AP World History POD #12 – The Ottoman & Safavid Empires

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Transcript AP World History POD #12 – The Ottoman & Safavid Empires

AP World History
POD #12 – The Ottoman &
Safavid Empires
Ottoman Empire
Class Discussion Notes
Bulliet et. al. – “The Ottoman
Empire, to 1750”, pp. 532-541
Ottoman Empire
“ The most long-lived of the post-Mongol Muslim
empires was the Ottoman Empire, founded around
1300. By extending Islamic conquests into eastern
Europe, starting in the late fourteenth century, and
by taking Syria and Egypt from the Mamluk rulers in
the early sixteenth, the Ottomans seemed to
recreate the might of the original Islamic caliphate,
the empire established by the Muslim Arab
conquests in the seventh century. However, the
empire was actually more like the new centralized
monarchies of France and Spain than any medieval
model.” (Bulliet, p. 532)
Rise to Power
Established around 1300 as a tiny state in
northwestern Anatolia
 Grew into a dominant world power as a result of
(1) a strong shrewd founder in Osman (2)
control and dominance over the Dardanells
Strait strategically linking Europe and Asia (3)
creation of an army that capitalized on the
traditional skills of the Turkish cavalryman and
the new military possibilities available due to
Battle of Kosovo
Ottoman armies originally focused on Christian enemies
in Greece & the Balkans
 1389 – conquered a strong Serbian kingdom at Battle of
 1453 – Sultan Mehmed II (“The Conqueror”) laid seige to
 Used enormous cannons to bash the city’s walls,
dragged warships over a high hill from the Bosporus
Strait to the city’s inner harbor to avoid the sea defenses,
and penetrated the city’s land walls through a series of
direct infantry assaults
 The fall of Constantinople and the emergence of Istanbul
ended more than 1100 years of Byzantine rule
 The Ottomans seemed invincible
Suleiman the Magnificent (“the
Son of Selim I, “the Grimm” who captured Egypt
and Syria opening access to the Red Sea
 Suleiman ruled from 1520-1566 and oversaw
the greatest assault launched on Christian
 Laid siege to Vienna in 1529 – the city was
saved only by Suleiman’s need to retreat before
 Historians view the years of his reign as an era
where the imperial system worked nearly
perfectly (Golden Age of the Ottomans)
World Context
The rise of the Ottoman Empire created a great
disruption to the overland Afro-Eurasian trade routes (old
Silk Road).
Access to the spices, silks and luxury goods of the east
was closed off to the west – NEW MARITIME TRADE
Access to slaves from Eastern Europe (Caucus region)
was closed off to western Europe – NEW SITES FOR
Western Europe will rise to social, political, economic
and cultural prominence
Imperial Government
Ottoman Empire was the most powerful and best organized state in either
Europe or the Islamic world
Janissary Corps – comprised of Christian prisoners of war who converted to
Islam – unfamiliar with the traditional fighting methods of horseback riding
and bowmanship – they were trained as professional infantry foot soldiers
skilled in the use of gunpowder and guns – eventually these soldiers began
to evolve as social class participating in commercial activity enhancing the
state budget and supplying their own children to the rank reducing the need
for forced conscription
Child Levy – starting in the 15th century the devshirme was an imposed
regular levy of male children in Christian villages in the Balkans used a
means enlist, educate and train future members of the Jannisary as well as
provide senior military and government commanders and advisors up to the
rank of grand vizier
Naval Warfare – a galley-equipped navy was manned by Greek, Turkish,
Algerian and Tunisian sailors
Military Class – everyone who served in the military or bureaucracy was
considered to be a member of the askeri or military class as was exempt
from paying taxes and owed their well being to the sultan – this was left to
the raya (“Flock of Sheep”)
Military Crisis
“As military technology evolved, cannon, and lighterweight firearms played and ever-larger role on the
battlefield. Accordingly, the size of the Janissary corps –
and its cost to the government – grew steadily, and the
role of the Turkish cavalry diminished. To pay the
Janissaries, the sultan started reducing the number of
landholding cavalrymen. Revenues previously spent on
their living expenses and military equipment went directly
into the imperial treasury. Inflation caused by a flood of
cheap silver from the New World bankrupted many of the
remaining landholders, who were restricted by law to
collecting a fixed amount of taxes. Their land was
returned to the state. Displaced cavalrymen, armed and
unhappy, became a restive element in rural Anatolia.”
(Bulliet, p. 535)
Revolts devastated Anatolia between 1590 and
1610 as former landholding cavalrymen, shortterm soldiers released at the end of the
campaign season, peasants overburdened by
emergency taxes, and even impoverished
students of religion formed bands of marauders
 Revolts resulted in emigration and the loss of
agricultural production
 Banditry increased as the government could not
stop the spread of muskets among the general
Economic Decline
Tax Farming – land grants in return for military
service began to decline for the Janissaries,
replaced instead by tax farming (tax farmers
paid specific taxes, such as custom duties, in
advance in return for the privilege of collecting a
greater amount from the actual taxpayers)
 Capitulations – special trade agreements
granting Europeans commercial privileges were
created and would eventually lead to European
dominance of Ottoman seaborne trade (but they
did not physically control ports preventing direct
colonial settlement in the region)
Decadence & Decline
Tulip Period - unable to see Europe as the enemy intent
on dismantling the empire, the Istanbul elite
experimented with European style clothing and furniture,
as well as purchased books from the European nations –
in addition there was a craze for high-priced tulip bulbs
Patrona Halil Rebellion – upset with extravagant
decadence, conservative Janissaries revolted with
strong religious overtones forcing Sultan Ahmed III to
abdicate – Patrona Halil, an Albanian former seamen,
swaggered around the capital for several months
dictating government policies before he was seized and
Although no region declared independence, the sultan’s
power was fading, giving way to the rise of influential
lower officials and chieftains, while the Ottoman
economy reoriented itself toward Europe