31 Mart 2009 Salı

Main questions-Engels

-Consider these questions as you are reading this week's primary source: Engels' Industrial Manchester:

-Where did the inhabitants of “the first manufacturing city of the world” come from? Why, do you think, they ended up in this environment? In what ways are they integrated into the market economy?

-How was the traditional city (its spatial layout) re-organized through industrialisation (in Manchester). In what way was the city segregated?

30 Mart 2009 Pazartesi

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION/Girardelli-March 27,2009

The French Revolution
-Complete overthrow of a system of government with its social, economic and cultural foundations
-Universal, paradigmatic value. “Europe”’s first revolution. Immediate effects from Portugal to Russia, from Scandinavia to Italy and the Ottoman Empire. Long run effects extended to every political project implying destruction of a traditional order. Central experience of political modernity
-J. Michelet: “the advent of the Law, the resurrection of Right, the reaction of Justice”. Liberation from the traditional oppression enshrined in monarchy, nobility, clergy.
For its opponents, the Revolution meant the dark forces of mob and terror.

-Cultural/ideological: Enlightenment’s critique of the Ancien Régime.

-Social: enriched bourgeoisie can no longer accept to be a subaltern class without political weight

-Economic crisis in 1787-88. April 1789: rising prices, raids to bakeries

-Demographic: population growth - production increases - proto-industrialization and birth of the proletariat - first generational gaps

-Psychological factors: indecision at the centre (the King cannot gauge public discontent) - anger and fear for poverty in the countryside and in the Parisian proletarians - violent result

-International context: example of the American Revolution - ferment and social conflict in the Netherlands - Belgian revolt - Poland
First phase: bourgeois revolution, 1789-92

4 may 1789 - the King opens the Estates General after 150 years. On 17 June the Third Estate breaks the rules and declares itself National Assembly. Voting by head rather than by Estate is introduced.

14 July - 30000 muskets removed from the Hotel des Invalides - the Bastille (political prison) is besieged. Symbolic action

26 Aug 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man (liberty, property, security, freedom of expression and thought, resistance to oppression)

1789-91, National Assembly lead by liberal noble Mirabeau. Constitutional monarchy.

Sept 1791, new Legislative Constitution (Girondin) is less sympathetic with monarchy.

It is replaced after 1 year by a radical National Convention (Jacobin) that declares the Republic.

Second phase: Radical Revolution, 1792-94
Jacobin power, controlling the Commune of Paris, is fuelled by the threat of foreign intervention in support of the King
10 august 1792, the Tuileries are stormed, the King deposed and the Republic declared on
22 Sept. 1792 (Vendemiaire, later the starting-point of the Republican calendar)

Church properties are confiscated, land is given to the peasants, aristocratic, feudal privileges are abolished. Suffrage is extended to one half of the male population. Catholicism is replaced by the cult of the Supreme Being in 1794
Executive power is concentrated in two Committees of Public Safety lead by Danton (April-July 1793) and Robespierre (July 1793-July1794), inspired by the democratic ideas of Rousseau.
Louis XVI executed as traitor on 21 January 1793.
While war with legitimist foreign powers goes on, the internal opponents of the Revolution are executed in thousands (Terror). Internal conflict. Danton is executed in April, Robespierre in July 1794.

Moderate phase: 1794-1804

War continues but maintaining internal order and avoiding excess becomes the main objective.
Loyalty of the people to a government and a state that seems to have been created by the people and for the people becomes basis of new national feelings.

1795 New constitution
Nov. 1795 executive power to a “Directory” of 5 men.
Nov. 1799(18 Brumaire VIII) coup d’etat by the Directory’s most successful general, Napoleon Bonaparte, who establishes a 3 men “consulate”, confirmed by nation-wide plebiscite
Egyptian campaign begins in 1799
May 1802 - Napoleon is first consul for life

May 1804 - Emperor
Imperial Phase: 1804-1815
Stability is found in the general cult of Napoleon
Revolutionary war and conquest become ends in themselves. Military success prevails on democratic ideals.
Religious freedom is confirmed (equal rights of Jewish communities), but police system limits freedom of expression
Secondary schools and universities are centralized.
1812 - The French empire controls most of Western Europe. Reversal of fortune with the failure of the Russian campaign
1814-15 Coalition lead by Britain defeats Napoleon.

