POLITICAL THEORISTS ANALYZED

POLITICAL THEORISTS ANALYZED

The Armenian genocide of 1915-1917 has often been described as the first large-scale genocide or holocaust of the twentieth century. Relying on the readings by Cooper and Akcam, Suny, and the primary source extract by American Ambassador Morgenthau describe and analyze some of the causes of the genocide and the reasons why this “Crime against Humanity” remains unrecognized and denied by the modern government of Turkey as well as other states such as the United States and Israel.
Instructions:

  1. click here for more information on this paper

    Remember to think historically – always take into account historical context, specificity, and significance. Avoid generalizations and blanket statements that possess little historical value, meaning, or accuracy.
    Essays must have clearly stated introduction, thesis statement, and arguments/analysis/discussion supported with relevant references and bibliography.
    Essays must be clearly structured and analytical, noting all relevant points and supporting your thesis with evidence and examples, that is, relevant dates, figures, places, events.
    The questions above are fairly straightforward yet require thought, analysis, and synthesis.
    Appropriate responses to the questions require the following: having command of the topic, meaning facts/evidence and essential issues; selectively and at times creatively choosing examples from a variety of possibilities; combining the particular and separate pieces of evidence into a coherent whole; presenting that whole in a well-organized and grammatically-correct essay that has a clear thesis, cogent analysis, and adequate evidence.
Format:
•    Typed, double spaced, 3 pages (plus bibliography page), 12-point font, one-inch margins, and black ink.
•    Use the past tense. Do not use the present or subjunctive mood for the conditional, i.e., do not use “would.” It happened – it is in the past – use the past tense.
Evaluation:
The paper will be evaluated on the following criteria:
    Quality of insights/material presented
    Clear demonstration of effort
    Quality of writing, including clarity and elegance
    Organization
    Use of specific examples to support points
    Following instructions
    Accuracy of citationsHans-Lukas Kieser. Dominik J. Schaller (Hg.)
Der Volkermord an den Armeniern und die Shoah
The Armenian Genocide and the Shoah
CHRONOS The Holocaust before the Holocaust: Reflections on the
Armenian Genocide
Ronald Grigor Suny
83
Genocide (as defined in the United Nations Convention on Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide) is “”ny of the following acts commined with
intent to destroy. in whole or in part. H Ilalionai. ethnic. racial or religious group,
such as: a) killing members of the group; b) causing serious bodily or mental hann to
members of the group: c) deliberatel y inflicting on thc group conditions of life
ca lculated to bring about its physical dcstruction in whole or in pan: d) imposing
measures intended to prevent binhs within the group; e) forcibly transferring
children of the group to another group.”
To refer to the events of 1915 as “the Armenian Gcnocide,” ratherthan merely
“massacres and deportations” or. more tendentiously, “Christian-Musl im civil war,”
is already to have staked out a position in an intellectual and political conflict that
moves to the heart of what constitutes historical knowledge. Every hypothesis.
interpretation, even “fact” or “event.” in the contested field of Armeno-Turkish
historiography has been rendered “controversial” by paid propagandists and public
relati ons firms hired by the Turkish government, assisted by pseudo-scholars or the
unsuspecting. The field of inquiry has thus been structured by denial and prevarication
that has forced those who would try to establish a 1Il0re crcdible record and provide
explanation to take up a combative stance. Thc politics of knowledge about
genocide makes the seldom-realized ideals of dispassionate analysis almost
impossible. All seem engaged in a deadly struggle – indeed people have been
threatened and punished in this conflict – that now involves the fledgling state of
Armenia and the embattled Turkish republic.
Despite more than eighty-five years of writing on the Armenian Genocide, key
questions of why and when the Ottoman authorities ordered the deportation and
lIlassacre of hundreds of thousands of their own subjects remain unclear.’ Statesponsored
efforts to cover up or deny a policy of genocide has been diligently
countered by effortS by scholars to recover lost historical memories and collect
documentary evidence in order to assess fairly the events of 1915. Some successes
are notable: a broader recognition and knowledge of the events of 1915 among the
general public and among Armenians and Turks themselves; the establishment of
institutes and programs to study systematically the Genocide; a number of official
resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide; and an impressive amount of
research and publication, a small fraction of which uses documentation from
Turkish state archives. 84
Yellhere have been negalive effecls of Ihe foc us on Ihe Genocide as weli. Two
dislincl hisloriographies have developed: an Armenian historiography largely for
Armenian readers; and a Turkish and Turkophilic historiography for Turks and Iheir
friends. The IWO lilerolures lalk 10 Ihe already converled; Ihey confirm whal people
wanl to believe and do not challenge asslImptions with which people have grown up.
These IWO views are mUlually exclusive. and in Iheir currenl form dialogue belween
Ihem is nearly impossible. One affirms Ihe genoc idc and lays blame squarely On Ihe
Turks. The other denies genocide and blames Ihe killing on war. civil war. or
Armenian provocation.:! The Armenian version seems content to see the GenOCide
as giving all agency [0 the Turks and none to the Armenians. who become in this
scenario passive and blameless victims. The Turkish version. which hns been very
successful in muddying the waters and in convincing Ill(lny non-A rmenians that the
facls oflhe mailer are in doubl, says something absurd. like “There was no genocide.
and the Armenians arc to blame:’ The Armenian version h,15 become sanctified and
resistant to change or reinterpretation. The Turkish version, even as it is supported
by Slale aUlhorilies and slale-supported wrilers. has been breaking down under Ihe
challenges by courageous Turkish hislorians whose loyal lies eXlend 10 disciplinary
slandards of historical verification.
Unlil recenlly. neilher version spent much time on causalion. on explanalion
of why Ihese events occurred. Armenian energy has been Spcnt Iryi ng to Creale a
faclual record of Ihe events Ihemselves, 10 find indispulable documenlation liule of
which is renecled in Turkish versions. Even Turkish scholars who find Ihe more
polilicized accounts dislaslefullend 10 avoid discussion of Ihe Armenian massacres
and deportations. Several works dealing wilh lhe period of Ihe war. Ihe end of Ihe
emplfe. ~’d Ihe foundalion of Ihe republic manage to do so wi lhoul any serious
II1vesllgallon 11110 Ihe removal of hundreds of Ihousands. upwards of a million or
more. people’
In this paper I explore Ihe accounts given by a number of hislorians, primarily
Amencan European and d’ ”
• . I3sporan Armeman, wllh auention 10 the forms of
“‘Rguhment employed and the va riely of causal arguments offered for oenocide. al enhan a comp he ‘ . <> re . nSlve review of all writing on the Genocide, I have seleCled a
number of representallve 0 . fl . I h’ . . r m uenlla ISlones. I will also allempl to place Ihese
aecounts m Ihe larger discussio f ‘d
ce I h ‘ . n 0 genocl e and mass killing in Ihe Iwenlielh
n ury t at IS onoOlng among h’ l . . c I . <> IS onans and socl3l scientisls. and in a brief
one USiOn suggesl a synthetic causal slory of my Own.
The argument from religion

