Ottoman Credit System and Usurers in Agriculture in the Nineteenth Century: Practices of Usury Contracts (Selem)
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Ottoman agriculture was usually set in small-scale farms. Peasants borrowed in years of low production and encountered risk during the bad harvest years. Eventually, they were forced into indebtedness as they borrowed to pay back the previous year's loan. These borrowings sometimes resulted in selling the farm and land under the debt burden. This study aims to explain the heavy costs and social destruction on the peasants that were created by usurers. The usury regulations are examined by focusing on the importance of lending in the agricultural sector. Documents from the Ottoman archives were mainly used for the study.
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