This administrative unit was sometimes independent (e.g., Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate or Cyprus) and sometimes was part of a vilayet (province), administered by a vali, and contained nahiye (communes), each administered by a kaymakam. This rank was established in 1864 against the new Law of Villayets instead of rank of mutesellim which was abolished in 1842.
"This small political unit was governed by a non-Lebanese Ottoman Christian subject and given the protection of European powers. The religious communities of the district were represented by a council that dealt directly with the governor. This system provided peace and prosperity until its abolition."
The mutassarifates of the Ottoman Empire included:
- "Definition of Mutessarif". Free Online Dictionary. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- p. 21, A Reign of Terror Archived 2006-11-28 at the Wayback Machine, Master's thesis, Uğur Ü. Üngör, University of Amsterdam, June 2005.
- Benedict, Peter (1974). Ula: An Anatolian Town. p. 85.
- A History of the modern middle east Cleveland and Buntin p.84
- Rogan, E.L. Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire: Transjordan, 1850-1921. Cambridge University Press. p55.