IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > C. The Middle East and North Africa, 1500–1800 > 2. The Middle East, 1501–1808 > a. The Ottoman Empire > 2. Decentralization and External Challenges > 1695
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
Reorganization of the tax farming system, with the introduction of tax farms available for a life term (known as malikane) instead of the one-year term of the traditional iltizam. By providing individuals with the right to collect taxes on a continuous basis and allowing them to transfer this right to their heirs, the state hoped to curb the exploitation of the peasantry by reckless tax farmers concerned only with short-term profits. The new system strengthened the power base of notable (ayan) families in the provinces, who accumulated large hereditary holdings.  1
The Russians took Azov (See 1695–96), establishing a strong foothold for their subsequent campaign to change the Black Sea from an Ottoman to a Russian lake.  2
Amjazade Huseyin Pasha (1644–1702) served as grand vezir. The son of Mehmed Koprulu's eldest brother, he was the fourth member of the Koprulu family to hold the office. He took steps to modernize the Ottoman navy and cut the size of the Janissary corps. He also reduced taxes, offered tax incentives to peasants to resume cultivation, and restored the value of the coinage. His attempts to reform the government and palace administration led to opposition from vested interests and to his resignation (Sept. 1702).  3
Bashir I of the Shihab clan was elected by the sheiks of Mount Lebanon as emir of the territories of the Ma‘nids, whose last ruler, Bashir's uncle Ahmad Ma‘n, died childless.  4
1699, Jan. 26
TREATY OF KARLOWITZ (See 1699, Jan. 26). The agreement basically confirmed the conditions on the ground at the end of the 1683–99 war: Austria gained all of Hungary (except the Banat of Temesvar), Transylvania, Croatia, and Slovenia; Venice kept the Morea and its conquests in Dalmatia; and Poland obtained Podolia and western Ukraine. In a separate treaty (signed in Istanbul on June 13, 1700), Russia retained Azov and its conquests along the Dniester. The treaty marked the beginning of Ottoman withdrawal from Europe. The empire shifted to the defensive while the initiative passed to the Europeans, primarily the Russians.  5
Death of Muhammad Amin al-Muhibbi (b. 1651), a Damascene scholar who compiled a biographical dictionary of 17th-century personages in the Middle East (Khulasat al-athar) and a massive anthology of contemporary poetry (Nafhat al-rayhana).  6
Sari Mehmed Pasha (d. 1717), chief of the Ottoman treasury (defterdar), wrote an important book of advice on governance (Nesayih ul-vuzera), in which he analyzed administrative corruption and called for strong leadership to reform the system.  7
SULTAN AHMED III. Mustafa II abdicated in favor of his brother Ahmed (Aug. 22, 1703), following a widespread rebellion against his rule begun by Janissaries in Istanbul and soon joined by thousands of soldiers, tradesmen, and ulama. The new sultan was a cultivated man whose time of rule came to be known as the Tulip Period (Lale devri) for the passionate obsession with tulips that took hold among the upper classes. A distinct spirit of extravagance and cultural vibrance marked the period, especially under the grand vezir Damad Ibrahim Pasha (1718–30).  8
Hasan Pasha, an able Ottoman official, was appointed governor of Baghdad, establishing a quasi-hereditary dynasty of pashas that ruled central Iraq (and, for most of the time, Basra) until 1831. His rule (1704–24) and that of his son Ahmad Pasha (1724–34, 1736–47) relied on the service of personal slaves (mamluks), mostly Georgians, who filled key military and administrative positions. After Ahmad Pasha, who had no son, Mamluks succeeded to the governorship despite periodic attempts by Istanbul to dislodge them.  9
Death of Istifan al-Duwayhi (b. 1603), a Maronite patriarch who was the first important historian to emerge among Arabic-speaking Christians in Lebanon. His main chronicle (Ta'rikh al-azmina) was a history of the Maronite community and of Lebanon's emergence as a territorial unit.  10
The first Arabic printing press in the Arab world was established in Aleppo by local Christians; it published several religious works and then continued operation in Lebanon.  11
The office of commander of the annual Damascus pilgrimage to Mecca (emir al-hajj) was vested in the governor of Damascus instead of a separate official. The arrangement, which lasted until the end of Ottoman rule in Damascus in 1918, enhanced the power and prestige of the governor.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.