A Brief History of Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire “The Exalted Ottoman State” was a state and caliphate that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th centuries in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Sogut by the Oghuz Turkish tribal Leader Osman Ghazi! Initially, the dynasty was of Turkic Origin.
After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into transcontinental empire. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificient, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses, especially in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
In early 20th century the empire allied with Germany, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, and thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to largely holds its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent, especially with the Arab Revolt in its Arabians holdings. During this time, genocide was committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians.
As the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman’s early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam.
Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River. A Byzantine defeat at the battle of Bapheus in 1302 contributed to Osman’s rise as well. It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their neighbours, due to the lack of sources surviving from this period. The Gaza Thesis theory popular during the twentieth century credited their success to their rallying of religious warriors to fight for them in the name of Islam, but it is now highly criticised and no longer generally accepted by historians, and no consensus on the nature of the early Ottoman state’s expansion has replaced it.
By the end of Suleiman’s reign, the Empire spanned approximately 877,888 sq. mi, extending over three continents. The Ottoman Empire was a major part of the European political sphere. The Ottomans became involved in multi-continental religious wars when Spain and Portugal were under the Iberian Union, the Ottomans as holders of the Caliph title, meaning leader of all Muslims worldwide, and Iberians, as leaders of the Christian crusaders, were locked in a worldwide conflict.
This treaty of Ottoman Empire was able to enjoy a generation of peace, as Austria and Russia were forced to deal with the rise of Prussia. The history of the Ottoman Empire during the World War I began with the Ottoman surprise attack on the Russian Black Sea coast on 29 October 1914. Before the reforms of the 19th and 20th centuries, the state organisation of the Ottoman Empire was a system with two main dimensions.
The Sultan was the highest position in the system. The civil system was based on local administrative units based on the region’s characteristics. In the Ottoman Empire each millet established a schooling system serving its members. Education therefore was largely divided on ethnic and religious lines: few non-Muslims attended schools for Muslim students, and vice versa. Most institutions that did serve all ethnic and religious groups taught in French or in other languages.
Note: This is only a brief history of Ottoman Empire, it is impossible to cover a entire history in a single article. We will be covering the entire history of Ottoman Empire.