MODERN HISTORY I NOTES – PROF. BOSE
Sextants of Beijing September 7, 2012
Culture is the best way to explain how the modern world came to be
2 groups of thought of explaining the world: culture and economics/politics
*China was not always isolated*
Ideas that China was isolationist emerged
1. Enlightenment and French revolution
2. Propaganda that was seen by foreigners. China is partly to blame because Chinese leaders said “they
But this is not true.
a. Chinese elite loved to buy European stuff
b. Buddhism imported. And then china exported it
to Korea and japan
c. Jesuits were trying to preach in China
d. China seeked helped from British and Portuguese to beat pirates
“Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia did not”
These are the arguments that the author says are wrong of why Europe grew rich:
1. Europeans were rational. They had the enlightenment
2. Europe had good property rights which led to capitalism.
3. Europe was able to balance population and resources. Maltus said that Europe had less babies and
less mouths to feed
This is why the arguments are wrong:
1. The caste system allowed for an exchange of skillsets and crafts
2. This was wrong because businessmen were making big businesses in China. Property laws did exist.
3. The historical data does not support Maltus because he never did data analysis. Fertility rates were
pretty much equal Also, if you have rising population, you can have more food production.
Q. Why did Europe become so rich?
A. They had an industrial revolution.
The British ran out of wood so they adopted coal, which was used to run factories.
Japan also ran out of wood, but the government decided to plant trees instead.
India and China, on the other hand, had plenty of forestry. China was worried about feeding its people.
Cotton was so abundant in India and flooded the markets. This competition forced Britain to innovate.
September 10, 2012 Mongol Empire governed areas that were extremely rich. They were previously a poor, underdeveloped
society that was previously not wellknown.
The key figure of the rise of the mongol empire is Genghis Khan. He unified the tribes
of the Mongol into one political unit.
Human society separated into 2 groups:
Settled – Agriculture (forces you to settle) and Industrial.
China, India, Arabs/Persians because soil is fertile
Nomadic – Hunter gatherers and Pastoral (forces you to move)
Growing crops/agriculture is very stable and gives you surplus food and helps develop governments and
cities. Thus settlers are richer.
Q. What is the relationship between nomadic and settled socities?
A. Mongols and China traded extensively. Traded horses and sheep
B. Temptation to steal is high. Nomadic stole from settled places because of weak
C. However, nomadic societies were under great pressure so they eventually moved into
settled societies. Mongols moved due to the cold and shorter seasons
Genghis Khan had 2 tramuatic instances that shaped his thinking:
1. His parents left him as a child. This made him realize that family means nothing.
2. His father was killed in battle. His relatives refused to help him.
However, servants and slaves helped him while he was in prison. This led him to realize that the only
people who will help you are the poor.
THESE LEFT A STRONG IMPRESSION
Genghis Khan had a great talent for political manipulation.
• He made 2 strong friends: Jamuka and Onjkhan. They helped him build up a tribe.
• He was also a good fighter and leader
What makes Genghis Khan stand out?
• He doesn’t care for family
• He isn’t enamored by rich people. He distrusts elites.
Most mongol tribes were rooted in family. Military structure was based on family ties. However, G.K’s
armies were more effective and modern. They were based on talent and ability. His members came
from slave families which made his armies strong.
The Jin was a big power player and tried to take down the Mongols. But they realize that the Mongols
are unified and modern so they get smashed. When Genghis Khan began his conquest, he avoided all the major cities and went through Jin instead.
Their weakness is that they were nomads and that they were not Chinese. So the Mongols spread
propaganda, saying “We will liberate the Chinese from Jin”
• When he conquered Beijing, he got the ability to make artillery, catapults, and the ability to
G.K eventually had questions as to who would succeed him. There were questions surrounding his
eldest who may have been a bastard child. G.K didn’t care, but there was the possibility that other
Chinese tribes would.
Because mongols were not settled, they had no concept of aristocracy. It is much more egalitarian.
They got such a bad reputation because there was no reliable information. People (victims) just
projected their fears into their writings
Mongols helped propel the world forward.
Pax Mongolia September 12, 2012
Ogedei Khan comes to power in 1229 and he did 2 things:
• He made the empire look like warriors, not nomads. He needed respect from the city people. So
he made his people settle into the city life of Karakorum.
• He made his army stronger and expanded his empire.
Ogedei was involved in simultaneous warfare: he wanted to go to attack south china, a very rich place as
well as Europe. The war machine in south china was very strong, while the attack in Europe was
successful. The Mongols overwhelmed the Germans and Hungarians, and this ended Knighthood in
However, the Mongol army turned around when they got to Venice because there wasn’t enough money
to be gained from Europe. Also, Ogedei drank too much.
Mongke Khan comes to power in 1251 and does 2 things:
• Launches an invasion into Iraq and captures Baghdad, which has an excellent trade route along
the Mediterranean. Baghdad was also spiritual base of Islamics (caliph) and center of religious
learningThe Muslim rulers said that they were serving on behalf of the Caliph, who is a
representative of God.
