Fall of Constantinople: Meaning, History, Causes & Consequences

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The Fall of Constantinople

Fall of Constantinople: Invasion of the Ottoman Empire to Constantinople.

Date May 29, 1453
Place Constantinople
Belligerents Byzantine Empire vs. Ottoman empire
Outcome Victory of the Ottoman Empire

What was the fall of Constantinople?

The fall of Constantinople was the Ottoman Empire’s invasion of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire.

This historical event occurred on May 29, 1453 and signified the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age. The beginnings of this event date from the time of the Christian crusades, when in 1204, during the fourth crusade, they took the city by storm and annexed it to the Latin empire.

After several armed conflicts, the Byzantines managed to regain their territories in 1261, under the name of the Empire of Nicea. Although they had managed to recover their capital city, the Byzantine army had been weakened and vulnerable to further attacks by the Turks, who had great military power.

Constantinople was able to defend itself for a long time but not completely. The Turkish empire prior to the attack had blocked all land supplies to Constantinople, preventing the passage of anyone. The Byzantine Empire still had the maritime routes to survive and seeing the failure of the Ottomans they decided to take the territory completely.

The Turkish empire rested to strike its final blow on May 29, encircling the entire capital by both land and sea, and entering through an open gate in the wall. They looted and destroyed the Byzantine army, ending the Eastern Roman Empire. Due to the location of Constantinople, the Ottomans took commercial control of large sea lanes.

Fall of Constantinople: Location on the map of Constantinople.

Location on the map of Constantinople.

Causes and Consequences of the Fall of Constantinople

Causes of the Fall of the Constantinople

The fall of Constantinople had several causes and reasons, among them the following stand out:

  • The weakening of the military forces of the Byzantine Empire caused by the Black Death and the Crusades.
  • The commercial interest on the part of the Ottoman Empire in dominating these lands.
  • The military power of the Ottoman Empire, which came to conquer much of the European and Asian territory.
  • Constantinople did not have allied forces, due to the fact that it was “disgraced” by the Catholic Church.

Consequences of the Fall of the Constantinople

Among the consequences brought by the fall of Constantinople we can highlight the following:

  • Great weakening of Christianity and empowerment of the Muslim religion.
  • The Byzantine Empire was diluted and in this way the great Roman Empire also ended.
  • The routes from Europe to Asia were lost, as they were in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. This fact fostered the need to find new trade routes by sea, which indirectly prompted the discovery of America.
  • Constantinople became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
  • The migration of great sages and thinkers to various parts of Europe that later gave rise to the Renaissance.
  • It marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Ages.
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