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Worlds Together, worlds apart 4th edition

Worlds Together,
Worlds Apart
Worlds Together,
Worlds Apart
West Los Angeles College
Santa Rosa Community College
W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when
William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton fi rst published lectures delivered
at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper
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books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By mid-century, the two
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stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.
Copyright © 2008, 2011, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Book design and page layout by Brad Walrod
Composition by Westchester Publishing Ser vices
Production manager: Andrew Ensor
Ancillary Editor: Lorraine Klimowich
ISBN 978- 0-393-93719- 0
W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10110- 0017
W. W. Norton & Company Ltd., Castle House, 75/76 Wells Street, London W1T 3QT
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Introduction vii
Chapter 1
Becoming Human
Chapter 2
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce 10
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties,
2000–1200 bce
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia,
1250–325 bce 41
Chapter 5
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
Chapter 6
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce 69
Chapter 7
Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
Chapter 8
The Rise of Universal Religions, 300– 600 ce 89
Chapter 9
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce 96
Chapter 10
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
Chapter 11
Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500 126
Chapter 12
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600 137
Chapter 13
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
Chapter 14
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780 164
Chapter 15
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
Chapter 16
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 17
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
Chapter 18
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914 224
Chapter 19
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
Chapter 20
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
Chapter 21
Globalization, 1970–2000 280
2001–The Present 295
World history is a young and growing field. Until the recent
past, world history courses often resembled western civilization history courses, as most of us teaching world history
were not originally trained in the field. The authors of
Worlds Together, Worlds Apart have built a coherent narrative from diverse world history stories of significance. In
writing this instructor’s manual, we have tried to follow suit.
We are dedicated community college faculty teaching a
diverse community of students. Community college faculty teach the bulk of higher education history survey
courses and are often a bridge between high school and
higher education faculty, as well as a bridge between
teaching and research. For this reason, we targeted our
lesson plans for survey courses, with focus on both higher
education and high school teachers. We also gave special
emphasis to topics underrepresented in most world history classes: Africa, Asia, women, immigrant communities, and diasporas.
Each chapter of the instructor’s manual is organized into
several sections, each of which can be a separate resource or
can help you create a thread that continually links students
back to the theme of Worlds Together, Worlds Apart:
Lecture Outline presents a close outline of the Worlds
Together Worlds Apart text, arguments, themes, and some
supporting details.
Lecture Ideas sections provide a series of topics that
match or supplement chapter themes, upon which you
may want to focus. We also provide questions for each
lecture idea that you may want to pose to your students at
the beginning of the lecture to initiate critical thinking.
Class Activities are interactive exercises to introduce or
reinforce major themes and events. They are proposed in
ways that engage students through historical inquiry,
source criticism, or problem-solving.
Recommended Films sections provide brief annotations, taking into account what might be useful not only
for you as the teacher but also as a resource for your students. Similar to source criticism for books, source criticism for fi lms are valuable tools to get students thinking
critically. You may want to have them talk about who
directed the fi lms, and when, and how these things affect
the production of fi lms. For further study on the analysis
and use of fi lm in the classroom, consider the following
Roy Armes. Third World Film Making and the West. 1987.
Robert A. Rosenstone, ed. The Historical Film: History
and Memory in Media., 1995.
Robert A. Rosenstone. Revisioning History: Film and the
Construction of a New Past. 1995.
Recommended Readings include additional bibliographical resources for the teacher or student researcher
for further exploring topics.
Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of
History. 1998.
Brandsford, J., et al. 2000. How People Learn.
Piaget, J., 1987. Possibility and Necessity.
Recommended Web sites change and develop quickly. We
recognize the movement in historical, archival, and museum
web development in addition to newspapers, primary
sources, podcasts, photographs, videos, and teaching websites. Considering the plethora of web resources available,
we especially encourage students to critically evaluate
Recommended Readings for Students Select chapters
include a Recommended Readings for Students section.
The readings include historical fiction and primary sources
that our students found especially compelling.
We would like to thank our editor, Lorraine Klimowich, for
her patient support in developing this manual. Grace would
also like to thank her colleagues at the World History Association who have furthered the field of world history with
new research and inspired her with new teaching ideas.
Alice would also like to thank her colleagues at Santa Rosa
Junior College who have tirelessly supported the development of her World History courses. We hope you enjoy
your classroom teaching experience as much as we do!
Grace Chee and Alice Roberti
Becoming Human
▶ Precursors to Modern Humans
Creation Myths and Beliefs
Evolutionary Findings and Research Methods
Early Hominids and Adaptation
The First Humans: Homo habilis
Early Humans on the Move: Migrations of Homo
The First Modern Humans
Homo sapiens and Their Migration
Cro-Magnon Homo sapiens Replace Neanderthals
Early Homo sapiens as Hunters and Gatherers
The Arts and Language
This chapter offers an overview of the evolution of
humans, beginning with their common origins in Africa.
It begins by discussing the debates on the origins of
humans and the research techniques used to support
current scholarship. After information about early hominids and their adaptation, we learn about the competition between Cro-Magnon humans and Neanderthals.
Complex thinking aids in the creation of art and language for Homo sapiens, helping them emerge as the sole
surviving hominids. They begin to spread across the
globe, crossing the land bridge from Asia to North America. When the climate warms, those in the Americas
are cut off from Afro-Eurasia. Further environmental
changes lead to the domestication of plants and animals.
Southwest Asia, East Asia, the Americas, and Sahel
Africa are incubators for settled farming communities,
whether in grains or fi sh. That change does not come
evenly or completely. Many people groups continue to
hunt and gather or follow herds of animals. Communities
that do settle begin to specialize and stratify. Gender differences arise, and patriarchy emerges. As the settled
communities continue to advance, they are poised to
create the complex civilizations that the next chapter
▶ The Beginnings of Food Production
Early Domestication of Plants and Animals
Pastoralists and Agriculturalists
Emergence of Agriculture in Other Areas
Agricultural Revolutions Occurred All over the
Southwest Asia: The Agricultural Revolution Begins
East Asia: Rice and Water
Europe: Borrowing along Two Pathways
The Americas: A Slower Transition to Agriculture
Africa: The Race with the Sahara
Revolutions in Social Organization
Settlement in Villages
Men, Women, and Evolving Gender Relations
I. Out of Africa: Theory and debate
A. Common African heritage
B. Oldest recorded bones 160,000 years old
C. Modern human (etc.)
D. Differences are mostly cultural
II. Precursors to modern humans
A. Creation myths and beliefs
1. Judaic-Christian creation story
2. Islamic creation story
3. Hindu creation story
4. Yoruba peoples’ creation story
5. Brahmanical Vedas and the Upanishads’
creation story
6. Chinese Han dynasty creation story
7. Buddhists’ creation story
B. Evolutionary fi ndings and research methods
1. Universe 15 billion years old
2. Earth 4.5 billion years old
3. African apes 23 million years ago
a. Gorillas
b. Chimpanzees
c. Hominids
C. Early hominids and adaptation
1. Discovery of Australopithecus africanus in
South Africa
2 ◆ Chapter 1 Becoming Human
a. Six distinct species
b. Not humans
c. Key trait adaptability
2. “Lucy” discovered in northern Africa
a. Brain in the ape size range
b. Jaw and teeth humanlike
c. Walked upright
d. Skilled tree climber
3. Adaptation
a. Many early hominids died out
b. No direct genetic line to modern men
and women
c. Bipedalism as great advantage
i. Carrying food and weapons
ii. Migration out of hostile areas
4. Environmental change: Walking on two
a. Reasons for walking on two legs
b. Advantages of bipedalism
i. Increased options for subsistence
ii. Increased cognitive skills
iii. Allowed tool making
c. Increased cognition and skill made
hominids excel over other primates
d. Opposable thumbs for increased physical dexterity
e. Lived in highly social groups
i. Hunted and gathered food
ii. Developed early communication
iii. Establishment of cultural codes
f. Adapted physically and cognitively
over time to changing environment
i. Brains larger
ii. Foreheads more elongated
iii. Less massive jaw
iv. Looked more modern
v. Ability to store and analyze
vi. Form mental maps
vii. Can learn, remember, and convey
g. Natural selection an advantage to those
hominids with larger brains
5. Diversity
D. The fi rst humans: Homo habilis
1. First appearance of Homo (true human)
a. Large brains
b. Systematic and large-scale tool use
c. Innovative, passed lessons to offspring
2. Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
a. Louis and Mary Leakey
b. Intact skull of “Dear Boy”
c. Fashioning cutting and scooping
d. Passing on knowledge to offspring
e. Homo habilis (“skillful man”)
E. Early humans on the move: Migrations of
Homo erectus
1. Only hominid survivor was Homo erectus
(“standing man”)
2. Traits that contributed to survival
a. Extended periods of caring for young
i. Gave infant brain time to grow
ii. Time for training by adults
iii. “Allomothering” (other
3. Traits that distinguished from competitors
a. Bipedalism
i. Smooth gait allowed longdistance travel
b. Attempts to control environment
i. Tools
ii. Fire
c. Fire
i. Heat, protection, and gathering
ii. Cooking allowed expanding diets
and evolution of brain size
iii. Powerful symbol of human control of energy
4. Hominids migrated out of Africa 1.5 million years ago
a. Southwest Asia
b. Indian Ocean shoreline
c. Indian subcontinent
d. Southeast Asia
e. China
5. Migration caused by huge environmental
a. Ice ages in Northern Hemisphere
b. Land bridges formed between
6. Widespread migration of Homo erectus
a. Java Man discovery (1891)
b. Peking Man (early twentieth-century)
7. Human evolution featured both progression and retrogression
a. Climate change altered speciation (species formation)
b. Several species could exist at same
c. Homo erectus not direct ancestors of
Homo sapiens
Chapter 1
III. The fi rst modern humans
A. Homo sapiens: “Human” species moved out
of Africa between 120,000 and 50,000 years ago
1. Took millions of years to evolve
2. Complex linguistic expression (language)
last to develop
3. Homo sapiens sapiens: Wise or intelligent
B. Homo sapiens and their migration
1. Climate change led to smaller mammals’
a. Agility and speed
b. Homo sapiens better adapted to change
than Homo erectus
2. Followed earlier migration patterns out of
a. Thrived in many areas
b. Developed distinct regional cultures
3. China’s Shandingdong Man from 18,000
years ago
a. Looked more like modern humans
b. Similar brain size to modern humans
c. Tools included bone needle
d. Buried their dead
4. Homo sapiens in eastern Asia
a. Followed herds of large mammals such
as mastodons
b. Crossed ice bridge to Japan
5. 16,000 years ago: Crossed land bridge
Beringia to North America
a. Broken Mammoth site in Alaska
6. 8000 years ago: Migrations by boat to
North America
a. Land bridge melted
b. Americas cut off from rest of world
C. Cro-Magnon Homo sapiens replaced
1. Neanderthals, early wave of hominids, settled in Afro-Eurasia
2. Not genetically related to modern Homo
3. Skull found in Neander Valley, 1856
4. Brain larger than modern human brain but
not as complex
5. Cro-Magnon better adapted than Neanderthals to environmental changes
a. Neanderthals’ speech limited
b. Physical characteristics made Neanderthals less agile
c. Cro-Magnon able to adapt
6. With environmental changes, Neanderthals vanished
Becoming Human
◆ 3
D. Early Homo sapiens as hunters and gatherers
1. Hunting and gathering until approximately 12,000 years ago
2. San hunters of South Africa present-day
hunters and gatherers
3. Hunting and gathering culture
a. Enough food found in 3 hours
b. Time for relaxation
c. Highly egalitarian between sexes
d. Women may have enjoyed higher status
IV. The arts and language
A. Art
1. Homo sapiens drawings
a. Helped them understand their
b. Bonded tightly among their kin groups
c. Established important mythology
d. Vivid and realistic in depicting large
game animals
i. The art of Chauvet Cave
e. Few depictions of humans
f. Handprints and abstract symbols
2. Meaning of drawings
a. Decoration theory discounted
b. Separated themselves from nature
c. Work of shamans for ritual use
3. Sculptures
a. Shaped from bone and stone tools
b. Most often, renderings of animals and
female figurines
4. Animal paintings symbolic of male or
5. Music
a. Flute dated approximately 35,000 years
b. Made harmonic sounds
6. Art provided permanent symbolic
B. Language
1. Evolutionary milestone
a. Enhanced ability to communicate
b. Allowed for bodies of knowledge to be
2. Phonemes
a. Humans can create sequences of
i. Humans can utter over fi fty
ii. Primates can form only twelve
b. Complex language occurred 50,000
years ago
4 ◆ Chapter 1 Becoming Human
c. !Kung of Southern Africa and Hadza of
Tanzania offer contemporary examples
of proto-language
V. The beginnings of food production
A. Humans began to cultivate wild grasses and
cereals and domesticate animals
1. Southwest Asia
2. China
3. Southeast Asia
4. Mesoamerica
5. Northeastern America
6. Other possible sites: East Africa, inland
West Africa, southeastern Europe, and
South America
B. Early domestication of plants and animals
1. Gradual change from hunting and gathering to agriculture
a. Climatic changes led to settled life
b. Valleys and mountains of Southwest
Asia fi rst permanent settlements
2. Plant domestication
a. Experiments began with domesticating
b. Larger communities supported with
more food
3. Animal domestication
a. Dogs domesticated fi rst
b. Wild sheep in Zagros Mountains second to be domesticated
c. Community members moved herds
from settlement to grassy steppes to
graze as food supplies were stripped
d. Movement becomes known as pastoralism, an alternative to settled farming
e. Pigs and cattle also domesticated
4. Pastoralists and agriculturalists
a. Replaced hunter gathering and foraging around 5500 bce
b. New ways to use land and modes of
human organization
c. Transhumance
i. Domesticated horses
ii. Developed weapons and
iii. Transmitted ideas, products, and
people across long distances
iv. Connected east and west
v. Horse most important animal and
became measure of household
wealth and prestige
d. Nomadic pastoralism evolved on
e. Domestication of plants and animals
led to a global agricultural revolution
C. Pastoralists and agriculturalists
VI. Emergence of agriculture in other areas
A. Agricultural revolutions occurred all over the
1. Regional variations because of climate,
geography, and preexisting social
B. Southwest Asia: The agricultural revolution
1. Agricultural revolution occurred in Southwest Asia
2. Fertile Crescent—place of rich soils and
regular rainfall
3. Four large mammals domesticated (goats,
sheep, pigs, and cattle)
4. Horses came to the area from steppes
5. Climate change led to more plants in the
6. 9000 bce: Jordan River Valley people
began to domesticate barley and wheat
a. Selected and stored seeds for later
7. Land between Tigris and Euphrates rivers
remained settled by small communities
a. Before 5500 bce, flood and drought prevented agricultural advances in the area
b. Competition from other areas eventually
led to early attempts to control rivers
C. East Asia: Rice and water
1. Melting glaciers in 13,000 bce led to environmental changes
2. Japanese islands formed
a. Large animals became extinct
b. Began to cultivate crops
3. River basins and lakes formed in Asia
4. Yellow and Yangzi River valleys became
heavily populated
5. Rice domesticated by 6500 bce; millet by
5500 bce
6. Grain, tools, and technical knowledge
spread throughout East Asia
7. Pottery making for storage, polished stone
axes for clearing fields and plowing
8. Regional agriculture differences affected
the cultures and aesthetics of the people in
those regions
Chapter 1
D. Europe: Borrowing along two pathways
1. Domestication ideas came from other
areas and spread quickly
2. Greece and the Balkans fi rst converted
from hunters and gatherers 6000–5000
3. Agriculture and village life in Europe
developed in two areas
a. Northern rim of the Mediterranean Sea
b. Greece, the Balkans, and along Danube
and Rhine River valleys
4. Ideas spread by water and overland
5. Needed to fi nd crops and animals that
could adapt to new climates
a. Main crops: wheat and barley
b. Main herded animals: Sheep, goats,
and cattle
c. Later plants included olives and grapeproducing vines
6. Material progress changed little
a. Settlements of 12 to 70 huts
b. Timber and mud “long houses”
c. Hunting, gathering, and fishing supplemented agriculture
d. Blend of old and new ways
e. Geography determined where changes
f. Population rose in settled communities
E. The Americas: A slower transition to
1. Flora and fauna different in the Americas
than in Afro-Eurasia
2. Used chipped blades and pointed spears in
3. Clovis people scattered throughout North
4. Climatic change and adaptation
a. Large prey became increasingly vulnerable because of environmental changes
that affected the food supply
b. Ecological niches generated a variety of
subsistence strategies
c. Most communities blended settled
agriculture with hunting and gathering
5. Changes to food production happened
more slowly
a. Stone tools in Tehuacan Valley by 6700
b. Plant domestication by 5000 bce
c. Fishing and shellfishing along various
Becoming Human
◆ 5
i. Peru example: Fishing but no
6. Domestication of plants and animals
a. Plant experimentation dates from 7000
i. Maize, squash, and beans
ii. Maize not fully domesticated until
2000 bce
b. Balanced diet through crops such as
legumes, grains, and tubers
c. Few domesticated animals for alternative protein source
i. Exception in Andean highlands,
where guinea pigs were raised for
ii. Llamas semidomesticated for
clothing and hauling
d. Change slower in Americas because of
diversity and isolation
F. Africa: The race with the Sahara
1. Sahel area became settled by farmers and
a. Later Africans from this area carried
techniques to other areas of the
2. Sahel region
a. Lush with grassland vegetation and
many animals
b. Sorghum principal food crop
3. In temperate and wetter climates, villages
a. Houses made from stone
b. Underground wells and granary storage
c. Created rock engravings and paintings
i. Hunting and pastoral scenes
ii. Cattle
iii. Daily activities of men and women
4. Warming and drying of earth’s climate
pushed inhabitants toward inland water
5. Climate change pushed people out to
other parts of Africa
a. Tropical rain forests of West Africa
i. Root crops such as yams and
b. Ethiopian highlands
i. Enset (banana-like) plant
VII. Revolutions in social organization
A. Village growth led to specialization and
6 ◆ Chapter 1 Becoming Human
B. Settlement in villages
1. Dwellings changed from circular to
2. Population growth led to increased use of
3. Specialized tasks evolved
a. Procuring and preparing food
b. Building terraces
c. Defending the settlement
4. Rectangular building shape evolved
a. Easier to build walls for separation
5. Early settlements that made transition to
settled agriculture
a. Wadi en-Natuf (near Jerusalem): 12,500
b. Eastern Anatolia
c. Çatalhöyük in central Anatolia
i. Decorated human-made dwellings with art and imagery
6. Mesopotamian inhabitants created simple
irrigation systems
a. Community became stratified
b. Burial sites reflected power status
c. High status from birth, not through
merit or work
7. Population increase led to larger concentrations of people into early towns
8. Dominant male households replaced small
egalitarian bands as social units
C. Men, women, and evolving gender relations
1. Biological-based differences between men
and women
a. Women give birth to offspring; men do
b. Biology determined female and male
actions toward each other
2. Gender (social and culture differences)
appear only with Homo sapiens
3. Need language and complex thinking to
develop true gender categories of man and
4. Gender roles more pronounced with foodproducing revolution
a. Gender equality eroded as communities abandoned hunting and gathering
b. Women’s knowledge of plants contributed
to the move to settled agriculture, but
women did not benefit from that move
c. “Great Leap Sideways”
5. Larger tools further separated genders
a. Men took over yoking animals
b. Women left with repetitive tasks of
planting, weeding and harvesting, and
c. Agricultural innovations increased
drudgery, which mainly fell to women
d. Fossil record clearly shows gendered
farm work
i. Women’s fossil record shows more
physical problems with settled
6. Stratification of genders affected power
relations within households and
a. Senior male figure became dominant in
households, politics, and cultural
b. Division among men but especially
between men and women
c. Patriarchy, or the “rule of senior males,”
within households spread globally
VIII. Conclusion
A. African hominids evolved from other primates
into Homo erectus hominids
B. Climate change and adaptation led to the
spread of successive generations of hominids
out of Africa
C. Homo sapiens with larger brains moved out of
Africa about 100,000 years ago
1. Language and complex thinking helped
them adapt during further climate change
D. As they adapted over time, they formed communities of hunters and gatherers
E. Changes in climate in some places in the world
led to embrace of settled agriculture
F. Settled farm communities varied in what they
grew and which animals were domesticated
G. Some peoples continued to hunt and gather or
move with migrating fish or mammals
H. Most people remained exclusively rural, developed largely horizontal social structures, and
depended on the natural world
At the beginning of the textbook, the authors briefly discuss time and various views on time. Many students have
never thought about the fact that there are multiple ways
to measure and perceive time, either in the form of seasons, as is seen in some medieval texts, or cyclical time,
Chapter 1
Becoming Human
◆ 7
such as the wet and dry periods in Egypt. During the
Shang dynasty in China, a new system of time was devised
that divided the day into two periods—night and day—
with ten-day weeks that were repeated in sixty-day cycles
called the “heavenly stem.” Each civilization devised its
own myths around the division of time and seasons. You
can draw in the “starting point” of dating for the Muslims,
Hindus, Jews, Chinese, and Sioux as examples for students. This thematic lecture allows you to discuss all of
the societies mentioned in this chapter and opens a window onto their social, geographic, climatic, and agricultural differences. As a side note, you can also discuss the
difference between the historical term period as opposed
to specific times, as well as the meaning of the word
dynasty and its relevance in regard to the names of the
Chinese dynasties, such as the Shang dynasty or the Xia
ability to trade, water to drink, and irrigation, thus ending
nomadic life in India, China, Mesopotamia, and Egypt
and Nubia. You can create a short table with dates, rivers,
civilizations, and so on. Although this is appropriate for a
lecture, it will be far more successful if you encourage student participation. Let students tell you what is necessary
in the successful creation and function of a civilization.
The more involved they are in the creation of a typology,
the deeper their learning of this period of history and the
organizational structures of these early civilizations.
1. Why do you think different forms of measur ing time
2. What are some of the characteristics of these societies
that might influence how their measurement of time
3. Are any of these forms of measur ing time still used
Using the reference from page 22 in the text on the Willendorf Venus, expand on the topic of early female figurines to add depth to your students’ knowledge of women’s
roles in prehistory as well as speculation on prehistoric
religion and social life. Provide images of a variety of
Venus figurines (all available on the Internet; search by
figurine name), including the Willendorf Venus. Images
are available of the Venus of Dolní Věstonice in the Czech
Republic; figurines from the cemetery of Cernavoda,
Rumania; the figurine found at Çatalhöyük; and figurines
from Israel, Bratislava (Slovakia), and France, among
others. Provide a map that marks the regions where the figurines were discovered so that students can see the broad
geographic spread of this art form. Discuss the remarkable similarities among the figurines. You can develop a
lecture and discussion based on these images, such as
how history is developed and other questions. Consider
comparing these figurines to the anthropomorphous
Bradshaw paintings in Australia, approximately 20,000
years ago. More information on the Bradshaw paintings
can be found at www.bradshawfoundation .com/brad
Synthesize the salient qualities present in all early societies necessary to their survival. You can then cite those
societies as a way to summarize a great deal of material in
the text. Whether you choose to call them civilizations,
complex cultures, or urban societies, these large groups
of communities had distinct common characteristics,
which, when ordered into a typology, make the development of humanity clearer and more easily understood.
Point out that historians quibble over the nuances of the
defi nitions and terms for these human formations. For
example, one world civilization text talks about complex
cultures, whereas another refers to the same concept but
calls them civilizations. However, all of these texts cite
necessary common characteristics such as religion, a military, and the practice of material acquisition, although
they do not agree on what is “necessary.” Other historians
give different criteria, such as the existence of a monarchy,
hierarchy, or patriarchy; fi ne arts; and economic and cultural changes. Some historians believe the development
of writing must exist, as well as intellectual and artistic
activity and a system of exchange. Point out that all early
civilizations developed around rivers and in temperate
grain-growing areas. These regions provided food, the
1. What do you see as necessary criteria for the development of a civilization?
2. How did the development of the early five civilizations differ? Why?
Venus Figurines
1. Why are similar figurines found across Europe and
central Asia? Is this an indication of migration patterns or cross-cultural sharing?
2. What does the emphasis on the breasts, vulva, and
stomach signify? Why have no similar representations of men been found, as in Africa with later
3. It generally is assumed that these figurines were
representations of goddesses. Is this a fair assumption? What might have been some other applications
for the figurines?
8 ◆ Chapter 1 Becoming Human
The Cave of Chauvet
Use images such as those found at the Web site for the
Cave of Chauvet in France:
to help students begin thinking about the degree of
change in human development during this period. Consider having them look at these images as one of the fi rst
things you do in the semester, even before a great deal of
lecturing. Students can break into groups and explore the
cave drawings. By providing the images without text, you
create the forum and climate for further questioning.
They have a minimum amount of detail on which to formulate suppositions about the lives of these early humans,
the purpose of the drawings, and the purpose of the caves.
The images depict bones, animals, and parts of human
bodies, but no representations of entire human bodies.
Why might that be? You may want to see if students come
to this recognition on their own, or you could point it out
to them and let each group discuss the meaning of the
symbols and imagery on the cave walls. This preparatory
experience and participation by students lead into a more
spirited lecture and discussion.
Food provides an interesting, interactive, and informative
way to help your students begin to think about what life
might have been like for hunter-gatherers. Have them read
the sections on the Stone Age or the Neolithic Period.
Then they can research the types of food that huntergatherers had available to them according to the regions
they inhabited, for example Europe, China, Mesopotamia,
Africa, India, and the Americas. Form groups, and assign
each group a region. Ask students to bring in small samples of the foods that would have commonly been eaten or
a food that is the closest variable. (For example, in Scandinavia the lingonberry was one of the most common berries but is not available in North America, so students
should substitute it with blueberries.) Ask students to create representations of the food for a family of four for one
day. Have them present the food according to which gender collected it and the ratio of food type. It is projected
that women and children collected approximately 65 to
75 percent of the daily calories, gathering mostly berries
and nuts, some grains, and some small game or fish in a
region such as northern Europe. The men contributed
approximately 35 percent because they usually hunted
large game. By dividing the food according to what is collected by group, the students gain an important visual les-
son that they don’t seem to understand with text alone.
Visual representations of the contributions by gender
make a greater impact on this important historical detail.
Use the following BBC Web game as either a class activity or an at-home assignment to stimulate further discussion and promote understanding of the development of
humans. If you play the game in the classroom, you can
discuss the facts elucidated at the end of each brief section
and why one choice might be better than another. To
increase class participation and ownership, ask for a student volunteer to make the class’s choices on the computer. The game is fi lled with important details regarding
evolutionary stages and brings to life many of the details
from the textbook. If you discuss them in class and play
the game, it can take at least 30–50 minutes. Caveman
Challenge Game:
■ Ape Man: The Story of Human Evolution (four-part series,
each 50 min.). This is an older series hosted by Walter
Cronkite and set in Africa. Still significant, its transdisciplinary focus provides an explanation of our understanding of human development. Parts II and III are probably
the most relevant for world civilization courses. Part II,
“Giant Strides,” takes the viewer into the hunter-gatherer’s
early technological world with the development of tools
and the use of fi re. In Part III, “All in the Mind,” Cronkite
discusses one of the next major developmental shifts—
language and its impact on humanity. One of the great
advantages of brain and language development was
enhanced creativity. Tools became decorated and individualized. This is the period when cave paintings were created. Consider combining the Classroom Activity on the
caves at Chauvet with portions of this DVD. Part IV, “Science and Fiction,” is less about the debate between creationists and evolutionists than about controversies among
scientists about the origins and the future of humans,
which could be useful in discussions on the development
of historiography.
■ Becoming Human (approx. 30 min.) This short, primarysource documentary is broken into five sections with
information about the evidence, anatomy, lineages, and
culture of humans. Narrated by Donald Johanson, the
discoverer of Lucy, this Institute of Human Origins documentary traces the discovery of Lucy and the scientific
process involved in evaluating its fi nds, all on site in Africa.
This fi lm is available at the Web site Becoming Human and
includes an interactive resource as well.
Chapter 1
■ The Feast (29 min.). This documentary, produced by
Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon as part of the
Yanomamo series, includes a study guide found at:
This fi lm records the lives of modern-day Stone Age
people, the Yanomamo of southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. Any of the fi lms from this series reflects people’s
lives in prehistoric communities. Its brevity allows students to view the fi lm and engage in a brief discussion of
the value of viewing the lives of these modern people as a
window into the Stone Age. The Yanomamo are struggling with the ever encroaching presence of big corporations and urbanization. On the other hand, we as historians
can gain much knowledge by viewing their day-to-day
lives, including information on ceremonial practices, eating, gender traditions, the need for allies, and aggression.
Jacquetta Hawkes, 1993. The Atlas of Early Man.
Steve Mithen, 2006. After the Ice: A Global Human History
20,000–5000 bce.
Christopher Scarre and Brian M. Fagan, 2008. Ancient
Civilizations, 3rd ed.
Marjorie Shostak, 2000. Nisa: The Life and Words of a
!Kung Woman.
Robert J. Wenke and Deborah I. Olszewski, 2006. Patterns
in Prehistory: Humankind’s First Three Million Years.
Randall White, 2003. Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind.
Bernard Wood, 2006. Human Evolution: A Very Short
Carl Zimmer, 2009. The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to
Action Bioscience
This site presents articles examining the debate over the
“out of Africa” theory
Becoming Human
◆ 9
Becoming Human
This site includes an interactive documentary, timeline,
and classroom materials
The British Museum
Over 2 million items in their collection database
The Cave at Lascaux
Caveman Challenge Game
The BBC site offers an interactive “caveman challenge.”
Students can test themselves on this page
www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric _life/games/cave
Journey of Mankind
This site, sponsored by the Bradshaw Foundation,
includes an interactive timeline of the migration of
early people that is very detailed and presents a great
deal of information on prehistoric rock art
heimer/index .html
National Museum of the American Indian
One of the most extensive collections of Native American arts and artifacts in the world with over 825,000
Leakey Foundation Timeline of Discoveries
Click on “Education,” then “Timeline of Discoveries”
Museum of London Exhibit: London before London
Prehistoric Life
www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric _life/
Venus Figurines from the Ice Age
This site offers numerous images of the most famous
Venus figurines.
What Does It Mean to Be Human?
The Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program covers all
aspects of evolutionary science
Rivers, Cities, and First States,
3500–2000 bce
▶ Settlement, Pastoralism, and Trade
Early Cities along River Basins
Smaller Settlements around 3500 bce
Pastoral Nomadic Communities
The Rise of Trade
Between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers:
Tapping the Waters
Crossroads of Afro-Eurasia
The World’s First Cities
Gods and Temples
The Palace and Royal Power
Social Hierarchy and Families
First Writing and Early Texts
Spreading Cities and First Territorial States
The Indus River Valley: A Parallel Culture
Harappan City Life
In this chapter, we fi nd complex civilizations emerging in
certain regions of the world. As the climate changed,
humans began to adapt. In some regions, they moved to
larger communities, eventually forming cities. The ability
to adapt their agriculture and to control irrigation was
important in this process. Three riverine cultures are discussed in this chapter, beginning with those in the floodplains of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, where the fi rst
cities in Mesopotamia emerged. Those cities are compared
with the riverine culture developing in the Indus River
Basin. Finally, we see the Nile River’s influence on the
development of Egyptian civilization. Early examples in
China are also discussed. Although new complex societies
were developing along major rivers, most people remained
tied to rural areas. Rural and urban differences are raised
throughout the chapter. Some areas such as the Aegean,
Anatolia, and Europe moved toward increased popula10
▶ The Gift of the Nile: Egypt
The Nile River and Its Floodwaters
Egypt’s Unique Riverine Culture
The Rise of the State and Dynasties
Rituals, Pyramids, and Cosmic Order
Writing and Scribes
The Prosperity of Egypt
The Later Dynasties and Their Demise
The Yellow and Yangzi River Basins: East Asia
From Yangshao to Longshan Culture
Liangzhu Culture
Life on the Margins of Afro-Eurasia
Aegean Worlds
Europe: The Western Frontier
tions and trade but were not as advanced as the riverine
civilizations. Still, many other people remained nomadic
and lived far from cities or large communities. We will see
their impact on world civilizations in the next chapter.
I. Snapshot of the city of Uruk
A. Commercial center
B. Administrative center
II. Settlement, pastoralism, and trade
A. Development of cities (3500 bce)
1. Populations moved close to reliable water
2. Climate change led to longer growing
3. Cities scarce and only in select areas
a. Stable river system
b. Fertile soil
c. Access to water for irrigation
Chapter 2
d. Availability of domesticated plants and
animals, agricultural surpluses
4. Labor specialization led to trade outside
a. Raw materials traded for fi nished goods
b. Copper became very desirable for
making bronze (Bronze Age)
B. Early cities along river basins
1. Three areas developed
a. Tigris and Euphrates Basin (modern
b. Indus River Basin (modern Pakistan)
c. Northern Nile River (modern Egypt)
2. Changed how humans farmed and fed
themselves between 4000 and 2000 bce
a. Intensive irrigation agriculture
b. More people moved to cities
c. Community organization
d. Changed how they worshiped
i. Prayed to many zoomorphic and
anthropomorphic gods
ii. Kings and priests involved
e. Also happened along Yellow River in
3. New technologies
a. Wheel for pottery and vehicles
b. Metallurgy and stone working
4. Urban-rural divide
a. Urban life characterized by mass production and specialization
b. Rural life characterized by closeness to
nature; cultivated land and tended
c. Two lifeways; codependent
d. Closely linked through family ties,
trade, politics, and religion
5. Intellectual advances in an urban setting
a. Writing systems
i. Symbolic; storage of words and
ii. Extended community and memory
b. Rise of recordkeeping and epics
c. Importance of scribes
C. Smaller settlements around 3500 bce
a. Most people lived in small, egalitarian
village communities
i. Tools made of wood or stone
b. Organized by clan and family allegiances
c. The Americas
i. Environmental factor limited size
of settlements
ii. Restricted surpluses of food
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 11
iii. Largest population center was the
valley of Tehuacan where corn
provided surplus
d. Sub-Saharan Africa
i. Followed same pattern as Americas
ii. Shifts in population occurred
because of desertification of Sahara
iii. Migrating groups maintained trading and cultural contacts
D. Pastoral nomadic communities
1. Transhumant herder communities
a. Herding and breeding sheep and goats
2. Moved to periphery of settlements for
3. About 3500 bce, nomadic groups moved
cyclically from highlands to lowlands
4. Small, impermanent settlements
a. Afro-Eurasia’s mountains and desert
b. Steppe lands from inner and central
Eurasia to Pacific Ocean
5. Lived next to and traded with settled
agrarian people when in the lowlands
6. Horses used in the steppe lands of
E. The rise of trade
1. Settled communities increased need for trade
2. Luxuries traded
a. Obsidian
b. Trickle, or down-the-line, trade
3. Long-distance trade established by 5000
bce for raw materials
a. Outposts established to coordinate and
monitor resources
4. Trading stations or entrepôts at borders
a. Allowed multiple exchanges
b. Pack-animal caravans
i. Donkeys, wild asses, and camels
III. Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: Mesopotamia, 3500 bce
A. Tapping the waters
1. Mesopotamia means “place between two
2. Tigris and Euphrates rivers wild and
3. Revolutionary irrigation system created
4. Area included modern-day Iraq, parts of
Syria, and southeastern Turkey
a. Varied topography and unpredictable
12 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
b. Unified by interlocking drainage basin
c. Rivers provided irrigation and served as
transportation routes
5. First settlements in foothills of Zagros
a. Simple irrigation led to higher agricultural yields
6. Alluvial plains living required more
sophisticated waterworks
a. Levees, ditches, canals, water-lifting
devices, and water storage
7. Grew wheat, millet, sesame, and barley
a. Barley used for diet staple and beer
B. Crossroads of Southwest Asia
1. Mesopotamia had few natural resources
2. Needed to trade with surrounding areas
a. Cedar from Lebanon
b. Copper and stones from Oman
c. Copper from Turkey and Iran
d. Lapis lazuli from Afghan istan
3. Few boundaries made easy trade
4. Good soil, water, and trade led to growth
of cities
5. Became meeting ground for several different cultures
a. Sumerians in the south
b. Hurrians in the north
c. Semites in west and central areas
d. Akkadians in the west
C. The world’s fi rst cities
1. Fourth millennium bce migration from
rural villages to growing city centers
a. Eridu
b. Nippur
c. Uruk
2. Early cities grew gradually
a. Buildings of mud brick
3. Eridu
a. Housed Sumerian water god, Ea
b. Sacred site with temples
c. Temple rebuilt over 20 times, more
elaborate each time
d. Over 35 cities with major divine sanctuaries throughout Mesopotamia
4. Cities were meeting places for peoples and
their deities
a. Urban design reflected city’s greatness
i. Sheepfolds
ii. Suburbs
iii. Common layout
5. City-states developed
a. Common culture
b. Intense trade
c. Shared environment
6. Man was created solely to serve the gods
7. City design mirrored the society and social
D. Gods and temples
1. Sumerian and Akkadian gods shaped
a. Epic of Gilgamesh depicted gods’ power
2. Each god occupied a major floodplain city
a. God’s character shaped city’s society
and culture
3. Temples were homes of gods and symbols
of urban identity
a. Altars held cult images
b. Stepped platform called ziggurat by
3000 bce
4. Temple was god’s estate
a. Housed priests, officials, laborers, and
b. Engaged in productive and commercial
c. Enormous workforce
d. Workshops produced textiles and
leather goods
e. Employed skilled craftsmen
E. The palace and royal power
1. Appeared around 2500 bce
2. Defi ning landmark of city life
3. Palace became rival to temple
4. Located on edge of city
5. Became powerful expressions of secular,
military, and administrative authority
6. Rulers tied their status to gods through
burial arrangements
a. Royal cemetery at Ur
i. Sixteen high-status graves
ii. Graves contained bodies of sacrificial victims
iii. Demonstrated elaborate burial
F. Social hierarchy and families
1. City-states run by elders and young men
2. Empowered elite became permanent part
of society
3. Rulers
a. Privileged access to economic and
political resources
b. Used bureaucracy, priesthood, and law
c. Priests and bureaucrats served the rulers
4. Occupation determined social status
a. King and priest
Chapter 2
b. Bureaucrats
c. Supervisors
d. Specialized craft workers
e. Male and female workers
5. Movement between economic classes
6. Independent merchants risked longdistance trade
7. Family households also hierarchical
a. Senior male patriarch dominated
b. Single-family household
i. Husband and wife bound by
ii. Monogamy the norm
iii. Sons inherited in equal shares
iv. Daughters received dowry gifts
v. Adoption used if no male heir
c. Most women lived in contract marriages
d. A few women joined temple as
i. By 2000 bce, women could own
estates and productive enterprises
ii. Father or brothers still responsible
for woman
G. First writing and early texts
1. First written history in Mesopotamian
a. Promoted power of temples and kings
2. Writing used to keep track of trade
3. Scribes special in Mesopotamian society
a. Writing allowed for ideas to be transmitted across time and distance
b. Literacy limited to an influential scribe
c. Top of the social ladder
4. Complex societies required a way to communicate between people and over distance
5. First record keepers
6. Precursor to writing appeared in
7. Rebus: transfer of name of thing to sounds
8. Writing: technology of symbols that used
marks to record specific discrete sounds
9. Ancient cuneiform script reveals Mesopotamian history
a. Wrote on clay tablets with reeds
b. Wedge-shaped writing: cuneiform
i. First appeared around 3200 bce
c. 2400 bce political, historical, and economic events
d. Cuneiform adapted to different
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 13
e. Literacy spread and gave rise to written
i. The temple hymns 2100 bce
ii. Sumerian king list 2000 bce
a. Includes Great Flood Story
H. Spreading cities and fi rst territorial states
1. Early Dynastic Age (2850–2334 bce)
2. Akkadian territorial state (2334–2193)
a. Founder King Sargon the Great of
Akkad (r. 2334–2279)
b. United southern Mesopotamian
c. Created fi rst multiethnic collection of
urban centers—the territorial state
3. Sargon sponsored monumental architecture, artworks, and literature
4. Sargon increased geographic influence
5. Akkad capital conquered in 2190 bce
IV. The Indus River valley: A parallel culture
A. Harappa, on banks of Ravi River 3000 bce
1. Urban culture
2. Early settlements along foothills of Baluchistan Mountains
3. Fertile soils yielded surplus
4. Fortified cities established with major public works
B. Indus Valley boasted many ecological
1. Predictable flooding from Himalaya
Mountains snow runoff
2. No torrential monsoons as on the Ganges
River plain
3. Wheat and barley planted after waters
4. Food surplus freed many inhabitants from
having to grow food
5. Specialization and urbanization led to
growing cities
a. Two largest cities—35,000 inhabitants
i. Harappa
ii. Mohenjo Daro
C. Harappan cities two to three times larger than
Mesopotamian cultural zone
D. Harappan city life
1. Less is known about Harappan culture
a. Many sites remain underwater
b. Cannot identify spoken language
c. 400-symbol script; may be a nonlinguistic symbol system
d. Only stamp seals found
e. Unable to cata log political history
14 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
2. What is known is through archaeological
a. Harappan cities and towns followed
same general pattern
i. Fortified citadels and residential
ii. Main street with covered drainage
b. Citadels were likely centers of political
and ritual activities
c. Mohenjo Daro citadel contained a great
d. Houses for notables, city walls, and
water drainage all built from brick
e. Well-built houses contained bathrooms, showers, and toilets
f. Municipal sewer systems
E. Trade
1. Along Indus River, into Iranian plateau to
the Persian Gulf
2. Traded raw and fi nished goods for gold,
silver, gemstones, and textiles
3. Trade towns located in remote but strategic sites such as Lothal located on Gulf of
Khambhat (Cambay)
a. Provided access to the sea and to raw
b. Precious gemstones such as carnelian
were sought after
c. Other stones had to be imported
4. Metals such as copper and silver were mined
5. Used script and weights and measures in
F. Uniformity of Harappan sites suggests a centralized structured state
V. The Gift of the Nile: Egypt
A. Ancient Egypt was a melting pot
1. People came from Sinai, Libya, Nubia, and
central Africa
2. Blended cultural practices and technologies
3. Much in common with Mesopotamia
a. Dense population
b. Depended on irrigation
c. Monumental architecture
d. Rulers had im mense authority
e. Complex social order
4. Egypt geography distinct
a. Nile River
b. Desert
c. Limited cultivatable land
B. The Nile River and its floodwaters
1. Longest river in the world
a. 4,238 miles
b. North flowing
2. Source in the African highlands
3. People migrated to Nile Valley from south
4. Two branches: Blue and White
5. Annual floods created green belts along
the river; away from the river was desert
6. Most people lived close to the river
7. Most “riverine” of the riverine cultures
8. Nile predictable
a. Viewed world optimistically
9. Early basin irrigation system devised
a. Led to new layer of topsoil each year
10. Never-failing sun ensured abundant
a. Sun worshipping culture
C. Egypt’s unique riverine culture
1. Geography led to development of Egyptian culture
2. Fewer outsiders than in Mesopotamia or
Indus River Basin
3. Some differences between Lower and
Upper Egypt
4. Pharaoh needed to provide
5. Ma’at allowed all that was good to occur
D. The rise of the Egyptian state and dynasties
1. Egypt developed quickly
2. King’s task to control nature, especially
the Nile floods, and protect his people
from invaders
3. Egypt had a large clerical class
4. Invaders threatened from east and south
5. Egyptian history organized by dynasties
6. Thirty-one dynasties
a. Old Kingdom (2649–2152 bce)
b. Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 bce)
c. New Kingdom (1550–1070 bce)
7. Periods of weak authority between
a. First, Second, and Third Intermediate
E. Rituals, pyramids, and the cosmic order
1. Old Kingdom: the golden age of Egypt
2. Ruler as god possessed divine powers
3. Rulers built and used impressive
a. Sed Festival renewed vitality of king
b. Came from need for water
c. King Djoser (r. 2630–2611) celebrated
at Saqqara
d. World’s oldest stone edifice at Saqqara
Chapter 2
i. Began as a mastaba (“bench”)
ii. Imhotep was architect
iii. Six renovations led to step pyramid
4. Step pyramid and complex served as a stage
for ritual
5. Pharaoh, king as god, used tomb to embody
the state’s ideology
6. Myth of death leading to everlasting life
7. Many symbols and special names for power
8. Cosmic order as unequal and hierarchical
9. Pharaoh’s power derived from his godhood
a. Gods were serene, orderly, merciful, and
10. Pyramid building evolved rapidly
a. Fourth dynasty kings built Giza
i. Pyramid of Khufu, largest stone
structure in the world
ii. Khafra’s pyramid guarded by
b. Royal tombs are nearby
c. Enormous labor required to build
i. Peasants and workers
ii. Slaves from Nubia
iii. Captured peoples from
F. Religion
1. Religion played an important role
a. World inhabited by three groups
i. Gods
ii. Kings
iii. Rest of humanity
2. Cults of the gods
a. Each region had different gods
i. Thebes had Amun
b. Gods evolved over time were represented by animal and human symbols
i. Horus: the hawk god
ii. Osiris: goddess of regeneration
and underworld
iii. Hathor: god of childbirth and
iv. Ra: the sun god
v. Amun: creator, the hidden god
c. Official religious rituals took place in
d. Kings cared for gods in their temples
e. Contractual relationship between gods
and humans
f. Humans had active role in their belief
in gods’ powers
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 15
i. Cult required rituals and communication with gods
g. Most enduring cult was of the goddess
i. Represented sisterhood and
ii. Wife of Osiris
3. The priesthood
a. Priesthood responsible for rituals
b. Elaborate rules
c. Extensive training
d. Highly stratified
e. Only priests could enter temple
f. Gods left temples only in portable
g. Helped unify Egypt
h. Unofficial popu lar religions also
i. Ordinary people visited local
4. Magical powers
a. Important to commoners
b. Amulets
c. Omens and divination
d. Animals believed to have supernatural
G. Writing and scribes
1. Literacy shaped divisions between rural
and urban life
2. Scribes held a special place in society
a. Recorded trade
b. Religious, historical, and literature
3. Egyptian script complicated
a. Became simpler over time
b. More Egyptians than Mesopotamians
c. Most high-ranking Egyptians were
trained as scribes
d. Worked for king’s court, army, or
e. Sometimes kings and royal family
could write
4. Two basic forms of Egyptian writing
a. Hieroglyphs, “sacred carving”
i. Used in temple, royal, or divine
b. Demotic writing, cursive script
i. Most common and practical
ii. Administrative records
iii. Private writing
16 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
iv. Literature
v. Manuals and other texts
5. Training for scribes
a. Started young
b. Entered bureaucracy
c. Literacy high achievement
d. Literate people buried with textbooks
H. The prosperity of Egypt
1. Population growth
a. 350,000 in 4000 bce
b. 5 million in 1500 bce
2. Strong state rooted in bureaucracy
a. Maintained records
b. Watched over society
c. Regulated Nile’s floodwaters
I. Later dynasties and their demise
1. State became more dispersed and outward
2. Collapse caused by internal weakness
3. Expansion and decentralization ended Old
a. Pepys II last ruler of the Old Kingdom
4. Old Kingdom followed by First Intermediate Period (2150–2040 bce)
VI. The Yellow and Yangzi River basins in East Asia
A. The future Chinese state originated along the
Yellow River and Yangzi River
1. Chinese culture slower to develop than
Mesopotamian, Indus River, or Egyptian
2. Remained a localized agrarian culture
3. Lack of domesticated animals and plants
4. Geography isolated China
B. From Yangshao to Longshan cultures
1. Yellow River Basin evidence challenges
traditional history
a. 4000–2000 bce
2. China never completely isolated like
3. Mongolian steppe allowed new technologies through
a. Chariot introduced by nomads
b. Bronze
4. Nomads eventually settled on the rivers in
more complex cultures
5. Breakthroughs in communication
a. Yangshao pottery showed signs and
symbols by 5000 bce
b. Shamans, many of them women, used
signs in performing rituals
6. Early Chinese riverine societies
a. Produced stone and pottery storage
i. Longshan black pottery and town
enclosure found
b. Contrast with more primitive sites in
c. Deer scapulas or oracle bones used by
7. Longshan people likely migrated from
a. Developed between 5000 and 2000 bce
b. Several regions shared similar pottery
and tools
c. Likely came into contact with other
d. No city-states, but agriculture
8. Longshan showed beginnings of urban
a. Buried dead in cemeteries outside of
i. Tombs contain objects
b. Shaman performed rituals with jade
i. Jade quarrying required advanced
c. Organized violence
i. Mass grave with scalped
household members
ii. Defensive wall found
d. More interregional contact
i. Migration to East Asian coast
ii. Objects show a shared cultural
and trading sphere
e. Short-lived and scattered political
i. Era of Ten Thousand States
C. Liangzhu culture
1. Sophisticated agriculturalists
a. Grew rice and fruits along the Qiantang River
b. Used tools and domesticated animals
2. Familiar with watercraft
3. Stone and bone artifacts highly developed
4. Produced black pottery
5. Created ritual objects from jade
D. Third millennium droughts
1. Chinese recovered and created elaborate
agrarian systems during the second millennium bce
a. Yellow River
b. Yangzi River
Chapter 2
2. Similar civilizations to those along the
Euphrates, Indus, and Nile rivers
a. Extensive trade networks
b. Highly stratified social hierarchy
c. Centralized polity
d. Chinese social and political systems
i. Emphasized the past
ii. Tradition—Sage Kings
iii. Rising scholarly elite
VII. Life on the margins of Afro-Eurasia
A. Outside the river basins
1. Warrior-based ethos
2. Chiefs and military men were top social
3. More egalitarian than urban dwellers
4. Politically less centralized
B. Aegean worlds
1. Geography stopped urban development
a. Scattered settlements separated by natural obstacles
i. Crete traded with other regions
ii. Communities remained small
iii. Knossos of Crete emerged, second
millennium bce
C. Anatolia
1. Regional cultures emerged because of
trade routes
2. Small cities emerged around fortified
a. Horoz Tepe
b. Alaça Hüyük
3. Troy important third-millennium bce site
a. Famous from Homer’s Iliad
b. Modern mound of Hissarlik
c. First rediscovered in 1870
d. Well fortified with monumental stone
e. Troy II had five buildings called
i. Megarons were forerunners of
Greek temples
f. Artifacts of active trade system linked
Aegean and Southwest Asia
i. Im mense wealth derived from
gateway into Southwest Asia
D. Europe: The western frontier
1. Early Europeans moved into settlements
and created complex societies
a. Chieftain society
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 17
2. Hierarchies replaced older egalitarian ways
3. Warfare dominated social development
4. Plowing and clearing woodlands expanded
5. Households and small communities organized irrigation and settlements
6. Frequent confl icts over resources
7. Flint mining an example of social and cultural change
a. Made resources cheaper so more tools
b. More communities flourished
8. Large communities by 4000 bce
a. Construction of large fi xed monuments
b. Megalith, “great stone” around 2000
i. Avebury
ii. Stonehenge
c. Corded ware pots
9. Increased interaction led to more wealth
and warfare
a. Burials with drinking cups, “bell beakers,” sign of warrior culture
b. Agricultural communities produced
c. Surpluses and desire for land led to
more tribal warfare
10. Split between eastern and western Europe
a. West battled over territory and
i. Agriculture and metalworking
part of daily life
b. Warfare led to need for better weapons
i. Bronze, an alloy of copper and
ii. Weapons produced in bulk
iii. Trade network distributed
iv. Rivers used to exchange metal
products; fi rst commercial
11. Warfare made Europe more innovative
a. Fueled demand for weapons, alcohol,
and, later, horses
VIII. Conclusion
A. Near some giant rivers, complex human cultures emerged
1. Most densely populated regions
a. Occupation specialization
b. Social hierarchy
c. Rising material standards of living
18 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
d. Highly developed systems of art and
e. Centralized production and distribution of food, cloth, and other goods
Ceremonial sites and trading entrepôts became
1. Centralized religious and political systems
2. Scribes, priests, and rulers labored to keep
complex societies together
Sharper distinction between urban and rural
Urbanization shaped social and cultural
1. Affected the roles of men and women
Riverine cultures distinct
1. Single river such as Nile or the Indus
2. Floodplain such as Tigris or Euphrates
3. Later, Chinese culture developed along
Yellow and Yangzi rivers
Some advancement in trade and agriculture
but not so much as in riverine cultures
1. Anatolia
2. Aegean
3. Europe
4. Part of China
Climate affected everyone and could slow or
reverse development
Creation Myths
It is always fruitful to expose your students to the variety
of creation and flood myths. Consider combining the various sources used in Chapters 2 and 3 in your lecture. Help
your students to place the archetypes, chronologies, and
themes into context as well as creating linkages from one
civilization to another. Since you can’t possibly draw on all
of the myths, you will need to select from a few key groups.
Keeping your class demographics in mind, use creation
myths that your students may be able to relate to, that you
think they will fi nd interesting, and that might require
them to reevaluate stereotypes or disinformation. Often,
students are surprised by the chronology of early Mesopotamian creation and flood myths and how they were
appropriated by Judeo-Christian traditions. Your text has
already introduced students to Gilgamesh (see p. 52) and
Popol Vuh (see p. 34), so you might consider building on
these works.
1. Discuss historical and anthropological theories
regarding transitions to patriarchy and the disem-
powerment of female divinities such as the goddess
variously known as Ishtar, Inanna (see pp. 55 and 56),
and Isis (see p. 67).
2. What similarities can be found across creation myths,
and why do you suppose these similarities exist? Is
there any historical evidence to support theories
regarding these similarities?
3. What are archetypes? What role do they play in societies? Name some of the archetypes found in these
Divinity and the Legitimating of Authority
Each of the early societies struggled with central questions
regarding the development of its belief system, explanations of events, and defi nition of social structures. A key
aspect of these issues was how each society chose to legitimate power, often through the establishment of a divine
right or the “godliness” of its leaders. It is important that
students see that the question of authority is a common
human issue and that there are multiple ways to resolve
this need. Using a thematic structure, discuss the various
explanations and manifestations of rulers’ divinity, from
China’s concept of the Mandate of Heaven (Chapter 4),
which evolved during the Shang dynasty and was refi ned
by the Zhou, to the idea of ma’at in Egypt (Chapters 2
and 3). When discussing Egypt, mention the brief reign
of Akhenaten and his unsuccessful attempt to create an
early form of monotheism. By describing the historical
events that led to his collapse, you can show how Egyptians would have assumed that the principle of ma’at led to
Akhenaten’s fall and a reestablishment of balance. You
can then compare this case to India’s acceptance of the
caste system and the role of the Brahmans in Brahmanism
and later Hinduism. Then cite the Aztecs to discuss the
divinity of kings in Mayan and Aztec cultures. If there is
time, you can extend this discussion into Chapters 3 and
4, when the text begins to focus on pastoralism, nomads,
and the early empires.
1. Compare and contrast the different structures in
leadership among any or all of the aforementioned
groups: ancient China, ancient Egypt, Indus Valley
civilization, Aztec, and Maya.
2. Which societies tend to be more egalitarian in their
decision-making structures? Why?
Although the textbook mentions the Nubian presence as
part of Egyptian civilization, this part of African history
is little researched. The Nubian/Kush/Meröe kingdom
Chapter 2
shared many cultural similarities with its Egyptian neighbors, but it also shared traits of African groups to the
south. As black Africans, the Nubians provided a link
between the Egyptians and the Bantu-speaking Africans.
More pyramids are extant today in what was Nubia than
in Egypt. For a few years, the Nubians actually ruled all of
Egypt. They provided trading links as well as soldiers and
mercenaries for the Egyptians, many of them during the
attacks of the Hyksos. A close look at the figurines so
common in Egyptian pyramids reveals that many are soldiers and other workers with African features.
You can use the fi lm Wonders of the African World: Black
Kingdoms of the Nile to reinforce a lecture on Nubia. To
emphasize Nubia’s own cultural distinctiveness, draw
attention to the building of its pyramids and burial practices as well as governmental structure. Finally, explain
Nubia’s shift to the kingdom of the Kush and its slow
decline in power. Although Egyptianized in many ways,
the later culture of the Kush developed and has retained,
to this day, its own language and cursive script.
1. Why is Nubia little known today?
2. How do you think Nubia influenced Egypt? Did
Egypt influence Nubia? How?
Aryan Assimilation into the Harappan Valley
Harappan civilization came to an end between 1700 and
1000 bce. However, the cause is still unknown. The
arrival or encroachment, if you will, of the Aryan nomads
into the Indus Valley no doubt played a role in Harappa’s
demise. Students are curious about this par ticu lar example of a nomadic takeover. They are also curious about the
term Aryan and its link to the later use of the word in Nazi
propaganda. This interest provides a perfect opportunity
to expand on a number of themes, possible global patterns
of nomadic cultures, the development of Indian society
up to today, the development of Hinduism, and the coopting of the term Aryanism by German pseudoscientists
in the late nineteenth century. As the text mentions, the
Aryans were a nomadic, warrior group, probably from the
Asian steppes. The stories of the time report them to
be lighter skinned; many were said to be blue-eyed. It is
unclear as to whether the Aryans took over Harappa or
assimilated into the civilization. More evidence appears
to indicate a slow assimilation and blending of cultures
that established what became the heart of today’s Indian
culture. The theory that Aryans destroyed the Indus cities and established a new culture and language is now
rejected by most scholars because no archaeological, biological, or literary reference supports it. On the other
hand, it is clear that the caste system, sacred texts, and
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 19
many of the oral myths and early forms of Brahmanism
were contributed by the nomadic Aryans. As the two
groups merged, the former Aryans, who were the warriors, and the Aryan Brahmans became the upper castes.
In the late nineteenth century, Europeans, using race
theory, concluded that all people whose language evolved
from an Indo-European base were more advanced. German theorists concluded that Germanic people were the
most advanced of all people groups. In the latter half of
the 1800s, a group of German explorers discovered a
region in the mountains of northern India in which the villagers were fair skinned, blond, and blue-eyed. They concluded that they had found the descendants of the original
pure Aryans, the superior race, and began to study the
Vedic texts—the histories of the Aryans—to determine
more about their past. Later scientific studies have proven
their conclusions to be false. However, the Nazis and other
eugenicists used these conclusions as their excuse to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, and other “non-Aryans.” In the
United States, eugenics and racial theory were used to
force sterilization on immigrants from non–Northern
European parts of the world. The idealization of conquest
pictured in the Vedic hymns was incorporated into Nazi
racist literature, in which German descent was supposedly traced back to Aryan forebears. The swastika has
been used by many ancient indigenous cultures, but in the
reverse, it usually refers to the eternity of life. Ironically,
the latest research by Hindu experts seems to conclude
that the word Aryan is a misinterpretation of the original
Sanskrit word arya, which means pure or good.
You can expand on this lecture by discussing the caste
system in more detail, the Vedas, the development of the
chariot by the Aryans, or the development of Brahmanism. All of these subjects have important historical significance. See “The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India” at:
1. What are some differences between the idea of castes
and social classes? Why might a society evolve one
method over another?
2. Why was the idea of race theory embraced by so many
3. What is the role of the Vedic hymns and the Mahabharata in Indian society?
Hieroglyphs and Cuneiform
Writing is a crucial aspect of most of the world’s societies
today. It can be an important theme or linkage around
20 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
which to develop deep learning for a semester-long
course. The following is one of a series of writing activities in this instructor’s manual. For maximum impact, it
would be best to use all of them throughout the semester,
discussing with your students the changes and development of writing structures over time. In this fi rst activity,
discuss the idea of logographic writing systems, of which
hieroglyphs and cuneiform are two categories. Explain to
your students the difference between ideograms and pictograms. A Google search for “cuneiform” should provide
several examples of this writing system.
In this fi rst activity, provide your students with modeling clay and a stylus. Have students shape the clay into a
small tablet, and direct them to a hieroglyph alphabet and
a Sumerian cuneiform alphabet on the Web site. You can
devise styluses from skewers, reeds, or wooden dowels.
Have them write a word or words, using each alphabet on
the clay tablets that they formed. This forces the students
to think about what kinds of words could actually be represented by ideograms and the disadvantages of such a
system. What other surfaces could have been used? How
much writing do they think would have been done? What
limitations did a scholar face? Ask students for ideas on
how they think these alphabets came into being. What
kind of people would have learned to write? What was
writing used for? Did people read for pleasure?
Hero Stones
As an extension of your discussions on oral culture and
the development of texts, have your students look at the
hero stones from the Harappan civilization. These provide a fascinating window into what the Harappans considered important. Note that little was recorded of early
Indian history. Ancient Indians made great advances in
astronomy, physics, mathematics, and literature and the
arts, but they did not methodically document their early
history, at least not in textual documentation. The question becomes, how do we gather the information that we
do have? Are there major themes found on the stones?
Similar to the Stone Age standing stones in Scandinavia,
the panels listed below are thought to have been erected
in honor of a brave man or woman who perished while
defending the interests of the village (perhaps while fighting bandits who attempted to steal cattle or invaders who
abused women). By looking at the hero stones, you can
also utilize the primary source of Harappan script, Chapter 2, which is as yet not translated. Make panels of a hero
stone available to students; here are some links with
enough visible panels to make evaluations:
Stories the Stones Tell
-speak/index .htm
Images of the Dodda Hundi Hero Stone
None of these images come with texts to provide the
full story; it was up to oral tradition, passed down over the
generations, to “fi ll in the blanks.” Your students must do
the same. Use one or more of these images to have your
students begin to think about material culture and historical analysis while also looking at Harappan culture.
For them to accurately evaluate the stones, they have to
understand the society. For example, what class of people
would have been allowed to ride horses? What was the
role of women? This activity will work well with the lecture on Aryans. When you begin to consider cultures
such as the Vikings, you can return to the hero stones to
reinforce this lesson and Viking culture, since they had
similar modes of knowledge transmission.
■ Egypt: The Habit of Civilization (57 min.). Part of the
PBS Legacy series narrated by Michael Wood, this fi lm
accomplishes two goals while recounting ancient Egyptian history. It establishes the singular importance of pharaohs in the development of Egypt, and it shows the
influence ancient Egypt had on the development of the
Islamic and Christian worlds. This is an excellent series
that Is very accessible, visually interesting, and historically relevant.
■ China: Heritage of the Wild Dragon (59 min.). Part of the
Humanities and Sciences production, this fi lm provides a
review of the early history of China using the important
loess soil of the Yellow River Basin as its starting point.
The Yellow River is the location of China’s earliest
recorded dynasty. Most of the fi lm’s focus is on the Bronze
Age and the Shang dynasty, but it briefly draws on the Qin
dynasty and the excavation of the tomb of Qin Shihuangdi
with archival footage of its excavation.
■ India: The Empire of the Spirit (55 min.). Another PBS
Legacy fi lm, this documentary narrated by Michael Wood
explores the influence that the ancient culture of India has
on our lives today. Focusing on the themes of tolerance,
multiculturalism, and spirituality, Wood travels across
India as he explains the historical relevance of the Harappans and Aryans, the Mahabharata, and the development
of Brahmanism, Hinduism, and the caste system—all in
light of their influence on today’s culture. If you stop the
fi lm at 45 minutes, it ends before the takeover by the
Mughals, a logical end point in the fi lm.
■ Mesopotamia:
I Have Conquered the River (59 min.).
This fi lm focuses on the Sumerian city-states and dis-
Chapter 2
cusses important contributions such as the Code of Hammurapi, cuneiform, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Shot
completely on location, it provides vivid possibilities as to
how the Sumerians rose to such extraordinary power and
fell so completely. This fi lm would be useful to combine
with a comparison of the ancient law codes, discussions of
the creation myths, and/or the lecture on goddesses and
■ Minoan
Civilization (53 min.). This fascinating fi lm
expands on the archaeological discoveries of the Minoan
civilization from Evans forward. It highlights the difficulties that scholars have had in reconstructing reasonable
theories about the lives of the Minoans at Knossos and
Phaistos on Crete and at Acrotiri on Santorini. The fi lm
includes a discussion of the Greek myths surrounding the
civilizations. You could use this fi lm in conjunction with
the class activity on the Minoans and Mycenaeans and
worldviews in Chapter 3.
■ Western Tradition, Part 1: The Dawn of History; Part 2:
The Ancient Egyptians; Part 3: Mesopotamia; and Part 4:
From Bronze to Iron (1 hour, in 15-min. segments). The
fi lms in this series cross time from prehistory to modernity.
They are tapings of the eminent Eugen Weber lecturing,
with occasional images from the Metropolitan Museum of
Art added to enhance a point. Each video is in four parts,
each approximately 15 minutes long. These are terribly
dull; however, the material is succinct, accurate, and well
organized. They provide a remarkably efficient way to
inform your students on essential information that you can
augment with different learning methods to reinforce the
fi lm. They can be very useful if you use them judiciously.
Part I traces the development of humanity from our ancient
ancestors to the agricultural revolution. Part II shows the
importance of irrigation to the development of Egyptian
civilization. Part III is a general assessment of the early people groups in the Fertile Crescent, while Part IV uses the
metalworking of the empires of Assyria, Persia, and NeoBabylonia to show how tools revolutionized societies.
Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
◆ 21
ments allow time to complete the fi lm and either discuss or
draw the class to a logical close. The subsidiary materials
provided by PBS make this series useful at any point. Since
this text was only able to mention the kingdom of the Kush,
the Nubians, and Meröe, this fi lm opens a window into a
new and relevant part of many of our students’ history.
Enrico Ascalone, 2007. Mesopotamia: Assyrians, Sumerians, Babylonians.
E.A. Wallis Budge, 1894. The Egyptian Book of the Dead
(The Papyrus of Ani).
Peter A. Clayton, 1994. Chronicle of the Pharaohs.
Charles Freeman, 2004. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean.
David Ferry, 1992. Gilgamesh.
George Hart, 1990. Egyptian Myths.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., 2001. Wonders of the African World.
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, 2001. Ancient Cities of the Indus
Valley Civilization.
J. A. Macgillivray, 2000. Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and
the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth.
Bill Manley, 1997. The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient
Samuel Mark, 2006. From Egypt to Mesopotamia: A Study
of Predynastic Trade Routes.
Betty De Shong Meador, 2001. Inanna, Lady of Largest
Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High.
Donald B. Redford, 2005. From Slave to Pharaoh: The
Black Experience of Ancient Egypt.
Mohamed Saleh and Cynthia May Sheikholeslami, 1996.
The Egyptian Museum and Pharaonic Sites.
Robert L. Thorp, 2005. China in the Early Bronze Age:
Shang Civilization.
Marc Van de Mieroop, 1999. Cuneiform Texts and the
Writing of History.
■ Wonders of the African World: Black Kingdoms of the Nile
and the Swahili Coast (120 min. in two 60-min. segments).
This fi lm is part of a series of six with an accompanying
book (see bibliography) and a useful Web site: www.pbs
.org/wonders/index .html. Henry Louis Gates Jr. narrates
this PBS documentary of his journey across Africa to
explore the mostly untold history of the African continent. He provides a fascinating juxtaposition of past and
present. For example, in “Black Kingdoms of the Nile,” he
takes viewers into Nubian pyramids to see the beauty of
their interiors and then on to the home of today’s Nubians,
displaced by the Aswan Dam, showing the pyramids of
Nubia and the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. The seg-
Ancient Mesopotamia at the University of Chicago Museum
The Learning Collection and artifact images are particularly useful
The Archaeological Site of Harappa
The British Museum: Ancient Egypt
This site is very detailed, including interactive tools.
A wide variety of images are available
22 ◆ Chapter 2 Rivers, Cities, and First States, 3500–2000 bce
Creation Myths
Use with Lecture Ideas on creation myths
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Mesopotamia
Very useful for primary documents
The Daily News Egypt
Knossos Minoan Palace
This site provides detailed information about Knossos
and the Minoans
Egypt: Gift of the Nile
Egyptian Museum
The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology
An amazing site, very visual
Mesopotamia: The British Museum
Excellent interactive maps
The Near East
A compendium of primary texts with comparisons and
study questions
Pyramids: The Inside Story (PBS Nova)
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States,
and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
▶ Nomadic Movement and the Emergence of Territorial
Nomadic and Transhumant Migrations
The Emergence of Territorial States
The Rise of Territorial States in Southwest Asia and
Anatolia and the Rise of the Hittites
Nomadic and Transhumant Migration to Mesopotamian Cities
The Community of Major Powers (1400–1200
Nomads and the Indus River Valley
▶ Rise of the Shang State (1600–1045 bce)
State Formation
Metalworking, Agriculture, and Tribute
Shang Society and Beliefs
The Development of Writing in China
The South Pacific (2500 bce– 400 ce)
Seafaring Skills
Environment and Culture
Microsocieties in the Aegean World
Seaborne Trade and Communication
Minoan Culture
Mycenaean Culture
Europe—The Northern Frontier
Early States in the Americas
Around 2000 bce, large-scale droughts occurred, leading
to subsistence crises in much of Afro-Eurasia. The drought
pushed transhumant herders and nomads out of their traditional patterns toward the riverine cultures. The search
for resources and eventual takeovers led to new sociopolitical organizations. The rise of territorial states in Southwest Asia and North Africa makes up a large part of this
chapter. Technologies learned from migrants, especially
the domestication of horses and the chariot, revolutionized warfare. The rise of the Shang state in China is also
covered. Significant in many of the cultures that emerged
during the second millennium bce are systems of writing.
Not all regions developed large centralized states: the
South Pacific, the islands of the Aegean, Northern Europe,
and the Americas remained more diff used. Trade was still
important throughout those areas. Culture, beliefs, language, and technology spread through the exchanges.
