The empire's economic strength came from the location (at center) on the trade routes.
They became rich on the growing trade between Europe and Islamic civilzations within C Asia and India.
Once the empire had entered the 15th century and religion became of importance, religious leaders began spending money to promote religion.
The Safavid Empire was held as a theocracy, meaning religious and political power were intertwined.
The state religion was Shi'a Muslim, and other religions were suppressed.
The empire made Iran a centre of art, architecture, poetry, and philosophy.
It was in the 15th century that the empire began breaking down and became aggressive, creating the jihad.
There was a decline when they had become complacent and corrupt.
Sunni Muslims were converted and the Sunni ulama (religious council) left or were killed.
Religious leaders were a tool of the governent because of the reliance on religion and ability to control.
Abbas the Great
Abbas was the third son of Soltan Mohammad Shah. Abbas was shah of Persia from 1588 to 1629. He was important because he expelled Ottoman and Uzbek troops from Persia through the creation of an army. The poor ruling of his father left him with much responsibility, including the reassertion of authority, which had been taken advantage of. After a long waiting victory, he transferred the capital to Esfahal. At the time of his reign there was a peak in artistic achievement coming from the area, including fine Persian rugs.
Early on the Safavid Empire was held together by conquering territory and then needing to defend this land from the Ottomans.
In the 17th century the threat from the Ottomans declined and because of this military forces becam less effective.
In the end...