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14. The Evolution of Ottoman Military Logistical Systems in the Later Eighteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the fiscal and administrative transformation of the Ottoman Empire during the course of the eighteenth century, a transformation that proved to be crucial in supplying the army with men and food. The new imperial administration proved to be a flexible system, in which contractual relations based on bargaining between centre and periphery gained an unprecedented significance. An extensive network of local ayan dynasties, who were located throughout the whole Ottoman world from the Balkans to North Africa, had gained a range of new powers relating to intermediation between the state and the citizens. The ayans became increasingly indispensable to the everyday functioning of the empire, and they also reduced, in wartime, the fiscal burden of the Sublime Porte, the centre of Ottoman bureaucracy in Istanbul. These local power-holders increasingly acted as military, fiscal and organizational entrepreneurs in a number of interrelated capacities.

Keywords: eighteenth century; Istanbul; military entrepreneur; North Africa; Ottoman Empire



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