The Ottoman Empire

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Whittemore

Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has an M.A in instructional education.

The Ottoman Empire began in 1299 with Muslim Turks who ruled over countries including Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Israel, and parts of North Africa. Learn about the Seljuk Turks, as well as the expansion and decline of the Ottoman Empire. Updated: 10/27/2021

Ottoman Empire

When speaking of empires, it often seems that Rome and Greece get loads of playing time in history classrooms and textbooks. However, the Ottoman Empire, which was founded about 1299, was one of the longest empires in world history. Today's lesson will make the Ottoman Empire the star of the show as we do a brief survey of this powerhouse that once ruled over countries like Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, sections of the Arabian Peninsula, and even parts of North Africa.

We'll get things going with its beginnings and its growth.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Safavid Empire: Creation, Rulers, Characteristics & Shi'ism

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:08 Ottoman Empire
  • 0:48 Seljuk Turks
  • 1:43 Expansion
  • 2:42 Decline
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Seljuk Turks

For starters, the Ottoman Empire is closely linked to the empire of the Seljuk Turks. The Seljuk Turks were the first Turkish tribe to convert to Sunnite Islam. Although they were strong, the Seljuk Turks were continually at war with the Byzantine Empire and the Mongols. As this continual conflict took its toll on the empire, the Seljuk Turks began to lose their place of prominence.

However, as they declined, a new group of warring Turks, whose leaders were known as Ghazis, or holy warriors, were poised to take over the spotlight and power. When one of these powerful ghazis, known as Osman, rallied these warring Turks under his reign, the Ottoman Empire was born. Using the military skill of their ghazis, the Ottoman Turks wasted no time folding the lands once held by the Seljuk Turks under their wings. In fact, by the late 1400s, most, if not all, Muslim Turkish lands were under the control of the Ottomans.

Expansion

As a young empire, the Ottomans were fixated on expanding their lands and their powers. This meant working to expand their power and influence into Europe! One of their main targets was Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Although the Ottomans met many ups and downs in their fight for this important city, they finally attained their prize when Constantinople fell to them in the year 1453.

Much to the chagrin of Europe and the other powers of the West, the Ottomans were not content to stop at Constantinople. Quite on the contrary, the defeat of this great city only fueled their appetite for more. Like ants overtaking a picnic, the Ottoman Turks marched west. In fact, under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the 16th century Ottoman Turks conquered places like Egypt, Syria, parts of North Africa, and Hungary. Showing the extent of their power and Suleiman's greatness, even parts of Greece fell under their rule.

Decline

Unfortunately for the Ottomans, the rulers after Suleiman were unable to keep his winning streak of sorts going, and by the 1600s, the empire saw substantial decline in its power.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account