600 C. E.–1450 7 weeks (22%) Major Developments

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600 C.E.–1450 7 WEEKS (22%)

Major Developments

  1. Questions of Periodization

    • Nature and causes of changes in the world history framework leading up to 600 C.E.–1450 as a period

    • Islam emerges which leads to emergence of Islamic empires

    • Industrial Revolution in China

        • Sung dynasty

    • Spread of Neo-Confucianism in China

        • Mixture of Confucianism with some Buddhism

    • Schism in Christianity

        • When the east and the west churches divided into Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity

        • They divided over the issue of icons

    • Camels in Sahara

        • Increased trade

    • Black Death

        • Decimated Europe’s population, political, and economic systems

    • Italian Renaissance

        • Began the dominance of Europe in culture

    • Emergence of new empires and political systems (e.g., Umayyad, ‘Abbasid, Byzantium, Russia, Sudanic states, Swahili Coast, Tang, Song, and Ming, China, Delhi Sultanate, Mongol, Turkish, Aztec, Inca)

  • Byzantium

        • Started in 476 CE with fall of the Roman Empire in the West

        • Continuation of Roman Empire, but in the east

          • Began with Constantine as Emperor

            • Gain power through military might

        • Origins

          • Ruled by Justinian in Constantinople

        • Geography

          • Excellent for trading

          • Crossroads of trade for Europe and Asia

          • Control straits

        • Impact on Russia

          • Religion – eastern orthodox

          • Language – similar

          • Both leaders were autocrats

          • Art/architecture – onion domes

        • Achievements

          • Built the Hagia Sofia

          • Spread of Christianity

            • Edict of Milan

            • Council of Nicaea

            • Council of Mycenae

          • Justinian’s code of laws

            • Corpus Jurus Civilis

              • Compilation of imperial pronouncements having the force of law

        • Fell to Muslim invaders in 1453

  • Tang Dynasty (618 – 906)

        • A merit-based bureaucracy

        • This system was well developed during the Han Dynasty

        • The Tang made good use of it by recruiting government officials who were:

          • Well educated

          • Loyal

          • Efficient

        • Although powerful families used their resources to place relatives in government positions, most bureaucrats won their posts because of intellectual ability.

  • Mongols

        • 1206 CE – 1502 CE

        • Lead by the Khans

        • Known as Khanates (empirical succession)

        • Changed the use and effectiveness of Silk Road

          • Opened the door for rise of Indian Ocean trade network

        • More concerned with taxes than culture imposition on the conquered

        • The Mongol empire inextricably linked Europe and Asia and ushered in an era of frequent and extended contacts between East and West

          • This increased trade and world communications

        • The Grand Canal was completely renovated.

          • This improved and increased the maritime commerce throughout Asia and into Europe

        • Although the Mongols did rule during this time they adopted many Chinese cultures

          • Kept it alive through the Mongolian rule

          • Even after the Mongol role ended, the Chinese still had a greater part of their culture left

        • Mongols supported and help advance the many different religions including Islam,. Buddhism~ and even Christianity, helping found mosques,. temples, etc

        • Never able to conquer Japan due to storms during naval battles

          • Japan’s smaller ships were able to out navigate larger Mongolian ships in rough waters

  • Caliphate System

        • Religious leader and the political leader one in the same

        • Caliphate was a theocracy

        • Included Sharia (Muslim Law according to the Qur’an)

        • Sultanate was monarch

        • Divisions within Islam

    • Shiites – caliph should be chosen by Muhammad’s descent

    • Sunnis – caliph should be chosen by leaders

      • Split came before ‘Abbasid Caliphate

    • Sufis – mystics

      • People who followed a pious form of Islam and who believed that a direct, personal experience of God could be achieved through meditation and self-discipline

