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Forum Lockedsocio-economic impact of the Ottoman Empire

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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: socio-economic impact of the Ottoman Empire
    Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 13:54

The Ottoman Empire rule over a vast region across 3 continents; over dozens of nationalities of distinct languages and religions.

My question here is how did "Ottoman rule" affect the everyday life of the subject nations?

Most of the great Empires in history had managed to change the way of life of the conquered territories: the Romans built roads and cities all over the Mediterranean and introduces Roman Law and Latin language; the Arabs spread Islam its art, science to areas as far away as Northern Spain; the Spanish spread language and religion the Americas; British and French influence could also be found in almost all their former colonies.

What did the Ottoman Empire contribute to her subject territories? What did they introduce to the Balkans, Anatolia, North Africa, and Arabia other than a political governor and taxes? Are any of these influences still to be seen today?

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 14:05
I don't know exactly how the Ottoman impact affected the life of its subjects. However, the impact on the periphery was huge. The Ottoman Empire control of commerce and excesive taxation was the main reason for the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and that developed the modern world.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 16:25

Hello to you all

 
Well there are positive impacts and negative impacts for the Arab world.
 
Negative impacts: It completed the distruction of the age old institutions in the Arab world although one has to be honest the distruction began before they ruled but they accelerated it.
 
Positive effects: It delayed colonian control until the late 19th century when the Arab world already began to wake up and realize the world outside.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 16:56
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Negative impacts: It completed the distruction of the age old institutions in the Arab world although one has to be honest the distruction began before they ruled but they accelerated it.
 
Positive effects: It delayed colonian control until the late 19th century when the Arab world already began to wake up and realize the world outside.
 

Which Arab institutions?

Weren't the Ottomans just another colonial power like the Spanish, Portuguee, and Dutch? Only that they were Muslim

Officially, Turks treated all Muslim subjects the same; but did they also put it into practice?

The Arabs before them also claimed that all Muslims should be treated equally, but ironically Muslim Berbers were treated like second-class citizens and many were even enslaved.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 18:08

Helo Calvo

Your comments about the Berbers show ignorance so I won't comment on them until you read more.

As for the institutions well the most important one is the educational system. There was a very mature educational system from childhood to adulthod that was systematically dismantelled or undermined. Sufi orders, the traditional enemies of education were strengthened and the amount of literate people deteriorated to an appaling rate (about 5% of the male population).

As for colonialism, well seeing what the Spaniards did with SA and Spain, I think this is enough evidence for the positive effect of the Turks.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 18:29
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Your comments about the Berbers show ignorance so I won't comment on them until you read more.

 
Are you claiming that this article in Wikipedia is pure lie?
 
As far as I can remember, the history that I studied of Al Andalus had been a constant struggle of power between Arabs and Berbers. At least in the initial stages of the conquest, the Arabs placed the Berbers beneath them socially yet above the Muladís, the Iberian converts.
 
This is off-topic. What I'd like to know by opening this thread is what legacies did the Ottomans leave in their subject territories: such as architecture, political system, insfrastructure, trade, or cultural conversion.
 
A subject that I'm rather intrigued by are the relations between distinct Muslim peoples in the Ottoman and Arab Empires. Although they were of the same religion, ethnic origin still remained a factor of social and political division.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 18:37
Originally posted by calvo

What did the Ottoman Empire contribute to her subject territories? What did they introduce to the Balkans, Anatolia, North Africa, and Arabia other than a political governor and taxes? Are any of these influences still to be seen today?
 
You should probably be a bit more specific as to what you are looking for.  It seems you have ruled out instutional contributions, which I must confess is what I know about the Ottomans.  So do you mean religious and cultural contributions?
 
You should definitely read the following:
 
Canbakal, Hülya. Society and Politics in an Ottoman Town: 'Ayntāb in the 17th Century. The Ottoman Empire and its heritage, no. 36. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
 
Dávid, Géza. Studies in demographic and administrative history of Ottoman Hungary. Analecta Isisiana, 25. Istanbul: Isis Press, 1997.
 
Douwes, Dick. The Ottomans in Syria: A History of Justice and Oppression. London: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2000.
 
Faroqhi, Suraiya. Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire. London: I.B. Tauris, 2000.
 
Faroqhi, Suraiya. The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It. London: I. B. Tauris, 2004.
 
Karpat, Kemal H. The Politicization of Islam: Reconstructing Identity, State, Faith, and Community in the Late Ottoman State. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
 
Khoury, Dina Rizk. State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540-1834. Cambridge studies in Islamic civilization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
 
Masters, Bruce Alan. Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Arab World: The Roots of Sectarianism. Cambridge studies in Islamic civilization. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
 
MoacÌŒanin, Nenad. Town and Country on the Middle Danube, 1526-1690. Ottoman Empire and its heritage, v. 35. Leiden: Brill, 2006.
 
Winter, Michael. Egyptian Society Under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798. London: Routledge, 1992.
 
