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The Nizam-i Cedid Army Under Sultan Selim III 1789-1807

The Nizam-i Cedid Army Under Sultan Selim III 1789-1807

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The Nizam-I Cedid Army under Sultan Selim III 1789-1807Author(s): Stanford J. ShawReviewed work(s):Source:
Oriens,
Vol. 18/19 (1965/1966), pp. 168-184Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 01/12/2011 06:13
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THENIZAM-ICEDIDARMYUNDERSULTANSELIM III1789-1807
by
Stanford
.
Shaw
CambridgeMass.)
ThetermNizdm-i-Cedid,r"NewOrder",sgenerallyppliedtotheentirepectrumfadministrative,inancial,ndmilitaryeformsntro-duced into the OttomanEmpirenthealmosttwo decadesof rule ofSultanSelimII1. The term s sometimes sedsynonymouslyithhereigntself.et infact,twasappliedbythe Sultan andhiscontempo-rariesnlyto onepartof hisreforms,he newarmycreatedentirelyoutsidefandindependentrom heolderorps,ndtwasonlybecauseof thespectacularatureof thisparticulareformhat tsname aterwasappliedalso to the efforts hichhisSultanmadeto reform heoldernstitutionss well.But it isintheimited,ontemporary,enseof thetermhat tis used here.TheNizam-iCedidarmywas,as we willsee,largelyfailure n itsown time.Yet itrepresentednimportanttepforwardntheevolutionof Ottoman eform. ntil t wascreated,venthemost"modern"nd"liberal"of Ottomantatesmenonceived f reformsnomorehananefforto restore hepurityfold nstitutionsndpractices,nd tomakethemperatenthemannerwhichhadbrought reatnesso theEmpirein thefifteenthnd sixteenth enturies.venthe mostperceptivefeighteenthenturyttoman reformers"id notreallynderstandowmuchEuropehadchangedince thetimeofSuleimanheMagnificentandthatnomatterowgreathe Ottomanwayshad been twocenturiesbefore,venat theirest,heyould be nomatchfor he modernnsti-tutionsfstateand war whichhad been evolved n the West.ButwiththeNizam-i edidhereamethefirst ttomanwakeningo therealitiesofthemodernworld,newconceptfreform,he creation fnewnsti-tutionsndpractices irectlymodellednthosedevelopedntheWest,and theirntroductionnplaceofthosewhichhad beennheritedromthepast.Thiswas the dea ofreform hich haracterizedhe nineteenth-
1B.Lewis,TheEmergence fModernTurkeyLondon1961)p.56-58;EnverZiyaKaral,OsmanlzTarihi.V.Cilt.Nizam-i CeditveTanzimatdevirleri1789-1856)
(Ankara1947)p.63-64.
 
The Nizam-iCedidArmyunderSultan SelimIII169
centuryanzimatmovementhichwas tobringhe Ottomanmpireintothemodernworldn alargecalefor he firstime.The nucleusf thenewarmy ctuallyame ntobeingn asmallcalesometimebeforehe Sultanknew bouttormadeadefiniteecisionoorganizeucha newforcendependentftheolderorps.nlate1791,whilehe GrandVezirYfisufasawasstillnthefieldgainsthe Rus-sians,heassembledn hiscampa smallnumber frenegades apturednthe courseofthecampaign, ncludingt leastone Turkwhohadbeencapturedythe Russiansyearsbeforend hadserved orometime ntheRussianarmy.Theserenegades,ncooperationithfewmembersofheGrandVezir'sersonal uard, eganotrainwithapturedussianweapons,usingEuropean-stylexercises andmaneuvers,ndtheyperformederiodicallyn front ftheirmaster'sentsa kindof enter-tainment n orderodivert hearmy'seadersfrom heirncreasinglydifficultilitary roblems.t thistage,hisnewgroupwas nomorehanatoy,personalapricef the GrandVezir.Noeffortas made toforcethe otherorpstoacceptoreven observe heinfidelracticesfwar,sinceuchrevolutionarytephad notyetbeenuthorizedytheSultan,and the oldercorpsn thepasthaddemonstratediolentreactionsoanyattemptsontroduceewwayswhichmightnderminehepositiontheyhadsecuredn Ottomanociety yvirtuef theirmonopolyfthemilitaryechniquesndweaponsfthepast.Newwayswouldunderminetheirositionn Ottomanociety,otheywerevigorouslypposed,ndsuch reaction ouldnotbe riskedoongsthenemywasreadyotakeadvantageofanyinternal isorderntheOttomanrmy,however n-effectivehatarmymighte1.However,YisufPasadidreportotheSultanontheactivitiesf this smallgroup,ndthroughhesereports,theSultanfinallywas influencedodevelopsuch aguardonalargerscaleoncepeacewasrestoredWhentheTreatyfJassyfinallyroughteacen1792,heImperialarmyreturnedoIstanbul,nd withtcameYtisufasaand hisnewcorps.However,eeft t outside heityo hecoulddiscoverheSultan'sviewsn theubjecteforexposingimselfo thewrathfhesupportersof theoldcorps.t turnedout thatSelim'sreactionwasextremelyfavorable. he weaknesshowngainstheenemy ytheolderorpshad
1
TopKapzSarayarchiveshereaftereferredoasTKS),YeniGelenler1376,fol.4oa-5oa;W.Eton,ASurveyoftheTurkishEmpire(London1799,2nded.)p.98-99;Public RecordOffice,ondon,ForeignOfficerchiveshereaftereferred
to asFO),78/20,no.7(IMarch1792).
2
FO78/13,no.8(ioApril 1792);FO78/15,no.31(25December1794);Archives
ofthe FrenchForeignMinistry, uaid'Orsay,Correspondanceolitique:Turquie,
hereafterreferredto asAE,184,fol.284 (26March1793).

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