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A History of the 'AlawisFrom Medieval Aleppo to the Turkish Republic$
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Stefan Winter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691167787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691167787.001.0001

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The Age of Autonomy

The Age of Autonomy

‘Alawi Notables as Ottoman Tax Farmers (1667–1808)

(p.119) 4 The Age of Autonomy
A History of the 'Alawis

Stefan Winter

Princeton University Press

This chapter follows the rise to power of the Shamsins, the Bayt al-Shillif, and associated ʻAlawi families as Ottoman tax concessionaries. It shows that their position of local autonomy, rather than having evolved out of some domestic or “tribal” leadership structure, resulted from a paradigm shift in Ottoman provincial administration as well as from a very favorable economic context, in particular the development of commercial tobacco farming in the northern highlands around Latakia. If the eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of a veritable Ottoman–ʻAlawi landed gentry, it also saw increasing social disparities lead to large-scale emigration away from the highlands toward the coastal and inland plains as well as toward the Hatay district of what is today southern Turkey.

Keywords:   ʻAlawis, Shamsins, Bayt al-Shillif, ʻAlawi families, Ottoman rule, provincial administration, tobacco farming, Latakia, landed gentry, emigration

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