[BLANK_AUDIO] During this period of the 19th century, there was a dramatic change in the balance of power with Europe. Up until the middle of the 18th century, the Ottomans could feel on an equal footing with Europe. And before this period, even superior to Europe. But in the last quarter of the 18th century, a dramatic change took place. It was clear that the gap between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, in science, technology, military, and economic power was all shifting in favor of the Europeans. Important advances in medicine led to dramatic population growth in Europe. Technology enabled modern shipbuilding. And therefore also economic expansion. The wealth of the West enabled the creation of powerful navies and armies. And all of this served the expansion of Europe, ever more at the expense of the Ottomans. The Russian-Ottoman War of 1768 to 1774 was a critical turning point. The Russians emerged victorious in this confrontation, and in this war they took over the area of the Crimea. This Russian victory brought the Russians onto the banks of the Black Sea. The Black Sea from then onwards was no longer an enclosed Ottoman lake. And brought the Russians ever closer to the straits, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, that lead to the Mediterranean. This loss of Crimea didn't only mean the loss of complete Ottoman control of the Black Sea. It also meant the first serious loss of control of Muslim subjects. The symbolic loss of Ottoman control of Muslim peoples. This was a great historical reversal. And of great meaning, because it was of great religious and legitimacy importance. For the Ottoman Empire to be the ruler of Muslims, and not to have Muslims taken over by Christian powers. The Ottoman Empire was, after all, the protector of Muslims and of Islam. In the 19th century, we have what one could call the century of European empires. Europe seemed to be ruling the world. This led to the realization of the peoples in the Middle East, and the Ottoman government too, that something had gone awfully wrong in the cosmic order of things. The belief in the historic supremacy of Islam over Christianity. The belief in the historic supremacy of Muslims above all other religions and peoples, was in need of an update. The fundamental change in thinking was required. And it was now at the end of the 18th century, when the Sultan Selim III began the first serious efforts at modernizing the Ottoman Army. And this was done in the 1790s, before the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt. The fact that reforms began in the military, is a very important factor in and of itself. What this meant, and having a great effect on politics in the Middle East in later years, was that the military was the vanguard of Western modernizing reform. Military officers became the most westernized, of Middle Eastern societies. And very often in later years, became the leaders of revolutionary change. Revolutionary change in the military led to revolutionary change in other spheres. To modernize the military required, for example, the learning of foreign languages. French, English, German. The learning of foreign languages in order to modern, modernize the military, led eventually to the influx of foreign ideas. And foreign ideas were the most important in creating what one could call a cultural shock. For the Muslim world and its recognition, that Islam was no longer a superior culture. The Muslims could no longer rely just on their own self sufficiency. New ideas, such as equality before the law, individual rights, nationalism. All of these gave rise to new forms of identity and to new forms of organization of the political community. The most dramatic foreign intrusion was Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in the summer of 1798. >> The French stayed for three years until they were forced out by the British and the Ottomans. But this was the first intrusion into the very heartland of the Ottoman Empire. And it was not only an intrusion, but also an extreme exposure to the greatness of European power at that time. This was not just military power. The French came to Egypt not only with their armies, but with scientific missions, that brought to the Middle East and exposed to the Middle East, this whole new world of scientific advancement and progress. During the 19th century, the people of the Middle East were exposed to an explosion of European energy. The population of Europe increased by 50% from 1800 to 1850. >> Britain's population grew in this period from 16 million to 27 million. London became the largest city on Earth with a population of two and a half million people. There was therefore much available manpower, needed both for industry, and the development of large modern armies. Between 1815 and 1850, Britain's exports to the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, increased by 800%. Europe's need for raw materials meant olive oil from Tunisia, silk from Lebanon, and cotton from Egypt. The European merchants had the power of their home countries behind them. The Russians and the French interfered regularly, in the affairs of the Christians in the Ottoman Empire. The Russians supporting their fellow co-religionists, Orthodox Christians, the Serbs and the Greeks. And the French protecting Catholics. At a later stage, Britain tried to play this minority game by supporting the Jews and the Zionist idea in Palestine. Support for nationalist aspirations of the Christian communities of the Ottoman Empire came very regularly from the Europeans. And it is the Christians who were the first to be affected by Western ideas. Because by the nature of things, the Christians had a greater openness to the Christian West.