Differences Of The Ottoman Empire And The Safavid Empire

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Two powerful Middle Eastern Islamic Empires of the 15th century included the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid Empire. Both the Ottomans and Safavid were powerful and they fought for that power and to conquer territory. Due to their geographical location, they benefited from trade between Europe and Asia. According to eCore Unit 1(n.d.), the Ottomans and the Safavid were both Muslims, though they differed in their Muslim beliefs. With the death of Muhammad (the founder and leader of Islam) in 632 AD, there was disagreement over who would be the Islamic leader. The Safavid (known as Shi’ites) believed Ali (Muhammad’s son-in-law) should lead Islam. Ottomans (Sunni Muslims) did not agree with the Safavid on the succession of Muhammad. Many other divisions began as interpretations of the Islamic law differed. The Shi’ites were a minority and were often oppressed by the Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire began in the 1400’s. A decisive battle for the power of the Ottoman’s was conquering Constantinople in 1453. (Chary, 2013) The battle was led by Mehmed II. The army was strengthened and strategy planned before embarking on this battle. Canon’s fired at the wall surrounding Constantinople for 7 weeks before the wall was penetrated. (Chary, 2013) eCore Unit 1 Along with military success, the Ottoman’s political system was a major factor in its strength. The head of the Ottoman’s was the Sultan. Sultans in theory had absolute political power. Through the rise of the Empire, the Sultan
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