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Factors in the Decline of Ottoman Society in the Balkans Author(s): Traian Stoianovich Reviewed work(s): Source: Slavic Review,

Vol. 21, No. 4 (Dec., 1962), pp. 623-632 Published by: Stable URL: . Accessed: 18/06/2012 18:35
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Drawing upon his enviable fund of knowledge, Professor Vucinich provides us with a meaningful image of Ottoman society, a highly intricate structure of systemsand subsystems. It is a tribute to the high quality of the ideas he has so skillfullyinterwoven that I feel in a position to suggest a modificationof his analytical frameworkand on that basis to probe the factors that undermined the Ottoman social structureand led to its demise. I. THE HOUSE

According to Vucinich, Ottoman society was a class society. His own careful description of this "class society," however, compels me to think it may have been otherwise. I should thereforelike to make some observations of my own in defense of the thesis that it was not a class society,but what I would prefer to call an imperial and estate society. A class society should be able to fulfill three conditions: It should allow real and fictivepersons to alter their social, economic, and political roles on the basis of competitive ability. In order to avert anarchy, it should be able to limit competition by favoring already existing wealth, power, authority, or influence. It should, nonetheless, honor the principle of equality before the law and neither permit nor oblige any group to constitute itself as a multipurpose body with power to -regulatethe behavior of every member in very diverse spheres of life. A class society must, by definition, be organized horizontally. It may not have a vertical or corporative structure. Every society has an image or several images of itself. One of the Ottoman self-imageswas a view of society, theirs as well as the wider society of human kind, as a vertically structured social order of four pillars or estates: the men of the pen, the men of the sword, the men of business, and the husbandmen. Of Arab origin,1the concept of four pillars was adopted by Ottoman political thinkers, among them the
MR. ST 0 IAN OVI C H is associate professorof historyat Rutgers University.
1 SherifMardin, "The Mind of the Turkish Reformer,1700-1900,"WesternHum,anities Review, XIV, No. 4 (Autumn,1960),420-21.


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whose four pillars wvere the historian Hacci HJalife, seventeenth-century 'ulema (men of the pen), the 'asker (men of the sword), the tiiccar (merand the raya (husbandmen).2 Writing more than chants and craftsmen), a century later, a well-informedEuropean, Ignatius Mouradgea d'Ohsson, gave a similar description of Ottoman society.3 One might also regard Ottoman society as being divided into six estates (excluding slaves, who were not legally persons): the 'ulemad(or Muslim Institution); the 'asker (or Ruling Institution), many of whose members engaged in trade and were thus closely associated, even integrated,with the "third estate" of businessmen of the non-Muslim millets or confessions; the fourth estate of the privileged raya (or auxiliary 'asker of Orthodox Christians); the pseudo-estateof the oppressed raya; foreigncommunities (and and the collection of estates of self-governing their Ottoman proteges), who were protected by international agreements.4 The Ottoman social order possessed, however,an even more coinplex structure,especially since it assumed two differentforms,one confeswas the social embodiment of sional and the other functional. The first the various value cultures; the second was the social embodiment of the diverse realitycultures.5 In termsof the value cultures, Ottoman societywas ostensiblydivided into four millets: Muslims, Orthodox Christians,Jews,and Gregorian (Monophysite) Armenians. But the Muslims were furthersubdivided into two broad confessional groups, the heretical Shiah and the "orthodox" Sunni, the latter organized into a multitude of brotherhoods of varying orthodoxy. Though the Orthodox Christians were all theoretically subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople, theywere subdivided during some periods into at least two autocephalous churches (Greek and Serbian), each enjoying administrative jurisdiction over different combinations of ethnic groups and subcultures. As for the Jews, they were separated into four main confessional and cultural groups until the second half of the seventeenthcentury,when some of the followers of the millenarian sect of Shabbethai Zebi (Zevi), following the example of theirleader, espoused Islam but retained a substantial portion of their Judaic millenarian heritage. The Armenian millet embraced not only Monophysites but Roman Catholics, Nestorians, and Jacobites. The latter churches, however, were sometimes able to acquire special char2 Erwin I. J. Rosenthal, Political Thought in Medieval Islam (Cambridge, Eng., 1958),. pp. 229-33. 3 [Ignatius Mouradgea] d'Ohsson, Tableau gedne'ral de l'Empire othoman (4 vols. in 5 IV, Part 2, pp. 483-613. books; Paris, 1788-1820), 4 This is the interpretationI emphasize in a paper on Balkan social structure,at of California Press. presentwith the University 5 For a discussion of value culture and reality culture, see A. L. Kroeber, "Reality Culture and Value Culture," The Nature of Culture (Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press,. 1952),pp. 152-66.

