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Keep this in mind when reading the two primary sources. The letters were addressed between the Ottoman and Safavid Empires in the early 16th century which were gauging for war with one another. The escalation in tension would eventually lead to the official declaration of war between both of these states culminating in the decisive (and arguably one the most important battles of modern Middle Eastern history) the Battle of Chaldiran. The battle was won because of the Ottoman Empire’s ability to utilize gunpowder weaponry en-masse resulting in a decisive victory. Due to the severe defeat on the side of the Safavids, they would soon adopt gunpowder as their main source of warfare, becoming the second of the three Gunpowder Empires (the third being the Mughal Empire in the Indian Subcontinent.)
Based on the Secondary Source and two Primary sources, address these questions:
- Based on Kunt’s article, what was expected when one was part of the Ottoman Imperial Palace?
- Based on Kunt’s article, what is the devshirme, and what is the importance of the system in Ottoman society?
- Based on the two Primary sources (which are letters) what do the two letters convey? How do the two leaders depict themselves, display their authority, and/or show their legitimacy?
- Based on the two Primary sources, how do the two leaders justify going to war? Why do you think they need to put so much emphasis on justification?
Use quotes from the sources in your answers and feel free to ask questions to your peers about the reading.
Each question should be answered with a minimum of one paragraph (3 to 5 sentences per answer) but more are welcomed.