Goverments is just like people. They born, live and die. This is an acceptable understanding. But, this is not enough for explaination of every county’s periodization. There are some foothold between birth and death. This is not as a wall which seperate new from early time sharply. Generally, there is a changing time between two period.
At this article, we will try to study periodization of Ottoman Empire. You can find known classical theses and new aproaches of contemporary historians to periodization of Ottoman Empire. Acording to classical thought, 1300 – 1453 is the foundation period. After the conquest of costantinople, Ottoman power increase and this govermant lived golden age at the Süleyman magnificant. This period is rising period. Next period is until the agreement of karlofca in 1699. This is discontinuation period. And, decline period began by the karlofca agreement. This periodization is comman idea in the history world. We will argued if this periodization is true and give contemporary historians’ aproaches to periodization of Ottoman Empire.
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First ottoman historians who tried to pediodize ottoman history is Cevdet Paşa and Mustafa Nuri Paşa in nineteenth century. Those historians seperated the ottoman empire in three period as Katip Çelebi did before. These periods are youthfull period, stability and decline periods. Mehmet Nuri Paşa studied history of institutions and culture too. This is an important point for the periodization history. According to Mehmet Nuri Paşa, ethic valuables lost and increased luxurious living in sixteenth century. This is marks of the decline. But, real decline began after the defeat of viena.
Ottoman periodization should be studied under the specific topics. We shouldn’t look only increase and decrease of the Ottoman territories. For example; Otoman territories began to decrease after the last period of seventeenth century. But, we can not say the same thing for art, culture, production, economical activities, organization and prosperity. Bureaucracy developed in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fast.
According to classical understanding, Ottoman Empire developed until the end of sixteenth century and after these she declined during the 300 years. Most defective side of the classical periodization is that continuatin of decline during the 300 years. A decline which continue during the 300 years is illogical. If we accept 700 year as a turning poind, we will see that success of Otoman Empire in the second period is much more than first period. At the development period, there was no any big power against Ottoman Empire. But, there was a giantlike power in the second period. Europe was very powerful and they successed industrial revolution and reform activities. We can say that struggle of Ottoman Empire against very powerful europe and internal problems is more important success than first period. There is magnifical power back struggle against decline.
Linda darling suggest three period which are called expansion (1300-1550), reinforcement (1550-1718) and transformation (1718-1923). Those periods can be seperated in two subheading. Those seperatings depend to main characters of the period. The aim of this approac is not to learn what happened for Ottomans. It is to understand what they did. Another aim is study successful and unsuccesful periods of empire at the same pot. Instead of the external exodus and events, it should be taken in to consedariton the Ottoman's own aim and motvations.
The expanding of the term contains the period from the beginning of the Empire to the first half of the term of Kanuni. The key point of these 2 terms is the year 1453. The term before 1453, the conquest of Istanbul , is not a continuously expanding period. For instance , after Ankara War , The State got weakened and lost land. in the period of epanding , not only were the lands epanded but also new institutions were set up and institutional developping was supplied
The second term named ''reinforcement'' contains the years between 1550 and 1718. This term is the term to protect the boards gained and to enrich the state institutions. This doesn't mean not to have any development during this period. Yet , in this period , the state and population spent their enegy on the continuousness of their presence, the power of central control and development of the institutions. The development led to changings.The central control couldnt make itself listened to the furthest zones. By having been divided in to pieces , The zones conquered were turned in to the small states.
The period coming after reinforcement was transformation term. This term contains the bigger part of 18.th, 19.th. and the before terms of 20.th. there is a universal exchanging in this period. The period tulip was the first example about the tryings of transformation of west model. A lot of reform were made in 19th. century.in this period the role of religon was also changed. that in this period to support a control in religion as far. The religon had an opposite side to the reforms that were being tried by the government. This period is reinforcement term, not decline. Firstly, we shouldn’t look only political developments. At this period, power which against Ottoman Empire was more strong. In spite of this, Ottoman Empire struggled during 300 years importan. This is not a unsuccesfulness. This is an important success.
As a result, classical Ottoman periodisation is not enough because it is studied in only political events. History is not only history of policy. We shouldn’t see only political milestones. For example, Ottoman Empire lost wide territories in nineteenth century. But, we can not say the same thing for culture, bureaucracy or literature. Most important problem of periodization is decline question.