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Two Concepts of State in the Tanzimat Period: the Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane and the Hatt-ı Hümayun

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This article suggests dividing the Tanzimat period into two phases each run by a different elite. Phase one extended from 1839 to 1854 and phase two between 1855 and 1871 after which the Sublime Porte entered a few years of instability. The traditional ruling class left over from the period of Sultan Mahmud II controlled the state after him. Its major contribution was the promulgation of the Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane, the aim of which was to end absolute rule and restore justice in the government system. However failing to check the drift into the Crimean War this traditional ruling class lost power in favour of a new ruling elite whose members belonged to a lower-middle or lower classes, and who as such represented social mobility within Ottoman Turkish society.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Haifa,


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