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The Muslim Empires. Chapter 21 EQs: What are the key differences and similarities between these empires? How did each rise and fall?. Chapter Introduction. It’s mainly about 3 major Muslim empires… The Ottoman Empire The Safavid Empire The Mughal Empire. The Ottomans: From Nomads to Empire.

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the muslim empires

The Muslim Empires

Chapter 21

EQs: What are the key differences and similarities between these empires? How did each rise and fall?

chapter introduction
Chapter Introduction
  • It’s mainly about 3 major Muslim empires…
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • The Safavid Empire
  • The Mughal Empire
the ottomans from nomads to empire
The Ottomans: From Nomads to Empire
  • The Turkic Ottoman peoples entered Anatolia under the leadership of Osman Bey and his ghazi (Muslim purifiers) after the Mongols had successfully defeated the Seljuks in the 13thC.
  • After a brief period of turmoil, the Ottomans under Mehmed II (The Conqueror) captured Constantinople in 1453, ending the Byzantine Empire
  • Over the next 2 centuries the Ottomans expanded their empire, building a navy that dominated the Eastern Mediterranean and claiming territory throughout North Africa, SE Europe and much of the Middle East (minus Persia) and successfully (for a time) controlled Indian Ocean trade
  • Though unsuccessful in further campaigns to take portions of Western European kingdoms, the Ottomans remained the greatest threat to Europe thru the 18th century
ottoman society
Ottoman Society
  • There was a distinct social hierarchy laid out in 4 classes:
    • “men of the pen” – lawyers, judges, smart people
    • “men of the sword” - warriors
    • “men of negotiation” – merchants, tax collectors, traders and store owners
    • “men of husbandry” – farmers/herders
  • Then there were the non-Muslims, who were organized into millets
    • In these religious communities, usually divided quarters or ghettos in a town/city, the people had their own leaders and were responsible for their own education and certain legal matters
  • Like earlier Muslim societies, the Ottomans “taxed” the non-Muslim peoples they absorbed into their empire as a source of revenue
ottoman warfare
Ottoman Warfare
  • The “men of the sword” actually played the dominant role in Ottoman society, as sultans based their empire on constant warfare and expansion…warriors represented an aristocracy that conquered lands, enslaved people (w/the Sultan’s blessing) and began a Feudal system of control
  • The warrior class was at constant odds with the “men of the pen”, lawyers and religious leaders whose power grew at court
  • Militaries were large made up of Janissaries, conscripted soldiers from NON Muslim societies that were conquered…young boys were taken from these communities as a “tax” and forced into servitude as soldiers for a designated period of time…it was not EXACTLY slavery, as many Janissaries found their ways into higher positions in the Ottoman bureaucracy over time
  • Finally, the Ottoman army’s might was based on one thing, ARTILLERY…a vast knowledge of gun and cannon making gave the Ottoman armies their strength
the sultans and their court
The Sultans and their Court
  • Ottoman sultans were literally no different than Abbasid caliphs…they played with factions in their court, they spent money lavishly, they had huge harems…some sultans led their own armies into battle
  • A vizier (wazir) also handled day-to-day administration of the bureaucracy, literally having more power than the sultan himself
  • BIGGEST SIMILARITIES to previous Muslim ruling societies: the problem of succession and hedonism
ottoman culture
Ottoman Culture
  • Constantinople became Istanbul, the central capital of the empire…previously constructed Byzantine cathedrals were converted into mosques
  • Some sultans (Suleiman) added more grand structures to the skyline
  • Istanbul maintain itself as the hub of east/west trade over land…places called coffeehouses developed were a developing merchant and artisans class gathered to interact
  • The government regulated all aspects of trade and manufacture
  • A transition from Persian/Arabic to Turkish occurred in literary exploits…Turks artistically became well renowned for their poetry and rug making
ottoman decline
Ottoman Decline
  • The Ottoman Empire became known as the “sick man of Europe” by the 18th and 19th centuries
  • EXPANSION and CONQUEST took their toll on the Ottomans…add to this increased problems of succession and corruption in the bureaucracy and amongst regional governors who sought to control their territory independently
  • Expansion efforts empowered neighboring rivals, like Russia, Austria-Hungary and the Safavid Empire to begin slowly picking away at Ottoman territory
  • Smaller European states that improved naval power reduced their control of the Mediterranean (Battle of Lepanto in 1571) and Indian Ocean trade (Portuguese mariners)
  • Still, the Ottomans were able to hang on until WWI (thanks mainly to the decline of the Safavids, their greatest rivals and periods of invigoration by competing European nations)
the safavid empire
The Safavid Empire
  • Unlike the Sunni Ottomans, the Safavids were Shiites…which was the basis of the rivalry with their neighbors
  • The Safavids rose in the early 1300s under the leadership of Sail (Safi) al-Din, who sought to purify Islam and spread Islam amongst the Turkic peoples with his followers, the Red Heads!
  • After years of struggle, Ismail (a sufi) was proclaimed shah (emperor) and conquered all of Persia and most of Iraq only to be stopped by the Ottomans at the Battle of Chaldiran (a battle which demonstrated the powers of artillery and firearms)…this defeat weakened Ismail’s position and also determined that Shi’ism would be confined to mainly Persia and parts of Iraq
safavid politics state and religion
Safavid Politics, State and Religion
