The Decline of the Ottomans
The Ottoman Empire into which Crete was subsumed in 1669 was already in decline. The protracted, costly Cretan War had undermined the economy, while corruption and maladministration in the ranks of the bureaucracy had assumed endemic proportions. Administrative offices were put up for sale with state sanction, and interested parties were obliged to deposit a sum commensurate with the position in the public purse. Having been the best organized and disciplined force in the military, the Janissary corps gradually degenerated into a fount of disorder and lawlessness.

Particularly with regard to Crete, distance from the administrative capital in Constantinople and inability to exercise systematic control often enabled local officials to treat the local population in a high-handed way. On occasion contempt was even shown for imperial decrees. Cases of maladministration and repression bred resentment in the Christian population, triggering the revolutionary movements of the 19th century.

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Sultan Mustapha III, 1757 - 1774 (Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
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