Osman I, leader of the Ghazis
Osman I was the original leader of the Ghazis, soldiers that fled the Persians to Asia Minor. His tribe members were know as Ottomans. This tribe attacked Constantinople, then controlled by the Byzantine Empire. Eventually the got an Ottoman Sultan on the throne. The Ottomans used what they called Janissaries, which where highly trained slaves they used as troops. At some point, a rival leader named Timur attacked the Ottomans. The Timur Invasion was unique because he gave the land back to the people. After this, a leader named Murad rose from the civil war. He helped piece the Ottoman Empire back together and built a strong army. After him came Mehmed II, who is regarded as the greatest Sultan ever. He conquered Constantinople and renamed it to Istanbul. Eventually the government became corrupt, especially after WWI and colonization by the British, and eventually collapsed in 1923.
Before the majority of the Ottoman Empire turned to Sunni- Islamic, they organized themselves into millets. Millets were neighborhoods organized by religion, each with its own leader. Each of these millets answered to the government, but mostly functioned independently. The Ottoman Empire was, for a long time, a non- Muslim majority, however, they gradually shifted to Islam. They eventually declared their official religion as Islam, specifically Sunni. Sultan Selim I ordered the massacre of 40,000 Alevis, which where ranked lowest in society, below christians and Jews.
1396 was the when the first official Ottoman Sultan was appointed. The Emprie continued well for hundreds of years, until Sultan Selyman "the magnificent" died. This signaled the beginning of the Ottoman Empires decline. Gradually, the western powers gained influence with a growing interest in the massive amount of oil buried in the desert. The British defeated the Ottoman Empire and took control. After a long time of trying to hold on, the Ottoman Empire was dissolved in 1923.
Suleyman "the magnificent"
The Ottoman's strategy was simple, keep the working class wealthy and happy so that they would not rebel and hurt the economy. This worked very well for the Ottomans. They used mostly land trade routes to reach Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. These land routes were outdated once nations started using sea routes, which were far more efficient. The Ottomans controlled the silk trade up until the 1600's, when they were outed by Asian countries. The Ottomans tried a new strategy of welcoming immigrants so they could have more workers. The Ottomans also tried to industrialize their capitals in an effort to catch up to the western powers, but it was not enough.
The Ottoman social classes looked somewhat like this: the Sultans were the top class, seconded by the Grand Viziers, who were like second- in- commands. Then came the Reaya. The Reaya were the lowest class, and were often treated like it. Over time the Ottomans adjusted their views so that Reayas could move up classes if the had the talent. The Ottoman culture was mostly made up of cultures taken from conquered regions, and adapted them to their own style giving them a distinct Ottoman quality. Slavery was common, however as opposed to American slavery Ottoman slavery was more household stuff, and not manual labor. The Ottomans specialized in poetry and prose but was influenced by the French.