Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Jesse Kauffman, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

John Knight, Ph.D.

Committee Member

George Cassar, Ph.D.


The Ottoman Empire's entry into the First World War in October 1914 represents a break in over a century of diplomacy in the Middle East. Previous study of late Ottoman politics has focused more upon the European states with imperial interests in the Middle East and has not adequately explained why the weak Ottoman state decided to enter the war. This study utilizes both British and German diplomatic documents, along with published secondary works, to reframe the Ottoman entry into the war in a way that highlights Ottoman agency and illuminates the internal and external constraints faced by Ottoman statesmen. The study concludes that the Ottoman Empire entered the war on terms dictated by Istanbul and did so only because Britain, France, and Russia pursued a policy of active hostility to Ottoman interests.

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