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The Ruling Elite and the Development of the Middle East

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Many dynasties and kingdoms have ruled the area of what we now call the Middle East. In almost all of the societies, it is the wealthier, educated, and a particular race or ethnicity that ruled. These positions were usually acquired through power, either by a civil war or an overthrow of the previous government. From the late eleventh century to the reign of Mohammed Ali in the early to mid nineteenth century, whoever were the ruling elite was able to shape the direction and development of country or territory in three different ways; socially, economically and politically. By controlling the policies of the government the ruling elite was able to control the economics of the country and socially constructing it as well in the process.

The policies in the regions vary from area to area due to the ruling power. Some harsh to their society and imply policies that favor a certain group of people. During the Mamluk period, the soldiers were required to train on horseback with the use lance, bow and sword. Although when the Circassian period (1382-1517), the type of training the soldiers were required to practice shifted to the hippodrome. Until Barquq, the founder of the Circassian line, abolished the use of the hippodrome. By shaping the ways your military trains, the leader is responsible for preparation of his troops leaving them vulnerable to invasions or ready to conquer new lands. The Mamluks were reluctant to enter the new age of technology and industrialization and still insisted on the usage of the hippodromes, which had long been absent from the new "industrialized' countries. In August of 1514, 12,000 Ottoman soldiers were carrying the gun. The Safawid army that carried swords and trained in the hippodromes was annihilated. If the government would have allowed the usage of the gun, the soldiers would have stood a chance. The Ottoman empire, through this new technology was able to become the largest empire in history. (Cultural Reader, 52-63)

The policies in which a ruling government imposes determines the economic development and direction of a country. As new rulers come into a country a transformation of culture and economics. With the Ottomans ruling many areas of the Middle East were becoming more dependent

on Europe. With Europe being the center of business of the time, trade between the two regions was at an all time high. Europeans were eager to get the spices, cloth and



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