Chapter 21: Muslim Empires Summary notes

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These notes are a summary of Chapter 21 in Peter Stearns World Civilizations textbook

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Chapter 21: Muslim Empires Summary notes

  1. 1. The Muslim EmpiresChapter 21: Summary and Review
  2. 2. Foundation and Overview• Mongol conquests of the 13th and 14th centuries destroyed remaining Muslim unity in southern Asia• Three new empires emerged: Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal• All had strong militaries and gunpowder technology• All had absolute monarchies and agrarian economies
  3. 3. • Nomadic Turks who came to power Ottoman Empire: Beginning following the Mongol defeat of the Seljuks• 1453- Defeat Constantinople• Eventually spread throughout Anatolia, Balkans, Eastern Europe (up to Vienna), Arabia, and Northern Africa
  4. 4. Ottoman Military Might• Society was heavily geared for warfare• Turkic horsemen became the warrior aristocracy ruling the empire controlling land and peasants they conquered• Janissaries- elite gunpowder troops made up of boys conscripted from conquered Christian peoples come to dominate the military by the mid 16th century
  5. 5. Ottoman Government• Absolute monarchy, loses touch with people over time• Lacked clear rules for succession  political turmoil and eventual decline of empire• Sultans advised by viziers, rule huge bureaucracy• Kept factions fighting against each other
  6. 6. Ottoman Culture• Religiously tolerant: Christians and Jews considered “People of the Book”• Merchants came to hold great power• Istanbul become important international center of trade• Sultans beginning with Suleyman the Magnificent, build mosques and other public works to beautify city and leave their mark
  7. 7. Ottoman Problems  Decline• Empire grows to big to be maintained• Problems with succession weaken government, made worse by series of poor rulers• Siege of Vienna weakens military and drains treasury• Oppressed peasants begin to revolt or flee empire• Janissaries, hoping to maintain power block attempts at reform
  8. 8. Ottoman Military Defeats• 1571- Battle of Lepanto, lose control of Indian Ocean trade to joint Spanish- Portuguese fleet• 1688- Siege of Vienna, Ottoman repelled, beginning of the end
  9. 9. Safavid Empire Formed• 1501- Isma’il as Sufi mysitic and descendant of Sail al-Din established capital at Tabriz and names himself Shah• Begin expanding• 1514- Battle of Chaldiran- defeated by Ottoman, stops westward expansion of shi’ism
  10. 10. Safavid Politics and War• Absolute monarchy, restored by Tasmaph I in 1534• Abbas the Great- – rules during golden Age (1589-1627) – brought some Turkic warriors under control – recruited Persians into bureaucracy – created elite gunpowder troops made up of conquered Russian peoples (similar to Janissaries)
  11. 11. Safavid Culture• Originally wrote in Turkish, but changed to Persian following the Battle of Chaldiran• Create elaborate court based on Persian traditions• Religious leaders and teachers grow in power and importance as Shi’ism spreads through empire• Produced beautiful silk textiles• New capital built in Isfahan
  12. 12. Decline of the Safavid• Abbas I kills his successors  series of weak leaders• Internal power struggles  more weakness• 1722- Isfahan falls to Afghan raiders• 1736- Even Nadir Shah Afshar unable to rally the empire
  13. 13. Ottoman and Safavid ComparedSimilarities Differences• Initially dominated by warrior • Ottoman more aristocracy market driven• Oppression and turmoil • Safavid land caused peasants to flee and locked, limits trade rebel• Encouraged trade and domestic production• Women subordinate to men, lose power over time
  14. 14. Mughals Establish an Empire in India• Babur descendant of Tamerlain invades India in 1526 seeking wealth, get stuck and decide to stay• by 1528 control most of the Indus and Ganges region
  15. 15. Akbar the Great• Worked to reconcile problems with Hindu majority, religious toleration – Encouraged intermarriage – Ended special tax on Hindus – Respected most Hindu traditions – Granted land to Hindu and Muslim warriors in return for loyalty• Din-i-ilahi- Universal faith, encourages respect of all peoples’ beliefs
  16. 16. • Encourages social reforms like limiting alcohol• Encourages widow remarriage while discouraging child marriage, tries to ban Sati, even tries to create special market day for women• Most reforms not lasting, peasants continue to live in poverty, later rulers reverse religious toleration, women lose rights (daughters unlucky, child marriage resumes)
  17. 17. Mughal Achievements• Many rulers were patrons of the arts – Painting workshops for miniatures – Textile and rug production – Great architectural works (Taj Mahal)
  18. 18. Mughal Decline• 1707- Aurangzeb reverses religious toleration, drains treasury and weakens military and government bureaucracy•  Marattas and Sikh rebellions• Regional lords gain power as central government declines• Foreign powers step in to gain land as Mughal empire declines
  19. 19. Gunpowder Empires• All three empires gain power with help of nomadic warriors• Firearms became decisive in battle, ie) Chaldiran• Governments used military technology to change the organization of their empires, warrior aristocray lose power as governments build professional armies
  20. 20. • All three empires ignored the growing threat of European expansion and military might• Ignored or blocked European innovations• Lost international trade routes to Europeans• European gold  inflation

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