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1For the United States, the 1890s was a watershed decade in the history of international humanitarianism.During the great Irish famine of the 1840s, even larger numbers of citizens called upon Congress to send relief, but once again lawmakers threw the burden of assistance on churches and private charities.Not long before, Americans had failed to organize on a wide scale to aid victims of the Franco-Prussian War, and they paid relatively little attention to the Ottoman massacres of Bulgarians in 1876 – the so-called “Bulgarian Horrors” that brought William Gladstone out of retirement and stoked the fires of public outrage across Great Britain.But from 1891 onward, they seemed to fix their attention on one foreign disaster after another.One such organization was the Hunchak Party, a socialist group founded in 1887 by Russian-born Armenians living in Switzerland.By the summer of 1894, Hunchak organizers had begun organizing farmers in the remote village of Sasun, and in August a confrontation took place in which several Kurds were killed.While no doubt nurtured by a free press and a vigorous public sphere, the political coalition that took shape around the Armenian crisis was more complicated, and more fractured, than previous studies have suggested.Indeed, in the United States the first people to direct their attention to “Turkish outrages” were Protestant missionaries and Armenian nationalists – two groups that hardly saw eye-to-eye on either tactics or goals.
European consuls helped ferret out refugees, but more large-scale massacres followed. Nonetheless, two important connections gave the United States an interest in Ottoman affairs.Anderson, “ ‘Down in Turkey, far away’ : Human Rights,.... 4Internationally, much grassroots support for Armenians came from members of evangelical churches and missionary societies, especially in Britain and the United States.As “suffering Armenians” captured the attention of the Western world, the United States Congress took the unprecedented step of passing a joint resolution that emphasized not temporary aid through private or public agencies, but diplomatic action to check the causes of an ongoing crisis  M. Recent studies of the British and American mobilizations, however, have tended to emphasize the movement’s secular and liberal aspects over its religious ones.6What became known as the “Armenian Question” grew out of the broader “Eastern Question”, or the set of legal and geopolitical problems produced by the slow collapse of the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire  For reasons of space, I can offer only the briefest....
The immediately precipitating events, however, took place in eastern Anatolia during the early 1890s.
They were joined by former abolitionists, woman suffragists, Unitarian clergymen, evangelical ministers, and jingoist newspapermen – each of whom added their own perspective to the conflict at hand.