The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire – History of the Ottomans (1600 – 1700)


the ottoman empire in the hands of sultan mehmed iii began the 17th century having made peace with notable challengers such as michael the brave who now ruled over moldavia and transylvania uniting them under one flag however conflict still persisted elsewhere barely into the 1600s the ottomans captured the fortress of nagi kanitsa having to defend their new hold on the following year at the siege of nagia konitsa against the habsburg and allied forces.

The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire - History of the Ottomans (1600 - 1700)

while continuing to participate in the 13-year war against the habsburg monarchy the turks were also constrained to engage with repeated revolts that surfaced at the start of the century  the ottoman’s current situation in the fall of 1603 war broke out once again with the savapha dynasty of persia making the death of sultan mehmed the third that december even heavier a loss for the empire at only 13 years old ahmed the first was next to take the title of sultan following his father’s death likely due to his age sultan ahmed made an unprecedented decision.

in favor of sparing the life of his brother mustafa opposing the expected act of fratricide demonstrated by his predecessors as a way of avoiding future dissension over the throne the young sultan chose to keep mustafa alive an act which prevented a potential end to the dynasty given that ahmed had not yet fathered any children to secede him nonetheless getting right to work ahmed focused his attention on the raging ottoman safafid war sending an army from constantinople in june of 1604 to confront their antagonistic foe having arrived later than they should have the turks failed to prevent.

the safafids from capturing yerevan and advancing forward some arguably poor decisions on the ottoman side ensued all but throwing away a year of precious time and opportunity by 1605 the war continued to wage on and prompted the turks under the command of mehmed pasha to form a temporary allegiance with steven box kai prince of transylvania who had requested assistance from the ottoman empire still as a consequence of ongoing struggles from multiple angles including more revolts.

 in anatolia sultan ahmed was forced to concede to the treaty of sifa torak in 1606 with austria recognizing the habsburg emperor as his equal and taking an axe to ottoman expansion in europe pressed even further to extend favorable commercial privileges to the netherlands france and venice the young sultan caused a significant blow to the empire’s esteem forced once again to come to an agreement with a bitter rival near the end of 1612 the ottomans and safafid signed.

the treaty of nasa pasha surrendering all territory gained in the 1578-1590 war back to the persians resetting the map to that of 1555 after the peace treaty of amasia the same year also marked a renewal of non-violence with france venice and england as well as a novel trade treaty that was signed with the dutch republic while scrambling to create a wave of harmony ahmed’s attempts to calm the atmosphere within his sovereign borders.

through new regulations religious donations and architecture were mostly overshadowed after a rain plagued with turmoil sultan ahmed fell ill and passed away in november of 1617 leaving the unsteady empire under the watchful eye of mustafa the first in an unusual occurrence the death of the prior sultan left the throne open to multiple candidates all of which resided at the sultan’s palace due to ahmed’s son’s age at the time a court faction.

 in favor of giving the title to mustafa overruled the opposition and enthroned the new sultan as the first brother to become sultan ahead of their predecessor’s sons mustafa had minimal luck in re-stabilizing the empire often described as having severe mental abnormalities mustafa was influenced by his mother haleem sultan who obtained notable direct power in his place nonetheless after only a short rule.

The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire (1600 – 1700)

The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire - History of the Ottomans (1600 - 1700)

the sultan was ousted by another court faction who chose to instead replace him with his nephew osman ii claiming the role in 1618 aged only 14 at the time osman ii was aware of the desperate need to repair the current state of affairs within the empire the young sultan first signed the treaty of sarav with the safavids before personally leading an incursion into poland which had previously interfered with ottoman vassal states during the moldavian magnet wars though another treaty was necessitated by the ottomans loss at the battle of chotan in 1621.

osman was undeterred from his goal to mend the empire’s prestige blaming the debased janissary corps for what he deemed inadequacy during the previous ventures the sultan decided to close their coffee shops and slash their pay as punishment osman was unable to follow through on a plan to overhaul his current forces and create a more reliable army before the outraged janissaries rebelled.

sultan osman ii was dethroned imprisoned and subsequently strangled to death marking the first sultan assassination performed by the janissaries taking advantage of his nephew’s downfall mustafa the first regained his throne in 1622 immediately cracking down on all those who were involved in osmond’s execution unable to maintain any level of control.

