The Empire was founded by Osman I. In 1453, following its capture from the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople, modern stanbul, became the new capital of the Ottoman Empire under the name 'Kostantiniye'. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities, with the powers of eastern Europe constantly threatened by its steady advance through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Its navy was a powerful force in the Mediterranean. On several occasions it even invaded central Europe, sieging Vienna, in its attempts to conquer the Habsburg domain, and was only repulsed by coalitions of European powers.
In this period, the discussions among the elites of Ottomans on how to organize a new state constitute the most important detail. The location of this movement gave it access to many different cultures and experiences. Given the historical facts of other great empires, Ottoman elites believed that the power of the sword was not enough to build and maintain a powerful state. Swords must be wielded by men. It was important to find strong and capable men and bind them together in willing cooperation to conquer large sections of Europe, Asia, and Africa. ...Show more