the 1700s in the ottoman empire marked a time of reform adaptation and often on war with european powers most notably russia the empire that had previously been focused heavily on outward expansion was now faced with resolving internal issues and defending its possessions from new expansionist powers new allies new enemies and new challenges faced the ottoman sultans over the next century going to 1700 mustafa ii held the ottoman throne to kick off the 18th century sultan mustafa signed the treaty of constantinople on july 13 1700.
ending the russia-turkish war of 1686 throughout 1700 against russian tsar peter the great this treaty gave azov to russia but promised 30 years of peace between the empires sultan mustafa was unable to enjoy the harmony for long though due to the edern event in 1703 the event was a result of angered janissary core who disproved of sultan mustafa’s choice to return to edern not constantinople after signing the treaty of karlawitz and constantinople with the holy league mustafa also left most political and administrative power to fay zalah effendi.
who the janissaries found to be corrupt and overbearing when the ottomans decided to intervene in the civil war in georgia a unit of janissary core was supposed to be sent to georgia to give the empire a military presence in addition to the janissaries existing displeasure they were also now intended to join this conflict having not been paid for their proper salaries few units began to protest in constantinople and were quickly joined by civilians and other soldiers.
the protests turned to riots and after phase allah affendi had the rebels group of representatives arrested the rioters turned their sights toward etern but the janissaries were unsatisfied and as the sultan’s own soldiers now joined the protesters arriving in etern mustafa was deposed on august 22 1703 and faisal efendi was assassinated ahmed iii the brother of mustafa ii now seized the ottoman throne and was faced with the challenge of subduing the rebellious troops constantinople remained.
in a state of unsettled indignation until the appointment of a new grand vizier ali pasha once sultan ahmed could focus more on foreign affairs he began to improve ottoman relations with both england and france as well as forming a new alliance with charles xii of sweden after the swedish kings lost to peter the great of russia at the battle of poltava in 1709 charles sought refuge in the ottoman court and proceeded to convince sultan ahmed to declare war.
on russia in 1710 despite the 1700 constantinople treaty which should have meant 30 years of peace the ottoman grand vizier mehmed pasha led his troops to a decisive victory surrounding peter the great’s men at the pratt river and forcing the russians to not only agree to giving up azov but they were also required to destroy the fortress of taganrog and any other azovian forts and refrain from interfering in any polish or cossack affairs once the russians were no longer a direct adversary for the time being ahmed turned his attention to the venetians declaring war on venice.
in december of 1714 the ottomans used a coordinated naval and army effort to seize moria the following year word of the turks victory made its way to austria and the austrian emperor charles vi chose to intervene kicking off the austro-turkish war of 1716 through 1718.prince eugene’s austria’s habsburg general led his troops to drastic success against the ottomans although the war itself began to disrupt dutch and british mediterranean trade in 1718 great britain and holland urged the ottomans venetians and austrians into signing the treaty of pasa rovitz ending the conflict and confirming the ottomans gain of moria.
unfortunately for sultan ahmed the agreement also forced him to hand over belgrade little vallahia and benott to austria which threw a wrench in his empire’s westward expansion a few years later in june of 1724 the russia ottoman treaty was concluded which was intended to partition their shared neighbor of safavid iran but the ottomans were essentially chased out of the region by 1730.
potentially fueled by this failure in addition to anger toward the sultan’s excessive indulgence and overly lavish lifestyle in a time of economic struggle a janissary mutiny broke out again led by patrona halil sultan ahmed iii was subsequently deposed and replaced on the throne by his nephew mahmud the first one of the many sultans to do so mehmed was forced to first calm the boiling tensions.
in his empire after his uncle’s overthrow after roughly a year sultan mahmud was able to end the rebellion with the execution of halil and a large portion of his supporters during his reign mahmud became stuck in an on and off war with persia which brought about no real conclusion whilst also being faced with more discord in europe beginning in 1735.
the new russia turkish war began after russia decided to sign the treaty of ganja with iran creating an alliance against the offensive ottomans the russians now turn toward crimea which they continuously sieged burning palaces and fortifications as they pushed deeper into the peninsula they finally reached azov where they captured the ottomans fortress there.
although russian goals were aggressive all sides of the conflict were essentially subdued by a plague outbreak throughout 1737 to 1739 still austria attempted to join the war against the turks during 1737 but they faced repeated defeats at the hands of the ottomans and eventually lost belgrade after an incursion in the late summer of 1739 all three empires made negotiation efforts part way.
through the war but no progress was made diplomatically russia continued to drive deeper into ottoman territory through 1739 despite the fact that the austrians seem to have had enough the same year the treaty of belgrade was signed ending the austro-turkish war and giving the ottomans the kingdom of serbia part of bennett as well as handing over altenia over to the ottoman vassal of velahia russia was eventually forced to sign the treaty of nish roughly a month later.
which ended their war with the turks while allowing them to keep control of azov six years after peace was made with his european opponents sultan mohammed died of natural causes and was succeeded by osman iii osman son of mustafa ii spent 51 years in captivity after his father’s deposition and seemed to have developed some behavioral issues.
as a consequence potentially due to his unusual mind osmin was not responsible for many significant changes or events in the empire’s history one of the peculiar modifications made during his reign was the banning of all music and musicians from his palace nonetheless a more important action taken by sultan osman iii was the declaration of the furman in 1757 that preserved the division of responsibilities for various holy land sites between christians jews and muslims that same year on october 30th osman passed away leaving.
the ottoman throne open to mustafa iii mustafa iii was determined to create more solidity within the empire he focused initially on issues with coinage aqueducts and other internal affairs as well as spending a decent amount of time traveling to ensure that his laws were being enforced throughout his territory externally mustafa was determined to maintain peace with europe despite pressure from frederick the great of prussia to become more involved in european affairs.
the ottomans put great effort into remaining peaceful until war with russia became inevitable once again russia’s overbearing attitude toward poland and crimea became too much for the ottomans and another russia turkish conflict erupted in 1768. the war was an embarrassing defeat for the ottoman empire which was forced to give up territory reparations and allow the russians to be protectors of orthodox christianity in the ottoman vassal states of velahia and moldavia in 1774.
although a treaty was signed in july sultan mustafa iii had actually died of a heart attack in january of 1774 which meant that the war was resolved under the reign of abdul hamid the first one of sultan abdul hamid’s priorities was to reform the janissary corps and all of the ottoman armed forces which he did he is also credited with the establishment of the imperial naval engineering school hamid.
further concentrated significant efforts on strengthening his grip over syria egypt and iraq while russia was not one of sultan hamid’s preferred focuses he eventually was pushed back into war with the recurrent adversary in 1787 after russia consistently abused their power as orthodox christianity’s protector the turks were able to stand their ground fairly well at the start but with austria backing russia hamid’s troops began to struggle said to have been morally defeated by the ongoing war sultan abdul hamid died in april of 1789.
salim iii took over the ottoman throne and the continuing war with russia shortly into his reign sultan saleem agreed to end yet again the russia-turkish war despite having to accept the ultimate success of the russians once the foreign conflict was settled salim set up a committee of reformers and series of reforms relating to taxation land tenure and provincial governorships in addition to continuing the military reforms of his predecessor salim also opened ottoman embassies throughout the european capitals.
in order to create better relations with the west to round out the century the ottoman empire was faced with an unexpected plot twist as napoleon invaded egypt sultan saleem was forced to declare war on france and unexpectedly form an alliance with great britain and russia this new conflict would continue into the next century marking yet another era of increasing change for the ottoman.
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