The Muslim Empires

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Transcript The Muslim Empires

The Muslim Empires
Chapter 21
Focus Questions:
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
The Ottoman Empire
The Safavid Empire
The Mughal Empire
The Ottomans: From Nomads to
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
Ottoman Society
There was a distinct social hierarchy laid out in 4 classes:
Then there were the non-Muslims, who were organized into
“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
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
Like earlier Muslim societies, the Ottomans “taxed” the
non-Muslim peoples they absorbed into their empire as a
source of revenue
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
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
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
previous Muslim ruling
societies: the problem of
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
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
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
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
Unlike the Sunni Ottomans, the
Safavids were Shiites…which was
the basis of the rivalry with their
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
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
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 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
 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 NonMuslims (Armenians), even
built them their own homes
on the edge of his new
capital mainly cause they
ran his economy/trade
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
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
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
At 13, Akbar was forced upon the throne
and immediately faced threats from
Mughal enemies…he defeated them
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…promoted Hindus into high
ranking positions in
government…created a new religion,
Din-i-Ilahi, a combination of Islam and
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
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
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
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
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