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The Ottoman Empire


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The Ottoman Empire

  1. 1. The Ottoman Empire S O CIA L ST UDIES F O R 1 0 ° E G B T E ACHE R : MA UR I CI O TO R R E S
  2. 2. Introduction & Background • In the 13th century Anatolia, a new nation was rising under the flag of Osman I. • This powerful nation rose mostly based on a combination of military and religious forces which gave it impetus and power. • From here, they advanced towards the West, to the lands of the “Rumeli” (Romans).
  3. 3. Ottoman Advance • Under the leadership of Murad (late 1300s), they conquered or had these nations paying tribute to them: • Serbia, Bulgaria and even the Byzantines. Also, some other Muslim nations to the East. • Under the leadership of Mehmed II (second half of the 1400s) the Ottomans conquered: • Hungary and many Balkan kingdoms. But most importantly: Constantinople. • His successors, Selim I and Suleyman the Magnificent in turn (mid 1500s) conquered: • Iraq, defeated the Shiite Safavids, Syria and Egypt, Mecca and Medina; much of the eastern Mediterranean and as far as failing to capture Vienna.
  4. 4. Secrets of their Success: Adaptability • The Ottomans owed much to their first ten Sultans, but in reality their capability to adapt and overcome gave them remarkable advantages: • Good leadership • Champions of Islamic faith • Flexible military ideology • Lack of elaborate traditions made them flexible • They were both tolerant and fanatics • Learned from their enemies (ex: their fleet was based on the Venetians’) • Conscription through “child tribute” (Janissaries) • All means were acceptable if they served the ends of a holy war.
  5. 5. The Sultan and Sunni beliefs • The state was designed to be a centralized entity, focused on the Sultan. • As many other Islamic states, the sultan, being the leader was also the eternal defender of the faith. • They would enforce the Shariah under their reign • Faced with the threat of the Safavids from Shiite Iran, their Sunni orthodoxy became stronger.
  6. 6. Tolerance and Segregation • Even though the Turks were very orthodox in their faith, they allowed other religious groups to exist within their empire, without persecuting them. • But even though there was tolerance, they were segregated to their own communities, called millets. Just like the ghettos during WWII. • In these communities, Patriarchs or Rabbis were responsible for all the activities. • But there was a special group called the Kapi Kullari: • They were legally slaves of the Sultan. • They had been born Christians and converted to Islam. • They were trained by the state to serve official functions.
  7. 7. Ottoman Extent • The Ottomans enjoyed many of these external factors to increase their power outside of the Muslim world: • Kapi Kullari system • Technological superiority in war. • Centralized supervision of state in all matters. • Tolerance • Exploiting the skills of the Jews who fled persecution in Spain and sought asylum in a more tolerant society. • Wealth derived from trade. • A far superior system of government (at that time)
  8. 8. Stagnation • Between the years 1683 and 1827, the empire no longer grew in huge steps as it did on its golden years. • The Sultans became less interested in becoming able rulers and instead were turning into pompous princes. • But even through this change, they did realize they had to modernize their country, because the West was quickly surpassing them: the Ottomans could no longer rely in old formulas of success that were now obsolete. • Many reforms were attempted and they were continuously blocked by religious authorities. • When it the turn came to reform the army, the Janissaries turned on the Sultan Selim III and killed him! • His successor eliminated them in turn, in what was called the Auspicious Event. • Finally, nationalist awakening in the Balkans, led to internal and continuous strife.
  9. 9. Ask Yourself