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Ottoman Empire - Essay Example

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The social and political history of the Ottoman Empire has been interesting area of research in various studies and it is essential to realize the several elements which influence the economy of the empire. Analyzing the factors that contributed to the decline of the Ottoman Empire, one realizes that the economy of this great Empire was largely dependent on gold and precious metals, the acute shortage of which influenced the weakening of the economy as well…
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Download file to see previous pages The great disruption of the Ottoman economy was caused by the inflation due to the inflow of gold, silver, and other precious metals from the New World. "The Ottomans experienced the impact of the increased flow of precious metal before the 17th century. The flow of American silver probably began to affect the Ottoman economy by 1580. While the first effects of the New World silver were experienced in Ottoman Anatolia by 1580, the most significant response of Ottoman prices occurred between 1585 and 1606." (Bulut, 65) Therefore, the effect of gold and precious metals on the economy as well as social life of the Ottoman Empire is important to recognize and this paper makes a reflective analysis of the impact of precious metals on the Ottoman Empire.
In a profound exploration of the impact of precious metals on the Ottoman Empire, it becomes lucid that the Empire was self-sufficient with regard to the availability of various precious metals. The political supremacy over the neighboring nations offered an important opportunity to the Ottomans to import metals which were not available in the Empire. Thus, it may be noted that grain and other foodstuffs, iron, copper or cloth for everyday use were manufactured in sufficient quantities with the territories of the Empire. The Ottomans were largely autocratic in terms of war materials and the other precious metals were imported into the Empire. The Ottoman political elite and the better-off townsmen consumed Indian spices and Yemini coffee. "All these Indian and Yemini imports led to a significant outflow of silver and gold, but precious metals were mined on Ottoman territory only in very moderate quantities. Although by the middle of the sixteenth century, most of Hungary was in the hands of the sultans, the mines that had supplied raw materials for the country's famous fifteenth century gold- and silversmiths remained outside Ottoman control and, moreover, were less productive than they had once been." (Faroqhi, 14) Therefore, the impact of precious metals on the Ottoman Empire is unquestionable and the introduction of gold and precious metals to the Ottoman Empire had a vital influence on their economy as well as social life.
It is important to realize that the introduction of gold and precious metals had a vital impact on the Ottoman economy. Significantly, the introduction of various precious metals played a major influence on the European economy. Similarly, gold and precious metals played a major impact on the various aspects of the economy and these metals contributed to the increase in prices in the Ottoman Empire towards the end of the sixteenth century. "The great change in the European economy wrought by all this precious metal also had its effects on the Ottoman Empire. Since European merchants traded in Ottoman territories, some silver from the New World found its way to the Ottoman lands. The Ottoman rulers encouraged the import of these coins. The Ottomans could not find a way to use these coins as investments in their economy. They tried to keep this money within the country. As an important factor the import supplies of silver contributed to the inflation." (Bulut, 65) Thus, a reflective analysis of the various aspects of the Ottoman economy confirms that the impact of gold and preci ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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