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the total tersconstitutingthem as quasi-millets.6 In actuality,therefore, number of Ottoman millets was closer to three or four times the officially recognized number. In terms of the reality cultures, Ottoman society was organized into a pseudo-order of the men of the pen and book, separated into as many real orders as there were millets; an order of the sword, separated into two orders, the regular military and political order of the dominant Muslims and the auxiliary order of the dependent but privileged Orthodox Christian voynuks, armatoloi, martolosi, and derbend guards; the business order of Muslims, Jews, Orthodox Christians, and Gregorian Armenians, whose members derived a sense of communion through the exercise, frequently,of a common craftin a common guild with a common patron saint or prophet; the pariah raya of Christian peasants, who had little hope of improving their status save by apostasy; and the foreigncommunities. At the head of the Ottoman House of God of many millets and other corporate units was the vicar of God, the padishah. Above him was only God himself. But the house was an imperfect house, in which each collectivity strove desperately to improve its own position, generally at the expense of other collectivities. The incapacity of the state to resolve the conflicts among the various rival corporate entities finallyculminated in revoluof the Ottoman social order froman imperial tion, in the transformation and estate societyinto a societyof classes and non-Ottoman nation states. Other factorsaided this process.

A very important factorin the demise of the Ottoman social order was the continuing disparity between prices and wages. Understandably enough, since thereare no price or wage studies forthe Ottoman Empire comparable to those forSpain, England, France, Germany,Italy, Poland, or Czechoslovakia, ProfessorVucinich makes no mention of this subject. In recent years,however, some significantspadework has been achieved in this hithertomuch neglected field. grain From certain price (the movement of prices of several different commodities in Dubrovnik, Istanbul, and Salonika)7 and wage (the
6 On the 'ulemd and the non-Muslim orders, see H. A. R. Gibb and Harold Bowen, Islamic Society and thle West: A Study of the Impact of WesternCivilization on Moslem Part 2 (London, Culture in thle Near East, Vol. I: Islamic Societyin the EighteenthCentury, New York,Toronto: Oxford University Press,1957),pp. 70-113,207-61. 7 I have obtained the data forgrain pricesin Dubrovnik in the sixteenthand seventeenth centuriesfromJorjo Tadic, "Organizacija dubrovackog pomorstva u XVI veku," Istoriski casopis, I, No. 1-2 (Belgrade, 1948), 95-96; for grain prices in Dubrovnik in the eighteenth centuryfromVuk Vinaver, "Cene i nadnice u Dubrovniku XVIII veka," Istoriski casopis, IX-X, 1959 (Belgrade, 1960), p. 323; for wheat prices in Salonika from N. G. Svoronos, Le commercede Salonique au XVIIIe siecle (Paris: Presses Universitairesde France, 1956), pp. 87-88; for grain prices in Istanbul in the sixteenth and seventeenthcenturies from


