Middle East Empires
The middle east empire faced few major difficulties in adapting to the various challenges presented by the west. Few of them were :
Economic : Discovery of new trade routes to Asian countries and the vast continent of America, slashed the monopoly of the middle east empires as a important junction between the continents of Asia and Europe. Trade activities slowed down.
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Simultaneously, in an effort to cope with the modern technology and industrialization, they borrowed huge loans from the European nations. Subsequently the debt rose to alarming extents. Reduced geographical importance was at the base of the economic problems. Weak rule and policy failures: The rising sentiments of nationalism saw many factions grow strong enough to form a nation of their own. Here ethnicity played a major role. Greece and Serbia are examples to prove this point.
These nations became independent, resulting into disintegration of the large empire. On the other hand, European giants, backed by their technological and economic advantages, accessed many empires. Accession of Egypt by the British is an example of such European invasion. The reason underlying the success of these steps was weakness of the rulers. They failed in evolving policies which could meet the aspirations of the changing social patterns.
Cultural gap: The empires of the middle-east were under the heavy and only influence of Islam. This was the base of certain amount of deafness to the changes occurring in Europe. The rulers were not agile enough to sense the implications of the developments of Europe, because of the inherent rigidities of Islam. A classic example is the non tolerance towards all the other faiths except Islam, by all the rulers, until the late 19th century. Effort was made to repair the damages done by bringing changes which gave equality to all the faiths, but it was too late by then. This created a cultural gap, both within the empires amongst various factions of the population and without between the advanced European thoughts and the convention Islamic thoughts.(Ottoman Empire)
These were the difficulties faced by the middle east empires in adapting to the changes.
Ottoman Empire, Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, Retrieved on 29 September 2007
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