HIST 215 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Protectionism, Thalassocracy, Mercantilism

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HIST 215- Lecture 4- Atlantic and Other Empires 1550s- 1750s
Thalassocracy, certain types of governments dominated over the other, vs. Bureaucracy,
a modern state dominated by a certain type of organization offices in the abstract sense?
Ming Empire had a capital, quite tidy and clean contrary to 60 000 inhabited London. It
was highly organized (post office service, other state activities). At this time Europe was
hit by the plague. Paris Royal decreed prohibited people from taking out their pigs to
poop, therefore the epidemics were because of the lack of hygiene. Chinese had paper,
sophisticated arms, cast iron, so they were a safer bet as the most dominant culture. 1410-
1453 they set out and discovered the world.
1750s rise of thalassocracy (interest of the sea and controlling them) and bureaucracy
(organization of power that is rational legal oriented)
I. Mediterranean to Atlantic Shift
Euro- Mediterranean 1580s
- Dominant force was the Ottoman Empire
A. The Ottoman Empire: The challenge of centralization and the loss of the sea?
- Islamic (but not only) state
Sultan: secular state law
Ayan: customary law
- Multiethnic and multi- religious empire non- Muslims are second grade subjects,
religion separates the people. In the West and the center there was a tendency of
confessionalization (organizing a correspondence of the religion of the leader and
the religion of the people, which led to more uniformization and tendency of
nationalization of populations. But in the Ottoman Empire, in the 1650s, it was
better to be a Jew in here rather than in France and England because there was
more tolerance of the existence of religious groups. But this does not mean you
are equal to the Muslims, but you are at least tolerated.
- Centralization across religious lines balance between central and local powers.
18th century local war- lords and current landholders (Ayan) manage to control the
power against the central authority of the Sultan.
Maintain the diversity of the empire (different religions) and organization
centralization of the different religions. Ex: Christian- orthodox subjects, create
one central figure in Constantinople that manages these subjects and they have to
refer back to the Sultan.
- Battle of Lepanto 1571 Venetians, Habsburgs, the Spanish, and new
Mediterranean places defeat the Ottoman Empire. Impressions that they tried to
focus more on the land rather than the sea. Less tendency of becoming a
thalassocratic empire from that moment onwards.
B. The decline of the Venetian empire and the Italian States
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