Fear and guilt in the Ottoman Power in Europe (1877)
in History, empire, and Islam
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Chapter 6 focuses on Freeman’s second neglected volume on Oriental history, the Ottoman Power in Europe. Written at the height of the Great Eastern Crisis, which was the consequence of the Bulgarian atrocities, Freeman wrote the volume as a polemic against the Ottoman Empire. Freeman narrates the history of the Turks in order to demonstrate that their religion has meant that they have never been able to treat Christians fairly, and that they have consistently committed barbarous and violent acts. I argue that Freeman’s work is suffused by his fear of the ‘Oriental conspiracy’ between Jews and Muslims, and examine his call for a war which would, finally and permanently, remove the Ottoman power from Europe.

History, empire, and Islam

E. A. Freeman and Victorian public morality

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