Barbaroslar Episode 28 English Subtitles

Barbaroslar Episode 28 English Subtitles

Overview: evolution of the Ottoman state, 1808–1922

From one viewpoint, the nineteenth-century changes simply were additional phases in the ongoing  transformation of the Ottoman state since the fourteenth century – part of its ongoing effort to acquire, retain, or
modify tools in order to control its subjects and defend the frontiers.

The nineteenth-century tool-kit, as we shall see, was quite different from that of the eighteenth century, when it included competitive consumption of goods, the military forces of the provincial notables, the vizier and
pasha households at the center, the lifetime tax farm (malikane) as the political-financial instrument extracting revenues linking the two, and an important place for the community of religious scholars (ulema).

Overall, the central state – in both its civilian and military wings – vastly expanded in size and function and employed new recruitment methods during the nineteenth century. The number of civil officials that totaled perhaps 2,000 persons at the end of the eighteenth century reached 35,000–50,000 in approximately 1908, virtually all of them males.

As the bureaucracy expanded in size, it embraced spheres of activity previously considered outside the purview of the state. Hence, state functionaries once performed a limited range of tasks, mainly war making and tax collecting, leaving much of the rest for the state’s subjects and their religious leaders to address.

For example, the separate religious communities had financed and operated schools, hospices and other poor relief facilities. Muslim, Christian, and Jewish groups – usually via their imams, priests, and rabbis – had collected monies, built schools, or soup kitchens, or orphanages and paid the teachers and personnel to care for the students, the poor, and the orphans.

But, during the second half of the nineteenth century, the official class took on these and many other functions, creating separate and parallel state educational and charitable institutions. During the reign of Sultan Abdulhamit II, for example, the state built as many as 10,000 schools for its subjects, using these to provide a modern
education based on Ottoman values.

Thus, the state continued its evolution from a pre-modern to a modern form and the numbers of state
employees vastly increased. Ministries of trade and commerce, health, education, and public works emerged, staffed increasingly by persons who were trained specialists in the particular area.

Ottoman women, moreover, began to be included in the same modernization process. As the size and functions of government changed, so did recruitment patterns. In the recent past of the eighteenth century, households of viziers and pashas in the capital and of notables in the provinces had trained most of those who administered the empire. During the nineteenth century, however, the central Ottoman bureaucracy gradually formed its own
educational network, largely based on west and central European models, and increasingly monopolized access to state service.

Knowledge of European languages, that provided access to the sought after administrative and technological skills of the West, became increasingly prized. The personnel of the Translation Bureau (Tercume Odası), formed to provide The nineteenth century 63 an alternate source of skilled translators when the Greek war of independence seemed to question the loyalty of the Greek dragomans, were the first wave.

Subsequently, officials went to European schools, returned home with both the language and the technical skills, and passed those on to others in newly built schools on Ottoman soil. More and more, knowledge of the West became the key to service and mobility within the burgeoning bureaucracy. The borrowing, it must be cautioned, was no mere copying of Western models but rather a blending of imported knowledge and institutions with existing Ottoman patterns and morality.

The infusion of Ottoman practices and principles into Western ones already was occurring early in the nineteenth century. Such recombining may well have become more pronounced during the vast expansion of
the educational system under Sultan Abdulhamit II.

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