  1. click here for more information on this paper

Widely recognized as Ihe sin Ie mo . . Genocide al Ihe pres t . g st Important Armen .. n scholar writing on Ihe
en lime Vahakn N D d . . . a nan has educated Armenians and
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 85
others abollt 1915 and made insightful contributions to our understanding. As
difficult as it is at times 10 follow his arguments (he is trained .1$.l sociologist mtller
Ihan a hislori an – and al Ihe UniversilY of Chicago). he brings a deplh of knowledge
(I a l
“lll oe of linouistic and analy tical skills to his work. His arguments have shifted .1Il” e e ….
over the years. but in his twO major works, he makes an argument thaI genocide
stems primarily from rcligion. and secondarily f’rom .. nationality … .: ln The HislOl)!of
‘he Armeniall Gellocide Dadrian connects the Genocide to earlier ethnic conflicts in
the Balkans in which Turkish authorities used “massacres as a weapon to deal with
outbreaks of internal nationality conflicls.”5 A “culture of massacre:’ he says,
developed at the snme ti me as a “culture of denial” that rationalized the necessity of
state violence.
As Islamic rulers the Ottomans were tolerant of non-Muslims as long as they
recognized their inferiority and rc.mained loyal. Even the Ollomani~t ideology 0: the
early Young Turks. which ostenSibly was hased on Ihe legal equalllY of all subjecls
of Ihe empire. concealed an idea of Turkish superiorily. “The Turkish nalion.” wrole
Ihe Itlihndist paper Tanill in 1908. “is and will remain the ruling nation.’” When
European powers inlervened in the empire’s affairs in defense of oppressed
Chrislians. Ihe effect was 10 raise Ihe political hopcs of non-Muslims and Ihe
resentment of Turks. Armenians in particular were vulnerable because Europe
mained divided on Ihe Armenian Question. and no Greal Power backed Iheircause re . . unequivocally. Dispersed throughoul Analolia. Armenians were seldom a maJonty
in any districl. bUl where they were most concenlrated,. in easlem Analolia. Ihey
presented Ihe grealesl geo-polilical Ihreat to Ihe empIre. The 0110 man . leaders
perccived that threat as particularly acute when they “:e.nt to war.wlth Ru~sta at. the
end of 1914. Focusing largely on ideology and PoIIIlCS. Dadnan proVides lillie
social historical interpretation of Ihe complex inter-relalions of Turks, Armemans.
and Kurds on the Armenian plateau.
In Wan’alll for Genocide Dadrian shifts ground somewhat and argues Ihatlhe
.enocide was the culminalion of a deep-seated Turco-Armenian confl,ctlhat eXlSled
for centuries and was rooted in Ihe incompatibility of the theocralic Olwman. Slate.
.uided by lhe precepts of Islam. with rule over a heterogeneous populallon diVided
by religion. language, and culture. Islam could notlolerale.lhe ref~rms Ihal Turkish
bureaucrats and European powers allempted 10 implementllllhe nmeteenlh century
thaI would have created more egalitarian relations wilh the non-Turkish peoples of
Ihe empire. The theocratic dogmas of Islam denied thmlhe gi(~oll” (gaYI~r) could be
equal to rhe Muslim. and permanent disabililies and lIleqUilies were Imposed on
non-Muslims by the Olloman stale. “The reforms were a repudiation.of fundamemal
h d · I T k’ sh psyche and IIlslltulionalized socio-religious traditions deeply enmes e 1Il11e ur I , .’
throu’hout Ihe empire.’” He wriles, “The Olloman Empire, for mosl of liS hlswry. <> • d ~ . . d facI cannOI be seculanzed; was and remained a theocracy whIch, by e”mllon an • . .
I fi d d intraclable religIOUS precepls laws that are predicated upon permanenl y Ixe an ou
——————- cannOI be modified, much less reformed.’” Besides Ihis “id I o’
O d . h I eo °olcal facio .. a nan argues I at Ile Ottomans had an inclination (0 lise . I ‘r. . . VIO ence 10
reform or conceSSIOns 10 minorilies. Genocide Ihen ‘Irose frolll .. I preVen! . . .( ~ tlerepres’ sanguinary aspecls of Olloman cuhure.’·· “The dominalll I .. SJveand . . ~ e em em III 011
poililcal cuhure was a spiril of bellioerence Ihal in prinCiple Id oman
n’” 0 cou nOI 101
con ICI wllh subordlnale subjecl minorilies:’ Thai euliure of b II’ elale
f n .. e 1gerence ca
rom a con uenee of Ihe forces of Islamic dogmas and Ihe b’ II me
traditions. “10 rl aSI or mania!
For Iheir parl Armenians moved from acquiescence in Olloman rul
asserllon and self-proleclion, Ihus providing Ihe e.,cuse (no I C’lllse)’ . e 10 selfTh
H ‘d’ ‘ . ,01 massacres
e amI Jan massacres were “a prelude to if not a rehcnrsnl ~or II W” . ge ‘d lilt A . ‘ ” • lC orld Warl
nOCI e. rmenlans were prooressively squeezed b M ‘1’ . . A ‘” ~. Y LIS lin IIl-m IOnt” .
nat?~la, intensifying the TurcO-Armenian and Kurdish-Armenian C~l;l O~S Into
condlilOns for Ihc lum 10 oenocide included Ihe d’ff . I . ICls. The
Armenians and Ih Tko. r erenlJa In power between the · . .’ e ur s. ArmeO/ans were much weaker and Ihe f
VICllmlzed. Whereas earlier hEre ore could be

  1. click here for more information on this paper

Oil I european POwers had occasionally reslral’ned Ih
oman governmem from e
massacres, World War I provided Ihe .. . slruclure.” Ihal is Ihe necess”~ c d’I’ f opponunlty • -J on I IOns or °enoc”d Th’ . and Turks ‘cared Ihe ar d b I e. e ,estrmnts were aOne ” me power of A . 0 •
arms and had been mObilized inlO Ih 0 nnenlans, who now had Ihe righl 10 bear . , e lloman army. Oadnan s analysis has Iwo m . bl ‘.
Ihe Armenians. LoSI is Ih h aJor pro . ems. FlfSl, II removes all agency from
e sense I al ArnleOIans . 0 Iheir Own polilical aspI’ral’ d . were aCllve 1I0man subjecls wilh IOns an oroanJzatio J
react Second, his characterization ind:ed . n~. n general Turks act, Annenians
dOctrine a consistenl a d h ‘ relficauon. of Islam assumes an unchanoinO’ .’ n co erent doo f ‘ 0 ;:,
aUliudes may be deduced d fi oma rom which rules of behavior and . ,an a Ixed and pred ‘ I bl I ‘ . doelnne. Oadri an argues Ih IC a ere atlOnshlp of Muslims 10 Ihe
at a Iheocracy b d f’ .. secularized, bUI Ihis is . l ye 1Illl10n and fael cannOI be . precIse y whal happe cd ‘ E . med,eval 10 modern lime d n 10 urope 10 Ihe Iransilion from
s, an 10 some degre . T k . even more so) Iwenuelh ce I ‘ ‘. e 10 ur ey In Ihe nineleeOlh and (and . h’b’ n unes. Reilolous orth d In I 1I0r 10 effeclive reform b h ‘ ~ a oxy was cenainly a powerful · 01 10 Europe and Ih a
an IOsurmouO!able barrier a f’ e Itoman Empire, bUI il was nOi Y , s re ormmg 0 110 b oungTurks, and KematiSls w Id k man ureaucralS, Young Oltomans th ou see 10 de ‘
e non-Muslims Ihemselves monslrale. And il should be nOled Ihal ‘. , even though Ih . reSlsled endmg Iheir privileges add” . ey wallied cenam aspeclS of equalilY
loleral h . n ISUnetlons The ‘ · e elerogenelly also fails before fiv ‘ . argumeOilhallheocracy cannOi
empIre Was marked by disll’nci’ e ceOlunes of imperial rule. The Ouoman Th h IOn and dIS . . . . at . eterogeneity was institutl’o I’ d ~nm atlO . separation and inequality. Impenal I na lze 10 Ihe ’11
s ruclure Ihrough who h ml el Syslem. Ihe improvised
communi lies. IC Ihe Islamic Stale managed OIher religious
Suny: The Holocaust bE!:forc the Holocaust 87
The argument from nationalism
The Armenian Genocide has often been underSlood as Ihe rcsuli of a siruggle
between twO comending nationalisms. one of which destroyed the olher. or more
simply as the ultimate product or the Young Turks’ racist nationalism. The
argument from nationalism is evident in a collection of papers edited by Richard G.
Hovrmnisian. ‘2 Conceived as an answer to the revisionists who would deny the
Genocide.lhe volume fealUred papers from a 1982eonference in Tel Aviv thai ilself
had been a largel of offic ial Turkish pressure. Several of Ihe essays made the
argumeJII Ihal Ihe radicalizalion of Turkish nHiionalism from Ihe Young Turk
Revolulion 10 the First World War •. changed … the image of the Armenians from that
of a loyalmillel inlo Ihal of a Ihremen ing and alienll1inorily.”i.IThe responsibilily of
Ihe Young Tu rk elile is cenirallO Ihe anicles by Roben Melson. R. Hra ir Oekmejian,
Richard G. Hovannisian, and Leo Kuper. Explanalions for Ihe Genocide are here
largely limiled 10 Turkish Ilmionalisl ideology and Ihe polilical ambilions of Ihe
luihadisl leaders. Missing is any discussion of Ihe social faclors Ihal crealed Ihe
environmenl in which ordinary people aided Ihe govemmeO! forces 10 exproprime or
JIlurder Iheir neighbors. Wilh Ihe innux of Muslims inlo easlern Analolia from losl
Turkish lands in Ihe Balkans, demographic pressures iOiensified Ihe hOSlililies
bel ween Kurds. Turks, and Armenians in Ihe region Ihal Armenians considered Ihcir
hisloric homeland. As urban Armenians rose economically in Ihe developing markel
economy of Ihe lowns, the lradilional social hierarchy. wilh Muslims on lOp and
Chrisli ans below, was reversed for many. The visibilily of Armenian businessmen
and polilicians, rhe periodic inlervenlions by European slales 10 proieci Christian
minorilies, as well as Ihe abandonmenl of reform and the adoplion of a iOiegral
nalionalism thai excluded Armenians combined in a parlicularly loxic mix Ihal
caused Turks and Kurd s 10 demonize Ihe Armenians, dehumanize Ihem, and largel

