Monarchy in the Incan Empire, 1438–1535
The Incan monarchy was different from European
monarchies. In the Incan Empire, all people worked for
the state, either as farmers, or artisans making cloth, for
example. Men also served as road builders, as messengers,
or as soldiers. The state provided clothing, food, and
any necessities in short supply. Every year, the amount
of land every family had was reviewed to make sure it
could produce enough food to live on.
Title of
Basis of
Feature of
Incan Empire
Italian City-States
Tokugawa Japan
Ottoman Empire
SKILLBUILDER: Interpreting Charts
Drawing Conclusions How did the rulers of most of these governments keep themselves in power?
Inca varied by city: some had
title of nobility, others of
an elected position
Shogun; emperor was
a figurehead only
• Sultan
• monarchical • oligarchic • militaristic • bureaucratic
ruler believed to be
descendant of the
Sun god
inheritance or social
status supported by
financial influence
absolute loyalty and
devoted service of
samurai to their daimyo
• military power
Officials reported from
the village level up to
the king.
Members of an ethnic
group, or mitimas, were
moved from their
homes to other areas
to increase agricultural
output or put down
Children of Inca, local
officials, and some
others were taken to
Cuzco for training.
Power was in the
hands of the ruling
family or of a few
wealthy families of
bankers and merchants.
Many cities had
constitutions and
elected assemblies
with little power.
Daimyo were the
shogun’s vassals and
local administrators.
• Shogun controlled
daimyo’s marriage
alliances and the
number of samurai
each had.
To ensure cooperation,
daimyo’s families were
held hostage at court
while daimyos adminis-
tered their home regions.
Sultan owned every-
thing of value (such as
land and labor); his
bureaucracy was in
charge of managing
and protecting it.
Members of the
bureaucracy derived
status from the sultan
but were his slaves
along with their families.
• Heads of millets
governed locally.
Key Characteristics
578 Unit 4 Comparing & Contrasting
Four Governments
In Unit 4, you studied how cultures around the world organized and governed
themselves. The next six pages focus on four of those governments—the Incan
Empire, Italian city-states, Tokugawa Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. How they
functioned and the physical symbols they used to communicate their power are
important themes. The chart below identifies some key characteristics of the four
different governments, and the map locates them in time and place. Take notes
on the similarities and differences between the four governments.
Page 1 of 6
Oligarchy in the Italian City-States, 1000–1870
Oligarchy is government by a small group of people. In
Venice, citizens elected a great council, but real power
was held by the senate, which made all decisions. Only
members of 125 to 150 wealthy and cultured families
were eligible for membership.
Militarism in Tokugawa Japan, 1603–1867
A militaristic government is run by the military. All those in
power under the Tokugawa shoguns were samurai. As the
samurais’ work became more administrative than military,
the Tokugawa rulers encouraged cultural pursuits such as
poetry, calligraphy, and the tea ceremony to keep warlike
tendencies in check.
Bureaucracy in the Ottoman Empire, 1451–1922
A bureaucratic government is organized into departments
and offices staffed by workers who perform limited tasks.
Because of the size of the empire, the Ottoman
bureaucracy required tens of thousands of civil servants.
The empire also supported and encouraged the arts.
1. In what ways did the Incan
government resemble the Ottoman
2. What similarities and differences
were there in the way the sultans
and shoguns controlled government
3. What characteristic did the ruling
class of the Italian city-states and
Tokugawa Japan have in common?
Page 2 of 6
Structures of Government
All of the governments have officials at different levels with varying degrees of
power and responsibility. Compare the governmental structure of the Ottoman
bureaucracy with that of Tokugawa Shogunate’s militaristic government using the
charts below.
SKILLBUILDER: Interpreting Charts
1. Clarifying To whom were the heads of the millets answerable?
2. Drawing Conclusions How might the samurai’s loyalty to his daimyo conflict with his loyalty to the shogun?
UNIT 4 Comparing & Contrasting: Methods of Government
580 Unit 4 Comparing & Contrasting
Organization of the Ottoman Government
Imperial Council (Divan)
Social / Military Administration
Religious / Judicial Administration
Supreme military and political ruler
Advisers drawn from devshirme
Local administrators/military
Landowners/tax collectors
Heads of individual religious millets
Organization of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Samurai Warriors
Actual ruler
Held highest rank in society but had no political power
Large landowners
Loyal to daimyo and shogun
Four-fifths of the population
Low status gradually
gained influence
Craftspeople such as artists
and blacksmiths
Page 3 of 6
1. How did the role of the sultan
compare with the role of the
Japanese emperor?
