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The introduction of gunpowder allowed Empires to use cannons and firearms, increasing their military power and allowing them to expand their territory through military conquest.
Art and Architecture
Religious conflicts such as the Protestant Reformation in Europe and the Sunni - Shi'a divide in Islam created tension and rivalries.
Class systems arose and elites emerged, such as the Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire and the Samurai in Japan.
Styles of art and architecture developed that was unique to specific Empires, such as mosques in Islamic Empires and palaces in Europe.