Taking a Look at the Ottoman Empire

892 Words4 Pages
After the end of World War I in 1918, a huge sea change in the geopolitical landscape happened. With what seemed like one fell swoop, the “Age of Empire” was swept away as the German Empire, Tsarist Russia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire disintegrated. For some it seems that the decline of the Ottoman Empire was the most expected of all of them, having been characterized as “The Sick Man of Europe” for centuries after its near-domination of the Middle East and large parts of Europe had eroded. What had once been a massive conglomeration of territories, stretching from the Horn of Africa well into Eastern Europe, was gradually weakened both from the inside and out by a variety of factors over a huge period of time spanning centuries. At its apogee, the Ottoman Empire was known for its immense wealth and military might, as well as a high level of governmental organization. After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II, the Ottoman monarchs set about creating a state that was unmatched not only in power but also in efficiency and technology. The use of gunpowder by the Ottoman armies in the 15th and 16th centuries placed them in a completely different and more advanced position than their European counterparts, who still had to largely rely on pikes, with a devastating effect . One of the strengths of the Ottoman Empire was its ability to strike a balance, for a time, between the need to acknowledge the many diverse territories and
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