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Ottoman Empire Summary Part 1

The Sublime Ottoman State or the Ottoman or Turkish Empire as it was also popularly known as lasted from July 1299 to October 1923. The empire was also known in English as the Osmanic Empire, the Osmanian Empire or the Ottoman State. During the reign of this Empire, Constantinople was named as its capital city.

The rule of the Ottoman Empire can be divided into the following:
Rise of an Empire (1299-1453) - With the demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum around 1300, the Turkish Anatolia came to be divided into a patchwork of independent states. By 1300, the Byzantine Empire had lost most of its Anatolian provinces to ten Ghazi principalities. One such Ghazi emirates was led by Osman I from whose name, the word Ottoman is derived. Osman I extended the frontiers of Ottoman settlement toward the edge of the Byzantine Empire.

He moved the Ottoman capital to Bursa, and shaped the early political development of the nation. In this period, a formal Ottoman government was also created. After the death of Osman I, Ottoman rule began to extend over the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. The advancement of Turkish dominion into the Balkans, raised the question about the strategic conquest of Constantinople which subsequently they capture in the year 1453.

Growth (1453-1683) - The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Mehmed II laid the foundation of the Empire as the preeminent power in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. During this period in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of conquest and expansion, extending its borders deep into Europe and North Africa.

Conquests on land were driven by the discipline and innovation of the Ottoman military; and on the sea, the Ottoman Navy aided this expansion significantly. The navy also contested and protected key seagoing trade routes, in competition with the Italian city states in the Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean seas and the Portuguese in the Red Sea as well as the Indian Ocean.

The Empire prospered under the rule of a line of committed and effective Sultans. Sultan Selim I (1512-1520) dramatically expanded the Empire's eastern and southern frontiers by establishing the Ottoman rule in Egypt, and also by creating a naval presence on the Red Sea. After this Ottoman expansion, a competition emerged between the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire to claim its superiority in that region. Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), further expanded the empire by conquering Belgrade as well as the southern and central parts of the Kingdom of Hungary to name a few.

Under Selim and Suleiman, the Empire became a dominant naval force, controlling much of the Mediterranean Sea. As the 16th century progressed, Ottoman naval superiority was challenged by the growing sea powers of western Europe, especially Portugal, in the Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the Spice Islands while on land, the Empire was busy preparing for military campaigns against Austria and Persia.

The simultaneous actions undertaken by the empire both on sea as well on land put a serious strain on the Empire's resources finally rendering the sea efforts untenable and unsuccessful.

Revolts and revival (1566-1683) - The once upon a time effective military and bureaucratic structures also came faced a severe crunch as a result of the misrule by few weak Sultans. However, in spite of these difficulties, the Empire remained a major expansionist power until the Battle of Vienna in 1683, which finally marked the end of Ottoman expansion into Europe.

During this period, the European states commenced their all efforts of reducing the Ottoman control of the trade routes. By establishing their own naval routes to Asia, the Western European states started avoiding the Ottoman trade monopoly. In southern Europe, an association of Catholic powers, under the leadership of Philip II of Spain, formed an alliance to challenge Ottoman naval strength in the Mediterranean Sea. Their subsequent victory over the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 came as startling blow to the image of Ottoman invincibility.

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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