Answer two questions
Answer two questions
The Islamic influence in Spain was a strong one lasting for a long period of time. Islam offered more than just a territorial succession to the public, but it was the religion that offered intellect and social structure as well as a great privilege to society. Islamic principles did conquer the thought, language and architecture of Spain, particularly in the cities of Granada and Al-Andalus. Islamic influence was deeply ingrained in the Spanish society. Hence it led to the development of Islamic thought that promulgated deep in the society, and much of the former Christian world had been converted to Islam. However years after the reign of the Moors in Spain, Christendom was able to arrive and conquer Spain because of the dissent in the Islamic world and the court. The palace of Medinat al-Zahra had dispute lying within itself (Tignor et al., 2014). The military was a weaker faction within the Islamic structure at Spain. When citizens did not serve in the army neither were there any generals in the court, it was obvious that the framework of protecting the citizens was weak and less secure than anticipated. This meant that the army was recruiting more foreigners effectively as compared to the citizens that they could recruit in the army. This became the reason for the collapse of the caliphate. The court was split into factions upon a courtier’s usurping. The first damage came to the palace of Medinat al-Zahra, which was the symbol and stronghold of the Islamic system. Moreover, the breakdown of the caliphate also created multiple problems. Christendom was successful in overcoming the Islamic structure because of the fact that they were larger in number, more united and less disillusioned as compared to the Muslims of the time (Tignor et al., 2014). Their conquest was a successful one
owing to the fact that the Christians invaded the palaces, cities and the property and lands of the citizens with a strategy. They were going to make Christianity thrive at the expense of Muslims in the country. Therefore they did not have anything to lose rather their own savings were salvaged, and they were, in turn, weakening the Muslims. Toledo was completely evacuated of Muslims, and the Christians emerged as a successful group who were able to maintain their hegemony of orthodox Christianity for a long time thereafter. The eminent success of their mission at the time is visible in the celebration of those events, the conquest and the reclaiming of their Spanish territory, in today’s Spain.
As far as conquering and succeeding in their mission is concerned, the Crusades in Eastern Europe were not as successful as the conquest of Spain. This can be owed to the fact that the strength of the Jews and Muslims lying in Eastern Europe, coupled with the preparedness of the Christians while going forth with the conquests, was just unmatched to that of the invaders. The First Crusades were successful because they were able to capture Jerusalem. Pope Urban II was successful in the endeavor, and he was able to gather this territory for the Christians with an army of 60,000 Christians (Tignor et al., 2014). But the fall of Jerusalem made the crusaders massacre every religious identity living in the vicinity, which became a major cause of division in Eastern Europe. The crusaders were vicious and adamant in maintaining their own hegemony as compared to thinking logically and being rational. This is something that had been done with the Moors as even ethnic cleansing involved a series of steps which did not jeopardize the lives of the Muslims. The second Crusades were also a failure as the Christians were unable to capture the land under the reign of the Muslims, owing to the better preparedness of the Muslims.
The Third Crusades were going to be fought as revenge for the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of Saladin. Although Europe was being headed by three of its greatest leaders and fighters, it was unable to win against the odds. While one of the leaders drowned, the other two kings ended up fighting with one another which meant that division with one another came as a blow to the unity of the army and the crusade was lost (Tignor et al., 2014).
Jerusalem could not be conquered even after the fourth crusade which was actually a reason for further dissent between Latin and Greek Christianity (Tignor et al., 2014). The vast amount of Muslims and Jews who were massacred, killed and moved out of Jerusalem The massacre and bloodshed intensified the sentiment of the Muslims in the surrounding areas who felt that their rights and brethren were being slaughtered without purpose. In the conquest of Spain, the Christians were unified, less divided and their aim was solely to spread Christianity. This was done with tact and logic and comparatively lesser bloodshed, which consolidated the place of Christianity in Spain, which is why it exists till date.
When China almost ruled the world’ was a time when China was under the rule of the Ming Dynasty. Ming China saw a lot of chaos as well as recovery because previously China had been disunited and it needed unification for the sake of prosperity. An intervention took place at the hands of one poor man who had been raised under the Red Turban Movement, whose name was Zhu Yuanzhang. Born an orphan, he was raised in famine and devastation, but he joined the Red Turbans and thereon grew into a powerful commander. He was able to overcome the Yuan forces and then drove the Mongols out. As compared to most of the previous warlords, Zhu carried the greater vision, and he was able to conquer important cities, and a few years later he came to form the Ming dynasty –Ming translating as ‘brilliant.’ The Ming Emperors following Zhu all needed to build a progressive empire out of China. Zhu came to be known as Hongwu Emperor, or the expansive and marital emperor (Tignor et al., 2014). There were extreme measures taken to make Chinese cities great again, with better-structured palaces, fortified cities, much use of grandiose and flaunting the style of architecture. The city where the emperor stayed had a walled enclosure and was completely secure. There was proper navigation of traffic in the city as well. This came to show that the Ming dynasty had rulers who were more concerned with the betterment of the country in terms of improving security and taking measures to restore internal peace. Moreover, they were influenced by the palaces of the Ottomans and wanted theirs to be built in the same manner. There was also some cleverness shown in dealing with threats and enemies, as Zhu married a Red Turban rebel’s adopted daughter, which blew away any kind of rebellion from his path. Moreover, marriage and kinship flourished, and the emperor had many children to follow in his steps thereon. The bureaucracy was given principle positions in his rule, and he enabled them to reign according to his orders. He also established the Confucian school system, which allowed him to select loyal officials to serve in the government. Reservoirs were also made to keep the water storage intact, and they also underwent new construction. The Ming Dynasty was keen to look at all the aspects of development and seek changes and innovation, which would help to improve the condition of the country. The Imperial Palace was the center of power.
The growth of manufacturing industry was also seen as it was his orders to the bureaucrats to check the silk, porcelain and cotton production in the country. The Ming rulers also wanted to show themselves as the personification of spiritual leaders for the community and beneficiaries of the people. Moreover, the society was pleased with its rulers because they showed they cared for them and this was revealed in the sacrifices to the gods that were personally made by the emperors.
Zheng He also emerged as an important and popular element of the Ming Dynasty who was solely devoted to the emperor. In the 15th century, Zheng He led about seven naval expeditions (Tignor et al., 2014). He was a living example of Ming glory because of the large fleet he was able to dispatch and the elegant ships that he was always setting on sails. His major aim was to strengthen the economy and not gather territory hence he furthered the trade into the world moving it up to the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. The trade he undertook consisted of expensive materials and goods like ivory, spices, jewels and even wildlife animals like giraffes and ostriches. However what halted the progress of the Ming dynasty were the expensive expeditions, which were the root cause of the emptied treasure back at home. These expeditions came to a halt in 1433 (Tignor et al., 2014). The Chinese naval power saw a decline although the trade and commerce had not stopped. This drop in naval power gave way to the newcomers and rivals in the region to open up their naval system and compete with the Chinese. Other powers in the region such as the Muslims occupied the ports that were left vacant by the Chinese; the Japanese pirates were also successful in taking over trade routes. Moreover, other powers in the surrounding regions like the growth of Shi’ite Islam and national monarchies in Europe emerged as stronger units, which shadowed the mighty progress made by the Ming dynasty in China.
Tignor, Robert, et al., (2014). ‘Worlds together, worlds apart.’ W.W. Norton & Company Inc.