The Ottoman state administered vast and complex territories and its main task was the maintenance of justice - _adalet_ - the key concept of government in the Ottoman view of society and state. Rulers who stepped beyond the bounds of the law were judged guilty of tyranny. By the late eighteenth century, this huge state was in decline, its capabilities were limited and its resources and manpower scarce. Consequently, the Ottoman Empire relied increasingly on a policy of coercion. In no province of the Empire was this more marked than in Syria. _The Ottomans in Syria_ examines the administration of the Syrian interior from 1785 to 1841 and shows how the Empire established independent local power bases and how their rule over the peasantry was based on oppression and extortion. This reached its apogee under the reformist governor of Egypt, Muhammad 'Al Pasha, who rebelled against the Sultan and occupied all Syria. Dick Douwes investigates the local administration of the time, its political instability and factionalism, the oppressive nature of Ottoman taxation and the financial problems extending through the region and explores the emergence of military households. _The Ottomans in Syria_ will prove essential to historians of the Ottoman Empire and of the Middle East in general.
Ottomans in Syria
A History of Justice and Oppression