Silk-made Capitalism in the Late- 19th-Century Ottoman Empire

Emre Daglioglu

This project seeks to explore the ways in which capitalism as a social process was re-established, reorganized, and operated in the late Ottoman Empire, especially between 1881 and 1914. In doing so, I will look at the Public Debt Administration (PDA), a European creditors-led institution that was tasked with collecting tax revenues of certain imperial monopolies and turned into the most important hub for the imperial capitalist economy through its more than twenty offices extending from Yemen to Salonica. Much has been written on the Administration but little on how local actors in the empire established, cooperated with, adapted to, or resisted the new capitalist order. This research is centered around silk, as a commodity weaving these actors together, to illustrate the transformation of intricate financial, socio-political, and environmental networks with a multilayered perspective.


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