Hatt-i-Humayun (1856)
The publication of the Hatt-i-Humayun (Sultan's decree) on 18 February 1856, and its presentation at the Paris Conference ushered in a period of reform -- known as 'Tanzimat' -- in the Ottoman empire.

The reforms included the drawing up of a penal code, legislation providing for a State Council and Supreme Court, the founding of the Ottoman Bank, and a law concerning the 'vilayets' (or districts), which defined the Empire's administrative framework.

The reforms also contributed to the transformation of the 'millets' (religious groups) into national groups, but owing to their expensive nature they drained the Empire's treasury.