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HIST102: Early Globalizations - East Meets West (1200s-1600s)

Unit 9: The Muslim Empires   The Mongol invasions of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries broke apart a unified Muslim world.  But in the wake of these invasions, three new dynasties rose to power and paved the way for the emergence of an Islamic renaissance.  The greatest of the three, the Ottoman Empire, ruled most of Asia Minor.  The Safavids ruled Persia and Afghanistan, while the Mughals dominated India.  All three empires originated from Turkic nomadic peoples who embraced Islam and Islamic conversion efforts. 

In this unit, we will begin by studying the Ottomans.  We will consider their origins, their methods of conquest, as well as the unique features of their society.  We will also examine the reasons for the decline and reform of the Ottoman Empire.  Then, we will turn our attention to the Safavids, studying both their society and religion—Shi’a Islam.  Finally, we will focus on the Mughals—including their origins, reasons for their wealth, the formation of their empire, and outsiders’ cultural and economic interests in the Mughals.

Unit 9 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 8 hours to complete.
 
☐    Subunit 9.1: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 9.3: 3 hours

Unit9 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify key milestones in the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Describe some of the important religious and political features and practices within the Ottoman state.
  • Describe some of the various forms of interaction between the Ottoman Empire, Europe, and the Middle East during the period under review.
  • Identify some key milestones in the rise of the Mughal Empire, its internal features, and    its myriad cultural and commercial interactions with the outside world.

9.1 The Ottoman Empire: Origins and Conquests   - Reading: University of Calgary: Applied History Project: Rise of the Great Islamic Empires: “The Ottoman Empire” Link: University of Calgary: Applied History Project: Rise of the Great Islamic Empires: “The Ottoman Empire” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  The Ottoman Empire played a dominant role in the history of the Middle East, Caucasus, Asia Minor and parts of Europe from the period covered here to the twentieth century.  Please read all of this text which describes events in the 13th Century before continuing on to the links entitled “Empire Building, 1301-1402,” “Recovery and Renewed Conquest, 1402-1480,” “Relations with the Islamic World, 1480-1520” and “Suleyman I.”  These readings will provide you with an introduction to some of the major milestones in the early history of the Ottoman Empire and the lands brought under its rule.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.1.1 The Fall of Constantinople   - Reading: VirginiaTech: Bryan Gilkerson’s “The Siege of Constantinople” Link: VirginiaTech: Bryan Gilkerson’s “The Siege of Constantinople” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage in order to
get a sense of the Ottomans’ siege of the city of Constantinople.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.1.2 Religion and Society: Muslim and Non-Muslim Relations   - Reading: Michigan State University: Steven S. Sowards’ Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History: Lecture 3: “The Principles of Ottoman Rule in the Balkans” Link: Michigan State University: Steven S. Sowards’ Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History: Lecture 3: “The Principles of Ottoman Rule in the Balkans” (HTML)
 
Instructions:  The Ottoman Empire encompassed a diverse population of subjects.  Please read all of this text, which provides greater detail on the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans and proceeds from here to discuss the empire’s policy towards the non-Muslim inhabitants of the region.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.2 The Safavids   - Reading: Selections from The Applied History Research Group’s “The Islamic World to 1600”: “The Safavid Empire” Link: Selections from The Applied History Research Group’s “The Islamic World to 1600”: “The Safavid Empire”:
Beginnings to 1501(HTML)
Shah Ismail 1501-1526(HTML)
Chaos in the Empire, 1524-1587(HTML)
Abbas I, 1587-1629(HTML)

 Instructions: Please read all of the above webpages to get a good
overview of the Safavid Empire and its main leaders.  Please also
read the links embedded in the text; they will provide you with good
historical context of the period.  
    
 Note on the Text: The Applied History Research Group is affiliated
with the University of Calgary.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

9.2.1 Rise and Fall of the Safavids   - Reading: Iran Chamber Society’s “History of Iran”: Shapour Ghasemi’s “Safavid Empire, 1502-1736” Link: Iran Chamber Society’s “History of Iran”: Shapour Ghasemi’s “Safavid Empire, 1502-1736”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the webpage to learn about the Safavid Empire’s origins, the significance of Sufism and Shi’a Islam, and
the nature of Safavid society and government.
 
Note on the Text: This article is hosted by the Iran Chamber Society, which is a good resource for historical and cultural information about Iran.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Safavids, 1501-1722” Link: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz’s Iran: A Country Study: “The Safavids, 1501-1722” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article to get a sense of the internal and external challenges that faced the Safavid Empire.
     
