Chapter 21
The Muslim Empires

I. Introduction
A. Muslim world essentially destroyed by those pesky Mongols
B. But then...out of nowhere...came the return of the Muslims
1. Ottoman Empire - the biggest
2. Safavid Empire - Afghanistan and Iran
3. Mughal - the northern part of India
C. These "gunpowder empires" could be compared with Russia and the
1. In fact...they probably will be on a test not far, far away
a. All militarily important
b. Interacted far less with west than Russia
c. Maintained control over how much they wanted to deal w/

II. The Ottomans: From Frontier Warriors to Empire Builders
A. Introduction
1. Turkic-speaking peoples
a. Some fleeing Mongols, some looking for booty
b. Osman leads one of these peoples - the Ottomans
2. Ottomans attack Byzantine Empire
a. Finally Mehmed II defeats Constantinople
b. Big bad guns too much for big bad walls
3. Extending the Ottoman Empire
a. Scary naval power in Mediterranean
b. Spread empire down to Egypt and across N. Africa
1. Looks kind of like what the Roman Empire looked
like, w/out Europe
c. Threatened Vienna, but didn't take
d. But...Europe afraid of Ottomans for centuries...always
in back of mind
1. Near the hypothalamus area
B. A State Geared to Warfare
1. Economy and social class based on warfare
a. Warrior class goes to top...surprise...guess who got to
make the rules
b. Competed for power with religious leaders and
2. Army of Janissaries
a. aka "Really Good Christian Slave Soldiers that Fight
For Us"
1. Some given by parents, some taken forcibly
2. Schooled and could become bureaucrats
3. Hey...this is another type of coerced
b. Became more powerful than cavalry - threatened
1. What's scarier...Mr. Ed the Horse or a canon and
C. The Sultans and Their Court
1. Sultans control those beneath and economy
a. Manipulated factions - aristocracy, religious,
b. Commerce given to Christians/Jews - "people of the
2. Sultans grow distant from the masses
a. This will surprise you, but...sultans got richer
b. Spent all their days blowing money on wives, rituals
and palaces
c. Viziers ended up taking control - think Prime Minister
3. Problems with succession
a. Like the rest of the Muslim world (similarity),
succession confusing
b. When you have a harem, you have many sons
1. You die...they fight each other
2. Losing sons sometimes fled to enemy nations to
stage revolt
D. Constantinople Restored and the Flowering of Ottoman Culture
1. Changing Constantinople
a. After destroyed/sacked - rebuilt
b. Hagia Sophia converted from cathedral to mosque
c. Aqueducts built, markets reopened, city's walls
2. Future sultans try to improve mosques, infrastructure
a. Architecture blends best of Muslim/Byzantine world
a. Mansions, rest houses, schools, hospitals,
b. Fun and exciting markets
c. Coffeehouses became centers of socialization, literary
sharing and ingesting of caffeinated beverages
3. Regulation of merchants and artisans
a. Government inspectors monitored quality of
b. Artisans joined together in guilds - that sounds just
like Europe
4. Language shift to Turkish
a. Ummm...they shifted language to Turkish - literature
and official business
E. The Problem of Ottoman Decline
1. Different perspectives of Ottoman Empire
a. Some talk about how bad decline was
b. Eventually became "sick man" of Europe
2. Long decline means actually quite strong
a. How many other empires have are around for 600 years
1. US has been an empire for about 61 years...but
we've been declining for 28 months
b. By 17th century, they started retreat from Russia,
Europe, Arab lands
c. Too large to be maintained - gave regional autonomy
3. Breakdown of regional administration
a. Officials became corrupt
1. Locals leaders hold back money from incompetent
2. Some rebellions at the local level
4. Problems of imperial administration
a. Future leaders not groomed, but hidden away for
1. Monarchs kept alive, but fairly unprepared/na´ve
b. Leaders no longer fierce military leaders, but pampered
c. Power of military started to fade
F. Military Reverses and the Ottoman Retreat
1. Ottomans fall further behind Europeans
a. Reliance on super huge cannons
b. Janissaries don't want military change that threatens
their position
1. Sounds a bit like the samurai...oohh...another
2. Muslim sea power ends in 16th century
a. Battle of Lepanto - Spanish/Venetians wipe them out
b. Fleet rebuilt, but damage done
1. Portuguese