The Italian Renaissance

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Period 4: Guided Reading Notes

Chapter 17:The Formation of the West, 1450-1750

The Italian Renaissance

  1. Describe the achievements of the following in detail…

    1. Petrach / Boccaccio

    1. Leonardo da Vinci

    1. Michelangelo

    1. Machiavell

  1. Why does the development of humanism result in the questioning of religious principles?

The Renaissance Moves Northward

  1. Find 3 ways the Northern Renaissance differs from the Italian Renaissance.

Changes in Technology and Family

  1. What impact does the printing press have on literacy?

  1. Describe the new “European-style family. How does it differ from family styles in China?

The Protestant and Catholic Reformations

  1. What was the motivation for German nobles to convert to and promote Protestantism?

  1. Describe 4 ways in which the Catholics responded to Protestant attacks during the “Catholic Reformation”

The End of Christian Unity in the West

  1. Who are the two sides in the Thirty Years War? What effect does the war have on political power in Europe?

  1. Describe 3 changes that took place in government and society as a result of Christian division (the existence of multiple branches).

The Commercial Revolution

  1. Explain the relationship between inflation and commercial development.

Social Protest

  1. Who are the proletariat? What impact does the growth of this social class have on urban areas?

  1. How does the persecution of witches reflect society’s concerns with poverty?

Did Copernicus Copy?

  1. Create your own question AND answer

Science: The New Authority

  1. Describe the accomplishments of the following…

    1. Johannes Kepler

    1. Galileo

    1. William Harvey

    1. René Descartes

    1. Isaac Newton

    1. John Locke

  1. How does Western Europe compare to the rest of the world in terms of scientific learning?

Absolute and Parliamentary Monarchies

Take your own Notes

The Nation-State

  1. How do nation-states differ from empires?

Political Patterns

  1. Create your own question AND answer

Enlightenment Thought and Popular Culture

  1. What were the basic principles of the Enlightenment? Who do these tenets expand to areas of economics and gender rights?

Ongoing Change in Commerce and Manufacturing

  1. Find 3 examples of improvements to agriculture that took place during this period.

  1. In what ways does the manufacture of material goods change during this period? Be sure to examine not only the processes, but also the attitudes, of businesses.

Points to Ponder (Answer in Notebook)

  1. Thoroughly explain the evolution of government in Western Europe from Charlemagne through the 18th century CE.

  1. In what ways was life in Western Europe in 1750 different from the medieval West? How was it similar?

  1. Compare and contrast the Reformation with religious schisms in Islam or Buddhism.

  1. Compare and contrast mercantilism and capitalism.

  1. How did the Enlightenment affect changes in the lifestyle and outlook of people in Western European society?

Chapter 18: The Rise of Russia

Russia’s Expansionist Politics Under the Tsars

  1. What allows Russia to free itself from Mongol rule?

The Need for Revival

  1. What elements of Russian culture survived during Mongol rule? What elements were impacted (most often negatively)?

  1. What achievements of Ivan III and Ivan IV helped Russia on its path to resurgence?

Patterns of Expansion

  1. Describe 4 consequences/developments of Russia’s territorial expansions throughout Eastern Europe and Asia.

Western Contact and Romanov Policy

  1. Describe the relationship between Russia and Western Europe during the early years of expansion.

  1. What are 3 examples of impact that the Romanovs have on Russian expansion and development?

Russia’s First Westernization, 1690-1790

  1. What steps are taken by Peter the Great to “westernize” Russia?

Tsarist Autocracy of Peter the Great

  1. Define “autocracy” (it’s not in the book). What are 3 examples that demonstrate Peter was an autocrat?

  1. What significant addition to Russian economic interest came after a successful campaign against Sweden? Why was it significant?

What Westernization Meant

  1. Describe 4 cultural changes that Peter made in an attempt to “westernize” Russia. (Don’t make them all about women).

  1. Which social class was primarily targeted by Peter’s efforts? How did they respond? What was the response from the lower class?

Consolidation Under Catherine the Great

  1. In what ways does Catherine the Great continue the traditions of westernization and expansion? In what ways does she deviate from that trend?