• Followed through on a plan to conquer all of southern china
Mongols realized that they could no longer survive under a single leader once Mongke dies, so it split
into 4 places in order of power: 1) Yuan Dynasty, 2) Changhatai Khanate, 3) Ilkhanate, 4) Golden Horde
Khubilai Khan is founder of Yuan Dynasty in China.
• He said that if the Chinese people don’t become like us, we will assimilate
• He says they rule by divine right. The Mongols also believed they should rule because they were
strongest. • Khubilai backed the paper currency, which allowed for commerce. This allowed for trade routes.
Previously, only coins had value.
• This was the 1 time all the Asian countries were at peace with one another.
Effects of mongol peace – allows flow of paper currency. Coins held actual value. Stimulated trade
routes. Passport promised protection
The mongols fought for cosmopolitanism. They were scared that local elites would take over, so they
hired foreigners such as Marco Polo.
This empire collapses because of the plague due to tightly packed roads.
“The Mongol Yuan, 12761368” Sextants of Beijing September 13, 2012
After Khubilai conquered China, it formed a huge empire that led to frequent contact with the west.
The Mongols inhibited commercial exchange for more profit. They monopolized international trade and
Chinese cartographers made accurate maps due to Mongol advances in territory.
Arabs gave Yuan military info. Mongols gave China gunpowder.
The Nestorian Christians in China under the Mongols allied against the Muslims.
Khubilai encouraged religious diversity because of his mother. Kublai permitted the existence of
various religions. He enlisted the services of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Taoists. He supported
Confucianism and Chinese political ideas, though he avoided having too many Chinese in high offices.
Rabban Sauma, the next ruler persuaded the Pope and French and English Kings to launch a crusade
with him against the Islam. He came from the top tier in the Mongol Empire.
Commercial and Maritime Expansion Under the Song September 14, 2012
Evidence that China was not isolationist:
1. There was a lot of international trade because it was a valuable source of revenue. Some envoys
bearing elaborate gifts were sent to foreign countries to lure merchants back to China.
2. Government officials in main trading ports held banquets and celebrations to encourage foreign
sailors and traders. If officials were successful, they were rewarded. Foreign merchants were
granted protection from pirates.
How did Islam survive the destructive force of the Mongols? September 17, 2012
*Sample midterm question*
How do you explain the rise of the Mongol power? How does Islam continue to flourish after Mongol
ravage? Substantial number of Baghdad elites headed south to Damascus, then they left for Egypt.
A Caliph is God’s representative for all muslims, and a Sultanate serves under the Caliph.
Mamluk Sultunate is the only ones able to fight off the Mongols, as well as Japanese and Indians.
Since mamluks were usually officer soldiers, was there a possibility of a mutiny?
• No, because they recruited soldiers at a young age, at the borders of the empire who would have
no social tier. They were usually not considered part of mainstream Muslim population but were
eventually converted. They were ingrained with the knowledge that they must be loyal to the
• These soldiers were eventually released, and were given villages to collect taxes. But they had to
recruit more soldiers based on the number of villages given.
The Mamluk system was exclusive to Mameluks only. No forms of inheritance. This made sure only
the best are in rule.
Baibar, a Mamluk general recognized that the current caliph was dead, and then he selected a new one
and so the Old Islamic order survived.
*The Golden Horde teamed up with mamluks to fight off mongols.
Timur comes to rise and he wants to revive Mongol Empire:
1. He converts to Islam and says, “I am the defender of Islamic faith”
2. He claims to be the descendant of Genghis Khan, spreading propanda machine.
3. He smashes Ilkhanate, beats Egypt and Syria.
Genghis Khan gets bad name because of Timur
The Indian Exception September 19, 2012
Very little contact between India and China because of the Himalayas mountain
There were two major Indian religions between 12001300: Hinduism and Buddhism (more modern)
First armies came into the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan/India) by land through two roads: Khyber pass
and Bolan pass
Mameluk elites in India were very different from the population they were governing. Elites were
Muslim, people were Hindu and Buddhist
This is a much more vulnerable Sultanate than the one in Egypt
Alaudin Khilji, ruler of Mameluks in India was able to stop Genghis Khan from advancing. They
become one of the few territories to survive the Mongols. Suddenly, this place becomes attractive and turns into a place of refuge from Iran and Iraq. People gravitate toward the city of New Delhi. Delhi
undergoes a massive boom, which allows the ruler to tax the people.
After the Mongols converted to Islam, the refuges went back to their native homes.
Muhammad Tughluq succeeds Khilji and makes 2 bad decisions:
1. He shifts the capital city south, and then forces everyone to move with him.
2. He decided to be like the Chinese. He began to use paper currency as well, but now there is
rapid forgery. The treasuries become worthless, and then the Sultanate collapses.
While everyone was converting to Muslim, the Hindus refused to convert.
Problem: Ruler and his people do not practice same religion
Merchants converted to Islam easily rather than Hindus because they had a marginalized status.
School of thought in Islam: Sufism
‘Mystics learn from God, the clergy learn from books’.
They came up with strategies of how to get close to God: sing and smoke weed.
