This essay proposes a new framework to study the history of the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by focusing on the transformation of Ottoman political structures in the seventeenth century. It offers a summary of Ottoman political history up to the sixteenth century, underlines the socioeconomic transformation of the late sixteenth century and its impact on politics, and argues that the rebellions and depositions of the seventeenth century limited the political power of the Ottoman monarch and changed the nature of his relations with other major actors in the polity. This new political dispensation, which the author calls the “Second Empire,” came to be remembered retrospectively as a corrupt version of the patrimonial empire that it had replaced mainly because its history was produced by the Ottoman New Order that destroyed the political structures of the Second Empire in the nineteenth century.

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