Large amounts of silver flowed into the Ottomans' lands from mines worked by Native American laborers in the Spanish empire.
The sudden influx of bullion into the economy of the Ottoman empire set off a long-term inflationary trend that further undermined the finances and economic solvency of the empire.
The empire was shored up by several sultans in the 17th century.
The collapse of the Safavid dynasty in Persia gave the Ottomans hope that their earlier dominance could be restored.
Their reprieve was brief.
The Ottomans were falling behind their Christian rivals due to the scientific, technological, and commercial changes occurring in Europe.
The grow ing gap was critical in warfare and trade.
The Ottomans believed that little of what happened in Europe was important.
The traveler Abu Taleb quoted in the feature said that this belief prevented them from taking seriously the revolutionary changes that were transform ing western Europe.
This misguided attitude was reinforced by the conservatism of powerful groups such as the Janissaries.
Most of the Western-inspired innovations that reform-minded sultans and their advisors tried to introduce were blocked by these groups.
The isolated Ottoman imperial system proved incapable of checking the weaknesses that were steadily destroying it as a result of these narrow and potentially dangerous forces.
Like the Ottomans, the Safavids rose to prominence as the frontier warrior champion of a highly militant creativity, and also established strain of Islam.
The Ottomans became the champion of the Sunni majority of it as one of the strongest and most enduring centers of Shi'a Islam.
Chapter 11 was in the Islamic world.
Differences in doctrine, ritual, and law were added to the disagreements over succession that originally divided the Islamic community.
One of the most important episodes in the long member of the Safavid dynasty was the rivalry between the Sunni Ottomans and the Shi'a Safavids.
The name of the dynasty was given to it by a family of Sufi mystics and religious preachers who had a shrine at Ardabil near the Caspian Sea.
The mander who conquered the city of the col apse of Mongol authority in the mid 14th century, Sail al-Din, was the first to gain increasing support.
The impor was less enduring than its two Muslim rivals.
In 1514, when battle could not be avoided, Isma'il threw his cavalry against the cannon and massed muskets of the Ottoman Ottomans.
Despite desperate attempts to make up for what he lacked in firepower, he was defeated by the Ottomans.
The Shi'ite: Letter from Selim I to capital at Tabriz was too far away from Ottoman supply areas to be held through the winter.
The withdrawal of the Ottoman armies gave the Safavids time to regroup and reoccupy much of the territory they had originally conquered.
The defeat at Chaldiran ended Isma'il's dreams of further westward expansion and checked the rapid spread of conversions to Shi'a Islam in the western borderlands that had resulted from the recent successes in battle.
The outcome at Chaldiran determined that Shi'ism would be con centrated mainly in Persia and southern Iraq.
After his defeat at Chaldiran, Isma'il retreated to his palace and drank to escape his troubles.
His seclusion, along with struggles between his sons for the right to succeed him, left openings for subordinates to attempt to seize power.
After years of turmoil, a new shah, Tahmasp I, won the throne and set about restoring the power of the dynasty.
The Ozbegs were driven from the Safavid domain again and again as the Turkic chiefs tried to get supreme power.
Under Shah Abbas I, the empire reached the height of its strength and prosperity, but the territories it controlled remained roughly the same as those ruled by Isma'il and Tahmasp I.
Efforts were made to bring the Turkic chiefs under control.
They were transformed into a warrior nobility similar to that of the Ottomans.
Like the Ottomans, the warrior nobles were assigned villages where peasants were required to provide them with food and labor.
The most powerful of the warrior leaders occupied key posts in the imperial administration and were a constant threat to the monarchs.
Persians were recruited for positions in the imperial bureaucracy to counterbalance the threat.
The struggle for power and influence between Turkic and Persian notables was further complicated by the practice of recruiting into the bureaucracy and army slave boys who were captured in campaigns in southern Russia.
Many of these slaves rose to positions of power, like the Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire.
Similar to the Janissaries, the slave regiments became a major force in political struggles.
The youths who were captured in Russia and converted to Islam were used by the ruler.
From 1587 to 1629, extended Safavid only came to form the core of his military forces, but were granted provincial governorships and high offices at court.
The firearms that had become increasingly prominent in the Safavid armies were dominated by the slave regiments, which were wholly dependent on captured support.
The Persians had guns for a long time before the arrival of the Portuguese by sea in the early 16th.
Abbas and his successors called on the knowledgeable but infidel Western military technology.
The Sherley brothers are from England.
They trained Abbas's slave infantry and a special group of musketeers from the Iranian peasantry.
Abbas had built up a large army of troops and bodyguards by the end of his rule.
The measures to strengthen his armies and his victories on the battlefield appeared to promise security for decades to come, but they were not fulfilled.
The Ottomans preferred to write in Persian, but the early shahs such as Isma'il preferred to write in Turkish.
Persian became the language of the court and bureaucracy after Chaldiran.