The Aftermath of the Tailors' War
It was easy to imagine the beautiful summer day that reigned outside. A few intrepid rays of light managed to pierce the thick red Damask walls of the tent. The division was showered with a warm orange glow that highlighted the lacquered chairs and the table's metal inlays. The curtains that led into the tent fluttered, revealing two perfectly immobile soldiers on guard duty, their ornate halberds planted on the dusty soil.
Outside, iron nails noisily struck the Earth amid the fanfare of the luxurious encampment. It was designed to impress. In a few hours, a small city of colourful tents had risen in Constantinople's outskirts. The Civil War was seemingly over.
At least for Uwais. He had scarcely recovered his senses after the kidnapping when he found himself in this tent. For two hours or so Uwais had been alone, after waking up in a dingy carriage as it entered the camp. Meanwhile, no one had spoken to him. The disappointing sight of Ali's banners had informed Uwais that his silence was also probably for the best.
The Caliph lay looking at the tent's pointed ceiling when a tall figure entered. The man was dressed in his best, a green tunic with a gold yellow surcoat covering his sides, shoulders and back. His bearded head was crowned by a huge, antiquated turban in the style of the Ottoman court. Suleiman, was that his name? He was a Turk that worked as a representative of a few of the city's guilds to the Caliph.
Suleiman stood at the entry to the tent, looking at Uwais. Finally, he motioned for the Caliph to follow him. As he did, a silver bracelet, which Uwais did not remember, glistened in his arm. A promotion.
The March of Unity
An illustration of the dignataries that participated in the parade ahead of the two Caliphs.
On July 15, 1612, having already captured Uwais and secured Constantinople, Ali and his armies paraded throughout the city. The sheer volume of troops that marched through the narrow streets and plazas of old Byzantium was intended as a show of military might, a propaganda piece to commemorate the success of Ali's bid for the throne and to intimidate his enemies. As a final touch, in the carriage that transported the new Caliph, at the heart of the procession, was his brother, on equal footing. The procession ended with both of them and a number of high officials entering the Ayasofya and praying together.
It was as if to give off the idea that the war had been a minor spat between brothers, an insignificant fight that had been resolved amicably over a plate of lentils. Most historians describe both Caliphs acting in a friendly manner towards each other. Others, such as Murray and Shirazi, are more skeptical. Murray in particular presents several first-hand reports that seem to indicate a colder and more reserved attitude between the twins.
In any case, it appears that Ali either intimidated or convinced Uwais to participate in this delicate act of showmanship to allow for a smoother transition of power. Uwais was to spend the remainder of his life in imposed exile, first in a section of the old Warda Palace, but later in his own residence after Baghdad's devastating Fire of 1623.
The Aftermath of the Civil War
Having formally stepped in as Caliph, Ali moved swiftly to put down any remaining dissidents, curry favour in disloyal regions and pave the way for the Jalayirid Caliphate's economic and social recovery. Harun Jahagir was sent west with a sizable force to ease the surrender of rebel strongholds in the Balkans, and to man important forts in disrepair, both along the northern borders and strategic positions further inland.Besides this military mission, Jahagir was also tasked with negotiating whatever terms were necessary to ensure the support of the inhabitants in this region. The general performed admirably, tactfully renewing the treaties that ensured the autonomy and religious freedom of the large Christian and Jewish populations of the Balkans. Also of import was the integration of Legitimist soldiers back into the army and Harun's personal efforts in rooting out corruption and installing efficient governors in the reason. It was for this impressive reliability during and after the war that Harun Jahagir was to remain Ali's chief lieutenant throughout the latter's reign.
Meanwhile, the Caliph and the bulk of his army returned to Baghdad. Another triumph was staged there, sadly without the previous one's theatrics. Ali rode alone. Still, these were quite less pompous than those in Constantinople, as Ali intended to begin his tenure as rightful Caliph in earnest. The year of 1613 was spent removing presumably disloyal officials from the system, reoccupying forts and cities and reestablishing regular diplomatic relations with surrounding nations. After this process, so as to assuage the empire's growing pains and strengthen his hold on power, a number of reforms and procedures were enacted. Some of these were extensions or reformulations of policies already introduced during the war (see Chapter 31). However, while most of the latter were understandably concerned with the military or the procurement of men for the administration, the newer reforms were more in line with a restructuring of the regional and central administration and especially the relationships between them.
