I. Innovations stimulated agricultural and industrial production in many regions.
A. Agricultural production increased significantly due to technological innovations.
B. In response to increasing demand in Afro-Eurasia for foreign luxury goods, crops were transported from their indigenous homelands to equivalent climates in other regions.
Maize and beans to Iroquois from Mesoamerica
II. The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline, and with periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
C. While cities in general continued to play the roles they had played in the past as governmental, religious, and commercial centers, many older cities declined at the same time that numerous cities emerged to take on these established roles.
Constantinople seized by Ottomans became Istanbul
Fulbe nomads settled in towns for Islam
Stable politics/government led to growth of cities
III. Despite significant continuities in social structures and in methods of production, there were also some important changes in labor management and in the effect of religious conversion on gender relations and family life.
A. As in the previous period, there were many forms of labor organization.
B. As in the previous period, social structures were shaped largely by class and caste hierarchies. Patriarchy persisted; however, in some areas, women exercised more power and influence.
“Stateless societies” usually no class inequalities or seclusion of women
Iroquois-warfare replaced successful food getting as the avenue to male prestige, no kind of superiority over another, banished servitude, matrilineal descent
Two empresses of China wrote instructions for female behavior
C. New forms of coerced labor appeared. Free peasants resisted attempts to raise dues and taxes by staging revolts. The demand for slaves for both military and domestic purposes increased, particularly in central Eurasia, parts of Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean.
D. The diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neoconfucianism often led to significant changes in gender relations and family structure.