Friday, January 6, 2017

Ottoman Millet System

My very quick and tentative take on millet system threads on Twitter. Caveats (see last part). 1820's. Royal court re-takes absolute power. Embarks on many expansionary wars. More territory, everything else (e.g. trade) worsens. Diminishing returns to millet system. Too many guns, not enough butter. Worsening resentment over time. Baki Tezcan might frame as a burgeoning proto-constitutional monarchy with strongly growing trade replaced by old system of royal absolutism and extractive militarism. I'd add that unlike the millet system trade can better help forge a national identity. The millet system 'national' identity was largely limited to religious, Sultan worship, and the military.  

(Caveats: I spent three months in Istanbul 1989-1990. Read Bezcan's book, more than once. Have read a lot of history over the years. No professional status as historian or directly related to topic at hand.) 

1 comment:

  1. Blogpost that got the discussions going .. ..