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ABDUCTION (Lat. abductio, abducere, t...

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 37 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ABDUCTION (Lat. abductio, abducere, to lead away), a law term denoting the forcible or fraudulent removal of a person, limited by custom to the case where a woman is the victim. In the case of men or children, it has been usual to substitute the term kidnapping (q.v.). The old English laws against abduction, generally contemplating its object as the possession of an heiress and her fortune, have been repealed by the Offences against the Person Act 1861, which makes it felony for any one from motives of lucre to take away or detain against her will, with intent to marry or carnally know her, &c., any woman of any age who has any interest in any real or personal estate, or is an heiress presumptive, or co-heiress, or presumptive next of kin to any one having such an interest; or for any one to cause such a woman to be married or carnally known by any other person; or for any one with such intent to allure, take away, or detain any such woman under the age of twenty-one, out of the possession and against the will of her parents or guardians. By s. 54, forcible taking away or detention against her will of any woman of any 'age with like intent is felony. The same act makes abduction without even any such intent a misdemeanour, where an unmarried girl under the age of six-teen is unlawfully taken out of the possession and against the will of her parents or guardians. In such a case the girl's con-sent is immaterial, nor is it a defence that the person charged reasonably believed that the girl was sixteen or over. The Criminal Law Amendment Act 188.5 made still more stringentprovisions with reference to abduction by making the procuration or attempted procuration of any virtuous female under the age of twenty-one years a misdemeanour, 'as well as the abduction of any girl under eighteen years of age with the intent that she shall be carnally known, or the detaining of any female against her will on any premises, with intent to have, or that another person may have, carnal knowledge of her. In Scotland, where there is no statutory adjustment, abduction is similarly dealt with by practice. ABD-UL-AZIZ (1830-1876), sultan of Turkey, son of Sultan Mahmud II., was born on the 9th of February 1830, and -succeeded his brother Abd-ul-Mejid in 1861. His personal interference in government affairs was not very marked, and extended to little more than taking astute advantage of the constant issue of State loans during his reign to acquire wealth, which was squandered in building useless palaces and in other futile ways: he is even said to have profited, by means of " bear" sales, from the default on the Turkish debt in 1875 and the consequent fall in prices. Another source of revenue was afforded by Ismail Pasha, the khedive of Egypt, who paid heavily in bakshish for the firman of 1866, by which the succession to the khedivate was made hereditary from father to son in direct line and in.order of primogeniture, as well as for the subsequent firmans of 1867, 1869 and 1872 extending the khedive's prerogatives. It is, however, only fair to add that the sultan was doubtless influenced by the desire to " bring about a similar change in the succession to the Ottoman throne and to ensure the succession after him of his eldest son, Yussuf Izz-ed-din. Abd-ul-Aziz visited Europe in 1867. being the first Ottoman sultan to do so, and was made a Knight of the Garter by Queen Victoria. In 1869 he received the visits of the emperor of Austria, the .Empress Eugenie and other foreign princes, on their way to the opening of the Suez Canal. and King Edward VII., while prince of Wales, twice visited Constantinople during his reign. The mis-government and financial straits of the country brought on the outbreak of Mussulman discontent and fanaticism which eventually culminated in the murder of two consuls at Salonica and in the " Bulgarian atrocities," and cost Abd-ul-Aziz his throne. His deposition on the 3oth of May 1876 was hailed with joy through-out Turkey; a fortnight later he was found dead in the palace where he was confined, and trustworthy medical evidence attributed his death to suicide. Six children survived him: Prince Yussuf Izz-ed-din, born 1857; Princess Saliha, wife of Kurd Ismail Pasha; Princess Nazime, wife of Khalid Pasha; Prince Abd-ul-Mejid, born 1869; Prince Seif-ed-din, born 1876; Princess Emine, wife of Mahommed Bey; Prince Shefket, born 1872, died 1899. ABD-UL-HAMID I. 1(1725-1789), sultan of Turkey, son of - Ahmed III., succeeded his brother Mustafa III. in 1773. Long confinement in the palace aloof from state affairs had left him pious, God-fearing and pacific in disposition. At his accession the financial straits of the treasury were such that the usual donative could not be given to the janissaries. War was, how-ever, forced on him, and less than a year after his accession the complete defeat, of the Turks at Kozluja led to the treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (21st July 1774), the most disastrous, especially in its after effects, that Turkey has ever been obliged to conclude. - (See TURKEY.) Slight successes in Syria and the Morca against rebellious outbreaks there could not compensate for the loss of the Crimea, which Russia soon showed that she meant to absorb entirely. In 1787 war was again declared against Russia, joined in the following year by Austria, Joseph II. being entirely won over to Catherine, whom he accompanied in her triumphal progress in the Crimea. Turkey held her own against the Austrians, but in 1788 Ochakov fell to the Russians. Four months later, on the 7th of April 1789, the sultan died, aged sixty-four. . ABD-UL-HAMID II. (1842– ), sultan of Turkey, son of Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid, was born on the 21st of September 1842, and