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19 - Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500 - 1750

19 - Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500 - 1750 -...

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CHAPTER 20 Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean, 1500–1750 I0. The Ottoman Empire, to 1750 A0. Expansion and Frontiers 10. Osman established the Ottoman Empire in northwestern Anatolia in 1300. He and his successors consolidated control over Anatolia, fought Christian enemies in Greece and in the Balkans, captured Serbia and the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, and established a general border with Iran. 20. Egypt and Syria were added to the empire in 1516–1517, and the major port cities of Algeria and Tunis voluntarily joined the Ottoman Empire in the early sixteenth century. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566) conquered Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522) and laid siege to Vienna (1529), but withdrew with the onset of winter. 30. The Ottoman Empire fought with Venice for two centuries as it attempted to exert its control over the Mediterranean. The Ottomans forced the Venetians to pay tribute but continued to allow them to trade. 40. Muslim merchants in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean requested Ottoman naval support against the Portuguese. The Ottomans responded vigorously to Portuguese threats against nearby ports such as Aden, but saw no reason to commit much effort to the defense of non-Ottoman Muslim merchants in the Indian Ocean. B0. Central Institutions 10. The original Ottoman military forces of mounted warriors armed with bows were supplemented in the late fourteenth century when the Ottomans formed captured Balkan Christian men into a force called the “new troops” (Janissaries), who fought on foot and were armed with guns. In the early fifteenth century the Ottomans began to recruit men for the Janissaries and for positions in the bureaucracy through the system called devshirme —a levy on male Christian children. 20. The Ottoman Empire was a cosmopolitan society in which the Osmanli-speaking, tax-exempt military class ( askeri ) served the sultan as soldiers and bureaucrats. The common people—Christians, Jews, and Muslims—were referred to as the raya (flock of sheep). 30. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman land forces were powerful enough to defeat the Safavids, but the Ottomans were defeated at sea by combined Christian forces at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The Turkish cavalrymen were paid in land grants, while the Janissaries were paid from the central treasury. 40. In the view of the Ottomans, the sultan supplied justice and defense for the common people (the raya ), while the raya supported the sultan and his military through their taxes. In practice, the common people had little direct contact with the Ottoman government, being ruled by local notables and by their religious leaders (Muslim, Christian, or Jewish).
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C0. Crisis of the Military State, 1585–1650 10. The increasing importance and expense of firearms meant that the size and cost of the Janissaries increased over time while the importance of the landholding Turkish cavalry (who disdained firearms) decreased. At the same time, New World silver brought inflation and undermined the purchasing power of the fixed
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