Why Did The Muslim World?

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Beginning in the 15th Century, nations such as Spain, Portugal, Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands started exploring for new lands and colonizing them. Driven for power, trade, or expansion, many European powers colonized the New World. Yet when looking at the Muslim contemporaries, the Ottoman, Persian and Mughal Empires did not set sail for new land like their Western counterparts. Why did the Muslim world not partake in exploration and colonization of the New World, despite having equivalent wealth and technology? Factors limiting the Ottoman and Mughal Empires colonial participation include, their status as large, land based countries with significant resources and prosperous trade within their empires, resulting in little need to…show more content…
Since the formerly mentioned European States had maritime trade, they also had a strong Naval Force, and thus their naval technology was more advanced and superior compared to the Ottomans in the 15th and 16th Centuries. (CITE) Bordering the Atlantic also contributed to a larger curiosity towards exploration for European states, while the Ottomans were completely bordered by well-known and established civilizations. Powerful European states bordered the West and North while the Safavids and Mughals bordered the East. To the South was the Saharan Desert. In the Ottoman Empire’s peak, their Navy in the Mediterranean was used for trade, battling piracy and militaristically. Their ships were not equipped to explore. There are two ways the Ottomans could have sailed to the Americas: Through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic, or through the Red Sea and around Africa. The Ottomans were not as geographically predisposed for exploration. For the Ottomans to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar during the time of exploration and colonization, they would have had to face Spain, which was now mainly Catholic, who were the nations that discovered the Americas trying to avoid the Ottomans in the first place. (CITE) As Spain, Britain, and the Netherlands established new colonies, and had easy access to new trade routes, they relied more on their new colonies for trading goods, rather than on the Ottoman Empire. This eventually lead to the Ottoman Empire’s decline. European
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