As a result of the modernization process transforming much of the world in the nineteenth century, the changing structure and function of the state necessitated the development of a relationship between states and their subjects. In the context of this relationship, states used various instruments to monitor, control, and shape their subjects in order to ensure the survival of the state machinery. Education acquired a pivotal importance in shaping subjects according to state policies. In the Ottoman Empire its importance also began to be perceived in the first half of the century, but it was Hamidian era that such a policy manifested itself most clearly. Yet, for the people living in the villages, it was the agrarian economy that would continue to determine and shape their lives. Thus villages became a field of struggle between the state, which was attempting to penetrate rural life (and, by extension, the lives of the peasants) through education, and the realities of an agrarian existence and the economic and social relationships that it creates. For that reason, a history of education without a comprehensive analysis of the village conditions would be incomplete. This book aims to fill this blank in the history of education by focusing on the socio-economic structure in the villages that derives from agrarian economy. In doing so it also offers new sights to the field of social history through a close examination of the lives of peasants and the complex relationships between them.
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