  1. click here for more information on this paper

them for extinction.
In a Ialer colieClion Hovannisian and his aUlhors explored a number of
approaches 10 Ihe Genocide wilhoul reaching a consensus on eilher Ihe dimensions
or Ihe causes of Ihe Genocide. ” James J. Reid explains Ihe Genocide largely as Ihe
resull of mililarism, an ideology that allowed “an unfellered elhic of deslruclion and
annihilalion.” Ihat became under Ihe laSI sullans Ihe major ideological underpinning
of Olloman aUlocracy.” Usefully, he dispalches Ihe argumem Ihal Ibe killing of
Armenian Chrislians followed from the Islamic nOli on of Ihe jihad. In fact, Reid
lells us, jihad doclrine established proleclion fo r dhimmi, “people oflhe Book,” who
obeyed Ihe law and paid Iheir laxes. As for Turkish nalionalism or racism, il was
undeveloped aI Ihe lime and mosl likely simply an addilion 10 Ihe lola I-war
mililarism inlroduced inlo Turkey by Helmulh von Mollke and Colmar von der
Gollz and promoled by Enver Pasha. The deportations of 1915 also should nOI be
seen as eXlensions of Ihe Iradilional Olloman deporlations, Ihe .ilrgiin, whIch was 88
aimed not at dev’lsl,uion of ,I population bu t its surviva l elsewhere in lhe empire
where it would benefit the Ouoman state. Rather. he argues, when the militarist
ethic combined with a policy of small wars and massacres against civi lians in World
War I, Ihe stage was set for lhe wholesale destruction of the Armenians.
Whereas Reid gives an ideological explanation for genocide. Stephan H.
ASlourian attempts a structural-cultural nllalysis. beginning with the broad Context
of the Olloman Empire as ,Ill imperial-colonial slate in which Armenians were
second-class citizens within the millet system of separme religious communities.
The Tal1zimat reforms or the mid-nineteenfh century. which aimed CIt a more tolerant
egalitarian integration of the peoples of the empire. broke down the traditional
hierarchica l relations between ethnoreligiolls communities and accelerated Annenian
cultural self-definition. But the reforms resulted in a sense of relati ve dcpri vmion
both for Amlenians and Turks. and frustration and hostility eventually translmed
into mass killing once the state “allowed. organized, and channeled the cxpression
of popular hatred against the Armenians” for “clear pOlitical purposes.”‘
• To the
dictatorial state must be added a guiding ideology. in this c.nse Turkish nationalism
and pan-Turk.ism, that excluded the Armenians from the nmion. In a sense
Astourian seems to be saying tlwt all of Ottoman-Almenian history determined and
overdetermined the catastrophe of 19 I 5.
In a comparative treatment of the Genocide and the Holocaust of the Jews
Roben. Melson links the phenomenon of genocide to the coming to power of
revolutl?nary vanguards, the lransformation of peoples into despised minorities, and
Ihe.contlllgency of war. In Melson ‘s model the preconditions for genocide include a
rad,cal Ideology, a revolutionary dictatorship, and the radicalized effec ts of war, but
most Important of all is the apparatus and opportunity provided by a victorious
revolutIOn. The Young Turks h . . . . . ‘ w 0 came to power III the revolutJ on of 1908, had
become Turkish nallonahsts by the outbreak of the First World War and saw
AhTl.nelllans, not as a tolerable millet within their empire. but as a ri val claimant to
t elr homeland In the fierce Id f
I
‘· I . . cau ron 0 war, they chose extermination instead of
po Illea accommodation,
A number of essays add significantly to Our detailed knowledge of the actual
OpcratJon of oenoclde S EI’ b . A ‘ BoO . uzanne Iza elh M omnlan mined the archives of the
mencan oard of Com ‘ . f .
Library to t II h ‘fi mISSIOners or ForeIgn Missions at Harvard’s Houohton
e om IC stones of Turkish K d’ h b . <> heroism and pI’t’lf I ‘fi – ur IS rutahty, American missionary , ( U sacn Ices by Anne · . I . Greeks were saved firom f “1 Illans. oannlS K. Hassiotis relates how
a ate Slim ar to the Anne’ h h G . While Turks could de ict AT ‘ . nla~ s t roug . erman Intervention.
Russia, no such aCCu~ation me~~a~ as potentIal traJlors allied to a belligerent state,
was neutral in the war and c~u ki made agamst Greeks, for the Greek kingdom
collected from Ar’ IS ng pro-German. Two studies use oral accounts
meman survivors to height . Donald E. and Lorna Tour . en Our sense of suffenng and sacritice.
yan MIller show that women and children bore the
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 89
orentest pain. for men were killed quickly m the very beginning of the Genocide. In
~le agonizing tales or Agha vni and Takouhi. they tell of women who walked for
seven months. were frequentl y nlpcd. dri ven to drowning their children or themselves.
or rorced to make tragic Illoral choices either to save their own lives or their
children. With an impress ive display of quantitative methodology. Richard G.
Hovanni sian tell s of <lctS of altruism that combined humanitarianism with calculations
of gain – either sexual fa vors or cheap labor or conversion to Islam. Vahakn N.
Dadrian. disclisses revisionist historiography by non-Turkish writers that bases its
claims to authenticity on its lise of Ottoman archives. Dadrian faults them for sloppy
scholarship. ignoring non-Turkish sources, such as the secret wartime reports of
German orficers and officials in Turkey. and their naive acceptance of archival
material tiS prima/acinlfue and objective. Archives themselves are not created with
scholarly standards of objecti vi ty and completeness, but rather arbitrarily, accidentally,
or purposefully by people with their own concerns as to what should be preserved
and what shou ld be excluded.
In a third collection edited by Hovannisian” two essays – by Astourian and
Hilmar Kaiser – are directed at the question of causation. Astourian argues that the
Genocide is primarily a product of Turkish nationalist ideology, formulated in the
late 19th and early 20th cemuries, which reflected both elite and popular attitudes
toward the Armenians. Religious conservatives and traditionalists such as the
Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909) percei ved Armenians and other
infidels as ,.overstepping the boundaries of their position in society, being ungrateful
and disloyal to the empire, and constituting a danger to its territorial integrity.””
111rough an innovative study of idioms, proverbs. and sayings. Astourian attempts to
reach down into popular memality. Turks, he shows, perceived Annenin ns as
avaricious and greedy, and as unfaithful friends, cheats, and social climbers. Turkish
nationalism (Turkism and Pan-Turkism) and ideas of national economy (Milli
lktisat), most clearly expressed in the writings of Ziya Gokalp, “excluded the
ghiaours [infidels] from the nation and denied the identity of the Kurds, thereby
promoting a . d T k “”Th racially and culturally homogeneous nation: mo ern ur ey. ere
simply was no place for Armenians in this new, nationalist vision of the Ottoman
empire.
Kaiser aHempts to answer one of the most vexing questions about ~he

  1. click here for more information on this paper

Genocide: the role of the Germans, then the principal allies of the Ottoman Empire.
He demonstrates that there was no uniform German position toward the Ottoman
Annenians. On the one hand, the German government actively denied that
massacres of Armenians were taking place, even though their consuls were
reporting atroc ities, and the military excused the actions of Lieutena~t Colonel
Bottrich, who signed an order to deport Armenians from the Baghdad r31lroad. On
the other hand, German officials of the Baghdad Railroad Company tned to p~otect
Armenians who were employed on the railroad, and other German cmhans 90
protested against the actions of the Turks. Arguing Ihm German HClions ranged from
complicity 10 active resistance. Kaiser disputes the Inore radical assertion of Vuhakn
Dadrian. who maintains that both German milililrY and civilian authorities were

