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Political Zionism

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Shah Abbas and Suleyman the Magnificent

Shah Abbas I ruled the Safavid Empire from 1587 to 1629. He was the first of the Safavid shahs to unify Persia into one, which had before been made up of a number of separate states that practiced different religions and spoke different languages. Abbas changed all this. He enforced his people to follow the teachings of Shi'ism and made the official language Farsi. When Abbas had come to power, the Ottomans and Uzbeks had been harassing the Safavid Empire and had captured the two cities of Tabriz and Herat. In 1590, Abbas signed a peace treaty with the Ottomans so he could concentrate more on the Uzbeks. Eight years later in 1598, Abbas recaptured the city of Herat from the Uzbeks and broke his treaty with the Ottomans to take back the city of Tabriz in 1605. In 1623 Abbas conquered Baghdad, and for safety reasons moved the capital of the Safavid Empire from Tabriz to Isfahan to distance it from the Ottoman Empire. Due to his obsessive fear of assassination, Shah Abbas either put to death or blinded any member of his family who seemed suspicious to him. This was the case when he executed one of his sons and blinded two of them. When Shah Abbas died in 1629 he had no son capable of succeeding him.

Suleyman the Magnificence was the greatest sultan of the Ottoman Empire and one of the 16th century's most formidable conquerors . Under his reign from 1520-1566 the Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power. Also known as the Lawgiver, he built bridges, mosques, aqueducts, and fortresses, and vastly increased the expanse and wealth of the Ottoman Empire. In 1534 Suleyman waged the first of three campaigns against the Shi'a Safavid dynasty of Persia, which was a long standing rivalry. In this first conflict, Suleyman conquered the important city of Baghdad. The second campaign, 1548-1549, resulted in the temporary gain of Tabriz. In his third campaign, in 1555, his force failed to eliminate the Shah's army and was forced to sign a treaty in which the Shah of



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