Acre: The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831 by Thomas Philipp

By Thomas Philipp

Thomas Philipp's examine of Acre combines the main huge use to this point of neighborhood Arabic assets with advertisement files in Europe to make clear a quarter and gear heart many determine because the starting of contemporary 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 particular sector at the Mediterranean coast that integrated 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 vegetation (first cotton, then grain) made Acre the heart of alternate and political energy and associated it inextricably to the realm economic system. Acre was once markedly varied from different towns within the zone: its city society consisted nearly solely of immigrants looking their fortune.

The upward push and fall of Acre within the eighteenth and 19th centuries, Thomas Philipp argues,...

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Extra resources for Acre: The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831 (History & Society of the Modern Middle East) by Thomas Philipp (2002-04-15)

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One aim of this study is to reconstruct the history of a region. This region does not fit easily into the history of any one of the provinces of the Ottoman administration. It is not the history of either the vilayet of Sidon or that of Damascus, though both provinces provide the context for this region. Minorities of all sorts play a considerable role in this region, but it is not a history of sects that is to be told here. ”1 Although Acre plays a pivotal role in the story, it is not simply the history of a city that is to be presented here.

Read with the critical eye of comparative analysis, these reports yield an enormous amount of information. A second set of sources is useful precisely on issues that the local histories gloss over or provide only incidental glimpses into; the economy and, in particular, agriculture and commerce with Europe. Here the French consular correspondence from Acre and Sidon,14 and also from Tripoli, Aleppo, and Rosetta, are of great value. Commerce was the main topic. Here we find detailed reports on the interaction of French merchants with local potentates, powerful administrators, Arab traders, and the peasants of the hinterland.

But naval warfare was of secondary importance. To begin with, neither the Mamluks nor the rulers in Acre seem to have had many ships available for this purpose. The port of Jaffa offered no shelter against storms, and even when supplied by the sea, Jaffa could not withstand a siege from the land side. Acre turned out to be a much more formidable obstacle from sea as well as from land. Ḥasan Ḳapūdān Pasha conquered Acre after a bombardment from the sea in 1775, but only because the octogenarian Ẓāhīr al-‘Umar had already lost control over Acre, and his artillery refused to return fire.

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