The Ottoman Empire and Europe, 1453-1922

The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest-surviving empires in history. It existed in one form or another from the turn of the fourteenth century until 1922, and at its greatest extent reached to Croatia and Algeria in the west, the Persian Gulf in the east, Ukraine in the north and Yemen in the south. The empire played a significant role in the history of Europe: it ruled large parts of eastern and southern Europe; it was an important antagonist or ally of all the European powers; and it was a major trading partner for European societies.

This undergraduate second-year option module examines the place of the Ottoman Empire in European history both in terms of Ottoman rule in south-eastern Europe and in terms of the relations between the empire and the European states. The module covers the period from 1453, when the Ottomans began their expansion into a world power with the conquest of Constantinople, until the collapse of the empire in the aftermath of World War I. Students will engage with some of the fundamental questions in early modern and modern history: the shift of economic and political power from Asia to Europe, the rise of nationalism and the transformation of multi-ethnic empires into nation-states, and the relationship between Islam and Europe.

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