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Yusuf Karamanli
Pasha of Tripoli
Preceded by Ali II Burghul Pasha Cezayrli (usuper)
Succeeded by Ali II
Personal details
Born 1766
Tripoli, Ottoman Tripolitania
Died 1838 (aged 72)
Religion Islam

Yusuf (ibn Ali) Karamanli, Caramanli or Qaramanli or al-Qaramanli (most commonly Yusuf Karamanli), (1766 – 1838) was the best-known Pasha (reigned 1795-1832) of the Karamanli dynasty (1711-1835) of Tripolitania (in present-day Libya).

Assumption of the throneEdit

Karamanli was born in Tripoli in 1770, a member of the Karamanli dynasty (named after a city of Karaman in Turkey), was originally of Turkish origin.[1] His brother, Hamet Karamanli, was deposed in 1793 by Ottoman officer Ali Benghul; Benghul proceeded to restore Ottoman rule over Tripoli. In 1795, however, Yusuf returned to Tripoli, and with the aid of the Bey (ruler) of Tunis, seized the throne, exiling Hamet and restoring Karamanli rule.

Barbary WarsEdit

In 1801, Yusuf demanded a tribute of $225,000 from United States President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, confident in the ability of the new United States Navy to protect American shipping, refused the Pasha's demands, leading the Pasha to unofficially declare war in May 1801 by chopping down the flagpole before the American consulate.

The US Navy successfully blockaded Tripoli's harbors in 1803. After some initial military successes, most notably the capture of the USS Philadelphia, the pasha soon found himself threatened with invasion by American ground forces following the Battle of Derna and the reinstatement of his deposed brother, Hamet Karamanli, recruited by the American army officer William Eaton. He signed a treaty ending the war on June 10, 1805.

Decline of the Karamanli (Caramanli) dynastyEdit

By 1819, the various treaties of the Napoleonic Wars had forced the Barbary states to give up corsair activity almost entirely, and Tripoli's economy began to crumble. [1] Yusuf attempted to compensate for lost revenue by encouraging the trans-Saharan trade, but with abolitionist sentiment on the rise in Europe and to a lesser degree the United States, this failed to salvage Tripoli's economy. As Yusuf weakened, factions sprung up around his three sons; though Yusuf abdicated in 1832 in favor of his son Ali II, civil war soon resulted. Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II sent in troops ostensibly to restore order, but instead deposed and exiled Ali II, marking the end of both the Karamanli dynasty and an independent Tripoli. [2]


  1. ^ Hume 311.
  2. ^ US Country Studies


  • Fredriksen, John C. (2001). "America’s Military Adversaries: From Colonial Times to the Present". ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-603-2. .


  • Folayan, Kola Tripoli during the reign of Yusuf Pasha Qaramanli. Ife, Nigeria: University of Ife Press, 1979.
  • Hume, L. J. "Preparations for Civil War in Tripoli in the 1820s: Ali Karamanli, Hassuna D'Ghies and Jeremy Bentham." The Journal of African History 21.3 (1980): 311-322.
  • London, Joshua E. Victory in Tripoli: How America's How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0-471-44415-4
  • McLachlan, K. S. "Tripoli and Tripolitania: Conflict and Cohesion during the Period of the Barbary Corsairs (1551-1850)." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series 3.3 (1978): 285-294.
  • LAFI (Nora), Une ville du Maghreb entre ancien régime et réformes ottomanes. Genèse des institutions municipales à Tripoli de Barbarie (1795-1911), Paris, L'Harmattan, 2002, 305 p. [3]

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Ahmad II Pasha
Pasha of Tripoli
Succeeded by

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