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Armenian Genocide

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					The Armenians and the
   Ottoman Empire
        Armenian Life before 1915

Adapted in part from Dr. Nicole Vartanian &
Sara Cohan, The Genocide Education Project
Where is Armenia?
        Who are the Armenians?

   Armenians have existed since 6th century
    B.C.E.
   1st people to adopt Christianity as national
    religion
   Lived as part of kingdoms throughout
    most of existence, until modern republics
    formed
   Part of Ottoman Empire since 16th century
The Ottoman Empire
           The Ottoman Empire
   1299 – 1922
   Multi-ethnic, multi-religious population
    under Turkish rule, including:
       Greeks
       Kurds
       Jews
       Armenians
   Governance included “millet” system
    Life under Ottoman Empire
TURKS                      ARMENIANS
 Muslim                    Christian

  (predominantly)           10-15% of Ottoman

 “First class” citizens
                             Empire
                            Some autonomy,
 Led by Sultan
                             under guidance of
                             Armenian Church
                            “Second Class”
                             citizens
       “Second Class Citizens”?

   Participation in society restricted
   Special taxes
   Prohibition on bearing arms

Note: Armenians are not the only “second
 class citizens” in the Ottoman Empire
Why do people get treated as an
          “other”?
Decline of
Ottoman
 Empire
    Problems for the Ottoman Empire

   Poor administration &       Greeks gain
    corruption                   independence in
   Rise of other                1820s (with Western
    imperialist powers           European military
   “Sick Man of Europe”         support)
   Calls for civil and         Balkan people begin
    political liberties in       armed struggle
    19th century                Armenians demand
   Sultan not serious           democratic reforms
    about reforms
          The Fight for Equality
   Armenians saw themselves as part of Ottoman
    Empire, but by mid-1800s groups of intellectuals
    protested discriminatory laws, seeking
    government reform, though not an independent
    state
   At this same time, Ottoman Empire experienced
    period of decline and lost territories to Russia,
    Great Britain, and other national states
   This fueled suspicion regarding Russian-
    Armenians’ support of Armenians’ quest for
    human rights in Ottoman Empire
    Armenians viewed as a threat

   Geographically – split Empire
   Democratic reforms could lead to
    demands for independence
   Armenians had started to organize to push
    for reform and gain Western support
          Sultan Abdul Hamid II
   1876 – 1908                1894-1896 “Hamidian
   Pressure from Western       Massacres”
    governments                100,000 – 300,000
                                Armenians killed
                               Local Turks and Kurds,
                                often after Friday night
                                prayers
                               Police did not stop—
                                helped if there was any
                                resistance
           Given this context,

   What options did Armenians pursue or
    have available to them in their quest for
    civil rights?
   What were the consequences of Armenian
    efforts?
                Jigsaw Reading

   Iron Ladles for Liberty Stew (p. 28)
   Organizing for Change (p. 31)
   Seeking Civil Rights (p. 42)
   Showdown at Bank Ottoman (p. 48)
   Bloody News from Adana (p. 57)
       Including “Grief” by Siamanto
   Neighbor Turns Against Neighbor (p. 51)
        Armenians before 1915
   What options did Armenians pursue or
    have available to them in their quest for
    civil rights?
   What were the consequences of Armenian
    efforts?

   Jigsaw reading
   Walkers and Talkers strategy
                Jigsaw Reading

   Iron Ladles for Liberty Stew (1878)
   Organizing for Change (1885-1893)
   Seeking Civil Rights (1895)
   Showdown at Bank Ottoman (1896)
   Bloody News from Adana (1909)
       Including “Grief” by Siamanto
   Neighbor Turns Against Neighbor (1910s)
     International consequences
   International publicity
   International post of American Red Cross
    established
   Humanitarian aid
   The “Red Sultan” (aka the “Bloody
    Sultan”) agrees to end massacres
   Europeans agree to press for more
    reforms/protections
               Foreshadowing
   Massacres foreshadowed the Genocide
   Thousands of Armenians found refuge in Europe
    and U.S.; others converted to Islam to save lives
   Uniqueness of massacres caught world’s
    attention: Armenians were unarmed and
    adhered to parameters set forth by Ottoman
    government
   Articles about the brutal killings were publicized
    in newspapers throughout the world, including
    The New York Times
             Other Witnesses

   The media was aware of the Hamidian
    Massacres mainly because of the presence
    of American and European missionaries
    stationed throughout the Ottoman Empire.
   Through their efforts and with the help of
    activists on American shores a tremendous
    amount of aid spilled into the Empire for
    Armenians.
    The New Century: A Moment of
               Hope
   At the beginning of the Twentieth Century
    Armenians became more hopeful concerning
    their role in the Ottoman Empire.
   New organizations were forming that included
    both Armenians and Turks.
   These new groups including the Young Turks
    were initially idealist and worked to implement a
    constitutional government in Ottoman Empire
    which would provide equal rights regardless of
    ethnicity.

				
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