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dc.contributor.advisorÁgoston, Gábor J
dc.creator
dc.date.accessioned2021-01-29T19:31:02Z
dc.date.created2020
dc.date.issued
dc.date.submitted01/01/2020
dc.identifier.uri
dc.descriptionPh.D.
dc.description.abstractThe laws regulating the affairs of Ottoman Janissaries and other communities consisted of divine laws of sharia as interpreted by the jurists, and “immemorial” “ancient” laws of different communities, kanun. The Janissaries—originally the household army of the ruler that aimed to strengthen his power—had become by the eighteenth century an autonomous corporate body representing a wide range of religious, social, economic and political interests. Being mindful of their power and status, Janissaries and other communities like jurists, judges and scholars (ulema) and scribes (kuttab) resisted to top-down disciplining operations that would infringe upon their rights and privileges, which were protected by sharia and their “ancient” law. As a result, during the early modern period, which is often considered an era of absolutism for continental Europe, the Ottomans followed a distinct constitutionalist path of decentralization characterized by a lengthy process of contestation and rejection of the sovereignty of the ruler and the state. Dominant themes, concepts and concerns in Ottoman political writing, however, resembled those of their counterparts in European political thought. My dissertation shows the interplay between political thought, state formation and prospects of military reform through a study of Ottoman political writing between 1592 and 1807. I argue that for the early modern Ottomans, military reform was a political, legal and religious matter that had to be resolved within constitutional limits. A deep belief in fundamental laws limiting government power prevailed and served as a constitutional limit on reform efforts. Wary of the absolutist outcome of a military reform that would create a large disciplined central army under the control of the sultan and subject to sultanic laws, Ottoman constitutionalists sought a reform agenda that would respond to the needs of the times without upsetting the “ancient” Ottoman order. This initially included denying legislative sovereignty to the acting sultans and creating an image of unchanging public laws. At times of deep crisis in the late eighteenth century, when the need for reform appeared to be imperative, recognition of the need to change laws emerged, but Ottoman constitutionalism was a force that continued to shape political discourse.
dc.formatPDF
dc.format.extent586 leaves
dc.languageen
dc.publisherGeorgetown University
dc.sourceGeorgetown University-Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
dc.sourceHistory
dc.subjectAbsolutism
dc.subjectConstitutionalism
dc.subjectDiscipline
dc.subjectIslamic State
dc.subjectOttoman Military Reform
dc.subjectSharia and Politics
dc.subject.lcshEurope -- History
dc.subject.lcshIslam and culture
dc.subject.lcshMilitary history
dc.subject.otherEuropean history
dc.subject.otherIslamic studies
dc.subject.otherMilitary history
dc.titleThe Constitutional Limits of Military Reform: Ottoman Political Writing During the Times of Revolutionary Change, 1592-1807
dc.typethesis
gu.embargo.lift-date2023-01-29
gu.embargo.termscommon-2-years


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