There are a few simmilaritites and differences between the two rulers and their governments. Both rulers seem like would be very proud and strick, but neither seems like the friendly type. The Ottoman government seems as if it is ready to do battle, whereas the Safavids seems as if they are being forced into it. It seems as if both of the ruler's citizens respect them. Over all they seem more simmilar then dissimmilar to me, although they do have differences.
After reading through our latest selection on the Ottomans and Safavids, it was obvious to me that although they were long time sectarian as well as political rivals, they seemed to operate in a similar manner. For one, both had highly centralized administrations where the sultan acted as the supreme political, religious, and military ruler subject only to divine law. Like that of the Safavids, Ottoman rulers placed the major provinces under appointed governors who ruled for about two years at a time. Like that of the Mamluks, both the Ottomans and Safavids used the system of capitulations which allowed foreign Christians living in the empire to freedom of activity and exemption from taxes and laws. Also alike in both societies was the fact that state lands were given as payments or rewards to officials or army officers for a specific time after which the lands reverted to the crown to be parceled out agian at the pleasure of the court. Like the Ottoman sultans, Safavid ! rulers encouraged writers to immortalize their military and political achievments in long histories and biographies. Therefore it was obvious to me that even though the Ottomans and Safavids were complete rivals and competed in the way that each society was run, both were actually operated in several of the same ways.
While there were marked differences between the Ottoman and Safavid rulers and their systems of government, there were also similarities. Both nations followed Islam, however, there ended the similarity. The Ottoman Empire was based upon the orthodox Sunni Islam, while the Safavids government subscribed to Shi'i Islam, sects of Islam that were radically different from one another. Both Empires appointed govenors to rule over provinces of the nation, usually for a period of two years. The hierarchy of the governments differed. The Safavid Empire reinforced strict lines of command, rank and class, while the Ottoman Empire allowed for upward movement of men within the administration, dependent on demonstration of ability and worthiness. This same rigidness and flexibility was demonstrated by the ruling governments in their treatment of conquered nations. Safavids sought to retain and reinforce their own language and customs, while Ottomans accepted diversity within the Em! pire. Revenue for both the Empires was obtained through taxation and trade. Unable to focus on their similarities, rather than their differences, the Ottomans and the Safavids expended resources and energies fighting one another and leaving themselves open to attack from the outside.
Suleiman the magnificent was a very exulted figure in the Ottoman Empire. His power and grace were seen by both his subjects and anyone who encountered him. As a Sultan he was very successful, he achieved a stable government through military conquest and by allowing religious and cultural freedom among his subjects. Although the majority of his kingdom was sunni muslim, he did not try to impose this way of life on the jewish and christian minorities in his empire. The only position in his government that was denied these minorities was that of the Sultan. Muhammad Baki wrote a beautiful poem about the sultan, showing that Suleiman was seen in a positive light (probably a credit to his loose reign). Suleiman also strongly encouraged poetry such as this which glorified the Empire. Another way in which he achieved this was through the encouragement of the the arts, such as textiles, arcitecture and most of all poetry. Aside from encouragement, he also wrote his own poe! try which he gave to his beloved wife, Hurrem Haseki. Also Sinan was commissioned to build many mosques, hospitals, shops, baths and cemeteries in his kingdom. Suleiman was very invested in making his empire the most glorious world. Suleiman had many military conquests, he was able to develop an alliance with France which would eventually allow him to capture Belgrade. At the peak of his reign,he was able to expand his empire to cover almost all of the land sorrounding the Mediterranean Sea, modern day Egypt, and a large portion surrounding the Red Sea. Unfortunately Suleiman did not leave his powerful empire to a compatant successor. Eventually through poor rule and a long drawn out war with Safavids the Empire would collapse. The Safavid empire was most succesfully ruled by Abbas the Great. Abbas was a Shi'i muslim unlike the Sunni Ottomans. This was the main cause of the war between the Persians and the Ottomans. Unlike Suleiman and the Ottomans, Abbas and the Safavids believed in a more unified empire, which spoke a common language and practiced a common culture. The Safavids did not emphasize military expansion, they favored the control of the trade routes as a means of gaining power. Rather than try to conquer other lands, they would produce their goods and send them to other countries for exposure and sales. This eventually made the city of Isfahan a busy city at the center of the trade world. Through a letter from the Safavid empire to the Ottoman empire, hostility is seen. The Ottomans hostility seems more overt than that of the Safavid. The Safavid Shah seems more interested in beating the Ottomans financially rather than Militarily. Although there were many diference between thes! e two empires, they both believed in encouraging the arts. Both were muslim but other differences made a gap between both of these powerful empires that would eventually destroy them both.
The Ottoman and Safavids had much in common. Both had put great empisis on the arts, especially poetry. Also architexture and the fine arts were held in high regard in both empires. Both Suleiman and Sha Ismal left behind a strong empire to less then suitable heirs to the kingdom. In both of the empires if the ruler was strong then he had complete control, but less suitable rulers often bowed down to the nobles of sort in the empire. The Ottoman empire was a multi cultural empire. They did not make everyone speak the same language or practice the same religion. They focused on "cultural pulrisim." Whereas the Safavaid empire focused seperating identies.
Sulieman was a very strong ruler that was either feared or held in high respect by everyone. His empire profited from turmoil in Europe and dynastic rivalries along with international trade. Sulieman was a sucessful military commander and a clever diplomat. These traits come from his constant interest in expansion and his political alliance with France. Sulieman did not have a sucessor to the throne, this was due to the fact that his wife talked him into killing his favorite and more able son. In the Ottoman Empire the Sultan is the supreme political, religious, and military ruler, subject only to the divine law. Below the Sultan are the Grand Vizier,the divan, and the administration. These people were responsible for the political and economic administration. They were choosendue to land ownership and booty collected during their military campaigns. The bureaucrats were also responsible for anything from translation to the supervision of the Royal Palace of Topkapi.The admin! istration was financed through the expansion of the empire and through taxation. Along with Sulieman the first ten rulers of the Ottomans were personally in charge military and governmental policy. Lastly, Ottoman rulers placed all provinces under the rule of govenors for periods of ten years.
The Safavids rulers were very much alike and different from the Ottomans. The Ottoman rulers sought many new cultural styles and let all people retain their languages and beliefs. While the Safavids maintained and reinforced the separate identity of Persian society and language. The Safavid empire reached its highest piont under Shah Abbas. He like Sulieman did not have an heir to the throne because he had three of his five sons killed. In the Safavid empire when the central authority was strong the local chiefs were not and when the central authority was weak the local chiefs became more prominent. One of Shah Abbas first moves was to curb the influence of the local chiefs. Like the Ottomans the Safavids divided their land into provinces. Also like the Ottomans the main source of wealth came from taxes, land, and commerce. Abbas encouraged trade and was also known for his tolerance with minorities. This tolerance for minorities helped expand trade and that led to more land and the eventual control of all of Iran.
Overall both Sulieman the Magnificent and Shah Abbas were strong rulers that cared for their empires. Both held the power but at the same time were fair. They helped their empires in their own respective ways.
Although I feel the texts provide an inadequate amount of information I must side with these two rulers and their systems of government as being fairly similar. Mis-understanding and confusion in the text may also be a variable to my conclusion. In the "Busbecq" text, the Turks are recognized by the other as being remarkably disciplined and praiseworthy. Because there was no sign of disagreement between the groups in any of the texts, they must hold similar views. The "Baki" text provides the impression that these types of government were quite powerful and strict as assumed from this sentence: "The infidels of Hungary bowed their heads to the temper of his blade." On the contrtary the last text, "Shah Ismail," mentions how these two empires were almost continually at a state of war with each other. Now this could be because they have different views on how they want the land to be ruled. This idea is never really portrayed in the article, so I think the sole reason for their fighting was for power and control over land.
