Analyse why the Ottoman Empire proved to be the most successful and enduring of the early-modern Islamic empires.
From its emergence as an empire in the fourteenth century, the Ottoman Empire conquered and expanded its reign throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa until its fall in the nineteenth century. This essay will examine the driving factors of Ottoman success in its conquest, and the dynasty system and law of the Ottomans which, arguably, was a core ingredient in the enduring reign of the Ottoman Empire. While some of the ideas covered in this essay have been shared among various writers such as Imber, Murphey, and Yurdusev, their views are not universally held and are open to adversaries. Looking in detail at the diplomacy, law,
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The Ottomans recognized that no fixed method or law of succession was capable of consistently delivering smooth transition of power from a sultan to his successor. For this reason, the Ottoman’s attitude towards procedures, even as basic as the management of succession, was determined based on the circumstances rather than on fixed principles. However, one method of succession was regarded as necessary by several imperial eras. The law of fratricide was introduced by Mehmed II (1451-81) for a purpose aimed at post-succession stabilization, though the removal of brothers and rivals by the successors to the throne had been recognized and documented since Murad I’s (1362-89) reign. Following his succession to the throne, Murad killed all his brothers and established a precedent which, after his death, was followed by the dynasty over a period of two hundred years. From Murad I’s time, the throne was passed onto the son of the sultan whom defeated and killed his brothers and other rivals to the throne. Furthermore, Murad’s son, Bayezid I (1389-1402) succeeded his father and claimed the throne after executing his brother on the battlefield of Kosovo in 1389. These events show a principle of dynastic succession that has been deeply rooted in the Ottoman Empire. That is, dating from the earliest days of the empire, the indivisibility of the