This became very appealing to people
Muslim rulers can extend dhimmi status to Indians (Jews and Christians, but not Hindus) as long as they
pay a tax. Incentive to become a Muslim.
Hinduism just becomes a part of Islam
“The Adventures of Ibn Battuta” September 21, 2012
Q. What did Islam look like postMongolian era?
Ibn Battuta is a scholar, Moroccan
He travels to Alexandria: lots of trade, rules on immigration
Cairo: travels down to Nile, which has numerous markets along the way. Its very heavily populared.
Cairo was a source of refuge for all the people escaping from Mongols.
Madrassa is today referred to as terrorist factories. Then it was known as a center of learning
Mamluks are referred to as “oligarchy of lost children” because children are taken as slaves, making it a
People traveled in caravans to prevent an attack.
Mamluks tried to prove that they were defenders of Islam “That is why you should support us and pay
Mecca becomes a big trading spot – goods from all over
Muslim Turkish rulers began dispatching bands of holy warriors (ghazi) against Hindus They attacked New Delhi and rather than slaughter natives, they created a structure of despotism
designed to tax them
Delhi grew quickly because it was the imperial residence. It feeded off the labor of the lower orders and
revenues of hundreds of thousands of Hindu farmers
Delhi became a refuge for skilled and literate men who had fled Persia before the Mongols killed them
because they could fight Hindus and Mongols off
Speaking and writing Persian, the muslim elite of India reaffirmed their cultural conections to the central
lands and created a linguistic barrier of exclusivity to separate themselves and the Hindu masses.
Rural Hindus were left alone to practice their religion, but tensions occurred between rising Indo
Muslims and existing Muslim elites
Mohammed Tughluq gave high posts of his administration to foreigners. He repeatedly deviated from
norms of tradition and advocated extreme and visionary policies. He also tried to back copper coins to
compensate for shortage of Silver, but Indians were not amenable to token money. Conterfeiting
became rampant. Also tried to transfer the capital to Deogir in South India. People took advantage of
his generosity by taking his money and leaving the country
He terrorized his own people to see his dreams become reality. He believed that as the Sultan, the
temporal source of all power, the people must understand their subordination to his will.
No one was permitted to proceed in Delhi on the pretense of seeking official employment unless he
planned to stay permanently.
Tughluq always responded to gifts by giving bigger gifts
Ibn Battuta says that the city he saw was largely unpopulated but he meant this in a context that mean
that there was nobody there who mattered. Lower class hindus were everywhere
Tughluq controlled all appointments to the judiciary. To him alien origin was a more important criterion
for office than distinction and experience. “the more people oppose me, the greater will be my
Caution and frugality was frowned upon. The trickledown theory was that you spend lavishly and
donate to those below you
Famines, rebellions, and relocation of capitals when things got tough brought down the sultan’s demise
Battuta befriended a Sufi, secular ruler and Islam principles held that he should shun such a relationship
because it would detract from his total service to God
Yuan emperors were pursuing a vigorous overseas trade policy Junks were prone to shipwreck withits watertight compartments (Chinese ships)
Ibn Battuta sought marriage as a way of gaining admission to local elite circles and securing a base of
Trade and Commerce in the Early Modern World September 24, 2012
The safety and security of trading system begins to break down. There are plagues and divisions within
the empire from 1200 to 1300. Trade moves from overland to oceanic trade (Indian Ocean)
Chinese participated in Indian Ocean trade, although they aren’t a part of it.
Monsoons move from eastern coast of Africa, go northeast to china, and then back southwest.
India splits Indian Ocean into east and west: On the west are Arabs, on the east are Chinese.
The west use dhows as ships and east use junk as ships.
Spices were heavily traded during this time period, which were grown on southwestern coast of India.
Foods rotted easily without a source of refrigeration, so foods were coated with spices.
Chinese brought porcelain and pearls
However, most merchants dealt with everyday items such as cowrie shells, rice and wheat. Rice grew
heavily in Southeast Asia and Indian subcontinent.
Admiral Zheng of the Ming dynasty. He owned a bigass fleet
Pirates would protect merchants if they paid a tax. Else, they would hold forts on islands.
Sailing was a lethal profession because of the Monsoons. Sailors became believers in magic for
The European Quest for India September 26, 2012
Portuguese explorations are known as an age of discovery. Principal people are Vasco da Gama and
Da Gama found the direct sea link between Europe and America
More recently the age of discovery has been under attack
The new idea of this age is that it is nothing more than a glorified religious quest
Europe was at the edge of the world while the great land and sea routes were in asia. Europe was poor –
its agriculture was the center of its economy but it was inefficient. The main reason why Europe is not a thriving economy is:
European agriculture was very inefficient. Europeans grew wheat, while China and India grew
rice. Rice gives far more calories than wheat does and gives more energy. This makes rice a
more efficient food source. Also, you can grow more rice per acre of land than you can for
*Italy is the one region in Europe where there was substantial amount of money. The republic of Genoa.
