Map Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean

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Topic Overview In this lesson students are divided into groups of salonniers and their guests (up to eight groups).  In their groups they plan a salon session to enact in front of class. They research and imagine the historical context  of a salon…

Topic Overview The two lessons in this unit engage students in a study of the literary salon and its impact across the Mediterranean in the age of print journalism. While the salon tradition was firmly in place in France by the seventeenth century,…

In this lesson students investigate primary and secondary visual and written sources about Ottoman reforms in the second half of the nineteenth century. Extension and Assessment activities include writing an excerpt from a nineteenth century travel…

Topic Overview This lesson introduces students to Sultan Abdulmecid I, who ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1839-1861, during the formative years of the Tanzimat Reforms.  Born in 1808, he inherited the throne from his father Mahmud II who had…

This lesson continues the study of Khayr al-Din’s life and work as a reformer begun in lessons 5.5. Khayr al-Din: Groomed for Reform and 5.2. The Case for Reform (which includes excerpts of Khayr al-Din’s greatest work The Surest Path). In…

Topic Overview  Khayr al-Din was born (c.1822) in the Caucasus, then part of the Ottoman Empire. When his father died fighting for the Ottomans, Khayr al-Din was sold into slavery, first to a prominent family in Istanbul.  His rise was remarkable;…

(Muhammad Ali) Mehmet Ali of Egypt (1769-1825) enacted a series of reforms in Egypt that overhauled the Egyptian military, economy, and social hierarchy. This lesson asks students to evaluate his ultimate goals and methodology and to evaluate his…

This lesson answers the question: To what extent was the Declaration of Gulhane influenced by the ideals of the French Revolution and how were they adapted by Ottoman reformers? Students are provided with statements excerpted from the Declaration of…

Topic Overview In a work excerpted in this lesson, Halide Edib Adivar (1884-1964) poses the question: “Could it be possible to effect an all-round Westernization [of Ottoman Turkey] without altering the very nature of Islamic society?”  To…

Topic Overview In the first two decades of the 19th century the Ottoman Empire still dominated much of the eastern and southern coastlines of the Mediterranean (which included its semi-independent states of Egypt and Tunisia).   But as the century…
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