Various ministers of Ali's government.
The central administration was streamlined. A number of departments were created for each topic of government – War, Foreign Relations, Religious Matters, Trade, Espionage and so on – to reduce administrative multitasking and to foster a specialization of each section of the bureaucracy so as to increase efficiency. Each department answered to an appointed minister that reported directly to the Caliph. Periodic inspections of activities and financial irregularities were formalised. Also important was the creation of an inquisitorial office, tasked with rooting out threats to the Caliph's authority.
A thorough list of all government officials across the Caliphate was drawn up. This list was notable for leading to the normalisation or abolishment of many ad hoc appointments and positions. Leaders of largely autonomous communities within the Caliphate – Bedouin and Turkoman tribes, religious groups and guilds – were awarded permanent positions within the administration as a means of integrating them with the government at large. The practice of ignoring elected leaders of cities and towns across the Jalayirid Empire was also much diminished. Extensive background checks were mandated before imperial confirmation of candidates were given. Direct appointments for these lower offices were also common, safe in areas – such as the the greater trading cities – where freedom of choice had been cautiously awarded to the local elites. Furthermore, various key figures in the Caliphate's client states – the Bosporan Republic and the Yemenite Sultanate – were also made, theoretically, into civil servants.
The regional administrations were to mirror the capital's in all but scope. Their power, while by no means residual, was nothing compared to that enjoyed before the war in places like the Maghreb. Their appointments were subject to heavy vetting, causing local administration to be rather cumbersome, although the issue was mostly solved in the latter half of Ali's reign, during which most such restrictions being relaxed. It is unknown whether this was pragmatic thinking by Ali or rather a calculated step, with the earlier restrictions imposed as a means of enforcing centralisation, as a sort of 'purge' of dangerous local elements, replacing them with loyalists.. Even after this relaxation, government officials were regularly dispatched to keep an eye on troubling activities, real or imagined.
The war ravaged the countryside, especially in Anatolia. Irrigation works were often destroyed as part of scorched earth policies. In order to lead to the resumption of normal economic activity, Ali lead a large-scale reconstruction of damaged farmland and infrastructure.
In the economic front, Ali ordered a full report on the damages caused by the war. This report, dated 1614, along with the previously mentioned administrative list, has thankfully been recuperated after having been deemed lost in the Fire of 1623, giving us a rather thorough insight into the economic state of various regions after the war, as well as before – judging by the measures that were deemed necessary to revitalize the economy. The data in this report led to a series of policies with the aims of recuperating abandoned land, settling veterans, promoting irrigation and drainage systems, repairing roads and canal systems, as well as encouraging the expansion of long-distance trade.
This last point is rather important. The economical effects of war, though a boon to blacksmiths, ravaged the growing merchant houses that shipped products from far-away India and China to the Caliphate and Europe. Piracy had increased tremendously, and many merchants had seen their ships and goods requisitioned for the war effort. Most of these were returned to their rightful owners, and compensation was provided for the rest. Warships were designated to protect merchant shipping as well as hunt down pirates, although the latter was mostly unsuccessful during Ali's reign. Pirate ships tended to be light and maneuverable, unlike heavy trade ships and the cannon-laden navy. Experimentation with lighter ships that could more effectively use wind power was mostly successful, although piracy in the Indian Ocean would only be truly obliterated in the second half of the 17th century.
Rich merchants played an ever greater role in the state after the Civil War.