I. Introduction
A. Big river-basin states collapsed around 2000 bce
1. Environmental problems
a. Overuse of agricultural lands
b. Earth going through drying cycle
(global warming)
Most of Afro-Eurasia suffered food shortages
Transhumant herders raided fi xed settlements
for resources
1. Some assimilation of newcomers
2. Brought the horse-drawn chariot
Urban centers faced political crisis
Small-scale microstates formed in other parts
of the world
1. Pacific islanders
2. Aegean Basin
3. Americas
II. Nomadic movement and the emergence of territorial states
A. Environmental change led to the collapse of
power of kings and the ruling elite in central
and western Afro-Eurasia
1. Walled cities could not defend hinterlands
2. Trade routes lay open to predators
3. Equestrian clans of pastoral nomads from
the inner Eurasian steppes attacked settled
24 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
4. Transhumant herders from the Iranian
plateau raided settled communities for
food and resources
B. Environmental conditions forced humans
throughout Afro-Eurasia to adapt
1. Pastoral nomads and transhumant herders
adjusted more quickly
2. Provided the historic catalyst for the rise
of new, localized territorial states
a. Pharaonic Egypt
b. Mesopotamia
c. Vedic South Asia
d. Shang China
3. Used chariots and introduced forms of
4. Changes in society and government,
allowed humans to survive climate change
and thrive
C. Nomadic and transhumant migrations
1. Climate and landscape affected both
a. Drought affected nomads and transhumant migrants
b. Groups searched for water and pastures
for livestock
c. Many migrated to the highland plateaus
that border inner Eurasian steppe lands
d. Continued to more densely populated
river valleys and competed with farming
communities for space and resources
i. Amorites moved to southern Mesopotamia from Syrian Desert
ii. Indo-European-speaking steppe
peoples migrated into Anatolia
and eastern Europe
e. Nomadic people spread out across
much of Afro-Eurasia
i. Brought horses
ii. Technologies to make war
iii. Religious practices and language
iv. New pressure on local resources
2. Settled in agrarian lands of Meso-Indus
River valley, highlands of Anatolia, Iran,
China, and Europe
3. “Barbarian” label applied but is not historically accurate
a. Nomads and transhumant herders
brought inventions and ideas adapted
by settled peoples
D. Horses and chariots
1. Nomads linked disparate cities and towns
of South Asia and China
a. Used force to control trade and maintain peace
b. Could not control how history would
be written
2. Literate elites described the nomads as
“barbaric” and inhuman
3. Horse fi rst domesticated in late fourth millennium bce in steppes of Caucasus
4. Headgear developed for controlling horse’s
speed and direction as a form of transportation in late third millennium bce
a. Tombs of nomads reveal evolution of
horse headgear
i. Wood, bone, bronze, and iron
5. Around 2000 bce, a one-axle, two-wheel
vehicle developed
6. Pastoral people lightened chariots enough
to be pulled by horses
a. Spoke wheels required special wood
and carpentry skills
b. Wheel covers, axles, and bearings were
produced by settled people
c. Movable parts made of bronze and later
i. Iron preferred because of hardness and flexibility
7. Horse-drawn chariots combined ideas and
skills of both nomadic and agrarian peoples
8. Horse-drawn chariot shortened time
between capitals and changed warfare
a. Infantry gave way to battalions of faster
b. Each chariot carried a driver and an
c. Mobility, accuracy, and shooting power
of warriors, more powerful than largestate armies
d. For 600 years, chariot warfare dominated from Greece to China
e. With the advent of cheaper armor after
1000 bce in China, foot soldiers
regained their importance
f. Development of cavalry units of
horse-mounted warriors
g. Elites copied nomads’ chariots
i. Tutankhamen (r. c. 1336-1327
bce) buried with chariot
ii. Horse-drawn chariots found in
tombs of Shang kings in China
E. The emergence of territorial states
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 25
1. Main political innovation of the time
expanded power from cities to distant
a. Great centralized kingdoms organized
around charismatic rulers
b. Established clear pattern of leadership
change for stability
c. People felt allegiance to their territories, rulers, language, and ethnicity
d. Identifiable borders
2. New territorial states gained authority in
Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China (as well
as Greece and the Aegean)
a. Divine monarchs
b. Large and widely dispersed
c. Elaborate and widely administered legal
d. Large territorial expanses
e. Defi nable borders
f. Plans for continuous expansion
3. New political models replaced competition and coexistence with drive to conquer
and expand
4. Ecological and demographic upheavals
contributed to creation of new territorial
5. South Pacific and the Aegean Sea and
Europe did not experience development at
the same rate
a. Fewer emerging states meant less rivalry
b. Lower population density
6. High-density states led to constant conquest and larger territorial states
a. Political map showed specific areas tied
to different sovereign authorities
III. The rise of territorial states in Southwest Asia and
A. Second millennium bce divided into two
B. Five great territorial states of Southwest Asia
and North Africa
1. Egyptians—eastern Mediterranean and
2. Hittites—Anatolia
3. Mitanni—Syria and northern
4. Kassites—southern Mesopotamia
5. Middle Elamites—southwestern Iranian
C. Egypt
1. Drought brought instability to Old
a. Harvests withered
b. Pharaohs lost legitimacy
c. Regional power replaced centralized
2. Middle Kingdom Egypt (2040–1640 bce)
a. Floodwaters returned to normal
b. Rulers in Thebes consolidated power
c. Tamed rivals and co-opted pretenders
d. New phase of stability
3. Gods and kings
a. Twelfth dynasty (1991-1795 bce) dominated Middle Kingdom
b. Amenemhet I (1991–1962 bce) elevated god Amun
i. Name meant “hidden”
c. Believers embraced Amun because
attributes were largely hidden
d. Cult of Amun helped unify kingdom
e. Amun eclipsed all other gods of
i. Became known as Amun-Re, the
king of gods
f. Cult of Amun-Re had a strong spiritual
impact on pharaoh and society
4. Royal splendor and royal care
a. Built largest and longest-lasting public
b. For 2,000 years, slaves and captives
built massive temple complex at Thebes to Amun-Re
c. Pharaohs reasserted power over lost
i. Cult of the pharaoh as good
ii. Instituted charities
iii. Offered homage to gods at palace
to ensure annual flooding
iv. Performed ritual ceremonies
5. Merchants and trade networks
a. Rising urban class of merchants and
b. Not dependent on kings for benefits
c. Outfitted their own tombs with material goods
d. Trade networks expanded
i. Wood, especially cedar from
ii. Precious metals, ivory, livestock,
slaves, exotic animals, and gems
iii. Built forts to protect trade
26 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
iv. Colonized Nubia to extend trade
6. Hyksos invaders and new foundations
a. Opened to migration and foreign
b. Commercial success attracted pastoral
nomads seeking work
c. Hyksos were great warriors
i. Mastered chariot
ii. Superior weapons including composite bow
d. Hyksos destabilized and then assimilated into Egyptian society 1640 bce
e. Ahmosis in the south overthrew Hyksos and became the rulers
f. Rulers learned to be cautious of borders
and use diplomacy to dominate the
eastern Mediterranean world
g. Migrants and invaders introduced new
ideas and techniques
i. Bronze work
ii. Improved potter’s wheel
iii. Vertical loom
iv. New animals and foods
v. Weapons of war
h. New weapons transformed Egyptian
army from a standing infantry to a
high-speed mobile one
i. Egyptian armies stretched the
7. New Kingdom Egypt (1550–1069 bce)
a. Interests were projected outward
b. Female ruler Hatshepsut expanded
Egypt during her reign
c. Hatshepsut served as regent for her son
Thutmosis III
i. Expanded trade to Levant, Mediterranean, and Nubia
d. Thutmosis III (r. 1479–1425 bce) continued expansion
i. Battle of Megiddo (1469 bce), the
fi rst recorded chariot battle
ii. Defeated vassals of Mitanni
D. Anatolia and the rise of the Hittites
1. Served as an overland crossroads between
Black and Mediterranean seas
a. Home to many large herding societies
and clans
b. Lived in fortified settlements and
engaged in regional warfare
c. Borrowed cultural development from
Southwest Asian urban cultures
2. The Old and New Hittite kingdoms
(1800–1200 bce)
a. Chariot aristocracies thrived on commercial activity
b. Great territorial state
c. Plundered and conquered neighbors
i. Taxed and collected tribute
d. Hattusilis I united chariot aristocracies
i. Campaigned throughout Anatolia
and defeated resistance
ii. Sacked Babylon in 1595 bce
iii. Could not control homelands and
new territory
iv. Withdrew from Mesopotamia,
leaving a power vacuum
e. King Suppiluimua I (r. 1380–1345
bce) regained power
f. Hittites eventually controlled much of
middle ground between Mesopotamia
and the Nile
g. Hittite rulers crucial in maintaining
the region’s balance of power
E. Mesopotamia
1. New states led by pastoral people
a. Old Assyria
b. Mitanni
c. Middle Assyria
d. Old Babylonia
e. Kassite
f. Middle Babylonia
2. Drought damaged Mesopotamia and the
Iranian plateau at the end of the third millennium bce
a. Harvests were small
b. The price of basic goods rose
c. Social order broke down
d. Towns in southern Mesopotamia
invaded by transhumant peoples from
the Zagros Mountains and Syrian
3. Other changes altered the human
a. Intense cultivation
b. Periods of severe drought
c. Rich soil depleted of nutrients
d. Salt water from Persian Gulf contaminated water table
e. Branch of Euphrates River shifted to
west and overtook arable land
4. Environmental changes pushed the political and economic centers north
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 27
5. Nomadic and transhumant migration to
Mesopotamian cities
a. Urbanites called the transhumant herders from the Arabian Desert Amorites
b. “Amorites” comes from Amurru, the
Akkadian word for “west”
c. Amorites is the generic name for all
transhumant groups from the western
d. City dwellers looked down on these
new migrants
e. Amorites considered foreigners even
though they were familiar with the
i. During winters, the herders had
lived by the cities and the rivers to
water their animals
ii. Traded wool, leather, bones, and
tendons with urban artisans for
fi nished goods
iii. Paid taxes; served as warriors and
laborers on public-works projects
f. Scarcity of resources because of
drought led the Elamites and Amorites
to conquer the city of Ur and set up a
new order
6. Restored order and culture
a. Restored order and prosperity enabled
new kings to support intellectual and
creative activities
b. The court supported skilled artisans
and schools for scribes
c. Drew on earlier Mesopotamian
i. Studied the oral tales and written
records of Sumerians and
ii. Scribes transcribed the ancient
texts and preserved tradition
iii. Royal hymns portrayed the king
as a legendary hero
d. Narratives about ancient founders gave
legitimacy to new rulers
e. Great poems written in the Babylonian
dialect of the Semitic Akkadian
i. First epic narratives of human
ii. Identified the history of a people
with the king
iii. Stories circulated widely and unified the kingdom
iv. Most famous was the Epic of
7. Trade and the rise of a private economy
a. Economy became more private, entrepreneurially based
i. Private entrepreneurs collected
taxes in commodities
ii. Commodities were turned into
silver and shared between collector
and state
iii. Gain in private and state wealth
b. Mesopotamia was a crossroads for overland caravans traveling east and west
i. Peace helped trade flourish
ii. Merchants and entrepreneurs
gained a privileged position in
c. Sea routes were used for trade with
people of the Indus Valley
i. Many of the waterways charted by
2000 bce
ii. Shipbuilders designed larger ships
iii. Shipbuilding materials came from
all over the region
iv. Reliance on imported materials
was part of a growth of regional
economic specialization
d. Doing business in Mesopotamia was
profitable but risky
i. Poor harvests led to reduced taxes
and debts
ii. Caravans could be lost to hostile
iii. Taxes, duties, and bribes had to be
paid to ensure safe passage
e. To reduce risk, merchant households
devised new techniques
i. Formalized commercial rules
ii. Established early insurance
iii. Extended kinship networks
iv. Formed strong ties to political
8. Mesopotamian kingdoms
a. Amorites used tribal and clan traditions to support ruling territorial states
b. New model of statecraft
i. Chieftains became kings
ii. Mesopotamian kings turned
authority to an alliance with merchants for revenue and support
iii. Royal state became hereditary
28 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
c. Rulers continued to expand territories
i. Creation of vassal states
d. Weapons and war techniques necessary
to gain dominance but needed a charismatic leader as well
e. Mesopotamian kingdoms’ power ebbed
and flowed depending on the ruler’s
f. Most famous Mesopotamian ruler was
Hammurapi (Hammurabi, r. 1792–1750
i. Sought to centralize state authority and create a new legal order
ii. Modeled his image after the
Egyptian pharaohs of the Middle
Kingdom—shepherd and patriarch of his people
iii. Made Babylon his capital
iv. Created Hammurapi’s Code
a. Compilation of 300 edicts that
described crimes and
b. Offered rules for how the “family” should operate
c. Code divided inhabitants into
three classes: freemen, dependent men, and slaves
d. Code pacified the region and
stratified society
v. After his death, his descendants
ruled for another 155 years before
Babylon was sacked by the Hittite
king Hattusilis I in 1595 bce
g. Kassite rule
i. Came from Zagros Mountains
and across Iranian plateau to Babylon around 2000 bce
ii. Over time, integrated themselves
into Babylonian society as
iii. Filled power vacuum when Hittites destroyed Babylon
iv. By 1475 bce Kassites reestablished
order and ruled for 350 years
v. Focus on trade rather than warfare
vi. Scribes preserved ancient Babylonian texts
a. Preserved a Babylonian creation myth called Enuma Elish
9. The community of major powers (1400–
1200 bce)
a. Five great territorial states established
an interregional system based on balance of power
i. Learned to settle differences
through diplomacy and treaties
ii. Dependent on constant
b. International system of diplomacy
i. Letter cache found at Tell
el’Amârna reveals how diplomacy
was carried out
ii. Treaties, marriages, exchange of
specialized personnel, and gifts all
played roles
c. State still dependent on the commoners for tax money and people to serve in
its armies
IV. Nomads and the Indus River valley
A. Drought hit Indus River valley
1. Vedic people migrated around 1500 bce to
Indus River valley
a. Called themselves Aryans, or
“respected ones”
2. Brought domesticated animals, especially
a. Horse-drawn chariots gave Vedic peoples a superior military
3. Deeply religious
a. Brought elaborate rituals for worshipping gods
4. Did not immediately establish large territorial states
B. Vedic peoples and indigenous peoples
exchanged language and customs
1. Vedic introduced Sanskrit
a. Sanskrit source for all European
i. Greek, Latin, English, French, and
C. Vedic peoples migrated from Indus Valley
1. Each wave of occupation was accompanied
by violence
2. Adapted farming skills and knowledge of
seasonal weather
a. Moved into huts constructed from
mud, bamboo, and reeds
b. Refi ned production of carnelian stone
c. Devised standard weights for trade
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 29
d. Planted wheat, rye, and rice
e. Mastered the use of plows with iron
D. Turn to settled agriculture from pastoralism
1. Combined traits from the steppe lands
with indigenous ways
V. Rise of the Shang state (1600–1045 bce)
A. Around 1600 bce, the Shang territorial state
1. Shang developed foundation myths to
unify state
a. Stories collected in the “Bamboo
b. Tang, fi rst ruler of the Shang dynasty,
defeated Xia king
c. Tang ruled justly and morally; united
his people
2. Shang state was not clearly defi ned geographically as were territorial kingdoms of
Southwest Asia
a. No territorial state encroached on its
b. Capital moved as territory expanded
c. Relative security allowed kings to rule
in a highly personal way
d. Created a formal ruling lineage
B. State formation
1. Shang state grew out of the small agricultural and riverine village cultures of the
Longshan people, who had introduced elements of a state
2. Elements from Longshan culture that contributed to the formation of the Shang state
a. Metal industry based on copper
b. Pottery making
c. Standardized architectural forms and
walled towns
d. Divination using animal bones, “oracle
3. Shang dynasty added other elements
a. A lineage of hereditary rulers whose
power was based on ancestors and gods
b. Written records
c. Tribute
d. Elaborate rituals that enabled them to
commune with ancestors and foretell
the future
e. Centralized forms of control
4. Need to expand and protect borders
a. Used horses and chariots
i. Horses and chariots came by way
of nomadic contacts
ii. Shang improved on harnesses
iii. Chariot-based aristocracy emerged
5. Several other states developed between
1500 and 1300 bce in East Asia
a. Shang traded with the “Fang” states
b. Shang state never as centralized as
Egypt or Babylon
6. Shang’s golden-age capital at Yin; dynasty
peaked around 1200 bce
a. Close to metal resources for making
b. Erected massive palaces, royal neighborhoods, and bronze foundries
c. State supported artisan workshops
d. State collected tribute from surrounding farmlands
e. Promoted writing by scribes and production by common artisans
C. Metalworking, agriculture, and tribute
1. Small-scale metalworking fi rst happened
in northwestern China
2. Both copper and tin readily available, so
only short-distance trade needed
3. Shang used their access to metals—copper,
lead, and tin—to control neighbors
a. Made weapons, fittings for chariots,
and ritual vessels
b. Used hollow clay molds
c. Cast parts and assembled huge objects
i. Anyang tombs held vessels weighing 1925 lbs (873 kg), some over
3500 lbs (1588 kg)
4. Bronze culture emerged in second millennium bce
a. Mining
b. Efficient casting
c. Reproducible artistic style
d. Artists valued; miners treated as tribute
5. Shang kings stopped rivals from forging
bronze weapons
a. Control of bronze led to stronger
b. Royal feats depicted on bronze vessels
i. Battles
ii. Weddings
iii. Births of heirs
iv. Divine acts
30 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
6. Agriculture also important in maintaining
a. Rulers controlled their own farms for
food for royal family
b. New technologies led to rise in food
i. Opened up more land by draining
low-lying fields or removing forests
ii. Farm tools such as stone plows,
spades, and sickles
iii. Cultivated silkworms and other
iv. Tracked growing seasons
v. Shang developed twelve-month
7. Wealth and power of rulers depended on
tribute from elites and allies
a. Elites supplied warriors, laborers,
horses, and cattle
b. Allies sent valuable goods and assisted
c. Commoners sent tribute to the elite,
who held land from king as fiefs
d. Turtle shells and cattle scapulas used as
D. Shang society and beliefs
1. Complex social structure emerged
2. Organizing principle was a patrilineal ideal
a. Descent was traced back to common
male ancestor
3. Property held in common
4. Male family elders took precedence
5. Women married into husband’s family
a. Won honor for bearing sons
6. Death rituals reflected social hierarchy
a. Humans sacrificed to accompany elites
to afterlife
b. Inclusion of slaves and servants showed
that hierarchy expected an afterlife
c. Economy not slave-based but based on
tribute labor of commoners
7. Shang state patrimonial theocracy
a. Ruler gained authority through ancestors and gods
b. Needed a way to communicate with
i. Divined through cracks in burned
animal bones
ii. Cracks were interpreted and scribes
inscribed queries on the bones
c. Shang writing began as a dramatic ritual per for mance
8. Shang ruler head of a unified clergy since
he embodied political and religious power
a. No independent priesthood as in Egypt
or Mesopotamia
b. Diviners and scribes subservient to ruler
c. Ancestor worship sanctified Shang control and legitimized the lineage of rulers
9. Shang gods were ancestral deities
a. Shang rulers were deified when they
b. Primary Shang deity was Di, the High
God (Shangdi), founder of the Shang
c. Shang ruler who became a god was
closer to the world of humans than
Egyptian or Mesopotamian gods
d. Shang ruler united the living world
with the dead world
E. The development of writing in China
1. Shang scholars perfected writing
a. Oracle bones primary evidence for
Chinese early writing
b. Other forms of writing may not have
c. Accidents of preservation may be why
China and Southwest Asia differ in
types of ancient texts
2. Oracle bones and bronzes show Shang surpassed other states in ability to leave
a. Did not extend to the writing of
3. Shang kings used writing to reinforce position at the top of royal hierarchy
4. Priests used writings to address the “other
world” and predict the future
a. Divinations were used most for predicting rainfall
5. Many rituals and bureaucratic routines
depended on writing
6. Archaic script evolved into a preclassical
script, which was a precursor to the formal
character-based system used in China,
Japan, Korea, and Vietnam
VI. The South Pacific (2500 bce– 400 ce)
A. People migrated from the mainland of East
Asia for opportunities and refuge
1. Languages in Taiwan, the Philippines,
and Indonesia had origins in South
2. Several waves of migration
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 31
3. By 2000 bce migrants had replaced the
Negritos, the earlier inhabitants
a. Negritos left Asian continent around
28,000 bce when the Pacific Islands
were still connected
B. Seafaring skills
1. Used double-outrigger canoes, 60 to 100
feet long, with triangular sails, to cross
Taiwan Straits
a. Vessels were a major advance over dugout canoes
b. Could travel 120 miles in a day
c. Used a stabilization device for deep-sea
2. By 400 CE, migrants had reached most of
the South Pacific
3. Sailing skills enabled the Austronesians to
monopolize trade
a. Specialized craft workers included potters from the Lapita culture who made
Lapita pottery
b. Canoe-building people were interisland traders
C. Environment and culture
1. Pottery, stone tools, and domesticated
crops and pigs characterized Austronesian
a. Cultural markers spread throughout
Pacific Islands
b. On some islands, the migrants failed to
reach the interior and indigenous
Negritos survived
2. South Pacific Islands’ climate and soil provided good places to raise crops
a. Austronesians successfully raised crops
i. Dry crops (yams and sweet
ii. Irrigated crops (yams)
iii. Tree crops (breadfruit, bananas,
and coconuts)
b. Other islands such as Indonesia provided maritime resources
c. Island hopping led to new food sources
d. Shellfish and fish primary food source
3. Polynesians, “belonging to many islands,”
shared a common culture, language, and
technology, as well as domesticated plants
and animals
a. Crop surpluses allowed for larger populated communities
b. Larger communities supported craft
specialists and soldiers
c. Almost every settlement created ceremonial buildings to promote unity
d. Politically, Polynesian communities
ranged from tribes to multi-island
4. In 200 ce, Austronesians reached the Marquesas Islands in Central Pacific
a. Migrated from there to Easter Island
and Hawaii, later Madagascar
i. On Easter Island, they built 30ton stone structures
ii. Brought bananas to East Africa
5. Even with trade, the archipelagos
remained apart from mainland culture
6. Formed fragmented and isolated
VII. Microsocieties in the Aegean World
A. No central government emerged probably
because of the geography, which resembled the
South Pacific
1. No large regime to collapse with the
droughts that came
2. Enjoyed gradual development during the
second millennium bce
3. Absorbed influences through trade from
Southwest Asia, Africa, and Europe
4. Many migrants from the north moved into
area—some peaceable, some violent
5. One group named the Mycenaeans, after
the palace at Mycenae, migrated into area
a. Looked to sea for resources and interactions with neighbors
B. Seaborne trade and communication
1. Many influences came by water from
Southwest Asia, following the sea currents
2. Trade was the main bearer of eastern
3. Trade centered on tin and copper
4. Cyprus, the largest island in the eastern
Mediterranean, became the center of trade
a. Had large reserves of copper ore
shipped to Crete, Mali, and Egypt
b. English word copper derived from
5. Crete active trade hub in the
a. Around 2000 bce, many large palace
centers emerged at Knossos and
b. People named Minoans, after the legendary King Minos
32 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
c. Traded and colonized around Aegean
d. Minoans’ wealth led to takeover by
Mycenaeans in 1400 bce
C. Minoan culture
1. Small-scale monumental architecture
echoed Southwest Asian examples
a. Palace complexes built between 1900
and 1600 bce
i. Knossos most impressive example
2. Religion differed from those of other
mainland cultures
a. Island worship focused on a female
deity, “the Lady”
b. No large-scale temple complexes
c. No priestly class
d. Debate over whether there were fulltime scribes
3. Complex development on some islands
a. Thera had large private houses with
i. Toilets, running water, and exotic
wall paintings
b. Palaces in Crete had little defense and
were light and airy
D. Mycenaean culture
1. Migrated from central Europe to Greece
between 1850 and 1600 bce
2. Brought Indo-European language,
horse-drawn chariots, and metalworking
3. Came to dominate the indigenous
4. Used chariots to dominate
a. Chariot stories described in epic poetry
5. Mycenaean population centers oriented
toward war and confl ict
a. Less refi ned material culture than
b. Cultural representations emphasized
displays of weaponry, portraits of
armed soldiers, and illustrations of violent confl ict
c. Tiryns and Mycenae were huge fortresses of warlords
6. Mycenaeans amassed great wealth
a. Buried with their vast wealth
7. Mycenaean society hierarchical
a. Ruler (wanax)
b. Bureaucratic hierarchy
c. Scribes at center of palace life
i. Linear A and Linear B script
8. Mycenaean expansion spread, uniting the
dispersed cultures around the Aegean Sea
9. At end of the second millennium bce,
large-scale internal and external confl icts
ended the heyday of microsocieties
a. Violent migrations
b. New social order began to emerge with
Greek-speaking people dominating the
eastern Mediterranean Sea
VIII. Europe—the Northern Frontier
A. Settled agriculture accepted only gradually
B. Frontier settlements remained sparsely
1. Unstable and too weak to instigate or sustain long-distance trade
C. Used techniques of plant and animal domestication to establish self-sufficient communities,
not large-scale, hierarchical societies
D. Two significant changes in the northern frontier zone
1. Domestication of the horse
2. Emergence of wheeled chariots and wagons
3. Both became instruments of war
E. Constant struggle between European agriculturalists and nomadic horse riders created a
strong warrior ethos
1. Male smoking and drinking rituals
2. Best example is that of the Scythian people
F. Europe remained a place of war making and
small chieftaincies
IX. Early states in the Americas
A. Lack of domesticated animals and beasts of
burden limited trade to luxuries and symbolic
trade goods
B. Hunting-gathering skill became a main lifeway
C. Some evidence of early state systems that were
confederations of towns
1. Not well integrated like the territorial
states of Southwest Asia, Indus Valley, or
2. Ecological mix meant different types of
trading goods in different regions
a. Dried fish along coast
b. Crops such as manioc and chili peppers
raised along rivers of Andes Mountains
c. Wool from llamas and alpacas found in
3. What is known about trade comes from
items found in burials
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 33
a. Painted gourds, pottery, and textiles
show contact among societies
b. Marriage could strengthen a pact or
4. Aspero site reveals local community evolution to chieftaincy with more complex
5. Cerro Sechín reveals large plaza for defense
a. Massive stone tablets show warriors,
battles, prisoners, and executions
X. Conclusion
A. Second millennium bce was unprecedented
time of migration, warfare, and the building of
territorial kingdoms
B. Droughts triggered large-scale migrations
across Afro-Eurasia
1. Transhumant herders looked to riverine
societies for water and resources
2. Changed the social and political fabric of
those communities
3. Horse-riding nomads conquered and settled in the agrarian states, bringing many
technological innovations
a. Horse chariots
C. Nomads and transhumant herders exchanged
beliefs and customs with those they conquered
D. Long-distance trade by sea and land linked
agrarian societies
E. Trade and a need for more central governments
led to the establishment of territorial states
F. Shang dynasty emerged in East Asia without
G. In the Pacific, Aegean, Northern Europe, and
Americas, smaller microstates still involved
with trade—some long distance, some local
1. Technology, language, goods, and
migrants spread throughout this time
Akhenaten, Monotheism, and the New Kingdom
The story of Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti provides us
with a historical mystery that has captivated readers for
generations. The facts surrounding their reign can captivate your students as well. This allows you to expound
on Egyptian history during the New Kingdom, offer an
example of early attempts at monotheism, show students
how the process of ma’at was actually lived out, and
describe many aspects of social life in this period.
Akhenaten tried to reshape the heart of Egyptian life into
a vision of his own, including the creation of a new capital,
new forms of worship, and new bureaucratic structures.
The very fact that he believed he could accomplish his
goal indicates the pharaoh’s belief in his own divinity and
power. The rise and fall of Akhenaten provides a fascinating story that encompasses a number of important global
themes. To read more about Akhenaten and Nefertiti,
refer to the Web site Pharaohs of the Sun:
If you would like to expand on this theme, consider
assigning one of the Lord Meren series of historical novels
by Lynda S. Robinson. This series of historical fiction
provides a strong background in Egyptian society during
the New Kingdom and the reign of Akhenaten. Have students write essays on the novel. Caution them that as a
source for learning about history, fiction must be read
critically. Robinson’s attention to the details of material
culture woven into the story—clothing, trade items,
weapons, city layout, and architecture—is exceptionally
good. She also provides good examples of the level of
international trade and cultural mixing of the time. Students should pay less attention to the day-to-day intrigue
and personalities of the characters in the story.
1. What reason might Akhenaten have had for creating a
new, uniquely monotheistic religion? Keep in mind
any changing norms of the time.
2. How is the New Kingdom different from the Old and
Middle Kingdoms?
3. What function does the concept of ma’at play in the
early Egyptian culture?
Scientific Fact versus Oral Culture:
What Is History?
As briefly mentioned in the textbook (see p. 106), Chinese
and many other traditional cultures do not always have a
dividing line between scientific fact and oral culture. The
more we learn about the early Neolithic period of Chinese
history, the more we come to understand that elements of
scientific truth resonate in many generations-old stories,
even though we originally had no scientific proof of their
validity. Chinese oral history tells of groups of ancestors
called the Culture Heroes (Xia or Hsia dynasty) and the
Sage Kings. The Culture Heroes are believed to have
brought the basic, necessary survival skills to the Chinese
people, such as the ability to build irrigation ditches and
make nets, and the knowledge for making silk, including
the loom and the spinning wheel. The three Sage Kings—
Yao, Shun, and Wu—were thought to have exceptional
34 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
wisdom and virtue and taught the Chinese about intellectual and spiritual pursuits. They acquired much of
their importance after Confucius used their stories as
models for moral behavior in his writings. Select a variety
of the Culture Heroes and Sage Kings’ stories. Compare
them with the originally oral stories from the Bible, the
Vedas (see p. 101), and the Mahabharata (see Lux Orientalis, http://www.lux-orientalis.com/6.cfm?p=110-lux-ori
entalis-initiation-legends-myths-home)—all of which still
foster heated debates as to their authenticity.
You can tell students the stories of Fu Shi and Sehn
Nong. In the study guide section of Chapter 4, Instructor’s
Manual, there is a lecture on silk making that refers to
Lady Hsi Ling Hsi, the wife of the Yellow Emperor, who
was said to have brought the gift of silk making and the
spinning wheel to the Chinese. This is another story you
could use here. For other materials to complete this lecture, see the Web sites and the recommended reading at
the end of this chapter.
1. Discuss how modern scholars might look at the early
Xia dynasty, the Culture Heroes, and the Sage Kings
such as King Wu (see also p. 155). Are they pure
myth? Or could they be historical? How would a historian go about deciding?
2. Do different cultures perceive history differently?
What Can We Learn from Myths and Fairy Tales?
Just as historians have struggled with the oral traditions
in China, we are also faced with the difficult task of teasing out fact from fiction in any culture’s myths, fairy tales,
ballads, and other forms of oral literature. The rich tradition of Greek mythology provides a perfect opportunity
for helping your students hone their analytical skills as
well as teaching them how to contextualize a story to
enhance the process. For instance, using the palace at
Knossos, tell your students the Greek myth of the Minotaur, Daedalus, the Athenian hero Theseus, Icarus, and
King Minos’s daughter Ariadne. It seems likely that portions of this story would be true, but how do we begin to
discern which? Help students review what can be true,
what can’t, and why the story might contain the symbols
it does. You can point out some of the following ideas,
although there are certainly others:
• Minos and Knossos did exist.
• Many Minoan murals indicate that they may have
employed some form of bull worship—hence, the
• Show students the floor plan of the palace. It has been
suggested that the complexity of the palace itself (there
were over 1500 rooms) could have been the source for
the idea of the labyrinth. The floor plan of the palace
at Knossos is available at www.greatbuildings.com
• Unlike in later European fairy tales, there is no difference between social classes; no poor peasant falls in
love with the noble princess. The formula is different
here because the social structure was much more
democratic than that in later European societies.
• Labyrinths had special, spiritual meaning in most early
societies, although it is still unclear exactly what that
meaning was. However, by using a labyrinth as the
centerpiece to this story the storytellers obviously
intended a meaning that we are unable to understand
because we have no way to interpret it fully. This is the
oldest European story about a labyrinth, but labyrinths
have been excavated in Bronze Age villages in Africa
and Europe.
• The word labyrinth probably comes from labrys, a
double-headed axe, which was a Cretan religious symbol of power.
The Minotaur and the Labyrinth
The story of the labyrinth goes something like this. King
Minos hired the craftsman, inventor, and architect Daedalus to design a special labyrinth in which he could
imprison the Minotaur. The Minotaur was a monster, half
man and half bull, the son of Minos’s wife Pasiphae and a
bull. The labyrinth was so cleverly built that there was
only one way to escape, and this route had never been discovered. The Minotaur was successfully imprisoned in
the labyrinth. As a punishment for serious crimes, the king
locked men into the labyrinth for the Minotaur to feed on.
One day Ariadne met and fell in love with the hero of the
city of Athens, Theseus. She wished to marry him, but her
father refused his permission. He said that if Theseus could
kill the Minotaur and escape the labyrinth, then he could
marry Ariadne. Ariadne convinced Daedalus to reveal the
secret of the maze to her. Just before Theseus was locked
into the maze, Ariadne told him the secret and gave him a
ball of string. He was to tie the string to the entrance and
use that as the guide to fi nd his way out. He was successful, slaying the Minotaur and escaping. In a rage because
of his betrayal, Minos sealed Daedalus and his son Icarus
in the labyrinth. As they were unable to escape, Daedalus
made wax wings so that they could both fly out of the maze.
Icarus, however, flew too near the sun; his wings melted,
and he fell to his death into the sea. Daedalus flew to Sicily, where he was welcomed by King Cocalus. Minos later
pursued Daedalus but was killed by the daughters of
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 35
1. As a historian, how should you use a story like this to
add to historical knowledge? Do you discount it as
myth, or are their ways that historians can tease out
relevant details?
2. What is the relevance of mythology to history?
3. Why did the Romans borrow so many of the Greek
stories and gods?
4. What can the architecture of the Palace of Knossos
suggest about the Minoan people?
Minoan and Mycenaean Worldviews
Different societies share different worldviews, which are
then reflected in every aspect of their culture. For example, in the text the authors write that during its golden age,
Egypt tended to “view the world as beneficent” (see p. 63).
Their day-to-day actions and lifestyles reflected that
belief. It is important for your students to see how worldviews affect the choices and behaviors of peoples, especially
in terms of warfare and diplomacy. Often worldviews
have to do with the economic position of the society, people’s
relative safety in the world, and their belief in a successful
future. One relevant perspective for historians is to look
at the legacy of a group and evaluate their worldview to
understand why they made certain political choices. Worldviews and their impact on peoples will be a theme throughout this Instructor’s Manual.
In this exercise, you will help students learn how to
evaluate worldviews by looking at a group’s architecture
and burial practices. Later, we will add other cultural
practices. You will help them learn the appropriate terminology for making these evaluations. After you discuss
the displacement of the Minoans by the Mycenaean people,
you can have them evaluate these two groups’ significantly
different worldviews through their (1) architecture and
(2) burial practices, the tholos/tholoi graves. A third way
to expand on examples of worldviews is to show students
examples of Minoan Kamares ware.
The Minoans were known for their palace structures.
On the Internet, you can fi nd a rendering of the palace
at Knossos at www.explorecrete.com/Knossos/knossos
.html. Using this and other renderings, help your students
see how worldviews were expressed in architecture. Ask
them to describe what they see or what is missing. For
example, there are no fortress walls; the palace has big
open windows, and its courtyard areas are all relatively
indefensible. The feeling is light and open, not closed in.
This indicates an optimistic, open, and democratic society that has little need to defend itself. Discuss the use of
the courtyard, which was the gathering place for everyone
in the community for daily work and trade, another indication of a representative system. Remind students about
the Pax Minoica, which supports the conclusion of a positive and optimistic worldview. Then turn to Mycenaean
architecture. We know little about their style, but they
tended to build walled cities, urban centers with a focus
on fortification. This might indicate the relative importance of the arts, culture, and architecture to the Mycenaeans. Walled cities imply a fear of attack and could
guide the direction of further research. Why did the
Mycenaeans build walls? What were they afraid of? What
do we know of these groups? What did they excel in, and
what cultural capital was lost while they were in control?
What can we infer about their worldview from that
Provide images of the graves. The Minoan tholoi are
available at The Early Minoan Period: The Tombs (go to
the “Images” page of “Prehistoric Archaeology of the
Aegean Lesson 6”):
The Mycenaean tholos graves are available at Mycenaean Tholos Tombs and Early Mycenaean Settlements:
http://projectsx .dartmouth.edu/history/bronze
Then describe what historians understand about how
each culture used these same structures in different ways.
(Minoans used them as communal graves, and Mycenaeans used them as structures for aristocrat burials.) For a
long time, any connection between the Mycenaean form
of tholos and the earlier Minoan tholoi was denied, so the
ancestry of the Mycenaean form was unclear. But research
revealed the links between the two types.
Finally, you can show students the Minoan Kamares
ware, whose designs are full of movement—mainly
rosettes, spirals, and hatching painted on a shiny black
background. Their technical quality is remarkable. These
shapes are found in nature and indicate openness. Less
sophisticated than the artwork of the Minoans, Mycenaean artwork lacks its vitality and uniqueness. It was
functional and basic, with little artistry.
Chariots and Horses
To help your students understand the importance of the
invention of the chariot, have them study images of chariots from various times and cultures and analyze the differences and innovations among the images. (See also
Chapter 4.) The introduction of the chariot into warfare
36 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
was as revolutionary was the introduction of the tank in
World War I. War was never the same again. Provide images
of chariots from early civilizations (see suggested list below).
Have students list the differences they see among the
images. Make sure they consider, among other things:
• Use of mounted infantry for fi rst time in the West;
invention of the cavalry
• Improvements to the harness for the horse and chariot
for stabilization
• Assyrian invention of the leather jackboot
Design differences among the chariots
Methods of driving
Methods of fighting
Number of horses and passengers
Weapons of choice
Discuss with the students how these changes evolved
and what overall impact they had on civilization as a
whole. The fi rst known record of the use of a chariot was
found in burial sites in modern Russia and Kazakhstan
dated about 2000 bce. These chariots were made of
bronze and had spoke wheels. These ideas spread south
into Iran and India. In Mesopotamia, the Hittites are
thought to have begun using chariots in warfare around
the seventeenth century bce. Make sure that your students note the radical differences in the Hittite chariots,
such as a much lighter design that held fewer soldiers
and had fewer spokes in the wheels. The Hyksos introduced the chariot to the Egyptians, who in turn rapidly
applied the chariot to all aspects of warfare (sixteenth
century bce). Egyptian and Assyrian chariots had a driver
and an archer. The archer had a sophisticated quiver for
his arrows, allowing for rapid fi re and multiple arrows.
After the Bronze Age, the chariot became less essential,
although it remained an important symbol of military
might. In the fi rst millennium, the Persians appear to
have been the fi rst to use four horses to pull chariots; they
also employed scythe blades on their wheel axles. Cyrus
the Younger, Xerxes, and Darius III (331 bce) all used
chariots like this.
Images to use:
Persian Chariots
War Chariots
Hyksos/Akkadian Chariots
Discuss other tactical advances that were made in warfare during this time:
• Innovations in the bow and arrow and the quiver for
Having students practice using chopsticks, looking at
chopsticks, and considering them in a thoughtful way
may appear at fi rst to be a silly exercise. However, you
probably will be surprised at how few students have actually tried them. You will likely not be surprised at how
little your students know about the cultural roots of chopsticks. This simple activity is easy to prepare and allows
ample time for discussion after students have had a chance
to contemplate the assignment. Provide a collection of
different styles of chopsticks; it is useful for students to
see that chopsticks don’t all look like the bamboo ones
you get in Chinese restaurants. Provide lacquer chopsticks, Japanese-style chopsticks, chopsticks with mother
of pearl inlaid in them, beautifully fi nished wooden sticks,
chopsticks with brass end caps, or ones with Chinese
script painted down them. Some are round, others square;
the Japanese chopsticks are very thin. Also provide the
inexpensive stands on which Japanese rest their chopsticks. There is no reason a little chopstick etiquette can’t
be taught in a history class. Lay out these items for students to look at. If you have the time and desire, it would
be wonderful to provide them with some form of food to
try to pick up. Give them directions on how to hold and
use the chopsticks. Once they have had a chance to absorb
the variety of styles and experiment on using them, let
them begin thinking about the evolution of the utensil
itself. Many stories are told about the history of chopsticks. They include aspects of Confucianism, ancestor
worship, famine and weather conditions, and many other
historical considerations. By providing an opportunity
for physical manipulation of material culture, you are creating a world of new historical questions that students
would otherwise not have considered.
We know that chopsticks have been used since before
400 bce. You can refer to The History of Eating Utensils at
sil/chpstck .htm
for more speculation on how the idea of chopsticks as
utensils evolved. Ask your students the kinds of questions
a historian might ask on discovering a new piece of material culture. How and why do they think the Chinese created chopsticks instead of other tools, such as forks and
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 37
knives? Have your students review the level of cultural
transmission at that time with China as compared with
other areas. How does this reflect Chinese society? How
do the different designs reflect Chinese society? Do we
usually see mother of pearl inlaid in our utensils? Why do
students think that forks, spoons, and knives did not
replace chopsticks once they became known?
If you do provide food, either you can give students
something uncooked and explain that longer chopsticks
are also used as cooking utensils or you can give them a
par ticu lar Chinese dish and offer some historical and/or
cultural background on the food you provide. The etiquette rules below provide another venue to discuss the
development of cultural norms and the history of burial
rituals, Chinese etiquette, and so on.
what might have caused problems, and so on. Providing
students with excerpts from each of the codes allows them
to do their own comparative analysis. (Excerpts can be
accessed at the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, Mesopotamia, available at www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient
/asbook03.html.) After they have reviewed and compared
the codes, have a discussion. You can fi ll in the context,
explaining changes in the historical environment, outside
threats, and internal concerns. If you lay the codes out
thematically, students generally gain a better understanding of life in early Mesopotamian societies. In par ticular,
have them look at the emphasis on civil law versus criminal
law, emphasis on control of women, emphasis on property
law, and frequent use of swift physical punishment when
guilt was assigned. You can provide your students with
some of these general facts when beginning a discussion:
Chopstick Etiquette
Some of these rules vary from country to country.
• Don’t make noise with your chopsticks. If you are eating noodles, slurping the noodles is acceptable.
• Do not change your choice of food once you have
picked something up with your chopsticks.
• Don’t set chopsticks on your bowl. Chopsticks should
be placed on the table or chopstick holder with the tips
facing to the left.
• Do not use chopsticks to dig for special bits of food in a
• Do not spear food with your chopsticks.
• Don’t point with your chopsticks.
• Do not transfer food from your chopsticks directly to
another person’s chopsticks. This imitates a practice at
Buddhist funerals when the bones of a cremated body
are passed from one person to another.
• It is bad manners to pull dishes toward you with
• Do not use chopsticks as if they were spoons by keeping them together.
• Do not lick the ends of chopsticks.
• Don’t stick chopsticks in your rice. This gesture is reminiscent of incense sticks burned at funerals, or of
offerings placed on the altar at an ancestral shrine.
Compare Law Codes
Four major law codes were written in Mesopotamia during the development of early civilizations. They were all
written between the eighteenth and eighth centuries bce.
This covers a wide period, yet the law codes built off each
other. It is helpful to look at law and its changes to see how
a government ruled, what was considered significant,
Code of Hammurapi (1750 bce)
Middle Assyrian Law (fi fteenth–eleventh century bce)
Hittite Law (fi fteenth–eleventh century bce)
Biblical Covenant Code (ninth–eighth century bce)
Commonalities among law codes:
• The majority of laws deal with issues about women.
• The laws reinforce and codify already established
social norms.
• The laws fi nalize the process of shifting women from
being people to property. In other words, a more egalitarian society became fully patriarchal.
• Provides us with the best available presentation of the
In Chapters 2 and 3 of the textbook, the authors repeatedly refer to the various ways cultures have of predicting
the future. It is a human need to reduce uncertainty, and
forms of fortunetelling, magic, and reduction of risk were
practiced everywhere, in many ways. Chapter 2 briefly
mentions the use of magic in Egypt (see p. 68). Archaeologists have found evidence of the use of magic in China
along the Yellow River. One very important form of Chinese divining was the use of oracle bones, mentioned in
Chapters 3 and 4, which has left us with a plethora of
detail on the Shang dynasty. We will use the various forms
of soothsaying and divining as one way to see changes in
civilizations. It will be a theme throughout this instructor’s manual as a means of enhancing deep learning. In
China, another form of soothsaying arose during this
time, the I Ching. The principles of I Ching evolve from a
strongly mystical basis. The I Ching was said to have been
38 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
presented to the Chinese by one of the Culture Heroes,
Fu Xi (2852–2738 bce).
In this exercise, provide your students with I Ching
coins and a sheet on reading the coins. Have the students
toss the coins. Once they have done this, discuss the context of the I Ching. It is important, however, to explain
that, as with any method of divining, there is an ancient
and complex spiritual element that we can only begin to
understand. By tossing I Ching coins, we begin to gain
entry into the worldview of the Chinese who used I Ching
and the accompanying text, The Book of Changes. We can
consider what was of value in their lives, and in the future
they feared merely by looking at the outcomes of the readings. But to say we understand the spiritual practice of I
Ching would be like saying someone knew everything
about Christianity after reading the Lord’s Prayer. I
Ching coins can be found at New Age stores; many bead
stores and bookstores also carry them. You can refer to
the following Web site for further historical details:
I Ching, The Book of Changes
Given the various forms of knowing the future in other
early civilizations covered in the textbook, ask your
students—once they have tossed the coins and discovered their futures—if they perceive differences among
cultures. Why or why not? Do all of these kinds of soothsaying have religious underpinnings? Was it more or less
important in some cultures to predict the future? Why or
why not? Consideration of these questions strengthens
their analytical skills and opens a window into the inner
workings of the ancient world.
Solid lines represent the creative aspect, or yang. The open
line represents the yin, or the receptive aspect. Together,
the principles form the yin-yang circle. Using the table
|||||| Force
The Creative
¦¦¦||| Obstruction
¦¦¦¦¦| Stripping
Splitting Apart
¦¦¦¦¦¦ Field
The Receptive
|¦|||| Concording
|¦¦¦¦¦ Returning
|¦¦¦|¦ Sprouting
Difficulty at the
||||¦| Great Possessing
Great Possession
|¦¦||| Without
¦|¦¦¦| Enveloping
Youthful Folly
¦¦|¦¦¦ Humbling
|||¦¦| Great
Great Taming
|||¦|¦ Attending
¦¦¦|¦¦ Providing-For
|¦¦¦¦| Swallowing
Mouth Corners
¦|¦¦¦¦ Leading
The Army
¦||¦¦| Corrupting
Work on the
¦|¦¦|¦ Gorge
The Abysmal Water
¦¦¦¦|¦ Grouping
Holding Together
||¦¦¦¦ Nearing
|¦||¦| Radiance
The Clinging
|||¦|| Small
Small Taming
¦¦¦¦|| Viewing
¦|||¦¦ Persevering
|||¦¦¦ Pervading
|¦|¦¦| Adorning
¦¦|||| Retiring
||||¦¦ Great Invigorating
Great Power
¦¦¦|¦| Prospering
|¦|¦¦¦ Brightness
Darkening of the
|¦|¦|| Dwelling People
The Family
||¦|¦| Polarizing
¦¦|¦|¦ Limping
¦|¦|¦¦ Taking-Apart
||¦¦¦| Diminishing
|¦¦¦|| Augmenting
|||||¦ Parting
¦||||| Coupling
Coming to Meet
¦¦¦||¦ Clustering
Gathering Together
|¦|||¦ Skinning
¦|||¦| Holding
The Cauldron
|¦¦|¦¦ Shake
The Marrying Maiden
|¦||¦¦ Abounding
¦¦||¦| Sojourning
The Wanderer
¦||¦|| Ground
The Gentle
||¦||¦ Open
The Joyous
¦|¦¦|| Dispersing
||¦¦|¦ Articulating
||¦¦|| Centre
Inner Truth
¦¦||¦¦ Small Exceeding
|¦|¦|¦ Already Fording
After Completion
¦|¦|¦| Not-Yet Fording
Before Completion
Chapter 3
Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce ◆ 39
throw the set of three coins twice, copying down the outcome of the throws each time. Write from left to right and
fi nd the pattern of symbols on the table. (This table was
originally devised by Richard Wilhelm, a leading scholar
whose translation of The Book of Changes is still considered
one of the best.) The hexagrams, though, are mere mnemonics for the philosophical concepts each one embodies.
The philosophy centers on the ideas of balance through
opposites and acceptance of change.
■ Ancient India (one of the thirteen-part Films for the
Humanities and Sciences series on Ancient Civilizations,
48 min.). The portions of this fi lm relevant to Chapters 2
and 3 can be shown in approximately 30 minutes and
allow for a discussion to follow. It draws on the stability of
the Harappan civilization, pre-Aryan arrival, and then
expands on the cultural, economic, and political changes
that occurred by about 1500 bce after assimilation. The
fi lm was shot in Pakistan and Afghan istan, the area that
was early India. The fi lm explains the development of the
caste system as well as growing religious tensions.
■ China: The Mandate of Heaven (57 min.). This PBS
Legacy fi lm series is narrated by Michael Wood. Juxtaposing the modern world against ancient historical
details, Wood describes the evolution of earliest China
through the face of China’s heartland, An Yan. Some of
the themes on which he focuses are new inventions such
as gunpowder and the importance of harmony and ancestors in Chinese culture. The fi lm will extend beyond the
periods discussed in Chapters 2 and 3, but there is a good
point at which to stop at about 45 minutes, leaving time
to wrap up.
■ Dawn of the Maya (National Geographic, 60min.). Little
is known about early Mayan culture, although it is becoming clearer that the Maya were far more sophisticated than
ever earlier envisioned. This fi lm expands on the new
breakthroughs made by archaeologists and leads the
viewer into the world of the Maya. We are still left with
many questions, but your students will gain increased
knowledge and understanding of ancient Mayan life.
■ In the Footsteps of the Celts (52 min.). Celtic influence
spread across ancient Europe. We continue to discover
new sites where they left their mark. This fi lm describes
the discovery of a Celtic necropolis along the planned
path of a high-speed train line in eastern France. The discovery forced a stop to construction, and the location
turned into a major archaeological dig. Within this framework, the producers attempt to tell the viewers a little
about who the Celts were, what their lives were like, and
what they contributed to the world. They trail the
nomadic Celts across Europe, unearthing other sites and
revealing that the Celts reached a generally unexpected
level of sophistication. The fi lm also shows us links
between the Celts and the Etruscans as well as evidence
of a developed knowledge of mathematics.
■ Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty (National Geographic,
50 min.). Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten, wielded tremendous power as queen of Egypt. Considered one of the
most beautiful women in history, she has been accused of
aiding her husband in the destruction of Egypt’s power. It
has also been suggested that she was one of the few voices
of reason during his reign. National Geographic looks at
the life of Nefertiti, her physical remains, and aspects of
the dynasty she helped head. It also includes a bonus “Fact
File” that you could use to form the lecture suggested in
the “Lecture Ideas” section.
William Adams, 1977. Nubia: Corridor to Africa.
Anonymous. Wendy Doniger, ed., 2005. The Rig Veda.
David W. Anthony, 2007. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian
Steppes Shaped the Modern World.
Edwin Bryant, 2001. The Quest for the Origins of Vedic
Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate.
A.X. Capel and G.E. Markoe, 1996. Mistress of the House,
Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt.
Wm. Theodore de Bary, Irene Bloom, and Joseph Adler,
eds., 2000. Sources of Chinese Tradition. Vol. 1.
Khrishna Dharma, 2006. Mahabharata: The Greatest
Spiritual Epic of All Time.
Rita Freed, Yvonne Markowitz, and Sue D’Auria, eds.,
1999. Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti,
Barry Kemp, 1989. Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a
David Adams Leeming and Margaret Adams Leeming,
1995. A Dictionary of Creation Myths.
Dominic Monserrat, 2000. Akhenaten: History, Fantasy
and Ancient Egypt.
Gay Robins, 1993. Women in Ancient Egypt.
I. Shaw, ed., 2000. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt.
Robert L. Thorp, 2005. China in the Early Bronze Age:
Shang Civilization.
Marc Van de Mieroop, 2006. A History of the Ancient Near
East, ca. 3000–323 BCE.
R. Wilhelm and C. Baynes, 1967. The I Ching or Book of
Changes. Foreword by Carl Jung. 3rd ed.
40 ◆ Chapter 3 Nomads, Chariots, Territorial States, and Microsocieties, 2000–1200 bce
Ancient China
www.ancientweb.org/China/index .htm
Ancient China: The Shang and The Yellow River Culture
The Etruscans
www.larth.it/index _eng.htm
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook .html
Knossos Minoan Palace
The Mysterious Etruscans
Museo Gregoriano Etrusco I
www.christusrex .org/www1/vaticano/ET1-Etrusco
Pharaohs of the Sun
Prehistory Archaeology of the Aegean
http://projectsx .dartmouth.edu/classics/history
/bronze_age/index .html
Lynda Robinson, 1994. Murder in the Place of Anubis, Vol.
1 of the Lord Meren Series.
_____, 1995. Murder at the God’s Gate, Vol. 2 of the Lord
Meren Series.
_____, 1996. Murder at the Feats and Rejoicing, Vol. 3 of
the Lord Meren Series.
_____, 1997. Eater of Souls, Vol. 4 of the Lord Meren
_____, 1998. Drinker of Blood, Vol. 5 of the Lord Meren
_____, 2001. Slayer of Gods, Vol. 6 of the Lord Meren
All of these texts are useful for their accurate and detailed
descriptions of the period’s material culture and social
norms. The author draws on extensive research on aspects
of religion, economics, government, and more. And they
are murder mysteries so students are interested while you
help them tease out the lessons. Eater of Souls and Drinker
of Blood are both especially useful for bringing to life the
Egyptian world as Akhenatan attempted to shift his
people to monotheism.
First Empires and Common Cultures
in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
▶ Forces of Upheaval and the Rise of Early Empires
Pack Camels
New Ships
The Neo-Assyrian Empire
Expansion into an Empire
Integration and Control of the Neo-Assyrian
Assyrian Social Structure and Population
The Instability of the Assyrian Empire
The Persian Empire
The Integration of a Multicultural Empire
Zoroastrianism, Ideology, and Social Structure
Public Works and Imperial Identity
Imperial Fringes in Western Afro-Eurasia
Migrations and Upheaval
Persia and the Greeks
This chapter begins with another environmental change
that led to migration and upheavals in the older territorial kingdoms. In their places, regional empires were
established. The Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires
became superpowers within the region. Both expanded
their territory well beyond their ethnic or linguistic
areas. The Assyrian model of rule is compared with that
of the Persian Empire. On the fringes of the empires,
other smaller states begin to orga nize, especially around
trade in the Mediterranean. This chapter discusses the
Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the peoples of Judah and
demonstrates how South Asia and China became more
socially and culturally integrated, even without a large
regional empire. Finally, the chapter focus on religion
offers an early look at the rise of Hinduism and the spread
of monotheism.
I. Overview of Assyrian model of rule
A. Assyrians redistributed population to create
more homogeneity within their territory
The Phoenicians
The Israelites and Judah
Foundations of Vedic Culture in South Asia (1500–
400 bce)
Social and Religious Culture
Material Culture
Splintered States
Castes in a Stratified Society
Vedic Worlds
The Early Zhou Empire in East Asia (1045–771 bce)
Integration through Dynastic Institutions
Zhou Succession and Political Foundations
The Zhou “Mandate of Heaven” and the Justification of Power
Social and Economic Transformation
Occupational Groups and Family Structures
Limits and Decline of Zhou Power
B. Warfare led by military innovation becomes
the key factor in shaping human
C. New empires created by completely new people
D. Other migration forced by climatic changes
E. Fringe microsocieties contributed significant
advances to human development
II. Forces of upheaval and the rise of early empires
A. Around 1200 bce, another warming phase
brought about social upheaval and human
migration in Afro-Eurasia
B. Population growth and soil exhaustion in other
regions forced many people to leave their
homes and look for food and fertile land
1. Many centuries of turmoil and economic
C. Migrations led to incursions into urban
1. Fierce warriors attacked capital cities
42 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
2. Destroyed the administrative centers of
kings, priests, and dynasties
Destruction of cities and administration centers paved way for new states
1. New political organization: the empire
The mixing of nomadic and urban societies led
to the expansion of kingdoms
1. Warrior-kings sought to conquer independent and culturally distinct kingdoms and
subjugate the people
2. Conquests led to more integration
a. Common language or multilingual
b. Shared religious beliefs
c. Some customs and beliefs remained
d. Common administration, laws, and calendar were instituted
3. South Asian peoples shared cultures and
beliefs more than political systems
4. Other regions were connected mainly by
extensive trade
a. Byblos
b. Tyre
Pack camels used for transportation
1. Two types: dromedary (one hump) and
Bactrian (two humps)
2. Opened up new overland trade routes
3. Could carry heavy loads
4. Could cross deserts
New ships
1. Technological advancements; ships used
on open sea as well as rivers and shorelines
2. Had larger, better reinforced hulls, stronger masts and rigging, and more sails
3. Innovations in steering and ballast also
Iron tools and weapons
1. Metalworkers learned to manipulate
a. Found almost everywhere in the world
b. Most important and widely used metal
in world history from this time onward
2. Adding carbon to iron made an early form
of steel
3. Changes in agrarian techniques
a. Iron-tipped plow could open up new
b. Turned up new topsoil for better crop
4. Innovation in military and administrative
a. Standing armies with advanced weapons
b. Deportation
c. Use of slaves in areas needing more labor
5. Roads, garrisons, and way stations constructed for moving troops
I. The environmental crisis in Southwest Asia and
1. Drought swept away most of the dominant
2. Communities were smaller, technically
simpler, impoverished, illiterate, and more
3. Low Nile floods forced the pharaohs to
spend their time securing food
4. Hittites pleaded for grain
a. Forced to move their capital to northern Syria for more plentiful food source
b. The empire collapsed
5. Mycenaean culture disintegrated
a. Greek mainland experienced a 400year period of economic decline
III. The Neo-Assyrian Empire
A. Relied on harsh punishments, large-scale
deportations, and systematic intimidation to
crush adversaries
B. Techniques for imperial rule became the standard model for many ancient and modern
C. Assyrian heartland centered on the ancient cities
of Ashur and Nineveh on the upper Tigris River
D. Affected all Southwest Asia and North Africa,
as well as the Mediterranean region
E. Expansion into an empire
1. Assyrians had several advantages
a. Armies of well-trained, disciplined,
professional troops
b. Officers rose by merit, not birth
c. Perfected the combined deployment of
infantry and cavalry (horse riders and
d. Excellent siege warriors, using siege
towers and battering rams
e. Huge armies of 120,000 soldiers
2. In the fi rst stage of imperial expansion,
the king participated in annual
3. Tiglath Pileser III reorganized and led second phase of royal expansion
a. Took away the rights of the nobility to
own and inherit land or other wealth
b. Abolished old system of hereditary provincial governors with annual
c. Reinstated expansionist annual military
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
d. Policies intensified hatred of the
F. Integration and control of the empire
1. Structure of the empire
a. Empire divided into two parts
i. The Core—the “Land of Ashur,”
between the Zagros Mountains
and the Euphrates River
a. King’s appointees governed
b. Responsible for supplying food
for the temple of the national
god (Ashur), labor, and
ii. The Land under the Yoke of Ashur
a. Ethnic groups under Assyrian
control but not Assyrians
b. Local rulers held power as vassals of Assyria
c. Had to supply huge amounts of
tribute in form of gold and silver
d. Wealth went to the king for his
own court and military costs
iii. Reforms of Tiglath Pileser III
a. Brought more lands into the
b. Forced Assyrianization was
harshly administered
b. Deportations and forced labor
i. As army grew, non-Assyrians
became part of the army
a. Phoenicians provided ships
and sailors
b. Medes served as the king’s
c. Charioteers from Judah fought
against rebels in western
ii. Needed huge workforces for agriculture and public works
a. Recruited workers from conquered peoples
b. Relocated over 4 million people to support work projects
c. Relocation undermined local
resistance efforts
c. Assyrian ideology and propaganda
i. Propaganda supported and justified expansion, exploration, and
pervasive inequal ity
a. Art showed a strong sense of
divinely determined destiny
◆ 43
b. The national god, Ashur, commanded all Assyrians to support the expansion of empire
c. King, with the aid of Ashur, conducted a holy war to transform
the entire known world to a wellregulated “Land of Ashur”
ii. Three types of propaganda were
a. Elaborate architectural complexes for state ceremonial displays of pomp and power
b. Texts composed to glorify the
king and the empire
c. Assyrian literary form called
d. Images glorifying the king and the
might of the Assyrian army were
depicted on palace walls
e. Texts recited at state occasions,
placed on monuments, and written
in annals
G. Assyrian social structure and population
1. King topped hierarchical structure and
served as the sole agent of the god Ashur
2. Military elites highly rewarded and
became noble class that controlled land
and peasants
3. Most Assyrians were peasants who worked
the fields of the elites
a. Those enslaved because of debt had
rights to marry free partners, engage in
fi nancial transactions, and own property, including slaves
b. Slaves acquired in conquest had no
c. Some peasants were relocated to work
new lands
4. Most peasant families were small and lived
on small plots of land
5. Women in Assyria more restricted than in
Sumeria or Old Babylonia
a. Assyrian women had no control over
their lives
b. Inheritance passed through male line
c. Middle Assyrians introduced veiling in
the thirteenth century bce
d. All “respectable” women had to veil
e. Prostitutes would be beaten or killed
for veiling
f. Assyrian queens under the same norms
but had a more comfortable life than
44 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
g. Mother of the king gained some power
and respect
i. Queen could serve as regent if son
was not of age when he became king
H. The instability of the Assyrian Empire
1. Imperial expansion led to overextended
armies and subjects too distant to control
2. Nobles became discontented
3. Subject peoples rebelled, which challenged
Assyrian worldview and led to the empire’s
4. In 612 bce, the Neo-Assyrian Empire collapsed with the conquest of Nineveh by
the Babylonians and Medes
IV. The Persian Empire
A. Persians part of a nomadic group that came to
the Iranian plateau at the end of the second
millennium bce
B. Successor state to the Neo-Assyrians
C. Used persuasion rather than violence to subdue
other peoples
D. Cyrus the Great (r. 559–529 bce) united Persian tribes and defeated the Medes and other
peoples in Anatolia
E. No urban tradition; borrowed ideology and
institutions from the Elamites, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians
F. The integration of a multicultural empire
1. Cyrus founded the Persian Empire
a. Traced his ancestry back to legendary
king Achaemenes
b. A benevolent king who liberated his
subjects from the oppression of their
own kings
i. Freed Babylonians, including the
Hebrews, who returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt their temple
ii. Greeks saw Cyrus as a model ruler
2. Darius I succeeded Cyrus and put the
empire on solid footing
a. Conquered territories held by seventy
different ethnic groups
b. Introduced innovative and dynamic
administrative systems
3. Persians used central and local administration to rule a multicultural, multilingual
4. Exploited local traditions, economy, and
rule rather than force Persian traditions
and customs on subject peoples
5. The Persians believed all in the empire
were equal
6. Used local languages, but Aramaic became
the lingua franca of the empire
7. Established a system of provinces or satrapies, each ruled by a satrap (governor)
8. Promoted trade throughout the empire
a. Built roads
b. Standardized currency, including
c. Standardized weights and measure
G. Zoroastrianism, ideology, and social structure
1. Ahura Mazda, the supreme god, was
believed to have appointed the monarch as
ruler over people and lands
2. Drew religious ideas from their pastoral
and tribal roots
a. Similar to Vedic texts of Indus Valley
3. Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra) taught after
1000 bce in eastern Iran and was responsible for crystallizing the region’s traditional
beliefs into a formal religious system
4. Zoroastrianism became the religion of the
Persian Empire
5. The teachings of Zoroaster are in the Avesta
a. Avesta is a compilation of holy works
transmitted orally by priests for more
than 1,000 years
b. Written down in the third century bce
c. Much in common linguistically with
Vedic texts
6. Zoroaster’s teaching converted Iranians
from animistic nomadic beliefs
a. Promoted monotheism
b. Persian belief in a dualistic universe
c. Ahura Mazda was good
d. Ahiram was deceitful and wicked
e. Both gods were in a cosmic struggle for
the universe
7. Zoroastrianism not fatalistic; rather,
treated humans as independent actors
capable of choosing between good and evil
8. Human choices had consequences—
rewards or punishments in the afterlife
a. Strict rules of behavior determined the
fate of each individual
b. The dead were to be left to the elements
9. Persian kings enjoyed absolute authority
a. Kings were expected to rule morally,
following the tenets of Zoroastrianism
b. Kings were to be just rulers, fair, and
able to distinguish right from wrong
c. Kings had to display physical superiority through horsemanship and weapons
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
10. Persians divided social order into four
large, diverse groups
a. Ruling class of priests, nobles, and
b. Administrative class of scribes/
bureaucrats and merchants
c. Artisans
d. Peasants
11. Nobility and merchants close to the king
a. King was expected to marry a woman
from the noble families
b. Darius tried to diminish the power of
the nobles through reforms
c. Royal gifts solidified the relations
between king and nobles
H. Public works and imperial identity
1. Royal road built and used by traders, Persian army, and those bringing tribute to
the king
a. Way stations with fresh mounts and
provisions placed along the way
2. Other infrastructure built to connect
periphery to center of empire
a. Canal linking Red Sea to Nile River
b. Qanats: underground tunnels for
3. Cyrus led way in building monumental
4. Darius forged visual and physical expressions uniquely Persian
a. Capital at Persepolis
b. Craft workers from all over empire
built Persepolis; their distinct styles
melded into a new Persian architectural style
c. Persepolis was an important administrative hub
i. 30,000 tablets written in Elamite
cuneiform script have been found
by archaeologists
5. Persians borrowed from other groups to
design their architecture
a. Reception rooms were grand, columned halls
b. Large spaces allowed people from all
over the empire to gather
c. Elaborate architectural decoration was
form of propaganda
d. Propaganda of Persians, showed gladly
obedient peoples, contrasted with
Assyrian propaganda
6. Persian method for creating empire very
different from Assyrians’
◆ 45
V. Imperial Fringes in Western Afro-Eurasia
A. Those on the fringes of the empires took an
active role, sometimes intruding on the
empires themselves
1. Developed own political and cultural
B. Migrations and upheaval
1. Around 1200 bce, demographic upheavals
and migrations of peoples in the Danube
River Basin and central Europe
a. Rapid rise of population
b. Development of local natural
2. Used iron technologies to arm populations and invaded southeastern
Eu rope, the Aegean, and the eastern
3. Invasions of the migrants caused the collapse of developed societies, including the
Hittite Empire
4. Moved political, military, and technological power to the fringes of these former
5. Adopted boats for transportation around
the Mediterranean Sea
6. Attack the Egyptians and other kingdoms
7. Settled along the southern coast of the
8. Economic downturn from 1100 to 900
bce affected empires and kingdoms
a. Arts, large-scale construction, writing,
and trade all declined or disappeared
b. Sea People shook the social structure of
the Minoans and Mycenaeans
c. As empires declined, individual
warrior-heroes emerged
i. Iliad based on oral tradition from
this time
ii. War in Troy about 1200 bce
9. Rapid transformation was both destructive and creative
C. Persia and the Greeks
1. On the fringe of the Persian kingdom rose
the Greeks
2. Joined with other Mediterranean peoples
to revolt
3. Persia could not put down the rebellion on
the mainland
a. Athenians defeated Persians in 492 bce
at Marathon
b. In 479 bce, Athenians defeated Persians and began to expand into Persian
46 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
D. The Phoenicians
1. Some borderland people coexisted with
the large empires
2. Chanani (Canaanites) were known by the
Greeks as Phoenicians
a. Phoenicians (“Purple People”) traded
purple dye
b. Innovators of shipbuilding and
c. Traded throughout the Mediterranean
with boats made from inland cedar trees
d. Established trading colonies on the
southern and western rim of
3. Worked with the Assyrians as imperial vassals and became trading partners and
4. Competition between Greeks and Phoenicians led to innovations and the transfer of
a. Phoenicians developed alphabet and
writing, which revolutionized
b. Less need for professional scribes
E. The Israelites and Judah
1. Small region on the edge of Egypt
2. Hybrid society merged traits of Mesopotamian states with its own
3. The Israelites
a. Origins unknown, established around
1000–960 bce
i. Shared Mesopotamian flood story
ii. Hebrew law principles similar to
Hammurapi’s Code
iii. Movement out of Egypt under
b. United by King David and son Solomon
with emerging state, capital Jerusalem
i. Central temple organization,
priesthood, scribal elite, and new
c. Quickly fragmented into two kingdoms, Judah (in the south) and Israel
(in the north)
d. Hebrews deported by Assyrians to
Babylon until collapse of Babylon
e. Returned to Judah under rule of Persia
and rebuilt temple
4. Monotheism and prophets
a. Temple in Jerusalem became most
important shrine in region
b. One god, YHWH
c. To affect change to one god, there arose
a group of freelance religious men of
power called prophets
i. Opposed power of the kings and
priests at temple in Jerusalem
ii. Central to formation of monotheism and Israelite culture
a. Isaiah
b. Ezra
iii. Established strict social and moral
codes enshrined in the holy text,
the Torah
5. Because they were constantly threatened
and displaced, their ideas spread rapidly
throughout Mediterranean world
VI. Foundations of Vedic culture in South Asia
(1500– 400 bce)
A. Founded by nomads who did not have older
surviving urban centers to draw upon
B. Social and religious culture
1. Brought cultural traits from European
nomadic communities
a. Rituals conducted by priests
b. Composed rhymes, hymns, and explanatory texts called “Vedas”
c. Vedas oral, and then written in Sanskrit
2. Encountered indigenous peoples with
knowledge of the land
a. Exchange between Vedic people and
indigenous peoples
b. Region became more unified because
of the shared culture of the Vedas
c. Did not create a single, unified kingdom
C. Material culture
1. Early trade centered on horses, not luxury
a. Drove creation of long-distance trade
2. Vedic people settled and cultivated the
a. Used iron plow to grow crops
b. Urban settlement developed
c. Trade developed as agricultural surpluses grew
D. Splintered states
1. The region remained politically
2. Created regional oligarchies and
3. Fought among themselves and reinforced
the importance of warriors
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
a. Indra, the god of war
b. Agni, the god of fi re
4. Warriors were the elite
5. Chieftainships merged into kingdoms tied
to kin and clan structures
a. Two main lineages: lunar lineage and
solar lineage
6. Society expanded
a. Solar lineage clans stayed together in
same area
b. Lunar lineage clans splint into branches
and migrated east and south
7. Although the two main lineages disappeared over time, their presence lived on
in two epic tales
a. Mahabharata
b. Ramayana
c. Epics legitimized the regimes claims to
blood links
E. Castes in a stratified society
1. Differences between those who controlled
land and those who did not
2. Castes (inherited social classes) associated
with specific lineages
a. Kshatriya: warriors and controlled land
b. Vaishya: worked land and tended
c. Shudras: of non-Vedic lineages, were
laborers or slaves in the fields
d. Brahmans, priestly caste, ranked highest
i. Performed rituals and communicated with gods
ii. Guided society in the proper relationship with the forces of nature
as represented by the deities
e. Powerful monarchies emerged around
kings (rajas)
i. Laws of Manu guided the king
and regulated king’s subjects
F. Vedic worlds
1. Brahman caste unified the people through
a common culture
2. Vedas contained sacred knowledge of the
people and helped unify them
3. Brahmans, the priests of Vedic society,
memorized the Vedic works
a. Brahmans compiled commentaries on
old works and created a new set of rules
and rituals
b. Established full-scale theology that
explained their newly settled farming
◆ 47
c. Some parts of the Veda incorporated
ideas of non-Sanskrit-speaking peoples
i. Atharva Veda includes charms
and remedies from indigenous
4. Main Vedic literature comprised four Vedas
5. Evolving ideas led to a new collection called
the Upanishads or Supreme Knowledge
a. Dialogue between disciples and a sage
b. Social and religious order intertwined
c. Concept of atman, an eternal being
that never perishes but is reborn
d. Reincarnation becomes a cornerstone
of the late Vedic belief system
VII. The Early Zhou Empire in East Asia (1045–771 bce)
A. After allying with Shang, Zhou turned against
them in 1045 bce
B. Integration through dynastic institutions
1. Zhou continued Shang’s attempts at state
building through unified dynastic structures
2. Set up a patrimonial state centered on
ancestor worship
3. Continued and expanded on the Shang
state’s tribute system
4. Integrated parts of China through cultural
symbols and statecraft
C. Zhou succession and political foundation
1. Zhou takeover of Shang gradual
2. Employed the term Huaxia, or Chinese,
when referring to their subjects
3. Named lands Zhongguo, or “the middle
kingdom,” the term still in use today
4. Rewarded allegiance to state with lands
that could be inherited
a. Regional lords required to supply military forces
b. New colonies consisted of garrison
towns with Zhou colonizers
c. Paid tribute and appeared at the imperial court to pledge allegiance to king
D. The Zhou “Mandate of Heaven” and the justification of power
1. Ideology to support a morally correct takeover of the Shang
2. Mandate of Heaven was a compact
between the people and their god
a. Book of Odes
3. Became a political doctrine rather than
4. A way to defend continuity of political
structure or to argue for overthrow
48 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
E. Zhou expanded on writing system employed
by Shang
1. Used for divination and a variety of political practices
a. Royal speeches and grants of official
2. King Mu (r. 956–918 bce)
a. Restructured the court and military
b. Instituted a formal legal code
c. Pool of scribes and scholars controlled
record keeping and created archives
3. Creation of a revised calendar important
for legitimacy of the court
a. Advances made in astronomy and
mathematics for better calculations
b. Lunar month, solar year, and leap
4. Material culture also indirectly gave Zhou
a. Emulated Shang’s large-scale bronzes
b. Used Shang artisans to make objects
because of their superior skills and
5. Revered predecessors and worshiped
ancestors, formalized in the practice of
F. Social and economic transformation
1. Hierarchical social structure of nobility
a. Zhou ruler and royal ministers
b. Hereditary nobles served as regional
lords with landholdings
i. Supplied warriors to fight in the
king’s army
c. High officers at the Zhou court
d. Military caste
G. Occupational groups and family structures
1. Ladder of occupational strata served as
class structure for commoners
2. Patrilineal society
3. Strict hierarchies for men and women
a. Wealth trumped gender to a certain
b. Rich women had high status in Zhou
4. Technological development
a. Plows enable farmers to increase
farmland, and crop rotation improved
b. Regional states began to construct
infrastructure to control waterways
c. Canals became trade routes linking
north and south
d. Irrigation works became so elaborate
that they needed powerful state control, such as Zhou dynasts, to manage
the system
e. Canals linked two breadbaskets: wheat
and millet fields in the north and rice
in the south
f. Agrarian revolution dramatically
increased the Chinese population to an
estimated 20 million in the late Zhou
H. Limits and decline of Zhou power
1. Zhou state important but not superpower
like Assyria or Persia
2. Zhou ruled larger area than Shang, but
with little increase in centralization
3. Used military campaigns and persuasion
to keep subordinates loyal
4. To control regional lords, ritual reforms
introduced in eighth century bce
5. Invaders from north forced Zhou to flee
capital in 771 bce
6. Zhou model of government became the
standard for later generations
VIII. Conclusion
A. Upheavals in the territorial states of AfroEurasia led to great changes in the earlier kingdoms in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China
B. Rise of two regional superpowers: Assyrian
Empire and Persian Empire
1. Led way through technology, trade, and
administrative strategies of expanding
states beyond their ethnic or linguistic
2. The two empires, while operating differently, ably and systematically exploited
human and material resources at great distances from the imperial centers
C. Other models of integrated but not politically
centralized states
1. Vedic people in South Asia
2. Zhou dynasts in China
D. Borderland peoples near the large empires were
able to carve out their own cultures through
trade and common language
1. Sea Peoples
2. Greeks
3. Phoenicians
4. People of Judah
E. Religious texts and the rapid spread of monotheism mark this period
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
Centralized and Decentralized State Systems
Helping students gain a global understanding of the range
of differences among centralized and decentralized states
through the use of historical examples is very useful, especially in a world of shifting political powers. Using the
many states and empires exemplified in this chapter—the
growing South Asian Indian states, the Zhou dynasty in
China, the Assyrian state, and Persia—you have a range
of state practices from highly centralized (Assyria) to
decentralized (Indian states). Use these examples to
expand on aspects of statecraft such as political policies,
levels of bureaucracy, and military structures. In addition,
show students how a government structure is reflected
in the cultural practices of groups within the state. For
example, use class structure, the physical infrastructure,
the layout of a city (Chang’an or early Sumerian cities),
and religious practices to show the physical manifestations of a government’s policies. Centralization and
decentralization of government systems have been at the
forefront of political debate since the establishment of
state structures. This can easily be a theme throughout
the course. You can refer to it with all major empires and
states, showing how the level of centralization affects the
citizens and their freedoms as well as how successfully
each system negotiates with other states.
