By Richard Clogg
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The foundations of the Ionian society and state had been slowly laid during the four centuries of Venetian domination. 16 The swift changes that took place during the thirty years under 44 examination can be rendered meaningful only if seen as a transformation of a determinate social and political structure. If we are to start from the prevailing mode of production the best approach would be through the question of land tenure. Khiotis in his monograph on the feudal estates of Corfu 17 writes that the first feudal grants were made by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios in the eleventh century.
So far as the areas with substantial Greek-speaking population are concerned, there is no evidence of large scale expropriations other than those carried out by Ali Pasa of Jannina. 57 J But there is little doubt that, by the second half of the eighteenth century, the non-economic pressures on the peasantry went on increasing amid conditions of widespread anarchy and maladministration in the Ottoman provinces. Faced with these pressures the peasant had two radical options: to cross the border of the law or that of the F~pire.
37 This is neither a formal question of nationality nor indeed of national consciousness. this last respect the opposite seems to have been the case. In The sense of nationality was generally far more pronounced in the Greek diaspora communities of the late eighteenth century than amongst the Greek-speaking Christian subjects of the Porte. From the point of view of the economy, however, it is important to look specifically at the nature of the mercantile activity of the diaspora Greeks and to look at what part of it, if any, was related to the economy of the Greek lands and in what ways.
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