2. What message were expensive
personal items meant to convey?
3. How does a household item like the
pitcher differ from a sword or
headdress as a symbol of power?
Japanese Sword
Beautiful weapons and armor were symbols of status and
power in Tokugawa Japan. Swords were the special weapons
of the samurai, who were the only people allowed to carry
arms. Daimyo had artisans make fine swords with expensively
decorated hilts and scabbards for ceremonial occasions.
Italian Medici Pitcher
As well as being great patrons of the fine arts, wealthy
Italians surrounded themselves with luxurious practical
objects. Even ordinary items, like a pitcher, were
elaborately made of expensive materials.
Incan Headdress
All of the people in
the Incan Empire were
required to wear the
clothing of their
particular ethnic group.
The patterns on clothes
and headdresses
immediately identified
a person’s place of
birth and social rank.
Artifacts of Power
The everyday objects used by members of government often serve a
symbolic purpose. Note how the objects below communicated the rank
and importance of the person who used them. Examine them and
consider the effect they probably had on the people who saw them.
Page 4 of 6
Architecture of Government
A ruler’s castle or palace was a luxurious and safe home where he was
surrounded by vassals who protected him. It was also a center of government
where his administrators carried on their work under his supervision. Castles and
palaces are a show of greatness. Large rooms that accommodate many guests
demonstrate the ruler’s authority over many people. Rich decorations display the
ruler’s wealth, refinement, and superior rank.
Japanese Palace
Osaka Castle was originally built by
Toyotami Hideyoshi and has been rebuilt
twice since then due to fire. It is
surrounded by gardens, and the interior
was known for its wall paintings and
painted screens. During the Tokugawa
period, the city of Osaka was a center of
trade for agricultural and manufactured
goods. The city was governed directly by
the shoguns who owned the castle.
UNIT 4 Comparing & Contrasting: Methods of Government
Ottoman Palace
Topkapi Palace in modern Istanbul,
Turkey, was the home of the Ottoman
sultans. The buildings were built around
several courtyards. Within the outer
walls were gardens, a school for future
officials, the treasury, and an arsenal.
Elaborate paintings, woodwork, and tile
designs decorated the walls and
ceilings of rooms used by the sultan
and his high officials.
582 Unit 4 Comparing & Contrasting
Page 5 of 6
In this excerpt from The Discourses, Italian writer Niccolò
Machiavelli discusses six types of government—three good and
three bad.
[T]he three bad ones result from the degradation of the other
three. . . . Thus monarchy becomes tyranny; aristocracy degenerates
into oligarchy; and the popular government lapses readily into
licentiousness [lack of restraint].
[S]agacious legislators . . . have chosen one that should partake
of all of them, judging that to be the most stable and solid. In fact,
when there is combined under the same constitution a prince, a
nobility, and the power of the people, then these three powers will
watch and keep each other reciprocally in check.
Why does Machiavelli think a combined government is the
best type of government?
Garcilaso de la Vega
This description of government administration
comes from Garcilaso’s history of the Inca.
[Local administrators] were obliged each lunar
month to furnish their superiors . . . with a record
of the births and deaths that had occurred in the
territory administered by them. . . .
[E]very two years . . . the wool from the royal
herds was distributed in every village, in order
that each person should be decently clothed
during his entire life. It should be
recalled that . . . the people . . .
possessed only very few cattle,
whereas the Inca’s and the Sun’s
herds were . . . numerous. . . . Thus
everyone was always provided with
clothing, shoes, food, and all that is
necessary in life.
What and how did the Incan
authorities provide for the common
people’s needs?
Descriptions of Government
The following passages were written by writers who were reflecting not only on
the past, but also on places and events they had personally witnessed.
1. How do Osaka Castle and Topkapi Palace project the
importance of their owners? Explain.
2. Does Machiavelli favor a system of government that would
provide directly for people’s needs? Explain.
Use the library to get some additional information about the
government structure of the Incan Empire and Renaissance
Venice. Then draw an organizational chart for each of those
governments like the charts on page 580.
Page 6 of 6
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