Christian Europe was slow to react to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the continuing threat from the Ottoman Turks. There were a number of reasons for this reaction. The first major reason was that there was a not a lot of unity in the Western European states and they were either fighting wars against other Christian nations or fighting civil wars. They were too preoccupied in their own affairs to go on a religious crusade. The second reason was simply fear. The Western countries had faced these Ottoman Turks in the battlefield at Nicopolis in 1396 and had lost comprehensively. The memories of this loss and the slaughter of the Christian forces remained in the minds of the defeated nations for a long time. The final reason for the inaction of Western Christian countries was the presence of Hungary. The Hungarians provided a blockade for the Western Europeans and prevented the Ottomans from marching into more Central and Western Europe and they defended their country very well for a long period of time.
The first aspect to look at when dealing with this question was the disunity between the Western nations. For the Christian nations to be able to defeat the Turks they would have to be unified. “It was of course necessary to drive the Turks from the Danube line, which only a coalition of Christian states could accomplish.” The Christian states were anything but unified at the time. England and France were engaged in a long war with each other. While this Hundred Years War was happening England and France were not concerned with any other European problems. It was recognised at the time that in order for a holy war to be fought, peace between these countries was needed. Efforts were made by numerous Popes to try to end this conflict. “Oh, how much better to fight against the Turkish enemies of our faith than the present fratricidal strife.” Also this war was draining both France and England of resources so they could not financially support a potential religious war with the Ottomans until their own issues were resolved. The Spanish were too busy fighting Muslims on their own soil to be concerned with the Turks on the other side of Europe.
World War I Nations should take into consideration on how their actions affect the rest of the world. There are sometimes when you should do what you think is right for yourself. But this is a nation. It isn't just only you. There are a whole lot of other people you must satisfy. Put it this way a Nation is a team. The nation has to work as a one. Some people may not like your choice. But try to ...
Another reason for the Western inaction was fear. This fear of the Ottomans was instilled into the minds of the Western nations from the battle fought at Nicopolis. “Most of the contemporary sources about the battle of Nicopolis contend that the crusaders there had never before encountered such ‘cruelty’ or ‘evil’ in was. The massacre which took place during and after the fight was unforgettable, creating terrifying memories for the survivors and a legend of horror for those who were not present.” The Western commanders were arrogant during this battle and refused to listen to the local people who were more experienced in facing Turkish forces. They led their troops into a slaughter and the Turks were merciless. They killed as many on the battlefield as they could and only after substantial amounts were dead, did they take prisoners. It was the cruel way in which they dealt with these prisoners which caused most of the legacy of Turkish brutality in Western Europe. Most of the prisoners were ordered to be executed, with only a few nobles spared. “Bayezit had won a great victory; but his losses had been very heavy. In his rage, remembering also the massacres committed by the crusaders, he ordered his prisoners, to the number of three thousand, to be killed in cold blood, only sparing the few noblemen for whom a high ransom could be charged.” This caused reluctance in the Western nations in reengaging in any battles with these ‘savage’ and ‘brutal’ Turks.
Beginning of the war World war I began in the Balkans, which was the same place many small war took place. The assassination of the Archduke Archduke Francis Ferdinand was the heir of the throne of Austria-Hungary; he hoped that his sympathy for the Slavs would ease the tension between Austria-Hungary and the Balkans. He and his wife had arranged to tour Bosnia. As the couple rode through Sarajevo ...
The experience of Nicopolis was ingrained on their minds and the enthusiasm that prompted the battle of Nicopolis could not be rejuvenated after such a disaster. The ease of victories which the Ottoman armies won after this battle, was also another reason for the west to fear them. “the military efficiency of the Turks and the flimsiness of the immediate obstacles to their advance frightened the Latin west.” The fact that they could take Constantinople in 1453 must have shocked and scared the West even more and they would try to avoid warfare with the Turks if they could.
The final point to discuss is the presence of Hungary as a buffer to the rest of Central and Western Europe. As long as the Turks could not conquer Hungary, the rest of western Europe knew that they were safe against their advances. “Hungary was now the chief bulwark in Europe against the Turks” The Turks were well aware of the importance of conquering Hungary and continuously attacked. The Hungarians were not as foolish as the forces led by the Western commanders at Nicopolis and were aware of the military tactics used by the Turks. They were continually able to defend themselves against the invasions and won some important battles. Vital in the defence of Hungary was one of their commanders Janos Hunyadi. He was well versed in the Ottoman military practices and led his Hungarian armies to several victories. “The Ottoman invasions in 1441 and 1442 were cleverly thwarted by Janos Hunyadi, a Hungarian commander who apparently understood Ottomen military weaknesses.” He also had a great victory at the siege of Belgrade in 1456, which held up the Ottoman advance for two generations. The Ottomans were winning more of the battles with the Hungarians than they were losing, but they were not able to conquer the nation at this time.
The powers in the West were more than willing to let the Hungarians battle with the Turks on their own and because they were doing such a good job at keeping the Turks at bay they were satisfied to not get involved. The Western countries were well aware of the continuing battles between the two Eastern forces. They knew of the importance of Hungary, so made sure they had plenty of information on the battles fought and the progress of the Turks. “ambassadors from each of the Western states and a papal legate were kept at Buda to report on Turkish military movements. These were not individuals who were there solely to perform diplomatic duties, but to keep their homelands appraised of the defence of the Hungarian kingdom.” As long as they were getting positive feedback on Hungarian defence, they would not get directly involved.
World War I, or The Great War, actually started on June 28, 1914 upon the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by a Serbian national. This led to a series of battles upon the eventual formation of the Central Powers made up of Germany, Austro-Hungary, the Turkish Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria, and they fought against the Entente Powers made up of ...
There are a few important conclusions to be drawn from Western Europe’s lack of military response to the Turkish threat. It would seem that as this period of time that these nations were less willing to fight holy wars in the name of Christianity than they were in the past. Rather than travel long distances to fight against people of different religions they were getting more and more embroiled in local disputes both domestically and with their close neighbours. These wars were Christian against Christian so one could conclude that these nations were no longer willing to fight side by side with their Christian neighbour’s against a perceived common enemy. Were these continuous wars against each other creating a sense of distrust and disharmony between these nations? Most definitely and they were unwilling to travel across Europe to fight a holy war when conflict could erupt at any given moment at home. While fear did play a role in the inactivity of the West, the most compelling reason for them not to fight was the presence of Hungary. Why should they get involved with these ‘savage’ Turks when the Hungarians were there to do the job for them? It is only when Hungary is conquered and there is a Turkish attack on Vienna in 1526 that a combined western European army is again raised to face the Turks. Up to that point they could always justify not going to war with the Ottomans.
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AFTER THE WORLD CRIED In years after the conclusion of World War II the worlds economy had to build itself up and get itself back on its feet. Through destruction and financial stress the world as a hole would eventually build itself back up and thrive through hard work and a steady sense of nationalism to be the very best. The second World War wiped out Europe's economic base as well as their ...
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