Saylor.org's Early Globalizations: East Meets West (1200s-1600s)/The Muslim Empires

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The Mongol invasions of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries broke apart a unified Muslim world. But in the wake of these invasions, three new dynasties rose to power and paved the way for the emergence of an Islamic renaissance. The greatest of the three, the Ottoman Empire, ruled most of Asia Minor. The Safavids ruled Persia and Afghanistan, while the Mughals dominated India. All three empires originated from Turkic nomadic peoples who embraced Islam and Islamic conversion efforts.

In this unit, we will begin by studying the Ottomans. We will consider their origins, their methods of conquest, as well as the unique features of their society. We will also examine the reasons for the decline and reform of the Ottoman Empire. Then, we will turn our attention to the Safavids, studying both their society and religion—Shi’a Islam. Finally, we will focus on the Mughals—including their origins, reasons for their wealth, the formation of their empire, and outsiders’ cultural and economic interests in the Mughals.

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