Serfdom: The Life of East Europe’s Masses

  1. How does Russian serfdom compare with the traditional institution of slavery? Be sure to address similarities and differences.

Trade and Economic Dependence

  1. Describe the successes and failures experienced by Russia’s social and economic systems.

Social Unrest

  1. What are the demands made by many peasant rebels? Why were these demands impossible to agree with, even if the tsar would have wanted to?

Russia & Eastern Europe

  1. What changes to power in Eastern Europe contributed to the rise of Russia as a political power?

Points to Ponder (Answer in Notebook)

  1. How did Russia change politically and socially from the time of the Kievan Rus to the rule of Catherine the Great?

  1. What was the nature of early expansion in Russia under the Ivans?

  1. Compare and contrast the role/importance of trade and commerce in Western Europe versus Russia.

  1. In what ways did Peter the Great reform the economy, government and society of Russia through his attempts at “westernization”?

  1. What were the primary differences between Russia and the West in the 18th century?

Chapter 19: Early Latin America

Spaniards and Portuguese: From Reconquest to Conquest

  1. What role did religious conflict play in shaping the Iberian Peninsula?

Iberian Society and Tradition

  1. How are Iberian social, religious, and economic characteristics similar to European institutions established in the New World?

The Chronology of Conquest

  1. What are the three periods of colonization outlined in this section? Briefly summarize each.

The Caribbean Crucible

  1. Describe the “encomienda” system established by the Spaniards in the Caribbean What impact does it have on the natives?

  1. What are 3 examples of changes that Europeans make to their new-found lands? What are 2 examples of ways that their new lands force them to change?

The Paths of Conquest

  1. Other than their outcomes, find 2 similarities between the conquests of the Incas and Aztecs by Spanish conquistadors. (Be sure to read about the remaining conquests by the Spaniards)

The Conquerors

  1. What are the 5 advantages held by Europeans over their native victims?

Conquest and Morality

  1. Briefly summarize the two sides in the debate on the morality of Spanish conquest, being sure to include their major proponents (who supported them).

Destruction and Transformation of American Indian Societies

  1. After reading the section, examine the charts on page 429. What do you think accounts for the odd shape of the first graph? What are your thoughts on the second graph? (try and use more than one or two words).

Exploitation of the Indians

  1. How does the relationship between natives and Spaniards in the encomienda system to compare to traditional feudal relationships?

The Silver Heart of Empire

  1. Create your own analytical question AND answer.

Haciendas and Villages

  1. What is the difference between “encomiendas” and “haciendas”? (HINT: You may need to use the glossary)

Industry and Commerce

  1. Describe the process that brings silver to Spain and goods to the colonies. What made it successful? What were some of the dangers?

Ruling an Empire: State and Church

  1. Create your own analytical question AND answer on the Treaty of Tordesillas

  1. What was the relationship between church and state in the Spanish colonies? What impact did the church have on colonial society?

Brazil: The First Plantation Colony

  1. Describe Portugal’s first colonial interactions with Brazil. How does their relationship change over time?

Sugar and Slavery

  1. Illustrate the social hierarchy of the average Brazilian plantation

  1. What role do the missionary orders play in Brazilian society? (be sure to note their non-religious interests).

  1. How did the relationship between Portugal and Brazil differ from that of Spain and Spanish America?

Brazil’s Age of Gold

  1. What were the pros of cons of the discovery of gold in the Brazilian interior? Be sure to address pros and cons for both Portuguese and indigenous peoples.

Multiracial Societies

  1. create your own question and answer

The Society of Castas

  1. Who are the “castas”? What role did they play in colonial society?

  1. How does the role of the castas grow as time progresses? What opportunities were available for upward mobility?

  1. Who are the “creoles”? What problems do they face that are unique to their class?

18th Century Reforms

  1. create your own question and answer

The Shifting Balance of Politics and Trade

  1. What are 5 reasons that Spain’s grip on the Western hemisphere begins to slip by the 18th century?

  1. What changes were taking place in Spain’s colonies that made them harder for Spain to control?

The Bourbon Reforms

  1. What are 4 efforts made by the rulers of Spain to regain Spanish economic, political and military control of their empire? Be descriptive.

