They would fight back today.

But the Kurds proved to be the better fighters. Abdullah sighted a man firing from behind a wall. He aimed his rifle, fired, and the man let out a scream. The Armenians were fighting hard but were no match for the numbers of the Kurds. After half an hour of fighting, the firing from the village had subsided and the Kurdish raiders now felt comfortable approaching the village. This time there would be no primitive system of requisitioning, there would be plunder. The doors of houses were kicked down, and terrified women and children huddled in the corner as strange men covered in dust and blood ransacked their houses. If they were lucky, the men would take any valuables and move on. If they were unlucky, they would snatch women and children, to become slaves or worse.

Talori was a footnote in history, but for the people of the village, it was nothing less than a holocaust. Their menfolk were slaughtered trying to defend what little they had, their women raped, their children snatched and their village destroyed. Abdullah and his compatriots rode away, as Abdullah turned back and saw the flames of the village illuminating the sky as evening turned to night. wamā l-naṣru illā min ʿindi l-lahi, thought Abdullah to himself as he held a young woman over his lap. Victory is sweet indeed.

* * * * * *

640px-Earl_of_Rosebery_Vanity_Fair_14_March_1901.jpg


Westminster, 1895

Archibald Primrose, Earl of Roseberry and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was not in a good position. He had become Prime Minister in the wake of yet another Liberal defeat over Irish Home Rule. Gladstone was now retired and it seemed as if Roseberry was given the unenviable task of carrying the Liberal Party to an inglorious defeat at the hands of the reinvigorated Conservatives. And now came word of fresh atrocities in the Near East against the Christian population of Turkey. Faced with a crisis such as this, Roseberry turned to the one man whose moral standpoint on the issue was beyond question.

“I had the firm conviction that something like this would happen. The situation is grave indeed” Gladstone had become cantankerous in his old age, and if there was one subject that would trigger his indignation like no other, it was that of Turkish atrocities against Christians. “We have all allowed them to undertake these actions. Myself included. I would have sooner allowed the Russians to take the straits than allow the Turk the whip hand over Christians”

“But what would you advise my government do? It appears we have little enough influence amongst the Turkish government to force an end to this madness” Roseberry asked. He and Gladstone had not seen eye to eye on all matters, particularly when it came to the matter of empire. However, it was prudent to seek the advice of the “Grand Old Man”, particularly when it came to topics with a great moral dimension.

“Intervention with our army and navy is the only way. If the crowned heads of Europe are content to stand by when Christians are slaughtered, then it falls upon us to lead the charge against the Turk”

This answer concerned Roseberry. “Intervention may come with difficulties. It will be no walkover to force the Turks into submission. You remember as well as anyone what the Russians attempted in 1877 to no avail”

“You asked what I would advise your government to do. You see all the talk of Beaconsfield about the protection of the Crimean order, did nothing to resolve what causes these Eastern Crises have. Mark my words, so long as the Turk is left with the whip-hand raised against Christians, we will be forever learning of some fresh massacre in the East. There is nothing else for it, finishing Turkey’s rule over Christians once and for all is the only real solution”

Roseberry digested what Gladstone had said. Certainly, if he were to finally bring a solution to the Eastern Question that had dogged both British and European statesmen for decades, he would have a great achievement on his hands. Something that would elevate his time as Prime Minister to greatness. What Gladstone said was correct. The Turks were racially incapable of the reform needed to establish lasting peace in the East. Something more drastic had to be done.

* * * * * *

Author's notes - And now we enter a more depressing phase of the timeline. Atrocities are for me, hard to write about, but they are an integral part of both history and our present. The Hamidian Massacres of the 1890s are still hotly debated, presented as the intensification of existing patterns of intercommunal violence and revolt by some, and as a precursor to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by others. Honestly, after all the reading I did on the subject (and it was quite a lot), I'm still not decided. Certainly, there was a great deal of death, a lot of it inflicted by those such as the Hamidye who were supposedly subordinate to the Sultan, but there appears to be no smoking gun of Abdulhamid ordering these massacres. Indeed he was more concerned at the possibility of Europeans using the massacres as an excuse to curtail the empire's soverignty. Of course with a larger Christian population than OTL, TTL's Ottoman Empire faces an even greater reaction from the European powers. Atrocities are usually given attention over others for various reasons and this will be true of TTL's equivalent of the "Hamidian Massacres".

To stop from rambling too much, I'll simply say that I hope I've gone some way toward illustrating the very real violence that took place in Anatolia in the last decade of the 19th century and that I have done so in a respectful way.
 
Will Abdullah be a recurring character like others? Hopefully the female he kidnapped isn’t someone's wife. It pains me to see women given as tribute even in 20th century. Just, how bad were the Kurds? Or was it just wayward bandits who took advantage of lax government control? Anyway, drak times ahead, for this TL as well as Ottoman empire.

Also it would be better if you at least gave reference to the verses of Quran/ hadith.
 
Will Abdullah be a recurring character like others? Hopefully the female he kidnapped isn’t someone's wife. It pains me to see women given as tribute even in 20th century. Just, how bad were the Kurds? Or was it just wayward bandits who took advantage of lax government control? Anyway, drak times ahead, for this TL as well as Ottoman empire.

Also it would be better if you at least gave reference to the verses of Quran/ hadith.
It still would be horrifying if its an unmaried girl...
Imagine being forced to marry the man who killed and raped your friends and Family.
 
The Kurds were here again. They came every year, to collect their “tribute”. For here in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, there were not one, but two masters. As well as taxes to the regular government, the Armenians had to pay money and give various goods to the nomadic Kurdish tribes. But this year, they would be refused.

Last year, the tribute had included the pretty young daughter of one of the villagers, and this had been a step too far for many. Everyone’s wives, daughters or sisters were now at risk of being dragged into the harem of one of these savages and subjected to a kind of treatment that none of them dared imagine. So they would not meekly hand over whatever was demanded. They would fight.

If this is getting any attention or press within the Empire outside of the back-beyond in question, I would like to think that a number of protesters/parliamentarians/etc. (not all of whom are Armenian) are raising all manner of fuss over the state of affairs on their own. At the very least, an official armed presence in the hamlets would be demanded (despite the probable counter-arguments concerning getting a garrison in every back-hills flyspeck).
 
The more reasonable option is the people inside the OE should push for more centralism and reformes ,and abdulhamid should try to stop the Kurds and any try to settle down the tribes
 
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