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The Ottoman origins of capitalism: uneven and combined development and Eurocentrism


The history of capitalism's origins is unmistakably Eurocentric, placing sixteenth-century developments in politics, economy, culture, and ideology squarely within the unique context of Europe. And while the disciplinary remit of International Relations (IR) should offer a way out of such European provincialism, it too has been built on largely Eurocentric assumptions. In Eurocentric approaches, the Ottoman Empire has been absent, passive, or merely a comparative foil against which the specificity and superiority of Europe has been defined. And yet, the Ottoman Empire was arguably the most powerful actor in the Early Modern period. In this article, I argue that any history of capitalism's origins must therefore account for the historical importance of the Ottomans. In doing so, this article seeks to address the non-European blind-spot, both in theorisations of capitalism's origins and in IR theory, by reincorporating the material significance of the Ottoman Empire in historical processes, which led to the transition to capitalism. I do so by utilising the theory of Uneven and Combined Development, and in the process seek to defend its credentials as a non-Eurocentric social theory on the one hand and as a sociologically and historically sensitive theory of international relations on the other.

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1 Here and throughout the article, the term ‘Europe’ and ‘European’ is deployed with the problematic implications of anachronism and intra-European divisions firmly in mind. As such it is used, unless specified, in a basic geographical sense, predominantly (but not exclusively) denoting England, France, Low Countries, Portugal, Hapsburg Spain and Austria, Germanic principalities, Hungary, and Italian city-states.

2 Marx, Karl, Grundrisse (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973), p. 157.

3 The ensuing interpretation is owed to the brilliant appraisal of The Ambassadors in Jardine, Lisa, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (London: Papermac Macmillan, 1996), pp. 425–36

4 Jardine, Lisa and Brotton, Jerry, Global Interests: Renaissance Art Between East and West (New York: Cornell University Press, 2000), p. 50.

5 Matar, Nabil, Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), p. 3.

6 Harper, James G., ‘Introduction’, The Turk and Islam in the Western Eye, 1450-1750, ed. Harper, James G. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), p. 3.

7 Goffman, Daniel, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004), p. 225.

8 Matin, Kamran, ‘Redeeming The Universal: Postcolonialism and the Inner Life of Eurocentrism’, European Journal of International Relations (iFirst: 2012).

9 Burckhardt, Jacob, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (London: Penguin, 1990).

10 Anderson, Perry, Lineages of the Absolutist State (London: New Left Books, 1974); Tilly, Charles (ed.), The Formation of National States in Western Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975); Mann, Michael, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 1: A History of Power from the Beginning to A.D. 1760 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).

11 Wallerstein, Immanuel, The Modern World-System 1: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century (London: Academic Press, 1974); Landes, David S., The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Are Some So Rich and Some So Poor? (London: W. W. Norton and Company, 1998); Brenner, Robert, ‘Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe’, in Aston, T. H., et al., The Brenner Debate (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Brenner, Robert, ‘The Agrarian Roots of Capitalism,’ in Aston, T. H., et al. (eds), The Brenner Debate (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 213328

12 Two giants of European historiography, Braudel and Ranke insisted on the inclusion of the Ottomans within the Europe in the age of Phillip II and Charles V respectively. Braudel, Fernand, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Phillip II, volume II (London: Collins, 1973); Ranke, Leopold, The Ottoman and the Spanish Empires in the Seventeenth Century (London: Whittaker & Co. 1843).

13 Anderson, Lineages, p. 397.

14 Bhambra, Gurminder K., ‘Historical sociology, international relations and connected histories’, Cambridge Review Of International Affairs, 23:1 (2010), pp. 127–43.

15 Chernilo, D., ‘Methodological nationalism and the domestic analogy: classical resources for their critique’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 23:1 (2010), pp. 87106; see also Matin, ‘Redeeming’.

16 Said, Edward, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979).

17 Yapp, Malcom E., ‘Europe in the Turkish Mirror’, Past and Present, 137:1 (1992), pp. 134–55.

18 Huntingdon, Samuel P., The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).

19 Bisaha, Nancy, Creating East and West: Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), p. 12.

20 Gruffyd-Jones, Branwen, Decolonising International Relations (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), p. 2.

