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Under Osman's TreeThe Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and Environmental History$
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Alan Mikhail

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226427171

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226427201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Brute Force

Brute Force

(p.131) 7 Brute Force
Under Osman's Tree

Alan Mikhail

University of Chicago Press

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.

Keywords:   animals, energy, economic transformation, corvée, epizootics, drought, land accumulation, agriculture, Mehmet 'Ali, canal building

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