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This volume is a local history, focusing on the experiences of people and
communities as they navigated and enacted institutions and transformations
associated with modernization in the late Ottoman era. Focusing on
the local political arena of a relatively small, predominantly rural and ordinary
setting, this book examines two neighboring Western Anatolian towns:
Yenişehir and İznik.
Utilizing rigorous historiographical inquiry and in-depth use of archival
materials, this book sketches a dynamic picture of late Ottoman imperial
political belonging with the agendas and priorities of the countryside, where
the majority of Ottomans lived. The monograph contributes to understanding
of modernization from different local perspectives by excavating the
provincial hinterland of the imperial capital. It uses a narrative technique of
analyzing certain local events to address larger structures and transformations
pertaining to the long 19th century in general and Ottoman history in
particular. As a "micro" study, it argues for the significance of individuals'
and social groups' agencies, strategies and conceptions of their world in the
unfolding of Ottoman modernization.
Offering a vivid picture of local communities and their engagements with
modern political, social and judicial structures in the late Ottoman era, this
book will appeal to scholars and advanced graduate students interested in
comparative imperial history, Ottoman history and Middle Eastern studies.