The Excellence of the Ottoman Chaliphate

In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean blue.  In doing so, he opened the way for the Spanish to the Americas.  The Spanish, after arriving in Central America, used local rivalries, superior weaponry, and germs to kill and enslave the entire population, effectively destroying their civilizations.  However, they did not stop there.  Anyone who has ever looked at a map of the Spanish Empire will see that they were all over the world doing the same thing.

In hindsight, the situation in the Arab world was not dissimilar to that of civilizations in Middle America.  Fragmented and unwilling to switch to gunpowder, the Arabs were an easy target to the Spanish.  The Spanish had already established enclaves in North Africa.  What saved the Arabs from the same fate as the Aztecs and the Mayans was the Ottomans.  The Spanish had set their sights on the Eastern Mediterranean and formed the bulk of a papal fleet that was to attempt to move in.  However, on September 28th, Suleiman the Magnificent’s admiral, Barbarossa Hayredin Pasha defeated the larger papal fleet and blocked the Spaniards, who were still full of zeal from the reconquista.

In short, a technologically advanced and centrally organized Muslim empire, though not Arab, prevented a possible disaster in the Middle East that, if realized, could have dwarfed the terror seen in the fall of Baghdad in 1258.


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