succeeded to the throne on the deposition of his brother Mtn-ad V., on the 31st of August 1876. He accompanied his uncle S,ultaf Abd ul-Aziz on his Visit to England and France in 1867. At his accession spectators were struck by the fearless manner in which he rode, practically unattended, on his way to be girt with the sword of Eyub. He was supposed to be of liberal principles, and the more conservative of his subjects were for some years after his accession inclined to regard him with suspicion as a too ardent reformer. But the circumstances of the country at his accession were ill adapted for liberal developments. Default in the public funds and an empty treasury, the insurrection in Bosnia and the Herzegovina, the war with Servia and Montenegro, the feeling aroused throughout Europe by the methods adopted in stamping out the Bulgarian rebellion, all combined to prove to the new sultan that he could expect little aid from the Powers. But, still clinging to the groundless belief, for which British statesmen had, of late at least, afforded Turkey no justification, that Great Britain at all events would support him, he obstinately refused to give ear to the pressing requests of the Powers that the necessary reforms should be instituted. The international Conference which met at Constantinople towards the end of 1876 was, indeed, startled by the salvo of guns heralding the promulgation of a constitution, but the demands of the Conference were rejected, in spite of the solemn warnings addressed to the sultan by the Powers; Midhat Pasha, the author of the constitution, was exiled; and soon afterwards,his work was suspended, though figuring to this day on the Statute-Book. Early in 1877 the disastrous war with Russia followed. The hard terms, embodied in the treaty of San Stefano, to which Abd-ul-Hamid was forced to consent, were to some extent amended at Berlin, thanks in the main to British diplomacy (see EUROPE, History); but by this time the sultan had lost all confidence in England, and thought that he discerned in Germany, whose supremacy was evidenced in his eyes by her capital being selected as the meeting-place of the Congress, the future friend of Turkey. He hastened to employ Germans for the reorganization of his finances and his army, and set to work in the determination to maintain his empire in spite of the difficulties surrounding him, to resist the encroachments of foreigners, and to take gradually the reins of absolute power into his own hands, being animated by a profound distrust, not unmerited, of his ministers. Financial embarrassments forced him to consent to a foreign control over the Debt, and the decree of December 1881, whereby many of the revenues of the empire were handed over to the Public Debt Administration for the benefit of the bondholders, was a sacrifice of principle to which he could only have consented with the greatest reluctance. Trouble in Egypt, where a discredited khedive had to be deposed, trouble on the Greek frontier and in Montenegro. where the Powers were determined that the decisions of the Berlin Congress should be carried into effect, were more or less satisfactorily got over. In his attitude towards Arabi, the would-be saviour of Egypt, Abd-ul-Hamid showed less than his usual astuteness, and the resulting consolidation of England's hold over the country contributed still further to his estrangement from Turkey's old ally. The union in 1885 of Bulgaria with Eastern Rumelia, the severance of which had been the great triumph of the Berlin Congress, was another blow. Few people south of the Balkans dreamed that Bulgaria could be anything but a Russian province, and apprehension was entertained of the results of the union until it was seen that Russia really and entirely disapproved of it. Then the best was made of it, and for some years the sultan preserved towards Bulgaria an attitude skilfully calculated so as to avoid running counter either to Russian or to German wishes. Germany': friendship was not entirely disinterested, and had to be fostered with a railway or loan concession from time to time, until in 1899 the great object aimed at, the Bagdad railway, was con-ceded. Meanwhile, aided by docile instruments, the sultan had succeeded in reducing his ministers to the position of secretaries, and in concentrating the whole administration of the country into his own hands at Yildiz. But internal dissension was not thereby lessened. Crete was constantly in turmoil, the Greeks were dissatisfied, and from about 1890 the Armenians began a violent agitation with a view to obtaining the reforms promised them at Berlin. Minor troubles had occurred in 1892 and 1893 at Marsovan and Tokat. In 1894 a more serious rebellion in the mountainous region of Sassun was ruthlessly stamped out; the Powers insistently demanded reforms, the eventual grant of which in the autumn of 1895 was the signal for a series of massacres, brought on in part by the injudicious and threatening acts of the victims, and extending over many months and throughout Asia Minor, as well as in the capital itself. The reforms became more or less a dead letter. Crete indeed profited by the grant of extended privileges, but these did not satisfy its turbulent population, and early in 1897 a Greek expedition sailed to unite the island to Greece. War followed, in which Turkey was easily successful and gained a small rectification of frontier; then a few months later Crete was taken over " en depot " by the Four Powers—Germany and Austria not participating,—and Prince George of Greece was appointed their mandatory. In the next year the sultan received the visit of the German emperor and empress. Abd-ul-Hamid had always resisted the pressure of the European Powers to the last moment, in order to seem to yield only to overwhelming force, while posing as the champion of Islam against aggressive Christendom. The Panislamic propaganda was encouraged; the privileges of foreigners in the Ottoman Empire—of ten an