1. How would you organize the South Asian Indian
states, Assyria, the Zhou dynasty, and Persia on a continuum from decentralized to highly centralized
structures? Why?
2. Using the city plan of Chang’an and a Sumerian
city plan, show how the plan reflects the level of
3. To what degree do religions play a role in the centralization of these states?
Assyria and Genocide
As the textbook discusses, the Assyrians appear to be the
fi rst state power that employed large-scale, forcible resettlement and genocide as a means of gaining governmental
control. The textbook estimates that approximately 4
million people were displaced in thirty years. What the
text only touches on is the vast range of groups of people
who the Assyrians affected. Given the increasing interest
in genocide and ethnic confl icts and the changing nature
of today’s warfare, this topic is highly relevant. Students
need to understand the historical roots of these kinds of
practices. You can form your lecture around a discussion
of the known groups of resettled peoples, including the
◆ 49
Lydians, Israelites, the Phoenicians, Armenians, Sogdians, and Medes. Citing the groups that we believe to have
disappeared and those that remain in a diaspora or in confl ict as a result of an action taken thousands of years ago is
a way to make history very relevant today.
1. What people groups were displaced during the Assyrian rule and remain displaced today?
2. How many people in the world today are considered
displaced persons? What is today’s world population?
What was the world population during the Assyrian
Empire? They are believed to have displaced 4 million
people. What is the percentage difference between
4 million in that time versus the present day?
3. Why would a state or an empire choose displacement
as a method of state management?
The Roots of Veiling
The practice of veiling has a complex moral history. Modern historians have spent much time attempting to unpack
the motivations behind it. Given the multiple political
and religious attitudes on veiling, a nonpartisan, historical timeline of the practice would be useful. As the text
mentions, veiling was fi rst introduced in Assyria in the
thirteenth century bce. Middle Assyrian Law §40 reads,
“If the wives of a man, or the daughters of a man go out
into the street, their heads are to be veiled. The prostitute
is not to be veiled. Maidservants are not to veil themselves. Veiled harlots and maidservants shall have their
garments seized and fi fty blows infl icted on them and
bitumen poured on their heads.”
Why did the Assyrians consider veiling necessary? At
the time, levels or classes of women had evolved. Only
respectable women were allowed to wear veils. Ironically,
if a slave woman accompanied a respectable woman, she
was expected to wear a veil so that she would not draw
attention to the “good” woman. Some historians speculate that for men, class was tied to the means of production, whereas for women, class was mediated through
their sexual ties to a man. The division of women into
“respectable” (attached to one man) and “not respectable”
(not attached to one man or free to all men) became easily
identifiable when laws concerning veiling were put into
effect. You can trace parallels to veiling practices with the
slow decline in goddess worship, increases in patriarchal
structures, a growing recognition of the biology of birth,
and men’s need to know the paternity of children.
1. Why do you think veiling became important?
2. What is the chronology of the veiling practice as compared to the development of Islam? Often, followers
50 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
of Islam claim that veiling has its origin in the religion. Looking at the dates, what do you think?
3. What are some of the cultures that practiced veiling
during this time? Was it practiced for the same reasons that the Assyrians had?
Ashoka and His Views on Religious Tolerance
The concepts of human rights, tolerance, and multiculturalism are not new but ancient. The textbook briefly
touches on leaders such as Cyrus and, later, Ashoka as
being more benevolent rulers. That does not mean that
Cyrus the Great of Persia (r. 559–529 bce) (see p. 136)
was a pacifist or disbanded his army. It does mean that the
concept of human rights, often considered as a product of
the European Enlightenment, in fact existed among some
peoples in the sixth century bce. During archaeological
excavations at Babylon (1879–1882), an archaeologist
unearthed a small, clay, barrel-shaped cylinder with an
order from Cyrus the Great. Now in the British Museum,
the order was a policy on what to do with those who had
been sent into diaspora by the Assyrians: “I [Cyrus] gathered all their [former] inhabitants and returned [to them]
their habitations.” Spend time showing how humans promoted living peaceably as well as on how humans abused
each other. A lecture on Cyrus the Great and this seal,
which was named by the UN as the fi rst document on
human rights, provides that opportunity. You could add
the later leader Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire, who converted to Buddhism and tried to create an empire of religious tolerance, became a vegetarian, and swore to never
kill another living thing. Both leaders promoted literacy,
public health care, and openness of public information,
among other innovative ideas. For context, have your students read the primary source document or documents
giving the Hebrews permission to return to their homeland after they were dispossessed by the Assyrians and
Babylonians, “The Decree of Return for the Jews,” 539
bce, available at:
Internet History Sourcebook
The World’s First Charter of the Human Rights
Lead students chronologically through Cyrus’s ascent
to power and the regions he conquered. Once you have set
the context, you can begin to discuss how he allowed the
various people groups to return to their homelands. (This
is discussed briefly in the text; however, “returning” and
“returning with freedoms” are two different things.) Discuss his social policies, municipal plans, and plans for
dealing with education and outside encroachment. Cyrus
allowed freedom of worship and some degree of self-rule.
Most importantly, show the outcome of his choice of rule.
If you choose to follow this theme, mention that
approximately 300 years later, Ashoka would try the same
idea. The Mauryan Empire was very successful. Out of
it arose a strong, universal Buddhism and a stronger India.
Ashoka was a much-loved ruler who made positive changes
in the region that is today northern India and parts of
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran. More information
about Ashoka will be made available in Chapter 6.
1. Was Cyrus the Great’s rule successful? Why or why
2. What were some of the differences between how
Ashoka and Cyrus ruled?
3. Why would leaders and states choose to rule in an
authoritarian fashion over more tolerant and open
rule? What guides these choices?
Ancestor Worship among the Ancient Chinese
Many early cultures practiced a form of ancestor worship
that we in the West have great difficulty understanding.
Reading about ancestor worship and truly beginning to
comprehend the significance of ancestors to a culture are
very different. To help students begin to comprehend this
on a deeper level, fi rst show them a very brief clip from the
Disney fi lm Mulan. You can cue it up in advance so that
you can provide the context for the clip, show it, and then
have the discussion. The fact that you are showing a Disney fi lm that many of them are familiar with usually draws
their attention. In Mulan, there is a scene in which the
daughter, Mulan, has left home to fight in her father’s
place. The scene opens in the family garden temple, where
they go to worship and honor their ancestors. Humorous
as the scene is, it does an admirable job of expressing the
significance of family honor, the belief that the ancestors
can and do protect the family, the long-term disaster to
the whole family if Mulan makes a mistake, and other
aspects of ancestor worship. The manner in which these
ideas are delivered makes the information all the more
resonant for your students. Show the fi lm clip, then ask
students to evaluate what they believe this comedy can
tell them about the Chinese beliefs regarding their ancestors and the relationships of the living with their fore-
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
◆ 51
bears. Then ask them how these beliefs might shape the
behaviors of the living. Have them write down their
answers; consider breaking them into groups so that they
can discuss and create group answers. After about 15
minutes of group discussion, bring the class back together
for an overall discussion. Expand the meaning of ancestor
worship, the influence it has on the culture, the rituals
involved in the worship, and, if time permits, how significant these beliefs are today in Chinese culture.
sound and tonal quality changed dramatically. For more
details, see the “Recommended Reading” section at the
end of this chapter.
Many students will fi nd it difficult to evaluate this
music. The object of the exercise is to stretch them. Even
though they may have trouble answering the questions,
by asking them, you create a place for increased interest in
which they can hear your answers when you discuss the
music as a group.
Persian Music
Sound Files of Classical Persian Music
www.iranianradio.com/# (open the “Traditional”
Ancient Persian or Iranian music can be traced back to
approximately the second and third millennium bce. It is
difficult to fi nd music that is free of the influence of other
cultures, such as Muslim cantillation and Judaic tradition. However, enough records exist, including drawings,
statues, and writings, to allow musicians to re-create some
semblance of traditional Persian music from the Elamite
Period (approximately 2700 bce). Music and musical
instruments offer yet another way to analyze a society. In
ancient Persia, forms of guitars and lutes were used, as
were flutes. Around 800 bce, an instrument called the
barbat was invented. Persian music was so important to
the courts and religious rituals that even the Greek historian Herodotus mentioned its role in the worship of the
god Mithra, before Zoroastrianism became the state religion. Some forms of traditional Persian music are vocal.
Because vocalists decided which poems and songs to sing
and what mood to express, they were often considered
crucial to the music in court ritual.
Play a selection of Persian (Iranian) music with the
poems translated (see the Web site section below). It helps
to provide students with pictures of (or ideally real)
instruments so that you can identify for them what instruments are playing when. Numerous sites go into detail
regarding the musical structure and tonal quality of the
instruments and voices. Or you can simply help students
evaluate what emotions the music evokes in relation to
how a par ticu lar piece of music was used (religious ritual,
court ritual, or entertainment) and how it differs from
what they are familiar with. You can explain when and
how it was performed and who was allowed to participate
as ways to enhance historical understanding. Traditional
Iranian music has experienced a strong resurgence. Below
are two Web sites where you can access short clips. However, consider checking with your library. There are
plenty of good recordings of traditional music, many with
well-done analysis. In this instance, make sure to look for
music that is pre-Islamic, as the instruments and the
Museum of World Music
Silk and Silk Making
There is a bitter irony in the fact that over time the
demand for silk grew, with silk becoming China’s most
important product, yet the labor of silk making was considered solely the work of women who held few rights. In
this activity, students will receive a brief account of the
history of sericulture. Then, as they explore the exacting
process that is required to make silk, provide them with a
variety of different silks that they can handle. Often, all
this takes is going into the closet, pulling out a few things
from your linens, and you have, without even realizing it,
five or six silk items. Ideally, show students a variety of
silks such as raw silk, brocade shot through with gold, silk
gauze, silk ribbon, or shantung. As you will be reminded
by reading this brief history of silk, it is also used for
industrial products, so providing any of the following
offers a contrast to the commonplace ideas for the use of
silk: fishing nets, kites and parachutes, silk batting for
jackets, surgical thread, violin strings, paper, or embroidery floss. I acquired a silk cocoon as well as a length of
raw silk fi lament for students to examine. Silk cocoons are
larger than you might imagine. Once students have had
the opportunity to read the material and look at the variety
of products, discuss questions such as the following. Does
there appear to be a disconnect between the source of
China’s income during this period and the role of women
in China? Silk was so valuable that at times it was actually
used as a form of currency. Why was the preparation of
something so valuable given to a group within society that
was considered inconsequential? This is especially true in
earliest Chinese history, when only the elite were allowed
to wear silk. Later, certain colors were designated for the
aristocracy and other colors for commoners. How do students think this situation might have evolved?
52 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
the history of sericulture
Archaeologists have discovered ribbon, thread, and
woven fragments dating from approximately 3000 bce in
the Yellow River valley. Discoveries of a small ivory cup
carved with a silkworm design, spinning tools, silk thread,
and silk fragments have been found along the lower Yangzi
River. The art of silk making is not new. According to
Chinese tradition, knowledge of silkworm farming, spinning, and weaving was brought to the people as a gift by
the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, Lady Hsi Ling
Shih. The Yellow Emperor was said to rule China around
approximately 3000 bce, the period from which many of
the discoveries are carbon dated. As legend tells it, Lady
Hsi Ling Shih, who became the goddess of silk, gave her
people the secrets of raising silkworms, gathering the
cocoons, and unwinding the silk thread from the cocoons.
She also gave the Chinese the loom so that once they had
the silk fi lament, they could weave cloth. Each spring, the
empress inaugurated the silk-raising season, for silk production was the work of women all over China. The silk
season opened with parades in the goddess’s honor. The
process itself was so complex that the Chinese state wrote
the secrets to successful silk making in the Book of Rites,
one of the few books to survive the book burnings during
the Qin dynasty. Anyone who revealed the secret of silk
making outside China risked the punishment of death.
For over 2,000 years, the Chinese successfully kept the
secret to themselves. Great confusion persisted over the
source of silk, as is apparent from the early writings of
Greeks (the fi rst being Aristotle) and Romans (Pliny
wrote of silk in his book Natural History). At one point,
the Romans, who called the makers of silk Seres People
(from which the term sericulture or the study of silk
derives), decided that silk was a thin fleece found on certain trees that was then processed into fabric.
Creating a length of silk involved at least 7 to 8 months
from start to fi nish. First, only one species of moth is
capable of creating high-quality silk cocoons—the blind,
fl ightless Bombyx mori moth. Other worms can be used,
but this par tic u lar moth generates the fi nest silk. The
moth wasn’t always blind or fl ightless; through thousands of years of breeding by the Chinese, the moth
evolved into this state, making it easier to manage their
care. The Bombyx mori lays approximately 500 eggs in
four to six days and then dies. Each egg is about the size
of a pinpoint. At this stage, women in the family home
cared for the eggs and then the worms, much like a farming process. When the eggs hatched, the women fed the
worms, which only ate mulberry leaves. With 30,000
worms, a family needed to provide a ton of mulberry
leaves through their life cycle. The worms and then the
cocoons had to be kept in just the right conditions. Usually, the families built floor-to-ceiling racks with mesh
trays for the worms and then the cocoons. (Many ancient
images of these exist.) They could pull out each tray and
check the worms over the course of the cycle and continuously monitor their needs. For example, strong smells
or loud noises disrupted the worms’ ability to build a
quality cocoon. Women couldn’t farm silk near a fi sh
market or come in from the fields sweaty and work with
the cocoons. There could be no shouting or loud banging. Also, the worms could not be placed where there was
a draft; they needed warm dry places. Once the cocoons
were complete, the women left them on the racks for
approximately 8 days. Then they either steamed or baked
the cocoons to kill the pupae inside. Once this was done,
the cocoon was dipped in hot water to loosen the silk fi lament, which was gently unwound. Each cocoon provided
anywhere from 600 to 900 meters of fi lament. It took
between five and eight fi laments twisted together to
make a thread in processes called reeling and spinning.
The reeling, dyeing, and spinning were also completed in
the home by women.
Weaving the silk into lengths of cloth and embroidering
it were done in workshops as well as in the home. At this
point, men sometimes became involved in the process.
However, in the silk-producing provinces, all generations
of women spent large parts of each day tending to the silkworms for 6 months out of the year as well as spinning,
embroidering, and weaving. Out of those original 30,000
worms, the women would have created 12 pounds of raw
Initially, silk was reserved only for aristocracy—the
emperor, his close relatives, and his closest advisers. Certain colors, like yellow and white, were the sole right of
the emperor and his family to wear. As more uses for silk
were discovered, it became available more widely and in a
variety of prices. Eventually, even the common people
were able to wear garments of silk. Much later, during the
Han dynasty, silk became a form of currency. The government paid salaries with silk, and farmers paid their
taxes with it. The value of items was calculated in lengths
of silk, just as we might calculate the purchase of a car in
You can add to this history by discussing how the secret
of silk made its way out of China and how it expanded
trade in all of Afro-Eurasia.
History of Silk
Chapter 4
First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
Technology: The Development of Dikes
and Irrigation
With the building of empires, cities spread away from
their water sources. The need for efficient and large-scale
movement of water became more pressing. Every civilization developed methods of irrigation, some distinctly different from others. For this activity, provide your students
with descriptions and sketches and photographs of three
forms of irrigation that are mentioned in Chapters 3 and
4. This can include the water control established by the
Chinampas of the Aztecs, the Egyptian levees, and the
Persian Qanats. Have students work either alone or in
groups to review the technology.
1. Describe the key characteristics of each system.
2. List the differences among them.
3. Speculate on why the differences may have evolved.
Would one system have worked in place of another, or
was much of the technology determined by climate
and topography?
Suggest that students consider things like soil composition, weather, distance from water source, use of water
along the route, or type of crops needing irrigation.
These three irrigation systems provide a good basis for
analysis. The following links also have photographs and/
or sketches to accompany the descriptions.
The Qanats of Iran
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems
This includes information on chinampa and qanat
www.fao.org/sd/giahs/other_mexico2 _desc.asp
Library ThinkQuest: Aztec Chinampas
Water History
This includes information on qanats as well
Another useful generic source is the following:
Ancient Irrigation
■ China: Heritage of the Wild Dragon (59 min.). Using the
input of multiple experts, the directors of China focus on
Bronze Age China and the contributions of the Shang
dynasty. The Shang are thought to be responsible for the
◆ 53
oracle bones, the development of writing, the concept of
T’ien Ming, and other social structures. The fi lm shows
archival footage of the excavation of Yinxu, from the Qin
■ China: The Mandate of Heaven (part of the PBS Legacy
series, 1991, approx. 60 min.). This PBS documentary
focuses on the many early technological breakthroughs of
ancient China. One of the early scenes is fi lmed at the site
of China’s fi rst civilization, An Yan, and a place that still
cherishes traditions. In par ticu lar, there is a section on
ancestor worship that might be useful with the activity on
the same topic.
■ Iran:
The Forgotten Glory (2009, 2 discs, total of
95 min.). Few documentaries justly explore the world of
ancient Persia. This DVD masterfully accomplishes that
goal through onsite fi lming and representations of Persian art. The fi lm uses Persian music throughout, which
could be discussed in conjunction with the music activity
discussed earlier. Recounting the rise of the Achaemenid
and Sassanid empires, the documentary includes profi les
of figures like Cyrus the Great, Darius, and Xerxes. Filming is done on location in places like Bishapur, Darab,
Persepolis, and Firuzabad. The later portion of the disc
goes into the rise of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism
and could be useful later in the book.
■ Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty (National Geographic,
50 min.). Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten, wielded tremendous power as queen of Egypt. Considered one of the
most beautiful women in history, she has been accused of
aiding her husband in the destruction of Egypt’s power. It
has also been suggested that she was one of the few voices
of reason during his reign. National Geographic looks at
the life of Nefertiti, her physical remains, and aspects of
the dynasty she helped head. It also includes a bonus “Fact
File” that you could use to form the lecture suggested in
the “Lecture Ideas” section.
■ Quest for the Phoenicians (National Geographic, 2004,
60 min.). This National Geographic film uses the latest scientific know-how to retrace the roots of the Phoenicians and
their impact on trade along the coast of the Mediterranean
and Black seas. Using genetics from excavations and bones
found at archaeological sites in Lebanon, the director combines the past and the present in this attempt to learn more
about the Phoenicians’ contributions to the world.
■ Samson and Delilah (1996, 180 min.). This story, made
into a miniseries, derives from the Old Testament book of
Judges, thus offering a fruitful source of discussion on the
history of the Israelites. Given that the setting is Gaza,
you can also bring the discussion into the present day and
54 ◆ Chapter 4 First Empires and Common Cultures in Afro-Eurasia, 1250–350 bce
the confl ict between the Palestinians and the Israeli state.
Actors Dennis Hopper and Diana Rigg offer per formances that raise the quality of this commercially made
fi lm and make it appropriate for class use. One downside
is the emphasis the screenwriter placed on Samson’s
search for a purpose in life. This is a modern kind of goal
and situates this aspect of the story in the modern world.
The anarchy of the period is emphasized (approximately
1100 bce). You could use this fi lm to lead into a discussion on the need for the various law codes that were being
adopted during this time.
■ The Bible (2013, 10-part series). This will become the
preeminent miniseries regarding the history of the Bible. It
is exceptional, and unlike many feature fi lms, it is both well
acted and historically accurate. Each of the sections can be
used as a whole or in part. Available at www.history.com.
Edwin Bryant, 2004. The Quest for the Origins of Vedic
Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate.
Jennifer Heath, ed., 2008. The Veil: Women Writers on Its
History, Lore, and Politics.
Sanford Holst, 2005. Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic
Gerda Lerner, 1986. Creation of Patriarchy. Chapter 6:
Veiling the Woman.
James Maxwell Miller and John Harelson Hayes, 2006. A
History of Ancient Israel and Judah. 2nd ed.
Lloyd Miller, 1999. Music and Song in Persia: The Art of Avaz.
Ian Morris and Walter Scheidel, 2009. The Dynamics of
Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium.
Sarah B. Pomeroy, 1975. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and
Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity.
Shelagh Vainker, 2004. Chinese Silk: A Cultural History.
Marc Van de Mieroop, 2006. A History of the Ancient Near
East, ca. 3000–323 BCE.
Ancient History Sourcebook: Kurash (Cyrus) the Great: The
Decree of Return for the Hebrews, 539 bce
Source for primary documents
The Bible
Chinese Collection
Offers a list links from primary sources to analysis on
early Chinese dynasties
Cyrus and Human Rights
History of Science: Stars over Babylon
Iranian Radio
Museum of World Music
Includes sound clips and history
Thorough site on the Phoenicians and an award-winning
history site
The Qanats of Iran
Offers a detailed analysis and diagrams of the qanat
Recent Archaeological Finds Confirming Vedic History
Includes list of fi nds and other links regarding Vedic
_fi nds_confi rming _Vedic _history.htm
These texts are good sources to consider assigning to your
students as additional reading.
Anita Diamant, 1998. The Red Tent.
This text is useful if you are teaching a world civilization
course with a feminist perspective. It is based on the life
of Dinah from the Old Testament story of Abraham and
thus draws on many social changes of the time, including
the Jewish shift from polytheism to monotheism, and
from matriarchy to patriarchy, and the growing illegitimacy of the Israelites among increasingly more powerful
Susan Whitfield, 1998. Life along the Silk Road.
Whitfield is a foremost authority on the Silk Road. This
text offers a number of discrete stories in different time
frames and locations. You can use the whole book or portions of it at various times in the semester. It is exceptionally well done in terms of historical detail.
Worlds Turned Inside Out,
1000–350 bce
▶ Alternative Pathways and Ideas
▶ Eastern Zhou China (770–221 bce)
The Spring and Autumn Period
The Warring States Period
New Ideas and the “Hundred Masters”
Scholars and the State
Innovations in State Administration
Innovations in Warfare
Economic, Social, and Cultural Changes
The New Worlds of South Asia
The Rise of New Polities
Expansion of the Caste System
New Cities and an Expanding Economy
Brahmans, Their Challengers, and New Beliefs
This chapter shows how, in many places of the world, an
age of political turmoil was also an era of great intellectual
and cultural activities. The chapter begins with a discussion of Confucius. Out of a warring China, he became a
believer in ideas rather than warfare. It also looks at
“second-generation” cultures on the rise in China, South
Asia, the Americas, and Africa, as well in the Mediterranean Basin. New ideas about religion, government, and
society along with technological advances emerged.
Sometimes, as in the Americas, there was no model for
these changes. In other places such as China and South
Asia, earlier civilizations offered models for the new,
developing cultures.
I. Alternative pathways and ideas
A. During the first millennium bce, societies on
the edge of regional empires began to break
from dynastic regimes and forge their own paths
1. They experimented with new types of
political and social organization
B. Second-generation societies borrowed from
older communities, but they also came up with
dramatic innovations that set them apart
▶ Common Cultures in the Americas
The Chavín in the Andes (1400–200 bce)
The Olmecs in Mesoamerica
Common Cultures in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Four Zones
Meroe: Between Sudanic Africa and Pharaonic
West African Kingdoms
Warring Ideas in the Mediterranean World
New Thinking and New Societies at the Margins
A New World of City-States
Economic Innovations and Population
New Ideas
1. Battles over ideas produced political and
social innovations
2. Bold thinkers often lived in these societies
a. Confucius in China
b. Buddha in Indus Valley
c. Phi losophers of the Greek city-states
C. The age of great ideas produced debate over
what was best for humanity
II. Eastern Zhou China
A. During the fi rst millennium bce, China saw
political and cultural innovations
1. Looked to the past for ideas about governing
a. Stressed elaborate court protocol and
b. Importance of hierarchy of authority in
family and state
B. After fleeing invaders, the Zhou established an
eastern capital in Luoyang
1. Spring and Autumn period (722– 481 bce)
2. Warring States period (403–221 bce)
3. Resulted in multistate system with revolutionary changes
C. The Spring and Autumn period
56 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
1. China was not politically unified—145
Zhou tributary states
2. Violence among states led to political and
social changes
a. Regional states forged alliances and
became more powerful than the central
b. New administrative units formed to
conscript men for the army and collect
c. Land ownership became merit based
d. Southern states of Chu, Wu, and Yue
came to recognize Zhou culture
3. Central states served as a buffer zone
between the large peripheral states and
ended up swearing allegiance to the
peripheral states
4. Increase in political anarchy simultaneous
with technological advancements
a. New smelting techniques led to stronger iron swords and armor
b. Cheaper and better weapons shifted
influence from central government to
local authorities
c. Regional states built their own infrastructure improvements.
i. In 486 bce, Wu state built the
Grand Canal linking the Yellow
River with the Yangzi River
ii. Built by peasants pressed into
labor by Zhou regional lords
D. The Warring States period (403–221 bce)
1. Seven large territorial states emerged with
more power than the central Zhou
2. Wars between 500 and 400 bce led to the
downfall of the Zhou dynasty
3. Qin emerged as the strongest state and
replaced the Zhou dynasty in 221 bce
4. In preparation to defend China, interest
turned to the creation of an elaborate army
and culture for the otherworld
a. Qin dynasty created an army of terracotta warriors and horses for the fi rst
Qin emperor to lead into battle in the
next life
5. New types of statecraft emerged as warring states negotiated treaties, fought battles, and traded with each other
a. Use of state-of-the-art crossbows
b. Use of large infantries with cavalries
and skilled archers combined
6. Despite the chaos of the time, many of the
fundamental beliefs, values, and philosophies that became the foundation for later
dynasties developed
E. New ideas and the “Hundred Masters”
1. Loss of status led political elites to seek
new ways to gain prominence
a. Intellectual creativity and important
teachers emerged
b. Confucius best known
c. Philosophy known as the Hundred
Schools of Thought
2. Confucius taught hundreds of students
and acquired 70 core disciplines
a. He left no writing of his own
b. Followers transmitted his teaching
after his death
i. The Analects
c. Confucius set out a new moral framework for government that emphasized
merit over birthright as well as perfection of moral character
d. His ideas departed from those of past
3. Mohism (teachings of Mozi or Mo Di) was
a competing school of thought
a. Mozi emphasized practical concerns of
good government
b. Opposed wars of conquest
c. Main appeal was to city dwellers
4. Daoism was a philosophy espoused by
Laozi and Zhuangzi
a. Stressed the dao (the way) of nature
and the cosmos
b. The ruler who interfered the least in
the natural processes of change was the
most successful
5. Legalism, or statism, grew out of the writings of Xunzi and Han Fei
a. From the writings of Xunzi
b. Need strict moral code and laws to
keep people in line
F. Scholars and the state
1. Scholars and the state became inseparable
and formed a lasting tradition in Chinese
a. Speculated on issues of governance
b. Promoted the use of writing, a fundamental tool of statecraft
i. Chinese script standardized in
221 bce
ii. 9,000–10,000 graphs or signs
Chapter 5
c. This period was fundamental in empire
building for the Chinese dynasties
G. Innovations in state administration
1. Many states reorganized their administrative structures
a. Created administrative districts with
various officials
b. Registration of peasant households
c. Officials were drawn from the shi
i. Called gentlemen or superior men
by Confucius
ii. Partners of the ruler in state
aff airs
iii. Paid salaries in grain or gold
H. Innovations in warfare
1. Armies became larger and relied on a mass
infantry made up of conscripted peasants
led by professional officer corps
2. New weapon technologies
a. Crossbows
b. Siege warfare
i. Counterweighted siege ladders
(cloud ladders) used to scale
urban walls
ii. Tunnels dug under walls
a. Defenders fi lled tunnels with
c. War campaigns lasted years, not
d. Commanders plotted strategies by
assessing what troops were best fitted
for types of campaigns
I. Economic, social, and cultural changes
1. Warring states spurred China’s economic
a. Agricultural revolution
i. Population explosion
ii. Growth in population led to environmental changes
a. Fuel needs led to deforestation
b. Erosion of fields
c. Fewer animals to hunt
iii. Population growth generally precedes agricultural productivity
a. During the late, Zhou, farmers
produced more rice/wheat
than anywhere in the world
b. Still massive decline in standard of living
c. Forced Chinese to continue
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 57
2. Reform during Spring and Autumn period
gave peasants land
a. Productivity increased with new
i. Crop rotation
ii. Iron plowshares pulled by oxen
b. Surplus agricultural products were
traded for market goods
i. Early coins helped with trade
3. Continued reform during the Warring
States period
a. Strong military
b. Better infrastructure such as roads,
walls, forts, and towers
c. Used military management to build
public works projects
4. Economic growth led to higher level of
cultural sophistication
a. Elaborate palaces and burial sites
b. Rewards for soldiers and governmental
5. Economic change did not promote gender
a. Male-centered kinship groups grew
b. Contact between men and women
became more ritualized and codified
6. Chinese material culture reveals changes
during this time as more common
people had access to formerly elite-only
III. The New Worlds of South Asia
A. The rise of new polities
1. Significant political and social transformation began about 600 bce with the expansion of the Vedic peoples eastward to the
mid-Ganges plain
2. Brahmans, upper-class priests, and scholars led way to changing the new lands
3. Agricultural reforms led to the emergence
of towns that gave way to territorial states
4. The Sixteen States period—quarrels over
territory—no unified state emerged
5. Buddhism challenged the authority of
Vedic sacrifices
6. Two major types of states
a. Hereditary monarchs
b. Small, elected elites or oligarchies
7. Two types of leaders emerge in the
a. Kshatriya, a type of aristocracy
b. Raja (king)
58 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
i. In some city-states, they were
elected officials who ruled
ii. Often the rajas came from lowstatus clans
iii. Folk tales reveal that some rajas
tried to raise their status through
marrying women of high-status
8. Leaders gained power and status through
military rank, marriage, or accumulation
of land or a blending of all three methods
B. Evolution of the caste system
1. Various city-states shared caste system
2. Economic changes led to the expansion of
the caste system beyond the three tiers
(Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas)
3. Subcastes developed their own social hierarchy known as the jati
a. Based on kinship
b. Based on religious rituals
4. Other jati emerged as labor specialized
5. Each jati had its own ritual status, depending on trade
C. New cities and an expanding economy
1. Agricultural surpluses led to the need for
2. Cities rose up where markets appeared
a. Little city planning
b. Good sanitation
c. Little archaeology because of continuous inhabitation
i. Taxila one city excavated in twentieth century
3. Rural households moved to the city and
served as brokers between farms and
4. Bankers emerged, fi nancing trade and
5. Less affluent took up trades in craftwork
a. Traders and artisans formed guilds to
regulate trade and support families
b. Guilds eventually transformed into jati
c. Guild leaders wielded fi nancial influence in the cities
6. Traders and bankers created coins and
determined value
7. Many new professions emerged in the
8. Guilds formed by traders and artisans to
regulate competition, prices, and wages,
and set standards
9. Coins came into use
10. Despite the rigid caste system, more social
mobility was possible in the cities
11. Poverty led some to seek work in the cities
a. Cities more fi nancially unstable
b. Created a new caste of those who did
least desirable jobs
c. “Untouchable” caste kept cities clean
and healthy
d. Dissatisfied with their lot, “untouchables” sought ways to challenge the status quo imposed by the Brahman priests
D. Brahmans, their challengers, and new beliefs
1. Fearful of changes wrought by urban life
and literacy, the Brahmans looked for a
way to reestablish order
a. Endowed kings with divine power
b. Gods selected Manu and promised him
2. Emphasis on divine kingship created tensions within South Asian society
a. Brahman claim to moral authority
caused resentment in the oligarchic
b. New kinds of thinking raised challenges to the Vedic past
3. Dissident thinkers
a. Dissident South Asian thinkers challenged Brahman religious institutions
i. Refused to recognize Vedic gods
ii. Vedic and non-Vedic challenges
iii. Upanishads
4. Mahavira and Jainism
a. Ideas of Jainism popu lar ized by Vardhamana Mahavira (c. 540– 468 bce)
i. Religious doctrines emphasize
asceticism over knowledge
ii. Believed every living thing had a
iii. Became a religion of traders and
city dwellers
b. Strict nonviolent doctrine influenced
later South Asian thinkers
5. Buddha and Buddhism
a. Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha—the
“Enlightened One”) directly challenged traditional Brahman thinking
b. He denied the elaborate cosmology of
the Brahmans
c. His background influenced his ideas
d. His teachings can be summarized as
the Four Truths
i. Life, from birth to death, is full of
Chapter 5
ii. All sufferings are caused by desires
iii. The only way to rise above suffering is to renounce desire
iv. Only through adherence to the
Noble Eightfold Path can individuals rid themselves of desire and
the illusion of separate identity
and thus reach a state of contentment, or nirvana
a. Eightfold way includes three
categories: wisdom, ethical
behavior, and mental discipline
e. Simple, clear teachings were very
appealing to non-Brahmans
f. Delivered his dissident message in colloquial dialect of Sanskrit
i. Attracted many followers, who
formed a group of monks known
as a sangha
ii. Buddha and followers preferred to
preach in cities
iii. Buddhism offered people an alternative to the Varna system
IV. Common cultures in the Americas
A. Early inhabitants of America lived in dispersed villages. Some contact took place over
time, especially where travel by canoe was
1. Did not have domesticable animals
2. Wheel was not used for hauling or
3. Limited the distances people could travel,
communicate, and trade
B. The Chavín in the Andes (1400–200 bce)
1. Lived in the Andes Mountains of presentday Peru
2. Around 1400 bce, united around a shared
belief system
3. Societies organized vertically because of
their mountain homes
a. Valleys gave them tropical and subtropical produce
b. Maize and other crops grew further up
the mountains
c. Highlands produced potatoes, and llamas were raised for wool and fertilizer
i. Llamas could be used for carry ing
packs but not people
4. By 900 bce Chavín created advanced textiles, carvings, and metalwork
a. Limited trade network to areas outside
the mountains
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 59
5. Overall much diversity within the Chavín
but shared an artistic tradition motivated
by devotion to gods
a. Spiritual capital was Chavín de Huantar, in present-day northern Peru
i. Priests communicated with gods
through the use of hallucinogenic
ii. Chavín made pilgrimages with
tribute to the temple
6. Chavín created devotional cults that
focused on wild animals—such as jaguars,
serpents, and hawks—as representatives of
spiritual forces
7. Created the first great art style of the Andes
C. The Olmecs in Mesoamerica
1. First advanced civilization emerged
around 1500 bce in central Mexico
a. Olmec meant “inhabitants of the land
of rubber”
2. First-generation, small-scale community
trying to create new political and economic institutions
a. Formed themselves into a loose confederation of villages
b. Traded with each other, shared a common language, and worshiped the same
3. Eventually the small villages came
together into a single culture that spread
its beliefs and influence throughout the
surrounding region
4. During village life, most Olmecs practiced
subsistence farming
a. Raised maize, beans, squash, and
5. Trade networks developed between villages for surplus produce, ceramic, and
precious goods used for ritual purposes
6. Cities as sacred centers
a. Religious and secular hubs used by surrounding hamlets
i. Specialized buildings such as
earthworks, platforms, palaces,
and plazas
a. Vassal labor built massive
central platform at San
ii. Courtyards contained sculpture
and artificial lagoons
b. No large permanent population
c. Worship of gods took place in the primary cities
60 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
i. Huge pits were used for giving
ii. Shamans
d. Olmec art reflected both the natural
and supernatural
i. Were-jaguar (part man, part animal) common figure in art
e. Ceremonial life revolved around agriculture and rain cycles
Cities as athletic hubs
a. Ball courts part of every city
i. Game played with a hard rubber
ii. Players memorialized in statuary
iii. Possible actual or ritualized sacrifice of players
b. Olmecs practiced human sacrifice and
ritual warfare
Humans, nature, and time
a. Olmec cosmology based on the relationship between natural and supernatural worlds
b. This belief led to investigation of the
natural world
i. Faith and science intertwined
A world of social distinctions
a. Olmecs had a complex social hierarchy
b. Priests and chieftains dominated the
highest social order
c. Though not outright militaristic, the
Olmec culture did become widespread
in the region
i. A merchant class seems to have
been heavily involved in the
export-import business
The loss of centers
a. Not clear why the Olmec culture declined
b. No single explanation accounts for the
abandonment of the religious centers
c. Olmec heritage was transmitted and
influenced other Mesoamericans as
new cultures came to prominence
V. Common cultures in sub-Saharan Africa
A. Four regional zones of population growth
evolved from the climatic changes
1. Sahara Desert
a. Supported pastoral people
b. Promoted contact between the northern and western parts of the continent
2. Sahel region
3. Sudanic savanna region
a. Grasslands
b. Home to many of West Africa’s
4. Western and central African rain forests
5. Distinct ways of life emerged in each area
B. Meroe: Between Sudanic Africa and Pharaonic
1. Meroe most developed of the Sudanic
a. Historically known as Nubia
2. One of the only areas known to peoples
outside of Africa
a. Had been in contact with and conquered through its history by Egypt
b. Also had strong connections to subSaharan Africa
3. Meroe established in the fourth century bce
a. Influenced by pharaonic culture
i. Wrote with hieroglyphs
ii. Erected pyramids
b. To prove autonomy from Egypt, moved
capital 300 miles upstream
c. Thriving center of production and
d. Walled city contained monumental
C. West African kingdoms
1. Settlements established along Niger River
by Mande peoples such as the Jenne and
2. Nok culture established in the sixth century bce
a. Taruga saw early iron smelting in 600
b. People moved from stone to iron use
c. Their technology and commodities
spread east and west
d. People from Nok migrated into central
African rain forests to farm
e. Nok best known for terra-cotta figurines discovered in the 1940s
3. Iron tools led to improved farming
a. More food could be grown
b. Supported larger communities
c. Population increases from 400 bce to
the new millennium
VI. Warring ideas in the Mediterranean world
A. Violent upheavals and chaos created new ways
of organizing second-generation societies
B. New thinking and new societies at the margins
Chapter 5
1. Seaborne peoples of the Mediterranean
Basin shared common traits
a. Carried goods and ideas that they shared
i. Maritime technology
a. New ships and sails allowed for
faster and easier sailing
b. Homer’s Odyssey recounts
maritime adventures
ii. Phoenician sailors may have circumnavigated African continent
and may have traveled even farther
C. A new world of city-states
1. With order restored in the ninth and
eighth centuries bce, independent, selfgoverning city-states were created
a. City-states characterized by familybased associations of citizens who
ruled collectively
b. Commercial centers managed
exchange and trade
2. Self-government and democracy
a. Known as qart (Phoenician), polis
(Greek), or civitas (Roman)
b. Not run by elites or by a strong central
c. “Citizens” of the city-states governed
themselves and selected their leaders
d. Self-government took many forms
i. Rule by popularly approved chief
called a tyrannos (tyrant)
ii. Rule by a few wealthy and powerful
citizens called oligoi (oligarchies)
iii. Rule by all free adult males called
a demokratia (democracy)
iv. City-states composed of adult male
citizens, other free persons, foreign
immigrants, and unfreed persons
v. Only adult free males had full citizenship rights
vi. Each city-state decided how to govern itself and make laws, so there
was much variety among them
3. Families as the foundational unit
a. Small family unit (oikos, household)
the most important social unit
b. Male centered; men ruled over
household (wife, children, and slaves)
c. Women had little public role
i. Those who carried on conversations in public were labeled hetairai (courtesans)
d. Spartan women exception
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 61
i. Exercised alongside men
ii. Held property in their own right
4. Competitions and war
a. Much competition and violent rivalries
within the city-state
b. Sparta the exception because of its
social organization of discipline and
military order
i. Sparta had no coined money or
chattel slavery
ii. Considered very unusual by other
c. Rivalries took the form of athletic
i. Olympic Games staged fi rst in
Olympia, Greece, in 776 bce
d. Frequent wars among the city-states
over land, trade, religion, and resources
i. Constant warfare helped in the
development of better military
equipment and battle tactics
a. Blocklike infantry formation
known as the phalanx (Greek)
ii. Peloponnesian War (431– 404
bce) longest and most destructive
fought between Athens and Sparta
iii. Wars among city-states made them
stronger against external forces
a. Athens able to defeat Persia in
fi fth century
D. Economic innovations and population
1. Free markets and money-based economies
a. Developed open trading markets and a
system of money
i. Used coins rather than barters or
gift exchange
ii. Coinage also used in Vedic South
Asia and Zhou China
2. Trade and colonization
a. Search for commodities and resources
led to widespread trade
b. Trade led to establishment of new citystates along western Mediterranean
and the Black Sea
c. Seaborne communication helped to
spread a common culture, especially
among the wealthy
i. Decorated chariots, elaborate
armor, high-class dinnerware,
ornate houses, and public burials
ii. Alphabetic script
62 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
iii. Market-based economy
iv. Private property
3. Chattel slavery
a. Human beings were bought and sold in
a system of chattel slavery
b. Used for labor, especially in dangerous
or exhausting tasks
c. Slaves became an essential part of the
new city-states
d. Trade network that developed made it
easier to buy and transport slaves
4. Encounters with frontier communities
a. Peoples to the north and west remained
isolated, and change came slowly
b. City-states exerted influence with their
growing trade networks
c. Tribal peoples often raided the citystates for wealth and commodities
i. Greeks mockingly called them
barbaroi (barbarians) because
they could not speak the Greek
ii. As Mediterranean empires grew
powerful, the tribes’ people were
imported as slaves
E. New ideas
1. Without a monarchy, priestly rule, or other
authority, ideas and beliefs were free to
rise, circulate, and clash
2. Naturalistic science and realistic art
a. Rather than seeing deities as controlling everything, inhabitants of citystates saw humans with more control of
their environment.
b. Art reflected naturalistic view of
humans and their place in the universe
c. Early art showed humans, objects, and
landscapes as artists saw them to be
d. Later artwork depicts humans in an
idealized way, especially the nude, the
centerpiece of Greek art
i. Public nudity in art and everyday
life showed a sharp break from
older moral codes
ii. Artists signed work
a. Vase painter Exekias
b. Sculptor Praxiteles
c. Poet Sappho
3. New thinking and Greek phi losophers
a. New thinkers influenced by ideas from
Southwest Asia
b. Many broke from looking at the role of
gods and instead looked to nature itself
c. Many had radical ideas that sound
somewhat modern and included atomic
theory, digital world, and religious
d. Public debate of ideas was done by philsophoi (phi losophers)
e. By fi fth century bce, debates focused
on humans and their place in the world
f. Following a time of intense warfare,
debate turned to trying to describe an
ideal city
i. Three generations of Greek thinkers tackled that question and others
relating to the human experience
and governance
a. Socrates (469–399 bce)
b. Plato (427–347 bce)
c. Aristotle (384–322 bce)
VII. Conclusion
A. Former civilizations in the four great riverbasin areas gave way to second-generation societies that borrowed or invented new ways of
organizing their societies
B. Warring states in China and the Mediterranean as well as dissident thinkers in South Asia
developed alternative ways of thinking about
C. Isolated from other societies, Olmecs developed their own complex societies that would
later influence future civilizations such as the
D. Africa saw the emergence of new secondgeneration cultures at Meroe and the Nok
E. Around the Mediterranean Sea, new social
forms took shape in city-states that led to farreaching ideas about the role of citizens in their
own destiny
Developing Codes of Ethics
When studying this period of spiritual crisis, students
should be clear about how each region chose to resolve its
crisis. Some parts of Eurasia, such as northern India,
reshaped Buddhism (Mahayana Buddhism) and sent
their monks to new territories to spread the idea of the
Way. China searched for a school of ethics that would
address political systems and life ethics. Eventually Confucianism, became the most important ethical code in
China. Even when applying other schools of thought, the
Chinese still looked to Confucianism for many of their
Chapter 5
basic tenets. A discussion of how these ethics were
applied, how they differed from religions in China, and
how they lived alongside religions will help to clarify what
is otherwise a confusing point (see p. 170). Refer to the
textbook and the Web site section in this instructor’s
manual for sources.
1. Compare and contrast the ways that each of the major
regions resolved their spiritual crisis. Are there similarities? What are the differences?
2. What cultural qualities do you think led each region
to evolve different solutions to the same kind of spiritual crisis?
3. Do you think one solution for the quest for knowledge
and ethics is more successful than another? Why?
Greek Epistemology
In Greece, as in the East, people were seeking answers to
the questions of life. There was a growing interest in
schools of learning and philosophy, some of the bestknown phi losophers being Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
From these roots grow some of the Judeo-Christian heritage that dominates Western epistemology today. A lecture on the lives of the phi losophers, their schools, and
what part of Greece they lived in (i.e., Dorian vs. Ionian)
would broaden students’ understanding of Greek society
and the underpinnings of modern philosophy. Finally, a
discussion of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and its relevance in shaping our search for truth, our perceptions
regarding progress, and how it affects our lives even today
is a valuable educational tool.
1. How do you see the early epistemologies influencing
the Western cultures today?
2. How does the “Allegory of the Cave” influence Western notions of truth and progress?
3. What did these early Greek phi losophers think of
women? What did they see women contributing to
Population Growth and the Desiccation
of the Sahara
Global climate changes and the threat of global warming
today have increased students’ interest in environmental
influences on humans and human influence on the environment. The desertification of the Sahara has caused
one of the most important migrations of people and animals in the world. Therefore, a lecture on the environmental history of the growing desiccation of the Sahara
Desert is very appropriate. These sources can help you
prepare a lecture on this topic:
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 63
The Fezzan Project 2001
Martin Claussen, Claudia Kubatzki, et al., “Sahara Simulation of an Abrupt Change of Saharan Vegetation in the
Fernand Braudel (1984), The Perspective of the World, vol.
3 of Civilization and Capitalism
Mark Villier and Sheila Hirtle (2007), “Space, Time, and
http://fi ndarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_6
1. What was causing the desertification?
2. Did the people living in the area try to fi nd ways to
stop it? Why did they not stop it?
3. Whom did it affect?
4. What animals disappeared because of it? What
5. How did animals and people that stayed in the regions
adapt to the new desert?
Kingdom of the Kush
It is useful to include the history of the kingdom known
at various periods as Nubia, Meroe, and Kush, and its
influence on people in the sub-Saharan region and Egypt
as well as the Egyptian influence on the Nubians. Include
information about why so little was known about the
Nubians until the late twentieth century. For example,
they were long an oral culture, but when the Hyksos
gained control of Egypt the new leaders actively removed
physical evidence of Nubian rule there. Later, a lack of
interest, and even disbelief, on the part of nineteenthcentury European explorers led them to ignore the achievements of black African civilizations. In the twentieth
century, the Aswan Dam project flooded sites that might
have been of archaeological importance, even though
UNESCO managed to move a few of the monuments.
Today, most of what is left of ancient Nubia lies in Sudan,
an area in the midst of civil confl ict and thus not accessible for excavation. The fi lm and accompanying book
Wonders of the African World can provide a useful introduction to this lecture, as can these Web sites on Nubia
and Meroe:
64 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
1. Why is so little known about the Nubians?
2. What characteristics did Nubians share with Egyptians? How did they diverge?
3. Why were Europeans in the nineteenth century disinterested in the Nubian Empire?
The Etruscans
The more we learn about the lives of the Etruscans, the
more we are aware of their contributions to many important attributes of the later Roman Empire. Introducing
the Etruscans in detail offers continuity to the flow of history instead of having it seem as if the Roman Empire
arose as a phoenix from the ashes. Students can see how
sharing cultural ideas and social assimilation were necessary for the development of such an important empire.
For example, the Etruscans were the fi rst to stage gladiatorial games, which they held to honor their ancestors.
The Romans continued this tradition but modified their
purpose as the empire grew. The story of Romulus and
Remus appears to have been borrowed from Etruscan
mythology, as was the famed bronze statue of the boys
suckling on their adoptive mother, the she-wolf. Many of
the Romans’ basic governmental roles, such as consuls
and senators, were initially aspects of Etruscan government. Some features of Etruscan society remained theirs
alone. Today we can still enter their burial mounds, or
necropoli, which contain beautiful murals circling the
interior walls. Etruscans were known for their skilled
bronzework and unique and intricate black pottery. With
these and other products, Etruscan merchants reached all
the Mediterranean ports, including Carthage, rivaling the
seacraft of the Greeks, Carthaginians, Sea People, and
others. A linen manuscript of their writing has even been
found; it was used as an embalming cloth for an Egyptian
mummy. For further information on the Etruscans, their
civilization, and their demise, see “Recommended Reading” at the end of this chapter as well as the following Web
The Etruscans
www.larth.it/index _eng.htm
The Mysterious Etruscans
1. What knowledge and technology were adopted by the
Romans from the Etruscans?
2. Why did the Etruscan civilization decline and
3. What do the structures of their burial mounds suggest about their beliefs in the afterlife?
Women in Early Civilizations
Compare and contrast the roles and agency of women
in society across different civilizations. For example, you
could look at the Greek colonies and/or mainland Greece,
Egypt and/or Nubia, and the Olmecs. You will fi nd some
surprising differences and similarities regarding family
structures and the value of women. Point out to students
that often we have information about upper-class women
only, even though in many instances lower-class women
retained more agency than did those in the upper classes.
The following sources can help to formulate this lecture
(see also “Recommended Reading”):
Diotima: Materials for the study of Women and Gender in
the Ancient World
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook .html
1. Why do you think upper-class women often had
fewer public rights than lower-class women? Are
there areas of life where the opposite is true; that is,
lower-class women had fewer rights than upper-class
2. What are some of the differences among the societies
Olmec Development
The Olmec worldview was very different from the worldviews evolving in Mesopotamia and India. Compare and
contrast these. See, for example, the textbook’s comment
that although they had no “urge to conquer or colonize,
the Olmecs nonetheless shaped the social development of
much of Mesoamerica.” Expand on this statement. Help
students understand how one civilization developed so
differently, while the rest of the world appeared to be
focused on expansion by might. A look at Olmec symbolism and iconography, such as the jaguar, multiple statues,
and the stone heads, offer clues for your students to begin
considering this question, which can be used as a focal
point for your lecture.
Olmec Civilizations
The Olmecs
1. Why do you think the Olmecs were not interested in
expansion as we see with other early civilizations?
Chapter 5
2. What clues can we surmise from the Olmec material
culture about their development?
3. How did the Olmecs help to shape the social development of much of Mesoamerica?
Chinese “Schools of Thought”
Provide your students with a Chinese moral tale. Either as
groups, individually, or as an entire class, ask them to discuss how each of the four Chinese major schools of thought
would have responded differently to the tale. The best way
to prepare them for this activity is to provide a matrix that
lays out some of the major qualities of each of the four philosophies so that they can then formulate a response.
Afterward, discuss their conclusions. Why did they come
to those conclusions? Why would different ethical codes
have evolved in China? What would have been necessary
for Confucianism or Legalism or some other school of
thought to become part of the fabric of society? Why is one
philosophy ultimately accepted and another not?
Below is an example of an ancient Chinese tale (from
Selected Chinese Myths and Fantasies, www.chinavista
.com/experience/story/story3.html#) that could be
used. You could also use a modern news story or event as
The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver
On the east bank of the Heavenly River [the Milky Way] lived a
girl weaver, daughter of the Emperor of Heaven. She worked
hard year in and year out, weaving colorful clothes for gods and
Since she lived all alone, the emperor took pity on her and
allowed her to marry the cowherd on the west bank of the river.
However, she stopped weaving after she was married. Greatly
outraged, the emperor forced the girl back across the river and
allowed her to join her husband only once a year.
—from Xiao Shuo (folk tale)
On the seventh day of each autumn, magpies would suddenly
become bald-headed for no obvious reasons at all. According to
legend, that day the cowherd and the weaver met on the east
bank of the river, and magpies were made to form a bridge for
them. And for this reason the down on their heads was worn out.
—from Er ya yi (Book of Plants and Animals)
Olmec and Mayan Long Count Calendar
In earlier chapters, exercises relating to culture’s concepts
of time are discussed. Use the exercise found at The Maya
Civilization, Mayan Numerals and Calendar (www.mexconnect .com/articles/1122 -the -maya-civilization-maya
-numerals-and-calendar) to expand on various methods
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 65
for measuring time and counting. The Mesoamerican
cultures had three calendars that were used for different
purposes. The one used at this Web site is the Long
Count, thought to have been started by the Olmecs and
later used by the Mayans. Students will need a calculator
and can do this either as a homework exercise or in class.
The author of this site, Luis Dumois, explains the Mayan
system of counting to allow students to translate dates
from a primary source, the Leyden Stone. He also makes
comparisons to other, earlier dating systems. Once students have translated the date and then made the calculations to translate those dates into Gregorian dates, discuss
the process and the differences in the measurement of
time. Are students surprised by how close the Mayan
yearly calendar is to modern astronomy’s measurement of
Duration of year:
Modern astronomy
Julian calendar year
Gregorian calendar year
Mayan calendar year
365.2422 days
365.2500 days
365.2425 days
365.2420 days
If you don’t want to ask students to perform the complicated calculation suggested on Dumois’s Web site, ask
them to write their age and their street address number as
a way to get a better understanding of what was involved
in using this system. Discuss what numeric system seems
easier: Mayan or Arabic? Do you think that early explorers took the time to discover that the Mayans had a
numeric system, or would they have assumed the Mayans
were ignorant?
For further information about the calendars of the
Mesoamerican cultures, refer to:
Mesoamerican Calendars
Chinese Crafts
Some Chinese trade items were created (celadon) or
refi ned (lacquerware) during this period. Both continue
to be popu lar across the world, yet most people have no
knowledge of their history, what is involved in how they
are made, or, in the instance of lacquerware, even what it
is made of. This chapter provides a perfect opportunity to
show students the level of technical advancement and creativity present 2,000 years ago in China and also teach
them about the technical aspects of two relatively common products. Because they are fairly inexpensive today,
bring to class as many lacquerware and celadon products
as you can. With lacquer you can fi nd multiple styles and
66 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
kinds, including boxes, vases, chopsticks, barrettes, and
bracelets. With celadon, the options will be more standard; you may have plates, bowls, vases, napkin rings,
statuary, or other forms of dishware. Create two sheets
with images that describe how lacquerware and celadon are made, and set up work stations with the actual
items and the information sheets. Then provide students with a worksheet with questions regarding the
products. The goal is to explore the products, read the
informational sheets, and fi nd the answers. Sometimes
answers are purely speculative based on the best evidence. Developing open- ended questions encourages
their critical thinking skills. Encourage students to fi nd
the answers together; this is a form of group work that
feels less onerous but also helps to improve group skills.
As examples of questions, consider these possibilities
for lacquerware:
During the Neolithic period, the Chinese learned to
fi re pots, jars, and urns very early, just as did other civilizations. However, at around the same time they also
learned how to make these items into other, more sophisticated media much earlier than any other civilization.
The Chinese began to utilize vessels made from materials other than clay, wood, or stone. One example was the
creation of lacquerware, a long and complex process of
forming and decorating vessels. What do you fi nd interesting about this process? Why do you think they were
driven to create a technology that was both an art form
and functional? Why would they have continued using
this process, since it was so time consuming?
You can fi nd detailed information on the lacquerware
process at:
Lacquerware of East Asia
For celadon, see:
When Did Real Chinese Porcelain Emerge?
Chinese Porcelain
=pottery _porcelain&centerName=porcelain
The Olympic Games
The history of the Olympic Games can provide a way to
draw political, geographic, material, gender, and social
history into a lecture. Students fi nd this topic very interesting. It also works well with a later lecture on the Roman
gladiatorial games and other worldviews, again providing
you with the opportunity to enhance deep, whole-body
learning. Explain the foundation of the games, their purpose, for whom the games were played, who was allowed
to play, and the consequences for those who lost. Not all
the games were held with the same frequency. For example, the Isthmos Games were played every 2 years at the
Isthmos of Corinth, whereas the Pythian Games occurred
every 4 years near Delphi. Many students will not understand that the games at Olympia—the Olympic Games—
were only one of the games held in Greece, not the game.
You can point out on a map exactly where Mount Olympus is, why this game was so important, and that it was
intended to honor the god of gods, Zeus. Images of the
locations in which many of the events were held are useful
tools. A discussion of the different events according to
class, such as horse races, is also helpful. The duration of
the games evolved over time from a single day to approximately 5 days. You can provide students with the general
schedule and list of events, pointing out that the games
were only for men; women were not allowed to participate
or view the competition. For more information, see the
The Ancient Olympics
Brief History of the Olympic Games
1. What role did sports play in Greek society? How is
that different from the Olympic Games today?
2. Why weren’t women allowed to participate or compete in the games? In what other aspects of life were
Greek women limited?
■ Enigma of the Etruscans: Clues from a Shipwreck (50 min.).
Until the last 10 to 20 years, little was known about the
Etruscans. Even today, little time is set aside to teach about
them. This fi lm provides an opportunity to add information about the Etruscans, who influenced the Celts and
many other groups along the Mediterranean coast. They
also greatly influenced the development of Roman civilization. This fi lm shows the excavation of the fi rst Etruscan
ship to be discovered, a rare fi nd given that they once had
the strongest merchant fleet on the Mediterranean Sea.
The program documents the salvaging of the ship and
details many of the civilization’s contributions.
■ The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization (1997, 165 min.).
Created by PBS and narrated by Liam Neeson, this exceptional documentary covers all aspects of ancient Greek
society and has an interactive Web site:
Chapter 5
You can easily break the video into segments according to
your area of focus. For example, there is a strong section
on philosophy in which Plato and Socrates (using computer generation) teach the viewer about the foundations of
Western philosophy. In addition, the documentary includes
sections on Greek architecture, art, and theater; the Peloponnesian Wars; and the battle of Marathon. There is also a
segment on democracy, Athens, and Pericles.
■ The First Emperor of China (1989, 42 min.). This interactive laserdisc and multimedia CD-ROM allows you to
explore with your students the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi.
It covers the initial excavation, the history of the Qin
dynasty and the emperor, and the tomb itself. This is the
best way to introduce students to one of the greatest archaeological finds of the twentieth century as it contains probably the most complete information in the West. To access
this and other data, sign up at the free Global Memory Net
site (www.memorynet.org/home.php; you must register
for free to use this site) sponsored by the National Science
Foundation. The Emperor Collection consists of over
4,000 selected images on the emperor’s 7,000-plus terracotta warriors and horses.
■ Hero (2003, 99 min., subtitled). Set just after Qin Shihuangdi’s unification of the seven kingdoms under the
kingdom of Qin (230–221 bce), this martial arts,
historical-fiction fi lm can be used to show a number of
themes. The ruthlessness of the emperor of Qin is fi rst
and foremost. The scenery allows you to draw your students into early China’s urban areas, village settings, and
raw frontier. The paranoia that China’s fi rst emperor
manifests in the fi lm appears to be accurate. This could
allow you to discuss some of the more radical changes he
enacted, perhaps in an attempt to protect what he had
achieved: the unification of Chinese culture; the standardization of a written language, currency, weights, and
measures; beginning the Great Wall of China; and public
book burnings and mass executions. This fi lm plays out
Confucian morality with themes of loyalty over love,
trust, betrayal, and revenge.
■ The Immortal Emperor: Shihuangdi (1996, 50 min.). A
great deal of this documentary focuses on the amazing
structure that is the tomb of Shihuangdi and the 7,000-plus
terra-cotta statues placed there to protect and care for him
in the afterlife. The film provides an entrée into a discussion
of the structure of Chinese society in the time of the Qin.
■ In
the Footsteps of Alexander the Great: Parts 1–3
(240 min.). This series is narrated by Michael Wood. In
the Footsteps of Alexander the Great attempts to retrace
Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
◆ 67
Alexander and his army’s march toward empire from
Macedonia, when Alexander took the crown after his
father’s death and beyond the point where his soldiers
threatened mutiny at the Indus River and he agreed to
return homeward. Using small boats, camels, and various other modes of transportation, Wood explores the
vast reaches that Alexander crossed. We begin to understand Alexander in all his complexity as a man-child, a
phi losopher, a ruler, a warrior, and sometimes even a
humanitarian. You can choose any portion of these fi lms
to augment your lectures, since so much of the story line
is about the blending of histories and cultures. Consider
the lectures before and after when deciding which segment to use.
■ Alexander: Feature film (167 min.). This feature film is a
visually stunning account of the life of Alexander. Students tend to respond to the exceptional visuals presented
in a fi ne feature fi lm much more than a dry documentary.
The section on the Battle of Gaugamela includes dramatic
examples of the Hoplite Phalanx, weaponry, Persian warfare versus Greek battle tactics, and Alexander’s brilliant
abilities as a world-class general. In 10 minutes, one can
bring all of the important elements to life in a way that
many documentaries cannot in an hour.
■ In the Footsteps of the Celts (52 min.). Celtic influence
spread across ancient Europe. We continue to discover new
sites where it left its mark. This fi lm describes the discovery
of a Celtic necropolis along the planned path of a highspeed train line in eastern France. The discovery forced a
stop to construction, and the location turned into a major
archaeological dig. Within this framework, the producers
attempt to tell the viewers a little about who the Celts were,
what their lives were like, and what they contributed to the
world. They trail the nomadic Celts across Europe, unearthing other sites and revealing that the Celts reached a generally unexpected level of sophistication. The fi lm also shows
us links between the Celts and the Etruscans as well as evidence of a developed knowledge of mathematics.
■ India: The Empire of the Spirit (55 min.). See description
in Chapter 2, “Recommended Films.” In a brief section in
this fi lm, Wood discusses the global “crisis of spirit” that
seems to give rise to men and movements such as Ashoka
and Mahayana Buddhism, Jesus Christ, Plato, and Aristotle. It provides a good opening to this chapter and theme.
■ Mesoamerica: The Rise and Fall of the City-States (2001,
27 min.). This documentary was fi lmed on location.
Instead of focusing on one culture, it briefly explores the
Maya, Toltec, and Aztec cultures. With expert commentary and 3D computer imagery, the fi lm can be a good
introduction to this area of history.
68 ◆ Chapter 5 Worlds Turned Inside Out, 1000–350 bce
■ Wonders of the African World: Black Kingdoms of the Nile
and the Swahili Coast (120 min. in two 60-minute segments). See the description in “Recommended Films,”
Chapter 2. For this chapter, consider the portion of the
PBS series called Black Kingdoms of the Nile. The section
on Nubia is about 20 minutes long. It includes an accompanying book and a useful Web site: www.pbs.org/won
ders/index .html.
Jeanne Achterberg, 1990. Woman as Healer.
Fernand Braudel, 1984. The Perspective of the World.
Fernand Braudel, 2002. Memory and the Mediterranean.
Karen Olsen Bruhns and Karen E. Stothert, 1999. Women
in Ancient America.
J. D. Fage, 2001. A History of Africa.
Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel
Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, and H. Alan Shapiro,
1994. Women in the Classical World.
Sybille Haynes, 2000. Etruscan Civilization: A Cultural
Simon James, 1999. The Atlantic Celts: Ancient People or
Modern Invention?
Mark Edward Lewis, 2007. The Early Chinese Empires:
Qin and Han (History of Imperial China).
Furst McKeever and Jill Leslie, 1995. The Natural History
of the Soul in Ancient Mexico.
Carol Meyers, Toni Craven, and Ross S. Kraemer, eds.,
2000. Women in Scripture.
Sarah B. Pomeroy. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves:
Women in Classical Antiquity.
Ralph D. Sawyer, 1993. The Seven Military Classics of
Ancient China: Including The Art of War.
Curtis F. Schaafsma and Carroll L. Riley, eds., 1999. The
Casas Grandes World.
Gene S. Stuart and George E. Stuart, 1993. Lost Kingdoms
of the Maya.
Susan Whitfield, 2001. Life along the Silk Road.
Africa South of the Sahara
Links to information across Africa
Ancient Mesoamerican Civilizations
Excellent sites with a wide range of information set up in
a way that makes comparisons across groups easy
www.angelfi re.com/ca/humanorigins/
The Classical Chinese Philosophy Page
Good overview of the major schools of thought with
resources and historical context
Diotima: Materials for the Study of Women and Gender in
the Ancient World
The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization
An interactive Web site on Greek civilization that supports the aforementioned documentary
Internet Women’s History Sourcebook: Greece
Provides primary documents relevant to ancient women’s
lives, divided according to region and period
The Mysterious Etruscans
Detailed site
New Tomb at Teotihuacan
Excellent images and architectural renderings of tomb
Excellent site with multiple images
Olmec Civilization
Brief historical introduction with images
The Sport of Life and Death and the MesoAmerican Ball
Site is for younger students but is fi lled with valuable
information and easy to use
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World,
350 bce–250 ce
▶ Political Expansion and Cultural Diff usion
▶ The Emergence of a Cosmopolitan World
Conquests of Alexander the Great
Alexander’s Successors and the Territorial
Hellenistic Culture
Jewish Resistance to Hellenism
The Hellenistic World and the Beginnings of the
Roman Empire
Economic Changes: Plantation Slavery and MoneyBased Economies
Converging Influences in Central and South Asia
Influences from the Mauryan Empire
The Seleucid Empire and Greek Influences
This chapter begins with Alexander the Great and his
conquests. Alexander’s military forces carried with them
Greek institutions and culture. Greek language was the
core of Hellenistic culture. But the Greeks also met indigenous peoples who retained their own cultures. Through
Alexander’s conquests, two broad movements, Hellenism
and Buddhism, linked the diverse populations of the
Afro-Eurasian landmass. Cross-cultural exchange took
place throughout the world, especially in South Asia.
Buddhism was transformed and transported as people
connected West to East through a series of trade routes
that became known as the Silk Road. In addition to overland trade, sailors took to the seas to expand commerce.
Many of the world’s regions, from China to Africa,
became more internally integrated.
