The kharaj, the jiziye, and the whole feudal system disappeared in theory, although its spirit, and indeed in some respects its practice, still exists in fact, during the reforming period initiated by Sultan Selim III., culminating in the Tanzimat-i-Khairiye (1839) of Abd-ul-Mejid, and the Hatt-iHumayun issued by the same sultan (1856).
The ancient guediks have not been abolished, the government not daring to deprive them of their privileges; but since the Tanzimat no new ones have been created, industry being declared free.
It was therefore no sudden revolution when, on the 15th of November 1839 Abd-ul-Mejid signalized his accession by promulgating the Tanzimat, or Hatti-Sherif of Gulhane, a decree abolishing the arbitrary and unlimited power hitherto exercised by the state and its officials, laying down the doctrine of the perfect equality of all Ottoman subjects of whatever race or creed, and providing for the regular, orderly and legal government of the country and the security of life, property and honour for all its inhabitants.
But the wars with Russia and other Christian powers, and the different risings of the Greeks and Servians, helped to stimulate the feelings of animosity and contempt entertained towards them by the ruling race; and the promulgation of the Tanzimat undoubtedly heralded for the subject nationalities the dawn of a new era.
Though the provisions of the Tanzimat were not fully observed, they afforded convincing proof that reform was entirely practicable in Turkey.
Reforms were effected in The reforms introduced by Sultan Mahmud and by the Tanzimat necessitated the remodelling of nearly all the departments of state.
Its provisions, held by some to be so unduly favourable to Russia as to justify the question whether she had not been victorious in the war, were as follows: Russia abandoned all pretensions to exercise a protectorate over the Christians in Turkey, or to an exclusive right of interference in the Danubian principalities, to which Bessarabia was restored; the navigation of the Danube was made free and placed under the supervision of an international commission; the Black Sea was closed to warships, while open to the commercial flags of all countries; the Asiatic frontier between the two empires remained unchanged; Turkey was admitted to the concert of Europe, and all the contracting parties agreed to respect her independence and the integrity of her territory; moreover, the provisions of the Tanzimat were reaffirmed in a fresh decree of the sultan, which was incorporated in the treaty, and further provided for a large measure of local autonomy for the Christian communities.
Engelhardt, La Turquie et le Tanzimat (Paris, 1882); E.
Holland (1885)(1885) and La Turquie et le Tanzimat, by E.