Chapter 14: Chapter 14: Cultures of Splendor and power, 1500-1780

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Chapter 14: Cultures of Splendor and power, 1500-1780Trade and CultureoIn 1500, worlds most dynamic cultures were in AsiaChina and Islamic world is where spice and luxury trades firstflourishedRulers established political stability and centralized controlof taxation, law making, and military forceoSome societies found that contact, conquest and commerce underminedindigenous cultural lifeoFor some groups, cultural flourishing was owed to benefits of burgeoningworld tradeAllowed some rulers to consolidate wealth, administration, andmilitary powerRulers were eager to patronize arts as a way to legitimizetheir power and reflect cultural sophisticationIn Europe, monarchs known as enlightened absolutistsrestricted the clergy and nobility and hired loyalbureaucrats who championed the knowledge of new ageoBritish monarchs weren’t absolutists because theyshared power with parliament but followedmonarchs of EuropeoEach society retained core aspects of its individualityRuling classes disseminated values based on cherished classicaltexts and long-established moral and religious principlesSocieties celebrated their achievements in politics, economics, andculture with pride in their own heritagesCulture in the Islamic worldoThe Ottoman Cultural SynthesisBy 16tg century, ottoman empire had rich culture that was blendedBlend of ethnic, religious, and linguistic elementsCultural synthesis accommodated both the Sufis (stressedcontemplation and ecstasy through poetry, music, anddance) and ultraorthodox ulama (stressed tradition andreligious law)Balanced interests of military men and administrators withthe clericsReligion and lawAs empire was getting diverse cultures and territories,sultans realized that the sharia (Islamic holy law) wouldn’tsuffice because it was silent on many secular mattersState needed comprehensive laws to bridge differencesamong social and legal systems under its ruleMehmed II began reformoRecruited young boys for training as bureaucrats ormilitary men instead of nobles
Made them accountable directly to the sultantherefore fashioning professionalbureaucracy with unswerving loyalty to therulerSuleiman the Magnificent and lawgiver was his successorand continued work by compiling a legal codeoAddress subjects rights and duties, proper clothing,and how Muslims were to relate to non-MuslimsoReconciled many differences betweenadministrative and religious lawsEducationSophisticated educational system was key for empiresreligious and intellectual integration and for its culturalachievementsEncouraged three educational systems that produced threestreams of talentoCivil and military bureaucratsoUlamaoSufi mastersoAdministrative elite attended hierarchicallyorganized schools that culminated in the palaceschools at topkapiGraduates staffed civil and militarybureaucracy across the empireoReligious

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Term
Fall
Professor
Schechter
Tags
History, Religious law, late 17th Century, European military technology

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