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movement of wages for skilled and unskilled labor in the building trades of Dubrovnik and Istanbul)" statisticsunearthed by Jorjo Tadic', Vuk Vinaver, Nicolas G. Svoronos, Robert Mantran, and Walther Hinz, supplemented by some additional data, we have deduced several plausible, although necessarilytentative,conclusions. In drawing these conclusions, we have used the data for Salonika and Dubrovnik as a check Istanbul data. upon the reliability of the more fragmentary Our statisticsshow a notable secular rise in grain prices at Istanbul only after 1550. Between the latterdate and 1587, however,grain prices to increased by more than 50 per cent. Our informationis insufficient allow us to determine the precise role of American silver imports upon the rise of prices in the eastern Mediterranean, especially since another factor-the growth of urban population-no doubt exerted a similar influence upon prices. For an illuminating account of both factorsin the framework of the total Mediterranean, students of Balkan and Ottoman historywvill have to learn to add to theirbibliographies what is certainly one of the most significanthistorical works of our century, Fernand Braudel's Mediterranee.9 While grain and certain other prices increased between 1550 and 1587, wages in Istanbul-at least in the building trades-did not budge. Moreover, while the price inflationantedated the important monetary devaluation of 158410 by thirtyyears, wage increases were made only after the devaluation. For a brief period, 1587 to 1600 or 1605, almost coinciding with the Fifteen Years' War of 1592-1606 against the Holy Roman Empire (Austria), wages held theirown with prices; in fact,they increased two or three times as fast as prices. After 1600 a distinction has to be made between the wage scales of skilled workers on the one
Walther Hinz, "Lebensmittelpreiseim mittelalterlichen des Vorderen Orient," Die W4"elt Orients, II (Gbttingen,1954), 52-70; and for wheat prices in Istanbul in the eighteenth centuryfrom the Archives Nationales, Paris, Af. Etr. Bi 407, June 2, 1733, and Bi 448, April 23, 1789. For furtherdetails on price movements in Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, East Central Europe, and the Near East, see Stanislas Hoszowski,"L'Europe centrale devant la revolution des prix: XVIe et XVIIe si&les," Annales (Economies, Soci&tts,Civilisations), XVI, No. 3 (May-June, 1961), 441-56, and Alfred Dieck, "Lebensmittelpreisein Mitteleuropa und im Vorderen Orient vom 12. bis 17. Jahrhundert,"Zeitschrift fiir Agrargeschichteund Agrarsoziologie, III, No. 2 (Oct., 1955), 157-60. 8 1 have obtained the wage data from Hinz, "Lebensmittelpreise,"Welt des Orients, II, 70, and Robert Mantran,"Reglementsfiscauxottomans: la police des marches de Stamboul au d6but du XVIeme si&le," Les Cahiers de Tunisie, IV, No. 2 (1956), 233, for wages in Istanbul during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; Archives Nationales (Paris), Af. Etr. B' 438, Apr. 11, 1763, and B' 905, Apr. 27, 1774, for wages in Istanbul in the eighteenthcentury;and Vuk Vinaver, "Monetarna kriza u Turskoj (1575-1650),"Istoriski glasnik (1958), No. 3-4, p. 147, n. 160, for wages in Dubrovnik during the sixteenth and seventeenthcenturies,and Vinaver, "Cene i nadnice," Istoriski casopis, IX-X, 316-22, for wages in Dubrovnik during the seventeenthand eighteenthcenturies. Spatial limitations do not permit me to include a graphic presentationof the price and wage curves. 9 Fernand Braudel, La Mefditerranefe et le monde mnediterranden a l'epoque de Philippe II (Paris: Armand Colin, 1949),pp. 268-93,347-420. 10Ibid., pp. 418-19.

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hand and of unskilled labor on the other. The wages of skilled workers more or less kept up with the movement of prices. The wages of unskilled labor lagged steadily behind. Giving mathematical expression to our data, we obtain the following picture of price and wage fluctuations in the Ottoman capital during a period of two and a half centuries: Years 1550-1585 1585-1605 1605-1700 1700-1790 1550-1790 Percentage of Rise in Grain Prices 50 or more 33 250 100 700 or more PercentageofRise in Wagesof UnskilledLabor SkilledLabor 0 0 80 100 40 100 50 100 350 800

The price of some commodities, notably of meat, did not surge upward to the same degree. The disparity between prices and wages may be thereforesomewhat less acute than is suggested by the data above. We may safely conclude, nonetheless, that the real wages and profitsof skilled workers kept up with prices and even moved upward at a fasterrate than prices. The real wages of unskilled labor, on the other hand, were continuously depressed. Ottoman guilds used two methods to maintain or raise the purchasing power of their members (master craftsmen). First of all, they acquired the customary right, despite the opposition of the state, to limit the number of shops in a given community or ward." Secondly, they held down the wages of their assistantsand apprentices. As the price of raw materials went up, many artisans apparently resorted to trickery,violence, and political maneuvering in order to realize a profitor to avoid bankruptcy. Fortunes were made and lost in the political arena, rather than in the economic market, and instead of being invested in new economic enterprise were often hoarded or used for sumptuary and political purposes. The man of power and political influence gained new ascendancy as a preferred personality type,to the detriment of the producer.12 The order of merchantsand artisans thus lost the respect of the other members of the House of God. Especially critical of their behavior and ethos were the men of the pen. At the close of the eighteenth century, when the reputation of the order reached its lowest ebb, a
11 Afet mnan, Aper9cu turc-ottornan, "Pubgene'ralsur l'histoireeconomique de EiEmpire lications de la Societe d'histoireturque," Ser. VIII, No. 6 (Istanbul: Maarif Matbaasi, 1941), pp. 59-60. 12 Except for the emphasis on price inflation, the above interpretationis derived from Sabri F. Vlgener,Iktisadz inhitat tarihimizinahlldkve zihniyetmeseleleri (Moral Concepts and Mentality in the Economic Decline of the Ottoman Empire), "Publ. de la Faculte des Sciences Economiques," No. 55 (Istanbul, 1951), as reviewed by Omer L'utfiBarkan, in Revue de la Faculte des Sciences J?conorniques de l'Universite d'Istanbul, XI (1949-50), 189-95.


