Ottomans Controlled Most of Turkey and the Balkans by 1389 Prior to 1453 – Mehmed II constructed fortress of Rumelyi to control access to Black Sea from the Bospherus
Conquest of Constantinople In 15 th Century Ottomans moved broadly against Europe, Persia, and Egypt. April 6-May 29 1453 They besieged and conquered Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, under Sultan Mehmed II, which ended the Byzantine Empire Benefitted from Hungarian engineer Urban’s bombards or cannons Used rich iron ore and copper from Hungary
Turks Turks faced hostile populations of Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, some Muslims. The Turks allowed everyone to practice whatever religion they wanted as long as they paid taxes at first but gradually persecuted Christians and drove many out of the country Managed vast, culturally diverse empire through the Janissary Army and Civil Service.
Mehmed II: “the ruler of the two seas and the two continents” Janissaries - Took Christian boys and made them slaves Under Mehmed II - By 16 th century they had control of Mediterranean and Black Seas—fought with Portugal over control of Indian Ocean- Mehmed aimed to recreate Byzantine Empire as an Islamic state – attempted to rely heavily on Italian culture and fashion One of main industries: carpet- making
Suleiman the Magnificent Joined royal and religious law. He had many challenges Mostly from Eastern Turkey, the Safavid Empire (the Persians)
How Did Ottomans Exercise Power? Center of Power – in Istanbul— the Topkapi Saray A fortress, sanctuary, and shrine Laid out by Mehmed II Outer walls and inner walls with Inner palace in deep interior— palace housed treasury, a library, and the sultan’s pavilion Inner court closed to all but state officials – visitors confined to outer court Around the edges, secret hideaway spots for the Sultan’s harem
Ottoman Power Topkapi Palace housed 10 mosques, 14 bathhouses, 2 hospitals, 2,000 (800) women and 4,000 horses Sultan housed in sacred spaces with relics of the prophet Muhammad – controlled the institutions and sacred places related to Sunni Islam Externally—law code, tolerance, military power, still profited from spice trade, tribute from Europeans Internally—palace often ruled by eunuchs and concubines, as well as sultan’s mother, but more rational than many Europeans believed
Safavid Empire Shaped by Persians (1501- 1773), more a state than an empire, but had imperial ambitions Like Ottomans, benefitted from trade across Eurasia Ruled through a hereditary class of fighters – the Qizilbash
Shah Abbas Expanded the Safavid Empire from 1588-1629 Created capital at Isfahan Won gains in the caucuses and central Asia, expelled the Portuguese from Hormuz Insisted that everyone practice Shi’ite version of Islam – left no room for religious pluralism – even though most people they governed not originally Shi’ites
The Mughal Empire Babur started to conquer India in 1523 and took Delhi in 1526. Mughal was the Indian word for Mongols Babur and his followers didn’t like India because of the caste system and religion Humayun
Legacy of Humayun (1508-1556) Faced many obstacles- mostly from brothers Consolidated Rule Interested in Science and Astrology Died falling down stairs from library carrying books Picture—Humayun with Babur
Akbar – Humayun’s Son (1556-1605) Was one of the great leaders of India. He couldn’t read; there is a chance he was dyslexic He had others read to him so he could learn. Married daughters of Rajputs (800 wives) He encouraged art and architecture. Good fighter but believed in diplomacy – picture with Jesuits at court Tolerated and encouraged toleration of Hindus
Jahangir (1569-1627 Ruled from 1605-1627 after father-Akbar-died Very well educated, spoke 4 languages He had little interest in India Emphasized Sunni Islam He married a Persian – Nur Jahan and let her run the country – she had been a widow in his court More interested in drinking and smoking opium than ruling
Nur Jahan – Power Behind the Throne Persian – gave positions in government to all her male relatives Tough ruler Good businesswoman– encouraged trade and industry-manufactured perfume, cosmetics Owned ships she used for commercial endeavors Wrote poetry under the name Makhifi
Shah Jahan Jahangir’s son Basically imprisoned Nur Jahan until she died (she had backed his brother) He ruled from 1628- 1657. Built the Peacock throne and the Taj Majal. Built the Taj Majal as a monument to his wife when she died in childbirth in 1631.
Rule of Aurangzib Aurangzib was an ardent Muslim and he prohibited the Hindu religion and destroyed the Hindu temples. In 1679 he imposed a special tax on non-Muslims and created an Islamic moral police that tried to enforce orthodoxy. He also required all women to marry By his death there was much turmoil.
A summary of these empires Though these were powerful empires why did they decline? One reason was they spent a lot of money fighting wars Spent enormous sums on monumental architecture to display power Power – Superficially external visible – Real power Hidden in inner quarters Worked well when tolerant – mostly not Resisted new developments in western technology and science Saw trade very differently from Europeans.
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