|Directions: After reading the chapter in your textbook, Read
and Consider the following study materials very carefully, and Answer
the study questions as succinctly as possible.
Week 3: Islam Stav, 6:
Middle East: geography: the unique linked area, the intercommunicating zone with the Middle east as its center; crossroads for technology, institutions, biologies, foods, and peoples: arabs, turks, persians, and others: religions: three main ones, many smaller ones. Islam predominant. Middle east home to two of the worlds oldest civilizations: Egypt and Mesopotamia; later the great civs of Persia, and Byzantium; birthplace of three of the worlds five major religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam (today 40% of the worlds' people identify with these three); home of the cosmopolitan world Arab empire which linked the three continents.
Relations colored by Western myths, misunderstandings, distortions.
Interaction: trade, invasion, religious diffusion.
Muslim expansion: 7th, 8th centuries: West feared Muslim expansion.
Islam: one god, one community; protection and help for the poor and weak, all equal; revealed (god sent message to prophet Mohammed; written Quran); State and religion together; law was religious law and thus unified politically, economically, culturally. No secularization; prayerful. Succession crisis split Sunnis from Shi'ites, breaking the unity of the original community. (Later Sufi mysticism also a rift)
Islam expansion 800-1000: nomad military warriors from Arabia spurred by the unifying religion and plunder into weaker areas, esp the declining Byzantine and Persian empires. Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Persia, Byzantines, Spain and India by early 700s;
The world's largest empire: 10th century:Baghdad; rich, prosperous; commerce, science & technology, philosophy, foods; cultural synthesis & transmission westward of many of the innovations of the east: paper, shipbuilding, navigation, mapping; and eastward of the like from Egypt, Greece, Syria, Persia: medicine, math, astronomy; Arabic numerals are really from India via Islamic Spain;
Beginning in tenth century: Arab-dominated Muslim empire with Baghdad
at center breaks up into different states; Muslim political unity declines
as religion continues to spread, mostly thru trade;
Mongol invasions of the 13th century from central Asia; nomadic, tribal; established the Mongol peace, but tended to destroy civilizatons and the irrigation agriculture the state needed for tribute, before settling down and becoming assimilated into local muslim cultures.
Christian invasions of the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries; Spain, Sicily,
Palestine; the Western popes declared the crusades to rescue "Christian"
territory from non-christians. Crusaders
1000-1500 different areas predominant, different military leaders controlled.
but the Islamic social order and cultural uniformity prevailed, united
by vigorous trade, religion, religious law (Shariah) and social practice;
religious educational neetwork led by ulama; Sufi spiritualism, shrines,
preaching, and pilgrimages; religious thought had, by the 11th century
excluded independent thinking religious or otherwise, in favor of memorizing
the Quran and the Shariah;
Stav: Ch 6: 16th, 17th Ottoman empire: 1453 defeats Byzantine Constantinople: Ottoman: like other Muslim empires: large, powerful, diverse, center for Eur-Asia-Africa trade; self-contined economically, peasants better off; successful by its own definitions;
But it weakened and ultimately fell by WWI; internal and external weaknesses explain the vulnerability: remember Aztecs, Incas.
Why was the Ottoman Empire vulnerable to Western capitalism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries?
1) Internal weaknesses:
political integration (p. 126)
nature of the Sultanate: decentralized culturally, loosely organized politically, state a veneer at the top; ruling class Muslim; loyal to sultan;
no enlightenment, no scientific revolution; no separation of Church and State; no interest in technological applications;
role of merchant class small, unimportant; no hereditary nobility; timars returned to sultan; no feudalism
revolutionary nationalism (p. 129)
External pressures on Ottoman Empire
capitulatory treaties: foreign merchants privileges, exemptions transfer of privileges to Ottoman nationals; protective tariff; outright control by foreign merchants; intrusions of western trade put economy in control of foreigners
b) exemption from internal taxes
c) forced lowering of import and export taxes PREVENTED PROTECTIONISM
diversion of transit trade (chart p. 152); Ottomans dependent on overland transit trade at a time when trade centers shifted from Mediterranean (Levant to Persia to China) to Atlantic and around Cape:
Western merchants took over Italian trade: Atlantic economy: bullion, strong markets, military goods, impact of western manufactured goods (p. 133) artisans displaced by foreign goods inflation and bullion flow (p. 134) fiscal crisis, tax farmers, armed violence, corruption, peasant rights diminished: they migrate to cities or are enserfed local industry suppressed plantation farming: serfdom imposed to increse productivity in ag export sector revolutionary nationalism from Europe social disruption: timar system disintegrated, artisans destroyed; corruption, banditry.
The power of western states listed p. 126: compare to Ottoman nation states: absolute monarchy rather than empire; political integration rather than loosely organized; rise of independent, secularized middle class; secularized rather than religious state: separation of Church and state in West; also iinterest in science and technology; literacy, mass culture, mass politics; cultural integration; superior military strength
3) finally, for the Ottomans military defeat, annexation
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