Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ming Bureaucratic Empire in China

The Hongwu Emperor (1368-1398)

The Forbidden City in was built in the 15th century and it continued to be the imperial headquarters until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.

The Imperial State Examination Rooms

As the candidates are waiting for the results of civil service examination

Temple of Heaven: Built during the same period as the Forbidden City, 15th century. It was the temple for the Emperors' prayers to Heaven.

Tokugawa Centralised Feudal Order in Japan

The Battle of Sekigahara, 1600, Japanese feudal lords divided into two camps, resulted in the victory of the Tokugawa family.

Tokugawa Ienasu


The Tokugawa Bakufu

The Sankinkotai: yearly imperial festivities celebrated in the capital Edo (today Tokyo) where all the daimyos were also invited, a mechanism of controlling the feudal lords and weakening them financially.

A peculiar instance of feudalism where the Tokugawa family managed to establish some kind of a centralized control over the feudal lords, the daimyos.

The samurais were the military ruling elite. They were the warriors as well as the unquestioned rulers of the land. Besides their status as warriors, they also had judicial powers, thus they were also the kadıs. Moreover, the samurai legally had the right to kill, so for instance when a samurai was humiliated in a way by a lay person, he had the right to kill him right on the spot.

Tokugawa's policy of isolation – sakoku. The Christian missionaries were banned from entering the Tokugawa domain and the ones who were inside were simply killed. It was only the Dutch that had access to trade with Japan, and that was mainly because the Dutch were Protestant which meant they weren't loyal to the Pope and thus they could provide the shogunate the intelligence about the Western world.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Post-Mongol Middle East-Ottoman Absolutism-The Mughal Empire, 10-12-15 March

‘Muslim’ empires,
not simply gunpowder empires or oriental despots?
THE SAFAVIDS: Shah Ismail 1501-1524
the Safeviye order
1514 Battle of Çaldıran
Consolidation of state power
Silk trade, patronage of art: Shahname by Firdawsi
Shah Abbas 1588-1629
OTTOMAN STATECRAFT: 1300-1453 the Sultan as Primus inter pares – first among equals
1453-c.1700: A legal culture and practice that placed the Sultan above KUL in rank and prestige
The Janissaries
Imperial successsion system
Timar system
Orthodox sunnism
Kapikulu system
Topkapi Palace
After the conquest of Constantinople: a ruling elite, fed by Central Asian, Persian, Arabic, Islamic and Byzantine civilizations
Ruling elite with no basis in ethnicity, race, or religion
From a common sense of justice, and taxes under a shared ruler to government, collective leadership
Civilian oligarchy: pasha households as part of government which included the janissaries, and vezirs,
1556-1605 AKBAR
1658-1707 AURANGZEB
A modern state environment for agrarian history: 16th century: An imperial state extending its authority over a vast terrain of a network of urban centers, inter-city routes, and state elites
Adapting the Islamic state to a non-Muslim population: abolition of Jizya and cultural synthesis via Din-al-ilahi
Central administration : a consistent supply of taxes and troops, and loyalty to the state
Zamindari (tımarlı)
Mansabdar (kul)
Raiyat or ryot (peasantry)



Topkapi Palace

The Power of the Prince: the Renaissance state

The expansion of trade all over the world and the European expansion also came with changes in political authority which supported the expansion.
15th century Europe, this was a post-feudal Europe that had seen the Mongols, the Bubonic Plague, as well as the Crusades: in short in close contact with the Islamic Mediterranean and already studying the Greco-Roman past. Upon this Europe experienced the cultural flowering of the Renaissance, again with the support of political authority.
Transition to regional (territorial states): from the rule of of feudal lords in Europe and from post-Mongol principalities in the frontiers on the remnants of the Roman Empire, Byzantium stil surviving but not in a strong centralized polity.
New forms of ruling in the entire Mediterranean that went hand in hand with two phenomena: one is socio-economic, the transition to capitalist society, and the emergence of new cultural-religious traditions, a changing Christianity in the continent of Europe and Islam as the spiritual bases of empire formation.
By the end of the 15th century, these regional states around the Mediterranean whether in city states in Italy, principalities in Germany, feudal monarchies in France and England, the kingdom based on uniting different geographies as in the case of Spain, formations of empire in the case of Habsburg, Safavid and Ottoman involved two importants elements: taxation as a new source of finance levied directly on citizens or subjects, and standing armies composed of mercenary forces and equipped with gunpowder, supported by state funds. These two elements are everywhere in the early modern era, and more than anything else these two elements that make the state made the modern world. They brought us to today, to the modern nation-state.
The Renaissance State
Duchy of Milan,
Republic of Venice,
Republic of Florence,
the Papal state in Rome,
the Kingdom of Naples.