Napoleon as modern ruler

Napoleon as victorious warrior

Antoine J. Gros (1771-1835), Napoleon in the Plague House at Jaffa, 1804

Napoleon as Western healer of Oriental suffering subjects

F. De Goya (1746-1828), The 3rd of May 1808, 1814

Napoleonic invasion of Spain seen by a Spanish painter who had been committed to the ideals of the Enlightenment


-Although in 1815 the immediate result of the French Revolution seems to have fuelled reaction and conservatism, an irreversible process of democratization was started by it.

-Empowerment of the bourgeoisie will be a leading, constant aspect of European and world history during the 19th century.

-The bourgeoisie was thought to be a revolutionary force until 1848 by Marx.

-Opposite dangers of popular, jacobin radicalism and authoritarian evolution will constantly affect the following historical evolution.

29 Mart 2009 Pazar

The American Revolution/Mazzari-March 25,2009

An Enlightenment Experiment: The American Revolution—
1. The Political Philosophy of the Enlightenment: The Glorious
Revolution, John Locke, and the theory of balanced government

2. Rational Claims for Self-Rule: The Declaration of Independence
3. The Machinery of American Democracy: A rational system of checks and balances
The abortive Articles of Confederation

The U.S. Constitution: A balance no longer between estates, but between types and sources of power

Vertical: Federal, state, county, and municipal
Horizontal: Executive, legislative, and judicial

Bill of Rights: Balance between government and individual;

Freedom “from” and the freedom “to”

4. Classical Foundations of Republican Virtue
“L’enfant’s District of Columbia
Revolutionary heroes as Roman senators
5. Republicanism to Liberalism: Tocqueville in Jacksonian America
Nature and capitalism in the new American West

6. Testing the Limits of Independence: The War for the Union and the Definition of American Democracy.

OneDollar: Novus Ordo Seclorum

Sir Isaac Newton


J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, 1781

I WISH I could be acquainted with the feelings and thoughts which must agitate the heart and present themselves to the mind of an enlightened Englishman. . .

He is arrived on a new continent; a modern society offers itself to his contemplation, different from what he had hitherto seen. It is not composed, as in Europe, of great lords who possess every thing and of a herd of people who have nothing. Here are no aristocratical families, no courts, no kings, no bishops, no ecclesiastical dominion, no invisible power giving to a few; no great manufacturers employing thousands, no great refinements of luxury. The rich and the poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe. Some few towns excepted, we are all tillers of the earth, from Nova Scotia to West Florida. We are a people of cultivators, scattered over an immense territory communicating with each other by means of good roads and navigable rivers, united by the silken bands of mild government, all respecting the laws, without dreading their power, because they are equitable. We are all animated with the spirit of an industry which is unfettered and unrestrained, because each person works for himself. . . . Lawyer or merchant are the fairest titles our towns afford; that of a farmer is the only appellation of the rural inhabitants of our country. . . .

Venerate the Plough

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. . . . He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. . . .

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in our attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity; and we have conjured them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

John Adams, Second President

26 Mart 2009 Perşembe

Key questions-Week 5-primary texts

-How was the Enlightenment thinkers were affected by the Scientific Revolution?
-How do they applied these influences on their critique of the political systems that they lived in?
-Are there any biases, dilemmas in the writings of Enlightenment thinkers?
-Are the principles of liberty and equality are applicable to all?
-Why is general will important for Rousseau? What are the characteristics of a philosopher according to Diderot?

