Conclusion: The Emergence of a Bifurcated Ottoman 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:
Conclusion: The Emergence of a Bifurcated Ottoman Bourgeoisie

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The demise of the Ottoman empire was due to internal and external factors and the emergence of a bifurcated bourgeoisie. The empire had changed to office-households that developed their own power bases and challenged the sultan's control. To arrest this, the sultan introduced a Western-style educational system to train a new corps of officials that would be loyal to him. Due to the Western-style education and their Enlightenment ideas these officials formed a group against the sultan. The Ottoman bureaucratic bourgeoisie created social networks, acquired Western scientific expertise, and formed social resources that the sultan was unable to wrest away from them. The Ottoman commercial bourgeoisie increased trade with the West and forged Western political protection to extract economic resources away from the sultan. Finally, the book argues that had the Ottoman bureaucratic bourgeoisie not become nationalistic and eliminated the minority commercial bourgeoisie, then Turkey might today find itself closer to the center of the world order.

Keywords: empire; office-household; power base; educational system; Enlightenment ideas; bureaucratic bourgeoisie; commercial bourgeoisie; trade; Western political protection; world order

Chapter.  2002 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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