The World of the 15th Century Part 3

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The World of the 15th Century Part 3

  1. 1. The World of the 15th Century Strayer Chapter 13 Part III: The Islamic World
  2. 2. The Islamic World • Stretched across southern Europe, northern Africa, Southern Asia, and into the Indian Ocean • Dominated by 4 major empires: – Songhay Empire in north-western Africa – Ottoman Empire around the eastern Mediterranean Sea – Safavid Empire in modern Iran – Mughal Empire in modern India andPakistan
  3. 3. Islamic Heartland: The Ottoman Empire • Lasted from 1362 until 1918 • Founded by Turkic warriors from the Anatolian Peninsula • Culturally & religiously diverse • Dominated trade in the Mediterranean and Red Seas • Only Ming China and the Incas matched the Ottoman in size and wealth!
  4. 4. • Ottoman Sultans also claimed the title Caliph • Turks claimed to be the “strong sword of Islam” • Became dominant power in the Middle East • 1453: Conquered Constantinople defeating the Byzantine Empire • 1529: Lay siege to the city of Vienna causing many Europeans to fear the rising power of the Turks
  5. 5. • Conscripted soldiers from the conquered Christian lands into the military to create Janissaries (elite gunpowder troops) • Major weakness was not having clear rule of succession
  6. 6. Islamic Heartland: The Safavid Empire • Safavid were also of Turkic origins • Founded by a Sufi religious order • Goal was to purify Islam • Established strict Shia state after 1500 • Religion came to define the Persian people over time
  7. 7. • Frequent conflict erupted between Safavid and Ottoman Empires • In 1514 the Ottoman Emperor sent this letter to the Safavid ruler: • “You have denied the sanctity of divine law… you have deserted the path of salvation and the sacred commandments… you have opened to Muslims the gates of tyranny and oppression,,, you have raised the standard of irreligion and heresy…. [Therefore] the Ulama and our doctors have pronounced a sentence of death against you, perjurer and blasphemer.” • Sunni/Shia hostility continues to divide the Muslim world today
  8. 8. • The Safavid lacked good access to ports for trade • This limited their economic growth and contributed to the decline of their empire
  9. 9. The Frontiers of Islam: Songhay • Songhay rose in the late 15th century • Located in West Africa • Controlled trade in the western Sahara desert • Most urban elites converted to Islam, but maintained magical superstitions • 97% of people kept traditional African beliefs
  10. 10. • Leader Sonni Ali and his successors known as “Caliph of the land of the Blacks” • Muhammad Toure created a large administration dominated by Arab bureaucrats • Declined as a result of the transatlantic slave trade
  11. 11. Frontiers of Islam: Mughal Empire • Similar to Songhay in that Muslim leaders ruled over largely non-Muslim population (Hindus) • Established in 1526 by Turkic people • Leader Akbar the Great attempted to ease tension between Muslims and Hindus by creating a universal faith Din il-Ilahi”
  12. 12. • Following the death of Akbar the Great, Aurangzeb reduced religious tolerance leading to uprisings and general weakening of Mughal control • Weakness would allow British to gain a greater foothold in India later • Mughals blended traditional Indian and Muslim styles to create beautiful works of architecture (Taj Mahal)
  13. 13. Impact of the Muslim World • Four large kingdoms brought greater political coherence to Muslim world • Known as the “second flowering of Islam” because of economic prosperity, and cultural achievements
  14. 14. • Controlled commerce on the Indian Ocean until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 when a joint Spanish/ Portuguese force defeated the Ottoman and claimed control of the Indian Ocean • Before 1571, trade was conducted by individual merchants according to Sharia with very little conflict. • Rise of Malacca as an important center of trade illustrated importance of location “geography is destiny”
  15. 15. Questions 1. What differences exist between the four major empires of the Islamic world of the 15th and 16th centuries? 2. What similarities exist between the four major empires of the Islamic world of the 15th and 16th centuries?

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