His Father's Name: Mahmoud the Second
His Mother's Name: Bezmialem Valide Sultana
Date of Birth: April 25th, 1823
Date of Death: June 25th, 1861
His Reign: 1839-61 (21 years)
|(b. April 25, 1823, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Tur.]--d. June 25, 1861, Constantinople), Ottoman sultan from 1839 to 1861 who issued two major social and political reform edicts known as the Hatt-i Serif of Gülhane (Noble Edict of the Rose Chamber) in 1839 and the Hatt-i Hümayun (Imperial Edict) in 1856, heralding the new era of Tanzimat ("Reorganization").|
Born in Istanbul, Abdulmejid the First was educated and trained by his father. He was never very strong but he was intelligent, compassionate and affectionate. He was 16 years old when he became Sultan and was interested in new developments and schemes for the Empire.
Well educated, liberal minded, and the first sultan to speak French, Abdülmecid continued the reform program of his father, Mahmud II, and was strongly assisted by his ministers Mustafa Resid Pasa, Mehmed Emin Âli Pasa, and Fuad Pasa. The reform edicts were in part directed toward winning the support of European powers. The edicts proclaimed the equality of all citizens under the law and granted civil and political rights to the Christian subjects. The main purpose of the reforms, however, remained the preservation of the Ottoman state. The army was reorganized (1842) and conscription introduced; new penal, commercial, and maritime codes were promulgated; and mixed civil and criminal courts with European and Ottoman judges were established. In 1858 a new land law confirming the rights of ownership was introduced, and an attempt was made to establish a new system of centralized provincial administration. The sultan's educational reforms included the formation of a Ministry of Education and the establishment of military preparatory schools and secondary schools; he also established an Ottoman school in Paris (1855).
Abdülmecid's foreign policy was directed toward maintaining friendly relations with the European powers to preserve the territorial integrity of the Ottoman state. He ascended the throne as a mere boy a few days after the Ottoman defeat by the Viceroy of Egypt at the Battle of Nizip (June 1839). Only an alliance of European powers (excluding France) saved the Ottomans from accepting disastrous terms from Egypt (Treaty of London, July 1840). In 1849 Abdülmecid's refusal to surrender Lajos Kossuth and other Hungarian revolutionary refugees, who took rerefuge in Turkey, to Austria won him the respect of European liberals. Finally, in 1853 the Ottomans were assisted by France, Great Britain, and Sardinia in the Crimean War against Russia and were admitted as participants in the Treaty of Paris (1856).
In 1855 Sevastapol was seized and telegram and railway lines were laid. The Peace of Paris in 1856 ended the war, great benefits being gained from the Russian Empire. .
Sultan Abdulmejid restored Hagia Sophia, built the Palace of Dolmabahche and the Medjidiye Mosque and opened many professional schools, as well as, founded the first French theatre in Constantinople
He died of tuberculosis, as had his father, on June 25th, 1861 when he was 38 years old. His body was committed to his mausoleum in the yard of Sultan Selim Mosque at Fatih.
He had 17 sons and 18 daughters.