Sample History Essay on The Sultan and the Shah

Question One

Selim perceived himself as the most successful rulers of the Ottoman Empire and believed that this necessitated great respect for him. He also demonstrated himself as a hardworking and energetic person due to the momentous success he accomplished during his reign.[1] Selim believed that he was the one who could enable the Ottoman Empire reach its peak and even named his son Suleiman the Magnificent; he eventually succeeded his father’s throne and took on his ideology.[2] He also took on the nickname Mahlas Selimi as he was an exemplary poet and this was demonstrated by the fact that he wrote the letter in both Persian and Turkish verse. Overall, he believed that he could be the only king of the region. 

Question Two

Salim perceived himself as the rightful owner of the throne. Indeed, he was a self-centered man who believed in extremism. Hs ideologies in the letter reflect that of the extremist branch of Shiite. He believed in the divinity and prophecy of Ali. To certain lengths, he believed that he was the Hussein ibn Ali’s grandson and was keen on establishing this reputation among his people as a he forged a lineage document. [3]Indeed, the content of his letters make it apparent that he as a delusional man. He wanted to spread his beliefs in the region in a barbaric manner as he firmly believed in violence as a way to earn supremacy.

Question Three

Selim’s point in his letter is that the region was only befitting of one king. Further, he wanted to demonstrate that Salim was a barbaric man as illustrated that he butchered his family since he was not proud of his lineage and did not subscribe to their beliefs.

Question Four

Ismail’s point of writing the letter was to show that he had the force to take over the empire and that it was rightfully his. Indeed, he wanted to prove that he had the loyalty of Turkmen leaders as he took over Uzbek and had the following of nomads.

Question Five

Selim justified his argument by discussing the prosperity that he brought to his empire. He successfully managed to expand the territory of his empire and was mindful of his people. Indeed, he even referred to Ismail as a drunk ruler who did not care about the plight of his followers to show that he was a compassionate and caring leader.[4]

Question Six

Ismail justified his argument by referring to the power he commanded in the region. Indeed, he asserted that he was so powerful that he made the nomads subscribe to state authority to the point that they sung folk songs and poems to the Shah.[5] Such power illustrated that he was destined to be the ruler of the region.

Question Seven

Selim had the better argument since he demonstrated his intellect and profound nature of thinking. On the other hand, even though Ismail was a smart man, he acted on impulse and this was demonstrated by the way in which he replied to Selim’s letter. Ultimately, Selim’s argument was reinforced by the fact that he actually cared about his people whilst Ismail simply desired power. Fundamentally Selim wanted people to follow his so that he could bring greater prosperity to the region whilst Ismail wanted people to worship him.


Kia, Mehrdad. Daily life in the Ottoman Empire. ABC-CLIO, 2011.

[1] Kia, Mehrdad. Daily life in the Ottoman Empire. ABC-CLIO, 2011.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Kia, Mehrdad. Daily life in the Ottoman Empire. ABC-CLIO, 2011.

[5] Ibid