25 Mart 2009 Çarşamba

ENLIGHTENMENT/Girardelli-March 23,2009

-Scientific and rational methods for improving government and society. Critique of absolutism of traditional social order(clergy, aristocracy and their privileges)

Critiques of the Ancien Régime

Fragonard, The Swing, 1766

-Universal laws (Locke &Montesquieu), Principles of tolerance, human rights. Reason is universal and equality is the natural condition.
-To enforce the new privileges in practice Enlightened despotism (Catherine the Great in Russia,
Frederick the Great in Prussia etc.) or Revolution

-A.Smith-free market and competition-wealth produced by circulation of goods
-Scientific improvement of agriculture (new corps-increased productivity) and industry
-Capitalism as rational investment in material and human commodities
(labor force as market commodity)-colonial trade increasingly affecting everyday life.

The Royal Academy in 1787

Social and cultural behaviours:
-famial order:new vision of childhood-Gender relations (Mary Wollestonecraft)

-Beginning of mass consumerism. Paid entertainment-leisure-cultural consumption.

Critiques of the Ancien Régime

F.Boucher, La Toilette, 1742-frivolous and wasteful manners of the aristocratic society.

-Birth of public sphere (newspapers-cafes-public reading).
-Taste is democratized with Persian salon, exposing art to a broader public.
Democratizing Knowledge

Diderot - D’Alembert, Encyclopedie, 1751-72

-Universalism, accessibility of knowledge. Democratizing knowledge implies political democracy.

-Taxonomy, classification of all knowledge. Moral value of the commitment to science. Neglect of science as a sign of inferiority.

-On one hand, reason belongs to all peoples and every cultural production has its values and peculiartities (beginning of ethnography)

-On the other hand, the enlightened European intellectual sees himself as the only subject entitled to categorize and judge the rest of the world (Eurocentrism - ideological premises of colonialism)

24 Mart 2009 Salı

Week V-Highly Recommended reading material

Dear all,
tonight highly recommended reading material focusing on Enlightenment will be sent by your teaching assistants. You can also download this excerpt from the library website
or purchase a hard copy. It is now available at Hisar Digital.

DANTON- March 27,2009/ 5 p.m-GKM Ayhan Şahenk

Danton (dir. Andrej Wajda, 1983; Gerard Depardieu, Wojciech Pszoniak, Anne Alvaro) will be screened on March 27 Friday- 17:00, Garanti Kultur Merkezi.

The movie focuses on the events of the "Reign of Terror" during the French revolution, through two of its central figures, Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre.

21 Mart 2009 Cumartesi


The rather subjective way in which historians use the term ‘revolution’ to describe processes that cannot really be reduced to a short period of change, like political revolutions.

The ‘Scientific Revolution’ is a term that describes a process that can be traced back to the Middle Ages, or to the invention of the printing press; but it is generally considered to be a phenomenon centered on the sixteenth end seventeenth centuries.

It overlaps to a large extent with the concept of the ‘Age of Reason,’ named in opposition to the ‘Age of Religion’ that preceded it, and where science, rationalism, empiricism tend to replace dogma, belief, and scholasticism.

The Scientific Revolution also can be prolonged into the eighteenth and even nineteenth centuries, thus overlapping with what is generally described as the Enlightenment.

Among the most marking figures and events of the Scientific Revolution, Copernicus (1473-1543) and his discovery of the solar system, which challenges anthropocentric religious views of a universe centered on man and the earth.

By improving the telescope, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) develops the technology needed for the observation of the planets.

Descartes (1596-1650) publishes his Discourse on the Method, where he develops a scientific method based on doubt and deduction. He proves that he exists by the fact that he doubts, which proves that he thinks, which proves that he is (dubito ergo cogito, cogito ergo sum).
Harvey (1578-1657) discovers blood circulation.
The most extraordinary impact will come from Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his discovery of the law of gravitation. By proving that the motion of every object and planet can be explained mathematically, he brings into being the notion that every ‘mystery’ of creation is potentially explainable and that rules and laws determine the way in which nature ‘functions.’


The seventeenth century is also characterized by a great propensity to discover the outer world, other civilizations, and historical narratives that challenge the very constructs on which European consciousness was based.
It is also the time of the ‘quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns,’ the former defending the idea of an ideal for the future located in a ‘golden age’ of the past, while the latter introduce the notion of a future that may be different but better than the present, thus opening the way to the idea of progress.
All in all the Scientific Revolution is crucial in the shaping of the Enlightenment. In many ways, the Enlightenment will be an application of some of the principles of the Revolution to the sciences of man and society.

