Two important, mighty Asian empires in history are the Ottoman Empire and the Ming China. These two empires are in totally different areas of Asia – the Ottomans were in the very west, the Chinese were in the oriental east. Therefore, these two empires, naturally, formed completely different cultures. However, surprisingly, these empires had many parts in common as well. The Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty had both many different and distinct parts, as well as many similarities.
The Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty of China had many differences. This was mainly because of their locations, which was two totally different areas of Asia. The two empires formed a different culture, ...view middle of the document...
The official religion of the Ottoman empire was Islam, but because of the vastness of the empire, there were many different religions, such as Christianity, local traditional beliefs, etc. On the other hand, Chinese people did not really have a religion. They believed in Confucianism, and believed in a deity known as "the sky," but they didn't really worship either of them. Actually, they worshiped the Emperor, who was known as a god-king. This was different with the Ottomans because, to them, even the Sultan was a servant of Allah, the Islamic god.
Furthermore, the two empires had a contrast in their society. The Ming Dynasty had an imperial society, where everything revolved around the emperor. Because of this, the capital, Beijing, was built as an imperial city, and commoners were not allowed to enter it. For this reason, it became known as the forbidden city. In contrast, Isanbul, the Ottoman capital, was unlike the Forbidden City. It was a major trade center with people of many cultures. Although the sultan lived there, it was not forbidden to commoners.
The Ottoman Empire, because of its location in the Mediteranean, experienced the full benefits from trade. Trade became the backbone of Ottoman economy. Istanbul, the empire's capital, was a major trading center. On the other hand, Ming China's economy was based on agriculture. Although the Chinese made much wealth by trade and industry, China still remained an agricultural society. Even today, a huge part of the Chinese population is farmers.
In addition, the foreign relation policies of the Ottoman Empire and Ming China was the exact opposite. The Ottoman Empire, which had its economy on trade, strived to have as much foreign relations as possible. China, however, did not necessarily need trade. China was capable of making all products necessary for life in the country, and so, trade was not necessary. After the arrival of Europeans, the Ming Dynasty strived for isolation.
The Ottoman empire strived for a vast, mixed culture. This was another reason trade was supported by the Ottomans. However, the Ming Dynasty strived to keep its traditions and culture. They did not want new ideas from foreign countries or cultural exchanges. This was the main reason that they practiced isolation.
As mentioned above, the Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty were located at the opposite ends of Asia. The two empires had many, completely different parts of their society. However, despite the many differences, there are surprisingly many similarities between the cultures as well. If we...