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The Sick Man of Europe: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Decline in the 19th Century

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*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The long agony of the “sick man of Europe,” an expression used by the Tsar of Russia to depict the falling Ottoman Empire, could almost blind people to its incredible power and history. Preserving its mixed heritage, coming from both its geographic position r *Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The long agony of the “sick man of Europe,” an expression used by the Tsar of Russia to depict the falling Ottoman Empire, could almost blind people to its incredible power and history. Preserving its mixed heritage, coming from both its geographic position rising above the ashes of the Byzantine Empire and the tradition inherited from the Muslim Conquests, the Ottoman Empire lasted more than six centuries. Its soldiers fought, died, and conquered lands on three different continents, making it one of the few stable multi-ethnic empires in history, and likely one of the last. Thus, it’s somewhat inevitable that the history of its decline is at the heart of complex geopolitical disputes, as well as sectarian tensions that are still key to understanding the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. When studying the fall of the Ottoman Empire, historians have argued over the breaking point that saw a leading global power slowly become a decadent empire. The failed Battle of Vienna in 1683 is certainly an important turning point for the expanding empire, as the defeat of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha at the hands of a coalition led by the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, Holy Roman Empire and Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth marked the end of Ottoman expansionism. It was also the beginning of a slow decline during which the Ottoman Empire suffered multiple military defeats, found itself mired by corruption, and had to deal with the increasingly mutinous Janissaries (the Empire’s initial foot soldiers). Despite it all, the Ottoman Empire would survive for over 200 more years, and in the last century of its life it strove to reform its military, administration and economy until it was finally dissolved. Years before the final collapse of the Empire, the Tanzimat (“Reorganization”), a period of swiping reforms, led to significant changes in the country’s military apparatus, among others, which certainly explains the initial success the Ottoman Empire was able to achieve against its rivals. Similarly, the drafting of a new Constitution (Kanûn-u Esâsî, basic law) in 1876, despite it being shot down by Sultan Abdul Hamid II just two years later, as well as its revival by the “Young Turks” movement in 1908, highlights the understanding among Ottoman elites that change was needed, and their belief that such change was possible. During the period that preceded its collapse, the Ottoman Empire was at the heart of a growing rivalry between two of the competing global powers of the time, England and France. The two powers asserted their influence over a declining empire, the history of which is anchored in Europe as much as in Asia. However, while the two powers were instrumental in the final defeat and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, their stance toward what came to be known as the “Eastern Question” – the fate of the Ottoman Empire – is not one of clear enmity. Both England and France found, at times, reasons to extend the life of the sick man of Europe until it finally sided with their shared enemies. Russia’s stance toward the Ottoman Empire is much more clear-cut; the rising Asian and European powers saw the Ottomans as a rival, which they strove to contain, divide and finally destroy for more than 300 years in a series of wars against their old adversary. The Sick Man of Europe: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Decline in the 19th Century chronicles the struggles of the vast Turkish empire before World War I brought about its dissolution. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the decline of the Ottoman Empire like never before.


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*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The long agony of the “sick man of Europe,” an expression used by the Tsar of Russia to depict the falling Ottoman Empire, could almost blind people to its incredible power and history. Preserving its mixed heritage, coming from both its geographic position r *Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents The long agony of the “sick man of Europe,” an expression used by the Tsar of Russia to depict the falling Ottoman Empire, could almost blind people to its incredible power and history. Preserving its mixed heritage, coming from both its geographic position rising above the ashes of the Byzantine Empire and the tradition inherited from the Muslim Conquests, the Ottoman Empire lasted more than six centuries. Its soldiers fought, died, and conquered lands on three different continents, making it one of the few stable multi-ethnic empires in history, and likely one of the last. Thus, it’s somewhat inevitable that the history of its decline is at the heart of complex geopolitical disputes, as well as sectarian tensions that are still key to understanding the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. When studying the fall of the Ottoman Empire, historians have argued over the breaking point that saw a leading global power slowly become a decadent empire. The failed Battle of Vienna in 1683 is certainly an important turning point for the expanding empire, as the defeat of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha at the hands of a coalition led by the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, Holy Roman Empire and Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth marked the end of Ottoman expansionism. It was also the beginning of a slow decline during which the Ottoman Empire suffered multiple military defeats, found itself mired by corruption, and had to deal with the increasingly mutinous Janissaries (the Empire’s initial foot soldiers). Despite it all, the Ottoman Empire would survive for over 200 more years, and in the last century of its life it strove to reform its military, administration and economy until it was finally dissolved. Years before the final collapse of the Empire, the Tanzimat (“Reorganization”), a period of swiping reforms, led to significant changes in the country’s military apparatus, among others, which certainly explains the initial success the Ottoman Empire was able to achieve against its rivals. Similarly, the drafting of a new Constitution (Kanûn-u Esâsî, basic law) in 1876, despite it being shot down by Sultan Abdul Hamid II just two years later, as well as its revival by the “Young Turks” movement in 1908, highlights the understanding among Ottoman elites that change was needed, and their belief that such change was possible. During the period that preceded its collapse, the Ottoman Empire was at the heart of a growing rivalry between two of the competing global powers of the time, England and France. The two powers asserted their influence over a declining empire, the history of which is anchored in Europe as much as in Asia. However, while the two powers were instrumental in the final defeat and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, their stance toward what came to be known as the “Eastern Question” – the fate of the Ottoman Empire – is not one of clear enmity. Both England and France found, at times, reasons to extend the life of the sick man of Europe until it finally sided with their shared enemies. Russia’s stance toward the Ottoman Empire is much more clear-cut; the rising Asian and European powers saw the Ottomans as a rival, which they strove to contain, divide and finally destroy for more than 300 years in a series of wars against their old adversary. The Sick Man of Europe: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Decline in the 19th Century chronicles the struggles of the vast Turkish empire before World War I brought about its dissolution. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the decline of the Ottoman Empire like never before.

33 review for The Sick Man of Europe: The History of the Ottoman Empire’s Decline in the 19th Century

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anil Swarup

    Every Empire right through the history of the world has had its rise and decline. However, the decline of the Ottoman Empire was much slower and the decay came over a period of time. This comes out beautifully in this well edited history by the Charles River Editors.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Glen R. Renfrew

  3. 4 out of 5

    Heiss

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathon Proctor

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edward Reber

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sean Glorioso

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denise Dukette

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert Edward Dukes

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Bright

  10. 4 out of 5

    Greg Henneman

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian Wee

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Brylczyk

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lo Regis

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Peck

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yazir Paredes

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Wolcott

  19. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Borrero

  20. 4 out of 5

    Victoria S. Torley

  21. 5 out of 5

    tm

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  23. 5 out of 5

    janice s. hastert

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eurydicegirlgmail.Com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan Riddle

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bill Lively

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heinz E. Malon

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cheri Oakes

  29. 4 out of 5

    Prashant

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anuj Kamboj

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kartik Krishnaiyer

  32. 5 out of 5

    A. Cari

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sia Fay

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