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Crisis and Recovery 1 The Black Death Islamic Dynasties: Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals 1300-1500.

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Presentation on theme: "Crisis and Recovery 1 The Black Death Islamic Dynasties: Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals 1300-1500."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crisis and Recovery 1 The Black Death Islamic Dynasties: Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals 1300-1500

2 The retreat of the Mongols The retreat of the Mongols opened opportunities for new leaders and elites to fill the political vacuum What emerge are a set of dynasties that in many cases will lay strong foundations and last into the modern period Each of these new dynasties has to decide how it is going to approach the integrated world that had been formalized by the Mongol Conquest

3 Mongol Empire at its height

4 Unintended integration: Disease One thing that all cultures shared was a lack of resistance to the bubonic plague Without understanding its causes, people made up all sorts of explanations for the plague: a punishment from God or a sign that the end of the world was at hand One of the risks of interaction with far-away places was that it could introduce diseases against which the immune systems of others had not built up a defence

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6 What was the bubonic plague? A bacterium that attacks the lymphatic system Passed through fleas travelling on rats Originated in Central Asia and travelled with traders along trade routes into China in 1333 and for there became a world pandemic, reaching Europe by 1348

7 Black death in European art

8 The Death Toll Historians estimate that world population before the Black Death stood at about 450 million. By 1400, that figure had dropped to between 350-375 million – a drop of over 20 per cent Such quick decimation of the population lead to a society in the short term that was unstable and insecure

9 Islamic dynasties In the wake of Mongol successor states, three powerful dynasties were established in the Muslim world These new dynasties formalized the disintegration of a united Islam that had been going on for centuries Though all were Muslims, they had different cultural and linguistic roots which made them distinct and unique

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11 Ottoman Empire Founded by Osman I around 1300, it started as an expansionist state that began by expanding into the crumbling Byzantine Empire Within a century the empire had spread over a large part of Anatolia and into the Balkans This made a diverse group of people (Muslims, Christians, and Jews) subjects to Ottoman rule

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13 Conquest of Constantinople, 1453 Under Mehmed II entered a phase of over a century of speedy conquest and even more expansion Dealt a crushing blow to the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital and turning it into the Turkish capital This brought them into direct conflict with Western Europe as Ottoman reach as they pushed westward

14 Entry of Mahomet II into ConstantinopleHagia Sophia

15 Administering the state The Ottomans allowed regional autonomy and practiced religious toleration (though non-Muslims had to pay a tax – often by giving up one of their children to the state, called the dervshirme) Janissaries were fiercely loyal to the Sultan – they acted as his personal soldiers and administrators

16 Safavid Empire The Safavid dynasty was tied to the Sufi order – a charismatic religious movement that stressed direct connection between the believer and God Eventually they adopted Shia Islam, which brought them into conflict with the mainly Sunni Ottomans They also promote Persian nationalism – taking on Persian tradition and culture

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18 Religious policy Unlike the fairly tolerant Ottomans, the Safavids only tolerated Shia Islam Large groups of Sunni Muslims either left, professed the state religion, or were killed Created a Shia religious elite to promote religion but also to do the Shah’s bidding – creating a theocracy

19 Ismael, the first Shah of the Safavid Empire Shah Mosque, Isfahan

20 Mughal Empire Though the Delhi Sultanate had managed to keep the Mongols at bay, it could not do so with the In 1398 Delhi was sacked by Timur the Lame – bringing the end to the Delhi Sultante Around 1500 Timur’s grandson Babur founded the Mughal dynasty by bringing a large territory in Northern India under his control

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22 Religious policy While Islam was the official religion of the empire, citizens were free to practice whatever religion they pleased (though non-Muslims paid a tax) One of the problems they had to solve was their relation to the rest of Islam and their allegiance to the Caliph They solved the problem by giving their emperor the status of caliph

23 Akbar the Great (1542-1605) Akbar is known as a tolerant emperor – for allowing many non- Muslims to enter his service (especially Hindus) That level of toleration was not continued after his death He did develop a sophisticated bureaucracy to ensure efficient collection of taxes

24 Conclusion The Black Death put a severe strain on the on Afro-Eurasia but nonetheless societies coped and built up new dynasties The world of Islam was re-ordered, with the Ottomans in the west and the Mughals in the east expanding their territory and taking in new influences, which the Safavids looked back to their Persian roots and enforcing a strict Shia state


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