Crisis and Transformation of an Old Regime: Circulation of Ideologies and Institutions between Russian and Ottoman Empires, 1768–1774
In September 1768, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia arguing that the latter broke its treaty obligations with the Empire by abolishing the conditions of Polish liberty. This declaration started a disastrous war that had very significant repercussions for the transformation of the Ottoman regime.
This research project aims to understand the crisis and the transformation before, during and after the Ottoman Russian War of 1768-1774 by focusing on the circulation of concepts and institutions between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. Ottoman and Russian diplomacy made use of the concepts of Enlightened absolutism like liberty, fatherland, protection against foreign invaders, protection of life, honor and property in the declarations they made to their allies, enemies and subject populations. Diplomats and bureaucrats tried also to differentiate their promises and made use of their own vocabularies and worldviews to find answers to enemy propaganda. This was all the more important for the Ottomans who by 1770 was trying to defend against Russian armies deep in their own territories.
The goal of this project is to examine the circulation, transfer, and translation of concepts in the transottoman milieu created and enhanced by the Ottoman-Russian rivalry. The project uses Ottoman-Turkish, Greek and Russian documents that concern Poland, Crimea, Moldavia, Wallachia, Morea, Aegean Islands and Egypt with a view to highlight the Ottoman aspect of this circulation.