        • Two main Caliphates

          • Umayyad

          • ‘Abbasid

  • Feudalism – King; Lords; Knights; Peasants

    • Relationships

      • King to power lords

        • Fief

        • Protection

            • Powerful lords to king

        • Loyalty

        • Military service

        • Payment

      • Powerful lords to lesser lords

        • Fief

        • Protection

      • Lesser Lords to powerful lords

        • Loyalty

        • Payment

        • Military service

      • Lesser lords to serfs

        • Protection

        • Few acres of land to farm

      • Serfs to lesser lords

        • Labor

        • Fees

      • No centralized government

    • The heart of the medieval economy was the manor

  • Self-sufficient

  • Blacksmith, grain mil, well, river, lord’s oven, pasture, church, castle

  • Barter system

    • In the Middle Ages, Europe was the Church and the Church was Europe

      • People believed everyone was sinners and you needed to depend on God’s grace

      • Hierarchy

        • Pope

        • Roman curia – pope’s staff

        • Cardinals – advisors

        • Bishop

        • Pastors/parish priests

      • Regulated economic life

        • Tithe

        • Usury

      • Chivalry

        • Courage and valor

        • Devotion to a feudal and heavenly lord

        • Respect toward women

      • Medieval Universities

        • Rulers and clergymen needed better educated people

        • Studied geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, music, grammar, rhetoric, and logic

          • Vernacular – everyday language

        • Scholasticism by Thomas Aquinas – faith and reason exist together in harmony

  • Medieval Towns

        • Smelly, jam-packed, claustrophobic, little sanitation, disease-filled

        • Had a town charter – people had rights in the towns

        • Guilds – merchant and craft guilds

        • Growth of the middle class – House of Parliament was started

      • Black Death

        • Caused by poor sanitation, traders from the Black Sea spread it

        • Swelling and black bruises on their skin, coughing, spat blood

        • Impacts – Economic and Social

          • Rise in price because few workers

          • Economy fell

          • Brought about terror and bewilderment

          • People turned to magic and witchcraft

          • Church lost belief

          • Some believed the plague was God’s punishment

  • Hundred Years War – England and France

      • End of Feudalism

        • Black Death killed many serfs. Those who lived demanded higher wages.

        • New Weapons – crossbow, longbow and cannon – ended the need for feudal vassals and walled castles

        • Rise of trade – more cities and growth of the middle class

        • Market economy – replaces the self-sufficient manors, which used barter systems

        • Parliaments – middle class became more important than nobles

        • Nationalism – loyalty to king, not manor

    • Continuities and breaks within the period (e.g., the effects of the Mongols on international contacts and on specific societies)

  • Change: Classic empires have fallen and new ones have been created

  • Continuity: The Byzantine Empire remained a major factor. It held numerous different groups of peoples. Bureaucracy key to success – SIMILAR TO TANG

  • Change: The impact of the Viking raids

          • Challenged Europeans to get better protection

          • Begins European feudalism

          • Invaded rural areas rather than large towns and cities

  • Change: The Crusades

          • Europeans travel to Holy Land

          • Creating a desire to Eastern goods

          • Leads to exploration

  • Change: Mongolian empires

          • New group of “invaders”

          • From Mongolia

          • Under the leadership of Genghis Khan

  • Change: Mamluk rule in Egypt

          • Non-Arab slaves in Egypt who overthrew the Egyptians

  • Continuity: Religion continues to be important and continues to spread

  • Continuity: Trade routes continue to grow in importance

  • Continuity: Societies continue to be Patriarchal

  1. The Islamic world

    • The rise and role of Dar al-Islam as a unifying cultural and economic force in Eurasia and Africa

      • Five Pillars of Islam

          • Shahadah – No god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger – proclamation of faith

          • Salat – five daily prayers

          • Zakāt – Muslim tithe, alms to the poor, tax

          • Sawm also known as Siyam – fasting during Ramadan

          • Hajj – journey to Mecca, pilgrimage, required once in a lifetime, recognized Mohammad’s return to Mecca

      • Islam was a unifying force in culture aspects of Eurasia and Africa

          • Similar religion (Islam)

          • Similar language (Arabic)

          • Similar art

            • Forbids art of humans so has a lot of geometric designs


    • Islamic political structures, notably the caliphate

      • Religious leader and the political leader one in the same

      • Caliphate was a theocracy

      • Included Sharia (Muslim Law according to the Qur’an)

      • Sultanate was monarch

    • Arts, sciences, and technologies

      • Art:

          • Arabesque design

              • Geometric designs

              • No human figures in art

          • Miniature painting in Persia

          • Poetry

          • Mosques with domes, pillars, and minarets

      • Science:

          • Knowledge of earth rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun

          • More accurate calendar than Europe’s

          • Improved astrolabe

          • Medical treatises

          • Use of steel for swords

          • Contact with Chinese brought paper and printing to the Arab world

      • Math:

          • Algebra, Arabic numerals, decimal system, and concept of zero

  2. Interregional networks and contacts

    • Development and shifts in interregional trade, technology, and cultural exchange

      • Trans-Sahara trade

          • Gold, ivory, slaves and spices from below the Sahara with salt, cloth, and metal ware from the Sahara

          • Across the Sahara between North Africa and Europe beyond to West Africa

          • Aided the rise of African empires and kingdoms in West Africa and spread Islam through West Africa

      • Indian Ocean trade

          • Slaves, ivory, gold, and iron from Africa; porcelain from China; pottery from Burma; cloth from India

          • Major route between East Africa and Asia; made possible by the monsoons; traded with China through Arabs, Indians, Malayans, and Indonesians; lasted until 1400s when direct trade began

          • Brought prosperity to East Africa through the development of trading networks into the interior of the continent; set stage for the rise of African trading cities such as Sofala and Kilwa; Swahili, mix of Arabic and Bantu languages; brought Islam to coastal Bantu speakers

      • Silk Roads

          • Silks and porcelain from China; woolen and linen cloth, glass, horses, ivory from other trading partners

          • Silk Road from China across Asia to Middle East

          • Spread Buddhism and Christianity; spurred European interest in finding a water route to China

      • Economic innovations (e.g., Tang, Song, and early Ming China, Swahili Coast trade, economic systems in the Americas)

    • Missionary outreach of major religions

      • Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism all had missionaries traveling through Asia

    • Contacts between major religions, e.g., Islam and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam

      • Islam and Buddhism – trade; peace

      • Islam and Christianity – Crusades; war

    • Impact of the Mongol empires

      • The Mongol invasions and conquests of the 13th century are arguably among the most influential set of events in world history

      • This nomadic group from Central Asia swept south and east

          • Similar to what the Huns had done several centuries before

      • They conquered China, India, the Middle East, and the budding kingdom of Russia

      • The Mongols established and ruled the largest empire ever assembled in all of world history

      • Although their attacks at first disrupted the major trade routes

      • Their rule eventually brought the Pax Mongolica, or a peace often compared to the Pax Romana established in ancient times across the Roman Empire

    • The Rise of the Mongols

      • Origins

          • The Mongols originated in the Central Aslian steppes, or dry grasslands

          • They were pastoralists, organized loosely into kinship groups called clans

          • Their movement almost certainly began as they sought new pastures for their herds, as had so many of their predecessors

          • Many historians believe that a severe drought caused the initial movement, and that the Mongol's superior ability as horsemen sustained their successes.

      • Rise of the Khans

          • Around 1200 CE, a Mongol khan (clan leader) named Temujin unified the clans under his leadership

          • His acceptance of the title Genghis Khan, or "universal leader" tells us something of his ambitions for his empire

          • Over the next 21 years, he led the Mongols in conquering much of Asia

          • Although he didn't conquer China in his lifetime, he cleared the way for its eventual defeat by Mongol forces his sons and grandsons continued the conquests until the empire eventually reached its impressive size

          • Genghis Khan is usually seen as one of the most talented military leaders in world history. He organized his warriors by the Chinese model into armies of 10,000, which were grouped into 1,000 man brigades, 100-man companies, and 10-man platoons

          • He ensured that all generals were either kinsmen or trusted friends, and they remained amazingly loyal to him

          • He used surprise tactics, like fake retreats and false leads, and developed sophisticated catapults and gunpowder charge

      • Resistance to the Mongols

          • The Mongols were finally stopped in Eurasia by the death of Ogodai, the son of Genghis Khan, who had become the Great Khan centered in Mongolia when his father died

          • At his death, all leaders from the empire went to the Mongol capital to select a replacement, and by the time this was accomplished, the invasion of Europe had lost its momentum

          • The Mongols were also contained in Islamic lands by the Mamluk armies of Egypt, who had been enslaved by the Abbasid Caliphate

          • These forces matched the Mongols in horsemanship and military skills, and defeated them in battle in 1260 before the Mongols could reach the Dardanelle strait

          • The Mongol leader Hulegu decided not the press for further expansion.