Pombal and Brazil

  1. What are 2 similarities between Portuguese and Spanish reform efforts in their colonies? What are 2 differences that are unique to Portugal’s reforms?

Reforms, Reactions, and Revolts

  1. What were the common complaints of revolutionaries near the end of the 18th century? How did the division of the social classes affect the success of these revolutionary movements?

Points to Ponder (Answer in Notebook)

  1. In what sense can it be said that the nature of the Latin American colonies was simply a reflection of Iberian society? Be sure to address at least 3 different characteristics (cultural, political, religious, economic, etc)

  1. Compare and contrast the colonies of Spanish America with Portuguese Brazil.

  1. Compare Latin American labor systems with either Russian or feudal European practices.

  1. Compare the Spanish conquest of the Americas with one of the following…

    1. Post-Classical Arab conquest of the Middle East

    2. Classical Roman conquest of the Mediterranean world

    3. Mongol conquest of the Eastern World

  1. How did Latin American demography and environment change from Pre-Columbian times through the era of Spanish/Portuguese colonization?

Chapter 20: Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave trade


  1. Describe the debate between scholars on the importance/impact of slavery. Which side do you agree with? Why?

The Atlantic Slave Trade

  1. Does Portugal or the African kingdoms hold the advantage in their early relationships? Why? How do the Portuguese begin to affect the balance of power?

  1. What are three examples of the impact that Portugal has on African society?

  1. How does the slave trade begin? How does it evolve as time passes?

Trend Towards Expansion

  1. How does this section change/expand your understanding of slavery in British North America (the future United States)?

  1. Create your own question and answer based on the charts on pg 452

Demographic Patterns

  1. How does the slave trade impact population in Africa?

Organization of the Trade

  1. How is the slave trade organized by the various European countries? What are some of the unexpected effects of the trade on Europeans?

  1. Why is it so difficult to determine whether or not the slave trade was as profitable as we’ve always believed?

African Societies, Slavery and the Slave Trade

  1. Describe the institution of slavery within Africa. How does it differ from the type and degree of enslavement created by Europeans on these same people?

Slaving and African Politics

  1. Explain the “gun-slave” cycle. Based on the information in the section, why do you agree/disagree with this theory that tries to explain the continuation of the slave trade despite the obvious negative effects on Africans?

Asante and Dahomey

  1. Compare and contrast the relationship between Europe and EACH of the major slave kingdoms of the West African coast (Asante, Benin, and Dahomey)

East Africa and the Sudan

  1. Is the East-coast slave trade more similar to or different from the West-coast slave trade? Why?

  1. Describe the work of Islam in East Africa. What impact does it have on African society?

White Settlers and Africans in Southern Africa

  1. What does South Africa look like (politically, socially, economically) before Europeans arrive?

  1. Describe the relationship that develops between the Dutch and native Africans. Describe the later conflict between the Dutch and incoming British.

The Mfecane and the Zulu Rise to Power

  1. Explain the Zulu’s rise to power. What allowed them to be successful? How do the neighboring tribal groups/kingdoms respond?

The African Diaspora

  1. Read twice – take your own notes

Slave Lives

  1. Read twice – take your own notes

Africans in the Americas

  1. Create your own question and answer

American Slave Societies

  1. Describe the hierarchy that develops within slave societies. What aspects of this system seem most odd or illogical?

The People and Gods in Exile

  1. Describe the ways in which African culture survived in a slave society. In addition, describe the ways in which African and European culture became intertwined.

The End of the Slave Trade and the Abolition of Slavery

  1. List and Explain three reasons or justifications for the end of slavery/the slave trade.

Points to Ponder (answer these in your notebooks)

  1. To what extent was slavery a feature of African society prior to the coming of the Europeans? How was it intertwined with the development of more centralized states?

  1. Compare and contrast African slavery, Latin American forced labor, and Russian serfdom.

  1. Compare and contrast the effects of the slave trade on Africa with the Black Death’s effects in Europe.

  1. What changes do you notice in the practice of Islam in Africa by 1750? How has it remain unchanged since it was first introduced in the Post-Classical period?