The ruler the Ottoman's was Suleiman The Magnificant. The Safavid Empire was founded by Shah Isma'il who ruled from 1500-1524, but it didn't reach its high point until Shah Abbas The Great took over. The Ottomans viewed themselves as guardians of Islam, and the military might of their empire as the sword of Islam. The chief rival of the Ottoman's in the Muslim world was the Safavid Empire. The Ottoman's were based upon Orthodox Sunni Islam, and the Safavids were the Shi'i Islams.Both Suleiman the Magnificant and Shah Abbas the Great left no able successor's to their thrones. One difference between the two Empires is that the Ottomans allowed diversity and didn't force their subjects to obtain their views and beliefs. While the Safavids maintained and reinforced the separate identity of Persian society and language. In the Ottoman Empire some citizens of different racial backgrounds were able to reach the highest levels of society, and some even advised the Sultan. The admi! nistration of both empires were highly centralized. The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire acted as the supreme political,religious, and military ruler, subject only to the divine law. Below him was the grand vizier and the imperial council which were responsible for both political and economic administration. There were many bureaucrats drawn from prestige based on success of military campaigns. Ottomans didn't have a firm tradition of primogeniture. Both empires appointed governors who ruled the major provinces one trait different from the Ottoman's was that the Safavid government was organized along fuedal lines, thus official aquired fiefs from the Shah in return for services to the central government. The Shi'i clergy had considerable power in the empire, and the Shahs depended on Ghulams, or the slave elites. as it doesn't say the Ottomans depended on slaves.
The Sultan of the Ottoman Empire seemed ot rule his military with great discipline and respect for one another. In the selection on p. 355-6, Busbecq states that to his great surprise was the silence and good discipline of the Sultan's military, and that at times thought "...for a while it was doubtful whether they were living men or statues." The Sultan acted as the supreme political, religious and military ruler, and was subject only to divine law. (Upshur, 357) The Safavid Empire was organized along feudal lines, and officials acquired fiefs from the shah in return for services to the central government. (Upshur, 360) The Ottoman administration was higly complex and required a multitude of bureaucrats, drawn from an elite whose prestige was based on the ownership of land given by the Ottoman to them. The Safavids also utilized this practice of giving govenment lands as rewards to officials and army officers. Both the Ottomans and Safavids divided up its territory into provinces, in which they were ruled by governers, and in both systems, the central government tried to maintain as much authorty in order to gaurd against greedy local rulers. However there was a difference in how the two systems dealt with the diversity of different provinces. The Safavids tried to keep a uniform population with common religion, beliefs, language, they wanted to maintain the separate identity of their society and language. The Ottomans, on the other hand, took pride in thier diversity and allowed those with different religions and languages to keep practicing their native traditions. Both of the great rulers, the Ottoman's Sultan the Magnificant, and the Safavid's, Shah Abbas the Great, left no capable heir to the throne. After their respective deaths, both empires struggled until a capable leader took over. A fundamental difference between the two systems, was the type of Islamic religion they were based on. The Safavids were based on Shi'i Islam instead of the Ottomans orthodox Sunni Islam. Both the Ottomans and the Safavids collected taxes, and along with their great expanses of land, were the major sources of wealth for the Empires. It seems as though both rulers and societies were different on several fundamental issues, they both had a respect for the other and realized the other's power. This was exemplified in the selection on p. 360, when in the letter the Shah states how he feels about the Sultans actions in a respectful way, yet still makes a strong point on how he feels about the situation between the two nations.
After reading the selections and the text on the Ottomans and Safavids, I have concluded that there were similarities and differences between the two empires. First of all, it would be fair to say that the personality of the ruler at the time played a very important part of the overall characteristics of the empire. For example, you had Sultan Selim who was the leader of the Ottaman empire from 1512-1520 and throughout those years the Ottamans basically took a lot of expansion ideas from the Safavid empire. They were the more aggressive empire at the time. In the letter that Shah Isma'il the leader of the Safavid empire wrote to the Ottaman empire demonstrates the less aggressive attitude of the Safavid's. He was basically saying that he didn't really understand why the Ottaman empire was so hostile against their empire. He thought that they had a fairly decent relationship. Whether this was an act of deceit by Shah is yet to be told, this statement represented the more diplomatic attitude of the Safavid empire. I am not by any means saying that the Safavid's were not aggresive,beacuse they were; in order to expand like they ! did they had to be aggressors. The Ottoman and the Safavid empires operated their empires in similar fashion. They both operated their system of government like a monarchy, having a very centralized type of system. The ruler at the time had full responsibilty of all governing bodies. They also had bureaucrats, who were elected by prestige based on ownership of land.(Upshur 367) The two empires also had similar culturals. They both were highly artistic societies; art, music, literature and architecture were all very important to their people. A lot of things that occurred in the two empires were centered around those customs. The Ottoman empire were more diversed than the Safavid empire. The Ottoman empire didn't force their people to change their religious beliefs and/or their culture making the empire a diversed one. When the Ottaman expanded into a new territory they became the new rulers of that area but not necessary of the people. On the contrary, the Safavid empire took control of the area! and its people. Another important difference that I belived provoked such a rivalry was the difference in their religious beliefs. The Ottoman empire were Sunni Orthodox Islam, and the Safavid empire were under the practice of Shi'i Islam. The two empires among their differences had mutual respect for each other because of their economic and political strength. One never during their time of dominance never really completely dominated the other. I have come to the conclusion that these were two empires with very similar beliefs and objectives but very distinct ways of accomplishing their goals.
Although much of the time at war, both the Ottoman and the Safavid empires were very strong and influential societies in early middle eastern history. Both had strong central governments and also believed that the arts were an important facet in society, but also differed in religion and tolerance of cultural diversity. Both the Ottoman and Safavid empires had strong central governments, with one chief person as its head. The leader of the Ottoman Empire was the Sultan, one of the most famous and successful being Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled from 1520-1566. The head of the Safavid Empire was the Shah, one of the most influential being Shah Abbas the Great, who reined from 1587-1629. In both societies, the sultan and the shah were considered to be great rulers and supreme law of the land. Both the Ottoman and Safavid empires divided their lands into provinces, which were ruled by governors. The Ottoman government required a multitude of bureaucrats, and was very dependent on the army, who was responsible for much of the empire's success and conquests. The grand vizier and the divan (council) were directly under the Sultan and often served as royal advisors to the Sultan himself. The Safavid Empire was organized under feudal lines, where "fiets" from the shah were given to those in return for services to the central government. The Shah was also dependent on the ghulams, or slave elite. Also in Safavid society the mullahs, Shi'i clergy, were held in high esteem by the Shah. The Ottoman and Safavid empires are also similar in the fact that they held the arts as very important in their societies. Arts in Ottoman culture "started at the top", for all of the Sultans were each required to learn an art or craft such as writing, poetry, or even training to be a goldsmith. Both the Ottoman Sultan and the Safavid Shah encouraged writers to write about their military and political accomplishments. One very significant difference between the Ottomans and the Safavids was religion. The Ottomans were Sunni Islam while the Safavids were Shi'i Islam. They were often at war because of this difference in beliefs. Another significant difference between the two empires deals with acceptance of cultural diversity. As their empires began to expand and new people were taken under their rule, the Sultans and Shahs differed in their views on what culture was to be assimilated, and what cultures were to be left alone. The Ottomans believed in cultural pluralism and they believed that the cultures of the people under their rule should be allowed to exist together. They advocated the millet system, which was one of cultural acceptance. The millet system allowed religious and ethnic minorities to participate in their own culture (including educational, religious, and judicial institutions) in return for an added tax. The Safavids on the other hand preferred the Shai'i religion and Persian culture to be the dominate culture of the empire. They were not very tolerant of cultural diversity, and forced their subjects to assimilate to the one dominant Persian culture. Although they were both similar and different in many ways, the societies of both the Ottoman and Safavid culture remain influential today. Their strong systems of government allowed for them to become powerful empires. Eventually it was their constant warfare that led to both empires' demise.