Venice was the second rich city in Italy. They monopolized all trade between India subcontinent and
The Portuguese could not get a part of this trade
There was a distinct shift in thinking between Portuguese and Spanish elites
Prince Henry the Navigator has to build ships that can go around the coast of Africa. He found a direct
route into Indian Ocean region
Vasco da Gama follows up Prince Henry. He managed to get ot India, but he had no money and nothing
to exchange when he got there. He resorted to piracy, which was really successful
India and the Global Economy 16001800 Discussion September 28, 2012
3 assumptions: (Europe lay at center of world economy)
1. Europe was dynamic while the rest of the world was static
2. Europe gave rise to capitalism and brought the rest of the world under its economic ambit
3. Europe was at the core of the earlymodern trading system
However, flows of silver and manufactures reveal key positions of India and China in the world
economy. Asian merchants did not fade away with the coming of the Portuguese, Dutch, and English.
It is in fact POLYCENTRIC – Europe china india
European merchants and traders had to fit and adapt into the vigorous commercial order which is
testimony to the acumen of Indian merchants.
Substantial flow of rice, manufacturers, spices between Southeast Asia and China comprised a huge
network of exchange.
SO IN FACT, ASIA was at center of global system. (India and China) China exported porcelain
and silk and India exported cotton textiles. They imported silver which further fueled the
economy. China was more critical than India because it exported more and monopolized the bulk of the world’s
output of silver. But this line of thinking underestimates the importance of cotton textiles (yielded a
cloth that could be worn comfortably in a wide variety of climates). Prices were cheap too
Cotton looked a lot like silk except it was cheaper. It was very flexible, fashionable, and durable. And
it had a high quality
More specifically, why Indian cotton? Others tried to make cotton, but they couldn’t reproduce the
quality. Everyone tried to cash in on the cotton trade, but the smell and feel wasn’t right.
***Many people argue that Indian cotton is so popular because of price, but this argument is
flawed because cotton wasn’t that cheap.
“African manpower was extracted and exported in exchange mainly for Indian textiles”
3 markets for cloth:
1. Lot of European upper class bought cotton b/c it was light, washable, and a wide variety of styles
and patterns. With the entry of cottons both rich and poor were dressed alike producing a social
leveling through consumption.
2. West Africa – cotton was exchanged for slaves (Europeans brought cotton to W. Africa)
3. Americas –
Indian cottons found buyers in Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Americas, West and East Africa.
When Europeans came into Indian Ocean region, cotton moves to W. Africa and Americas. However
they had a limited demand for imports so people had to give them silver and gold.
Chintzy cloth – low quality
High end pieces from India were meticulous and complex and vibrant. Costly Indian textiles served as
markers for rank and status.
Middle class pioneered use of Indian goods as they were less expensive substitutes for the silks
used by the wealthy.
Cotton displaced wool and linen. Repeated washings did not fade the cloth but rather enhanced the
brightness of the colors. What specifically were disadvantages?
Social hierarchy was upset when lower and middle class dressed similar to elite.
Misconception that Indian cloth was cheap. Why? Europeans attributed the cheapness of the Indian
clothes to the scanty level of wages. Also, this was based on travelers accounts
Imitations of indian cloth were less expensive and of inferior quality
Indian muslins were in high demand because no one else could make them
The fact that cotton was not a quick substitute for linen for utilitarian purposes suggests that
cotton was expensive and less durable
Overseers of poor did not give cotton clothing cause it was too expensive Indian cotton cloth was cheaper than European manufactured cloths.
Indian cloth was cheaper than silk cloth, which was high fashion in Europe.
Wages and standard of living was lower in India than in Europe. However, if you actually look at
earnings, occupational groups were comparable in their earnings in terms of caloric equivalents.
So it’s hard to just look at the quantitative data, you must also look at qualitative
Living standards are better in India:
3 determinants of earnings: (India wins out)
1. Productivity of worker (productivity of seed and land was higher in agrarian regions)
2. Bargaining power
3. Level of employment (demand for labor exceeded supply so people found steady work)
Technologies of spinning and weaving were similar. Working days in Britain were far longer so people
had to toil longer to get same wage as in India.
Price in grain was cheaper in India and Bengal. Price advantage in this led to price advantage in cloth.
Prices in grain wage in India did fall, but people often used secondary sources and neglected non
monetary things such as meals, drinks, free housing. Indian weavers were also capable of manipulating
production process to increase their income. They also had rights and privileges of contracts. Merchants
didn’t benefit as much as workers did. Why was Indian government so favorable toward workers?
Data from primary sources are different from secondary literature sources.
Bulk of silver imported into India was then reexported to China. This is because the paper currency had
gone worthless through forgery. Silver was taken to China to be exchanged for gold because it had a
lower price in China than in India.
THIS LINE OF THINKING IS MISTAKEN. India did reexport to China, but not such on a
grand scale. They circulated the silver within the economy as coins. India’s economy was so
fast growing and America made more silver than sources say. India also imported gold, coppers
(Japan), cowries, badams and other stuff. This proves India was the hub of the world
Europeans were so desperate to reproduce Indian cotton that their efforts eventually led them into the
Argument leans more towards politics and economics
He only compares richest part of India vs richest parts of Europe.
