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What historical factors played the greatest role in defining the Arab society and culture since the eighteenth century?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Ottoman Empire: Decline and end.
    1. The Ottoman Empire.
    2. Its failure to adapt its economy and especially its industry to the European economy.
    3. Different interpretations of Islam.
  3. The Arab population under European colonialism.
    1. The nineteenth century.
    2. The word colonialism.
    3. The first major conquest of an Arab country.
    4. 'The Sick European Man'.
  4. The rise of nationalism and the fight for independence.
    1. The growth of nationalism in the Arab countries.
    2. The Second World War.
    3. The Palestinian question.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Works cited.

From the seventh to the eighteenth century, the Arab World has formed a large area regrouping a Muslim population, sharing a common religion and culture. In different parts of the Islamic World, Islam was the bound between the Umma. Since the fourteenth century, the main part of the Arab world had been under the Ottoman domination. The eighteenth century is a turning point in the history of that world. Hourani calls that period ?the changing balance of power in the eighteenth century?. The Arab World, which had been in expansion from the seventh to the seventeenth century, was not anymore the powerful region it used to be. This century is also the one of the changing of dominant power. The Ottoman domination gave way to the European one. Among European countries, most shared the idea that the strength of a nation was enhanced by the conquest of new territories. The Arab world became a zone of competition between the European powers, which had a lot of influence on the Arab Society. The History of the Arab World is inextricably linked to the domination of a great power, first Ottoman and then European.

[...] Hourani make an interesting rapprochement, ?since the aim of the nationalist movements was to create an autonomous and flourishing modern society, the revival of the Arabic language as a medium of modern expression and the bond of unity was a central theme?.[17] The Arabic was spread in the all the Arab world through newspapers, radio, movies and literature, thus playing its historical role of bind between the members of the Umma. The nationalism in those times was generally secularist. The need of education was one of the first objectives, even for women. [...]


[...] The Arab culture was preserved during this period, in the Arab provinces. During the sixteenth en seventeenth century, a large number of religious building were constructed in different parts of the Empire, such as the shrine of Sidi Mahraz in Tunis or the mosque of Suleyman Pasha in the Citadel in Cairo. Despite the fact that Turkish was the language of the ruling elite, the Arabic language was preserved and even reinforced.[1] The Ottoman Empire, allowed the preservation of the Arab and Islamic cultures. [...]


[...] It is undeniable that the local population was not fooled, and it must have played a role thereafter, by strengthening their fight for independence. During the succession of the Shaykh, the French tried to influence the accession to power of the Shaykh's nephew, rather than his daughter. Actually they knew it would be easier to manipulate the first one. However, the community decided to be ruled by the daughter, despite of the will of the Shaykh and the French, which is an evidence of the strength of the community.[13] Before the First World War, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya fell under European control. [...]

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