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Central Elites

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Chapter Summary

The administrative upgrading of the District of Jerusalem in 1872 reflected the heightened significance of southern Palestine for the Ottoman government and the ruling elite in Istanbul. This chapter deals with Ottoman officials as agents of change whose personal agendas affected the political process. The Ottoman administrative and intellectual establishment of the Hamidian era certainly cultivated the idea of their own superiority, as well as prejudices with regard to the native populations of the provinces. The chapter deals mainly with the opinions of members of the highest echelons of the Ottoman administrative apparatus in Hamidian Palestine. However, alongside the confrontational rhetoric of the former governors and their relatives, there was another, more unspectacular and relaxed reality of interaction between Ottomans and native Palestinians which, for instance, is captured in Yosef Eliyahu Chelouche's descriptions of the friendly relations between the kaymakam of Jaffa and the city population.

Keywords: District of Jerusalem; elite; Hamidian era; Hamidian Palestine; Istanbul; Ottoman administrative apparatus; Ottoman government; political process; southern Palestine



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