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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson B: Life and Times in the Ottoman Empire

Activity 6: The Ottoman Economy

As you have seen, the diverse Ottoman society provided opportunities to groups such as non-Muslims and women.

In this activity, consider the economic opportunities offered to different groups, and the impact of the location of the Ottoman Empire on trade.

The economy of the early Ottoman Empire was based on agriculture. The government raised money by taxing farmers who sold their goods at markets. Although we know that more trade flowed within the Ottoman Empire than in and out of it, the lack of historical records provide little detail about the economy. We can assume that most trade took place along simple roads and along the coasts of the eastern Mediterranean and Arabian Peninsula.

Directions: Use this activity to identify the best place for each of the following to be used to support trade within and around the Ottoman Empire. The symbols indicate an important economic or political development in Ottoman trade. Simulate the location of each development by placing it in an appropriate location on the map. Your placement of each symbol should be based on the historical information you learned in previous activities in the lesson. Answer the questions that follow as they apply to each development.


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Written Activity - Notebook

In your notebook, respond to the following questions:

  • How did geography and location impact Ottoman land-based trade?
  • How did geography and location impact the need for military support in the Ottoman Empire?
  • How did geography and location impact Ottoman sea-based trade?

You have learned that the diverse geography of the Ottoman Empire affected government and the economy. Although conquered lands of southern Europe and northern Africa bordered the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, trade and travel in the Ottoman Empire remained primarily land-based. Use this information to answer the BCR in the lesson's closing activity.