Nomads and deurbanization after the 12th century. It's weather and climate patterns weren't the greatest either for a stable dynasty that'd last longer than three or four generations. It's why the most long-lived empires there were based outside of it in Anatolia or Iran.
The Abbasids were the last hurrah for the region before it got fucked by demographics, by the aforementoned migrations but also >>14785
The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, south of Baghdad, can be categorized as "silt desert": It is dry, yet very rich from millions of years of river deposits. When the Sumerian civilization, the first in the region, arose in 3,500 B.C., there was a bit more rainfall but not much. So the Sumerians, like every civilization in the area since, had to rely on extensive irrigation systems. In fact, some scholars think that the ingenuity, hard work, and administrative responsibility required to construct a system of canals helped train the Sumerians in state-building.
Because the land is so fragile, civilizations have periodically lost control of it. The Sumerians (who lived near modern Basra and Nasiriyah) gave way to the Babylonians, who lived farther north. They and their successors—the Hellenistic Seleucid rulers, then Iranian Parthians—continued to build huge canal systems. Early Arab rulers kept them going until the 1200s, when the system, which had seen many partial failures, finally collapsed. From the 15th to the 20th century, the agricultural belt from Baghdad to Basra returned to desert.
>>15340 Fertility refers to how suitable the soil itself is for growing crops in, depending on its mineral composition
The rivers are probably what lead to people setting in this area since the earliest hominids came out of Africa; the plant and animal life supported by the rivers and wetlands would lead people to live here even before agriculture developed
It actually reached its heights during the reign of the Abbasids, who built and ruled from Baghdad, the most impressive and technologically advanced city the Middle East had ever seen.
What went wrong was the successive invasions by the migrating Central Asian peoples (Seljuks, etc), followed by the Mongol Invasion, which essentially set the region back so far it has never really recovered.
>>15757 >What went wrong was the successive invasions by the migrating Central Asian peoples (Seljuks, etc), followed by the Mongol Invasion, which essentially set the region back so far it has never really recovered. This. Essentially stomped the region back into the stone age.
But thanks for taking one for the team middle east.
Irrigation causes salt to accumulate in soil. All civilizations that use irrigation succumb to a gradual decrease in soil fertility. Exhaustion of timber and other resources contribute to the inevitable collapse. After the collapse, irrigation ceases, soil fertility recovers and a new civilization can reemerge. This cycle has occurred multiple times for each of the great rivers of the world.
First the Mongols. Then a series of somewhat successful campaigns without ever really finishing the goal, that ultimately had to end during colonialism. Meaning, next the British. Then WW1 really cleared the state of affairs with the Ottomans being on the losing side, and with the introduction of Israel after WW2 and the resulting constant tensions (and a few lost wars), it only cemented.
Mongols literally and intentionally ruined the land to the effect that the fertility levels have not yet recovered.
If I could strike one civilization from History it would be the Mongols. Literally achieved nothing in exchange for millions of lives, only to disperse and be absorbed into the cultures it conquered because its identity and impact was so shallow.
>inb4 Silk Road >inb4 Religious Freedom
Just a political pragmatism because the Mongols wanted more money they could tax, and didn't want more rebellions.
>>15961 Well it was a movement from the fertile crescent ALWAYS including the capital cities of huge empires, to the crescent being a border area in new states with different centres. Its definitely a major factor.
>>16563 The only problem is they didn't strengthen the silk road, they diverted it north and allowed the Italians to negotiate ridiculous trade agreements in their favor.
And it's after the Mongols when their descendants began to convert to Islam that we see the major decline of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Christianity, when before it was actually on the increase under the Caliphate.
>>16563 >Stability Were it long lasting I would totally agree with you. But the greatest criticism of the Mongols is that it wasn't lasting nor stable, in literally a few generations Genghis children had split the "empire" as much as your average Gavel kind succession would expect.
Also the Mongolian Empire was literally pay us taxes and tribute or we burn your entire civilization so no-one else ever rebelled. The ruling parties made no effort ever to cultivate the land and left all people to their own devices. Great for "sovereignty" but meant a much worse deal than other empires had given in previous ages.
There is a reason the Roman, British, Babylonian and Han Empires lasted for so long. Despite not having the landmass the Mongols acquired.
>>16250 >The Middle East has never been very stable. Sure it has, how long has Baghdad been a city? It's seen plenty of changes, but the fact that it still exists speaks of some kind of stability, or persistence.
The utter destruction that the Mongolians brought upon the heartlands of the Islamic world and Baghdad caused a radical shift in Islamic thought.
Previously Islamic civilization had been much more cosmopolitan, tolerant, and incorporated Hellenistic thought and rationality.