in the face of growing tensions between the janissaries and sapafi cavalrymen as well as a revolt by the governor general of urzu rum to avenge osmond mustafa’s mother ultimately supported a move to oust her son on the condition that he not be killed in the process ahmed the first 11 year old son murad iv now ascended the throne in september of 1623.

though his first years as ruler were mostly dominated by his mother and grand viziers sultan’s reign became a beacon of hope for the restoration of the empire’s inner amity and for in conflict with tenacious ferocity murad was known for his heavy-handed brutality and tendency to only loosely follow the overarching sharia law with the safavids now invading more territory to the southeast the ottomans focused.

this ruthless grit back onto the war with the persians able to seize azerbaijan tabriz and hamadan even baghdad in 1638 the turks then signed the treaty of zahab the following year the siege of baghdad also brought a notable meeting between sultan murad and two ambassadors from the magal empire exchanging gifts and supplies.

before sending a handful of ottoman troops to accompany the magals on their own expedition to sarat ironically having banned alcohol tobacco and coffee sultan murad iv eventually succumbed to his own alcohol addiction in 1640 seceding his brother ibrahim the first took the throne and quickly moved to make peace with the safavids and austria in stark contrast by 1645.

sultan ibrahim had already sparked a war with venice over the island of crete being a fan of extravagance the new sultan’s rule brought with it an increase in taxes causing disapproval and resentment within the region.

while the grand vizier kara mustafa had helped to correct economic deficiencies within the empire before his execution in 1644 not enough had been done and the burden caused by ibrahim’s expensive intrigues remained after a previous failed attempt to depose the monarch in favor of one of his own sons a janissary rebellion led to the capture of the ultimate assassination of sultan Ibrahim.

the first handing the throne over to his six-year-old son mehmed iv sultan mehmed iv the second longest reigning ruler of the empire ushered in a period of short-lived improvement bringing about heightened expansions in europe the ottomans managed successful campaigns against the adversaries such as venice transylvania poland and even Russia.

nevertheless at the battle of vienna in 1683 against the polish lithuanian troops and their allies the ottomans suffered a devastating defeat which marked merely the beginning of the great turkish war against the holy league only a few years later sultan mehmed and his men faced another crushing blow at the second battle of mohawk undergoing both a loss to their opponents and a mutiny from within as a consequence it was decided in november of 1687.

that sultan mehmed iv would be ousted and replaced by his brother sulliman ii with the mutiny that raised suleiman ii to the throne still carrying on the ottomans made a hasty attempt to fight back against the holy league despite losing support of the crimean vassals who now had to defend themselves against a russian invasion even so the turks were able to gain temporary victory as they recaptured belgrade and niche in 1690.

despite a request for support being denied in 1688 by the magal emperor aaron zeb the ottomans put a stop to the austrian invasion of serbia as well as a revolt coming from macedonia and bulgaria sulliman’s luck remained even after his own passing in june of 1691 until the death of his grand vizier cup rulu fazil mustafa pasha at the battle of slan kamen against the austrians in 1691.

before his death the grand vizier had helped to establish tax reforms and contribute to the improved treatment of christians under ottoman dominion having taken the title of sultan and responsibility of facing their opponents at the battle of slan kamen ii was immediately met with major losses of territory caused by austrians and venetians over.

the next few years the new sultan was never able to show complete independence of his command and was heavily reliant on his advisors throughout his time dealing with the holy league and newfound disturbances in the provinces of levant after a short and rather mediocre reign sultan ahmed ii’s death in 1695 at the age of 51 led to mustafa ii son of mehmed iv being perched to round out the 17th century.

as sultan as the great turkish war continued sultan mustafa ii led the empire to both victory and defeat ending with the signing of two peace treaties in 1699 and 1700 first came the treaty of karla vitz drastically cutting the ottoman influence in the balkans and handing predominant power in the region over to austria the following summer.

the treaty of constantinople was signed between the ottoman turks and russia confirming russia’s capture of azov and ending the 17th century hostilities between the powers with these compromises established sultan mustafa ii would remain on the throne for another three years to come the 17th century was different for the ottomans.

The Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire - History of the Ottomans (1600 - 1700)

if previously we discussed the expansion of this important empire between 1600 to 1700 the ottomans experienced a lot of political turmoil and internal crisis which led to instability and lost wars from now on the ottomans will focus far less on conquests and more on protecting their borders.

Read More:: How many Japanese Served in the U.S Army in WW2?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here