    Note on the Text: This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

9.2.2 Shi’a Islam   - Reading: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz’s Iran: A Country Study: “Shi’a Islam” Link: US Library of Congress: Helen Chapin Metz’s Iran: A Country Study: “Shi’a Islam” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article to get a better understanding of the tenets of Shi’a Islam – the official religion of the Safavid dynasty.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

9.3 The Mughals   9.3.1 The Mughal Empire   - Reading: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Mughals” Link: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Mughals” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article in order to get a good overview of the Mughal Empire.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

9.3.2 Connection and Exchange   - Reading: University of Washington: Daniel C. Waugh’s “Mughal India’s Timurid Heritage” Link: University of Washington: Daniel C. Waugh’s “Mughal India’s Timurid Heritage” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage in order to get a sense of the influence of Central Asia—including the Silk Road—on the Mughal Empire.  Please also click on the Mughal art featured on the far left-hand side of the webpage and read the descriptions.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.3.3 Mughal Art and Culture   - Reading: Columbia University: Professor Frances Pritchett’s “The Mughals and the Arts” Link: Columbia University: Professor Frances Pritchett’s “The Mughals and the Arts” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this entire webpage to get a sense of how the unified political environment of Mughal India created the conditions for artistic achievement.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.3.4 Mughal Religion   - Reading: Columbia University: Professor Frances Pritchett’s “Religion at Akbar’s Court” Link: Columbia University: Professor Frances Pritchett’s “Religion at Akbar’s Court” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this webpage in order to get a sense of the religious policy of the Mughal emperor Akbar.  
 
Note on the Text: Islam was central to the Mughal kingdom, but the manner in which leaders embraced it or imposed it on the population was constantly changing, as this article shows.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

9.3.5 Challenges: the Marathas and the Sikhs   - Reading: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Marathas” and “The Sikhs” Link: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Marathas” (HTML) and “The Sikhs” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read these articles to get a sense of two challengers to Mughal rule – the Sikhs and the Marathas.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

9.3.6 The Coming of the Europeans   - Reading: Fordham University: Indian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of François Bernier’s An Account of India and the Great Moghul, 1655 CE” Link: Fordham University: Indian History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of François Bernier’s “An Account of India and the Great Moghul, 1655 CE” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this excerpt to get a sense of Europeans’ perceptions and impressions of the Mughal Empire.
 
Note on the Text: Written in the mid-seventeenth century by a French doctor, this text gives a detailed account of the powerful and extensive Mughal Empire. Bernier was the first European to describe the region of Kashmir and his position as a medical doctor in the court of Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal emperors, provided an unprecedented window into Mughal culture and customs.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

  • Reading: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Coming of the Europeans” Link: US Library of Congress: James Heitzman’s and Robert L. Worden’s India: A Country Study: “The Coming of the Europeans” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this article to get a sense of the relationship between European traders and Mughal rulers.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

9.3.7 Decline of the Mughals   - Reading: Columbia University: Professor Frances Pritchett’s “A Century of Political Decline: 1707-1803” Link: Columbia University: Frances Pritchett’s “A Century of Political Decline: 1707-1803”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this webpage in order to get a sense of the reasons for political decline of the Mughal Empire during the eighteenth century.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Assessment: Pearson Education’s World Civilizations: AP Edition: “Chapter 21, Multiple Choice Quiz” Link: Pearson Education’s World Civilizations: AP Edition: “Chapter 21, Multiple Choice Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please take the assigned multiple choice quiz on this webpage in order to assess your understanding of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires.  Click on “Submit Answers for Grading” at the bottom of the webpage to link to the answer key for the quiz.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Subunit 9.3 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "Reading Questions for Subunit 9.3" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Reading Questions for Subunit 9.3" (PDF)
 
Instructions: Once you have worked through all of the assigned resources in the subunit above, please open the linked PDF and respond to all questions.  When you are done--or if you are stuck--please check your work against The Saylor Foundation's "Guide to Responding to Reading Questions for Subunit 9.3" (PDF).

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 9 Essay: The Muslim Empires” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 9 Essay: The Muslim Empires” (HTML)

    Instructions: This is an ungraded activity. If you choose to complete the activity, you may record your answer anywhere you like. You do have the option to use the link above to save your answers on Saylor.org, though you will need to create a free account in order to do so --  this will only take a minute, and you may do so here.

    • The resources in Unit 9 provide an introduction to the histories of the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires.  In this assignment you are to locate additional secondary sources (books or articles written by professional historians) that deal with the subjects covered in the subunits.  Specifically, you will locate one source that addresses a subject found in subunit 9.1 (Ottoman Empire); another that addresses a subject found in subunit 9.2 (Safavid Empire); and a final one that addresses a subject found in subunit 9.3 (Mughal Empire). 

      Tips for getting started: As anyone who has written a term paper knows, it is important to be able to find multiple scholarly sources for a particular historical problem or question.  Although you are not being asked to write a paper in this assignment, you are performing one of the initial tasks that goes along with writing a paper – the collection of academic works that offer different perspectives on a particular subject. 

      You might begin by selecting a subject covered by the resources in subunit 1, such as the role of Islam in Ottoman government, the organization of the empire’s military forces, the policies toward minority communities, etc.  The next step is to find one other academic source that deals with the selected subject.  In order to do this you might visit the website of the American Historical Association (AHA).  On this site you will find a link to academic journals (http://www.historians.org/pubs/free/journals/).  Use the directory’s list of subjects to locate academic journals that deal with our empires.  The AHA site will also provide you with links to the journals’ home pages.  When you arrive at the journal home page, use the search function to find articles.  Note that in most cases you will not be able to access the entire article, however, you will be able to read the abstracts.  These will should provide you with the information necessary to complete this assignment.