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Financing The War

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Chapter Summary

Even in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman bureaucracy did not possess any economic theory or idea going beyond the immediate necessities of financing the state apparatus. The Anglo-Ottoman Commercial Treaty of 16 August 1838 had set import duty at 5 per cent, while export duty and internal customs duty were 12 per cent ad valorem for all goods. Ottoman military expenses in the period from 1841 to 1853 consumed on the average approximately 40 per cent of the state "budget". During the Crimean War, this proportion went up to 67 per cent of all actual state expenditures. Conspicuous consumption by palace women seems to have played some role in the Ottoman financial crisis. Cevdet Pasha has written in some detail about the extravagance of such women and seems to put the main blame on them for the deficits in state budget.

Keywords: Anglo-Ottoman Commercial Treaty; Cevdet Pasha; conspicuous consumption; Crimean War; Ottoman military expenses



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