Bruce Morrison » The Muslim World Expands, 1300–1700

The Muslim World Expands, 1300–1700

Three great Muslim powers—the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires—emerge between 1300 and 1600. By 1700 all three were in decline.

 

Section 1: The Ottomans Build a Vast Empire

Section 2: Cultural Blending Case Study: The Safavid Empire

Section 3: The Mughal Empire in India

 

Section 1: The Ottomans Build a Vast Empire

The Ottomans establish a Muslim empire that combine many cultures and lasted for more than 600 years.

 

Turks Move into Byzantium

 

Turkish Warriors

  • Many Turks live in Anatolia, on edge of Byzantine Empire
  • Many see themselves asghazis—warriors who fight for Islam

 

Osman Establishes a State

  • From 1300 to 1326, Osman, successful ghazi, builds state in Anatolia
  • Europeans call him Othman and followersOttomans
  • Ottomans win battles because they use muskets and cannons
  • Successors expand state through alliances and land buying

 

Osman Establishes a State

  • Orkhan, Osman’s son, declares himselfsultan—overlord
  • In 1361, Turks conquer Adrianople
  • Ottomans rule fairly over conquered peoples

 

Timur the Lame Halts Expansion

  • Timur the Lame—Tamerlane—rises to power in Central Asia
  • Timur defeats Ottomans in 1402, burning Baghdad

 

Powerful Sultans Spur Dramatic Expansion

 

Murad II

  • Murad II begins expansion

 

Mehmed II Conquers Constantinople

  • Murad’s son, Mehmed II, conquers Constantinople in 1453
  • Opens city to Jews, Christians, and Muslims and rebuilds

 

Ottomans Take Islam’s Holy Cities

  • In 1512, Selim the Grim, Mehmed’s grandson, comes to power
  • He defeats Persian Safavids and pushes into North Africa
  • Conquers Mecca, Medina, and Cairo: important Muslim cities

  

Suleyman the Lawgiver

 

A Great Ruler

  • Suleyman the Lawgiver, Selim’s son, rules from 1520 to 1566

 

The Empire Reaches Its Limits

  • Suleyman conquers Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522)
  • Ottomans control eastern Mediterranean
  • Turks take North African coastline, control inland trade routes
  • Suleyman’s forces advance to Vienna
  • By 1526, Ottoman Empire is the largest in the world

 

Highly Structured Social Organization

  • Suleyman creates law code, reduces bureaucracy, simplifies taxation
  • Army usesdevshirme—drafts boys from conquered lands
  • Trains 30,000 elite soldiers—janissaries—loyal only to the sultan
  • Jews and Christians allowed to practice own religion

 

Cultural Flowering

  • Suleyman’s broad interests lead to flourishing of arts, learning
  • Sinan, brilliant architect, designs magnificent Mosque of Suleyman

 

The Empire Declines Slowly

 

Gradual Fall

  • Suleyman kills one son and exiles another
  • Third son inherits throne but rules weakly
  • Later sultans kill their brothers and leave their sons uneducated
  • Long line of weak sultans leads to empire’s eventual fall

 

Section 2: Cultural Blending Case Study: The Safavid Empire

The Safavid Empire produce a rich and complex blended culture in Persia.

 

Patterns of Cultural Blending

 

Cultural Blending in Persia

  • Between 16th and 18th centuries a Shi’ite Muslim dynasty ruled Persia
  • Safavid Empire—Shi’ite Muslim dynasty from 16th to 18th centuries

 

Causes of Cultural Blending

  • Changes occur through migration, conquest, trade, or religion

 

Results of Cultural Blending

  • Changes in language, religion, government, use of technology
  • Racial and ethnic blending, intermarriage
  • Cultural styles adapted into arts and architecture

 

    • The Safavids Build an Empire

 

Safavid Origins

  • Begins as religious order named for founder
  • Safavids concentrate on building powerful military

 