  1. click here for more information on this paper

complicil in il.
One of Ihe mosl impressive short discussions of the Armenian GenOCide is by
the British historian of Greece and modern Europe. Mark azower.~l He bcoins
with the tum 10 nationalism by the Young Turks. “Reform-minded Christians inolhc
OUoman Empire soon realised Ihat in the minds of the Young Turks’ dreams of pan.
Islamic “nd pan-Turkish dominion overshadowed the baule for equal righlS and
parliamentary sovereignty. The nmionalisllurn became even more prominent aftcr
Ihe tremendous losses of two Balkan Wars virtually ended Ottoman power in
Europe.” He then links ideology with ambition. Enver Pasha S3W an alliance with
Germany as a means 10 reversing the losses suffered in the Balkan wars and to the
Russians Ihree decades earlier. His gamble failed at Sarikamis. where he lost 75 000
soldiers. With Jemal’s failure at Suez and the British landing at Gallipoli. the e”;pirc
slood on Ihe brink of disasler. “Indeed. the Young Turk leadership had planned for
an emerge~cy cvacumion t~ ~ontinue ll~e war from Analolia – much as actually
happen.”d m 1919. ~ut Ilus III turn raised the queslion of the security of Ihe
Anatohan heartland. mhabiled not only hy Turks but also by Greeks, Armenians.
Kurds and olhers. The Oll.oman leadership was deeply uncertain of Ihe loyalty of
Ihese groups. espeCially wHh a Russian offensive looming. It had already deported
Greek clvlhans from the Analolian shoreline into the interior (the Russians were
domg much Ihe same wilh Russian Jews in Tsarist Poland, the Habsburgs with their
border Serbs). BUI Ihese deportations were on a relatively small scale and do not
appear to have b~en designed 10 end in Iheir victims’ deaths. What was to happen
wHh the Annenlans was of d’f’ d . a I ,erent Or er [ .. . j In this dangerous siluation
~uoillan Arnleman leaders counseled absolute loyally to Ihe POI1e. But Enver and
. s Circle needed scapegoats for their recent military failures and were commilled 10
assertmg the state’s po we II ‘ ‘
E . r over a potentially subversive groups Even thouooh
nver himself had conoratul t d h A . . A ‘ Q a e t e nneman Patriarch on the couraoe of
nneman conscripts. the latter were consigned to labour ballalions ,. 0
ThiS was Ihe beginnino of wh t Id b . soldiers was followed b kll’ a wou ecome genocide. Demobilization of
politicians in Istanbul a:d t~ 109 around Van, arreSls of leading intellectuals and
villaoes of ‘ . e systematic deportation of people from Ihe lawns and c eastern Anatoha Massacr s . syslematic nature as w II . h’ e accompamed the deportations. “It is the , • east e scale of thO k’l . . from such precursors “S th T’ ‘ IS mass I hng which distinguishes il
• e sartst pogroms agamst th J d’
massacres and also fro h c ews, an earher Armenian
effective I; an :thnic emI I e many killings of Turks and others in what was, , IVI war unfolding in easte A I’ Caucasus. Deportation a I d’” m nato la and the southern . . – fa Itlonal Instrument of . . I I . wllh II: the Old-fashioned ‘. Impena ru e – had lillIe 10 do
version. which valued subject populations for economic
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 91
OilS ‘limed to relol:~lte rather than destroy them. By the lime the killing wound reas .. ‘ . . . down. perhaps as many as one million ArmcllIans were dead: most of the survivors
had ned.”
My own view builds on the argument from ideology. which I consider to have
been an important factor in Ottoman plans for the Armcniillis. but I question whether
this ideology is adequately captured by the term “nationalism”.21 The usual
Ollment presupposes that two well-formed and articulated natiOIl\1lisllls already are , . existed in the early years or the war. While 11 may be argued that .unong Armenians.
divided though they were among a number of political i.lnd cultural oriemalions.
identiticHtion with an Armenian nation had gained a broad resonance, Turkish
identity waS not yet clearly focused on the “nation.” Turkish natiolH\lism was still
weak. confused. and mixed in with Pan-lslulll, Pan-Turanism. and Ouomanism. The
Commillee of Union and Progress (CUP) elite was not so much engaged in creating
a homogeneous ethnic nation as it was searching. unsllccessfully, nailing around to
find ways to Illaintain its empire. Deporting and killing Armenians was a major,
deliberale effort 10 that end. bUI nOI in order for the Young Turks to create a “Turkey
for the Turks” or a homeland for the Turkish nation, something thai in Ihe next
decade would become the hallmark of the Kemalist republic. Rather I contend that
the Genocide was carried out as a perverse and extreme security measure based in an
ethnoreligious framing Ihm depicted Armenians as a deadly threat to the empire.
The imperial mission of the CUP still involved ruling over Kurds and Arabs. as well
as Jews, Greeks, and even Armenjan survivors, in what would essentiully still be a
mullinational Ottoman Empire. In the vision of some, like Enver Pasha. that
imperial design was now greatly expanded to include the Turkic peoples of the
Caucasus and possibly Central Asia. Others. notably “Turks” from Ihe RUSSIan
Empire advocated an empire in the more ecumenical civic sense ~f the Onomamst
liberals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But a perceived (and largely
unreal) internal danger from the Armenians had to be eliminated. Whatever the cold
strmegic calculmions of danger and opportunity among the Young Turk leadership,
the operative emotions were fear of an imagined threat. .
The views and policies of the Young Turks evolved over time. The movement
was divided but the dominant elements in Ihe leadership certainly became more
nationalistic’ more radical in the second decade of the century. Turkism increased as
part of an O;toman conception. Nationalistic in their advocacy of Turkish primacy
. . T k . d . arl’ly stOle impenahsts. With and hegemony, mfIuentlal Young ur s remame pnm., .
the coup d’ etat of January 1913, power consolidated in Ihe hands of the most radical
Young Turks and at a moment of imperial distress following the losses of Bosma-
.’. . I ‘ Y en the declaration of full Herzegovma, Alballla, Crete, Libya, revo IS III em ‘.
Bulgarian independence, and the ceding of Edirne 10 Bulgana. . .
While I consider the distinction between imperialism and natlonahsm worth . . I . nd . deolooies they overlapped preservlllg for analytical purposes, m actua practices a I c 92
and were complexly intc.rtwine.d. 21 Where imp~riClli~nl is about difference and
subordination of the colonlnl pertphery from the Impenal metropole. nationalism is
an effort to create” community of like and legally equal citizens. bound together by
any number of shared characteristics – common descent. language. religion. Or
historical experience. in a word. culture. In creating the “imagined comrnunit ” of
lhe nntian, nmionalisls make powerful claims as to the uniqueness and inh~renl worth of their nation. Even as they homogenize differences and creme aClual and
fictive equalities within the national community, they harden the boundaries
between those within and outside the nation. And the distinctions between their
nation and other nations, groups, or peoples are valorized not simply as different but
as unequal. The nation as superior then easily becomes the vehicle for an imperial
mission. either the conquest and colonizmion of others, or the forced assimi/mion or
deportation of the others. Not accidentally did the great Age of Empire at the end of
the. nineteenth century overlap and succeed the Age of Nationalism. The hegemonic
nation, now empowered WHh the machinery of state~ became an imperial nation. the
herrenvolk of an empire of inferior peoples. Such a conceptualization renders more
understandable the “tensions of empire” that led liberal nation-states of Europe to
carry o~t the brutal colonization of much of rest of the woridY And the “imperial
natIons of the great autocraCies, the Russian and Inte Ouoman empires. likewise
fou.nd themselves caught between the imperatives of empire and the rhetorics of
nat~onahsm . In many ways Romanov and Ottoman rulers tried to find” language of
nallon -. e.g .. the “Official Nationality” of Nicholas I. or certain forms of the
Otto~anlsm of the Young Turks – that could suture empire to the now universal idea
of nallon.
The Young Turks came to power in a disintegrating empire at the mercy orlhe
gr~at Europe~n powers. ~eir “nation” within that empire was truly imaginary,
neuher effectively Ottomantst nor ethnically Turkish. Nation lay in the future and
the tum of the century was a . d f ” ‘ .. ‘”. perlO 0 Ifllense and passionate debate about the nmure
of Turkish national format’ H . . ,Ion. ow would the community be imaoined: as a
nauon of ethillc Turks with Tu k d fi d 0
. ,r s e me as a race or a Jinouistic aroup? As a supranatlon of Ottomans of’ I” . 0 0 . w’th T ks h vanous re IglOns. ethf1Jcities, and lanouaoes perhaps I ur (owever defined) th d . 0 0 , I I ‘ . as e ammant group? Or as a pan-Turk.ic or pans
amlc commullity that stretched . t h C Arab lands to’ I d ‘ mot e aucasus and Central Asia or into the
inC u e people of the sam I’ ” f . clear to those Youn T e mgUlstlc amtly or religion? What was
in one way 0 h
g urks who eventually won out was that Turks would dominate
r anot er, and that this impe . I . equality It would t’ h na commumty would not be one of civic . nO,mot erwords bea t’ r of West em Europe.” ,na Ion-state Ike the paradigmatic states
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 93
Social science takes a look
In recent del:ades the deepening illlcrest in the Holocaust and the widening
occurrence of civil amI ethnic violence have led socinl scientists to tum 10 the study
of mass killing. violence. :.lnd genocide. Students of international relations have
shifled atlcntion fr0111 interstate w:’lrs to intrastate conflict. which in the second half
of the twentieth ccnlllry has become the major source of violent deaths.BTheorics of
ethnic conflict have ranged from primordialist narratives of deep clci\vages between
peoples based on anciclll antipa.thies t~ ratiol1i1lisl. ~cco unt s of the instrumental
employment of elhnicized rhetone by elites to mobilize masses for murder. Some
scholars have emphasized how democracy correlmes highly with ethnic and civil
peace. while others have challenged i1ny domes~ic de~ocratic pea~e” ~~rgUtnenl and
demonstrated thallhe very process of democratization IS fraught wuh Violence, both
intrastate and intcrstate. 26 Genocide has been connected with war and revolution,
. d d . 27 radical slate elites an 1110 erlllty.
The thrust or much of the latest work on ethnic conflict and genocide moves in
Ihe direction of focusing on the role of elites, particularly state elites, in fostering
violence and mass killing. Reversing “n older image of ethnic violence as bubbling
up from the masses below, strategic interactionist approaches have located initiative
at the top, while provoking the question of why ethnic appeals have such powerful
resonance below. It turns out thell a few killers can cause enonnous destnlctlOn.
Thugs. sadists, fanatics, and opportunists can with o~em weilponry (or even \~ith
machetes) slauohter thousands with little more than acqUiescence from the surroundmg
population.” Genocide in particular is an event of mass killing, with massive
numbers of victims but not necessarily of massive numbers of k.lllers. The thugs, set
loose by the political elite, create a climate of violence that radicalizes. the
population, renders political moderates less relevant, and convillces people 01 the
need to support the more eXlremist leaders. Warfare itself helps harden hostile group
identities, “making it rational to fear the other group and see Its members as
dangerous threats.”29This is not to say thallhugs and ordinary people do not use the
opportunities offered by state-permitted lawlessness to settle other accounts With
neighbors, take revenge, or, more mundanely, simply grab what they can. st
Much of the social science writing on ethntc VIOlence and genOCide has at le~

