Essay on Political Relations Between Eastern And Western Christians

Essay on Political Relations Between Eastern And Western Christians

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Bayezid I was the figure chiefly responsible for greatly increasing the territory of his empire with a series of aggressive expansionist military campaigns during the late 14th century. His conquests in Europe marked the last days of Byzantium. While he did not succeed in conquering Constantinople, he set the demise of the already-declined empire in motion. His military actions in the Eastern Mediterranean-specifically the Siege of Constantinople from 1394 to 1402- impacted the Byzantines by transforming the political relations between the Eastern and Western Christians, disabling the Byzantine economy for nearly a decade, and altering the social make-up of Constantinople.
Bayezid’s rapid expansion into the Balkan Peninsula exemplified both his military prowess and his imperial ambition. It also established the Ottomans as the greatest power in the region. After the assassination of his father by a Serbian knight during the Battle of Kosovo, Bayezid was named sultan. He made Serbia a vassal state through conquest, demanding tribute as well as warriors to fight for the Ottomans. The defeat of Serbia meant the Byzantines were now completely surrounded by Bayezid’s empire. The threat of an Ottoman campaign against Constantinople was inevitable. The political and military power in the Eastern Mediterranean was now yielded solely by Bayezid.
Bayezid chose to advance on territories in Anatolia after they began rebelling due to the death of Murad I. This would prove to be a fatal mistake for Bayezid. His downfall would provide Byzantium with relief from the siege and prolong the life of the empire. Many of the gazi states in the East saw his assaults as an act of betrayal. Bayezid had gained troops and support for his wars in the Wes...


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...urkish community from Constantinople for the duration of the siege. After the siege was lifted, the merchants and kadis returned to the city shortly thereafter, resuming business as usual for the Turkish merchants.
Bayezid I proved to be an excellent-but overconfident- military strategist. He pushed the Byzantine Empire to the brink of surrender, and nearly conquered Constantinople by placing it under siege for nearly a decade. If it were not for his hubris, he would have succeeded in adding Byzantium to his immense empire. Bayezid will always be considered one of the most important figures of this time period with regards to the Byzantine Empire because he yielded unrivaled political influence in the Eastern Mediterranean, ravaged the Byzantine economy for the better part of a decade, and changed the demographic constitution of Constantinople during his siege.


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