What were the two major functions of the Ottoman bureaucracy during the Middle Ages?

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The Ottoman Empire's efficient, multilevel bureaucracy is often considered responsible for its vitality, military strength, and broad economic expansion.

One main function of the Ottoman bureaucracy was encouraging imperial cohesion by keeping the provinces loyal to the central government. The other main function was to collect taxes. Uniting these functions was delivering the tax money to the central government and ensuring that enough was distributed to the periphery to maintain those communities' loyalty. Both functions also supported the maintenance of effective military forces.

The Ottoman state was heavily bureaucratic, with the central government allowing a certain amount of regional autonomy yet keeping those regions in check by appointing individuals to representative positions. The people holding those posts were expected to have primary loyalty to the sultan.

Elite administrators were often from the Balkans and the Caucasus, and part of their family was connected to the sultan's household. The locally-born participants were confined to lower-level offices. Many of these were secretaries (scribes) who drew up official documents.

Responsibility for tax collection was in local and regional hands. Taxes were assessed in the iqta system of land division and associated assessment of tribute and tax. The large landowners and governors, or pashas, were appointed by the sultan.

The vizir was the top administrator, reporting to the sultan. Lesser vizirs were in charge of the military, civil service, and regions. The vizirs' council made domestic and foreign policy decisions and oversaw relations with regional governments.

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