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The Pasha's Peasants

The Pasha's Peasants
Land, Society and Economy in Lower Egypt, 1740–1858

Out of Print

Part of Cambridge Middle East Library

  • Date Published: January 1993
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 1999
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521404785

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print January 1999
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About the Authors
  • This is a pathbreaking study of the rural origins of modern Egypt, dealing with the period of the rise of the modern state and the country's incorporation into the world economy. Professor Cuno uses previously underexploited sources - court records, fatwas, and land tax registers - to shed new light on changes in the system of peasant land tenure, urban-rural commerce, the rural social structure, and the interplay of formal law with peasant customs and attitudes. The author refutes the conventional view of modern Egyptian history, and indeed many other studies of 'modernization' in the non-Western world. The traditional thesis argues that intensified contact with Europe brought on the 'awakening' of the modern nation. Cuno, on the other hand, convincingly demonstrates that the rise of cash-crop agriculture, the commoditisation of land, the concept of private property, and the appearance of a stratified rural society were actually centuries-old features of the Egyptian countryside.

    • Pathbreaking study on the origins of modern Egypt which challenges conventional interpretations of the history of this period
    • Based on an extensive use of previously underexploited sources
    • The authors conclusions will be of interest to both Middle East specialists and economic historians
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book provides the first comprehensive scholarly account of the condition of rural Egypt in the late-eighteenth century and the impact on it of Muhammad Ali's innovations and reforms. As such it addresses a complex set of historical questions which have been raised by a large number of previous authors over the past three decades and, for the first time, provides a set of well-justified, well-argued answers. It is thus an admirable example of a work of criticism and scholarly interpretation based, for the first time, on a mastery of the most important, primary historical sources.' Roger Owen

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1993
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521404785
    • length: 295 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 32 tables
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 1999
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables
    List of abbreviations
    Note on the use of dates, vocabulary, transliteration, and spelling
    Part I. Rural Egypt Before the Reforms of Muhammad Ali:
    1. The agrarian administration
    2. The Iltizam system and the Multazims
    3. Commercial relations in the countryside
    4. Peasant land tenure
    5. The rural notables
    Part II. Rural Egypt During and After the Reforms of Muhammad Ali:
    6. Centralisation, expansion, and the limits to expansion
    7. Taxation, the monopoly system, and the peasantry
    8. The redistribution of land
    9. The rural notables
    10. The emergence of a new rural order, 1842-58
    Conclusion and epilogue

  • Author

    Kenneth M. Cuno, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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