Last Updated 05 Dec 2017

Ottomans Versus the Safavids

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Many empires of Middle East civilizations have had strong political and social structures. Two of these empires are the Ottomans and the Safavids. The rise of the Ottomans correlates with the decline of the Roman Empire, which generated the shift in power from a singular Christian European society to a more Islamic influence. The Ottoman people became powerful in Asia Minor, which collapsed as a Seljuk Turk Kingdom, in the 13th to 14th centuries. The Safavids rose to power following the collapse of the Turkic Empire and invasion of the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Although the Safavids had advanced political and social systems, the Ottoman empire had more efficient political and social methods. The Ottomans and the Safavids both had strong features to their political systems. The Ottomans controlled using a strong military, use of weapons, and an extensive bureaucracy. Their empire was known to be geared for warfare. The Ottoman empire had strong governmental power. They ruled in their center of Constantinople, which the Ottomans built defense walls around, aqueducts in, and was where they opened their markets. Absolute power was granted to their Sultans, such as Suleymon the Magnificent.

Another unique political factor of the Ottomans was their use of Janissaries. Janissaries were Ottoman infantry divisions that were made up of boys that were legally slaves that were captured and forced to fight. They were extremely strong and beneficial to the Ottomans. The Safavids ruled under the control of a Shah, or emperor. Some of these Shahs were Abbas the Great, Tahmasp I, and Isma’il. A large part of the Safavid political control was their followers who were given the nickname “Redheads” due to their red headgear. Similar to the Ottomans, the Safavid also had one especially great leader who led the empire to good times and success.

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This Shah was Abbas The Great, who, like Ottoman janissaries, captured boys from southern Russia for the military and created a grand and powerful army. There were many differences between these empires because the two empires tended to stay separate from each other. When the Ottomans went to advance into the Safavid territory they had to retreat because it was too far away from the supply areas that the Ottomans survived off of. Due to this and other reasons the two seemed the stay separate and just pay attention to other areas and what they could do to better their empires individually.

The social life of the two empires were similar in some ways and not at all similar in others. The trade of the Safavid was also more advanced. There were roads built and workshops made during the time of the Safavids. The Ottomans had more religious tolerance than the Safavids did. These two societies for women were very similar. In both of these empires many women in the Islamic heartlands struggled against social restrictions in dress and confinement. In both of the empires, the women were politically weak. They had little to no power over the decisions and politics of the empires.

They were meant to be loyal to men and to be veiled. Both of these empires captured boys for their militaries. These men were considered slaves with few social rights, although they did have more then women. Even though the Safavids had many strong ideas on the correct political and social way to run their empire, the Ottoman empire had more efficient and advanced methods. The Ottomans used more warfare than the Safavids. But, the rights of women were the same in both empires. The Ottomans and the Safavids were both strong political empires of their time, with improved and efficient political and social systems.

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Ottomans Versus the Safavids. (2017, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/ottomans-versus-the-safavids/

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