By M. Şükrü Hanioğlu

On the flip of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire straddled 3 continents and encompassed outstanding ethnic and cultural variety one of the envisioned thirty million humans dwelling inside of its borders. It used to be probably the main cosmopolitan kingdom within the world--and almost certainly the main risky. a quick heritage of the past due Ottoman Empire now supplies students and common readers a concise historical past of the overdue empire among 1789 and 1918, turbulent years marked by means of tremendous social swap. relocating previous usual remedies of the topic, M. Skr Hanioglu emphasizes extensive old developments and tactics greater than unmarried occasions. He examines the imperial fight to centralize amid robust competition from neighborhood rulers, nationalist and different teams, and overseas powers. He appears to be like heavily on the socioeconomic adjustments this fight wrought and addresses the Ottoman reaction to the demanding situations of modernity. Hanioglu indicates how this background is not just necessary to comprehending smooth Turkey, yet is necessary to the histories of Europe and the realm. He brings Ottoman society marvelously to existence in all its facets--cultural, diplomatic, highbrow, literary, army, and political--and he mines imperial records and different records from the interval to explain it because it really was once, now not because it has been portrayed in postimperial nationalist narratives. a short historical past of the past due Ottoman Empire is a must-read for a person trying to comprehend the legacy left during this empire's ruins--a legacy the realm nonetheless grapples with this present day.

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The overwhelming majority of the subjects was illiterate. The Muslim community, though far from monolithic, was regarded as the dominant one by virtue of the Islamic ideology of the state. Although there are no reliable population figures, Muslims clearly formed a majority over non-Muslims. Most Ottoman Muslims were Sunnīs who belonged to various legal schools and Sūfī orders; the rest of the Muslim population was a colorful mix of mainstream Shī

Indd 14 8/23/2007 8:15:57 PM At the Turn of the Nineteenth Century 15 Egypt, the Mamluks of Baghdad expanded the area under their direct or indirect rule. In time, the area from Basra to Mosul fell under the control of semi-autonomous Mamluk governors allied to a powerful Mamluk bureaucratic class in Baghdad. The last Mamluk governor of Baghdad, Davud Pasha, was not defeated by the central government until 1831. 25 In southern Albania and northern Epirus, Ali Pasha of Tepelenë, a former brigand whose ruthless regime Lord Byron described as “lawless law,”26 enjoyed a similar autonomy verging on independence.

Indd 17 8/23/2007 8:15:59 PM 18 Chapter One âyân in 1786, notables—such as Tirsinikli İsmail and Alemdar Mustafa Pasha in Rumelia, and Cizyedârzâde Hüseyin of Bursa in Anatolia—continued to represent a powerful social group in the empire until the success of the centralization policies in the mid-nineteenth century. The concentration of power in the hands of local dynasts and notables brought about a de facto change in the land tenure system, compeling the government to agnize private ownership of land, albeit unofficially.

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