After the Mongols, it became more fundamentalist, conservative, dogmatic, and puritanical. Some Muslims began to see the Mongol Invasion as punishment from God for their tolerance and 'liberal excesses' under the Abbassids and other Islamic rulers.
more the nature of the global economy changed, Islam's major fault was becoming complacent on the steady wealth provided by the trade routes they controled, once the Europeans found other routes and new sources of trade those old ones became less important, that combined with hard-nosed anti-reformism within the Muslim world set about their downfall in the 18th-19th century.
>>17149 Actually genuinely curious why the fuck you came to think this. You've obviously never read a fucking history book in your life, but I'm interested what passing conversation you misheard or film you half watched that game you this impression?
Basically, if you can control the irrigation and thus the food, you can control your people. It's like the monopoly on force in more fertile areas, but it's easier to implement because people aren't self-sufficient.
>>17102 What about the Tanzimat? It seems more like because they lacked the modern day tools of the nation-state that reforms were incredibly difficult outside of Anatolia and the Levant. Muhammed Ali possibly could have reformed the Empire if he had taken over like he wanted to.
There are so many factors and such an outrageously large area and long period of time we are looking at, why would you seek such a snug explanation that wraps everything up simply for you to understand?
The idea that "islamic thought" was EVER something so monolithic and "changeable" in that way is nonsense anyway.
How many of you are refusing to blame islam only because of peer pressure?I think this is the problem with having so many college educated "historians" in this board,you're not allowed to be objective basically.
>>17505 >How many of you are refusing to blame islam only because of peer pressure? I generally dislike blaming religions. Blame the people using them to their advantage, to keep other people uneducated and submissive.
>>17597 Not trying to /pol/, but the added complication that the Quran is seen as the literal, word for word of Allah means that any efforts to reform hit cement. Islam also hasn't had the hard won fight for a Secularism that other Religions have, meaning that integration into Western communities makes assimilation less likely than other migrants.
>>17715 Islam was crazy secular for a long time, then transitioned to be somewhat less so, but the modern strain of islamism that you recognise, taking the qu'ran literally like it is, its crazy modern and new.
Imagine a sect of Christians that did the same thing with the Old Testament nowadays, it'd be much the same result.
>>17715 >Not trying to /pol/, but the added complication that the Quran is seen as the literal, word for word of Allah means that any efforts to reform hit cement.
That's not true however. Islam has been reforming itself constantly every few centuries into something completely different from its previous incarnation. Hell the modern chaos we see today ultimately derives from a reformist movement that got flush with oil movement and went batshit crazy in decades of world-wide conflict.
>Islam also hasn't had the hard won fight for a Secularism that other Religions have, meaning that integration into Western communities makes assimilation less likely than other migrants. This is sort of true, but irrelevant because it's not /his/ at this point. Current attitudes towards secularism doesn't apply to previous Muslim societies and their attitude towards state and religion.
>>17625 So you see Syria being torn apart by religious factions fighting for religious reasons in the name of religion and old hatred originated from religious differences and you say "this dates back to ancient sumerian politics " and feel englightedned? >>17698 >Ok, so do you have any objective sources (primary sources, secondary sources, modern scholarship, archaeological findings, etc.) that indicate Islam had a negative impact on the region? Name a Christian or secular terror group in the middle east.
Didn't Ibn Khaldun say something to this effect? Some aesop about society in which barbarians come storming out of the wilderness accompanied by war-drums to kill the cityfolk who have become complacent and fat in their society and advancement?
>mfw daesh bulldozes Assyrian ruins, slaughters everyone in sight, and still can't beat the actual Assyrians' high score
Don't get me wrong, Salafism is a cancer on the Islamic world, as is sectarianism. But people always find reasons to kill each other, and plenty of brutal as fuck civil wars manage to happen just fine without religious differences. (i.e. South Sudan's civil war, while everyone was busy paying attention to Syria)
>>18393 I'm just trying to understand the amount of mental gymnastics anglo people have to subject themselves into since its politically incorrect to speak the truth. >>18562 Only one of them is a terror group and its just communists. Now list every single Islamic terror group.
Al-Qaeda, Islamic State. The rest are either too small to matter, rebel movements that get called "terrorist" so the US will pay cash to the government fighting them, or joined up with one or the other.
>>18754 >The rest are either too small to matter, rebel movements that get called "terrorist" so the US will pay cash to the government fighting them, Mental gymnastics,also the US is the one who calls batshit insane cultists "moderate" these days. >>18805 Don't trigger them.
>>15299 The fertility cult of Christianity advanced into Yurop, wherein it assimilated or subjugated the pagans while simultaneously dying out elsewhere.
The secret Christian rites of psychedelic mushroom consumption and worship spread throughout the populace as the cultist influence consumed Yurop, propelling the various peoples to evolve and innovate thanks to the influence of the psychedelic compound psilocybin found in the mushrooms.
