Ch. 19 – Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500--1750
I. The Ottoman Empire
Expansion and Frontiers
1. Osman established the Ottoman Empire in northwestern Anatolia in 1300. He & his successors consolidated control over Anatolia. 2. Egypt and Syria were added to the empire in 1516—1517. Suleiman the Magnificent conquered much of eastern Europe. 3. The Ottoman Empire fought w/Venice for two centuries as it attempted to exert its control over the Mediterranean.
1. The Ottomans came to rely upon Janissaries (captured Christian men) who fought on foot and were armed w/guns. In the early 15th century, the Ottomans began to recruit the Janissaries & for positions in the bureaucracy through the system called devshirme – a levy on male Christian children. 2. The Ottoman Empire was a cosmopolitan society in which Osmanli-speaking, tax-exempt military class (askeri) served the sultan as soldiers & bureaucrats. The common people – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – were referred to as the raya (flock of sheep).
Crisis of the Military State
1. The increasing importance and expense of firearms meant that the size & cost of the Janissaries increased over time. New World silver brought inflation & undermined the purchasing power of the landholding Turkish cavalry. 2. Financial deterioration & the use of short-term mercenary soldiers brought a wave of rebellions and banditry to Anatolia.
Economic Change & Growing Weakness, 1650 – 1750
1. The period of crisis led to significant changes in Ottoman institutions. The affairs of government were now in the hands of chief administrators, the devshirme was discontinued, and the Janissaries became a hereditary elite who spent more time on crafts and trade than on military training. 2. In rural areas, the system of land grants for military service had been replaced by a system of tax farming. Rural administrators came to depend on powerful provincial governors and wealthy tax farmers. 3. 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.
IV. Africa, the Atlantic, and Islam
The Gold Coast and the Slave Coast
1. European trade with Africa grew tremendously after 1650 as merchants sought to purchase slaves & other goods. 2. African merchants were discriminating about the types & amounts of merchandise they demanded in return for slaves and other goods, and they raised the price of slaves in response to increased demand. 3. Exchange of slaves for firearms contributed to state formation in the Gold and Slave Coasts. The kingdom of Dahomey used firearms acquired in the slave trade to expand its territory, while the kingdoms of Oyo and Asante had interests in both the Atlantic trade and in overland trade with their northern neighbors.
The Bight of Biafra & Angola
1. There were no sizeable states – and no large scale wars – in the interior of the Bight of Biafra; kidnapping was the main source of people to sell into slavery. 2. Although the organization of the Atlantic trade varied from place to place, it was always based on a partnership between European traders and a few African political and merchant elites who benefited from the trade, while many more Africans suffered from it.
II. The Safavid Empire, 1502--1722
The Rise of the Safavids
4. Ismail declared himself shah of Iran in 1502 and ordered that his followers and subjects all adopt Shi’ite Islam. 5. It took a century of brutal force and instruction by Shi’ite scholars 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.
Society and Religion
3. Conversion to Shi’ite belief made permanent the cultural...
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