‘Abd al-Majid, Ottoman Sultan AH 1255-1277/AD 1839-1861
KM 679, PCGS AU-58
Qustantiniyah (7.19gm). Tughra with floral spray and regnal year, stars above, wreath below composed of olive branches and quivers with arrows; Reverse, ‘azza nasruhu, mint and accession date, all within olive wreath.
Abd al-Majid I (1839-1861) was a reformer who initiated a series of reforms that allowed non-Muslim subjects to better integrate into Ottoman society, However, these reforms came too late. Disenfranchised ethnic minorities had already begun to rebel against the central government and their was no turning back. By the beginning of the 20th century, ethnic nationalism had reached a fever pitch. The 1914 assassination of the heir to the Hapsburg Empire by a Serb nationalist in the former Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina was the spark that ignited the First World War.