The Ottoman Economic Legacy

Charles Issawi

in Cross-Cultural Encounters and Conflicts

Published in print June 1998 | ISBN: 9780195118131
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854554 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Middle Eastern History

The Ottoman Economic Legacy

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the Ottoman's failure to develop an economic theory of their own, or to assimilate the one emerging in Europe. The structure of Ottoman society and the political power enjoyed by the bureaucracy and army as opposed to the producing classes composed of the farmers and craftsmen are stated by this chapter to be two causes of the said inadequacy of some Ottoman economic institutions. The Ottoman policy was primarily concerned with fiscal considerations and with the interest of consumers until the very end of the empire. These attitudes and processes were passed on to the Arab successor states. It is noted, however, that Ottoman laws regarding minerals gave the right to the subsoil to the state and not to the owner of the soil. This proved ideal for petroleum development in the last century and the chapter explains the phenomenal productivity and profitability of the Gulf petroleum industry.

Keywords: Ottoman; economic theory; Gulf petroleum; Ottoman society; policy

Chapter.  8870 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.