German imperialism in the ottoman empire: a comparative study
Illich, Niles Stefan
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The conventional understanding of German expansion abroad, between unification (1871) and the First World War (1914), is that Germany established colonies in Africa, the Pacific Islands, and to a lesser degree in China. This colonialism began in 1884 with the recognition of German Southwest Africa. This dissertation challenges these conventionally accepted notions about German expansion abroad. The challenge presented by this dissertation is a claim that German expansionism included imperial activity in the Ottoman Empire. Although the Germans did not develop colonies in the Ottoman Empire, German activity in the Middle East conformed closely to the established model for imperialism in the Ottoman Empire; the British established this model in the 1840s. By considering the economic, political, military, educational, and cultural activities of the Germans in the Ottoman Empire it is evident that the Ottoman Empire must be considered in the historiography of German expansionism. When expanding into the Ottoman Empire the Germans followed the model established by the British. Although deeply involved in the Ottoman Empire, German activity was not militaristic or even aggressive. Indeed, the Germans asserted themselves less successfully than the British or the French. Thus, this German expansion into the Ottoman Empire simultaneously addresses the question of German exceptionalism.