Bias, no quantitative macro data
Technology was same all around, but why specifically was Indian cloth so much better
Religious Conflict and Accommodation in the Indian Ocean October 1, 2012
3 areas where this is a problem: 1. India – because ruling elite is Muslim but subject population is not. Mameluks couldn’t force
tem to convert.
2. Ottoman Empire – same problem as India, except the majority is Muslim and falls in line with
3. Europe – largely Christian, tiny minority of Jews
How did they resolve these religious conflicts?
Mameluks realize that they can’t convert its subject population, so they do nothing.
Muslim elites in India start accommodating for the Hindu population. They start recruiting Hindus into
Akbar is ruler (most powerful) of Indian empire:
1. He invites elites from all different religions to have religious debates. This is known as
eclecticism, which is putting together a world view from vary religions. This leads to a new
religion called DinIIllahi. He adopts the virtue of celibacy from Jesuits.
2. Only Akbar’s inner circle converts to his religion
Dara Shikoh was in line to take the throne from Akbar. He was very interested in religion. He also
translate Hindu texts
Terminology used in the manuscripts of the Nayakas no use of the terms hindu or muslim. The
Nayakas refer to their own religion as “Brahmin”
References to Muslim rivals were known as turks or barbarians
Nayaka political worldview had 3 lion thrones: Nayakas, Gajapatis, and Delhi. This meant that Hindus
were also trying to accommodate the Muslims
Impact of Protestant Reformation on European Christianity October 3, 2012
Understanding European Poverty
What was the deal with European religion?
The churches wealth allowed them to intervene in politics.
Henry the Navigator was obsessed with beating Muslims.
Vasco da Gama was convinced that the kingdom of Prester John existed and was convinced that they
would be valuable allies against Muslims.
The European elites were very religious and were aware of the stories of the bible and were willing to
spend a fortune following them.
The difficulty of figuring out beliefs/world views of the ordinary people was hard because they didn’t
record anything. Historians believed that these people just took on beliefs of the elites. The Cosmos of a Sixteenth Century Miller by Carlos Ginzburg
Menocchio was born in Monterealle, Northern Italy. His occupation was a Millar and he eventually
became mayor of his hometown.
3 important books that an ordinary citizen (Menocchio) read:
1. The Bible
2. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
3. Italian translation of the Koran
In Menocchio’s mind, he created an entirely new religious world view. Ginzburg concludes that religion
is eclectic – average European had a different idea of religion than elites.
Protestant Reformation takes place 1 quarter of 15 century. Martin Luther and John Calvin are two
Luther said that selling indulgences was appalling– if you had sinned, give your priest a big sum of
money and you are forgiven and given an indulgence. This leads him to get thrown out of the church.
Thus, Luther forms the Protestant Church. He distributes sacramental bread and wine to his people,
which were then known as limited to priests only.
Wealth had corrupted the church. Selling indulgences was very prorich. So the Protestant
Church caught on with poor people as well as some elites. The rich were tired with the amount
of power that the Catholic Church wielded. So they see the Protestant Church as an opportunity
to break away.
England and Ireland converted to Protestantism
The rapid development of Protestantism angers the Catholics. Pope Paul III calls for a meeting
called the Council of Trent in 1545 to try and hammer out some way in which Catholic Church
can respond to Protestantism (Counter reformation). They come up with ideological and
theological arguments, but the big idea they come up with is the inquisition. They hunt down
people who are preaching Protestantism and those who aren’t following the Catholic ways. But
this quickly turns into an orgy of burning people alive.
Ignatius Loyola was a strong believer in the inquisition.
Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day – Catherine de Medicis called for every Protestant to be
killed out of the fear that she would be caught in the assassination attempt of Gaspard II de
Coligny. Up to 70,000 dead. Protestants flee France and Spain and go to England and Germany.
But an even larger number flee to the Ottoman Empire, based out of Turkey
Most famous of refugees is Moses Hamon, who is physician of a Sultan
France Xavier (Jesuit) conducted the Goa Inquisition
Catholics and Protestants fight in the 30 Year War
State Power in the Early Modern World 13001500 October 10, 2012
1 great state that emerged in the post Mongol world: The Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922)
Another great state that emerged: The Ming Empire (13681644)
Ottoman Empire is the most important state to emerge because it lasts a long time How does the transition from Mongols to Mameluks to Ottomans occur?
The killing of the Caliph was very psychologically damaging. Different muslim groups react differently.
The Ghazi emerged out of Turkey and resembled the Mongols in many ways. No sophisticated
technology, constantly moving, no developments. One distinction is that they converted to Muslim.
Ghazis were nomadic fighters, didn’t have military power
The Ghazi wanted to create a territorial heartland for Muslims.
Osman Ghazi (1258)
He develops the kingdom of Osman I
Story that influenced his success: Had a dream from a tree that said his descendants would take
over the world
Ghazis: On the East were the Mongols, on the West were the Byzantine. The Byzantines said they were
heirs of Ancient Rome. They kept circus traditions alive (Hippodrome)
Mehmed the Conqueror (14321481) takes the place from Osman Ghazi. He makes an innovation by
making the Janissary – they are recruited as kids, mostly from Muslim families, raised as professional
soldiers. One critical difference from Mameluks is that the Mameluks liked to fight on horses (cavalry).
