Ottoman History Essay

2589 words - 10 pages

In this essay the brief history of Ottoman Empire is given from 16th century to 1900s. Brief information about the leadership, military, economics and the concept of justice will explain.Ottoman history from 1566 -1792 has been described as "The Decline of Faith and State." To Ottomans, " decline " meant dislocation of the traditional order; hence, " reforms " to check or reverse " decline " meant restoring the old order which had produced the Golden Age of Suleyman the Magnificent." At times decline was checked but only temporarily. Decline was not only slow, gradual, interrupted, lasting more than three centuries, but also it was relative only to its own Golden Age and to the remarkable progress of its Christian European neighbors.17 sultans after Suleyman ( from1566 to 1789) were, with few exceptions, men of little ability, training, or experience, and some were incompetent, even mentally defective; their average rule of 13 years was less than half that of the first 10 sultans. This was no accident! Mehmed III died in 1605 leaving two minor sons as the only direct male survivors. The elder, Ahmet I, spared the life of his brother, Mustafa, but kept him secluded in a special apartment in the harem of Topkapi Palace. The Sitva Torok treaty with Austria (1606) should have been a wake-up call for the Ottomans. It was a negotiated compromise rather than a grant of peace dictated by the sultan; in it, the Hapsburg monarch finally was recognized as the sultan's peer, as " Emperor" (Padishah rather than simply King of Vienna." Mustafa I's accession in 1617 marked the end of "succession by military contest and the practice of royal " fratricide," replaced by confinement of princes in the palace and succession by the eldest male of the imperial family. Not only were most inexperienced and incompetent, many were minors under the influence of the Queen Mother (Valide Sultan) and harem favorites, giving rise to palace cliques and intrigue. For several decades in the first half of the17.th century, women of the palace exercised such influence that the period is called "The Sultanate of the Women"If we move on the military, the devshirme was abandoned (just when is uncertain); sons of janissaries were admitted to the corps, then other Muslims; and imperial slavery became a legal fiction." Provincial janissaries sometimes acted as semi-autonomous local rulers, while in Istanbul they become a disruptive force, often in collaboration with artisans, craftsmen and students. The provincial cavalry army was made obsolete by musket-armed European troops, requiring the Ottomans to increase their standing infantry and equip them with firearms. This required money. The military fief system was all but abandoned and replaced by tax-farming. The heavy tax burden was responsible in part for revolts in Anatolia, abandonment of farm lands, and depopulation of villages; thus the empire experienced a decline in tax revenues despite higher taxes.When we focus on the economics,...

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