WHAP Guided Reading and Big Picture Questions

WHAP Guided Reading and Big Picture Questions

Seeking the Main Point: What arguments does this chapter make for paying serious attention to human history before the coming of “civilization”? (Page 12)
This chapter argues that serious attention must be paid to human history before the becoming of “civilization” because during this time, the “human revolution” occurred. Evidence of distinct human behavior appeared in Africa far before any other part of the world. Cultures made an appearance, humans began to move into new environments such as forests and deserts, new technologies such as stone tools, bone tools, and grindstones were developed, and hunting and fishing marked a new phase of food collection. Communication became more prominent and an early form of religion appeared through the use of body ornaments, beads, ochre, and burial sites. These actions eventually led to human migration into Eurasia, Australia, the Americas, and (a great deal of time later) the Pacific Islands. The result of all of these actions were the Paleolithic Era and Agricultural Revolution making human history before the coming of “civilization” very important.
Change: What was the sequence of human migration across the planet? (Page 14)
The sequence of human migration across the planet began with human movement into Eastern and Southern Africa about 250,000 to 200,00 years ago. From there, humans travelled to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas 100,000 to 60,000 years ago. About 45,000 years ago, humans migrated into the Middle East, westward into Europe, and eastward into Asia. Humans then ventured to the Americas about 30,000 to 15,000 years ago. The final phase of human migration to the Pacific Islands occurred a mere 3,500 years ago.
Comparison: How did Austronesian migrations differ from other early patterns of human movement? (Page 20)
Austronesian migrations differ from other early patterns of human movement because they began using water as a method of transportation. Humans made use of oceangoing canoes and navigational skills to settle every habitable land in the Pacific Ocean. This all occurred quite quickly, making the family of Austronesian language and trading networks the most widespread in the world.
Change: In what ways did a gathering and hunting economy shape other aspects of Paleolithic societies? (Page 21)
A gathering and hunting society shaped other aspects of Paleolithic societies by making highly egalitarian societies, equal relationships between men and women, and these societies were seasonally nomadic. These highly egalitarian societies lacked many forms of wealth making people freer and the only restraint being natural forces. Although men and women held very different jobs, their relationships were very equal. Women were the gatherers and brought in about 70% of the food, men were the hunters and brought in about 30% of the food. No gender held the upper hand in these societies. Finally, these societies were nomadic and moved from place to place in order to get the resources required for their survival.
Change: Why did some Paleolithic Peoples abandon earlier, more nomadic ways and begin to live a more settled life? (Page 24)
Some Paleolithic people’s abandoned earlier more nomadic ways of life and began living a more settled life. One reason for this was the end of the Ice Age. This allowed plants and animals to flourish and more diversity appeared in the environment. Populations grew in these periods causing previously nomadic groups to settle down. The improved conditions after the end of the Ice Age also provided ways to accumulate surplus goods and store them for longer periods of time.
Practicing AP Historical Thinking: How do you understand the significance of the long Paleolithic era in the larger context of world history? (Page 25)
The large significance of the Paleolithic Era in the larger context of world history is established by human migration and settling of the Earth. Humans spent 96% of their time on Earth during the Paleolithic Era. During this time, our species accomplished both agriculture and domestication, also, the first settled societies were created in this time period. Many new technological innovations such as canoes, oars, stone tools and weapons, bone needles, wooden handles, and pottery were created during this era as well.
Change: What accounts for the emergence of agriculture after countless millennia of human life without it? (Page 28)
The end of the Ice Age accounts for the emergence of agriculture after countless millennia of human life without it. The global warming that occurred after the Ice Age caused certain animals that humans depended on to go extinct, pushing them to find a new source of food. Paleolithic people were under pressure of finding a new food source, and so, using the ideal conditions created by global warming, they began farming. These people already had a great understanding of the natural world and they used that knowledge to manage agriculture. Over a great deal of time, Homo sapiens learned how to farm and domesticate animals.
Comparison: In what different ways did the Agricultural Revolution take shape in various parts of the world? (Page 32)
The Agricultural Revolution took shape in various parts of the world in the forms of different types of crops and livestock. For example, in Mesoamerica they had avocados, maize, pumpkin, dogs, and turkey to name a few. In Southeast Asia, they had yams and water buffalo, the Fertile Crescent had goats, pigs and lentils, and the Andes has quinoa, alpacas, and chili peppers.
Connection: In what ways did agriculture spread? Where and why was it sometimes resisted? (Page 36)
Agriculture spread throughout the world through the process of diffusion. Neighboring communities ideas and goods, agricultural techniques, and perhaps the plants and animals as well. Agricultural people also grew in population and size, causing further expansion and colonization of agricultural groups. Agriculture was resisted in Australia, North America, the Arctic Regions, and southwestern Asia. This is because these people did not have the need or want for agriculture, the conditions of the regions they lived in were not ideal for agriculture, and they preferred the freer, egalitarian societies of their Paleolithic ancestors.
Change: What changes did the Agricultural Revolution bring in its wake? (Page 37)
The Agricultural Revolution left many changes such as the dramatic increase in human population, major environmental changes, deterioration in human health, constraints on human communities, technological innovations, and wine and beer. Before the Agricultural Revolution, human populations were at 6,000,000 10,000 years ago. By the end of it, populations had skyrocketed to 250,000,000 (beginning of the Common Era). Agriculture also resulted in major environmental changes due to humans tearing down forests and ripping apart grasslands to make fields and places for their livestock to graze. It also caused a large amount of health issues such as tooth decay, malnutrition, anemia, shorter physical stature and shorter life expectancy. More diseases like smallpox, malaria, flu, measles, chicken pox, tuberculosis, and rabies were caused by living with livestock. Agriculture also restricted communities to settling down permanently. Many technological innovations were also made during this period and wine and beer were presented to our species.
Comparison: What different kinds of Societies emerged out of the Agricultural Revolution? (Page 41)
3 kinds of societies emerged out of the Agricultural Revolution: Pastoral Societies, Agricultural Village Societies, and Chiefdoms. Pastoral societies were nomadic and based off of herding domestic animals like goats, sheep, and cattle. Agricultural village societies were settled farming villages and were mostly egalitarian. Finally, Chiefdoms were agriculturally based societies organized politically by kinship.
Practicing AP Historical Thinking: What was revolutionary about the Agricultural Revolution? (Page 46)
The Agricultural Revolution was truly revolutionary for our species. Through trial, error, and many generations of experience, we developed new technologies and Homo sapiens began to dominate over the other life forms on Earth. During this era, we grew immensely in populations and impacted our environment greatly due to agriculture. We developed agriculture, pottery, weaving textiles, canoes for water transportation, metallurgy, and so much more. The Agricultural Revolution was revolutionary because humans finally began dominating the Earth.
In what ways did various Paleolithic societies differ from one another, and how did they change over time?
Paleolithic Societies Differed in environment and climate. Humans adapt to their environments, in some areas, they may have hunted large mammals, in others, they could have gathered nuts and berries, in another they may have fished.
Each society had their own stories, traditions, and methods passed from generation to generation.
All societies were egalitarian
Early Paleolithic:
Diet and clothing varied based on the climate and geography of the civilizations.
Stone Tools
Mainly lived in or near Africa
Little technological advancement.
Middle Paleolithic:
Humans evolved and adapted to conditions across Africa and Eurasia.
Hunter-gatherer economies
Foraging and hunting
Tools became more diverse
Signs of music, belief in the afterlife, and other cultural diversities.
Late Paleolithic:
Still Hunter-gatherers
Tools now include neat stone and flint work, spears, possibly the bow and arrow towards the very end.
Art such as cave paintings
The Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning point in human history. What evidence might you offer to support this claim, and how might you argue against it?
The Agricultural Revolution brought forth a new lifestyle. The nomadic lives of hunter-gatherers were no longer necessary. Humans could live in a sedentary life. They domesticated crops and animals. Villages sprung up, which eventually evolved into cities, then full fledged civilizations.
The Agricultural Revolution was not necessary nor a turning point in human history. Before the revolution, humans were more than able to get their own resources. They had healthier diets, more leisure time, and longer lifespans. The Agricultural Revolution took that away and replaced it with disease, unhealthy lifestyles, and a lifetime of work.
How did early agricultural societies differ from those of the Paleolithic era?
Highly egalitarian due to the fact most people had the same skill sets.
Under no formal rule
Nomadic as they were required to go looking for food
Hunting and gathering societies
Non-permanent structures
Very small populations per society
Few impacts on the environment
Few technologies were developed but important ones such as fire were
Nutritionally satisfying diets
Less vulnerable to famine
Was the Agricultural Revolution inevitable? Why did it occur so late in the story of humankind?
I don’t believe it is possible to determine whether or not the agricultural revolution was inevitable or not but I do believe it would’ve been impossible without the correct climatic conditions.
It occurred so late in the story of mankind because it was an extremely long process and a part of the even greater process of human exploitation of Earth’s resources.
There was also no need for agriculture until after the Ice Age and favorable climatic conditions appeared. The absence of large mammals and plants were scarce. This drove a need for a new source of food.
“The Agricultural Revolution provides evidence for ‘progress’ in human affairs.” How would you evaluate this statement?
The statement is true.
People were able to settle down
Societies were formed (government, religion/value system, population growth)
Surpluses allowed for specialization and the growth of art and culture
Social structures were formed
Social Hierarchy
Lack of egalitarianism and growth of patriarchy
Appearance of cities
Advancements in technology (ex. metallurgy)
Formal Rule
Development of farming tools, specialized tools, warfare, writing Systems, steady food supply, housing/urban living, government systems, architecture, more wealth, inequalities (patriarchy, Slavery, etc.), Castes, taxes, tribute, oppressive leaders/government, and diseases.
When and where did the first civilizations
The first civilizations appeared during the several millennia after 3500 BCE in seven different locations. The two earliest appeared between 3500 and 3000 BCE in Sumer of southern Mesopotamia and the Nile River Valley in Egypt. Next, a civilization developed between 3000 and 1800 BCE along the central coast of Peru. This region was different than the rest because the cities were smaller, they had a rich fishing industry, less economic specialization, very little evidence of warfare, no evidence of pottery or writing, and very self contained with little outside contact. Four more civilizations emerged later on. A civilization appeared in the Indus and Saraswati river valleys during the third millennium BCE. This civilization was far more advanced. It demonstrated complex cities, common patterns such as standardized weights, measures, architectural styles, even the size of bricks, irrigated agriculture, and little evidence of social hierarchy. Another civilization appeared in China around 2200 BCE. This civilization included monarchies. Civilization also emerged in Central Asia around the same time as China. It had an economy based on irrigated agriculture and featured specialization, great walls to protect itself, and social hierarchy. The final civilization, which is known as Olmec, emerged around 1200 BCE near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It is regarded as the “mother civilization” of Mesoamerica and is influenced by religion.
What accounts for the initial breakthroughs to
(at least 3)
The main factor in the initial breakthrough to Civilization was the Agricultural Revolution. It allowed people to settle down and for specialization to occur due to surplus foods. These specialized jobs led to social standings and eventually hierarchies because some people were more skilled. Specialization also allowed for more technological innovations. Warfare and trade between groups due to competitive societies and a want for land also led to the breakthrough.
What was the role of cities in the early
Cities in early civilizations had more than one role. One of these roles was to provide political/administrative capitals.They also served as centers of culture, trade and marketing, and manufacturing. Cities provided centers of worship and communities of every class of people. Cities also provided protection for their people with large walls and fortresses.
In what ways was social inequality expressed
in early civilizations?
Social inequality was expressed in early civilizations through wealth, status, and power. As more complex economies developed, more wealth became available. As civilization took shape, the lack of egalitarian practices became more and more evident and was eventually regarded as normal lifestyle.The wealthy had high ranking jobs in desirable positions in politics, military, and religion. They wore expensive garments were given more liberties, such as a rule in the
Code of Hammurabi that states that if a common man were to hit one of the upper class, they would receive 60 lashes from a whip. If a common man were to hit one of his own class, he would receive a small fine. Free Commoners ,the majority, supported the upper classes with taxes such as labor, surplus goods, and tribute payments. Slaves were the bottom of the social classes.
In what ways have historians tried to explain the origins of patriarchy?
(at least 3)
Historians have tried to explain the origins of patriarchy in three main ways: agriculture, roles in society, and military. Men were better at farming because they had greater strength than women. Before plows, humans had to use a digging stick and do everything by hand. Men were superior at this because they were better at heavy work. In society, women were considered for childbearing purposes. Due to sedentary living, women could also have a greater amount of children meaning that their primary role was now very deep in child care and taking care of the home. Finally, military and warfare also contributed to patriarchy. Military service was mainly men and women were also very commonly the first prisoners of war.
How did Mesopotamian and Egyptian patriarchy differ from each other?
(at least 3)
Mesopotamian and Egyptian patriarchy differed from each other because women in Egypt were given many more freedoms than those in Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia, women believed that they needed a man to survive. They were not permitted to do things such as engage in a relationship with another man even though their husbands could with another woman. Women of the upper class were also required to wear a veil in public. Female slaves would be punished if they tried to do this. Early female goddesses were also replaced by male gods. In Egypt, things were very different. Women were considered to be equal to men. Women could own property, slaves, administer and sell land, have their own wills, sign their marriage contracts, and initiate their divorce. Women in Egypt didn’t have to wear veils and if they held political power, they could act as a regent or queen if necessary.
What were the sources of state authority in
the First Civilizations?
(at least 3)
Sources of state authority in the First Civilizations were recognition that densely populated cities needed organization and defense, protection of the upper classes, and someone needed to solve conflicts between people. Densely populated cities required organization of the irrigation systems. State authority protected the upper classes and required taxes. Also, someone was needed to solve conflicts between citizens and shared conflicts of the community.
In what ways might the advent of “civilization” have marked a revolutionary change in
the human condition?
(at least 2)And in what ways did it carry on earlier patterns from the past? (at least 2)
Civilization marked a revolutionary change in the human condition because it created social hierarchies (patriarchy, women and slaves inferior to men, small upper class with wealth and power), large urban cities, being able to read and write allowing collective learning to expand, and specialization brought forth many new professions. Humans continued to carry on earlier patterns from the past through production of food through agriculture and practicing religion.
In what ways did Mesopotamian and
Egyptian civilizations differ from each other?
(at least 3)
Mesopotamian civilizations differed from Egyptian civilizations because Mesopotamians believed that they lived in a disorderly world and were subject to whatever the gods pleased. Egyptian civilizations had a happier outlook on the world in which life would prevail over death and the sun was reborn every day. Another difference between these two civilizations is that Mesopotamians destroyed their land through deforestation, soil erosion, and salinization of the soil. This weakened Sumerian city-states and greatly contributed to their downfall. Egyptian societies were more careful with their environment. They created a sustainable agricultural system involving regulating the natural flow of the Nile, getting rid of the salty soil problem. A final difference between the two civilizations is that Mesopotamian civilizations were organized politically different than Egyptian civilizations. Sumer was organized into about one dozen separate city-states which were individually ruled. They often warred themselves and were subject to unpredicted attack from outside forces. This along with the environmental problems weakened this civilization greatly and led to its demise. Egyptian civilizations were much more stable. Egypt was unified under one ruler, the pharaoh. Even though these pharaohs declined in power over time, Egypt’s unity made them a strong civilization.
In what ways were Mesopotamian and
Egyptian civilizations shaped by their interactions with near and distant neighbors?
(at least 3)
Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations were shaped by interactions with near and distant neighbors. Egyptian civilization drew heavily upon wheat and barley (very likely from Mesopotamia), as well as other crops like gourds and watermelon with livestock like donkeys and cattle (from Sudan). The practice of “divine kinship” also came from central or eastern Sudan. Although Egyptian culture was very unique, it had roots from its neighbors in Africa and Southwest Asia. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were involved in long distance trade with neighbors. Egyptian cultural influence also spread to other countries such as Nubia. Nubian archers were recruited for Egypt’s army and often married Egyptian women, Nubians built Egyptian-style pyramids, and had Egyptian religion. Nubia did remain a distinct civilization, but you can still see the Egyptian influence. Egypt also influenced the art of the Minoan civilization. Egypt and Mesopotamia also felt the influence from their neighbors. Egyptians and Mesopotamians took the idea of warhorses from Hittites.
How does the use of the term “civilization” by historians differ from that of popular usage? How do you use the term?
Historians view the term “civilization” as the older and original civilizations from the First, Second, and Third Waves. What our current world is built off of is what historians view as civilizations.
Historian describe a civilization as a society with specialization, languages, and social hierarchy.
The popular usage of the word refers to today’s societies or “city life”.
I use the term to describe both. The definition of civilization is a stage in human social development and organization that is considered most advanced and the society, culture, and way of life of a particular region. I feel the definition applies to both modern day and past civilizations.
“Civilizations were held together largely by force.” Do you agree with this assessment, or were there other mechanisms of integration as well?
No, civilizations were dependent on the people within them.
Legalism presented a strong hold on Chinese civilization that kept the Chinese people in line, but it did not last. Too much forced on the people brings out riots which can take the central power out.
People had to depend on each other for things such as irrigation and trade.
Religions were what held societies together though peace.
How did the various First Civilizations differ from one another?
Different political ways:
Centralized Government
Decentralized Power
Different Languages
Different Economies
Different Climates and Environments:
Differing agricultural products, clothing, animals, buildings, etc.
Different Social Structures
Looking Back: To what extent did civilizations represent “progress” in comparison with earlier Paleolithic and Neolithic societies? And in what ways did they constitute a setback for humankind?
Civilizations began to have political systems such as Legalism, Confucianism, Daoism, Greek Rationalism, Monarchy, Oligarchy, Tyranny, Aristocracy, Feudal System, etc. They developed more complex economies that are similar to the current ones and urbanization occurred around the world.
Setbacks of the complex societies brought out social hierarchy (caste, slavery, etc.), inequalities, and patriarchy.
How did Persian and Greek civilizations differ in their political organization and values?
In Persia, political organization and values were based off of previous cultures like Babylon and Assyria. The Persian political structure was in absolute control of the king. They could dispose of any religious or political they could dispose of any religious or political official, they were absolute monarchs. Satraps also aided in political organization. They were in administrative system put in place by the Persian governors. Persians valued respect for other non-Persian cultural positions. In Greece, political organization and values also drew on the original civilizations. The Greek empire was about 2 to 3 million, a small portion of the Persian empire. Greece was organized into many small city states. They had Athenian democracy, which broke a hold of aristocratic families, abolished debt slavery, open access to political positions it to a wider range of men, but also limited and excluded women, slaves, and foreigners from politics.
How did semi democratic governments emerge in some of the Greek city-states?
Semi Democratic governments emerged in some of the Greek city states with the idea of “citizenship”. With this idea, free people could become more involved in affairs of state, and equality for all citizens. Participation of the citizens grew in Athens where public assembly was held in which male citizens could vote on matters presented to them. The amount of participation varied from city state to city state, but the people of the lower classes slowly started to be able to participate. The growth of this participation also allowed more men to purchase armor and weapons which could give them a position in the army. In some areas, tyrants appeared. In Sparta, a Council of Elders appeared, and in Athens, Athenian democracy appeared.
What were the consequences for both sides of the encounter between the Persians and the Greeks?
Both the Persians and the Greeks experienced consequences due to their encounter. The Greek’s lost control of the Greek settlements along the Anatolian coast. Some settlements revolted in Athens supported them. The Persians out raged by the revolt sent an attack but were held off by the Greeks.
What changes did Alexander’s conquests bring in their wake?
Alexander’s conquests left many changes in their week. His massive expedition against the Persian empire serve to unify the Greeks in their fight. It also created an empire from Egypt in Anatolia to Afghanistan in India. Many monuments were also left behind at Alexander’s memory. Alexandria in Egypt was also named after Alexander.
How did Rome grow from a single city to the center of a huge empire?
Romans grew from a single city to the center of a huge empire. With their political system and values, they began an empire building enterprise. They took over their Latin neighbors, the nearly all of the Italian peninsula, the southern Mediterranean, including Spain, southern and western Europe, Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. The empire encompasses the entire Mediterranean basin and beyond. The strength of the Roman army also made a great contribution to the expansion of the empire.
Why was the Chinese empire able to take shape so quickly, while that of the Romans took centuries?
The Chinese empire was able to form so quickly because The creation of this empire had only brief and superficial domestic repercussions. The Chinese empire was also not very interested in creating a new empire, but rather going back to their roots in restoring the old. They revived traditions and culture from the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties. The Chinese empire was in shambles by 500 B.C.E., but the rulers of the states sought unity once more. Qin Shihuangdi’s state had developed an effective bureaucracy, subordinated it’s aristocrat see, build a strong military, and raised agricultural output using legalist principles. These standards were set for the rest of China and Qin named himself the first Emperor.
Why were the Roman and Chinese empires able to enjoy long periods of relative stability and prosperity?
Both the Roman and Chinese empires were able to enjoy long periods of relative stability and prosperity. This is because of a few main reasons. First off, they defined themselves and universal terms. Second, both invested a lot in public works design to integrate their respective domains both militarily and commercially. Also, they use religion to maintain and use their authority. Their strong armies served as a great protectors, effective governments kept everything stable, and again, religion built up cults that help to legitimate their rule.
What internal and external factors contributed to the collapse of the Roman and Chinese empires?
Internal and asked ternal factors contributed to the collapse of the Roman and Chinese empires. Internal problems included the overextension an expense for the resources each empire had available. Also, there wasn’t enough technological advancements that allowed them to get more of these resources. Taxes also provided problems. Taxes were left to the lower classes to pay which forced peasants to turn into tenant farming. This also led to the Yellow Turban Revolt. Rivalry among the upper classes also presented issues because it created instability and war away at imperial authority. Diseases also killed off a large portion of population and decreased the amount of men that could defend their people. Externally, nomads outside of each empire became hostile and threatening. They eventually led to the downfall of each empire.
Summing Up So Far: In comparing the Roman and Chinese empires, which do you find more striking—their similarities or their differences?
In comparing the Chinese in Roman empires, I find their similarities more striking. Both use religion to help them use their authority and fortify their rule. Also, they were both acceptant of foreign religions and even absorbed them. Their downfalls also had similar occurrences. Nomadic agricultural people became growing threats and eventually conquered a portion of each empire.
Why were centralized empires so much less prominent in India than in China?
Centralized empires were far less prominent in India then in China for several reasons. First off, India was extremely culturally diverse making it hard for the government to use religion to enforce their authority. The loyalty or exercise to the degree of influence. And you also wasn’t well protected. It was constantly invaded. The caste system also caused problems with loyalty.
What common features can you identify in the empires described in this chapter? In what ways did they differ from one another? What accounts for those differences?
All Empires:
Controlled large areas of land
Controlled Large and growing populations
Brought together by conquest
Funded by taking wealth by those they conquered and taxing their own people
Stimulated exchange of:
Values among those they conquered
Sought to foster authority and imperial identity over those they conquered
Desired loyalty
Ultimately collapsed
Are you more impressed with the “greatness” of empires or with their destructive and oppressive features? Why?
I am more impressed with the greatness of empires
Great impacts on regions they conquered
Massive in size
Extremely large populations
Large number of military conquests
Monumental architecture
Great political authority and military strength
Writing systems (Cuneiform)
Chinese Dynasties (Zhou, Shang)
Lawmaking (Code of Hammurabi)
Impressive sculptures (Heads of the Olmec Civilization)
Sculptures of Alexander the Great and cities named after him
Do you think that these second-wave empires hold “lessons” for the present, or are contemporary circumstances sufficiently unique as to render the distant past irrelevant?
Classical empires are still used as models and inspirations for the civilizations of today
For example:
Mao Zedong compared himself to Shihuangdi
Modern day Indians pride themselves on Ashoka’s accomplishments and legacy, particularly his nonviolence and tolerance.
Great Britain celebrated their empire as a modern version of the Classical Roman Empire
Mussolini regarded Italian expansion as the rebirth of another Roman Empire
Some consider Americans to be the new Romans
Lessons include:
Military strategy: brutal leaders don’t last very long
Morals: Less moral societies don’t maintain their power
Lack of social mobility serves for social injustice
Slaves and Peasants don’t get a say in anything
Looking Back: How do these empires of the second-wave civilizations differ from the political systems of the First Civilizations?
Second-wave civilizations had much larger empires
Rulers had authority over greater distances of land
There was great focus on expansion of each empire through conquest and wars
There was a great rise in military and naval power due to this thirst for conquest
Slave labor
Multiple ethnic groups were under one rule due to conquests
Inclusion in government (Athenian Democracy)
More technological advances
More religions
More trade routes and communication between empires
Rise of state
Alphabetic/writing systems
System of Laws (Hammurabi’s Code)
Dependent on religion to verify authority and rule
Ashoka converted the Mauryan Empire to Buddhism to rule peacefully with tolerance
Wars were fought over land and Sea (Greco-Persian Wars)
Pax Romana
Chinese Philosophies (Legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism)
Great Conquests (Alexander the Great)
Standardization of measures, currency, weights, etc.
What different answers to the problem of disorder arose in classical China?
Answers to the problem of disorder in China include:
Based on the ideas of Han Fei
Humans were naturally evil and must be forced to act good strict laws with clear punishments and rewards for following them.
No criticism of the government was allowed
Rulers must show no emotions and trust no one (including family)
All loyalty should be given to the government
Scholars were censored, tortured, or killed for their non-legalistic teachings.
