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Ecology, climate, and crisis in the Ottoman Near EastSam White
This thesis explores the environmental history of Ottoman lands and especially the impact of climate events associated with the Little Ice Age. Over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as the Ottomans conquered the Near East, the empire instituted elaborate systems for the provisioning and distribution of food and other resources, and for the management of land use and settlement. The success of these systems encouraged strong demographic growth in the Mediterranean lands of the empire, leading to significant population pressure by the late sixteenth century. From the 1560s to 1580s, the Ottomans faced challenges from famine, epidemics, banditry, and the breakdown of provisioning systems. In the 1590s, the Little Ice Age brought unprecedented cold and drought to the eastern Mediterranean, leading to horrific famine and disease. Imperial efforts to extract supplies from the countryside exacerbated the suffering and ultimately led to the outbreak of a devastating uprising in Anatolia in 1596 known as the Celali Rebellion. In the wake of that rebellion, nomads invaded once settled land, refugees flocked to overcrowded and unsanitary cities, and rural population collapsed. By the eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire's demographic and territorial expansion had given way to retreat, and its once self-contained imperial ecology had opened to European economic penetration.
Social sciences; Celali Rebellion; Climate; Early modern; Ecology; Little Ice Age; Middle East; Ottoman Empire; Middle Eastern history; 0333:Middle Eastern history
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