By Dick Douwes

Though the Ottoman kingdom administered enormous and complicated territories, its functions have been restricted and assets and manpower scarce. The inn of coercion grew to become an important coverage. Dick Douwes examines the Syrian inside in the course of the interval from 1785 to 1841 and indicates how the empire validated self sufficient neighborhood energy bases and the way their rule over the peasantry was once in response to oppression and extortion. This reached its apogee less than the reformist governor of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, who rebelled opposed to the Sultan and occupied all Syria.

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32 Undoubtedly, years of drought, but also of severe cold, did play a role in the tribal shifts. However, not only years of privation induced tribes to look for alternative pastures. 33 The tribal groups from northern Arabia found no insurmountable resistance in the baˆ diya of Syria and Iraq. 34 The pastures and water resources of the Syrian desert and steppe compared favourably with those of Arabia. Access to permanent rivers like the |*sˆı was certainly a great asset for any tribe. Euphrates, and later the cA The prospects of good grazing in the areas which had been dominated by the Mawaˆ lıˆ clans eventually generated more massive tribal shifts.

From the late 1740s onwards this Wahhaˆ bıˆ-Sacuˆ dıˆ coalition slowly established its authority over the Najd and some adjacent areas. The movement showed a remarkable hostility against local religious traditions, in particular saint veneration, but through his political and military skills, Ibn Sacuˆ d won over many tribes. The tribesmen were obliged to accept the Wahhaˆ bıˆ principles, but also shared in the spoils of war. The Wahhaˆ bıˆ movement did not only challenge local tribal power and religious practice in the Najd.

Often carab tended the sheep, goats and cattle of villagers. The carab who owned camels played a vital role in transporting the crop to Hama or elsewhere. Individual tribesmen lived in villages and were sometimes engaged in farming. In the course of the nineteenth century the number of settled tribesmen increased sharply, but this process was only to gain, momentum during the second half of the century. Prior to that time individual or small groups of carab only adopted a sedentary way of life when the prospects of farming were favourable, which was hardly the case during the period under study, and they returned to the pastoral life when the economic situation in the villages deteriorated.

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