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Reforms of Mahmud II

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

 Week 26: Civilizations in Crisis IDs


Mahmud II: Reforms at their Finest


Mahmud II (July 20, 1785 – July 1, 1839) took the throne from Mustafa IV after he was overthrown by the rebels.  He took the liberty of continuing the many reforms that were stared before the conservative overthrow in 1807. 


Legal Reforms:

  • Edicts (Firmans)  - Mahmud II took away much of the power of the Pashas and closed the Court of Confiscations.  Previous to the first of the Firmans the property of all persons banished or condemned to death was forfeited to the crown; and a sordid motive for acts of cruelty was thus kept in perpetual operation, besides the encouragement of a host of vile Delators. Also, it was Turkish governors no longer had the power to doom men to death by will.
  • He also created an appeal system by a criminal to one of the Kazaskers of Asia or Europe, and finally to the Sultan himself, if the criminal chose to persist in his appeal.
  • Mahmud II also addressed some of the worst abuses connected with the Vakifs, by placing the revenues under the administration of the state, but he did not venture to apply this vast mass of property to the general purposes of the government.
  • The haraç, or capitation-tax, though moderate in and exempting those who paid it from military service, had long been made an engine of gross tyranny, through the insolence and misconduct of the government collectors. The Firman of 1834 abolished the old mode of levying it, and ordained that it should be raised by a commission composed of the Kadı, the Muslim governors, and the Ayans, or municipal chiefs of Rayas in each district.


Military Reforms:

  • Mahmud put together the strenght and resources of the country and eliminated the corruption present from the Timars and the Ziamets. 
  • The reduction of these insubordinate feudatories was not effected at once, or without severe struggles and frequent insurrections. Mahmud II steadily persevered in this great measure and ultimately the island of Cyprus became the only part of empire in which power, not emanating from the Sultan, was allowed to be retained by Dere Beys.


                Mahmud II

Mahmud II after his clothing reform.

A picture of Mahmud II after his clothing reform.

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