I. Political expansion and cultural diff usion
A. Alexander the Great’s armies linked a new Hellenistic world to many other regions.
1. Did not eradicate local culture but linked
it or changed it
The Kingdom of Bactria and the Yavana Kings
Nomadic Influences of Parthians, Sakas, and
The Transformation of Buddhism
India as a Spiritual Crossroads
The New Buddhism: The Mahayana School
Cultural Integration
The Formation of the Silk Road
Nomads, Frontier, and Trade Routes
Early Overland Trade and Caravan Cities
The Western End of the Silk Road: Palmyra
Reaching China along the Silk Road
The Spread of Buddhism along the Trade Routes
Taking to the Seas: Commerce on the Red Sea and
Indian Ocean
a. Culturally Greek-oriented communities across Afro-Eurasia
2. Hellenism brought worlds together
3. Did not lead to a single common culture
except in Greek city-states where cultures
had common features
a. Language
b. Art
c. Drama
d. Politics
e. Philosophy
4. Like “Americanization” in the modern
B. Alexander’s conquests laid the foundation for
state systems
1. Those systems protected and stabilized
2. Larger trade routes, such as the Silk Road,
C. Worlds had been linked before Alexander,
especially through migration, trade, and technological diff usion
70 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
1. Alexander followed preexisting paths
2. His conquests expanded and accelerated
the links between world regions
3. Buddhist influence also spread with the
new contacts
D. Interconnections of trade and cultural diff usion enhanced regional integration
1. Created new contacts and restimulated old
2. Long-distance caravans and sea voyages
II. The emergence of a cosmopolitan world
A. Conquests of Alexander the Great
1. Alexander from Macedonia, a frontier
state of Greece
2. Between 334 and 323 bce, commanded a
mobile and technologically advanced army
3. Macedonia used gold resources and money
from slave trade to build a powerful army
a. Heavily armored infantry
b. Tight phalanxes and large-scale shock
4. Alexander’s father fi rst conquered surrounding areas
5. Alexander took over and fought off the
Persian Empire’s invasion in 334 bce
6. Used speed and surprise to conquer new
7. Campaigns smashed barriers that had separated East and West
a. Alexander married Roxana, a woman
from Bactria
b. He established a capital in the East at
c. The conquests brought systems of
monetary exchange and cultural ideas
associated with Greek city-states
d. Money taken from Persia redistributed
throughout Mediterranean city-states
B. Alexander’s successors and the territorial
1. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 bce at
age 32
2. His conquered lands fragmented, and his
generals took over regions
a. Modeled themselves on regional rulers
rather than Greek citizens
b. Brought the idea of absolute rulership
to the region
c. Some women from powerful ruling
families had a chance to rule, unlike in
the Greek city-states
i. Berenice of Egypt (320–280 bce)
ii. Cleopatra (30s bce)
d. Large territorial states emerged
i. Syria
ii. Macedonia
iii. Egypt
e. In other places, smaller states banded
together to form confederations
3. Political states became bigger and more
a. Expanded by integrating neighboring
peoples as fellow subjects
b. Warfare continued on a larger and
more complex scale
c. Parity between large states meant that
the battles gained little for anyone
d. Diplomacy and treaties replaced fighting
C. Hellenistic culture
1. Common culture included language, artistic style, and politics
a. Secular disciplines
b. Philosophical and political thinking
c. Popu lar entertainment
d. Public games
e. Art for art’s sake
2. Throughout the conquered areas, evidence of Greek culture can be found
3. Some places resisted, whereas others
embraced the spread of Hellenistic culture
a. Carthaginians helped spread the Greek
4. Common language
a. Common (koine) Greek became the
international language of the day
b. Benefited communication and exchange
throughout the Afro-European world
5. Cosmopolitan cities
a. Alexandria in Egypt exemplified the
new city
i. Multiethnic due to in-migration
ii. New urban culture emerged
iii. Art needed to appeal to a broad
a. Plays began to have common
plots and stock characters
iv. Residents of cities thought of
themselves as cosmopolitans (citizens of the universe rather than
just of one polis)
v. Rulers took on a personality that
set them apart from regular
Chapter 6
vi. A cult of the self became part of
the Hellenistic world
6. Philosophy and religion
a. Individuals expressed their concern
with self in many ways
b. Different phi losophers promoted new
i. Some emphasized nature, but others rejected old ways, such as traditional social status
a. Diogenes
b. Epicurus
c. Zeno—Stoicism
c. Religion was also transformed through
i. The cult of Isis was revived from
the pharaonic days
ii. New religious beliefs and rituals
were practiced
7. Hellenism and the elites
a. Elites began to embrace Hellenism for
status reasons
b. Romans borrowed from the Greeks,
especially historical writing
D. Jewish resistance to Hellenism
1. Jews had a long history of resistance to foreign rule
2. Although some Jews, especially elites,
embraced Greek culture, others resisted
3. Rebellion occurred when Syrian overlords
tried to forbid Jewish practices
E. The Hellenistic world and the beginnings of
the Roman Empire
1. City-state along Tiber River unites
2. Rome became large territorial state
3. Adoption of Greek culture seen as
4. Some elites resisted acceptance of Greek
a. Cato the Elder kept old ways while
embracing new ones
F. Carthage
1. Carthage adopted Hellenism on economic
2. Trade expanded to southern France and
West Africa
3. Carthaginians also known by Romans as
4. Temples and public buildings reveal a
hybrid nature of Hellenistic with Punic
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
◆ 71
G. Economic changes: Plantation slavery and
money-based economies
1. Unprecedented wealth in the Mediterranean world led to the establishment of
large plantations worked by slaves
a. Slaves were peoples either kidnapped
or conquered in warfare
b. Plantations devoted to producing surplus crops
c. Free peasants were displaced to the
already crowded cities
d. Slave uprisings between 135 and 70 bce
i. Eunus, a religious seer
ii. Spartacus
2. Use of money for trade became widespread
from Gaul to North Africa
a. Many different places began to coin
their own money
3. Some areas on the fringes of the Mediterranean world sold their own people into
slavery for money to purchase desirable
III. Converging influences in central and South Asia
A. Influences from the Mauryan Empire
1. Alexander’s occupation of the Indus Valley
led to the rise of the Mauryan Empire
2. Chandragupta Maurya led the Magadha
kingdom to control much of the northern
part of the peninsula
3. Mauryan Empire became fi rst large-scale
empire in South Asia and a model for later
a. Chandragupta ruled 321–297 bce
b. Used elephants in battle
4. Seleucid kingdom and Mauryan Empire
reached a diplomatic agreement through
trade and marriage
a. Megasthenes sent as ambassador to
i. Wrote Indica
ii. Depicted society in detail
5. Mauryan Empire reached its territorial
height during reign of Ashoka (Chandragupta’s grandson)
a. Dynasty’s last campaign against
b. Terrible loss of life (100,000 soldiers
killed; 150,000 people displaced)
c. Ashoka issued an edict renouncing his
brutal ways
6. Ashoka’s Buddhism influenced his rule
72 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
a. Built stupas (Buddhist dome
b. Ruled according to the dhamma, or
c. Issued edicts and decrees in various
languages, including Greek
d. Art created during Ashoka’s rule
showed the blending of Greek, Persian,
and Indian cultures
B. The Seleucid Empire and Greek influences
1. A large number of Alexander’s eastern outposts became major Greek cities.
2. Seleucus Nikator (312–281 bce) took over
the eastern conquests of Alexander and
expanded them, including Mesopotamia,
Syria, and Persia
3. Greek soldiers settled in the conquered lands
a. Took local wives
b. Brought Greek ways to the local
c. Greek language and writing
d. Descendants grew up bilingual
C. The kingdom of Bactria and the Yavanna kings
1. Hellenistic influences increased in later
2. Bactrian kingdom was a bridge between
South Asia and the Greek world of the
3. Greek king Demetrius invaded India
200 bce
a. His generals extended the empire
b. Known as the Yavanna kings
4. Material culture of the ancient city of
Samarkand shows Greek influences
a. Administrative center
b. Greek architecture and art
c. Elite read poetry and philosophy
d. Worshiped Greek deities, Zoroastrian
gods, and gods of Mesopotamia
5. Asian cities combined Asian culture with
Greek culture
a. Temples showed cultural assimilation
with foreign gods, wearing Greek garb
b. Greeks brought olives and vineyards
c. Coins had Greek inscriptions
6. Menander, a city-state king, provides the
best example of mingling Greek and Indian
D. Nomadic influences of Parthians, Sakas, and
1. Invasions into central Asia weakened Hellenic influence
a. Parthians invaded Iran in 130 bce
i. Became enemies of the Romans
for 400 years
ii. Greek commentators discuss the
iii. Eastern frontier of Rome continued to trade even during wartime
b. Nomadic people from Mongolia and
central Asia migrated to India
i. Took over the disintegrating
empires of Alexander and Ashoka
ii. Abandoned equestrian, nomadic
iii. Blended Greek and Buddhist
c. The Xiongnu, a tribal confederacy,
emerged in East Asian steppe lands
i. Pushed the Saka tribes into southwest India
ii. Parthians also entered Indus Valley
iii. Lacked a writing system but imitated rulers who had drawn on
Greek culture
d. The Sakas became the new central
Asian rulers
e. The Yuezhi-Kushans most dynamic
group to migrate
i. Unified all the tribes in the region
ii. Established the Kushan dynasty
iii. Played critical role in the formation of the Silk Road
iv. Illiterate but adopted Greek as
their official language
f. The Kushan rulers kept alive the influences of Hellenism in Afghan istan and
northwestern India
i. Coins, weights, and measures at
markets all based on Greek
g. Nomadic group continued to set themselves apart from locals through their
dress and their equestrian skills
i. Horses became the most prestigious
status symbol of the ruling elite
ii. Began to consume exotic goods
from the East
h. Successful rule of the Kushans stabilized the trade routes through central
IV. The transformation of Buddhism
A. India as a spiritual crossroads
Chapter 6
1. India became a melting pot of ideas and
2. Hellenism, nomadism, and Arab seafaring
culture transformed India’s Buddhism
3. Kushan rulers established a model of supporting and embracing local religions
a. Gave money to build shrines and to the
b. Buddhism changed as India’s growing
prosperity led to wealth in the monastic
i. Buddhist monasteries open to the
public as places of worship
B. The new Buddhism: The Mahayana school
1. New influences led to a new Buddhist
school of theology, Mahayana
2. Ended debate over Buddha’s status
3. Mahayana school said that Buddha was a
4. Religious tenets of Mahayana Buddhism
more appealing to the average person
a. Bodhisattvas prepared the way and
helped others reach “Buddha-lands”
b. Afterlife much more appealing
5. Mahayana (Great Vehicle) view was that it
could help all individuals from a life of suffering into a happy existence
a. Avolokiteshvara (a bodhisattva) said he
would stay and help guide those who
traveled in caravans or navigated ships
6. New ideas of Buddhism appeared in
a. Asvaghosa wrote a biography of Buddha with new fictive information,
which became widely read
C. Cultural integration
1. First-century bce texts showed colorful
images of Buddha that were later used in
creating art depicting the Buddha
2. Stupas and shrines, as well as sculpture,
showed the Buddha
3. The various depictions of Buddha
reflected the local culture
a. Gandharan Buddhist art shows strong
Greek and Roman artistic influences
4. Art shared common elements of giving the
Buddha and bodhisattvas realistic human
5. Buddhist art depicted a society of diverse
6. Long-distance and regional trade contributed to the transformation of Buddhism
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
◆ 73
a. Traders brought incense and jewels that
went to the bodhisattvas and stupas
b. Monastic organizations treated traders
c. Commodities became sacred to
V. The formation of the Silk Road
A. The Silk Road follows earlier trade routes
established between China and central Asia
1. New route expanded trade from central
Asia to Mediterranean
2. Traders traveled specific segments of the
3. Waterways also became a way for longdistance trade
a. Better maritime technology allowed
sailors to move away from coasts and
trade across the Indian Ocean
B. Expansion of commerce and contacts between
the Mediterranean and South Asia encouraged
even more trade
1. Traders on camels or in ships brought
commodities to market
2. Trade strengthened ongoing political,
intellectual, and spiritual shift
C. Long-distance exchanges altered the political
geography of Afro-Eurasia
1. Long-standing empires like Egypt gave way
to borderland regions, which formed their
own empires through the commerce of trade
2. “Middle East” became the commercial
middle ground between East and West
3. East Asia became connected to the West
via central and South Asia
a. Silk, from the Greek and Roman name
for the people of northwest China
D. Nomads, frontiers, and trade routes
1. Long-distance trade routes developed
from the ways of horse-riding nomads
a. Developed in response to the drying
out of their homelands
2. Their constant movement exposed them
to a greater variety of microbes and made
them more immune than sedentary people
3. Steppe nomads were skillful archers on
4. Served as cultural mediators to bring disparate Afro-Eurasian world together
5. Xiongnu nomads became powerful in
China with their knowledge of metal technology and weapons
74 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
a. The Silk Road connected the Mediterranean and the Pacific Ocean
E. Early overland trade and caravan cities
1. Trade routes moved south and west
2. Caravan cities developed
a. Formed in strategic locations
b. Centers of Hellenistic culture
i. Wrote in Greek and sometimes
spoke Greek
c. Many emerged at the northern end of a
route that led through Arabia
i. Yemen—green at the end of the
a. Major gathering spot for spice
ii. Sabaeans of Arabia became very
wealthy from spice trade, especially frankincense and myrrh
iii. Nabataeans were traders
a. Made money in water and food
trade to travelers
d. Nabataeans built a rock city called
Petra as a trading post
i. Many Greek influences including
an amphitheater carved out of the
ii. Flourished until Romans took
F. The western end of the Silk Road: Palmyra
1. With Petra’s decline, Palmyra became the
most important caravan city at the western
end of the Silk Road
2. Roman citizens relied on Palmyra traders
to get luxury goods
3. Local tribal chiefs had a good deal of local
a. Semitic dialect for daily life; Greek for
business and administration
b. Textiles important to the trade, especially silks and cashmere wool
4. Money from trade went to build an
impressive marble city in the desert
a. Afterlife apparently very important to
i. Cemetery as big as the residential
b. Hosted self-contained trading
G. Reaching China along the Silk Road
1. Silk in all its forms helped China grow rich
and gain an upper hand in diplomacy
2. Trade in silk increased as the demand for
the material increased
3. Around 300 bce, China increasingly produced commercial crops
a. Merchants formed influential family
lineages and guilds
4. Power shifted from agrarian elites into
urban fi nanciers and traders
a. Merchants expanded silk trade across
Silk Road and South China Sea
b. Tollgates and custom houses appeared,
but government also sought to facilitate
trade and used military ships to help
5. Silk was only one of many commodities
that went west
6. No major ports developed in China that
compared with places such as Palmyra
H. The spread of Buddhism along the trade routes
1. Monks spread religion along the same
trade routes that goods traveled
a. Buddhism the most expansionist religion of the time
b. Monks from the Kushan Empire spread
Buddhism all the way to China
i. Buddhist texts translated into
c. Acceptance of Buddhism was slow and
took several centuries
2. Buddhism did less well spreading to the
VI. Taking to the seas: Commerce on the Red Sea and
Indian Ocean
A. Land routes were tried and true, but had risks
of robbers and limits in what could be carried
B. Arabs took risks and began to trade more by
sea routes
1. Arab seafarers used the Indian Ocean to
forge links between East Africa, the Mediterranean, India, and Asia
2. Alexandria became a transit point for trade
between East and West
3. Used new navigational techniques
a. Celestial bearings
b. Large ships (dhows)
c. Understood seasonal winds
4. Maritime knowledge reduced costs and
multiplied the ports of call
C. Some historians argue that there were two silk
roads: one by land and one by sea
VII. Conclusion
A. Alexander’s campaigns had a powerful effect
on Afro-Eurasia, transforming its culture, governments, and economies
Chapter 6
B. The Greek language and other aspects of
Greek culture had long-lasting effects throughout South and central Asia
C. Indigenous people embraced some aspects of
the Greek culture and merged them with their
own, especially in the case of religion
D. Influenced by nomads, invaders, and traders,
India became a melting pot of ideas and cultures
E. Buddhism was transformed into a new, more
accepted version
F. Commercial trade routes expanded with the
trade of silks and spices on land and sea
Comparing Worldviews
Greek and Roman worldviews appear very similar on the
surface, and in some regards they are. However, if you
begin to unpack the details of each culture, especially
through a comparison of their major forms of public
entertainment, then you begin to see some subtle but significant differences regarding worldviews. A lecture on
worldviews analyzed through the Olympic Games and
the gladiator games provides a great deal of information
about all aspects of these two societies, from population
structures to what was valued in each society to women’s
agency. You can help students think about each society’s
views about competition, honor, class structure, pluralism,
perspectives on the future, and empowerment. Gather
clues to all of these themes and others from information
and analysis of the games. A discussion of both forms of
entertainment is something that students really enjoy. You
can fi nd more information on Roman games at:
Gladiators: Heroes of the Roman Amphitheatre
Roman Gladiatorial Games
atr/index .htm
For Greece, see:
The Ancient Olympics
The Real Story of the Ancient Olympics
1. What differences can you perceive in Greek and
Roman worldviews based on their games?
2. Were their attitudes about the future and hopefulness
about their lives the same?
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
◆ 75
3. Did they feel equally empowered and for the same
4. How do these general attitudes manifest themselves
in the games and in other aspects of Greek and Roman
culture with which you are familiar?
Alexander the Great
Although the text goes into detail regarding the lands that
Alexander the Great conquered, there is little actual discussion about who Alexander was: what kind of leader he
was; how he was trained to take over from his father, Phillip II; and how he inspired his soldiers to create such a
massive empire in a brief span of time. Alexander made
many brilliant military and political decisions; he was
driven and obsessive, traits that may have contributed to
his early demise. Help students understand how one man
could lead Greece into the forefront of the Western world,
creating influences that still shape our world today. See
the “Recommended Films” and “Recommended Reading” sections, the map exercises, as well as the following
Web sites for further details:
Alexander the Great
http://1stmuse.com/frames/index .html
Large Map of Empire of Alexander the Great
This has an excellent map that includes his military
1. What do you think influenced Alexander the most in
his early life and led him to become the visionary he
2. How did the burgeoning Greek philosophy influence
Alexander throughout his life? What decisions can
you directly connect to his early teacher?
3. What do you think made him a strong leader and military strategist?
Ashoka and the Growth of Buddhism
Base a lecture on Ashoka and his unique perspective on
pluralism, Buddhism, and peace and tolerance. Lead into
the lecture by discussing the formation of the Mauryan
Empire by Chandragupta Maurya, followed by the crowning of his grandson Ashoka. The theme of peace is important to students today, and surveys show an increased
interest in social activism. Ashoka exemplifies an early
form of activism. When Ashoka became ruler, he was
ruthless about quashing internal unrest, instituting swift
capital punishment for even minor infractions. Show how
76 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
a seminal event in Ashoka’s life appeared to have altered
his perspective on leading the empire—the brutal decimation of the Kalinga people. This war was a turning
point, and the cultural and spiritual flowering that followed is attributed to his changing leadership. In addition, due to Ashoka’s political and personal support of
Buddhism, the religion flourished and grew enough in his
lifetime to ensure its place as one of the world’s universal
religions. For more lecture sources, see:
The Edicts of King Ashoka
These are his translated edicts; the site includes links.
You could also consider a lecture contrasting Ashoka
and Alexander as leaders. Both were very interested in
philosophy and culture, yet Ashoka renounced warfare.
Would Alexander have done the same if he had lived longer? Alexander met Chandragupta, Ashoka’s grandfather.
Explain how this meeting came about and the possible
impact it may have had on the empire.
1. Why were the Ashokan pillars important? Does the
pillars’ placement suggest anything about the level
of literacy in the empire or at least attitudes about
2. What impact do you believe Ashoka had on the development of Buddhism? Why do you think there was a
decline in popularity of Buddhism after Ashoka’s death?
3. What policies, if any, did Ashoka invoke that supported tolerance and peace?
The Silk Road
One of the single most important discoveries during this
time, which influenced the shrinking of the Afro-Eurasian
world, was the discovery of the Ganzu Corridor by Zhang
Qian. This route allowed for the development of the overland Silk Road route. A lecture could include the life of
Zhang Qian, his discovery of the Ganzu Corridor, the
geography that made it so unique, and the travails
involved in crossing this im mense area of land. This lecture needs to be a combination of fields such as history,
geography, geology, and environmental science. Providing multiple visual aids for this lecture is useful because it
allows students to begin to understand the variety of cultures and landscapes that encompass the Silk Road. The
journey was so im mense, with dramatic differences in terrain and climate, that few people had the experience or
wherewithal to cross the entire 3,500-mile path. Students
have probably never thought about the fact that merchants had to plan for purchasing water or consider what
time of year to begin the trek so as to safely cross the
mountains before the snows. Caravanserais alone provide
myriad details on which to create a lecture. For more
details, see the “Recommended Reading” and “Web Sites”
sections. Also, see the “Class Activities” section for information on how to create a class activity that can be used in
conjunction with the lecture.
1. What items were traded along the Silk Road? (Think
beyond tangible commodities.)
2. What are some of the difficulties that traders had to
anticipate when trading along the Silk Road?
3. Why and when was the name “Silk Road” coined?
The Mogao Temples at Dunhuang
Dunhuang marked a physical and spiritual oasis on the
edge of the treacherous Taklimakan Desert. Exhausted
and parched travelers were grateful to have survived the
desert leg of the Silk Road or were preparing in anxious
anticipation to begin their journey through the desert.
Either way, this location became an important point of
pilgrimage as the travelers prayed for thanksgiving or
deliverance. The large sandstone cliff s on the outskirts
of Dunhuang became a beehive of Buddhist grotto temples tended by devout monks. Merchants made frequent
monetary gifts to the Buddhist monks at the Mogao
Temples, leading to the creation of one of the artistic
wonders of the world. The resulting art—a blend of Hellenistic, Indian, and Chinese styles—beautifully represents the connection of Eastern and Western cultures.
There is much to discuss with students regarding these
temples: the rigors of the trip, the artwork itself, the
growth of Buddhism, the function of bodhisattvas,
Mahayana Buddhism, the contributions of the passing
pilgrims and monks, the role of nineteenth-century
Eu ropean explorers in the rediscovery of the temples,
and the latest discoveries of ancient texts there. More
information regarding Dunhuang is fi nally becoming
available. See:
The Silk Road and Central Asia on the World Wide Web
link .htm
The image database Artstor contains over 1,000
museum-quality photographs available for use. Check with
your library to see if your school has a user’s license:
www.artstor.org/index .shtml
1. Can you articulate the aspects of the art in the temples that are influenced by Indian art styles and those
influences coming from China?
Chapter 6
2. Why do you think there were multiple small temples
instead of one large one? Could a similar style of
building occur for Christian or Muslim pilgrimage
places? Why or why not?
3. What was unique about this area that made it possible
to build the temples in the cliffs and have them survive for so long? Many of these same reasons explain
why the artifacts and texts found in hiding in the temples today are in such pristine condition.
Mahayana Buddhism
Encourage a class discussion on the newer, more inclusive
Mahayana philosophy, which encompassed a universal
principle of cause and effect (see pp. 225–227). You may
wish to create a worksheet that clearly defi nes the changes
from Theravada Buddhism to Mahayana Buddhism for
students. Help students to articulate the societal influences that necessitated these changes. Now have them
look at the fact sheets about their generation, the Gen Y
(or Millennial) generation. What kind of philosophies
might evolve or change to fit the Gen Y world? See these
sites for more information on Generation Y:
Generation Y
www.businessweek .com/1999/99_07/b3616001
Understanding Gen Y
/features/Understanding _Generation_Y.html
Millennial Generation Myths
One quality that Gen Y’ers value is interactive, realtime learning. This activity and others in this instructor’s
manual will reinforce their learning process.
Numismatic History
Coins tell a story about a time, a place, and the people who
trade them. Help your students learn how to evaluate
material culture through societies’ coins. Where the coins
were found is useful information regarding trading partners. Students can evaluate a group’s level of technology,
what metals were considered valuable, dates, and other
information. For example, on most Roman coins you can
tell what legion the coins were made for. Often there is a
reference to a historical event, such as Caesar’s assassination by Brutus. Use the photos in the text with links to
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
◆ 77
specific numismatic details. Provide students a worksheet
with questions that stimulate curiosity and help them
understand how material culture like this provides historical information:
Third-century Roman coins:
Roman Numismatic Gallery
Greek coin with images of Menander and Athena:
Kushan coins: All Indian coins known to humans from
the ancient to present day are cata logued on The Virtual
Museum of Indian Coins site:
Qin and post-Qin dynasty spade and knife-shaped
coins. A more detailed discussion is at:
Coins of Ancient China
Travel along the Silk Road
Your students can’t travel on the Silk Road, so there is
no way for them to really understand the complexities of
trading and bartering, the difficulties of avoiding thieves,
choosing the best transportation, or the best departure
time. However, the classroom can become a caravanserai,
and with a little advanced planning, you can give your
students an idea of the pitfalls that could hinder a would-be
ancient entrepreneur. See Caravanserai a Metaphor at www
and use the primary source from the book, The Caravan
City of Petra.
The initial planning for this activity can be time consuming, but it is an activity I have used for years and students continue to enjoy it and learn a tremendous amount.
Create characters for your students. For example, one student is the trader, and another is a yak handler. Each student is expected to research his or her character or the job
to prepare for the role-playing. To save time, you can also
create a handout with a brief description of the job and the
character’s role in the trip. On the handout, include an
appropriate photo to help get into the character more easily.
Often, the character has a name, character qualities, and
when necessary some basic ground rules. Examples of the
various roles you can create are Buddhist monks or nuns,
prostitutes, yak and camel handlers, Mongol guards, innkeepers, water sellers, fruit sellers, various merchants,
78 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
healers, a safety-deposit-box holder, translators, horse tenders, a seminomadic chieftain with wool, and visiting
royalty from China’s capital. You could add thieves, the
family of the trader, and many others. The book Life
along the Silk Road offers some excellent examples for
re-creation, story lines, and even culture-specific names.
Designate the market town, and explain or have students research what a caravanserai actually is. The main
character is your fictional trader, who is going on a trading trip. All students should have a map with the various trails and landmarks identified so that they can help
decide which direction the trader should take, what the
basic rules are, how much money you provide him, what
form it is in, his religion, his language, and so on. It will
probably work best if the town you choose is on the geologic border between mountains and desert. Then you
can encourage students to get rid of one set of animals,
such as camels, and hire yaks and yak handlers. With
each of these encounters, the characters they speak to
have to introduce themselves and tell a little about their
lives, what they do, and how they live. The entire class
must observe each interaction so it is not complete
chaos. At times, students make travel choices—which
trail to take— or barter decisions. The class can help make
those choices.
As an example, imagine that your main character
chooses to hire yak handlers. The yak handlers explain
that they are seminomadic. They talk a little about yaks
and their significance; ideally you can put a PowerPoint
image of yaks on the screen while they do this. By using
PowerPoint or a Web program, you have the ability to
move quickly “along the imaginary Silk Road.” The yak
handlers explain that they guide people over a par tic u lar
mountain chain, like the Tianshan Mountains. The handlers then wait on the other side of the range for a merchant to hire them to travel in the reverse direction. Then
your merchant needs to barter or purchase the goods that
he hopes to trade at the end of his journey. To do that he
would have to know what is desirable in the area in which
he is going. Have students actually go through the act of
bartering. You can go to a dollar store and buy Mardi
Gras beads and children’s fake jewelry for them to use.
You can also use real, whole spices and real brass items,
wool yarn, and silk. These are just examples of the quick
bits of action that students will negotiate in this activity.
It is useful to switch genders; let your male students play
female roles, and vice versa. This is good for a laugh and
loosens everyone up, but it also makes students think
more carefully about the freedoms or restrictions people
lived with. In the next class period, help students synthesize the actions into concepts with your lecture by refer-
ring back to the previous day’s events. Pick the students
carefully. You will need gregarious students to play the
merchant role. But surprisingly, everyone becomes
involved. Although not all students get to play a role
(what the merchant chooses to do is a game of chance),
they do all enjoy it and learn from the process. If you keep
students on task and prepare them, you can complete the
trading by the end of a class period. The next class period
can reinforce the trade with the lecture suggested in the
lecture section.
The boats discussed in this chapter, called “dhows,” were
found only in the Indian Ocean and differed distinctly
from the design of Greek triremes, Chinese junks, and
Roman triremes. Help your students understand the
technological differences of these early ships by region so
that they begin to consider why differences might have
existed. Create an exercise that asks them to analyze ships
from three major geographic areas: the Indian dhow, the
Greek triremes, and the Chinese junks. For example, the
early dhow had distinctive features: double-ended hulls
and triangular or lateen sails. The hull boards were
stitched together with thongs or fiber. Provide pictures of
all three types, and ask them to make suppositions about
their construction, especially the tools and materials necessary for construction. The kind of waters in which they
sailed might dictate their shape, the distances they needed
to travel, and so on. You could also provide information to
facilitate this analysis, such as the trees that grow along
the coastlines in each region, the kinds of tools available
to people in each area, and the ocean currents. In this
complex problem-solving process, students will be more
successful if you let them work in groups. For more information and images of dhows, see:
The History and Construction of the Dhow
Chinese Sailing Ships
The Chinese Sail
The Trireme
Olympias: Reconstruction of an Ancient Greek Trireme
www.squidoo.com/triremeAncient Greek Trireme
Chapter 6
■ Ancient Warriors: The Spartans (1994, 25 min.). This
brief documentary provides a good introduction to the
Spartans. Using the writings of ancient Greeks such as
Herodotus, Xenophon, and Thucydides, the fi lm brings
Sparta to life through the eyes of the sole survivor of the
battle of Thermopylae, Aristodemus. Using Aristodemus
provides an interesting perspective of Spartan life, not
only warlike but also humanizing.
■ Carthage (Lost Treasures of the Ancient World Series,
50 min.). Although created by an independent agency,
this series has been aired by both PBS and the Discovery
Channel. One of the few fi lms about research on Carthage, this fi lm utilizes state-of-the-art technology and
the latest scholarship to try to re-create Carthaginian life.
Combining on-location footage with period reconstructions and computer graphics, the historical team offers
viewers a quite amazing glimpse into a city-state that is
now thought to be the site of the world’s fi rst genocide.
■ In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great (four-part series,
240 min.). This PBS documentary, narrated by Michael
Wood, retraces the arduous journey of Alexander the Great
and his army as they conquered sixteen countries and traveled over 20,000 miles. Engaging, relevant, and historically
thoughtful, any of these fi lms can prove useful. Choose
the one that covers the area on which you are lecturing.
Part 1, “Son of God,” recounts Alexander’s most difficult
battle at the city of Tyre; the Palestinian legend of TwoHorned Alexander; and the point at which Alexander was
proclaimed pharaoh, or the son of god, at an Egyptian
oasis. Part 2, “Lord of Asia,” covers Alexander’s crossing
of Iran. Wood talks to modern nomads about the oral history of Alexander’s love for an Amazon queen and Iranians whose ancestors were enemies of Alexander. Part 3,
“Across the Hindu Kush,” shows Wood’s travels through
war-torn Afghan istan and along the Silk Road. At Samarkand, he stops at the place where Alexander killed his
friend in a drunken brawl. Part 4, “To the Ends of the
Earth,” takes Wood from the Khyber Pass through Pakistan. Here Alexander’s army refused to go any further.
Alexander agreed to return to Babylon, where he died at
age 32.
■ Marco Polo’s Silk Road (2006, 90 min.) and The Silk
Road Collection (1990 for DVD, 630 min.). Two documentaries are considered the most important regarding
the Silk Road: Marco Polo’s Silk Road and The Silk Road
(with Kitaro’s musical score). Both are exceptional and
use original fi lm footage from China’s archives. The Silk
Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
◆ 79
Road is more detailed (it is over 630 minutes), but the
fi lming itself is grainier. It was made in the 1980s; since
then, much additional information has come to light
thanks to the Chinese government’s release of records
and a strengthening of scholarly bonds in regard to the
Silk Road and Dunhuang. Marco Polo’s Silk Road includes
the most recent research, and the fi lm quality is better.
One disadvantage of the fi lms is that both focus on the
southern Silk Road, so if you are interested in the northern regions you will not learn about them here.
■ Persepolis Recreated (2005, 41 min., with accompanying book). This documentary was created by the Ira nian
fi lmmaker Farzin Rezaeian to highlight the glory of Achaemenid Persia, in par tic u lar the rule of Cyrus and Darius. Using computer graphics to highlight architecture as
the unifying theme, Rezaeian expands on this civilization’s multicultural influence and its tolerance and traces
its path to the Persian Empire’s zenith. When it was fi rst
released, the documentary was warmly received in the
United States, showing at the Library of Congress and
numerous universities. It is the most up to date in terms of
archaeological and historical discoveries. The fi lm was
difficult to fi nd but is now available at the Google archives:
■ Spartacus (1960, 184 min.). This older feature-length
fi lm is still considered one of the most historically correct regarding the Roman slave revolts that occurred
during the transition of Rome from a republic to an
empire. Spartacus features an award-winning cast to recreate the life of a slave in Rome pushed to the end of his
tolerance. Trained as a gladiator, he leads a slave revolt
against the Roman army. The fi lm traces his defeat and
crucifi xion at the behest of Emperor Crassus. However,
you should ignore Spartacus’s wife. Her character is
purely fictional and inaccurate, and Rome didn’t invade
Britain for another 20 years. Plutarch speculated that she
was probably Thracian like Spartacus, although little is
known about her. You can enrich the fi lm experience by
reviewing information about the slave revolt and Spartacus at:
www.historyinfi lm.com/spart/real.htm
■ Gladiator (2000, 195 min.). This feature film is the “gold
standard,” as evidenced by its five Academy Awards,
including Best Picture. It is obviously too long to show in
its entirety; however, if you go to the “Scene Selections”
option and just show from “A Man for the People” to “You
Simply Won’t Die,” it covers the Roman invasions, senators’ political intrigues, gladiator training and fighting
80 ◆ Chapter 6 Shrinking the Afro-Eurasian World, 350 bce–250 ce
(including an amazing scene with animals in the Coloseum), the interior (including the subfloor) of the Coloseum, the abuse of farmers and their land, the corruption
of the emperor, and the concern over the power of popu lar
Seneviratna Anuradha, 1998. King Asoka and Buddhism.
Pierre Briant, 2002. From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of
the Persian Empire.
Maria Brosius, 2006. Persians: An Introduction.
Vadime Elisseeff, 1998. The Silk Roads: Highways of Culture and Commerce.
Richard C. Foltz, 1999. Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the
Fifteenth Century.
Charles Freeman, 2004. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean.
Peter Green, 1974. Alexander of Macedon, rev. ed.
Richard H. Robinson, Willard L. Johnson, and Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 2004. Buddhist Religions: A Historical
Introduction (Religious Life in History), 5th ed.
S. J. Tambiah, 1976. World Conqueror and World
Roderick Whitfield, Susan Whitfield, and Neville Agnew,
2000. Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and History on the
Silk Road.
Susan Whitfield, 2001. Life along the Silk Road.
Frances Wood, 2002. The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years
in the Heart of Asia.
Ancient Greek Theater
Covers all aspects of Greek theater
Ancient Indians: The Mauryans, 321–185 b.c.
University site with overview of the Mauryan Empire
and leadership
www.wsu.edu/~dee/ANCINDIA/MAURYA .HTM
Hellenistic World
Very detailed list of primary sources
History of Silk
Images and information
Illustrated History of the Roman Empire
The largest site on the Roman Empire and a tremendous
source for links
www.roman-empire.net/index .html
Life of Ashoka Mauryan
Basic information about King Ashoka of the Mauryan
Empire with links
Persian Empire
Good overview with maps and primary documents
Dynastic list with biography of each leader
Excellent site with games and 3D architectural renderings as well as other detailed information
The Silk Road: Materials for an E-History
Very detailed series of lectures on all aspects of the Silk
Silk Road Foundation
Fairly complete site with interactive information, links,
and so on
www.silk-road.com/toc/index .html
Susan Whitfield, 2001. Life along the Silk Road.
Whitfield is a foremost authority on the Silk Road. This
text offers a number of discrete stories based in different
time frames and locations. You can use the whole book or
portions of it at various times in the semester. It is exceptionally well done in terms of historical detail and will allow
you to draw in stories relating to Buddhism, Tang China,
and Islam, among others. Any of the stories in this book can
relate to a lecture and/or class activity on the Silk Road.
Han Dynasty China and Imperial
Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
▶ China and Rome: How Empires Are Built
Empire and Cultural Identity
Patterns of Imperial Expansion
The Qin Dynasty
Administration and Control
Economic and Social Changes
The Xiongnu and the Qin along the Northern
The Qin Debacle
The Han Dynasty
Foundations of Han Power
The New Social Order and the Economy
This chapter explores two of the major imperial powers to
appear in world history: the Han dynasty and the Roman
Empire. It discusses their origins: how each used centralized
authority to rule a large territorial empire, and how each
incorporated the diverse peoples under its control. The
chapter also deals with the empires’ major accomplishments, such as the construction of the Great Wall of China
and the roads and aqueducts of Rome. Eventually the paths
of these two empires crossed as trade along the Silk Road
increased. Even empires have their limits, however, and neither the Han dynasty nor the Roman Empire was an exception. Cultures on the frontiers posed challenges and offered
ideals that could sometimes challenge the central authority.
I. China and Rome: How empires are built
A. Unprecedented power: Roman and Han
1. Size, quality, and lasting worldwide impact
2. Cultural, economic, and administrative
B. Empire and cultural identity
1. Han
a. Civilian magistrates and bureaucrats
were public servants
Expansion of the Empire and the Silk Road
Social Convulsions and the Usurper
Natural Disaster and Rebellion
The Later Han Dynasty
The Roman Empire
Foundations of the Roman Empire
Emperors, Authoritarian Rule, and Administration
Town and City Life
Social and Gender Relations
Economy and New Scales of Production
Religious Cults and the Rise of Christianity
The Limits of the Empire
b. Emulated past models for empire’s ideals
c. Elites shared common language
d. Belief in ancestor worship
2. Rome
a. Defi nition of citizenship changed over
b. Pragmatic innovation and adaptation
as empire’s ideals
c. Common language was Latin
C. Patterns of imperial expansion
1. Both consolidated their power within their
environmental limits using a common
legal framework
2. They had different patterns of development, types of public servants, and government practices
3. Han looked to past for methods; Romans
used pragmatism to defi ne methods
4. Both became models for later imperialists
II. The Qin dynasty
A. Administration and control
1. Political organization and control
a. Commanderies with civilian and military governors
82 ◆ Chapter 7 Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
b. Registration of males for army and public labor
c. Control by censorship
d. Standardized weights, measures, and
2. Legalism
a. Stability through strict law and
b. Group responsibility for individuals
3. Qin orthodoxy
4. Road systems
5. Standardized writing style
B. Economic and social changes
1. Expansion of agriculture
a. Role of government
b. Role of peasant farmers
2. Economic changes
a. Farms replace royal manors
b. Profit from surpluses
c. Business and labor contracts
d. Long-distance trade
e. Merchant class and trade networks
f. Government trade tariffs
C. The Xiongnu and the Qin along the northern
1. Beginnings of the Great Wall
a. Qin relationship with Xiongnu
nomadic warriors: delicate balance
D. The Qin debacle
1. Qin collapse
a. Constant warfare led to heavy
b. Former nobles and conscripted workers
c. Civil war
d. Rise of the Han
III. The Han dynasty
A. Foundations of Han power
1. Relied on a huge conscripted labor force
2. Alliance between imperial family and
scholar-gentry elite
3. Economic, social, military, and bureaucratic supports
a. Emperor Wu
4. Humanization of legal punishments
5. Power and administration
a. Organization of ruling hierarchy
b. Highly centralized bureaucracy
c. Han administration replaces regional
d. Government schools produce scholarofficials and bureaucrats
e. Invented the magnetic compass and
high-quality paper
6. Confucian ideology and legitimate rule
a. Importance of people’s welfare
b. Civilize locals and support elites
c. Confucian ideals became imperial
i. No more rule by fear
7. The new social order and the economy
a. Alliances with diverse social groups
b. Encouragement of class mobility
c. Economic expansion
i. Agrarian base
ii. State-owned industries
iii. State monopolies
iv. Improved economic policies
d. Organization of Han cities and society
i. The rich
ii. Women
iii. Lower classes
iv. Scholar-gentry
e. Failure of Han to limit power of local
i. Size of empire
ii. Local uprisings
8. Religion and omens
a. Confucianism influences religion
b. Astronomical and natural forces seen
as omens against emperor
B. Expansion of the empire and the Silk Road
1. Han military expanded empire and created safe trading routes
2. Emperor Wu transformed the military forces
a. Full standing army of the empire
reached 250,000
3. Expanding borders
a. Han control from southeastern China
to northern Vietnam
4. The Xiongnu, the Yuezhi, and the Han
a. Symbiotic relationship with nomads to
the north
b. Han attempt to ally with Yuezhi against
Xiongnu fails
i. Expedition leads to information
about frontier peoples
c. Roman frontier threats
i. Contact between Romans and
Han via Silk Road
Chapter 7
Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce ◆ 83
5. The Chinese peace: Trade, oases, and the
Silk Road
a. Peaceful era after Xiongnu submit to
Han army
i. Pax Sinica (149–87 bce)–Pax
Romana (25 bce–235 ce)
ii. Expansion of Great Wall
iii. Soldiers settle frontier
iv. Oasis system enhances trade routes
C. Social convulsions and the usurper
1. Military expansion drains treasury and
raises taxes
a. Dispossessed peasant farmers become
2. Usurper Wang Mang takes control and
attempts social reforms
D. Natural disaster and rebellion
1. Yellow River changes course
a. Demographic changes
b. Regular peasant revolts
c. Reasons for overthrow of Wang Mang
E. The later Han dynasty
1. Deregulated economic policies to benefit
landowners, business, and trade
2. Increased social inequal ity leads to
a. Yellow Emperor replaces Confucius
b. Daoist Master Laozi treated as god
c. Rise of Buddhism
d. Daoists challenge later Han
3. Three states replace Han
a. Northwest: Wei
b. Southwest: Shu
c. South: Wu
4. No reunification until Tang dynasty
IV. The Roman Empire
A. Comparison of Han and Roman empires
1. Comparable size and scale
a. Rome ruled lands along seacoasts
b. Han ruled vast landmass
2. Both used violent conquest to unite
B. Foundations of the Roman Empire
1. Reasons for the increasing power of Rome
as city-state
a. Military and territorial expansion
i. Migration of foreign peoples
ii. Roman military and political
2. Population movements
a. Celts settle in lands around the Mediterranean Sea
b. Movement of Gauls into northern Italy
c. Etruscans lose power in Italy
3. Military institutions and conquests
a. Conquered communities provided men
for army
b. The Punic Wars, Carthaginians, and
c. Male military honor and training
d. Military prowess matched only by
4. Power of the Senate
5. Political institutions and internal confl ict
a. Reasons for internal tension
i. Inadequate government
ii. Powerful elite dispossesses farmers
iii. Increasing power of military
b. Civil wars begin
Emperors, authoritarian rule, and
1. Peace (Pax Romana) through authoritarian rule
a. Emperors portrayed themselves as civil
b. Abuses of power
c. Military as government
Town and city life
1. Local administration through urban
2. Rome comparable only with Han capitals
3. Characteristics of life in Rome
a. Emperor ensured citizens’ welfare
b. Unsanitary
4. Uniform rules and regulations across empire
Mass entertainment
1. Theaters and amphitheaters
a. The Coloseum
b. Open to all Roman citizens
c. Similar entertainment available to Han
elite in China
Social and gender relations
1. Wealthy patronage of lower class
2. Judicial system
a. Unifying characteristic of empire
3. Importance of family
a. Paterfamilias
b. Census
4. Personal freedom of women
84 ◆ Chapter 7 Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
G. Economy and new scales of production
1. Large-scale agricultural, manufacturing,
and mining production
2. Road networks link empire
a. Creation of land maps
b. Connection with sea routes and trade
c. Efficient use of coinage
3. Use of chattel slaves for mining and plantation agriculture
4. Importance of private property ownership
H. Religious cults and the rise of Christianity
1. Confl ict between Christianity and Roman
a. Jesus and followers
b. Crucifi xion by Romans
2. Persecution of Christians
I. The limits of empire
1. Ecological limits to west and south
2. Short-term limits of Parthians and Sasanians of central Asia
3. Harsh winters to north along Danube and
a. Slave trade
V. Conclusion
A. Comparison of Han and Roman empires
1. Use of slaves for expansion
2. Economic role of peasant farmers
3. Extent of unification within empire
4. Evolution of two empires
5. Unprecedented power of both
Women’s Agency in Han China and Imperial Rome
Women’s agency in Han China and imperial Rome offers
insight into the general attitudes of the day and each society’s degree of patriarchy. A lecture that expands on this
concept in the light of class structure and women’s rights
prior to the emergence of the Han and Roman empires
will be helpful. Expand on women’s rights as healers to
move around the countryside unimpeded, to earn a living, and to inherit property. You will fi nd some interesting
differences, especially if you consider women over time.
It is also useful to look at women’s agency among each
empire’s trading partners, the pastoral groups. For example, Mongol women were known to fight as warriors,
unlike in Han China. For further information, see:
Internet Women’s History Sourcebook
Women of Ancient Rome vs. Women of Han China
Women in Chinese History Supplemental Reading List
1. What inferences can you make about the level of
development and the level of restriction for women in
these two empires?
2. How do the lives of women differ in the urban, imperial settings compared to those of their pastoral trading partners?
Internal Conflict and Revolts
You can easily structure a lecture around internal confl ict
and revolts. By comparatively presenting internal confl ict
in both empires, you can show social parallels and differences that led to increasing revolts and coups. For example, during the Han dynasty’s later period, there were
numerous peasant revolts and internal political intrigue,
including the peasant rebellions of the Taoist-leaning Yellow Turbans in 184 ce and the Five Pecks of Rice in 190 ce:
ment-of-daoism/pg1-2-3 -3.asp
The rebellions of the royal eunuchs offer yet another
The Most Damaging Institutions in Chinese History:
Eunuchs and Official Harem
www.allempires.com/article/index .php?q=china
Tales of Three Kingdoms
Next, contrast the numerous revolts in the Roman
Empire, either coups led by military leaders or the many
peasant rebellions. There are multiple sources on the Year
of the Four Emperors:
The Roman Empire in the First Century
www.pbs.org/empires/romans/index .html
Native Revolts in the Roman Empire
Or you could focus on the Jewish revolts in Rome as an
Jewish Revolts under the Roman Empire
Chapter 7
Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce ◆ 85
1. What social, political, or economic patterns might
have led to internal confl ict? Can you discern across
the two empires?
2. Are there lessons to be learned from these patterns?
3. What were the main reasons that rebellions or revolts
Religions along the Silk Road
The Silk Road was established during the Han dynasty,
and trading began to flourish along its many paths. One
could argue that the greatest items to be traded were not
tangible but intangible—the sharing of ideas and cultural
exchange. In par ticu lar, the Silk Road became the shelter
for religions that later were deemed heretical in other
places. A lecture explaining the growth of the practice of
pilgrimage—its purpose and its economic, cultural, and
spiritual value—provides a starting point for a brief historical overview of the religions that came to thrive along
the Silk Road. Many of these religions were deemed
heretical among the mainstream religions but found the
Silk Road a hospitable place to worship and grow. Provide some background to the major universal religions so
that your students are at least familiar with some of these
still extant offshoots: Nestorianism, Manichaeism, Zoroastrianism, and Jainism. You can refer to the flowchart in
Chapter 8 called “Growth of World Religions” for one aid
in explaining these religions. In addition, the book Religions of the Silk Road, cited in this chapter’s “Recommended Reading,” is an excellent source for this lecture.
Two other excellent sources about the religions and texts
of pilgrims are:
Religions of the Silk Road
Asia for Educators
1. Why did the Silk Road provide a harbor for heretical
2. What role do pilgrims play in a religion? Think about
economy, culture, and the religion itself.
3. Can you see any common themes among these religions’ beliefs?
Rome and Carthage
Genocide scholars generally agree that, although earlier
mass killings have occurred, such as by the Assyrians, the
fi rst clear evidence we have of a genocide as it is defi ned
today was committed by the Romans against the Car-
thaginians. In a lecture, recount what initiated the enmity
between the two groups; the subsequent three Punic
Wars; information about their deified leaders, Hannibal
and Scipio Africanus; and the fi nal outcome—the complete destruction of Carthage. For further details, see:
Rome: The Punic Wars
www.wsu.edu/~dee/ROME/PUNICWAR .HTM
Treaties between Rome and Carthage
1. Why did Rome defeat Hannibal given that he was
such a brilliant military strategist and leader?
2. Can you see why Rome destroyed Carthage? Was the
decision justified? Why or why not?
3. What made these two generals famous across time?
Why do we continue to teach and write about them?
Rome’s Military Genius
In many instances, the Romans appear to have lacked
the interest or creativity to create a culture of their
own. Much of their culture is borrowed—for example,
their architecture, their gods, and the concepts of a navy
and naval ships. However, one can argue that, although
they did borrow many ideas and technology, they then
improved upon them, making them their own. Considering Rome’s accomplishments in the realms of warfare
and expansion, clearly they applied what they borrowed
brilliantly. Provide a lecture on the Romans’ many military accomplishments; you can link this to the “Class
Activity” on Roman and Chinese technology. To create
this lecture, take into account a wide variety of elements,
from the roads they needed to move an army quickly, to
military strategy and diplomacy, and to the development
of weapons and fighting tactics. See The Roman War Machine
in “Recommended Films” as another support material
for the lecture.
1. How did the Romans improve the ideas they borrowed?
Provide specific examples.
2. Can you extrapolate anything about the Roman
worldview from the way they borrowed ideas? What
can you determine about the Roman worldview and
culture based on which areas of their society they
focused their technological advancements?
3. How important a role do you believe these ideas and
technology played in building the Roman Empire?
86 ◆ Chapter 7 Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
Technological Advancements
Both Rome and China succeeded in making significant
technological advancements during this time frame. Often,
we have no idea how or where technologies develop, and
we just apply them in our everyday life. Provide your students with drawings and short descriptions of a variety of
advancements, and then have them match the technologies with the countries they believe to be appropriate.
Here is a variety of technological advancements that you
could use:
Horse collar: Chinese, third century bce. Unlike the
throat-and-girth harness used in the West, which
choked a horse and reduced its efficiency, the collar
harness allowed a single horse to haul a ton and a
half. The trace harness arrived in the West in the
sixth century and by the eighth century was applied
across Europe.
Aqueducts: Roman.
Abacus: No one is certain who fi rst invented the abacus,
although credit is generally given to the Chinese or
the Babylonians. The Romans provide us with the
oldest existing portable counting device, based on
earlier Greek counting boards. It greatly reduced the
time needed to perform calculations.
Segmented armor: Roman; armor that covers the full
torso and was made of segmented plates. This segmented light armor provided flexibility and protection to the most vital areas of the body.
Surgical instruments. Roman. Romans had various surgical instruments, as did other ancient civilizations.
We know the Romans manufactured tweezers, forceps, and scalpels, for example.
Hypocaust: Roman; a system of central heating. The
word means “heat from below.”
Moldboard plow: Chinese, third century bce. Called
kuan, these advanced plowshares were made of malleable cast iron. They had a central ridge ending in a
sharp point to cut the soil and wings that sloped
toward the center to throw the soil off the plow and
reduce friction. When brought to Holland in the
seventeenth century, these plows began the agricultural revolution.
Seismograph: Chinese, second century ce. China has
always been plagued with earthquakes, and the government needed to determine, in advance, where
and when the economy would be disrupted by
another earthquake. In 132 ce, a seismograph was
developed by the scientist, mathematician, and
inventor Chang Heng, as noted in court records of
the later Han dynasty. Modern seismographs began
to be developed in 1848.
Discovery of circulation of the blood: Chinese, second century bce. Most people in the West believe that blood
circulation was fi rst discovered by William Harvey
in 1628, but other recorded notations dating back to
the writings of an Arab of Damascus, Ibn al-Nafis
(d. 1288), suggest otherwise. The process of blood
circulation is discussed in full and in all its complexity in the Chinese treatise, Yellow Emperor’s Manual
of Corporeal Medicine (second century bce).
Paper: Chinese, second century bce. Papyrus was first
used in Egypt to provide a malleable surface on which
to write. But the inner bark of the papyrus plant is not
true paper. Paper is a sheet of sediment formed on a
flat mold. Layers of disintegrated fibers are allowed to
settle within and are then dried, forming paper. The
oldest surviving paper dates to 110 ce and contains
about two dozen characters. The Arabs sold paper to
Europeans until manufacture began in the West.
The Origins of Fruits and Vegetables
Food and eating are the center of life and culture and a
key component of community building. Thus, it seems
logical to include eating practices when discussing the
history of a group or period. With a focus on two empires,
this chapter is readily designed for creating a number of
themes around food. You could simply bring in some of
the fruits and vegetables that originated in both areas for
students to taste and provide fact sheets on the history of
each food, including when and how knowledge of the
food spread to other areas. The artichoke (second millennium bce), asparagus (200 bce), and strawberries (200 bce)
are all indigenous to Rome. Kiwi fruit (Tang dynasty,
600 ce), citrus fruits (3000 bce), and rhubarb (2700 bce)
all were fi rst cultivated in China. Providing histories of
foods allows you, at the very least, to draw on social, biological, genealogical, and geological histories. Offering
your students these par ticu lar foods to eat as they discover their histories creates a camaraderie and activity
that evoke deep learning. You can take the learning process further in many ways. Students can bring in ancient
recipes with their histories or prepared foods with those
ingredients, or you could bring in the prepared foods,
ancient recipes, and histories.
One interesting theme for this chapter is to focus on the
word gluttony. In Rome, for example, Seneca wrote in the
Moral Epistles, “Cum ad cenandum discubuimus, alius
sputa deterget, alius reliquias temulentorum [toro] subditus colligit” (When we recline at a banquet, one [slave]
Chapter 7
Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce ◆
wipes up the spittle; another, situated beneath [the table],
collects the leavings of the drunks). Cicero wrote about
Julius Caesar that he “expressed a desire to vomit after dinner” (vomere post cenam te velle dixisses) in Pro rege deiotaro.
The gluttony in Rome led Petronius to write the early novel
Satyricon, with its famous dinner scene. Many Romans created laws to try to control the gluttony, concerned that
Roman soldiers would lose their fighting edge. Contrast the
Satyricon with Chinese historical writing about food. Provide students with the poem “The Summons of the Dead”
(221 bce) as a starting point. Much was written about the
principled containment of desire during the Warring States
period. You can provide students with excerpts from Confucius or Lao Tzu, in particular. For further information
and a list of spices and exotic foods and their history, see:
Curry, Spice, and All Things Nice
www.menumagazine.co.uk/book/book .html
The following texts are also helpful: In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food by Stewart Lee
Allen and The Origins of Fruit and Vegetables by Jonathan
Roberts (see the “Recommended Reading” section).
Municipal Planning and Worldviews
The physical layout of the capitals of the Han dynasty
(Chang’an) and the Roman Empire (Rome) embody each
empire’s closely held values. Provide students with the
city plans. Make sure they have read the material in the
texts about the two empires and assign this activity after
your lectures on the areas. Ask them to evaluate how the
physical cities’ layouts are representative of the general
worldviews and moral values of the two empires. How are
they different? Rome appears to have been a sprawling,
unplanned seat of political power. But after having your
students carefully study the city map, they might fi nd the
plan to be a little different than they originally thought.
For a map of ancient Rome, see:
Historical Rome City Map 2
_rome_city _map _2 .jpg
Chang’an was the site of the capital of Western Han. It
was also the easternmost point of the Silk Road, making
it one of the most important cities in the East. Because it
was both a center of economic trade and the empire’s
political center, it was a busy place. For a magnificent
reconstruction of Chang’an during the Tang dynasty, see:
Reconstruction of Tang Period Chang’an
www.arch.nus.edu.sg/casa/projects/hck _changan
For Han dynasty Chang’an and further tips on how to
teach with city plans, go to:
Reading Chang’an
As part of your discussion, mention that cities evolve in
a number of ways. Some cities, such as Chang’an, are carefully planned, usually to reinforce the government’s or
ruler’s power. Other cities grow because they are the heart
of commercial centers. Some cities evolve as sacred centers, locations of pilgrimage, or the birthplace or burial
place of a famous person. Still other cities began as centers
of “cosmic power.” Cities such as these are intended to
represent the people’s idea of the cosmos or of the ruler’s
relationship to the cosmos. Cities that began for this reason are Chang’an, Beijing, Kyoto, and Angkor Wat. The
study of city planning is not a new idea. Several excellent
Web sites provide even more detailed activities regarding
comparisons of Chang’an and Rome. Use this information as a starting point, and then refi ne your ideas using
the following Web sites:
City: Reading Cities as Cultural Documents: Seeing City
City: Reading Cities as Cultural Documents
Le Plan de Rome (see the English version)
www.unicaen.fr/services/cireve/rome/index .php
These Web sites provide excellent forms of analysis for your
students with many open-ended discussion questions.
■ Ancient China (1996, 47 min.). This documentary is distributed by the Films for Humanities and Sciences. It
begins with one of China’s creation legends and ends at
the fall of the Han dynasty. Therefore, only the latter 15
to 20 minutes will be relevant to this chapter. However,
the cultural information on Han China is very good, with
scenes of the Great Wall, Beijing opera, Imperial Palace,
and terra-cotta army.
■ The Celestial Empire: Path of the Dragon, Part 14: Land
of Archaeology (2002, 26 min.) This 14-part series covers
Chinese history from the Bronze Age to the present day.
In disk 14, “Land of Archaeology,” the series focuses on
the Shang dynasty, the Han dynasty, and the Qin dynasty
through archaeological discoveries and material culture.
The brief section on the Han dynasty includes a discussion on Han stone writing tablets.
88 ◆ Chapter 7 Han Dynasty China and Imperial Rome, 300 bce–300 ce
■ The First Emperor of China (1989, 42 min.). This interactive laserdisc and multimedia CD-ROM allows you to
explore with your students the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi.
It covers the initial excavation, the history of the Qin
dynasty and the emperor, and the tomb itself. This is the
best way to introduce students to one of the greatest archaeological fi nds of the twentieth century as it contains probably the most complete information in the West. To access
this and other data, sign up at the free Global Memory
Net site (www.memorynet.org/home.php; you must register for free to use this site) sponsored by the National
Science Foundation. The Emperor Collection consists of
over 4,000 selected images on the emperor’s 7,000-plus
terra-cotta warriors and horses.
■ The Roman Empire in the First Century (2001, 219 min.).
Using narratives and other primary-source writing, this
documentary brings understanding to the chaos that
occurred in the fi rst century ce of the Roman Empire.
This format brings to life the many people affected by the
civil war, from emperors to senators to poets and plebeians
to slaves. An accompanying Web site with teaching resources
is at: www.pbs.org/empires/romans/index .html
■ The Roman War Machine (2001, four parts, each 45 min.).
This Arts & Entertainment (A&E) documentary series
focuses on the brilliant military ability of the Romans, those
skills that helped to turn Rome into an empire stretching
from Asia to the Atlantic and Africa to England. The series
examines all aspects of warfare from leadership to weaponry to their enemies. Part 1, “First Our Neighbors,” examines the beginning of the “machine.” Part 2, “Roman versus
Roman,” looks at 55 bce to 69 ce, with an overview of
Roman history and a focus on war during this period. Part
3, “Siege Warfare,” specifically addresses how Romans handled expansion and those groups who did not choose to
become a part of the growing empire. Part 4, “Barbarians at
the Gate,” begins in the second century ce at the period of
Rome’s greatest expansion and shows how Rome attempted
to retain those lands it conquered.
Stewart Lee Allen, 2002. In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful
History of Forbidden Food.
Richard Beacham, 1999. Spectacle Entertainments of Early
Imperial Rome.
Christopher Bryan, 2005. Render to Caesar: Jesus, the
Early Church, and the Roman Superpower.
Elaine Fantham, Helen Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, and H. A. Shapiro, 1995.
Women in the Classical World: Image and Text.
Richard C. Foltz, 2000. Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange.
Adrian Goldsworthy, 2003. The Complete Roman Army.
Grant Hardy and Anne Behnke Kinney, 2005. The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China.
Bret Hinsch, 2002. Women in Early Imperial China.
Mark Edward Lewis, 2007. The Early Chinese Empires:
Qin and Han.
Jonathan Roberts, 2001. The Origins of Fruits and
Graham Webster, 1998. The Roman Imperial Army: Of the
First and Second Centuries a.d.
Ancient Chinese Technologies
Provides information on an array of advancements across
Chinese society
Extensive site on the history of Carthage; a little difficult
to follow but the images are worth the trouble
Overview of the periods in Chinese prehistory
China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200–750 a.d.
Offers a number of artworks of the Han dynasty and the
post-Han period with excellent teaching resources
www.metmuseum.org/special/China/index .asp
China the Beautiful
A series of links to all aspects of traditional and historical
China, including music
Classics Unveiled
Excellent site on Rome with a wide variety of information
www.classicsunveiled.com/index .html
Roman Empire
Lengthy entry with good maps, lists of emperors, and links
The Roman Empire in the First Century
Interactive Web site with teaching resources from PBS
for accompanying fi lm
www.pbs.org/empires/romans/index .html
Rome Project
One of the largest collections of historical information
on Rome on the Internet
The Rise of Universal Religions,
300–600 ce
▶ Universal Religions and Common Cultures
▶ Empires and Religious Change in Western
The Rise and Spread of Christianity
The Christian Empire
The Fall of Rome: A Takeover from the Margins
Byzantium, Rome in the East: The Rise of
Sasanian Persia
The Silk Road
The Sogdians and Lords of the Silk Road
Buddhism on the Silk Road
This chapter examines the spread of universal religions
and common cultures throughout Afro-Eurasia, Africa,
and Mesoamerica between 300 and 600 ce. The chapter
opens with a trial of early Christians by the Roman Empire.
As Christianity matured, the Roman emperor Constantine embraced the religion for the Roman Empire. Eventually, Rome fell to outsiders known as the barbarians. But
the spread of Christianity led to a continuation of Roman
ideals even after the empire dissolved. The Silk Road
through central Asia harbored many religions and provided
a means for Buddhism to migrate to China. In China,
Buddhism provided legitimacy for the Wei dynasty of the
north against Han prejudice in the south. South Asia also
underwent religious reform as Brahmanism spread, leading to a common Indic culture. In sub-Saharan Africa,
Bantu-speaking people migrated from northwest Africa,
spreading their language, culture, and agricultural skills
both east and south. Mesoamerica saw the rise and fall of
Teotihuacán and the Mayans. The Mayans shared a common language and social system, but their great cities
eventually collapsed when resources and warfare brought
down the populated cities. As universal religions such as
▶ Political and Religious Change in South Asia
The Transformation of the Buddha
The Hindu Transformation
A Code of Conduct Instead of an Empire
Political and Religious Change in East Asia
Northern and Southern China
Buddhism in China
Daoism, Alchemy, and the Transmutation of
Faith and Cultures in the Worlds Apart
Bantus of Sub-Saharan Africa
Christianity, Buddhism, and Brahmanism and Hinduism
and cultures such as the Bantus spread, one more universal religion was about to enter the picture and challenge
the dominance of earlier religions.
I. Universal religions and common cultures
A. Increase in religious ferment throughout
1. West: Christianity
2. India: Vedic evolved into Hinduism
3. Northern India, Asia, and China: Buddhism
B. Politics shaped religion, and religion shaped
1. Afro-Eurasian spirituality shaped imperial
2. Western Europe and Christianity
3. Eastern Roman Imperium, Byzantium,
and Christianity
4. India, Hinduism, and Buddhism
5. Central Asia, China, and Buddhism
C. Universal religion not essential for creating
empires of the mind
1. African Bantu peoples
2. Central American Mayans
90 ◆ Chapter 8 The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
D. Religion influenced society and culture in
other ways
1. Issues of truth, loyalty, and solidarity
2. Answers about human nature
a. Whom they should obey and the
degree of allegiance
b. What martyrs thought worth dying for
3. Freed cultures of older heritages
4. Led to new identities shaped by a shared
5. Could drive nations apart through intolerance of others’ beliefs
E. Religious beliefs could travel anywhere
1. Religious leaders traveled widely
a. Books, scrolls, and tablets
b. Discussed their own beliefs
2. Universal religions on the move
a. Travels of Xuanzang
i. Buddhist scripture from India to
II. Empires and religious change in western
A. The rise of Christianity
1. Martyrs
a. Vibia Perpetua
b. Women had important roles
B. Religious debate and Christian universalism
1. Constantine moved Rome to Christian faith
2. Rabbinical reform of Judaism
3. Discussion over obedience to God
a. Christian Codex
C. The conversion of Constantine
1. Background of Constantine
a. Proclaimed emperor in 306 ce
b. Labarum symbol
2. Proclamation for designating bishops
D. Christianity in the cities
1. Basilicas
a. Cathedra, bishop’s throne
b. Heaven on earth
2. Relief to the poor
3. Judges
E. The Christian empire
1. Spread through new languages
a. Coptic
b. Syriac
2. Council of Nicaea
a. Nicaean Creed
b. Easter
3. Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine
F. The fall of Rome: A takeover from the margins
1. The barbarians
a. Status determined by ability to fight
b. Surplus warriors
2. Goths in Gaul
a. Invited into country by emperor
b. Fall of empire a result of long
c. Goths served as Roman militia in Gaul
3. Continuity in change
a. Roman influence remained
b. Fear of the Huns
c. Attila’s empire in eastern and central
d. King Alaric II’s law code
e. Post-empire Rome like post-Han China
f. The Roman Catholic Church
i. Bishops of Rome emerged as popes
ii. Rome became a spiritual instead
of an imperial one
G. Byzantium, Rome in the East: The rise of
1. Highly centralized empire
2. Constantine’s “New Rome”
3. Justinian
a. Reformed Roman Laws
i. Digest
ii. Institutes
b. Hagia Sophia
H. Sasanian Persia
1. Bubonic plague
2. Kings of Eran and An-Iran
a. Royal dynasty ruled Iran and
b. Capital of Ctesiphon (near modern
i. Great Arch of Kesr, or Kisra
c. Khusro Anochirwan
i. Sack of Rome’s Antioch
d. Persia and Roman war
e. Crossroads of central Asian, Indian,
and Greek culture
f. Persian armored cavalry
3. An empire at the crossroads
a. Religious tolerance felt under Sasanian
b. Jews compiled Babylonian Talmud
c. Blend of Greek, central Asian, and
Indian culture
d. Nestorian Christians
III. The Silk Road
A. Sogdian people maintained Silk Route
B. Connected eastern Roman interests with Asia
Chapter 8
C. Provided way for universalistic religious movements to flow
D. Central Asia hub of cross-cultural contact
E. The Sogdians as lords of the Silk Road
1. Sogdians, mediators of culture and
a. Religion
b. Language
c. Goods
d. Architecture
F. Buddhism on the Silk Road
1. Buddhism spread to China through traveling monks
2. Buddhist cave monasteries at Dunhuang
3. Large, carved Buddhas
a. Bamiyan (destroyed by the Taliban in
b. Yungang
IV. Political and religious change in South Asia
A. Gupta dynasty
1. Chandra Gupta
a. Supported poets and playwrights
b. Mahabharata
B. The transformation of the Buddha
1. The Mahayana (Greater Vehicle)
2. Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle)
3. Buddha became a god
4. Religion also incorporated local spirits
C. The Hindu transformation
1. Brahmanism changed to become known
as Hinduism
2. Believers became vegetarians
3. Identified with agrarian culture
4. Absorbed Buddhist and Jain practices
5. Three major deities represented the three
phases of the universe
a. Brahma
b. Vishnu, the most prominent
c. Siva
6. Eternal self—atma
7. Monotheism
8. Personal devotion called bhakti
D. Culture and ideology instead of an empire
1. Hinduism ordered the heavens
a. Distinctive cultural formation, “The
Sanskrit Cosmopolis”
i. Hindu spiritual beliefs
ii. Articulated in the Sanskrit language
a. Sanskrit spread by priests and
b. Became the public language of
The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
◆ 91
c. Used by kings, emperors, and
b. Laws of Manu
i. Marriage
ii. Profession
iii. Dietary rules
iv. Way to cope with changing society
2. Hinduism spread to areas away from state
3. Religious belief helped create a shared
“Indic” culture
V. Political and religious change in East Asia
A. Northern and southern China
1. Several small kingdoms created following
the fall of the Han
2. Six Dynasties Period—time of civil war
3. Wei dynasty
a. Kept Chinese imperial standards
b. Adapted army to urban-based military
c. Built public works with corvée labor as
did the Han
d. Tried to make government more
i. Dowager Empress Fang’s land
B. Buddhism in China
1. Kumaraji: Buddhist scholar and missionary
a. Translated Buddhist texts into Chinese
b. Clarified Buddhist terms and
c. Established Madhyamika Buddhism
2. Provided legitimacy for northern states
3. Took on different forms in different regions
4. Daoism, alchemy, and the transmutation
of self
a. Two new Daoist traditions
i. External alchemy
ii. Internal alchemy
VI. Faith and cultures in the worlds apart
A. Bantus of sub-Saharan Africa
1. Bantu language unified people through
sub-Saharan Africa
2. Bantu history
a. Migrated from west to east and
b. Absorbed other hunting and gathering
c. Settled agriculturalists
i. Banana crops
d. Organized into small-scale societies
i. Based on age
92 ◆ Chapter 8 The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
3. Bantu vision of the world
a. Intense relationship to the world of
i. Ancestral spirits
ii. Diviners and charms
4. Bantu Migrations ultimately fi lled
up more than half the African
a. Introduced settled agriculture throughout southern region
b. Spread political and social order based
on family and clans
B. Mesoamericans
1. Teotihuacán
a. City-state
b. Warfare helped control hinterlands
c. City’s political influence limited
beyond local area
d. Culturally and econom ical ly influential
throughout Mesoamerica
e. Influence waned by fi fth century
f. City burned by invaders
2. The Mayans
a. No great metropolis but thousands of
b. Shared language
c. Connected by trade
d. Kingdoms revolved around hubs and
i. City-state
ii. Large cities
e. Highly stratified, with an elaborate
class structure
f. Subsistence farmers
g. Shared culture
h. Early writing
i. Skilled in mathematics
j. Excelled at building
k. Blood sacrifice
l. Warfare between kingdoms
VII. Conclusion
A. Fall of Mediterranean Rome and Han China
led to era when religion and common culture
provided the means for holding together large
parts of Afro-Eurasia
B. Christianity adopted by Rome coalesced with
the building of Constantinople
C. Weakening Han allowed Buddhism to spread
into China
D. Weak central state in India led to reform of
Vedic into Hinduism
E. Sub-Saharan Africa and Mesoamerica did not
experience the spread of universalizing religions
F. 300–600 ce saw the emergence of three great
cultural unities defi ned in religious terms
1. Christianity
2. Brahmanism and Hinduism
3. Buddhism
Women and Universal Religions
Women played central roles in the infancy of all universal
religions. This fact was soon forgotten, however; as the
religions gained a strong following, women were pushed
aside for more traditional patriarchal structures. Students fi nd the important roles that women played in early
universal religions, often their own religions, a surprise:
sometimes fascinating, sometimes blasphemous, but
always food for thought. You can launch a lecture from
the information in the text on Vibia Perpetua, who was a
leader in her small group of martyred Christians. Then
discuss the singular role that women played in developing Christianity and the changes in Hinduism and Buddhism. See the “Recommended Reading,” especially
Carmody, Sharma, and LaPorte. Utilizing Carmody and
Sharma, you can create a table of rights and roles that
these early women had. Compare them with the rights
and roles that many present-day women have in the same
1. Why do you think women’s roles changed as the universal religions became stronger?
2. What are some of the changes from the early history of
women’s roles in the universal religions to later times?
3. Were there universal religions that were, and continued to be, more open to women playing leadership
Historical Facts about the Silk Road
The Silk Road played a seminal role in spreading economic, cultural, and religious ideas, fi rmly connecting the
East and West for the fi rst time. Such an important role
in history warrants further attention, especially with the
United States actively engaged in central Asia. Perhaps
some of your students have seen images of the Buddhist
Bamiyan statues, which the Taliban destroyed in March
2001. Even the most elemental information is probably
more than students know now. The Silk Road is not one
road but multiple trails. Students will want to know how
long it was, who controlled it, what geographic area it was
in, where the national boundaries are now, what was
Chapter 8
traded on it, and how safe it was. Of crucial importance is
the discovery of the Ganzu Corridor. See “Recommended
Reading” for Life along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield,
which includes short stories that you can assign.
1. Why did it take so long for people to discover pathways that connected the East and West?
2. What different people groups controlled the Silk
Road, and when?
3. What kinds of items were traded along the Silk Road?
The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
Irrigation”; Chapter 5, “Olmec and Mayan Long Count
Calendar”; and Chapter 10, “Mesoamerican Cosmology.”
1. What discoveries in the Mayan society overlapped
similar discoveries in the Afro-Eurasian worlds? How
did the Mayans develop technology differently?
2. Compare Mayan belief systems to Hinduism and Buddhism. Why do you think they evolved differently?
3. Why do you think blood ritual was so important to
the Mayans?
Bantu People
The section on the Bantu people provides us with many
tools to highlight the debate over the value of written text
versus oral text. As the textbook mentions, “Early Bantu history is shrouded in mystery.” Can we make assumptions
about why there are no oral histories recounting this information? Further, the textbook claims that some of the
Bantu settled in the Congo Basin. Looking forward in
time, explain briefly the events from 500 ce to today in
the Congo Basin. Compare and contrast the empire building of China and Rome, the Maya, and Persia with the
smaller clan structures in the Arabian Peninsula, the
nomadic cultures in central Asia, and the Bantu in Africa.
Provide students with the materials laid out in a new way,
and let them speculate on development possibilities using
“What if . . .” questions.
The Role of Syncretism
1. Did the lack of a historical record affect the Bantus’
place in later global politics?
2. What lessons can students learn by comparing social
and political structures like empires and tribal
3. Can it be argued that the plight of the Bantu today is
related to choices they made historically to reject the
notion of “progress”?
Mayan Culture
Each year, new scholarship brings us closer to understanding the Maya and their impressive culture. Although
much is made of the “mysterious” collapse of the Mayan
civilization, less is said about the Mayans’ amazing accomplishments in architecture, mathematics, and trade. A lecture that highlights Mayan science and technology will
offer a good balance to later discussions about AfroEurasian science and technology. Helpful texts include
Michael Coe’s The Maya and Ralph Whitlock’s Everyday
Life of the Maya (see “Recommended Reading”). You
could also refer to the “Class Activities” in this text’s
Chapter 4, “Technology: The Development of Dikes and
◆ 93
Before students read the chapter, hand out photocopies of
the chart “Growth of World Religions” in this section.
