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19 - Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500 - 1750.doc

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HST 101
Tom Wang

CHAPTER 20 Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500–1750 I0. The Ottoman Empire, to 1750 A0. Expansion and Frontiers 10. Osman established the Ottoman Empire in northwestern Anatolia in 1300. He and his successors consolidated control over Anatolia, fought Christian enemies in Greece and in the Balkans, captured Serbia and the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, and established a general border with Iran. 20. Egypt and Syria were added to the empire in 1516–1517, and the major port cities of Algeria and Tunis voluntarily joined the Ottoman Empire in the early sixteenth century. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566) conquered Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522) and laid siege to Vienna (1529), but withdrew with the onset of winter. 30. The Ottoman Empire fought with Venice for two centuries as it attempted to exert its control over the Mediterranean. The Ottomans forced the Venetians to pay tribute but continued to allow them to trade. 40. Muslim merchants in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean requested Ottoman naval support against the Portuguese. The Ottomans responded vigorously to Portuguese threats against nearby ports such as Aden, but saw no reason to commit much effort to the defense of non-Ottoman Muslim merchants in the Indian Ocean. B0. Central Institutions 10. The original Ottoman military forces of mounted warriors armed with bows were supplemented in the late fourteenth century when the Ottomans formed captured Balkan Christian men into a force called the “new troops” (Janissaries), who fought on foot and were armed with guns. In the early fifteenth century the Ottomans began to recruit men for the Janissaries and for positions in the bureaucracy through the system called devshirme—a levy on male Christian children. 20. The Ottoman Empire was a cosmopolitan society in which the Osmanli- speaking, tax-exempt military class (askeri) served the sultan as soldiers and bureaucrats. The common people—Christians, Jews, and Muslims—were referred to as the raya (flock of sheep). 30. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman land forces were powerful enough to defeat the Safavids, but the Ottomans were defeated at sea by combined Christian forces at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Turkish cavalrymen were paid in land grants, while the Janissaries were paid from the central treasury. 40. In the view of the Ottomans, the sultan supplied justice and defense for the common people (the raya), while the raya supported the sultan and his military through their taxes. In practice, the common people had little direct contact with the Ottoman government, being ruled by local notables and by their religious leaders (Muslim, Christian, or Jewish). C0. Crisis of the Military State, 1585–1650 10. The increasing importance and expense of firearms meant that the size and cost of the Janissaries increased over time while the importance of the landholding Turkish cavalry (who disdained firearms) decreased. At the same time, New World silver brought inflation and undermined the purchasing power of the fixed tax income of the cavalrymen and the fixed stipends of students and professors at the madrasas. 20. Financial deterioration and the use of short-term mercenary soldiers brought a wave of rebellions and banditry to Anatolia. The Janissaries began to marry, went into business, and enrolled their sons in the Janissary corps, which grew in number but declined in military readiness. D0. Economic Change and Growing Weakness, 1650–1750 10. The period of crisis led to significant changes in Ottoman institutions. The sultan now lived a secluded life in his palace, the affairs of government were in the hands of chief administrators, the devshirme had been discontinued, and the Janissaries had become a politically powerful hereditary elite who spent more time on crafts and trade than on military training. 20. In the rural areas, the system of land grants in return for military service had been replaced by a system of tax farming. Rural administration came to depend on powerful provincial governors and wealthy tax farmers. 30. In the context of disorder and decline formerly peripheral places like Izmir flourished as Ottoman control over trade declined and European merchants came to purchase Iranian silk and local agricultural products. This growing trade brought the agricultural economies of western Anatolia, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean coast into the European commercial network. 40. By the middle of the eighteenth century it was clear that the Ottoman Empire was in economic and military decline. Europeans dominated Ottoman import and export trade by sea, but they did not control strategic ports or establish colonial settlements on Ottoman territory. 50. During the “Tulip Period” (1718–1730), the Ottoman ruling class enjoyed European luxury goods and replicated the Dutch tulip mania of the sixteenth century. In 1730, the Patrona Halil rebellion indicated the weakness of the central state; provincial elites took advantage of this weakness to increase their power and their wealth. II0. The Safavid Empire, 1502–1722 A0. The Rise of the Safavids 10. Ismail declared himself shah of Iran in 1502 and ordered that his followers and subjects all adopt Shi’ite Islam. 20. It took a century of brutal force and instruction by Shi’ite scholars from Lebanon and Bahrain to make Iran a Shi’ite land, but when it was done, the result was to create a deep chasm between Iran and its Sunni neighbors. B0. Society and Religion 10. Conversion to Shi’ite belief made permanent the cultural difference between Iran and its Arab neighbors that had already been developing. From the tenth century onward, Persian literature and Persian decorative styles had been diverging from Arabic culture—a process that had intensified when the Mongols destroyed Baghdad and thus put an end to that city’s role as an influential center of Islamic culture. 20. Although Islam continued to provide a universal tradition, local understandings of Islam differed, as may be seen in variations in mosque architecture and in the distinctive rituals of various Sufi orders. Under the Safavids, Iranian culture was further distinguished by the strength of Shi’ite beliefs including the concept of the Hidden Imam and the deeply emotional annual commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn. C0. A Tale of Two Cities: Isfahan and Istanbul 10. Isfahan and Istanbul were very different in their outward appearance. Istanbul was a busy port city with a colony of European merchants, a walled palace and a skyline punctuated by gray domes and soaring minarets. Isfahan was an inland city with few Europeans, unobtrusive minarets, brightly tiled domes, and an open palace with a huge plaza for polo games. 20. Both cities were built for walking (not for wheeled vehicles), had few open spaces, narrow and irregular streets, and artisan and merchant guilds. 30
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