21 Hobson, John M., The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760–2010 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

22 Mattingly, Garrett, Renaissance Diplomacy (New York: Dover Publications, 1988).

23 Teschke, Benno, The Myth of 1648 (London: Verso, 2003).

24 See Hobson, John M., ‘Provincializing Westphalia: The Eastern Origins of Sovereignty’, International Politics, 46:6 (2009), pp. 671–90; Kayaoglu, Turan, ‘Westphalian Eurocentrism in International Relations Theory’, International Studies Review, 12:2 (2010), pp. 193217.

25 For instance in the English School. See Wight, Martin (ed.), Systems of States (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1977); Bull, Hadley, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (London: Macmillan Press, 1977); Watson, Adam, The Evolution of International Society (New York: Routledge, 1992).

26 See Hobden, Stephen, International Relations and Historical Sociology (London: Routledge, 1998); Hobden, Stephen and Hobson, John (eds), Historical Sociology of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); Lawson, George, ‘Historical sociology in international relations: open society, research programme and vocation’, International Politics, 44:4 (2007), pp. 343–68.

27 Bhambra, ‘Historical sociology’; Bhambra, Gurminder K., ‘Talking Among Themselves? Weberian and Marxist Historical Sociologies as Dialogues Without “Others”’, Millenium, 39:1 (2011), pp. 667–81.

28 Blaut, James, The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Pomeranz, Kenneth, The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Hobson, John, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Goody, Jack, The Theft of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Goldstone, Jack, Why Europe? The Rise of the West in World History 1500-1850 (New York: McGraw Hill, 2008).

29 Bhaba, Homi K., The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994); Subrahmanyam, Sanjay, ‘Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia’, Modern Asian Studies, 31:3 (1997), pp. 735–62; Chakrabarty, Dipesh, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000); Barkawi, Tarak and Laffey, Mark, ‘The postcolonial moment in security studies’, Review of International Studies, 32 (2006), pp. 329–52; Shilliam, Robbie (ed.), International Relations and Non-Western Thought: Imperialism, Colonialism and Investigations of Global Modernity (London: Routledge, 2010); Ancharya, Amitav, ‘Dialogue and Discovery: In Search of International Relations Theories Beyond the West’, Millennium, 39:3 (2011), pp. 619–37; B. Gruffyd Jones (ed.), Decolonizing; Bhambra, ‘Talking’; Bhambra, ‘Historical’.

30 Frank, A. G., ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998).

31 Halperin, Sandra, ‘International Relations Theory and the Hegemony of Western Conceptions of Modernity’, in Gruffyd Jones, B. (ed.), Decolonizing International Relations (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), p. 43.

32 Cooper, Frederick, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), p. 22.

33 Matin, ‘Redeeming’, p. 12.

34 Rosenberg, Justin, ‘Why is There no International Historical Sociology?’, European Journal of International Relations, 12:3 (2006), pp. 307–40; Rosenberg, Justin, ‘Basic Problems in the Theory of Uneven and Combined Development. Part II: Unevenness and Political Multiplicity’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 23:1 (2010), 165–89; Matin, Kamran, ‘Uneven and Combined Development in World History: The International Relations of State-formation in Premodern Iran’, European Journal of International Relations, 13:3 (2007), pp. 419–47; see also Davidson, Neil, ‘Putting the Nation Back into the International’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 22:1 (2009), pp. 928; Allinson, Jamie and Anievas, Alex, ‘Approaching the “international”: beyond Political Marxism’, in ed. Marxism, Anievas and World Politics (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 197214.

35 See Matin, ‘U&CD’; Matin ‘Redeeming’; Shilliam, Robert, ‘The Atlantic as a Vector of Uneven and Combined Development’, Cambridge Review of International Relations, 22:1 (2009), pp. 6988; Hobson, John, ‘What's at Stake in the Neo-Trotskyist Debate? Towards a Non-Eurocentric Historical Sociology of Uneven and Combined Development’, Millennium, 40:1 (2011).

36 Hobson, ‘What's at Stake?’, p. 153.

37 Bhambra, ‘Talking’, p. 676.

38 Bhambra, ‘Talking’, pp. 668, 673; cf. Bhambra, ‘Historical’, pp. 128, 135; Cemal Burak Tansel, ‘Deafing Silence: Historical Materialism, International Relations, and the Question of the International’, Paper presented at ‘First Spectrum Conference on Global Studies: Historical Sociology, Historical Materialism and International Relations’ (2–3 November 2012), pp. 1–25, pp. 10–12.

