Studies are showing that the decline of the Ottoman Turks Empire in spite of the interferences to save it has always concerned the responsiveness of historians. Furthermore, the decline which begins in the second part of the 19th century is actually though to have been as an outcome of differing social and political aspect in the empire in addition to the financial condition of the empire. Other studies have mentioned that it was led to the discharge of the ottoman rulers by the Europeans as experienced rulers who could lead the empire to reconstruction. The empire was confronted with revolts from the people, dishonesty of the administrators, economic problems and deterioration of the military, was as a consequence still known today as the sick man of Europe.
When it comes to government, it must be said that the way it was run is possibly part of the decline of the empire. This can be mentioned because the birth of the Ottoman state up under Osman Gazi through its era of unchallenged authority in the mid-1500s, the midpoint of the Ottoman Empire was continually the sultan (Sahin). The Ottoman Empire by many experts was looked at as being very dynastic one, so when a sultan passed away, his son would turn out to be new sultan. Investigation shows that these early sultans were a group that took great pride in their occupations and had a key part in the route of the empire. Also, Sultans were able supervised administrative conferences, employed and got rid of officials, and personally guided military movements to the restrictions of the empire.
However, another point to be brought up was the fact that there was one aspect of the sultanate that was never completely formal – run. History displays that the initial years of the Ottoman Empire were caused by many civil wars, as sons would battle each other for control after their father was killed. Typically it was not much of an issue, as the sultans would be the make it clear which of their sons they preferred. At other times, however, wars inside the empire were going on for years and turned out to be critical to the rule of the empire.
With the increase of useless bureaucrats in the central Ottoman government, a method of decentralization took place. All of the governments that were local began getting more self-governing and presented less regard for the administration in Istanbul. There was less tax revenue being transmitted to the central government, which meant a weaker government and military in general, everything during the rise of the empires of Europe for instance Austria France, England, and Russia.
Two External Economic Factors
Two external financial issues also did a lot of damage to the Ottomans, both of them curtailing from the Age of Exploration then occurring. With that said, the Portuguese rout all over Africa to India had unlocked what would soon to become a new spice direction to Asia. Nevertheless, the Turks were the ones that lost their money on the spice trade which went all the way to the European continent, which cost them big amount of money that they would eventually need. The other difficult came from the Spanish Empire in the Americas that were transporting mass amounts of gold and silver to Europe (Streussand). Research shows that all of this possibly triggered rampant inflation throughout the 1600’s, which managed to work its way eastward directly into the Ottoman Empire. However, this inflation, mixed with the other factors harming the empire's incomes, led to serious financial decay.
That economic deterioration hurt the entire empire but it really hurt the military. It hurt them in two ways that fed back into additional financial decay. For one thing, after 1600, the Turks started losing their technological and military edge (Sahin). While European armies were constantly trying to upgrade their firearms and artillery, the Ottomans let theirs fester, therefore putting them at a drawback contrary to their enemies. The research shows that as Turkish conquests ground came to a stop, a frontier that was stable guarded by an expensive fortresses advanced, which started to drain the empire of a lot more of the funds. During this time, Europeans were refreshing the Roman idea of strict drill and discipline in order to make a lot more efficient and dependable armies. On the other hand, the Turks were not the best when it came down to adapting certain methods and, as a result, found them increasingly at being beat by the opposing forces.
Second, the hard to fight feudal Turkish horse regiment that had been the mainstay of the army in the mobile wars of defeat were less valuable to the sultans who are now needed expert barracks to run the frontier forts (Streussand). Studies show that when there were no wars of conquest to enrich and occupy them, they turn out to be restless and bothersome to the central government. Additional studies make the point that the mixed with the issues from the Janissaries, caused revolts that further disturbed the empire. (Lastly, the Janissaries would turn so worrying that one sultan would have to massacre and surround them.) Both of these military issues, for instance, not being able to keep up with the West and the progressively disobedient army, fed back into the empire's economic deterioration, which caused the military to have even more issues
In the late Ottoman Empire, though, things started to change drastically. With the economic and political rise of Europe in the face of Ottoman failure that was talked about in earlier sections, questions started to surface to be asked about the route of the Ottoman Empire (Hanioglu). Numerous individuals inside the government of the empire started to think that so as to turn out to be more powerful like the Europeans; the Ottoman Empire needs to become more like European countries.
Research shows that these beliefs were able to get to the level of the Ottoman sultan in the previous part of 1800s. Eventually, reforms are what meant to make the Ottoman Empire more European influenced every part of the Ottoman life. Research shows that in 1826, sultan Mahmud II introduced a clothing improvement for all government administrators. Rather than the traditional turbans and robes that sultans and government workers put on, they at the time dressed in European-style military attire (Sahin). Looking like the Europeans was not the single alteration, on the other hand. Research shows that Mahmud likewise eliminated the prehistoric Janissaries, armed soldiers that came from every section of the empire. In its place, he started a new force recognized as the Nizam-ı cedid, which was enlisted only from the empire’s Turkish inhabitants.
Most of the alterations included the following: secular courts substituted Islamic judges, a money system founded on the French model, ratification of homosexuality, factories starting replacing artisans guilds, application of an “Ottoman” uniqueness in place of exclusive cultural individualities, and the improvement of the educational system to be founded on a technology /science curriculum rather than traditional issues for instance Islamic studies, Quran, and poetry (Hanioglu). Even though there were numerous other reforms that were essential and did not alter the character of Islam in the empire, a lot of of the new laws were intended at eliminating Islam from community life. Studies also mention how the Ottomans brought in individuals recognized as “French Understanding” from Europe to come and change their civilization.
