“In the context of the Ottoman Empire, toleration [ensured] that, as a rule, non-Muslims would not be persecuted. No doubt, as dhimmis,* according to Islam, they were second-class citizens . . . who endured a healthy dose of daily prejudice. [Nevertheless, the Ottomans tolerated religious and ethnic difference] because it had something to contribute. That is, difference added to the empire; it did not detract from it and, therefore, it was commended. Toleration had a [beneficial] quality; maintaining peace and order was good for imperial life, diversity contributed to imperial welfare. . . .
The Ottoman Empire fared better than did its predecessors or contemporaries [in tolerating religious and ethnic difference] until the beginning of the eighteenth century, largely as a result of its understanding of difference and its resourcefulness in [administrative organization]. It maintained relative peace with its various communities and also ensured that interethnic strife would not occur.”
*Islamic law defines dhimmis as non-Muslim communities living under Muslim political rule
Karen Barkey, Turkish-American historian and sociologist, Empire of Difference: The Ottomans in Comparative Perspective, published in 2008
Which of the following developments in the period 1450–1750 would a historian most likely cite to support Barkey’s claim regarding the Ottoman Empire and its predecessors and contemporaries in the first sentence of the second paragraph?
The recruitment of Italian and Dutch merchants and officers into the Portuguese and Spanish navies
The use of Hindu officials in the Mughal imperial administration
The establishment of racial categories of social hierarchy under the casta system in Spanish colonies in the Americas
The official protection granted to Protestant communities in some European states, such as France, following religious conflicts
The correct answer is The establishment of racial categories of social hierarchy under the casta system in Spanish colonies in the Americas