Economy of the Ottoman Empire

Economic History
of Ottoman Empire
Enlargement Era
Reformation Era
Economic history of the Ottoman Empire covers the time period, between 1299- 1923. The economic history was divided into two distinctive sub periods. First one is the classic era (enlargement), which was a closed agricultural economy, showing regional distinctions within the empire. Second one is the reformation era (westernization). It was mainly composed from state organized reforms which began from administrative and political structures and than extended to the related transformations from state to public functions. The change began with the military reforms and its extension to military associated guilds (Ottoman: Yonca) to public craft guilds. These reformations during Tanzimat expended to education, taxation, and even subsidizing of the small industry.

Classic Era

Reformation Era

Prior to the Siege of Vienna, Ottoman Empire was not subjected to regular diplomatic customs, nor did it recognize the right to existence of the Christian states, which were considered tolerated enemies. The Vienna failure starts a process of medievalisation of the Ottoman state, as the Muslim faith is gradually replaced by financial and civil contracts in all the aspects (external relations, army recruiting, state organization etc.)

Social structure had remained stereotypically feudal. A strong, zealously followed religious establishment had helped to sustain this and resulted in most official posts, legislations and culture moreover being heavily influenced by the prolific Islamic councils and having strong outwards signs of Islam. The Madrassas, the primary education centers of the empire, had staunchly religious doctrines and acted as an expresser of the contemporary Muslim world view. Also, foreign policy, at least with relation to European states, was highly pragmatic but also pre-emptive, a foreign policy common to earlier European feudal states. Many official posts required active or previous military experience; Grand Viziers, the equivalent chief ministers of other contemporary nation, often commanded the army in person. Such a social and administrative structure, however, remained effective and efficient in conducting foreign policy, gains in Europe being evidence for this.

Areas of economic surplus, above self-sustaining bases, were few in relation to the area under Ottoman rule. Such areas focused around an urban center surrounded by well tilled arable farmland. Populations and population density was huge where substantial rural to urban migration had occurred; famine, conflict and extortion from tax-farms being the main stimulus for this. Cities, as in Europe, were the focuses of manufacture and trade. Ottoman cites had a large out put of goods, where comprehensive guild systems maintained quality at the expense of competition. However, the main source of Ottoman wealth came from less industry reliant goods and raw materials, mainly items from the east such as silk and gems; also the passage of such goods generated revenue due effective taxing measures. In comparison to its neighbors, the Ottoman empire was immensely wealthy.

Industrial Revolution

Further information: Industrial Revolution
While the industrial revolution had swept through western Europe, the Ottoman Empire was still relying mainly on medieval technologies. The vast empire had no railroads, and few telegraph lines. It took days before the major naval defeat at Sinope was learned of in the capital. The poor communications made it very difficult for Constantinople to control its provinces. Thus the provinces in the Balkans, Africa, and Asia became almost autonomous. Serbia was now an independent nation in all but name, paying only token tribute to the Sultan. Most of the other provinces also paid only fractions of the tribute required by law. Even the areas under the Sultan's direct control had an outdated and corrupt tax system, drastically depleting revenues. The disorganization and corruption permeating the nation also discouraged trade, hurting both itself and its relations with other nations. Compared to any other European power the Ottoman empire also had virtually no industry, and its raw materials were not being harvested.

Commerce as an economic inducer

International commerce was in rise through out the 19th century. The enlargement periods the main commerce consisted from local trade (closed economic system) between the Ottoman subjects. The international trade was reaching its peak in Europe and Ottoman Empire was one of the main interest area, but the question was how to enable this form of trade into Empire.

The task of uniting Ottoman Empire to this international trade was achieved through linking millet (Ottoman Empire) that wanted (capable) of communicating with European traders. In 1838, the signing of British-Ottoman commercial convention was one of the unique points in the economical history of the Empire that breaks its won shell. This achievement had come with giving some favors to British merchants. As with this agreement port cities such as İzmir and Beirut grew rapidly. In 1827 British exports were around 500,000 pounds which will grow to five times of this size in 1849. The closed system of Ottoman Empire with British imports was becoming a form of slave system, as the only way to pay back to England was passing through cheap labor. Ottoman historians point to this fact as the major source behind the uprising in the Empire. The fast grow of the Economy induced by British commerce was not compensated with the technological and other forms of production, which strike on the society that was based solely on agricultural production.

The western powers had invested a great deal of resources in the Crimean war and they did not wish to come to the aid of the faltering Empire again. Thus the nation was invaded by British, French, and Austrian businessmen and administrators who came to reform and rebuild the economy. This period known as the Tanzimat saw great changes. During the period after the Crimean war a national bank was created, the tax system was revised and strengthened, the law was altered to emulate the Napoleonic Code, a public education system based on that of the French was created, the Orient Express railroad was constructed, as well other railroads were built that travelled along the coast of Anatolia and into the Balkans.

Then on Friday, May 9, 1873 disaster struck. The Vienna stock market crashed and took with it the economy of Europe. The money and loans from abroad stopped pouring into Istanbul and the government entered a financial crisis. Unable to deal with this, the Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz began to rapidly switch Grand Viziers. Unable to repay foreign loans, the empire was forced to default on them, and ask for assistance from Europe. Soon the Sultan could avoid a fetva no longer and he was deposed. Eventually Abd-ul-Hamid II was girded with the sword of power.

Ottoman Public Dept Administration

Bankruptcy of 1875 could only be overcome by central government (House of Osman) giving promises to bondholders and consolidation of the 210 million pound Ottoman public debt. That is achieved through establishing a council. A council that will be a big power on the administration of the empire, behind the curtains. The official name was "The Council of Administration of the Ottoman Public Dept" (PDA). The PDA transferred huge amount of investments from England to build the credit. In five years the 1/5 of the huge debt was paid off. In 1880 the sultan had a good credit. That gave chance to other branches of the Empire to bring new credits. The borrowing was blooming before turn of the century. This financial reform gave chance to implement railways as an economic inducer idea.

