Adaptability also played an important role in the Ottoman’s success.
Rather than forcing the people they conquered to accept Ottoman ways, the Ottomans allowed then to maintain their own religion, culture, and systems of administration.
So long as these regions paid tribute (money that a less powerful state pays to a more powerful state), assisted the Ottomans in their military campaigns, and did not revolt against the sultan, they were given freedom to carry out their daily affairs.
In addition to Muslim warriors, many Christians fought alongside the early Ottomans.
Osman and his earliest successors promised Christian peasants and local leaders wealth in exchange for their service.
Since they needed these Christians to help secure and maintain control over the lands they invaded, early Ottoman leaders allowed them to continue practicing their own religion as a way of maintaining their loyalty.
Such religious tolerance played a major role in the empire’s early growth.
By allowing Christians to practice their faith and serve in important administrative positions, the Ottomans were able to expand rapidly and manage their empire despite often being outnumbered by the Christians they ruled.