Of the various monopolies exercised by the Ottoman ruling stratum in their long domination over South-eastern Europe, the most lasting in its effects was their monopoly over information. The scanty knowledge that outsiders had of this area improved only in the nineteenth century as, one after another, the Balkan nations regained independence and, with it, their identities. Well into the twentieth century, historians made do with very incomplete information about the period prior to the national revivals of the last century. The result was a tendency to offer disturbingly impoverished and flattened views of provincial life under Ottoman rule, inviting doctrinaire distortions of these eclipsed centuries. In this book, originally published in 1982, Bruce McGowan presents material concerning this neglected area. His painstaking study of Ottoman records provides convincing analyses of economic, fiscal and demographic questions fundamental to our understanding of the region.
Table of ContentsList of illustrations; Preface; 1. Ottoman exports to pre-industrial Europe; 2. Men and land: south-eastern Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; 3. Head tax data for Ottoman Europe, 1700-1815, Appendix: Official totals of head tax receipts held by the non-Muslim population of Ottoman Europe, 1700-1815; 4. A look at Ottoman fiscal geography: the tax house (avariz-nüzül) system, 1641-1834, Appendix: Statistical digest of the tax house system of Ottoman Europe, 1640-1834; 5. Chiftlik agriculture and fiscal practice in western Macedonia, 1620-1830; Conclusion; Notes to the text; Glossary; Author index; Subject index.