Janissary fought on foot and was better trained, more comfortable using guns. Mameluks preferred
swords over guns.
With this new army, Mehmed was able to fight the Byzantines. He faced difficulty with the city
of Constantinople because they had high and thick walls. Mehmed fought their armies on the
outside territories. Once he took over, he realized that the societies were very complex. But
rather than have old elites remain, the Osman elites take place.
Selim I (14651520) fought Battle of Chaldiran
He extends ottoman empire into Egypt
People were curious to see what military system he would use
How you legitimize a regime:
China: Mandate of heaven
Catholic kingdoms (pope) France/Spain
Protestant kingdoms (royal church) Britain
India: eclecticism – Which god? All of them, there were so many of them
Islamic world: sultanate/caliphate
Problem: what do you do with religious minorities? Ottomans instituted the millet system, meaning that
Ottoman Empire seated all the minorities to their head churches. These head churches were led by
patriarchs, but had to remain loyal to the sultanate and were given power
Hakham Bakshi Hurrem Sultan stands out in Ottoman History as the empress. She was a genius when it came to foreign
affairs. Signed a treaty between ottomans and Poland
Political Institutions and Economic Life Discussion October 12, 2012
Adam Smith was following tradition when he said India and China were exemplars of past greatness,
but present day stagnation. He read the work of Bernier, who drew his portrait of life from ottoman and
Mughals who were considered to be oppressive.
The transformations of Western Europe further cemented these arguments of deep contrasts
Marxists saw Indians and Chinese of following aberrant paths because of their failure to develop
Bernier mistaked right to collect revenue with ownership of the land itself. He thought there was no
private property in India. He also argued that despotism restricted commercial trade
This is wrong because Mughals acted more like a complicated hierarchy rather than a scheme of
administration. There were multiple holders of power. Power of emperor was absolute but
limited. The diffuse nature of political power translated into a decentralized administrative order.
It was a loose imperial layer of authority that sat atop diverse forms of power
Because of political contestation, Indian built up military fiscalism and that propelled it forward
Power of sultan in Ottoman was similar. They had to negotiate
Constraints of Chinese trade prevented it from becoming big
This is false. Substantial amounts of silver came into china
It became reliant upon external commerce
Greater efficiency in markets in Europe and security of property
Caste imposed specialization was false. Groups moved between occupations and up and down
Caste facilitated economic activity – helped forge relations of trust for business transactions
Shortages of coins in English centers
Iberian Explorations into the Atlantic October 15, 2012
Christopher Columbus is highly heralded
Christopher Columbus was born in the Italian city of genoa, one of the richer cities of Europe. The
reason why Genoa was so rich was because Genoese merchants captured trade that link Europe to Indian
ocean. It linked genoa to Egypt and Constantinople.
The Egyptian capital city Cairo and Constantinople had fantastic universities and libraries. New ideas
that transferred to Genoa made the city fairly sophisticated. Christopher Columbus was born into a middle class family. His father was a weaver. From around his
cities, Columbus began to rise the social ranks. He pulled this off by joining as a business agent to a
famous Genoese family. He had to get on ships belonging to this business and took them around
different parts of the world, specifically in Western coastline. Columbus also made voyages to north and
western coast of Africa. It turned out that he was very good at this. His most prudent move was
marrying up to a wellknown Portuguese family, which moved him up the social ranks and gave him
prestige. Columbus became obsessed with the idea of getting to asia.
The story that is usually taught is that CC wanted to get to Asia for trade. But the problem with this
story is that he is Genoese. His countrymen have no problem accessing trade. Also, it was not hard to
get to Asia.
What did CC want?
He wrote a book called the Book of Prophesies, which gave others an idea of CC’s motivations.
His big agenda in life was religion. He was obsessed with the idea of the apocalypse and about
the second coming of Christ.
How do you bring about 2 coming of Christ?
1. Spread Christianity throughout the world
2. Locate the Garden of Eden
3. Bring Jerusalem under Christian Rule
4. Install a ‘World Emperor’
CC was hoping that if he could get around to Asia, he could spread Christianity to locals who were ripe
for conversion. CC also decided that the Garden of Eden was located in Asia.
These don’t explain why CC wanted to go Westward.
Columbus thought the eastern borders of Asia represented America. Not only did European scholar
know that the world was spherical, they also knew what the world looked like. They also knew that
China and India was really far away from Europe.
Where does CC get the absurd idea that Asia is in the middle of the world?
Why go westwards?
Columbus’s faith in religious geography. 2 passages in the bible emphasize that most of the world is
filled with land (he believed in 2 esdras). If this is true, there can’t be too much water between Europe
The myth of Antillia
He was not sponsored because people disagreed with his idea that Asia was so close and disagreed with
Get notes Sextants of Beijing
Portual had two main goals:
Economic – wanted control of lucrative spice trade between asia and Europe from muslim traders
Religious – wanted to regain asia, Africa, and brazil that catholic church had lost
Portugal and spain agreed to divide outside Europe
China was receptive of Christianity because:
1. Compatibility with traditional beliefs
2. Jesuits used secular topics of math/astronomy to attract interest
3. Political changes in china
Late ming china was not hostile to foreign trade or outside influence. There was a consumer culture
expansion and education for women. They were open minded and ready to accept Christianity.
