Comparative Essay About The Ottoman And Spanish Empire

Compare and Contrast Ottoman and Mughal Empires - Islam Essay Example

The Ottoman and Mughal empires were two of the greatest and most successful empires to ever form in history - Compare and Contrast Ottoman and Mughal Empires introduction. However, they both had some similarities as well as differences. Both empires went through tough periods of time, but at some point they also went through times of growth and prosperity. Although the Ottoman and Mughal Empire both did not force conversions into Islam, the Ottoman’s development relied on their tough military force, while the decline of the Mughal Empire was caused by Aurangzeb’s policy of religious persecution and high taxes. Because of the Ottoman and Mughal Empire being tolerant of other beliefs, people of all religions living in the empire lived in peace. The Ottomans granted freedom of worship to other religious communities, mainly the Christians and Jews. They treated these communities as millets, or nations. The allowed each millet to follow its own religious laws and practices. This system kept conflict among people of the various religions to a minimum. In the Mughal Empire, Akbar the Great, who was leader at the time, ruled India with wisdom and tolerance. Being a Muslim himself, he allowed people of other religions to practice their own faiths.

Although the success of their military techniques was the main role in the growth of both empires, the Ottomans focused more on the use of gunpowder, while the Mughals’ growth was centered more on their cavalry tactics - ottoman and mughal empires compare and contrast. The Ottoman Empire began its rise to power with the rule of Osman in 1300. It started off as a small kingdom, but he began to build the empire. His successors expanded it by buying land, forming alliances, and conquering others. The Ottomans’ military success was largely based on the use of gunpowder. They were also among the first people to use cannons as offensive weapons. The Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan. He ruled over a small kingdom in Turkestan. Thanks to the Turks, Babur had learned new cavalry tactics and, by using cannons, muskets, and guns, it enabled him to win great victories over the Indians, who were still using traditional methods of warfare. Babur expanded his kingdom by attacking Afghanistan and conquering Kabul after 21 years of being in power. From that point, he crossed over the mountains into Hindustan and attacked the Dehli Sultanate, again defeating them and gaining their land. When he died in 1530 he had conquered all of Hindustan and controlled an empire that stretched out from the Deccan to Turkestan.


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These different strategies of conquering land helped the 2 empires rule throughout Asia and, in the Ottoman’s case, some parts of Europe also. Although the Ottoman and Mughal empires had two different reasons for decline, both were because of the leaders currently in power at the time. Even though Suleyman, the ruler of the Ottomans, accomplished social and cultural achievements, the empire was losing ground. Suleyman made a mistake by killing two of his sons. His third son, the incompetent Selim II, inherited the throne. Suleyman set the pattern for the future sultans to gain and hold power. It became customary for each new sultan to kill his brother. This practice produced a long line of weak sultans who eventually brought ruin on the empire. Since India was mainly a land of the Hindus, The stability of the Emperor, in this case Aurangzeb, depended on the support of the people. Without their loyalty and cooperation, stability was impossible. When Aurangzeb came into power, he departed from the tradition of religious tolerance and persecuted the other religions living in his empire. Because of his harsh religious rules, most of the population revolted against him.

Aurangzeb’s religious policy weakened the foundation of the Mughal empire, therefore bringing it to an end. If one was to compare the two empires side by side, the Mughal Empire would have to be more successful than the Ottoman Empire. Whether through political, religious, or cultural struggle, these empires depended on their emperors for guidance and control. Although these empires aren’t present today, their legacies are still alive and have survived ever since. Their magnificent monuments and marvelous paintings are still admired every day by people around the world. The Ottomans and Mughals proved their dominance to the rest of the world, and to this day, are still being taught and studied for educational purposes.

During the time period from 1450 to 1800, two powerful empires were in the process of being built. These two empires were the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish Empire. During the building process of their empires, the Ottoman and the Spanish both developed many similarities in their political, social, and economic affairs. A similarity between these empires was that they both had some type of slave system. Even though they did have some things in common there were also many differences that were between these empires.

Some differences between these two were that the Ottomans had the devshirme slave system and the Spanish had the encomienda system. The devshirme system was the practice in which the Ottomans recruited and then forcibly took Christian boys from their families and put them in Ottoman society. These Christian boys were called Janissaries. The Janissaries were converted to Islam and trained so that they could obtain a high position in society such as being a military leader or a high administrator. The reason for this system was that the Ottomans wanted to have the most able men trained to lead the empire. The encomienda system was a practice employed by the Spanish during the colonization of the Americas. It was used to regulate Native American labor. In this system, Spanish-Americans were given grants from Spain for which they had to take care of a certain number of Native Americans. These men that were given grants were instructed to teach the natives the Spanish language and convert them to Christianity. In return, these men were allowed to take tribute from the natives in the form of labor and gold. This system was alike to the devshirme system because the Native Americans and the Janissaries were both converted to the religion of the empires that they were living under. During this time period this was done because religion was one of the most important aspects of many societies. One of the most important similarities between the Ottoman and the Spanish empires were their slave systems.

Another predominant difference between the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish Empire was in the aspect of religion. The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic empire, while the Spanish Empire was a Christian empire. This difference in religion was very important because during this time period, most governments and societies were run by religion. If two empires had different religions then this would cause some other differences between them also. This is because religion was very influential to the government. Since the Ottoman Empire followed the religion of Islam, their law code was based off of the Islamic law code, called Sharia Law. This code of law deals with many topics including crime, politics, and economics. This is different from the Spanish Empire because the Spanish were Christians. This meant that the Spanish Empire was greatly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Sometimes the Catholic Church had too much of a say in the government and this was a negative because the church was very often corrupt. Religion was one of the biggest differences between the Spanish and Ottoman empires.

A major difference for most people between the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish Empire was in their types of trade. The Ottoman Empire focused strictly on land based trade, while the Spanish Empire focused mainly on sea based trade. This strict land based trade from the Ottomans was a factor as to why they later declined. This is because only trading by land greatly limits the amount of trade that can go on in the empire. Especially during a time when sea based trade begins to increase greatly in the rest of the world. The sea based trade that was used by the Spanish helped their empire due to the fact that this type of trade flourished for them. The Spanish settled in the Americas and began what is now known as the Columbian exchange. This was a widespread trade of animals, plants, and slaves. This trade greatly benefited Spain’s economy and it helped them become one of the most powerful nations of the time. The Ottoman Empire was a strict land based empire, while the Spanish Empire had both land and sea based trade, which helped them economically flourish. The different types of trade used by the empires were one of the biggest differences between them.

The Ottoman and the Spanish empires certainly had their fair share of similarities and differences. Whether it was between trade, religion, or even their slaves. Still, they were both considerably powerful and influenced the areas around them. Which is also another similarity between the two of them.

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