Compare & Contrast - Russia, Ottoman Empire 1450-1750

1381 words 6 pages
Though it may sound heartless and selfish, the needs and aims of countries usually are the primary factor controlling their foreign relations. During the period of the czars, from 1547 to 1917, Russia’s need for land and modernization shaped its relationships with Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire, causing Russia’s leaders to respect and imitate Western Europe while competing with the European powers to fill the power vacuum of the failing Ottoman Empire.
Russia emerged as a significant power during the 1500s through war. It fought its neighbors and expanded its territory aimlessly. Ivan the Terrible’s expansion brought him into contact with both Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Aiming to gain a port and outlet to the Baltic,
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This power Russia would use to push for the Ottoman Empire’s collapse from within, by encouraging rebellion in areas like Hungary and Greece.
The French Revolution and the rise to power of Napoleon caused startling changes in Russia’s foreign relations. Napoleon challenged British power in the Middle East and Asia with his invasion of Egypt in 1798. The appearance of this threat, and the danger that it could topple the Ottoman Empire, forced the Russians to form an unlikely alliance with the Turks and the British. 
Once Napoleon was chased back to France, though, Russia and the Ottomans reverted to their hostile relationship. Only by making significant territorial concessions was Czar Alexander I able to sign a peace treaty with the Turks before Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. After a severe and costly war, Napoleon, defeated in part by the frigid Russian winter, was driven back with great loss. Russia joined with England and Austria in a coalition to finally defeat and depose Napoleon.
At this point Russia had become an important European power. Over the next century Russian attitudes toward Europe and the Ottoman Empire would remain basically the same; against the opposition of the British and French, Russia would battle back for greater influence over the Turks and territorial gains from them in the Balkans and Black Sea area.
One war in 1828-1829

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