Ended the warring states period
Based on the Daodejing (written by Laozi)
Humans must become one with nature and give up the trappings of modern civilization
Yin (Black: Feminine, passive, darkness, cold, weak, earth;moon) and Yang (White: masculine, active, light, warmth, strong, heaven;sun)
Everything has a natural opposite and you wouldn’t understand things without the opposite. You often understand things because it has an opposite. Everything requires proportionality but there is no middle ground, there is always one and the other (Yin and Yang)
Believed in the Dao (path to a happy and harmonious life) and the Wu Wei (how you get down the path)
Meditation was important
Based on the ideas of Confucius
Stressed good actions and virtues (respect, loyalty, honesty, hard work, politeness, and generosity)
Established the five basic relationships to create an orderly society
Ruler over subject
Parent over child
Husband over wife
Elder sibling over younger sibling
Friend to friend (only equal relationship)
Filial Piety (repaying the respect of one’s parents, elders, and family ancestors)
Why has Confucianism been defined as a “humanistic philosophy” rather than a supernatural religion?
Confucianism has been defined as a “humanistic philosophy” rather than a supernatural religion for the following reasons:
No gods, goddesses, or supernatural aspects were involved in the teachings of Confucius, it was more so a way of thinking and a guide to social order.
It involved being good, doing the right thing, being respectful, Filial Piety, and social harmony.
Established expectations on how people should act towards each other based on the five basic relationships
Religion was not used to enforce the teachings of Confucius
Established expectations for the government and rulers to follow.
How did the Daoist outlook differ from that of Confucianism?
Daoist Outlook:
Encouraged withdraw back into nature and natural instincts
You must renounce the trappings of civilization to return to the old ways to be in tune with nature and yourself
Rely only on your senses, discover the rhythm of nature and the universe, reject formal learning, and ignore the rules of society.
Focus on your own spontaneous and individualistic behavior
The Confucianist Outlook:
Focus on the importance of relationships on society
Treat everyone with respect
Focused more on the importance of social harmony in modern societies

Confucianism focuses more so on things within modern society while Daoism focuses on things beyond society and everyday life.

In what ways did the religious traditions of South Asia change over the centuries?
Religious traditions of South Asia changed over the centuries in the following ways:
The earliest Indian religious traditions came from text written by Brahmins, priests who served to carry out elaborate rituals. These texts were called the Vedas which contained various poems, rituals, and prayers.
The Vedas and Brahmins lost favor when these elaborate rituals detailed in the texts became less personal, mechanical, and too expensive. This decrease in popularity resulted in the rise of the Upanishads.
The Upanishad texts focused on the meaning of the Vedas and became more a of philosophy rather than a religion. It had the single belief that a forced connected the everything in the world. These beliefs eventually evolved into the final major religion of South Asia, Hinduism
Hinduism was the last major religion to rise in South Asia. The followers of Hinduism believed that the individual human soul was a part of Brahman. Their final goal was to achieve union with the Brahman, this was known as Moksha.
In what ways did Buddhism reflect Hindu traditions, and in what ways did it challenge them?
Buddhism reflected Hindu traditions in the following ways:
Ordinary life was an illusion
Concepts of karma and rebirth
Goal of incessant demands of the ego
Hope for final release from the cycle of rebirth
Buddhism challenged Hindu traditions in the following ways:
Rejecting authority of the Brahmins
Rejection of Hindu rituals and sacrifices
Disinterest in speculation about the creation of the world or the existence of God
Individuals are responsible for their own spiritual development
Challenged inequalities of the Caste System
What is the difference between the Theravada and Mahayana expressions of Buddhism?
Differences between the Theravada and Mahayana expressions of Buddhism include:
Mahayana Buddhist thinkers developed the idea of bodnisttavas (spiritually developed people who postponed their own entry into nirvana to assist those who were still suffering).
Buddha was viewed as a god
Buddhism was transformed into a religion of salvation
Buddha was a wise teacher and model but was not a god or divine
More so a set of practices rather than a set of beliefs
Individuals were on their own when crossing the river, little to no help was provided by the gods
What new emphases characterized Hinduism as it responded to the challenge of Buddhism?
The following examples characterized Hinduism as it responded to the challenge of Buddhism:
Regular people, not just Brahmins, could find spiritual fulfillment by selflessly performing the ordinary duties of their lives
They could also worship a particular deity to achieve this
Withdrawal and asceticism were no longer the only way to achieve moksha
Summing Up So Far: How did the evolution of cultural traditions in India and China differ during the era of second-wave civilizations?
Evolution of cultural traditions in India and China differed during the era of second-wave civilizations in the following ways:
China had three main philosophies while India had philosophies/religions that constantly fell out of favor
China adopted Buddhism (form of Hinduism) which rose greatly into favor while it fell out of favor in India where it was created
Hinduism in India allowed regular people, not just Brahmins, could find spiritual fulfillment by selflessly performing the ordinary duties of their lives.
Buddhism in China rejected authority of the Brahmins, Hindu rituals and sacrifices, displayed disinterest in speculation about the creation of the world or the existence of God, made individuals responsible for their own spiritual development, and challenged inequalities of the Caste System.
What aspects of Zoroastrianism and Judaism subsequently found a place in Christianity and Islam?
Aspects of Zoroastrianism and Judaism subsequently found a place in Christianity and Islam:
Includes a god, holy spirit, and savior
Only followers of God will descend into the heavens
Struggle between a good and just god with his evil opponent
God wishes that everyone has moral righteousness and not just sacrifice for him
People are able to actively communicate with their God
A messiah will seek to purify humanity
The world will end
What was distinctive about the Jewish religious tradition?
Monotheistic Religion (belief in a single god as opposed to multiple gods in other religions)
God valued moral righteousness over sacrifice
Direct communication between the people and their God
Began as a ritualistic religion
Included the Ten Commandments
Their god, Yahweh, was viewed as a lofty, transcendent deity of pure holiness and acted in accordance of Jewish history.
What are the distinctive features of the Greek intellectual tradition?
Distinctive features of the Greek intellectual tradition include:
Willingness to abandon the mythological deities
Focus on logic, reasoning, and argument rather than believe in the gods and goddesses
Emphasis on the importance of asking the right questions and questioning of received wisdom
Confidence in human reason
Enthusiasm for figuring out the ways of the world without the gods as a reason
How would you compare the lives and teachings of Jesus and the Buddha? In what different ways did the two religions evolve after the deaths of their founders?
Comparison of the two founders:
Followers of both religions were taught to love all people no matter their differences
Jesus was raised poor while Buddha grew up rich
Jesus only taught his beliefs for three years before his crucifixion and Buddha taught for around forty years before death due to old age
Jesus’ teachings consisted of supernatural occurrences while Buddha’s involved little to no supernatural occurrences and focused on an intense aim at ethical living and the end of suffering
After the death of the founders:
Both likely had no intention of forming a religion
Both Jesus and Buddha wanted to return to prior religions and reform them
Both created a new religion and became viewed as deities or regarded as gods
In what ways was Christianity transformed in the five centuries following the death of Jesus?
Christianity transformed in the five centuries following the death of Jesus:
Transformed from a small religion to a world religion
Adopted an egalitarian view on all people
Official hierarchy of the church was male
Dismissal of Jewish rituals, circumcision, and Jewish identity was encouraged
Women were told to be subordinate to their husbands and not to speak in church
Summing Up So Far: How might you understand the appeal of Buddhism and Christianity as opposed to the more rationalist approaches of Greek and Confucian philosophy?
Buddhism and Christianity offered love and support to all people no matter their differences
Both had a god to believe in, someone that you can speak to in times of struggle and who you could pray to for help.
The use of a God in both religions offered comfort and hope to the followers of each religion
The more rational approaches of Greek rationalism and Confucianism give people nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for, and a fear of what happens to you after death.
This is my personal opinion but I follow a religion because I think it’s easier to believe in god. I like the idea that somewhere out there, there’s a place that I’ll be able to go after death and see my grandparents, my great-grandparents, my aunts and uncles, our close family friend, my dog, and my best friend. I’d like to think that there is a place that happy. Quite a few people close to me have passed this year and one person very important to me passed a few years ago. The concept of Heaven makes me feel that they will never truly be gone and that they’re in a better place. When you look at the facts in Greek rationalism or the lack of a deity in Confucianism, it’s scary. It’s scary because you’ve been brought up with the idea that God and Heaven exist but the facts just tear it all away. It leaves you feeling vulnerable, without an answer, and scared of what will happen to you. I choose to believe in God because it’s easier for me to do so. It takes the question out of my life and allows me to live without worrying about death or loved ones that have passed because I’ll see them again. That’s why both Christianity and Buddhism have more appeal. They take the question out of death and give you something happy and safe to believe in.
Is a secular outlook on the world an essentially modern phenomenon, or does it have precedents in the second-wave era?
It has precedents in the second-wave era
Legalism relied on rules and laws through enforcement and a reward system without religion
Confucianism was humanistic, focused on this world, and practical. Mainly concerned with relationships, education, and social harmony
Greek Rationalism focused on logic, reason, questions, received wisdom, confidence in human reason, and puzzling out the ways of the world without gods or supernatural forces as a reference. It separated science and philosophy from religion.
“Religion is a double-edged sword, both supporting and undermining political authority and social elites.” How would you support both sides of this statement?
Chinese Philosophies: Legalism and Confucianism
Philosophies were largely supportive of respecting both political authority and social elites (excluding Daoism)
Most religions focus the believer’s attention away from the actions of the current world
Put constraints on political and social authorities
Ashoka’s adoption of Buddhism limited use of violence under his rule
Christianity taught its followers to question Roman society due to its statement that all were equal when clearly everyone in Rome was not
Leaders of a religion could prove subversive to the current political/social system (execution of Jesus)
Religion could enforce patriarchy
Monotheistic aspect of some religions cut out the Roman/Greek Gods and the cult of emperors which caused persecution
Confucianism aided in maintaining the social order and harmony through unequal relationships (three obediences) and filial piety.
Caste System
Bhagavad Gita
Jesus of Nazareth
How would you define the appeal of the religious/cultural traditions discussed in this chapter? To what groups were they attractive, and why?
Cultural traditions, including Confucianism and Legalism, have appeal among the elite classes due to their enforced social structure that defined the upper classes.
Buddhism and Christianity appealed to the lower classes in the social because they offered universal salvation regardless of social class or gender.
Judaism appealed to the majority of social classes because it defined a special relationship between god and his believers.
However, each religion/cultural tradition that was explored appealed to different people because it brought them guidance with meaning and order to their lives.
In what different ways did these religious or cultural traditions define the purposes of human life?
China and Greece:
Chinese and Greek thinkers focused mainly on the affairs of this world.
Happiness was achieved through fulfillment of duty and living a moral life
Human Reason was valued
Indian, Persian, and Jewish:
Realm of the Divine
Human relations with God(s)
Divine life
Whether religious or philosophical, these cultural beliefs expressed compassion in humans.
Looking Back: What relationships can you see between the political dimensions of second-wave civilizations described in Chapter 3 and their cultural or religious aspects discussed in this chapter?
Defining political unification tool used by Qin Shihuangdi to reunite China from its Seven Warring States period.
Bureaucratic organization
Reinforced the Mandate of Heaven
Three Obediences
Rich diversity
Variety of Culture
Difficult to sustain empire due to lack of unification
Aided in the explanation of Ashoka’s ruling principles
Edicts of Ashoka
Casted light on imperial traditions in Persia
Sought to link the emperor with Ahura Mazda
Willing to experiment with democracy
Popular participation in government affairs
Legitimacy based on law
Lack of supernatural authority
How would you characterize the social hierarchy of China during the second-wave era?
Social Hierarchy in China:
Shaped by the actions of the state
The top of the social hierarchy was made up of the Emperor and government officials who had immense political power and social prestige.
The top of the social hierarchy usually came from the next class, the Landlords. This consisted of wealthy landowning families and were a central feature of Chinese society.
Peasants were the next class down in the social hierarchy and made up the majority of Chinese population. Many peasants did not own land but those who did could support their families and sell products at their local market. Due to the large amount of peasants that did not own land, many were forced to become tenant farmers.
Merchants were the lowest class in the social hierarchy because they were looked down upon by the upper classes for selling products that they didn’t make. This however, did not prevent many merchants from becoming wealthy.
What class conflicts disrupted Chinese society?
The Yellow Turban Rebellion
Caused by a series of bad harvests, peasants rose up against the upper social classes. They wanted equality, social harmony, and common ownership of property. This was known as the “Great Peace”.
Peasants had very high taxes and not enough land while landlords had far more land than necessary and did not have to pay taxes.
State authorities required that peasants had to give 1 month of labor every year on public projects.
Young men were taken to work in the military.
Many peasants were forced to work as tenant farmers or sharecroppers due to the growth of poverty which forced many to sell their land to the wealthy. Rent as a sharecropper could run extremely high.
What set of ideas underlies India’s caste-based society?
Birth determines your social status
Moving up a class was extremely rare and not an option to many
There were many differences and inequalities between each class
Clear belief that society was organized into four castes (varnas); Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra. There was also the Untouchables who were considered to be outside the Varna system.
Varna Theory – the four segments were formed from the body of the god Purusha and were immutable – unchanging
What is the difference between varna and jati as expressions of caste?
Varnas were broken into subgroups known as Jatis
Possible to move up Varnas as a group of Jatis
Based off of occupation
Became the primary cells of social life beyond family
Split the Varnas into many separate Jatis
Each Jati was associated with a Varna, ranked in a hierarchy, and a particular set of duties
Marriage and eating together was only permitted in each individual’s jati
Summing Up So Far: How did India’s caste system differ from China’s class system?
Indian Caste System
Based off of religious status and purity
High class consisted of the Brahmins (priests and teachers)
Had many vast social groups
Less opportunity to move up in the social hierarchy
Chinese Class System
Based off of actions of the state
High class consisted of the Emperor and high ranking government officials
Fewer social groups with broader categories
More social mobility
How did the inequalities of slavery differ from those of caste?
Slaves were considered to be outsiders
Slaves had no rights, had to work without payment, were owned and sold, and had no personal identity
Slaves could be freed if their owners chose to let them go due to generosity or to avoid caring for them in their old age, a slave could purchase their freedom, and in some societies, children of slaves could be born free.
This allowed social mobility.
How did Greco-Roman slavery differ from that of other classical civilizations?
Both the Greek and Roman societies depended heavily on slaves, more so than any other society.
There were quite a lot more slaves in Greek and Roman civilizations compared to any other civilization.
Greek and Roman societies were entirely based off of slavery. At one time, about 34-40% of Roman population was made up of slaves.
A slave could occupy any job besides a position in the military.
In what ways did the expression of Chinese patriarchy change over time, and why did it change?
Long-established patterns of thinking in terms of things and their opposites were replaced with descriptions of gendered unequal terms. For example, Yin and Yang
Yang- superior symbol. Represents heaven, rulers, strength, rationality, light, and is viewed as masculine.
Yin- earth subjects, weakness, emotion, darkness, and is viewed as feminine
Emphasis was put on the public and political roles of men and the private roles of women.
Three Obediences:
Women must subordinate to their father, husband, and son
Chinese writer Ban Zhao wrote that women were taught to be inferior, passive, and subordinate to men from the day they were born.
How did the patriarchies of Athens and Sparta differ from each other?
Spartan women had more freedoms than Athenian women
Athenian women were viewed far more negatively and restrictive than Spartan women.
Spartan girls could participate in sporting events to prepare their bodies to bear children
Spartan women were well educated
Athenian females were viewed as “infertile males”
Athenian women experienced increasing limitations on their rights
What is the difference between class and caste?
Both were used to define social hierarchy
The Caste system had more rigid social groups with less social mobility
The Caste system is based off of religion
Ritual Purity
The Class system was based off of government roles and power
Political power in the Caste system could only be obtained by being in a certain caste
Anyone in the class system could obtain political power through wealth and/or education
Caste as Varna and Jati
Why was slavery so much more prominent in Greco-Roman civilization than in India or China?
The Greek and Roman societies were entirely dependent on slavery, their economy was built on it as well as most other things
Slaves in Greece and Rome took up over ⅓ of the entire population
China and India had few to no slaves because the peasants in China and the Untouchables in India took care of all work a slave would normally do.
Greeks and Romans used slaves as manpower to maintain and grow their empires
They were heavily dependent on slaves and they became a necessity
Greek and Roman Slavery
What philosophical, religious, or cultural ideas served to legitimate the class and gender inequalities of second-wave civilizations?
Confucianism was used to justify the class system and patriarchy through the Three Obediences, filial piety and Five Relationships.
Religious beliefs in India legitimized the caste system
Varnas (4 social classes) were described as being formed from the body of the God, Purusha,
Cycle of Samsara
Dharma determined the future of your cycle of life
Greek rationalism legitimized social hierarchy and gender inequality
Aristotle believed that some people were “slaves by nature” and should be enslaved for the good of society
Justified large scale slavery in Athens
⅓ of all Greek population was made up of slaves
Should be excluded from public affairs
Subordinate to men
Considered infertile men due to their inability to produce sperm (which was said to contain the soul/form of a new human)
Were, like children or domesticated animals, influenced unduly by instinct.
Lacked rationality to take part in public life
What changes in the patterns of social life in second-wave civilizations can you identify? What accounts for these changes?
No dramatic changes in social structures in society
Strengthened cultural traditions and institutions
Reinforced inequalities between social classes and genders
Strong states like China and Rome enforced and supported patriarchy and social hierarchy
Development of belief systems that supported class and gender inequalities:
Caste System (India)
Confucianism (China)
Legalism (China)
Greek Rationalism (Mediterranean)
Looking Back: Cultural and social patterns of civilizations seem to endure longer than the political framework of states and empires. What evidence from Chapters 3, 4, and 5, might support this statement? How might you account for this phenomenon? Is there evidence that could support a contrary position?
Rise and collapse of classical European empire (none lasted past beyond 550 CE)
Creation of cultural traditions that have relevance even today
Confucianism and Daoist ideas from China
Buddhist and Hindu traditions from India
Zoroastrians from Persia
Greek Rationalism
Christian Traditions
Features of classical social hierarchies that existed even after the collapse of their classical empires
Social Hierarchy of China (Persisted until the 20th century)
Three Obediences
Five Relationships
Filial Piety
The Indian Caste System continues to influence Indian society today
Slavery was a major social phenomenon
Continued in many regions into the late 19th century
Some forms of slavery still exist today
Some elements of patriarchy from the classical era still remains influential today
What similarities and differences are noticeable among the three major continents of the World?
Among the three major continents in the world, they were similar in ways such as all of them had hunters and gatherers, each had one or more of the seven original hearths of civilization that developed independently, complex societies and technology developed in each. Differences include the larger amount of populations in Eurasia than Africa or America (Eurasia held about 80 percent of the world’s population), the Americas were isolated from the exchanging of ideas, crops, animals, and trade in Africa and Eurasia, and metallurgy in the Americas was less developed.
How did the history of Meroë and Axum reflect interaction with neighboring civilizations?
The Kingdom of Meroë had interactions with neighboring civilizations in which much of their wealth and military power from trade via the Nile (to the north) and caravans (to the east and west), Merotic script eventually took the place of Egyptian writing, and when the Kingdom of Meroë declined, it adopted Christianity when under control of their neighboring state Axum. Axum became a large state because of its participation in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean commerce, created its own form of writing just as the Meroe did, and adopted Christianity from the Romans through Egypt
How does the experience of the Niger Valley challenge conventional notions of “civilization”?
The Niger Valley witnessed urban center without a corresponding state structure and were not encompassed within a larger imperial system. There were few signs of despotic power, widespread warfare, or deep social inequalities found within this civilization. The closest thing to these unconventional notions of civilization were the early cities of the Indus valley civilization.
With what Eurasian civilizations might the Maya be compared?
The Maya can be compared to Classical Greece and Mesopotamia. This is because like Greek and Mesopotamian, city-states of the Maya were imperialistic and failed to unify as one. The Mayans had a very shattered and fragmented political structure just like the Greeks and Mesopotamians. Like Greece and Mesopotamia, the Mayans had city states that fought amongst themselves, commonly fought with their neighboring civilizations, were polytheistic, had upper classes, elaborate architecture, and a written language.
In what ways did Teotihuacán shape the history of Mesoamerica?
Teotihuacán shaped the history of Mesoamerica by its great military strength and power that gave it a great presence in the Mayan heartland. Teotihuacán was also a great and massive trade center. The city was also imitated architecturally and artistically by other regions across Mesoamerica.
What kind of influence did Chavín exert in the Andes region?
The Chavin exerted influence in the Andes Mountains and were widely imitated within the region. Things such as Chavin-style architecture, sculpture, pottery, religious images, and painted textiles moved across the region. Their religious cult provided economic and cultural integration to much of the Peruvian Andes. The Chavin became a pilgrimage site and possibly a training center for initiates from distant corners of the region.
What features of Moche life characterize it as a civilization?
The Moche civilization dominated a 250 mile stretch of land along Peru’s northern coast. This area included 13 river valleys and these people flourished between 100 and 800 CE. Their economy was rooted to an irrigation system that was highly complex and required constant maintenance. Their political system was governed by warrior-priests, some lived atop large pyramids. The Moche craftsmen were extremely skilled and their remarkable talents were reflected in the elaborate burials given to these rulers. These workers were renowned for their metal work, pottery, weaving, and painting.
What was the significance of Wari and Tiwanaku in the history of Andean civilization?
In the history of Andean civilization, the Wari and Tiwanaku have great significance. Both provided a measure of political integration and cultural commonality for the entire Andean region. Their styles of poetry and textiles also spread far beyond regions under their control. The Inca drew heavily on these two civilizations. The Inca drew upon their imperial model, used similar styles of dress and artistic expression, and claimed that Tiwanaku was their place of origin.
Summing Up So Far: What features common to all civilizations can you identify in the
civilizations of Africa and the Americas? What distinguishing features give them a distinctive identity?
Civilizations in both the Americas and Africa both were agriculture-based societies that included social hierarchies and were patriarchies. They had large urban centers at the cores of each civilization with beautiful and unique architecture. However, all of these civilizations eventually collapsed and were replaced by new ones. Differences between civilizations in Africa and the Americas include the exchanging of ideas, crops, animals, and trade in Africa and Eurasia without the Americas, the development of the Niger River Valley’s urban centers without a corresponding state structure and were not encompassed within a larger imperial system, the maya developed writing, and the Maya and Moche practiced human sacrifice.
In what ways did the arrival of Bantu-speaking peoples stimulate cross-cultural interaction?
Bantu-speaking people stimulated cross-cultural interaction by bringing agriculture and iron to regions of Africa south of the equator, enabling large numbers of people to live in smaller areas than was possible before. They brought parasitic and infectious diseases to hunter gatherers who had little to no immunity against it. Bantu language “clicks” in local dialects were adopted by the now extinct hunting people, Bantu people made exchanges with the Batwa, and the Batwa adopted Bantu languages.
In what ways were the histories of the Ancestral Pueblo and the Mound Builders similar to each other, and how did they differ?
The histories of the Ancestral Pueblo and the Mound Builders were similar in the ways that settlements were linked to their trading networks, both participated in long distance exchange, both constructed structures to track the heavens, and both adopted maize from Mesoamerica. The Mound Builders were different from the Ancestral Pueblo because they had an independent agricultural revolution, continued to supplement their diets by gathering and hunting (until the arrival of maize), and built larger monumental agriculture burial grounds and earthwork. The Ancestral Pueblo were different because the arrival of maize occurred much earlier for them, they settled into earlier agricultural development, developed kivas for the use of religious ceremonies, and did not last as long as the Mound Builders.
“The particular cultures and societies of Africa and of the Americas discussed in this chapter developed largely in isolation.” What evidence would support this statement, and what might challenge it?
The Americas were only able to domesticate llamas and alpacas due to the lack of interaction and inability to trade with Eurasia. This also led to lack of Eurasian crops and technology. However, some technologies in Eurasia were developed independently by people in the Americas and they also had their own set of crops, mainly consisting of maize, beans, and squash (the three sisters).
North Africa was very much integrated into the Mediterranean world in Eurasia. Even areas below the equator in Africa experienced impacts from Eurasia in the form of new crops and animals. Africa also borrowed from Eurasia culturally and some places took on Christianity and Islam. It was also a part of the Indian trade network from which it gained knowledge and traded.
Bantu Expansion
Bantu Migration
How do you understand areas of the world, such as Bantu Africa and North America, that did not generate “civilizations”? Do you see them as “backward,” as moving slowly toward civilization, or as simply different?
I don’t believe that you can call this area uncivilized or backwards
You can use examples of their uses of animals to expand the commerce of the area
For example, the use of camels gained importance of travel through difficult and treacherous desert areas to facilitate trade.
They were and are merely different from the current societies we have today. This difference does not make them backward. They just aren’t as developed as modern day society, but that’s how all societies started. They have their own way of life that is simply different from ours.
How did African proximity to Eurasia shape its history? And how did American separation from the Eastern Hemisphere affect its development?
Eastern Hemisphere affect its development?
North Africa was very much a part of and fully integrated into the Mediterranean world
The east coast of Africa was a part of Indian trade
North Africa traded with Meroe and Axum and borrowed cultural traits such as Christianity and Islam
The camel in the Americas generated a pastoral and nomadic way of life
Interactions in Africa below the Equator with the Bantu had a profound impact on Africa from Eurasia through the arrival of new crops and animals
The Americas were only able to domesticate llamas and alpacas due to the lack of interaction and inability to trade with Eurasia. This also led to lack of Eurasian crops and technology. However, some technologies in Eurasia were developed independently by people in the Americas and they also had their own set of crops, mainly consisting of maize, beans, and squash (the three sisters).
Bantu Expansion
Chaco Phenomenon
Looking Back: “The histories of Africa and the Americas during the second-wave era largely resemble those of Eurasia.” Do you agree with this statement? Explain why or why not.
I disagree with this statement
Among the three major continents in the world, they were similar in ways such as all of them had hunters and gatherers, each had one or more of the seven original hearths of civilization that developed independently, complex societies and technology developed in each. Differences include the larger amount of populations in Eurasia than Africa or America (Eurasia held about 80 percent of the world’s population), the Americas were isolated from the exchanging of ideas, crops, animals, and trade in Africa and Eurasia, and metallurgy in the Americas was less developed.
The Kingdom of Meroë had interactions with neighboring civilizations in which much of their wealth and military power from trade via the Nile (to the north) and caravans (to the east and west), Merotic script eventually took the place of Egyptian writing, and when the Kingdom of Meroë declined, it adopted Christianity when under control of their neighboring state Axum. Axum became a large state because of its participation in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean commerce, created its own form of writing just as the Meroe did, and adopted Christianity from the Romans through Egypt.
The Niger Valley witnessed urban center without a corresponding state structure and were not encompassed within a larger imperial system. There were few signs of despotic power, widespread warfare, or deep social inequalities found within this civilization. The closest thing to these unconventional notions of civilization were the early cities of the Indus valley
Teotihuacán shaped the history of Mesoamerica by its great military strength and power that gave it a great presence in the Mayan heartland. Teotihuacán was also a great and massive trade center. The city was also imitated architecturally and artistically by other regions across Mesoamerica.
The Chavin exerted influence in the Andes Mountains and were widely imitated within the region. Things such as Chavin-style architecture, sculpture, pottery, religious images, and painted textiles moved across the region. Their religious cult provided economic and cultural integration to much of the Peruvian Andes. The Chavin became a pilgrimage site and possibly a training center for initiates from distant corners of the region
The Maya can be compared to Classical Greece and Mesopotamia. This is because like Greece and Mesopotamia, city-states of the Maya were imperialistic and failed to unify as one. The Mayans had a very shattered and fragmented political structure just like the Greeks and Mesopotamians. Like Greece and Mesopotamia, the Mayans had city states that fought amongst themselves, commonly fought with their neighboring civilizations, were polytheistic, had upper classes, elaborate architecture, and a written language.
Civilizations in both the Americas and Africa both were agriculture-based societies that included social hierarchies and were patriarchies. They had large urban centers at the cores of each civilization with beautiful and unique architecture. However, all of these civilizations eventually collapsed and were replaced by new ones. Differences between civilizations in Africa and the Americas include the exchanging of ideas, crops, animals, and trade in Africa and Eurasia without the Americas, the development of the Niger River Valley’s urban centers without a corresponding state structure and were not encompassed within a larger imperial system, the maya developed writing, and the Maya and Moche practiced human sacrifice.
What lay behind the emergence of Silk Road commerce, and what kept it going for so many centuries?
Eurasia is made up of many different kinds of environments which means the trade of many good was essential to some people
People in certain geographic areas of Eurasia needed, especially by pastoral societies in area were agriculture was not possible due to climatic conditions.
Manufactured goods were traded as well as agricultural products for hides, fur livestock, wool, and amber.
Ideas of metallurgy (bronze) horse-based technologies, languages, and other ideas were spread through cultural diffusion.
Demand for hard-to-find luxury items among elites of Eurasia
Classical civilizations invaded the territory of the nomadic and pastoral people, securing sections of the Silk Road for merchants and travelers.
Later states such as the Byzantine, Abbasid, and Mongol Empires benefitted and supported trade along the Silk Road
What made silk such a highly desired commodity across Eurasia?
It was quite comfortable and made a “fashion statement”
It became a mark of the Chinese Elite class
It was used as a currency
It could be exchanged for horse and to buy-off invaders from the northern border of China
It as a symbol of a high social status in China and the Byzantine Empire
It was associated with Buddhism and Christianity
The Chinese kept the process of silk making a secret so no other country or empire knew how to manufacture it. This created a monopoly.
What were the major economic, social, and cultural consequences of Silk Road commerce?
Silk was used as a currency
It was a way to accumulate wealth in Central Asia being that it was so highly sought after and desired
It was a symbol of the upper classes and a high social status in both China and the Byzantine Empire
It was associated with both the religions of Christianity and Buddhism
It caused Peasants in the Yangtze River area to give up cultivation food and focus solely on creating silk, paper, porcelain, lacquer-ware, iron tools, and other luxury items involved in Silk Road trading.
Buddhism was spread widely across Asia through cultural diffusion on the SIlk Road
What accounted for the spread of Buddhism along the Silk Roads?
It had appeal to Indian Merchants who took a liking to its universal message to that of a Brahmin-dominated Hinduism that privileged the higher castes
Buddhism was supported by rulers such as Ashoka
Indian traders and Buddhist Monks brought the religion to the Silk Road
Many inhabitants of the sophisticated and prosperous oasis cities of Central Asia that engaged in long-distance trade found in Buddhism a link to the larger, wealthy, and prestigious civilization of India. This resulted in many voluntary conversions to Buddhism.
Well-To-Do Buddhist merchants built monasteries and supported monks to earn religious merit
The monasteries provided places of rest for merchants in turn
What was the impact of disease along the Silk Roads?
Q. What lay behind the flourishing of Indian Ocean commerce in the post classical millennium?
Contact and trade along the Silk Road caused many people to be exposed to unfamiliar diseases for which they had very little or no immunity to as well as no effective methods of coping with the disease.
Spreads of particular diseases along the Silk Road caused extreme epidemic diseases which led to a very large amount of death
For example, the spread the of Black Death in the 14th century or the Bubonic Plague, Anthrax, or a package of numerous epidemic diseases.
This took nearly a third of the European population however, this may have benefitted the Europeans in some aspect because they gained natural protection from many diseases.
Reestablishment of China through the Tang and Song Dynasties economically and politically
China supplied products and consumed products from the Indian Ocean Trade Network
China introduced technological innovations such as larger ships and the magnetic compass which helped facilitate trade
The sudden rise of Islam, which was friendly to commercial life. The creation of an Arab Empire which stretched from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Mediterranean basin, and to India, brought together in a single political system an immense range of economies and cultural traditions and provided a vast arena for trade.
Middle Eastern gold and silver were traded for pepper, textiles, and gemstones.
Widespread conversion to Islam among traders in this region gave the trade center a culture that sided in the facility of commercial transactions.
In what ways did Indian influence register in Southeast Asia?
Indian Numerical System and language were being used in Southeast Asia
Indian art provided models
The Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia
Hinduism and Buddhism began to take hold
Southeast Asians liked the idea of Indian rulers being god-kings
Indian political ideas
What was the role of Swahili civilization in the world of Indian Ocean commerce?
Set of commerical city-states
There was a demand for East African products so Swahili cities accumulated such goods from Africa and exchanged them for products from other civilizations
Created many coastal waterways
Many Arabs and Persians settled in Swahili
Islam provided Swahili with a link to the rest of the Indian Ocean and its trade
Allowed for African Trade
Summing Up So Far: To what extent did the Silk Roads and the Sea Roads operate in a similar fashion? How did they differ?
Commerce was the purpose for creating and maintaining both trade networks
Cultural diffusion occurred along both
Ideas, religions, philosophies, agriculture, manufactured products, technology, crops, livestock, and luxury items were traded along both
Commercialization of communities along both routes
Both brought wealth and power to many civilizations
The role of powerful empires played important roles along each route
No pastoral communities could trade along the sea
Commodity goods traded on sea routes but not land routes
East Africa and Southeast Asia participated in the Sea Routes but not the Land Routes.
What changes did trans-Saharan trade bring to West Africa?
West Africans now had a wide variety of goods that weren’t available to them before
They were able to get more of the goods they needed and/or wanted
Caravans were created to link West Africa to others in the north to trade
New city-states, states, empires, and cities were created and all of them received great wealth from taxes, trade, and merchants
New hierarchies were formed
Introduction of the camel
Trading Gold, African ivory, kola nuts, and slaves for horses, cloth, dates, manufactured goods, and salt
Became a major international trade route
Provided resources for construction and political structures
Extremely wealthy rulers
In what ways did networks of interaction in the Western Hemisphere differ from those in the Eastern Hemisphere?
Western Hemisphere:
Many inventions
Absence of large mammals such as horses or camels
Lack of vehicles
Many environmental differences
Less domestication
No diffusion of writing systems between civilizations
Little to no contact with other civilizations
Absence of ocean-going vehicles
No way to facilitate long-distance trade between civilizations
Cultural diffusion occurred slowly (if it occurred at all)
Geographic obstacles for trade
North-South orientation caused less movement of agricultural practices and products due to drastically different climatic zones

Eastern Hemisphere:
Many technological advancements
Easy cultural diffusion
Religions and philosophies spread through trade routes and systems
Rapid Cultural diffusion
Long-distance trade
Silk Road
Indian Ocean trade
Distinct cultural traditions
Spread of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam
Horses, donkeys, camels, wheeled vehicles, large ocean-going vessels, domestication of many animals and plants
Few environmental obstacles for trade (if there were any they were eventually overcame)
East-West orientation allowed for easy, fast, and efficient cultural diffusion.

Why are the centuries of the Tang and Song dynasties in China sometimes referred to as a “golden age”?
The Song and Tang Dynasties were built a civil service exam-based state structure
Built on the Sui foundations of unity
Prominent achievements in art, literature, poetry, landscape painting, and ceramics.
Explosion of scholarship
State structure endured for thousands of years
Six Major Ministries (personnel, finance, rites, army, justice, and public works)
Printing of books
Economic revolution (made China the richest empire on earth)
Populations exploded from 50 million to 60 million during the Tang and 120 million by 1200
Massive Urbanization
Advance Manufacturing Techniques
Inventions such as printing, gunpowder, innovations in navigation, and shipbuilding
The Chinese economy became the most commercialized economy in the world
Chinese economy produced for the market rather than local consumption.
In what ways did women’s lives change during the Tang and Song dynasties?
Turning point in Chinese patriarchy
Chinese women in the north during the Tang Dynasty experience greater freedoms and social lives due to Buddhist influence
Revival of Confucianism and rapid economic growth restricted women
Foot Binding
Factories replace women who worked in the textile industry
An increase in the number of elite families and their growing prosperity resulted in the expansion of the role of women as concubines, entertainers,etc.
Remarriage for a women was highly frowned upon
During the Song Dynasty women focused on education to prepare their sons for the civil service exam
Women’s property rights expanded
How did the Chinese and their nomadic neighbors to the north view each other?
The Chinese and their nomadic neighbors did trade, however, they did not get along very well
Nomadic peoples were attached to Chinese goods such as silk and wine
Nomads traded, raided, and extorted to get Chinese resources
Chinese responded by constructing the Great Wall
Chinese often threatened their nomadic neighbors
Horses were acquired by the Chinese through their nomadic neighbors
What assumptions underlay the tribute system?
China was the “middle kingdom” and the center of the world
The Chinese were superior to their nomadic neighbors and all else beyond the Chinese borders
The system was designed to facilitate civilizing contact
Required Chinese authorities to recognize Chinese superiority and their place in China
In exchange for expressions of submission, the Emperor of China would grant permission to trade to foreigners and provide them with gifts
How did the tribute system in practice differ from the ideal Chinese understanding of its operation?
China often confronted powerful nomadic empires (such as the Xiongnu) that were able to deal with China on less than equal terms.
Chinese princesses were promised as wives
Approved trade involving goods that benefitted nomads
Agreed to annually supply the nomads with grain, wine, and silk
These goods were called “gifts” and were granted in accord with the tribute system. However they were more likely protection money
In what ways did China and the nomads influence each other?
SOME Nomadic peoples adopted some Chinese ways
Few Chinese methods were incorporated but Chinese-style agriculture was purely impossible due to the geography
Few pastoral and nomadic societies were incorporated into the Chinese state, if they were, it was typically not for a very significant amount of time
Some parts of Northern China were periodically conquered by the nomads and ruled by them
In what ways did China have an influence in Korea, Vietnam, and Japan? In what ways was that influence resisted?
Korea adopted Buddhism and modeled its capital after China’s capital city
Brought in Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism
Korea developed its own alphabet
Korea had political independence
Vietnam was fully incorporated into China
In Vietnam, Chinese-style agriculture introduced, Chinese clothing, hairstyles became mandatory, adopted Mandate of Heaven, scholar-gentry class created.
Rebellions occurred in Vietnam
Women had greater roles in Vietnam
Vietnam formed a distinctive language
Japan voluntarily borrowed from China
Japan adopted Chinese model of the bureaucratic state, their ruler was treated like the Chinese Emperor, Confucianism and Buddhism were encouraged, the Chinese calendar, court rituals, tax system, law system, ministries, provincial administration, art, and literature.
Chinese power on Japan eventually began to decentralize
Japan began celebrating military strengths instead of education feats.
In what different ways did Japanese and Korean women experience the pressures of Confucian orthodoxy?
Japanese elite women largely escaped:
Prohibition of remarriage for widows
Seclusion in the home
Foot Binding techniques and practices
Japanese women were able to:
Inherit property
Live apart from their family once married
Make and break marriages with ease
Summing Up So Far: In what different ways did Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and northern nomads experience and respond to Chinese influence?
Korea and Vietnam achieved political independence and participated FULLY in the tribute system as vassal states
Japan was not conquered by the Chinese and partially participated in the tribute system as a vassal state
In Korea, Vietnam, and Japan, the elite class borrowed heavily from:
Administrative techniques
Examination System
Literary Styles
Despite the many similarities, the cultures Korea, Vietnam, and China, and Japan remained quite distinct
Korea and Vietnam experience Chinese colonization
Culture of Vietnam was fully incorporated into the Chinese state leading to Chinese style irrigated agriculture, education of elite in Confucian-based schools and inclusion in local bureaucracy.
