The early period of Turkish domination in Macedonia (1430-1700), as in other regions of the Ottoman Empire, was not marked by rapid change. With the passage of time, the land regime shifted to the benefit of large landowners.
Macedonian manufacturing and mining, which had shown such promise in the 16th century, were gradually crushed under the weight of imported Western European industrial products over the next two hundred years.
The population vacuum created by the Ottoman conquest began to be filled by immigrants of various religions and origins. At the same time, many Christians began to emigrate, since the economic conditions were more favorable to retail businesses than to investments. Their earnings contributed to the creation in the 18th century of a prosperous and educated class, which was leavened with Greek learning and yearned for the reinstatement of Greek independence.
In the mountains of Macedonia generations of armatoles and occasional clefts (bands of guerrilla type warriors) formulated their own fighting tradition against the Muslim conquerors, although they did not always have a clear political motive.