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The official state of Sunni Islam, the Ottoman Emperor is also the Caliph, which makes the Ottoman Empire also a Caliphate, but the Caliphate is reserved for religious purposes.
The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I. As sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, the state grew into a mighty empire. The Empire reached its apex under Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century when it stretched from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the northwest; and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus in the north. After its defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, however, the Empire reached its farthest point of expansion.
The Foundation and Rise of the Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1453) refers to the period which started with the weakening of the Seljuq Sultanate of Rum in the very early 14th century and ended with the Byzantine Empire decline and the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453.
The rise of the Ottomans correlates with the decline of the Byzantine Empire, which generated the shift in power from a singular Christian European society to an Islamic influence. The beginning of this period was characterized by the Byzantine-Ottoman wars which lasted for a century and a half. During this period, the Ottoman Empire gained control of both Anatolia and the Balkans.
The growth of the Ottoman Empire (1453 – 1579) is the period followed after the Rise of the Ottoman Empire in which the Ottoman state reached the Pax Ottomana. In this period, the Ottoman Empire expanded southwestwards into North Africa and battled with the re-emergent Persian Shi'a Safavid Empire to the east. The growth period was followed by the perceived stagnation and eventual reform of the Ottoman Empire.
The perceived stagnation and eventual reform of the Ottoman Empire (1579– 1739) began by the death of the able grand vizier Sokollu Mehmet Pasha in 1579 and the peace of Peace of Zsitvatorok in 1606. During this period the empire continued to have military might. Despite a few gains like Crete, there were almost continuous rebellions in Anatolia and vast territories were lost to Safavid Persia. The period is marked by weak and semi mad sultans and incapable grandviziers. The valide sultans (mothers of the sultans) who acted like queen regent were the powerful figures of the period.
The period of reform of the Ottoman Empire (1739-1839) came with Selim III (1789–1807) made the first major attempts to modernize the army, but reforms were hampered by the religious leadership and the Janissary corps. Jealous of their privileges and firmly opposed to change, the Janissary created a revolt. Selim's efforts cost him his throne and his life, but were resolved in spectacular and bloody fashion by his successor, the dynamic Mahmud II, who eliminated the Janissary corps in 1826.
During the Tanzimat period (1839–Present), the government's series of constitutional reforms led to a fairly modern conscripted army, banking system reforms, the replacement of religious law with secular lawand guilds with modern factories. Samuel Morse received his first ever patent for the telegraph in 1847, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid who personally tested the new invention. The reformist period peaked with the Constitution, called the Kanûn-u Esâsî.
- Population: 70,000,000
- Male Population: 34,000,000
- Female Population: 36,000,000
- Military Size: 6000,000
- Army Size: 500,000
- Navy Size: 100,000
- Muslims: 74%
- Greeks: 15%
- Armenians: 5%
- Bulgarians: 3%
- Other (Jews and Protestants): 3%