Napoleon in Egypt
Ottoman Empire had a dynasty compared to no other empire that existed before, and its success led to it spanning the medieval, early modern and lastly the current period’s holding quite a portion of Southern Europe, parts of Asia and the Northern part of Africa. The empire combined both the Islamic and Christian states in it even though the empire primarily ruled over Christian subjects until later in its final half-century. At the beginning of the 19th century, Ottoman Empire was in the age of decline and seemingly presenting shadows of their previous glory even though it was still the most controversial power among the European states.
Because of the internal weaknesses that were already affecting the empire, it felt very reluctant about engaging the European affairs. However, it seemed like the European invaders were waiting for the final hour to observe what would happen (Bayly, 2016). The Ottoman just had to engage them, and this was in the Napoleon war. This research paper seeks to analyze the Ottoman Empire and their relations with the Napoleons alongside their goals and friendships before and after their clash over Egypt and Syria.
The Ottoman Empire developed to an extent where it could only be compared to Ming dynasty in China regarding political, economic and military power. It was, however, the most powerful in the entire Mediterranean and European regions. It had achieved the world status by around 1453. Likewise, Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power after the French Revolution in the in the year 1804 when he imposed himself as the emperor of French. This happened immediately after suspending the Monarch leadership overthrowing the existing monarch government. The Napoleon army was well trained with tactical moves, and this made them lethal in their invasions and attacks in different nations across Europe (Bayly, 2016). Ottoman never wanted to get involved with the Napoleon soldiers knowing very well their weaknesses and the kind of army that existed in the French Republic.
The Napoleon war began after the French revolution as it was evident during this time that French had the strongest army in entire Europe. It, however, heightened when general Napoleon Bonaparte issued revolutionary propaganda to the Jewish in his 1799 campaign in Israel. The revolutionary propaganda that was articulated by General Bonaparte was direct destruction to the Ottoman Empire. As a result of the publicity from the general, the neglected Turkish proclaimed that in the Muslim year in 1212 that was 1797 to 1797, a revolutionary proclamation was already inviting the Jews to form a government of their won based in Jerusalem. This was a plan of the Napoleons to make the Ottoman Empire weak that is, creating an internal revolutionary war that would weaken the Empire. The influence of the Napoleon in inflicting confidence to the Jews in creating their government was evident in Constantinople which was then the major international European newspaper. The media house published French involvement in the Jewish formation of a government in May 1799, where Napoleon was inviting the Jews to establish the ancient Jerusalem. The compelling theme to the indigenous Jews echoed for years before the reflective consequences of the same came out in the 20th century. All this was a plan set up by the Napoleons since they never wanted the Jews in their nation and hence trying to use them in weakening the Ottoman as they wished to power dominance in entire Europe, Asia, and even Africa.
In the mid-1797, General Bonaparte became the very next neighbor to the Ottoman Empire in the region around Adriatic including the areas of Ancona, Italy, the Balkan coast near Butrinto, Vionizza, Preveza and the Ionian island. Immediately after being the next door neighbors to the Ottoman, as usual, secret invasion to the Ottoman Empire began when the region in the east of the Ottoman Empire started experiencing a swarm of French agents alongside overflowing revolutionary propaganda, a sign of French invasion to the Ottoman Empire. Reports from the Constantinople emerging from the Turkish regional officials indicated the Sultans fear for what was going on between the two great empires as at February 13, the year 1798. In a quote, the newspaper stated that “Sudden revolution [in the Ottoman Empire] would be the fruit of Greek-language writings which arrive in profusion and which are distributed among the people to prepare them for a great change.”
The Napoleon organized a press in the year 1798 at Rome, Pisa, and Venice had a Hebrew language press with typesetters from different languages ready for the revolutionary order. Napoleon positioned himself with characters who were prepared to print propaganda in Ottoman-Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Italian and French. The propaganda was intended to vitrify the Ottomans government.
One of the many propaganda that emerged from the press was the one released to the Ionian island of Corfu. A proclamation was printed in Greek, and a well in Italian was announcing that “With the establishment of a press, those kings still sitting on their shaky thrones tremble, their iron yoke has been lifted from off the necks of the people by revolution.” The press was also used in printing the lectures that were delivered at the synagogue in Italian on Corfu. In the revolution that was ongoing, the primary beneficiaries would be the Jews since, at the end of it all, they would have their government relived from being under the Ottoman Empire, a move that was purely Napoleon’s (Clarke, & Horne, 2018). This propaganda led to a war in the Ionian island with the French being secretly involved; the Jews revolted against the Ottomans leading to reactionary attacks from the Ottomans and the Russians combining forces in the year 1798 to 1799.
The French and the Ottoman Empire had been friends for quite a long period, and at this particular time, it was no doubt the friendship was almost going to an end. It is believed that the friendship between the two empires existed just because none of them had the confidence of defeating the other when it came to warfare. Since the Ottoman on this side, had been weakened by the internal disagreements that existed between the different states and on the other hand, the Napoleon had been exhausted and dusted by the several wars they had been through in different parts of Europe (Clarke, & Horne, 2018). The United Kingdom was their primary threat and finishing England was quite a load since the British were well equipped, resourceful alongside the several backups from different countries that received their support during the Napoleon wars.
As time flew, the Ottoman Empire was feeling quite offended with lack of respect from the Napoleons who never recognized their sovereignty in different parts of their massive empire. The Napoleon’s army would sometimes provoke the Ottoman taking advantage of the soft ground taken by the Ottoman. By the beginning of the year 1797, the Napoleon had a misplaced priority over the friendship that existed between them and the Ottoman but instead, they were targeting a revolutionary war promulgated by numerous propaganda towards the Ottoman, a show of lack of respect to their humble neighbors. The Napoleon increased the level of their propaganda directed to the subjects of the Ottoman Empire. The propaganda that went round in different newspapers with the Constantinople being the significant coverage of the words uttered by the France republics, the Ottoman still kept their cards secret waiting for the right time strike as they were known of concealing their intentions and attacking when it was indeed necessary (Clarke, & Horne, 2018). Their silence kept Napoleon going as they were gaining more courage with a belief of a tensed Ottoman Empire.
In a statement made by one of the top officials from the Ottoman Empire on the issue that was ongoing between them and the French. It stated that “Nothing is more important than we put ourselves on a good footing with Albania, Greece, Macedonia and other provinces of the Turkish Empire in Europe and even with all those that are bathed by the waters of the Mediterranean, notably Egypt which one day could become of great utility to us. The directory approving the ties
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