The Ottoman Empire: the Rise, Fall and Influence in Today's Middle East

1907 Words May 1st, 2012 8 Pages
The Ottoman Empire: The Rise, Fall and Influence in Today's Middle East
By: Robert Rosen M01 A1 Written Assignment Throughout history, there have been many empires. Some of them lasted years, some lasted decades. But one stands alone as the longest running empire. The Ottoman Empire ruled from 1280-1922. The Empire saw 37 Sultans and an expansion of power and control over most of the Middle East and parts of Europe and Africa. The Empire had a slow, but sudden burst of growth. That burst was immediately followed by their undoing. But it left behind a long legacy which is still felt to this day in the Middle East.
During this period, the Mongols were running rampant. In order to avoid certain death, the Turkic Kayi tribe fled. The
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And of course, the construction of the Suez Canal was the major achievement of this empire. But tough days and unwavering sultans entrenched in their ways would soon prevail.
The army's refusal to learn new methods, develop new tactics and training techniques were a major part of their undoing. With other countries developing new ways to fight, Ottoman complacency was leaving them in the dust. The devshirme system was crumbling. This system was how the Ottomans got their soldiers from the 15th to the 17th century. Boys were essentially kidnapped from their families and trained for either military or administrative service. This was also known as "boy levy". It is estimated that anywhere between 500,000 and one million boys, from ages 8-20, were taken this way. The early sultans encouraged competition between traditional leaders and the devshirme to be appointed a vizier. Suleyman the Magnificent made the terrible decision to appoint all devshirme as viziers, throwing off the balance of power. Normally, there would be equal numbers of landowners and devshirme, ensuring a level of fairness. Now however, the checks and balances of the previous regime were no longer. Eventually, the boy levies disappeared as did the top-notch training that came with it (141-142). Being appointed a vizier was now a result of "who you know, not what you know". When fundamentals fall to the wayside, control and consistency go with it. For example, in
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