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Debito, imperialismo e nuove
asimmetrie nel tardo Impero
Debt and imperialism were two sides of the same coin in the period between the failure
of the Ottoman Empire in 1875 and the Great War. The heavy financial exposure,
which transferred into the hands of European creditors part of the richest and highestyielding income of the Empire, deprived Constantinople of a substantial portion of its
economic and political sovereignty. Consequently, it paved the way to an increasingly
stringent European influence over the Ottoman economy. From an economic point of
view, the Empire suffered of the inflow of European capital in search of a high return.
The progressive indebtedness of the Empire and its consequent sovereign default,
which led to the imposition of an international financial commission, paved the way
to a progressive protest movement, at home and abroad, against Ottoman economic
policy, especially with regard to the emergence of new socio-economic inequalities. The
fascination for nationalism and protectionism, in their variants and economic structures,
will influence the politics of the Empire well beyond the Great War.
Keywords: Public debt, imperialism, economic inequalities, reforms, free trade