Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Darwin Stapleton

Second Advisor

Cemal Kafadar

Third Advisor

Conevery B. Valencius


This thesis is about naval technological transfer, in the years 1830-40 between the United States and the Ottoman Empire within the context of globalization of technology. Despite the vast amount of research on technological transfers among the Western countries, little is known about the technological transfer that brought steam power to the Ottoman Empire's navy. The Empire's experience with Henry Eckford, who was an American shipwright, will serve as a case study in understanding the naval reformation of the Empire, and in a wider context, the intercultural exchange and connection between the Empire and the United States. This experience which led to the beginning of the Ottoman-U.S. official relations dates back these relations to a considerably early point of the modern era which is not much known.

Why was the Ottoman Empire interested in the naval technology developed by the United States and how did it adopt this technology? What were the circumstances that made the Ottoman Empire draw its attention to it and what was the role of Henry Eckford within this process? What was the impact of this transfer and what strategies were used during this course? In addition to these, how does this case help us understand the Ottoman decline presumption within the indicated context? These are only some of the questions that will be asked within the scope of this research.

Relying upon diverse material in American and Ottoman archives, this research includes the Ottoman imperial edicts, Ottoman registers of important affairs, U.S. consulate records, U.S. naval records, New York County records, official letters, U.S. Senate Journals, U.S. Continental Congress records, as well as journals, memoirs, biographies, newspapers, census records, and death records. This research illuminates an unusual and important episode in the maritime history of the Ottoman Empire and the United States.


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