This chapter offers a template for understanding how rural economies based both on animal wealth and the shared labor of humans and animals changed at the end of the eighteenth century to effect the global transition of early modern rural societies from subsistence to commercialized agriculture. This transition led to the formation of large landed estates in which human labor came to dominate and represented a fundamental change in the energy regime of Ottoman Egypt—from animal power to human power—that set Egypt on a wholly new political and economic course in the early nineteenth century. Combining the literatures of human-animal relations, early modern agriculture, and Ottoman economic and social history, this chapter argues for the importance of nonhuman histories in understanding global economic, energetic, and political transformations.
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