This flowchart allows students to visually and intuitively
begin to understand the influences that earlier religions
had on later, universal religions. Then in class discussion,
begin to help students trace the influences of religions. For
example, the light and dark particles of energy representing good and evil were a crucial aspect of Zoroastrian doctrine. The concept was so clear that it appears to have been
co-opted by early Christians as a way to explain good and
evil, although not as literally as it was intended in Zoroastrianism. However, in other areas students can tease out
multiple forms of syncretism. Understanding present-day
connections to ancient practices across multiple religions—
the egg as a symbol of fertility or water as used in baptism
and blessings or to denote purity—can intimately link your
students to the past. One way to spur discussion is to provide them with a list of practices and symbols common in
the United States and to which students will have at least
been exposed, like the Easter egg, the Christmas tree, and
Halloween. In groups, have students discuss what they
think might have started these traditions. After the group
discussions, let the entire class contribute their ideas. Then,
link the histories of these traditions to the flowchart and
earlier religions and practices.
Architecture and Its Reflection on Social Patterns
This chapter provides a series of images of public spaces
and/or architecture: the Pagoda on Mount Song; photos,
a model, and plans of Constantine’s basilica; the exterior
view of Hagia Sophia; the Great Arch of Kesra (or Kisra);
and views of the great Mayan centers such as Palenque.
Architecture provides a tremendous amount of information about societies, ranging from the rigidity of their
social classes to their government structures. Have your
students, either in groups or as a whole class, look at these
94 ◆ Chapter 8 The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
photos and form hypotheses about how they think the
various societies might differ. What are each society’s
emphases, their fears, and their strengths and weaknesses?
What can building size and shape tell students about the
society’s size and level of technology? Ask students to
examine color, window structures, shapes, and other details.
(Square, linear shapes correlate to more rigid societies,
whereas curvilinear and spiral shapes correlate to more
democratic or freer systems.) Where are the walls positioned, what are they made of, and what size rooms are
typical? Look inside the buildings and outside. Were they
built to inspire awe, to be functional, or both? What does
this tell students about the society as a whole?
Textual Records
This and other chapters emphasize the growing importance of text over oral narrative. The textbook points out
that by 300 ce, there was a “revolution in book production”
because of the invention of the codex. As civilizations grew,
so too did the significance of knowledge based on the
written word. If your students physically manipulate the
tools that were used for writing—ink, quills or stylus, and
paper—they will begin to understand how difficult it would
have been to become educated, and what an honor it was to
be chosen to be educated. In addition, if you let your students experiment with different forms of writing over the
progression of the semester, they will gain a deeper understanding of the developmental progression of writing styles,
alphabets, and the tools themselves. This engages them in a
deeper, longer lasting form of learning. In this chapter, you
have the opportunity to let students experiment with Chinese characters and use brushes, make ink with ink tablets,
and use rice paper. These supplies are available at any art
store. Two helpful Web sites are:
Chinese Calligraphy
Use the textbook’s image from Dunhuang as a way to
launch this activity. Each tool demands experimentation:
Students will ask you which side of rice paper to use and
how much water is needed in the tablet. Don’t answer their
questions; ask them to experiment and try to determine for
themselves what is best and why. This is part of the learning
process. Give students symbols to copy and let them work
together to finish the project. They can then discuss why
they made the choices they made, why they think Asians
continue to use a form of writing that most Westerners perceive as difficult and time consuming, and so on. Or students can make examples of Mayan writing in clay. For the
Mayan writing, you can use any type of clay and have students try and draw glyphs from the Mayan calendar. See:
Omniglot: Writing Systems and Languages of the World
You can also do the same exercise with Roman writing
and/or Indian script with some form of the appropriate
parchment and a stylus. If you plan to use writing and text
as a theme throughout the course, it might be better to pick
one area per section. Then discuss with students the differences from the earlier writing styles you have observed.
Discuss how or if writing has progressed and why.
■ India: The Empire of the Spirit (60 min.). This documentary is from the six-part PBS Legacy series. It explores the
wide variety of spiritual influences that have shaped India
as a crossroads for trade, learning, and culture. The narrator, Michael Wood, draws on the influence of the ancient
Greeks, Romans, and Confucianism, among others, to
show how universal religions such as Mahayana Buddhism
and later versions of Hinduism flourished and spread
through the act of pilgrimage. Ideally, show the fi rst 45 to
50 minutes of the fi lm as a strong synthesis for the philosophical and spiritual material in Chapters 8 and 9.
■ The Silk Road (Central Park Media). This amazing thirtypart VHS videotape series (or three-disk DVD set) was
jointly produced by Japanese (NHK) and Chinese (CCTV)
television and fi lmed between 1980 and 1984. Each fi lm
runs approximately 50 minutes. For Chapters 8 and 9 of
this textbook, Part 1 or Part 5 would be most suitable. Part 1,
“Glories of Ancient Chang’an,” offers an overview of China
under the control of the Han and Tang dynasties (second
century bce to ninth century ce). It provides a good introduction to the Silk Road’s role in connecting Eastern and
Western civilizations, introduces the culture of early China,
and juxtaposes historical China with modern China well.
Part 5, “In Search of the Kingdom of Lou-Lan,” takes the
viewer outside of the borders of China into central Asia and
the edge of the Taklamakan Desert. Here the producers
offer archaeological and scientific evidence to explain the
movement of inland saltwater lakes over 2,000 years and
the excavation of tombs. Using the archaeological finds,
they connect ancient Rome and other cultures with these
central Asian societies. They also tie in the significance of
written texts, a theme in this Instructor’s Manual.
■ Ben Hur (1959, 212 min.). A classic film set during the
time of Christ, this historical fiction evokes a sense of the
martyrdom that Christians such as Vibia Perpetua and
others endured during the games. It is best to show a scene
Chapter 8
from the games, which are still considered some of the best
reenactments and fi lming of gladiator games ever done.
■ Lost Kingdom of the Mayas (1997, 60 min.). This documentary produced by the National Geographic explores
the causes of the fall of the great Mayan kingdoms such
as Copán in Honduras, Coracal in Belize, and Dos Pilas in
Guatemala. It also shows how ongoing excavations by
archaeologists and epigraphers are piecing together the
history of the Mayan people. The fi lm includes extensive
footage of actual Maya sites and a good discussion about
the fact the Mayan people did not disappear but are still
very much alive in the Highlands of Mexico, Belize, and
Hellenic Trade Routes
Alexander the Great died in Babylon on June 13, 323 bce.
His Macedonian-Greek empire broke apart, but Alexander’s heritage was felt throughout the ancient Mediterranean world for centuries. Three Hellenic empires emerged
from the wars of succession that followed his death: the
Antigonid Empire in Macedonia, the Seleucid Empire
in Persia and Mesopotamia, and the Ptolemaic Empire in
Egypt. Hellenic culture was kept alive and spread all across
the known world, often with the sword, but even more
successfully through trade.
The Ptolemaic influence extended from Carthage in
the Maghreb via Alexandria in Egypt to Meroë in Nubia.
Ptolemaic trade routes extended as far south as Abyssinia and Somaliland in Africa, as well as to India by sea
trade. The Seleucid influence extended from Antioch in
the West via Seleucia in Babylonia and Persepolis in Persia to Bactria, the gateway to the Asian steppes, and to
Xian in China along the Silk Road. By these routes,
Greek culture was exported, and exotic goods such as
elephants, ivory, pearls, and silk were imported into the
Hellenic Trade Routes 300 bce
The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 ce
◆ 95
Gavin D. Flood, 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism.
Charles Freeman, 2009. A New History of Early
Deno John Geanakoplos, 1984. Byzantium: Church, Society, and Civilization Seen through Contemporary Eyes.
Jacques Gernet, 1995. Buddhism in Chinese Society: An
Economic history from the Fifth to the Tenth Centuries.
Judith Herrin, 2009. Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a
Medieval Empire.
Jean LaPorte, 1982. The Role of Women in Early Christianity.
G. Mokhtar, ed., 1981. General History of Africa, vol. 2,
Ancient Civilizations of Africa.
Arvind Sharma, 1987. Women in World Religions.
Andrew Skilton, 2004. A Concise History of Buddhism.
Susan Whitfield, 2001. Life along the Silk Road.
Ralph Whitlock, 1987. Everyday Life of the Maya.
Sally Hovey Wriggins, 1996. Xuanzang: A Buddhist Pilgrim on the Silk Road.
Emperor Constantine
Iran Chamber Society: Sassanid Empire
Maya 3-D
Silk Road
www.ess.uci.edu/~oliver/silk .html
The Sogdians and the Silk Road
Susan Whitfield, 2001. Life along the Silk Road.
Jerry H. Bentley, 1993. Old World Encounters: CrossCultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times.
Denise Lardner Carmody, 1979. Women and World Religions.
Michael D. Coe, 1999. Breaking the Maya Code.
Michael D. Coe, 2005. The Maya.
Wendy Doinger, 2009. The Hindus: An Alternative History.
Mary Pat Fisher, 2006. Women in Religion.
Whitfield is a foremost authority on the Silk Road. This
text offers a number of discrete stories based in different
time frames and locations. You can use the whole book or
portions of it at various times in the semester. It is exceptionally well done in terms of historical detail and will
allow you to draw in stories relating to Buddhism and
Islam, among others. You can use this as a way to let students discern for themselves how successfully religions
were transmitted and sheltered along the Silk Road.
New Empires and Common Cultures,
600–1000 ce
▶ The Origins and Spread of Islam
A Vision, a Text
The Move to Medina
An Empire of Arabs
The Abbasid Revolution
The Blossoming of Abbasid Culture
Islam in a Wider World
Opposition within Islam, Shiism, and the Rise of the
The Tang State
Territorial Expansion under the Sui and Tang
The Army and Imperial Campaigning
This chapter opens with the marvels of Baghdad and the
spectacular growth of Islam. It shows how religion and
empire intertwined to create the foundations of the world’s
modern social geography. Unlike earlier empires, the development of Islam preceded empire. The Islamic empires
sought the world’s knowledge and protected the great
libraries in such places as Cairo, Alexandria, and Baghdad.
Islamic internal conflict is also addressed. The chapter continues with the rise and fall of the Tang dynasty, and they
are juxtaposed against the rising Islamic empires. The Tang
dynasty was highly secular in its approach relative to the
Islamic empires. The chapter also examines Korea and
Japan. Meanwhile, the Christian West pushed out toward
the East. But internal conflict in Europe slowed this growth
and expansion, as did the divide between Northern European and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
I. The origins and spread of Islam
A. Began inside Arabia
1. Mecca home to a revered sanctuary called
the kaaba
Organizing an Empire
An Economic Revolution
Accommodating World Religions
The Fall of Tang China
Early Korea and Japan
Early Korea
Early Japan
The Yamato Emperor and the Shinto Origins of
Japanese Sacred Identity
The Christian West
Charlemagne’s Fledgling Empire
Christianity for the North
The Age of the Vikings
The Survival of the Christian Empire of the East
a. Kaaba was a collection of unmortared
rocks considered the dwelling place of
B. A vision, a text
1. Muhammad born in Mecca around 570 ce
2. In the year 610, Muhammad had a vision
commanding him to recite phrases that
became Sura 96 of the Quran
3. He enjoined his followers to practice certain things:
a. Act righteously
b. Set aside false deities
c. Submit to one and only true God
d. Care for the less fortunate
4. Muhammad’s most insistent message was
the oneness of God
5. The Quran was compiled into a single
authoritative version sometime around 650
6. Arab historians believe the Quran to be
the very word of God
a. Quran text meant to inscribe the tenets
of the faith
Chapter 9
b. United a people
c. Conveyed a set of stable messages to
other cultures
d. Expanded frontiers of the new faith
7. Muhammad saw himself as the last of a
long line of Hebrew prophets and Jesus,
the Christian messiah
C. The move to Medina
1. Muslims date the beginning of Muslim
calendar to 622
2. Muhammad escaped persecution that year
and moved to Medina; this fl ight is known
as the Hegira
3. Medina became the birthplace of a new
faith—Islam, which means “submission”
a. A new collectivity called Muslims
(those who submit)
b. City faced tribal and religious tensions,
making them open to the leadership of
c. Muhammad presented the city with a
document, the Constitution of Medina,
requiring all the people to go to him
and God to settle disputes, thus replacing clan tradition
4. Adherents broadcast their new faith and
their new mission
a. First to Mecca
b. Second to inhabitants of Arabia
c. To the larger world of Asia, Africa, and
D. Conquests
1. Muhammad died in 632
2. The Prophet’s inspiration and early leaders
kept the faith going
a. Four successors known as the “rightly
guided caliphs”
b. Most important of the caliphs was
Muhammad’s nephew Ali
3. Successors decided to implement the
Prophet’s plan to send Arab-Muslim
armies into Syria and Iraq
4. Muslim soldiers embarked on military
conquest that they referred to as jihad
a. Jihad meant struggle, either military or
personal daily struggles
5. Muslim leaders divided the world into two
units in their quest to dominate the world
a. dar al-Islam, or the world of Islam
b. dar al-harb, or the world of warfare
6. Within 15 years, Muslim armies controlled
Syria, Egypt, and Iraq
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 97
a. Destroyed the Persian Sasanian Empire
b. Byzantium’s borders were reduced, and
they continued to be threatened by the
Islamic empire
E. An empire of Arabs
1. When Ali was killed in 661, a new clan
known as Umayyads took over
2. Moved the core of Islam away from Arabia
a. Introduced principle of hereditary
monarchy (caliphate) to resolve leadership disputes
3. Ruled from Damascus until overthrown
by Abbasids in 750
4. Five Pillars of Islam put in place as core
practices and beliefs
a. Belief in one God and the role of
Muhammad as Messenger
b. Ritual prayer
c. Fasting
d. Pilgrimage
e. Alms to the poor
5. In early days, conversion to Islam was simple
a. New faith did not call on adherents to
abandon entire former way of life
b. Major conversion incentive was a
reduced jizya tax
c. Islam did make many demands on its
6. Political limits to how much Islam could
integrate others’ beliefs
a. Did not allow non-Arabic speakers to
convert to Islam as a way to rise to high
political office
i. Overthrow of the Umayyad rule
ended that prohibition
ii. By the middle of the eighth century, probably fewer than 10 percent of people in the Islamic
empire were Muslim
F. The Abbasid revolution
1. Umayyad dynasty spread Islam beyond
Arabia and integrated more people, resulting in resistance to authority
a. In Kurasan, Muslims resented discrimination at the hands of Arab peoples
b. Coalition emerged led by the Abbasi
family, which claimed descent from the
Prophet’s family
2. The coalition amassed a military force and
defeated Umayyad rule in 750
a. The Abbasid victory shifted the center
of the caliphate to Iraq
98 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
3. Conversion to Islam rested on proselytizers and appeal of the new faith to converts
a. Abbasids more aggressively opened
Islam to Persian people
b. Encouraged Islamic world to embrace
Hellenistic ways
c. Islam in the Abbasid period was cosmopolitan and merged various peoples’
contributions into a rich, unified
4. The caliphate
a. Abbasid rulers retained the caliphate;
caliph was a political and spiritual head
of the Islamic community
b. Muhammad’s successors did not inherit
his prophetic powers, nor did they exercise authority over religious doctrines
i. Religious authority reserved to
special scholars called ulama
c. Abbasid style more centralized and
based on absolute authority modeled
on the Byzantine rulers
d. As the empire grew, it became harder to
maintain control; regional governors
and countercaliphates took control in
some areas
i. Multicentered Islamic world
ii. Political center shifted, but religious center remained in Mecca
5. The army
a. Integration relied on the use of force
b. Non-Arab groups formed the military
core as with the Romans
i. Brought new populations into the
ii. Gained political authority
c. Turkish elements entered the Islamic
d. As Islam spread, it became more multicultural while building a common
6. Islamic law (the Sharia) and theology
a. During the Abbasid period Islamic law
(Sharia) took shape
i. Sharia law covers all aspects of
practical as well as spiritual life
ii. Legal principles for marriage contracts, trade regulations
iii. Religious prayer, pilgrimage rites,
and ritual fasting
b. Needed to interpret legal questions
that the Quran did not address
i. Most influential legal scholar was
eighth-century Iraqi, al-Shafi’I
c. Early legal scholars placed the ulama at
the heart of Islam as lawmakers, not
d. Emergence of the ulama opened sharp
divisions within Islam between secular
and religious spheres
7. Gender in early Islam
a. Pre-Islamic Arabia was one of the last
regions that had not become fully
i. Men still married into women’s
tribes and moved to wives’ locations in tribal communities
ii. Women engaged in a variety of
occupations and could amass
iii. Muhammad’s evolving relations
to women reflected larger trends
in the influence of patriarchy that
made its way to Arabia
b. By the time Islam spread to Southwest
Asia and North Africa, strict gender
rules existed
i. Women were deeply subordinated
to men
ii. Men could divorce freely; women
could not
iii. Men could take four wives and
concubines; women could not
practice polygamy
iv. Elite women were veiled and lived
secluded from male society
c. Quran did offer women some
i. Men required to treat each wife
with respect
ii. Women could inherit property,
although only half of what a man
iii. Infanticide was prohibited
iv. Marriage dowries paid directly to
the bride, not to her guardian
d. Legal system reinforced status of men
over women but gave magistrates powers to oversee the defi nition of male
honor and proper behavior
G. The blossoming of Abbasid culture
1. Arts flourished and left imprint on society
a. Arabic superseded Greek and became
the language of the educated classes
Chapter 9
b. Arabic scholarship made many important contributions to the world of learning by preserving Greek and Roman
c. Extensive borrowing exemplified the
most substantial effort by one culture
to assimilate learning of other people
d. To house the scholarly works, Abbasids
founded massive and magnificent
H. Islam in a wider world
1. As Islam spread, it became more
2. Proselytizing Islam brought more people
under the teachings of the Quran
a. Growing diversity proved problematic;
no single political structure could hold
the widespread provinces
i. Secular power in Islam was
deeply divided and remains so
3. Spain
a. One Muslim state that became a rival
to the Abbasids was headed by Abd al
Rahmann III, al-Nasir
i. Iberia’s Muslim kingdom arose
during the Abbasid revolution of
750, when the defeated Umayyad
family fled to Spain
ii. Facilitated amicable relations
with Muslims, Christians, and
iii. Expanded and beautified the capital at Córdoba
a. Great Mosque of Córdoba
b. Competition between rival rulers
spurred creativity in the arts
i. Wanted to build cities and
mosques that rivaled those in
Islamic cities such as Baghdad
4. At eastern end of the Islamic world, near
the Oxus River in central Asia, a cultural
flowering took place
a. Barmaki family from Balkh turned
from Buddhism to Islam
b. Others from central Asia made notable
contributions to science and
c. Al-Khwarizmi modified Indian digits
into Arabic numerals, wrote the fi rst
book of algebra
5. Ibn Sina, known in the west as Avicenna
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 99
a. Wrote Canon of Medicine, which stood
as the standard medical text in the
region for centuries
6. Islam in sub-Saharan Africa
a. Islam crossed the Sahara and entered
Africa carried by traders and scholars,
not soldiers
i. Movement depended on camels
that could make the long-distance
b. Trade joined West and North Africa
and generated wealth, which created
the great centralized political kingdoms in West Africa
i. Ghana was the terminus of the
North African trading routes
c. Seafaring Muslim traders carried Islam
into East Africa, as Islam became a
dominant mercantile force in the
Indian Ocean
d. Early East African trade communities
were a mixture of African and Arab
i. Exported ivory and possibly slaves
ii. African Bantu language absorbed
Arab words and eventually
became Swahili
I. Opposition within Islam, Shiism, and the rise
of the Fatimids
1. Islam’s fast rise generated internal tensions
from the beginning
a. Believers shared a reverence for the
Quran and a single god but little else
b. Divisions from the Prophet’s time grew
deeper as Islam expanded
c. When the Prophet died, the fissure
became wider, especially over secession
2. Kharijites
a. Believed the successor should only be
someone who resembled Muhammad
b. Found appeal among people who felt
deprived of power such as the highland
Berbers of North Africa and people of
lower Iraq
3. Sunnis and Shiites
a. Confl ict between two groups became
Islam’s most powerful dissident force
and created a permanent divide within
b. Disagreement between two sects based
on ideas of succession
100 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
i. Sunni believed succession should
be based on the traditions of
ii. Shia, meaning “members of the
party of Ali,” felt succession should
involve a descendant of Ali, who
had married the Prophet’s daughter
c. Sunni (meaning tradition) represented
and still represents the majority of
d. Shiite beliefs appealed to groups
excluded from power by the Umayyads
and Abbasids
4. Fatimids
a. Shiites did not seize power until the
tenth century
i. Shiite religious and military
leader, Abu Abdallah, overthrew
the Sunni ruler in North Africa
ii. The Fatimid regime began, a rival
regime to the Abbasid caliphs of
iii. Rival capital called al-Qahira
b. Fatimid regime remained in power
until the end of the twelfth century
II. The Tang state
A. The rise of the Sui and Tang empires in China
paralleled Islam’s meteoric rise out of Arabia
1. Again Afro-Eurasia had two centers of
power: Islam and China
2. Not the same as Rome and Han China
because now the two worlds were more
interconnected with trade, conversion, and
regular political contacts
3. Shared common borders
B. Tang promoted a cosmopolitan culture that
absorbed many new elements arising from afar
1. Ideas came from the West, including India,
Bactria, and Constantinople
2. Ideas also came from East
a. Early societies and states in Korea
and Japan emerged in the shadow of
i. Daoism and Buddhism spread to
Korea and Japan
b. Chinese statecraft, based on Confucian
classics, was seen as best model by
Korean and Japanese scholars
c. Despite the rise of China’s empire, its
impact on Korea and Japan was limited
i. Each maintained cultural
C. Territorial expansion under the Sui and Tang
1. New sets of rulers (Sui and Tang) restored
Han model of empire building
2. Argued for big imperial system and found
broad support
3. Both dynasties expanded boundaries
4. Hero of the imperial day was Yang Jian
a. Served as an official of the militarily
strong Northern Zhou dynasty
5. Father and son emperors expanded the
state into Korea, Vietnam, Manchuria,
Tibet, and central Asia
a. Expansion efforts were fi nancially and
militarily disastrous and fatally weakened the dynasty
b. Change in course of Yellow River
caused flooding, which led to popu lar
c. General Li Yuan marched on Chang’an
and took the throne.
6. In 618, Li Yuan established the Tang
D. The army and imperial campaigning
1. An expanding Tang state required a large,
professionally trained army
a. Aristocratic cavalry and peasant soldiers
b. In the North, army relied on pastoral
nomadic soldiers
i. Uighurs: Turkish-speaking steppe
ii. Most deadly forces in the Tang
c. Military forged the fi rst westward
expansion into parts of Tibet
2. Moved to conquer east and central Asia
a. At the height of the empire, Tang
armies controlled more than 4 million
square miles and 80 million people
b. Surpassed the peak of Han Empire and
greater than Islamic rule in the eighth
and ninth centuries
3. China in 750 ce was the most powerful,
most advanced, and best administered
empire in the world
4. The rivalry for Afro-Eurasian supremacy
brought the worlds together, but not
a. Muslim forces drove the Tang from
Turkestan in 751 ce
Chapter 9
b. Tang forced to retreat from central Asia
and mainland Southeast Asia
c. Several factors eventually led to the
downfall of the Tang
i. Misrule
ii. Court intrigues
iii. Economic exploitation
iv. Popu lar rebellions
d. Northern invaders brought an end to
the dynasty in 907 ce
5. With the downfall of the Tang, China fragmented into five northern dynasties and
ten southern kingdoms
E. Organizing an empire
1. Emulated the Han but introduced new
2. Tang had to deal with the arrival of global
3. Confucian administrators
a. Day-to-day operations relied on the
civil ser vice
b. Tang had to devise other formulas for
integrating their remote territories and
diverse ethnic and linguistic groups
i. Created a strong and unifying
political culture based on Confucian teachings rather than relying
on a world religion to anchor
ii. Knowledge of the details of Confucius and intricacies of Chinese
language required for ruling
iii. Skills were powerful in forging
cultural and political solidarity
c. Common philosophy and written language served as surrogates for the universalistic religions
d. The Tang state increased power
through the world’s fi rst written civil
ser vice exam system
i. New civil ser vice officials were
selected from those who passed
the examination and meritocracy
e. Tang used common texts, codes,
and tests to unify the governing
f. Empress Wu enforced a new aristocracy of academic ability
i. Through civil ser vice exams,
southern commoners took more
prominent roles
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 101
ii. Exam system also indirectly aided
the poor because they saw value of
education as a way to rise into the
ruling elite
4. China’s fi rst female emperor
a. Women played influential roles in the
b. Most played private roles, but some had
public roles
c. Empress Wu dominated the Tang court
in the late seventh and early eighth
d. First and only female ruler in Chinese
i. Expanded military
ii. Recruited her administrators
from the civil ser vice exam candidates to oppose her court enemies
iii. Challenging beliefs that subordinated women, she elevated women’s position
e. Ordered scholars to write biographies
of famous women
f. Empowered mother’s clan by giving
relatives high political posts
g. Tried to establish a new Zhou dynasty
through a benign and competent rule
i. Chinese Buddhism achieved its
highest officially sponsored development in this period
5. Eunuchs
a. Tang rulers defended themselves by
surrounding themselves with loyal and
well-compensated men
i. Tang emperors relied on castrated
males from lower classes
b. Eunuchs in China became fully integrated into the empire’s institution and
wielded a great deal of power
i. In 820, chief eunuch controlled
the military
ii. Eunuch bureaucracy mediated
between the emperor and provincial governments
iii. By the late Tang dynasty, eunuchs
held too much political power and
became an unruly group that was
partially responsible for the
downfall of the Tang dynasty
F. An economic revolution
1. Political stability fueled remarkable economic achievement
102 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
a. The Sui had triggered economic progress by building canals throughout the
country; Tang continued the effort
b. New waterways aided communication
and transport
i. Rice was transported from the
south to the north
ii. Areas south of the Yangzi became
the demographic center of Chinese empire
c. Chinese merchants took advantage of
the Silk Road to trade with India and
the Islamic world
d. With rebellions jeopardizing overland
trade routes, the “silk road by sea”
e. The Tang capital of Chang’an became
the richest and most populous city in
the world
i. Textiles, paper, and ceramics all
became desired commodities in
the West
G. Accommodating world religions
1. Tang emperors tolerated a remarkable
amount of religious diversity
2. The growth of Buddhism
a. Buddhism thrived under Tang
b. Japanese monk Ennin studied Buddhism in China and returned to Japan
to form Tendai Buddhism
c. When Buddhism was accepted as one
of the “three ways” of learning with
Daoism and Confucianism, the Tang
embraced and supported it
d. Huge monasteries were built and emissaries sent to India to gather Buddhist
artifacts all paid for by imperial
e. Grottoes such as at Dunhuang on the
Silk Road served as ideal venues for
monks to practice
H. Anti-Buddhist campaigns
1. Tang Empire contained hundreds
of thousands of Buddhist monks and
a. Success of Buddhism threatened Confucian and Daoist leaders, who began
to attack Buddhism
b. Secular rulers grew more and more
concerned that religious loyalties
would undermine political ones
i. Accused Buddhists of hurting kinship values and cardinal family
ii. Claimed clergy were conspiring
to destroy the state, the family,
and the individual body
a. “Three Destructions” of
c. Persecution of monastic orders began
in the 840s
i. Emperor Wuzong closed more than
4,600 monasteries and destroyed
40,000 temples and shrines
2. Tang government brought the Buddhist
monastic communities under its control,
unlike in Latin Europe
i. Confucianism and Daoism part of
Chinese bureaucracy; Buddhism
lacked that power base
ii. Buddhism became vulnerable
when attacked by Emperor
3. By emphasizing classical scholarship,
ancient literature, and Confucian morality,
Tang dynasty revered early Buddhist
4. Overcoming the universalistic thrust of
Buddhism resulted in persistent religious
5. Tang China was the one place that
remained committed to a secular common
I. The fall of Tang China
1. China’s deteriorating economy led to peasant uprisings
a. Some risings led by failed exam
2. Revolts brought down dynasty and led to
ten regional states
III. Early Korea and Japan
A. Early Korea
1. During the fourth century, three independent
states emerged on the Korean peninsula
a. Koguryo (north)
b. Paekche (southwest)
c. Silla (Southeast)
2. Silla’s unification of Korea enabled the
Koreans to establish a unified government
modeled on the Tang imperial state
3. With Tang decline, Silla also began to
Chapter 9
4. Koryo reunited Korea and founded the
Koryo dynasty
a. Enacted an unprecedented bureaucratic system
i. Used Tang dynasty–style civil
ser vice exams to choose capable
5. Korea, like Tang China, was harassed continuously by northern tribes such as the
Khitan people
B. Early Japan
1. Warlike groups from Korea imposed military and social power on southern Japan
a. Known as the Tomb Culture
b. Unified Japan
c. Brought with them a belief in the power
of female shamans
i. Shaman-queen, Himiko, sent an
envoy to China after Han fell
2. The complex aristocratic society under
Tomb Culture paved the way for the Yamato Japanese state
a. Rise of Japanese state coincided with
the Three Kingdoms era in Korea
C. The Yamato emperor and the Shinto origins of
Japanese sacred identity
1. Ancestor worship was native to Japan and
was at center of emerging belief system
2. Imperial line justified itself by embracing a
tradition that sacralized Japanese state and
a. Adopted both Buddhism and
3. Emperor presented as the living embodiment of Japan and its people
a. Divine characteristics placed Yamato
aristocratic families on top
4. Prince Shotoku and the Taika political
a. Sogo looked to Japanese Prince Shotoku as the creator of all that was innovative in the Yamato state
i. Scribes claimed Shotoku, not
Korean migrants, had introduced
ii. Japanese Buddhists saw Prince
Shotoku as the founder of Buddhism in Japan as Christians
looked to Constantine in the
Roman Empire
b. Prince Shotoku sent emissaries to
China during the Sui dynasty
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 103
i. Presented information about how
to incorporate Chinese reforms in
ii. Looked to Tang as a model for
c. Japanese rulers tolerated and even promoted a mosaic of religions
d. Shotoku promoted Buddhism and
i. Erected several Buddhist temples
ii. Horyuji Temple is the oldest surviving wooden structure in the world
e. In 645, the Nakatomi family came to
power after eliminating the Soga
i. Used new power to enact the
Taika reform edicts based on Confucian principles of government
f. The Yamato court adopted the Chinese
notion of the Mandate of Heaven
i. Refused to adopt the Chinese
civil ser vice exam system
5. Mahayana Buddhism and the sanctity of
the Japanese state
a. Religious influences migrated to Japan;
added to spiritual pluralism while
uplifting its rulers
b. Nakatomi promoted Buddhism as the
state religion of Japan
i. Did not reject the imperial family’s
support of native Shinto traditions
ii. Association with Buddhism gave
the Japanese extra status
c. Japanese emperor received more
explicit worship as the sacred ruler
i. Japanese emperor was a supreme
kami—a divine force in his own
ii. Shinto and Buddhism became
symbiotically intertwined in the
political and religious life of the
IV. The Christian West
A. Charlemagne’s fledgling empire
1. Ruled from 768 to 814
2. By 802, Charlemagne controlled much of
Western Europe
a. Empire had fewer than 15 million
b. His armies were rarely larger than
c. Had a rudimentary tax system
104 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
3. His palace was primitive in comparison
with some of those of Islamic caliphs
4. Representatives of the warrior class that
had come to dominate post-Roman Western Europe
5. Franks engaged in trade, but trade was
based on war
a. Frankish Empire was fi nanced by the
massive sale of prisoners of war
i. Main victims were Slavic-speaking
peoples from Eastern Europe
6. In this inhospitable zone, Christianity put
down roots
B. Christianity for the north
1. Charlemagne’s empire was in the
2. Based on expansion and Christian
3. Christianity emerged in the new borderlands world; much different from its Mediterranean origins
4. Christianity bridged the gap between the
Mediterranean world and the new nonRoman world of the north
a. Christians felt that Christ was the Messiah and that their faith was the only
true universal religion
b. Bishop Augustine of Hippo had put forth
the outlines of these beliefs in 410 ce
i. Wrote the book called The City of
ii. Catholic Church important for
bringing people to religion
c. Several things led to Christianity’s
establishment in northern Europe
i. Christianity’s arrival in northern
Europe began a cultural revolution
a. Latin became a sacred language; books became vehicles
of the holy
ii. Bibles produced by monks and nuns
d. Monks, nuns, and popes
i. Sent out missionaries
ii. Believed that those who had least
in common with those with “normal lives” were best able to mediate between the believer and God
iii. Missionary zeal occurred because
it offered an alternative to the
European warrior societies
iv. By 800, few regions of northern
Europe were without great
5. The papacy rose because the Catholic
Church and Western Europe united to support a single and exclusive symbolic center
6. Popes owed position to two factors
a. The Arab conquest, which had
removed competition
b. Desire for a new, more vibrant religion
C. The age of the Vikings
1. The Vikings exploited the weaknesses of
Charlemagne’s regime
2. Viking motive simple: “to be on the
3. Successful because of technological advantage: their ships
a. Light and agile
b. Shallow draft
c. Rowed up the rivers of northern Europe
d. Could also travel on open waters,
including the Atlantic
4. Plundered monasteries along rivers and in
Ireland and Britain
5. Norwegian adventurers colonized Iceland
and Greenland
6. Reached New World in 982
a. Carried out trade with Native
7. Viking efforts in Eastern Europe had lasting effects
8. Created new trade routes through Baltic
region—“The Highway of Slaves”
D. The survival of the Christian empire of the
1. Several attempts were made to capture the
eastern Christian empire in
a. Greek fi re very effective against Muslim fleets
2. Greek Orthodox Christianity
a. Outlasting a series of military emergencies bolstered the morale of east Roman
Christianity and led to its unexpected
flowering in distant lands
b. Gained a spiritual empire that offset
losses to the east Roman Empire in
Southwest Asia
c. Heart of church the Hagia Sophia in
d. Converted much of Eastern Europe
3. By 1000, two Christianities existed
a. Confident “borderland” Catholicism of
Western Europe
b. An ancient Greek Orthodoxy
c. Neither side really admired the other
Chapter 9
4. Like Islam, the Christian world was
divided, though in two distinct regions:
western and eastern Christianity
a. Differences not doctrinal, as with Shia
and Sunni Islam
b. Christian differences were in heritage,
customs, and levels of perceived
5. Each dealt with the expansion of the Muslim world differently
6. Christianity expanded its geographic
reach to new frontiers
a. Growing religious homogeneity and
common faith increased in western
V. Conclusion
A. Eurasian and North African societies witnessed a radical reordering of their political
and cultural maps that encouraged migration
B. Commodities, technological innovations,
ideas, travelers, merchants, adventurers, and
scholars moved rapidly over great distances
from one region to another
C. Despite all the circulation of people and ideas,
a new set of political and cultural boundaries
emerged that divided the landmass as never
1. Islam was the most important of the new
universalistic religions
2. Challenged and slowed the spread of
another universalistic religion,
D. The Sui and Tang empires revived
Confucianism as a basis for a new imperial
E. Many ways to cope with the emergence and
spread of universalizing religions across Eurasia and Africa
1. A common affi liation with empire
2. Sometimes faith followed empire, as in
East Asia
3. Sometimes empire followed faith, as was
the case with Islam
F. Each universal religion also saw internal debate
over basic principles
Vikings in Iceland
A lecture on the discovery and settling of Iceland would
be useful for a number of reasons. Given the dearth of
textual sources about the Vikings, little is known regard-
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 105
ing their practices in the preconversion period. Iceland’s
history provides resources on as pure a Viking culture as
is possible. In addition, the Icelandic Vikings developed a
strong democratic social structure with a parliamentarian
government. Although full gender equality did not exist,
society was less rigid and less stratified, while gender roles
were more flexible than in other parts of Europe. These
are just a few details that can be brought out in a lecture
on Vikings and help students move beyond the stereotype
of Vikings as merely faceless barbarians. See:
Hurstwic: Viking Age History
1. Why do you think Vikings became raiders?
2. What kind of influence did the Vikings have in
3. What regions of the world did they access and
The Year 1000
Formulate a lecture around the year 1000. Help students
understand the exact meaning of a date and the human
construction involved in dating. Following the theme of
the text, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, you can show students how many people were preparing for the end of the
world in Europe on December 31, 999—much as some
people did on December 31, 1999. Then discuss how people kept time around the world. The Muslims, the Jews,
the Chinese, and the Indians, to name just a few, all
counted time differently from European Christians. For
them, December 31, 999, was not an apocalyptic day.
After you have discussed the historical implications of
timekeeping, discuss what the world was like at that point
in time. Much was changing, and soon thereafter major
hegemonic changes would shift global power to Europe
instead of Asia, where power had rested for so long. For
the fi rst time, all the civilizations were becoming aware of
each other. The focus of power was beginning to shift
from rural to urban, and it slowly moved from religious
centers to national centers. This is a good time to review
where the world has been and the implications of the
global changes as it moves forward. The following texts
are useful for creating this lecture: Mapping Time (Richards), Atlas of the Year (Man), The Year 1000 (Lacey and
Danziger), and The Last Apocalypse (Reston) (see the
“Recommended Reading” section).
1. Discuss the various baselines for tracking time and
how each people group arrived at its reckoning of
time. How successful were they?
106 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
2. Was the European calendar method accurate at this
point in time? How had it evolved?
2. What role did the Eastern Orthodox Church play in
the development of Byzantium?
3. How were the nomadic people linked to Byzantium?
The Period of the Four Caliphs
After the death of Muhammad, tension regarding succession continued to mount. No amount of debate seemed to
bring any resolution. A lecture recounting the period of
the four caliphs up through the battle of Karbala, with the
death of Ali and the fi nal split among Muslims, is crucial
in today’s complex political world. Include in your lecture
some of the more clearly defi ned differences between
the Shia and Sunni: how leadership is established, what
the leaders are called, how decisions are made, what texts
are considered holy, what regions ascribe to which groups,
major theological differences, percentages today that are
Sunni or Shia and where, and so on. See:
The Origins of the Shia-Sunni Split
What Is the Difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims,
and Why Does It Matter?
1. What are the major leadership differences between
the two sects? How are leaders determined, what
are they called, and what kind of power do they
2. What are the major theological differences between
Sunni and Shia?
The Rise of Byzantium
A lecture that clarifies the shift in capitals and seats of
power from Rome to Constantinople and the creation of
eastern and western Rome helps to link events between
the empires. In addition, trace the collapse of western
Rome and the rise of Byzantium, connecting this to the
earlier themes of nomadic migrations and the rise of universal religions. In the latter part of the lecture, emphasize
the interconnectedness of the Eastern Orthodox Church
and Byzantium. Both supported highly centralized systems, with the church backing the state. Byzantium also
shifted away from a dependence on the military to a
dependence on a merchant class. For more details, see
Timothy Gregory’s History of Byzantium and the Web
sites listed at the end of this chapter.
1. How did the rulers of Byzantium create a new state in
ways that they hoped would avoid repeating the mistakes of the Roman Empire?
Ireland: A Seat of Medieval Western Learning
Ireland and the libraries of the Muslim world were the
main repositories of learning during the period of European collapse. As Rome was overrun by nomadic tribes,
early Irish monks traveled back and forth to the Holy
Land. As they went, they collected Greek and Roman
texts. They continued to copy manuscripts and communicate with Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. Two
missionaries succeeded Saint Patrick and continued the
Christian movement in Ireland, carry ing it on to Scotland, England, Gaul, and Italy: Columban (530?– 615)
and Columba (531–597). As the Celtic Christian movement grew, it produced more and more teachers, pilgrims
and scholars, keeping Ireland at the center of European
classical scholarship until the arrival of the Vikings in
875. During this time almost 150 monasteries were
founded in Ireland, with scholars and monks arriving
from across the Christian world. For further details, see:
The Irish Monastery Movement
See also Celtic Britain (Thomas) and Early Celtic Christianity (Lehane) (see the “Recommended Reading”
1. What kind of lasting impact did the Irish Christian
movement have on the Christian world?
2. Did the raiding by the Vikings destroy this movement, or did the collapse occur for other reasons?
Leisure Time in Viking Society
Games are an inseparable part of every culture. There are
a variety of ways that you can create an activity around
two games that became important in Europe. These games
were played regularly, in great mea sure because they
re-created so successfully the social and military structures of the societies in which they were played. In Viking
culture, the game hnefatafl (pronounced “nhev-eh-TAHfull”), meaning the “king’s board or game,” must rank as
one of history’s great board games (see “Game of Hnefatefl,”
www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/learning/boardgame.html). It
is older than chess and, like chess, is a game of strategy;
although at fi rst glance it seems simple, don’t be deceived.
The game can become very complex and beautifully
Chapter 9
represents the class structures in Viking society as well as
many of their fighting tactics. Provide students with one
or more sets of the game to play—it doesn’t take long—and
then let them discuss what they might be able to deduce
from the game. Ask them leading questions, such as: how
many different kinds of pieces are there? What strategies
could you use to win? With the game set up in this par ticular way, and winning accomplished when the king arrives
at one of the four corners, what does this tell you about
Viking war strategies? This opens the door for further
discussion and an enlivened lecture. Not everyone has to
play. Some students can watch while others play. Let them
all figure out the rules together. Don’t help them; this is
part of the process. If you choose, you can juxtapose this
game with chess, the popu lar board game of medieval
Eu rope. As Eu rope became more powerful and once the
Vikings converted to Christianity, hnefatafl lost its place in
the world of games; however, it was popular with the Vikings
until at least 1000 while chess continued to rise in popularity. You can discuss the differences between the games,
for example the different social stratification and fighting
strategies. The history of chess is far more complex and
convoluted, involving shifts in women’s agency and social
stratification as represented by changes in pieces and moves
on the board. For more historical details about chess, see
the book:
Marilyn Yalom, 2005. Birth of the Chess Queen.
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 107
When combined to form words, they were most often
used for inscriptions on monuments or funeral markers.
Today these markers are called rune stones. Once students
write out their names, have them look at the meaning of
the fi rst letter of their names. Have them cast the stones
and see what the casting tells them. One of the things that
students should notice is that rune stones didn’t really
“tell” the future, nor were they thought to create someone’s
future. The Vikings believed they created their own future.
In that sense, they felt very empowered. Thus, the runes
offer more information about qualities and characteristics
than they do about the future. You can ask the students to
contrast what they learned about I Ching, if you used
that earlier activity. This Web site provides detailed
information about casting itself and the variations on the
Finally, provide students with images of extant rune
stone markers and some information about what the
stones usually were about. Discuss the complexity of this
alphabet compared with other alphabets they have now
worked with. What dictates alphabet development? Does
this indicate the amount of texts a society might have?
How is this alphabet different from earlier ones they have
worked with? You could also remind students of the earlier
Hero Stones of the Harappa civilizations. What comparisons can be drawn across time? Is the level of development
the same between the two people groups?
Continuing the theme of textual development, let students experiment with the Viking alphabet known as
Futhark. Futhark was written in straight-line letters called
runes. The name “Futhark” derives from the fi rst six letters of the alphabet: F_U_T_H_A_R_K. It is believed
that Futhark is a combination of the Etruscan alphabet
with several Latin or Roman letters added. Provide students with copies of the alphabet and the corresponding
letters for transliteration from:
www.ancientscripts.com/futhark .html
Provide paper and have students write their names in
Futhark. Next, provide them with rune stones. Unlike the
other alphabets that students have worked with, runes
were also used for casting. The runes themselves seem to
have derived from the Old Norse word run, which means
“secret,” or runa, meaning “secret whisper.” Each rune has
a unique pattern that carries a secret meaning. The runes
were intended to bring balance and harmony into life.
The individual letters were used for telling the future.
■ The Thirteenth Warrior (2000, 103 min.). Much of this
movie is Hollywood fantasy. On the other hand, you can
use some scenes for specific purposes. Based on Michael
Crichton’s novel Eaters of the Dead, The Thirteenth Warrior merged the travel narrative of Ibn Fadlan with elements of Beowulf to devise the fi nal story. The use of these
two primary sources provides a topic for discussion. One
scene early in the fi lm shows a slave woman volunteering
to go on to the next world with the dead Viking chief—
in other words, volunteering to be sacrificed. This scene
appears to be faithful to Fadlan’s account, including the
ritual prayer and the slave girl’s willingness to die but, as
one would imagine, with a moment of panic just before
death. In the same scene, the narrator comments on how
barbaric he fi nds the Vikings. This provides a good opportunity to discuss stereotypes and inaccuracies. In par ticular, he refers to a communal bowl from which everyone
washes and performs other morning ablutions. In reality,
Vikings are now thought to have been especially assiduous
about their cleanliness and would not have passed one
108 ◆ Chapter 9 New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
bowl around for everyone to perform their morning throat
clearing. Much later in the fi lm, the warriors prepare the
Viking village for attack by unknown beasts. This welldone scene shows some of the Vikings’ defense strategies.
■ Byzantium: The Lost Empire (2007, 208 min.). This documentary was a year in the making, and the fi nal product
was well worth the wait. It provides an excellent survey of
the establishment of a new empire rising out of the crumbling western Roman Empire. The fi lm shows how Byzantium became one of the new seats of learning; a place
for thriving trade; and a re-created, wealthier Rome. Part
1 addresses the fall of Rome, the rise of Christianity, and
the roots of the Byzantine Empire. Part 2 discusses the
development of Byzantine bureaucracy, a centralized government, and the negotiation between church and state.
Part 3 deals with the empire’s collapse.
■ China’s Cosmopolitan Age: The Tang (1993, 60 min.).
This video is one of the few available specifically on the
Tang dynasty, China’s Golden Age. Its focus is on the economic, gender, and cultural freedoms promoted during
the time as well as the rise of Buddhism. This was the
period of Buddhism’s greatest strength in China’s history.
Some of the video is exceptionally well done, while other
sections are weaker; however, given the dearth of options,
this still serves as a viable, visual teaching tool.
■ In Search of Ancient Ireland (2003, 170 min.). In Search of
Ancient Ireland is also broken into three logical sections:
the pre-Christian period, the missionary era, and the
period under Viking control. Therefore, the documentary
begins in the Stone Age, around 2000 bce; it ends at the
time of the Norman invasion of 1167 ce. For this chapter, only portions of the second section and third section
would be relevant.
■ Islam: Empire of Faith (2001, 120 min.). PBS supported
the creation of this documentary, which traces the rise of
Islam in its fi rst thousand years. It attempts to provide
some balance to the religion in a post–9/11 world, showing Islam’s negative and positive aspects. Included in this
three-part fi lm is a helpful understanding of the cultural
impact Islam had on the European Renaissance. See the
Web site section, which includes teaching resources, listed
at the end of this chapter.
■ The Viking Ships (1995, 22 min.). This excellent brief film
discusses the technology of Viking shipbuilding as discovered through an underwater archaeological site from which
five ships were recovered and ultimately rebuilt. Much was
learned from this 1960s excavation and recovery process,
out of which developed the Roskilde Museum in Denmark.
The fi lm uses the Bayeux Tapestry as an important source
linking the battle of Hastings with Viking history. The
length allows time for a discussion following the fi lm.
Tamim Ansary, 2010. Destiny Disrupted: A History of the
World through Islamic Eyes.
Karen Armstrong, 2002. Islam: A Short History.
Charles Benn, 2001. Daily Life in Traditional China—The
Tang Dynasty.
Marc Bloch, 1961. Translator L. A. Manyon. Feudal Society, vols. 1 and 2.
Denise Lardner Carmody, 1989. Women and World
Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, 1999. Early Medieval Ireland, 400–1200.
Sir John Glubb, 1970. The Life and Times of Muhammad.
Timothy Gregory, 2005. History of Byzantium.
Mark Harrison, 1993. Viking Hersir, 793–1066 a.d.
Gwyn Jones, 2001. A History of the Vikings.
Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger, 1999. The Year 1000:
What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium.
Brendan Lehane, 2005. Early Celtic Christianity.
John Man, 1999. Atlas of the Year.
Lucien Musset, 2002. Translator Richard Rex. The Bayeux Tapestry.
James Reston Jr., 1998. The Last Apocalypse.
Susan Reynolds, 1994. Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval
Evidence Reinterpreted.
E. G. Richards, 1998. Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its
Richard E. Rubenstein, 2003. Aristotle’s Children: How
Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient
Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages.
Charles Thomas, 1997. Celtic Britain.
Marilyn Yalom, 2005. Birth of the Chess Queen.
Byzantium: Byzantine Studies on the Internet
An excellent source for primary documents
China History: Tang Dynasty
A detailed site on all of China’s dynasties
Explore Byzantium
One of the most detailed sites on Byzantium
http://byzantium.seashell.net.nz/index .php
Chapter 9
History of Korea
Basic information and also an amazing array of links to
information about Korea
New Empires and Common Cultures, 600–1000 ce
◆ 109
General information on Vikings in England
Hurstwic: Viking Age History
Excellent source for links on all aspects of Viking history
Vikings Ship Museum
Excellent site for information on the ships and Danish
Viking voyages
Institute: Teach China
Background on the Tang dynasty with a number of additional sources
www.chinainstitute.org/index .cfm?fuseaction=page
Internet Islamic History Sourcebook
Links to primary-source material on Islam
www.fordham.edu/halsall/islam/islamsbook .html
Irish Monastery Movement
Article on the monastic movement in Ireland from the
sixth to the tenth centuries with links
Islam: Empire of Faith
Interactive Web site with timeline
Islamic History
A site that provides an original version of the history of
Islam from the Encyclopedia Britannica as well as a
lengthy list of additional links
The Origins of the Shia-Sunni Split
A detailed site on the historical problems that caused
the permanent division of the Muslim faith;
includes maps, audio texts, images, and
Robert van Gulik, translator, 1976. Celebrated Cases of
Judge Dee.
This novel was originally written sometime in the Ming
period (1368–1644) by an anonymous Chinese author as
a series of mystery stories based on the real-life character
of Di Renjie (c. 630–c. 700), a judge and statesman during
the Tang period. Later, van Gulik found the manuscript
and translated it into English. It provides an intriguing
way to evaluate life in Tang China with much for you and
your students to discuss.
Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Pálsson, translators,
1969. Laxdaela Saga.
Bernard Scudder, translator, 1997. Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir, editor, 2004. Egil’s Saga.
Susan Whitfield, 1998. Life along the Silk Road.
Whitfield is a foremost authority on the Silk Road. This
text offers a number of discrete stories based in different
time frames and locations. You can use the whole book or
portions of it at various times in the semester. It is exceptionally well done in terms of historical detail and will
allow you to draw in stories relating to Buddhism, Tang
China, and Islam, among others.
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 CE
▶ Commercial Connections
Revolutions at Sea
Commercial Contacts
Global Commercial Hubs
Sub-Saharan Africa Comes Together
West Africa and the Mande-Speaking Peoples
The Empire of Mali
East Africa and the Indian Ocean
The Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean Slave
Islam in a Time of Political Fragmentation
Becoming the Middle East
Afro-Eurasian Merchants
Diversity and Uniformity in Islam
Political Integration and Disintegration
What Was Islam?
India as a Cultural Mosaic
Rajas and Sultans
Invasions and Consolidations
What Was India?
Song China: Insiders versus Outsiders
This chapter brings us to the brink of the early modern
world as regions became closely connected through trade.
It was also a time of religious confl ict, colonization, migration, and global exchange. Chapter 10 raises the historical
paradox of how the world was becoming more interconnected, while its regions became more distinct. It examines the rise of distinct countries such as India, China,
and those in Europe. It also looks at the continued progress in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter
concludes with the invasion of the Mongols throughout
Central and Southwest Asia and the fall of Baghdad in
I. A globe of regional worlds
A. People exchanged money and goods along
trade routes and sea lanes connecting the
world’s regions and ushered in three interrelated themes
China’s Economic Progress
Money and Inflation
New Elites
Negotiating with Neighbors
What Was China?
China’s Neighbors Adapt to Change
Southeast Asia: A Maritime Mosaic
Christian Europe
Western and Northern Europe
Eastern Europe
The Russian Lands
What Was Christian Europe?
The Americas
Andean States
Connections to the North
The Mongol Transformation of Afro-Eurasia
Who Were the Mongols?
Conquest and Empire
Mongols in China
Mongol Reverberations in Southeast Asia
The Fall of Baghdad
1. Trade traffic was shifting from land to sea
2. Contact and exchange reinforced the sense
of difference across the world’s cultural
spheres: China, India, Islam, and
3. The rise of the Mongol Empire represented the peak in a history of ties and tensions between two lifestyles, nomadic and
settled people
II. Commercial connections
A. Revolutions at sea
1. By the tenth century, sea routes had
eclipsed land routes for trade
a. Improved navigational aids
b. Refi nements of shipbuilding
c. Better mapmaking
d. Breakthroughs in commercial laws and
accounting practices
Chapter 10
2. Ships could carry much more than people
and beasts of burden could
3. Needle compass was crucial to the maritime revolution
a. Invented by Chinese
b. Use of the device spread rapidly
c. Allowed sailing during cloudy weather
d. Mapmaking easier and more accurate
e. Made all oceans easier to navigate
4. Shipping became less dangerous
a. Better vessels rigged with lateen sails or
b. Protection of political authorities
5. Sea routes replaced land routes
B. Commercial contacts
1. Agricultural development changed the
nature of trade and transportation
a. Irrigation
b. Crop rotation
c. New grain and grass crops
d. Grew food in newer areas
e. Changes yielded surpluses that needed
to be traded
2. Ships made it profitable to ship bulky
C. Global commercial hubs
1. Long-distance trade created new commercial cities
2. Meeting points between two regional hubs
became cosmopolitan
3. Three places emerged as major anchorages
a. Cairo-Fustat (old Cairo)
b. Quanzhou
c. Quilon
4. The Egyptian anchorage
a. Cairo and Alexandria served as main
maritime commercial centers with ties
to Indian Ocean
b. Numerous Muslim and Jewish fi rms
c. Silk yarn and textiles most commonly
traded commodities
i. Zaytuni (satin) from Quanzhou
d. The trade cities prospered because
Islamic leaders created sophisticated
commercial institutions
e. Islamic legal system helped created a
favorable trade environment
i. Laws against usury
ii. Partnerships
5. The anchorage of Quanzhou
a. Busiest trade city in China
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 111
b. More centralized with the Office of
Seafaring Affairs
i. Taxed, registered, and examined
cargo, sailors, and traders
ii. Hosted annual ritual to summon
favorable winds
iii. Locals and foreigners sought protection from goddess Mazu
c. Junks—main ship used in Asia
i. Sailed to Java, through Strait of
Malacca to Kollam on India’s
southwest coast
ii. Farther west, switched crew and
cargo to the smaller Arabian dhows
iii. Seaworthy with watertight compartments for stability
d. Quanzhou’s population diverse
i. Foreign traders stayed on and ran
successful businesses
ii. Mixed except for religious worship
III. Sub-Saharan Africa comes together
A. After 1000 ce, sub-Saharan Africa ceased to be
a world apart
1. No area in Africa escaped the effects of the
outside world
B. West Africa and the Mande-speaking peoples
1. Mande-speaking peoples emerged as the
link within and beyond West Africa
because of their expertise in commerce
and political organization
a. Mande is part of the larger NigerCongo languages
b. Mande or Mandinka people’s home
was and is the area between the Senegal
and Niger rivers
2. By the eleventh century, the Mande spread
their cultural, commercial, and political
hegemony from the high grasslands of the
savannah to the woodlands and tropical
rain forests
3. Mande and other groups developed centralized polities called sacred kingships
4. Trading networks already established with
trading hubs before European explorers
and traders arrived
5. Most vigorous and profitable businesses
were the ones that stretched across the
Sahara Desert
a. Most prized trade item was salt mined
in the northern Sahel by the city of
112 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
b. Gold mined within the Mande
c. Slaves were traded to the settled Muslim
communities of North Africa and Egypt
C. The empire of Mali
1. Successor state to the kingdom of Ghana
a. Exercised political sway over a vast area
up to the 1400s
b. Malian Empire represented the triumph of horse warriors
i. Epic of Sundiata
c. Horses became prestige objects of the
savanna peoples
2. Mali Empire was a thriving commercial
polity by the fourteenth century
3. Mali’s most famous ruler was Mansa Musa
(r. 1312–1332)
a. Made an impressive journey to Mecca
for his hajj traveling through Cairo
b. Dazzled people in the city of Cairo with
his country’s wealth
c. West Africa became known as the
source for precious metal
4. Mali Empire had two of the largest West
African cities
a. Jenne, an ancient northern commercial
b. City of Timbuktu founded around
1100 ce as a seasonal camp for nomads
i. Two large mosques still extant
ii. Famous for its intellectual vitality
because Muslim scholars congregated to debate tenets of Islam
D. East Africa and the Indian Ocean
1. Eastern and southern African regions were
also integrated into long-distance trading
a. Wind patterns made East Africa a logical end point for Indian Ocean trade
b. Swahili peoples living along the coast
of East Africa became active brokers
with the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf territories, and
India’s west coast
c. Most valued trade commodity was gold
i. Mined between Limpopo and
Zambezi rivers
ii. Mined by Shona-speaking peoples
iii. Great Zimbabwe was a center of
gold mining
E. The trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave
1. African slaves valued as much as gold
a. After Islam spread into Africa, sailing
techniques improved through shared
b. Slave trade across the Sahara and
Indian Ocean boomed
2. This slave system was unlike the chattel
slavery found much later in the Americas
a. Quran attempted to mitigate the severity of slavery by requiring slave owners
to treat their slaves with kindness and
b. Quran praised manumission of slaves as
an act of piety
c. African slave trade flourished under
Islam, and slaves fi lled a variety of roles
in the slave-importing societies
i. Slaves were pressed into military
ii. Some were valued for their seafaring skills and ended up as crew
aboard Muslim trading dhows
iii. Women mostly used for domestic
iv. Other enslaved women forced to
be concubines of powerful Muslim
political figures and businessmen
v. Enslaved peoples worked on plantations, especially in lower Iraq
3. In the ninth century, slaves revolted on
those plantations
a. Slaves were prized for their labor and as
status symbols for owners
b. These societies owned many slaves, but
the economic forces and social structures of the communities did not rely on
mass ownership of human beings as it
did in the antebellum American South
IV. Islam in a time of political fragmentation
A. Islam had the same burst of expansion, prosperity, and cultural diversification that had
swept the rest of the Afro-Eurasian world
1. The peoples of Islam remained politically
fractured even with their common religious beliefs
2. The dream of trying to unify and centralize the rule of an Islamic state ended in
1258, when the Mongols sacked Baghdad
B. Becoming the “Middle East”
1. Islam responded to instability by undergoing major changes
Chapter 10
2. Commercial networks carried the word of
the Quran
3. Sufism became Islam’s mystical movement
a. It was inside the Sufi brotherhoods that
Islam became a religion to the people
b. Sufi orders brought about massive conversion from Christianity
c. The Mevlevi Sufi order is famed for the
ceremonial dancing of its whirling
4. The world acquired another “core” region
centered in what is now called the Middle
East (i.e., Southwest Asia)
a. Trade was the main source of prosperity
C. Afro-Eurasian merchants
1. Long-distance merchants most responsible
for integrating Islamic worlds
2. Merchants were as diverse as their
3. Long-distance trade surged because an
advanced legal framework supported it
a. Mercantile community was selfpolicing because of the need to maintain reputation
b. Customers and traders were confident
agreements would be honored thanks
to partnerships, letters of credit, and
knowledge of local trade customs and
D. Diversity and uniformity in Islam
1. Muslim rulers and clerics had to deal with
large non-Muslim populations
a. Muslim rulers granted non-Muslims
religious toleration if they followed
Muslim political authority
b. Non-Muslims had to pay a special toleration tax called the jizya
c. Non-Muslims had to be properly deferential to Muslim rulers
d. Regulations shaped the dhimma system, which granted protection to religious minorities
e. Religious tolerance helped make
Islamic cities hospitable for traders
from around the world
2. Islam was an expansionist faith
a. Intense proselytizing carried the sacred
word to new frontiers
b. Also spread Islamic institutions
that supported more commercial
E. Political integration and disintegration
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 113
1. From 950 to 1050, it appeared that Shiism
would be a vehicle for uniting the whole of
the Islamic world
a. Fatimid Shiites in Egypt and North
b. Abbadis state in Baghdad fell under
Shiite Buyid family
c. Each created universities in Cairo and
Baghdad, which ensured that Islam’s
two leading centers of higher learning
were Shiite
2. But divisions sapped Shiism as Sunni challenged Shiite power and established their
own strongholds
3. Sunni believers were mainly Turks who
had migrated, not the Islamic central core
from the steppe lands
4. By the thirteenth century, the Islamic core
had fractured into three distinctive regions
5. Islam had splintered polities
F. What was Islam?
1. Islam evolved from Muhammad’s original
goal of creating a religion for Arab peoples
a. Its influence spread across Eurasia and
b. Some worried about Islam’s true nature
c. Heterogeneity fostered cultural blossoming as was apparent in all fields of
higher learning
2. The most influential and versatile thinker
was Ibn Rushd (1126–1198)
a. Ibn Rushd believed that faith and reason could be compatible
b. He believed that the proper forms of
reasoning had to be entrusted to the
educated class—the ulama
3. By the fourteenth century, Islam had
become the people’s faith, not a religion of
the minority
a. The agents of conversion were mainly
Sufi saints and Sufi brotherhoods and
not the ulama
b. Sufism spoke to the religious beliefs
and experiences of ordinary men and
V. India as a cultural mosaic
A. Turks brought Islam to India, but it only added
to the cultural mosaic
B. Rajas and sultans
1. India became a trading, migrating, and
cultural intersection of Afro-Eurasian
114 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
peoples—a nerve center for the political
balance of the world
2. India had wealth, but it remained splintered into the “rajas” clans
3. Rajas solicited support for rule among the
Brahmans, who used this opportunity to
spread their faith
C. Invasions and consolidations
1. Turkish warlords entered India
a. Mahmud of Gahzna was one such
b. He wanted to learn from the conquered
in order to win status within Islam and
make his capital a great center of
Islamic learning
2. Wars over control of the plains raged
until, one by one, the fractured kingdoms
3. Land-bound Turkish Muslim regime of
northern India was known as the Delhi
Sultanate (1206–1526)
a. Its rulers strengthened the cultural
diversity and tolerance that were part of
Indian society and culture
D. What was India?
1. The entry of Islam into India made more
of a cultural mosaic, not less
2. The Turks cooperated to a point; they
became Indians but retained their Islamic
3. The sultans did not meddle with beliefs or
culture and were content to collect the jizya
4. Islam flourished even if it did not make
many new converts
a. As rulers, sultans granted lands to
Islamic scholars, the ulama, and Sufi
5. The Delhi sultans built strongholds to
defend their conquests
a. Curves of domes, arches on mosques,
tombs, and palaces formed in the shape
of lotus flowers were uniquely South
b. Palaces and fortresses quickly evolved
into prosperous cities
6. Although newcomers and locals lived in
separate worlds, they blended their cultures
7. When Vedic Brahmanism evolved into
Hinduism, it absorbed many doctrines and
practices from Buddhism
a. With the Turks’ invasion in the thirteenth century, leading Buddhist schol-
ars retreated to Tibet and enhanced
Buddhism there
b. Buddhist followers in India submerged
in the Hindu population or converted
to Islam
VI. Song China: Insiders versus outsiders
A. China’s economic progress
1. China’s commercial revolution during this
period had agrarian roots
a. Agriculture benefited from new metalworking technology
b. China’s farmers were able to employ
new and stronger iron plows
2. Manufacturing flourished
a. By 1040, the fi rst gunpowder recipes
were being written down
b. Song entrepreneurs invented an array
of incendiary devices
c. Song artisans produced lighter, more
durable, and more beautiful porcelains
3. The Song Chinese brought about the
world’s fi rst industrial revolution, producing goods for consumption far and wide
B. Money and inflation
1. The growth of commerce transformed the
role of money and its worldwide
a. Song government was minting strings
of currency
b. Merchants began to tinker with
printed-paper certificates
2. Government began to print notes to pay its
bills that ultimately led to runaway inflation, which destabilized the Song regime
C. New elites
1. Commercial revolution enabled Song
emperors to privilege civilian rule over
military values
a. The Song undercut the powers of the
hereditary aristocratic elites by establishing a government by a central
bureaucracy of scholar-officials
b. Chosen by the competitive civil ser vice
c. Civil officials were now drawn almost
exclusively from the ranks of learned
men who eventually became ruling
D. Negotiating with neighbors
1. As the Song flourished, nomads on the
outskirts focused on their success
Chapter 10
2. Eventually nomadic armies, such as those
of the Khitan and Jurchen, saw China as
an object of conquest
3. Song dynasts were weak because they had
limited military power despite their
sophisticated weapons
4. China’s strength in manufacturing made
economic diplomacy an option
a. Paid tribute to groups on the fringes if
they were defeated such as the Liao
b. Treaties allowed the Song to continue
to live in peace
5. To keep up the payments and ensure
peace, the Song government printed more
money, which led to runaway inflation and
E. What was China?
1. Outsiders helped to defi ne “Chinese” as
the Han
a. Authentic Chinese valued civilian
mores, especially those connected with
b. Being “Chinese” meant being literate—
reading, writing, and living by codes
inscribed in foundational texts
2. The Chinese created the most advanced
print culture
a. The private publishing industry
expanded, and printing houses sprang
up all over China
VII. China’s neighbors adapt to change
A. Under its Song rulers, China became the most
populist and wealthy of the world’s regions
1. Its population of more than 100 million
in 1100 spread Chinese culture through
trade and migration
B. The rise of warriors in Japan
1. The pattern of regents ruling in the name
of the sacred emperor was repeated many
times in Japanese history
a. Began in Heian period (794–1185)
b. New capital of Heian (today’s Kyoto)
2. Rise of the imperial court
a. Correct etiquette and ethics based
mostly on Chinese practices
b. Courtiers obligated to wear specific
clothing, carry certain swords, and
know proper salutations
c. Book that best captures life at the
Heian court is The Tale of the Genji,
written by a woman
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 115
i. Possibly the world’s fi rst novel
C. Minamoto-no-Yoritomo, a powerful clan
leader, developed the warrior or samurai class
D. Southeast Asia: A maritime mosaic
1. Southeast Asia, like India, became a crossroads of Afro-Eurasian influence
2. The prosperity and cultural vitality of
China and India spilled into Southeast
Asia by land and by sea
a. Thai, Vietnamese, and Burmese gradually emerged as the largest population
groups in the mainland region
3. Each population group borrowed what
they could use in their own culture from
the Chinese
4. In the capital at Angkor, the Khmers created the most powerful and wealthy
empire in Southeast Asia
a. Water reservoirs enabled the Khmers to
flourish on the great plain
b. Khmer kings used their military
strength to expand the kingdom into
Thai and Burmese states
5. Because of its strategic location, Malacca
became perhaps the most international
city in the world
a. Maritime commerce brought people to
the area for trade
VIII. Christian Europe
A. Western and northern Europe
1. When the Carolingian Empire collapsed,
northern Europe was left open to invasion
from Vikings
a. Left European peasants with no central
authority to protect them from warlords
b. Warlords with their weapons came to
be the unchallenged rulers of society
2. Peasants faced subjugation to the knightly
a. Each peasant was under the authority
of a lord who controlled every detail of
his or her life
b. Basis of a system known as “feudalism”
c. Feudal lords watched over an agrarian
3. Western Europe’s population increased,
and by 1300 almost half of Europe’s people
lived there
B. Eastern Europe
1. People immigrated to eastern frontiers of
Europe to farm
116 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
2. Feudalism in eastern Europe was a marriage of convenience between migrating
peasants and local elites
a. Eastern Europe offered the promise of
freedom from arbitrary justice and
imposition of forced labor
C. The Russian lands
1. In Russian lands, western settlers and
knights met an eastern brand of Christian
a. This world looked toward Byzantium
2. Its cities lay at the crossroads of overland
trade and migration
a. Kiev became one of the greatest cities
of Europe
b. Under Iaroslave the Wise, Kiev was
rebuilt to become a small-scale Constantinople on the Dnieper
i. Even had a miniature Hagia
Sophia with a great dome
c. Message of the makeover city was
political as well as religious because the
ruler of Kiev cast himself in the mold of
the emperor of Constantinople
d. He was now called the tsar/czar from
the name Caesar
e. Tsar remained the title of rulers in
D. What was Christian Europe?
1. Catholicism became a faith that transformed the emergence of a region called
2. Parish churches built all over
3. The clergy reached more deeply into the
private lives of the laity
a. Marriage and divorce were now part of
church business and not a private affair
b. After 1215, regular confession to a priest
was an obligation of all Christians
c. Franciscans instilled a new Europewide Catholicism based on embracing
poverty, care of the poor, and hospitals
4. Universities and intellectuals
a. Europe acquired its fi rst class of
i. Formed universities (union) fi rst
in Paris
ii. Ability of the scholars to organize
themselves gave them an advantage not enjoyed by their Arab
iii. Scholars endeavored to show that
everything came together and
that Christianity was the only
religion that fully met the aspirations of all rational human beings
iv. Thomas Aquinas
5. The Europe of 1300 was more culturally
unified than in previous times
a. Catholicism was more accessible and
had permeated more intensively
b. Leading intellectuals extolled the virtues of Christian learning and thought
c. Not a tolerant place for heretics—Jews
or Muslims
6. Traders and warriors
a. Great trading hubs emerged in Venice
and Genoa as trade from east and west
passed through those cities
b. Powerful families commanded trading
fleets and used their deep pockets to
influence dealings far and wide
7. Crusaders
a. Rome and Byzantium both sought to
gain the upper hand in the scramble for
European religious command
i. An unholy alliance evolved to
push back the expanding frontiers
of Islam
b. During the eleventh century, western
Europeans launched a wave of attacks
against Islam
i. The First Crusade began in 1095,
under a call from Pope Urban II
for warrior nobility to put their
violence to good use
ii. Combine their role as pilgrims
and soldiers and free Jerusalem
from Muslim rule
iii. New concept that there was such a
thing as good and just wars
iv. Such wars could cancel sin
c. In 1097, 60,000 men moved all the way
from northwest Europe to Jerusalem
i. Four “crusades”
ii. Can’t be described as successful
because few stayed behind to
guard the territories they had won
d. Some Christians took out their frustrations on other Christians
i. Frankish armies sacked Constantinople in 1204
Chapter 10
e. Muslim Southwest Asia saw the Crusades as largely irrelevant
i. Long-term effect was to harden
Muslim feelings against the
Franks of the West
f. There were other Crusade-like campaigns of Christian expansion that
were more successful
i. Launched from a secure home
ii. Spanish Reconquista pushed back
the Muslims
iii. Turned the tide in relations
between Christian and Muslim
power in the Mediterranean
IX. The Americas
A. Andean states
1. Growth and prosperity led to the formation
of the Chimu Empire in South America
a. The Moche people expanded their
b. The Chimu regime lasted until the
Incas invaded and incorporated it into
their empire in the 1460s
2. Chimu economy successful because it was
commercialized, especially through
a. Complex irrigation systems expanded
production of food
3. Between 850 and 900 ce, the Moche
peoples founded the city of Chan Chan,
with walls, roads, and palaces
4. Highland empire formed on the shores of
Lake Titicaca by the Tiwanaku people
a. Extensive evidence of long-distance
trade between highlands and semitropical valleys
b. Trade was active enough to sustain an
enormous urban population
B. Connections to the north
1. Mesoamerica saw the rise and fall of several civilizations
a. Toltecs at Teotihuacán
i. Hybrid of migrants and farmers
ii. Relied on a maize-based economy
iii. Merchants provided status goods
b. Tula was a commercial hub but also a
political and ceremonial center
i. Temples made of giant pyramids
ii. Ball courts for real and ritual sport
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 117
c. Cahokia was the largest city in North
i. Part of the Mississippian culture
ii. Landscape dominated by mounds
iii. City outgrew its environment
d. Cahokia represented the growing networks of trade and migration across
North America
e. North America could organize vibrant
commercial societies and powerful states
X. The Mongol transformation of Afro-Eurasia
A. Mongol conquest may have arisen from the
nomads’ need for grazing lands
1. New lands provided increase in wealth
through taxes
2. First expansionist move followed caravan
a. Opportunities to raid, not trade
B. Who were the Mongols?
1. A combination of forest and prairie pastoralists living on the Eurasian steppes
2. Resembled a permanent standing army
a. Used unique compound bows and were
consummate archers
b. Rode small, sturdy horses and became
expert horsemen
3. Kinship networks and social roles
a. Solidified their conquests by extending
their kinship network building an
empire out of a growing confederation
of tribes
b. Women responsible for child-rearing,
shearing, milking, and pelt processing,
but some also fought
C. Conquest and empire
1. The nomads began expansion in 1206,
when a cluster of tribes united
2. At a clan gathering, they chose Chinggis
(Genghis) Khan, or Supreme Ruler
3. Chinggis launched a series of conquests
southward across the Great Wall of China
and westward through Central Asia,
Afghanistan, and Persia
4. Mongols also invaded Korea
5. Mongol raiders built a permanent empire
by incorporating conquered peoples and
absorbing their culture
a. Intermarriage
6. Through conquest, Afro-Eurasian regions
were connected by land and sea
118 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
D. Mongols in China
1. Kubilai, Chinggis’s grandson, completed
the conquest of China
2. Kubilai and his army also overran the
Korean Peninsula
3. By 1280, the Mongols had established the
Yuan dynasty, 1280–1368, with a new capital at Dadu
4. Political repercussion of these nomadic
invasions altered the social and economic
geography of China
5. Song court and its Chinese followers
regrouped in the south
a. Much of the economic activity moved
south to the new capital of Hangzhou
b. Hangzhou became the political center
of the Chinese people
i. Gateway to the South China Sea
E. The fall of Hangzhou
1. Mongol armies pressed until they reached
Hangzhou, which fell in 1276
a. The city survived the Mongol conquest
reasonably intact
b. When Marco Polo visited in the 1280s
and Ibn Battuta in the 1340s, it was still
one of the greatest cities in the world
2. With the invasion, China acquired a new
ruling hierarchy of outsiders
a. Chinese elites governed locally
b. Outsiders ran the central dynastic polity and collected taxes for the Mongols
F. Mongol reverberations in Southeast Asia
1. Southeast Asia was hurt by the Mongol
2. Mongols conquered the states of Sali and
Pyu in Unnan and Burma
3. Portions of mainland Southeast Asia
became part of the Mongol Empire and
were annexed to China
G. The fall of Baghdad
1. Baghdad no longer the jewel in the Islamic
crown but still important
2. Coming from the eastern steppes, Mongols set their sights on all of Asia
a. Mongke Khan, grandson of the great
Chinggis Khan, ordered the invasions
b. Kubilai (brother to Mongke) appointed
to rule over China, Tibet, and northern
c. Hulagu ordered to take the western territories of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Byzantium, and Armenia
3. Hulagu encountered a feeble foe in the
Baghdad caliph in 1258
a. Slaughter was vast; most perished; no
quarter given
b. Baghdad became a ruin
c. Syria was next, with Muslims slaughtered by the Mongols
4. Egyptian Mamluk forces fi nally stopped
the advance of the Mongols in 1261
a. Mongols were better at conquering
than controlling
b. Had a hard time ruling their newfound
5. In China and Persia, Mongol rule collapsed in the fourteenth century
6. Mongol conquest shaped the social landscape of Afro-Eurasia
7. The conquest transformed Islam as it was
stripped of its power center, Baghdad
8. Once the conquests ended, the Mongol
state promoted the interconnectedness of
XI. Conclusion
A. Trade and migration across long distances
made Afro-Eurasia prosper and become more
1. At the center of Afro-Eurasia, Islam was
fi rm
2. India became a commercial crossroads
3. China boomed and poured its manufactures into trading networks
B. Trade helped defi ne the parts of the world
1. Helped create new classes of people—
thinkers, writers, and scientists
2. By 1300, territories were reimagined as
world regions with defi nable cultures and
defensible geographic boundaries
3. Neither sub-Saharan Africa nor the Americas saw that kind of integration
4. Great African cultures flourished as they
came into contact with commercial traders
5. American people also built great centers of
trade and culture
C. By 1300, the Afro-Eurasian regional worlds
were interconnected by trade, migration, and
confl ict
1. Mongol invasion added interconnectedness once they controlled the vast territories of Afro-Eurasia
2. Sea lanes also became an important source
of trade networks
Chapter 10
D. With the rise of the Mongol Empire, the
regions of the world became those that we now
recognize as the cultural spheres of our modern world
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 119
these kinds of problems resolved? Consider language,
laws, and cultural norms.
3. How did these circuits allow for the diff usion of ideas,
such as the spread of Islam into Southeast Asia?
The Blending of Cultures
The Role of Jewish Traders
How conquest brought together disparate peoples is
another theme of this chapter. In par ticu lar, central Asian
warriors altered the thirteenth-century world. Both the
Turkish warriors who created the Delhi Sultanate and
the Mongols who conquered much of Eurasia in the
thirteenth century created new cultural and technological exchanges and furthered contact between different
worlds. A lecture examining central Asia helps clarify
the role of pastoral peoples in world history up to and
beyond the thirteenth century. Focus on one group, offering examples of pastoral practice; this will help students
understand the stark lifestyle differences between urban
and rural peoples. You could devote part of the lecture to
providing background on the rise of the Mongol Empire,
discussing how Mongolians applied herding and hunting
practices to successful fighting tactics, and discussing
aspects of their social history, such as women’s agency.
Some great sources for this lecture are Gregory Guzman, “Were the Barbarians a Positive or Negative Factor
in Ancient and Medieval History?”; S. A. M. Adshead,
Central Asia in World History; David Morgan, The Mongols; Adam T. Kessler, Empires beyond the Great Wall: The
Heritage of Genghis Khan; Peter Jackson, The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History; and Bruce B.
Lawrence, “The Eastward Journey of Muslim Kingdoms:
Islam in South and Southeast Asia,” in John Esposito, The
Oxford History of Islam (see the “Recommended Reading”
As this chapter points out, trade was the single most
important factor connecting the world during this period.
The establishment and continuation of trading circuits
across Afro-Eurasia provide a valuable lecture topic. Many
factors culminated to create this fourteenth-century development. One area that is only briefly discussed in the
book chapter and thus warrants expansion is the role of
Jewish merchants in spreading and maintaining trade circuits. The Jews were active traders in the Muslim world.
Although outside of society in the Christian areas, they
were accepted as an integral link in the trading chain.
Their ability to move across the continents successfully,
the complexities of their trade relationships, the development of branches of Judaism such as the Sephardim and
the Ashkenazim, and growing anti-Semitism in Europe
are all topics that can be drawn into this lecture. For further information, see:
Jewish Merchants in the 14th Century
www.ibnjaldun.com/index .php?id=108&L=7
The Jewish Middle Ages
In addition, a lecture should expand on the types of
items being traded by all merchants—the Genoese, Arab
traders, and others. Explain how commercial transactions
were arranged. This became especially important since
the transactions occurred cross-culturally. Examine the
role of the key cities that served as entrepôts, such as Venice, Cairo, and Calicut. Most goods that were traded had
high value and were unaffordable to the vast majority of
people. Sources for this additional information can be
found in Janet Abu-Lughod’s Before European Hegemony.
For a brief summary of this work, see Abu-Lughod, “The
World System in the Thirteenth Century: Dead End or
Precursor?” (see the “Recommended Reading” section).
1. What were the possibilities for and limitations of
exchange in this trading system? For example, primarily goods, not people, traversed these circuits.
2. What problems might have been encountered by
traders when trading cross-culturally? How were
1. How do you see these cultures blending and taking
on aspects of the contact cultures?
2. What might the Turkish warriors from the Delhi Sultanate and the Mongolian warriors have had in
3. What role did pastoral people play in the development of societies?
Worlds Apart
Parts of sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas had little
sustained interaction with the Eurasian world in the thirteenth century. They were worlds apart. Thus, unlike the
other cultural zones explored in this chapter, they did not
participate in the dramatic exchanges occurring in the
Eurasian world. A lecture that explores the religious
120 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
views, technology, and domesticated plants and animals
of the Aztecs in Mesoamerica and the peoples of the tropical rain forests of Africa in relation to other areas in the
world can explore the theme of worlds apart. For example, help students understand that Chinese technology
was diff using throughout Eurasia during the thirteenth
century, but not into these other regions. World religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity also had
no influence in these areas. Conclude the discussion by
describing the budding contact between sub-Saharan
Africa and the Eurasian world during the thirteenth century. Explore the incorporation of West Africa and the
East African coast into the trading networks of Eurasia
and into dar-al Islam and how these developments altered
their history. This helps to preview the coming contact
between the Americas and the rest of the world and leads
into activities and lectures in the coming chapters. For
sources on technology and domesticated plants and animals, see Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The
Fates of Human Societies. For Africa, see D. T. Niane, ed.,
UNESCO General History of Africa, V.IV; and Paul
Bohannan and Philip Curtin, Africa and Africans, 3rd ed.
For the Americas, see the relevant sections in John E.
Kicza, “The Peoples and Civilizations of the Americas
before Contact,” and Francis Berdan, The Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society (see the “Recommended
Reading” section).
1. What commonalities did the people of sub-Saharan
Africa and Mesoamerica share? How did they develop
differently, and why?
2. As the people in sub-Saharan Africa began to increase
contact with the Eurasian world, how did their societies change?
You can use this lecture suggestion in conjunction with
the class and map activities. The topic of the Crusades
provides an important point of discussion, and it is a topic
students are usually very interested in. It also ties in many
of the themes in this chapter, among them interregional
contact, the production of a distinct Christian identity in
Europe, an explosion of global trade, and the influence of
a new Asian identity. A lecture on the Crusades can be as
simple as an outline of the major details of the movement:
how and why it started, the successes and failures of the
seven major Crusades, and the impact of the Crusades
across Europe and the Middle East. Many students still
retain a simplistic view of the crusading process, much as
they do the idea of jihad. They believe that the Crusades
were entirely based in religion and that it was a righteous
movement. It is important to “poke holes” in this notion,
as much the same should be done with the modern-day
jihad movement. Parallels between the two could ensure
a provocative debate among your students. Perhaps they
will even leave thinking about the historical process. One
historical human-interest story that students appreciate is
the high regard that Richard the Lion-Hearted and Saladin appear to have had for one another. Even though politics interfered with their ability to come to a long-term
peaceful resolution, these two men might have created a
different outcome if King Richard had had more power.
For more information on the Crusades, consider the following sources: Angus Konstam, Historical Atlas of the
Crusades; Amin Maalouf, Crusades through Arab Eyes;
James Reston Jr., Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart
and Saladin in the Third Crusade; and Thomas F. Madden,
ed., Crusades: The Illustrated History (see the “Recommended Reading” section).
1. What do you believe the Crusades were really about?
Who started them? Why?
2. Why do you think that Saladin and King Richard had
so much respect for one another if they were also
sworn enemies?
3. Why do you think there were so many Crusades during this time?
The Crusades
Much in the vein of the earlier exercise on the Silk Road,
students can journey on a crusade when you preassign
each of them a role. Have them research life in the Middle
Ages ahead of time, providing them certain parameters,
such as time frame, gender, and class; but don’t tell them
which crusade they will be on. Provide each student a
sheet with period drawings or paintings and a little detail
about who they are representing. Some of the figures are
historical, while others represent a type of person (such
as a squire). The goal of this exercise is to have students
understand that crusading was a mass movement throughout Europe carried out by ordinary Europeans, yet most
of the crusades failed. To accomplish this goal and begin
the activity, break the class into three or four groups, with
each group on a different crusade. Suggestions include the
People’s Crusade, the Third Crusade with Richard the
Lion-Hearted, and the Fourth Crusade, with the attack
on Constantinople. Another crusade that allows students
to look at people other than soldiers and on which there
is a lot of information is the Virgin’s Crusade. Using these
crusades allows you to assign multiple real-life roles and
Chapter 10
includes professional crusades as well as crusades composed mostly of average people. For example, with the
People’s Crusade, you begin with two leaders—Peter the
Hermit and Walter the Penniless, a knight. Knights had a
certain number of servants (at least a squire and perhaps
others), so you must assign students to play the knight’s
retainers. Expect students to get into character; it is helpful to provide brief narratives for them.
At the beginning of the exercise, they receive maps so
they know where they are going. Create a physical path on
which students will travel, just as you would if you were
creating a treasure hunt. At each station, there is more
information. So, for example, send students to a different
floor of the building, where they fi nd relevant historical
details taped to a water fountain. That note sends them to
the next location. At each location, something occurs that
is historically accurate and relevant to their par ticu lar
crusade. Each crusade takes a different path. In the notes,
to keep everyone engaged, give some instruction to one
of the characters. As they move from station to station,
the notes tell them where they are at that point on the map
so they know where they are traveling and can deduce
which crusade they are on. The notes and clues are written in language appropriate to the time; often it is a
primary-source document. For example, the knights might
have to go to another professor who pretends to be a
priest. The students must take the Crusader’s Oath, be
blessed, and receive the Crusader’s Cross. Ultimately,
they all end up back in the classroom. Many of the students have died on the way or in a battle. Some have made
their way home. Usually about 10 minutes are left in a
50-minute class, allowing each group to give a brief synopsis of their crusade and the outcome. Ask them to mention one or two of the most interesting details about the
crusade and where they traveled. Students begin to
understand the enormity of the movement, whom it
affected, how many people died in the process, and how
abysmally unsuccessful in the long run the Crusades were
in regaining control of the Holy Land. The next class
period is a lecture on the Crusades that pulls everything
Role of Music in Life
This chapter spends time discussing the growth of Sufism,
a subgroup of the Sunni branch of Islam. Some members
of this mystical sect place great value on the trance state
that can be achieved by the dancing whirling dervishes.
Many of our students have difficulty resonating with knowledge acquisition that does not utilize a rational, Socratic
method and is not scientifically based. A class activity
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 121
allowing students to rationalize trance states in a way that
they can relate to will begin to broaden their awareness.
First explain the purpose of the dances and dancers in
Sufism and the sect’s historical path (The Sufi Orders in
Islam by J. Spencer Trimingham, 1998), then explain how
the dancing helps to move dancers into a trancelike state
(Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes by Shems Friedlander,
2003). Follow this brief explanation with a fi lm clip of
actual whirling, for example:
Whirling Dervish Sema in Istanbul
An excellent fi lm that shows a young woman and other
Turkish dancers is I Named Her Angel (see “Recommended Films” for further details). As another option,
you could play the music that accompanies the dervishes.
One source of music and its history is volume 9 of Music
of Islam from Celestial Harmonies, entitled Mawlawiyah
Music of the Whirling Dervishes, which offers multiple
musical options along with an extensive historical overview. Next, compare the act of whirling to modern-day,
hardcore dancing. Be careful that students understand
that one is an act of religious devotion and the other is
done for pleasure. However, there are distinct similarities.
When you talk to people who perform these dances, they
speak of achieving a trancelike state, reaching a place where
the mind is clear and they are free of worldly thoughts.
Scientific research has shown that this kind of repetitive
activity actually alters your brain chemistry for a brief
period. The dancers have similar experiences. Show students a clip of hardcore dancing from YouTube. This link
provides a good example:
Hardcore Dancing
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qACnquW0y _Y
If the clip is gone, just search for “hardcore dancing” or
“moshing” on YouTube; you will get many hits. People
do hardcore dancing to the music of groups like Chiotos,
Bullet for My Valentine, or Converge. Consider starting
the class without introducing the lecture but just playing
the YouTube video. You will defi nitely get their attention.
You can follow the comparisons with a discussion of the
spiritual drive for this kind of movement, which is obviously present for many people.
The Mesoamerican Cosmology
Begin to introduce students to the unique philosophies
and mythologies of Mesoamerican civilizations by having
them compare the calendars of the Maya and the Aztecs.
The Aztec calendar is considered to be the system used by
122 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
earlier pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico such as
the Toltecs. These two Web sites are good starting points
for creating comparative calendars:
Maya Calendar
Aztec Calendar
Next, introduce the Moche culture of Peru. Although
the Moche were very advanced in many ways, they consciously chose not to have a calendar because of their
unique perspective on time and life. This link gathers
what little available information we have on the general
cosmology across Mesoamerica:
Ask students to discuss the variations among cultural
attitudes to time (if you did any of the earlier lectures or
activities on time, draw them into the discussion). How
could these differences have evolved? It would be useful
to bring in the evolution of earlier civilizations. For example, cyclical time in Egypt likely evolved because of the
flooding patterns of the Nile. Students learn how to make
connections across the histories you have discussed and
strengthen their analytical abilities.
The Travels of Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta
An activity on a major theme of this chapter—trading
in the thirteenth century—is to explore the travels of
Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta through the use of their travel
accounts. Both men’s travels encompassed most of the
Afro-Eurasian worlds, or the “Worlds Together” of the late
thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Helping your
students examine where and how the two men traveled
allows them to address the complexity and extensiveness
of the period’s trading circuit. Compare and contrast how
Polo’s and Battuta’s occupations allowed them to travel so
extensively. Also, guide students to compare the two men’s
lifestyles versus those of other people in their cultural
realm. How did each man represent his society? How did
he present his society to those people with whom he came
into contact? Students should begin to recognize that
these men’s written descriptions of the societies that they
visited provided insight into the new societies as well as
into the worldviews of Christendom and Islam.
This last point reinforces a major chapter theme: even
though contact among the four major cultural areas of
Eurasia was on the increase in the thirteenth century,
these zones remained alien to each other. If you used the
fi lm clip suggested in the previous chapter, The Thirteenth
Warrior, you used portions of Battuta’s diary and can draw
from that in the discussion. Assign portions of the reading
either as an outside class assignment or groups in class.
Once students have read the sections, ask them to analyze
the text and consider how these documents offer insights
into the observed cultures as well as what they reveal
about Christendom and the Islamic world and the authors.
For further resources in preparing the exercise see Ross
Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of
the Fourteenth Century; John Larner, Marco Polo and the
Discovery of the World; and Jeremy Bentley, Old World
Encounters: Cross- Cultural Exchanges in Premodern Times.
For primary sources to assign students, see Marco Polo,
The Travels of Marco Polo: The Complete Yule- Cordier Edition (1993); and H. A. R. Gibb, Travels of Ibn Battuta, a.d.
1325–1354 (3 vols.). You can fi nd excerpts on the Web for
Battuta at:
Medieval Sourcebook: Ibn Battuta Travels
And for Polo at:
Medieval Sourcebook: Marco Polo: On the Tartars
Medieval Sourcebook: Marco Polo: The Glories of Kinsay
[Hangchow] circa 1300
Japanese Court Life in the Heian Period
In Heian Japan, ritual was very important. All aspects of
court life were dictated, including the colors one could
wear and the glances one could make or how (and to whom)
to make them. To help students understand how ritualized daily life was, especially for women who served as
pawns in political intrigue, provide them with an excerpt
from one of the following: The Diary of Lady Murasaki
(1996) by Lady Murasaki, translated by Richard Bowring; The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, translated by
Royall Tyler (2003); or the historical novel The Tale of
Murasaki by Liza Dalby (2000). Have them read the
excerpt before coming to class. On the day of class, provide a brief fact sheet and color images taken from Liza
Dalby’s Web site:
The Tale of Murasaki Web site
One theme could be the role of clothing in court. Follow the links to “subjects” and “fashion—the layered
Chapter 10
look.” Although both links are useful, the most useful will
be the fi rst page and then the “favorite combinations”
link. This lets students see the kimonos and the careful
layering of gowns and colors. (If you have the opportunity, bring colored sheets of paper or silk fabric remnants
to class that represent the types of fabric and colors they
wore.) Forbidden colors (kinjiki) were various shades of
red and purple. Certain patterned weaves of silk could be
worn only by women of the third rank and higher. The
fact sheet can explain which women were allowed to wear
which colors and patterns; how long it took to dress; how
much the clothing weighed; how often women varied
their wardrobes, makeup, and hair; and other details.
Then, have your students speculate on why it was so
important for royal women to dress elaborately. One
interesting trend during this period was the blackening of
teeth, using oxidized iron fi lings mixed with something
acidic. This elaborate ritual was not just about looks. To
make a mistake and come to court dressed improperly or
to behave improperly meant certain shame, loss of fortune, imprisonment, or sometimes even death for the
woman and some or all family members. This was serious
business. Many men made it in politics by climbing across
the backs of favored court women. Ask students to speculate about women’s roles in court without giving them a
lot of information other than the reading. Men, too, had
to take great care with their appearance, but not to the
extent that women did. Why was this? Once students
have had the opportunity to look at the materials and discuss women’s roles, the class as a whole can discuss life in
the Heian court for men and women. This discussion can
encompass the painstaking detail involved in all aspects
of Heian court life, from the writing of haiku and tanka to
the infrastructure of the capital of Heian, which was built
to mirror the capital of China.
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 123
does not negate the fact that the existence of the stories
makes a statement about the impact of the crusading
■ Genghis Khan: Rise of the Conqueror (2002, 50 min.).
This documentary was produced for the Discovery Channel and traces the life of Genghis (Chinggis) Khan from
birth to death. It shows how he created the largest land
empire in history, drawing disputing tribes together. The
details of his military prowess and his formation of a great
army place him with Napoleon and Alexander the Great
as one of the world’s greatest military leaders. The fi lm
begins to balance the Mongol reputation for barbarity
with their little-known achievements.
■ I Named Her Angel (2005, 30 min.). This documentary
traces the training of a young girl to be a whirling dervish
in the Sufi tradition. Watching Elif ’s training, we learn
about the origins of Sufism, the meaning of the various
rituals, the sect’s history, the teachings of Rumi (the
founder of the dervishes), and the function of whirling.
The fi lm provides a rare view into the mystical world of
Sufism and shows viewers a different face of Islam instead
of the angry imagery that is overtaking the media today.
■ Kingdom of Heaven (director’s cut, 2005, 194 min.). The
director Ridley Scott spent a great deal of time attempting
to re-create accurately on screen the world of the Outremer between the Second and Third Crusades. He does
an admirable job in this feature-length, fictional fi lm. The
director’s cut allows you to expand on the factual points.
Historical figures emerge, such as King Baldwin IV and
Saladin. Base discussions on the Europeans’ attempts to
re-create a feudal world in the Holy Land, Outremer, the
world of chivalry and knighthood; or the Crusades themselves. The additional commentaries and tagged comments
that can be put up during the movie give insight into
weapon styles, set choices, style of dress, types of horses,
and even languages and social customs. There is much here
to work with, more than can be absorbed in one viewing.
■ The Children’s Crusade (2000, 44 min.). This brief doc-
■ Wonders of the African World: “The Road to Timbuktu”
umentary recounts the story of Stephen of Cloyes, a
young boy who claimed to have had a vision that inspired
him to lead other children to save the holy sites of Jerusalem. This documentary uses the available evidence to
piece together what became one of the Children’s Crusades. It explains the children’s motivations, the trials
they endured along the journey, and what is ultimately
believed to be the fi nal outcome for most of the children.
Mention is also made of the German boy Nicholas, who
also gathered and led a Children’s Crusade. Over the
years, these stories became embellished. However, that
and “Lost Cities of the South” (1999, 330 min., 6 parts).
This travelogue series by Henry Louis Gates Jr. was
greatly praised and criticized by those few who actually
watched it. I think one of the reasons why people were
uncomfortable with the series was the narrative’s personal
nature; Gates was discovering his roots, and at times his
curiosity about answering long-standing questions won
over intellectual judgment. Although he occasionally
lacks tact, there is no lack of historical integrity. I fi nd the
videos engaging and visually remarkable; my students
never want me to stop the disk. The parts are broken up
124 ◆ Chapter 10 Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
nicely. You can show brief segments on a par ticu lar people
or area that will last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, and
the stop to continue a lecture or discussion is smooth.
“The Road to Timbuktu” includes, as well as much more,
information on the Dogon people, Mali, Timbuktu, and
the Tuareg nomads. “Lost Cities of the South” includes a
section on Zimbabwe. The series has an accompanying
Web site with teaching resources, links, and other information at:
Wonders of the African World
www.pbs.org/wonders/index .html
Janet Abu-Lughod, 1989. Before European Hegemony.
Samuel Adrian M. Adshead, 1993. Central Asia in World
Jeremy Bentley, 1993. Old World Encounters: CrossCultural Exchanges in Premodern Times.
Francis Berdan, 1982. The Aztecs of Central Mexico: An
Imperial Society.
Paul Bohannan and Philip Curtin, 1988. Africa and Africans, 3rd ed.
Tobias Capwell, 2007. The Real Fighting Stuff: Arms and
Armour at Glasgow Museum.
K. N. Chaudhuri, 1990. Asia before Europe: Economy and
Civilization of the Indian Ocean from the Rise of Islam to
Basil Davidson, 1995. Africa in History: Themes and
Raymond Dawson, 1978. The Chinese Experience.
Jared Diamond, 1999. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of
Human Societies.
Shems Friedlander, 2003. Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes.
Gregory Guzman, 1998. “Were the Barbarians a Positive
or Negative Factor in Ancient and Medieval History?”
The Historian, 50:4, 558–571.
Rosemary Horrox, trans. and ed., 1994. The Black Death.
Adam T. Kessler, 1993. Empires beyond the Great Wall:
The Heritage of Genghis Khan.
Angus Konstam, 2002. Historical Atlas of the Crusades.
Bruce B. Lawrence, 2000. “The Eastward Journey of
Muslim Kingdoms: Islam in South and Southeast Asia,” in John Esposito, The Oxford History of
Amin Maalouf, 1989. Crusades through Arab Eyes.
Thomas F. Madden, ed., 2005. Crusades: The Illustrated
David Morgan, 1990. The Mongols.
James Reston Jr., 2002. Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade.
African Kingdoms
China and Europe, 1500 to 2000 and Beyond: What Is
Makes excellent comparisons regarding the degree of
development between Europe and Asia from ancient
history forward
CNN: Millennium
Historical information by millennium, with interactive
details and educator resources
Mali: Ancient Crossroads of Africa
Although this site is intended for primary and secondary
educators, it is incredibly detailed, including links,
maps, and other sources, and thus is useful for all levels
http://mali.pwnet.org/index .htm
Marco Polo and His Travels
History of Marco Polo’s life
Medieval Europe
Interactive site that could be used for gathering information or for class activity with students
Mesoamerican Calendars
Good resource on calendars and the philosophy of time
and mythology
Mexico Connect: Timeline Overview
Timeline of Mexico, Europe, and the world from prehistory to the present day
www.mexconnect.com/mex _ /history.html
The Moche
Multiple links and images; good map
The Mongol Empire
Very complete, with additional links
Sun and Moon Official Project Information
Extensive archaeological Web site for museum and dig of
a Moche city, pyramids, and temples
Chapter 10
The Tale of Murasaki Web Site
This site provides a wealth of social historical information on Heian Japan
The Travels of Ibn Battuta: A Virtual Tour with the 14th
Century Traveler
This is a site for secondary education, but you can easily
modify it for upper-level courses and use it as an information source or for a class activity
Liza Dalby, 2000. The Tale of Murasaki.
Murasaki Shikibu, translator Richard Bowring, 1996.
The Diary of Lady Murasaki.
Murasaki Shikibu, translator Royall Tyler, 2003. The Tale
of Genji.
Becoming “The World,” 1000–1300 ce
◆ 125
Any of these works, or selections from each, would provide a window into many levels of Heian Japan’s court life
and allow you to expand on all aspects of Japanese culture
from literature to health care practices to romance. Dalby
provides an excellent piece of historical fiction, including
tankas written by Murasaki. The Tale of Genji is also fiction (some call it the fi rst novel); it was written by Murasaki to entertain other court members. The diary is a brief
primary source that can be used in many ways, one of
which is to contrast Murasaki’s writing with her diary
D. T. Niane, translator and author, 2006. Sundiata: An
Epic of Old Mali.
This brief narrative allows students to further understand
the role and significance of a griot in West African culture
as well as the importance of gold to Mali. You can further
discussions of multiple topics, including leadership and
economy. It is very short, making it an easy additional
reading during the semester.
Crises and Recovery in
Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
▶ Collapse and Integration
The Black Death
Rebuilding States
Islamic Dynasties
The Mongol Legacy and the Rise of New Islamic
The Rise of the Ottoman Empire
The Safavid Empire in Iran
The Delhi Sultanate and the Early Mughal Empire
Western Christendom
Reactions, Revolts, and Religion
State Building and Economic Recovery
This chapter examines new state and empire building in
Afro-Eurasia in the aftermath of the Mongol Empire’s
invasions and, more profoundly, the devastation of the
Black Death plague. In response to these crises, new states
and empires emerged by keeping, discarding, adapting,
and reshaping old and new institutions and ideas. The
Islamic Empires, Western Christendom, and the Chinese
Ming developed distinctive traits and innovative ways of
rule, often borrowed from their neighbors. States legitimized their rule with dynastic marriage, state religion,
administrative bureaucracies, and commercial expansion
and prosperity.
I. Collapse and integration
A. The Black Death, a disease that stemmed from
a combination of bubonic, pneumonic, and
septicemic strains, was the most significant historical development of the fourteenth century
1. Rodents and humans carried the plague
bacilli, and the disease spread through
Afro-Eurasian overland and sea trade routes
2. The plague caused a staggering loss of life,
with a death rate between 25% and 65%
Political Consolidation and Trade in Portugal
Dynasty Building and Reconquest in Spain
The Struggles of France and England, and the Success of Small States
European Identity and the Renaissance
Ming China
Chaos and Recovery
Centralization under the Ming
Religion under the Ming
Ming Rulership
Trade under the Ming
B. Rebuilding states
1. The basis for political legitimacy and
power was the dynasty or the hereditary
ruling family passing power from generation to generation.
a. Power derived from the divine: “mandate of heaven,” or “divine right”
b. Clear rules of succession
c. Consolidates or extends power through
conquest, alliance, or laws and
II. Islamic dynasties
A. The Black Death and Mongol invasions brought
an end to the old political order for the Abbasid
Empire and its capital, Baghdad, and led the
emergence of three new Islamic states: the
Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughal
B. The Mongol legacy and the rise of new Islamic
1. The Mongols, with its small population,
assimilated into the cultures of the conquered, adopting the language and converting to Islam
Chapter 11
2. The Mongols had two components to their
rule: terror tactics that coerced the conquered into voluntary submission, and the
promotion and exchange of technology,
knowledge, and skills that benefited their
vast empire
3. The aftermath of Mongol rule and the
Black Death created power shifts to create
a new Islamic world
C. Three Islamic Empires emerge—the Ottoman,
Safavid, and Mughal Empires—expanding
from an Arabic-dominated Islamic world to
include the Turkish- and Persian-speaking
1. The Ottomans became the most powerful,
as they occupied the strategic area
between Europe and Asia, including former Byzantine territories
D. Rise of the Ottoman Empire
1. Seljuk Turk warrior nomads transformed
themselves into the rulers of a highly
bureaucratic empire
2. Under Osman (r. 1299–1326), the Turks
consolidated their power by attracting artisans, merchants, bureaucrats, and clerics
a. Ottomans became champions of Sunni
b. By the mid-fourteenth century, The
Ottomans created a vast multiethnic,
multilingual empire in the eastern
Mediterranean and western Asia
c. Ottomans created a large bureaucracy
with the Sultan at the head
3. The conquest of Constantinople
a. The empire’s spectacular expansion
was due to their mighty military power,
which also generated vast fi nancial and
administrative rewards
b. The most spectacular triumph of
Mehmed the Conqueror (r. 1451–1481)
was the 1453 conquest of Constantinople, the capital of the Roman-Byzantine
Empire, which he renamed Istanbul
c. The fall had positive cultural benefits
for Western Europe, as Christian refugees brought classical text to Western
Europe, stimulating a European
d. Ottoman military expansion continued
with the conquest of European cities in
Greece, Bosnia, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, and Austria
Crises and Recovery in Afro- Eurasia, 1300–1500
◆ 127
e. By the late fi fteenth century, Ottomans
controlled ports and sea routes on the
Mediterranean, blocking European
access to Asian trade
4. The tools of empire building
a. Under Suleiman (r. 1520–1566), Ottomans reached the height of their territorial expansion with 20–30 million
i. Called “The Great Turk,” “the
Lawgiver,” and “the Magnificent”;
was a gifted military leader and
b. Ottoman dynastic power fused the secular with the sacred
i. Sultans called themselves
“shadow of God” on earth
ii. Sultans became defenders and
protectors of the faith, constructing mosques and supporting
Islamic schools
5. Istanbul and the Topkapi Palace reflected
the splendor, power, and wealth of the
Islamic Ottoman Empire
a. Among other construction projects,
Suleiman built his crowning architectural achievement—the Suleymaniye
Mosque—opposite the Hagia Sophia,
the most sacred of Christian
b. Istanbul became the largest city in the
world outside of China
c. Topkapi Palace not only was the command post of the empire but also
reflected Ottoman views of governance, religion, and family traditions
as it included:
i. A majestic and distant home for
rulers, commanders, and the
ii. Bureaucratic offices and training
iii. A harem of 10,000–12,000
women with its own hierarchy of
rank and prestige
a. Sultan’s mother and favorite
consorts at the top; the bottom
were slaves
b. At the death of a sultan, the
entire retinue of women was
banished to the Palace of
128 ◆ Chapter 11 Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
6. Diversity and control allowed the Ottoman
Empire to endure into the twentieth century
a. While Turkish was the official language
of administration, Ottomans promoted
a flexible and tolerant language policy
b. Ottomans allowed for regional autonomy, allowing local appointees to keep
a portion of taxes for Istanbul and for
c. In order to limit local autonomy, Ottomans created a corps of infantry soldiers
and bureaucrats with direct allegiance to
the sultan called Janissaries
i. Christian boys between the ages
of 8 and 18 conscripted from
Europe, devshirme
ii. Recipients of the best Islamic education in the world in Ottoman
military, religious, and administrative techniques
E. The Safavid Empire in Iran
1. In Persia, the Safavid Empire emerged based
on the Islamic Shia tradition, which is very
different from the Ottoman Sunni faith
2. Mongol conquest brought greater destruction to Persia, leaving the region more volatile and unstable
a. Initially, Mongols rejected Islam, but
practiced religious toleration, hiring
Jewish administrators and Christian
b. 1295, the khan or ruler declared Islam
as the state religion
c. After Mongol decline, the region fell to
the Sufi brotherhood led by Safi al-Din
(1252–1334) or Safavids, Turkishspeaking warriors, who embraced
3. The Safavids created a single-mindedly
religious state, with Shah Ismail
(r.1501–1524) as the most dynamic
a. Ismail declared Shiism the official state
religion; subjects forced to choose
between conversion or death
b. 1502, Ismail declared himself the fi rst
shah (Persian word for king) of the
Safavid Empire
c. Revived the Persian notion that shahs
are divinely chosen
d. Activist clergy viewed themselves as
political and religious enforcers against
heretical authority
4. Because Safavids did not tolerate diversity,
they never created an expansive empire
and transformed the former Sunni territory into a Shiite stronghold
F. The Delhi Sultanate and the early Mughal
1. Mughals created a regime on the foundations of the Delhi Sultanate, which avoided
Mongol conquest but had to face Tamerlane, or Timur, and his nomadic warriors
a. Delhi Sultanate powerful enough to
push back the Mongols in 1303
b. Delhi Sultanate weak enough to succumb to Turkish invaders led by
2. Rivalries, religious revival, and the fi rst
Mughal Emperor
3. The Collapse of the Delhi Sultanate precipitated religious revivals
a. Sufism in Bengal, a form of Islam
b. Bhakti Hinduism also in Bengal
c. Sikhism in Punjab, a form of Islam
founded by Nanak (1469–1539) in
northern India
i. Sikhism different from traditional
Islam in that it stresses the Islamic
concept of the unity of God but
also the unimportance of prophets, and a Hindu belief in rebirth
4. Punjab governor invited the TurkishMongol Prince Babur (“Tiger”), the great
grandson of Timur, to India in 1526
a. Babur laid the foundation of the Mughal
Empire, the third great Islamic dynasty
5. The three new Islamic Empires all established their legitimacy via military, religious, and bureaucratic powers, enabling
them to claim vast domains that continued
the movement of goods, ideas, merchants,
and scholars beyond and across political
III. Western Christendom
A. High Middle Ages (1100–1300) experienced
growth in prosperity, population, and cultural
1. Population growth pulled laborers from
the countryside to cities
a. European cities faced a housing crunch
b. Women still excluded from professions
but made gains in retail trades, weaving, and food production
Chapter 11
2. Most of Europe’s 80 million inhabitants
stayed rooted to their local communities
3. Growing prosperity allowed for a cultural
flowering with advances in the arts, technology, learning, architecture, and banking
a. Universities attracted people to medicine, law, and theology
b. Some scholars turned to Islamic,
Greek, and Roman learning
B. Reactions, revolts, and religion
1. Climatic changes beginning around 1310
brought famine, where millions died of
2. The plague in Europe
a. Killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s
population from 1346 to 1353
b. Cities were especially vulnerable,
because they were overcrowded and
c. By 1450, Europe’s population had fallen
to one-quarter of its size
d. Created lasting psychological, social,
economic, and political changes
i. Individuals turned to pleasure,
debauchery, spirituality, and even
religious masochism
ii. Flagellants in England engaged in
public self-punishment by whipping themselves with flagella
(whips with metal pieces) until
they became bloody and swollen
iii. Peasants became hostile to clergy
excesses or absence in this time of
3. The Church’s response
a. Struggled to reclaim their power as
they faced challenges from the top and
from below
b. Increased persecution of heretics, Jews,
Muslims, homosexuals, prostitutes, and
c. Also expanded its charity, such as giving alms to the poor
4. A weakening feudal order
a. Large-scale peasant revolts
i. French peasant revolt and rampage on nobles and clergy in 1358
called Jacquerie
ii. English Peasants’ Revolt of
1381, started as a protest
against tax increases, and
expanded to include serf free-
Crises and Recovery in Afro- Eurasia, 1300–1500
◆ 129
dom, higher farm worker wages,
and lower rents
C. State building and economic recovery
1. Europe’s rulers attempted to rebuild and
consolidate their power
a. The most powerful ruling dynasty, the
Habsburgs, provided emperors for the
Holy Roman Empire from 1440 to 1806
i. Never restored Western Europe to
an integrated empire
b. Europe had no unifying language, as
Latin lost ground to regional dialects
c. Rulers faced obstacles from rival private armies, the clergy, and critics with
the printing press
d. Europe’s political reorganization took
the form of centralized national monarchies or city-states where the wealthy
selected their leaders and occurred
i. Strategic marriages
ii. Warfare
iii. Growing economies because of
trade with Southwest Asia
D. Political consolidation and trade in Portugal
1. Portugal is an example of how political stabilization and the revival of trade are
2. Western Europe followed the Portuguese
example of creating national monarchies,
while in northern Europe, the lack of
access to trade added to political
3. The Portuguese were devoted to fighting
North African Muslim Moors
a. Seized the North African fortress at
Ceuta, Morocco, allowing them access
to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic
without interference
b. Also defeated Castile (modern Spain)
c. Henry the Navigator conquered the
Atlantic Islands off of the north and
west African coast
i. Monarchs granted land to hereditary nobility to colonize, and the
nobility supported the monarchs
in return
ii. Colonizers established lucrative
sugar plantations on the islands
E. Dynasty building and reconquest in Spain
1. Spain faced an arduous journey to
state building because of rivalry among
130 ◆ Chapter 11 Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
kingdoms and the lack of religious
2. The Union of Castile and Aragon, or the
Marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, in 1469
a. Wealthy and populated Castile united
with Aragon with the Mediterranean
trading networks
b. They married their children to other
European royal families, especially the
most powerful, the Habsburgs
c. Pushed Muslim forces almost completely out of Iberia; the last strategic
and symbolic victory was Granada
3. The Inquisition and westward exploration
a. Isabella and Ferdinand attempted to
drive out all non-Catholics from Spain
b. 1481, the Inquisition targeted conversos,
or Christian converted Jews and
c. After the fall of Granada in 1492, the
monarchs ordered all Jews and some
Moors, half a million in total, out of Spain
d. Monarchs gave their royal support to a
Genoese navigator, Christopher
Columbus, who promised them
unimaginable wealth
4. The struggles of France and England, and
the success of small states
a. French victory in the Hundred Years’
War (1337–1453) against the English,
started the process of consolidating
French power under the House of Valois
b. Joan of Arc, a peasant girl with divine
visions, became a symbol of French
patriotism and turned the tide of war
for the French
i. Charles VII granted her an army
of 7,000–8,000 men
ii. Joan, a young woman in male
attire, achieved great military victories with brilliance and charisma
iii. Eventually, the English captured
her, tried her for heresy, and burnt
her at the stake
c. In England, civil war between the
houses of Lancaster and York in the
War of the Roses led to the House of
Tudor seizing the throne in 1485
d. European states were very small: Compare Portugal’s 1 million or Spain’s 9
million compared to Ottoman’s 25 million, Ming China’s 200 million, or
Mughal’s 110 million
e. Small proved advantageous as Italian
city-states developed banking techniques, merchants enjoyed their link to
the eastern Mediterranean, and the
Renaissance began
F. European identity and the Renaissance
1. Europe’s political and economic revival
included the Renaissance, or the cultural
achievements in the Italian city-states,
France, the Low Countries, England, and
the Holy Roman Empire in the period of
a. The Renaissance broke the church
monopoly on knowledge and opened
the way for secular forms of learning
2. The Italian Renaissance
a. Renaissance is about the rebirth or new
exposure to ancient Greek and Roman
knowledge to understand human experience, or humanism
b. Popes, Christian kings, and wealthy merchants funded much of the Renaissance
c. Renaissance artists like Leonardo da
Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarotti applied Greco-Roman
techniques to Christian themes
3. The Renaissance spreads due to increasing
economic prosperity, the circulation of literature and art, and interstate rivalry
a. Some women were offered better access
to education
4. The republic of letters—a network of elite,
cosmopolitan scholars or correspondents
interested in gaining knowledge, searching
for patrons, or fleeing persecution
5. Competing ideas of governance
a. A network of educated men and women
who acquired the means to challenge
political, clerical, and aesthetic authority
b. Florentines pioneered a form of civic
humanism under which all citizens
were to devote themselves to ensuring
c. Florentine’s Machiavelli wrote the
most famous treated on politics, The
Prince (1513), which said that political
leadership was about mastering the
amoral means of power and statecraft
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d. The Renaissance revolutionized European culture by creating a culture of
cosmopolitan critics who sought classical ideas to address the challenges of an
expanding world
IV. Ming China
A. Mongols and the Black Death led the way for
the Ming dynasty to emerge
B. Chaos and recovery
1. Famine and Black Death devastated
China; some cities like Bei Zhili (modern
Hebei) experienced a death toll of 90%
2. Yuan Mongol rulers faced chaos and
a. The most prominent, the Red Turban
Movement, blended Buddhism, Daoism, and other philosophies with strict
practices involving diet, penance, and
ceremonies in which the sexes freely
mixed and wore red headbands
b. Red Turban Commander Zhu Yuanzhang started driving Mongols from
China, beginning with Nanjing in 1356
3. Zhu founded the Ming (“brilliant”)
dynasty in 1368
C. Centralization under the Ming
1. Ming rulers faced a formidable challenge
of rebuilding cities, restoring respect for
rulers, and reconstructing the bureaucracy
2. Imperial grandeur and kinship
a. Emperor Zhu or Hongwu (“expansive
and martial”) built an extravagant capital in Nanjing
b. Emperor Yongle (“perpetual happiness”)
built an even more grandiose and aweinspiring capital in Beijing, with the Forbidden City, a walled imperial city with
boulevards, courtyards, and a palace
c. Marriage and kinship increased Ming
power; Zhu Hongwu married the daughter of a Red Turban rival, Empress Ma
d. Empress Ma became the kinder, gentler
face of the Zhu Hongwu regime
3. Building a bureaucracy
a. First sought to rule through kinsmen,
but soon established a merit and civil service exam–based imperial bureaucracy
b. Emperor Zhu Hongwu implemented a
highly centralized imperial bureaucracy and administrative network
Crises and Recovery in Afro- Eurasia, 1300–1500
◆ 131
i. Installed bureaucrats to oversee the
manufacture of porcelain, cotton,
and silk as well as tax collection
ii. Reestablished the Confucian civil
ser vice examination system
iii. Created local village networks to
build irrigation and reforestation
projects (1 billion trees)
iv. Bureaucratic hierarchy forced all
officials to answer to the emperor
c. The Ming established the most highly
centralized government of the period
D. Religion under the Ming
1. Emperors used “community” gatherings of
rituals to reinforce their image as the
mediator between the spiritual world of
gods and the worldly affairs of the empire
2. Confl ict between state-sanctioned cults
and Buddhist monasteries showed the limits of Ming power
a. Residents of Dongyang delivered their
funds to the Buddhist monks rather
than to Ming magistrates
E. Ming rulership
1. Religion played a smaller role in establishing the Ming dynasty than with Islamic
2. The Ming created an elaborate system for
classifying and controlling its subjects
compared to other Afro-Asiatic Empires
a. Emperor Hongwu appointed village
chiefs, village elders, or tax captains in
order to manage his empire
b. The dynasty created a social hierarchy
to manage people based on age, sex,
and kinship
3. The Ming stymied threats with outright
terror and repression
4. Empire remained undergoverned because
of the immense task for 10,000–15,000
officials to manage over 200 million people
5. Emperor Hongwu’s legacy enabled other
Ming successors to balance centralizing
ambitions with local sources of power
F. Trade under the Ming
1. Political stability in the fourteenth century
allowed merchants to revive China’s preeminence in long-distance trade
2. Overseas trade: Success and suspicion
a. Chinese port cities flourished as
entrepôts for global goods
132 ◆ Chapter 11 Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
b. Emperor Hongwu feared contact with
the outside world, believing it would
undermine his rule
i. Hongwu banned private maritime
commerce in 1371, although
enforcement was lax
ii. Trade surged despite constant
friction between government officials and maritime traders
G. Maritime exploration and aftermath
1. Emperor Yongle’s sponsorship of a series of
spectacular expeditions in the early fi fteenth century was an exception to Ming
attitudes toward the outside world
2. From 1405 to 1433, Admiral Zheng He led
seven expeditions in the Indian Ocean to
establish trade and tributary relationships
a. Zheng He’s ships numbered five times
those of Christopher Columbus
3. Although exotic and glamorous goods
delighted the court, they were not
everyday commerce, and Ming rulers
withdrew imperial support for expensive
maritime trade
4. While maritime trade continued without
official patronage, Chinese naval power
decline led the way for rivals from Southeast and Southwest Asia
V. Conclusion
A. The Black Death and its devastation transformed the societies of Afro-Eurasia, shaping
and transforming new states and empires
B. Each state developed distinctive traits, innovative
ways of rule, often borrowed from neighbors
C. States legitimized rule with dynastic marriage,
state religion, administrative bureaucracies,
and commercial expansion
D. The turning point in world history is marked
by Europe, motivated by Ottoman conquests,
seeking new trade connections, at the same
time as the Chinese decided to turn away from
overseas exploration
North African and Islamic Influences on the
European Renaissance
Europe’s political and economic revival included the
Renaissance, or the spectacular cultural achievements
during the period of 1430–1550. Scholars and artists
developed a humanist approach to arts, science, and literature and broke the church monopoly on knowledge,
opening the way for secular forms of learning. A number
of anthropologists and historians argue that the Eu ropean Renaissance was stimulated and influenced by
Islamic empires from North Africa and Southwest Asia.
Jack Goody’s 2004 book cover in Islam in Europe has a
great photograph of a painting of an African Muslim and a
Christian European playing an oud, or a predecessor to
the modern guitar. You could show this photograph and
ask your students questions about why and how Iberian
music was influenced by the Moors and Arabs who conquered them. You could show a clip of the PBS fi lm Islam:
an Empire of Faith, which discusses how the great Italian
theologian, Thomas Aquinas, was influenced by the writings of the Muslim phi losopher Averroes, or Ibn Rushd,
on the separation of faith and reason. In fact, the Italian
architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael’s 1511 painting School of Athens, pays tribute to the great intellectual
“Western” thinkers, includes Averroes. He appears next
to Plato and Aristotle, an apparent reminder of the gratitude for this twelfth-century phi losopher. Good books for
additional reading are as follows:
Bernard Lewis, 2001. The Muslim Discovery of Europe.
Henry George Farmer, 1930, reprinted 2011. Historical
Facts for the Arabian Musical Influence.
W. Montgomery Watt, 1983. The Influence of Islam on
Medieval Europe.
Jack Goody, 2010. Renaissances: The One or the Many?
Stanley Lane-Poole, 1896, reprinted 2010. The Story of the
Moors in Spain.
You could also continue the lecture by discussing how
concepts such as humanism, individualism, and sometimes
secularism disseminated, and how they spread northward
across Eu rope. Discuss also the shift toward Christian
humanism; artists such as Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, and
Michelangelo; the architect Palladio; and also wealthy
families, like the Medicis who sponsored artists. The spread
of the Renaissance occurred because of economic recovery
and growing wealth in Europe. Discuss the influence of
the Church on these new ideas. Finally, spend some time
discussing how, as the Renaissance moved northward, its
ideas were shaped and molded to fit different cultures and
beliefs. This can be a very visual and aural lecture. Use the
music of the time and images of the paintings and buildings.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides a good selection
of images of architecture and paintings at Florence and
Central Italy: 1400–1600:
Chapter 11
1. What does the word “renaissance” mean?
2. Where did some of the ideas of the Renaissance originate? How and why would North African Moors and
Muslim Arabs influence Western art, thought, music,
or culture?
3. As the ideas of the Renaissance moved from Western Eu rope northward, how were the Italian Renaissance ideas shaped and molded to fit the different
beliefs of Northern Eu ropeans? How were Renaissance ideas adapted to shape the society and culture
of a region?
The Plagues of the Eurasian World and HIV/AIDS
For a lecture that details the scale and scope of the plagues
on the Eurasian world, not simply Christendom, see William McNeill’s Plagues and People, which explores the role
of infectious disease throughout world history. More
recent editions conclude with a discussion of the current
HIV/AIDS crisis and its implications. Linking this important modern topic to the plague helps students gain some
sense of the scope of the plague. Also consider drawing on
the growing, modern epidemic of tuberculosis in parts
of the world. Janet Abu-Lughod’s “World System in the
Thirteenth Century: Dead End or Precursor?” from the
American Historical Association’s Essays on Global and
Comparative History as well as Robert Marks’s Origins of
the Modern World explain the impact of the plague on the
trade networks of the thirteenth century. Marks cites
compelling statistical data on the changing populations
in Asia as well as Europe as a result of the plague.
1. What impact did the plagues have on China, India,
Central Asia, and Europe, respectively?
2. Why were the plagues so devastating? Why didn’t
they dissipate more quickly?
3. Can parallels be made between the spread of the
plagues and the spread of HIV/AIDS? Tuberculosis?
Zheng He’s Treasure Fleets
A lecture on the Ming dynasty’s treasure fleets, commanded by Zheng He in the fi rst half of the fi fteenth century, comparing them to those of Christopher Columbus
allows you to explore many of the themes discussed in
this chapter. The Chinese Ming dynasty had the most
centralized and the most populated empire of the fi fteenth
century. The recent 600th anniversary of Zheng He’s command has also launched new research, museum exhibits,
and publications on his accomplishments and on the fleet
itself. These voyages help illustrate the Ming dynasty’s
Crises and Recovery in Afro- Eurasia, 1300–1500
◆ 133
ability to restore order and stability in China quickly after
the Mongolian occupation as well as the devastation of the
plague. They illuminate the Middle Kingdom’s technological superiority, including its diplomatic methods with
states in and around the Indian Ocean as compared to that
of the later Portuguese. Finally, by analyzing the Ming
dynasty’s efforts to expand the tribute system of earlier
Chinese dynasties through Zheng He’s explorations, the
lecture can offer insights into the Chinese view of the Middle Kingdom’s place in the world.
Louise Levathes’s When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405–1433 remains a good
overview of the issues involved. Also useful are Hok-lam
Chan, “The Chien-wen, Yung-lo, Hung-his and Hsuan-te
Reigns, 1399–1435,” in Frederick W. Mote and Denis
Twitchett, eds., The Cambridge History of China, vol. 7, The
Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part I; “Starting with China,”
in Robert Marks, Origins of the Modern World; “Woods,
Winds, Shipbuilding, and Shipping—Why China Didn’t
Rule the Waves,” in Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik,
eds., The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and
the World Economy, 1400–the Present; and Daniel J. Boorstin,
“The Chinese Reach Out: The Maritime Expeditions of
Cheng Ho,” in Lynn H. Nelson and Steven K. Drummond,
eds., The Human Perspective: Readings in World Civilization, 2nd ed. For a brief description of the tribute system,
see “The Chinese Tribute System,” in Kenneth Pomeranz
and Steven Topik, eds., The World That Trade Created.
1. In what ways was the Middle Kingdom’s technology
superior? Did these technologies help shape or change
other societies of the time? How?
2. Describe the tribute system and its role in China and
neighboring countries.
3. What were some of the unique advancements found
on the ships of Zheng He’s treasure fleets?
Dar al Islam—Lands Ruled by Islam
A timely way to organize a lecture out of this chapter is to
use the Safavid Empire and their fervent religiosity as the
core theme. Explore the Safavids’ relationship with the
Ottomans and Sunni Islam, India, and Sufism. Expanding on the troubled relationship between the Sunni Ottoman Empire and the Shia Safavid Empire begins to clarify
the difficulties between Sunni and Shiite today that so
many students have difficulty understanding. City names
central to today’s wars in Afghan istan and Iraq, such as
Herat and Baghdad, were key to controlling the empires
in the fi fteenth century as well. Animosity among such
groups as the Christian Armenians, the Kurds, and the
Ottomans are wounds that originated in the fourteenth
134 ◆ Chapter 11 Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
and fi fteenth centuries and remain open to this day. This
lecture allows your students to see the relevance of history over time.
1. What were the key differences between the Sunni
Ottoman Empire and the Shia Safavid Empire?
2. Did the minority groups like the Kurds and the Armenians play a role in bridging the Safavid Empire and
the Ottoman Empire? What, if any?
The Ming and Ottoman Empires and Their
In the aftermath of the plague, two powerful empires
emerged in fourteenth-century Eurasia: the Ottoman
Empire and Ming China. By the fi fteenth century, these
empires were expanding territories, and growing in terms
of their population and economy. These two empires built
spectacular palaces in the fi fteenth century that reflect
their wealth, power, society, and worldview. Show images
of the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul:
The Controversy over Starbucks in the
Forbidden City
Starbucks entered the Forbidden City in 2000, then made
a decision to leave in 2007. As one of the most powerful
coffee chains in the world, their decision to enter and set
up shop in the Forbidden City was mired with controversy.
Have students break up into three groups, and debate the
issue: one in favor of entering and setting up shop in the
Forbidden City, the second in favor of leaving, and the
third group representing the Chinese public. If you have a
large class, you can separate the third group into two, and
have one represent the American public. There are articles in the Seattle Times and on BBC News to help them
maneuver through the issues.
1. What are the ramifications of setting up a shop in the
Forbidden City, and why would it be controversial?
What are the historical legacies of the Forbidden City?
2. Why would the coffee company make such a decision
to enter and set up shop? Why would they leave?
3. How do these events reflect the historical and continuous tensions between government and merchants?
And the Forbidden City:
Ask students to analyze how these political centers and
architecture might represent the worldviews of two major
and powerful world empires. You might guide their discussion by asking about their purpose. You might point to
specific architectural features, rooms, grounds, and art
and analyze the symbolisms behinds the power, beauty,
wealth, and religion or philosophy they convey. For example, the walls surrounding the Forbidden City complex
might signify concerns about nomadic invasions or separate the royal dynasties from commoners. You might ask
them to compare these fi fteenth-century palaces with the
seventeenth-century Versailles, France, and eighteenthcentury Peterhof, Russia. This is a good prelude to the
future growth of European empires; discuss states and
empires and their palatial architecture, which represent
not only their worldviews but also the image they may
want to portray to both their local and global worlds.
1. Analyze how these political centers and architecture
might represent the worldviews of two major and
powerful world empires.
2. How do these palaces reflect the specific and distinctive ways in which the Ming and the Ottomans built
their empires? What about in terms of marriage, religion or philosophy, and economy?
■ Islam: Empire of Faith (three parts, 180 min., 2000).
This Gardner/PBS production, narrated by Ben Kingsley,
has achieved wide acclaim, and rightly so, as one of the
best documentaries made on Islamic empires. Part one
includes background on Muhammad and how the religion started, part two is on the rise of Islamic nomadic
empires, and part three discusses the rise of the Ottoman
Empire, with stories of Suleyman. PBS has provided a
Web site of the same name with teacher resources to use
in conjunction with the fi lm.
■ Mongol
Hordes: Storm from the East (46 min. each,
1993). This BBC series narrates Mongolian history in
four parts. The fi rst, “Birth of an Empire,” weaves past
and present Mongolian life, providing a look at the influence that modernity has had on this nomadic empire. Part 2,
“World Conquerors,” is appropriate for this chapter, as it
focuses on the expansion of the empire beginning with
the rule of Chinggis Khan and ending with his son Ogodei. Part 3, “Tartar Crusaders,” expands on the territorial
and religious confl icts among Muslims, Christian Crusaders, and Mongolian invaders, all fighting for the Holy
Land. Part 4 is a debate on the influence of Kublai Khan in
“The Last Khan of Khans.”
■ The Name of the Rose (126 min.). Set in the 1330s, this
feature film, filled with historical detail, illustrates the con-
Chapter 11
fl ict within the Catholic Church resulting from the
growth of scientific reason, Scholasticism, and calls for
church reform. Set at a Benedictine monastery, the story
revolves around a meeting of Franciscan, Benedictine, and
Dominican monks who have come together to decide the
question of apostolic poverty. This mystery story reflects
the debates created by William Occam’s newly introduced
dictum (Occam’s razor) and a general movement toward
deductive reasoning. You might use portions of the fi lm to
show the general mood and material life of those living in
the Middle Ages and to contrast the lives of clergy with
those of peasants. An interesting aspect of the fi lm and the
novel on which it is based are the symbolism and multilayered meaning of medieval language and conversation.
■ Warrior Collection (4 DVDs, 240min.). These DVDs are
considered the most important semi-historical films to have
been made in Korea. All of the stories are set in fourteenthcentury China during the Ming dynasty, and they relay the
tense relationship between China and Korea. The fi lms
include Bichunmoo and The Warrior, or Musa. The Warrior
is the most readily available in the United States. This visually stunning, historical fiction epic follows a delegation of
Korean diplomats across the desert to the capital of China
on a diplomatic mission. It recounts the trials and adventures of the group as they travel across this inhospitable
land. The film has been praised for its high degree of historical accuracy, period pieces, and, interestingly, the fact that
everyone in the film speaks the appropriate languages with
interpreters, as they would have in the fourteenth century.
The fi lm depicts the shift from the Yuan to the Ming
dynasty, and the cultural and social exchanges and relationships among the Mongols, Koreans, and Chinese.
Tamim Ansary, 2010. Destiny Disrupted: A History of the
World through Islamic Eyes.
Robert Bartlett, 1994. The Making of Europe.
K.N. Chaudhuri, 1985. Trade and Civilisation in the Indian
Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750.
Stephen F. Dale, 2010. The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavid, and Mughals.
Patricia Buckley Ebrey, 1999. The Cambridge Illustrated
History of China.
Jack Goody, 2010. Renaissances: The One or the Many?
Kenneth R. Hall, ed., 2008. Secondary Cities and Urban
Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, c. 1400–1800.
Richard G. Hovannisian and Georges Sabagh, eds., 2000.
Religion and Culture in Medieval Islam.
Charles Hucker, 1978. The Ming Dynasty: Its Origins and
Evolving Institutions.
Crises and Recovery in Afro- Eurasia, 1300–1500
◆ 135
Stanley Lane-Poole, 1896, reprinted 2010. The Story of the
Moors in Spain.
Louise Levathes, 1994. When China Ruled the Seas: The
Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405–1433.
Robert Marks, 2006. Origins of the Modern World.
William McNeill, 1976. Plagues and People.
Michael Pearson, 2010. The Indian Ocean.
Michael N. Pearson, 1998. Port Cities and Intruders: The
Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern
Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik, 2006. The World
That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World
Economy 1400 to the Present.
Patricia Risso, 1995. Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean.
Paul Ropp, 2010. China in World History.
W. Montgomery Watt, 1983. The Influence of Islam on
Medieval Europe
A digital library of Middle Eastern architecture, with an
extensive collection of photographs, information, and
scholarly resources on cities, sites, and buildings, targeting an international community of scholars, students, and professionals working in architecture,
planning, and related fields
Chinese Cultural Studies: Images
Multiple images and maps of China
Islam: Empire of Faith
The PBS documentary video also provides an extensive
website on Islam, with classroom lesson suggestions
targeted for K–12 (but may be adapted for college as
well) and photographs of monuments
Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
General information with numerous images and links to
other sources
www.lacma.org/islamic _art/intro.htm
The Islamic World to 1600: The Rise of Great Islamic
The Applied History Research Group, at the University
of Calgary, created a multimedia tutorial on the rise of
Islam and Islamic Empires, including the Ottoman,
Safavid, and Mughal Empires
136 ◆ Chapter 11 Crises and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1500
/index2 .html
Mongols in World History
Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asia Institute
has an initiative, called Asia for Educators (AFE), for
hosting a Web resource for educators and students on
Asia, and specifically the history of the Mongols
Muslim Spain
General information about Spanish Moors
The Renaissance
Annenberg Foundation teacher resources on the Renaissance, as well as numerous other topics
Sultan’s Lost Treasures
PBS Web site on the Ming dynasty and Zheng He;
includes teacher resources
Contact, Commerce, and
Colonization, 1450–1600
▶ The Old Trade and the New
The Revival of the Chinese Economy
The Revival of Indian Ocean Trade
Overland Commerce and Ottoman Expansion
European Exploration and Expansion
The Portuguese in Africa and Asia
Navigation and Military Advances
Sugar and Slaves
Commerce and Conquest in the Indian Ocean
The Atlantic World
Westward Voyages of Columbus
First Encounters
First Conquests
The Aztec Empire and the Spanish Conquest
Aztec Society
Cortes and Conquest
The Incas
Environmental Consequences of the Conquest
Spain’s Tributary Empire
This chapter explores the early Portuguese and other
European maritime explorations in pursuit of joining the
Indian Ocean trade, which resulted in Eu rope’s accidental “discovery” of the Americas. While Europe started off
poor in the fi fteenth century, as they were facing religious wars, Asian empires (the Chinese, Mughal, and Ottomans) were expanding and consolidating their power,
because of flourishing Indian Ocean and overland trade
and booming economies. The European discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Americas provided them
with great wealth and changed the balance of power in the
world. Europeans exploited Native Americans for their
land and labor, and imported Africans as slaves, creating
the largest migration of peoples across the Atlantic. The
new oceanic system, the Atlantic system, created an impe-
▶ Portugal’s New World Colony
Coastal Enclaves
Sugar Plantations
Beginnings of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
The Transformation of Europe
The Habsburgs and the Quest for Universal Empire
in Europe
Confl ict in Europe and the Demise of Universal
The Reformation
Martin Luther Challenges the Church
Other “Protestant” Reformers
Counter-Reformation and Persecution
Religious Warfare in Europe
Prosperity in Asia
Mughal India and Commerce
Prosperity in Ming China
Asian Relations with Europe
rial and colonial link transforming Africa, America, and
Eu rope. The wealth that Eu ropeans obtained from the
Americas helped Europeans make a greater presence in
the Indian Ocean world, even opening it up for conquest
and colonization.
I. The old trade and the new
A. Afro-Eurasian trade revived after the Black
Death destruction, with the Indian Ocean
maritime trade and China Seas as the focal
B. Eu ropean traders began exploring the
Atlantic African coast in their attempts
to search for new routes to South and East
1. With new maritime technology, the Portuguese explored Africa and India
138 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
2. The Spanish supported Columbus’s explorations to Asia, with new routes west
3. Both the Portuguese and Spanish were
tempted by commodities like spices, silks,
and slaves, as well as potential new Christian converts
C. The revival of the Chinese economy
1. China’s dynamic economy was a pertinent reason for the Afro-Eurasian economic revival in the post–Black Death
2. China’s economy recovered because of its
vast internal and surging domestic market.
For example,
a. The Ming moved the capital from Nanjing to the prosperous city of Beijing
b. The reconstruction of the Grand Canal
improved north-south transportation
networks for trade
c. Despite Ming attempts to curb overseas trade, both overseas and domestic
trade flourished, with silk, textiles, rice,
porcelain, and paper as some of the
sought-after commodities
3. The only real contribution from Europeans to the trade was silver, the basis of the
Ming monetary system
a. Japan was known as the “silver islands,”
as a prominent source of silver in the
sixteenth century
b. After the 1570s, the Philippines under
the Spanish became China’s gateway
for American silver
i. One-third of the New World’s silver ended up in China, fueling
China’s phenomenal economy
D. The revival of Indian Ocean trade
1. The revival of Indian Ocean maritime
trade allowed for Chinese economic
growth and expansion
2. India was the geographic and economic
center of these trade routes
a. Indian population expanded almost as
quickly as China’s
b. India also boasted a positive trade balance with Europe and West Asia,
exporting textiles and pepper for silver
c. Indians also had to pay for Chinese
commodities with silver
d. Unlike China, India did not have a central political authority, and Indian merchants experienced great autonomy
e. Local Indian rulers gained great wealth
by imposing customs on trade
3. Melaka emerged as the most important
port city, because of its strategic location
between the Indian Ocean and the South
China Sea
a. Melaka’s diversity was representative of
the Indian Ocean merchant community of Arabs, Indians, Armenians,
Jews, East Africans, Persians, and eventually Western Europeans
E. Overland commerce and Ottoman expansion
1. Maritime trade overshadowed but did not
eliminate overland commerce, and land
routes reemerged and thrived in parts.
a. Aleppo in Syria emerged as the most
important spectacular commercial center in southwest Asia, linking India and
b. Ottomans had great respect for their
successful merchants, as they had to
master the challenges of the caravan
trade and their routes.
c. Ottoman Empire encouraged overland
routes as they provided considerable
tax revenue
i. They maintained safe military
rest stops along the route, some
accommodating as large as 800
travelers and their animals
ii. Government leaders and merchants both paid local leaders
cash as “protection money,” to
stop raids along the route
II. European exploration and expansion
A. The Ottoman capture of Constantinople motivated Europeans to explore new routes to Asia
B. The Portuguese were the fi rst Europeans to
seek new routes to Asia, which took them fi rst
to Africa
C. The Portuguese in Africa and Asia
1. Portuguese desire for gold and silver took
them south to Africa
2. Navigation and military advances
a. New maritime technologies like the
compass, the astrolabe, and new ships,
along with assistance from Arab mariners, helped the Portuguese navigate
the treacherous Atlantic coast
b. Borrowed military technologies from
Asia, such as Chinese gunpowder, also
Chapter 12
attributed to Portuguese success in the
Indian Ocean
i. Gunpowder cannon technologies
benefited larger, centralized states
that could afford them. For
ii. In 1453, Ottomans defeated
iii. In 1492, Spanish defeated the
Moors, with the fall of Granada
iv. In 1415, English defeated the
French in the Battle of Agincourt
3. Sugar and slaves
a. Africa became a vital trading source for
gold, sugar, and labor
b. The Portuguese established ports and
fortresses along the West African Gold
c. The Portuguese started large sugar plantations off the coasts of West Africa,
with African slaves in the islands of
Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde
d. The Portuguese and Spanish built their
fi rst formal colonies on these islands
e. This fi fteenth-century plantation slavery and economy became the model for
the New World in the sixteenth century
4. Commerce and conquest in the Indian
a. Portuguese purpose in Asia was to
exploit Asian commerce
b. Vasco da Gama was the fi rst Portuguese mariner to reach India in 1498,
due to the skills of a Swahili or East
African sailor and a pi lot from Malindi
i. Da Gama was willing to fight for
commercial access and roughed
up everyone he met
ii. Da Gama succeeded in returning
to Portugal with a small but valuable cargo of silk and spices, but
with less than half of his ship’s
c. Da Gama returned to India in 1502 and
asserted Portuguese supremacy by
mutilating and killing sailors and burning ships in the harbor
d. The Portuguese took control of strategic key ports in the Indian Ocean, East
Africa, West Asia, South Asia, and
China, such as Aden, Hormuz, Melaka,
Sofala, Kilwa, Goa, Calicut, and Macao
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 139
e. Portuguese asserted their Indian
Ocean supremacy by enforcing a pass
system, or cartaz, like a toll fee or a
pirate system
f. Lisbon eclipsed Italian ports as the
prime entry point for Asian goods into
III. The Atlantic world
A. The development of new Atlantic sea lanes
began an epochal transformation in world
1. Europeans were able to conquer and colonize the Americas, unlike Africa or Asia,
because of their diseases like smallpox,
typhus, and cholera, which decimated
2. “Atlantic Ocean system” emerged and
enriched Europeans, as Europeans transported African slave labor to the Americas
in numbers far greater than Europeans
3. This accidental discovery led to conquest
and great wealth for Europeans
4. The “New World” term reflects the European view that this land was “new” because
it was previously unknown to them
5. Competition for the spoils of the Atlantic,
in addition to the Indian Ocean system,
heightened European rivalries
B. Westward voyages of Columbus
1. October 12, 1492, on behalf of Spain,
Columbus reached San Salvador in the
Bahamas, and ushered in a new era of
world history
2. Columbus’s goals were to make money and
Christianize the world, which drove the
European colonization of the Americas
C. First encounters
1. Columbus’s fi rst encounters with Tainos in
the Caribbean symbolized European contrasting images of Amerindians as innocents or savages
a. Columbus mislabeled Tainos as “Indians” as he believed he had reached India
b. He described the Tainos as a child-like
people who had no religion and were
ready for conversion, but possessed gold
2. Historians know less about Indian perceptions of Europeans or conquistadors
a. European arms, ships, and technology
inspired them
b. Some thought of Europeans as godlike
140 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
c. European hair, beards, breath, and bad
manners often repulsed them
D. First conquests
1. On behalf of Spain, Columbus claimed the
island of Hispaniola, Haiti, and the
Dominican Republic, with tales of gold,
which prompted more expeditions
2. The Spanish experimented with colonial
rule, creating a model in Hispaniola for the
rest of the New World
a. Spaniards faced Indian resistance
b. Spaniards responded by enslaving Indians to work in gold mines
i. The Spanish crown awarded encomiendas (grants) to the encomenderos (settlers with the right to coerce
or force Indian labor), who had to
pay special taxes on precious metals extracted from their land
ii. When the island’s Indian labor
and gold supply dwindled, many
Spaniards looked for opportunity
iii. Dominican friars often protested
Spanish abuse and barbarity
iv. The vast majority of the Indians
died very quickly
E. The Aztec Empire and the Spanish conquest
1. The Spanish encountered powerful,
wealthy, complex, and militarized empires
untouched by Afro-Eurasia and unprepared for Eu ropean invaders and their
2. The Aztecs gradually united numerous
independent states under a single monarch, along with counselors, military leaders, and priests, to create an empire of 25
million based around Lake Texcoco
a. The city of Tenochtitlan on Lake Texcoco was one of the world’s largest and
wealthiest, with religious and political
buildings in the center, and wellirrigated and prosperous agriculture
b. The Aztec state was based on extensive
kinship networks, with marriages solidifying alliances and networks
c. Each village selected representative
councils, who sent delegates to select
the chief speaker or the Aztec Emperor
i. The emperor was not supreme but
negotiated power between religious and military leaders
ii. Aztec social hierarchy held
together because of beliefs in a
cyclical universe and a coming
iii. Priests governed relationships
between people and their gods
d. The Aztec Empire spread through conquest and the creation of tributary
states, bringing with it great wealth but
also military instability
i. Conquests provided a steady
stream of humans for sacrifice
ii. One 1487 ceremony took between
20,000 and 80,000 human
e. From 1440 onward, the Aztec Empire
was under stress because of constant
rebellions and a large military with
divisions among elites.
