Changes and Continuities Between 1450 to 1800 in the Spanish and Ottoman Empires Essay

662 WordsMay 16, 20133 Pages
During the period of 1450 to 1800, two empires were rapidly growing across the globally known land, the Spaniards and the Ottomans. Although both empires were more technologically advanced than the places they were conquering, the Spanish were a sea-based empire across the Atlantic and the Ottoman’s were a land-based empire in Europe, making conquering and warfare a bit different. Also, the empires differed in aspects of religious freedom and governing. During this time period, the Ottomans and Spaniards were two very advanced civilizations compared to those around them. This gave them a very strategic edge against those they were conquering, allowing warfare to be quite simple. The use of gun powder was frequent between both civilizations, but not known in others. So, when the Spaniards showed up in the America’s and the Ottomans in Turkey with cannons or guns, there wasn’t much of a battle that could be put up against the two. The militaries of both of these civilizations were also very elite, the Janissaries for the Ottomans and the conquistadors for the Spanish. The Janissaries were a group of Christian boys converted to Islam that were taken from their homes at a very young age, also known as the devshirme system. The Spanish used conquistadors as men to fight but also as men to rule the conquered land, allowing for everything to be pretty efficient. Both empires also used heavy coercive labor, the Spaniards using the mita tax and the Ottomans using the Janissaries as a form of slavery. The mita tax was a tax on Incan people for labor; they had to work in the mines for the mother country and in return were converted to Christianity. Also, both of the rulers of the empires were determined hereditarily, the Spanish passed the crown down to the eldest son and the Ottoman’s used the fratricide system, where you must kill all of your brothers to become sultan.

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