A History of the Armenian Genocide talks about how the origins of the genocide begun and what led up to the horrific incident. The begining talks about what group perpetuated the genocide, the turks. The Turks were tribes who came from Siberia and Central Asia who happen to speak one of the turkic language and then converted to Islam by the tenth century. The groups combined and formed what was known as the Ottoman Empire, an empire who grew from a bunch of nomadic peoples to a powerful army who was only stopped by multiple defeats from European armies. The book also discusses the conquerings of certain territories like Anatolia and the Balkans, which proceeded to become the heart of the empire. The Ottomans were known for their acceptance of races as they took refuge to the jews escaping from Spain and Portugal but they would try to have the Jews and the Armenians settled in communities that were based on religion called the Millet System. The Armenians were one of the only tribes with a long recorded history. They are a people with an Iranian-style tribal structure with borrowed paganism. They are an exclusively rural society with minimal state organization ruled by the warrior class like the Mongols but different with the elite of pagan priests and a tough kind of kingship. Foreign missionaries had a huge impact on the Armenians as they converted many Armenians and created schools to produce new professionals like the Anatolia College in Marsovan, Central Turkey College in Antep and many others. They were able to operate despite the reluctance of the Ottoman state who suspected that their mission was more political than it should be.
- Why did the turks convert to Islam?
- Did the Millet System work?
- What could the Armenian reformers have done differently?