20 Mart 2009 Cuma


Absolutism Challenged:The English Revolution

England in the early 17th century
A society in transformation: old elite (aristocracy) vs. new elite (gentry and professional classes)
A relatively centralized monarchy

Parliament: House of Lords, House of Commons- the former was still the more powerful body, but the latter was also rising in status.

Common Law: the emergence of an ideology of the common law as the basis of the unwritten “constitution” of England.

Religion: Catholics reduced to a minority, Anglican Church established as the moderately Protestant official Church of England, and Puritans, dissenting and more radical Puritans
Causes of conflict under the early Stuart kings, James I and Charles I

Fiscal: Difficulties of financing the rising expenses of warfare without aggravating powerful groups

Religious: Puritan resentment of Anglican dominance and control; suspicions that the Stuart kings were secretly Catholic.

Constitutional: Resentment at the Stuart monarchs’ extensive use of the royal prerogative in fiscal, legal and administrative manners; ideology of the common law counters arguments about the divine right of kings

The Civil War and the Commonwealth

Parliament convened (Short and Long Parliaments): 1640-2

Civil War: 1642-6. Army of Parliament vs. army of king.

The “Puritan Republic”: 1649-1660

Charles I executed, monarchy and House of Lords abolished.

The Cromwellian Protectorate: 1653-1660

Oliver Cromwell rules England with dictatorial powers.

Oliver Cromwell

The Restoration: 1660-1688
Successful policies of Charles II win him many allies in the Parliament, known as Tories; critics known as Whigs.
Tensions arise because of the conversion of Charles II and his son James II to Catholicism and because of their attempts to appoint Catholics to official positions.
The Glorious Revolution: 1688-89.
The Parliament invites James’s Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, the stadtholder of Netherlands to England to protect “traditional liberties.”

Mary Stuart & William of Orange

Comparison with France
-Both French and English monarchs try to augment their power and to legitimate their attempts to do so by relying on the arguments about the divine right of kings. But Louis XIV turns out to be the better politician, using the arts of persuasian and cooptation as well as confrontation.
-The insistence of the later Stuart monarchs on their Catholic agenda undermines their standing in the eyes of their Protestant subjects, who had begun to equate Englishness with Protestantism.
-The groups that resisted absolutism in England had a more powerful social and ideological base.
-John Locke as the ideologue of the Glorious Revolution and a source of inspiration for later constitutionalists.

18 Mart 2009 Çarşamba


Absolutism at its peak: France under Louis XIV
Introductory remarks
-State-building as a conflictual process; the seventeenth-century crisis
-Different paths of state building in the seventeenth century: England and France.

France before Louis XIV
a)The French monarchical tradition

b)Limits to absolutism
-Size and population
-Local particularisms – the concept of “liberty”
-Religious diversity

c)Precursors to Louis XIV
-Henry IV

-Cardinal Richelieu

-Cardinal Mazarin
-The Fronde

The personal rule of Louis XIV
a)Cooptation of rather than confrontation with the social groups and institutions that represented a check on royal authority

b)Government through “the nobility of the robe”, while keeping the “nobility of the sword” preoccupied, in debt and in check in the Versailles


c)Extensive use of cultural patronage to glorify his rule and to manipulate the royal image.

d)Use of the theory of “the divine right of kings” to justify his rule and power.

LOUIS XIV and his family

e)Mercantilist economic policies

f)Modernization of the army

g)Policy of religious intolerance
-Suppression of Protestantism (Revocation of the Edict of Nantes)
-Suppression of Jansenism

massacre of St.Bartholomew

h)Military ventures

Louis XIV

The legacy and perception of Louis XIV: two contrasting Enlightenment perspectives
-Montesqueiu, The Persian Letters, 1721

-Voltaire, The Age of Louis XIV, 1750


17 Mart 2009 Salı

Montesquieu-"Persian Letters"-Voltaire-"Letters on England"-Main questions

-Can you identify some of the ways in which Montesquieu offers a critique of Louis XIV in these letters?

