Before the 1700s, three of the major imperiums were called the Gunpowder Empires: the Ottomans of Turkey, the Safavids of Iran, and the Mughals of India. Although the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires had strong bureaucratisms and economic prosperity, they besides had absolute swayers who denied their citizens basic civil rights.
One of the strengths of the Gunpowder Empires was their strong bureaucratisms based on meritocracy. Jahangir, a Mughal Emperor, stated that “where I found sufficient virtue, I conferred an progress of rank, ” demoing that administrative officials in his imperium had to gain their places. ( Doc. 1 ) The embassador of the Holy Roman Emperor praised the Ottoman Empire for giving places to worthy persons alternatively of giving places due to deliver like the Europeans did. ( Doc. 2 )
Another strength was the economic prosperity of these imperiums. Eskandar Beg, adviser to Abbas I of the Safavid Empire, references that the entire revenue enhancement gross for one month amounted to “some twenty thousand toman, ” deducing that it was a generous sum given to charity for the month of Ramadan. ( Doc 4 ) In the Mughal Empire, governors were directed to set up infirmaries in every big metropolis at the government’s disbursal. ( Doc 1 )
However, the Gunpowder Empires were ruled by absolute dictators who allowed their citizens really few freedoms and rights. Francois Bernier, a Gallic traveller, points out that the leaders were “cruel and oppressive” and there were no governmental or legal cheques to keep the caprices of these leaders. ( Doc 3 ) Bernier would hold emphasized the Ottoman rulers’ oppressive behaviour in order to do his absolute sovereign, King Louis XIV, look better. In Jahangir’s papers, he systematically uses “I” refering the accomplishments of the imperium, demoing that he had absolute control over everything that happened. ( Doc 1 )