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The history of Ottoman empire - Essay Example

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The Ottoman empire was an imperial state that existed from 1299 to 1922. At the height of its power in the 16th century, it included Anatolia, the Middle East, parts of North Africa, and much of south-eastern Europe to the Caucasus. It comprised an area of about 5.6 million km squared, though it controlled a much larger area through indirect rule in adjoining areas dominated mainly by nomadic tribes…
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Download file to see previous pages The Empire was founded by Osman I. In 1453, following its capture from the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, modern stanbul, became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire under the name 'Kostantiniye'. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities, with the powers of eastern Europe constantly threatened by its steady advance through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its navy was a powerful force in the Mediterranean. On several occasions it even invaded central Europe, sieging Vienna, in its attempts to conquer the Habsburg domain, and was only repulsed by coalitions of European powers.
In this period, the discussions among the elites of Ottomans on how to organize a new state constitute the most important detail. The location of this movement gave it access to many different cultures and experiences. Given the historical facts of other great empires, Ottoman elites believed that the power of the sword was not enough to build and maintain a powerful state. Swords must be wielded by men. It was important to find strong and capable men and bind them together in willing cooperation to conquer large sections of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It was also important to organize and govern their conquests in a fairly satisfactory fashion, and to establish a structure which would take great effort to dismantle. Ottoman elites gave precedence to the political ideas that constituted the life of the empire, which became their ruling institution. Only with these ideas was it possible to attract a great body of men from many directions and races and unite them in a common effort. The ideas and culture that were shaped during this period took three hundred years to decay and be destroyed. While it is arguable the empire had injustice, violence and destructive forces involved in the development of its structures, these must be considered within the context of their eight centuries of history, during which Turks began to drift southwestward away from the declining Saracen Empire
Even though the Ottoman state existed before Osman I, he is regarded as the founder of the Empire, having given it its name and being the first bey to declare his independence. He extended the frontiers of the empire towards the Byzantine Empire, while other Turkish beyliks suffered from infighting. Under Osman I, the Ottoman capital moved to Bursa. He published the first coin under his name, demonstrating the trust he built.
The economical structure of the Empire was defined by the geopolitical structure. The Ottoman Empire stood in between West and East, thus blocking the route eastward forcing Spanish and Portuguese navigators set out in search of a new route to the Orient. The Empire was holding the same path that Marco Polo once used. Ottoman studies imply that the change in politics between Ottomans and Central Europe did depend on the opening of the new sea routes. It is also possible to see the decay of the Ottoman Empire by tracing the loss of significance of the land routes. Decay is a very relative term, in reality while central Europe is moving forward, Ottoman were holding on to their traditions. The pragmatic thinking of Ottomans that once helped to reform the systems left behind by Roman Empire was once again giving out the same signs ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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