Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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SEID Ahmed Mohammed, History
Nedim YALANSIZ, Associate Professor in History

Many historians hardly gave due attention in using historical comparison as one of their methods of study. They tended to rely on the use use of their own historical research. But this method lacks the way to analyze some worldwide dynamics of events in comparative perspectives. Some dynamics like revolution, modernization, societal change and transformation need broader analysis for broadening our historical knowledge’s by comparing and contrasting of the causes, courses and consequences of such dynamics historical developments in the world at large. In this paper our study focuses upon “the dynamics of modernization” and the challenge of modernity of the old regimes. As a breakthrough, the work of Black grouped the modernization process of many countries in the world into seven groups. From the groups the fifth one includes countries like Turkey, Ethiopia, China, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Thailand having the same dynamics that they faced for the challenge of modernity. In these countries the old regimes tried to introduce modernization and “reform from the above” in order to tackle the gradual decline of the empire that faced strong challenges from the outside world. The other similarity among them was that as the rulers attempted to introduce the modernization reforms the old traditional and the religious institutions strongly opposed the reforms as the reforms alienated the power and prestige of the traditional classes. Similarly, the rulers introduced modernization by maintaining their own unique socio-cultural and religious dynamics, not as borrowing and acculturation of the west by complete destruction of their own. Therefore, this paper attempts to give a comparative analysis of two modernizers, Tewodros II of Ethiopia and Sultan Selim III of Ottoman Turkey, who tried to modernize their empires and paid their lives as a result of modernization.