Ming fell to Manchu
Taiwan was a base for antiqing activity
Zheng cheng was key figure in shifting relationships
1. Jesuits: top down strategy. Focuses attention on upper class for snowball effect (due to Malteo
Ricci). Xu gangpi, Li zhizao, Young yingyun and converted
2. Used secular knowledge
3. Accommodation – edict of toleration which allowed Christianity in kangxi’s empire
China and Catholicism (Chapter 2) October 17, 2012
Discussion of 1600s to 1700s
Qing and Ming Dynasty rule at this time
The Ming are ethnic Chinese, they strongly believed that they were the true Chinese.
The Qing are foreigners, they come from extreme China. They make it very clear that they are
foreigners. They come from an ethnic group called the Manchus
Jesuit strategies to spread Christianity:
1. Top down strategy – why do they do this?
A. Snowball effect – by converting the upper elites, the rest of the people would follow
Jesuits manage to convert 3 main rulers. They also convert the royal family towards the end
of their pursuits. This is because they get very desperate – they’re begging the Jesuit order
for help or any kind of support to fight off the Qing. Most of the Jesuits success was with
the Ming, so the Jesuits make a call to switch their allegiance to the Qing. As far as their
agenda is concerned, they’re primary focus is for Christian conversion.
This switching of sides alienates the Chinese elites. This is because the Qing are proud that
they are not sophisticated and that they are barbaric. The Chinese elites are disappointed that
the Jesuits can support such a group of people. How do the Jesuits get the Qing to convert?
1. They say that their religion is not that different from Chinese religions.
Jesuits in Rome, the Catholic Church thought that the Chinese worshipping their
ancestors was heresy, because the true person they should be worshipping is God.
The Chinese have their own name for divinity. Jesuits say that our gods are the
same. But the Catholic Church says that there is a clear distinction between the
gods Jesuits believe and the gods that the Chinese believe.
2. Use of Secular knowledge
Science, Cartography, miracles
What was the problem with miracles?
People are converting with miracle stories (very appealing) What is
actually working is not how the Jesuits are trying to convert the Chinese
Eventually, Jesuits get banned in China. The pope tried to claim papal authority over Chinese subjects.
Why does the pope think he has this power? There was a system in which Pope was God’s
representative and he blessed other kings. But this led to a rivalry between pope and Chinese emperor.
He took it as an attack on his sovereignty.
Destruction of Indigenous Populations in the Americas October 22, 2012
Conquistadors faced a major problem in the Caribbean – they realized that the supply of gold was
limited and hard to dig up. They resorted to extreme forms of violence to dig up these resources.
2 problems arise:
1. How to get sufficient labor
2. How to get access to more gold sources
Spanish ships go towards the Gulf of Mexico. What they learned was that this mainland had two
sophisticated empires: Aztec (Capital is Tenochtitlan) and Incan. Both were fairly large
There were other smaller, political powers in the mainland – city states
The Spanish were able to topple both the Aztec and the Incans
QUESTION: How were the Spaniards able to conquer such vast territories?
The size of Spain is 1/10 of the size of conquered American territories
Population mismatch – 7 million Spaniards, 30 million indigenous Americans
600 Spaniards present at fall of Aztec Empire
180 Spaniards present at fall of Incan Empire
Hernan Cortez comes from a reasonably well off family in Spain. Goes to the Caribbean to make
money. He is given command of a small fleet, and given the opportunity to go to the mainland to see what lies ahead. He meets with the Mayas. He has no trouble communicating with them because he
meets a translator, known as Geronimo de Aguillar
Soon, tensions emerge between Spaniards and Mayas. This leads to a battle known as Battle of Tabasco.
Chontal Mayas engage Spanish conquistadors, and lose fairly narrowly.
1. Chontal had a bigger army, but Spanish used steel (armor and weapons), used gunpowder, and
had horses. Chontal used wooden weapons
As part of the post battle settlement agreement, the Mayas agreed to give Spaniards 20 slaves. Most
notable among them was La Malinche, a Tlaxcalan slave gifted to Cortez.
She was a super linguist – could pick up languages easily
She was a super negotiator (helps negotiate with different groups of Mayas)
She helps negotiate alliance between Tlaxcala and Spanish
The Aztecs and Tlaxcalas had been at war for quite some time. They were alarmed when Spaniards and
Tlaxcala had allied. Aztecs alerted their allies in the city of Cholula. But they were eventually
massacred. La Malinche direct the soldiers in the massacre
Tenochitlan was very sophisticated. It was larger than any European city, with possible exception of
Ottoman capital city of Constantinople. Spanish soldiers were greeted cautiously by Aztec emperor
Montezuma. He made sure that his troops did not attack Spaniards. Tensions eventually grew –
constant quarrels between the two groups. Spanish soldiers panicked during a festival, and killed Aztec
elites in the main temple (massacre). Aztec soldiers killed Montezuma
La Noche Triste – Aztecs butchered Tlaxcalans and Spaniards and drove them out of the city. They
engaged them once again in the Battle of Otumba, Tlaxcalans win.