I found that there were more similarities than differences between the two rulers. Both were strong patrons of the arts and practiced relative religious tolerance throughout their kingdom. Both Suleiman and Shah Abbas were highly educated leaders who enjoyed poetry. Both kingdom became famous for beautiful and elaborate architecture, such as the Shah Mosque in Isfahan under Safavid rule, and the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne under Ottoman rule. The Ottoman empire was run by Sunni muslims and the Safavids controled by Shi'i muslims. Religious difference was one of the main sources of conflict between the empires. The Ottomans and Safavids also fought over control of Islamic territories and interpretation of Islamic doctrines. It seems to me that both were fully aware of how much power they wielded and how important it was to keep it and/or pass it on to the right successor. Both leaders killed sons to pass the kingdom on to another. Although Suleiman was persuaded by his favorite wife to pass it on to her son (who later became an alcoholic and uneffective successor) as opposed to his more able son.
I think both rulers were both powerful in the way that they dominated and conquered other lands. I think that Suleiman was the most prominent because of the way his government was set up. He allowed his subjects to retain their own identity and culture, where as the Safavid Empire imposed their culture, beliefs language, etc on their subjects. Both ruled with sternness but its almost like Suleiman as a bit more caring about his people than his rivals did. I think this made for a good economy and trade. People are more willing to do their best when they are treated well. As we can see the Ottoman economy and government were strong.
There are many differences and similarities between Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire and Shah Abbas the Great of the Safavid Empire. Suleiman was a brilliant military leader. He led his troops into many victorious battles, including the seizing of Belgrade and the conquering of the majority of Hungary. Shah Abbas was not as strong a military leader as Suleiman, however he did conquer many lands and was a challenging rival of the Ottoman Empire. During the rule of Shah Abbas his troops did occupy Iraq and parts of the Anatolian Peninsula after the death of Suleiman. Both leaders had excellent economic relations with European countries. Suleiman's political alliance with France led to his economic relations with Europe. The Ottoman became a center of trading between the east and the west. Shah Abbas' great leadership and tolerance for othrs, made his Empire a world center for tradeing luxury textiles. Most of the Safavid income came from the selling of textiles, particularly silk fabrics and carpets. Shah Abbas' empire had a strong cental government. The provinces were administered by appointed governors. In the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman was the supreme political, religious, and military ruler, where as the Safavid Empire had different branches within their government to handle different individuals. The Ottoman Empire did have many different people involved within the administration, similar to the Safavids. These two rulers had many of the same ideas, but also had a few differences.
Suleyman is a leader respected and feared by all by the deads that he has done. In all the lands, people know what the great deads of Suleyman are. He has done more than in his rule than what most dynasties can accomplish. Shah Ismail was also respected and revered by his people, but moreso due to his founding of the Safavids and his quick wit , wisdom, and diplomatic skills. The governments of these two great empires are very different in thier beliefs and thier assimilation of new ideas. The Ottoman empire believed in bringing new and foriegn ideas and beliefs into thier realm and mixing them with thier own original values and visions. They were what you might call the original melting pot of the world before the USA. They allowed different religions to be pursued in thier lands and different languages to be spoken, with no pressure from the government to force the original Ottoman beliefs upon everyone. The Safavids, on the other hand, enforced the Persian culture and language upon everyone in the lands. People were to either become converted to Safavid beliefs or would have to leave the empire, or worse. Although both of these empires had many differences they were still Muslims, and therefore had many base similarities, though thier views on even these similarities became opposed in the end, due to the rivalry between the two dynasties.
My impressions on the differences between the Ottoman and the Safavids are many. while it would be easy to dismiss both cultures as quite similar, ie both rose about the same time from a military beginning and followed the teachings of Islam, a further reading reveals this not to be so. The Ottoman Empire, while conquering their neighbors on a regular basis, choose to embrace the disparate cultures of it's conquered peoples. Indeed, they even managed to enhance their coffers by allowing people the choice to be assimilated or maintain their own unique identities, but pay a higher tax for the priveledge. Many people chose the later, giving the Ottomans a rich diversity, and, at least for a while, a certain level of stability (for they did not seem to need to fear internal revolt so much.) This also allowed the Ottomans to maintain a lively international trade, as they let their foreign peoples contact and trade at their will. This constant contact with the so-called "outside 'world led to a florishing of the arts and of intellectual pursuits, as they chose the best of what they say and synthesized it into their own traditions. The Safavids, in contrast, tended to be more insular in their ways. They sought to maintain their own identity in a rapidly changing world. The Safavids held to a more strict form of Islam, and this tended to influence all aspects of their lives. Their religious leaders had as much, if not more, influnence as the secular leaders. If only for this reason, the gathering of power, one can perhaps imagine why it was more important for the Safavids to insist on assimilation rather than the freedoms the Ottomans allowed. The changing economic landscape made for some changes in the way the Safavids ran their empire. Perhaps seeing the prosperity that the Ottomans enjoyed by allowing their conquered people to run their economies and trade routes (such things being beneath the Ottomans at the time), the Safavids soon encouraged their own conquered people to do the same. This allowed both empires to focas on those things that were important to each- their arts and their military. Despite the level of streangth both reached-culturally, militarilly, economically, both empires fell for quite similar reasons. The constant warfare they fought against each other, while allowing their economies to be slowly inflitrated by forgien powers, mixed with an ineffectual rular or two, led to slowly decaying empires where once greatness towered. Perhaps, in truth, they tended to be much more similar in the grand themes of history than it would seem.
Both the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman and Shah Ismail of the Safavid Empire developed, large powerful, efficiently governed empires. Both the Ottoman and Safavid Empires were very advanced for their time period, more so than the Europe of that time. Also in both empires Islam was the dominant religion and had a profound effect on the society, culture, and political systems of the empires.
However, there were also important differences between the two empires. While the Ottomans adhered to orthodox Sunni Islam, the Safavids of Persia followed the Shi'i branch of Islam. The Ottomans were also were relatively tolerant of the different religious and ethnic minorities within their realm, allowing these communities autonomy under the millet system. In contrast, the Safavid Empire had a much more pronounced and uniform Persian culture. The Ottoman and Safavid were also rivals, often at war over the disputed, fertile region of Mesopotamia.
The systems of government were definately similar between the Ottoman Empire and the Safavids. The supreme ruler made all of the decisions for both of them. And, under him, a similar system of hierarchy was in place in which other men ruled the provinces under the control of the empires. To be honest, I didn't learn all that much from the three tiny selections. Obviously, the Ottomans had great respect for their rulers. The poets wrote about them, the people praised them, etc. Was this out of respect for their greatness or fear of their power??? I guess I don't know the answer to that yet. From the Safavidian (I just made that up... is it right?) selection, we learn that their leader at the time was very diplomatic and repectful, yet also very firm. The differences come in the religion of the two empires and, apparently the way in which they viewed their peoples. The first is straightforward enough. They had two seperate religions which they based their rule and beliefs on. The second, however, I am confused about. The book says that the Safavids 'maintanined and reinforced the seperate identity of Persian society and language.' While the Ottomans 'made no attempt to impose their language or values on the diverse peoples they ruled.' While this confuses me, what I get out of it is that The Safavids tried to assimilate their people into their way of thinking, speaking, etc. and the Ottomans made no such attempt. I hope this is right and will learn if it is or isn't in due time. But, basically I am starting from scratch, having never learned about these peoples in any class before. In due time.
