The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914: A Documentary Economic History

The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914: A Documentary Economic History

The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914: A Documentary Economic History

The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914: A Documentary Economic History

Synopsis

This is the first comprehensive history and economic analysis of the Fertile Crescent during the 19th century, a region currently encompassing Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and a small part of Turkey. Presenting 155 carefully selected documents--the majority drawn from British and French archives and here published for the first time, the balance translated from Arabic, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Italian, and Turkish sources--Issawi provides an in-depth treatment of the economic life of the region, with chapters on social life and organization, trade, transport, agriculture, industry, and public and private finance. Including extensive cross-references that pinpoint the connections between the subjects discussed, the book is an invaluable resource on a historically rich and dynamic region.

Excerpt

This book, the last in the series, is a companion to The Economic History of the Middle East (University of Chicago Press, 1966), The Economic History of Iran (University of Chicago Press, 1971), and The Economic History of Turkey (University of Chicago Press, 1980). It covers Geographical Syria and Mesopotamia--that is, the area within the present states of Iraq (450,000 square kilometers) and Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan (320,000 square kilometers), plus a small region in Turkey. The reader is reminded that much material relevant to the Fertile Crescent is contained in the above-mentioned books, especially the first. For an analytic overview he is referred to my Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa (Columbia University Press, New York, 1982) and to Roger Owen The Middle East in the World Economy (Methuen, London, 1981). Since in all these books little attention has been paid to various aspects of daily life, I am now working on a volume on this subject, covering Egypt and the Fertile Crescent.

As with its predecessors, the primary aim in selecting material for this documentary history has been to include the best and most interesting texts available, but with emphasis on the less accessible sources. Within this framework, five criteria have been applied. First, with a single short exception, no passage from any book or journal in English has been reproduced. Second, preference has been given to unpublished over published material. Third, texts in non-Western languages have been given preference over texts in Western languages and, within the latter group, non-English texts over English. Fourth, priority has been given to reports and articles over books and to older books over more recently published ones. Finally, since the main laws, treaties, and concessionary and other agreements have been reproduced in J. C. Hurewitz, Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East, or are available in G. Young, Corps de droit Ottoman, no attempt has been made to include such documents here.

Of the 156 selections, 117--almost all the English and French ones--are published here for the first time. The texts cover two centuries, the first having been written in the . . .

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