The Ottoman Empire – A general historical overview
The Ottoman Empire originated in some period of time around 1338, however the exact dates are unknown. They originated from religious fighters who were inspired by fighting against Mongol invasions that threatened Islam. They grew into a formidable force and eventually one of the greatest Empires of the Earth. In 1453, Sultan Mehmet 2 took over Constantinople, modern day Istanbul. Capturing Istanbul allowed the Ottomans to establish a naval fleet allowing them to gain military dominance as well as establishing trade links and allowing Constantinople’s economy to flourish. They then captured the Mediterranean islands such as Rhodes, Cyprus, Crete, Algiers and Tunis. Their naval fleet also allowed them to build a strong Army thus allowing them to capture Arab Lands and important religious cities such as Mecca and Medina thus establishing themselves as the primary religious authority. They also besieged Vienne and tried to expand into European territory, capturing Hungary and Serbia. The Empire was stable throughout the 17th century and then began to decline in the 18th and the 19th century, owing to the changing international environment and increasing military prowess of other European nations. Russia then entered the Mediterranean and destroyed a fleet of the ottomans’ navy. They also fought a land war with the Russians which turned out to be a devastating blow to the ottomans, driving them out of Romania and Crimea. Military defeats, coupled with the declining economy is what led to the death of the Ottoman Empire in the 1920s.