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Chapter 16: The Muslim Empires
Transcript of Chapter 16: The Muslim Empires
1. The Ottoman Empire
The origins of the Turks.
The beginnings of the Ottomans under Osman I.
The replacement of the Byzantines by the Ottomans and their 14th century expansion.
Utility of the Janissaries and other Ottoman innovations.
The use of new Weaponry.
1389, Battle of Kosovo, subsequent Ottoman domination of Eastern Europe and ongoing ramifications.
Mid-15th century decision by Mehmet II to capture Constantinople and convert it into a new capital.
Early 16th century expansion against the Safavids in Iraq and the Mamluks in Egypt.
Ongoing rivalry with the Safavids.
Future Asian, African and European expansion.
Declaration of the Caliphate.
Ottoman rule in many places was superficial.
Ongoing threat to Central Europe until the late 17th century.
Last attempt to take Vienna in 1683 and the turning of the Ottoman tide.
Likewise the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 undermined Turkish power.
At the beginning of the 18th century the Ottomans were constantly on the defensive.
B. The Nature of Turkish Rule
The Sultan as ruler and the nature of succession.
The Harem and its politics.
Devshirme System and slavery in the empire.
The imperial bureaucracy and how it operated.
Religious minorities and their tolerance. Also how religion impacted gender roles.
Ottoman conversion efforts.
Post-1700 troubles, growing corruption of traditional institutions.
Increasing westernization of the elite and subsequent conservative reactions.
Commonplace succession troubles, fratercide, patercide, infanticide, etc.
Cultural contributions of architecture, Turkish tiles, rugs, silkwork etc.
2. The Safavids
In the early 16th century the Safavids rose to fill a fluid post-Tamerlane power vacuum in the region.
The Safavids were Shia Muslims in contrast with most of their neighbors.
Early and ongoing rivalry with the Ottomans.
Frequent imitation of Ottoman institutions.
Height of power under Abbas the Great though a host of external difficulties still presented themselves.
In the mid-17th century religious orthodoxy began to cause problems.
Likewise political problems such as revolts and invasions became more frequent.
There was limited revival in the 18th century.
Also as a result of the consistent antagonism of their neighbors, the Safavids turned early on to European influences.
Great aspects of culture included: rugs, silk, carpets and paintings.
3. Grandeur of the Mughals.
From the 16th to the 18th century India was largely united under the Mughals.
When Europeans arrived in 1500 they were a mere nuisance, by 1800 they were the masters.
Most problems though ultimately was with internal issues rather than external ones.
Mughals were the descedants of Tamerlane and the Mongols that settled in northern Afghanistan.
Under Babur they conquered most of northern India including Dehli.
Under Akbar they expanded over the rest of the subcontinent.
Nonetheless true unity was always illusive.
Akbar and other rulers were largely tolerant of other religions.
Muslims were dominant in the bureaucracy but Hindus were in control of the lower ranks.
Trade was important but was largely in the hands of foreigners.
B. Empire in Crisis
After Akbar, the empire gradually declined under less capable rulers.
Shah Jahan kept the empire together but exhausted it doing so.
Taj Mahal at Agra and the Red Fort at Dehli.
Succession became more problematic
Religious orthodoxy became to overtake traditional tolerance.
In the early 18th century problems led to foreign invasions.
The Portuguese and later the Dutch, French, and English largely wanted only trade but increasingly became involved.
By the early 17th century the first British trading stations were established.
The British expanded rapidly in the region and against French competition.
In the late 18th century they defeated the French and made the Mughal Empire their puppets.
The large military encounters led to a British takeover of territory.
The effects of British takeover on the economic affairs.
Epidemic Indian famines.
Resistance to British control.
The ongoing impact of Islam on the position of women. Concepts like the Purdah and Sati continued.
Hindu resistance against Islamic domination in manners of conversion.
Architecture as the main avenue of cultural achievement. Multicultural background of these fields.
Paintings and growing European influence.
In writing, poetry was important and written in Persian. Inspiration for modern Indian entertainment.