The Ottoman and Safavid Empires were both ruled by similar and different tactics. The two Empires were neighbors in the muslim world and had the deepest rivalry. Their differences seemed to drown out the similarities as they grew into the 1500's. The Ottoman Empire, as decribed by Busbecq, pays no attention to wealth or the empty claims of rank. They only consider merit and scrutinizes the character, natural ability, and disposition of each to assign duties and offices. The Safavid or Persian Empire seemed to have each an appointed place. They were decribed as being hard to tell if they were living men or statues. This described the discipline levels of each Empire. Through the poetic words of Baki, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman, "admired the grain of his sword" showing the great love for himself and his self admiration. The Safivid differed from the Ottoman Empire in many ways, yet two major issues rise above the rest. The Safivid Empire was based on Shi'i Islam rather than on orthodox Sunni Islam. Also, they maintained and reinforced the seperate identity of Persian society and language. The Ottoman Empire sought to assimilate many new cultural styles while retaining cultural pluralism. They also made no attempt to impose their language or values on all of the people they ruled. The rulers did in fact have a few similarities. Both of the rulers, Shah Abbas and Suleiman, killed or blinded their sons and left no able successor. And as in most empires, when the central authority was strong, the local chieftains remained submissive, paid taxes, and rendered homage to the shah. Looking back at the two Empires, the rulers both had their own way of running their land. They believed that they were gods among the ants, and therefore both strived to conquer and control as much land as possible. Which is the case in all of history, is just the beginning of their end.
The Ottomans and Safavids had two main differences that lead each to its ultimate downfall as an empire; they are their religions and how the governments mandated each religion in their culture and society. The Ottoman government practiced Sunni Islam, but allowed and encouraged diversity within the common people in all areas of culture, including dress, language and religion. The Safavids practiced Shi’i Islam orthodox. They differed greatly from the Ottomans; their government forced their religion, language and culture upon all those they conquered and ruled. Although one of the empires did not destroy the other, because of these conflicts they both destroyed themselves. The conflicts drained the empires economically and militarily; as Europe became stronger the two empires eventually lost their greatness of the sixteenth century. Despite these vast differences, Ottomans and Safavids had many political and economic similarities. Both relied heavily on international trade of textiles and cloths. Other sources of wealth came from taxes, land, commerce and industry. They maintained rich cultures including literature, poetry, music and architecture. Both governments had highly centralized administrations that allowed the sultan (Ottoman) or shah (Safavid) to have complete control of politics, religion and military. Military was very important and officers were paid or rewarded with land. The ruler’s divan (Ottoman) or mullah (Safavid) were also important; they held much power (as did the wives and mothers of the ruler) and were also responsible for political and military administration. Providences or territories were also given to appointed governors to rule for periods of approximately two years. Although the Ottoman and Safavid Empires were had common political and economic policies, their re! ligious differences could not prevent their collapse.
The Ottoman Empire and the Safavid State in Persia both had highly centralized governments. The rulers of both were considered to be the supreme religious, political, and military leader of their people. The rulers of both empires appointed governors to be in charge of large provinces for set amounts of time. They were also both major centers of trade and they both encouraged and patronized the arts. The two empires did have some similarities, but they were actually very different. The Safavid State, under Shah Ismail, followed the religion of Shi'i Islam. The Ottoman Empire, under Suleiman the Magnificent, was orthodox Sunni Islam. The Safavids sustained and reinforced the identity of Persian language and culture. They even went so far as to force conversion upon those they ruled to Shi'i Islam. The Ottomans assimilated the many cultures of the people over which they ruled, allowing them to maintain their own cultures. They didn't force Turkish language or culture on their people. They did not require conversion to their Sunni Islam. The people they ruled were actually allowed quite a bit of upward mobility despite their different cultures. They were allowed to reach even upper society on the basis of merit.
In many ways as these two empires were alike, but there are just as many ways that they were different. The ways that they are not alike are more prominent than the ways that they are the same, so I will just focus on the ways in which they are different first. The first thing that I came across in the reading was that there were two different types of Islam that were being practiced by the two empires. The Ottoman empire followed the Sunni Islam and the Safavid empire went according to the Shi'i Islam. The Ottoman empire believed that the original form of Islam was the only one to be followed, but the Safavid empire thought that the original form of Islam was incorrect, so they chose to follow the Shi'i form of Islam. There would be a long "holy war" fought over the lands that each group believed to belong to them. Next I discovered that the Safavids tried to keep up the Persian society and make the other cultures that it accuired change to the Persian way of life. While the Ottomans, on the other hand, allowed the people that they controlled to live their lives as they always had. The Ottomans made no attempt to force their ways and language onto anyone who didn't want to change. There were some ways that these two empires were the same. One of them was that they both, at one time or another, had provinces that were ruled for periods of two years by governors that were appointed. Another similarity was that they both allowed Christians capitulations. This allowed the Christians to live in the empire without paying taxes or having to abide by their laws. Literature, architecture, painting, and textiles were all parts of their culture that were important to both the Ottomans and the Safavids. Both of the empires built great buildings and produced wonderful works of literature, as well as always adorning themselves and their homes with beautiful robes and carpeting. So, you see that there are many ways that they are both alike and different. The ways that they are alike are not as politcally charged as the ways that they are dissimilar. This may be why their differences are more obvious than their similarities.
The Ottoman empire and the Safavid empire, although rivals, had many similarities, as well as differences. In both empires, administrators were highly centralized and highly complex. The sultan acted as the supreme political, religious, and military ruler, subject only to divine law. They both placed major provinces under appointed governors who ruled for about two years. Also, the Ottomans and Safavids both gave state lands as payment or rewards to officials or army officers, but only for a specific amount of time. Neither empire had a firm tradition of primogeniture, considering neither left a good successor (or eldest son) behind. Although the Ottomans and Safavids had many similarities, there were also many differences, considering that they were rivals. One of the main differences between the two was that the Safavid empire was based around Shi'i Islam, rather than on Orthodox sunni islam, like the Ottomans. Therefore, much conflict arised over dominionation of islamic territories and interpretation of the basic islamic doctrines. Another major difference was that the Safavids tried to individualize each person into their Persian society. On the other hand, the Ottomans tried very hard to bring in new cultural styles, while still maintaining their own values. The Ottomans remained remarkably open and allowed much diversity. For example, they allowed the Arabs to keep their linguistic and cultural identity. These are just a few examples of how the Ottoman and Safavid empire are similar and different in many respects.
During the high points of the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid Empire, each had a ruler who knew how to run and increase the empires wealth and land.
First off there was Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire and of the Safavid Empire there was the reign of Shah Abbas the Great. Both of these rulers knew how to run and increase their power, which in turn strengthened their empires. These rulers had both similarities and differences when it came to their empires, to start with I will mentioned their differences.
To begin, the Ottoman Empire was based on the orthodox Sunni Islam religion, whereas the Safavid was based on the Shi'i Islam religion. The next diffence was that the Ottomans increased their wealth greatly by collecting tax on goods that were traded in their lands, actually increasing many of the taxes just to get more wealth. The Safavids on the other hand made much of their wealth by the manufacturing and sales of textiles, particularly their silk fabrics and carpets. A third difference in the two empires dealt with the treatment of individuals in their society. The Ottomans allowed for the means of diversity to take place, not enforcing certain rules on individuals. The Safavids on the other hand maintained and reinforced the separate identity of Persian society and language. The most important difference between the two empires was between their interpretations of the Islamic doctrines which caused them to go to war with each other over and over and drained their mil! itaries, with neither of the empires ever conquering the other.
