Files in this item



application/pdfStefania_Costache.pdf (1MB)
(no description provided)PDF


Title:At the end of empire: imperial governance, inter-imperial rivalry and "autonomy" in Wallachia and Moldavia (1780s-1850s)
Author(s):Costache, Stefania
Director of Research:Todorova, Maria N.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Todorova, Maria N.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hitchins, Keith; Randolph, John W.; Philliou, Christine M.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Sciences
East European Studies
Imperial History
International law
Ottoman Empire
European History
18th century
19th century
Abstract:This dissertation recreates the biography of several power holders in Wallachia and Moldavia to explore how local, imperial and inter-imperial politics interacted on this Ottoman borderland between the 1780s and 1850s and promoted European imperialist aims in the Ottoman Empire. For this purpose, it provides an analysis of Ottoman rule on a borderland inhabited by a Christian population and located near two Christian empires, the Habsburg and the Russian, the latter of which pursued an active expansionist policy against the Ottoman Empire. It also explores the interplay between the politics of local power holders who aimed to enhance their position and the forms of political intervention that the competing European empires deployed to exert control over the Ottoman Empire in contraction. It suggests that the major turning point in the history of Ottoman imperial rule over this borderland occurred after the European powers devised formal agreements in the 1830s to formally create the notions of European protection of the Ottoman Empire, of restricted Ottoman rule in the Christian Balkan dominions and of local “autonomous” governments, which accommodated the elites on site. The study is divided in four chapters that retrace the interaction of local and imperial interests on the borderland during the Russian-Habsburg-Ottoman wars of 1787-1791/1792, the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), and the Russian-Ottoman war of 1828-1829. These chapters reveal the transformation of forms of European expansion against the Ottoman Empire, as tested on the Danube borderlands: from territorial annexation to diplomatic influence, imperial condominium and the creation of a body of international law pertaining to the Ottoman Empire. The analysis of the trade with land estates across the Ottoman-Habsburg-Russian borders between the 1780s and the 1810s, displays the complications that characterized territorial annexation as a form of European expansion against the Ottoman Empire. In this respect, the local power holders’ private businesses with land estates challenged the authority of the three empires on the borderland, prompting the imperial central administrations to acknowledge such businesses in order to substantiate their own territorial claims. A study of the information networks that the local power holders operated between the Ottoman, Russian and Habsburg Empires during a period of crisis for the Ottoman Empire, from the Napoleonic Wars until the Greek revolts, reveals how diplomacy on the borderland became an important instrument to promote and oppose European expansionism at the Porte. It also reveals how local elites used their role in the Ottoman diplomacy to survive the political changes that the Greek revolts triggered at Constantinople. The analysis of the local power holders’ involvement in the Russian-sponsored administration of the borderland between 1829 and 1840 explores how European powers competing for control over an Ottoman Empire in turmoil began to promote formal agreements to legitimize their authority in imperial affairs, restrict Ottoman power and co-opt local leaders. The examination of successive European formal definitions of Ottoman, local and international control in Wallachia and Moldavia and of changing local political agendas (1830s-1850s) explores the continuities between competing European imperial projects in the Ottoman Empire and the elites’ promotion of a unified nation-state on the borderland.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Stefania Costache
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics