The fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans (1453) shocked Christian Europe, but its subsequent renaissance was not purely cultural. By the dawn of the 15th century, the Holy Roman Empire, France, England and Spain had all acquired strong, secure dynastic rule, while Hungary, under John Hunyadi and Matthew Corvinus, was proving a bulwark against Ottoman expansionism. Muscovy, under Ivan the Great, had unified, centralized and advanced to the Baltic and east and south against the khanates of the steppes. To the south, the Safavids were beginning to emerge as the heirs to the Timurid Empire, defeating the Uzbek Shaybanids. In 1526 a true descendant of Timur, the Mughal Babar, would overwhelm a divided India. The Songhai were the strongest west African Kingdom. The Aztecs and Incas were at their brief pre-conquistador zenith in the Americas. In East Asia, the Ming Empire was united, peaceful and prosperous.
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