-What are some of the aspects of the English political regime that appealed to Voltaire?

-What role does commerce play in Voltaire’s comparison of France and England?
(Letter 10: Point out his characterization of the mercantile character of English society vs. the feudal character of French society – Critique of French courtly society!)

Attention!!! Change of primary sources-Week IV

Please, check your e-mail accounts (registered in the system)!
The primary texts that are required for this week have been sent via e-mail by your teaching assistants. They are also available online. You can download them:

15 Mart 2009 Pazar


-alternating phases of universalism and localism on the Asian scene. These phases ended with the establishment of the Mongolian Empire.

-With the end of the Mongol Rule in China , a new dynasty emerged: The Ming, the bright one.

-The situation that was a result of the earlier struggles. During the Mongolian empire two trends a) powersharing (diversified use of power) , redistribution

b) and concentration of power and pooling in and ruling from a bureaucratic center had been at odds with each other. China where the predominance of sedentary population, agriculture, art and crafts were always seen, was also traditionally a bureaucratic state.

-Another change from earlier patterns was that during the first millennium and with the Mongol Empire people were constantly on the move. There were migrations, conquests and as a result blending of populations and cultures. As a result of blending of peoples and bringing religions from antagonism into a coexistence, migrations and conquests had ended.
-The end of the migrations meant also an end for the disruption of the country side by around 1500-1550s. This is to note that the end of the migrations, and the process of settling down seems to have started as an inner dynamic and not as a response to outside powers.

-The new characteristics of this phase were borderlines, and an urge to put things within those borders into order; borderlines arose between the sedentary and the nomadic; between religions, sects, languages and culture.

-The collapse of the Mongolian empire brought about other changes in Asia. We have the regional empires

-This was a period of bringing a new order for all of the regional empires including China.
-This era shows a distinct change in terms of its goals and values. It is no longer the martial values that are praised but “civil” values.

-They all tried more or less successfully to bring an end to the domination of the nomadic peoples, inside, at the frontiers and outside. By the middle of the 16th century These efforts had ended with a subordination of the nomads to the sedentary order.
-Except for the western Mongols there were no more threatening nomads at China’s frontiers.
For a brief time there were maritime expeditions in the south, led by the eunuch Zheng He. These expeditions were brought to an end after a short time.

-In the north also the great Wall as we know it today was constructed. It was now a continuous borderline, so wide that one could travel on by chariots.

-As a result the Ming empire was able to concentrate on internal issues, on issues related setting the house in order. These “fences” around China contributed to non-interference from outside.

- Leading to the development of the capital city with the palace

The Temple of heaven

The Ming Tombs

Neo-Confucianism Wang Yangming
-Building historiography by writing the histories the previous three alien dynasties, including the Mongols (Yuan).
-Easing of internal trade, more freedom of movement to merchants, building of shrines for merchants
-increase of literacy both for men and women.

-development of arts and crafts, Ming porcelain, Ming furniture just to name a few.

OTTOMAN ABSOLUTISM and ITS LIMITS(mid 15th to the 17th century)/Terzioglu-March 11,2009

Ottoman Absolutism and Its Limits (mid 15th to the 17th century)
The paradigm of Oriental Despotism and its critique
Between the 16th and 18th centuries the Ottoman Empire came to be conceptualized by European thinkers as the antithesis of European political regimes. In characterizing the Ottoman regime as an Oriental Despotism, European thinkers especially stressed the absolute ruler of the sultan and his ruling elite of slave background; they also emphasized the absence of an aristocracy and an independent body of law to check the power of the ruler.

There are many problems with this model:

First and foremost, it is a gross simplification of the early modern Ottoman political regime.

Second, it misses sight of the fact that the Ottoman political order was far from static and invented itself several times over during its six centuries of existence.

And third, it reflects early modern European thinkers’ anxieties about the forms of absolutism flourishing in their own polities.

