Decline of the Ottoman Empire

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The Decline of the Ottoman Empire The decline of the Ottoman Turks Empire despite the interventions to save it has always attracted the attention of historians. The decline which started in the second half of the 19th century is believed to have been as a result of conflicting political and social aspect in the empire as well as the economic situation of the empire. This led to the dismissal of the ottoman rulers by the Europeans as competent rulers who could lead the empire to modernization. The empire was faced with rebellions from the people, corruption of the administrators, economic difficulties and military deterioration, and was as a result called the sick man of Europe. Although there are a few recorded primary sources of data that can be used to explain the causes of the declining Ottoman Empire, historians have suggested that political, economic and social factors led to the decline. The political changes that took place in the leadership of the empire where intelligent and able dynasty of rulers was replaced by incompetent and misfit political and religious leaders led to the collapse of the government apparatus in the empire. The political and religious institutions became inefficient and lost their integrity. The most striking effect of the government collapse was the declining military power of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman army lost the morale as well as courage which resulted into series of defeats. Since the 16th century, the army had become weak and the expansion of the empire was limited by Persian Empire and the Portuguese to the east and the Russian on the other side. The deteriorating military could not confront the armies of these monarchies which used unfamiliar techniques as opposed to the tradition Muslim war against the infidels (Lewis, p 112). As opposed to the early political development in the Ottoman Empire, the change of leadership resulted into conservatism in the 19th century which led to stagnation as the rest of the


Cited: Jaschke, Gotthard: "The Moral Decline of the Ottoman Dynasty" Die Welt des Islams, New Series, Vol. 4, Issue 1 (1955), pp. 10-14 Johnson, Robert: "The decline of the Ottoman Empire, c. 1798-1913: Robert Johnson puts the decline of a once-great Empire into an international context. (The Unpredictable Past)", History Review, (2005) Lewis, Bernard: Some Reflections on the Decline of the Ottoman Empire, Studia Islamica, No. 9 (1958), pp. 111-127

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