  1. click here for more information on this paper

acknowledged if not completely accepted, the constructivist approach to ethlllcity
and nation. Whether difference has been constructed in the distant past or more .., . d a compatible competitive, or recently, and how dtStmcttons are mterprete s ‘ .. . h b ed up by the construCtiVISt turn. antaoonistic are key questions that ave een open ” I d’ . t’ between two aspects Many analysts of ethnicilY have proposed a usefu IStlllC Ion . f b d ‘es between groups and the of ethnic construction: the construction 0 oun an ”
h d· t’ cl named “peoples have construction of content within groups. Even w en IS In
f . H n Chinese GreekS, or Jews, existed for millennia, as in the case 0 Armen13ns, a . 94
bolh Ihe boundaries of Ihe groups – who is 10 be included and excluded. and undcr
what criteria – as well as lhe content of the group – ethnoreligious community Or
cultural nationality – change over time. are subject to reformulations of altitudes.
traditions. and the intensity of identification with chlss or (he cross-class communil
of the nation. The two Hspects of social construction influence one another. A~ groups consolidate internally :Iround particular discursive forrnulmions. boundaries
are also conslrucled belween groups newly defined. Likewise. Ihe genenllion Or
imposilion of boundaries, perhaps by slille aUlhorilies. profoundly affecls a sense of
group identilY.
Social science presellls Ihe hislorian of Ihe Armenian Genocide wilh difficult
and unanswered queslions: Whal was Ihe degree of premedilalion by Turkish
leaders? When did planning lake placc? How much was Ihe Genocidc driven by Ihe
polilical elile? Why did ordinary Turks and Kurds respond 10 Ihe iniliatives and
signals of Ihe officials who called for murder? Was genocide Ihe inilial illlelll of Ihe
Young Turks, or was il a program 10 which Ihey Illrned as olher oplions proved
unsallsfaelory? In Olher words, was Ihere a process of radicalizalion of inlention and
aClion? How did discourses and cullures of violence operate in Ihe Genocide? How
were they created and maintained? How was killing rationalized and legitimized?
What were Ihe mOlives of perpelrators? MOlives of leaders? MOlives of Ihe oclual
killers?
Comparative macrohistory
In a new comparalive study of modem mass killing, historical sociologisl Michael
Mann elaborales.” compelling analysis of elhnic cleansings Ihm he applies 10 Ihe
Armenian Genoclde.30 Mann looks al Ihe condilions under which mass killino lakes
place and mcludes ideOlogical, economic, mililary, and polilical power as im;ort”nl
mgredlems When fo I’ . . .’ ,r examp e. an Immanemldeology Ihal reinforces already-formed
SOCial Identilies combines wilh a Iranscendem ideology Ihal seeks 10 move beyond
eXisUng SOCial organizalion II ‘ . . . . ‘ . . ‘ liS 10XIC nllx of Ideological power increases Ihe hkehhood of Violence Wh hn’ . . .
I
‘k I’h d .’ en el ICily eombmes wnh economic inequalilY Ihe I e I 00 of elhnlc conn’ I . ,
f . . ‘. IC mcreases. Imerslale warfare also increases Ihe likelihood
o CIVIl or elhlllc Violence And I . elhnic and ” 1 . I . :uugg es over sovereignty are closely connecled 10
elVI VIO ence. Looking al who Ihe . identifies nine kinds of killers’ i . . perpelrators of VIOlence are, Mann
of murderous cieansin .’ . deologlcal killers who beheve 10 Ihe vaJue-ralionalily
enjoy killing; fearfUl k~;:~~~d killers who Simply hale the olher; violenl killers who
ahead’ malenar I kill ~ feellhreatened, careenSi killers who use killing 10 gel , IS ers Who kill for econ . . d’ .. . with legilimate orga’ d . onuc gam; Isclphned killers who comply IlIze aUlhonly’ Com ad I k’J1
pressure; and bureaucr ( ki’ll ‘ r e y I ers who respond 10 peer-group
a IC ers who obey OUI of habil.”
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 95
——– – ——–=-=
When he 1lI1’1lS 10 the Armcniim Genocide. Mann rejects the view that Turkish
20vernmcnts had i:I (;onsistenl. long-term genocidal intent. Rather. he emphasizes the
;adicalizalion uf Turkish policies fromlhe “exemplary repression” of SUllan Abdul
Hamid II through the en(;ollragemcnt and then forced application of Turkification.
011 to deportation (ethnic c1eilllsing). and finally organizcd mass killing. gcnocidc.
Like olher historic empires. Ihe Onoman Empire preferred complinlll subjecls 10
dead ones. Exemplary repression w”s designed and carricd oul bnually precisely 10
discipline peoples into complian(;c with the norms and practices of the imperial
order. AI limes Onoman rulers used (what Mann c”lIs) “policed deportalions’ 10
move populations around. either as punishment or to populate distant provinces. But
this waS a far cry from genocide. which involved the intentional killing of an ethnic
aroup in order to remove them permanently.
C Ag;’Iinst a background of economic competition between Muslims and Christians.
and resultant popular economic resentments, the rise of Turkish nationalism
and Ihe radicalizalion of Ihe Young Turk leadcrship are cenlral 10 Mann’s
expl”nalion of Ihe Genocide. He argues Ihallhc Olloman regime emered Ihe “danger
zone” of murderous elhnic cleansing by 1913 when radicals look over Ihe Slale and
were faced by a competing group with “a historical memory/myth of its own st:.He.
bUllressed by half-plausible means of allaining il again Ihrough help from a
neighbouring Power. The Young Turks were now steering into organic nationalism
and radicalizing the repressive heart of the state.’1)2 At this point the government
miohl slill have turned IowaI’d tradilional melhods of “exemplary repression”
cOl~’bined wilh a more radical program of forcible Turkification. Indeed, Mann
claims Ihallhis is precisely whal radical Illihadisis discussed in Lhe period 1910-
1914 _ coerced assimilalion. seleelive repression, and limiled deporlations. This
was nOI yel genocide.
Mann follows Ihe Turkish dissidem hislorian Taner Ak~am in emphasizing Ihe
sense of humiliation and viclimizalion Ihm Ihe Young Turks experienced after Ihe
Balkan wars and Ihe imposilion of Ihe Greal Power plan for inspeclors in eaSlem
Analolia. In Ihe eyes of Ihe Young Turks Ihe European powers and Olloman
Chrislians looelher were undermining Ihe Olloman slale and Ihwarting Ihe o
modernizing ambilions of Ihe Turkish leaders. The Young Turks had become Slale
cemralizers while Ihe non-Turkish peoples of Ihe empire soughl greater aUlonomy
and a dceen’lralized slaLe struclure. There was lillie doubl, cerlainly among Turkish
leaders, Ihat Ihe Armenians preferred Russian rule over Turkish, and allhough more
Ihan 200,000 Armenians would be conscripled and serve in Ihe Olloman army, Ihe
authorilies were deeply suspicious of Armenian loyally. Severallhousand Olloman
Armenians indeed crossed over 10 serve as volunleers wilh Ihe RUSSian army.
World Wa: I provided bOlh slimulus and opponunily. The Russian Ihreal made Ihe
Armenian Ihreal all Ihe more real. “War also meanl Ihal Ihere wouldbe now no . . I I ‘ I I’gious lenslOns of Ihe external restraints over radlcal solutions 10 11e et 101C re I 96
Empire. This was a contingent and external pressure. since the OIlOl11<1ns had n
contributed to the slide 10 general war. Their decision to join a war alrC’td)’ I’ll Ot
was also a mistake which might have gone otherwise … \1
I 11101l0n
Mann is caref~1 ~o daborate both stmcw”,1 and contingent factors and
suggests a stcady radlcahzatton of TurkIsh mtenttons, “Note how Iml’ came the fatal
embrace of organic nationalism, statism and violence, Thallhe Youno Turks I . . . ~ .fatler
than palac~ and IslamIc reacttonanes, should be Ihe inslrumenl of their doom would
have surprISed most Annentans m 1912, even perhaps Ihrough much of 1913, As
late as August 19141he Young Turks Iried a new version of Iheir ‘plan A’ II” . . a lance
with the Arm~nians …. Their ‘plan B’ – mass but strategically confined deportations
– emerged qUIckly and lumed even more rapidly inlo a ‘Plan C’ of more general’ d
h ‘ IU
muc more vlolenl deportalions, This was inherenlly unslable and quickly slid into a
genoc~dal ‘~ Ian D’. This was not as coherent, orgilnized and premeditated a
genocide as IS usually argued …. murderous cleansing is rarely the initial intent of
Ihe perpelrators,”‘”
Fin~l/ y, ~ann believes Ihat “before April 23-25 Ihere was probably no
coherent PI~n, but rather a senes of exemplary repression responses to the mOSI
threatenmg SHuattons, A Plan was then formulated during these Ihree days, focusod
on ~nneDlan leaders, soldiers, strongholds and strategic (Owns and villages. It was
movmg beyond the ad hoc exemplary repression and limited forced deponations
10IYnrd polJllClde:, an attempt 10 wipe oul the etllire pOlenlial Armenian political and
nllltt~ry leadershIp class, to prevenl it collabonlling with Ihe enemy,”” Rapidly
TurkIsh nCllons descended Into genocide’ “Whatever Ihe ‘Plan’ h b ‘
realit th 0 .’ ( may ave een. In
y rouohoUI May escalaiJOn was underway in Ihe direclion of n ‘Plan D’
genoClde.”J6
Telling a causal story