Now for the similarities between the two empires. First, both empires were very centralized when it came to their government and they both also appointed governors to each of the provinces in their empires. Lastly, another similar factor took place with both Shah Abbas and Suleiman, both the greatest rulers of their empires and both of them failed to leave a successor to take over their rule leading to the downfall of both of their empires.
Based on the three selections and the text, there were many similarities between the rulers and governments of the Ottoman and Safavid empires. At the height of their rule both men had complete control over their empires. Each was look at as the political, religious, and military authority. From the selections, it is obvious that both were powerful and very capable of enforcing their will upon others. Each sought to gain land in order to strengthen their economies. Both appointed officials based on their character and loyalty and gave land as rewards to both civilian and militay leaders. In order to maintain control over such large empires, each divided their territories into provinces which were ruled by appointed governors. They encouraged international trade and were motivated by their economies. While each government was motivated by the same thing there were differences. Such as differences in religious beliefs and thought, as well as how to rule the people in the! ir empires. Each conqured many people but governed them in opposite ways. The Ottomans did not impose their language or beliefs after their conquests. Instead they allowed the many different ethnic groups to keep their culture. In contrast, the Safavids demanded everyone convert to Persian language and thought. While there were some differences in the styles of rule, both empires were essentially the same. Each was after more land and money which meant more power and influence in their region of the world. With each empire after the same thing it is no wonder that they were constantly at war.
The two systems of government had both similarities and differences. The Ottoman and Safavid empires were both highly centralized. Both governments rulers were the highest authority in the military, politics, and religion of their respected empires, and were subject only to divine law. Both rulers had subjects, chosen from the elite, below them to rule certain areas of land. For example, the Safavid and Ottoman rulers placed the major provinces of their empires under appointed governors who ruled for about two years. There were two major differences between the two empires. The Safavid empire was based upon Shi'i Islam rather than the Orthodox Sunni Islam found in the Ottoman empire. Second, the Safavids did not seek to assimilate new cultural styles while retaining cultural pluralism, as the Ottomans did. The Safavids kept the seperate identity of Persian society and language. The two rulers of the government during their height of power, Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottomans and Shah Abbas the Great of the Safavids, were very similar. Both did all they could do consolodate their power. Suleiman the Magnificent had killed his own son in order to maintain his thrown. Shah Abbas the Great killed or blinded three of his five sons. Thus, both rulers left no capable successor, therefore both empires were in turmoil following their deaths. Both rulers semmed obsessed with their own power, and by the way they acted towards their sons (succesors) they had no respect for the future of their empires after their deaths. The elegy for Suleiman the Magnificent, however, shows the heroic status upon which he was placed. The constant battles between both empires, as well as the actions of its prominent rulers towards their children ultimately destroyed both empires. The economic and military strength was depleted as well as the absence of a capable ruler led to the fall of the empires.
Something that I thought was interesting about both the Ottaman and the Safavid rulers was the neither left an able successor. Suleyman had his sons killed and the Safavid ruler blinded his sons so that none would succeed him. Both the Ottaman and Safavid had powerful armies, and when they went head to head over the same land they proved to be equals in military strength. In fact the book says the "Neither succeeded in destroying the other, the perpetual conflicts drained the ecomonic and military strength of both, thereby contributing to their downfalls." A big difference between the two was The Safavid had seperate identity of Persian society and spoke a different langauge. The Ottaman on the other hand assimiliated many new cultures and spoke many different languages to incororate everyone they took over. The Ottaman didn't try to homgenize their cultures they let everyone keep their own cultures. That was what I say as the biggest difference between the two powers.
The Ottoman and Safavid empires were both very powerful in their own rite, therefore they often clashed n many areas. Both empires were founded on different Islamic religious principles, the Ottomans followed the orthodox, Sunni Islamic interpretation wheras the Safavids followed the Shi'i Islamic interpretation. As both empires worked to enlarge their trading markets, they often battled over lands and territories along the Tigris-Euphrates valley. Their constant fueding led to the weakening of both the Ottoman and the Safavid empires, which eventually left both of them vulnerable to outside powers. Although these two empires disagreed in so many areas, they both heavily supported the arts. Suleiman himself was an accomplished poet and Safavid rulers were encouraged to immortalize their accomplishments in long histories and biographies
Perhaps the most recognizable difference between the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent and his rival the ruler and founder of the Safavid empire, Shah Isma'il, were their religious beliefs. Although both of their empires were of Islamic descent, the Ottomans followed Sunni Islam while the Safavids were strict believers in Shi'i Islam, which created a rift between the two empires. Both empires were also in constant dispute over territories in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. However, both empires were similar in many ways. As mentioned earlier, both were of Islamic descent. Both empires were centralized politically and economically and both empires encouraged and patronized the fine arts. Furthermore, both empires engaged in trade with Europe and Asia and granted special privileges to European traders.
The Ottoman Empire and the Safavid Empire rivaled over the Fertile Cresant (Tigris-Euphrates Valley) until 1639 when a peace treaty between them was finally made. These two empires have much in common, but also a lot of differences. Both empires had two remarkable leaders, Suleiman of the Ottomans, and Shah Abbas of the Safavids. Both leaders brought their empires to the peak of greatness, but both also left them with no able successor. Which eventurally brings the downfall of both. Both empires had many cultural and artistic achievements, along with the building of great peices of architecture. Also, the empires had commonalities in the way they ruled. When the central authority was strong, other leaders were weak, but when the authority was weak, other members of the so-called court became much stronger. Also, both empires had state land, which was used as payments or rewards for government officals or to religious authories. There were many commonalities, but there were also large differences, I will show 2 major ones. The Ottoman Empire was very tolerant of different religions, and peoples. Which they inturn assimilated these cultures into theirs, making a 'cultural pluralism.' However the Safavids tried to keep and inforce their seperate identity of their persian culture. The second, which made these two empires bitter rivals was the fact that, the Ottoman empire was Sunni Islam, while the Safavids were Shi'i Islam. These two great empires that had so much in common, and where at one time so great, became rivals because they choose to fight over the religion that there rulers believed in. >From these simularites and differences, I can conclude that a great empire must have a strong leader, leave an able heir, win wars, and keep the empire stong with it's culture through art and literature.
Patrick A. Tiedt
Both the Ottomans and the Safavids had a great liking of the arts. They each thought that it was an important subject and contributed greatly during that time period. Their poetry, paintings, and architechture are just a few of the areas in which these two groups made contributions. Each of these groups tried to expand their empires in many different ways. The Ottomans and Safavids each had an army that was used to conquer nearby territories. They both levied taxes to help offset the cost of expanding the empire. Each group and one ruler, however the way that the power was divided below that leader was different between the two. The Safavids divided their territories into regions and put governors in charge of the regions, whereas the Ottomans had a coucil under the ruler that governed the areas within the empire. Trade was also a major part of both areas. Each group relied greatly on trade with Europe and the revenues from taxes that came from that trade.
They both were Muslim, however that is where the similarities ended. The Persians of the Safavids were shiite and the Ottoman Turks were sunni muslims. The Safavids maintained and reinforced their seperate identity of Persian society and language whereas the Ottomans strived to assimilate and maintain cultural pluralism. They similarily saw the benefits of international trade, and the millet system of taxing people. They used the profits from the trade to finance their campaigns against one another. The Ottoman Suleyman also forged important ties to the French to offset the Safavid ties to the Habsburg rulers of Austria-Hungary. These ties were very important later in changing the face of Western Europe and the Middle East. The Ottoman ruler Suleyman, waged such a successful war against the Habsburg, that they were able to go as far as to the gates of Vienna, only to turn back because of the coming of winter season when the Ottoman troops refused to campaign.