Isma’il Conquers Persia

  • Fourteen-year-oldIsma’ilconquers Iran by 1451
  • Takes title ofshah—king
  • Makes Shi’a Islam official religion; kills Sunnis
  • Son, Tahmasp, greatly expands empire

 

A Safavid Golden Age

 

Abbas the Great

  • Shah Abbas—Abbas the Great—takes throne in 1587

 

Reforms

  • Helps create a thriving Safavid culture
  • Reforms military and government; brings in Christian trade

 

A New Capital

  • Esfahan—new capital—is one of world’s most beautiful cities

 

Art Works

  • Chinese artisans blend Chinese and Persian styles

 

Carpets

  • Carpet weaving becomes national industry

 

The Dynasty Declines Quickly

 

The Safavid Empire Weakens

  • Abbas kills and blinds his ablest sons
  • Safi, Abbas’s incompetent grandson, leads to empire’s decline
  • By 1722, the empire is losing land to the Ottomans and Afghans
  • Nadir Shah Afshar expands the empire, but it falls apart in 1747

 

Section 3: The Mughal Empire in India

The Mughal Empire brings Turks, Persians, and Indians together in a vast empire.

 

Early History of the Mughals

 

Mongol Invaders

  • Mughals, or Mongols, invade northwestern India

 

Conflict

  • Muslims and Hindus fight for almost 300 years
  • In 1000, loose empire of Turkish warlords—Delhi Sultanate—forms

 

Delhi Sultanate

  • Sultans rule from Delhi between 13th and 16th centuries
  • Timur the Lame destroys Delhi in 1398

 

Early History of the Mughals

 

Babur Founds an Empire

  • Baburbecomes king of small land in Central Asia at age 11
  • Is dethroned and driven south into India
  • Army conquers much of northern India, formingMughal Empire
  • Son Humayun loses most of the territory Babur conquered
  • Babur’s grandson succeeds Humayan

 

Akbar’s Golden Age

 

Babur’s Grandson

  • Akbar—“Greatest One”— rules India from 1556 to 1605

 

A Military Conqueror

  • Akbar uses cannons; names native Indians as officers

 

A Liberal Ruler

  • Akbar allows religious freedom and abolishes tax on non-Muslims
  • Akbar allows all people a chance to serve in high government office
  • Hindu finance minister develops better tax plan; income grows
  • Akbar gives land to his officials, then reclaims it when they die

 

A Flowering of Culture

  • Many cultures blend, mixing art, education, politics, and language
  • New languages like Hindi and Urdu emerge

 

The Arts and Literature

  • Book illustrations, called miniatures, flourish
  • Hindu literature reemerges during Akbar’s rule

 

Architecture

  • New architectural style named for Akbar develops

 

Akbar’s Successors

 

Jahangir and Nur Jahan

  • Akbar’s son, Jahangir, allows wife Nur Jahan to control government
  • Nur Jahan appoints her father prime minister
  • Nur Jahan favors son Khusrau over other sons
  • Khusrau rebels, supported by Sikhs, nonviolent religious group
  • Sikhs become targets of Mughal hatred

 

Shah Jahan

  • Shah Jahan—Jahangir’s son and successor, marries Persian princess
  • Assassinates all competitors for throne
  • His wife dies while giving birth to her 14th child in 1631
  • Taj Mahal—huge marble tomb Shah Jahan builds for his wife
  • Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world

 

The People Suffer

  • People suffer paying for wars and monuments
  • Shah Jahan’s third son—Aurangzeb—imprisons father and takes over

 

Aurangzeb’s Reign

  • Rules between 1658 and 1707; expands empire to its largest
  • Strictly enforces Islamic law and attempts to get rid of Hindus
  • Hindus rebel and Sikhs become militant
  • Levies oppressive taxes on Hindus, causing more rebellion

 

The Empire’s Decline and Decay

 

The Mughal Empire Crumbles

  • Over 2 million people die of famine while Aurangzeb wages war
  • Emperor becomes a figurehead; empire breaks into separate states
  • Meanwhile, traders arrive from England, Holland, France, Portugal
  • European traders gain key ports