The Ottoman Empire

There were a nomadic group known as the Turks
who would take over the territory that was once
dominated by the Mongols.
They would also capture Constantinople and take
over much of the former Byzantine Empire.
After 1453 the Turks would turn towards Europe
and dominate most of the southern areas Europe,
Greece, Balkans.
The Gunpowder Empire
Under Sultan Mehmed II
“The Conqueror” he will
use strong military tactics
and new innovations
such as gunpowder to
build up the Ottoman
By placing gunpowder in
cannons the walled
castles of Europe were
now obsolete .
There was a territorial
division between the
emerging Safavid Empire
in Iran.
In the Battle of
Chaldiran Selim I of the
Ottoman Empire
stopped the Safavid
Empire, a boarder
division that still exist
today between Iran and
The son of Selim
Known as the Lawgiver in to
the Ottomans.
Set his sights on taking over
Christian Europe.
Invaded Belgrade and
Eastern parts of Europe.
Tried to invade Vienna but
was turned back
Attempted to take over the
Mediterranean and the trade
that was being developed.
Venice challenged the
Ottomans and the right to
The Ottomans who were
more of a land based military
were never able to end the
Italian control of sea trade
and had to settle for the
payment of tribute.
How did the Ottoman's lack of control of the seas
and sea trade going to hurt the Ottoman Empire
during the Age of Exploration by Europeans?
In the 1400’s Christian soldiers
captured during battle (slaves)
who were employed in the
Ottoman military.
Taught to speak Turkish, given
military training. Some were
selected to study Islam,
liberal arts, and military
Some became high ranking
military officers who
reported to the Sultan.
What would incorporating these Christians into the
military promote within the Ottoman Empire?
Many groups will leave European communities to live
among the Ottomans
People were able to practice their customs and
religions such as the Jews who were discriminated
against by the Europeans.
The Ottomans offered order and control in which
people felt protected and safe.
With the payment of taxes most groups were
allowed to live in peace among the Muslims
Istanbul is the capital city.
Made the Ottomans wealthy because of the amount
of trade crossing from Asia and the Middle East
into Europe.
Hindu, Muslims and Christians will all trade in the
Most women spent their time in the harmens of
forbidden areas of their homes.
Women ran the households
Islamic women were allowed to retain property even
after marriage and many women would involve
themselves in managing inheritances and buying and
selling real estate.
Women could also testify in court on their own behalf.
Fatwas-Legal opinions issued
by Muftis of legal advisors.
Based on interpretation of the
Muftis were appointed by the
Sultan so most rulings favored
the Sultan
Not all fatwas dealt with
religious matters
 The ban on drinking coffee
 Military campaigns
Military campaigns became more taxing.
An influx of silver into the world in the 16 C.
(where did the silver come from?) caused inflation
within the empire.
Regular soldiers who were paid were replaced by the
Emergence taxes needed to be raised by the Empire
 By 1600’s there were revolts by unemployed and over
taxed people in the empire.
 The Janissaries now had increased power within the
empire and control over the empire.
 Military strength began to diminish because janissaries
were more interested in non warfare activities.
By the late 1500’s and early 1600’s the ruling family
was worried about possible coups.
The Sultan was removed from the people and was
no longer seen as a military leader.
The Sultan lost touch with matters of the empire
and was seen as more as a figurehead.
Grand viziers or chief administrators now ran the
government and the empire became fractioned.
Land system grants were
replaced with tax farming
with allowed absentee
landlords to tax farmers
and profit without being
Farmers would now
begin to resent the
landlords and the
Janissaries began to
become involved in trade
and they began to lose
their military training and
 Port cities such as Izmir
experienced a rapid
population growth
 Large influx of migration
 Arrival of European
 This influx of people lead
farmers to turn from
growing farm crops to
growing cash crops for this
new trade market.
How would this new farming change help or hurt
the empire?
 During the early part of the empire the use of tobacco was prohibited.
 However Europeans wanted to increase the tobacco export and because of
 The growing weakness of the Sultan’s rule and unable to enforce the
rules and regulations of the empire
 European sea control of the Indian Ocean and most sea trade routes
 European were now able to get trade concessions and low duties on
tobacco and open up and control trade with the Ottoman’s
The Ottoman Empire was now dependent on the
European economy and trade to survive.
The military was greatly weakened by loss of the
Janissary system
The Sultan was out of touch with the people and
spent money on himself and not the empire
Local governors now ran the empire and there was
a loss of centralized power.
Soon revolts were happening throughout the empire
 Mamluks in Egypt will break free of the empire
 Janissaries in Baghdad
 Sinnis in Arabia
 And finally Janissaries in Istanbul will force Sultan Ahmed III
to abdicate
 While the empire would not collapse until 1918 by 1750 the
Ottoman Empire was in serious trouble.
After the fall of the last Mongol leader Timur in
1405 there was a power struggle in Central and
western Asia.
In 1502 in Iran Ismail of a Sufi brotherhood of the
Safaviya would declare himself the Shah of Iran
and ordered that the Shi’ite religion would be the
religion of the region.
Iran became a Shi’ite land surrounded by Sinni
Iran would develop different from the Sinnis
 Writing in Persian instead of Arabic
 Sufi mystic traditions were followed
 Islam would be spread by the military, using force if
Isfahan became the capital city which allowed for the trade of
silk, wool carpets and fabrics
It was like Istanbul in trade however it was not a cosmopolitan
 While Jews, Hindus and Armenians were in the city the land
locked city was not visited by Europeans.
 Because it was landlocked the city did not receive the volume
of trade that Istanbul did.
Under the Shi’ite system women were still restricted
to the home and had to be fully covered when in
Women had to live in separate quarters in the house
known as interiors
They were allowed to participate in
 Business activities separate from their husbands
 Testify in legal matters
There was not enough need or want for the goods to
support the economy.
The Shah needed the support of local chiefs for
military men and in return large pieces of the empire
were given to the local chiefs known as redheads
because of their red turbans.
The Safavid shah lacked a solid economy and did not
have strong control over the land.
In the 1500’s the shah recruited slaves to fight with the
new gunpowder technology.
Soon traditional nomadic warriors were clashing with
these new soldiers in the empire causing an internal
struggle for the shah to cope with.
Once Shah Abbas’s died new shahs were unable to
control the factions in the empire.
Silver form the New World brought and inflation
problem to the empire.
Military funding was hard because of the inflation
The shah’s attempted to take back nomadic land to give
to landowners and to tax.
 However Nomadic groups still maintain strong
militaries and stop the shah’s advancements
 By 1722 the invading Afghans captured Isfahan and
ended the Safavids rule.
Both the Ottoman and Safavid could not keep up with
the military spending to support a land based empire.
The empires could not compete with the growing
wealth of Europe and European spending
High taxes caused internal problems within the Empires
Territorial conquest, expansion and amassing land
based empires was not profitable in the now European
sea based trade dominated empires.
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