By Mehrdad Kia

The Ottoman Empire was once probably the most strong empires in background, recognized for its army prowess, multi-cultural makeup, and advances in paintings and structure. located on the crossroads of East and West, at its peak it encompassed such a lot of Southeastern Europe, the center East, and North Africa. In lifestyles from the overdue thirteenth century till 1922, the Ottoman legacy can nonetheless be felt at the present time in the course of the Balkans and the Arab international within the parts of politics, international relations, schooling, language, and faith. This complete quantity is a useful addition to international historical past curricula and provides a degree of ancient knowing to the present conflicts in the Western and Islamic worlds.

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Extra resources for The Ottoman Empire (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events 1500-1900)

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As long as the Seljuk state remained the dominant political and military power in Anatolia, they paid a tribute to the sultan who ruled from Konya. With the defeat of the Seljuks at the hands of the Mongols, they preserved the relative autonomy of their principalities by recognizing the Mongol Il Khan as their new master and sending him the customary tribute. As long as the Mongols left them alone, they could continue with their push westward at the expense of the beleaguered Byzantine state. 16 The political flexibility of the early Ottoman rulers was best demonstrated in their approach to conquest, which was based on coopting and controlling rather than uprooting and destroying the newly conquered lands and their inhabitants.

The sultan and his officials did not recruit the slaves from the native Muslim population. Rather, young Christian boys from the sultan’s European provinces provided him with a vast pool from which new slaves could be recruited, converted to Islam, and trained to assume the highest posts in the empire. Known as the dev¸sirme, this system also resulted in the creation of the yeni c¸ eri or janissary corps, who constituted the sultan’s elite infantry and were paid directly from the central government’s treasury.

In their expansion into the Balkans, the Ottomans tried to maintain the status quo by forming alliances with the leaders and elites who enjoyed legitimacy among the native population. As long as the ruling dynast and his government cooperated with the sultan and did not challenge his suzerainty, the Ottomans did not remove him. Osman expanded his territory from the region of Eski¸sehir northward, encountering local feudal lords who functioned as 21 22 THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE representatives of the Byzantine state.

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