The Ottoman Empire is a large Muslim empire centered on Constantinople and Anatolia but including territories in the Balkans, Middle East, and North Africa. It is a primary antagonist of the United States in the early years of US History engaging in three separate Ottoman-American Wars leading to the independence of Greece, Egypt, and North Africa.
Osman I began as a ruler of a small Anatolian state and expanded his realm to include much of Anatolia, Eastern Mediterranean, and Balkans at the expense of the declining Byzantine Empire. In 1453 the Ottomans ended the Eastern Roman Empire with the capture of Constantinople which they promptly made their capital. The Empire flourished as the controller of Asian trade to Europe and as the dominant Muslim state in the world. It expanded across North Africa and deep into Europe, taking Serbia, Hungary, and almost capturing Vienna on two occasions in the 1500's and 1600's. After the failed attempt to take Vienna in 1683 the Ottomans became embroiled in Mediterranean affairs and the rise of Russia as the Russians pushed south in attempts to take a warm water port.
1801 to 1807
1801 marked the start of the Barbary Wars in North Africa as the United States began attacking pirates along the North African coast and became embroiled in the Moroccan Civil War between the claimant kings Hicham and Slimane. The Ottoman Empire has nominal connections to the Kingdom of Morocco and was the titular possessor of the states of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Cyrenacia, and Fezzan though in practice those territories were run by deys who ruled in the name of the Sultan but were largely independent and often hereditary. The states were so independent that the Ottoman Sultan was often willing to turn a blind eye to European interference along the coast, especially if it was against piracy. The United States interference saw the pro-American Hicham I make headway in the Moroccan Civil War, the turning of the Bey of Tunis to a pro-American stance, the downfall of the Dey of Algiers and the establishment of the Republic of Algeria, and the replacement of the Ottoman Pasha of Tripoli with the pro-American Hamet Karamanli
However the blatant interference by the Americans brought the Ottomans into the war in 1806 and saw American gains reversed. The Bey of Tunis was deposed and executed and replaced with a Bey loyal to the Sultan, Morocco, Tripolitania, and Algeria all saw Islamist revolts favoring the Ottomans and the Sultan who was the Caliph of Islam over the Christian Americans. The United State responded by widening the war against the Ottomans sparking revolts in Greece, Egypt, and Arabia.
Despite losses in Tripolitania and Tunis and a bloody civil war in Algeria the American victory at Annaba in 1807 quieted the war down and brought the wars in Morocco and Algeria to an end. The Egyptian civil war between Muhammed Ali and the Mamluks resulted in the division of Egypt into an Ali controlled north and a Mamluk controlled south. In Asia the Saudis sacked Amman bringing the war much closer to home than anyone had expected. In late 1806 the Hospodars of Wallachia and Moldavia who were nominally loyal to the Ottoman Sultan but actually had a deep Russian streak invited the Russians to occupy their territories while the Ottomans were distracted and Napoleon was flexing his muscles in Dalmatia with the creation of the Illyrian Provinces.
With the Ottomans distracted on all sides the Americans and their allies took Tunis in December of 1807 and Tripoli in January of 1808 returning the situation to the status quo antebellum. The Ottomans became distracted by events much closer to home when Selim III closed the Bosporus to Russian shipping in response to their occupation of Wallachia and Moldavia. This led the British to flex their muscles in favor of their anti-Napoleon Russian allies and a brief conflict between the Ottomans and the British/Russians in which the British attempted to capture Constantinople but failed miserably. Still the Dardanelles Operation forced Ottoman attention on their capital at the height of the war in North Africa. Still the Ottomans refused to accept peace overtures.
In mid-1807 though the Janissaries, fed up at the various mismanagements by Selim III dethroned the Sultan and replaced him with Mustafa IV. Selim was stabbed to death by the Janissary conspirators leaving Mustafa to make peace and reorganize the Empire. Even though Mustafa achieved peace with the US, Russia, and Britain the Empire was thrown into a brief civil war with European Janissaries, led by Mustafa Bayrakdar, demanding someone “worthier” take the throne. Mustafa IV was deposed by the janissaries and replaced by the last surviving Osman in Mahmud II.
Mahmud II maintained the peace with Britain and the US but resumed the war with Russia under the belief that a defeat of Russia would strengthen the core of the Empire and strengthen Mahmud's rule as a whole. However the war that lasted from 1808 to 1811 was a disaster for the already bloodied Ottomans and ended with the Russian annexation of Bessarabia. Despite the humiliating loss to the Russians, Mahmud entered into an alliance with the British in 1812 against the Americans as a result of the War of the Sixth Coalition. Ahmed Pasha took a powerful Ottoman army with British support from Cyrenacia to Tripoli and then Tunis before invading Algeria and being checked improbably by Winfield Scott at the bloody Battle of Constantine. The war in North Africa stagnated for several years but in 1816 Tunis was retaken in a popular uprising as the war came to an end. At the Congress of Vienna which ended the Napoleonic Wars, the Ottomans retook Tripolitania but Tunis, Algeria, and Morroco's independence were again confirmed.
From 1816 to 1823 the Empire regrouped from the 20 years of disastrous war. Mahmud began a process of reorganization that saw him attempt to reign in the highly autonomous Pashas, especially those of Rumelia. This led to the 1823 Rumelian Revolt amongst the Pashas that threw the European Empire into crisis and gave Greek rebels the chance they needed to rise up against the Ottomans. American and Portuguese assistance helped the Greeks make great strides in their goal but ultimately led to the third Ottoman-American War in the form of the Eastern War which sparked in 1825.
This time though the Americans were much better prepared for war and the Ottomans had trouble finding European allies thanks to the Unresolved Wars being waged across Europe, not to mention again being spread thin with internal issues in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rumelia. As the Ottomans organized their force in Tripolitania and Cyrenacia the city of Tripoli rose up and American and allied troops took control of Tripolitania. Furthermore the Egyptian Mamluks invaded northern Egypt and made great strides thanks to Muhammed Ali's principle commander and son Ibrahim Pasha leading Egypto-Ottoman forces in Greece. At the Battle of El-Badari the Mamluks scored a decisive, albeit bloody victory over the Ali Egyptians that included the death of Ali himself launching the War of the Egyptian Succession between Ibrahim Pasha and the Mamluk Sultan Khalil I. While the Empire was pushed to the brink internally the Americans and the allies destroyed the Egyptian and Ottoman fleets and took Benghazi cutting off Cyrenacia from Constantinople. Khalil and Ibrahim battled for Egypt in a bloody war that ravaged Egypt but ended with the Mamluk and Allied capture of Cairo in 1827, the death of Ibrahim, and the independence of Egypt from the Ottoman Empire. This led to the Treaty of Cairo which saw complete independence for North Africa and Greece.
1828 to Present