HST 150 paper 2 - Although each of the Great Islamic...

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Although each of the Great Islamic Empires were different, there were a few similarities between the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal societies. All three were bureaucratic societies that got their inspiration from the steppe traditions of the Turkish and Mongol people. The Turkish and Mongol people were accustomed to warfare and leadership by warriors, which is where the ghazi ideal of spreading Islam through fighting originated. While building these societies they also relied on the heritage of Islam. The devotion the emperors had to Islam encouraged them to extend their faith to new lands. They all had similar economic policies that focused on ways to maintain peace in societies that embraced many different religions along with many different ethnic groups. According to the authors of Traditions and Encounters , “rulers of all the empires also sought to enhance the legitimacy of their regimes by providing for public welfare and associating themselves with literary and artistic talent.” Although each empire was different, they each drew on similar aspects in order to be successful (Bentley, Streets-Salter, Ziegler, p. 477). One aspect that the emperors drew greatly on was the steppe traditions. The early emperors did as they pleased regardless of their people’s religious beliefs or social norms. The Safavid and Mughal rulers asserted their spiritual authority over the people while the Ottoman Sultans issued many legal edicts. Although the rulers followed this tradition, it often brought them problems. Since ruler’s relatives were the successors to the throne, a competition often arose between family members. This was especially seen in the Mughal Empire where there were rebellions of sons against fathers in order to take over the throne. There were also murders committed in the Safavid Empire. Shah Abbas, a Safavid ruler, almost wiped out or blinded his entire family due to the fear of one of them killing him to take over. The Ottoman Sultans also killed many of their family members to ensure that they would not be able to kill the ruler and take over their position of power (Bentley, Streets-Salter, Ziegler, p. 477-478). Although it was believed that women should not have a place in public affairs, they
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2012 for the course HST 150 taught by Professor Fisher during the Spring '11 term at Michigan State University.

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HST 150 paper 2 - Although each of the Great Islamic...

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