p.p1 even ‘modernity.’ This is the reason as to

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In the year 1492 many political, social, and economic changes had taken place. To many historians this time frame is arguably the start of the global age or even ‘modernity.’ This is the reason as to why I chose this reading to review. This piece showcases two great empires during a time frame which compares and contrasts two different rival empires and they reasons why they lasted so long, or struggled. As well as the reasons why they were able to expand so far and gain an abundance of wealth and power. 

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In the text, Beyond the Mediterranean, Burbank and Cooper go into great depths about each empire. The Spanish empire, soon controlled by the Habsburgs and the Ottoman empire. In terms of commonality, as with most empires they strive for power and wealth over everything. As well, each empire were tense rivals with disputes over land and religion. In fact, one of the biggest differences between the two empires, is the use and acceptance of religion. In terms of religion in the Spanish empire, the Habsburgs sought to have a strict catholic monarchy, with little to no tolerance for other religions. With that said, that could be seen as a down fall, as many converted to protestantism, and cause riffs in the empire. As for the Ottomans, they were accepting of many different religions and the polity of the empire was more open to diverse leaders who were placed in administrating and protecting role. In the Spanish empire, they utilized a practice of composite monarchy, a strategy of one ruler over several different territories, as Charles V, who was a member of the Habsburg family who acquired the Americas, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and more. As for the Ottomans, the strategy of ruling was power in the monarchy, but allowing different territories to settle disputes, and work towards a sense of leadership, while peace-keeping, and paying taxes. In a way, this idea of suzerainty creates a sense of community and trust among the people, hindering any possibilities of revolts. In all, both of these empires, have their weaknesses and strengths but through changes and reshaping, they have become lasting and memorable empires.

Moreover the way in which this text is organized and structured is by an introduction, sub-paragraphs describing the Spanish empire first and the ottoman empire afterwards. The sub paragraphs go into different sections about specific areas of history, such as the ‘origins of the Spanish empire and composite monarchy’; a system that was utilized throughout Europe during this time. Towards the end, the piece reaches a conclusion and sums up the key points as well as an overall assessment of how well these two empires operated. 

Above all, this argument is vital to the understanding of the topic of empires. This reading breaks down to readers the scale of the power that these two imperial powers held while in control, before and after the start of exploration. Along with the strategies and systems that were put in place politically, economically, and socially in order the maintain their capabilities. Further, the text also grapples with the challenges that these empires faced and the ways in which they handled them. For example, one of the major issues of the Habsburgs was the religious aspect of their society. The ruler wanted to maintain a Christian monarchy, but with elites seeking autonomy and many converting to protestantism, it was a huge blow impact on the empire, and in turn created tension and hard ship politically and economically for the Habsburg empire. Lastly, this piece is important because it shows the start of European dominance, in terms of control over colonies and trading of goods in a global context. 

Furthermore, in reading this text you gain a great deal of information about the scope of the political, social, and economic functions of each empire. With that said, the importance of history is who tells the story, and in saying that this piece is written by two historians who tell their own story of their knowledge of these empires. It would be more interesting if the writers drawn upon other texts that may further support their claims. Or even texts that may challenge their work in order for the reader to generate a greater understanding of their narrative and the topic at hand. 

With all things considered, 1492 and the years following readers can see the progression of societies through the building and reshaping of empires. Also, the importance of understanding the two different ways of organized power and how that transcends into later years and soon the foundation of modernity.