Originally posted by calvo

Officially, Turks treated all Muslim subjects the same; but did they also put it into practice?
 
I think one has to approach this on a case by case basis.  Of course, there were selfish and rapacious Ottoman governors in the provinces.  In general, the Sultan tried to keep an eye on them and remove the unruly ones.  But there were always deviations from the official policy, as Christians, Jews, and Shi'ite Muslims were mistreated for both religious and materialistic reasons.
 
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Your comments about the Berbers show ignorance so I won't comment on them until you read more.
 
Doesn't this sound a little condescending to you?  Perhaps you should give him some suggestions to guide his reading instead.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 18:07
Hello to you all
 
Calvo raised the point that Berbers were second class citizens and that they wewre opressed by the Arabs, well that is a a lie propagated by Berber nationalists living in Paris and funded by the French government. The reason for their hatred is simple, they are racists and see themselves above the level of those bedouins from the desert.
 
Berbers were the only conquered people to be exempt from certain restrictions applied to other peoples. They were the only ethnicity to be allowed to raise regiments during the Umayyad and early Abbasids, they were given self rule and their tribes were given the same rights as Arab tribes. When Arab tribes began to move in the days of the Ummayyads they were forbidden and the government took the side of the Berbers at first.
 
during the struggles in Andalusia before 730 The Ummayyads supported Berbers and gave them full rights with the newly conquered territories a thing that made the Arabs angry. Only after Berbers converted to the kharijite sect and began an open rebellion did the Ummayyads support the Arabs. This support was short lived since in 750 the Abbasids came and they never ruled the lands beyond today's Tunisia. Only Berber dynasties ruled that area until the Ottomans came.
 
In Andalusia, nearly all the Taifa families were Berber and almost the entire army was Berber and most of the senior statesmen were also Berber. Only the Caliph and some early religious and military leaders were Arab.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 21:07
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Calvo raised the point that Berbers were second class citizens and that they wewre opressed by the Arabs, well that is a a lie propagated by Berber nationalists living in Paris and funded by the French government. The reason for their hatred is simple, they are racists and see themselves above the level of those bedouins from the desert.
 
Well, if this was in fact Calvo's purpose in posting the comment, we will wait and see what he has to say for himself.  However, I would ask of Calvo and everyone else that we not turn this thread into a flamewar on race or nationalism.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 21:42
I meant ultra nationalist Berber activists who blame Arabs for everything not Calvo himself.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 13:28
The most well-known institution of the Ottoman Empire was its annual "draft" of youths from Christian subjects to be educated in the Ottoman school and converted into the empire "civil servant" class.  Many important officials and advisors to the sultan came from this class.

As for Muslim subjects, I often wondered whether there were any differential treatment according to ethnic origin or school of Islam.
Was the Turkish language imposed as "official" on all the conquered land? was there a great migration of Turkish colonists to the subject territories?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Basmachi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 00:22
Originally posted by calvo

The most well-known institution of the Ottoman Empire was its annual "draft" of youths from Christian subjects to be educated in the Ottoman school and converted into the empire "civil servant" class.  Many important officials and advisors to the sultan came from this class.

As for Muslim subjects, I often wondered whether there were any differential treatment according to ethnic origin or school of Islam.
Was the Turkish language imposed as "official" on all the conquered land? was there a great migration of Turkish colonists to the subject territories?


You mean "devshirmes" in first paragraph. Devshirme Population in Ottoman Army was 10-15.000. Ottoman Army was about 80.000. 10.000 is not a big number for a state like Ottomans. Turks gave right of be a governor to all other ethnicities. There was Arab, Serbian, Greek, Armenian, Albanian etc. viziers in Ottomans.

Ottomans never imposed Turkish as official to conquered lands. There was a freedom of language in Ottomans. You know, Northern Africans speak French, some of Arabs speak French, Indians speak English but Bosnians, Serbians, Greeks, Bulgars, Arabs, Barbers etc. don't speak Turkish. Actually, Ottomans wasn't an empire. Empire and Imperialism are terms of European Sociology.

Migrations was happened only to Balkans, in first age of Ottomans. Like migrations to Anatolia from East... While new Turks come from East, migration contunied to West. It was not commanded by states, It was lifestyle of nomadic Turks. After Ottoman-Safavid Wars, migration stopped. Safavids were a barrier between Turkey and Turkestan. Actually, Safavids were also Turks (Turkmens) but they were Shii.

Ottoman State never Turkicize somewhere.

Ottomans made their investments to Balkans and Hijaz, not Anatolia. For example, At the 16th Century, Ottomans take 22 Million gold tax from Walachia, but invest 28 Million gold. Balkans and Hijaz were always apple of Ottomans eye.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote czarnian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 11:57
Originally posted by Basmachi

.

