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The Great Game of GenocideImperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians$
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Donald Bloxham

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273560.001.0001

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Ethnic ‘Reprisal’ and Ethnic Cleansing

Ethnic ‘Reprisal’ and Ethnic Cleansing

Chapter:
(p.69) 2 Ethnic ‘Reprisal’ and Ethnic Cleansing
Source:
The Great Game of Genocide
Author(s):

Donald Bloxham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273560.003.0003

Historians of 1914–1916 have sought to address the question of when it was decided to do away with the Armenians. Yet given the history of demographic engineering in the Ottoman empire, a full explanation for the Armenian fate must address not only the deportations themselves but also the violence of them, for the latter factor is the one that renders the Armenian experience really peculiar. The Armenian fate was composed of two elements: ethnic cleansing, or forced collective displacement, and direct physical annihilation. Only because of the presence of both elements is the epithet genocide applicable, and this chapter shows how both emerged and fused. Limited Armenian nationalist activity in tandem with Entente powers, particularly Russia, was important in triggering escalations in Ottoman policy, as was the flight of some Muslims from the Russian-controlled Caucasus. The deportations of Armenians through the policy of the Committee of Union and Progress are also discussed.

Keywords:   Armenians, ethnic cleansing, Ottoman empire, physical annihilation, genocide, Russia, Muslims, Caucasus, Committee of Union and Progress, deportations

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