There was however, another matter: the treasury. Five years of war, rebuilding efforts and compensation to soldiers, merchants and officials took a toll on the once bright Jalayirid finances. The ambitious new reforms introduced an element of uncertainty, and Ali was reluctant to introduce new taxes. So, for the first years of Ali's reign, the state borrowed heavily from the rich merchants that, while having suffered with the war, had the most to gain from Ali's faction. These loans were theoretically donations, but they came at the cost of granting important positions to the creditors that undermined Ali's methodical state order. While these loans were a minor concern, they set a dangerous precedent.
Al-Andalus: A Region Adrift
Old Muslim Iberia at its near maximum extent.
For the central administration and Ali in particular, the topic of Al-Andalus was a severely preoccupying one. Having been conquered some 60 years before – in 15 the region was already showing an unwelcome eagerness to slip away from Baghdad's control.
A broad study of the factors that defined life in the Iberian Peninsula in the half-century since its incorporation into the Caliphate puts several trends in focus.
Firstly, the region's Spaniards were staunchly Catholic and openly resisted Muslim rule for quite a while. Resistance was facilitated by the lack of reliable roads and the area's rugged terrain. Conversion efforts were met with little success. Frustrated, the Muslim rulers of the Peninsula began imposing Draconian measures: the Yellow army was quartered at the expense of the locals, punishments for aiding rebels were increased and often targeted entire families. These unpalatable conditions convinced many to cross the Tagus, with many moving to the Spanish colonies afterwards. The slow trickle of Muslim immigrants was heavily bolstered, with favourable land grants being offered, which included large amounts of abandoned farmland, as well as considerable privileges – tax exemption for a variable amount of years was the norm. Merchants were also attracted to the region's new markets and (again) favourable governmental practices.
Just like in other colonizing ventures, many of the participants were single men who would endeavor to take native wives, who were offered a chance at higher status and security. With a sizable base of support, most measures were relaxed, although sporadic revolts remained until the 1570's. The gradual addition of other territories in the peninsula to the province at Spain's expense did in fact better the Muslims' position, with their constant military victories convincing many locals that insurrection was simply not an option.
By 1580 colonization and marriage policies had paid off and the territory was fast becoming Islamified. Tax exemption and the granting of civil liberties to the cities had created prosperous burghs with a sizable merchant class. The governor's court at Cordoba was also becoming a center for artists and scholars, who stayed in the region after the long works undertaken to restore structures from the previous period of Muslim occupation, mainly mosques. Construction of roads, canals and the introduction of innovative irrigation techniques – as well as the reparation of older systems – increased commercial and agricultural output.
The Great Mosque of Cordoba
At the turn of the century, the brilliance of the regional court rivaled the Caliph's. That there was a regional court at all was remarkable and a touch preoccupying, with the post of governor elsewhere in the Caliphate being a mostly administrative job, even before the Civil War. Indeed, the governor of Al-Andalus was often chosen by the local potentates, and his role was more like that of a king than a centrally-appointed bureaucrat. By this time, the position of governor began to be hoarded by the Hatimid family. This dynastic focus only further alarmed the central government. Still, no action was taken, with Caliph Hasan III being deathly ill and the court absorbed in the looming succession crisis. Thusly, policies throughout undertaken the latter half of the 16th century by the local government – together with benign neglect from Baghdad – resulted in an increasingly prosperous region whose people were mainly a mix of native Spaniard influences with Arab immigrants, plus a sizable Christian and Jewish minority – all of which were zealously protective of their rights.
The Andalusian question was a difficult one for Ali. His efforts at standardisation as well as centralisation both collided with the interests of the locals. With initial efforts being resisted, the Caliph stubbornly went further, being eventually presented with a petition for the conservation of the region's rights, after a major crackdown on local authority. Defeated by the dogged determination of a territory 4300 kilometres away, Ali threw the towel in and confirmed many of the region's rights, remaining content with the occasional briefing on the governorate's loyalties.
Ali's Absolutism and Legacy
This lack of will to exert authority was very much an anomaly in Ali's behaviour. Typically very forceful and persuasive, he sought to impose his personal authority on the entire breadth of his territories. His crucial splitting of the administration's departments followed a policy of 'Divide and Conquer' that ensured his supremacy. While his power theoretically derived from his ability set out a path for the empire's Muslims in accordance with Islamic law, Ali imposed a form of personal autocracy upon all of his edicts. His agents policed the empire guaranteeing strict obedience to the god-given Caliph.