    • The Mongol Organization

      • The Mongol invasions disrupted all major trade routes, but Genghis Khan's sons and grandsons organized the vast empire in such a way that the routes soon recovered

      • They formed four Khanates, or political organizations each ruled by a different relative, with the ruler of the original empire in Central Asia designated as the "Great Khan," or the one that followed in the steps of Genghis

      • Once the Mongols defeated an area, generally by brutal tactics, they were generally content to extract tribute (payments) from them, and often allowed conquered people to keep many of their customs

      • The Mongol khans were spread great distances apart, and they soon lost contact with one another

      • Most of them adopted many customs, even the religions, of the people they ruled

          • For example, the Il-khan that conquered the last caliphate in the Middle East eventually converted to Islam and was a great admirer of the sophisticated culture and advanced technologies of his subjects

      • So the Mongol Empire eventually split apart, and the Mongols themselves became assimilated into the cultures that they had "conquered."

  3. Political systems and cultural patterns

    • East Asia

      • China’s expansion

          • The importance of the Tang and Song economic revolutions and the initiatives of the early Ming dynasty:

            • Chinese Innovations:

              • Paper money

              • Mass production of tea

              • Porcelain

              • Silk

              • Champa rice

              • Canton city in China becomes a major trading city

              • Exploration and trade (Zheng He)

      • Economic Revolutions of the Tang and Song Dynasties

          • Even though the Song military weakness eventually led to the dynasty's demise, it is notable for economic revolutions that led to Chinese hegemony during the era

          • China's economic growth in turn had implications for many other societies through the trade that it generated along the long-distance routes

          • The changes actually began during the Tang Dynasty and became even more significant during Song rule

          • Some characteristics of these economic revolutions are:

      • Increasing agricultural production

        • Before this era, Chinese agriculture had been based on the production of wheat and barley raised in the north

        • The Tang conquest of southern China and Vietnam added a whole new capability for agriculture: the cultivation of rice

        • In Vietnam they made use of a new strain of fast-ripening rice that allowed the production of two crops per year

        • Agricultural techniques improved as well, with the use of the heavy iron plow in the north and water buffaloes in the south

        • The Tang also organized extensive irrigation systems, so that agricultural production was able to move outward from the rivers

      • Increasing population

        • China's population about 600 C.E. was about 45 million, but by 1200 (the Song Dynasty) it had risen to about 115 million

        • This growth occurred partly because of the agricultural revolution

        • Also because distribution of food improved with better transportation systems, such as the Grand Canal and the network of roads throughout the empire

      • Urbanization:

        • The agricultural revolution also meant that established cities grew and new ones were created

        • With its population of perhaps 2,000,000, the Tang capital of Xi'an was probably the largest city in the world

        • The Song capital of Hangzhou was smaller, with about 1,000,000 residents, but it too was a cosmopolitan city with large markets, public theatres, restaurants, and craft shops

        • Many other Chinese cities had populations of more than 100,000

        • Because rice production was so successful and Silk Road and Indian Ocean trade was vigorous, other farmers could concentrate on specialty fruits and vegetables that were for sale in urban markets

      • Technological innovations:

        • During Tang times craftsmen discovered techniques for producing porcelain that was lighter, thinner, more useful, and much more beautiful

        • Chinese porcelain was highly valued and traded to many other areas of the world, and came to be known broadly as chinaware

        • The Chinese also developed superior methods for producing iron and steel, and between the 9th and 12th centuries, iron production increased tenfold

        • The Tang and Song are best known for the new technologies they invented

          • Gunpowder

          • Movable type printing

          • Seafaring aids, such as the magnetic compass

          • Gunpowder was first used in bamboo flame throwers

          • By the 11th century inventors had constructed crude bombs.

      • Financial inventions

        • Because trade was so strong and copper became scarce, Chinese merchants developed paper money as an alternative to coins

        • Letters of credit called "flying cash" allowed merchants to deposit money in one location and have it available in another

        • The Chinese also used checks which allowed drawing funds deposited with bankers.

      • Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits (Japan, Vietnam, and Korea)

          • Conquered most of Asia

          • Japan: copied Tang government, architecture, Buddhism; but NO foot binding

      • Change and continuities in Confucianism

          • The conflict between Buddhism and Confucianism during the late Tang Dynasty eased under the Songs, partly because of the development of Neo-Confucianism

          • Classical Confucians were concerned with practical issues of politics and morality, and their main goal was an ordered social and political structure

          • Neo-Confucians also became familiar with Buddhist beliefs, such as the nature of the soul and the individual's spiritual relationships

          • They came to refer to li, a concept that defined a spiritual presence similar to the universal spirit of both Hinduism and Buddhism

