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Why Did The Ottoman Empire Fail Essay

The Ottoman Empire joined World War I in search to save themselves and avoid risk of destruction, but the exact opposite happened to them causing their ultimate downfall. The Ottoman Empire began in the year 1299. The empire stood for about 600 years and was established by Turkish tribes in Anatolia, Turkey. The name “Ottoman” came from the founding Turkman chief, Osman the first. Osman founded the dynasty and the empire around the year 1300. Overtime, the Ottoman Empire would continue to progress to become one of the most powerful states in the entire world during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

At its peak, the empire consisted of mostly southeastern Europe to Vienna, including present day Hungary, Greece, parts of the Ukraine, and the Balkan region, as well as, parts of the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Israel, and North Africa as far west as Algeria, and a large area of the Arabian Peninsula. This was an immense population of the world at the time due to the fact that the Americas have not even been founded yet. The beginning era of Ottoman Empire mainly focused on uninterrupted expansion of the great colonies.

During the era of expansion, the Ottomans were leaders of the Turkish warriors for the faith of Islam. The Turkish Warriors were given the horrifying title ghazi, literally meaning “raider” in arabic. These Turkish Warriors would raid villages and take all the young boys so that they could train them to be archers and additional warriors in the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman army was composed mostly of nomadic turkmen that had converted themselves to Islam. Most of them would usually be armed with bows, arrows and spears.

The ones assigned as ghazis were sent o invade and conquer Christian lands in any nearby regions or neighborhoods. Eventually the nomads would be replaced with mercenaries paid salaries rather than being paid in other treasures. The mercenaries were organized into different infantry units. The new infantry included some Turkmen while the rest of the men were Christian soldiers from the Balkans who were not mandated to convert to Islam as long as they were loyal and obeyed their Ottoman commanders. The Ottoman Empire had a number of emperors in its livelihood.

The “emperors” were most vastly known as Sultans in this period and dynasty. During the first world war, Mehmed V was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire and he took control in trying to lead the country of Turkey when they first entered World War 1 in 1918 in the side of Central Powers. The Ottoman Empire was successful in many battles which gained them a vast amount of land expanding their territory. The Ottoman empire would eventually go through an economical crisis during the 1800s. This crisis was the foundation for failure.

Very quickly, the Ottoman Empire fell into a humongous amount of debt. The Ottoman Empire got into a number of loan contracts and settlements with European creditors as soon as the Crimean war began. Following these loans, the Empire began to enter even more financial instability. Many of the loans were to finance new railroads and to finance a few deficits between the expensive spendings of the Imperial court. In the year 1875, the public debt was about £200,000,000 (equivalent to $293180000 at that time).

Not to mention the annual interest and amortization payments which was about £12,000,000 (equivalent to $17590800 at that time period). This was more than half of the national revenue. A big percentage of ottomans were unemployed during these times and the Ottoman empire had fallen into a major depression. The Empire lacked a strong economic structure. One of the biggest problems the Ottoman Empire faced was the fact that every other country in the world was industrializing except the them and they were more technically advanced.

For example, the Ottomans did not use modern taxation. Utility investments were also not adapted to the needs of their modern society. The trade routes changed, causing the Empire to lose its main income source. Of course this is one of the worst situations that a country could possibly be in at this time. This would tell someone that they are obviously not helping their economy if they can not adapt to the new modern ways. The empire depended extremely on farmers as a source of revenue through taxation and it backfired quite too much. The Ottoman Empire was extremely agricultural.

Eventually the Ottoman Empire would start to crumble. The first world war would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, which will lead to the beginning of a new era. The Ottoman Empire would eventually give independence to all of their territory and become the modern day countries that they are today. During the 1900s the Ottoman Empire was populated by approximately twenty five million people. About ten million of them were Turks, six million were arabs, one and a half million were kurds, another one and a half million were greeks, and about two million Armenians.

By this time certain countries, such as Egypt, Romania and Serbia became independent. The Ottoman Empire first got involved in World War 1 when they signed a secret treaty with Germany on August 2nd of 1914. The treaty basically stated that the Ottoman Empire was to join the war on the side of the central powers when Germany declared war on Russia. The Ottomans made a great contribution to the Central Powers during the world. Ottoman forces fought in eastern Asia as well as on the European front.

After 1916, army desertions started occurring on a massive scale. The surrender of Bulgaria, on September 28th of 1918 was the final blow for the Ottomans. The Ottomans surrendered and lost the war along with the rest of the Central Powers. After the war Britain remained occupying what is today known as Iraq, Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Britain became the dominant power in the region. After the CUP cabinet resigned on October 7th of 1918, a new government was formed.

The new government was formed under Ahmed Izzet Pasa on October 9th of 1918. Eventually the Ottomans signed the Armistice of Mudro. The end of the war brought peace between the Ottoman Empire and the allies, but it did not bring peace nor did it bring stability to the area of the empire. Later on the Ottoman Empire would break up into separate countries and become what they are today in time. World war 1 did cause the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, but it was mainly the Ottoman Empire’s economy and government that ultimately caused their downfall.

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