- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Comparative Essay: Spain Vs. Ottomans

Essay by   •  March 1, 2012  •  Essay  •  479 Words (2 Pages)  •  4,279 Views

Essay Preview: Comparative Essay: Spain Vs. Ottomans

1 rating(s)
Report this essay
Page 1 of 2

Comparative Essay: Spain Vs. Ottomans

From the late 15th century to the beginning of the 19th century both the Spanish and the Ottomans were expanding their empires. This idea of expanding their empires was one of the many similarities and differences between the two groups at the time. Among those similarities and differences were the spread of their religions, governing of new lands, and the purpose behind their expansion.

For the Spanish the spread of their religions was one of the main reasons for their trips to the Americas. Christian missionaries, brought along on the trip, would spread word amongst the "savage beasts" that were native to this land and try to convert them to the church with the word of God. The Ottomans approach to the spread of their religion, which was Islam, was much different. Rather than spreading the word of their god amongst other people they would simply impose a human tax. The young Christian boys, who if not gained through the tax were simply kidnapped, were converted to Islam and became a part of the Janissaries, who were the gun toting, wealthy, respected soldiers of the Ottoman army. This was another main difference in their religions, which was in how the converts were treated. For the Spanish, their converts were treated as second-class citizens and used mainly for manual labor to support Spain's merchant economy. The Ottoman's converts were treated extremely well and could look forward to places of wealth and power in the Ottoman government.

The governing of newly acquired lands was actually much similar in practice than one would believe because of their different empirical states (merchant based empire versus a militaristically based empire). In the case of the Spanish they had the Encomienda system in place. This system put wealthy Spanish nobles and merchants in charge of these lands, only reporting to the viceroy who in turn reported to the king, thus allowing for fairly independent control over these lands. In an effort to avoid being accused of nepotism the Ottomans got their administrators from the wealthy and well trained administrative class.

One of the largest differences between the two empires was what drove them to expand. In the case of the Spanish their main goal of their expansion was to further their place as a merchant empire. By expanding to the Americas they gained the ability to grow and sell cash crops as well as search for large amounts of gold. The Ottomans on the other hand were a highly militant empire, expanding to pursue the goal of power through strength of arms.

Both the Spanish and the Ottomans held vast amounts of territory, and were extremely successful beginning in the late 15th century and ending around the 19th century. Both ideas shared many things in their expansions, but were also vastly different at times, however both did expand and had a huge impact.



Download as:   txt (2.8 Kb)   pdf (57.3 Kb)   docx (9.5 Kb)  
Continue for 1 more page »
Only available on