  1. click here for more information on this paper

At this poin! I will shamelessly e I’ h ‘ ,
f h ‘ xp Olt t e ,”stghts and empirical conlriburions of
many 0 t e Wflters that I have bee d’ , of the Gen ‘d n ISCuSsmg 10 work OUt a plausible causal story OCI e.
There were three main faclors thai led to the Genocide’
I) A shifl in Ihe nature of th 0 ‘ ”
multireligious stale d’ ” , e 1I0man Empire Hself, from a traditional . Iscnmmatmo even repr ‘
recognizing Iheir d’ t” 0 eSStve toward non-Muslims, bUI
IS mClIons. to a moderni . I’ , adopled Turkish n r I’ P zmg, centra Izmg Slate that increasingly , a lona 1st an-Turkic and P I 1 ‘ Traditionall th 0 ‘ , ‘ an- s anHC ambilions,
y e 1I0man Emptre had u d ‘ ‘I’
repress those they , se Hs ml nary power ruthlessly 10 perceIved 10 be rebell ‘ (f Arabs), as well as policie f h ‘ 10US or example, Ihe Bulgarians, Shi’ite
[( used massacres in Ihe 18
s
9
0 P YSIcaI remoyal, deponation (siirglin), Abdul Hamid
S 10 allempl to restore th d’ , , e tra monal Imperial order that
Suny: The Holocaust before the Holocaust 97
his OWll polides of bureaucratic centralization and reduction of local power were
undermining. He ended the Tanzi mat reforms aimed (II (In Onomanist cqunlity
among all the “,ltan’ s subjects and adopted a Pan-Islamic policy of allying with the
Kurds agHinst the Armenians (the NlImidiye) thai further alienated the Armcni’IIlS
tlnd encounlged a minority nmong them to (urn towurd revolution.
The tnlditional imperial paradigm was steadily being undermined by a numhcr
of fm:tors: the revolutionary t.:hanges in the \Vest that rendered the Ottoman Empire
a backw(lrd and vulnerable sodety: the allcmpt to modernize .lIong western lines by
the Tanzimal reformers: the differentially successful adaptations to modern life by
difrerent millelS, with the Christians and Jews ahead of the Muslims; Ihe increased
populalion pressure in easlern An,”olia thai resulted from the innux of Muslim
refugees from the Caucasus and the Balkans; the ideas of Ilationalism ilnd the
discourse of the nation. that crec:ttcd new sources of political legitimation and
undermined Ihe traditional imperial ones,
After comi ng to power the Young Turks (or CUP) turned gradually away from
Ottomanisl1l toward Turkish nationalism. Pan-Turanislll, and even Pan-Islam in an
effon to find new formulas for legitimizing and stubilizing the diSintegrating empire.
2) A shift in the alii tudes of leading and ordinary Turks toward Annenians and
Armenians loward Turks caused by many of the factors mentioned above: growing
suspicion and hostililY toward the Other, and the hardening of boundaries between
them,
After centuries of governing the Annenians as a separate clhnoreligious
community, the Ermel/i mil/eli, and conceiving of them as the “loyal millel,” the
Olloman slate allthorilies and Turkish political elites, including the Young Turks,
began to see Armenians as an alien people, framed in the growing discourse of
nmionalism, as disloyal, subversive, “separatist,” and a threat to the unity of the
empire, This perception was compounded more broadly by anxiety about tl,e relative
economic success of Annenian businessmen and craftsmen, the competition for the
limiled economic resources, panicularly land, between Kurds, Turks, and Armenians
in eastern Anatolia, and a sense Ihat Annenian progress was reversing lhe lraditional
imperial status hierarchy wilh Muslims above the dhimmi, This sense of threal crealed
fear and insecurity, emotions that stimulaled the violent reaction of 1915,
3) The World War, with the real danger from lhe Russians and the British, and
the imagined danger from the Armenians, presenled the most radical Young Turks
with new opponunities to deal with Ihe Armenian problem, A series of oplions were
considered: alliance with tlle Annenians, selective repression, removal of polilical
leaders, deponations, and mass murder – each one more radical than tlle preceding,
In Ihe first year of World War I the empire sufferod a series of defeats, in Ihe
east that convinced its leaders of ao imminent Armenian danger. Sometime m
February or M arch they decided to carry out a vicious policy of deponation,
combined with selective killing, to clear the region of Armenians, This policy was 98
initiated by the state in the brutalizing context of war and rapidly degenerated into a
massive campaign of murder. Social hostilities between Armenians ilnd Turks,
Kurds and Armenians. fed the maSS killings. which the state encoumged (or at least
did linle to discourage), though most of the actual killing was nO! done by the broad
population,
More than any mher instance of siirgiill, the Genocide came to be seen as an
opponunity 10 rid the empire of the Armenian problem, which had been used by a
wedge by Russians and other Europeans 10 interfere in the Qnoman Empire, While
nationalism and Pan-Turanism played a role in formulating the mood of the leaders
who ordered the deportations, so did strategic notions and a perverse sense of justice
and revenge against an internal threat.
This accoulll does not radically differ from many of thc elements brought out
in earlier historical writing, but it does conflict particularly wilh two often
uniculated formulations:
I) That the Genocide was planned long in advance and was cOlllinuous with
the earlier policies of conservative restoration.
Though there was a continuity between the brutal policies of mass”cre and
deponation thal earlier regimes used to keep order. the very scale of the Armenian
Genocide and its intended effects – to rid eastern Anatolia of a whole people – make
it a far more radical, indeed revolutionary, transformation of the imperial setup,
Earlier massacres shaped anillldes and expectations both of the perpetrators and the
victims. No matter how much motivations. intentions, and causes of violence may
have differed between 1894 and 1915, the violence of earlier episodes of massacres
