Trade, Ottoman Merchants, and Western Goods: Rise of the Commercial Bourgeoisie

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:
Trade, Ottoman Merchants, and Western Goods: Rise of the Commercial Bourgeoisie

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The chapter studies the effects of the developing commerce with the Western world on the Ottoman social structure during the 18th and 19th centuries. Emerging as a principal social group to form social resources, Ottoman minority merchants challenged the sultan's control. The chapter analyzes the spread of Western goods and demonstrates how the urban populace increased their accumulation of these goods at the expense of officials and their households. A sample of the inheritance register of Ottoman officials, military, and populace in this chapter reveals a difference in their tendency to own Western goods at the time of their death. While the tendency of officials and military did not change throughout the 18th century, the tendency of the urban populace increased greatly. The data signify how the social group of Ottoman religious minorities entered the protection of Western powers and formed an independent economic resource—the Ottoman commercial bourgeoisie.

Keywords: commerce; Western world; merchants; Western goods; inheritance register; commercial bourgeoisie

Chapter.  17659 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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