The Safavid and Ottoman Empires were two extremely powerful forces during this time period. Both empires' rulers were supreme and ruled accordingly. These two empires were similar in this respect, they were both centralized. Despite strict rule of Suleiman, the Ottoman empire was socially open and free. There was not rigid restrictions placed on the Turks in this aspect. The Safavid empire was not open like the Ottomans. They imposed rules on their people and attempted to force their language and culture on the people they ruled. The Ottomans did not attempt to do this. They were a diverse culture. The Safavid and Ottoman Empires also differed in the religious basis they were founded on. The Safavid Empire was founded on Shi'i Islam and the Ottoman Empire was founded on Sunni Islam. The Safavid Empire like the Ottoman Empire had many cultural achievements during their reign. Art and literature were important to them and thus emphasis was placed on these aspects of Persian culture. The reading from Shah Ismail indicates the rivalry between these two empires. This Safavid ruler exemplifies the uncompromising manner in which he ruled his empire. He offers no support to is opponent but is not offensive in doing so. Busbecq's letter about Suleiman the Magnificent describes the honor, respect, and dignity in which the rulers of these empires were viewed.
I find it very interesting that the Ottomans and Safavids were actually the same in many ways. For some odd reason, I felt that they should have been friendly when I first started reading this literature. But, I suppose that most people or peoples who are very much the same, clash because of the very reason that they ARE so much alike.
In both the Ottoman empire and the Safivid empire the major rulers were followed by sons who never lived up to their own glory. Such as Suleiman's son, Selim II who was an alcoholic. And Shah Abbas the Great "killed or blinded three of his five sons" and ended up with a not-so-great successor.
Both the Ottoman and Safavid empires were highly centralized with the empire being basically in charge of everything from religious, military and political matters. They also both divided up the empire into provinces and had appointed governors who ruled under the emperor. Both of these empires did quite well with international trade and had many great artisans. Also, the Ottoman and Safavid loved poetry and poets were to be admired. Both empires encouraged histories and biographies of military and political greatness.
On the other hand, the Ottoman empire believed in letting minorities keep their own religion, language and culture. While the Safavid empire forced conversion of religion.
All in all, very much alike, but even much more opposed to one another.
After reading the assigned pages I believe that similarities are much easier to find than differences. Both the Ottoman's and the Safavids were great world powers during this time. Each empire could weild their influence over Europe. This was especially true on the issue of trading. For a long time European powers had a want for products produced in the East. Both of the Ottoman and the Safavid benefitted from European elite's expensive tastes. By controlling trade routes to Europe from Africa and India. Slaves, gold and ivory were sent to Europe through cities like Cairo and Istanbul. The Ottoman's in exchange received European foods that were foreign to them such as potatoes and tomatoes. The Safavid's had a huge trade industry centered around silk, which was a product highly sought after in Europe. The money earned through this trade allowed the Empire to expand greatly. Another similarity between the two great Empires was the establishment of European allies by both. The Ottoman's befriended France after the French begged Suleiman for support. The Safavid's then took France's European rival the Habsburg's Empire as their ally. The Safavid's used the supoort of the Habsburg to expand their Empire through a series of military campaigns. So both the Ottoman's and the Safavid's were allied with European powers to their west. Unfortunately, these two great powers could never have peace between them. Over the duration of each Empire's existence they were at war with one another. Each wanted total control of the area surrounding and including the Tigris-Euphrates valley. These two rivals fought over this area several reasons. The reasons ranged from political to religous differences between the two. The Ottoman worshipped a branch of Islam known as orthodox Sunni Islam. Diversely the Safavid's believed in Shi'i Islam. The Safavid's also gave their clergy more political power than the Ottoman. In some remote provinces mullahs gave both religious and political guidance. The religous differences led to a war on more than one occasion. Another major difference between both Empire's was the fact that the Ottoman's did not have a enforce a strict identity. Christians, Jews, and Armenians did not have to abandon any of their previous beliefs they had to instead pay an addtional tax to the Ottoman government. The Safavids did strive to have an Empire with an identity of its own. Although common for the time, we now know that the Ottoman way of ruling an Empire is probably more successful and certainly more apealling to its subjects. The differences between these two great Empires brought about several wars against one another. Although neither Empire destroyed the other outright. The centuries of battle wore down both and eventually each Empire fell.
One of the major differences between the Ottomans and Safavids is that the Ottomans were much more tolerant and the society was very open. They did not impose religion, custom, or language on anyone in their empire who chose not to conform. Safavids on the other hand, "maintained and reinforced the separate identity of Persian society and language."
A major similarity between the two empires is that the high royalty such as Sultan Suleiman and Shah Abbas both were very powerful and influencial people. They had many officers and soldiers who would serve them faithfully and help them during their reign. Both leaders were very wealthy and had the ability to make their empires great and very prosperous.
Another difference between the two empires is that the Safavids were based up Shi'i Islam whereas the Ottoman Empire was orthodox Sunni Islam. Although the Ottomans did not force this religion onto their people, it was the most widely practiced religion. As noted before, the Safavids forced a Imperial religion on everyone under their power.
I feel that the Ottoman and the Safavid Empires share both a few similarities as well as differences. As far as likeness goes, both empires place major provinces under appointed govenors who tend to rule for approximately 2 years. Both empires were sectarian too. They were both major powers at the time too. On the other hand, these empires differed also. The Ottoman empire kept a tight reign over their people, but they allowed diversity. The Imperial Safavids were based on the Shi'i Islam rather than the orthodox Sunni Islam. The Safavids also reinforced the separate identity of Persian society and government.
The Ottoman ruler, Sulelman the Magnificent, and the Safavid ruler, Shah Abbas the Great were both considered great rulers by their respective countrymen. Both ruled as dictators. Meaning they ruled over their countries political, miltary, and religous systems. Both countries governments were highly centralized, yet they did differ. Sulelmans administrators were chosen based on who owned the most land and acquired the most booty in military campaigns. In contrast, the Safavid Empire ran along feudal lines. Yet, there were some similarities. For example, both Empires' appointed two govenors rule over a province of the territory. In terms of the the military, Sulelman used his to expand the Ottoman Empire into Europe. In contrast, the Safavid Empire used its military for expanding only into the Middle East and for defense at home. On religous matters, Sulelman was more open with the matter than Shah Abbas. For example, the Ottoman Empire never imposed laws to make its inha! bitants conform to the Islamic religion. Arabs, Armenians, Christians and Jews were found throughout the Empire and were free to practice their religion. However, Shah Abbas wnated his Empire to maintain and reinforce the seperate identity of his culture. In comparing the two Empires cultures we can see more similarities and differences that most likely came as a result from the rule of Sulelman and Shah Abbas. Poetry in both countries dominated and influenced literary life. Both rulers also encouraged writers to immortilize their military and political achievements. Also, both in the Safavid Empire and Ottoman Empire, the elite would hang out at coffee shops. Colorful fabrics and beautiful buildings also emerged during their respective rule. The main difference between the two empires' lies in religion. While the Safavid Empire is based upon Shi'i Islam, the Ottoman Empire is based upon Sunni Islam. The Safavid Empire relied on the manufacture and sale of textiles as a major source of revenue, while the Ottoman Empire relied on trading with foreign nations. As you can see, both empires do have some similarities, and yet they do have some differences. However, what sets them apart is the idea on who owns the territory between the Tigris & Euphrates River. This difference in idea has lead to many battles between the two. Perhaps if both empires could have come up with a solution to their main problem, then the great empires that Sulelman the Magnificent, and Shah Abbas the Great wouldn't have plummeted after their leave.
