The Ottoman Empire in the Age of Revolutions

with Ali Yaycioglu

hosted by Zoe Griffith

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The turn of the nineteenth century was a period of tumult and transformation in the Ottoman Empire as in many places around the world from France to Haiti, China, and the United States. With people, ideas, and armies on the move as never before, new geopolitical pressures pushed states around the globe to reinvent their relationships to their subjects and citizens. In this episode, we talk with Ali Yaycioglu about his new book Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. We explore the Ottoman experience during the Age of Revolutions, which saw the rise of new participatory mechanisms that brought Ottoman subjects from many walks of life into the arena of imperial politics. We discuss the empowerment of local committees and the election of ayans in the countryside, and we consider the Janissaries as the voice of the popular will in Ottoman cities. Ultimately, we ask why new forms of participatory politics and limits on central authority failed to take root, even as they laid the foundation for later experiments in constitutional government during the Tanzimat era and beyond. 

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Ali Yaycioglu is Assistant Professor of History at Stanford University. His main focus is on the transformation of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, forms of acquiring and losing wealth and power, and spatiality and spatial imaginations in the Ottoman world.
Zoe Griffith is a doctoral candidate in History at Brown University working on political economy and governance in Egypt and the Ottoman Mediterranean. Zoe is a co-curator of the OHP series on legal history in the Ottoman Empire and Islamic world.   


Episode No. 275
Release Date: 24 October 2016
Recording Location: ANAMED, Istanbul
Editing and production by Chris Gratien
Sound excerpts: from - Harmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal EfendiBaglamamin Dugumu - Necmiye Ararat and Muzaffer
Special thanks to Kara Güneş for allowing us to use the composition "Istanbul" in the outro music and to Monsieur Doumani for "The System/Το σύστημαν"
Images and bibliography courtesy of Ali Yaycioglu


Ottoman Izmir, 18th century  (Musée national de la Marine, Paris)

The tomb of Osman Pazvantoğlu, Vidin (photograph by Ali Yaycioglu)

Zagori, Ioannina, August 2016, famous for its bridges built in the 18th and early 19th centuries during the reign of Ali Pasha
Ioannina, Aslan Pasha Mosque (photograph by Ali Yaycioglu)

Partners of the Empire
by Ali Yaycioglu
Stanford University Press, 2016
Armitage, David, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam. The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, C. 1760-1840. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Barkey, Karen. Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Meeker, Michael E. A Nation of Empire: The Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.

Salzmann, Ariel. Tocqueville in the Ottoman Empire: rival paths to the modern state. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2003.

Tezcan, Baki. The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Venturi, Franco, and R. Burr Litchfield. The End of the Old Regime in Europe, 1776-1789. Vol. I & II. Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1989/2014.

Yaycioglu, Ali. Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. 2016.

Yeşil, Fatih. İhtilâller çağında Osmanlı ordusu: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu'nda sosyoekonomik ve sosyopolitik değişim üzerine bir inceleme (1793-1826). 2016.


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