By Thomas Philipp
Thomas Philipp's learn of Acre combines the main broad use to this point of neighborhood Arabic resources with advertisement files in Europe to make clear a area and tool middle many determine because the starting of recent Palestinian historical past. The 3rd greatest urban in eighteenth-century Syria—after Aleppo and Damascus—Acre was once the capital of a politically and economically distinctive area at the Mediterranean coast that incorporated what's this present day northern Israel and southern Lebanon. within the eighteenth century, Acre grew dramatically from a small fishing village to a fortified urban of a few 25,000 population. funds plants (first cotton, then grain) made Acre the guts of alternate and political strength and associated it inextricably to the realm financial system. Acre used to be markedly varied from different towns within the sector: its city society consisted nearly completely of immigrants looking their fortune.
The upward thrust and fall of Acre within the eighteenth and 19th centuries, Thomas Philipp argues,...
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Extra info for Acre. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831
Thus the above-mentioned east-west trading links from inland were not significantly strengthened. This disconnectedness of the trading networks might also explain, at least partially, why connecting highways between Damascus and Acre, Nablus, Jerusalem, and Jaffa, etc. remained in such bad repair. The flow of trade depended on markets and producers, and also shifted with the political circumstances. When, for instance, Iran sank into chaos with the end of Safavid rule in the eighteenth century, silk exports to Aleppo ceased.
This twofold process of political decay at the center and increasing European economic penetration was accompanied by a third process. Local power centers sprang up, and limited regional integration, political and/or economic, took place. In the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire the effects of these changes took two different forms. On the one hand, traditional power centers, long submerged under central imperial rule, resurfaced again during the eighteenth century. Examples include the consolidation of dynastic power of the local al-‘Azm family in Damascus and the rise to power of the Neo-Mamluks in Cairo, ruling over an Egypt independent in all but name.
The detailed contours of the general trend are formed by such events as plague, famine, war, and earthquakes. Clearly, these factors contributed to the rate of growth and decline but in themselves were not decisive for the direction of the development. The plague in 1760 reduced the population by roughly a third, but the population continued to increase rapidly in the 1760s, while after 1785 every disaster accelerated the general downward trend of the population size. A graph, with annotations, showing the shifts in population between 1700 and 1840 appears in appendix A.