After conquering Thrace and Bulgaria, the Turks turned north and crossed the Danube into Wallachia. It had become independent of neighboring Hungary some years before and was ruled by its own governor Mircea cel Batran. After years of war with the Turks, the Ottomans finally made Wallachia a tributary in 1417. This is recorded on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History at 1416.
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Mircea the Elder and the Struggle of Wallachia
The region of Wallachia in present-day Romania was first settled by a group of people called the Vlachs. During the early 1200s, the neighboring Hungarian rulers extended their influence deeper into Wallachia and the coast of the Black Sea. The voivode (governor) Radu Negru (Radu the Black) founded Wallachia in 1290. It was a tributary of Hungary during its early years.
Wallachia became independent of Hungary under voivode Basarab I around 1330. Mircea the Elder (cel Batran) then became Wallachia’s voivode in 1386. Because of Mircea, Wallachian and Hungarian relations improved. Ten years later, Mircea joined forces with the Hungarians and the French against the Ottomans in the ill-fated Battle of Nicopolis. Mircea survived, and he returned to Wallachia in safety. Upon his return, he found that he had become unpopular among his people because of the disaster in the Battle of Nicopolis.
The Wallachians under Mircea continued the fight against the Ottomans between 1397 and 1400. Bayezid, the Turkish sultan who led the Turks to victory in the Battle of Nicopolis, was captured by Timur in 1402. Some of his sons were also captured but were later set free except for a prince named Musa. A civil war then flared among Bayezid’s sons after their father died in captivity. Timur had set Musa free in 1403, and he immediately came back to Anatolia. Musa also joined the civil war, and he later sought an alliance with Mircea when he fled to Wallachia.
Mehmed, one of Bayezid’s sons, eventually won against his brothers and started his reign in 1413. The Ottoman Empire has just emerged from a civil war, so it was far from stable at that time. Still, Mehmed managed to seize Wallachia and Mircea was forced to submit to him as a tributary. Mircea died in 1418. His son, Vlad II Dracul, became the voivode of Wallachia in 1436 but was forced to flee to the Ottomans after he was deposed by his rivals. During his reign, Wallachia continued to be a tributary of the powerful Ottoman Empire. As a vassal of the Ottomans, Vlad also needed to send his sons Radu and Vlad III (later known as the Impaler) to the Turkish court as hostages.
Picture By Alexander Vovchenko – http://500px.com/photo/61284774, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Finkel, Caroline. Osman’s Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1923. New York: Basic Books, 2006.
Fleet, Kate. The New Cambridge History of Islam: The Western Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries. Edited by Maribel Fierro. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Mikaberidze, Alexander. Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO Interactive, 2011.
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