La guerra di Crimea come fattore di modernizzazione
Il caso dell’Impero ottomano e dell’Impero russo
The essay analyses the impact of Crimean war on the Russian and Ottoman empires. These were both pushed, in a different way but with a similar intent, to begin a complex policy of modernisation, giving its fruits in the 1860s and 1870s. Both Empires, located at the periphery of Europe, were governed by autocratic monarchs, lacked a tradition of civil rights and self-government and suffered from the comparison with the West, which represented in the Nineteenth century the successful model to be followed in order to survive and thrive. After an examination of the direct consequences of the Crimean war on both empires, the essay describes the reforms they undertook in the post-war years. The Ottoman empire adopted a series of measures in the military, judiciary, bureaucratic, religious spheres to cope with the requests done by its Christian subjects, supported by foreign powers. In the Russian empire, the Tsar Alexander the Second launched an important series of reforms, starting from the abolition of serfdom and the emancipation of the peasants. In conclusion the article assesses the results of this common reform efforts, underlying that notwithstanding limits and contradictions it inaugurated a new epoch in the history of both empires.