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Abd al-Majid

Abd al-Majid (äb´däl-mäjēd´) or Abdülmecit (Turk. äbdül´ mäjēd´), 1823–61, Ottoman sultan (1839–61), son and successor of Mahmud II to the throne of the Ottoman Empire. The rebellion of Muhammad Ali was checked by the intervention (1840–41) of England, Russia, and Austria. Abd al-Majid was influenced by the British ambassador, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, who helped persuade the sultan to introduce Western reforms. Two decrees (1839, 1856) led to many changes but did not have permanent effect. Confident in British and French support, Abd al-Majid resisted (1853) the Russian claim to act as protector of the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire. This was a primary cause of the Crimean War. Turkey received no concrete gains at the Congress of Paris (1856; see Paris, Congress of). The sultan was succeeded by his brother, Abd al-Aziz.

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