Introduction: Class Formation and the Ottoman Empire

Fatma Müge Göçek

in Rise of the Bourgeoisie, Demise of Empire

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780195099256
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854547 | DOI:
Introduction: Class Formation and the Ottoman Empire

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From an Anatolian principality in 1299, the Ottoman state extended to a world empire spanning three continents—from Eastern Europe and the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa—at the height of its power in the 16th century before its gradual decline until 1922 when the Turkish nation-state emerged in its mainland. This book focuses on the 18th and 19th century when Ottoman wars and commerce with the West interacted with the existing social structure to create a segmented bourgeois class formation. The book questions the prevailing scholarly interpretation and argues that, based on empirical analysis of archival documents and historical chronicles, social transformation precedes and contributes to the process of Westernization of the Ottoman empire. The effects of war, commerce, and the Enlightenment concept of “civilization” shaped the parameters of the Ottoman social change. This chapter analyzes the Ottoman social change based on the intellectual foundation provided by Max Weber and Karl Marx.

Keywords: Anatolia; Ottoman empire; Ottoman wars; bourgeois; social transformation; Westernization; Enlightenment concept; civilization; Max Weber; Karl Marx

Chapter.  10066 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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