Format: 28 MC questions (including 3 “rewind” questions) (3 points each); 8 questions (2 points each) (Each response should be a sentence in length. Example: Explain one difference between Hinduism and Buddhism. Your response: “Hinduism has no single founder, but Buddhism’s founder was Siddhartha Gautama.”)
Chapter 8: The Unification of China CHAPTER OVERVIEW
The four centuries from 221 B.C.E. to 220 C.E. brought extensive political, social, and intellectual change to China. Confucianism, Legalism, and Daoism were philosophies that grew out of the confusing final days of the Zhou dynasty and profoundly influenced this age. In 221 B.C.E. the emperor Qin Shihuangdi brought unification to China for the first time. Although the Qin empire lasted barely two decades, it laid the foundation for lasting political success and cultural brilliance under the Han dynasty. The Han, through the efforts of Liu Bei and Han Wudi, carried on the centralizing policies of Qin Shihuangdi while replacing harsh Legalism with a more traditional Confucian approach. Despite the political and cultural success of the Han dynasty, terrible economic times and a dramatic widening of the gap between rich and poor led to the collapse of the dynasty.
During the Period of Warring States, three schools of thought emerged in reaction to political and social turmoil. Each offered different solutions designed to restore peace and social stability to China, and all three exerted enormous influence on subsequent Chinese civilization. Confucianism stressed a practical approach, while Daoism encouraged spiritual, inner reflection. Legalists emphasized a state-based, authoritarian perspective. Elements of all three approaches solidified and encouraged the emergence of centralized political authority. The western state of Qin proved most successful in using Legalist frameworks as a basis for establishing central authority. Although short-lived, the Qin dynasty, and its successor the Han, laid the foundations for nearly two millennia of centralized imperial administration led by highly educated bureaucrats. Standardization of law, currencies, weights and measures, and script followed, and together with construction of a regional transportation and communication network, led to the emergence of unified Chinese society. Patriarchal structures solidified under the Qin and Han, setting a pattern for later Chinese societies, which, like imperial Rome, perceived the patriarchal family as the foundation of a stable society. Technological advances made during the Qin and Han dynasties, particularly in iron metallurgy, silk production, and the use of paper, combined with increased agricultural productivity to generate both economic and population growth. Chinese prosperity and success led to the extension of Chinese political, economic, and cultural influence across east, central, and southeast Asia.
Chapter 9: State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India
Beginning around 500 B.C.E. India developed a classical society with political, religious, and social features that continued to influence the subcontinent for centuries. The creation of two new religions, Buddhism and Jainism, and the continuing evolution of a third, the older Hinduism, left India with an astonishingly complex religious landscape. The caste system ensured a well-defined social structure, but even in this area developments in trade and industry threatened the traditional hierarchy. India unified for the first time, but centralized government proved fleeting and the Indians were unable to leave a political legacy to match the religious one. Nevertheless, the Mauryas, under Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka Maurya, and the Guptas, under Chandra Gupta II, created powerful and influential states. Works such as the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Bhagavad Gita are representative of one of the great cultural flowerings in world history.
Outsiders as agents of change.
The Aryans, then later the Persians and Alexander of Macedon, intruded into India during the classical era, creating a power vacuum that allowed for the emergence of the Mauryan and Gupta empires that briefly unified much of northern India.
Regional kingdoms rather than centralized empires. Although the Mauryas and Guptas succeeded in uniting much of India for short periods of time, the dominant political structure consisted of regional kingdoms that competed with each other for the resources and communities throughout north and central India.
Increased economic complexity. Agricultural productivity, supported by iron metallurgy, led to the development of towns, the growth of trade, increased wealth, and the social stratification of Indian society. India soon became the pivot of a Eurasian trade network linking classical civilizations across Eurasia.
Caste as reflection of social, cultural development. As Indian society became more complex,
a caste hierarchy emerged, based on both older Aryan beliefs and contemporary social circumstances, that still persists today. Closely related to caste hierarchies was a system of patriarchy reinforced by both religious and social convention that confined women to domestic roles and placed them under the control of older men.
Religious diversity. As Indian society expanded, new religions and philosophies emerged that challenged traditional beliefs and appealed to new social classes. Some of these new religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, emphasized intense spirituality rather than formalized ritual. Both these religions would play major roles in later Indian and world civilization.
Chapter 10: Mediterranean Society: The Greek Phase
Arguably no society has cast a longer shadow over the Mediterranean, European, and American worlds than that of the ancient Greeks. The influences of Greek democracy, tragedy, and philosophy continue to shape minds today. At the core of the Greek mind was an inquiring spirit and refusal to accept anything less than the truth. After escaping near disaster in the Persian War, the Greeks went on to create one of the world’s most glorious cultural epochs. In the end, unfortunately, the Greeks’ own arrogance and warlike manner led to their destruction in the Peloponnesian War. The conquests of Alexander of Macedon created the Hellenistic age and a perpetuation of Greek brilliance.