39 Trotsky, LeonThe History of the Russian Revolution (London: Pathfinder Press, 2007), p. 28.

40 Rosenberg, ‘Why?’, p. 313.

41 Trotsky, History, p. 28.

42 Luke Cooper, ‘Uneven and combined development in modern world history: Chinese economic reform in the longue durée of capitalist modernity’, Paper presented at ‘International Studies Association Annual Convention’, San Diego (1–4 April 2012), p. 6.

43 Trotsky, History, pp. 474–76..

44 Trotsky, History, p. 26.

45 Rosenberg, ‘Why?’, p. 313.

46 Trotsky, History, pp. 28, 477.

47 Trotsky, History, p. 27.

48 Trotsky, History, pp. 27, 476.

49 Trotsky, History, p. 26.

50 Trotsky, History, p. 27.

51 Anievas, Alex and Nisancioglu, Kerem, ‘What's at Stake in the Transition Debate? Rethinking the Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West’, Millennium (forthcoming, 2014).

52 Anievas, Alex1914 in World Historical Perspective: The Uneven and Combined Origins of the First World War’, European Journal of International Relations (iFirst: 2013); see also Anievas and Nisancioglu, ‘What's at Stake’.

53 Ollman, Bertell, Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx's Method (University of Illinois Press, 2003), p. 110.

54 Blaut, Colonizer's Model.

55 Shilliam, ‘Atlantic’.

56 Banaji, Jairus, Theory as History (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011), pp. 262–76.

57 Banaji, Theory, p. 253.

58 Harman, Chris, A People's History of the World (London: Verso, 2008), p. 141; Hobson, ‘What's at Stake’, p. 148.

59 Hurewitz, Jacob C., ‘Ottoman Diplomacy and the European States System’, The Middle East Journal, 15, Spring (1961), pp. 145–6; Lewis, Bernard, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 30–2; Naff, Thomas, ‘The Ottoman Empire and European States System’, in Bull, Hadley and Watson, Adam (eds), The Expansion of the International Society (Oxford: Clarendon, 1984), p. 144.

60 Bisaha, Creating, p. 162.

61 Soykut, Mustafa, ‘Introduction’, in Soykut, Mustafa (ed.), Historical Image of the Turk in Europe: Fifteenth Century to the Present (Istanbul: Isis Press, 2003), p. 26.

62 Fischer-Galati, Stephen A., Ottoman Imperialism and German Protestantism 1521-1555 (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1959), p. 18.

63 Braudel, The Mediterranean, p. 683.

64 Rodinson, Maxime, Europe and the Mystique of Islam (London: University of Washington Press: 1987), p. 37, fn. 82.

65 Birdal, Mehmet S., The Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans: From Global Imperial Power to Absolutism (London: I. B. Taurus, 2011), pp. 119–20.

66 Agoston, Gabor, ‘Ottoman Warfare in Europe 1453–1826’, in Black, Jeremy (ed.), European Warfare, 1453–1815 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999), pp. 118–44; Murphey, Rhoads, Ottoman Warfare, 1500–1700 (London: UCL Press, 1999), pp. 85104.

67 Teschke, Myth, pp. 43–4.

68 Hess, Andrew C., ‘The Ottoman Conquest of Egypt (1517) and the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century World War’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 4:1 (1973), pp. 5576, esp. pp. 72–4.

69 Coles, Paul, The Ottoman Impact on Europe (London: Thames and Hudson, 1968), p. 100.

70 Rodinson, Europe and the Mystique of Islam, p. 73. See also Fischer-Galati, Ottoman Imperialism, p. 18; Murphey, Ottoman, p. 6; Bisaha, Creating, p. 162; Soykut, ‘Introduction’, p. 26; Artemel, Süheyla, ‘The View of the Turks from the Perspective of the Humanists in Renaissance England’, in Soykut, (ed.), Historical Image of the Turk in Europe (Istanbul: Isis Press, 2003), pp. 149–73, esp. pp. 161, 163; Faroqhi, Suriaya, The Ottoman Empire and the World Around It (London: IB Taurus, 2004), p. 101.

