Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

History, MA

Committee Chair

McCarthy, Justin

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Curry, Leonard P.

Committee Member

Curry, Leonard P.

Committee Member

Morrill, James R.


As seafaring states evolve into nations and nations into empires, the power that protects such maturation is seapower. Geographic isolation via deserts or seas can obtain time for political and social evolution. However, only a formidable naval presence can ensure external security in order that internal reforms take root. No major modern power has survived without an adequate indigenous navy. This doctrine holds true especially in reviewing the navy of the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century.

In this thesis, l show that the absence of tangible fleet units cost the Ottoman Empire not only the peripheries of the state, but also the opportunity at political evolution. Covered in this thesis will be the Ottoman naval assets available at the turn of the twentieth century and how such assets were obtained. Also covered is the conduct of bordering states when Istanbul's political reformers realized that lacking naval power invited waterborne aggression, and how those efforts to correct deficiencies became a causation for war. Finally, this thesis reviews the military success and failure of the Ottoman navy and how the outcome affected the future of the Empire.