This Gunpowder Empires documentary covers the Ottoman Empire, Safavid Iran, and the Mughal Empire until around 1800. These were arguably the most powerful empires in Asia during the Early Modern, and helped shape the character of the Middle East, Persia, and the Indian subcontinent. Though these have traditionally been called the Gunpowder Empires, other empires utilized gunpowder, and it wasn't always relied upon, especially for the Safavids.

We will first go over the Ottoman Empire in 4 phases, starting with its founding and initial Balkan expansions and capture of Constantinople. Then we shift into its Golden Age, with the expansion into the Middle East, and further Balkan expansion under Suleiman the Magnificent. There is then a period of transformation and a shift towards governance and bureaucracy, before a period of decentralization in the 1700s.

We then travel to Persia, and the founding of the Safavid Dynasty, which grew to control much of Iran. We go through their conflicts with the Uzbeks and Ottomans, and their peak under Abbas the Great, before their decline to the Afghans, and the establishment of the Afsharids under Nader Shah. We take a short look at the Zand dynasty which came to power afterwards, and the foundation of the first Afghan state.

From there, its a short jump to India and the establishment of the Mughal Empire. We will go over how under Babur, they took power from the declining Delhi Sultanate, and became a dominant power under Akbar the Great. After covering the controversial reign of Aurangzeb, we go over the many wars that decentralized the subcontinent, and the rise of the British East India Company, which would become the major power in the region by the end of our time period.

As always, there will also be lots about their arts, culture, and architecture, like the Tulip Period and stunning mosques of the Ottomans, the beautiful Safavid capital of Isfahan, and the building of the Taj Mahal and great forts at Agra and Delhi.