All in all, Ali's reign was a decisive milestone for the Jalayirid Dynasty, which could very well have fallen sooner had the mild-mannered Uwais allowed centrifugal forces to progressively tear the Empire from the inside. The new Caliph's policies, while not perfect, allowed for renewed prosperity under his strong rule. His energetic reforms breathed new life into the increasingly anachronistic bureaucracy, promoting one single standard throughout the empire that would weld together the deceptively fragile state for the coming century. However, resourceful men such as himself did not come once every generation, much less into positions of supreme power. Perhaps the greatest shortsight in his policies were that they were enacted by Ali for Ali. In hindsight, his reforms failed to stop the dynasty's decay dead in its tracks, arguably due to the Empire's simply immense size and population.
Understandably, Ali's rule was very much focused inwards. The system needed reform and the economy needed healing. In addition, the surrounding areas were less than attentive to the Caliphate: to the north, Europe was absorbed in its conflicts, as were India and Russia to the east.This phase of regrowth came at an excellent time for the Caliphate, although few people could expect that the primer for its downfall was to come from the outside.
 While this new palace was only occupied by Uwais for a few years before his death, it would forever remain associated with the deposed Caliph in popular imagining thanks to a series of poems by by 19th century authors such as Dandachi and Taghvaei.
Aside from increasing the overall efficiency of governmental activities, this division had the welcome effect of ending the trend of powerful viziers accumulating excessive power in their hands. In Ali's government, the role of mediator between the various departments fell exclusively to the Caliph himself.
 These measures sought to increase the proximity, at least formally, between the Caliphate's client states and the central government. The disconnect between these disturbed Ali: the Yemenites had barely provided any assistance to Ali during the war, and the Bosporans had openly fought him to guarantee their access to the Mediterranean, although they did so valiantly. This policy fits neatly into the Caliph's attempts at rationalizing the administration and asserting more effective control, especially over the Bosporans, whose grain supplies were crucial to sustaining a growing population.
 Despite being an incredibly driven individual, Ali was also able to be pragmatic. Either way, these two policies removed influental and problematic characters from the regional admnistration and then restored privileges to loyal officials, which made them grateful to the Caliph. Corruption was severely reduced both through this and heavy penalties. Indeed, Ali's rule, though heavy-handed, remains one of the least plagued by corruption among the Jalayirids'.
 Just like some Jalayirid rulers before Ali were confronted with strong viziers, those after him would have to contend with powerful traders who provided funding for the government in exchange for the fulfillment of their private agendas. While this was seemingly anathema to Ali's nearly absolute rule, most of his successors lacked his administrative genius and capability for reform. Thus, Ali's attempts to institutionalise a strong, decisive role for the office of Caliph were, in the end, flawed in that they assumed that his descendants would have the ability or even the will to personally oversee the well-being of so huge an Empire. The entropy in such a system was far too large, and it appears that the Jalayirid Caliph only learned the virtues of proper decentralisation after the window in which they could have been useful.
Curiously enough, a large amount of Sephardi Jews returned to the Peninsula as well, although these were a fraction of the amount expelled during Spanish rule. They were also joined by Mizrahim and Maghrebim from elsewhere in the Caliphate.
Many of these places of worship had a long history of being repurposed to fit whatever religion was dominant in the Peninsula at the time. The present-day site of the Old Mosque of Lisbon housed once a Roman temple, then a Christian church, in turn a mosque, a church again and a mosque once more. Little structural remains of all but the last two remain; however, the constant recycling of the weathered stones from the previous shrine mean that stone blocks with Roman mason's markings, Christian crosses and Arabic text coexist side by side.
 Indeed, Al-Andalus would remain in many ways an anomaly within the Caliphate, and would be one of the first nations to secede in practice from the Caliphate at the turn of the 18th century.