By Albert Hourani

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II We are here concerned with 'the beginnings of modernisation'; that is to say, with the third of our four periods. What kinds of source are important for this period we have already said, and in rcgard LO cach of them we can ask a further question: what can we expect it to tell us ?

H This relation between government and urban society may help to expl ain the forms and limits of activity in the Islamic City. If we look at the city from a bove, from the point of view of the ruler, we may have the impression of a passive society on which a hierarchy of control has been imposed. At the apex stood the ruler and his 'household', a group closely identified with him , almost in fa ct an extension of his personality: this included his family, his harem , his palace officials, his personal army, whether 'slave' or 'free', with a professional 'asabiyya oriented towards maintaining him in power.

European banks and merchants controlled the growing sector of the economy, and European concessionary com panies built the public utilities. Oriental Christian and Jewish merchants mostly had foreign protection , and whole communities had links with one or other power-the Catholics with France, the Orthodox with Russia. Muslims as well as Christians and Jews sent their sons and daughters to mission schools. Not only the embassies in Istanbul but the consulates in provincial cities were centres of social cohesion and political life.

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