3. Cortés and conquest
a. Aztec emperor Montezuma sent emissaries with jewels and sorcerers to meet
the strange Spaniards who arrived in
“floating islands” or ships, with horses
and dogs (or monsters), but he was not
prepared for their military destruction
i. Aztecs feared that Cortés and his
men were the god Quetzalcoatl
ii. Hernan Cortes, who arrived with
11 ships, 500 men, 16 horses, and
arms, became a model conquistador, or conqueror
iii. Doña Marina (or Malinche), a
noble from the Tabasco region (a
rival to the Aztecs), became Cortés’s interpreter and uncovered
Aztec plots against the Spanish
iv. Doña Marina became Cortés’s
lover, bearing one of the fi rst
mixed-blooded Mexicans
b. The Spaniards were able to conquer the
powerful Aztecs because:
i. the Spanish formed alliances with
Aztec enemies like the Tlaxcalans
ii. Aztec warfare involved capturing
enemies, while the Spanish consisted of killing enemies
iii. Aztecs were not familiar with Spanish technology like gunpowder,
steel swords, horses, or war dogs
Chapter 12
iv. Montezuma allowed Cortes to
enter their city of Tenochtitlan
c. In 1519, Cortés captured Tenochtitlan
and Montezuma, who then ruled as a
Spanish puppet
d. The Aztecs rose in rebellion two years
later and initially defeated the Spanish
e. Spanish and Tlaxcalan eventually
defeated the Aztecs more because of
disease than war
i. The Spanish executed the Aztec
emperor Cuauhtémoc, ending the
royal lineage
ii. Cortés became governor of the
colony “New Spain”
F. The Incas
1. In the Andes, Quechua-speaking people
governed an impressive Inca Empire of 4
to 6 million
a. Before the Spanish arrived, a smallpox
epidemic spread from Mesoamerica
into the Andes, taking the Inca
b. One of the emperor’s sons, Atahualpa,
fought a war against his brother to gain
succession to the Inca throne
2. In 1532 Francisco Pizarro, with his 600
men and horses and dogs, laid a trap and
defeated Atahualpa and the Incas
3. The Spanish arrived in large numbers to
stake their claims for encomiendas to their
new capital of Lima
4. The Spanish crown blocked encomendero
civil war and aristocracy development in
their new colony
5. The European defeat of the New World’s
two great empires, the Aztecs and Incas,
introduced a new scale of imperial expansion and provided Europe with great
wealth and a market for their products
G. Environmental Consequences of the Conquest
1. The Columbian exchanged transformed
the environments, economies, and diets of
both the New and Old worlds.
a. European diseases like smallpox, measles, pneumonic plague, and influenza,
decimated 90% of the Amerindian
b. New forms of agricultural exchanges
i. From the New World spread corn,
tomatoes, beans, cacao, peanuts,
tobacco, and squash
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 141
ii. From the Old World came grains,
sorghum, millet, rice, cattle, and
c. Ecological imperialism—the flora and
fauna of the Americas took on an
increasingly European appearance as
vegetation was cleared to make way for
ranches, mines, or plantations
H. Spain’s tributary empire
1. The Spanish tapped into existing commercial systems, not completely dismantling
indigenous empires
a. They continued the encomiendas, which
built on previous Aztec and Incan labor
conscription systems
2. Very few Spanish women emigrated to the
Americas; those who did worked as
domestic servants, mistresses, nurses,
caretakers, advisors, or even joint rulers
a. Spanish men took indigenous women
as concubines
b. Some Spaniards married into prominent
Indian families to inherit dynastic rule
c. As a result, mestizos became the
quickest-growing population in Spanish America
3. Most Spaniards and their children lived in
towns, and the former empire cities of
Mexico City and Cuzco flourished
I. Silver
1. European conquerors took more precious
metals from Mexico and the Andes in 20
years than all the gold accumulated in
Europe over centuries
2. The Bolivian Andean Potosi and Mexican
Zacatecas mines produced the greatest
amounts of silver for Spain
a. The Spanish depended heavily on slave
and coerced Indian labor
b. The wealth from these mines created
local aristocracies
IV. Portugal’s New World colony
A. The Portuguese and Spanish carved up South
America in the unenforceable Treaty of
Tordesillas of 1494
B. The Portuguese found abundant and fertile
land for their settlers
1. The Portuguese settled along the coast but,
unlike the Spanish, they rarely intermarried
2. By the late seventeenth century, their
white settler population grew to 300,000
142 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
C. When no precious metals were discovered in
Brazil, the Portuguese began to produce sugar
1. When the Indian population fought or
fled, the Portuguese imported African
slaves for labor
D. Sugar plantations
1. Sugar was the most valuable export from
the Americas, at one point even surpassing
2. Sugar was also one of the major reasons for
the growing Atlantic slave trade
3. Plantations were fairly small, between sixty
and one hundred African slaves, which created an alternative model of empire
4. Disproportionate numbers of men working
and living in wretched conditions brought
high mortality rates and the constant and
growing demand for African slaves
E. Beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade
1. The fi rst direct transatlantic slave voyage
from Africa to the Americas began in
1525, because of sugar
2. Five times as many Africans migrated to
the Americas versus Europeans, between
1492 and 1820
3. While the Portuguese started the slave
trade, all European powers (the Spanish,
Dutch, English, and French) participated,
with its height in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
4. Africa participated in long-distance slave
trading before European arrival
a. Arab merchants transported large
numbers of slaves to the Muslim world
starting in the seventh century
b. Africans held slaves but the status
was not permanent; slaves were
assimilated and adopted into families
and societies
5. The Atlantic slave trade intensified the
demand for African labor; only parts of
East and Southeastern Africa remained
6. The three-cornered Atlantic system, with
African labor, the American mineral and
commodity flow to Europe, and European
technology, altered the world balance of
V. The transformation of Europe
A. The Atlantic system deepened divisions in
B. The Habsburgs and the quest for universal
empire in Europe
1. The Habsburg dynasty dominated the
Holy Roman Empire since 1273, which
included a loose confederation of territories of modern-day Netherlands, Germany,
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, and parts of
present-day Italy, Poland, and Switzerland
2. By 1519, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles
V controlled a large transatlantic empire;
however, he split the empire into two in 1556
a. Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand controlled Austrian, German, and central
European territories
b. Philip II reigned in Portugal, Spain,
Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and
parts of the New World
C. Confl ict in Europe and the demise of universal
1. Rival European powers the French,
English, and Dutch threatened the Portuguese and Spanish
a. The English crown sponsored pirates
to seize Spanish cargo in the Atlantic,
including the famed Sir Francis Drake
b. English provocations instigated naval
warfare between the two, resulting in
the defeat of the Spanish Armada
D. The Reformation
1. The Protestant Reformation split the
Christian world for good
2. Martin Luther, a German monk and professor, criticized papal authority and the
Catholic Church with his knowledge of
the Bible
a. Luther argued that salvation came
through God’s grace, or forgiveness, by
faith; that faith would be arrived at
from reading the Bible; and that priests
as mediators were not necessary,
because all individuals were priests and
have access to God
b. Luther also criticized other corrupt
church practices such as sex scandals
and the selling of indulgences
c. Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses of 1517 and
On the Freedom of the Christian Man of
1520 furthered the debate
d. Habsburg emperor Charles V declared
Luther a heretic
e. Luther married a former nun, Katharina von Bora, and translated the Bible
Chapter 12
from Latin into German, promoting
public literacy
3. Other “Protestant” reformers—German
princes—embraced and asserted Luther’s
doctrines to break away from the Holy
Roman Empire
a. John Calvin, who added concepts like
predestination to Luther’s teachings,
developed a strong following in Switzerland, the Netherlands, northeastern
France, and Scotland (called
b. The English developed a moderately
reformed Catholicism, which still
retained Catholic practices and
hierarchy—Anglicanism, or
c. While the British maintained some
level of religious diversity, many of
these new Protestant sects developed
animosity toward each other as well as
toward the Catholic Church
4. Counter-Reformation and persecution
a. At the Council of Trent from 1545 to
1563, the Catholic Church reaffi rmed
papal authority, church hierarchy, and
doctrine, but also attempted corruption reforms
b. In the late sixteenth century, Catholic
reforms emphasized individual
c. Ignatius Loyola formed the Society of
Jesus (Jesuits) to revive the Catholic
Church and spread its message around
the world
d. Papacy continued its persecution and
repression of heretics and “demons”
e. Between 1500 and 1700, Protestants
and Catholics alike tried, tortured, and
executed 100,000 women for witchcraft
E. Religious warfare in Europe
1. The religious revival was accompanied by
ferocious wars and peasant revolts that
resulted in the Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V’s decision to allow each German
Prince the right to choose Lutheranism or
Catholicism as the official state religion
2. The wars weakened European dynasties
while whetting their appetite for conquests
a. Protestant Netherlands achieved independence from Catholic Spain
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 143
b. The Spanish Empire faced decline
because of its war expenditures, and it
faced bankruptcy three times in the
late 1550s
3. The bloody persecution of Protestant
Huguenots brought an end to the French
Valois dynasty
a. A Protestant prince, Henry of Navarre,
became king by converting to
b. Henry issued the Edict of Nantes, proclaiming France Catholic but with protections for the Protestant minority
4. Religious confl icts and wars kept the process of state building and emerging
national identities within Europe, as newly
formed states declared national religions
and languages
5. Religious wars and confl ict also fueled
rivalries around the world for wealth, territory, language, and religion
VI. Prosperity in Asia
A. While Europe was facing religious wars, Asian
empires were expanding, consolidating power,
and experiencing flourishing trade
B. The Chinese, Mughal, and Ottoman Empires
had effective and esteemed rulers
C. Mughal India and commerce
1. The Mughal dynasty was one of the world’s
wealthiest and most powerful empires,
which rested on their great military strength
a. Founder Babur built their military with
Central Asian horsemanship, artillery,
field cannons, and gunpowder
b. Babur’s grandson Akbar was also
skilled in alliance building, using favors
and marriages to build the empire
2. Akbar’s empire profited from the Indian
Ocean trade, through land and river routes
that connected to them
3. Mughal trade brought increasing wealth,
and their power limited European intrusions into their empire
a. Mughal rulers allowed fi rst Portuguese,
then other European merchants, access
to a handful of their ports, on the outskirts of their empire
b. In the 1560s, Akbar reformed and centralized the tax revenue system, weakening the power of zamindars, or
decentralized tribute collectors
144 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
i. Mughals began to collect taxes in
money, not goods
ii. Zamindars received a fee instead
of a share in taxes collected
4. Mughal rulers used newfound wealth to
sponsor monumental feats of architecture
and art, but the wealth also caused friction
among Indian rulers and merchants
D. Prosperity in Ming China
1. Similar to Mughal India, Ming China’s
economy also soared in the sixteenth
a. Ming China confi ned European merchants to port cities
b. European silver from the Americas
contributed to China’s growing economy, allowing money rather than goods
to circulate
2. One of the measures of Ming’s great economic prosperity was the surge in Chinese
a. China made up one-third of the
world’s population in the midseventeenth century, with spectacular
growth in cities
b. Urban prosperity allowed a space
where women could work in a wide
variety of positions, such as entertainers, courtesans, midwives, healers,
poets, sorcerers, matchmakers, artists,
and in the book trades
3. Politically, the sixteenth-century Ming
faced internal discord and problems, but
thrived econom ical ly, resulting in population growth and territorial expansion
E. Asian relations with Europe
1. The Portuguese took the lead among
Europeans in joining Indian Ocean trading networks
2. Portuguese arrived in the Chinese port
city of Macao in 1557, joining Melakans,
Indians, and Africans
3. Like the Mughals, Ming Chinese
restricted Portuguese to ports and refused
their access inland
4. The Spanish captured and colonized the
Philippines in 1571, allowing them to
establish brisk trade with China
5. 1571 was also the year that the Spanish
created direct trade routes between China
and the New World, using silver to connect them
6. The English and the Dutch also joined in
by creating joint-stock companies and
using royal charters to increase trade with
7. The English East India Company eventually acquired control of Indian ports:
Madras in 1739, Bombay in 1661, and Calcutta in 1690
VII. Conclusion
A. In the middle of the fi fteenth century, Europe
was poor compared to the rest of the world
B. In the process of searching for Asian goods,
Europe started sailing to Africa, across the
Indian Ocean, and across the Atlantic, accidentally encountering the “New World,” of monumental significance
C. The newfound wealth of gold and silver and
new Atlantic systems and empires afforded
them greater influence in Asia, and opportunities for exchange, conquest, and colonization
D. Two conquests—the Islamic conquest of Constantinople, because it drove Europeans to fi nd
new links to Asia, and the Spanish conquest of
the Aztecs—characterize this age of world
E. Europeans exploited Native Americans for
their land and labor, and African laborers as
F. The new oceanic system, called the Atlantic
system, created an imperial and colonial link
transforming Africa, the Americas, and Europe
Early Portuguese-Chinese Contact
The primary sources in the text of this chapter, 1517 and
1520, are great sources to begin an introduction or lecture
about the Chinese and Portuguese perceptions of each
other and their changing power dynamics in the sixteenth
century. Europeans were poor in the fi fteenth century,
compared to Asia and Africa. However, by the sixteenth
century, Portuguese and other Europeans improve their
maritime and military technologies and economic wealth,
becoming formidable not only in the Atlantic world but
also in the Indian Ocean world. By the seventeenth century, Europeans controlled most of the major Indian
Ocean ports, as well as those in the Atlantic system. (Your
students who are science fiction TV fans might point out
that the term “Feringi” is given to an aggressive society in
Star Trek: the Next Generation.)
Chapter 12
1. What was the Chinese view of foreigners? What was
the Portuguese view of the Chinese?
2. What was the Portuguese strategy for expansion in
China and Chinese markets?
3. What was the Chinese strategy for limiting the Portuguese in China?
Compare and Contrast Political Powers
Comparing and contrasting the Portuguese Empire and
the Mughal dynasty in the sixteenth century highlights
several themes from this chapter. First and foremost, it
illustrates how European powers, such as Portugal, were in
no position to challenge non-European Eurasian powers
for supremacy in their sphere of influence. Second, it helps
explore how much of the Portuguese Empire was based
on the “trading post” model. Portugal’s hegemony in the
Indian Ocean derived from the control of key ports, not
large pieces of territory. Maritime trade generated wealth
for the crown. The Mughal dynasty, by contrast, expanded
the amount of territory it controlled in South Asia. This
generated more land to tax. It also encouraged greater commerce, both internally and with foreigners such as the Portuguese. Both models were successful, as both regimes
saw their influence increase in the sixteenth century. For
information, see Michael N. Pearson, Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early
Modern Era (1998); Sanjay Subrahmanyam, The Portuguese
Empire in Asia 1500–1700 (1993); Stanley Wolpert, A
New History of India, 4th ed. (1993); and Ashin Das Gupta
and M. N. Pearson, eds., Indians and the Indian Ocean,
1500–1800 (1987). Several essays in James T. Tracy, The
Political Economy of Merchant Empires (1991), are also
1. What are some of the main differences in expansion
strategies between the Portuguese Empire and the
Mughal dynasty?
2. How were these differences reflected in the loyalty
and control of their respective territories?
3. Why would these two powers have chosen different
methods of control? What might have influenced
their practices?
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 145
tic system, reconfiguring and linking Europe, Africa, and
the Americas in an exchange to benefit Europeans. One of
the most fundamental changes is the forced migrations of
West Africans to the Americas, or the emergence of the
Atlantic slave trade. The Indian Ocean system, by contrast, had thrived in one form or another for over 1500
years. In this part of the world, Eu ropeans would come
to dominate the major port cities by the seventeenth
century, further expanding into the interior by the eighteenth. Wealth obtained from the Americas, particularly
plundered silver and sugar production, helped Europeans
make an impact in the Indian Ocean and allowed them to
purchase goods such as silk, cotton, spices, and porcelain.
For information on the Atlantic system, Philip D. Curtin’s
essay “The Tropical Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade”
from the American Historical Association’s Essays on
Global and Comparative History is a nice concise summary.
For the Indian Ocean, see Patricia Risso, Merchants and
Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean
1. Describe the major differences in how the Indian Ocean
and the Atlantic Ocean systems emerged.
2. Compare and contrast the trading practices: Who are
the major players? What commodities were in demand?
Where did the products originate?
3. How did religion influence trading patterns in the
Atlantic Ocean? In the Indian Ocean?
Sugar Plantations
The fi rst three chapters of Philip D. Curtin’s Rise and Fall
of the Plantation Complex, 2nd ed. (1998), provide the framework for a lecture on the rise of sugar plantations on the
Atlantic islands off the coast of Africa. Here Europeans
developed a plantation system that they later exported to
the Americas.
1. Why do you think the sugar plantation model of the
Atlantic islands was transplanted to the Americas?
What made it successful for the colonizers?
2. What is unique to the sugar plantation model?
3. Which Europeans benefited the most from the Atlantic island plantations?
Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean Trade Routes
A lecture that juxtaposes the emergence of the Atlantic
Ocean trading world with the Indian Ocean world can
reinforce the phenomenal implications of how the world
changed in the sixteenth century, along with the chapter
themes of contact, commerce, and colonization. European
explorers, merchants, and governments forged the Atlan-
The Spanish Conquest of Mexico
Murals by Diego Rivera in the Palacio Nacional de
Mexico—Index and Introduction
Bluff ton University’s Art Historian Ann Sullivan has
gathered together an impressive index of photographs.
This par ticu lar one with Diego Rivera murals is a great
146 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
collection of some of his important political and historical
themes on the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. You may
want to select a few to have in the background, while you
lecture on the conquest of Mexico and discuss Aztec and
Spanish views of each other.
www.bluff ton.edu/~sullivanm/mexico/mexicocity
1. How does Rivera’s art depict Aztec views of the Spanish conquest? How do they juxtapose with Spanish
views of the Aztecs and their conquest?
2. How did the legends of Quetzalcoatl make the Aztecs
more vulnerable to Spanish conquest?
3. What makes Doña Marina, or Malinche, Hernan
Cortes’s mistress and interpreter, so controversial?
Global Trading
Although this chapter shows how European explorers and
merchants were the catalysts for increased interaction
among the world’s societies, it is often difficult for students to avoid concluding that the sixteenth century
marked the beginning of an age of European hegemony.
An interactive activity can help reinforce the idea that
much of the contact and commerce explored in this chapter were based on terms established by the people who the
Europeans encountered as much as on European terms,
the Americas being the huge exception. Divide students
into five groups: Eu ropean merchants, people in West
African kingdoms, the Mughal emperor and his advisers,
the Ming emperor and his advisers, and the Ottoman
emperor and his advisers. Ask students to research beforehand the products they could export, the goods they
value and might want to import, what their belief systems would have been, how open they might have been
to other faiths or worldviews, and their military capabilities. Spend one class period conducting the following
activity: Have the Eu ropean merchant group negotiate
with each of the other groups for an agreement for trade
and missionization. At the end of class, students should
be able to see that Eu ropeans had very few products to
offer these other societies beyond silver and that their
efforts to spread Christianity were, for the most part,
The Impact of the Columbian Exchange
The Columbian Exchange is an important idea. It becomes
particularly relevant once your students realize how much
of their lives is affected by this exchange of organisms.
Provide them with a handout on the variety of exchanges.
A good source can be found at The Columbian Exchange
Web site:
Summarize or ask the students to read the material
together; it is not long, and it offers relevant comparisons
regarding history and present-day events. Then ask them to
list the items they had for breakfast. If they didn’t have
breakfast, what did they have for dinner? Write down
everything. Then have them classify the ingredients as
originating in the Old World or the New World. Make sure
they break this list into primary ingredients; for example,
what is used to make a breakfast bar? This assignment isn’t
as easy as it sounds. Where do eggs come from? Where does
wheat come from, or cows, oats, tomatoes, and so on? Then
consider how these staple foods changed the world. Which
were most influential? Finally, ask students to name the
domesticated animal that came from the Americas. This
question will leave them struggling because there is no
well-domesticated animal—although some sources claim
that the domestication of the dog had occurred already in
the Americas, other sources claim only the llama and the
alpaca as the Americas’ domesticated animals. Either way,
it is a fun exercise, and some students’ inability to answer
the question actually strengthens their ability to retain the
material once they learn it.
Three Empires, Three Continents
This chapter concludes by juxtaposing the Ottoman
conquest of Constantinople in 1453 with the Spanish
conquest of Tenochtitlán in 1520. You can reinforce this
dialogue and critical analysis for students by adding Zheng,
who earlier conquered the lands around the Indian Ocean
for the Ming dynasty. The manner in which the Chinese
declared control of these territories and managed them
through the tribute system contrasts diplomatic styles
and policy making. Further discussion of the three empires,
drawing on their relative strengths regarding military
might (gunpowder) and economic stability (silver), reinforces for students the idea that at this time the Europeans
were only just entering the world as global players. They
had no decided advantage over other Eurasian dynasties. Thus, Europeans were in no position to challenge the
supremacy of other Eurasian powers when they came into
increased contact with them. The opposite was true when
it came to the dynasties of the Americas. Indeed, Europeans were able to begin colonizing the Americas in the six-
Chapter 12
teenth century. Exploitation of the natural resources,
mainly silver, allowed them to expand commerce with
other Eurasian powers. Have your students create a list
with three columns, one for each empire and conquest.
They can record the specific characteristics of each conquest in the columns and then make comparisons across
the three.
Chess Moves
Games are an inseparable part of a culture and greatly
reflect the political, military, and cultural forces of a
people. The true origins of the game of chess, or as it was
called originally shatranj, are unclear. It most likely developed in what is today northern India around the sixth or
seventh centuries ce. The only early extant literature
about chess is Islamic; it provides us with the game’s
rules (850 ce). The spread of Islam to Spain brought
shatranj to Eu rope, and from there it spread rapidly. The
word chess may have derived from the word shah or king,
and the word checkmate from shah mat, meaning “the
king is dead.”
As the game spread, the pieces and rules were modified
to fit the changing society in Europe. For example, Europeans wanted the game to move more quickly, so they
altered the number of moves a pawn could make. Let your
students look at the game pieces and the board and consider the changes to the game. If you used the earlier
Viking game (hnefatafl) with the class, you can connect
that game with chess to reinforce the lessons here. The
most important changes in chess from medieval Islamic
countries to medieval European countries were in regard
to the pieces that changed from counselor to queen and
elephant to bishop. The counselor in shatranj, formerly
a weak piece, became the queen—the strongest piece in
chess. The alfi l/fi l moved two squares at a time but became
the far-ranging chess bishop. Why did the queen become
so much more powerful than the counselor? And why is
the queen more powerful than the king—or is she? What
constitutes power? What cultural and political environment allowed this change to be plausible?
Providing physical chessboards, for students to look at
and so that they can move the pieces around, and an
opportunity to discuss this issue will help them work out
possible answers to these questions. If you discuss hnefatafl as well, an important point of comparison is the differences in class structures as reflected in the game pieces.
Encourage them to dig deeply and to think about the context of the period. For more information on the history of
the game of chess, look at the Birth of the Chess Queen: A
History by Marilyn Yalom.
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 147
■ Columbus and the Age of Discovery (seven parts, each
58 min.). This series was produced by PBS and WGBH. It
was nominated for an Emmy and continues to be used
widely in the classroom. The fi rst in the series, “Columbus’s World,” provides the context for his discoveries, discussing the Ming dynasty, the Spice Islands, the Ottoman
Empire, the Venetian merchants, and other important
historical details. Part 2, “An Idea Takes Shape,” details
the technical aspects of preparing for the trip, from shipbuilding to navigational tools to the struggle for funding.
In “The Crossing,” the producers used three full-scale
working replicas to follow Columbus’s route according to
his ship’s logs. Part 4 starts with his fi rst landfall, “Worlds
Found and Lost.” Part 5, “Sword and Cross,” attempts to
show the evolution of the Americas after European contact, namely, in terms of cultural changes, motivations,
and disease. Part 6, “Columbian Exchange,” can reinforce
the activity “The Impact of the Columbian Exchange” in
this chapter (see p. 146), as it examines the interchange of
the two worlds. The fi nal episode, “In Search of Columbus,” wraps up the series and summarizes the impact that
Columbus’s claim for Spain had on the world. Each of
these parts can be used as discrete videos.
■ Cross and Crescent (53 min.). This film provides a good
overview of the Habsburgs as they reached the peak of
their power during the reign of Charles V. It considers all
aspects of society during the sixteenth century as the
empire moved into the Reformation and struggled to control the ensuing maelstrom of war across Europe. The
confl icts led into the Thirty Years’ War, the advance of the
Ottoman Empire, and, ultimately, the collapse of Habsburg
power, changing Europe forever.
■ Islam: Empire of Faith (three parts, 180 min., 2000). One
of the best documentaries made on Islamic Empires, by
Gardner/PBS, narrated by Ben Kingsley. Part one includes
background on Muhammad and how the religion started,
part two is on the rise of Islamic Empires, and part three
discusses the rise of the Ottoman Empire, with stories of
■ The Other Conquest (110 min., 1999). This subtitled
feature-length fi lm recounts the collapse of the Aztec
Empire through the eyes of an Aztec scribe. Although it is
a feature fi lm and not a documentary, it provides multiple
options for drawing your students into the world of the
Aztecs as they learned to negotiate life under the control
of the Spaniards. It aptly reflects the cultural and personal
losses that people must have experienced as they saw their
world crumble around them.
148 ◆ Chapter 12 Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
■ Revolution of Conscience: The Life, Convictions, and Legacy of Martin Luther (56 min.). This documentary chronicles Martin Luther’s life using a variety of primary
documents and expert analysis. Not only does it provide a
strong historical timeline, but also it expands on many of
the theological questions of the day, questions that had
originally led Luther to post his famous 95 theses on the
doors of the cathedral at Wittenberg. From the video, you
can explore multiple lecture angles regarding the Reformation and the subsequent religious warfare that consumed Europe.
■ The Spanish Reconquista (53 min.). This documentary
recounts the long struggle of Spanish Christians to retake
Spain from the Muslims. It is a visually beautiful fi lm,
tracing the Christian pilgrimage that led the struggle
against Islamic control, the route of Santiago de Compostela. The fi lm ends at the last Muslim stronghold, Granada.
You can use this fi lm to help your students understand the
crusading fervor that explorers and priests felt when they
began their conversions in newfound lands, the alliance of
Castile y León and Aragon, and, ultimately, the creation
of a single Christian nation.
K. N. Chaudhuri, 1985. Trade and Civilisation in the Indian
Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to
Carlo Cipolla, 1965. Guns, Sails, and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400–1700.
Alfred W. Crosby, 1973. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences.
Alfred W. Crosby, 1999. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900.
J. H. Elliot, 2002. Imperial Spain: 1469–1716.
Michael A. Gomez, 2005. Reversing Sail: A History of the
African Diaspora.
Ashin Das Gupta and M. N. Pearson, eds., 1987. Indians
and the Indian Ocean, 1500–1800
Kenneth R. Hall, ed., 2008. Secondary Cities and Urban
Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, c. 1400–1800.
Miguel Leon-Portilla, 1992. The Broken Spears: The Aztec
Account of the Conquest of Mexico.
Robert B. Marks, 2006. Origins of the Modern World.
Michael N. Pearson, 1998. Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era.
William D. Phillips Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips, 1992. The
Worlds of Christopher Columbus.
David Ringrose, 2000. Expansion and Global Interaction:
Patricia Risso, 1995. Merchants and Faith: Muslim Commerce and Culture in the Indian Ocean.
A. J. R. Russell-Wood, 1998. The Portuguese Empire: A
World on the Move.
Stuart Schwartz, ed., 1994. Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters between
Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era.
Sanjay Subrahmanyam, 1993. The Portuguese Empire in
Asia 1500–1700.
Tzevetan Todorov and Richard Howard, 1999. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other, 2nd ed.
James T. Tracy, 1991. The Political Economy of Merchant
Stanley Wolpert, 1993. A New History of India, 4th ed.
Marilyn Yalom, 2005. Birth of the Chess Queen: A History.
Akbar’s Capital, Fatehpur Sikri
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) heritage website; gives a
great pictorial guide and a brief historical description
of the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s capital of 14 years
The Columbian Exchange
Discussion of the historical impact of exchange from a
scientific perspective
The Culture and History of the Americas
Provides a wide range of options for exploring primarysource documents and material culture of Native
Americans and the colonialists
The European Voyages of Exploration
A good overview of the events and impact of the European exploration in the sixteenth and seventeenth
/index .html
1492: An Ongoing Voyage
Basic information on exploration of the Americas, with
good images of calendars and maps
www.ibiblio.org/expo/1492 .exhibit/Intro.html
Internet East Asian Sourcebook
Fordham University’s Paul Halsall puts together a great
resource of primary sources
Chapter 12
Islam: Empire of Faith
This PBS documentary video also provides an extensive
website on Islam, with classroom lesson suggestions
targeted for K–12 (but may be adapted for college as
well) and photographs of monuments
Latin America and the Conquistadors
General history of the fi rst encounters
Manas: India and Its Neighbors: The Mughal Empire
Great website on the history, culture, and society of India
Contact, Commerce, and Colonization, 1450–1600
◆ 149
Murals by Diego Rivera in the Palacio Nacional de
Mexico—Index and Introduction
Bluff ton University retired art historian Ann Sullivan has
gathered together an impressive collection of photographs. This par ticular one with Diego Rivera murals is
a great collection of some of his important political and
historical themes on the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs
www.bluff ton.edu/~sullivanm/mexico/mexicocity
Native Americans and the Land
An excellent compilation of resources regarding the
Columbian Exchange
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
▶ Economic and Political Effects of Global Commerce
Extracting Wealth: Mercantilism
Exchanges and Expansions in North America
The Plantation Complex in the Caribbean
The Slave Trade and Africa
Capturing and Shipping Slaves
Slavery’s Gender Imbalance
Africa’s New Slave-Supplying Polities
Asia in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
The Dutch in Southeast Asia
From 1600 to 1750, the world economy became better
connected and more highly integrated. Merchants across
the globe exchanged a wider variety of goods ranging
from Baltic wood, Indian cotton, and New World silver
and sugar to Chinese silks and porcelain. The New World
commodities of sugar and silver played an especially crucial role in transforming world power dynamics. They
enriched Europe at a heavy cost to the Americas and Africa.
Amerindians and Africans faced colonization, decimation,
expulsion, exploitation, and slavery. Economic integration
and global connections afforded great consumer opportunities, altering peoples’ lives around the world, and directly
influenced the rise and fall of new and old polities. Some
dynasties collapsed, others survived as they adapted to
economic changes, while others like England, Japan, and
Russia emerged in the world stage as formidable world
I. Economic and political effects of global commerce
A. Transoceanic trade affected mercantile groups
as well as nations, rulers, and common people
B. New commodities such as furs from French
North America, sugar from the Caribbean,
tobacco from British America, and coffee from
Southeast and Southwest Asia tied new places
into world markets
C. Closer economic integration destabilized some
states while strengthening others
Transformations in Islam
From Ming to Qing in China
Tokugawa, Japan
Transformations in Europe
Expansions and Dynastic Change in Russia
Economic and Political Fluctuations in Western
D. Extracting wealth: Mercantilism
1. Gold and silver from the New World (the
Americas) to the Old World (AfroEurasia) transformed global relations
2. Inspired by Spanish and Portuguese fi nancial success, other European powers also
launched colonizing ventures in the New
a. They cultivated sugarcane, cotton,
tobacco, indigo, and rice
b. They inexpensively produced wild fur
and pelts prized in Europe
3. Sugar transformed the Eu ropean diet
as Eu ropeans imported 12 million tons
of sugar between 1690 and 1790, or one
ton (2,000 pounds) for every African
a. Tooth decay became a leading cause of
death for Europeans
4. A new economic theory, mercantilism,
drove European imperialism
a. This doctrine presumed that the
world’s wealth was fi xed and that one
country’s wealth came at another’s
b. It assumed that colonies existed to generate wealth for the motherland
c. Colonies were forbidden to trade with
the motherland’s competitors
Chapter 13
d. Mercantilists believed the philosophy
of Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679):
“wealth is power and power is wealth”
5. The mercantilist system required an alliance between the state and its merchants,
such as chartered companies, with the
examples of the English Virginia Company and the Dutch East India Company
II. Exchanges and Expansions in North America
A. Entanglement and confl ict became unavoidable once other European powers England,
France, and Holland joined Spain and Portugal
to colonize the New World
1. English established a model for the new
American colonies: plantation agriculture
2. As a result, English colonists dispossessed Amerindians of their lands from
the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian
B. By contrast, Dutch and French settlers
depended on Amerindians, rather than expelling them
1. The English took over Holland’s New
Netherland colony, renaming it New York
in 1664
2. While French claims encompassed a vast
territory including eastern Canada, the
Great Lakes, and the Mississippi Valley,
their presence was limited to a small number of missionaries and traders
3. European and Amerindian trade flourished because of the beaver
4. French depended on Indian knowledge in
regard to the fur trade
5. The French colonization of the Americas
rested more on cooperation than on conquest, because of their reliance on Indians
as trading partners, military allies, and
6. French-Indian children, or métis, played an
important role in New France as interpreters, traders, and guides
7. When French (and English) traders introduced guns (and alcohol) into Indian trading networks, it initiated an arms race
among Indian groups
8. In Eastern North America over the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the
Eu ropean advantages of guns, alcohol,
germs, and other weapons became
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 151
9. To the west of French outposts, Indian
newcomers emerged as expansionists:
Lakotas and Comanches
a. Spanish introduction of horses allowed
nomadic Indians who acquired horses
to have military superiority over more
sedentary, agricultural people
b. Status of women declined in the transition
from horticultural to hunting societies
C. The plantation complex in the Caribbean
1. The most populated English colony in
seventeenth-century America was the
Caribbean island of Barbados
2. The English and French replicated the
Portuguese sugarcane plantation model in
the Caribbean
3. Because of the decimation of the Amerindian population, African slaves were
imported to the islands, making up most
of the population
4. Sugar was a “killing” crop
a. It flourished in hot and humid climates
that fostered diseases
b. Overseers worked slaves to death
c. Slaves faced inadequate food, atrocious
living conditions, and fi lthy sanitation
d. With grueling work schedules of sixteenhour days for seven days a week, some
slaves dropped dead from exhaustion
e. The average life expectancy was 3 years
5. Slaves resisted as they could
a. Few incidents of armed revolts in Panama and Mexico
b. More common form of resistance was
fl ight to remote highlands or the vast
c. Other common forms of resistance
were subterfuge, foot dragging, pilfering, and sabotage
6. No single colonial power dominated the
Caribbean: English Jamaica, Dutch Antilles, and French Saint Domingue (presentday Haiti)
a. The Atlantic system benefited elite
Europeans who amassed new fortunes
with colonial natural resources and
African slave labor
III. The slave trade and Africa
A. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Atlantic slave trade soared, which
depopulated and destabilized parts of Africa
152 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
B. Capturing and shipping slaves
1. Africa’s ancient slave trade along the transSaharan and Indian Ocean routes of 9 million slaves over thousands of years was no
match for the Atlantic slave trade volumes
of 12.8 million within just four centuries
2. Europeans made fortunes as the slave
trade soared
a. Europeans did not enter the African
interior, but depended heavily on African trading and political networks
3. Africans controlled commercial networks
that were responsible for the capture and
transportation of slaves to coastal entrepôts
a. In the Bight of Biafra, European slavers
employed the traditional African practice of “pawnship,” or the use of
humans as pawns, especially kin
b. A secret male society called Ekpe
enforced promised slave deliveries or
would sell the pawns or kin instead
4. High death rates for slaves in Africa as well
as on the trans-Atlantic journey
a. Slaves faced agonizing deaths due to
disease, hunger, dehydration, and fi lthy
b. Olaudah Equiano’s testimony gives evidence to the horrors of the transAtlantic voyage
C. Slavery’s gender imbalance
1. Gender-ratio imbalances played havoc in
both Africa and the Americas
2. European traders had to constantly procure more slaves from Africa, especially for
the Caribbean, as there was little reproduction and high death rates
3. Women in Africa were prized for their
roles in producing grains, leathers, and
cotton, and reinforcing polygyny
4. Dahomean women asserted more power
and authority because of their numbers
a. Queen mother or kpojito was one of the
most powerful political forces in Dahomean court because of her ability to
communicate with the supernatural
D. Africa’s new slave-supplying polities
1. African slave trade shifted wealth and
power from herd or land-owning families
to merchants and warriors
2. The Kongo kingdom
a. The slave trade brought a century of
civil war from 1665
b. Firearms and gunpowder added to the
rivalries and havoc
c. Some Kongo leaders fought against the
European demand for intrusions
i. Queen Nzinga (1583–1663) held
off the Portuguese with masterful
diplomacy as well as guerrilla
ii. Christian visionary Dona Beatriz
Kimpa (1684–1706) was burnt at
the stake for attempting to end
civil wars and reunify the Kongo
3. Oyo, Asante, and other groups
a. The slave trade helped some merchants and warlords consolidate and
extend political power with wealth
and arms
b. The new Asante state became wealthy
because of gold, which allowed them to
acquire fi rearms and slaves, further
developing their military and economic
c. Oyo Empire, with its impressive military and commerce, linked tropical rain
forest coasts to the interior northern
savanna areas
4. Although the slave trade enriched and
empowered some Africans, it cost Africa
a. The Atlantic commercial system
shifted wealth and power from rural to
urban ports
b. While Africa avoided the Amerindian
genocide, many regions suffered severe
population loss
c. The trade shifted political power from
statesmen and elders to warriors and
slave merchants, precipitating the rise
and fall of West African kingdoms
IV. Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
A. Europeans not as dominant in Asian trade networks; while China remained the richest state
in the world, by the late eighteenth century,
Europe dominated South and Southeast Asia
econom ical ly and militarily
B. The Dutch in Southeast Asia
1. Chartered the Dutch East India Company
(VOC) in 1602 to challenge the Portuguese and Spanish influence in the Indian
Ocean system
Chapter 13
a. Because of Amsterdam’s fi nancial
banking strength, the VOC was able to
raise ten times the capital of the
English East India Company
b. The VOC goal was to achieve trade
monopolies by replacing the native
population with Dutch planters in
Southeast Asia
c. In the 1619, the VOC seized the Javanese city of Jakarta (renamed Batavia)
and killed or drove out local populations, pushing many into slavery
d. In 1621, the Dutch conquered the
Banda Islands, killing or enslaving the
entire population, for the control of
e. The VOC conquered Portuguese
Melaka for cloves
f. The VOC gained control of Bantam for
pepper, but did not achieve a monopoly
and had to share the market with the
Chinese and English
2. European societies replaced traditional
networks with new trade routes, and new
outposts like Dutch Batavia and Spanish
Manila eclipsed old cosmopolitan Asian
cities like Bantam
C. Transformations in Islam: Unlike Southeast
Asia, Islamic empires did not experience the
direct effects of European intrusion, but faced
internal confl icts leading the Safavid Empire
into chaos, while the Ottomans and Mughal
Empires remained stable
1. The Safavid Empire
a. The dynasty foundered in the eighteenth century for several reasons
i. Weak rulers without a powerful,
Shiite religious orthodoxy that
unified the realm’s various
ii. Change in trade routes away from
Persia brought internal turmoil
iii. Tribal incursions against the central government
iv. Afghan warriors attacked and
invaded the empire
b. 1773, a revolt topped the last ruler from
the throne
2. The Ottoman Empire
a. After Suleiman, the Ottoman Empire
faced a period of territorial losses and
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 153
b. The inflow of New World silver into
Ottoman commercial networks destabilized the empire
i. Ottoman rulers avoided trade
with the outside world
ii. Merchants increasingly defied
commercial regulations and
traded commodities such as
wheat, copper, and wool to Europeans for silver
iii. Illegal trade did not enrich the
imperial coffers; the government
resorted to deficit spending
c. Deficits, shortages, and the inflow of
silver sparked runaway inflation from
1550 to 1650
d. The cycle of spending, taxing, borrowing, and infl ation was so severe
that Sultan Ibrahim was murdered by
his own officials in the midseventeenth century
3. The Mamluks in Ottoman Egypt
a. Biggest threat to breakaway pressures
in the Ottoman Empire was from
Egypt in the seventeenth century
b. Egypt, gained in 1517, was the Ottoman’s greatest conquest and wealthiest
c. Mamluks (Arabic for “owned” or “possessed”) had ruled Egypt as an independent regime until the Ottoman conquest
d. The Ottomans had allowed the Mamluks to remain, but they overpowered
Ottoman administrators by the seventeenth century by:
i. Aligning themselves with Egyptian merchants and to the Egyptian ulama
ii. Keeping taxes for themselves
instead of paying the Ottoman
4. The Ottomans’ Koprulu reforms
a. The Ottoman state remained resilient
because of reforms instigated from the
center, by its administrative elite
b. The Koprulu family, who controlled
the office of grand vizier, attempted to
revitalize the empire through political
and military reforms
c. Reforms led to a new burst of energy,
and the military acquired some of its
lost territories
154 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
d. The Austro-Ottoman war halted Ottoman expansion, and they lost major
European possessions, including
e. By the end of the seventeenth century,
the influx of silver undermined their
sixteenth-century version of a selfcontained imperial economy, and
opened up the Ottoman Empire to
trade with the rest of the world, producing breakaway regimes, inflation, and
social discontent
5. The Mughal Empire
a. The Mughal Empire reached its height
in the seventeenth century with
increased economic prosperity, but
eventually faced internal confl icts with
governing dispersed and resistant
b. India had a single political authority
for the fi rst time under the Mughal
c. Mughal’s main source of wealth was
land rents, where peasants planted, in
part, New World crops like maize and
d. Indian economy also benefited from
European rise in demand for textiles
and other Indian commodities
e. New World silver fueled economic
growth and the use of specie (money in
6. Local autonomy in Mughal India
a. Increased imperial expansion, prosperity, and agricultural development
empowered regional and local rulers to
resist Mughal authority
b. Under Aurangzeb (1658–1707), the
Mughals pushed to expand into southern India by raising taxes on peasants
and clamping down on non-Muslims
i. Faced fierce resistance
ii. Aurangzeb raised taxes and
imposed additional taxes on
c. After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, a war
of succession and a series of peasant
d. Mughal authority fell to existing largely
in administration and name only, with
semiautonomous regimes
7. Private commercial enterprise
a. Local rulers welcomed European traders from Portugal at fi rst, then England
and Holland
b. The trading and banking empire Jagat
Seths showed how local wealth undercut imperial authority
c. The global commercial world enriched
local rulers and merchants, while
undermining the Mughal imperial rule
D. From Ming to Qing in China
1. Despite growing prosperity and sizeable
wealth, the Ming dynasty collapsed in
1644 because of local autonomy; and
because they discouraged overseas trade,
they did not reap its revenue
2. Administrative problems
a. Ming emperors’ roles were primarily
ceremonial; they had little administrative control over their vast empire
b. Zhu Yijun, the Wanli emperor (1573–
1620), avoided managing the empire
3. Economic problems
a. Expanding opportunities for trade led
many individuals to circumvent official
b. Pirates, officially labeled Japanese but
quite often Chinese, constantly raided
coastal ports and sea lanes from the
mid-sixteenth century
i. In good times, these “pirates”
acted like a merchant elite, mingling with imperial officials and
moving among the mosaic of East
Asian cultures
c. Influx of silver from the New World
caused severe economic dislocations
i. By the early seventeenth century,
silver imports exceeded domestic
bullion (uncoined gold or silver)
twenty times to one
ii. Chinese economy monetized, as
silver became the primary
iii. In time of silver abundance, peasants faced inflation; in times of
shortage, peasants scrambled to
pay taxes
iii. These dislocations often led to
d. Market fluctuations abroad from the
Dutch, English, Spanish, and Japanese
led to silver shortages, further destabi-
Chapter 13
lizing China’s money supply and weakening its economy
4. The collapse of Ming authority
a. Economic problems hamstrung the
government’s ability to cope with natural disasters and food shortages in the
early sixteenth century
b. Several formidable rebellions by the
roving bandits took shape
i. Rebellion led by the “dashing
prince” Li Zicheng captured Beijing in 1644; the emperor committed suicide
ii. Ming commander built an alliance with the Manus, a former
enemy, to take back the throne
5. The Qing dynasty asserts control
a. The Manchus (descendants of the Jurchens) defeated Li Zicheng and started the
Qing “pure” dynasty (1644–1911)
b. The small population of 1 million Manchus governed the Chinese population
of 250 million, expanding its realm in
terms of territories, economy, and
c. Early Manchu emperors were successful because they were able and diligent
administrators with flexibility and
respect for local traditions
i. The Qing continued the practice
of Confucian principles and the
civil ser vice examination system
ii. Chinese social hierarchies of age,
gender, and kin endured
ii. Imperial administrators ruled the
newly acquired territories of Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang through
local administrative institutions
d. Qing rulers determined to show their
own legitimacy and majesty
i. Promoted patriarchal values
ii. Qing officials translated important documents into Manchu
iii. Decreed that all Han men shave
their foreheads and wear a braided
queue in the back in the Manchu
iv. Banned intermarriage between
Han and Manchus, although this
was difficult to enforce
e. Manchu impositions and taxes fell
mostly on peasants
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 155
i. Peasants began to live in border
areas, planting New World crops
like corn and sweet potatoes that
grew better in difficult soil
ii. Rice became the staple diet of the
wealthy; peasants ate corn and
sweet potatoes
6. Expansion and trade under the Qing
a. The Qing enjoyed economic and political expansion in the eighteenth
b. The Qing forced tributary relations
with Korea, Vietnam, Burma, and
c. The Qing expanded territorially into
central Asia, Tibet, and Mongolia
d. While Qing rulers relied on an agrarian
base, they still carefully regulated longdistance trade
e. By imperial decree in 1759, the Qing
established the Canton system, requiring European traders to have Chinese
guild merchants act as guarantors for
behavior and payment of fees
7. The Qing dynasty negotiated a century of
upheaval while continuing Chinese established politics, economics, and cultural
a. The Ming relied on Chinese agriculture
for its economic health, and not overseas trade, which some historians see
as their failure to adapt to a changing
E. Tokugawa, Japan
1. Japan dealt with external pressures better
than its Asian counterparts; a single ruling
family emerged, the Tokugawa shogunate,
who regulated foreign intrusion
2. Unification of Japan
a. In the sixteenth century, Japan faced
civil strife, as no regional ruling family,
or daimyo with private armies of warriors called samurai, could establish
preeminence over the others
b. In 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu seized power
and took the title of shogun (military
c. Tokugawa created a hereditary shogunate that lasted until 1867
d. Tokugawa moved the administrative
capital from Kyoto to Edo (modern-day
156 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
e. Under Tokugawa, villages paid taxes to
daimyos, who transferred resources to
the shogun
i. Peace brought prosperity as farmers became more productive and
the government improved the
3. Foreign affairs and foreigners
a. The Tokugawa shoguns banned Christianity and expelled all missionaries
once they realized that Christians were
intolerant of other faiths
b. At fi rst, the Tokugawa restricted European traders to ports under Edo in
Honshu, then they expelled all European competitors except for the (nonmissionizing) Dutch merchants, who
were allowed to remain near Nagasaki
with just one ship per year
c. The Tokugawa did not completely isolate Japan
i. Trade flourished between China
and Korea
ii. The shoguns limited encounters
to Dutch and Chinese technology and learning, to ensure
Japan’s security
iii. The regime created vassal territories as buffers: Ryūkyūs in the
south, and Ezo (Hokkaido) in the
north against Russia
d. This carefully regulated interaction,
along with their island status, helped
protect the Tokugawa dynasty
from foreign intrusions like the
V. Transformations in Europe—between 1600 and
1750, religious confl ict, commercial expansion,
and the consolidation of dynastic power transformed Europe
A. Expansion and dynastic change in Russia
1. Russian Empire became the world’s
largest-ever state, eliminating the steppe
nomads and culturally belonging to both
Europe and Asia
2. Muscovy became the Russian Empire
a. Peter the Great named it the Russian
Empire around 1700
b. Originally a mixture of Slavic, Finnish,
and Turkish speakers, among many
others, Muscovy became a huge and
powerful state because of territorial
expansion and commercial networks
i. Muscovite Grand Prince Ivan III
married the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, asserting that
Moscow was the center of the
Byzantine faith
ii. In the 1590s, Russians pushed into
Siberia and parts of the Pacific
c. Security concerns, the ambitions of
individuals, and religious conviction
inspired the regime to seize territory
and expand the empire
d. After the dynastic chaos following the
death of Ivan IV in 1584, the
Romanovs, court barons, took over the
Kremlin (the medieval walled fortress
where the Muscovite grand princes and
tsars lived)
4. The Romanov dynasty held dynastic
power until the twentieth century
B. Absolutist government and serfdom
1. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Romanovs created an absolute
government, with only the tsar and his
retinue able to make war, tax, judge, and
coin money
2. Nobles served as bureaucrats
3. Local aristocrats enjoyed nearly unlimited
authority in exchange for tribute and loyalty to the tsar
4. Peasants became the serfs of the nobles
and tsar, to sustain the crown and the
nobility’s wealth
a. Peasant families created communes,
which functioned like extended kin
networks with reciprocated favors and
C. Imperial expansion and migration
1. Three factors were key to Russian empire
a. Conquest of Siberia with wealth in fur
b. Incorporation of Ukraine’s fertile
southern steppes
c. Victory in war with Sweden and building a new capital at St. Petersburg
i. Achieved by Peter the Great
ii. Imitated a Swedish-style bureaucracy or a formidable militaryfiscal state bureaucracy, but it was
based on the aristocracy, not the
civil ser vice
Chapter 13
2. After Peter, Catherine the Great continued
to expand Russian territory
a. Carved up Poland after placing her
lover on the throne
b. Defeated the Ottomans, allowing her
to annex Ukraine
c. By the late eighteenth century, the Russian Empire stretched from the Baltic
to the Black Seas and into the Caucus
3. Russians migrated east to Siberia as runaway serfs, or political or religious deportees; by the end of the eighteenth century,
Russians made up the majority of Siberian
D. Economic and political fluctuations in Western
1. Developments throughout the world, compounded by dynastic rivalries and religious confl icts, shaped Europe’s economic
upturns and downturns
2. The Thirty Years’ War
a. War between Protestant princes and the
Habsburg Catholic emperor for religious predominance in central Europe
b. Struggle for continental control
between Catholic powers, namely, the
Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs and
the French
c. Dutch sought independence from
Spain for economic and religious
d. When it appeared that Protestants
would lose, the Swedish king made a
timely intervention
e. War, famine, and disease killed over
one-third of the German, Swedish, and
Polish population
f. Ended with the Treaty of Westphalia
signed in 1648, declaring a balance of
power between Protestants and
g. The Thirty Years’ War transformed
war making in Europe
i. Enhanced the powers of larger,
centralized states with large
armies and large campaigns
ii. Armies did not include enlisted
men, but also paid mercenaries
and criminals
iii. Army boasted a professional officer corps based on merit
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 157
iv. Gunpowder, cannons, and handguns became more standardized
and efficient
v. War cost more: both material and
E. Western European economies
1. Despite wars, European economies boomed
2. Northern Eu ropean economy gained
more than the south, because of military
costs, especially due to the Thirty Years’
3. The Dutch led the way in northern European commercial dynamism with innovative shipping and banking practices and a
new merchant elite
4. England and France also emerged as commercial powerhouses because of aggressive
mercantilist and protectionist policies in
the seventeenth century
5. Economic development extended to the
countryside with breakthroughs in food
6. England’s agriculture became more commercial with “enclosure movement,” where
landowners took control of land that had
been common property
F. Dynastic monarchies: France and England
1. Eu ropean monarch attempts to centralize authority met varying degrees of
2. The French Bourbon dynasty attempted
to create an absolute monarchy, free of
checks and balances, based on the philosophy of the “divine right of kings”
a. Beginning in the seventeenth century,
Bourbon families created a hereditary
monarchy in which succession passed
to the oldest male
b. After 1614, French kings refused to
convene the Estates-General, composed of three advisory bodies of
clergy, nobility, and all others
c. Louis XIV built Versailles, a palace
where the king could keep watch over
the nobility kept busy with fashion and
courtly functions
3. The Habsburgs of the Holy Roman Empire,
the Prussians, and the Romanovs of Russia
attempted to emulate the Bourbons, but no
dynasty achieved “absolute” power
4. England would have achieved absolute
monarchy, but differed from France in that:
158 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
a. Women allowed to inherit monarchical
b. English monarchs needed Parliament
to raise taxes
c. Tensions between Puritans and Anglicans resulted in the Protestant Puritan
Parliament beheading Anglican King
Charles I
d. Stuart kings (Charles II and James II)
returned to the throne for a brief period
of time, and religious confl ict continued between the aspiring absolutist
Anglican throne and Puritan Parliament culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689
e. King James II fled England, and Parliament crowned William of Orange and
his Protestant wife Mary as co-rulers of
f. The Glorious Revolution established
the principle that English monarchs
must rule in conjunction with
5. French and English political struggles stimulated Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) and
John Locke’s Two Treatises of Civil Government (1689), who argued for the rights of
peoples to form a government and abolish
and reform when it did not stick to its
G. Mercantilist wars
1. The ascendance of new powers such as
France and England intensified European
a. Europeans constantly struggled over
trade and colonies across the globe,
replacing earlier religious and territorial struggles
b. European powers accordingly built
large navies
c. The Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), or
the French and Indian War, was the culmination of European rivalries, fought
in the Americas, Europe and India
2. The British Empire was the clear winner
while France and Spain lost territories;
clear losers were the indigenous peoples of
North America and India
VI. Conclusion
A. Economic integration intensified between
1600 and 1750, connecting the world with
commodities and long-distance commercial
B. Economic integration and consumer opportunities came at a heavy price for Indians and
Africans: colonization, exploitation, expulsion,
decimation, and slavery
C. Sugar and silver from the New World transformed global trading networks, both enriching and destabilizing nations
D. The Safavid and Ming dynasties collapsed;
Spanish, Ottoman, and Mughal dynasties survived; while Japan, Russia, and England
emerged in the world stage, but even for these
new regimes, the pace of change was often
The Not-So-Sweet Story of Sugar and Slavery
The topic of sugar is a great way to discuss both the benefits of the Columbian exchange for consumers and growing motivation and intensity of the Atlantic slave trade.
You may want to begin by asking students about their
favorite desserts. Despite the fact that sugar enhances the
taste of food, it has also been proven to be detrimental to
human health. Sugar is the reason that the United States
has the highest rate of obesity, growing type 2 diabetes,
and rising tooth decay, aside from the fact that it has no
nutritional value but is high in empty calories. Sugar has
become a part of the everyday human diet only because of
the Atlantic trading system. Europeans started sugar
plantations with Native American labor at fi rst, then African slave labor, and eventually, with the end of slavery,
Indian indentured labor. It is ironic that something that
tastes so good to the general public could cause so much
devastation to such large groups of people. One African
slave life produced about 2,000 pounds of sugar. You
could ask, “Why would Eu ropeans value sugar so much
that it would be worth its weight in gold?” While it was
originally a Southeast Asian crop, fi rst cultivated in the
fi fth century bce, it became a highly valued commodity
with European cultivation in the Americas with African
slave labor.
1. Why would the sugar crop create a demand for cheap
labor leading to slavery?
2. Why would Europeans value sugar so much that it
would sell its weight in gold?
3. How did the Atlantic system benefit or disadvantage
Amerindians, Africans, and Europeans?
Chapter 13
The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Creation of an
African Diaspora
The creation of an African diaspora is a crucial and compelling lecture when discussing the Atlantic slave trade,
as one of its major outcomes. From the sixteenth to the
nineteenth centuries, approximately 13 million Africans,
from mostly West Africa, were displaced and taken as slaves.
Once having arrived in the New World, they took their
cultures and languages, which they blended, adapted, and
melded with other African cultures, as well as local American cultures. As a result, they created distinctive kinds of
music, dance, language, and even martial arts. The following references might get you started on reading about the
diaspora. The fi rst two books, for beginners, are great
illustrated books for teachers and students alike because
of their accessibility and academic rigor.
Sidney Lemelle, 1992. Pan-Africanism for Beginners.
Denise Dennis, 1984. Black History for Beginners.
Sidney Lemelle and Robin Kelley, eds., 1994. Imagining
Home: Class, Culture, and Nationalism in the African
Joseph Harris, 1982. Global Dimensions of the African
Robin Kelley, 2008. Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (The Nathan I. Huggins
TJ Desch- Obi, 2008. Of Fighting for Honor: The History of African Martial Art Traditions in the Atlantic
1. Which group of people were the largest settlers of the
New World?
2. How many Africans were displaced as slaves and
forced to migrate to the New World?
3. How did slaves from Africa adapt to their new world?
Gender Roles and the Atlantic Slave Trade
A great deal of research has been devoted to the gender
roles of slaves in the Caribbean and North America. The
availability of historical information provides an opportunity to focus a lecture on the unique role of women and
their adaptability under duress as well as the redefi nition
of family within slave societies. For further information
on slave families and gender roles, see More than Chattel:
Black Women and Slavery in the Americas, edited by David
Barry Gaspar and Darlene Clark Hine; and Centering
Woman: Gender Discourses in Caribbean Slave Society, by
Hilary Beckles. Also see the following journal articles:
“Weddings on Contested Grounds: Slave Marriage in the
Antebellum South,” by Thomas E. Will (1999, The Histo-
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 159
rian, pp. 99–117); “The Slave Family and Household in the
British West Indies, 1800–1834,” by B. W. Higman (1975,
Journal of Interdisciplinary History 6:2, pp. 261–287); and
Judith Carney, “Rice Milling, Gender and Slave Labour
in Colonial South Carolina” (1996, Past and Present 153,
pp. 108–134).
1. How were gender roles defi ned among slaves in the
Americas? Were they the same for all regions?
2. How did these roles change in comparison to life in
African regions? Did they change?
3. How were family dynamics reshaped?
Why World History Matters: The Story
of Chocolate
Food is a great way to connect world history events for
students and why it matters to them. Tie the Atlantic system with the growing wealth and prosperity of Europe to a
lecture on the history of chocolate. You can start by asking
students where they think chocolate comes from.
Give them a short background on cacao (pronounced
“kah KOW”), a New World or Meso-American crop. The
American Olmecs and the Mayans discovered the secret
of the cacao tree 2,000–3,000 years ago in the tropical
rainforests. Mayans and the Aztecs used it for religious
and courtly ceremonies, even weddings. Cacao was considered a treasure, currency, a hot drink, and even a food
spice. Mesoamericans drank a bitter and spicy hot chocolate drink, without sugar but with a bit of chili pepper. They
also added chocolate as a food spice with varying amounts
of chili sauce, which can be seen in mole, a well-known
contemporary Mexican dish. The Spanish discovered cacao
in the early sixteenth century with the conquest of the
Aztecs. The Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés, who
conquered the Aztecs, is famed for having said the following about chocolate in 1519:
The divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.
A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole
day without food.
After conquering the Aztecs in the sixteenth century, the
Spanish conquistadors brought cacao (an Aztec treasure
and currency) back to Spain, creating new recipes. They
started adding sugar, another New World crop. Of course,
chocolate was also produced with African slave labor.
Within a century, chocolate consumption spread to the rest
of Europe. However, it remained a drink for the courts and
the wealthy, an elite commodity until the industrial revolution. The French, Swiss, and Dutch invented machines
to make the cacao fi ner and smoother in texture, and they
created chocolate bars. The factory system allowed them
to produce chocolate bars cheaply and efficiently, allowing
160 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
the masses to consume. By the eighteenth century, the city
of Madrid, Spain, alone was purchasing 12 million pounds
of chocolate every year. Cacao is still a global commodity,
mostly produced in West Africa and Indonesia.
You may want to assign the following:
1. Where did chocolate originate?
2. How was it consumed? By whom?
3. How did chocolate consumption change in Europe?
The Economics of Addiction: Chocolate, Sugar,
Coffee, and Cocaine
An interesting lecture that connects with the class activity on chocolate and can reinforce students’ understanding of the larger themes in this chapter would be one on
the rise of the drug trade and its impact on the seventeenthcentury world. Chapter 3, “The Economic Culture of
Drugs,” in Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik’s The
World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World
Economy, 1400–the Present, offers a concise overview on
how the coffee, sugar, tobacco, and chocolate trade shaped
not only the direction of global trade, but also the lives of
ordinary people around the globe—and continues to do
so. Mark Pendergrast’s Uncommon Grounds: The History
of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World (2000) also
presents some useful anecdotes.
1. How did commodities like coffee, sugar, tobacco, and
chocolate affect Europe?
2. What were some of the social changes that occurred?
Economic changes? Political changes?
Life in Rural China
Jonathan Spence’s Death of Woman Wang (1978) can generate useful class discussion surrounding the overarching
theme of “worlds entangled.” The novel traces the life and
death of a village woman in northern China in the late seventeenth century during the wake of the Ming-to-Qing
transition. It demonstrates the impact that larger events
can have on individuals, and those who are often considered “hidden” voices in history. Spence’s book also offers a
chance to explore the forces that led to the collapse of the
Ming dynasty and the rise of Manchu control in China.
1. How does Death of Woman Wang show that individuals have an impact on shaping large government systems or social norms?
2. What forces led to the collapse of the Ming dynasty?
Slavery in New Amsterdam
Use the Web addresses listed below to fi nd primary-source
materials on slavery in the early American colonies. You
can have your students consider multiple critical questions,
many of which are listed on the site. For example, have
students read some of the auction advertisements and look
at the painting First Slave Auction in New Amsterdam,
found at these two sites:
The First Slave Auction at New Amsterdam 1655
Slave Sales and Auctions African Coast and the Americas
%20Americas/index .htm
Then ask the students to describe what they perceive
life would have been like for a slave during this time. A
more complex task would be to ask them to fi nd a slave bill
from the Caribbean, North America, and Africa and have
them compare and contrast the lives of slaves from the
regions. You could close by providing the students with
each region’s statistical and legal information regarding
the lives of slaves. Another interesting task would be to
provide a bill of sale that lists the purchaser and the date
of purchase. Help the students investigate what information can be gleaned from the document. In addition, note
that many of the slaves were brought to the Dutch colonies by the Dutch West India Company. Expand the topic
by bringing in economic details and business practices.
1. How did this company’s practices differ from those of
the East India Company?
2. How closely was the Dutch West India Company tied
to the government?
For more on this topic, refer to University of Notre Dame’s
website, A Brief Outline of the History of New Netherland:
The Currency of Trade Beads
Among the items that continued to be an important form
of currency between Amerindians and Europeans were
trade beads. Amerindians had long used beads of shell,
bone, quills, stone, and even wood to decorate their clothing
and other personal items. With the arrival of the Europeans,
though, new kinds of beads (glass from Venice, ceramic,
silver, brass, and German silver) were introduced, creating
a new market among Native American peoples. Europeans
Chapter 13
had done much the same when they began to trade along
African coasts, offering weapons, beads, textiles, alcohol,
and other items in exchange for slaves.
Provide students with a variety of beads, some made of
materials that would have been indigenous to North America and could have been made using Native American
technology, and some that would have come from Europe.
Give them a fact sheet on beads and perhaps some images
of fi nished native products. Then ask them to sort the
beads into two lots: those they believed to have been the
kind made by Native Americans and those made and
traded by Europeans. After they have sorted the beads,
you can go through them and discuss what the beads are
made of, how they were made, how they were traded, what
they were used for, and so on. For more information on
the history of beads, see:
A Gallery of Shoshone Bannock Beadwork
/beadwork/index .html
Mountain Man Plains Indian Fur Trade Beads
History and Cultural Value of Beads
■ Age of the Shoguns (Japan Past and Present series, Part 3,
53 min.). Between approximately 1550 and 1868, Japan
sealed itself off from the rest of the world, allowing only a
few Dutch and Chinese to live and trade there. This fi lm
examines the Tokugawa Shogunate’s political organization
with the daimyo, samurai, farmer, and merchant classes. It
also looks at the growth of the merchant class, the development of Kabuki, and the meaning of seppuku.
■ Akbar the Great: Mogul Emperor of India (54 min.). Akbar
the Great was another leader who promoted religious tolerance and state stability. The Mogul Empire became a
blend of Muslim, Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist customs
as the crossroads of trade. This documentary, fi lmed on
location, shows the architectural and landscaping masterpieces that Akbar inspired and discusses how he supported
an empire of cultural difference. Finally, the fi lm shows
the remnants of the empire today in northern India.
■ Black Robe (1991, 101 min.). This feature-length film is the
story of the spiritual and physical quest of a seventeenthcentury Jesuit priest to fi nd a Huron village deep in the
wilderness of Canada. It has become an iconic fi lm for
many historians in regard to the “taming” of the Americas
and its accurate representation of the confl icts among
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 161
Canada’s First People and the encroaching Europeans.
Laforgue, the Jesuit, is forced to choose between church
teachings and his personal values; his story highlights the
ethical questions elicited by then church practice. This is
a compassionate fi lm about the struggle of Canada’s First
People during the period of colonization.
■ Land of the Eagle: The Great Encounter (Land of the Eagle
Series, 1990, 60 min.). Co-produced by NPR and the BBC,
these documentaries discuss environmental history. They
draw on the interaction of land and people as well as the
contrast between how incoming Europeans viewed the land
versus the views of the indigenous people. In The Great
Encounter, the focus is on the struggle of early English
colonists on Roanoke Island and the Chesapeake Bay, and
the Pilgrims in Massachusetts.
■ The Last of the Mohicans (1992, 112 min.). This historical romance, based on James Fenimore Cooper’s novel,
achieves a high degree of historical accuracy in regard to
period, place, costume, speech, and other material and
military culture. Set in 1757 during the French and Indian
War, the story is set around Fort William Henry during
the height of battle. The fi lm re-creates period siege warfare
well. Subsequent archaeological excavations at the actual
fort support Cooper’s original fictional account. One scene
cut from the fi lm can be found on the director’s cut DVD
and shows a classic British rank and fi le advancing to attack
the French regulars and Indians. It is a fairly accurate portrayal of this style of warfare and could be used to discuss
the military tactics that led to British success.
■ We Shall Remain (2009, 7.5 hours). This five-episode
PBS mini-series, entitled 1 After the Mayflower, 2 Tecumseh’s
Vision, 3 Trail of Tears, 4 Geronimo, and 5 Wounded Knee,
give an excellent exploration of the Eu ropean conquest
and colonization of North America from the perspective
of Amerindians from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. The fi rst two episodes fall well within the topic of
worlds entangled as covered in this chapter. PBS also provides an extensive educator guide, with questions and
exercises on how to teach with fi lm clips.
_ fi lms/about
Charles Corn, 1998. The Scents of Eden: A History of the
Spice Trade.
Philip D. Curtin, 1998. The Rise and Fall of the Plantation
Complex, 2nd ed.
TJ Desch-Obi, 2008. Of Fighting for Honor: The History of
African Martial Art Traditions in the Atlantic World.
162 ◆ Chapter 13 Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
Anthony Farrington, 2002. Trading Places: The East India
Company and Asia.
Roquinaldo Ferreira, 2011. Cross- Cultural Exchange in the
Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the
Slave Trade (African Studies).
Dennis Flynn, 1996. World Silver and Monetary History in
the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Collected Studies Series).
Trevor Getz and Heather Streets-Salter, 2010. Modern
Imperialism and Colonialism: A Global Perspective.
Ashin Das Gupta and M. N. Pearson, eds., 1987. Indians
and the Indian Ocean, 1500–1800.
Kenneth R. Hall, ed., 2008. Secondary Cities and Urban
Networking in the Indian Ocean Realm, c. 1400–1800.
Joseph Harris, 1982. Global Dimensions of the African
Walter Hawthorne, 2013. From Africa to Brazil: Culture,
Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1830 (African Studies).
Robin Kelley, 2008. Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern
Jazz in Revolutionary Times (The Nathan I. Huggins
Herbert S. Klein, 2007. African Slavery in Latin America
and the Caribbean.
Martin Klein, 1998. Slavery and Colonial Rule in French
West Africa.
Walton Look Lai, 2003. Indentured Labor, Caribbean Sugar:
Chinese and Indian Migrants to the British West Indies,
1838–1918 (Johns Hopkins Studies in Atlantic History
and Culture).
Sidney Lemelle and Robin Kelley, eds., 1994. Imagining
Home: Class, Culture, and Nationalism in the African
Susan Mann, 1997. Precious Records: Women in China’s Long
Eighteenth Century.
Bruce Masters, 1988. The Origins of Western Economic
Dominance in the Middle East: Mercantilism and the
Islamic Economy in Aleppo, 1600–1750.
Walter A. McDougall, 1993. Let the Sea Make a Noise:
A History of the North Pacifi c from Magellan to
William McNeill, 1982. The Pursuit of Power: Technology,
Armed Forces, and Society since a.d. 1000.
Sidney W. Mintz, 1986. Sweetness and Power: The Place of
Sugar in Modern History.
Gary B. Nash, 1999. Red, White, and Black: The Peoples of
Early North America, 4th ed.
Mark Pendergrast, 2000. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World.
Jonathan Spence, 1978. The Death of Woman Wang.
John Thornton, 1992, 2005. Africa and Africans in the
Making of the Atlantic World, 1400–1800.
Allen W. Trelease, 1960. Indian Affairs in Colonial New
York: The Seventeenth Century.
Kerry Ward, 2009. Networks of Empire: Forced Migration
in the Dutch East India Company.
Richard White, 1991. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires,
and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650–1815.
Eric Williams, 1994. Capitalism and Slavery.
Africa Past and Present
A podcast about African history, culture, and politics in
the diaspora hosted by Michigan State University and
produced by MATRIX—The Center for Humane Arts,
Letters, and Social Sciences Online. This par ticular
episode, 69: Economic and Cultural History of the Slave
Trade in Western Africa, is based on the book written by
Toby Green called The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave
Trade in Western Africa, 1300–1589 and its impact in
creating creole communities in Upper Guinea.
