When the Foreign Minister of Sultan Mahmut II (r.1808–1839) completed the arduous task of preparing a list of countries with which the Ottoman Empire had relations, the United States barely made it onto the list. In his presentation to the Sultan, after a lengthy discussion of numerous countries including Britain as a major naval power and Prussia with its great army, the Foreign Minister dismissively added that there was also a newly established country. According to him, however, it was not a very significant one, since it did not even have a language of its own. The people of this distant land just spoke English!