  1. Evaluate the causes for the end of the Atlantic slave trade. (*This means to not only “describe” them, but to also critique or judge them based on the thinking at the time.)

Chapter 21: The Muslim Empires


  1. Who are the 3 new Muslim empires that rise from the ashes of the old Arabic Empire? Where are they located? How do they interact (as a group) with the West?

The Ottomans: From Frontier Warriors to Empire Builders

  1. Where do the Ottomans come from? What are 3 of their significant accomplishments?

A State Geared to Warfare

  1. Who are the janissaries? What allowed them to become so powerful?

The Sultans and Their Court

  1. What advantage is gained by using both Christians and Jews as merchants?

  1. What problems typically faced a sultan during his reign? What problems arose at his death?

Constantinople Restored and the Flowering of Ottoman Culture

  1. Describe the culture of the Ottoman Empire. Be sure to touch on the following topics…

    1. Architecture

    1. Coffee houses

    1. Markets and crafts

    1. Literature

The Problem of Ottoman Decline

  1. Explain why the “decline” of the Ottoman Empire may have been overly exaggerated. In other words, in what ways do we find their decline to be normal and even unavoidable?

  1. What are 3 factors that contribute to their decline? (Be sure that one focuses on the succession of sultans)

Military Reversals and the Ottoman Retreat

  1. What were the economic consequences (for the Ottomans) of the shift in naval power from Ottoman to European in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean?

  1. What inherited characteristic of Ottoman society encouraged them to dismiss European advancement? What impact did this dismissal have on the future of the Empire?

The Shi’a Challenge of the Safavids

  1. What are 2 ways in which the Ottomans and Safavids are similar? What is the major difference between the two?

  1. As a refresher, what are the differences between Sunnis and Shi’as?

  1. How does the Safavid Empire begin? Which people/groups are responsible for their rise?

  1. How do the Safavids fare against the Ottomans? What impact does this have on the development of southwest Asia?

Politics and War Under the Safavid Shahs

  1. In what are the Safavids, Western Europeans, Japanese, and Latin American colonies similar?

(Hint: think labor). In what ways are the Ottomans and Safavids similar? (Hint: think military).

  1. What was the relationship between the Safavids and Portuguese? Does it seem odd that they would foster this sort of bond?

State and Religion

  1. Compare the development and usage of language in the Ottoman and Safavid Empires. What trends do you notice?

  1. What was the relationship between church and state in the Safavid Empire?

Elite Affluence and Artistic Splendor

  1. Describe the culture of the Ottoman Empire. Be sure to touch on the following topics…

    1. Architecture

    1. Education

    1. Markets and crafts

    1. Literature

Society and Gender Roles: Ottoman and Safavid Comparisons

  1. Compare and contrast (in non-thesis form) the social systems of the Ottomans and Safavids.

  1. How were women in the new Arabic empires similar to women in most other civilizations at the time? In what ways did women attempt to improve/effect their position in society?

The Rapid Demise of the Safavid Empire

  1. How is the decline of the Safavids similar to the decline of the Ottomans?

The Mughals and the Apex of Muslim Civilization in India

  1. How does the Mughal empire originate? How does the reason for its development differ from that of the Ottomans and Safavids?

** Make sure to read about Humayan

Akbar and the Basis for a Lasting Empire

  1. What characteristics made Akbar such a great leader? What steps does he take to reconcile with the Hindu population in India?

Social Reform and Social Change

  1. What steps does Akbar take to improve the status of women in Mughal society? How successful were these reforms?

Mughal Splendor and Early European Contacts

  1. What was the key to India’s economic success? What impact did this have on their relationship with the West?

Artistic Achievement in the Mughal Era

  1. Compare the lifestyles of Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal leaders.

  1. Create your own question and answer on Mughal architecture.

Court Politics and the Position of Elite and Ordinary Women

  1. Describe the opportunities that became available to women like Nur Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. How do their lives compare with those of the average woman in Mughal society?

