Population movements have always played a major role in the life of Islam and particularly the Middle East. During the nineteenth century, however, the transfer of vast numbers of people from one region to another profoundly altered the social, ethnic, and religious structure of the Ottoman state—that is, the Middle East and the Balkans. The footloose tribes of eastern Anatolia, Syria, Iraq, and the Arabian peninsula were spurred into motion on an unprecedented scale by economic and social events, and the Ottoman government was forced to undertake settlement measures that had widespread effects. The Ottoman-Russian wars, which began in 1806 and occurred at intervals throughout the century, displaced large groups of people, predominantly Muslims from the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands. Uprooted from their ancestral homelands, they eventually settled in Anatolia, Syria (inclusive of the territories of modern-day Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel as well as modern Syria), and northern Iraq. These migrations continued until the time of the First World War. In addition, after 1830 waves of immigrants came from Algeria—especially after Abdel Kader ended his resistance to the French—and from Tunisia as well. These people too settled in Syria at Damascus.