- Fellowship Dates 2015-2015
- Research Topic Commandeering Empires: Ottoman North Africa in the Age of Revolution, 1789-1835
- Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
- Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate University of Pennsylvania
The intersection of North African piracy and Ottoman imperial history offers compelling insights into the dynamic history between North African and Ottoman history as well as the compelling political history of Alexandria, Tunis and Tripoli. This research looks at the intersection between piracy and imperial rivalries at the turn of the 19th century. Specifically, it argues that the Ottoman controlled cities of Alexandria, Tripoli and Tunis were politically tied to one another and that the officials of these spaces oftentimes worked together to pool their resources and join powers against the various invading forces of the nineteenth century. It focuses on the Qaramanli and the bin Ali dynasties, the two corsair families who served as the governors of Ottoman controlled Tripoli and Tunis in the 18th and 19th centuries and their political ties with Egypt and argues that as French forces were invading Abukir and redefining the terms of political international between the north and south shores of the Mediterranean, there were key political connections between these two political families and the forces invading Egypt. Indeed, as the irrepressible rulers of Tunis and Tripoli were busying themselves striking alliances between the competing British and French powers, Alexandria became the hub for interaction between these rulers and the various imperial entities vying for control in the Mediterranean. Thus, these local actors are the compelling lens to analyze the interplay between regional and broader imperial agendas and to examine the overarching dynamics and strategies of competing empires during a time of region-wide conflict. Legal records located in the Egyptian National Archives pertain to the historical and economic relations between the three cities and elucidate how the courts controlled disputes between traders and merchants of these three cities. Additional archival sources contain the Mamluk’s administrative and policy records that offer important clues into the historical relationship between the cities.