Chapter 21 - the Muslim Empires

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1. Which of the following was NOT one of the early modern Islamic empires? Ottoman, Abbasid, Gujarat, Mughal, Safavid. * Abbasid and Gujarat.

2. How were the three Muslim early modern empires similar? The largest of the three empires, the Ottoman, stretched at its peak in the 17th century from north Africa to southern Russia, and from Hungary to the port of Aden on the southern end of the Red Sea. To the east in what is now Iran and Afghanistan, the Safavid dynasty arose to challenge the Ottomans for leadership of the Islamic world. Finally, yet another Muslim empire in India, centered like most of the earlier ones on the Delhi region of the Ganges plain, was built under the leadership of a succession of remarkable Mughal rulers. The combination of these three empires produced the greatest political and military power the Islamic world had yet attained.

3. What were the differences between the various Muslim early modern empires? Please see number 2.

4. Prior to the Mongol invasions of their empire, the Abbasid dynasty was dominated by what group? The Seljuk Turks. For centuries before the rise of the Ottoman dynasty, Turkic-speaking peoples from central Asia had played key roles in Islamic civilization as soldiers and administrators, often in the service of the Abbasid caliphs. But the collapse of the Seljuk Turkic kingdom of Rum in eastern Anatolia in Asia Minor, after the invasion by the Mongols in 1243, opened the way for the Ottomans to seize power in their own right.

5. The original base of the Ottoman Turks was where? The Ottoman dynasty gradually built an empire in the eastern Mediterranean. But the collapse of the Seljuk Turkic kingdom of Rum in eastern Anatolia in Asia Minor, after the invasion by the Mongols in 1243, opened the way for the Ottomans to seize power in their own right.

6. Following the Timurid invasions, the Ottoman Empire was restored under what leader? Mehmed I.

7. The Ottomans conquered Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire in what year? For seven weeks in the spring of 1453, the army of the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, “The Conqueror,” which numbered well over 100,000, assaulted the triple ring of land walls that had protected the city for centuries. The outnumbered forces of the defenders repulsed attack after attack until the sultan ordered his gunners to batter a portion of the walls with their massive siege cannon. Wave after wave of Ottoman troops struck at the gaps in the defenses that had been cut by the guns, quickly overwhelmed the defenders, and raced into the city to loot and pillage for the three days that Mehmed had promised as their reward for victory.

8. Describe Ottoman naval power. In the two centuries after the conquest of Constantinople, the armies of a succession of able Ottoman rulers extended the empire into Syria and Egypt and across north Africa, thus bringing under their rule the bulk of the Arab world. The empire also spread through the Balkans into Hungary in Europe and around the Black and Red seas. The Ottomans became a tough naval power in the Mediterranean Sea. Powerful Ottoman galley fleets made possible the capture of major island bases on Rhodes, Crete, and Cyprus.

9. Who were the Janissaries? Military leaders played a dominant role in the Ottoman state, and the economy of the empire was geared to warfare and expansion. The Turkic cavalry, chiefly responsible for the Ottomans’ early conquests from the 13th to the 16th centuries, gradually developed into a warrior aristocracy. They were granted control over land and peasant producers in annexed areas for the support of their households and military retainers. From the 15th century onward, members of the warrior class also vied with religious leaders and administrators drawn from other social groups for control of the expanding Ottoman bureaucracy. As the power of the warrior aristocracy shrank at the center, they built up regional and local bases of...
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