War of attrition begins Spanish/Tlaxcalans in 1521 against Aztecs. But La Malinche gathers many
helpful allies, moreso than Cortez
Both sides suffer from small pox epidemic. However, Spaniards were able to build up immunity against
the small pox because they lived in close contact with the animals that caused the disease. Because of
this epidemic, the Spanish were able to conquer Tenochtitlan
Legend of Quetzalcoatl – people thought Spaniards were divine
Mesoamerican population in 1492 – 30million, but this number declines to 8 million in 1650 (80%
How did the Spanish do it?
La Malinche – key role as negotiator for Spaniards
Both above get devastated by small pox
Military advantages: steel, horses
Small pox disease The Global Trade in Slaves: The Creation of a Global Economy October 24, 2012
1800 is important because a global economy emerges
Slave trade undergoes a dramatic transformation.
Atlantic slavery (new system of slavery after 1500s. Also known as industrial slavery). The older form
is known as preindustrial slavery
Who were the slaves?
1. Men, women, and children taken as tribute (Mamluks, Janissaries). They were used as servants,
entertainers, and concubines.
2. Men, women, and children captured in war. They were often reemployed in war. Subsaharan
African soldiers were redeployed in Egyptian Mamluk army.
3. Men, women, and children sold into slavery. They were mostly used in domestic service
Were they any differences in these three groups of slaves?
Cultural insider (born into the society where you have become a slave) – less vulnerable, less dependent
Cultural outsider (grew up outside society where you became a slave) – more dependent on masters,
more vulnerable. Example – slaves captured as tribute or in battle
How were these slaves treated?
Slavery was characterized by assimilation.
Slaves were integrated into social world of slaveowners, integrated into religion (Mamluks
allowing Hindus to become Muslims), and integrated into education (allowed to study)
Slaves were also integrated into the household – they enjoyed right to inherit owner’s property
and physical differences in appearance were mitigated through clothing, and hairstyles (slaves
dress similarly to owners)
How slaves were treated II
Slavery was characterized by manumission.
Slaves permitted to purchase their own freedom. If slaveowner dies and leaves money for the
slave, he can buy his own freedom
On other occasions, slaves were purchased out of slavery by lovers and friends
Best known example of this:
Hurrem Sultan was a slave. Suleiman the Magnificent purchased her freedom
Typical case of preindustrial slavery:
A man named Chapu, born in 1549 in Harar, Ethiopia
He was captured into slavery. He was then taken to Al Mukah (Yemen), then he was resold for
20 gold coins, then was taken to Mecca, where he was purchased by a Quadi. Then he was
brought to Baghdad, and then he integrated into the social world of his owner, Mir Quasim Al Baghdadi. He converts to Islam, he becomes educated, and is renamed Malik Akbar (which is a
more complex and grand sounding name). Then he goes to Ahmednagar, and then sold to
Chapu’s journey through slavery
At Ahmednagar, he was trained in warfare (cavalry fighting). He incorporated into Chenghis’s
In 1575, Chenghiz Khan died so Chapu gained manumission through fortune from his master
Were slaves truly integrated into society?
Look at Chapu’s postmanumission career. He used his inheritance to purchase services of 150
horsemen. In 1595, he was recruited by Sultan of Bijapur. In 1600, he returned to Ahmednagar
at head of 3000 horsemen
Chapu marched into royal palace of Ahmadnagar, and executed a coup de tat. He toppled the
existing sultan, and proclaimed himself as ruler of Ahmadnaggar
This evidence indicates that slaves were truly integrated into society.
Chapu’s postmanumission career indicates that it was possible for a slave to rise to the highest
echelons of power
Chapu was African. Racial/cultural differences of origins did not matter to slaves once they were
The Atlantic: A new kind of slavery – exclusively African
Slaves purchased in Africa were cultural outsiders
Slave born into slavery were cultural insiders
Atlantic Silver in the Global Economy October 31, 2012
Silver was the first Atlantic commodity to have global significance.
Spanish Conquistadors discovered silver in the Caribbean. But it was difficult to extract
Silver was discovered in 2 places:
1. At Potosi (Bolivia) in 1545
2. At Zacatecas (Mexico) in 1546
There were a few problems with Potosi.
It had very harsh terrain (received too much snow, sterile and unproductive, and nasty climate)
Problems mining Potosi:
1. Located at considerable distance from population centers
2. Mining silver involved very hard labor (you have to break out big chunks of rock, move it to a
surface, expose it to chemicals, and then extract it).
At this time, the small tools were used to break hard rock.
Ore had to be carried up to surface
Mines located very deep 3. Frequent Accidents
Toxic work process
1. Silver ore had to be crushed into powder, and then mixed with mercury
2. This mixture then had to be amalgamated
Done by work