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By Thomas Philipp

Thomas Philipp's learn of Acre combines the main wide use thus far of neighborhood Arabic resources with advertisement documents in Europe to make clear a zone and tool heart many determine because the starting of contemporary Palestinian historical past. The 3rd biggest urban in eighteenth-century Syria—after Aleppo and Damascus—Acre was once the capital of a politically and economically precise area at the Mediterranean coast that integrated what's at the present time 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 plants (first cotton, then grain) made Acre the guts of exchange and political energy and associated it inextricably to the realm economic system. Acre used to be markedly diversified from different towns within the area: its city society consisted nearly solely of immigrants looking their fortune.

The upward thrust 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

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The crops could be sold directly to the French in the coastal towns, bypassing Aleppo. The economic center of gravity moved slowly from inland Syria to the coastal lands of the southwest. Long-distance trade lost some of its importance, and local cultivation of cash crops became a significant economic factor. The overall framework of these distinct but related processes—the decay of central power in the Ottoman Empire, the concomitant rise of local power centers on the periphery, the early integration of some Arab regions into the European-dominated world economy, and the shift of economic activity and commercial gains from the Syrian inland area to the coastal regions—provides the context for the history of Acre and its hinterland during the period.

With the reestablishment of Ottoman central power in Syria after 1840 Acre sank into oblivion, and the military highway between Egypt and Syria played no further role until British troops set out from Egypt to conquer Syria during World War I. 33 The major military clashes occurred here during the period, with Damascus representing local and imperial interests and Acre representing its own local and/or Egyptian interests. Perhaps the best way to consider the local military staging areas and highways is to look at fortifications and walled cities.

At the very time the Ottomans were putting up fortifications around Jaffa, Ẓāhīr al-‘Umar was repairing the fortifications of Tiberias. In the 1770s Beirut was fortified by Aḥmad Pasha al-Jazzār. But the single most important development was the fortification of Acre begun by Ẓāhīr al-‘Umar in mid-century and carried on by Aḥmad Pasha al-Jazzār and his successors. As long as Ẓāhīr al-‘Umar was based in the eastern Galilee, the governor of Damascus would move along the southwestern highway from Damascus, cross the Jordan at the Bridge of Jacob’s Daughters, and try to break Ẓāhīr al-‘Umar’s power by besieging him in Tiberias.

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


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