Echoes of Tumultuous Wars: Prosperity and Poverty of the Balkan Entrepreneurial Strata (1800s–1880s) [Chapter 5]
European Revolutions and the Ottoman Balkans. Nationalism, Violence, and Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century
Balkan Peninsula -- History -- 19th century, Turkey -- History -- Ottoman Empire (1288-1918)
The ‘Long Nineteenth Century’ heralded vast socio-economic, political and demographic transformations of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans. Wars, revolutions and attendant violence resulted in migrations and diseases that led to impoverishment of some crafts, agricultural deterioration and community decline. An eloquent illustration presents a chronicle from Kotel (Kızğan) , written by a local abacı (producer and/or trader in aba) , who perceived the Crimean War (1853–1856) in terms of economic damage: ‘And then  the French [army] put Varna on fire and the whole carşı [commercial street] was destroyed. They did not allow anyone to take away [goods] or put the fire down. Thus, everything was burnt and the poor merchants suffered a lot. ’ On the other hand, the same events offered opportunities for accumulating wealth and social mobility. Another example attests to the opposite perception: ‘In Stara Zagora [Eski Zağra] the Crimean War...
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Available at PSU Library:
Davidova, E. (2019). “Echoes of Tumultuous Wars: Prosperity and Poverty of the Balkan Entrepreneurial Strata (1800s-1880s),” in European Revolutions and the Ottoman Balkans. Nationalism, Violence, and Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century, ed. Dimitris Stamatopoulos (London: I.B Tauris, 2019), 93-111.