Ottoman military recruitment and the recruit : 1826-1853
Shaw, Stanford J.
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This thesis attempts to offer an account of Ottoman military recruitment, and those who were recruited in the era between 1826 and 1853. The period in question marks an era of significant reforms, including the establishment of a European-style standing army, manned by conscripts. This study tries to reveal some aspects of Ottoman conscription, which was forcibly imposed to raise the new army, including its origins, recruiters and recruitment procedures. While illustrating this point, emphasis was not only given to laws and regulations, but also to their practice. The thesis argues that the weakest members of Ottoman society were destined to be forcibly recruited into the army, while stronger members were often able to avoid it, even after Tanzimat and military reforms of 1846. Finally, it tries to reflect the common subjects’ and soldiers’ responses to the military recruitment, which were often manifested as discontentment, resistance, evasion and desertion, especially in its initial stages.