Spanish vs. Ottomans
When empires expand, they all have a plan in mind on how and why they want to expand. It can differ from religious, wealth, or power reasons. It can also be with areas surrounding them or land far away. Simultaneously, empires can use similar military techniques, ways of keeping people in order, or ways of keeping up the economy. During the time of 1450 to 1800, the Spanish Empire and the Ottoman Empire responded to their empire building similarly in the idea that spreading their religion was their first focus, while there were differences in their social and economic values because their regions required them to be that way.
The Spanish and the Portuguese originally originate from the Iberian Peninsula where Christianity was popular. In an attempt to expand, the Spanish sought after America. They look at it as a land they could conquest and convert over to Christianity. The Ottoman Empire, who was originally Turkish rising in the areas of Anatolia and the Balkans, was founded under the religion of Islam. The sole purpose was to take Islam further. However, when they expanded it wasn’t like a monarch anymore but the sultans just handed power over to warriors.
That way they could spend time adding more people to the empire instead of just fixing the government. The Spanish, on the other hand, were more hands on. They created institutions, taxed the natives, and had forced labor going on. Their focus was geared toward making their empire stable enough that they could conquer more natives, not having to worry about the government. The main difference was that the Spanish were more hands on while the Ottoman’s concern shifted to status. Around the late Eighteenth century early Nineteenth century is when hierarchy became a major issue for Spanish while the Ottomans fell into place.
For both, the ruling class, the Europeans for Spanish and the sultans for the Ottomans, was at the top of the hierarchy. Beneath there is where both empires differ. The Ottomans had merchants and artisans beneath the sultans which was very uncommon. However, they gave much of the contribution of the arts for the Ottomans. They are the cause of shops being opened and public works being done that wouldn’t have been complete otherwise. On the other hand, the Spanish was more focused on your race and gender while still giving reference to your job.
Whites were at the top having the dominant roles, mixed races such as mestizo and mulatto in the middle, and black people at the bottom. Their structure was made so that Europeans would constantly rule and that slaves could only do their job: work. That way no matter how many people were added on they’d have the foundation that the empire can build off of. Lastly, the Spanish and Ottomans focus on building the economy had two different focuses. While the Spanish were concerned with silver, gold, and sugar, the Ottomans were focused on expansion.
When landing on Peru, the Spanish quickly created silver mine. That led to labor work of people of lower class. This way the Spanish has a wide rule of people that can continue to grow the mining industry as long as they continue to bring in slaves. Granted that that system worked, the Spanish could now export silver in exchange for goods. It’s in Brazil where they got the sugar to exchange for slaves that continued to make their population increase. On the contrary, the Ottomans wanted warriors in charge. Under their control war and taking of nearby territory became focus.
Janissaries, a group of an Ottoman army, got an increase in weapons which soon led them to dominating a lot of territory. Equally, both the Spanish and Ottomans went after an area they thought would be beneficial in growing. Ultimately, the Spanish and Ottomans had similar foundations while still being different. Both grew tremendously in their own way under their own religion. However, the empires ended because they were too focused on one area of the empire but not another. The Ottomans was with war and the Spanish with money. The important part was that both left a legacy behind.