hardened differences and contributed to more and more radica l action,
2) 11l”t the Genocide was a struggle between two contending nationalisms.
one of which destroyed the other.
The murder of hundreds ofthollsands of Armenians was primarily an effort to
save an empire that was in disarray and under threat. Young Turk ideology was an
unstable mix of Turkish nationalism. Pan-Turanism. Pan-Islam. and several forms
of Ottomanism, The Comrmttee of Union and Progress and its leading ideologues
increasingly framed Amleoians as subversive enermes of the state and the Turks as
victims of the intrigues of Western and Russian imperialisms. Armenians were
depicted as (what would later be called) a “fifth column.” an alien body within the
empire but not of it.
SllnY: The Holocaust before the Holocaust
– —-
b . J. . .. t o the cXl.’nl S of 19 15 liS gcnocil.lc . , ha\’c ;llrc:ldy commillcd mysclf 10 a Note Ihat ,H;ICrnll; . G ‘d t “” h h” . ” . . d” <t or the e”ents. and hv c;,pit:lli/ing ,\n1\<:lIIan cnOCI e SpeCII)’ t at t IS ‘rt’UIl ull<kr:-;I.11l 111,:- • .. h ‘ k ‘ h
CI.:’ . ‘d OJ’ ble vel comparable e”enl with ch;nachmsllC5 I a l lin ‘ It 10 01 cr W;I:- :t unique . I en I I.l . I
gcnocid~~ : “,’ , f ,tIC efforts to deny the Anncnian Genocide by constructing 01 theory or , For ‘I di SC USSion 0 , ” h A ‘ M ‘ . – ‘ . ‘., . ,. R her! Melson. “1\ Thcon:llcilllnqull’)’ IntO I e mlCnl3n ~ :;.S:l.C n: ~
Arnl\!1I1i1nproV()(.ltlon.seL: 0 ” ‘. V 30 I 1982) 481-509′ . 1894- 1896.” Comparal;n’ SIiU/i(‘S ‘” Sow”,” mltl H,story. XX I ‘. u y .’ p. .. .. 01 . r N’ttion.t!isl1I· A Critical Inquiry into the Arment:m GenOCide of 1915. In ·UI<.I “Pro,t()(:tllon 0 , . ., • t” B s ‘jck ami
” d G ‘I ‘”‘nnishn (cd) Tilt Arm~”i(1II GClloridr ill Pcr ptctll ‘~ I,ew run v. , Rlch”r . r 0\” .’ . •
o f d ‘ Tnnsac tion Books. 1986), p. 61-84. x Of. ~’I S~’f Mardin. “The Oliomlill Empire:’ in Karen Barkey and Mark von Ha~clI .
3 Sec. forex.lmp e, I ~n I . S ” ,i(‘~ {md Nmiml./j,dlt/i//g: TIl(‘ Soviet Ullirm (I/I(/IIIt’ RIIJ.{llm.
AflN Empire: Mlillel 1llle {)( l~’ ‘ B I’er CO’ Wcs\vicw Press 1997), p. 115- 12&: and
I Hllbsl)ll”~ EmJ’II”I!.f ( 0 11 u, ” ‘
Ouom{lIl, (lilt. ” “0 t man :and Hnbshurg El1lpirc~,” in Karen Dawisha and Orul.:C Parr,ou
DankwlIrt Rustow, . TEhC .I~ TI e Tran~fornullion of Ihe USSR in Comp;mltivc Per~pcc \lve (cds) The End 01 mpln! . I , . •
‘” k NY M E Sh’lrpe (997) pp, IB6-197, (A rmon ‘ . D ~ .’ ‘TI ‘Hio;;tJI”Y ofli,c Arlll~lli{l/1 Gt:flQcitle: EII”,;c COl/flictfrom tllc Dalkmu tu
4 V~hllkn N. a nan. Ie ,. d Ox’ord’ Bcmh’lhn Books 1995) ilnJ \\’tJrrallt for
/
. I COl C(Ulfo; (ProvIdence an I’ . ‘:;’ •• Atlt/to 1(1 to I Ie I· . ‘ C fliel (New Brunswick. N.J. ::lnd London: Get/ocide: Key Eleme,,’s of Tllrk(}·AnIlCIIl{ll1 Oil
Tr.msaction Publishers. 1999). . ..
5 Dadrian. Tile History of llle Arllltll;’1Il GcmKil/~. p. “XIII.
6 Citcd in ibid .• p. S.
7 Dildrian. WarmUl for G~llocicic. p. 20.
B Ibid,
9 Ibid .. p, 166,
10 Ibid ,
II Ibid .. p. 156
H
, ” (editor) Tile Armelli,,,, Genocide j” Per.rp«tive (New Brunswick nnd
12 Richard G. oy;tnntSH\n .
Oxford: Transaction Books. 1986).
13 Ibid .. p. 62. , GCI/ocide’ History Po/ilieof. Elilies Foreword
14 Richard G. Hovannisian (editor). Till’ ArIllCII/(/II M . • .’p ess 1992).
Dc ” .. (New York’ St anln s r , by Govcrnor George Uhl1lcJ,nn . .
15 tbid .. p, 21.
16 Ibid .. p. 62. I Dl’”ial ‘ Ti,e Case of fh~ Armenian Gcnocide
17 Richard G. Ho vannisian (cd.), R(!m~mbrallce alit .
(Dctroit: Waync Slatc University PresS. 1999).
tB Ibid .. p,27,
t9 tbid, p, 38, “8 Is XXHI 3 (February B. 2001), pp 19- 20 Mark Mazowcr. “Thc G-Word,” umdofl R~vielV OJ 00’, .
21. ‘ from nationalism in a number of papers: RO~ul~ 21 1 havc argued against the usual cxp lanatlo~ k d the End of the Ottoman Empire.
Grigor Sunv “Empire and Nation: Amlelllans, Tur s. an .’ p 131-136′ and ·’Religion. J ‘ 98) 17-51: rcply to cnuCS. . ‘ … ‘
Armenia” FOTum, 1. 2 (Summer 19. . p. s and the End oflhc Ottoman Emplrc. III O~er Ethnicity and Nationalism: Armelllans. Turk, G ‘ Ie alld R~ligi()n ill tile Twentieth • d ) { Gods Name ‘ CIIOC/( f m Bartoy nnd Phyllis Mack (c 5., 11 • 200 1) p. 23-61. The argument ro
Cel/tury (New York and Oxford: Berghahn , BO~lkS’E lIer-o;”cc of Modern Turke)’ (Oxford: . d b l3emard LeWIS. 1,le I ‘0 nationalism is sumOlanze Y , , • ) 356
Oxford University Press. 1961 : 2nd edillon. 1~68·t a~d imperialism wcrc wedded before
22 Prnscnjil Quam makes the lIrgumcnt thnl, nat:on~~:i~~~lPeria ist nationalisms of the colonial
World Wnr l in Wi\ys that brokc down wllh IIC 100
world. “‘ mp(~rinlisl1l and N;lliOlwlisrn ill the TW(,nli”:lh CCUlUrv.·· unlHlhl; 11″<1 . • f (,I ‘ 100 . .)0 c p.ll>cr. Unn’;>ni” o lIt.’a~ o. _ II My :.’gullIenl p,.rallels Ius. Ihough I ,lin IlI..’rhaps Ill orc 1I ~I)i ” f C I) Wilr I divide. . . 1.:11111)0 0 Ihc World
23 The (erm comes from Frederick Cooper .1 11cl Ann Sloicr (cJs) 7(‘m;io”f ,rE . • • • • oJ :’II/PIrI! (l)crk I Univcrsil)’ ofC;tlifom ia Press. 1997). c 1.’)”:
24 On the conceptual diffcrcnci.’ bctWl.’l!1I empire and lIation’ !’-I:!tc “ct! RUII” II C’ .
E . S·· . . .1 ( m”Or Sun\’ ” T’L _
‘lIlp.rc trikes OUI; ~nl pc rl:ll Russia. ‘NaliOllill’ l<Jelllily. ,I nti TIH.’ori..’s uf EIll;irc ” . ” l ite
Suny :lIld Terry Mnrllll (cds,), A S(ale of Nm;olls: Ell/pin’ alld Natiol/ . J ” I, ‘ . ‘ III R. G.
IJ ‘ IS’ /l (1″‘1111; /If ‘lit’ AX if
J 11111 ‘DJIII F wIlli (Oxford :lnd Nc\\: :ork: ,Oxford Univcn;:ilY PR’SS. 20(1). pp, 23-66, ~ 0
25 allies . caron :lIld David D. LUlln eShm:IIC Ihal since 1945 10lal d .. II f .. . h 000 • C.I IS rom cIvil wan; (. cases WI! I or more dC:lIhs) numbered over 12 000 (XX) wi . ” ,.” ‘ In , ., 500 000 . . , . 11 C Il1.lS.’i.IC(l’S aecollnlcd r. ~ y -. . ‘ . ilnd 1I11Crstatc wars for4 .500.000, (James 0 , Fearon and David D L’” ” or