Chinese replaced local languages, hairstyles, and clothing.
In what ways did China participate in the world of Eurasian commerce and exchange, and with what outcomes?
Main export products of silk, porcelain, and lacquerware.
Size of the Chinese economy provided a market for many goods from distant regions
Diffusion of Chinese technological innovation:
Naval Technologies
Gunpowder (resulted in European development of the cannon)
Imported cotton and sugar from India
Imported rice from Vietnam
Cultural diffusion of Buddhism
What facilitated the rooting of Buddhism within China?
The chaos that followed the fall of the Han Dynasty discredited Confucianism and opened up to new alternatives to establish the Mandate of Heaven.
Provided comfort to society
Buddhist Monasteries provided support to poverty
There was a massive effort by Buddhist monks, scholars, and translators to present their religion in terms that the Chinese population could relate to
Women are seen as equals in Chinese Buddhism
What were the major sources of opposition to Buddhism within China?
Because it was very foreign it was considered offensive to some Confucianists and Daoists
To Confucianist thinkers, the celibacy of Buddhist monks and their withdrawal from society was offensive. It didn’t apply to the Confucian-based relationship system.
Resentment of foreign culture was prominent in China (particularly among the literate classes)
Buddhist monasteries, shrines, and temples were destroyed and Buddhist monks and nuns were forced to go back to a secular life due to a number of imperial decrees.
In what ways did the early history of Islam reflect its Arabian origins?
Islam drew on:
Distinction as Children of Abraham
Denouncement of social hierarchy
Values of Arab tribal life
Rejection of tribal structure which in many cases led to violence
Valued personal bravery, loyalty to those around you, hospitality, and highly expressive poetry (such as the Quran)
Monotheistic ideas of Jews, CHristians, and Zoroastrians helped to define Allah (One and only Islamic God)
Replacement of Tribal and Clan Structure with the umma (community of all believers)
What did the Quran expect from those who followed its teachings?
The Quran expected all who followed its teachings to submit to Allah as the one and only true God
Five Pillars of Islam:
Profession of faith
Regular Prayer
Charitable Giving
Fasting during the Ramadan
Pilgrimage to Mecca (Financially if possible)
Rejection of Greed and selfishness
Social Equality
How was Arabia transformed by the rise of Islam?
Membership in Medina was not based on birth, but rather faith.
Usury was outlawed.
Tax Free market places were established
Mandatory payment to support and aid the poor
Muhammad separated Islam from Judaism
Followers of Muhammad prayed towards Judaism until some Jews allied against Muhammad and his followers (then faced Mecca)
The Kaaba was declared to be a shrine to Allah by Muhammad
There was no longer any distinction between religious and political laws
Peace was brought to warring tribes
Why were Arabs able to construct such a huge empire so quickly?
The shared faith of Islam allowed the newly organized state to mobilize the military potential and protection of the Arabian population. This expansion of the military a way to reach wealth and social elevation.
Byzantine and Persian Empires were weak after decades of war and issues within the empires such as internal revolts.
Merchant Leaders of the new community wanted to capture the profitable routes of the Silk Roads.
Expansion gave Arabs a common goal which created unity and reinforced umma.
Arabs were motivated strongly by their religion.
What accounts for the widespread conversion to Islam?
Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians could find familiar elements from their own religions in Islam
Islam was associated with a powerful state since it began
Conquest made many people question the powers of the previous Gods. The growing power and prestige of the Arab Empire attracted many to Allah.
Even though conversion was rare and not an easy process, the Islam-governed state provided a variety of incentives for claiming Muslim identity, such as tax breaks.
Merchants could find a religion that was very friendly to trade and commerce. The Arab empire also enjoyed the trade and benefitted from it.
Conversion to Islam was considerably easy. All that was need was to follow the Five Pillars.
What is the difference between Sunni and Shia Islam?
Sunni Islam:
Caliphs were rightful political and military leaders.
Leaders would be selected by the Islamic Community
Religious authority came from the larger community (particularly religious scholars known as Ulama)
Lacked messianic element
Shia Islam:
The leadership of the Islamic world should come from the line of Ali and Husayn who were blood relatives of Muhammad.
Leaders were invested in.
Leaders of the Shia were known as Inams.
Inams had religious authority that the Caliphs lacked.
This authority allowed Inams and Inams alone to interpret the true meaning of the Quran and wishes of Allah then reveal them to others.
Included messianic element
In what ways were Sufi Muslims critical of mainstream Islam?
Believed that teaching about the laws and proper behavior did little to bring a believer into the presence of God
Reading the Quran (Believed the presence of God was better)
Ulama was comprised of worldly and corrupt governments
Opposed legalistic and scholarly practitioners of the sharia
Desired an emotional union with God
How did the rise of Islam change the lives of women?
Quran banned female infanticide
Gave Women the right to own property
Allowed men to have relationships with CONSENTING relationships with female slaves.
Children born as a result of such relationships would be born free as the mother would be when the owner died.
As the empire grew, the position of women became more limited.
Women began to stay in their homes and pray here instead of the mosque
Veiling and seclusion of women became standard in the upper classes.
Patriarchy began to tighten
“Honor Killing” of women by male relatives
Sufi practice allowed for a greater role for women
What similarities and differences can you identify in the spread of Islam to India, Anatolia, West Africa, and Spain?
Islam spread to India, Anatolia, and Spain though force of Islamic Armies.
Islam arrived in West Africa through Muslim traders
Sufis facilitated conversions by accommodating local traditions (particularly in India and Anatolia, but very little in West Africa).
In Spain, India, and West Africa, Islam became one of several important faiths within each civilizations’ culture.
Islam became the dominant faith of West Africa.
Anatolia was more thoroughly Islamized than India due to the Islamic people that settled in Anatolia, coupled with the massacres, enslavement, famine, flight during conquest, centralized society, etc.
In what ways was Anatolia changed by its incorporation into the Islamic world?
Turkish-speaking people suffered massacres, enslavement, famine, and flight which led to a large drop in their population.
Christians suffered from discrimination
Church properties were confiscated
Monasteries destroyed/deserted
Priests and or bishops were unable to serve congregations
Safis replaced Christians
Turkish rulers built an inclusive/culturally accepting society and their influence became more egalitarian for women
Laid foundation for the Ottoman Empire
Summing Up So Far: “Islam had a revolutionary impact on every society that it touched.” What evidence might support this statement, and what might challenge it?
Islam spread to Spain, West Africa, Anatolia, and India
Islam contributed greatly to trade along the Silk Roads, Sand routes, and Sea Routes.
Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians could find familiar elements from their own religions in Islam
Conquest made many people question the powers of the previous Gods. The growing power and prestige of the Arab Empire attracted many to Allah.
Conversion to Islam was considerably easy. All that was need was to follow the Five Pillars.
Brought peace to warring tribes
Islam did not have very much affect on India
Islam really only affected civilizations in distress, such as Anatolia
It seems that a civilizations had to be in some kind of disaster (such as massacres, enslavement, famine, flight during conquest) for Islam to take hold, enough disaster for that civilization to question their own Gods.
What makes it possible to speak of the Islamic world as a distinct and coherent civilization?
Common commitment to Islam
Nothing was more important in Islamic belief than the Ulama
Ulama created a system of education that bound the diverse civilization.
Pilgrimage to Mecca drew an extremely large sum of Muslims to Mecca each year from almost everywhere in the Islamic world.
Focus on learning and understanding the true meaning of the Quran forced many to learn Arabic because that is the only language it is written in.
The understanding of the Quran in Arabic allowed Islam to communicate across the world
Sufi emphasis on the Divine rather than law made space for local beliefs and practices:
Encouraged blended Islam (The Hajj-pilgrimage to Mecca- served to include and unify traditions that emphasized elements central to the Islamic faith)
Exchange and trade in the Islamic Empire fortified Islamic civilization
Forms of banking allowed the economy to flourish
Spreading of agricultural products and practices allowed for the exposure of new crops and irrigation systems which contributed to the Islamic Green Revolution.
Technologies and ideas such as rockets, papermaking, and the blending of Islam with other cultures.
In what ways was the world of Islam a “cosmopolitan civilization”?
Muslim merchants were very prominent in the Silk Roads, Sea Routes, and Sand Roads.
Islam promoted long distance trade and economic relationships.
Islam actively supported a prosperous, highly developed, and “capitalist” economy.
Facilitated a substantial exchange of agricultural products or practices for sugarcane and cotton
Techniques for manufacturing paper in the Middle East (from China)
Islam made contributions towards education (algebra, political sciences, astronomy, and optics)
What variations in the experience of African and Asian Christian communities can you identify?
Expansion of Christianity:
Asia: Expansion due to close relation with Daoist and Buddhist ideas
Africa: Expanding in due to trade, cultural diffusion from Egypt to Nubia, war, etc.
Christianity spread to places like China, Nubia, and Ethiopia but mainly survived and thrived in Ethiopia.
Oppression of Christianity in Egypt and Nubia which increased in the 13th century:
Leads to decline in Egyptian Coptic Church
Disappearance of Nubian Church
Arabic conversion due to the arrival of Islam near Coastal North Africa.
In what respects did Byzantium continue the patterns of the classical Roman Empire? In what ways did it diverge from those patterns?
Continuance in:
Military Structures
Centralized Administration
Imperial Court
Christian Organization
Pursuit of long-term Roman struggle with Persian Empire
Diverged in development of reformed administrative system that gave appointed generals civil authority in the empire’s provinces and allowed them to raise armies from the landowning peasants of the region.
Caesaropapism that defined the relationship between the church and the state.
How did Eastern Orthodox Christianity differ from Roman Catholicism?
Catholic Church maintained a certain amount of independence from political authorities.
In Byzantium, the emperor was both ruler of the state and the church.
Byzantine emperor appointed patriarch of the Orthodox Church, made decisions concerning doctrine, called church councils into session, treated church as an extension of the government.
Greek became the language of religious practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church
Latin became the language of religious practice in the Roman Catholic Church.
Byzantine thinkers in the West wanted to create a Christian doctrine in terms of Greek philosophical concepts.
Both churches disagreed on doctrinal issues, nature of the Holy Trinity, importance of faith and reason, and icons.
Byzantine priests were allowed to marry and grow beards while priests in the west were to remain celibate and clean-shaven.
Orthodox ritual called for using bread leavened with yeast in the mass, but Catholics used unleavened bread.
In what ways was the Byzantine Empire linked to a wider world?
Byzantium continued the Roman struggle with the Persian Empire
Central power in long-distance trade in Eurasia
Commercial links to-
Western Europe
Central Asia
Islamic World
Preserved ancient Greek learning
Transmitted classical heritage to the Islamic and Christian worlds.
Responsible for large amounts of religious cultural diffusion among Eurasian civilizations.
How did links to Byzantium transform the new civilization of Kievan Rus?
Borrowed from Byzantine architectural styles
Cyrillic Alphabet
Extensive use of icons
Tradition of prayer and service
Political ideas of imperial control over the Church.
What replaced the Roman order in Western Europe?
Roman imperial order collapsed
Replaced by regional kingdoms ruled by Germanic warlords.
Maintained some Roman features such as written Roman law and the use of fines and penalties to provide order and justice.
Carolingian Empire and the empire of Otto I of Saxony had aspirations to re-create something of the unity of the Roman Empire.
Kingdoms were short-lived and unsuccessful in reviving anything approaching Roman authority.
In the West, a social system based on reciprocal ties between greater and lesser lords among the warrior elites.
This system replaced the Roman social structure.
Slavery gave away to serfdom.
In what ways was European civilization changing after 1000?
Large spike in population
New lands for cultivation
Long-distance trade sprung back up and was expanded
Individual populations of towns expanded and attracted professional groupings creating a more complex and productive society.
Women were given more opportunities due to economic growth and urbanization. However, these opportunities were short lived and declined by the 15th century.
Territorial states grew
More effective governments were established
Loyalty and obedience of subjects
Roman Catholic Church expanded into Eastern Europe and Islamic Spain.
What was the impact of the Crusades in world history?
Marked expansion of Western Christendom and decline of Eastern Christendom and Byzantium
Stimulated demand for luxury goods in Europe
Allowed Europeans to learn techniques for producing sugar on large plantations using slave labor.
Muslim and Greek learning and scholarship moved into Europe
Hardened barriers between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.
European empires
Notions like Manifest Destiny appeared in the building of empires
Summing Up So Far: How did the historical development of the European West differ from that of Byzantium in the third-wave era?
Large-scale rule vanished in the West and was replaced with a large number of regional kingdoms which commonly fought and waged wars with each other.
Sharp decline in:
Urban life
Long-distance Trade
Social System based on reciprocal ties of greater and lesser lords among warrior elites and lords and serfs.
Roman Catholic Church was able to maintain a greater amount of independence from political authorities than the Orthodox Church in Byzantium.
