As the Middle East moved into the 20th Century, they were inspired by the West to start to reform and modernize. What stopped most of their reform efforts were European nations that felt better when the Ottoman Empire was united and stagnant. The last thing they wanted was the Ottomans to fall and separate nations to form. They saw those new nations as ripe for colonization and envisioned a race and potential struggle, especially between England, France, and Russia. So, Europeans kept the Middle East down for their own sake.