"Early Modern World"
Unit 3 - Land Based Empires
"Gunpowder Empires"
Major Theme: 

"How did land based empires gain & maintain power from 1450-1750?"

Explain how & why various land-based empires developed & expanded from 1450 to 1750.

Explain how rulers used a variety of methods to legitimize & consolidate their power in land-based empires.

TARGETS: Unit 3 - "Land Based Empires" 1450-1750

The Land Based Empires are the major players in this period. It’s easy to jump to Columbus et al and assume the Europeans are taking over. They’re not. They are moving into the outer reaches that are not already dominated by major Land Based Empires. Compared to the Maritime Empires, there is virtually no overlap (outside of the Americas). Another knock against the Europeans in this period (1450-1750), is to look at when the Land Based Empires finally fell. Mughals, 1857. Tokugawa, 1868. Manchu Empire, 1911. Ottoman Empire, 1919. So, pump your brakes on the European Empires. They are still back seat to the Land Based empires. (Freemanpedia)





Heimler's History: Unit 3.1 - Empires Expand 1450-1750
Heimler explains how land-based empires expanded from 1450-1750. In a word, most of them expanded by means of gunpowder based weaponry.

He explains the rise of gunpowder empires like the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Empire, and the Mughal Empire. Ivan the Terrible did similar things with the expansion of the Russian Empire.

But it wasn't all boom boom. The expansion of empires required a healthy dependence on bureaucracy as well.
Heimler's History: Unit 3.2 - Empire Administration 1450-1750
Heimler explains how the land-based empires in the period 1450-1750 consolidated and legitimized their power. As rulers began to centralize their power, they needed ways to exercise their will and convince their people that they were in charge.

Almost all of the empires during this time (Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire, Qing Dynasty, Tokugawa Shogunate, etc.) established extensive bureaucracies in order to carry out their will. One major function of these bureaucracies was collecting taxes. The Mughals did this through zamindars. The Ottomans had the devshirme system. And other empires similarly executed their wills.
Heimler's History: Unit 3.3 Empire Belief Systems 1450-1750
Heimler talks all about religion in the land-based empires from 1450-1750. Religion was a significant means by which rulers of land-based empires consolidated and legitimized their power.

Sometimes religion was a great unifier as in the case of Akbar of the Mughal Empire. Other times it was a fractious reality as in the case of Christianity and Islam.

In the Christian church it was Martin Luther who began to complain about the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church, specifically the practices of simony and the sale of indulgences. His complaints led to the Protestant Reformation and a permanent split of the Christian Church.

The Muslims also had some turmoil during this period. The Safavids and the Ottomans were both Muslims but not the same kind. The Ottomans were Sunni and the Safavids were Shi’a and this led to much discord among the neighboring empires.
The main idea during this period is this:
How did land-based empires consolidate and legitimize their power from 1450-1750?

The main ways they did this were as follows: the establishment of bureaucracies, collecting taxes, and the use of religion, art, and monumental architecture. All of this was true for the Qing Dynasty, the Songhai Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Safavid Empire. All these gunpowder empires grew in roughly the same manner. The Aztec Empire was similar but didn't employ a bureaucracy to get things done. Rather, they employed a tribute system to maintain control.

Additionally, Heimler explains how religion can be both a unifying force (as in the Islamic Songhai Empire) and a dis-unifying force (as in Europe with the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants in the Protestant Reformation).

Video: Crash Course 2: Luther & Reformation

VIDEO: Venice & The Ottoman Empire

VIDEO: Mughal Empire & Historical Reputation

India's extraordinary history of religious tolerance.