However, both churches worked actively with their political authorities.
In what ways did borrowing from abroad shape European civilization after 1000?
Technological innovations spread across Eurasia
Allowed Europe to technologically catch up and perhaps even surpass China and the Islamic world.
More efficient horse collar contributed to the efforts to plow heavy soil in northern Europe.
Gunpowder from China
Cannons from Europe gave military advantages over other civilizations
Improvements in shipbuilding,navigational techniques, including the magnetic compass and sternpost rudder from China and adaptations of the Arab lateen sail, enabled Europeans to build more advanced and developed ships.
Why was Europe unable to achieve the kind of political unity that China experienced? What impact did this have on the subsequent history of Europe?
Geographic Barriers
Ethnic and linguistic diversity
Shifting balances of power among Europe’s many states
European nations were engaged in many conflicts with each other.
Unable to achieve domestic peace for many centuries.
In what different ways did classical Greek philosophy and science have an impact in the West, in Byzantium, and in the Islamic world?
In the West after 1000 CE, a belief in the ability of human reason to penetrate divine mysteries and to grasp the operation of the natural order took shape through scientific methods.
In the Byzantine Empire, classical tradition was kept alive through scholars.
Scholarship thrived in Islam but the scientific method did not become of concern for Islamic higher education.
After 1200 Islam became more conservative in its approach towards scholarship as opposed to Christianity.
In what ways did pastoral societies differ from their agricultural counterparts?
Pastoral societies were:
Less Productive
Need for large grazing areas
Smaller, more scattered villages
Organized in kinships, chiefdoms, or clans that made up tribes
Highly egalitarian
Few social restrictions
Everyone was actively engaged in work as well as the political side of society.
Smaller populations
Many people in the small villages were related
In what ways did pastoral societies interact with their agricultural neighbors?
Pastoral societies were an alternative way of living to the agricultural societies.
Each depended on the other and couldn’t exist without the other’s products.
Agricultural ways of life were disliked by nomadic groups and nomadic ways of life were disliked by agricultural groups.
The egalitarianism in nomadic societies was frowned upon by settled communities.
Nomads sought access to the food, manufactured goods, and luxury items of the Agricultural societies.
Pastoral people united to to extract wealth from the agricultural societies through either trade, raids, or extortion.
Some members of either pastoral or agricultural societies adopted the other’s religion (such as Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and/or Manichaeism) and other cultural traditions.
In what ways did the Xiongnu, Arabs, Turks, and Berbers make an impact on world history?
Revolution in nomadic life
Brought forth a more centralized and hierarchical system
Power was more concentrated in a single and “divine ” ruler
Differences in status became more pronounced
Model of this system was later mimicked by the Turks and Mongols.
Islam emerged
Brought forth the largest and most expansive religion of the time.
Pastoral Arabs were the troops that carved out the Arabian Empire and Islamic Expansion.
Carried Islam to new regions such as Northern India and Anatolia.
Established Islamic civilization
Power behind the Abbasid caliphate
Made important empires out of settled societies
Ottoman Empire
Built the Almoravid Empire in Morocco (1000)
Conquered Spain
Sophisticated Islamic Cultural
Identify the major steps in the rise of the Mongol Empire.
Unity of the Mongols Temujin (Genghis Khan)
Great Mongol Nation was formed by 1206
Military campaigns against settled agricultural societies in Eurasia were held by Genghis Khan in an effort to hold this alliance together
Through war, the Mongols and Genghis Khan brought about an empire that included China, Korea, Central Asia, Russia, the Islamic Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe.
Summing Up So Far: What accounts for the political and military success of the Mongols?
Charismatic Leader (Genghis Khan)
Fictive Kinship: designating allies as blood relatives and treating each other with great respect.
Horseback riding
Hunting Skills
Archery Skills
Organized Battle Tactics
Egalitarian Principles
Ability to extract great wealth from raids or trade with China, Persia, and/or Byzantium
Political system reminiscent of Legalism
Well led, organized, disciplined army
Ideology that they were meant to conquer the entire world
Acquired Chinese techniques and technology
Siege warfare
Ruthless Brutality served for psychological warfare
Rapid Communication
Centralized Bureaucracy
Great Commerce
Protection on the Silk Roads
Religiously tolerant
How did Mongol rule change China? In what ways were the Mongols changed by China?
Mongols united a divided China
Mongols took on a dynastic title, the Yuan.
Moved capital ( “City of the Khan” ) to present-day Beijing
Mongols made use of original Chinese administrative practices and taxation system for their postal system.
Made use of Confucian traditions and rituals
Gained support politically from Chinese due to their use of Chinese principles
How was Mongol rule in Persia different from that in China?
Heavy Taxation forced Persian peasants off their land
Extensive Mongol use of Persian bureaucracy
Mongol rulers were very different from their Chinese counterparts, they were transformed to the Persian culture.
Mongols who conquered Persia largely converted to Islam, the local faith.
A large number of the Mongol conquerors turned to an agricultural lifestyle.
Mongols married the locals
When the Mongol rule collapsed in Persia, they were not driven out as they were from China because they had been absorbed into the community.
What was distinctive about the Russian experience of Mongol rule?
he Mongols conquered Russia but did not occupy it as they did with Persia and China.
Russia was exploited by the Mongols
Mongol impact was much more less prominent and uneven as compared Persia or China.
Absence of direct rule under the Mongols in Russia resulted in less cultural diffusion. The Mongols were far less influenced by the Russian culture than their counterparts in China and Persia were.
Russia suffered from repeated attacks from the Mongols
Mongols continues their nomadic lifestyle in Russia, living in the mountains and coming down to raid Russia, taking loot and slaves.
What kinds of cross-cultural interactions did the Mongol Empire generate?
The Mongols actively promoted international commerce.
Mongol trade routes travelled from China to the Middle East, linking the majority of Eurasia.
Brought about diplomatic relationships throughout Eurasia
Increased trade exchange in Eurasia with their forced transfer of large populations of skilled people taken as slaves from Mongol conquests.
Facilitated cultural diffusion, encouraging the spread of religions and the exchange of ideas.
Disease changes societies. How might this argument apply to the plague?
Loss of population could lead to:
Conflicts between social classes
Scarce workers
Undermined Serfdom
Greater interest in technology, science, and medicinal studies.
Need for more bodies in the workforce creating more employment opportunities for women.
Mongol downfall
Disruption in trade and exchange, limiting cultural diffusion and transfer of much needed commodities.
Forced Europeans to utilized sea routes to trade with Asia.
In what ways did the gathering and hunting people of Australia differ from those of the northwest coast of North America?
Hunter Gatherers separated into about 250 groups
Borrowed Ideas from outsiders such as:
Firestick Farming was used to clean up the country
Trade and Exchange occurred
North America:
Complex Hunter-Gatherer Culture
Permanent Settlements and Villages
Large Houses
Economic Specialization and Structure
Social Hierarchy
Food Surpluses
What kinds of changes were transforming the societies of the West African Igbo and the North American Iroquois as the fifteenth century unfolded?
Farming Village Societies
West Africa:
Productivity made larger than populations
Rivaling city-states (Like the Greek City-States or Mayan City-States)
Kings performed both religious and political functions (Like caesaropapism).
Fully Agricultural
Warfare led to prestige for Iroquois men
Great Law of Peace and Conflict
Alliance of 5 Iroquois people through their clan leaders.
Peaceful solutions
Limited government
Social Equality
Personal Freedom
What role did Central Asian and West African pastoralists play in their respective regions?
Central Asia:
Timur’s armies attempted to regain the Mongol Empire through conquering parts of Russia, Persia, and India.
Sophisticated and elite culture:
Included artists, poets, merchants, craftsmen, etc.
West Africa:
Fulbe People (were the largest pastoral society in Africa) lived in small communities among agricultural societies (each depended on each other)
Paid Grazing Fees
Adopted Islam
Political Systems (Simplistic)
Gave rise to a new series of states
How would you define the major achievements of Ming dynasty China?
Major Achievements:
Encyclopedia including history, geography, ethics, government, etc.
The capital of Beijing
Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven
Reestablishment of the civil service exam and centralized government
Emperors and Eunuchs
Rebuilt Canals, reservoirs, and irrigation.
Population Grew
Recovered from Mongol attack and rule
South China Sea encompassed new peoples in the Tribute System
Chinese Control Trade
Most impressive sea expeditions that the world had ever seen
What political and cultural differences stand out in the histories of fifteenth-century China and Western Europe? What similarities are apparent?
Political Differences:
Unitary and Centralized Government
System of Many Independent and Separate Highly Competitive States
Feudal System
Efficient Taxes for Structures and Armies
Cultural Differences:
Classic Greek Tradition
Both Western Europe and China returned to the traditions of their classical states, Confucianism and the Classical Greek Empire.
In what ways did European maritime voyaging in the fifteenth century differ from that of China? What accounts for these differences?
Size Differences:
European voyages had fewer crew members and ships. For example, Columbus’ voyage to the Americas had three ships with a 90 person crew.
Chinese voyages were much larger. De Gama: Four ships with 130 people in the crew. Zheng He had hundreds of ships with thousands of crew members.
Europeans were seeking wealth in Asia and Africa as well as Christian Converts and Allies
China had all the wealth and allies it needed. The Chinese had no desire convert people to their religion. Their voyages ended abruptly after 1433
Europe sought to monopolize Indian Ocean Commerce
Europe created Empires in the Americas (quite violently)
Reasons for Differences:
Chinese Unified Empire
European Fragmented Political Authority
The European Elites had great interest in overseas expansion
Chinese Emperor Yongle passed away. He was the main supporter Chinese voyages. After he was out the scene, those opposed to the voyages prevailed within the court.
Chinese believed they we were the superior culture and felt that if needed something from abroad, someone would bring it to them. In contrast, Europeans felt the need to seek out the riches of the East.
What differences can you identify among the four major empires in the Islamic world of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries?
The Ottoman Empire, Safavid Empire, and Mughal Empire were of Turkic origins. The Songhay Empire was not of these origins.
The Ottoman Empire and Safavid Empire ruled over the heart of the Muslim world. Most of their subjects were followers of Islam. The land the Mughal Empire and Songhay Empire ruled over regions where Islam was a minority faith.
Rulers of the Safavid Empire were the only rulers to impose a Shia version of Islam as the official religion of the state.
Summing Up So Far: In what ways do the civilizations of China, Europe, and the Islamic world in the fifteenth century seem to be moving in the same direction, and in what respects were they diverging from one another?
Paleolithic Persistence:
Australia, North America, Siberia, and parts of Africa participated in Paleolithic persistence.
Firestick farming
Complex Hunter-Gatherer cultures
Organized clan leaders
Contracted as the Agricultural Revolution Spread
More leisure time and a healthier lifestyle
Iroquois and Igbo
Traded among themselves
Pastoral People:
Central Asia and West Africa
The Mongols
Turks (led by Timur) attacked Russia, Persia, and India. Bringing immense devastation to all.
Elite Culture of a combination of Turkic and Persian elements
Homelands swallowed by expanding empires
Ming Dynasty:
Promoted Confucianism
Returned to the old ways of China
Emperor Yongle
Civil Service Exams back in place
Building of Beijing and the Temple of Heaven
Maritime Expeditions
Demographic Recovery
Political Consolidation
Cultural Blooming
Recovered from Black Death
Fragmented into independent states and divided Christendom (Spain, Portugal, France, England, Italy, etc.)
Russia became centered at Moscow
England and France warred over French territory
European Renaissance was parallel to the Ming Dynasty
RIse in the Arts
Maritime Voyages
What distinguished the Aztec and Inca empires from each other?
The Inca Empire was much than the Aztec Empire
The Aztec Empire controlled a part of the Mesoamerican region.
At the peak of the empire, the Inca state controlled the whole expanse of the Andean Mountains.
The rulers of the Aztec Empire largely left the people that they conquered alone and did not form any system to administer them or assimilate the people into their culture.
The Incas created a bureaucratic empire.
The Aztec Empire took tribute from their subjects in the form of goods. The Inca Empire took tribute in the form of labor services.
The Aztec Empire had large commercial exchange based on merchants and free markets.
The Inca Government was a major factor in the production and distribution of goods as well as society and their economy.
How did Aztec religious thinking support the empire?
Human sacrifice had great religious importance and shaped the techniques of Aztec warfare:
Prisoners of war were taken rather than just killing the enemy.
Priests and rulers were interdependent:
Human sacrifices were carried out for political means.
Massive sacrificial rituals served to impress enemies and allies of the Aztec .
Used to display the immense power
In what ways did Inca authorities seek to integrate their vast domains?
Emperor was an absolute ruler
(He was considered to be divine, like the Egyptian Pharaoh)
In theory, the Inca State owned all of the land and all of the resources in their domain.
Subjects were required to acknowledge the existence of the Inca Gods. However, once they did so, they were free to pursue their own religious traditions.
The Inca Empire had a major role in trade, specifically the distribution of goods. The government was constantly involved in their society.
In what different ways did the peoples of the fifteenth century interact with one another?
