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Ottomans and Mughals

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History has illustrated the evolution, decline and rise of empires. The people of Turkish and Mongol descent also created two great Islamic empires the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire in the early modern period that spectacled the same fate. The Ottoman Empire (1300-1700) was founded by Osman originating from a band of few hundred Turkish ghazis (Muslim tribal warriors) covering much of the Middle East and the Balkans. While Babur, a Turk-Mongol was the founder of the Mughal Empire (1500-1750) which covered majority of India. These great Islamic states provided new political and military solidarity, but both empires began to decline before 1800.

The Osmanhs are more commonly know as the Ottomans in the western world, were considered as one of the most well organized fighting force at the verge of the 16th century. The Ottomans originally migrated into Anatolia under the leadership of Osman (ruled 1281-1326) and his ghazis after successfully defeating the Seljuks. They established a state in Western Anatolia during the 13th century that challenged the Byzantines in southeastern Europe. By 1453, the Ottomans under the rule of Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, which became their imperial capital, Istanbul and thus eliminating the Byzantine Empire. And in the 16th century the Ottoman empire infiltrated into Europe up to Vienna. This fighting force also defeated the Persian Safavids and the Egyptian Mamluks. Thus for the next two centuries the Ottomans continued to expand, and by the 18th century they ruled a large empire that included all of southeastern Europe, the Crimea, North Africa, and the Middle East to the borders of Persia. And even though the Ottoman empire was unsuccessful to conquer the western European states they still remained the greatest threat to Europe through the 18th century.

Babur the Great and his descendants created the Mughal Empire, one of the largest empires ever established in India which united all of India under a government and culture. Babur started raiding south into India in 1516 after his Kabul conquest in 1504. And the rule in Northern India was not established until the defeat of the Sultan of Lodi at Panipat in 1526. The Mughal empire was not fully settled until the reign of Akbar ( ruled 1556-1605) who helped diversify the mughal forces and attract members of all various backgrounds. The Mughal empire's wealth also attracted and helped recruit nomadic warbands like the Turanis, Iranis and Afghanis into the military. But were also integrated with the local warriors of all the areas they conquered and the most famous of them were the Rajputs. And these local warlords and nobles who brought their followers to serve the emperor were designated 'amirs', receiving money from the treasury to pay the soldiers and raise revenues in their provinces.

The Ottoman's strength rested on strong military organization and their tolerance for the various ethnic and religious groups they conquered. They were also very successful due to the readiness of their heavy cavalry, infantry, artillery and the creation of a Navy. The Ottoman empire flourished through the centuries by adapting to new ways of war with changing times. Ottoman institutions assumed their fullest shape by the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566). The state claimed control over all wealth and property in the empire, but governors called pashas ruled the different proviences. There was no hereditary nobility in the empire. Landlords held their land in exchange for military service. The famous



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