Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History: Selected Articles and Essays

Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History: Selected Articles and Essays

Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History: Selected Articles and Essays

Studies on Ottoman Social and Political History: Selected Articles and Essays

Synopsis

This book comprises a collection of articles and essays published in a variety of journals during the past decades, which seek to identify and analyze mainly the internal forces which transformed the Ottoman State into a variety of national states in the Balkans and the Middle East. Kemal H. Karpat studies the transformation of miri (state) lands into private property, the subsequent rise of a new propertied middle class in the countryside with its own stratum of intellectuals and notables as preparing the rise of a civil order which embraced or rejected as the situation demanded the old statist philosophy and the new bureaucracy. The book studies migration as a key factor which brought many Muslim ethnic groups into Anatolia that produced a social restructuring and new modern Ottoman-Islamic-Turkish culture that formed the ethno-cultural roots of Republican Turkey.

Excerpt

The study of the Ottoman state in the latter part of the eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth demands a broader analytical framework than hitherto used if its transformation and the social and political history of the Middle East, the Balkans, and even North Africa, which were parts of the Ottoman state at one time or other, are to be properly evaluated and interpreted.

Most of the studies on the modernization of the Middle East deal with the nature and intensity of outside stimuli, that is to say, the European impact, and much less with the forces within the Middle Eastern society which conditioned the response to these stimuli. in addition, the history of the Middle East and the Balkans in the nineteenth century has been viewed and interpreted from rather dogmatic national viewpoints. Consequently, the changes in the social and political structures of the Ottoman empire, and the profound impact of these changes on the nature of the emerging national states in the area, have often been ignored or interpreted in line with the writers' ideological and national biases. Such interpretations have resulted not only from a certain unwillingness to shed one's cultural and religious outlook on history but also from insufficient knowledge of the social history of the Ottoman state. From the very start it is necessary to recognize the essential fact that the Balkan and Middle Eastern societies, and their socio-cultural-economic structure in the Ottoman era, were subject to transformation through the impact of internal forces long before massive European inffluence accelerated this transformation. Already by the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries—that is, almost during the height of its power—the Ottoman empire faced serious social dislocation as indicated by Hasan Kafi Bosnevi (Akhisari) (1544–1616) in his Uṣûl al-ḥikem fî niẓâm al-alem, and later, in 1630, by Koçi Bey in his Risâle.

The process of transformation in cultural systems different from that of the West must be viewed as operating at several levels in . . .

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