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famous poet, Stimbiilzabe Vehdi, scathinglydenounced the artisan for being "without shame, without a loyal heart, a tricksterwith the spirit of a Jew."13

One of the usual responses of the Ottoman soldiery and corps of merchants and artisans to monetary devaluation and economic crisis was to conspire against persons suspected of introducing the current ills. When successful,they brought down one or more ministersand sometimes even obtained the involuntary abdication (and murder) of the monarch. When threatened by such movements, the government put into force various sumptuary laws. On several differentoccasions it prohibited the smoking of tobacco, the drinking of wine or coffee,and the use of harnesses and saddles embellished with silver, or of velvet garments embroidered with threads of gold. Prohibitive or restrictive measures were directed against taverns, coffeehouses, tobacco shops, baths, and "other idle places of concourse," such as barbershops,where, in one period at least, no more than one person "was sufferedto enter at a time; for these being places of resort,treason was frequentlyvented there, men of that profession being notorious through the world for their talk and intemperance of language."14 Simultaneously, the governmentwould organize a relentless drive in the capital against the social group identifiedby contemporaryFrench observersas the "useless and unemployed people"-gens inutileset sans aveu. In the fulfillmentof almost every such undertaking, several thousands of persons were murdered or summarily executed, and tens of thousands were deported to the Asian shores of the Bosporus or to subject European lands.15 The periodic exportation of trouble from the capital created trouble for the provinces. The provincial capitals and towns thereupon reacted in like fashion. Unable, however, to force the return of the "useless and unemployed people" to Istanbul, they allowed them to rove the countryside.
13Sabri F. tlgener, "La morale des metiers depuis le XIVeme siele et les critiques qui leur ont et6 adress6es,"ibid., XI, 59-66. 14 JoSev von Hammer-Purgstall, Histoire de l'Empire ottoman depuis son origine jusqu'a nos jours, trans. from the German by J. J. Hellert (Paris, 1835-43), VII, 235-38; VIII, 47-48, 287-306; IX, 208-10. See also Sir Paul Rycaut, The History of the Turkish Empire from the Year 1623 to the Year 1677 (London, 1687), pp. 28, 32, 38; Hamdija Kresevljakovic, "Gradska privreda i esnafi u Bosni i Hercegovini (od 1463 do 1851)," Godis'njak IstoriskogDru'tva Bosne i Hercegovine, I (Sarajevo, 1949), 194-95. 15 Archives Nationales (Paris), Af. Etr. B, 402, letters from Villeneuve, dated Sept. 15, Oct. 7, Nov. 13, and Nov. 29, 1730; Af. Etr. B' 403, lettersfrom Villeneuve, dated Feb. 18, Mar. 28, Apr. 15, and Aug. 10, 1731; Af. Etr. B' 407, letter fromVilleneuve, Jan. 21, 1733; Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv(Vienna), St. A. Tiirkei V/9, pp. 131-34,unsigned letters in French,June 26 and June 30, 1740; Mary Lucille Shay, The Ottoman Empire from1720 to 1734 as Revealed in Despatches of the Venetian Baili (Urbana: University of Illinois Press,1944),pp. 27-37.

