Decline and Modernization of the Ottoman Empire


Beginning from the late eighteenth century, the Ottoman Empire faced challenges defending itself against foreign invasion and occupation.

The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, Ottoman Turkey, was an empire founded at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia in the vicinity of Bilecik and Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman.

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In response to foreign threats, the empire initiated a period of tremendous internal reform which came to be known as the Tanzimat, which succeeded in significantly strengthening the Ottoman central state, despite the empire's precarious international position.

The Tanzimât, literally meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876.

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Over the course of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman state became increasingly powerful and rationalized, exercising a greater degree of influence over its population than in any previous era.


The process of reform and modernization in the empire began with the declaration of the Nizam-I Cedid during the reign of Sultan Selim III and was punctuated by several reform decrees, such as the Hatt-ı Şerif of Gülhane in 1839 and the Hatt-ı Hümayun in 1856.

The Nizam-i Djedid was a series of reforms carried out by the Ottoman Sultan Selim III during the late 18th and early 19th centuries in a drive to catch up militarily and politically with the Western Powers.

Hatt-i humayun, also known as hatt-i sharif, is the diplomatics term for a document or handwritten note of an official nature composed by an Ottoman Sultan.


At the end of this period, marked with 1908, to a degree the Ottoman military became modernized and professionalized according to the model of Western European Armies.


The period was followed by the defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

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