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Who was Köse Mihal? | The Real History of Mikhael Kosses | The First Byzantine to join the Ottomans

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    During the early era of the Ottoman Empire, there were many Byzantine lords and commanders that joined the ranks of the Ottomans, even converting to Islam. The first (significant one) among them being  Köse Mihal, also known as Mikhael Kosses. In this video we will go over his life, achievements, exploits, and the legacy he left behind.           Mikhael Kosses, an ethnic Greek, is believed to have been from the famous Palaiologos Dynasty, which ruled the Byzantine Empire from the years 1259 until its downfall in 1453CE, the longest a dynasty ever ruled the empire. Köse Mihal was the Byzantine governor of the Harmankaya Castle. The Harmankaya Castle was in the Uludag mountains in the foothills of Bilecik, Turkey. After taking part in a battle against Osman Ghazi, alongside the Byzantine governor of Eskisehir, he was captured and taken prisoner. However, he was forgiven by Osman for his valor and heroism.       In the following years, a trap would be set up for Osman by the neighbor

How did Slavery become a World Enterprise (1492)

    It was the early 1400's, the Moors had been on a rapid decline due to division, internal strife, and attacks by Christian forces. After King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle united their Spanish kingdoms, they took over Muslim Spain with ease. The year was 1492, and it had been 800 years since Spain had been ruled by non-Muslims. That same year, an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus pleaded before the king and queen, wishing to embark on a voyage to India, China and Japan for the purpose of finding a new route, which could be a means of trade and riches such silk and spices. However, the king and queen had little faith in him and sent him with the worst of ships, and a crew consisting of released prisoners who knew little to nothing about the sea. No one could ever imagine what Columbus would discover. 

Columbus embarks on his journey


    Though Columbus would never make it to Asia, he lead to a much more important discovery: the New World, also known as the Americas. Though Columbus never actually stepped foot in the New World, he did step foot on the coast of Haiti. According to the crew's priest, Bartolome De Las Casas, Columbus' initial reaction after seeing the hospitable inhabitants of the region was: "These people are so friendly, they would make wonderful slaves." Just like that, Columbus and his men would soon turn slavery into a world enterprise. 

    The Columbian Exchange would now begin. Crops, animals, ideas, food, populations and even diseases would be exchanged between the New World and the Old World. The Native Americans had never been used to disease or flues, and so when the Europeans arrived with Influenza and Smallpox, it caused 90% of the Native population to die. Then, in the early 1600's, European superpowers such as Spain, France, and England began colonizing. North America's resources had a part in the profit made from the New World, however, plantations became the backbone of the economy.
    
    At the time, Africa was in chaos. Its kingdoms were in constant war and enslaving each other. It is important to note that Africa had many nationalities, ethnicities, languages, cultures, and traditions. They had many differences and saw one another as outsiders. Thus, the constant warfare wasn't a case of internal strife. On top of that, the continent of Africa had been afflicted by Malaria and Yellow Fever. Africans were familiar with diseases and flues, unlike Indians. And so, enslavers found that they were the perfect option.

    Now began the Triangular Trade, a trade which sent African slaves to the Americas; sugar, coffee, tobacco and cotton from Americas to Europe; and textiles, rum, and other manufactured goods from Europe to Africa. Since the Africans were in war with each other, slavery was widespread, as captured prisoners were made slaves. Thus, it was not deemed betrayal when those slaves were sold to Europeans. However, once the warfare came to an end, the cycle of African enslavement, too, was coming to an end. Though, the colonies could not afford this, and began forcing West Africans to kidnap Western Africans and bring them to enslavers to send them to the New World. This may have seemed like a terrible atrocity committed by West Africans, however, it was done at gunpoint. The advantage of this method was that enslavers were kidnapping people who did not understand the area's language or geography and had very limited chances of escaping. And so, a diaspora would soon occur. 

    The first European country to begin the African Diaspora was Portugal. After Portugal, Britain, France, Germany, and Brazil would follow. The latter would import slaves at an overwhelming rate, as a total of 5 million slaves would be brought in by them in a total of just 15 years. Between 1500 and 1866, roughly about 12.5 million enslaved Africans would be forcibly transported to the Americas through the Middle Passage, about 1.8 million of whom died due to their terrible conditions and were thrown into the Atlantic. Up until the year 1820, five times as many Africans crossed the Atlantic as did the Europeans. The world would be changed forever, and it all happened because of the expedition of Christopher Columbus, that same expedition that no one had faith in.


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