In 1900, PDA was financing many railways and many other industrial artifacts. The organization was very famous at this time. It was announced as the new frontiers of the Ottoman extension. Some claimed that PDA was an instrument of imperialism. If this argument was true, the controllers (board of regions) were not obviously the Ottomans. The Sultan had the power of assigning only one member to the board.

Railways as an economic inducer

Despite the turmoil’s in the country the Ottoman economy was in rise mainly because of the foreign investment. The GDP of the empire was tripled between 1890 to World War I. One main characteristic of the development in the period was it was not homogeneous. As the growth was mainly subsidized by external investment (such as German investments) only places that German investors went was having the transformation. After "Oriental Railway" was finished with reaching to Istanbul, "Anatolian Railway Company" become a significant marker to the development pattern in the Empire as it was the subsidiary of German investment.

The railways brought the Emperor Wilhelm to Istanbul in 1889 and 1898. Berlin-Baghdad railway was the hottest concept of its time. It was seen as an instrument of German influence to Middle-East.

Sultan Abdulhamid believed that unification of the empire could only achieved by moving goods and people effectively within the empire, which the railway was the instrument. Economic prosperity was the only glue that could have hold an Empire which was fractured with national and religious conflicts.

Ottoman Empire or Ottoman Caliphate (1299 to 1922) (Old Ottoman Turkish: دولت عالیه عثمانیه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish:
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This article covers the socio-political history of Ottoman Empire beginning from its establishment to the reformation efforts of Selim III.

Prior to the Siege of Vienna, Ottoman Empire was not subjected to regular diplomatic customs, nor was it recognizing the right to
..... Click the link for more information.
While the industrial revolution had swept through western Europe, the Ottoman Empire was still relying mainly on medieval technologies. The vast empire had no railroads, and few telegraph lines. It took 3 days before the major naval defeat at Sinope was learned of in the capital.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ottoman Empire or Ottoman Caliphate (1299 to 1922) (Old Ottoman Turkish: دولت عالیه عثمانیه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish:
..... Click the link for more information.
The Tanzimat (Ottoman Turkish: تنظيمات), meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876.
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This article covers the socio-political history of Ottoman Empire beginning from its establishment to the reformation efforts of Selim III.

Prior to the Siege of Vienna, Ottoman Empire was not subjected to regular diplomatic customs, nor was it recognizing the right to
..... Click the link for more information.
While the industrial revolution had swept through western Europe, the Ottoman Empire was still relying mainly on medieval technologies. The vast empire had no railroads, and few telegraph lines. It took 3 days before the major naval defeat at Sinope was learned of in the capital.
..... Click the link for more information.
Siege of Vienna in 1529, as distinct from the Battle of Vienna in 1683, was the first attempt of the Ottoman Empire, led by Sultan Suleiman I (the magnificent), to capture the city of Vienna, Austria.
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Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation had a profound effect on socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain and subsequently spread throughout the world, a process that
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Rail transport is the transport of passengers and goods by means of wheeled vehicles specially designed to run along railways or railroads. Rail transport is part of the logistics chain, which facilitates the international trading and economic growth in most countries.
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Telegraphy (from the Greek words (τηλη) = far and (γραφειν) = write) is the long-distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally by changing something that could
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Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe a region of southeastern Europe. The region has a combined area of 550,000 km² and an approximate population of 55 million people.
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Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,545 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.4% of the total land area.
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Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. It covers 8.6% of the Earth's total surface area (or 29.4% of its land area) and, with almost 4 billion people, it contains more than 60% of the world's current human population.
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Anthem
Bože pravde
God of Justice



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Millet (stress on the e) is an Ottoman Turkish term for a confessional community in the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, with the Tanzimat reforms, the term started to refer to legally protected religious minority groups, other than the ruling Sunni.
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Anthem
Land der Berge, Land am Strome   (German)
Land of Mountains, Land on the River
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The Tanzimat (Ottoman Turkish: تنظيمات), meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876.
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The Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally called the Code civil des Français) was the French civil code, established under Napoléon I. It was drafted rapidly by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on March 21, 1804.
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The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Its route has changed many times, and several routes have in the past concurrently used the name (or slight variants thereof).
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This article has been tagged since September 2007.
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May 9 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1840s  1850s  1860s  - 1870s -  1880s  1890s  1900s
1870 1871 1872 - 1873 - 1874 1875 1876

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Subjects:     Archaeology - Architecture -
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Abdülhamid II (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد ثانی `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i sânî, Turkish:
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House of Osman is the name to the administrative structure of the Ottoman Dynasty, which is part of state organization of the Ottoman Empire, however directly linked to dynasty.
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The Ottoman public debt was a term dated back to 1854, when the Ottoman Empire contracted its European creditors shortly after the beginning with the Crimean War[1].
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Clockwise from top: Trenches on the Western Front; a British Mark IV tank crossing a trench; Royal Navy battleship HMS Irresistible sinking after striking a mine at the Battle of the Dardanelles; a Vickers machine gun crew with gas masks, and German Albatros D.
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Economic history is the study of how economic phenomena evolved in the past. Analysis in economic history is undertaken using historical methods and statistical methods, sometimes to test economic theories.
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It is today believed that humanity originated in Africa and as soon as human societies formed so did economics activity. Earliest humans were hunter gatherers living in small family groupings. Even then there was considerable trade, that could cover long distances.
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This article is a brief timeline of the economic history of Australia.

Before 1850

Before 1850, Australian economic development was almost entirely based on the production of wool.
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