Violence In the Long Half-Centu ry: 1945-1999,” Memo for Confcrcnc’ “~ ‘ . ‘ .111111. a~s of M V’ I d G ‘ , C Iv.lcro-cxplawllmns ass 10 CIICC an cnoctdc.” Cenlcr for Adv”nee(./ Siudy in til ‘ fl·” ‘ ‘ I S .’ ” Alto CA J IS 19 00 C CI,I\’ lor.1 .l:ICn(‘cs Palo , . anu<lry – ,2 21 Among thc most illl’hlClitial pieces from inte ” I ” , ‘ theorists’ . B’ P “TI ” . rn .!llo na relatIOns , .Ire, ,\rTY ,~ en . Ie Seclirtly Di lemma and Elhnic ConniCI .. ‘ ‘-4 ‘ I
(ed) Ell , C .n· II ” . 111 ”’IlC liIe ‘ Brow” .• IIIIC Of/pIC’ lU/( IIfUII(IIIQIW/ Secllrlll’ (Prince ton’ PrinCel(ll) U· .. P 103 1’4 S . ‘ !II Versllv ress 19(3)
~VI II- 4 ~~p ~~~ell~;;1 Eve;~~Hypolhescs on Na tionalism and War.” /IIfUlltltfwlai ,S:'{‘/frill”
c .’ . p. : and v.P. Gagnon. “Eth nic N:uionalislII :lOd IlIIcmali . ‘
onOlel: ,The ~asc of Serbia,” /l1Iemariollal Securil)’ XIX, 3 (Winlcr 199511996) 13′ anal
Olher anlcies 10 the Brown volume should also be eonsullcd ,p. 0-166,
26 For Ihe connection hclwcen dellloef<lli:allion and violence ~cc hck S . .
Vi~/Ma: Delll(}Crtlliwtioll (IIld Nationalis! CO/lflicl (New’ York ” \V \~?~r. ‘m/~ WJlillg 10
~~r::C~’~”~:i li;”’~n~7.:k~~;:~~ ~{n~”,~~~r::~.I~0;:;”7t~:.”~ ~-r/”,ic d CICfl~”i::; ;I~~~~i;~: civil violence. (“Ethnicily Insurgenc’ a d C’ ‘1 w.’” c ween emocracy and clhnic and
Meetings of the Ameri c.1~ Politic Y’, n IVI ~r., paper presented at Ihe 2001 Annual
September 2, 20011. al SCience ASSOCliitiOn. San Fnlllcisco. CA. August 30-
27 Sec. for example. Norman M. Naimark. Firn o r H . ‘ ”
Celllllr), EllrofJ~ (Clllnbridgc MA’ H . d U ‘ ‘.I, (/Ired. Etlll1/(; C/~(II SlIIg /1/ TlI’tlllieth·
1;01/ alltl Genocitle (Chicago: )~ ,~ varfCh~llvers ty Press. 200 1): Robert F. Melson. Rellolu. I ‘ crMly a Icaoo Press 1992)· Z B (/I/( (ht! /{o!OCCl/ISI (hhaca NY- C II U’ ,0 “, ,ygmum aUlIlan, Modemit)’ 28 R ‘ ” “ornc IIIversllY Press, 1989 2000) , eVlcwlng SIX COlSC studics by OIh h ,”
‘rclaud. lndi.1 Sudan RWilnd ‘) S . I ~ UI ors thm cxammc ethnic violcllce from Northcnt , .’…. fI l..<Inr(a. and Ihe Balk’Hls F d · . graphically: “Indeed bascd h . • • . euron’lIl LaJllll make this point l’ . • on I esc sludlCS, One mig ht co . h lOr Sustained ‘elhnic violencc” tI ‘1 b’ , nJecture I lit ” necessary condition eduC3 led unemployed or d IS Ie a
, V.II a Iluy of Ihugs (i n mOSI c:tscs young men who are iII- . ‘ un ercmp oyed and front sm’ ll , ) n3tloll:tlist ideologues who Ihe I ‘,. ,I owns who can be llIobili7..cd by • lbo ‘ mse vcs, ul1I vcrstly educ’Ued Id h
C’
nClg I rs with machetes” [J D • wou s y away from killine their . ames . Fearon <.Ind David 0 La” .. ‘ – onslruellon of Ethnic ‘demil “I ‘ ‘. 11 111. VIOlence :md the Social
877), p. 8691 y. IIlernat/Olla} Orgfmizmiolt. LlV. 4 (AUlUIllIl 20(0) (p, 845-
29 Ibid .. p. 87 1.
30 Mann, T”~ Dark-Side .1′ D
31 Ib’d OJ ~m(x:rac)’: £tp/aillil1~ Etl ‘. CI . ~ “Cilolplcr 2. p, 24-26, ‘ mu.: eallsmg (unpublished mnnuscripl),
32 Ibid .. chapler6. p, 21,
33 Ibid,. Chapter 6. p. 28
34 Ibid. .
35 Ibid” chapler 7. p, 8, 36 Ibid.
101
The Beginning of the Armenian Catastrophe: Comparative and
Contextual Considerations
Donald B[oxham
The ongoing debate about the development of the Holocaust h:ls revolvcd around
questions of’ whether there was it l’i ngle decisive “order” as such. or a few seminnl
decisions. ,Ind when (he ~e were made, These have led to further questions about the
nacure of cxe”:lttive decision-making in the “Third Reich”, the re lationship between
general sHtlements of uIlli-Jewish illlenl and the formation of spccil1c anti.lcwish
mcasures. and the lran fonni.ltion frolll discriminatory to murderous policies. “Vas
‘he genocide decided upon in ‘he highes, echelons and ordered downwards? Was il
decided upon by mid-Ieve[ ofricia[s seeking specific “so[ulions” to ideo[ogie.linformed
“prob[ems” imposed upon ‘hc occupalion of eastern Europe by ‘he
leadership? Or was it. as seems most likely, a combination of initiative from the
power centre and the geographical peripheries. a SOl1 of “consensus politics” which
in the contexts of racial warfnre and imperialism drove a viciously antisemitic policy
into one of outright genocide by a logic of mutual ideological reinforcement and
praclicall’adicalisation?
What was ‘he role and nature of the “terri,oria[ so[utions” involving the
expulsion of Jews to panicular loca,ions in eastern Europe or even Madagascar?
And what was the relationship between pre-existing phllls fo r the racial re-ordering
of Europe by mass, forced population movement. and the specific design of ‘he IOIa[
murder of one particular racial group – the Jews? How explicitly murderous were
Nazi intentions prior to the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and the USSR in
June 194 [ respeclive[y? The “intentionalist” posilion positing ,hal ‘he genocide
developed according to a long-standing blueprint of Hit[er himself has genemlly
been discredited. Clnd the relevance of wartime, occupat ion circumstance and selfradicalisation
at every [evel of Ihe Nazi hierarchy in affecling policy deve[opmenl
has been given a greater prominence. yet disagreements still remain about the
precise weighting to be given to each factor. Did killing always meHllto,al killing, or
killing of Jews of every nationality, or was there space for “territorial solutions” and
outright murder to co-exist. and if so, for how long?

  1. click here for more information on this paper

All of this means that it is impossible to soy with surety when the genocide of
Ihe Jews became “Ihe oenocide of the Jews” as we understand it now. A, whll! o
precise moment did “the final solution” begin, or become “Ihe final so[u,ion” in the
“fina] ” fonn (hat we now understand it? Variations on [he question may also be
asked of ‘he Armenian genocide, as, indeed, of any complex historical even!. In
most cases, the ans\ver is not of overwhelming significance: scholars of the French
or Russian revolutions, for instance are not beholden 10 identify precisely when their

 

"Is this question part of your assignment? We Can Help!"