Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Capitalism in the Ottoman Bulgaria. Credit Institutions in the 19th century – Comparative Analysis of the Norms

Atanasov Hristiyan, SULSIT

The study of the Ottoman credit system, its role in the economic and social history of the Ottoman Empire, and its foundation – the credit institutions, is of utmost importance. However, credit and credit institutions are a nearly neglected issue in the modern studies. This is particularly true when considering the genesis of capitalist in the Bulgarian lands The report proposed here aims to provide a detailed overview of the credit institutions operating in the Bulgarian lands and, above all, to make a comparative analysis of their regulatory framework. This means that the regulatory acts under which they are operated in the 19th century will be presented and analyzed. Some of them are well known to the scholars – for example, the statute of the “common benefit” funds, but others are almost unknown – the statute of the “orphan” funds and its supplements and regulations. Rules of some credit companies are published and known, but those of many others are still not published. These analyzes should reveal the credit institutions of actual capitalist type, which have functioned in the Bulgarian lands in the 19th century. Conclusions will be made within Max Weber's theoretical model of the genesis of capitalist and the activity of various credit institutions. Through the normative and quantitative analysis, I will be able to decide whether the activities of the various credit institutions were related to the religious and moral-rational action (according to God's will), or were related to a new capitalist type of rationality. As for the latter, the profit was a sufficient motive and institutions could pursue it without needing any additional moral motivation. Direct analysis of the institutions’ normative documents should clarify which of the institutions are of a capitalist type and which are not.


Keywords: Credit Institutions, Capitalism, Ottoman Empire