There were a few distinct differences between the Ottomans and the Safavids, yet the two empires were very much alike. Both empires wished to expand their empires by gaining/conquering land. This similarity seemed to be a cause for their long running rivalry. As shown in the letter from Shah Ismail to Sultan Selim on page 360 of our book "World History," in light of their rivalry, they seemed to have a respect for each other and each other's power. Their similarities were not the only reason for their rivalry, their differences also played a role. Their difference in religions, with the Safavids being of the Shi'i Islam religion and the Ottomans being of the orthodox Sunni Islam religion, was also a reason for their rivalry. The Safavids and the Ottomans were both powerful empires at different points in history, yet their power, along with a few distinct similarities and a few distinct differences, led to a long standing rivalry between the two.
There are many differences between these two rulers and their types of governments. one difference that I can see is that shah Iran was a beliver in a homogeneous society consistng of one religion and one race. were as suleiman almost desired a heterogeneous society consisting of many religions and races, himself being of mixed blood. they were similar in the respect that they were imperialists, they wanted to increase their empires size. and both wanted the land which is now Iraq. when it came to the economy suleiman wanted to keep more of an open market, he encouraged trade and welcomed forigeners to lend a hand. I guess this made his govenment a little more capatalistic. Whereas shah Iran's empire produced a lot of goods itself on land that was tended by Aisian muslim slaves. which in fact left the safavid economy relatively closed, with the exception of exports which helped the empire out quite a bit. This gave his government a hint of socialism (well at least an early form). One of the only similarities between the two types of government that is very visible is the fact that they both broke up the land that they owned and spread it among officials that had lent a hand in the past, which helped the officials liven up the economy by producing more goods to be sold through out the empire.
The Ottomans and the Safavids were political rivals for many years. Though they disagreed on a lot of things, they also had some similarities. First, there is the Ottoman Empire. Their King Suleiman was a brillian king. He was a successful at commanding his military and a very clever diplomat. Over his reign he conquered much land and gained great wealth. Though he failed to leave a worthy successor and instead left the Ottoman Empire with an alcoholic as a king. The Safavid Empire was Shi'i Islam rather than the orthodox Sunni Islam that the Ottoman's were. Shah Abbas the Great ruled the land with an iron hand. He organized the territory into smaller provinces ruled by governors that ruled for two years. With both of these, the administration is very centralized and the rulers placed major provinces under appointed governors. Though these two empires were different, they still shared some major similiarities. If they had talked to each other rather than fighting, they could have learned so much more from each other.
Suleiman, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire and Shah Iran, the ruler of the Safavid Empire shared many differences when it came to their govenments. Shah Iran beleived in a unified society. Everyone should and will have the share the same religious beliefs(Muslim) and race. This was a common way rulers, I believe, "showed of their power," but was very common in the 1500's. As Suleiman beleived in an "open society," where everyone is a individual and are entitled to their own beliefs which enabled minorities to fulfill dreams as doctors or owners of property that Shah Iran would not tollerate.
Ottamans also had an "open government"; which means they allowed trading outside his land which probably inturn gave him more allies to help him out. As the Safavids were not the biggest on imported goods from outside their boundaries. They led more of a dictatorship than the Ottomans, Shah Iran wanted just to help out his economy and no one elses.
Suleiman and Shah Iran did share two simalarities though. Both men slpit up land and either handed it pout to noble men or sold it to people they saught as best fit. They owned all the land and everything went through them. And finally, both men led huge Empires and were looked as powerful leaders.
One of the major differences between the Ottomans and the Safavids was religion: the Safavids practiced Shi'i Islam, while the Turks practiced Sunni Islam. Second, the Safavids tried to maintain and protect their Persian society and language, while the Turks embraced new cultural styles. Both the Safavid and Ottoman rulers appointed governors to rule the different provinces, and both empires were financed by the collection of taxes. "Tax farmers" collected taxes from a given territory or province, kept a percentage for themselves, and gave the rest to the government. If the ruler was weak, the governors and the tax farmers tended to take advantage of their power, but if the ruler was strong the local authorities did what they were told. As far as the two rulers go, Shah Abbas the Great seemed to believe that it was better to be feared than loved, because he killed or blinded three of his five sons. He also seemed more close-minded than Suleiman because of his desire to prevent the assimilation of the Safavid culture with the cultures of neighboring countries and empires.
The Ottomans and Safavids were rivals. Each country's leader, Safavid of Persia and Suleiman of the Ottomans, despised each other. Judging from the letter Safavid wrote to Suleiman, (page 360) Safavid seemed more stern of a leader. Suleiman, on the other hand, seemed more softened. I though this because of the fact that he had his more capable sons killed to ensure that the son of his love became emperor after him. This was a definate error in judgement because after Suleiman's reign ended, the Ottoman society began to weaken. The Ottoman empire appeared to be more diverse both in religion and ethnicity. The Safavids seemed to have one distinct religion and ethnicity, Shi'i Islam. Also, the Safavids had one distinct language and the Ottoman's allowed for many languages. The Safavids did become more excepted as time moved on, but mainly because the economic competition required it. Besides the above descriptions, the two empires were strikingly similar. Both cultures valued the fine arts, strong respect for leaders, and economic trade. From the poem written about Suleiman it is obvious the culture looked highly upon the expression in poetry. Also, each ruler became skilled in crafts and valued their skill. Each ruler was highly esteemed as proven in the discussion about the kings people by Busbecq (pages 355-356). Both empires wore the same type of loose clothing. This clothing also integrated the fine arts by their elaborate designs and woven gold. The people from the empire had similar appearances especially when compared to the appearance of people from the other countries of the world. The two empires were probably the two countries of the world that had the most in common. The tragic part is that the two rivaled so much that they made no progress in conquering each other, but weakened both of their nations. Therefore, no one prevailed but all lost.
Aaron J. Sheridan
The First and major difference between the Safavid or Persian empire and that of the Ottoman would be their difference of religious beliefs that to this day are intertwined within the culture and Identity of both these nations' peoples. While the Persians and Ottomans both developed societies based on the Islamic religion, they chose to follow two distinct sects of the religion that continue to fuel conflicts today. Founded by Shah Isma'il in 1500 the Safavid Empire followed the Shi'i Islam rather than the orthodox Sunni Islam of the Ottoman Turks,that subjectly transformed battles of economic dominance of the Fertile Crescent into personal conflicts of ideologies and "wars of truths." Secondly, the philosophies and social expectations by which these two empires were governed greatly differed in comparison. Although both worshipped Ala, the Ottomans were much more lenient with their peoples' ethic diversity than their Persian rivals. Unique cultures under the rule of the Ottoman Sultans were permitted to use and develop their own identities under their own terms with the condition of a moderate tax. Arabs, Armenians, Christians, and Jews were granted opportunities within the highest levels of Ottoman society, (except the leadership Sultan) and enjoyed the privilege of retaining their own educational, religious, and judicial institutions. While in contrast, those peoples under Persian rule were expected to except the common language and identity of a unanimous culture- maintained and protected by the Shah. Although these neighboring empires were very unique, both nations were subject to similar fates if the head of state proved to be a "weak" politician or leader in battle. Like any dictatorship, which both of the empires primarily were, if the single focal point of power, in this case the Shah or Sultan were poor leaders- than altimately they'd be suspect for immediate removal or manipulation. In the Ottoman Empire's case, those Sultans preceding Suliman the Magnificent after 1566 ultimately lost their power and became prisoners of their own societies' royal court, harem, or mercenary Janissaries. This also would happen to the Shah's of Persia except those retaining the failing power of the Shah would be provincial governors or local chieftains. In times when the head of state could be manipulated, the taxes and homage's that would otherwise be sent to the central authority would be hoarded and used for the ambitions of potential candidates for Persia's next leader.
