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The Tanzimat reforms were carried out between 1830 and 1870 in the Ottoman Empire. They were a wide ranging series of reforms. They included educational, political and economic reforms. They are widely seen as part of the process of modernisation to stop the apparent decline of Ottoman power. The process of modernisation as in so many other countries involved adopting the models and practices of western countries and societies. This was motivated by the need to ensure that the Ottomans were able to compete against the western powers and to preserve their Empire. The modernization process in the Ottoman Empire was a way of ensuring that they did not become the subjects of the western powers.<ref>Inalcık, H. and Quataert, D.
An Economic and Social History of The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 189.</ref> During the nineteenth century much of the world became subject to the western powers, especially Britain and France. The Tanzimat reforms were only partially successful and did not halt the Ottoman decline.
[[File:Kırım_Savaşı,_Türk_piyadeleri_1854_senesi.jpg|thumbnail|Ottoman infantry soldiers]]
==Decline of Ottoman Empire==
Until the 18th century the Ottoman Turks were at least as powerful as the great European powers. However, from the mid-1750, it became apparent that the Ottomans could not compete militarily with the great European powers, including Russian and the Hapsburg Empire.<ref>Qetvket Pamuk "Institutional Change and the Longevity of the Ottoman Empire, 1500–1800". ''Journal of Interdisciplinary History'', vol xxxv:2, Autumn, 2004, p.247.</ref> In successive conflicts the armies of the Sultan, once invincible, were defeated and the Empire was losing territory. It appeared that their Christian enemies were slowly dismembering the Empire and that the existence of the realm was in danger.’.<ref>Parmuk, p. 235.</ref> It soon became apparent that the Ottoman armies, could not compete with the European armies. This meant that the Ottoman Turks were increasingly vulnerable to the European. The economic system that prevailed in the Empire in 1800 was largely similar to that of the fifteenth century, it was clearly unsuitable to the needs of a society that had to compete with the European nations, who were being transformed by the industrial revolution. <ref> Inalcık, H. and Quataert, D. ''An Economic and Social History of The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914''. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 189. </ref> There was a recognition that there needed to be economic changes and also accompanying political and legal reforms. These were necessary because the Sultan and his advisors accepted that the Ottoman Empire had to modernize in order to preserve the Empire.
[[File:Thomas_allom,_c1840,_The_Enterance_to_Divan.png|thumbnail|Entrance to the Divan Istanbul in the nineteenth century by Thomas Allom]]
The Ottoman Empire’s economy was much influenced by Muslim economic theories. These favoured state intervention, protectionism and frowned upon the profit motive. The Ottoman reformers knew that they had to liberalize the economy if they were to have the resources to contend with the Europeans. The Tanzimat reforms attempted to introduce many ambitious economic and financial reforms, including the abolition of guilds, free trade, the right to private property and a new tax system. New banks were established, despite the Islamic religious elite denouncing interest payments as Riba or usury, which was contrary to the Koran. The Sultan and his government also began to move towards the lifting of barriers on trade and abandoned protectionism. The Ottoman government in order to implement their secular projects as part of the Tanzimat Reforms, established courts that oversaw economic regulation. The Napoleonic Trade Laws were adopted from the 1850s.<ref>Hanioglu, M. Sukru.
A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2008), p. 141. </ref> The Islamic courts still issues decrees on Sharia Law, both in urban and tribal areas, but increasingly they were unable to arbitrate in the areas of economic regulation. These changes were all designed to develop the Ottoman Economy. The changes made were all based on the western model. This was partly because the Ottoman Caliph sought to replicate the policies of the western governments to become as powerful as they had in recent decades.<ref>Jason Goodwin, Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. (Penguin Books, Hamondsworth,2003, p. 189.</ref>
==Impact of the Tanzimat==