This effort to eliminate Islam from public life left countless inside the empire sensation as if their societies were being relegated in favor of European standards that did not appropriate in the empire (Imbar). Studies have shown that the part of teachers, shaikhs, and Islamic judges was abruptly relegated. Big sections of the populace opposed the Tanzimat’s labors to redefine their lives. However, Islamic rebellions that are going against the government started in locations such as the deserts of Arabia, Egypt and Bosnia. The Ottoman Empire had factually utilized Islam to marry the varied inhabits of its domains, but then again with the elimination of Islam, that attachment agent was gradually tearing apart the empire.
The Millet System
Beforehand looking at how nationalism has a huge effect on the Ottomans, researchers would have to look even much further back, at how various nationalities initially were a source of strength for the Ottomans. After Sultan Mehmed II was able to takeover Constantinople in the early 1400s, he had a sole issue on his hands: how to handle with the substantial Christian minority within his kingdom. Islam has frequent rules in regards in the way they treat spiritual minorities and what types of privileges they are rendered. Research shows that working within these type rules, Sultan Mehmed recognized a system later recognized as the millet system.
As said by the millet system, Christians inside the Ottoman Empire were permitted to live much like they did before the Ottoman Empire. They were permitted to select their own religious frontrunners, gather their own excises, utilize their own linguistic, and even to require their own magistrates where Christians were tried as said by Christian laws, not the ones that are Muslim. This kind of a system was radical at that time in Europe, where in Christian-conquered places; there was not any kind of idea of minority rights or religious freedom.
Throughout time, the millet system would start developing in order consist of more than just one type group of Christians. To accommodate everyone the various kinds forms of Christianity that are inside the Ottoman kingdom, each church was provided their own millet, and permitted to run by its own set of guidelines. During this time, Jews were likewise permitted to have their own kind of millet. Throughout the control of Bayezid II, there were thousands of Jews, who were going through some kind of persecution at the hands of Spain’s Catholics that were received into the Ottoman Empire, where they were given much more religious freedom more than any kingdom.
With the millet system, various nationalities, societies, ethos, and religions were permitted to flourish. Research shows that individuals normally think of the Ottoman Territory as a “Turkish” kingdom. Experts argue that this is far from the truth. Even though the sultans were Turkish, the main public was a wide diversity of populates.
Nationalism in European
In 1789, a revolution began in the nation of France that would change the world. The French Empire, controlled by an oppressive king was traumatized to its core. Research shows that the revolution assisted in bringing Enlightenment philosophies to the front in Europe, for instance government by the people, natural rights, and social contract theory. On the other hand, in addition to the political effects of the revolution, a much more significant social one was taking shape: nationalism.
In Europe, the idea of nationalism took the shape of individuals being led by people that are ethnically similar (Sahin). The big multi-national territories of the past, for example the Spanish Empire or Holy Roman Empire were looked at as integrally weak on account of the many nationalities and languages inside the empire. Linguistic/ Ethnic/ groups start to riot. The objective of numerous of these groups was to be led by someone who has the similar language and ethnicity as them. Therefore for instance, the Dutch of Holland disallowed Spanish rule, just like the Italians in Sicily. Revolutions started breaking out all over the European continent, founded on the impression of forming nation-states: nations that just have one ethnic group within them, and are administrated by someone of that population.
This growing current of nationalism found its way into the Ottoman Realm also. Even though the millet system gave individuals their rights and endorsed them to rule themselves, European patriotism verbalized that the ethnic subgroups of the Ottoman Empire do not need to have a Turkish sultan (Sahin). Studies show that the Nationalism was making the point that they had to break free of the Ottoman Empire and be led by their own individuals.
Such an indication did not just ascend on its own inside the Ottoman Realm. As stated previously, the millet system delivered an agenda for diverse nationalities to have freedom and rights inside the Ottoman realm. With this kind of serenity, normal everyday people were improbable to rise up in contradiction of their Ottoman councils. To offer the backbone for such rebellions, the main European authorities of the day – Russia Britain, and France came on the scene.
Final Obliteration of the Ottoman Kingdom
World War did not go well with the Ottomans. Attacked by European influences and went against by the Arabs, the Ottoman Empire in essence stopped to occur by the time the war ended in 1918. Research shows that an ultra-nationalist Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, came into power in what was now recognized as being Turkey, and acknowledged it a virtuously Turkish state (Imbar). Further studies display that other nationalities were not greeted in this new nation. In truth, huge population transfers took place among the nations of Turkey and Greece, with each ejecting the other ethnic group from inside its borders.
The British when it comes to the Arab world, (of course) did not retain their promise to Sherif Hussain (Streussand). They had concurrently made the decision to distribute up the Arab world among France and Britain. Research shows that the Arbitrary lines were transcribed on the map to break up the Arab world into new regions called Lebanon, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine. Zionist Jews were heartened to settle down in Palestine, producing rule and then turned into its own nation (Sahin). What had at one time been the abundant Ottoman Empire was no more, the kingdom was replaced by other divided nationalistic states.
Just like all kingdoms during the course of world history and Islamic history in general, the Ottomans did not last forever. The Ottoman was considered to be the last of the great Muslim empire, lastly coming to an end about one generation ago.
Hanioglu, M.S. The Later Ottoman Empire 1700-1922. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Imbar, C. "The Ottoman Empire 1300-1650 The Structure of Power." New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2002.
Sahin, K. Empire and Power in the Reign Sculeyman: Narrating the 16th Century Ottoman World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Streussand, D.E. Islamic Gunpowder Empire: Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2011.