          • This new form of Confucianism was an important development because it reconciled Confucianism with Buddhism

          • Also, it influenced philosophical thought in China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan in all subsequent eras

    • The Americas

      • Aztecs, Incans, Mayans

Amerindian civilizations


Cultural Religious Architectural

Gender Roles

Political Structure; Reason for Collapse


agricultural trade craftwork in jade

mathematics astronomy medicine pyramids hieroglyphic writing


city-states diverse explanations for causes: environmental: overuse of resources; warfare


mercenaries war provided slaves

human sacrifice capital - Tenochtitlan


emperor rigid class system tributary states lack of immunity to AfroEurasian diseases like smallpox tributary states allied with Spanish


agricultural inherited array of domesticated plants and animals, e.g. potatoes, quinoa, guinea pigs trade tribute roads

quipu for record keeping textiles important for religious ceremonies


dynastic emperor rigid class system lack of immunity to Afro Eurasian diseases like smallpoxtributary states allied with Spanish

    • Restructuring of Europe

      • Decentralization—medieval society

          • After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church took control of all aspects of life

          • European society was restructured with the Pope as the ultimate religious authority.

          • Feudalism rises as the main form of defense and government.

          • Kings and knights supported the Pope’s call for Crusades.

          • Crusades take many knights to the Middle East to fight

          • Many kings start becoming powerful

      • Division of Christianity

          • The Church was divided in 1054 over the issue of icons

              • Two churches emerged: Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic.

              • After the schism, the Pope continued to be head of the Roman Catholic Church and was selected only by the cardinals

              • The Byzantine emperor selected the patriarch of Eastern Orthodox Church

      • Revival of cities

          • Former Roman outposts and cities served as trading centers

          • As trade increased cities increased

          • Urbanization in Europe lead to population decrease, not as many people needed for agriculture and children became viewed as burden rather than essential to survival

    • Africa

      • Sudanic empires

          • Mali

              • The Mali region has been the seat of extensive empires and kingdoms

              • The medieval empire of Mali was a powerful state and one of the world's chief gold suppliers

              • It attained its peak in the early 14th cent. under Mansa (Emperor) Musa (reigned c.1312-1337)

            • Mansa made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 laden with gold and slaves to proclaim Mali's prosperity and power

              • During Mansa’s rule Muslim scholarship reached new heights in Mali

              • Cities such as Timbuktu and Djenné (Jenne) became important centers of trade, learning, and culture

          • Ghana

              • An post classical kingdom in what is now east Senegal, southwest Mali, northern Guinea, and southern Mauritania

              • As early as 800 CE al-Fazari called Ghana ‘the land of gold’

              • According to tradition there were 22 princes ruling before Muhammad and 23 after

              • In 990 CE the king of Ghana conquered Berber lands and took control of the gold, salt, and caravan trade

              • The kingdom fell to the ALMORAVIDS in 1054

              • Ancient Ghana attained enormous prosperity around roughly 800 C.E. because it exerted substantial influence over the trade of two commodities

                  • Gold and salt

          • Songhay

              • Around A.D. 1400 a strong military leader by the name of Sunni Ali lead his forces in a succession of battle victories

              • Through these victories, Sunni Ali conquered much of the former Kingdoms of Ghana and Mali

              • Upon his death, Sunni Ali left rule of his kingdom to his son

              • Sunni Ali was Muslim, but his son was not

              • The people rebelled against their new non-muslim king, and instead installed their own king, a man named Askia Muhammad

      • Swahili coast

    • The Swahili Coast of Africa consisted of independent city states, where the leader was supreme in this time period

    • Swahili was a common culture of these people, and a merging of Bantu and Arabic beliefs

    • Kilwa was an important one of these city states

        • Kilwa was the farthest south you could go in one monsoon season

        • People from South Africa would bring goods to Kilwa and trade with merchants participating in the Indian Ocean trade network

        • Kilwa grew to be a very large, cosmopolitan trading city.

    • The Swahili Coast city states were affected a lot by Islam

        • The form of Islam that affected the Swahili Coast city states was a much more pure form of Islam then what was practiced in sub-Saharan Africa

        • The reason for this is that the Swahili Coast city states were in constant contact with Arabia through trading.

