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Crowds and SultansUrban Protest in Late Medieval Egypt and Syria$
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Amina Elbendary

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789774167171

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774167171.001.0001

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The Mamluk State Transformed

The Mamluk State Transformed

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 The Mamluk State Transformed
Source:
Crowds and Sultans
Author(s):

Amina Elbendary

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774167171.003.0002

This chapter examines the transformations in the state structure and organization of power that occurred in Egypt and Syria in the late Mamluk period. It considers the various economic and political challenges that the Mamluk sultanate faced and the ways that the rulers dealt with them, including the recurrent waves of plague, gold shortage, and currency devaluation. It shows that the responses of the Mamluk sultans to these economic crises and challenges resulted in long-term transformations that changed the nature of the state and of the Mamluk institutions. Many of these responses have been viewed as deviations from the proper norm of rule and governance, as signs of the corruption and greed of the amirs and administrators, and as causes for the “decline” of the Mamluk state. In particular, the chapter looks at the policies adopted by Mamluk sultans and the Mamluk administration to address the economic challenges, such as trade monopolies and additional taxation.

Keywords:   taxation, Egypt, Syria, Mamluk sultanate, plague, gold shortage, currency devaluation, economic crises, Mamluk state, trade monopolies

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