Beginning with the establishment of Islam as a religion in 610 CE, the Muslim community under Muhammad and his successors grew to cover vast areas of the world. The Muslim community stretched across Asia, Europe, and Africa from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the sixteenth century, but it did not exist as one single political unit. Rather, it was divided into large empires. By the mid-nineteenth century, these Muslim empires found themselves under political, economic, and military pressure from European powers eager to expand and establish influence. They also faced pressure from their own subjects for newer, more representative forms of government. These factors, combined with the globe-altering effects of World War I, would contribute to the rise of the nation-state in the region, and shape the new states in profound ways.
A. Holly Shissler
Associate Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish History, University of Chicago
Erin L. Glade
Ph.D. candidate, University of Chicago