Links to the Past: Course Sites for Dr. Christopher Lovett
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updated as of 9 Feb 03

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first midterm modern middle east

Directions: The professor will add questions each week following the Monday evening lecture. This will continue until October 14. The exam itself will be due on October 28. Students are expected to select one essay question and write an essay, which must be no less than five, double-spaced pages in length.  Endnotes are encouraged to indicate where the student obtained the material cited in their paper.

1. Who were the "Arabists?" What part, if any, did British and Christian missionaries play in the start for Middle Eastern area experts? Did those early pioneers have distinct regional biases? How did their successors formulate American policy in the Middle East, especially following World War II? Where did they go wrong? What fate did they experience at the hands of American policymakers? Explain.

2. Bernard Lewis, a respected Orientalist, has argued that the problems confronting the Middle East predate the Arab-Israeli conflict. Even more so, he notes those issues were directly related to the inability to accept modernity. Was this true during the Ottoman period? Why were the Ottomans so successful initially in confronting the Byzantines, yet ultimately failed to maintain their domination against the re-emergence of the West? Explain.

3. How did the Ottoman sultans rule their vast empire? If political scientists examined the Ottoman governmental structure what would they find? How did the Ottoman "way" function so successfully at first? Why did it prove so ineffectual in the seventeenth century? Explain.

4. One can argue that the Ottoman Empire died by a thousand cuts. What made the Ottomans vulnerable to European exploitation? How did the European Balance of Power following 1815 manage to save the Ottomans from the Russians? Why did the British feel it was necessary to maintain the Sultan? 

5. How effective were the Ottoman sultans after 1683? What factors best describe why the Ottomans failed to reform the state? What difficulties did the reformers face in order to modernize the Empire before it was too late?

6. The British were relatively secure in Egypt before the outbreak of World War I. What reasons best explain the sudden reversal of their fortunes in Egypt? Why was Egypt important to Britainís imperial interests? How did the British handle the Egyptian Revolution of 1919? Why did their efforts fail? Explain.

7. How did Egypt managed to win independence from the British following World War II? What part did King Farouk play in the process or did the "Arab Street" simply take charge of the situation?

8. What reasons best explain why King Farouk became involved in the Palestine crisis in 1948? Why did the Egyptian military perform so poorly? What was the ultimate impact of Farouk's decision?