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Vagabondage plagued all medieval and preindustrial European and Mediterranean societies-hence also the Ottoman Empire. It was particularly prevalent in the more highly urbanized states and areas-thus again in the Ottoman dominions.16 The continued abundance of unskilled labor and resultantdepression in wages were sufficient conditions to assure the continuance and intensification of many different formsof vagabondage for more than two centuries. Rural adventurers, brigands, homeless vagabonds who belonged neither to town nor country,wage earners seeking to augment meager revenues from a stagnating trade or craft, and ambitious men of all social conditions made periodic foraysinto the country,seizing land and other properties,offering protection to the terrified peasantryin return for a stipulated portion of their crop. This is one of the ways in which therearose the giftlik regime (a colonial regime of casa-grandee senzala), an architectural and social complex of manor and manorial buildings (oftensurrounded by stone wall enclosures with towersand observation posts) and of pitiful huts of a submerged peasantry. The peasants of the more fertile lowland and more easily accessible grassland areas of the Balkans and of certain portions of Anatolia thus acquired a second lord and protector. In addition to the absentee lord who lived in the city and had a right to a portion of the rural product in return for certain feudal obligations he supposedly rendered to the state, the peasant was now forced to acknowledge a de facto landlord. The second landlord, or his overseer, lived on the land and saw to it that as much as possible of the production of the peasant was diverted to the manor. He also compelled the peasant to perform various forms of corve'e for the manor, prevented him from running away, and stopped rival lords and overseersfromraiding his newly won energy resources of men, women, children, cattle, and water. One of the consequences of the giftlikregime, slowly established in one area after another between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century,was the wider diffusionof garden cultivation and of an irrigation or hydraulic economy, including the more widespread planting of rice and cotton and the introduction of a new crop, maize.17
16 On the growth of towns in the Ottoman Empire during the sixteenth century,see Omer LuitfiBarkan, "La 'Mediterran&e'de Fernand Braudel vue d'Istamboul," Annales 1954), 192-93; Omer Lfitfi Barkan, Socie&tes, Civilisations),IX, No. 2 (Apr.-June, (Economnies, "Quelques observationssur l'organisation economique et sociale des villes ottomanes des XVIe et XVIIe siecles," Recueils de la Societe Jean Bodin, Vol. VII: La Ville, Part 2: et socidte~ Institutionsecononmiques (Brussels, 1955), pp. 292-93. 17 On the ciftlikregime and maize cultivation,see Traian Stoianovich, "Land Tenure and Related Sectors of the Balkan Economy, 1600-1800,"Journal of Economic History, of maize to the Balkans, XIII (Fall, 1953), 398-411; for a furtherdiscussion of the diffusion see Traian Stoianovich and Georges C. Haupt, "Le mais arrive dans les Balkans," Annales (Economnies, Societes, Civilisations),XVII, No. 1 (Jan.-Feb.,1962), 84-93.


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The upward attack against persons in authority and the downward assault upon the peasantry by merchants, artisans, soldiers, brigands, officials, and vagabonds were paralleled by action of another nature on the part of the Muslim townswoman. We allude, in particular, to the adoption by Muslim women of birth-controlmeasures about which know unfortunately next to nothing. A French traveler,consul, and wve chronicler of Greek and Balkan history,Pouqueville, was convinced, however, that the fertilityrate of Muslim women, at the end of the rate of Orthodox Chriseighteenth century,did not equal the fertility tian women. He accounted for the apparently lower rate of fertility of the institutionof polygamy among the formerby the disastrouseffects and of the ravages of abortion and venereal disease. Writing of the Moreote women of Muslim faithand of Muslim sexual habits in general, Pouqueville made the following observations: Although they[the Muslim Moreote women] are oftenGreeks themselves, unlike the lattertheyrarelyhave a large numberof children. This may be and, on theother, of polygamy explained,on theone hand, by theinstitution to them. Nowherehave the by thefrightful artof abortion,whichis familiar effects of abortionbeen so harmful[as among the Turks], nor so solemnly consecrated.Avowed publicly in the familyof the Sultan, who condemns thesehorriblemeans of depopulation pass his sisters and nieces to sterility, the wives on to the different strataof society.When suspectedof infidelity, of a Turk do not hesitate to commit the crime. They even resortto it, and withoutremorse, theirattractiveness with the sole object of conserving and protecting the beauty thatgives theman empireover theirrivals,with whom theynevercease to be at war.18 Pouqueville explains the spread of birth-controlpractices in terms of domestic and state politics and of aesthetics. We should like to suggest a third explanation: Muslim, and perhaps also non-Muslim, townswomen had recourse to abortion and other formsof birth control as a way of coping with the price inflationand wage depression. Our knowledge of the Muslim family, whether urban or rural, is verymeager. We presume indeed that there were not only rural-urban but also regional differencesin family size, structure,and values. We as a useful are disposed, nonetheless,to accept Pouqueville's affirmation working hypothesis. Among the subject populations of the Balkans, as ProfessorVucinich toward the extension has well emphasized, the trendwas quite different: of kinship and quasi-kinship relationships and the revival of the extended family. We may take exception to some of his statements regarding the zadruga or extended family,namely, that it was "demo18 F. C. H. Pouqueville, Voyageen Mor&e,d Constantinople, en Albanie, et dans plusieurs autres parties de l'Empire othoman, pendant les annees 1798, 1799, 1800-et 1801 (Paris, 1805),I, 265.

