Ottomans for Kids - Islamic History - Middle School Homework Help

The Ottomans

The Ottoman Empire arose out of the leftovers of the old Seljuk sultans of Anatolia (Turkey). Beginning in 1299 AD, one of these Seljuks, Osman, began to expand his kingdom.

The weakness of the Byzantine Empire after the Fourth Crusade and collapse of the Mongol Empire during the Black Death of 1347 allowed the Ottoman sultans to cross over into Europe in 1352 and begin conquering Greece and the Balkans. By 1361, Murad I had captured Adrianople, and by 1386, Bayezid I had taken Sofia (modern Bulgaria).

Although things were going well in Europe, in West Asia the Ottomans were attacked in 1400 by the Mongols, putting their empire back together under their new leader Tamerlane. A lot of the Ottomans' West Asian land was lost. Bayezid was so upset that he killed himself.

Because they were losing their battles in Asia, the Ottomans focused more and more on Europe. They fought many wars with Venice over control of the Eastern Mediterranean shipping routes. In 1453 the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II and his Janissaries even conquered Constantinople (modern Istanbul) from the Byzantine emperors, ending the last piece of the Roman Empire.

In 1492, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella made all the Jews leave Spain, many of them came to live in the Ottoman Empire, where the sultans welcomed them and let them follow their religion.

By 1517, the Ottomans had defeated the Mamluks to gain control of Egypt, and gradually they extended their control over the North African coast to conquer the Hafsids and the Marinids as well.

The Ottoman Empire under Suleyman the Magnificent

To find out more about the Ottomans, check out these books from or from your local library:

Main Islamic history page
Main Islam page

Print this page
Upgrade to premium / Log in
Premier site / Log out