Overview of All Land-Based Empires (Outside Europe)

Unit 3: c. 1450-1750

Ottoman Empire

1299-1923 

Key Ideas:

  • Located in the Middle East, capital at Istanbul (Turkey)

    • Controlled Turkey and most of the Middle East at its height

  • Believed in Sunni Islam

  • Recruited soldiers & administrators by enslaving Christian boys through a program called devshirme

  • Sultan Suleyman I (r. 1520-1566) was the "great" emperor: Conquered lots of territory & oversaw flourishing arts & literature

Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520-1566)

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Suleymaniye mosque, a representation of monumental architecture meant to legitimize the rule of the Ottoman Sultan

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Safavid Empire

1501-1736 

Key Ideas:

  • Located in Persia

    • Capital at Tabriz then at Isfahan

  • Believed in Shi'a Islam

  • Had a strong military run by military elites called qizilbash

  • Shah Abbas (r. 1588-1629) was the "great" emperor who consolidated Safavid power & oversaw construction of large palaces

Mughal Empire

1526-1857 

Key Ideas:

  • Located in India

    • Capital kept moving around: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Delhi, Lahore​

  • Believed in Islam

    • Made accommodations for its Hindu-majority population: Emperor Akbar abolished the jizya, a special tax that all non-Muslims had to pay, but Emperor Aurangzeb reinstated it

  • Had Hindu tax farmers called zamindars

  • Had 6 Great emperors before the empire's decline

    • Babur (founder), Humayun, Akbar (the "great" Mughal emperor), Jahangir, Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal), Aurangzeb (who reinstated the jizya)

Akbar the Great, the greatest Mughal emperor

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The Red Fort, a Mughal fort built by Shah Jahan. It represents monumental architecture meant to legitimize one's rule

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Ming Dynasty

1368-1644 

Key Ideas:

  • Sought to remain isolationist from European contact to protect Chinese culture from foreign influence

    • Restricted the activities of foreign merchants

  • Had a declining economy

    • Changed paper money to silver bullion, but that largely failed​

    • Many pirates raided the city

  • Fell in 1644 to the Manchus (from northern China, near China-Korea border)

    • Manchus came to help Ming Dynasty quell a peasant rebellion, but they instead took power after quelling the rebellion

Qing Dynasty

1644-1912 

Key Ideas:

  • Founded by Manchus, natives of Manchuria (northern China, near China-Korea border)

    • Forbade cultural contact between ethnic Chinese & Manchus

  • Even though Manchus were foreigners, they hired Chinese to run the government through the Confucian civil service exam

  • Had a strong military that conquered lots of territory

    • Emperors Kangxi & Qianlong conquered most of Central Asia

  • Very isolationist from European influence

    • Banned Christianity in 1724

    • Restricted trade to just a few cities (until foreigners started carving spheres of influence in 1800s, more on this in Unit 6)

Tokugawa Shogunate

1603-1868 

Key Ideas:

  • Located in Japan

    • Capital at Edo (Tokyo)

  • Originally had a feudal structure

    • Emperor at the top; Provincial rulers (daimyo) below them, warriors (samurai) below them, and peasants at the bottom

  • VERY strict in isolationism to protect their Japanese culture

    • Restricted Christianity

    • Restricted Japanese from traveling abroad

    • Restricted foreigners from trading there

    • Only the Dutch could come at the port of Nagasaki, where the Dutch taught many things to the Japanese & corrected their textbooks with correct info

Songhai Empire

1464-1591 

Key Ideas:

  • Located in West Africa

    • Previously controlled by Mali Empire

    • Sunni Ali established autonomy of Songhai Empire in 1494

    • Capital at Gao

  • Profited from trade in West Africa & Niger River Valley

    • Had a navy patrol the Niger River

  • Promoted Islam

  • Askia the Great (1493-1528) was the "great" emperor who conquered more territory & gained more influence in West Africa

  • Fell in Battle of Tondibi (1591) against Moroccans as the Moroccans were armed with guns (given by the Europeans)