71 Matar, Turks, p. 9.

72 Berktay, Halil, ‘The feudalism debate: The Turkish end – is “tax – vs. – rent” necessarily the product and sign of a modal difference?’, Journal of Peasant Studies, 14:3 (1987), pp. 291333, esp. p. 311.

73 Banaji, Theory, p. 23.

74 Keyder, Caglar, ‘The Dissolution of the Asiatic Mode of Production’, Economy and Society, 5:2 (1976), pp. 178–96.

75 Inalcik, Halil, ‘State Land and Peasant’, in Inalcik, Halil and Quataert, Donald (eds), An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 103–78, esp. p. 115.

76 Islamoglu-Inan, Huri, State and Peasant in the Ottoman Empire: Agrarian Power Relations and Regional Economic Development in Ottoman Anatolia During the Sixteenth Century (Brill, 1994), p. 57.

77 Islamoglu-Inan, State, p. 8.

78 Islamoglu-Inan, State, pp. xiv–xv.

79 Faroqhi, Suriaya, ‘Rural life’, in Faroqhi, Suriaya (ed.), Cambridge History of Turkey Vol. III: The Cambridge History of Turkey: the Later Ottoman Empire 1603-1839 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 383.

80 Anderson, Lineages, p. 370.

81 Mardin, Serif, ‘Power, Civil Society and Culture in the Ottoman Empire’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 11 (1969), pp. 258–81; Haldon, John, The State and the Tributary Mode of Production (London: Verso, 1993), pp. 159–69.

82 Coles, Ottoman Impact, pp. 98–9.

83 Goffman, The Ottoman Empire, pp. 8–12.

84 Inalcik, Halil, The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300-1600 (London: Phoenix, 2000), pp. 107–16; Griswold, William J, The Great Anatolian Rebellion: 1000-1020/1591-1611 (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 1983), pp. 910.

85 Barkey, Karen, Bandits and Bureaucrats: The Ottoman Route to State Centralization (London: Cornell University Press, 1994), pp. 58–9.

86 Barkey, Bandits, p. 212.

87 Barkey, Bandits, p. 192.

88 Barkey, Bandits, pp. 91, 241.

89 Teschke, Myth, pp. 43–4.

90 Mielants, Eric H., The Origins of Capitalism and ‘Rise of the West’ (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007), p. 70.

91 Tilly, Formation, pp. 73–4.

92 Mielants, Origins, p. 70.

93 Ibid., p. 79; see also Chirot, Daniel, ‘The Rise of the West’, American Sociological Review, 50:2 (1985), pp. 181–95.

94 Inalcik, Halil, ‘Capital Formation in the Ottoman Empire’, The Journal of Economic History, 29:1 (1969), pp. 97140, esp. p. 104.

95 Inalcik, ‘Capital’, pp. 106.

96 Keyder, ‘Dissolution’.

97 Inalcik, ‘Capital’, pp. 104–5, esp. p. 107; Faroqhi, Suriaya, ‘Trade: Regional Interregional and International’, in Inalcik, Halil and Quataert, Donald (eds), An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 474531.

98 Islamoglu-Inan, State, p. 204.

99 Keyder, ‘Dissolution’, pp. 179, 184.

100 Hess, Andrew C., ‘The Evolution of the Ottoman Seaborne Empire in the Age of Oceanic Discoveries 1453–1525’, The American Historical Review, 75:7 (1970), pp. 1892–919 esp. p. 1916; Hess, ‘Ottoman Conquest’, p. 75.

101 Brummett, Palmira, Ottoman Seapower and Levantine Diplomacy in the Age of Discovery (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), p. 7.

102 Ozbaran, Salih, ‘Expansion in the Southern Seas’, in Inalcik, Halil and Kafadar, Cemal (eds), Suleyman the Second (ie the First) and His Time (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1993), pp. 211–18, esp. p. 215.

103 Casale, Giancarlo, ‘Global Politics in the 1580s: One Canal, Twenty Thousand Cannibals, and the Ottoman Plot to Rule the World’, Journal of World History, 18:3 (2007), pp. 267–96, esp. p. 291; Hess, ‘Conquest’, p. 69.

104 Faroqhi, Ottoman Empire, p. 12.

105 Curtin, Philip, Cross-Cultural Trade and World History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 116, 128.

