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The fin-de siècle eastern Mediterranean witnessed profound political and socioeconomic transformations and changes. Within this context, negotiations and conflicts in Ottoman Crete are well worth considering, not only for understanding the dynamic relations between the Muslim and Christian communities of Crete, but also for insights into the larger themes of a region where Christianity, Islam, ancién regimes, and nation-states intersected and interacted. New information about the social and political transformation of Ottoman Crete within the broader context of the late nineteenth century eastern Mediterranean region can be gleaned from an examination of archival sources. In particular, new light can be shed on the Cretan revolt of 1897 which, contrary to the view of most scholarship to date, was not just a bid to unite the island with Greece, but rather an effort by local Cretan Christians aimed at transforming Cretan society into one in which Christians would be dominant.