You are on page 1of 23

Decline of the Ottoman Empire

Essential Questions

How did the military defeats of the 1700s signal the decay of the Ottoman Empire? What were some of the reasons for internal decay? How did Sultans attempt to reform? How did revolts and rebellions lead to further disintegration What was the significance of the Eastern question? What was the Balkan Crisis of 1876-1878? 1876How did World War I lead to the empires fall?

Ottoman Empire in early 1700s

Military Defeats of the 1700s



1683: defeat after the siege of Vienna shows Ottoman weakness Christian forces carve away at Ottoman lands Treaties of Karlowitz (1699) and Passarowitz (1718) strip Ottoman of Hungary and Transylvania Lose land in 1710s to Peter the Great Lose Crimea (Balkan Peninsula) to Catherine the Great in late 1700s

Signs of Internal Decay

Poor rulers and weak corrupt government  Sultans want to modernize face opposition from influential old groups and clerics  Janissary army becomes outdated and refuse to change  Sultan Selim III assassinated by Janissaries in 1807 after attempting to modernize army and navy


General lack of interest in industrialization Minority groups such as Christians and Jews carry out trade with the west Competition with West decline of local artisans

Attempts at Reform
Sultans modernize and secularize government bureaucracy  Boost western ideas, science and technology  Sometimes meet resistance from the clergy

Mahmud II (1808-1839) (1808Built a small professional army  Tricks Janissaries into revolting  Crushes rebellion and disbands Janissary corps  Gets control over Ayan  Begins policy of westernization

Mehmed III
1820s: assists Mahumd II  Creates professional army  Subdues Janissaries  Builds modern navy

Tanzimat Reforms 1839-1876 183918391839-1876  Westernization of education  Introduces western communication systems  Western style laws and constitution  Some increased rights for women, some women enter public life

Revolts and Rebellions

Further weaken and cut away at the Ottoman Empire

Revolts and Rebellions

1820 Greek Revolution: Greece gains independence from the Ottoman Empire  1867 Serbs gain independence  Dynasty begins to feel increasingly threatened by westernized bureaucrats, professionals and military officers

Abdul Hamid (1878-1908) last (1878sultan

Attempts return to despotic absolutism, nullifies constitution and decreases civil rights  Continues to adopt western tech and military  Forced out with bloodless coup

The Eastern Question

How should Western European rulers deal with the Ottoman Empire?  No longer a threat  Held together volatile parts of Asia and Europe  Held important place geographically between Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean

Worry that collapse will destroy Europes delicate Balance of Power  Western nations especially nervous about increasing Austrian and Russian power  Britain and France support Turks against Russia and Austria even as they take over parts of the empire

The Crimean War

18541854-1856  Britain and France support Ottmans in war against Russian expansion into Black sea  Costly war with over 250,000 casualties  Defeat Russias forces but shows weakness of Ottoman Empire

As if that werent bad enough

Construction of Suez Canal in 1869 increases geographic importance of Egypt  Unification of Italy in 1860s adds another power into the Mediterranean  Montenegro, Romania, and Bulgaria struggle for greater autonomy

Balkan Crisis of 1876-1878 1876Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia rise up  Turks suppress rebellion ruthlessly  Russia attacks in 1877, and defeats in 1878  Congress of Berlin of 1878 presided over by Bismarck gives Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia independence

The Rise of the Young Turks

Ottoman Society for Union and Progress a.k.a. Young Turks formed in Paris 1889
Goal: restore the constitution of 1876  Successful in 1908

Problems 1908-1914 1908Division between military leaders fighting  Young Turks struggle to keep empire together  Increasing Arab nationalism more loss of land

Balkan Wars & World War I


19111911-1912Italy attacks Ottoman and takes control of remaining land in North Africa First Balkan War of 1912: Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria defeat Ottoman forces During WWI join the Central powers and are defeated in 1918 Empire collapses, remaining middle eastern possessions rebel and are taken over by Britain and France Modern State of Turkey formed in 1920s

Ottoman Empire during WWI

Change Over Time

Discuss in detail the internal and external forces that led to the decline of the Ottoman Empire between 1689 and 1918

Be sure to include (see rubric!)  A strong thesis statement  Historical evidence of change  Analysis of both internal and external causes of decline