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C O U R S E 
The Emergence of the Modern Middle East
Asher Susser, Tel Aviv University
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
19th Century Ottoman Empire Politics
Notes taken on September 27, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
19th century Middle East politics
governments were diverse and minimal
governments recognized the existence of groups and not individuals
each group was governed in different ways and by different laws
Muslims followed the Sharia
Christians and Jews followed their ecclesiastical or legal frameworks
tribesmen had their own modes of settling disputes
foreigners were granted special legal privileges
Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire
contracts between the Ottoman Empire and European powers, particularly France
traders entering the Ottoman Empire were exempt from local prosecution, local taxation, local conscription, and the searching of their domicile
government and taxation was minimal
services like law and education were not supplied by the central government
they were provided by the various communities
to outside observers, these characteristics gave the impression of an ineffective government in decline
but in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, the locus of power began to shift from individual groups to the Grand Vizier, the chief minister of the Ottoman Empire
provinces were often controlled by local potentates
e.g. Egypt
in Arab cities, notable families, some Arab, some Turkish, assume positions of considerable wealth and power
because of the importance of religion, families sent their children to get a religious education
waqf (plural awqaf), religious endowments, sources of wealth and political control
boys but not girls were schooled in the traditional schools, schooled in:
religious jurisprudence
some secular subjects such as mathematics and astronomy