    • One of the most important historical effects of the Swahili Coast trade network is how it nurtured the Indian Ocean trade network

        • Merchants would travel from the east Asian zone of the trade network with Asian spices, and wait for the next monsoon season to bring them back to Arabia and Africa

        • Once they arrived in Africa, they would trade their cargoes of spices for gold, ivory and slaves

        • The Swahili Coast states often traded with a civilization inside of Africa, such as Great Zimbabwe, to get these items

        • The merchant would then wait for the next monsoon season to bring them back to Asia.

    • Swahili Coast trade would continue until the early 1500's when Portugese ships entered Indian Ocean trade

        • The Portugese easily defeated the city states, which never needed any large armies or forts before

        • Merchants had always been safe, so the city states were unprepared for the Portugese attack.

  • South Asia and Southeast Asia

      • Delhi Sultanate

          • The Delhi Sultanate refers to numerous states most of whom were Muslim, this went on from about (1206 - 1526)

          • Delhi Sultanate allowed many to rule throughout India such as Sayyid, and Mughal, dynasties it also created intense confrontation

          • The Sayyaid family gained the The Delhi Sultanate by claiming that they were descendants of Muhammad, because the "central authority of Delhi" had been weakend not much could be done

          • They continued to rule for approximately 37 years

          • The Mughal dynasty gained power by being an imperial type of ruler there reign began around 1526 and they are responsible for taking away the Delhi Sultanate

      • Vietnam

    • Vietnam became a vassal state of the large and powerful Chinese empire during the reign of the Tang Dynasty

    • At this time China was rapidly expanding its territory and influencing many nations through indirect rule

    • By the end of this time period China’s tributary system would stretch as far as Vietnam, Korea and Tibet.

    • Vietnam was one of the most resistant tributary states of China because its people have such an independent nature

    • Signification was somewhat successful in the Vietnam society, but not as successful as in Korea or Japan.

    • The Vietnamese took only the elements of Chinese civilization that would benefit them, such as military strategies and agricultural techniques.

      • Feudal Japan

    • Japanese Feudalism

        • The Tokugawa family imposed a centralized feudalism

            • Economic growth with new roads, tools, and peace to the countryside. Towns sprang up

            • Old social order – strict moral code of bushido. Peasants had to remain on the land

    • Society

        • Emperor - figurehead

        • Shogun – real leader

        • Daimyo – similar to a vassal

        • Samurai

            • Upheld bushido and seppuku

            • Dual Way – artistic and militaristic

        • Farmer

        • Artisan

        • Merchant

        • Women – declined in society

    • Artistic Tradition

  • Wrote books – The Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji

    • Noh Drama à Kabuki drama

        • Noh was slow

        • Kabuki had comedy and colorful costumes

    • Arts

        • Recreated Historical events

  • Zen Buddhism

    • Meditation and devotion to duty

    • Compassion for all

    • People could seek enlightenment through every day tasks

  • Shintoism – nature

    • Rock Garden

  • Castles – protection

  • Tea Ceremony

  • Some had new forms of Buddhism

  • Writing system – adopted it but added the Kana

  1. Demographic and environmental changes

  • Impact of migrations on Afro-Eurasia and the Americas (e.g., Aztecs, Mongols, Turks, Vikings, and Arabs)

Nomadic Peoples

Areas Conquered



North Africa; Spain; West Africa; Central Asia; East Africa

Unified political unit Spread of religion Religious toleration Preservation of Greek and Roman culture


Central Asia; Middle East; Asia Minor

Islam Defeated Byzantine Empire Takes Jerusalem – Crusades


Persia; China; Russia; Eastern Europe


Eastern and Central Europe

Trading Orthodox Christianity


Central Mexico

Conquered large areas Human sacrifices Large trading network


Raped and pillaged along European water routes

Led to Europeans seeking better protection methods Some women taken as slaves to Scandanavia

  • Migration of agricultural peoples (e.g. Bantu migrations, European peoples to east/central Europe)

      • Bantus were agricultural people who traveled throughout Africa; spread language; slave trade networks established

      • Various Germanic and Slavs moved throughout Europe; caused political instability

      • Increased agriculture and population puts strain on the environment

  • Consequences of plague pandemics in the fourteenth century

      • Kills massive amounts of people – upward of 30% of population

      • Major changes in economic systems

      • Affects population centers

      • Lawlessness

  • Growth and role of cities (e.g., the expansion of urban commercial centers in Song China and administrative centers in Africa and the Americas)

      • Many cities became prominent due to trade (Canton, Samarkand, Timbuktu, Cairo, and Venice)

      • Centers of education

      • Cultural diffusion

6. Diverse interpretations

  • What are the issues involved in using cultural areas rather than states as units of analysis?