The sea as cultural influence. Geographical circumstances encouraged the Greeks to establish a maritime network that extended across the eastern Mediterranean basin. This economic and cultural network, later expanded by the Romans, ultimately created an integrated yet cosmopolitan and diverse world that stretched from western and northern Europe to Mesopotamia.
City-states as foundations of imperial success. Both Greek and Roman civilization began with the emergence of complex urban environments based on cities, known to the Greeks as poleis. Although Greek civilization would remain fragmented until the rise of Alexander of Macedon, the Romans used their city as the foundation of a vast land empire, or cosmologies, which would last for several centuries.
Patriarchy dominant in both cultures. Both the Greeks and Romans, like their counterparts in India, established strict patriarchal structures that limited women’s political and economic options. Both civilizations also relied heavily on slaves for domestic, agricultural, and other forms of labor.
Religious diversity. Although Greece and later Rome, who borrowed heavily from Greek examples, developed a formal pantheon and series of religious rituals, as in India many people turned to salvation religions during the classical period. One of these, Christianity, would grow to become the dominant religion throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Social conflict and imperial authority. In Greece, a series of struggles between Athens and Sparta weakened Greece and encouraged the Macedonian invasion, which led to the formation of Alexander of Macedon’s enormous empire and its Hellenistic descendants. The Hellenistic rulers and the Romans, like their classical contemporaries in India, China, and Persia, integrated their empires by building transportation and communications networks.
Chapter 11: Mediterranean Society: The Roman Phase
For a long period of time the Romans united the Mediterranean world to an extent unmatched in history. By the first century C.E. the Romans had extended their control over the entire Mediterranean basin, including parts of southwest Asia, north Africa, continental Europe, and Britain. Through the combination of a centralized authority and a normally tolerant regime, the Romans fostered close connections between the different ethnic and religious groups of this cosmopolitan empire. Roman control also allowed for a rich cultural and religious interchange. The rise of Christianity as a world religion is closely connected to the Roman empire.
The sea as cultural influence. Geographical circumstances encouraged the Greeks to establish
a maritime network that extended across the eastern Mediterranean basin. This economic and cultural network, later expanded by the Romans, ultimately created an integrated yet cosmopolitan and diverse world that stretched from western and northern Europe to Mesopotamia.
City-states as foundations of imperial success. Roman civilization began with the emergence of complex urban environments based on cities. The Romans used their city as the foundation of a vast land empire, or cosmopolis, which would last for several centuries.
Patriarchy.The Romans, like their counterparts in India and Greece, established strict patriarchal structures that limited women’s political and economic options. Roman civilization also relied heavily on slaves for domestic, agricultural, and other forms of labor.
Religious diversity. Although Rome, who borrowed heavily from Greek examples, developed
a formal pantheon and series of religious rituals, as in India many people turned to salvation religions during the classical period. One of these, Christianity, would grow to become the dominant religion throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Social conflict and imperial authority. In Rome, struggles over access to and control of
wealth and power led to social conflict and political change. The struggles between elites and commoners weakened the republic and led to the creation of the Roman empire. The Romans, like their classical contemporaries in India, China, and Persia, integrated their empires by building transportation and communications networks.
Chapter 12 : Cross-Cultural Exchanges on the Silk Roads
Societies within a huge area, ranging from China through the Mediterranean basin, were linked by long-distance trade along the silk roads. Trade introduced wealth and new products to societies along the routes and encouraged economic specialization. The trade routes also fostered the spread of Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian religious thought. Finally, the spread of disease over the trade routes helped to bring closure to the classical societies.
Long-distance Eurasian trade begins. During the classical era several strong, expanding civilizations rose in different areas of Eurasia. Institutional frameworks of communication and exchange grew both within and between these cultures along the transportation networks known as the silk roads, which linked the eastern Mediterranean basin with Han China by land and sea.
Complex exchanges result. Commercial and economic activity led to cultural and biological exchanges, with significant negative results for both China and the Mediterranean, as epidemics killed millions. Population losses generated another round of social and cultural change.
Religions expanded alongside empires, particularly Buddhism, Manichaeism, Hinduism, and Christianity, which spread across Eurasia.
Imperial decline. A series of internal and external problems weakened central government in both Han China and Rome. Succession struggles, corruption, and foreign invasions led to collapse of imperial authority and creation of regional kingdoms with populations connected more closely by Salvationist faith than political identity.