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How did decentralization beneift other members of Ottoman society?

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woahxitsbeanster | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted July 8, 2010 at 11:41 PM via web

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How did decentralization beneift other members of Ottoman society?

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ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 14, 2010 at 12:31 AM (Answer #1)

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The Ottoman Empire, like a number of the world empires that preceded it, governed a vast range of territory.  For this reason, it had to devise a system of government that matched the demands of such an expanse of land.  The resulting governmental structure was highly decentralized, relying on the rule of territorial entities and the payment of tribute/taxes to the Ottoman government.  This system certainly benefited members of the populations under Ottoman rule.  Since there was no direct oversight by Ottoman rulers, different societies under Ottoman control could more or less govern themselves as long as they paid tribute to the Ottoman government.

This decentralization also resulted in a degree of religious toleration as well.  Ottoman rulers would encourage conversion for those who were not Muslim, but in a larger sense they respected the religious practices of their population.  On a larger level, the Ottoman populations could live their own lives as long as they demonstrated their loyalty when it was required of them. 

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