Ottomans never imposed Turkish as official to conquered lands. There was a freedom of language in Ottomans. You know, Northern Africans speak French, some of Arabs speak French, Indians speak English but Bosnians, Serbians, Greeks, Bulgars, Arabs, Barbers etc. don't speak Turkish. Actually, Ottomans wasn't an empire. Empire and Imperialism are terms of European Sociology.

Migrations was happened only to Balkans, in first age of Ottomans. Like migrations to Anatolia from East... While new Turks come from East, migration contunied to West. It was not commanded by states, It was lifestyle of nomadic Turks. After Ottoman-Safavid Wars, migration stopped. Safavids were a barrier between Turkey and Turkestan. Actually, Safavids were also Turks (Turkmens) but they were Shii.

Ottoman State never Turkicize somewhere.
 
I beg to differ mate. The ottoman goverment did pursue a "turkicize" policy, but it was in a much smaller scale and it wasn't as systematic as most balkan (laic) historians claim.
 
As for the devshirme (the indirect, and most common way of "tukicizeing"), those are the known years, in which the devshirme was "collected" in the bulgarian lands: 1538; 1543; 1567; 1601; 1610; 1622; 1646; 1705.
 
Here is a quote from the turkish prof. Ismail Hakki Uzuncarsih, which illustrates the sole purpose of this tax system: 
"In Rumelia the devsirme law is very important in two main aspects: first..., to train troops in the e janissary centers, and on the other hand - to increase the islamic population and eventualy "turkizise"  Rumelia."
source:
prof. Ismail Hakkı Uzunçarşıh, "Kapukulu ocakları", Ankara, 1943, Т. I. 


Edited by czarnian - 05-Jun-2009 at 12:05
Books about bulgarian history in english, german, french, etc...
http://forum.boinaslava.net/showthread.php?t=9474
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 15:51
The Ottomans had a tendency to emigrate large numbers of Moslems into their European provinces. The Balkans were some of the oldest held Ottoman territories. They faced the brunt of immigration. The Yeni Ceri (Janissary) system of devshirme had imposing effects. It diminished local's abilities from rebelling against the Sultan and procured fresh troops, as well as, government officers for the Osmanli. Overall, the Ottomans, especially up to Suleyman's era, didn't have a wholesale policy of forcing Christian or Jewish populations into Islam. Though there were certainly perks and community gains for the raya if they did so on their own. Still, millets in the Bulgaria and other directly held Ottoman spheres of influence had priviledged status in religion and jurisdiction. 

Edited by Seko - 05-Jun-2009 at 16:04
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Post Options Post Options   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 16:05
Originally posted by pinguin

I don't know exactly how the Ottoman impact affected the life of its subjects. However, the impact on the periphery was huge. The Ottoman Empire control of commerce and excesive taxation was the main reason for the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and that developed the modern world.
 
I beg to differ, pinguin, since events in the Iberian peninsula predated the consolidation of the Ottoman Empire. Further, Ottoman influence and partial political control over the Maghreb was a product of Iberian expansion into the North African states during the course of the early 16th century.
 
There is an interesting conference coming up this November on this very topic:
 
 
Now, with regard to the economy of the Empire and its tax policies, one has to keep in mind not only the various stages of imperial development but also Ottoman adaptation to the traditional taxes of regions absorbed into the body politic. Here is some qualified reading:
 
 
If one is to discuss this topic in terms of the world economy one has to accept the fact that decades after the development of direct trade routes by the Iberian maritime empires, the traditional channels of trade through Constantinople-Instanbul and the Eastern Mediterranean reasserted themselves in the world economy.
 
In any discussion on the Ottoman in terms of social and political concepts, one must never lose sight of the principle of Islamic 'adale--the inviolability of social justice. One of the major factors in the rapid expansion of the Ottomans during the sultanates of Selim I and Suleyman was the rampant decay and economic exploitation of populations by their opponents. In order to prevent the resurgence of such under Ottoman rule, public taxes were not only published under firman but required posting before all tax officials. In support of this policy, the Ottomans also consolidate the Siyasa, a special jurisdiction set up to identify corruption and punish misconduct by the local bureaucracies charged with administration and finances. One must keep in mind that "empires" based upon sheer force and arbitrary exploitation do not survive for centuries--just recall the fate of the late Soviet Union.
 
Now as one of the moderators warned, any discussion of this topic often gives rise to frenzied nationalism and patent racism. The "Turk" has long been gone from the Balkans, so it is rather difficult to blame them for the rather unsavory conduct of the successor states in the region. One must keep in mind that in political administration the Turk did not propagate Shari'ah, but instead premised such upon the Kanun, a combination of Ture and Yasa--that stood as the foundation of empire. Such permitted the recognition of regional differences with the Sultan serving as the cohesive bond. To be blunt, Ottoman rule in the Balkans represented a marked improvement over the political structures that went before it. One must keep in mind when discussing the Ottomans that the five centuries of their empire can not be coflated nor characterized by one political period.
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