Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 November 2009
Looking at state finance in the Ottoman Empire from a Dutch perspective shows remarkable differences between the two systems. This article suggests that these differences were related to the fact that, in contrast to those in the Ottoman Empire, fiscal systems in western Europe, and especially in the Netherlands, developed within a context of economy-driven rather than state-driven trajectories of urbanization. This gave rise to separate systems of urban public finance, which enhanced possibilities for funding a debt serviced by indirect urban taxes, the root of later state debts. In Ottoman cities, systems of urban public finance managed by urban governments did not develop, thus precluding a similar development.
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9 Darling, ‘Ottoman fiscal administration’, p. 166.
10 Twenty-two years between 1520 and 1790; for the exact years and the sources, see Figures 1 and 3.
11 M. Genç and Erol Özvar, eds., Osmanlı maliyesi: kurumlar ve bütçeler (Ottoman financial institutions and budgets), 2 vols., Istanbul: Osmanlı Bankası Arsiv ve Arastırma Merkezi (‘Archive and Research Centre of the Ottoman Bank’), 2006; vol. 1 provides comparisons across time for components of revenue and expenditure for twenty-four years between 1653 and 1786; vol. 2 gives all components of revenue and expenditure and totals per year for eleven years between 1509/10 and 1761/2 (see Figure 1). I am grateful to Asim Han and Dr I. Hakkı Kadı for help in consulting the figures in this publication.
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15 Faroqhi, Economic and social history, p. 536.
16 Oral communication by S. Pamuk, Utrecht, 2008.
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22 S. Pamuk, ‘Prices and wages in Istanbul, 1469–1914’, http://www.iisg.nl/hpw/istanbul.xls (consulted 12 August 2009); I am grateful to one of the anonymous referees, who suggested that I add this information.
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25 M. Prak and J. L. van Zanden, ‘Tax morale and citizenship in the Dutch Republic’, in O. Gelderblom, ed., The political economy of the Dutch Republic, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009, p. 163.
26 W. Fritschy, ‘Indirect taxes and public debt in the “World of Islam” before 1800’, in S. Cavaciocchi, ed., La fiscalità nell’economia europea secc. XIII–XVIII, Florence: Florence University Press, p. 55, tables 1 and 2.
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28 Ibid., p. 539.
29 Fritschy, ‘Indirect taxes’, p. 55, tables 1 and 2.
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32 In contrast to western European tax farms, the profits of the tax farmers were known exactly and were part of the information supplied to bidders in the auctions: see Genç, ‘A study’.
33 Cizakça, Comparative evolution, p. 160.
34 This was confirmed to me by I. Hakkı Kadı (e-mail communication, 19 June 2009), based on information supplied to him by Erol Özvar, one of the editors of Osmanlı maliyesi: kurumlar ve bütçeler.
35 For 1696/7: 15,180,900 akçe from a total revenue of 818,188,665 akçe, which would mean 1.8% (Genç and Özvar, Osmanlı maliyesi, vol. 1, p. 194); for 1747: about 400,000 gurush from a total revenue of 13,767,695 gurush, which would mean 2.9% (ibid., vol. 2, p. 324); for 1761: 393,566.5 gurush from a total revenue of 14,514,288.5 gurush, which would mean 2.7% (ibid., vol. 2, p. 370).
36 The total amount invested in muaccele was 12,461,079 gurush according to Çizakça (Comparative evolution, p. 185) and the total amount invested in the esham system was 12,595,000 gurush. Total public revenue in the Ottoman Empire at that time was about 25 million gurush. According to Genç, the profit rate on investments in malikanes at that time was about 17%. If we suppose that the profit rate on esham was about the same, this would mean that, in each year for that period, the state had to give approximately 4,290,000 gurush from the taxes raised in the empire to the malikane and esham owners. This would mean that the percentage of total tax revenue of the state that had to be give to them each year in return for their investment in muacceles and esham was about 15% of total tax revenue.
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42 Although it should be mentioned that the revenue figure for 1690/1 in the budget was much too low according to Sahillioğlu, ‘1683–1740 Yıllarında osmanlı imparatorluğun hazine gelir ve gideri’, p. 156, and that his correction implied a small surplus instead of a deficit for this year.
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46 For a recent survey see Hoffman, P. T., Postel-Vinay, G., and Rosenthal, J.-L., Priceless markets: the political economy of credit in Paris, 1660–1870, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000, pp. 14–19Google Scholar; also J. Munro, ‘The usury doctrine and urban public finance in late medieval Flanders (1220–1550)’, in Cavaciocchi, La fiscalità, pp. 973–1026.
47 R. C. Jennings, ‘Loans and credit in early 17th century Ottoman judicial records’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 16, 1973, pp. 168–216; Faroqhi Economic and social history, vol. 2, p. 492: interest rates amounted to between 10% and 20% and ‘no secret was made of the fact that interest was demanded or paid’; many examples can be found in Salzmann, Tocqueville, pp.110–18.
48 S. Pamuk, Monetary history, p. 13.
49 The provisional results of this research on population can be found in M. Bosker, E. Buringh, and J. L. van Zanden, ‘From Baghdad to London: the dynamics of urban growth in Europe and the Arab world, 800–1800’, http://www.iisg.nl/research/baghdadtolondon.pdf (consulted 12 August 2009); I am indebted to Jan Luiten van Zanden for informing me of its availability on the internet.
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69 S. Faroqhi, ‘Taxation and urban activities in sixteenth century Anatolia’, Journal of Turkish Studies, 1, 1, 1979/80, p. 19, mentions studies by Ö. Barkan et al. on the forced transplantations of population known as sürgün. See also F. Acun, ‘A portrait of the Ottoman cities’, Muslim World, 92, 2002, p. 263; further examples can be found in Leo Africanus for Morocco in the sixteenth century.
70 Inalcik, Economic and social history, p. 32.
71 Inalcik, Economic and social history, p. 18.
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73 Inalcik, Economic and social history, pp. 161, 165.
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75 S. Pamuk, Monetary history, p. 20.
76 Inalcik, Economic and social history, p. 32.
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81 Ibid., p. 775.
82 R. le Tourneau, Fès avant le Protectorat, Casablanca: SMLE, 1949, pp. 211–14 and p. 259, says that these three functions in Fez in Morocco were still similar to those of Damascus in the fourteenth century.
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87 The high percentage of direct taxes in 1747 had been due to widespread tax revolts and the temporary replacement of most of the indirect taxes by a direct tax during that year. The high percentages in 1788 and 1793/4 were the results of forced loans in Holland; a large part of the first was used to save the Dutch East India Company after extensive losses during the Fourth English Naval War.
88 M. Kisaichi, ‘The Maghrib’, in M. Haneda and T. Miura, eds., Islamic urban studies: historical review and perspectives, London: Kegan Paul International, 1994, p. 42.
89 Ibid., p. 38.
90 Inalcik, Economic and social history, p. 202.
91 Fritschy, ‘Indirect taxes’, p. 74.
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