106 Findlay, Ronald, ‘The Roots of Divergence: Western Economic History in Comparative Perspective’, American Economic Review, 82:2 (1992), pp. 158–61; Stavrianos, Leften S., A Global History (New Jersey: Prentice Hall 1999).

107 What Trotsky would have called a ‘whip of external necessity’.

108 Fleet, Kate, European and Islamic Trade in the Early Ottoman State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 123; Barendse, R. J., ‘Trade and State in the Arabian Seas: A Survey from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century’, Journal of World History, 11:2 (2000), pp. 173225, esp. p. 192; Casale, Giancarlo, The Ottoman Age of Exploration (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 3.

109 Mather, James, Pashas: Traders and Travellers in the Islamic World (London: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 26; Inalcik, ‘Capital’, p. 97, fn. 2; Stensgaard, Niels, The Asian Trade Revolution in the Seventeenth Century: The East India Companies and the Decline of the Caravan Trade (London: University of Chicago, 1974), p. 62.

110 Pamuk, Sevket, A Monetary History of the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 23; Karsh, Efraim, Islamic Imperialism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), p. 93.

111 Gallant, Thomas W., ‘Europe and the Mediterranean: a Reassessment’ in Delanty, Gerard (ed.), Europe and Asia Beyond East and West (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 126.

112 Goody, Jack, ‘Europe and Islam’, in Delanty, Gerard (ed.), Europe and Asia Beyond East and West (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 144.

113 Jensen, De Lamar, ‘The Ottoman Turks in the Sixteenth Century French Diplomacy’, The Sixteenth Century Journal, 16:4 (1985), pp. 451–70, esp. p. 464.

114 Cizakca, Murat, ‘Price History and the Bursa Silk Industry: A Study in Ottoman Industrial Decline, 1550–1650’, in Islamoglu-Inan, Huri (ed.), The Ottoman Empire and the World-Economy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 247–62, esp. pp. 253–54; Goody, ‘Europe’, p. 143; Banaji, Theory, pp. 270–73.

115 Darling, Gillian, Factory (London: Reaktion, 2003), p. 104.

116 Scammell, Geoffrey V., The World Encompassed: The First European Maritime Empires, c. 800-1650 (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd. 1981), p. 205.

117 Inalcik, ‘Capital’, pp. 100–1; Goody, ‘Europe’, p. 143.

118 Jardine, Worldy Goods.

119 Jardine and Brotton, Global, p. 42. Unsuccessful attempts were also made to tempt Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to the Ottoman court. See Curtis, Michael, Orientalism and Islam: European Thinkers on Oriental Despotism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2009), p. 13.

120 Soykut, ‘Introduction’, p. 74.

121 Artemel, ‘View’, pp. 157–63.

122 Yapp, ‘Europe in the Turkish Mirror’, pp. 134–55; Coles, Ottoman Impact, pp. 148–9.

123 Yapp, ‘Europe’, p. 141.

124 Coles, Ottoman Impact, p. 148.

125 Halil Inalcik, Ottoman Empire, p. 35.

126 Scammell, World Encompassed, p. 132.

127 Coles, Ottoman Impact, p. 138; Hess, Forgotten Frontier, p. 125.

128 Brummett, Ottoman Seapower, p. 7; Hess, ‘Conquest’, p. 71; Inalcik, Ottoman Empire, pp. 129–33.

129 Fleet, European and Islamic Trade, pp. 132–3.

130 Agoston, Gabor, ‘Information, ideology and the limits of imperial policy: Ottoman grand strategy in the context of Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry’, in Askan, Virginia and Goffman, Daniel (eds), The Early Modern Ottomans: Remapping the Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

131 Elliot, John, ‘Ottoman-Habsburg Rivalry: The European Perspective’, in Inalcik, Halil and Kafadar, Cemal (eds), Suleyman the Second (ie the First) and His Time (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1993), pp. 153–62, esp. p. 155.

132 Fischer-Galati, Ottoman Imperialism.

133 Fischer-Galati, Ottoman Imperialism; Nexon, Daniel H., The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009), p. 169.

134 Elliot, ‘Ottoman-Habsburg Rivalry’, p. 155.

135 Coles, The Ottoman Impact, p. 128; Nexon, Struggle, p. 192; Hess, Andrew C, The Forgotten Frontier: A History of the Sixteenth Century Ibero-African Frontier (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p. 94.