Yurop was able to advance beyond that of the rest of humanity thanks to the mass consumption of psilocybin alongside the evolved survival strategies of the Yuropeans, culminating in the unique innovations that rapidly developed within the sphere of influence.
>>18109 The fight for secularism is extremely important history, something that occurred gradually and painfully. My point being that whilst many other religions have had the awkward equivalent of a adolescence, a lot of shit got heaped at once causing this revolutionary reinterpretation of religious authority to fall flat. To dismiss it as unimportant and not relevant to history is ignorance of the highest caliber.
>>18982 >The secret Christian rites of psychedelic mushroom consumption and worship spread throughout the populace Amanita consumption in northern europe and eurasia predates Christianity by a damn sight anon.
>>19265 Well it was common everywhere it was present, really, but Christianity made it's consumption into a weekly ritual, or as often as you can physically be effected by the psychedelic compounds, leading to it's mass consumption by any and all who joined the cult, and as the cult solidified it's grasp on all of Yurop so did the consumption ritual, which sped up the innovation and advancement of the entire continent, while leaving the other peoples of the world lagging behind, as they did not hold the same consumption on the scale the Euros implemented.
>>19213 >To dismiss it as unimportant and not relevant to history Nobody did that. But that still means you are taking about unrelated things by bringing up modern immigration politics and secularism in a topic about the middle ages. >any other religions have had the awkward equivalent of a adolescence Most places on earth are not even remotely secular (religion/culture still decides many laws) and Islam has been through just as many reforms itself. Also 1000 years ago Islam was quite young for a religion so I just don't see your point.
>>19574 I kinda interpret it as one. I'm a bit sketchy as to who claimed sovereignty over that fuck huge desert that the Muslims originated from but if my memory is correct I think the Sassanids held sway, making the Arab Invasion a religious based rebellion until they formed a state
>>19742 See the anon I was replying to, asking about Islams current state compared to the Middle Ages. Not on topic to the OP, but the threads 100 replies in and like everything on 4chan the thread goes where it wills.
>>19749 It doesn't work that way. Both the Byzantine/Eastern Romans and Sassanid/Persians had client states in Arabia. The Sassanids held the coastal and more easternly areas while the Byzantines had the areas more directly connected to the rest of the Levant.
Last time there was an "actual" Arab rebellion, the Arabs were raiding into Persian boarders and townships in the early 4th century before Shapur II started butchering them and building a shit ton of fortresses in their western boarders.
>>20314 What non religiously motivated terrorist attack can you mention in the last 5 years? Don't be naive,since the basques and potato niggers dropped violence muslims are the uncontested masters of terror in the EU
>>20235 1500 years is enough to build in a slight advantage to the rest of humanity, which is enough to snowball into an enormous advantage when you parlay that into an empire that spans most of the world.
What went wrong: a. Turkish invaders Central Asian steppe nomadic peoples invaded from the steppes, destroying cities and absolutely devastating the Muslim world. This culminated with the Mongol invasion and the conquests of the Ottoman Empire. That leads me to point 2 b. the Ottoman Empire The modernization of the Ottoman Empire stagnated because of the power of the Janissaries. The Janissaries were generally very conservative in order to protect their traditional rights and privileges, and this prevented significant education and industrialization in ALL of the Middle East because the Ottoman Empire owned it all c. Other routes to the East The Ottoman and Muslim empires lost DRASTIC amounts of prosperity because of their losses in the Indian ocean - after the Portuguese secured it, the place of the Muslim merchants as middlemen in the lucrative far Eastern trade diminished severely, and the Ottoman Empire lost a LOT of it's wealth because of this. d. Nationalism Its quite apparent through history that areas that had larger empires during the time of Modernization and industrialization are not economically strong. The Balkans were under Turkish and Austrian control and are poor, all of the former USSR areas were Russian and are now poor. The same was true of the middle east. Controlled by the Ottomans - they were unable to industrialize and modernize because their wealth was financing their own oppression - taxes by the Ottoman Empire went to putting down Egyptian and other uprisings across the empire. The aforementioned janissaries focused the empire's resources on military might instead of industrialization and modernization until too late. However, Turkey is the most prosperous of the Muslim states today because of these late reforms. e. The Eastern problem European states didn't know what to do with the sick man of Europe - the Ottoman Empire was dying, and in the name of stability in the Middle East, the Great Powers propped up this nation...
