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Ottoman Empire Reforms

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Money also corrupts and too much money corrupts absolutely. Perhaps these were the problems that led to the decline of the once powerful Empire that almost controlled the global economy.

By the 17th century A.D., the Ottoman Empire had seen the best of what the world had to offer it and exploited it too much. Excessive luxury and lax nature of the administration that did not do its duty completely saw a new low in the history of the Empire. Militarily, the huge Empire grew weaker and also economically where constant wars between the states of Russia and Persia proved to be a huge drain on its treasury.


The country was hit by a wave of inflation and tactical failure, thanks to the incompetent sultans of the region back then. The glorious Suleyman's son Selim II proved to be a weak ruler who did not do a little what his father did; instead he fed off the popularity of his late father. Selim II who began to known as the 'drunkard', the timid Mahmud I (who only wrote poetry), and Mehmed III (who was too shy to be an emperor) were the main reasons as why the people lost confidence in the state.

The Age of Reforms

The administrators and bureaucrats alike took notice of this ill-things happening to the once mighty Empire and facilitated a large number of reforms for the state. The Tanzimat reforms are the worthy mentions in this chapter of the Ottoman Empire. It was in the middle years of the 1800s when these reforms began to take shape. The reforms can be bulleted as:


1. Make the civil services more accountable as well as efficient
2. The Ottoman Commercial Code came into existence in 1850.
3. Consultative bodies were established.
4. Ottoman Penal Code of 1858 came into force.

It should be mentioned here that the Sultan's good intentions were not accepted largely by the people in the administration as most of them had become heavily corrupted by then and hence he faced stiff resistance to actualize his reform policies. Janissaries, even after they were banned - proved to be a hindrance to implement the reforms as by then they held a lot of money power.

After international interference began to increase, loans were taken to revive the fledgling economy but still the reforms could not be sustained. It all led to the reversal of reforms in the early 20th century.

This site covers all areas Ottoman Empire History Facts. Besides the popular Ottoman topics like rise and fall, leaders, society, economy, Inventions, Religion, it also covers several other areas like comparison with other empires.

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