The Beginnings of Imperial Decline

  1. What were the two main causes of Mughal decline? Describe how these two factors cause the collapse of this empire?

Points to Ponder (answer these in your notebooks)

  1. Discuss the social and political organization of the Ottoman Empire.

  1. Compare the interactions between the Ottomans and the West with those of Russia and the West.

  1. Compare and contrast the role of religion in the new Muslim empires (Ottomans/Safavids) with Mughal India

  1. How has India changed from the Mauryan dynasty to the Mughal? How has it remained the same?

  1. How have gender roles and relations changed from Aryan India to Mughal India?

Chapter 22: Asian Transitions in a Age of Global Change


  1. Describe the arrival of da Gama’s fleet in Calicut from the perspective of both the Portuguese and Indians. What is noticeably different about their views? (feel free to narrate if you so desire)

The Asian Trading World and the Coming of the Europeans

  1. What major problem do the Portuguese encounter after finally making the trip around Africa and across the Arabian Sea? What secondary problem do they face regarding their nemesis, the Muslims?

Bonds of Commerce: The Asian Sea Trading Network

  1. List the 3 “zones of trade” as described in the text, as well as the major products associated with those zones.

  1. What 2 characteristics/weaknesses of this trade network will the Europeans ultimately be able to exploit?

Trading Empire: The Portuguese Response to the Encounter at Calicut

  1. What objections do the Portuguese have to using silver as a medium of exchange in their trade with the East?

  1. How do the Portuguese change the way trade is conducted in the East. Describe at least one example of their ability to dictate the terms of trade and exchange.

Portuguese Vulnerability and the Rise of the Dutch and English Trading Empires

  1. What are 3 reasons for the failure of the Portuguese to establish a trading empire, thus opening the door for the Dutch and English? How do the Dutch methods differ from the Portuguese?

Going Ashore: European Tribute Systems in Asia

  1. What prevented Europeans from simply taking over the foreign countries they visited? What methods were used (particularly with smaller kingdoms) to ensure that Europeans were able to get the products they wanted with a minimum of fuss?

Spreading the Faith: The Missionary Enterprise in South and Southeast Asia

  1. Why do you suppose Christian missionaries had success in converting lower-caste Hindus, but not those of the upper castes?

  1. Despite the best intentions of European missionaries, what were the primary reasons that the “native pagans” agreed to conversion?

Ming China: A Global Mission Refused

  1. Read twice…no question

Another Scholar-Gentry Revival

  1. How has the exam system changed from its Foundations-era origins? How has it remained the same?

Reform: Hongwu’s Efforts to Root Out Abuses in Court Politics

  1. What steps does Hongwu take to prevent corruption in the bureaucracy? How does he attempt to keep peace in the palace itself?

A Return to Scholar-Gentry Dominance

  1. Describe the conditions of the peasant class during the Ming dynasty. In addition, how has the status of women changed/remained the same?

An Age of Growth: Agriculture, Population, Commerce, and the Arts

  1. Create your own question AND answer

An Age of Expansion: the Zhenghe Expeditions

  1. Read twice…no question (This should be mostly review for you)

Chinese Retreat and the Arrival of the Europeans

  1. Describe the successes and failures of European missionaries in China (be sure to mention efforts focused at both upper and lower classes).

Ming Decline and the Chinese Predicament

  1. Describe the effect of dynastic decline on the peasantry.

Fending Off the West: Japan’s Reunification and the First Challenge

  1. How do the plans/policies of Hideyoshi compare with those of his successor Tokugawa Ieyasu? Whose are ultimately more successful for Japan?

Dealing With the European Challenge

  1. Describe the initial reaction of the Japanese to the Christian missionaries. What causes their attitude to change as time progresses?

Japan’s Self-Imposed Isolation

  1. How do Japanese attitudes towards Europeans begin to change during the 16th and 17th centuries? What are some of the causes of this shift?

Points to Ponder (Answer in your Notebook)

  1. Define the characteristics of the Asian sea trading network. In what ways did the European incursion change the Asian system? In what ways did it remain the same?

  1. What was the nature of the Ming restoration of traditional Chinese values? What innovations were made?

  1. Compare and contrast Chinese and European means (how they did it) and motives (why they did it) for commercial expansion.

  1. Following the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, what was the nature of Japanese relationships with Europe? With China?

  1. Compare and contrast the spread of Christianity in Asia with the spread of Islam in Asia.

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