Revenue-Raising and Legitimacy: Tax Collection and Finance Administration in the Ottoman Empire, 1560-1660

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This study examines for the first time the finance procedures and documents of the post-classical Ottoman Empire. It provides an overview of institutional and monetary history and a detailed description of assessment and collection processes for Cizye, Avariz and Iltizam-collected taxes, the documents produced by these processes, and the information they contain. The finance department's detailed record-keeping, procedural continuity, and provision of economic justice made it a bulwark of stability in a period of turmoil.
For specialists, this book introduces a multitude of sources on the economic and social history of the post-classical age, while for comparativists it places the empire in its seventeenth-century context. It links Ottoman administrative change with early modern state formation and reformulates the seventeenth century as a period of consolidation, not decline.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...zeigt das Buch von Darling die Komplexität der Problematik deutlich auf und bietet nicht nur die Darstellung des vorhandenen Wissens über einige Aspekte des damaligen Finanzsystems, sondern stellt auch zahlreiche bislang ungenügend behandelte Fragestellungen für künftige Forschungen zusammen.'
Ariba Romovic, Súdost-Forschungen, 1998.
'...a book that sillfully details and maps the labyrinth of Ottoman revenu-raising system. The author's command of archival material is intelligently supported by a reading of a wide-ranging secondary source base.'
Faruk Tabak, New Perspectives on Turkey, 1996.
'...the contribution of Linda Darling to a better knowledge of Ottoman history is impressive and will have to be taken into account by all further research.'
Bogdan Murgescu, Journal of South-East European Studies, 1997.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004102897
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Series: Ottoman Empire and its Heritage Series, #6
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda T. Darling, Ph.D. (1990) in History, University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arizona. She has published articles on the Ottoman fiscal system and finance documents.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Transliteration and the Turkish Alphabet
Identification of Archival Sources
Introduction: The Myth of Decline 1
I Classical Ottoman Finance 22
Ottoman Taxation 22
Revenue Assessment by Survey (Tahrir) 29
The Monetary System and the Price Revolution 35
Population and Economic Change 41
II The Ottoman Central Finance Department 49
Early Finance Department Organization 51
Reorganizations in the Finance Structure 57
The Seventeenth Century and Beyond 67
III Revenue Assessment by the Central Finance Department: Cizye and Avariz 81
Revenue Surveying by the Finance Bureaus 82
Registration of Taxpayers and Population Estimation 100
Amounts of Money Taken in Tax 108
IV Taxation Without Assessment? Tax Farming (Iltizam) 119
Mukataa Revenues and Records 123
Bidding and Revenue Amounts 136
Bidders' Conditions and Personnel Recruitment 146
Iltizam Supervision 152
V Tax Collection Personnel 161
Appointment of Revenue Collectors 161
The Military in Cizye and Avariz Collection 169
The Military in Tax Farming 178
VI Tax Collection, Remittance, and Reporting 186
Collection Procedures: Cizye and Avariz 187
Iltizam Collection 194
Remittance and Reporting 203
VII Arrears, Accounting, and Balance-Sheets 213
Collectors' Accounts (Muhasebe) 213
Arrears and their Collection 222
Central Accounting Procedures 231
Balance-Sheets and Budgets 237
VIII Complaints and Corruption 246
The Petition Process 248
Changing the Assessment 260
Corruption in Tax Collection 267
IX Revenue-Raising and Legitimacy 281
Revenue and Legitimacy: The Circle of Justice 283
Revenue-Raising and Decline 299
Glossary 307
Bibliography 325
Index 353
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