obstacle to government—were curtailed; the new railway to the Holy Places was pressed on, and emissaries were sent to distant countries preaching Islam and the caliph's supremacy. This appeal to Moslem sentiment was, however, powerless against the disaffection due to perennial misgovernment. In Mesopotamia and Yemen disturbance was endemic; nearer home, a semblance of loyalty was maintained in the army and among the Mussulman population by a system of delation and espionage, and by whole-sale arrests ; while, obsessed by terror of assassination, the sultan withdrew himself into fortified seclusion in the palace of Yildiz. The national humiliation of the situation in Macedonia (q.v.), together with the resentment in the army against the palace spies and informers, at last brought matters to a crisis. The remarkable revolution associated with the names of Niazi Bey and Enver Bey, the young Turk leaders, and the Committee of Union and Progress is described elsewhere (see TURKEY: History) ; here it must suffice to say that Abd-ul-Hamid, on learning of the threat of the Salonica troops to march on Constantinople (July 23), at once capitulated. On the 24th an irade announced the restoration of the suspended constitution of 1875; next day, further irades abolished espionage and the censorship, and ordered the release of political prisoners. On the loth of December the sultan opened the Turkish parliament with a speech from the throne in which he said that the first parliament had been " temporarily dissolved until the education of the people had been brought to a sufficiently high level by the extension of instruction throughout the empire." The correct attitude of the sultan did not save him from the suspicion of intriguing with the powerful reactionary elements in the state, a suspicion confirmed by his attitude to-wards the counter-revolution of the 13th of April, when an insurrection of the soldiers and the Moslem populace of the capital overthrew the committee and the ministry. The committee, restored by the Salonica troops, now decided on Abd ul-Hamid's deposition, and on the 27th of April his brother Reshid Effendi was proclaimed sultan as Mahommed V. The ex-sultan was conveyed into dignified captivity at Salonica. ABD-UL-MEJID (1823-1861), sultan of Turkey, was born on the 23rd of April 1823, and succeeded his father Mahmud II. on the 2nd of July 1839. Mahmud appears to have been unable to effect the reforms he desired in the mode of educating his children, so that his son received no better education than that given, according to use and wont, to Turkish princes in the harem. When Abd-ul-Mejid succeeded to the throne, the affairs of Turkey were in an extremely critical state. At the very time his father died, the news was on its way to Constantinople that the Turkish army had been signally defeated at Nezib by that of the rebel Egyptian viceroy, Mehemet Ali; and the Turkish fleet was at the same time on its way to Alexandria, where it was handed over by its commander, Ahmed Pasha, to the same enemy, on the pretext that the young sultan's advisers were sold to Russia. But through the intervention of the European Powers Mehemet Ali was obliged to come to terms, and the Ottoman empire was saved. (See MEHEMET ALL) In compliance with his father's express instructions, Abd-ul-Mejid set at once about carrying out the reforms to which Mahmud had devoted himself. In November 1839 was proclaimed an edict, known as the Hatt-i-sherif of Gulhane, consolidating and enforcing these reforms, which was supplemented at the dose of the Crimean war by a similar statute issued in February x856. By these enactments it was provided that all classes of the sultan's subjects should have security for their lives and property; that taxes should be fairly imposed and justice impartially administered; and that all should have full religious liberty and equal civil rights. The scheme met with keen opposition from the Mussulman governing classes and the ulema, or privileged religious teachers, and was but partially put in force, especially in the remoter parts of the empire; and more than one conspiracy was foamed against the sultan's life on account of it. Of the other measures of reform promoted by Abd-ul-Mejid the more important were—the reorganization of the army (1843–1844), the institution of a council of public instruction (1846), the abolition of an odious and unfairly imposed capitation tax, the repression of slave trading, and various pro-visions for the better administration of the public service and for the advancement of commerce. For the public history of his times-the disturbances and insurrections in different parts of his dominions throughout his reign, and the great war successfully carried on against Russia by Turkey, and by England, France and Sardinia, in the interest of Turkey (1853–1856)—see TURKEY, and CRIMEAN WAR. When Kossuth and others sought refuge in Turkey, after the failure of the Hungarian rising in 1849, the sultan was called on by Austria and Russia to surrender them, but boldly and determinedly refused. It is to his credit, too, that he would not allow the conspirators against his own life to be put to death. He bore the character of being a kind and honourable man, if somewhat weak, and easily led. Against this, however, must be set down his excessive extravagance, especially towards the end of his life. He died on the 25th of June 1861, and was succeeded by his brother, Abd-ul-Aziz, as the oldest survivor of the family of Osman. He left several sons, of whom two, Murad V. and Abd-ul-Hamid II., eventually succeeded to the throne. In his reign was begun.the reckless system of foreign loans, carried to excess in the ensuing reign, and culminating in default, which led to the alienation of European sympathy from Turkey and, indirectly, to the dethronement and death of Abd-ul-Aziz.
End of Article: ABDUCTION (Lat. abductio, abducere, to lead away)
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