>>20600 It can be argued that nationalist movements would have popped up much earlier with possible Russian, Egyptian or Persian support, and this would have led to much higher levels of industrialization in the Middle East. f. Religion The nature of Islam is very divisive towards other faiths - this resulted in the Muslims being exceptionally hostile to the Western Christian capitalists who could have helped them modernize, whereas the Japanese and Chinese embraced the Western ideals because of their somewhat more neutral faiths and cultures
>>20586 Because politicians are the ones at fault for migration. As seen this year with the refugee crisis. >>20593 The recent IKEA stabbings were also done by a Muslim who hates natives,I bet you didnt hear about that one in the media.
>>21060 >Just google it,its a mess of a situation,the Swedish police tried to hide You claimed it, so why the fuck aren't you looking for the link? >he dindu nuffin Fuck off with your /pol/ memes and conspiracy theories.
>>20641 But Muhammed Ali started the process of industrialization in Egypt and even tried his hand at an early form of ISI to fund his programs. And you have the various capitulations in the Ottoman Empire to bring in foreign trade, capital and infrastructure as well as the various onerous loans from various Europeans banks.
>want to have an interesting thread about the reasons the middle east went downhill over the past millennia, irrespective of the state of Islam >still manage to have the thread turn into a 'muh evil terrorists muslims have always been bloodthirsty barbarians' by some historically illiterate shitposter despite the fact the opening post explicitly says OTHER THAN ISLAM
If /pol/ kills this board in its infancy I will be so mad.
What happened to Islam was that Europeans figured out how to sail to India and China. Without the need for the Ottomans to act as a middle man over the silk road revenue decreased and Islamic civilization went into decline
>>23114 >muslims have always been bloodthirsty barbarians
Because they have always been bloodthirsty barbarians.
The only reason Turkey is doing better than others is because of contact with Europeans and because of European genes that some of them have. The easiest way to explain Turkey to your self is to take a look at their TV shows and the face and body types of its main actors.
If you took away everyone from Turkey with European ancestry the rest would turn into desert muslim shithole very fast.
Iranian here. What really went wrong was power hungry assholes who abused organized religion to their benefit. If the kings and leaders of the region's nations catered to peoples' interest and science and if they would've decided to have a secular government instead of some weird ass government system (similar to that of Iran) middle east could've been a gem in Asia. Seriously though , Koreans managed to advance to the status they have right now and they weren't really far ahead of countries like Iran 60 years ago. TL;DR you shouldn't mix religion with politics.
>>25858 >Mongols siege of Baghdad >Reason why Islam is bad today Look, that event overrated, because at 1270's. the Muslim World was a fucking mess. If the Abbasid Caliphate's golden ages was well stopped before the Mongols ever rolled their ponies in front of Baghdad.
Yes, the Abbasids who ruled from Baghdad were great. Golden Age, the Academies of Baghdad, the great Bimaristan hospitals established all over. Persian Scholars. But that was during the 700's and early 800's
In the 1200's, technically all of Middle East from Persia to Egypt is Abbasid Caliphate. But look at their actual holdings: just Iraq? Why? Because during the latter half of the 800's and the 1200's the Abbasids fucking declined. It was too big, and eventually slip ups with administration and the full control of the armies showed until factions led by revolting generals, radical Imams, or the revolutionaries like the Fatimids and the Ayyubids. In fact the word Sultan (initially meaning "Governor of a Province") became equivalent to "Sovereign King" starting during these times.
Compounding this age of chaos was the conversion of the Turks. The Abbasids didn't rely on the fucking Army anymore and started buying whole Turkish tribes and converting them to protect the Abbasids. What did they get instead? Turkics overrunning the Middle East thanks to their cavalry superiority and creating little empires within it. The cream of the crop which nearly killed the abbasids earlier was the conversion of Toghril and the Seljuk Invasion, during the 900's AD in which the Turks drowned the region in warfare.
Lets not even add the Crusades on the Abbasids shitcake. When the Mongol showed up in Baghdad, it was to euthanize a long rotting empire. And the knowledge accumulated in Baghdad was already in Byzantium, Cairo, and all the way to Spain anyway.
>>26090 >>25976 >>25858 Furthermore to claim that Mongols ended all that was nice with Islam is fucking stupid given that the three Gunpowder Empires gave the Islamic world a second Golden Age came almost right after the Mongols left the place.
>>26123 lol converted, there have been Christians in the ME since Christianitt began and surprisingly enough, those who haven't converted to Islam are the only ones who have identify with their ancient race. Learn some modern history please, Arabs ruined everything.
>>18988 >calling everyone who's wrong /pol/ Get fucked, I'm as /pol/ as you can get, and I won't deny that Xth century Baghdad was centuries ahead of the West in some regards. Whether that has anything to do with Islam is up for debate, but they really were more civilized.
Islam was literally created by Mohamed to use as a tool of building up an army and conquest. He basically saw how powerful religion could be when he witnessed Christianity's success and decided to emulate the model.
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