Non-Western Empires

By the fifteenth century the non-Western world had seen the rise and fall of many great empires. In China, the glory of the Tang Dynasty had given way to the Yuan, and the Ming, opening up trade with the world along the flourishing Silk Road. In Southeast Asia, the Srivijaya flourished and the mighty Khmer Empire built massive temples and fortresses throughout the jungles of the region, nothing had been seen like it before on earth. Beginning during the fifteenth century, three great Islamic Empires expanded their power and territory, building impressive states across the Middle East and India. These empires, the Ottoman Empire, Safavid Empire, and Mughal Empire, had much in common, but they also had many unique characteristics which defined and separated them. For this essay assignment, you will be compare and contrast any two of these Non-Western Empires, discussing similarities and differences between. Begin by selecting which of the two empires you will include in your essay and then start researching them. You can begin with the information in the course content but will then need to turn to the internet or other books you can find. Philip’s Atlas of World History (found at is a good start (see pages 142-145) but additional sources need to be found. DO NOT use Wikipedia as a source. As always, be sure to keep track of where you find your information so that you can provide citations in your final essay. As you study the two empires you have selected, there are numerous possible topics that you can consider for the comparison and contrast in the essay. Here are some possible topics: Strengths and weaknesses of the empires Economic policy Military system Wars and conquests Form of government and/or administration The greatest rulers of each empire (compare them) Religious system and policies Problems faced in the empire Interactions between the empires, if any Once your research is complete and you are ready to begin writing, your essay should be carefully organized. In your introduction, introduce both of the empires that you will be discussing and lay out the topic for the essay. The body of the essay will include the comparison and the contrast of the empires. Conclude by discussing which of the two empires you think was more effectively established or had a stronger foundation, including the reasons why you reached this conclusion. Be sure to revise and edit carefully. General Essay Guidelines When writing essays for the course, please follow these guidelines: 1. Essays should be typed in 12-point font with a simple, clean font such as Times New Roman. Use 1″ inch margins on all sides and double-space the text. Your essays should each be around 1000 words. 2. Proper grammar and spelling should be used in your essays. Both will be graded. Be sure to revise and edit your essays carefully. 3. Essays must address every part of the essay prompt. Ideas and information should be carefully considered and presented. Essays should begin with an introduction, which states the purpose of the essay, including a thesis if needed, and provides the historical context for the topic. The body of the essay is next, which includes multiple paragraphs that present information from your sources in response to the essay prompt in a careful and logical manner. The body is where you provide the analysis of the topic. The final part of the essay is the conclusion, which summarizes the main material presented in the essay while also suggesting wider historical connections or discussing the general significance of the material. 4. All information from sources used in an essay must be cited within that essay. All direct quotations from sources must be place in quotation marks. Failure to cite or quote information is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for the assignment. Citations should be made following the MLA style, the University of Chicago Press’s Chicago Manual of Style or Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 5. The final page of the essays should be a bibliography, which includes a complete list of all sources used to write an essay. This should be formatted in the same style used for citations within the essay.

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