When lookinsg at the similarities between the Ottoman empire and the Safavid empire, one can see that the differences out weigh the similarites in more ways than one. When comparing these two, it is easier to start with the most dominate of the two,Ottoman,and conclude with the Safavids. The Ottoman empire was very sucessful, do to their sultan,Suleiman the Magnificant. He not only was the ruler of the Ottoman empire, but also led his army as military comandor. Suleiman was a very active politician and diplomat. When making his allies, he choose them very carefully, and when he wanted to fight, he knew when to make the right move. The Safavids differed from the Ottomans in two very large aspects. First was religion.One being based on Shi'i Islam, and the other Orthodox Sunni Islam. Another major difference between the two was there assimilation and assertion to different languages. The Ottomans choose to familarize themselves to new cultures, where as the Safavids made no effort to accept other diversities.Instead they secluded themselves without advancement. The Ottoman empire gained from there international relations, and expanded there means of trade, do to the incredible alliances It is clear to see that the Ottoman empire was more dominate over the Safavids, do to there willingness to expand new horizions. When expanding new horizions and tying close knots with boarding countries, goeograpfically, the Ottomans had more control do to their centralized location and expansion. Both the governments were well organized, and appointed magistrates to look over the many regions of the empire
During the 1500's, the nations of Europe, embroiled in bitter religious and dynastic rivalries, had yet to become major colonial and territorial forces. Meanwhile, the Ottoman and Safavid empires, under the rule of strong autocrats, were able to amass a considerable amount of influence, due to strong trading and strong leadership. But could the two empires coexist? Eventually, the rivalry between the two neighboring empires drained precious resources and left both susceptible to neighboring invaders and local leaders.
Despite the bitterness that existed between the two empires, they were remarkably similar in many ways. Both empires had governments headed by autocrats. Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled the Ottoman empire from 1520 to 1566, managed to promote growth, both economically, territorially, and culturally during his reign. The Safavid empire was founded by Shah Isma'il, a reasonable and brave man who ruled from 1500 to 1524. Under both of these autocrats was a complex bureaucracy of appointed governors that ruled over provinces. Taxes were collected to help finance both the empires. Sometimes, land was given out to government officials or military officers as a payment or reward. As long as the central government remained strong in these empires, the governors that ruled over distant provinces remained submissive and did not try to gain autonomy. But the central governments could not stay powerful forever...
Eventually, similar problems lead to the downfall of the Ottoman and Safavid empires. First of all, Sulleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman empire and Shah Abbas of the Safavid empire, although great leaders, made the error of killing off their sons to prevent overthrows and prolong their own rules. As a result, the most capable heirs to the thrones were killed off, weakening the throne and, in turn, the empire. Second, the governments allowed foreign traders to establish such economic power within the empires' borders that when the central government became weak, the foreigners were able to undermine the empires due to their economic pull. Finally, the feud between the Ottoman empire and the Safavid empire was so lengthy and so costly that both empires eventually were weakened, making it easier for foreign intruders and province leaders to steal power from the empires.
Major differences did exist between the Ottoman empire and the Safavid empire, despite their similarities. The Ottoman empire, for one, practiced orthodox Sunni Islam while the Safavid empire practiced Shi'i Islam. Unlike the Safavids who wanted a unique culture, the Ottomans, under what was known as the millet system, allowed cultural and religious diversity as long as foreigners paid taxes.
Similarities between the two governments are that they were both centralized governments, having one supreme political, religious, and military ruler. The two were also rivals for the territory in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. Differences between them would be that the Ottoman were Sunni Islam, and the Safavids Shi'i Islam. Suleiman the Ottoman Emperor was a successful military commander and diplomat, using an alliance with France to secure his protection. Suleiman allowed diversity, the large Arab population were able to keep their language and culture under the Ottoman Empire. On the other hand, the Safavids maintained the seperate identity of Persian socitey and language.
The reading indicates that many of the similarities and differences were based on the cultural aspect of the dynasties. The similarity, importance of architecture, is percieved to be important to both rulers and a direct relationship to the culture of both the Ottoman and Safavids, both of these empires thought of mosques, bath houses,schools, hospitals, and shops of of great importance to the societies. Both empires were patrons of the arts and believed that to improve and advance their governments along with their societies a focus had to be considered by both the sultans and the people of the dynasties. The sultans might have focused on the cultural aspect of their empires as a physical remembrance to their reign and their people. Both rulers had mosques built to signify their reign and add to the cultural aspect of the empire. The Ottoman empire had the Suleimaniye mosque built under Suleiman's reign, and Isfahan the capital of the Safavid empire was rebuilt with man! y new mosques, inns, schools, and baths built to signify their reign in history. Their difference in ruling the people was also based on the cultural aspect of the people, the Ottoman's looked to assimilate the new cultures they had dominated and retain pluralism. On the other hand, the Safavids maintained a seperate identity of Persian society and languages. Both empires were highly centralized were the sultan acted as the supreme political, religious, and military ruler. This centralization of power was brought upon by the culture of the time period. Even their religious beliefs were based upon a cultural aspect, the conflict between the two rulers and the empires were directly related from their differing beliefs in religion. So I believe that the differences and similarities between these two rulers and their systems of governments were based on their cultural beliefs of the time. Whether it be religious, political, militarily, or even a societial aspect all were influenced by the cultural aspect of the empires of the time.
David Jan Tamm
When the European Powers were in a period of conflict and self-destructive monarchy, the Ottomon and Safavid Persian Empires were surprisingly strong and stable. One huge factor for the Ottomon Turkish Empire based at Constantinople was the first emperor of the name Suleiman… the Magnificinet. Sulieman was a forceful autocrat, but he ran a system of millets that facilitated the running of the Empire in a way as to downplay national differences and promote merit based advancement. It was like one big ass Pendelton Act. Suleiman was sometimes feared, sometimes respected, but always a force to be conteded with. The European dynastic rivalries made him a stable island within an unstable world. Sulieman was a military commander and a diplomat. He favoured France in international relations. Sulieman did not have an heir because he butchered his son on the behest of his wife. In the Ottomon system, the various nationalities, particularly the virulent Southeast European peoples! , were given a kind of autonomy within the confines of the empire. It simply doesn’t work to try to patrol the mountains of Hercegovina and other places. This kept them complacent enough not to revolt every 5 years and upset the ruling family on the Bosporus. The career of the Ottomon’s was quite remarkable. Serbia was defeated in 1389 at the Battle of Kosovo, and the empire stretched even as far as Hungary, after the Battle of Mohacs: 1526.
The Persian Safavid Dynasty in what is now Iran were rulers in some respects the same and some times different. The Ottoman rulers wanted to have many new kinds of styles and diversity, they let the subjects retain their languages and beliefs. The Safavids maintained the separate identity of Persian society religion and language. Under the Shah Abbas, the Safavids reached their greatest power. This ruler had three of five sons slaughtered and didn’t have an acceptible heir. The Shah Abbas became so powerful because he was terrorizing the local chiefs in Persia. Both the Ottomans and the Safavids divided their land into provinces. Also like the Ottomans the main source of wealth came from taxes, land, and commerce. Abbas encouraged trade and was also known for his tolerance with minorities. This tolerance for minorities helped expand trade and that led to more land and the eventual control of all of Persia. Concluding, both Sulieman the Magnificent and Shah Abbas were strong rulers that were honorable in governing their empires, they were fair and just, for the most part, but probably should’ve attended parenting classes before concieving.