Alparslan Episode 21 English Subtitles –

Alparslan Episode 21 English Subtitles

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Evolution of the state until the late seventeenth century

Between c. 1300 and the end of the seventeenth century, the state underwent quite radical evolution both in its form and in the concentration of power within the administrative apparatus. In the earlier part of the
period, 1300–1453, the elites were frontier lords (beys), Turcoman leaders, and princes, and these leaders considered the Ottoman monarch as first among equals (primus inter pares).

Entering Ottoman service with retinues, troops, and adherents independent of the sultans’, these elites
followed the Ottomans because such allegiance brought them still more
power and wealth. The sultan, for his part, negotiated with these nearly
equal elites rather than commanding them.

At the same time, however, a powerful countervailing trend was developing, one that placed the sultan
far above all others in rank and prestige. Some individuals who promoted sultanic superiority were creatures of the monarchs on whom they depended for position and power. But others were religious and legal
scholars who invoked Islamic precedents.

Already in the early fourteenth century, legal scholars were advocating that bureaucratic leaders and military commanders, despite their vast power, were mere slaves of the
sultan. They were not slaves in the American sense since they possessed
and bequeathed property, married at will, and moved about freely.

In a particularly Ottoman sense, however, being a servant/slave of the sultan meant enjoying privilege and power but without the protection of the law that all Ottoman subjects in principle possessed. From the early
fourteenth century, the theory already was evolving – hotly contested by
the old elites – that the sultan was no mere Turcoman ruler surrounded
by near equals but rather a theoretically absolute monarch.

The struggle went back and forth but Sultan Mehmet II, armed with vast prestige after
his conquest of Constantinople in 1453, stripped away wealth and power
from many of the great Turcoman leaders who often had been independent of him. Now enacting the theory of absolute power, Sultan Mehmet installed his own men, often recruited from the dev¸sirme, persons who
in theory were totally indebted to him and over whom he exercised full control. Thus 1453 marked a visible power shift to the person of the ruler.

Thereafter, until the nineteenth century, the sultan possessed theoretically absolute power, with life and death control over his military and bureaucratic elites.

In reality, however, the sultan’s power varied greatly over time. For a
century following the capture of Constantinople, the sultan exercised a
fairly full measure of personal rule. Thus, during the 1453–1550 era, the
notion of the exalted, secluded, monarch superior to all took hold while
the sultan exercised a very personal kind of control over the military and
From its bureaucratic system. Sultan S ¨Suleyman the Magnificent (like Philip II of
Spain) spent his reign assiduously poring over the record books of his
empire and personally leading armies to war.

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