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ANTH 3330 (1)


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ANTH 3330
Carrie Paquette

12. After battles between Muslims and Christians, churches were converted into mosques and mosques into churches according to who was the winner. Although Mehmet converted many churches into mosques, he did not suppress the Christian faith itself. There were practical reasons for this: • Christians were the largest group of the population and coexistence was likely to be more efficient than conflict • The institutions of the church provided a machine for implementing Mehmet's rule But Mehmet was also influenced by the Islamic rule that Muslims should show respect to all religions. Mehmet not only tolerated the Christians, he made special efforts to attract Jews to Istanbul. This was attractive to the Jews, who had previously been persecuted by the Orthodox Christian Church. The non-Muslim communities (millets) were controlled by the Sultan acting through their religious leaders. These communities were given their own parts of towns in which to live and worship. They were given a great deal of freedom to lead their lives according to their particular faiths, and so were largely supportive of their Muslim overlords. 13. 14. Several other factors contributed to the Empire's decline: • The European powers wanted to expand • Economic problems o Competition from trade from theAmericas o Competition from cheap products from India and the Far East o Development of other trade routes o Rising unemployment within the Empire • Ottoman Empire became less centralised, and central control weakened • Sultans being less severe in maintaining rigorous standards of integrity in the adminstration of the Empire • Sultans becoming less sensitive to public opinion • The low quality Sultans of the 17th and 18th centuries • The ending of the execution of Sultan's sons and brothers, imprisoning them instead o This apparently humane process led to men becoming Sultan after spending years in prison - not the best training for absolute power 15. 16. 17. The death of Aurangzeb in 1707 was the end of the Mughal empire's greatness. A war of succession would break out amongst his sons, and eventually the empire was divided up between them. Large parts of the empire had already declared independence during the time of Aurangzeb, and such developments increased after his death. The Mughal empire, which had once been one of the greatest empires of Indian history slowly declined to become just an empire in name, with a small area under its command. The empire would drag on for another 150 years, with a series of inconsequential kings, collectively referred to as the later Mughals. The Empire could perhaps have been saved had someone like Akbar succeeded Aurangzeb, but the later Mughals were failures as emperors. Most of them were given more to the luxuries and pleasures of life, and had little interest in rescuing their declining empire. The court of the Mughals was now overrun with nobles and was an active ground of intrigue and treachery. The nobles keen on advancing their own power, would raise one puppet king after the other to the throne. Over time most of the empire had broken up into small kingdoms and only a small region in the north was left under its control. Thus in such a chaotic state, the time was once again ripe for a foreign invader to come in and establish a new empire. Such a development took place and the British slowly emerged as the dominant European force in India, and eventually set up the British Empire, which covered most of the country. The Mughal empire had been the last major empire of Indian history, for the British did not settle down and become Indian rulers. Instead India was made a colony, and Indians were ruled by a foreign power for almost two hundred yea
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