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Folayan, Kolawole (1970) Tripoli During the Reign of Yusuf Pasha Qaramanli. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033837

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Abstract

The subject of this study is the political and economic development of Tripoli from 1795 to 1835. Its central concern is to describe the attempts made by Yusuf Pasha Qaramanli to make Tripoli a power in North Africa and to examine why these attempts failed. The attenuation of Ottoman rule in Tripoli, especially in the 17th century, and the gradual ascent of the Kuloglu class provided the political and social background to the emergence of the local dynasty of the Qaramanlis, who from 1711 contined to rule Tripoli independently of the Porte until 1855. The founder of this dynasty, Ahmad, the Great, 1711-45, led Tripoli through a period of political revival and economic prosperity. But in 1795, with Yusuf Qaramanli's seizure of power through a coup d'etat, Tripoli was in a state of political and economic decadence. The Pasha's first ambition was to make Tripoli a maritime power, which necessitated the building of a strong navy. This he used to gain international recognition of Tripoli from the European powers, as well as from America, It was also used to provide substantial revenue derived from privateering. By 1805 Tripoli had become a power in the Mediterranean. The second stage of the Pasha's programme, 1806-1817, concerned his attempts to unify the country politically and to centralize its authority around the nucleus already created in Tripoli. This involved a systematic pacification of the interior, not only in the neighbourhood of Tripoli but also in the regions of Cyrenaica, Ghadames and Fezzan. By 1817 this had been largely achieved. But the Pasha could do little about the economic problems which had set in: first, how to pursue privateering at profit level in the face of growing international pressure, and second, how to maximise the revenue from Tripoli's expanding external commerce. Between 1817 and 1824 the Pasha attempted to complete his political programme for Tripoli by creating an empire. But his ambitious design to extend Tripoli's power beyond Fezzan to Barnu failed, mainly because of the inadequacy of Tripoli's economic resources for such a venture. From 1825 the Pasha decided to attempt again that experiment which had succeeded in 1795-1805 - making Tripoli a maritime power, and consolidating its central authority. But this policy of revival only succeeded for a short time, to about 1828. By 1852, Tripoli had not only failed to re-emerge as a power, it had actually been seized by a revolution, the result of a combination of political, dynastic, external, and especially economic factors. The revolution of 1832-5, partly dynastic and partly political, was not merely a metropolitan affair; it embraced the whole country from the coast to Fezzan in the south. But it was soon spent. Out of the resultant stalemate, the Porte decided to benefit by filling the power-vacuum, Ottoman forces under Mustafa Najib Pasha peacefully took Tripoli in May 1835, abolishing thereby the Qaramanli dynasty, and with it, Tripoli's political independence. This study thus ends with the beginning of the second Ottoman occupation of Tripoli.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00033837
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:21
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/33837

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