France, three estates and Louis XI
England, Tudor dynasty and Henry VII
Spain: Fernando and Isabel, the Catholic Kings

The Counter Reformation: Society and Culture in the Early Modern Era

Counterreformation: The Catholic Response
Pope Paul III 1534-1549
Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus
1534 (1540 the date of approval)
The Jesuits acted as missionaries
1545 The council of Trent

The Counterreformation aimed at the restoration of papal authority yet the split could not be recovered.
The doctrines of the Catholic faith were redefined
Abuses were forbidden
Inquisition was revived

Following the Reformation and the Counterreformation:
The religious unity of Europe was broken, but the early modern state formation accelerated in Europe

Max Weber,
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1904-5 “ The Protestant ethic was a secular ethic, an ethic of this world. As such it includes an economic ethic”.

The Reformation: Change in Society and Culture


A change of the religious dogma. A split in religious belief
with enormous political consequences in Europe and beyond
Europe was divided between the Catholic and Protestant states.

The reformers were protesting the medieval institution of the church which held the
monopoly of the means of salvation


a) Historical context
b) Theological disputes


Historical context:
Europe in the Early Modern Age, the beginnings of the reformation coincided with the era of European expansion which culminated in the rise of the capitalistic mode of production and market based economy.

The growth of national consciousness and the rise of the absolute monarchies led to a
conflict of interest with the institution of the church
Corruption, abuses of the Catholic Church and objection to the doctrine of papal supremacy challenged the Catholic Church

Why and how did the early 16th century upheaval bring about a revolution?
The sale of dispansations and indulgences
Martin Luther 1483-1546, declared in 1517 his 95 thesis and attacked the practice of selling indulgencies
The theology of Saint Paul

1521 Diet at Worms. Excommunication of Luther. Luther translated the Bible into German
Ulrich Zwingli 1484-1531
John Calvin 1509- 1564

Reformation had farreaching consequences in the political and economic affairs of Europe
The support of the upper middle classes and the princes

The Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe


The term “Renaissance”, meaning rebirth, is basically a revivalist movement of the 1300s in Italy which can be summarized as the revival of ancient civilizations.

But the Renaissance led to many other transformations:
-the rise of the independent city state (republic)
-the rise of capitalistic production
-a new urban aristocracy
-a naturalistic, realistic style of art

Discoveries in the realm of science greatly influenced developments in art.
Painters and sculptures utilized the knowledge of anatomy, mathematical perspective, and optics to create a convincing and realistic view of nature and the human figure in art.
artist vs artisan ; art vs craft
This rise in status reflects the dramatic changes taking place in society at the time.

Dante (1265-13219)
Petrarch (1304-74)
Boccaccio (1313-1375)
Machiavelli (1469-1527)


Difference between South and North

Erasmus of Rotterdam 1466-1536
The Praise of Folly
Thomas More 1478- 1535
Michel de Montaigne 1533-1592
Miguel de Cervantes 1547-1616
Don Quixote de la Mancha
William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Thursday, March 4, 2010

European Expansion in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans: The Mercantile Trade

- The birth of the world economy in the mercantile era
- Mercantilism and the construction of the market: political and economic

- Conquest of the Americas by the Spanish and the Portuguese
- Local trading networks (regulated by Aztec and Mayan empires) replaced by the Atlantic trade (regulated by Spanish and Portuguese crowns)
- Differences between Spanish and Portuguese expansion
- Portuguese in Africa and the Indian Ocean in the 15th century: establishment of commercial bases and a trading network

- Spanish in America: establishment of an empire
- Demographic collapse and slavery, establishment of a plantation economy
- Emergence of new political and economic structures in Latin America
- Flow of silver: a mixed blessing for Europe
- Reasons for the decline of Spanish and Portuguese power


Silk Road and Arab Sea Trade

Routes followed by Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Ibn Battuta

Mongol World Empire and globalization

Ming China and Zheng He Expedition

Zheng He

Coin commemorating Zheng He