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Lord Strangford, an experienced diplomatic official with previous postings to Portugal, Brazil, and Sweden, served as Britain's ambassador to the Sublime Porte from 1821 to 1824, an especially turbulent time in Ottoman-European encounters. As the Ottoman Empire coped with a series of challenges, Strangford sent hundreds of reports to the London Foreign Office. His correspondence detailed the state of the sultan's realm at a tense but pivotal moment in the Eastern Question, that precarious web of European power, rivalry, and intrigue in the remarkably resilient Ottoman Empire, which still possessed strategic lands and vital waterways in the Levant, or eastern Mediterranean. Rebellion broke out in the Danubian principalities, the Peloponnese, and other Greekinhabited regions of the Ottoman Empire. War between Russia and Turkey loomed, largely over Ottoman actions that abrogated Russian-Ottoman treaties. Ottoman restrictions disrupted European trade. Politics clashed with religion. Sectarian abuse and violence deepened the Greek-Ottoman divide. Administrative disorder heightened public uncertainty, government factions contested the sultan's rule, and border disputes sparked hostility between Turkey and Persia.


From Russian-Ottoman Borderlands: The Eastern Question Reconsidered by Lucien J. Frary and Mara Kozelsky. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. © 2014 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

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