Ottoman Empire

Ginny Marbut


In the Ottoman Empire, your occupation and skills decided your social level. First in the social class were men of pen such as highly educated scientists, lawyers, judges and doctors. Next, it was men of the sword such as military personnel, and then men of negotiation such as merchants, artisans, and tax collectors. Lastly, it was men of husbandry such as farmers and herders. Citizens of the Ottoman Empire had the right to practice their own religion freely as long as the paid taxes and obeyed the laws. Additionally, your social class helped determine some rights you had.


All the political power rested with one person known as the Sultan. The House was advised by the Divan. Power was then divided down even further subdivided. Power was hereditary meaning that you gained power through your family. Brothers would kill brothers for the throne. Everyone who worked for the Sultan was a slave. The empire was divided into provinces.
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The Ottoman's impact on the environment was huge. Many diseases were introduced and flourished during this time period. The plague was one of the biggest diseases that impacted the people. Additionally, the Ottomans added new technological advances to the population. Advances in areas such as astronomy and geography were very important during this time period.


The Ottomans used guns and cannons as weaponry. They built many mosques and are known for the rugs that they made. They were not allowed to have pictures of people in the mosques. The Muslims were pretty lenient about other religions, but they would have to pay a tax for practicing another religion. They soon became naive and oblivious to the outside world and fell behind in technology because of their religion.
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Trade was a very big part of the economy of the Ottoman Empire. World trade shifted from the Mediterranean Sea and from the overland routes between West and East. Violence on the Mediterranean Sea was unchecked and hurt economies connected trade across that sea. The bulk of trade was bypassing the Middle East and transit across Muslim lands. The Ottomans traded things such as silk, tea, silver, and spices.
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