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Creating Arab Nationalism? Russia and Greece in Ottoman Syria and Palestine (1840–1909)

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The article discusses Russian and Greek rivalry over the influence in the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch from the end of the Egyptian occupation to the Young Turk Revolution. While Greece ultimately aimed at including Orthodox Arabs in a Pan-Hellenic nation, Russian private and state actors were motivated by the cultural and political commitment to the defence of Orthodoxy from western inroads. Throughout this period, Russian diplomats were able to continue their traditional partnership with many Ottoman Greek prelates even after the Bulgarian schism of 1872. But when their leadership seemed to be the cause of mass defections from orthodoxy, Russian foreign policy makers from local consuls to the tsar were drawn into supporting the restoration of native Arab control. The article brings fresh archival evidence to put into context the development of some of the earliest modern Arab autonomous institutions. It also contributes to the discussion of the strength of dynastic and religious identities before 1914.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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