The Rise of Europe
Contemporary world power, and the shift from the East to the West during what historian’s term, Medieval/Renaissance Europe, shifted the roles of two vastly different empires – the Ming and Ottoman. Even though we barely even touched on the Ming Empire, I feel like the significance of it, is far too grand to leave out in describing the rise of Europe. Both empires had different types of leadership and core goals – military and social. The Ming Empire was led by brilliant philosophical scholars, concerned not only with the external world but the development of the internal consciousness; the Ottoman based on a new monotheistic religion that stratified society, but also allowed numerous mathematical, scientific, and medical advances, copied by the Europeans after the Crusades.
Islam began about 700 AD in the Saudi Peninsula, which at the time, was composed mostly of nomadic tribes, a few trade cities, and a dissimilar population. Through religion, the Arab peoples were united, so that by the years of 900-1200 AD, the Ottoman Empire could be called a state unto itself. It quickly proved to be a military strength and threat to its neighbors, at its height growing from the Iberian Peninsula through India and into Southeast Asia. The Turks expanded their empire through brilliant military tactics, horse archery, and new technologies in battle. Coupled with this more practical sense, the idea of spreading Islam, and the uniting of cultures through culture and religion, proved to be equally as powerful (Goodwin, 2003).
The Ming Empire, on the other hand, had no central religion or cultural basis, unless one considers the philosophies of Confucianism. However, the success of the Mings came from the intellectual and philosophical manner in which the ruling class brought together unlike peoples, a hierarchical class structure, and the idea that regardless of the class one is born into, education and knowledge were the tools for advancement. All...
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