The sultan and the sultanate
The absolute power of the sultan expressed through royal titles: the sultan as the shadow of God (zıllullah) or the deputy of God (halifetullah) on earth

The absolute power of the sultan as expressed in the architectural layout of the palace

The absolute power of the sultan as expressed in royal ceremonial

The expression of the sultan’s power more through his absence than through his presence was conducive in the long run to the withdrawal of sultans from day-to-day governance and to the impersonalization of the office of the sultanate. This trend was already evident in the late 16th century.

The kul elites
Like many other earlier Muslim dynasties the Ottomans resorted to a military ruling class drawn from slave backgrounds in the hope of creating a ruling class that had no political allegiances other than to the sultan. They were arguably more successful int this than earlier dynasties due to a number of innovations. Among them was:

1) their application of the devşirme levy,

2) their subjection of the “recruits” to rigorous training either in the military barracks or (in the case of the more select members) in the Palace School, and

3) their practices of tying in the top ranks of the kul corps closer to the royal family through marriage.

As important as the kuls were for the Ottoman military administration, however, not all members of the Ottoman ruling elite were of slave backgrounds.

The timar institution

Comparison with iqta
Timarlis were kept in check through a variety of different measures, including:

Land surveys (Tahrir)
Supervision by kadis

The learned or religio-legal establishment
Ulema fulfilled many important functions as kadis, müderrises, muftis.
They were also integrated into the state bureaucracy to a much greater extent than in earlier polities. A hierarchical body with the sheikhulislam at the top.
Limits to the bureaucratization of the ulema.

Ottoman legal culture and limits to royal authority
Kanun – two definitions of kanun 1) kanun as expression of royal will, 2) kanun as accretive tradition of the House of Osman.
Local customs

Conclusion: no formalized legal mechanism to subject the sultans to the rule of law, but Ottoman legal culture, and esp. the shariah acted as an informal check on royal authority.

The transformation of the Ottoman political regime after the late sixteenth century
The demise of the devşirme levy and the civilianization of the kul corps
The decline of timar and the rise of taxfarming
The emergence of ayan or urban notables.

Conclusion: Power became more diffused between different parts of Ottoman officialdom both within the imperial capital and throughout the provinces. The imperial administration ruled the empire through a wide array of intermediary bodies from the ayan to the kuls.

10 Mart 2009 Salı


The Power of the Prince: The Rise of Territorial Empires in the post-Mongol Middle East

Territorial empires vs. territorial states

The principal territorial empires founded by Muslims in the early modern period
Ottoman Empire (1300-1922)- in the lands of Rum
Safavid Empire (1501-1722) – Iranian world
Mughal Empire (1526-1858) – India

-The rise and demise of the Arab-Muslim caliphate
-The feudalization of Muslim societies
-A dual elite: the military ruling elite (umera, pl. of amîr) supported by the iqta system
and the civilian religious elite (ulema, pl. of âlim) supported by waqfs.

Factors behind the rise of more powerful states in the early modern Middle East

Marshall Hodgson, Venture of Islam:
1.The Mongol political legacy
2.Gunpowder technology
3.The triumph of agrarian civilization over nomadism
4.Economic growth

5.The ability of the new dynasties to create an effective social base for their empires

-Initially, a frontier state that relied on the support of gazis, nomads, dervishes

-The creation of the kul corps; the institution of the devshirme levy
-The growing importance of the ulema and their incorporation into the state bureaucracy

-Initially, a Sufi order with a strong following among the nomadic population of Azerbaijan and Anatolia.

-Gradual adoption of “extreme” Shii ideas; conversion of religious charisma also into political power; Turcoman followers known as “Kızılbaş” turn into soldiers for the Safavid cause

-Once established as a monarchy, Safavids also diversified their base of power, counterbalanced their Turcoman soldiers with slave soldiers drawn from among Armenian, Circassian and Georgian converts; relied increasingly on the Persian-speaking bureaucracy for the civil administration and adopted orthodox Shiism as the state religion, represented by the ulema rather than by shiitizing Sufi sheikhs.


