Passarowitz, Peace of (1718)

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PASSAROWITZ, PEACE OF (1718). This treaty between the Ottoman Empire, Austria, and Venice was signed at Passarowitz (Pozarevac, Serbia) in July 1718. Ottoman military confidence had begun to revive following the 1711 Ottoman victory over Russia at the Pruth River. The Sultan's son-in-law, Silahdar Ali Pasha, who had lost revenues from lands in the Morea (in the Peloponnese of modern Greece) when the Venetians occupied it in 1699 according to the Treaty of Carlowitz, began to lobby the Sultan to retake it. The Grand Mufti of Constantinople, the chief religious official in the Ottoman Empire, and the Chief Black Eunuch, who possessed great personal power as the overseer of the imperial harem and the superintendent of important religious properties, supported him. Through various intrigues, Silahdar Ali Pasha became grand vizier in 1713 and put the Ottomans on the road to war with Venice. In early 1715, the Ottomans attacked Venice on the pretext that it had aided Montenegrin rebels against Ottoman rule. Over the next three years, the Ottomans took Morea and Crete back from Venice and won several important naval engagements against the Venetian fleet, including the battles of Cape Matapan (1717) and Cerigo (1718).

At first, Austria tried to stay out of this war because of its ongoing problems in Europe following the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (17011714), but it was dragged into conflict with the Ottomans in 1716 because of concern about Ottoman advances into Dalmatia. In addition, it appeared that Austria might have to rescue Venice from financial and military collapse. Prince Eugene of Savoy (16631736), the renowned Habsburg commander, defeated the Ottomans at Petrovaradin in August, 1716, in a battle that killed many Ottoman leaders, including Silahdar Ali Pasha. Eugene took Temesvár and Belgrade over the next few months. In 1717, the new English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Sir Edward Wortley Montagu, joined with his Dutch colleague Count Jacob Colijer to press for an Austrian-Ottoman peace agreement. Their efforts helped to end a conflict that might have endangered the fragile new European political balance created by the Treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt (1713 and 1714). The treaty of Passarowitz, signed in July 1718, was written to reflect Eugene's 1716 victories and Austria's military triumph. The Ottoman Empire lost the Banat of Temesvár (the last Ottoman stronghold in Hungary), northern Serbia (including Belgrade), northern Bosnia, and Lesser Walachia to Austria. Venice had to cede to the Ottoman Empire all possessions in the Peloponnese and on Crete, retaining only what it held in the Ionian Islands and Dalmatia. Immediately after this agreement, the Austrians and Ottomans signed a commercial treaty that gave the Austrians a number of trading privileges in the Ottoman Empire and bolstered the Habsburg emperor's plan to create a new "Eastern Company" for Balkan trade based in his new "free port" in Trieste. A generation after Passarowitz, when hostilities between the two empires flared up again, the Ottomans recovered Belgrade and Lesser Walachia through the 1739 Treaty of Belgrade.

See also Austro-Ottoman Wars ; Habsburg Territories ; Ottoman Empire ; Serbia ; Utrecht, Peace of (1713) .


Goffman, Daniel. The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 2002.

Kurat, A. N., and J. S. Bromley. "The Retreat of the Turks, 16831730." In A History of the Ottoman Empire to 1730, edited by M. A. Cook, pp. 178219. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1976.

Shaw, Stanford J. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1976.

Ernest Tucker