The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was established in 1453 by the victory of Constantinople in Turkey by Mehmed II. The strength of this mighty empire was greatest during the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. This power was due to the large and mighty army of the empire and the vast land holdings of the empire.

The first major move after the conquer by Mehmed, was allowing the Orthodox Church to continue operating as they had. This move plus the mammoth military made for a somewhat peaceful transition. The army continued to conquer and expand after 1453. During the 15th and 16th century the land acquisition through military defeat was amazing and numerous. The eastern and southern border was expanded. Egypt was defeated and controlled by naval means in the Red Sea. The army and foot soldiers made the Ottoman Empire strong. Then the troops moved into Hungary in 1521. An attack on Vienna followed and the Ottoman Empire army became allies with the French armies and the Habsburg region was defeated. This was followed by Somalia and Horn of Africa expansion. The empire expanded and then expanded more due to the military strength and size.

The land and population holdings were vast. The approximate controlled population by the empire was over 16,000,000 people. The areas controlled expanded well into the Mediterranean Sea. With this much land to control and rule, the weakened infrastructures were sure to follow. Too many former rulers existed and the area was too vast to monitor effectively. Ivan IV of Russia began to take back land and other rulers soon followed. Phillip II of Spain rebuffed the empire and the Habsburg region soon followed suit. The vast land that had made the Ottoman Empire so strong was the exact reason for its weakening and eventual destruction. By the Tanzimat Period of 1839-1876 the land and military was greatly reduced. Muslims and Christians fought and this further weakened the Empire. The Ottoman Empire did join World War I as Central Power allies. They took part in a few battles, but their contribution was small. For all practical purposes the empire was no longer in existence. The last sultan was Mehmed VI and fled the country on November 17, 1922.

This vast and strong empire had its moment of great power and vast land holdings in the records of history. The reasons for the power, a vast military and large land holdings are the exact reasons the empire eventually fell apart.

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