  • After a brief period of succession issues, a dynasty was formally established by Tahmasp I (a shi’a Safavid)…Turkish warriors were brought under control and assigned villages/peasants to control (quasi-feudal)…some of these warriors continued to be a constant threat to the shah’s power
  • Persians were recruited into the bureaucracy to balance the Turkish warrior presence…and like the Ottomans, youths were enslaved for military and bureaucratic service…Persian became the predominant language…shahs also became hedonistic (like Ottomans and Abbasids)
  • Eventually, the religious right (imams and mullahs) controlled education efforts, spreading the Shia ideology…many found their way into the bureaucracy…when the shahs became weak, the religious leadership took control of the empire
safavid politics state and religion1
Safavid Politics, State and Religion
  • The Safavids reached their peak under the rule of Shah Abbas the Great
    • Abbas hated the Ottomans, so he allied himself w/Europeans to improve his armies and defend his borders
    • Abbas reduced taxes, even did not tax non-Muslims
    • Built a magnificent capital at Isfahan and turned it into the center of Persia arts, trade and culture…he even liked to roam around his city in disguise to spy on his people
    • Was tolerant of Non-Muslims (Armenians), even built them their own homes on the edge of his new capital mainly cause they ran his economy/trade
safavid decline
Safavid Decline
  • Abbas the Great killed many of his sons as he was convinced they were plotting against him…his weak grandson, Abbas II took the throne
  • Neighboring Ottomans and Mughals picked at Safavid territory…eventually, Afghani tribes captured Isfahan
  • Afghani leader Nafid Khan Ahshar made himself shah, but no dynasty emerged from his rule…the empire would continually be plagued by raiding nomads and neighboring empires, eventually finding leadership under the Qajar Dynasty in 1725
the mughals of india
The Mughals of India
  • Turks under the brilliant military leadership of Babur the Great (a Muslim Mongol/Turk) his armies invaded Muslim controlled India in the early 1500s from Afghanistan…he established the first vestiges of the Mughal dynasty…later, he was a great partier (a drunkard by some accounts) and a terrible leader (administrator)…when he died in 1530 putting the empire in peril
  • His son, Humayan, lost territory in India immediately and was forced to exile in Persia…but he gained it back by 1556…unfortunately, he too died tragically, falling down the stairs in his library!
the leadership of akbar the great
The Leadership of Akbar the Great
  • At 13, Akbar was forced upon the throne and immediately faced threats from Mughal enemies…he defeated them easily!
  • Akbar was not a a drunkard like his grandfather nor clumsy like his father…he became a wise and strong administrator…he reconciled with the Hindus in the kingdom, preaching tolerance…he encouraged intermarriage between Hindus and Muslims…abolished the jizya…promotedHindus into high ranking positions in government…created a new religion, Din-i-Ilahi, a combination of Islam and Hinduism
  • Akbar also instituted several key reforms for Indian society, most notable of those were driven to improve the status of women…he prohibited sati, encouraged a widow to remarry, and setup special market days for women secluded by purdah
  • Unfortunately, when Akbar died in 1605, most of his reforms and his religion, died with him
other rulers european contacts
Other Rulers/European Contacts
  • Very little territory was added by Akbar’s successors, however, the Mughal Empire reached its highest peak under Janaghir and Shah Jahan
  • Both continued Akbar’s tolerance policies…both left a lot of daily administration to subordinate, preferring to patronize the arts, to drink and to party…Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal (it’s a tomb folks! For two people)
  • Both of their wives were able to amass great power and influence over Indian society during their rule, improving the status of women at court, while severely declining ordinary women (sati return, forced child marriages increased, widow remarriage disappeared) causing the births of female children to become a burden on ordinary people
  • Shah Jahan’s successor, Aurangzeb, promoted the trade of Indian textiles, leading to the eventual insertion of European influences in India, something that had been resisted for centuries
mughal decline
Mughal Decline
  • Aurangzeb continued to ignore internal state issues…the same old story occurs as the bureaucracy becomes corrupt and peasants and urban workers revolt/protest their living conditions
  • He focused too much time on trying to conquer ALL of India and to purify Islam of all Hindu influences…this warfare drained the treasury, weakened the bureaucracy and military…he was forced to renew the jizya to the dismay of the people…Marattas and Sikhs rebelled even becoming anti-Islamic
  • The constant state of civil dissention in India opened the door for the British and French to come into to India, use their military might to calm tensions, but also establish a colonial/imperial presence on the subcontinent that would last into the 20th century
this week
This Week…
  • Wednesday: Leader Analysis – Suleiman the Magnificent
  • Thursday/Friday: Societal Comparisons Activity
  • Notes Due Friday, NO TEST, YAY!
    • Information on this chapter will be on the Unit 3 Exam
societal comparisons

Societal Comparisons

Muslims Empires

Chapter 21

group activity
Group Activity
  • You will be assigned 2 empires to compare in a small group. You have today to complete the overhead chart provided. You will present your chart tomorrow to the class (about 7 minutes per group)
  • Groups:
    • Group 1 – Ottomans vs. Safavids
    • Group 2 – Ottomans vs. Mughals
    • Group 3 – Safavids vs. Mughals
    • Group 4 – Ottomans vs. Safavids
    • Group 5 – Ottomans vs. Mughals
    • Group 6 – Safavids vs. Mughals