In the wake of taking Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire would spend the next few centuries expanding its size, power, and influence, bumping up against Eastern Europe and becoming one of the world’s most important geopolitical players. It was a rise that would not truly start to wane until the 19th century, and in the centuries before the decline of the “sick man of Europe,” the Ottomans frequently tried to push further into Europe.
Some of those forays were memorably countered by Western Europeans and the Holy League, but the Ottomans’ most frequent foe was the Russian Empire, which opposed them for both geopolitical and religious reasons. From negotiations to battles, the two sides jockeyed for position over the course of hundreds of years, and the start of the fighting may have represented the Ottomans’ best chance to conquer Moscow and change the course of history.
The Ottoman-Russian Wars of the 18th Century: The History of the Conflicts that Strengthened Russia and Led to the Decline of the Ottoman Empire looks at the various origins of the belligerence, how the battles went, and how they influenced both empires’ histories.