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Formation Of The Islamic Empires History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Osman Bey was the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was located on the border of the Byzantine Empire. This allowed the Ottomans to wage holy wars.

Warriors settling in foreign districts drove expansion. The Ottoman Empire created a successful army by having a light calvary and a volunteer infantry. It added heavily armed calvary latter on. Later, they created a unit of highly trained slaves called Janissaries. The Ottomans also used many gunpowder weapons.

Mehmed was famous because he captured Constantinople. He was a ruler of two lands and two seas.

Suleiman was able to build a successful navy by inheriting one fleet from the Egyptians and one fleet from a pirate, who later became an admiral.

The Safavid Empire

The Safavids wrestled power from the Ottomans by raising an army against the Ottomans. Their religion was Shiism.

The Shiites and the Sunnis fought because the Sunnis did not want the Shiites encroaching on their land and religion. This relates to the current politics of today because both parties are still at war.

The Mughal Empire

Babur did not try hard to be anything like a King or ruler, unlike the rulers of the other two empires. Babur wanted the spoils of war and wealth from India.

Akbar was a brilliant and charismatic ruler. He created a centralized administrative structure and had many military campaigns.


Ottoman Empire-Lasted from 1299-1923, spanned three continents and its capital was Constantinople.

Ghazi- Were Islamic warriors. Ghazi actually means “to raid.”

Mehmed the Conqueror-(1432-1481) He was a sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Suleiman the Magnificent-(1494-1566) He was the longest ruling sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Khayr al-Din Barbarossa Pasha-He was an admiral in the Ottoman navy. His nicknames were Barbarossa and Red Beard.

Shah Ismail-(1487-1524) Founder of the Safavid Empire and was a poet.

Twelver Shiism- The largest branch of Shia Islam.

Sunni-The largest branch of Islam, has a 90% majority.

Safavids-A ruling dynasty of Iran.

Battle of Chaldiran- Occurred on August 23, 1514 and was a decisive victory for the Ottoman Empire over the Safavids.

Shah Abbas the Great-(1571-1629)-The greatest Shah of the Safavid Empire.

Babur-(1483-1531) He was a Muslim conqueror who established the Mughal Empire. He was descendant of Genghis Khan.

Mughal Empire-Was an empire that encompassed most of India.

Akbar-(1542-1605) Grandson of Babur and ruler of the Mogul Empire.

Imperial Islamic Society

Additional Objectives/Questions

The Dynastic State

One similarity between the three societies was that they were all military based. They all “loaned” land out to peasants in return for taxes.

A devotion to Islam compelled rulers to extend their rule.

One con of Steppe tradition was that rulers did whatever they pleased. They also forced their religion upon their subjects. Often there was inter-family fighting.

While Muslim theorists said women should have no part in public affairs they actually played important roles in the empires

Agriculture and Trade

The economic foundation of all the empires was wheat and rice. The introduction of tobacco and coffee changed economies by encouraging people to establish coffee houses.

These empires used trade to establish diplomatic relations, and one example of this was the capitol of Bursa that was on a caravan route. Aleppo became a center for the spice trade. Shah Abbas promoted Isfahan as a commercial center. The Mughals did not pay as much attention to trade because their empire was so large and most productivity was done within the country.

Religious Affairs in the Islamic Empires

All of the Empires were religiously diverse: the Ottoman Empire had many Christians and Jews; the Safavids had a mix of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity. While most people in the Mughal Empire were Hindu, they also had groups of Jains, Zoroastrianism, Christians, and Sikhs. Christian Missionaries attracted many followers and established many schools.

Islamic Emperors spent a lot of money beautifying their most populous cities to impress the foreigners that visited and the local populace.


Kanun-A set of Albanian laws.

Chiniggs Khan-A name for Genghis Khan, who revered his mother and wife.

Columbian Exchange- Trade of slaves, animals, and plants between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

Coffeehouse-Place that served coffee and other hot beverages. Coffeehouses were also a social gathering place. The word café comes from the coffeehouse.

Foreign Trade-Exchange of goods and services across foreign boundaries.

Goa Mission-The mission to try and convert Akbar and Indians to Christianity.

Dhimmi-How non-Muslim citizens of Muslim empires were governed.

Istanbul-The capitol of the Ottoman Empire.

Isfahan-A major trade city in the Safavid Empire.

Fatehpur Sikri-A city that became the capitol of the Mughal Empire.

Taj Mahal-A mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Johan in memory of his wife.

The Empires in Transition

Additional Objectives/Questions

The Deterioration of Imperial Leadership

Some events that led to the decline of the Safavid and Ottoman Empires were the siege of Isfahan and the loss of foreign lands in the Ottoman Empire. European and Russian powers put increasing pressure on them.

The Islamic rulers were weak and negligent. Many of them were incompetent and spent large sums of money on their own lavish lifestyles. There was much inter-family fighting. All this led to the empires’ doom.

I think that economic and military difficulties were the main cause of the downfall of the Islamic Empires. There was much waste and extremely high taxes, so emperors could afford their lavish lifestyles. Also, the Islamic Empires were always behind the Europeans in military technology.

Cultural Conservatism

The Islamic people did not travel to Europe because they thought of themselves as superior, and some even viewed Arabic as the only true language. They viewed Europeans as infidels.

Up until 1729, there was a ban on printing presses publishing books in Turkish or Arabic languages. Muslims were conservative about the printing press and Mughals showed little interest.

Many people thought that the books would introduce new and “dangerous” ideas to the people. This is like the Chinese Dynasties, who cut themselves off from the rest of the world and viewed themselves as superior.


Afghan Invasion of 1722-The fall of the Safavid Empire, the starvation and cannibalism of the people and capture of the Shah, all had to do with the invasion.

Ibrahim the Crazy-A psychotic Ottoman Sultan.

European Military Technology- This technology was always ahead of the Muslims, and the Muslims always had to buy European technology.

Printing Press-A machine that printed on paper and was originally banned by Muslims.

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