Ottomans Versus the Safavids

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Many empires of Middle East civilizations have had strong political and social structures. Two of these empires are the Ottomans and the Safavids. The rise of the Ottomans correlates with the decline of the Roman Empire, which generated the shift in power from a singular Christian European society to a more Islamic influence. The Ottoman people became powerful in Asia Minor, which collapsed as a Seljuk Turk Kingdom, in the 13th to 14th centuries. The Safavids rose to power following the collapse of the Turkic Empire and invasion of the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries. Although the Safavids had advanced political and social systems, the Ottoman empire had more efficient political and social methods.

The Ottomans and the Safavids both had strong features to their political systems. The Ottomans controlled using a strong military, use of weapons, and an extensive bureaucracy. Their empire was known to be geared for warfare. The Ottoman empire had strong governmental power. They ruled in their center of Constantinople, which the Ottomans built defense walls around, aqueducts in, and was where they opened their markets. Absolute power was granted to their Sultans, such as Suleymon the Magnificent. Another unique political factor of the Ottomans was their use of Janissaries. Janissaries were Ottoman infantry divisions that were made up of boys that were legally slaves that were captured and forced to fight. They were extremely strong and beneficial to the Ottomans. The Safavids ruled under the control of a Shah, or emperor. Some of these Shahs were Abbas the Great, Tahmasp I, and Isma’il. A large part of the Safavid political control was their followers who were given the nickname “Redheads” due to their red headgear. Similar to the Ottomans, the Safavid also had one especially great leader who led the empire to good times and success. This Shah was Abbas The Great, who, like Ottoman janissaries, captured boys from southern Russia for the military and...
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