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cratic" or exclusively Serbian, but we agree with his general analysis that it gave the Balkan peasantry a certain amount of autonomy and a feeling of power. We should consequently like to reformulate our hypothesis: After the Ottoman conquest the Balkan family grew larger and stronger. The Muslim Ottoman family (the Albanian Muslim family perhaps excepted), on the contrary, became both psychologicallyand biologically weaker after the close of the sixteenth century. V.

The strengtheningof the non-Muslim and of the rural Balkan family was accompanied by the strengtheningof certain other non-Muslim folkways,especially behavior patterns designed to compensate for the lack of securityof life and propertyunder Ottoman rule or to aid in the performanceof certain more precise economic functions.19Among the former were the following: (1) kumstvo (compaternitas), or godfatherhood,affiliations of several different kinds; (2) pobratimstvo, or and foster-sister patterns adelfopoiia, and posestrimstvo:foster-brother of behavior; (3) brother-of-the-cross (stavraderfoi) affiliations; (4) prijateljstvo, or friendship, associations; (5) katun, or pastoral communities, and tselingata,or associations of shepherds bound by kinship or quasi-kinship as well as economic ties; and (6) rod, bratstvo,and pleme (kin, phratry, and clan) associations. The economic associations that grew in strength,especially during the eighteenth century,were the companiae (kompaniai, kumpanije), or merchant companies, and the Greek and Greco-Albanian synor associations of seamen. The members of these groups trofondftai, spent much time abroad, in various parts of the Mediterranean, in western Europe, in Germany, Hungary, and Austria, and in Russia. In the exercise of their economic functions,merchants and seamen acquired some degree of wealth and established useful political connections with influential foreigners. In the meantime, the military associations of the Balkan Christians were radically transformed. In the sixteenth century,these associations had been comprised of privileged families and communities that were resigned and, in some measure, even dedicated to the inevitability of collaboration with the conqueror. They then constituted a substantial portion of the total population, perhaps as much as 15 per cent of all Balkan Christians.20At the end of the century,however,many members
19 For a veryable treatment of this subject, see N. Pantazopoulos, "Offentlich-rechtliche Institutionen der Griechen wahrend der tiirkischenHerrschaft" (Sonderdruck, Internationalrechtliche und Staatsrechtliche Aushandlungen, Festschriftfur Walter Schdtzel) (n.p., n.d.), pp. 1-10 (in the Festschrift, the pages are 363-72). 20 Omer Lfitfi Barkan, "Les D6portations comme methode de peuplement et de colonisation dans l'Empire ottoman," Revue de la Factilte' des Sciences A'conomniques de l'Universite' d'Istanbul,XI (1949-50),128, 131.


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of the auxiliary 'askerrebelled against Ottoman authority. In reprisal, the government,or its agents, deprived them of some of their privileges and reduced the number of families having a right to such immunities. The process continued throughout the seventeenth and most of the eighteenth century. Many Christians probably turned to banditry when bereft of their ancient rights. Other Christians turned bandit in order to retaliate against Muslim brigandage. There was constituted in this fashion a societyof hajduk bands, Christian brigands unable to find employment in the service of the Ottoman state. Some hajduks, uskoks,klephts,and corsairs succeeded in entering the service of Venice, Austria, or Russia. Other rovers of the sea and land remained without attachmentsto any sovereign state. By the end of the eighteenthor beginning of the nineteenth century, perhaps 10 per cent or more of the Balkan Christian population, at least in some of the frontierareas,21was organized militarily for the or abolishing ratherthan defending the empire. purpose of transforming The Serbian and Greek revolutions,22 or wars of national independence, were thus no mere accidents. They were rather the direct and logical result of the failure of the Ottoman government to maintain intact the auxiliary Christian 'asker. Confronted with the task of bringing the various kinship and economic associations under some form of centralized control, merchants and hajduks sought the advice of certain secular-orientedintellectuals. The latter were few in number and most of them did not even reside in the territorieswhere the insurrections were successful. They succeeded, however, in giving the revolutions a new ideological goal: the reorganization of society upon a class and national rather than a corporate and imperial basis and the espousal of the principle of individual as against collective responsibility. In this manner, the Balkan revolutions were fatefullylinked to the French, or Western, Revolution.
21 In any event, this was apparently true in Serbia. Cf. D. J. Popovic, 0 haiduci?na (Belgrade: Narodna gtamparija,1930-31), II, 129. 22 For an excellent brief survey of the Serbian revolution, see Wayne S. Vucinich, "Marxian Interpretationsof the First Serbian Revolution," Journal of Central European XXI, No. 1 (Apr., 1961), 3-14. Affairs,