APWH Notes Ch. 19 - Political The Otto man Empi re Economy...

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Political Economy R Social Intellect A The Otto man Empi re -Ottoman Empire- most long-lived of the post Mongol Muslim empires - Ottomans had the largest Muslim empire since the original Islamic caliphate in 7 th century-resembled new centralized monarchies of Spain & France more than nay medieval model - Empire grew b/c of 3 factors: shrewdness of founder Osman (from which the name Ottoman comes from) & his descendants; control of strategic link between Europe & Asia at Gallipoli on the Dardanelle strait; & creation of an army that took advantage of traditional Turkish cavalryman & new possibilities by gunpowder & Christian POWs. - At first Ottoman armies concentrated on Christian enemies in Greece & Balkans + conquered Serbians @ Battle of Kosovo in 1389: Much of SE Europe & Anatolia was under control of sultans by 1402 after Bayazid I , "the Thunderbolt" lost to Timur. Sultan Mehmed II laid siege to Constantinople using enormous cannon to bash in city's walls, dragging warships over high hill to city's inner harbor to avoid sea defenses & penetrating city's land walls through series of infantry assaults. Fall of Constantinople (or Istanbul) brought over 1100 years of Byzantine rule to an end & made Ottomans seem invincible - When Selim conquered the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt & Syria, the Red Sea became the Ottoman's southern frontier. In the W. rulers of major port cities of Algeria & Tunisia, some of them Greek or Italian converts to Islam, voluntarily joined the empire in early 16 th century, thereby strengthening Mediterranean fleets. - Ottomans' armies, heirs of the Central Asian military traditions, originally consisted of lightly armored mounted warriors skilled at shooting short bows made of compressed layers of bone, wood, & leather. Conquest of Christian territories in Balkans gave Ottomans access to a new military resource: Christian POW as military slaves. Slave soldiery had long history in Islamic lands. Mamluk sultanate of Egypt & Syria was built on the practice. Mamluk acquired their new blood from slave markets in Central Asia & Caucasus. Enslaving Christian prisoners, an action of questionable legality, was an Ottoman innovation. When the prisoners convert to Islam, these new troops called yeni cheni (Turkish word for Janissary) gave Ottomans great military flexibility. Christians by upbringing, Janissaries had no misgivings about fighting against Turks & Muslims when sultans attacked in W. Asia. They readily accepted fighting on foot & learning to use guns, which were still too heavy & awkward for an equestrian to load & fire. They lived in barracks & trained all year round. Selection for Janissary training changed in 15 th century. New system called devshirme (selection) imposed regular levy of male children on Christian villages in Balkans & occasionally elsewhere. Devshirme children were placed w/ Turkish families to learn their language before commencing military training.
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