136 See also Wallerstein World-System, p. 167; Chirot, ‘Rise’, p. 183; and Kennedy, Paul, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989), pp. 3170.

137 Benno Teschke, Myth, p. 104; Tilly, Formation, p. 18.

138 Scammell, World Encompassed, pp. 93–6; Hess, ‘Conquest’, p. 59.

139 Love, Ronald S., Maritime Exploration in the Age of Discovery, 1415-1800 (London: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006), pp. 67.

140 Scammell, World Encompassed, p. 165.

141 Ibid., p. 170.

142 Coles, Ottoman Impact, p. 108; Issawi, Charles, ‘The Ottoman Empire in the European World Economy, 1600–1914’, in Karpat, K. (ed.), The Ottoman State and its Place in World History (Leiden: Brill, 1974), pp. 107–17, esp. p. 111.

143 Mielants, Origins, p. 85.

144 These were unilaterally granted Ottoman diplomatic agreements which provided non-Ottoman recipients with basic legal rights and privileges within the empire's territories while regulating trade relations through the establishment of ordinary customs, taxes, and dues. Bulut has compared capitulations to ‘most favoured nation’ trade agreements, Bulut, Mehmet, Ottoman Dutch Economic Relations in the Early Modern Period 1571–1699 (Veloren: Hilversum, 2001), p. 108. See also Eldem, ‘Capitulations and Western Trade’, in Faroqhi (ed.), Cambridge History of Turkey Vol. II, I pp. 283–55.

145 Bulut, Ottoman Dutch, p. 168; McGowan, Bruce, Economic Life in the Ottoman Empire: Taxation, Trade and the Struggle for Land (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 4.

146 Mather, Pashas, p. 154.

147 Mielants, Origins, p. 84.

148 Banaji, Theory, pp. 270–3.

149 Anderson, Lineages, p. 124.

150 Skocpol, Theda, ‘Wallerstein's World Capitalist System: A Theoretical and Historical Critique’, American Journal of Sociology, 82:5 (1977), pp. 1075–90, esp. p. 1086; Braudel, Fernand, Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism (London: John Hopkins University Press, 1977), pp. 101–2; Sayer, Derek, ‘A Notable Administration: English State Formation and the Rise of Capitalism’, American Journal of Sociology, 97:5 (1992), pp. 1382–415, esp. p. 1391. Each of these authors emphasise on England's island geography as an explanation for its isolation. The prevalence of naval warfare by the sixteenth century suggests that such an explanation is severely limited; England was open to invasion should the will or compulsion have arisen. See Rose, Susan, Medieval Naval Warfare, 1000-1500 (London: Routledge, 2002); Palmer, Michael A., Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control Since the Sixteenth Century (London: Harvard University Press, 2007).

151 Kennedy, Rise, p. 56.

152 Anderson, Lineages, p. 125.

153 Skocpol, ‘Wallerstein's World’, p. 1086.

154 Brenner, ‘Agrarian Class’, p. 61.

155 Ellen Wood, The Origin of Capitalism, p. 53.

156 Skocpol, ‘Wallerstein's World’, p. 1086; cf. Brenner, ‘Agrarian Class’, p. 49.

157 Brenner, ‘Agrarian Roots’, p. 263.

158 Wood, Origin, p. 47; Brenner, ‘Agrarian Roots’, p. 256; Aylmer, G. E., ‘The Peculiarities of the English State’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 3:2 (1990), pp. 91108.

159 Sayer, ‘Notable’, p. 1394; Anderson, Lineages, p. 127.

160 Brenner, ‘The Agrarian Roots’, p. 252.

161 Brenner, ‘Agrarian Class’, p. 47.

162 For a more in depth critique of the limits of Brenner's account, see Anievas and Nisancioglu, ‘What's at Stake’.

* I would like to thank Jamie Allinson, Alex Anievas, Gurminder Bhambra, Kamran Matin, Justin Rosenberg, Cemal Burak Tansel, and four anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments and encouragement during the writing of this article. I am also grateful to the participants at the Historical Materialism Conference (2012), Millennium Conference (2012), and Spectrum Conference (2012). Any mistakes are, of course, my own.

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