top-rated free essay

The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Safavid and Mughal Empires

By PimpGoldfish Feb 24, 2015 1041 Words
Valery Umana
Po. 3
The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires were forces to be reckoned with back in the day. Being powerful entities, their rise was paved with military prowess, religious tolerance, and having meritocratic systems, though this is not always the case. Their fall, however, was the result of their treatment of peasants, a plague of horrid rulers, and shortsighted economic handling.

The Ottomans were blessed for forty-six years with one of the greatest rulers of the thirteenth century – Suleiman the Magnificent. Suleiman brought the Ottoman Empire into a Golden Age, where architecture, literature, art, theology, and philosophy flourished. Being one of the few empires in the 1500’s to have a meritocratic system, everyone in Suleiman’s court was prudently and cautiously chosen by the Sultan himself, proving that this is why “they are successful in their undertakings.” (Doc. 3) Part of the reason why the Ottomans were so successful in persisting for 624 years is for their religious tolerance. Although those of any faith other than Islam had to pay a special tax for the sole purpose of practicing their customs, the Ottomans were very lax on religion. Their religious tolerance was adapted into the Safavid and Mughal empires, where it was, like anything else in life, attacked by people against such an idea as acceptance of different peoples, such as that of Abd al-Qadir Bada’uni’s writings that show how frightened he is at the prospect of Akbar the Great’s potential conversion. (Doc. 4) How in most places the peasantry is of no importance, Sari Mehmed Pasha stated how important it was to keep the peasants content, that it is in the empire’s best interest to protect and preserve them – even those lives of the travelers. (Doc. 8) The Pasha might have stated this seeing as how this was written in the 18th century, an era of decline for the Ottomans, so this might have been written in part of showing what a good job the legal system is doing for the rabble. As we’re entering the Ottoman’s decline, one reason for why they fell would have been how they were trading and with whom. It seems that, according to William Eton, the Ottomans would not trade with “beggarly nations,” seeing as how they wanted to trade riches for hardly anything, opting to trade with “those who bring … useful and valuable articles.” (Doc. 6) The reluctance of trading with lesser nations would have contributed to the fall of the Ottomans. An additional document to find out more about why the Ottomans fell would have been a document released shortly after Suleiman the Magnificent died, seeing as the empire began to fall apart coincidentally when he deceased.

The Safavids were known mostly for their military prowess, their manner of taking lands. One such example was a letter by Father Paul Simon to Pope Clement VIII, which talked about how mighty the army of Abbas the Great is, comparing them to their men in Europe as being “little behind our men [in Europe.]” This letter could have served as a warning so as not to mess with the Safavid army. (Doc. 1) As stated before, the Safavid empire exercised religious tolerance, which was an idea taken from the Ottomans, but it wasn’t to the extent of the Ottomans. (Doc. 4) Sir John Malcolm warns of the rulership of the Safavids, specifically in the mid-1600s, and how growing in a harem had warped the young monarch for the worse – he would grow up to be “effeminate and inefficient,” his consumption of wine was the “cause of all the evils of his reign.” (Doc. 7) But apparently, when he was drunk, he favored his subjects far more than his officers. Another useful document could be one talking about the leniency of people who were not Shi’ite Muslims.

The Mughals were a rich and powerful empire, with much money to spare. How rich were they that they could spend so much on their military, and especially on their nobility. This usage of money could have been strength of theirs for it could have shown how easily they can buy advanced weapons, better armour, stronger and faster horses. (Doc. 2) Let’s now go back to Abd al-Qadir Bada’uni, the Orthodox Muslim cleric who was against religious policies of Akbar the Great, the Mughal Emperor. Al-Qadir described religious figures from different religions as telling the emperor “obscenities and follies.” This mistrust might have only been his, which could have stemmed from the knowledge of past leaders converting, making a chain reaction that resulted in most of the population converting to that same religion. Regardless of this man’s panicking reaction, this shows that Akbar was religiously tolerant, with al-Qadir as an outlier. As seen before, being tolerant favors the leader and the empire in the long run. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and such happened to the Mughals: the king would give land to military men, and whoever lived on that land and in the villages and towns within it were under their control. The peasants who were under control of soldiers, governors, or farmers started questioning why would they have to work the land if it would just be taken away soon? To which the soldiers, governors, and farmers responded with why should it bother them that they’re not working it, why should they waste their money and time to make it fruitful? (Doc. 5) An extra document useful to this essay would have been a document speaking about how the Mughal Empire was helping its people, which could have shown how the odds were in its favor if it was to cease to exist early on or not.

The three gunpowder empires were at the peak of their prime in the 16th and 17th centuries, but they ultimately disintegrated by 1800. This document goes to show what were some of the factors of the rise of these empires, and what were causes for their collapse. Big factors in play here were the use of religion to favor the people, how mighty was their army, and how they treated the common people.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires

    ...The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal societies all relied on bureaucracies that drew inspiration from the steppe traditions of Turkish and Mogol people and from the heritage of Islam, they adopted similar policies, they looked for ways to keep peace in their societies which were made up of different religious and ethnic backgrounds, and they were as...

    Read More
  • The Ottomans and the Mughals Empire

    ...The Ottomans and the Mughals are two of the greatest and most powerful civilizations of the modern period. Their moments of glory in the sixteenth century represent high points in human creativity and art. They built empires, which were the largest and most influential of the Muslim empires of the modern period, and their culture and military in...

    Read More
  • Compare and Contrast the Ottoman, Safavid, Munguhl Empires

    ...The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughals were all gunpowder empires. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the differences between all of these empires mentioned. Each fall into five different categories. Socially, the Ottoman Turks were each millet, or a nation, inside the empire and had separate social customs in accordance with the ...

    Read More
  • Ottomans v. Safavids v. Mughals Comparative Essay

    ...The Safavid, Mughal, and Ottoman empires all depended in some way on the allegiance of non-Muslims to the empire. The Ottoman emperors were kinder on their conquered people, and the main separation between Muslims and non-Muslims in the empire was the tax on the dhimmis (non-Muslims). The Safavid leaders were more forceful in this regard. The...

    Read More
  • Compare and Contrast Ottoman and Mughal Empires

    ... The Ottoman and Mughal empires were two of the greatest and most successful empires to ever form in history. However, they both had some similarities as well as differences. Both empires went through tough periods of time, but at some point they also went through times of growth and prosperity. Although the Ottoman and Mughal Empire both...

    Read More
  • Comparing The Ottoman And Safavid Empires

    ...throughout the centuries. The most successful empires were able to expand and exert their dominance through tactics that had not been utilized in previous empires. While the Umayyad and Safavid empires were powerful, the Ottoman and Mongol Empires became two of the strongest empires in the Middle East and Central Asia due to their inclusion of m...

    Read More
  • The Safavid and Moghul Empire

    ...The Safavid Empire really put Iran on the map for their economic strength. The Safavid Empire was founded by the Safavids and covered all of Iran, parts of Turkey, and Georgia. The Shiite based empire lasted from 1501-1722. The reason for their success was their locations on the trade routes. Shah Ismail, age 14 ruled from 1501 to 1524 and by 1...

    Read More
  • The Fall of Mughal Empire

    ...The fall of Mughal Empire Under Aurangzeb’s successors the decay of empire was hastened by several causes and the spirit of lawlessness rampant throughout the land. In such circumstances ruin of Mughal Empire was inevitable. Aurangzeb, as a ruler of India proved to be a failure. He hardly realised that the greatness of an empire depends on t...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.