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The Ottoman Empire was a state that had considerable longevity, lasting in some form from 1299 to 1923. The Ottoman Empire governed a vast swathe of southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. During this time, war and conflict were omnipresent. To ensure stability, a strong military was a necessity. In many ways, Ottoman society was highly militarized, but so were most premodern societies. There was no line between civilian and military government. And early in the Ottoman state, there was very little distinction between a member of a raiding party and a soldier. The principal role of early Ottoman government was defense and plunder. As the Ottomans administered more territory, a regular army was established, and a clearer distinction between civilian and military ...

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