An Empire of The Mind
This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the four characteristics of 16th-century European expansion that constitute the basic definition of the term Age of Exploration in this book: a starting point of relative geographic and cultural isolation; the subsequent development of expansive political ideologies focused particularly on trade routes and maritime navigation; innovation in a few key areas of military and naval technology that made overseas expansion possible; and an unprecedented intensification of intellectual interest in the outside world. It then outlines the purpose of the book, which is to introduce a new concept of “global politics” into the study of early modern Ottoman history. By detailing the ways in which a developing Ottoman worldview translated into concrete strategies for imperial expansion overseas, it demonstrates that the Ottomans of the 16th century were able to act as protagonists of the first order in creating a newly integrated world system of competing imperial states.
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