The power of the peasantry was taken over by landlords.
Middle Eastern peasants lost their freedom as a result of this and became serfs on large estates.
The peasants' loss was not the only one.
Rather than trying to develop a more vital agriculture, landlords turned to sucking what they could from their estates.
Middle Eastern traders began to lose ground as tax revenues declined.
Few Arab coins have been found in Europe.
European merchants began to control their own turf and challenge the Arabs in other parts of the Mediterranean.
Arab decline was incomplete and gradual.
It cannot be compared to the fall of the Roman empire.
A more subtle model is needed.
The reduction in trade did not take the Arabs out of major world markets.
The Middle Eastern com merce rebounded by 1400.
The Middle East did not experience confusion because of the political differences in the Arab world.
Many of the lands of the old caliphate as well as the Byzantine corner were conquered by the Ottoman Turkish state.
The new empire gave renewed life to Islamic politics, and it would soon be joined by two other Islamic empires, too, in Persia and India.
The empire was more powerful than the caliphate had been for a long time.
It was more difficult to observe in western Europe.
The rise of the Ottoman empire did not restore the full international power that the Islamic caliph ate had.
The caliphate had been the hub of an interna tional network before the empire.
Merchants from many societies competed for roles in transregional trade by the 15th century.
In the Mediterranean, European, and particularly Italian, merchants were more active, and even North African pilgrims to Mecca often booked space on Italian ships.
Most of the merchants in the Indian Ocean were Muslims.
The big issue in the 15th century was the aftermath of the Mongol era.
The overland trade between China, the Middle East, and Europe was made possible by the interlocking Mongol states.
This system replaced Arab leadership in facilitating transre gional trade.
The system was undone by the defeat of the Mongols in China late in the 14th century.
Without political protection, overland travel becomes more dangerous.
New emphasis was given to seagoing routes in the Indian Ocean.
Europe and China sought to take advantage of the new opportunities.
There was a time when China claimed new leadership in international trade.
China's longstanding focus on manufacturing for export and earlier gains in Chinese shipping were reflected in this activity.
The deeply resented Mongol overlords were driven out of China in 1368.
The leader of a peasant family seized the capital of Beijing and proclaimed a new dynasty that lasted until 1644.
The dynasty started with a burst of expansionism.
The borders of the Middle Kingdom were secured by the initial rulers.
The plains of what is now Mongolia were pushed to the north by this.
It meant reestabling influence over neighboring governments and winning tribute payments from states in Korea, Vietnam, and Tibet, reviving much of the east Asian regional structure set up by the Tang dynasty.
The Postclassical Period, 600-1450: New Faith and New Commerce more unusual was a new policy adopted soon after 1400, of mounting huge, state-sponsored trading expeditions to southern Asia and beyond.
The first fleet sailed to India in 1405.
In exchange for local goods, chinaware and copper coinage were brought to the Middle East and the eastern coast of Africa.
There were at least as many long-distance ships as there were coastal vessels at the height of Chinese shipping.
Nine great treasure ships, the most sophisticated in the world at the time, explored the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea, establishing regular trade all along the way.
He was castrated for the Muslim admiral who commanded service at the royal court.
China's Ming emperors retained a large harem of wives to protect them from sexual rivalry, and many gained and red Sea trade expeditions under bureaucratic powers well beyond this service.
His expeditions hugged the coastline but he had an improved compass and maps as well as huge vessels that contained ample 1405 and 1433
The local rulers around the Indian Ocean paid tribute to the emperor.
Even though he brought gifts, he had well-armed troops on his expeditions.
There are missions from the Middle East and Africa in China.
The imperial zoo brought from Africa giraffes, zebras, and ostriches.