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Urban Responses To The Imposition Of Extraordinary Taxes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates popular responses to the administration of extraordinary taxes-including ʿavārıż, bedel-i nüzül, and other types of exactions-in the years 1640-1700. It addresses the various ways in which individuals and social groups, i.e., residential quarters, negotiated the challenge of extraordinary taxation. An assessment of the frequency of taxation and of property tax levels sets the background for the ways in which Aleppans obtained individual exemptions or, failing that, resorted to resistance and evasion or resigned themselves to various accommodations, made easier through mutual support and collective action. For the vast majority of Aleppans who did not belong to privileged status groups, provide service to the Ottoman state, or own tax-exempt houses, ʿavārıż taxation was a frequent and routine fact of life. As extraordinary taxes became more frequent and regular, the inhabitants of Aleppo resorted to various strategies to obtain relief, both as individuals and as collectivities.

Keywords: ʿavārıż taxation; Aleppans; extraordinary taxes; Ottoman state; property tax; residential quarters



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