-When Mughals first conquered India, they relied on a largely Central Asian and Afghan military ruling elite and a civil bureaucracy staffed by Iranian Muslims

-They later expanded their social base by including in their ruling class also Indian Muslims and Hindus (Rajputs).

-Most inclusive of the three empires: abolished the jizya tax imposed on non-Muslims.

-No use of slave soldiers.

8 Mart 2009 Pazar

THE POWER OF THE PRINCE/Kafescioglu- March 6, 2009

Transitions between the late medieval and early modern forms of political organization, beginnings of the demise of feudal power structures, the first steps toward the consolidation of centralized territorial states.

15th century Europe: city states in Italy and Germany; the Holy Roman Empire; feudal monarchies in France and Spain.

Italy: medieval communes replaced by five principle city states by mid 15th century, Florence, Naples, Rome and the Vatican, Milan, Venice. Various combinations of representational and constitutional structures with monarchic notions of rule.

Rise of mercantile economy, new and prominent class of merchant bankers. Concentration of power in the hands of new elites.

Florence: rise of the Medici to power from 1430’s onwards.

Princely courts, and the princely network in Italy.The prince and the courtier.

Repeated assertion and representation of authority through ceremonial, family and patronage
networks, and the arts.

French and Spanish invasions of Italy from 1494 onwards.
Niccolo Macchiavelli, The Prince, 1513.

France: territorial consolidation between 1453 and 1530’s.

The three estates: clergy, nobility, townsmen

Standing army; new fiscal regime and system of taxation. Notion of the monarch as ultimate sovereign, with divine qualities.

Spain: trend toward unification, particularly through marriage of Ferdinand of Castile and Isabella of Aragon, 1469

Notions of divine sanction of monarchs.

Expulsion of Jews and Muslims: part of the trend toward homogenization and territorial consolidation.

Overall, through the later 15th century: growth of state bureaucracies, new taxation policies, formation of standing armies lay the foundations of absolutist polities. Territorial consolidation, notions of divine rule, centralizing tendencies, balancing out of various power holders.


Late medieval foundations of cultural trends in the early modern Middle East. Persianate literary tradition in the eastern parts of the larger Islamic world; Arabic tradition in west. Greek heritage important to both.

Timurid fluorescence: Iranian court culture through the 14th and 15th centuries, court patronage of arts, literature, history.

From later 15th century onwards: consolidation of the Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid empires.

Population rise, increased pace of urbanization. Growth of commercial activity and trade networks lead to economic and cultural vivacity of cities.

Creation of imperial capital cities through major projects: Istanbul, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra, Isfahan

Courtly and urban ceremonial, patronage of arts, monumental architecture central to self-representation, legitimization and perpetuation of early modern polities in Middle East and elsewhere.

Formation of separate imperial and regional identities in the three realms, alongside parallels and connections.

Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal empires rule over multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies: encounters between diverse cultural and religious practices.

Former institutional and legal frameworks that developed in the middle east through the medieval era continued to shape social interaction and cultural production. Waqf (pious and charitable foundations) as an example. Patronage networks created and sustained through charitable foundations.

New cultural forms&practices: Coffeehouses: popularity of a new kind of social space, and reactions; new literary forms; rise of literacy levels (print culture limited to non-Muslim communities); geographic literature; revival of antiquity in Ottoman architecture.

Image I: Isfahan- Maydan-ı Shah
Image II: New Delhi-The Red Fort
Image III:Istanbul-Suleimaniye Mosque
Image IV: Agra-Taj Mahal

4 Mart 2009 Çarşamba

Castiglione and Mustafa Ali-Key questions

Please do read the excerpts from The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione and from The Tables of Delicacies by Mustafa Ali, before coming to the discussion session on Friday. Here you have some key themes through which you might read the text linking it with the issues pointed out during the lectures:

-What do the authors intend to do through these texts of etiquette?

-Who is a courtier? How was a courtier described by Mustafa Ali and Castiglione?

-How did both authors describe “norms of civility”? What are the points of convergence and divergence regarding “norms of civility” and “self-fashioning”?