      • Many areas, such as Europe, had large areas of boundaries, such as France

      • Studying states can be overwhelming because of the number of states involved

      • Cultural areas go over boundaries, but provide the ability to study a “culture” (such as Western Europe) rather than a state

  • What are the sources of change: nomadic migrations versus urban growth?

      • Many areas, such as Song China had large amounts of growth from urbanization as did some cities of Europe

      • Examples of nomadic inspired growth include Mongols, Turks, and Arabs.

  • Was there a world economic network in this period?

      • There was a world economic network as far as the “known” world for different groups

      • Europeans had a world network in trade with Africa and Asia, but because of a lack of ability, there was not trade with the Americas or the South Pacific Islands

      • The Americans had a world trade system – their known world

      • In the next time period world exploration and trade allowed for true world trade

  • Were there common patterns in the new opportunities available to and constraints placed on elite women in this period?

      • Many women gained right to keep dowry

      • Managed households

      • Supervised education of children

      • Cultural patrons

      • Nuns

Major Comparisons and Analyses: Examples

  • Compare the role and function of cities in major societies

  • Analyze gender systems and changes, such as the effects of Islam

  • Analyze the interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims

  • Compare developments in political and social institutions in both eastern and western Europe

      • In Western Europe the Catholic Church was a major unifying force, not so in the east.

      • Feudalism in the West

  • Compare Japanese and European feudalism



Date Established

Mid 800s in opposition to the power of the Fujiwara

By 800s after the division of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire

Title of Main Ruler

Emperor as puppet ruler or figurehead Shogun as real power between 1100s and 1945

King, queen, emperor

Length of Office of Ruler

Emperor hereditary unless deposed Shogun by force and intrigue

Hereditary unless deposed


Emperor Provincial aristocrat as lord Vassal as lord Samurai

Ruler Vassal as lord Knight who had no vassal underhim

  • Compare European and sub-Saharan African contacts with the Islamic world

  • Analyze the Chinese civil service exam system and the rise of meritocracy

Examples of the types of information students are expected to know contrasted with examples of what students are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section:

  • Arab caliphate, but not the transition from Umayyad to ‘Abbasid

  • Mamluks, but not Almohads

  • Feudalism, but not specific feudal monarchs such as Richard I

  • Land management systems, but not the European three-field system

  • Crusading movement and its impact, but not specific crusades

  • Viking exploration, expansion, and impact, but not individual explorers

  • Mongol expansion and its impact, but not details of specific khanates

  • Papacy, but not particular popes

  • Indian Ocean trading patterns, but not Gujarati merchants

  • Neoconfucianism, but not the specific contribution of Zhu


Much of our knowledge of the world in the 13th and14th century comes from two travelers, Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo, who widened knowledge of other cultures through their writings about their journeys.

• Marco Polo - In the late 13th century, Marco Polo left his home in Venice, and eventually traveled for many years in China. He was accompanied by his father and uncle, who were merchants anxious to stimulate trade between Venice along the trade routes east. Polo met the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan (Genghis Khan's grandson), who was interested in his travel stories and convinced him to stay as an envoy to represent him in different parts of China. He served the khan for 17 years before returning home, where he was captured by Genoans at war with Venice. While in prison, he entertained his cellmates with stories about China. One prisoner compiled the stories into a book that became wildly popular in Europe, even though many did not believe that Polo's stories were true. Europeans could not believe that the fabulous places that Polo described could ever exist.

• Ibn Battutu - This famous traveler and prolific writer of the 14th century spent many years of his life visiting many places within Islamic Empires. He was a Moroccan legal scholar who left his home for the first time to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. After his hajj was completed, he traveled through Mesopotamia and Persia, then sailed down the Red Sea and down the east African coast as far south as Kilwa. He later traveled to India, the Black Sea, Spain, Mali, and the great trading cities of Central Asia. He wrote about all of the places he traveled and compiled a detailed journal that has given historians a great deal of information about those places and their customs during the 14th century. A devout Muslim who generally expected fine hospitality, Ibn Battutu seldom kept his opinions to himself, and he commented freely on his approval or disapproval of the things that he saw.

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