A. Break Up of the Ottoman Empire


    The Ottoman Empire was one of the most successful empires in Southwest Asia (Middle East). It lasted from 1299-1924, and the rulers of the empire were caliphs. Their government was set up as a theocracy. The Ottoman Empire stretched out from parts in Southwest Asia to Europe and Northern Africa, making it an important trading route. The land was settled by many different ethnic and religious groups that at one time got along. The Ottomans had a very successful empire until WWI. 


    During WWI, the Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers, which also included Germany and Austria-Hungary.  They were against the Allied Powers: England, France, the United States, and Russia. As the war went on, the Central Powers were losing.  During the war, the British and the French made a secret meeting called the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This was a meeting by the two nations to discuss who got what land. (This agreement was made before the final outcome of the war. The fact that it was during the war makes the agreement significant). When the war ended, the Allied Powers had won and the Ottoman Empire was weakened greatly. 

After WWI 

   Britain and France went on to partition the land of this empire, placing artificial boundaries. Artificial boundaries were placed in-between lands without looking into what religious and ethnic groups were there at the time. When boundaries where placed, ethnic and religious groups were placed together creating conflict. For example, Iraq was created by merging several regions together. This caused new ethnic and religious groups to be placed next to one another. As partitioning went on, these kinds of events started many wars, including the Arab-Israeli Wars. Religious groups like the Sunni and Shia Muslims began fighting, and ethnic groups like the Kurds and Armenians were separated, now wanting their own country. Many wars lasted on, lessening the chances of it ever being put back together. 

Present Day

    When partitioning was over, a new country was formed and is now called Turkey (land of the Turks). Turkey is made up of the land they were able to keep after the war. 



Quick Summary:
  • The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299-1924.
  • In parts of Europe, Southwest Asia, and Africa.
  • Very successful, even with different ethnic and religious groups.
  • After the Ottoman Empire lost WWI, they were greatly weakened.
  • Europe (mainly England and France) partitioned the Ottoman Empire into separate mandates.
  • Distribution was unfair and unequal.
  • Ethnic and Religious groups were now close together and they did not get along.
  • Created many conflicts 

Ottoman Empire: a diverse empire that lasted from 1299-1924. It owned a vast area of land.
Caliphs: religious leaders that are also political leaders.
Theocracy: a government ruled by religious leaders.
Ottomans: (Turks) the ethnic group that started the Ottoman Empire. 
Partition: to divide or separate something
Artificial Boundaries: to place borders without recognition of religious or ethnic groups.
Mandate: when a country is placed under the control of another.
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Hint: Etymology is the origin of a word


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(for article)
Class Notebook, pages 2-8

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