18th Century Ottoman Essay

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Honors College History 232
23 January 2013
Eighteenth Century Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire was a state founded by Turkish tribes under Osman Bey in 1299. Under the leadership of Mehmed II, this fledgling nation became an empire with the conquest of Constantinople in 1452 by Mehmed II. The Ottoman Empire continued in its imperial form until it became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. As an empire, it was the most powerful state in the world with 32 provinces during the seventeenth century. In the last half of the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire functioned under the rule of the Koprulu family, a notable family of imperial bureaucrats from Albania who overhauled the bureaucracy and instituted military reforms. After the fall of
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The Janissary corps distinct social class and special privileges soon brought more harm than good to the Sultans of the eighteenth Century. The group of men grew corrupt and lived above the law. Not even the poor were given mercy. A prime example of this can be found in Lady Montague’s Turkish Embassy Letters, where the janissaries slaughter and feast on the poor’s livestock then require the households to pay teeth money. The lawlessness of these men grew so unbearable that Lady Montague also observes and writes about, how “’tis the Emperor’s interest to flatter [the janissaries]” (Montagu, 105). The groups’ power became unchecked and tension between the Sultans and janissaries magnified.
Ahmed III was the first ruler of the eighteenth century. His close ties to the European rulers lead to prosperous relations with the French and Swedish. Ahmed, during his reign, afforded refuge to Charles XII of Sweden after the Swedish defeat under the hands of Peter I of Russia in the Battle of Poltava of 1709. In response to the Swedish defeat, Ahmed declared war against Russia and won the Ottoman Empire’s most notorious victory over Russia. Never before had the Ottoman forces come so near to breaking the Russian power. The invasion, however, was halted in response to the incursion of Safavids. Aside from the war, Ahmed left the finances of the Empire in a flourishing state
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