The Lower Danube on the eve of the great crisis in the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the eighteenth century (analysis of a contemporary source)

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2023-08
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Radushev, Evgeniy Radoslavov
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Bilkent University
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English
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This thesis examines life on the border within the context of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the specific case of Wallachia. The central focus is the report of a commission established to investigate complaints arising from the position of Wallachia against central administration and the corruption and abuses of power by military-origin groups seeking to benefit from it. Primarily relying on archival sources such as commission reports, mühimme defters, and court records, and secondary sources, this study aims to provide alternative perspectives to existing interpretations. The investigations conducted demonstrate that such incidents were not unique to the 18th century, a period when the empire was relatively weaker, but extended back to the era of Suleyman, a time characterized by a strong central authority. This finding challenges the notion that the emergence of estates in the 18th century laid the foundation for decentralization.

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