chapter  3
An Illustrative Genocide: The Armenians
Pages 6

From 1894 to 1896 the Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II was directly responsible for the massacre of perhaps as many as 100,000 of his Armenian subjects and indirectly responsible for an additional 100,000 deaths due to accompanying famine and disease.1 U.S. and European attention was riveted first on the “Bloody Sultan’s” atrocities during the 1890s and then on the culmination of these atrocities, beginning in 1915 in the Armenian genocide directed by the Young Turks. The two-decade prelude to the final genocide gave ample warning for prevention. Although most histories center largely or solely on the later period, popular concern about Armenian suffering was intense in the West from the 1890s through the 1920s.