Response paper #2
The article “Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and its Demise” talks about the reforms that the Porte was performing in the 19thcentury. It also deals with the reform of the slave system, discusses the types of enslavement in the Ottoman Empire and examines the origins of the slaves in the Ottoman Empire. The author speaks abouthave been done by the Ottoman Government in the 19th century. For instance, the 1839 Gulhane Imperial Restrict which didn’t deal explicitly with slavery but was first major step that was taken to breakthe state traditions. In 1856, the Sultan recognized the equality of all his subjects against the law. Reading the first chapter one might assume that in the 19th century, the Ottoman Empiretransfigured, but looking at the next chapters it is obvious that it was not the case.
Despite the reforms taken by the government, slavery was still being practiced in the country.
There were differentways of enslavement, and in his study O. Patterson deals with eight of them.
Historically the most important way of enslavement was the capture in the warfare. After the reforms this practice wasminimized but not totally eliminated.
Then more common practice was the kidnapping. The government tried to deal with this problem and while it was successful in the heartland of the Empire, infarther regions, especially the north-eastern corner of Anatolia, the practice of kidnapping was frequently used by different Kurdish, Circassian tribes, and even Georgians.
Moreover tribute and taxpayment was another way of getting slaves. Although the Ottoman Empire was not a tribute-paying state (Patterson, 47), this method was used to receive slaves. Furthermore, Abandonment and Sale ofchildren was not practiced in large scale, before the Circassian emigration. There were cases of parents selling their own children because of poverty. In some cases girls themselves were willing to...