People of the 15th century interacted through:
Webs of Empire
Large-scale political systems (brought together a large variety of people from many cultures)
Religion that linked far-flung people
Long-established trade routes:
Silk Roads
Indian Ocean Trade
Sand Routes
American Web
What motivated and sustained the long-distance commerce of the Silk Roads, Sea Roads, and Sand Roads?
Desire of the elite classes for rare luxury items
Accumulation of wealth (particularly among merchants who participated in trade and motivated widespread commerce.
Support of empires and smaller states
Spread of religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, etc.)
Shared beliefs of merchants that connected different societies over large regions and areas
Development of technologies
Large Ships
Maritime Voyages
Inventions such as the magnetic compass or the astrolabe developed by the Chinese allowed merchants to easily navigate.
Products of forests
Northern grasslands of inner Eurasia (mainly pastoral) needed agricultural products and manufactured goods of outer Eurasia (Mediterranean, Middle East, India, China)
Construction of classical civilizations and empires
Security of the Silk Roads by empires to keep merchants and travellers safe
Continued support of later empires and states (Byzantine, Abbasid, Mongol, etc.) which benefitted largely from the trade
Why did the peoples of the Eastern Hemisphere develop long-distance trade more extensively than did those of the Western Hemisphere?
Large absence of domesticable animals in the Americas
American absence of sea-faring vessels
East to West Orientation of Eurasia
North to South Orientation of the Americas
Narrow bottleneck of Panama
Dense Rainforests
Agricultural practices couldn’t adapt to the distinct climate changes and vegetation zones of the Americas
Civilizations were scattered over large regions of land
Civilizations in the Americas were often independent and traded within their society.
Eurasian trade was largely controlled by the Mongols:
Safer trade routes
Stable governments
Heavy support of Eurasian trade
In what ways was Afro-Eurasia a single interacting zone, and in what respects was it a vast region of separate cultures and civilizations?
Good were able to travel through a large area and cross large plots of land and sea
Individual merchants could not move goods alone
Afro-Eurasian cultures were separate but the network of trade through numerous civilizations allowed for widespread communication and cultural diffusion.
Eventually and separately, parts of the Americas came into play.
How can you explain the changing fortunes of Buddhism in China?
Buddhist influence first grew in China due to the period of disorder after the collapse of the Han Dynasty when many Chinese had lost faith in their original systems of thought.
Buddhism benefitted from the support of foreign nomadic rulers, the Mongols, who governed China under the Yuan Dynasty.
Once Buddhism was established, it grew because:
Monasteries provided social services to commoners
Buddhism was associated with access to magical powers
Serious effort by Buddhist monks and scholars to present their religion in terms the Chinese could relate (Daoism).
Buddhism received support under the Sui and Tang Dynasties
Despite this growing popularity, in the 9th century, Buddhism was perceived as a growing threat to imperial authority.
There was resentment of Buddhist monasteries due to their enormous wealth
Confucian and Daoist thinkers believed Buddhism wasn’t correct because it undermines the ideal of the family and was of foreign origin.
How did China influence the world of the third-wave era? How was China itself transformed by its encounters with a wider world?
Chinese products, especially silk, were key in Afro-Eurasian trade networks.
Chinese technologies such as shipbuilding, gunpowder, navigation, and printing spread across Eurasia.
Buddhism had a profound impact on China
The growth of Chinese trade made it the richest country in the world.
Most highly commercialized society in the world due to various religions producing wider markets.
China adopted cotton and sugar crops and refining processes from South Asia.
Looking Back: In what ways did Tang and Song dynasty China resemble the earlier Han dynasty period, and in what ways has China changed?
Maintenance of the imperial political system
Importance of professional bureaucracy
Civil service exams
Dominant political position over China’s neighbors in East Asia
Interest in long distance trade
Importance of Confucian tradition in elite society
Tighter unification of northern and southern China
Vast waterway system
Long-term migration of Chinese populations south into the Yangzi River Valley
Economic revolution that made China the richest empire in the world
Rapid population growth from 50 to 60 million during the Tang to 120 to 1200 million
Growth in agricultural production
Most highly commercialized economy in the world
How might you account for the immense religious and political/military success of Islam in its early centuries?
Islamic areas allowed the state to mobilize the military potential of entire Arab population.
Byzantine and Persian empires were weakened by decades of war with each other and by internal revolts
Merchant leaders of the new Islamic community wanted to capture profitable trade routes and wealthy agriculture regions.
Expansion provided a common task for Arab community, which enforced fragile unity of umma.
Arabs were motivated by their religion and viewed this mission in terms of jihad
Islam success in attracting converts (Muhammad’s religious message was attractive to many Jews, Christians and Zoroastrianists; could find familiar elements).
The growing prestige of the Arab empire attracted many, conquest made them question power of old gods, merchants found Islam was friendly to commerce and in Arab empire a huge and secure area for trade, people who want official positions find social mobility.
In what ways might Islamic civilization be described as cosmopolitan, international, or global?
Islamic world valued commerce and fostered vibrant trade networks
Muslim merchants were found across the Silk Roads, Sea Roads, and Sand Roads.
Islamic world promoted long-distance economic relationships by actively supporting a prosperous, highly developed, “capitalist” economy
Islamic civilization facilitated exchange of agricultural practices and products
Rice, new strains of sorghum, hard wheat, bananas, lemons, limes, watermelons, coconut palms, spinach, artichokes, sugarcane, and cotton came to the Middle East from India.
Technology diffused across the Islamic world.
Ancient Persian technologies for getting water by drilling into the sides of hill spread across North Africa.
Muslim technicians improved rockets developed in CHina
Techniques for making paper arrived in the Middle East, India, and Europe from China
Ideas also spread:
Jewish and Christian precedents influenced Islamic thinkers
Persian bureaucratic practice, court ritual, and poetry influencing the elite in particular
Greek and Indian scientific, medical, and philosophical texts being systematically translated into Arabic and studied throughout the Islamic world.Ancient Persian technologies for getting water by drilling into the sides of hill spread across North Africa.
Muslim technicians improved rockets developed in CHina
Techniques for making paper arrived in the Middle East, India, and Europe from China
Ideas also spread:
Jewish and Christian precedents influenced Islamic thinkers
Persian bureaucratic practice, court ritual, and poetry influencing the elite in particular
Greek and Indian scientific, medical, and philosophical texts being systematically translated into Arabic and studied throughout the Islamic world.
Traditions mixed and blended to create a distinctive Islamic civilization that made many contributions to the world of learning
Development of Algebra
Original work in Astronomy and optics
Medicine pharmacology
What changes did Islamic expansion generate in those societies that encountered it, and how was Islam itself transformed by those encounters?
Populations across vast regions willing converted to the Islamic faith
Regions of the Islamic world were tied more closely together through trade and exchange of technology, crops, and ideas.
Older religions and political traditions were swept away or altered
Technology diffused across the Islamic world.
Ancient Persian technologies for getting water by drilling into the sides of hill spread across North Africa.
Muslim technicians improved rockets developed in CHina
Traditions mixed and blended to create a distinctive Islamic civilization that made many contributions to the world of learning
Development of Algebra
Original work in Astronomy and optics
Medicine pharmacology
What accounts for the different historical trajectories of the Byzantine and West European expressions of Christendom?
The survival of a powerful imperial state in the Byzantine Empire resulted in greater state control over the Orthodox Church.
Cultural differences also played a role
Greek became the language of religious practice instead of the Latin used in the Roman Catholic Church
Byzantine thinkers sought to formulate Christian doctrine in terms of Greek philosophical concepts.
Eastern Orthodox faith expanded into Eastern Europe when the Byzantine Empire was at its height. However, it was driven from other regions in North AFrica and the Near East by Islamic expansion.
Roman Catholic tradition became the more expansive of the two expressions after 1000.
How did Byzantium and Western Europe interact with each other and with the larger world of the third-wave era?
Byzantium and Western Europe interacted frequently
Byzantine emperor Justinian succeeded in conquering parts of Western Europe in his effort to reconstitute the Roman Empire.
The two societies were both Christian
Led to frequent interactions, disputes, and ultimately a division between the two confessions.
Revival of Western Europe after 1000 c.e. brought it into a closer trade relationship with Byzantium.
The crusading movement in Western Europe inspired hundreds of thousands of Western Europeans to travel to the eastern Mediterranean and even led to the sack of Constantinople by Crusaders in 1204 c.e.
Both interacted with the Islamic world through military conflict, trade, and the
​exchange of ideas.
​Both had a profound impact on Eastern Europe, especially through their promotion of rival versions of the Christian faith.
In what respects was the civilization of the Latin West distinctive and unique, and in what ways was it broadly comparable to other third-wave civilizations?
The Latin West shares many features of other third wave civilizations.
Willingness to borrow, then modify and improve, ideas, business practices, technological innovations, etc.
Western European experiences had distinctive features:
Fragmented political structures
Independent towns
Feudal System
Acceptance of the study of natural philosophy
What accounts for the often negative attitudes of settled societies toward the pastoral peoples living on their borders?
Settles societies feared pastoral peoples and viewed them as bloodthirsty savages and barbarians who were largely destructive, chaotic, and severely uncivilized. (The Mongols)
Settled societies and pastoral/nomadic societies were constantly competing for resources and land.
Settled societies didn’t appreciate the nomadic lifestyle of the pastoral people who did not have proper housing and diets.
Pastoral people were to different from the settled societies and were therefore looked down upon.
Why have historians often neglected pastoral peoples’ role in world history? How would you assess the perspective of this chapter toward the Mongols? Does it strike you as negative and critical of the Mongols, as bending over backward to portray them in a positive light, or as a balanced presentation?
Historians have a tendency to neglect nomadic peoples because they generally did not fit all the requirements of civilizations. For example, nomads generally did not have written languages and all available sources then came from adjacent agricultural civilizations. Also, agricultural civilizations ultimately triumphed in their conflicts with nomads.
The chapter examines the brutal methods of conquest by the Mongols, often discussing their harsh and typically explosive regimes, particularly in China. However, the chapter also highlights the importance of the Mongol Empire as a facilitator of trade and the importance of the exchange of ideas and technologies. It gives credit to the Mongols’ skills in mobilization and organization that in part their military success. It also notes the Mongols’ tolerance of the religions of conquered peoples.
Why did the Mongol Empire last only a relatively short time?
Intense factionalism among the Mongols, rapidly rising prices, furious epidemics of Black Death, and growing peasant revolts forced the Mongols out of China by 1368, which was less than a century after conquering the Chinese.
A succession crisis in the Mongol regime in Persia resulted in the collapse of their rule and subsequent assimilation into Persian society.
Division among the Mongols and the growing strength of the Russian state enables the Russians to break Mongol hold.
The rapid and lethal spread of Black Death threw the Mongol Empire off and decimated pastoral populations of the steppe lands. It also damage commerce.
Assume for the moment that the Chinese had not ended their maritime voyages in 1433. How might the subsequent development of world history have been different? What value is there in asking this kind of “what if” or counterfactual question?
Had they continued their voyages, the Chinese may have had an extremely profound impact on world history.
China was the richest, most technologically advanced, and most prosperous civilization of its time. Reasonably, you can assume had they competed with Europe’s maritime voyages, they would’ve likely prevailed as the strongest maritime power in the world.
This would have limited European Christian influence in the Americas. Chinese cultural, economic, and political influences would push beyond Eurasia.
The usefulness of counterfactual questions is debatable. They allow one to highlight both the role of contingency in the course of human history and the difficulty of predicting the future because of contingency. More so, counterfactual questions go beyond mere speculation. They cause students to think of the possibilities in light of known historical facts. These “what if” questions allow scholars to think their way into a different historical reality. However, no one can fully predict what consequences Chinese discovery of the Americas could’ve held. The reality of the situation is it isn’t possible to see it as it would’ve happened.
How does this chapter distinguish among the various kinds of societies that comprised the world of the fifteenth century? What other ways of categorizing the world’s peoples might work as well or better?
The chapter organized societies in two ways. Primarily, into Paleolithic peoples, agricultural village societies, herding peoples, and established civilizations and empires. These civilizations are then organized by their region (Western Europe, Middle East, Near East, Northern Africa, the Pulse, South Asia, etc.)
Other alternatives of organization include by cultural region: Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Mesoamerican, and Christian.
Another possibility would be through webs of connection (trade routes).
Looking Back: What would surprise a knowledgeable observer from 500 or 1000 C.E., were he or she to make a global tour in the fifteenth century? What features of that earlier world might still be recognizable?
Several changes would without a doubt shocked a knowledgeable observer of 500 CE ;
Emergence of Islam
Revival of China and Western Europe
Collapse of the Byzantine Empire
Emergence of Russia and the spread of Christianity into it.
Emergence of states in Southeast Asia
Emergence of Japan
Emergence of powerful empires in West Africa
Some features would still be recognizable, such as ;
Paleolithic persistence
Herding Societies
Agricultural Villages
The continuance, albeit at a more intense rate, of long-distance commerce and exchange
Persistence of broad cultural traditions, especially in the Mesoamerican, Andean, Chinese, European, and Indian civilizations.