Ottoman Empire facts for kids

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Sublime Ottoman State

Ottoman Empire
Osmanlı İmparatorluğu
دولت عالیه عثمانیه
Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye
Flag of Ottoman Empire
Coat of arms
'Motto: 'دولت ابد مدت
Devlet-i Ebed-müddet
("The Eternal State")
Anthem: Ottoman imperial anthem
Borders in 1609, see: list of territories
Borders in 1609, see: list of territories
Capital Söğüt (1299–1326)
Bursa (1326–1365)
Edirne (1365–1453)
Constantinople (1453–1922)
Government Monarchy
• 1281–1326 (first)
Osman I
• 1918–22 (last)
Mehmed VI
Grand Viziers  
• 1320–31 (first)
Alaeddin Pasha
• 1920–22 (last)
Ahmed Tevfik Pasha
• Founded
• Interregnum
• 1. Constitutional
• 2. Constitutional
• Succeeded
July 24 1923
1680 5,500,000 km2 (2,100,000 sq mi)
• 1856
• 1906
• 1914
• 1919
Currency Akçe, Kuruş, Lira
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm

The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299 to 1923. It was centered in Turkey and controlled the eastern and southern lands around the Mediterranean Sea. The empire was founded by Osman I around 1299, and was most powerful from around 1400 to 1600, when it controlled trade and politics in southeastern Europe, southwest Asia, and northern Africa. Suleiman the Magnificent was one of the most powerful rulers.

The empire was a collection of conquered countries. The Sultan sent governors to rule these countries or provinces, with titles such as Pasha or Bey. The most famous in the early 19th century was Muhammad Ali Pasha. Besides provinces, the empire also had tributary states.

In later years, the Ottoman Empire began to weaken. In the latter part of the 19th century became known as "the sick man of Europe". The empire was defeated in World War I and broke into pieces.

Sultan's family

The empire was a hereditary monarchy. The ruler's title was 'Sultan'. In the early years of the empire, shahzadahs, the sons of the Sultan, were sent to different parts of the empire (Sanjaks) to get experience of governing. Later they might be candidates for the Sultanate and Caliphate.

After Ahmed this system changed. In the new system the Sultan would keep his male relatives locked in a small apartment called a kafes where they would never be able to see the outside world, and would therefore be unable to take power from him. Often, a new Sultan would have his male relatives killed, a simpler solution since it removed competition for the Sultanate and prevented rebel movements. However, the women in his harem often sought greater status and influence, and the Sultan's mother might become a powerful political force in the Empire. Each mother in the harem would try to make her own son the next Sultan, since they knew he would probably be killed if he was not.

The Sultans gradually lost their ability to govern far-away territories well. Distant governors did whatever they wanted and made their own laws instead of obeying the Sultan. By its end, the Ottoman Empire grew so worn out and corrupt that it was ready to collapse.

Capital of Ottoman empire

Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Edirne in Thrace became the capital city of the Ottoman Empire in 1365, until Istanbul was conquered by the Turks and became the empire's final capital.

Vassal states

Many places were vassal states to the empire rather than being directly ruled. These included Transylvania, Moldavia, Wallachia, (Romania), Caucasus (Georgia, Dagestan, and Chechnya. Their rulers received a degree of independence and autonomy from the Ottoman Empire. The price for this autonomy was more money (tax or tribute) paid to the Sultan.

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