Africans in America
PBS resources for path-breaking Africans in the early
www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/index .html
Afrika Art and Culture: Connections between Africa and
Berlin Ethnology Museum’s visually stimulating exhibit
www.smb.spk-berlin.de/mv/afrika/e/index .html
BBC: The Story of Africa
ofafrica/index .shtml
A Brief History of New Netherlands
Focus is on economic history
Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliothèque
nationale de France
In conjunction, the Library of Congress and the Bibliothèque nationale de France have created an interesting collection of works for “The Rise and Fall of the
Absolute Monarchy: Grand Siècle and
Dutch Colonies
A National Parks Ser vice tour of Dutch colonies in North
Chapter 13
Churches in Mexico City and Oaxaca
Bluff ton University’s retired Art Historian Ann Sullivan
has gathered together an impressive collection of photographs. Spanish churches built in the seventeenth
centuries played an important role in the cultural conquest of Mexico
www.bluff ton.edu/~sullivanm/index/index3.html
Internet East Asian Sourcebook
Fordham University’s Paul Halsall puts together a great
resource of primary sources
Port Royal Project
Donny L. Hamilton, at Texas A&M University’s Nautical
Archaeology Program, has created a Port Royal Project, Jamaica, in the Caribbean
The Slave Route
A UNESCO website on slave routes. They give a good
introduction to the topic of the Atlantic slave trade.
They also add a discussion on the contemporary international issue of trafficking and slavery
_ SECTION=201.html
Worlds Entangled, 1600–1750
◆ 163
Slavery in New York
New York Historical Society’s exhibit featuring art and
personal stories of African Americans from 1600 to
1827, when slavery was abolished in New York
www.slaveryinnewyork .org
Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia
British Museum’s virtual special exhibit on the history of
the East India Company and its expansion into Asia,
the Ottoman Turks, the Mughals, and the Chinese
Understanding Slavery
Understanding Slavery initiative (USI), a UK learning project in partnership with museums, to support the teaching and learning of transatlantic slavery and its legacies
Jonathan Spence, 1978. The Death of Woman Wang.
This book takes us into the lives of rural Chinese women
and expands our understanding of their responsibilities,
joys, and trials.
Cultures of Splendor and
Power, 1500–1780
▶ Trade and Culture
▶ Culture in the Islamic World
The Ottoman Cultural Synthesis
Safavid Culture
Power and Culture under the Mughals
Culture and Politics in East Asia
China: The Challenge of Expansion and Diversity
Cultural Identity in Tokugawa, Japan
The Enlightenment in Europe
Origins of the Enlightenment
The New Science
Enlightenment Thinkers
This chapter explores the global cultural renaissance from
the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in Asia, Europe,
and Africa and to the Americas and Oceania. New wealth
allowed for new monuments and for the trade and consumption of luxury goods. This cultural renaissance was
uneven at best, mainly benefiting elite and middle-class
men in urban Eurasian societies. While Asians were confident in their beliefs and cultural practices, the people of
the Americas and Oceania standardized European thought
and culture as the norm for judging degrees of “civilization.” Europeans increasingly gained an imperialistic view
of the world that they believed was “universal” and “objective.” Indigenous populations of the Americas and Oceania came under intensive European cultural, political, and
economic subjugation.
I. Trade and culture
A. While the world’s most dynamic traditions and
cultures of Asia did not die out, trade and
empire building contributed to the spread of
secular knowledge and education
B. In the Americas and Oceania, conquest forced
indigenous peoples to adapt to European ways
and they found their cultural life undermined
▶ African Cultural Flourishing
The Asante, Oyo, and Benin Cultural Traditions
▶ Hybrid Cultures in the Americas
Spiritual Encounters
Making Americans
The Making of Neo-European Culture in Oceania
The Scientific Voyages of Captain Cook
The Enlightenment and the Origins of Racial Thought
1. Because of pressures to convert, Native
Americans adapted to European missionizing by creating mixed forms of religious
2. The knowledge exchange was not equal
between Europeans and Indigenous
C. Burgeoning world trade allowed wealthy rulers
around the world the ability to patronize the
arts as a way to legitimize their power
1. In Europe, enlightened absolutists limited
the power of the clergy and nobility by hiring bureaucrats to champion the knowledge of the period
D. Each society used distinctive aspects of their
values, moral and religious principles, and
political spaces in new ways to project their
political power
II. Culture in the Islamic world
A. Muslim elites devoted large resources to
cultural development in the three Islamic
dynasties of the period—the Ottoman,
Safavid, and Mughal dynasties; they
developed three distinct worlds of Muslim
Chapter 14
B. The Ottoman cultural synthesis
1. Ottoman culture blended Sufi mysticism
with ultraorthodox ulama, while balancing
military and administrative traditions,
allowing autonomy to minority Christian
and Jewish faiths
2. Religion and law
a. The Ottoman Empire achieved cultural
unity with an outstanding achievement
in creating a system of administrative
law beyond sharia (Islamic holy law) and
extending to the secular realm
b. Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, began reforms by creating a
bureaucracy and military directly
accountable to the sultan
c. Suleiman the Magnificent and the Lawgiver oversaw the creation of a comprehensive legal code
3. Education
a. The value that the Ottomans placed on
education and scholarship was evident in
the empire’s sophisticated intellectual,
religious, and cultural achievements
b. Three educational systems producing
three sectors of talent
i. Civil and military bureaucrats
came from hierarchically organized schools that culminated in
the palace schools at Topkapi
ii. Ulama judges emerged from elementary schools, and they went on
to higher schools or the madrasa
iii. Sufi masters came from tekkes,
where they learned devotional
strategies and religious knowledge
c. Ottoman education made important
advancements in astronomy and physics, as well as in history, geography, and
4. Science and the arts
a. Ottoman intellectuals took an interest
in European science
i. The Hungarian convert Ibrahim
Muteferrika set up a printing press
in Istanbul in 1729 and published
works on European science, history, and geography
b. Artists occasionally merged artistic traditions with new ideas in some
instances (i.e., portraiture) while keeping their own styles
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 165
c. In the fi rst half of the eighteenth century, during the Tulip Period, a number
of leaders were fascinated by tulips as a
symbol of their well-being, prosperity,
and delight in worldly things
d. Ottoman Grand Vizier Damat Ibrahim
encouraged the consumption of luxury
goods and loosened the ulamas’ control
over social activities
i. Working classes enjoyed coffee
houses and taverns
ii. Ottoman demand for luxury
goods such as lemons, soap, pepper, metal tools, coffee, and wine
became extensive
C. Safavid culture
1. The Safavid Empire in Persia was significant for giving Shiism a home base and a
location for Shiite culture
2. The Shiite emphasis
a. Safavid Shahs owed their rise to the
support of the Turks who followed a
populist form of Islam, but in order to
maintain their power, they needed to
cultivate Persian landowners and an
orthodox ulama
b. Created a unique blend of Shiite law
and society and Persia’s distinctive
imperial traditions
c. Shah Abbas I (r. 1587–1629) created
the most effective architecture of cultural life based on Shiite religious principles and Persian royal absolutism
i. The new capital city of Isfahan
displayed the wealth and royal
power of the Safavid state
3. Architecture and other cultural
a. Safavid rulers uniquely sought to project both accessibility and authority in
their architecture; Isfahan was open to
the outside world, unlike the Topkapi
in Istanbul or the Red Forts of the
b. Isfahan’s centerpiece was the great
plaza next to the royal palace and
mosque, seven times the size of Eu ropean plazas
c. Safavid artists displayed stunning cultural flourishing with their illustrated
books, tiles, mosaics, and elaborate
166 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
D. Power and culture under the Mughals
1. While Islamic traditions dominated the
empire’s political and judicial systems, in
terms of culture, the Mughals fostered a
broad, open, and tolerant cultural diversity
in which learning, music, arts, and architecture flourished
2. Religion
a. The Mughal imperial court patronized
other faiths, displaying a tolerance that
earned widespread legitimacy
b. The greatest fulfi llment of the promise of an open Islamic high culture
came with Emperor Akbar
(r. 1556–1605)
i. Introduced a syncretic religion
called “Divine Faith” (Dı¯n-i
Ila¯hı¯), a mix of Quranic, Catholic, and other influences, to
strengthen his position against
the ulama
ii. Married a Hindu and a Christian,
and had concubines from many
nationalities and religions
iii. Akbarnamah (the Book of Akbar)
described Akbar’s kingship as a
gift from God because he was a
true phi losopher and a perfect
person in the Sufi sense
3. Architecture and the arts
a. Mughals produced architectural masterpieces that blended Persian, Indian,
and Ottoman elements
b. In 1571, Akbar built an elaborate city at
Fatehpur Sikri with noble residences,
gardens, a drinking and gambling zone,
and schools for language acquisition
c. In 1630, Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal, a translucent
white marble mausoleum for his beloved
wife, Mumtaz Mahal; its blended Persian and Islamic designs with Indian
materials and motifs are splendid examples of Mughal high culture
4. Foreign influences versus Islamic culture
a. Under later Mughal emperors, culture
remained vibrant but not quite so
b. Emperor Aurangzeb favored Islamic
arts and sciences, dismissed nonIslamic artists, and tore down nonIslamic places of worship in 1669
c. Women in the courts were allowed to
pursue Islamic arts; two of Aurangzeb’s
daughters were accomplished poets
d. In the eighteenth century, the Mughals
lived in unrivaled luxury with goods
from China and Europe
e. The Mughals, like most Muslims,
looked to east to China and India for
intellectual inspiration, not to Europe
III. Culture and politics in East Asia: In late Ming and
early Qing China, cultural flourishing owed less to
imperial patronage than to a booming internal
market economy; in Japan, culture was more lively,
open, and varied than in China
A. China: The challenge of expansion and diversity
1. While woodblock printing and moveable
type had been available in China for centuries, internal social changes in China
now propelled the circulation of books
and ideas
2. Publishing and the transmission of ideas
a. China’s increased commercialization
led to widespread decentralized book
production and unauthorized circulation of opinions
b. By the late Ming era, elites in urban
populations collected books and art for
home display, as a sign of their status
and refi nement
c. Books became more affordable; publishers targeted sets of books for artists,
travelers, or merchants, or task-oriented
manual books, almanacs, encyclopedias, and texts on morality, medicine,
and even civil ser vice examinations
d. A 1595 plagiarism case created a scandal in Beijing
e. Elite women penetrated a male domain
as readers, writers, editors, and, on rare
occasions, publishers
f. Ironically, the thriving publishing sector, as it published books supporting
conservative attitudes, indirectly promoted stricter morality and restrictions
for elite women
3. Popu lar culture and religion
a. For men and women of Ming China
who were not able to read, they
absorbed cultural values through oral
communication, rituals, and daily
Chapter 14
b. Government tried to control transmission through the appointment of village
elders and “village compacts” to ensure
proper conduct
c. Government officials had little control
as most rural and small-town Chinese
popu lar culture spread through marketplaces, temples, theaters, restaurants, brothels, bars, tea houses, and
even traveling monks
d. Cultural flourishing included a fervor
for popu lar religions that blended Buddhist, Daoist, and local traditions
e. The Chinese believed in cosmic unity,
rather than a Supreme Being, and in the
emperor, who held the Mandate of
f. Emperors had no reason to regulate
spiritual practices and tolerated diverse
4. Technology and cartography
a. The Chinese invented new technologies to master nature—such as the magnetic compass, gunpowder, the printing
press, iron casting, and clocks—centuries before Europeans did
b. Emperor’s job as the Son of Heaven and
the mediator between heaven and earth
drove their technologies in astronomy
and calendrical science
c. European missionaries and traders
were awed by Chinese art, technology,
and science but believed their own was
d. Missionaries tried to impress the Chinese with their astronomy and cartography; however, the Chinese officials
appropriated selectively
e. The Chinese rejected European
emphasis on spatial ordering with
maps, as these did not convey their
belief in the centrality of China, and
the emperor, to the earth’s proper order
f. Despite a long history of contact with
the world, the Chinese had limited
knowledge and did not feel compelled
to revise their views of other cultures
B. Cultural identity and Tokugawa Japan
1. Tokugawa Japan engaged in a three-way
cultural exchange and learning between
the Chinese (via Koreans), Europeans (via
the Dutch and Russians), and Japanese
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 167
2. Native arts and popu lar culture
a. Until the seventeenth century, Japanese
elites of the imperial court, the shogunate, the samurai, the daimyo, and a
small upper class were the patrons of
Japanese culture, and they cultivated
No theater, tea houses, flower arranging, lacquerware production, and
screen painting
b. At the same time, a new, rougher,
more urban culture emerged, patronized by merchants and artisans
involving risqué books and prints,
geishas or female shamisen entertainers, and kabuki, a theater that combined song, dance, and staging with
brilliant costumes
i. The shogunate banned female
actors out of concern for public
order in 1629, after which men
impersonated women on- and
c. This pleasure-oriented urban culture
was known as the “floating world”
because it turned social hierarchies
upside down
i. Those who were normally considered at the bottom of the social
strata, such as actors, musicians,
and courtesans, gained popularity
and received iconic status
d. Japa nese literacy surged, as evidenced by the presence of bestselling books, booksellers, and book
lenders by the end of the eighteenth
3. The influence of China
a. Chinese influence was large in high
Japanese Tokugawa culture; important
imperial histories, laws, and other documents and texts were written in the
Chinese style
b. Buddhism grew but did not replace
Shintō, the indigenous belief system of
ancestor veneration and worshipping
gods of nature
c. Neo-Confucianism on morality and
behavior competed with Shintoism
d. Tokugawa Japan adopted neoConfucian morals of fi lial piety and
loyalty to superiors as the official state
168 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
e. As a reaction against foreign customs, a
movement of “native learning” of Japanese intellectual traditions, texts, poetry,
and unique culture emerged, and it even
extended to the political realm with the
call for the emperor’s restoration
4. European influences
a. Portuguese was the common language
in East Asia in the late seventeenth
b. “Dutch learning,” or European ideas,
circulated openly by the eighteenth
century, and it competed with Chinese
intellectual influences and “native
learning” by the eighteenth century
c. The Japanese had interesting debates
about what to borrow from the Europeans and Chinese
d. They did not believe that cultural borrowing from foreign sources was a sign
of inferiority
IV. The Enlightenment in Europe
A. The Enlightenment not only is defi ned in
terms of the spreading of reason and universal
laws, but also includes broader developments
such as the expansion of literacy, the spread of
critical thinking, and the decline of religious
1. The success of the Enlightenment was due
to widening patronage networks from religious and monarchical supporters to the
lower aristocracy and bureaucratic and
commercial elites
2. Enlightenment thinkers sought universal
and objective knowledge that would not
reflect any par ticu lar religion, politics,
class, gender, or even territorial
B. Origins of the Enlightenment
1. Sixteenth-century civil and religious wars,
dynastic confl icts, and famine motivated
middle-class intellectuals to reason for
themselves in order to understand and
improve this world
2. The Reformation and CounterReformation increased literacy and the
diff usion of new knowledge
3. The Enlightenment flowed from Europe’s
contacts with the wider world, as they
became consumer of other cultures’
goods; at the same time, European think-
ers were becoming more critical of other
cultures and thought of their own as
unique, superior, and the standard against
which to judge all others
C. The new science
1. The search for new testable, calculable,
and observable knowledge contradicting
established institutions began centuries
before the Enlightenment
a. Scientists such as Galileo and Newton
began to use the phi losopher Bacon’s
approach that science entailed the formulation of hypotheses that could be
tested (i.e., the scientific method)
b. Scientists increasingly began to identify
“natural laws” governing the universe
c. Scientific “revolution” is a misnomer, as
it occurred gradually
d. Many monarchs supported scientific
efforts by funding royal academies of
science to show also that the great
intellectuals backed the monarchy
e. With increased literacy in Europe, scientific ideas and approaches to understanding the world grew in popularity
among the elite
i. Landowners and military leaders
increasingly used the scientific
approach to improve their
ii. Italian women created a genre of
scientific literature for “ladies”;
one mathematician, Diamante
Magdalia Faini, advocated that
women increase their knowledge
of science in 1763
f. The emergence of this scientific worldview was uneven
i. The worldview through Christian
doctrines still dominated most
Europeans’ thinking
ii. Literacy was not universal
iii. Governments employed censors,
punished radical thinkers, made
arbitrary arrests, and applied an
uneven system of taxation
D. Enlightenment thinkers
1. European Enlightenment thinkers
rejected the medieval notion of the sinful
nature of humans and believed in the
power of human reason and the perfectibility of humankind
Chapter 14
a. They also wrote scathing critiques of
the flaws in their societies
i. Voltaire attacked the torture of
ii. Diderot denounced the absolutism and despotism of French
Kings Louis XIV and Louis XV
iii. Smith criticized mercantilism
b. Enlightenment thinkers trusted nature
and human reason but distrusted institutions and traditions
i. Rousseau wrote, “Man is born
good; it is society that corrupts
ii. Locke and Rousseau argued for
the “social contract” between a
people and a ruler or government,
or the sovereignty of the people;
and if a government became
tyrannical and violated the contract, the people had the right to
overthrow such a government and
create a new contract
2. Enlightenment thinkers were often incarcerated or exiled for their writings
3. The Enlightenment touched all of Europe,
but the extent of its reach was uneven,
spreading primarily in flourishing urban,
commercial centers
a. Enlightenment learning spread widely
in France and Britain by the end of the
eighteenth century
i. 3500 books in France, compared
to 1000 fi fty years prior
ii. 12 million copies of newspapers
circulated in England
b. Also flourished in urban, commercial
centers like Amsterdam, Edinburgh,
Philadelphia, and Boston
4. Popu lar culture
a. Many popu lar works tended to be sensationalist, pornographic, and vulgar,
but they also revealed low-culture
Enlightenment attempts to mock and
defy traditional institutions like the
clergy and monarchy
b. The reading public generated new cultural institutions
i. Book clubs and coffee houses were
places where aristocrats and
wealthy common men would read
or engage in political discussions
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 169
ii. Parisian salons were social and
political spaces where aristocratic
women presided and dominated
iii. Most funding for intellectuals
came from the aristocracy, monarchy or church
iv. Art collecting boomed as a way
for aristocrats to separate themselves from commoners
5. Challenges to authority and tradition
a. Although many Enlightenment thinkers were sponsored by the aristocracy,
they rejected status based on birth
i. John Locke believed that “man”
was born a clean slate, tabula rasa,
and acquired all ideas through
experience, and that differences
among men’s skills were a result of
unequal opportunities
ii. Adam Smith argued that a phi losopher and a street porter were
born with the ability to reason,
and both should be free to rise in
society according to their talents
iii. Both Locke and Smith argued
that a mixed set of social and
political institutions was necessary to regulate relationships
among humans
b. Ironically, neither Locke nor Smith
believed that women could act as
rational and independent individuals,
and the Enlightenment did little to
change the subordinate status of
6. Seeking universal laws
a. Increasingly in the eighteenth century,
Enlightenment phi losophers sought to
“discover” the laws of human behavior
b. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations
described universal economic laws
i. Smith stressed unregulated markets (laissez-faire) with minimal
government interference
a. The “invisible hand” of the
market would guarantee general prosperity and social peace
ii. Smith believed that “uncivilized”
non-European peoples would
have to imitate Eu rope and
orga nize themselves according
to natural laws
170 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
c. Enlightenment thinkers urged religious toleration, arguing that reason
was the best way to create a community of believers and morally good
7. Seeking universal knowledge
a. Enlightenment thinkers sought to discover universal knowledge
i. Most important product of the
Enlightenment was the French
Encyclopedia, which included 28
volumes of essays by nearly 200
b. Enlightenment thinkers urged a cultural hierarchy that extolled commerce
and rationality
i. They were confident that Europe
was advancing over the rest of the
c. Absolutist governments did not
entirely reject enlightened ideas
i. They appreciated the need for
universality in taxation, efficiency
in bureaucracy, and commerce to
enrich the state
ii. Enlightenment men were uncomfortable with the idea of offering
liberty and equality or sovereignty
to all the people, especially to
women, lower-class men, and
enslaved peoples
V. African cultural flourishing
A. Africa had strong artistic and artisanal traditions dating back many centuries, but the slave
trade enabled African elites to support new
cultural endeavors
B. Art and cultural traditions varied among kingdoms and regions, but there were some common patterns
1. Art would glorify royal power and
2. Art and crafts would also capture the
energy of a universe that was believed to
be suff used with spiritual beings
C. The Asante, Oyo, and Benin cultural traditions
1. The Asante state or federation (presentday Ghana) became one of the most powerful and wealthy in Africa, due to their
charismatic fi rst king, Asantehene Osei
Tutu, and also because of their access to
gold and the slave trade
a. The Asante respected entrepreneurs
and wealth, as evidenced by adages
about becoming wealthy
b. Asante artists produced magnificent
golden stools as symbols of the Asantehene power and authority, especially
for the head of the Asante federation,
the Asantehene
c. Asante artists also produced kente
cloth, with dazzling colors and geometric patterns, only to be worn by monarchs and rulers
2. Artists of the Oyo Empire and Benin
(present-day Nigeria) refi ned and elaborated on bronze sculpture and metalwork
started in the fi rst millennium
VI. Hybrid cultures in the Americas
A. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
the mingling of European colonizers and
native peoples (Americans and Africans) produced new hybrid cultures, but increasingly
this mix grew unbalanced as Europeans
imposed their militaristic and spiritual
1. Europeans attempted to Christianize and
“civilize” Amerindian and African populations in the Americas
2. While Amerindians and Africans adopted
Christian beliefs and practices, they also
retained their former religious traditions
3. While Europeans borrowed many traditions from Amerindians and Africans in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
by the eighteenth century they would not
admit this past dependence, and they
resembled European cultures more
B. Spiritual encounters
1. Christian missionaries, with the backing
of governments and armies, were somewhat successful in converting Amerindians and African slaves with gentle
persuasion and violent coercion
2. Forcing conversions
a. Missionaries used a variety of conversion methods
i. Smashing idols, whipping backsliders, and razing temples
ii. Learned Native American culture
and used that knowledge to promote Christianity (i.e. demonized
local gods, subverted indigenous
Chapter 14
spiritual leaders, and transformed
Indian icons into Christian
b. Some missionaries were able to preserve much linguistic and ethnographic
information about Native American
i. The sixteenth-century example of
Dominican friar Bernardino de
Sahagun’s immense ethnography
of Mexican traditions and beliefs
ii. Seventeenth-century French
Canadian Jesuits prepared Algonquian and Iroquoian dictionaries
and grammar books and translated Christian hymns into Amerindian languages
c. Christian conversions often brought
hybrid forms that incorporated indigenous gods and traditions
3. Mixing cultures
a. A large number of Eu ropeans captured by Indians adopted indigenous
faiths and customs and rejected colonial society when offered the chance
to return
b. Other Europeans voluntarily joined
indigenous groups, while few Amerindians voluntarily adapted European
i. These Europeans who adapted
Indian cultures became great
intermediaries for diplomatic and
economic exchanges
c. Gender imbalances in the Americas led
to increased sexual interaction, by
force, coercion, or consent, between
Indian women and European men
i. Offspring of mixed ancestry
included the Spanish mestizos and
French métis, who outnumbered
French settlers
d. Sexual interactions between European
men and enslaved African women were
primarily forced, and their offspring led
to large population increases
e. Catholics were more aggressive than
Protestants in converting slave
f. Like the Indians, Africans blended
Christianity with their beliefs and practices from Africa or Islam
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 171
i. Brazilian slaves combined Yoruba
traditions with Catholic beliefs,
and changed African deities to
Catholic saints
ii. In Saint Domingue (today part of
Haiti), Africans, slave and free,
practiced vodun
iii. Brazil practiced candomblé, a
Yoruba dance venerating deities
iv. Cubans practiced Santeria, or “cult
of saints,” also of Yoruba origin
g. Christianity, especially in hybrid form,
often inspired resistance and revolt
among slave communities
C. Making Americans
1. European colonists developed distinct
“American” identities that were based on
the cultures they left behind but also
infused with some influences from the
groups they dispossessed and enslaved—
and, in the cases of Indians and Africans,
by partially and selectively adapting European culture into their own
2. The Creole identity (in Spanish and Portuguese America)
a. The most powerful group, the Creoles
(Europeans born in the Americas),
resented the privileges given to peninsulars (Europeans born in Europe)
b. Creole identity gained strength from
Enlightenment ideas
i. Books and ideas justified their
resentment of peninsulars, their
criticisms of their mother countries
of Spain and Portugal, and their
mercantilist restrictions on trade
ii. In many cities, reading clubs and
salons hosted and stimulated
energetic discussions
a. The Spanish and Portuguese
monarchs and colonial authorities attempted to censor and
control publications, but
3. Anglicization
a. Wealthy colonists strove to imitate
English ways similar to Creole elites
i. Imported more English goods and
constructed large houses modeled
after English estates
ii. Modeled their governments after
172 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
iii. Practiced patriarchy after sex
ratios became more equal in the
eighteenth century
b. In the process of trying to be more
English, they consumed and produced
Enlightenment tracts, scientific treatises, and social critiques
i. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of
Independence is the most famous
Enlightenment document
VII. The Making of Neo-European Culture in
A. After 1770, Europeans increasingly began to
explore the South Pacific, or Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of the southwest Pacific)
B. Some islands maintained their autonomy,
while Australia became Anglicized
1. Until then, Australia had been a world
apart like the Americas, separated by water
and distance from other continents
2. 300,000 indigenous hunters and gatherers
lived there at the time of European
C. Europeans explored and conquered Oceania
before the eighteenth century
1. Spanish explored and conquered the Philippines, Guam, and the Mariana Islands by
2. The Dutch went to Easter Island in 1722
3. The French arrived in Tahiti in 1767
D. The scientific voyages of Captain Cook
1. European exploration employed a form of
scientific imperialism best exemplified by
Cook’s three expeditions, which opened
up the worlds of Tahiti, New Zealand,
Australia, and Hawaii to European imperialism and an intensive sort of cultural
2. Scientific and cultural aspects
a. Many scientists accompanied Cook
during his voyages, including Swedish
naturalist Carolus Linnaeus
i. They made about 3,000 drawings
of plants, birds, landscapes, and
peoples unknown to Europeans
ii. They classified new flora and
fauna according to the new Linnaean classificatory system
iii. They gave geographical features
English names
b. After Cook’s voyages, the British hoped
to make Australia a trading port and a
supplier of raw materials
i. When the Aborigines of Australia
died in great numbers from European imported diseases or fled,
British colonists planned grandscale conquest and resettlement
ii. These colonists brought European flora and fauna and even
sheep, which became an important wool-growing economy
iii. By 1788, the British colonized
eastern Australia in order to
establish a prison colony
iv. By 1860, there were 1.2 million
3. Studying foreigners
a. Cook continued earlier explorers’ practice of kidnapping indigenous peoples
to take back to Europe to study them
and show them off as exotic people on
display; this was not done to “civilized”
peoples like the Arabs and Chinese
b. Cook captured a highly skilled Polynesian navigator, Omai; Cook’s return of
Omai on his third voyage was seen as a
colossally generous act
E. The Enlightenment and the origins of racial
1. Cook’s description of the South Pacific
Islanders helped defi ne the concept of
“race” in Europeans’ view of themselves as
well as others
2. Frenchman François Bernier and other scientists began to use racial principles to classify humans in the seventeenth century by
skin color, facial features, and hair texture
3. Categorizing human groups
a. Linnaeus sought to classify all the
world’s plants and animals by assigning
each a binomial name
b. Linnaeus identified five groups among
Homo sapiens, classifying people
according to their physical characteristics and cultural qualities
i. Homo europaeus as light-skinned
and governed by laws
ii. Homo asiaticus as “sooty” and
governed by opinion
iii. Homo americanus as copperskinned and governed by custom
Chapter 14
iv. Homo africanus as ruled by personal whim
v. Homo monstrosus as “wild” men
and “monstrous” types with mental and physical disabilities
4. The European bias
a. Comte de Buffon used the classical
Greek nude sculptures as the template
from which to classify and thus rank
b. White people became the most admirable, while Africans the most
c. South Sea Islanders were placed somewhere between Caucasians and Ethiopians; initially, they were described as a
virtuous, uncorrupted people called
the “noble savage”
d. After the legend that Hawaiians killed
Cook in 1779, the savagery of Islanders
was emphasized
VIII. Conclusion
A. New wealth allowed for a global cultural
renaissance from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in Asia, Europe, and Africa
and to the Americas and Oceania
1. Experiments in religious toleration
encouraged cultural exchange
2. Book production and consumption
3. New monuments arose
4. Luxury goods became widely available
B. The cultural renaissance was uneven, mainly
benefiting elite and middle-class men in urban
Eurasian societies
C. While Asians were confident in their beliefs
and cultural practices, with the people of the
Americas and Oceania, European thought and
culture became the standard and norm for
judging degrees of “civilization”
D. Europeans increasingly gained an expansive or
imperialistic view of the world, which they
believed was “universal” and “objective”
The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Creation of
an African Diaspora
The creation of an African diaspora is a crucial and compelling lecture when discussing the Atlantic slave trade,
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 173
as one of its major outcomes. From the sixteenth to the
nineteenth centuries, approximately 13 million Africans,
from mostly West Africa, were displaced and taken as slaves.
They brought with them to the New World their home
cultures and languages, blended, adapted, and melded
with other African cultures, as well as new local American
cultures. As a result, they created distinctive kinds of
music, dance, language, and even martial arts in order to
create new pan-African identities and cultures, as well as
fi nd subversive ways to resist slave owners and overseers.
The following references might get you started on reading
about the diaspora. The fi rst book is an illustrated one for
beginners; it is great for teachers and students alike, for its
accessibility and academic rigor.
Sidney Lemelle, 1992. Pan-Africanism for Beginners.
Dipannita Basu and Sid Lemelle, 2006. The Vinyl Ain’t
Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular
Ira Berlin, 2000. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two
Centuries of Slavery in North America.
T. J. Desch Obi, 2008. Of Fighting for Honor: The History of African Martial Art Traditions in the Atlantic
Sidney Lemelle and Robin Kelley, eds., 1994. Imagining
Home: Class, Culture, and Nationalism in the African
Robin Kelley, 2012. Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.
Robin Kelley, 2003. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical
Robin Kelley, 2012. Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times
of an American Original.
1. Which group of people were the largest settlers of the
New World? How many Africans were kidnapped and
displaced as slaves and forced to migrate to the New
2. How did slaves from Africa adapt to their new world?
3. What kind of unique cultural forms did they produce?
Enlightenment and Parisian Salons for Women
French Parisian salons and the aristocratic women who
fashioned this unique space are fascinating topics with
which to explore the Enlightenment era. During the
Enlightenment era, women were generally not accepted
in the Republic of Letters or as philosophes, so aristocratic
women crafted their own space. French Parisian salons
provided an avenue for aristocratic women, salonnières, to
patronize politics to some extent, and also to patronize
the arts and culture of the day. Salons provide a unique
perspective on the social space, as well as intellectual,
174 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
political, and cultural space, that aristocratic women
occupied during the Enlightenment. Often held in the
homes of the aristocratic women, they are not just social
events but also an extension of the women’s informal education. Check out the following books and websites for
further reading and exploration.
Mt. Holyoke University’s Professor Schwartz has created a course and website that should prove useful and
interesting for further reading:
William G. Atwood, 1999. The Parisian Worlds of Frédéric
Dena Goodman, 1996. The Republic of Letters: A Cultural
History of the French Enlightenment.
Dena Goodman, 2003. The Enlightenment.
Jürgen Habermas, 1989. The Structural Transformation of
the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeoisie. Trans. Thomas Burger with the assistance of
Frederick Lawrence.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 1969. The Women of the Salons and
Other French Portraits.
Steven Kale, 2004. French Salons: High Society and Political Sociability from the Old Regime to the Revolution of
Eighteenth- Century Women
Eighteenth- Century Women, a journal published by AMS
Press, covers eighteenth-century women’s literary,
biographical, bibliographical, social, and cultural
www2 .washjeff.edu/users/ltroost/ecwomen/
Salons and the Royal Academy of Art
1. How might salons provide a social, cultural, and political space?
2. Why would women get involved during the Enlightenment era?
3. How might it be seen as an extension of their intellectual or informal education?
The Voyages of James Cook
Exploring the voyages of Captain James Cook between
1768 and 1779 can highlight several themes explored in
this chapter. Comparing and contrasting the voyages with
those of Columbus, Drake, or another European explorer
from the fi fteenth or sixteenth century is a good way to
show the changes in European attitudes by the eighteenth
century. Cook’s voyages represent an age of science and
rational belief, plus a growing sense of European superiority over other peoples in the world. Comparisons can also
be made in regard to technological changes and changes
in cultural contact. In addition, one could focus on the
fi ndings of Cook and the scientific, political, and economic
relevance of those discoveries. Both Richard Hough’s
Captain James Cook (1997) and Alan Moorehead’s Fatal
Impact: Captain Cook’s Exploration of the South Pacific—
Its High Adventures and Disastrous Effects (1996) are useful
1. Why were Europeans becoming more and more certain of their superiority over other cultures? How did
this sense of superiority manifest itself?
2. What were some of the discoveries made by James
Cook and his crew? Did these discoveries impact
Europe? How?
3. What motivated Cook to embark on this exploration,
and why was his government willing to fi nance and
support it?
Jesuit Missionaries in China
The Jesuit experience in China during the period covered in this chapter is an excellent avenue for introducing the development of Eu ropean science and Eu ropean
attitudes toward other cultures as well as the Chinese
perception of Eu ropean culture. Jesuit missionaries
hoped that impressing Chinese officials with Eu ropean
technology and science would inspire these officials to
accept Christianity, or at least to allow the Jesuits wide
latitude in proselytizing among the Chinese people.
Court officials in the Qing dynasty were willing to incorporate some European learning into their worldview, particularly European Jesuit cartography, but they kept the
Jesuits on a short leash. For more information, see Chapter 2, “The Catholic Century,” in Jonathan Spence’s The
Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds (1998);
and Daniel Kane’s “Mapping ‘All under Heaven’: Jesuit
Cartography in China,” Mercator’s World 4:4 (July–August
1999). Numerous Web sites are available, as well as articles
and texts discussing the role of Jesuit cartography in this
age of exploration. Some juxtapose specific Jesuit maps
against the original maps of a region—for example, a Jesuit
map of China as compared to a Chinese map of China.
This research offers a further source for a lecture.
1. Can we see the influence of Jesuit cartography on mapping today? If yes, what is that influence?
2. Why did the Qing limit European contact with their
Chapter 14
Japanese Culture in Three Different Written
Language Forms: Hiragana, Katakana, and
Chinese Characters
Language is a way in which societies and communities
carry, adapt, and shape their cultures. Japanese written languages provide fascinating examples of Japanese openness
and interest in borrowing and adapting foreign cultures
into their language. While not exclusively so, generally,
Hiragana is a form of writing for native Japanese, Katakana
is a form of writing for many foreign words, and Chinese
characters are a form of writing from Chinese borrowings.
The following book might prove interesting:
Patrick Heinrich, 2012. The Making of Monolingual Japan:
Language Ideology and Japanese Modernity.
This website from sci.lang.japan has a list of Japanese
words from various European countries:
1. Why do you think Japanese have three different written language forms?
2. How might these three different forms reflect Japanese comfort in adapting and borrowing from foreign
Horse Cultures in North America
The continued impact of European colonization on
Native Americans can be explored by tracing the Plains
Indians’ incorporation of the horse into their economic
and social structure. Chapters 2– 4 of Elliot West’s The
Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado (1998) provide a useful and concise summary of
this development. More excellent lecture material on the
collision of cultures occurring in North America can be
found in John Demos’s The Unredeemed Captive: A Family
Story from Early America (1995), which explores a young
English girl’s life among Mohawk Indians after she was
captured at an early age. One way to introduce this lecture
is to provide students with the legends and arguments
posited by the Plains Indians disputing the disappearance
of the horse in North America after the Last Ice Age. They
claim that the Plains Indians were horse people long
before the Mongols or other Eurasian steppe cultures, as
the Mustang horse never died out. This fl ies in the face of
the generally accepted belief that the Spaniards brought
horses back to North America upon their discovery of the
New World and that the Mustang evolved out of that.
Couching a lecture about horse cultures in this way will
allow one to bring in legend and oral culture as well as
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 175
archaeological and written evidence. See the statement to
the North Dakota Senate arguing for more attention to
this theory in “The Aboriginal North American Horse”:
1. Which theory do you believe to be correct?
2. What evidence are you using to draw this conclusion?
Be specific in supporting your position.
Adam Smith’s Misogyny
A lecture on Adam Smith can explore the misogynistic
nature of the European Enlightenment in the eighteenth
century and its continued impact on world history to the
present. Smith’s views on economics were widely influenced by Great Britain’s historical development, particularly its commercial position. Yet to this day, his work is
viewed as having universal application to all peoples, particularly developing nations. Smith was one of the fi rst
Europeans to suggest that the rest of the world imitate
Europe’s economic development or remain “backwards.”
For information, see Cheng-Chung Lai, ed., Adam Smith
across Nations: Translations and Receptions of the Wealth of
Nations (2000); and Jerry Z. Muller, Adam Smith in His
Time and Ours (1995).
1. How did Smith conclude that the British economic
structure could be applicable to any and all other
2. What was misogynistic about the European Enlightenment? Why would men have believed that they
were the only gender capable of public responsibility?
Gunpowder Empires
Chapter 8, “Sultanates and Gunpowder Empires,” and
Chapter 9, “The Eastward Journey of Muslim Kingship,” in
John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford History of Islam (2000)
provide useful anecdotes and background for a lecture comparing and contrasting cultural developments in the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires during this time. Also
useful is Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, Conscience and History in a World Civilization; see vol. 3, The
Gunpowder Empires and Modern Times (1974). Islamic Gunpowder Empires by Douglas Streusand (2010) is a new text
written in exactly the manner suggested for this lecture, a
comparison across these three empires. It can provide the
structure and the research necessary to create a strong
176 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
1. How did these cultures differ? What were their
2. Why were they called “gunpowder” empires? Is this
an accurate descriptor?
Islamic Culture in Music
Music and musical instruments offer yet another way to
analyze a society and are too often overlooked in history
classes. Using the Web sites below, provide students with
sound recordings of Islamic music. Place the music in
context; every Islamic region has a unique cultural flavor,
as will be echoed in the par ticu lar region you choose. Ask
students to reflect on what they hear in the music. What
kind of instruments or voices do they hear? Male or
female? What emotions does the music evoke? Do they
think the emotions they feel when listening to the music
would be the same for someone from the originating culture? Once they have discussed this topic, show them the
instruments that were used, either actual instruments (if
available) or images. An excellent source of Islamic music
and its history is Music of Islam from the Celestial Harmonies label. This is a sixteen-disc anthology of historical
music from across the Islamic world. Each CD contains
an extensive historical overview with detailed musical
information, translations of the verses, descriptions of
instruments, and more. In addition, see:
Music of the Middle East and North Africa
Arab Music
http://trumpet .sdsu .edu/M151/Arab_Music1
The Arabic Music Page
Questions to ask students:
1. How is Islamic and North African music unique?
2. Who is allowed to write music? Who is allowed to
play music, and why?
3. What is the purpose of the music?
You can follow up this activity with a series of images
of Arabic calligraphy and the geometric and arabesque
forms of Islamic art (see the Web site below). Provide students with information about Islamic laws regarding the
re-creation of human and animal images, and then have
them look at the Arabic script. Ask them to determine what
art alternatives are left to Muslims: How do they apply
these alternatives—the geometric and arabesque forms?
You might consider adding information about the JyllandsPosten Muhammad cartoons controversy in 2005:
_ Muhammad_cartoons_controversy
1. What is unique about Islamic art?
2. Why do most Muslim cultures discourage the representation of human and animal forms?
3. What kinds of rules must artists follow if they do represent animals or humans in painting?
Competing Worldviews
To compare and contrast competing worldviews during the
time covered in this chapter, ask students to compare a
Chinese map of the world from the eighteenth century with
a European map of the world from 1627. Ask students to
hypothesize about what values these two maps represent
within each society. Maps can be found at the following
The Yale University Library Map Collection’s web site
provides a reproduction of the eighteenth-century Chinese wheel map of the world and the Ebtsdorf map of the
world 1234:
_world.html (click on “image11_1720_World.jp2”)
Political Uses of Space—Architectural Glories
Start a classroom discussion of this chapter by comparing
images of the Topkapi Palace (c. 1465) with Fatehpur Sikri
(c. 1569), the Palace of Versailles (1661–1710), and the Russian Petrograd (built after Versailles in 1714). Have students
identify when and where they were built, by whom, and
for what purpose. Ask them to explain what each building
symbolizes about the culture they represented during this
time period.
For images, see:
Chateau de Versailles
Fatehpur Sikri
Peterhof Palace
http://peterhofmuseum.ru/index .php?lang=eng
Chapter 14
Topkapi Palace Museum, Ottoman Empire
Music is included.
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 177
you follow the shaping of a katana, you become privy to
the world of a samurai and all of the cultural practices of
the samurai code.
■ The
■ Amadeus (1984, 160 min.) and Impromptu (1991, 107 min.).
These award-winning films cannot be used for their historical accuracy regarding Mozart or Chopin’s life. The depictions of eighteenth-century European culture, clothing,
lifestyle, and music all make these films fun, but not necessarily historical. They are fictionalized and entertaining.
■ The
Eighteenth- Century Woman (1987, 55 min.). A
Tribeca documentary describing the lives and power of
upper-middle-class European women in the eighteenth
century. Although rather narrow in focus, it does provide
a window into the new powers that women were acquiring across educated Europe. The video uses items at an
exhibition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so the
visual imagery depicts the Enlightenment beautifully.
The music supports it as well.
■ Islam: Empire of Faith (three parts, 2000, 180 min.). This
Gardner/PBS production narrated by Ben Kingsley has
achieved wide acclaim, and rightly so, as one of the best
documentaries made on Islamic empires. Part 1 includes
background on Muhammad and how the religion started,
part 2 is on the rise of Islamic nomadic empires, and part 3
discusses the rise of the Ottoman Empire, with stories of
Suleyman. PBS has provided a Web site of the same name
with teacher resources to use in conjunction with the
fi lm.
■ Master and Commander (2003, 138 min.). This was a
blockbuster, feature-length fi lm, so bear this in mind.
However, the producers made great efforts to retain the
story’s historical authenticity; it takes place in 1805 at
the height of the Napoleonic wars. The plot revolves
around the British navy frigate HMS Surprise and its
pursuit of the French privateer Acheron. The journey
takes them down the coast of Brazil and around Cape
Horn. Some of the footage was shot on a full-scale reproduction of Cook’s Endeavour, one of the most interesting
points about this fi lm. Multiple references are made to
Cook’s discoveries, and scenes are shot on the Galápagos
Islands. The DVD “Extras” section has very good materials
on ships, shipbuilding, and life aboard a nineteenth-century
■ Nova: Secrets of the Samurai Sword (2008, 56 min.). This
documentary traces the creation of the samurai sword,
katana, from the smelting process to its completion. As
Rise to Power of Louis XIV (subtitled, 1966,
100 min.). This older feature-length fi lm is slow moving
and misunderstood by many viewers exactly because of
its focus on historical accuracy and the mendacity of
court life. For this reason, it is perfect to use in the classroom as a way to show a day in the royal court of Louis
XIV, or, as one reviewer has said, to show the “making of
a Sun King.” Choose the scene in the kitchen to show the
intricacies involved in preparing one meal or a conversation between Louis and Colbert to show the strategies
behind the throne and the relative weakness of a king
without the support of his court. Set in 1661, the fi lm
begins as Cardinal Mazarin is dying and Louis decides to
rule as well as make the daily policy decisions.
■ Sir Isaac Newton (1998, 50 min.). Newton is often the
man used to frame the end of the Scientific Revolution.
Here his biography forms a platform on which to discuss
the discoveries of the period that earned Newton the title
“father of modern science.”
■ Two Coasts of China (1992, 60 min.). This documentary
spans a broad period of time, extending from the Mongol
invasions through the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion with archival footage. One unique aspect of this fi lm
is that it better represents the Chinese perspective than
most documentaries regarding the tension between East
and West, showing how the West fi nally forced the opening of China’s ports as major trading centers. According
to the producers, China’s slow response and the Chinese
belief in traditional ways of working played a role in the
West’s quick dominance.
Harold Bolitho, 1974. Treasures among Men: The Fudai
Daimyo in Tokugawa Japan.
Liza Dalby, 1998. Geisha.
Paul Dukes, 1982. The Making of Russian Absolutism,
Benjamin A. Elman, 2000. A Cultural History of Civil
Examinations in Late Imperial China.
Patricia Fara, 2004. Pandora’s Breeches: Women, Science,
and Power in the Enlightenment.
Carter Vaughn Findley, 2005. The Turks in World
Dena Goodman, 1996. The Republic of Letters: A Cultural
History of the French Enlightenment.
178 ◆ Chapter 14 Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
Jürgen Habermas, 1989. The Structural Transformation
of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of
Bourgeoisie. Translated by Thomas Burger with the
assistance of Frederick Lawrence.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 1969. The Women of the Salons and
Other French Portraits.
Mikiso Hane, 2003. Peasants, Rebels, Women, and Outcastes: The Underside of Modern Japan.
Richard Hough, 1997. Captain James Cook.
Toby E. Huff, 2003. The Rise of Early Modern Science:
Islam, China and the West, 2nd ed.
Robert Hughes, 1988. Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s
Margaret Jacob, 1989. The Cultural Meaning of the Scientific Revolution.
Steven Kale, 2004. French Salons: High Society and Political Sociability from the Old Regime to the Revolution of
Donald F. Lach, 1994. Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume I: The Century of Discovery. Book 1, 2, & 3.
Susan Mann and Yu-ying Cheng, eds., 2001. Under
Confucian Eyes: Writings on Gender in Chinese
Masao Maruyama, 2008. Studies in the Intellectual History
of Tokugawa Japan.
Kathleen Ann Meyers, 2003. Neither Saints nor Sinners:
Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America.
Peter Nosco, 2001. Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture.
Andrew Pettegree, 2005. Reformation and the Culture of
Leslie Pierce, 1993. The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire.
Kenneth Pomerantz, 2000. The Great Divergence: China,
Europe and the Making of the Modern World.
Matthew Restall, Lisa Sousa, and Kevin Terraciano, eds.,
2005. Mesoamerican Voices: Native Language Writings
from Colonial Mexico, Yucatan, and Guatemala.
Roger Savory, 1980. Iran under the Safavids.
Kathleen Sheldon, 2010. The A to Z of Women in SubSaharan Africa.
Jonathan D. Spence, 1998. The Chan’s Great Continent:
China in Western Minds.
John K. Thornton, 2012. A Cultural History of the Atlantic
World, 1250–1820.
Conrad Totman, 1993. Early Modern Japan.
H. Paul Varley, 2000. Japanese Culture. 4th ed.
Joanna Waley-Cohen, 1999. The Sextants of Beijing:
Global Currents in Chinese History.
Anne Walthall, 1991. Peasant Uprisings in Japan: A Critical Anthology of Peasant Histories.
Anne Walthall, ed., 1985. Social Protest and Popular Culture in Eighteenth- Century Japan (Monographs of the
Association for Asian Studies).
Age of Exploration: Captain James Cook
A national maritime museum and website with over 2000
images based out of Newport News, Virginia from former Huntington railroad funds. Exhibit includes
Cook’s biography and accounts of his voyages
A digital library of Middle Eastern architecture, with an
extensive collection of photographs, information, and
scholarly resources on cities, sites, and buildings, targeting an international community of scholars, students, and professionals working in architecture,
planning, and related fields
Art of the Asante Kingdom
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a small but wonderful online collection with thematic essays
Chateau de Versailles
Official site of the Palace of Versailles
Fatehpur Sikri
Isfahan or Esfehan
Islam: Empire of Faith
The PBS documentary video also provides an extensive
website on Islam, with classroom lesson suggestions
targeted for K–12 (but they may be adapted for college
as well) and photographs of monuments.
Islamic Art: Late Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art
General information with images
www.lacma.org/islamic _art/intro.htm
Kabuki Sounds
Recordings of Kabuki music online along with historical
http://park .org/Japan/Kabuki/sound.html
Chapter 14
Missionaries and Mandarins: The Jesuits in China
Primary-source documents
Cultures of Splendor and Power, 1500–1780
◆ 179
Sidney Lemelle, 1992. Pan-Africanism for Beginners.
State Museum Reserve in Russia, Peterhof
A rigorous, yet accessible, illustrated book on panAfricanism.
Topkapi Palace Museum, Ottoman Empire
Music is included
Captain James R. Cook, 1999. The Journals of Captain Cook.
Welcome to Edo
West African Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a small but wonderful online collection with thematic essays on
Asante, Benin, and Oyo art, among others
www.metmuseum.org/toah/hi/te_index .asp?i=3
The Guggenheim Museum has a tiny West African art
collection, which is bound to grow
Cook’s journals provide insight into the marvel of discovery as well as the growing belief in scientifically based
European racial superiority. You can use this work for its
history of natural science or as a way to unpack biased
writing via Cook’s strong Eurocentric perspective.
John Demos, 1995. The Unredeemed Captive: A Family
Story from Early America.
This book, drawn from early primary-source documents,
recounts the capture of one Massachusetts family by Native
Americans. Through the lens of captivity, the story expands
on the tension between white Christians and Amerindians. Some family members escaped and returned to their
homes, while one member of the family discussed in this
book remained and married a Mohawk.
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
▶ Revolutionary Transformations and New Languages
of Freedom
Political Reorderings
The North American War of Independence,
The French Revolution, 1789–1799
Napoleon’s Empire, 1799–1815
Revolutions in the Caribbean and Iberian America
Change and Trade in Africa
Abolition of the Slave Trade
New Trade with Africa
This chapter covers global reordering between 1750 and
1850, changes brought by politics, ideas, commerce, industry, and technology. In Europe and in the Americas, Enlightenment ideas of popu lar sovereignty, free trade, free
markets, free labor, nationalism, and democracy spread,
fueling the American, French, and Haitian revolutions,
among others. Revolutions empowered new nation-states
and redefined hierarchies of class, gender, and color. Equally
disruptive was the economic transformation sweeping
through Western Europe and parts of North America: the
industrial revolution. Not only did changes in production
alter the social landscape at home, but also they propelled
Western Europe to global preeminence. Through newly
gained economic and political power from industrialization, Europeans forced Egypt, India, and China to open
their markets to benefit Europe, even to the point of colonization. In the 1830s, British gunboats easily defeated the
powerful Qing dynasty and the British gained new Chinese territories. While Europe did not gain uncontested
control over other peoples around the world, there was a
global reordering with Europe at the center.
I. Revolutionary transformations and new languages
of freedom
A. The transatlantic disruption between 1750 and
1850 had roots in the mercantilist system of
the previous century
▶ Economic Reordering
An Industrious Revolution
The Industrial Revolution
Working and Living
Persistence and Change in Afro-Eurasia
Revamping the Russian Monarchy
Reforming Egypt and the Ottoman Empire
Colonial Reordering in India
Persistence of the Qing Empire
B. As wealth increased, men and women demanded
a relaxation of mercantilist restrictions
1. They demanded greater freedom to trade
2. They demanded more influence in governing institutions
C. Over time, these demands became more radical and revolutionary
1. Revolutionaries championed the concept
of popu lar sovereignty, free people, free
trade, free markets, and free labor as a
more just and efficient foundation for
2. The question emerged of how far to extend
these freedoms
a. Revolutionaries disagreed whether
these freedoms applied to women,
slaves, Native Americans, other nonEuropeans, and the property-less
D. By and large, Europeans and Euro-American
elite groups reserved these freedoms for
E. Europeans used force to open Asian and African markets to their trade and investment
II. Political reorderings
A. The spread of revolutionary ideas across the
Atlantic world in the second half of the eighteenth century followed the trail of Enlightenment ideas
Chapter 15
B. People disagreed over the meaning of terms
such as liberty, independence, freedom, and
C. Ideas that spawned the American and French
revolutions encouraged similar developments
in the Caribbean and much of Spanish
D. The idea of the nation-state arises
E. The North American War of Independence,
1. Britain’s North American colonies proved
highly prosperous by the mid-eighteenth
century, with bustling port cities
2. A genteel class of merchants and plantation owners dominated colonial affairs
a. Land was a constant source of dispute
b. Big planters’ interests often collided
with those of independent farmers
c. Settlers moved west seeking available
land, often clashing with Indian and
French interests
d. The French ceded their Canadian colony to Britain after losing the Seven
Years’ War
e. British made some concessions to Indians with the Proclamation of 1763,
drawing a line at the Appalachians so
that Indian lands would be protected
from European settlers
3. Asserting independence from Britain
a. Britain stood supreme in the Atlantic
world, and political revolution seemed
b. King George III and advisers imposed
taxes for the right to be British citizens
and to pay for the French and Indian
c. Resistance was fi rst in the form of boycotts and petitions
d. Resistance became violent in 1775
between the colonial militia and British
troops in Massachusetts
e. Calls came to sever ties with Britain
using Enlightenment ideals
i. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in
ii. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of
Independence, based on the premise of natural rights
iii. John Locke’s idea of a social
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 181
f. Americans formed new political
i. States elected delegates to represent them in conventions
ii. Royal authority was eliminated,
and state legislative bodies would
be elected by “the people”
iii. “The people” did not include
women, slaves, Indians, or even
adult white men without property
iv. The notion that all men were created equal overturned British
social hierarchies
v. Women also claimed for greater
equality, including property rights
g. Many slaves sided with Britain and
against the American Revolution,
because the British offered them freedom in exchange for military ser vice
h. Britain lost to the rebellious American
colonies despite the fact that the British
won most of the battles but could not
fi nish off the Continental Army
i. General George Washington hung on
long enough until the French stepped
in to help defeat the British
j. The 1783 Treaty of Paris gained the
United States its independence
4. Building a republican government—much
debate on the type of government to be built
a. During this time, the prospect of a
social revolution of women, slaves, and
artisans was very real; elites labeled
this the “excesses of democracy”
b. Shays’s rebellion of 1786—farmers
denounced illegitimate taxation by the
state of Massachusetts
c. The Constitutional Convention forged
a charter for a republican government
with power in the hands of the representatives of the people
d. Critics of the U.S. Constitution worried
about the scope and power of the
national government, versus state power
e. Anti-Federalists insisted on the inclusion of a Bill of Rights to protect individual liberties from government
f. The issue of slavery was held in a temporary truce until the frontier pushed
westward, when new states sparked the
debate again
182 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
g. In 1800, a Virginia slave, Gabriel Prosser,
raised an army of slaves, white artisans,
and laborers, but was betrayed; he with
twenty-six others were executed
i. The American Revolution ushered in a new age with the creation of a republican form of
government, which sent shock
waves through the Americas and
Europe and beyond
F. The French Revolution, 1789–1799
1. The French Revolution, even more than
the American Revolution, inspired other
rebellions around the world, lasting into
the twentieth century
2. Origins and outbreak
a. Enlightenment ideas against oppressive
government had gained legitimacy
among millions and helped propel the
nation into revolution
b. In addition, harvests had been poor for
years, leading many peasants to protest
unreasonable tax burdens
c. A fiscal crisis, in combination with the
other issues, unleashed the French
d. King Louis XVI opened the door for
reform when he convened the EstatesGeneral, which had not met for over a
century, in 1788 in order to seek new
forms of tax revenue to ser vice the
crown’s debt
e. Reform turned to revolution as members of the Third Estate (the common
people) refused to be outvoted by
members of the First Estates (the
clergy) and the Second Estate (the
f. The Third Estate organized themselves
into the National Assembly, the new
legislative body for France
i. Upon hearing of these events,
peasants rose up in the countryside to protest unfair feudal dues
and obligations
ii. On July 14, 1789, a Parisian crowd
attacked the Bastille, an armory
and infamous political prison
g. Within three weeks, the French
National Assembly abolished the feudal privileges of the clergy and nobility
and declared a new era of liberty, equality, and fraternity
3. Revolutionary transformation
a. The “Declaration of the Rights of
Man and Citizen” was more radical
than the American Declaration, and
guaranteed all citizens equality under
the law and the sovereignty in the
i. It threatened to end dynastic and
aristocratic rule in Europe
b. Women argued for equal rights to citizenship, but the male assembly
rejected this on the basis that a
“fraternity” of free men composed the
c. Olympe de Gouge wrote “Declaration
of the Rights of Women and Citizens,”
proposing women’s rights to divorce,
hold property in marriage, education,
and public careers
d. As the revolution gathered speed, it
split into different factions over the
goals, and clergy and aristocrats fled
the country
e. In 1792, the fi rst French Republic was
proclaimed, with a new National Convention elected by universal male
suff rage
4. The Terror
a. Radical Jacobins, including lawyer
Maximilien Robespierre, launched the
Reign of Terror to purge the nation of
internal enemies and executed 40,000
peasants and laborers
b. They instituted the fi rst national draft
and built an army of 800,000 soldiers,
who sang patriotic songs like “La
c. They eliminated all symbols of the old
regime: street names, new flag, titles,
and even time
d. Attempted to replace Catholicism with
the cult of reason
e. In 1794, moderates regained control of
the government and executed
f. General Napoleon Bonaparte organized a coup d’état that brought security and order to France
5. Napoleon checked the excesses of the radical era but let many revolutionary changes
a. He allowed religion to be freely practiced again
Chapter 15
b. He retreated from republican principles
and proclaimed himself the emperor of
the French
c. He submitted a constitution to a
d. He created a centralized government
with a rational tax collection
e. Code Napoléon codified the nation’s
laws into one legal framework that
applied to all of France and the French
colonies, which became a model to
emerging nation-states in Europe and
the Americas
G. Napoleon’s empire, 1799–1815
1. Napoleon envisioned a new world order
based on the principles of liberty, equality,
and fraternity, and while many people
embraced the French as liberators, some
did not; in 1798, after defeating Egypt,
Napoleon faced a rebellious population
2. His attempts to bring Europe under
French rule laid the foundations for
nineteenth-century nationalist strife
a. Strong local resistance appeared in Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, and
b. Tired of hearing the French espouse
the superiority of French culture, locals
looked to their own national past for
3. Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812
began the demise of his empire, as his
forces could not survive the harsh winter
a. A coalition of Prussia, Austria, Russia,
and Britain fi nally defeated Napoleon
in 1815, ending with the Battle of
4. The victorious powers at the Congress of
Vienna redrew European borders, reestablished old borders, agreed to cooperate
against future revolutions, and restored
a. In many areas, some of Napoleon’s
reforms were kept in place such as the
abolition of serfdom among German
b. The nationalist sentiments that French
troops stirred continued in places such
as Germany and Italy
5. Napoleon’s conquests and the French Revolution had far-reaching impact, and set
the stage for a century-long struggle
between those who wanted to restore soci-
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 183
ety and those who wanted to guarantee a
more liberal order
6. Revolution in Saint-Domingue (today part
of Haiti)
a. Unlike British North America, SaintDomingue presented a case where revolution came from the bottom rung of
society—African slaves—where they
applied the concept of freedom not just
from Europe but also from white
b. The island slave population of 500,000
was an angry majority producing wealth
for a small, rich minority of 40,000
whites and 30,000 free people of color
c. After 1789, whites campaigned for selfgovernment, while slaves used the language of the French Revolution to call
for freedom
i. By 1791, the island had descended
into civil war
ii. In 1792, slaves fought French
troops sent to restore order
iii. In 1793, the French National
Convention abolished slavery
iv. Former slaves took over the colony but had to fight British and
Spanish forces
d. When Napoleon took power in France,
he restored slavery and also sent an army
of 58,000 troops to suppress forces led
by Toussaint L’Ouverture, who organized resistance among former slaves
i. Most French troops died of yellow
fever or wounds infl icted by
e. In 1804, General Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared the Republic of Haiti
i. International recognition proved
elusive because the specter of a free
country ruled by former slaves sent
shudders across the hemisphere,
with governments worried that it
might inspire similar revolts
f. Revolution in Saint-Domingue and the
fear of the contagion of slave revolt
forced some governments to rethink
g. The abolition movement was fueled
not just by ideals of liberty but also
because of the practicalities and fear of
slave revolts
184 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
h. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel wrote
his famous treatise, The Phenomenology
of Mind, after reading about SaintDomingue, which also influenced Karl
H. Revolutions in the Caribbean and Iberian
1. Revolutionary enthusiasm spread to Spanish and Portuguese America, but unlike in
the United States, political upheaval began
fi rst from subordinated people of color
a. Even before the French Revolution,
Andean Indians rebelled against Spanish colonial authority
i. For example, in the 1780s, 40,000
to 60,000 Andean Indians
besieged the capital of Cuzco and
demanded freedom from forced
labor by the Spanish
b. These rebellions temporarily renewed
the loyalty of Iberian American elites
to the crowns of Portugal and Spain
c. Iberian elites limited local power by
interpreting liberty as only for landed
2. Brazil and constitutional monarchy
a. Brazil’s road to statehood avoided
b. When French troops occupied Portugal, the royal Braganza family fled to
Brazil and ruled their empire from there
c. The royals made reforms in administration, agriculture, manufacturing,
and education, but shared power with
the local planter aristocracy, so the
economy prospered, while slavery
d. In 1821, the king returned to Portugal
but left his son Pedro in charge in Rio
de Janeiro
e. In 1822, Pedro declared himself head
of an independent Brazil with a constitutional monarchy
f. Pedro was supported by Brazilian elites
who wanted to avoid slave insurrections or regional insurrections
i. The central government crushed
the largest urban slave revolt in the
Americas, against slaves in Bahia
g. By the 1840s, Brazil had achieved
political stability that was unmatched,
with a transition from colony to nation
without revolution that was unique in
Latin America
3. Mexico’s independence
a. Unlike Brazil, Mexico and other Spanish colonies gained autonomy from the
Spanish crown during the Napoleonic
i. When the Bourbon crown
regained power, creoles
(American-born Spaniards)
resented the reappointment to
power of peninsulars (colonial
officials born in Spain) and
wished to regain this elite position
ii. Creoles used Enlightenment ideas
to back up their grievances
b. In Mexico between 1810 and 1813,
Fathers Hidalgo and Morelos organized a revolt of peasants, Indians, and
artisans calling for the redistribution of
wealth and land reform, among other
i. Creoles, peninsulars, and the
Spanish army overcame the rebellion after years of fighting
c. When the Spanish crown was unable to
prevent anarchy, the local army joined
the creoles in proclaiming Mexico’s
independence in 1821
d. Unlike Brazil, Mexican secession did
not lead to stability
4. Other South American revolutions
a. Independence from Spain in Spanish
America was more prolonged and militarized than American independence
from Britain
b. Men such as Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar
and Argentine Jose de San Martín
waged extended wars for independence
against Spain from 1810 until 1824
i. A political revolution against Spanish colonial authority escalated
into a social struggle among Indians, mestizos, slaves, and whites
c. While Bolívar and San Martín sought
new American identities and a Latin
American confederation, local identities prevailed
d. Multiple new states rather than a
united federation appeared, controlled
by military chieftains and landed,
wealthy elites
Chapter 15
III. Change and trade in Africa
A. Increased domestic and world trade, especially
the Atlantic slave trade, shifted the terms of
state building
B. Abolition of the slave trade
1. The slave trade became a subject of fierce
debate in the late eighteenth century, even
as it enriched and empowered many Europeans and some Africans
a. Some argued that slave labor was less
productive than free wage labor
b. Others argued that the slave trade and
trafficking were immoral
c. Quakers in both England and the
United States furthered the discussion
to end the slave trade
2. Abolitionists achieved success in prohibiting the slave trade
a. Denmark banned the slave trade in
b. Great Britain banned it in 1807, and the
United States banned it in 1808
c. France followed in 1814
d. By 1850, the number of slaves traded
had dropped sharply
e. But until the 1860s, slavers continued
to buy and ship captives illegally
3. The British navy was instrumental in suppressing the slave trade and enforcing
these bans
a. Both Sierra Leone and Liberia on the
West African coast became home to
freed captives and former slaves returning from the United States
C. New trade with Africa
1. European traders promoted a new form of
commerce, “legitimate” trade, after the
demise of the slave trade; they wanted
Africans to export raw materials and purchase European manufactured goods
a. West Africans began to export palm oil,
peanuts, and vegetable oils
2. A new generation of successful West African merchants amassed fortunes
a. King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891)
started off as a slave and ended up a
merchant-prince and king of Opobo
with the palm oil trade
b. William Lewis, a freed Yoruba slave,
went back to Africa in 1828 and
became a successful merchant who sent
his son Samuel to study in England and
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 185
became an important leader in Sierra
3. Effects in Africa
a. For some states, the demise of the slave
trade was a disaster, while for others it
was a welcome end to the constant
drainage of people
i. The Yoruba kingdom fell because
they could no longer use the slave
trade to fi nance their armies
b. The end of the slave trade strengthened
slavery in Africa
c. More and more slaves were used in
Africa for palm oil or clove plantation
labor, in the military, or as ivory porters, not as domestic servants
d. In 1850, northern Nigeria had more
slaves than independent Brazil, and
almost as many as the United States
e. Africa became the largest slaveholding
continent in the nineteenth century
IV. Economic reordering
A. Until the mid-eighteenth century, societies
mostly produced for their own subsistence
(except in the Americas with the slave plantation export economies); however, communities
would be transformed to export more
B. An industrious revolution—beginning in the
second half of the seventeenth century and
gaining momentum in the eighteenth
century—laid the foundations for the industrial revolution of the late eighteenth and early
nineteenth centuries
1. Began fi rst in northwestern Europe and
British North America
2. Industrious revolution, was when entire
families began to work harder and longer
hours to produce and purchase more for
and in the marketplace; people devoted
less time to leisure and more time to
working, using the additional income
from hard work to improve their standards of living
3. This rising consumption on the part of
working families led to a large expansion
in local and global trade, with luxuries
becoming general commodities
4. Formerly separate trading spheres became
global, integrated trading circuits
a. Sugar and silver were the pioneering
products, but other staples were added
186 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
by the eighteenth century, such as tea
and porcelain
5. Soap as a commodity is a great example of
growing cross-cultural trade and
a. In the 1840s, an American entrepreneur named Colgate imported various
oils from West Africa, Malabar, Ceylon,
and South Asia
b. In London, Pears added glycerin to
make it look transparent and launched
an aggressive marketing campaign
c. Pears sold the soap to Africans and
Indians as a skin-whitening product
6. Global trading trickled down from the
elites to include ordinary people
a. Slaves and laborers used their meager
wages to buy imported cloth manufactured in Europe from the raw cotton
they had picked previously
7. Merchants reaped the greatest reward
from this expansion of international trade
and gained higher status
a. Traders needed new ser vices in insurance, bookkeeping, and recording legal
b. Accountants and lawyers also profited
8. This new class of commercial men and
women was known as the “bourgeoisie”
9. One class moved to the top, the traderfi nanciers, as Europe moved to the center
of this new economic order
a. Not all came from Eurasia’s dynasties
or aristocrats
b. The Rothschilds, a Jewish family from
the German ghettos, amassed huge fortunes and influence, eventually loaning
money to kings and governments
10. The world economy became integrated
through the flow of goods as well as the
flow of money
C. The industrial revolution
1. The term fi rst coined by nineteenthcentury British economic historian Arnold
Toynbee, referring to the gradual buildup
of technical knowledge, inventions, applications, and diff usion allowing for the
emergence of manufacturing
a. The industrial revolution catapulted
Europe and North America ahead of the
rest of the world in industrial and agricultural output and standards of living
2. Britain had advantages that placed it in the
forefront of the revolution
a. A large accessible source of coal and iron
ore, which were key to manufacturing
b. An effective system to mobilize capital
for investments while expanding its
domestic and international markets
c. Application of steam power to textile
d. Access to colonies as sources of fi nancial investment, raw materials, and
markets for manufactured goods
3. Technology allowed textile manufacture
to be consolidated and housed in one factory, with efficient machinery to produce
stronger, fi ner, and more uniform cloths
4. British colonial India produced most of
the raw cotton until 1793, when an American named Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, making separation of cotton fiber
from the seed more efficient
a. Ironically, slaves in America and British
Indians were consumers of Britishmanufactured cotton clothing
5. Small-scale manufacturing was the norm
6. Industrial revolution allowed societies to
outdistance rivals in manufacturing and
elevated to a new place in the emerging
global economic order, mostly in the
Atlantic world
7. Why did China the inventor of astronomical water clocks and gunpowder, not
become the center of the industrial
a. The Qing did not foster experimental
science and swept their great minds
into the bureaucracy
b. Did not support overseas expansion
and trade that created the commercial
revolution in the Atlantic world
8. Historically Europe had a trade imbalance
with Eurasia, but with the new economic
order, Europe had both manufactured
commodities and capital to export
a. The Ottoman Empire became one of
Europe’s biggest debtors
D. Working and living
1. The industrial revolution brought more
demanding work, not just to Western
Europe and North America, but also on the
farms and plantations of Asia and Africa
2. Urban life and work routines
Chapter 15
a. Increasingly, Europe’s workers dwelled
in rapidly growing cities
b. Cities were unhealthy because of overcrowding, lack of running water, no
garbage or sewer system, and rampant
c. Children, wives, and husbands found
work in factories for barely subsistence
wages, working twelve or more hour shifts
d. Work changed from seasonal rhythms
to a rigid concept of time and work
i. Employers used clocks to ring in
workers, announce their break,
and ring out long, exhausting days
3. Social protest and emigration: the effects
of the revolution on working-class families
raised widespread concern
a. In England’s 1810s, Luddites, jobless
craftsmen, smashed machines that had
pushed them out of work
b. Reformers and novelists publicized
deplorable conditions and advocated
for protective legislation such as curbing child labor, limiting the workday,
and legalizing prostitution for the sake
of their health
i. Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, 1849:
misfortunes caused by the power
ii. Charles Dickens, Hard Times,
1854: working-class difficulties in
a mythic town
iii. Elizabeth Gaskell in England and
Emile Zola in France: hardships
of women with malnourished
children forced to work, and the
hunger, loneliness, and disease
faced by prostitutes and widows
c. Unprecedented emigration occurred
because of social problems, with émigrés traveling to the United States,
Canada, and Australia on “coffi n ships”
V. Persistence and change in Afro-Eurasia
A. Western Europe posed a threat and attempted
closer economic and political ties with AfroEurasian empires in the name of gaining “free”
access to the regions’ markets; Russian and
Ottoman rulers modernized their military and
strengthened their economy, while the Chinese were unaffected until the Opium War
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 187
B. Revamping the Russian monarchy
1. Russia and Eastern European empires
responded to European pressures by
strengthening their traditional rulers
through modest reforms and suppression
of domestic opposition
2. While French Napoleon’s Invasion of 1812
failed, the French Revolution and their
armies struck at the heart of Russian
political institutions
3. When Alexander I died in 1825, some elites
(Decembrists) called for a constitutional
monarchy; however, the new tsar, Nicholas
I, suppressed this reform movement
4. To maintain absolutist rule, Nicholas projected the image of the tsar as the head of
the family with direct ties to the nation
and created a secret police force to root out
opposition and enforced censorship
5. In the 1830s, Nicholas preached a conservative philosophy stressing “faith, hierarchy, and obedience”
C. Reforming Egypt and the Ottoman Empire
1. The Ottoman Empire was also shaken by
Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, and reformist energies swept Egypt to the center of
the Ottoman Empire
2. Reforms in Egypt
3. Muhammad Ali (1805–1848) won a chaotic struggle for power in Egypt by taking
powerful control, modernizing the military, and aligning himself with influential
4. Napoleon also pursued education and
agricultural reforms, transforming Egypt
into the most powerful state in the eastern
Mediterranean, which alarmed the Ottoman and European empires
a. Established schools of medicine and
b. Transformed Egypt as a major cotton
c. Constructed a series of dams across the
5. These reforms disrupted the lives of common people, like England under
a. Peasants harvested three crops instead
of one or two, without seeing additional
b. Young men faced conscription into the
state army
188 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
c. Families had to toil on public works
projects, often unpaid
d. Textile and munitions factories did not
survive because of lack of skilled
6. With Ali’s invasion of Syria in 1830 and
the threat to Ottoman rule, European
powers compelled him to withdraw from
Anatolia and reduce the size of his military
7. Ottoman reforms
a. Pressure from Egypt and Europe persuaded the Ottoman Empire to modernize the military, but in 1807 the
janissaries overthrew Sultan Selim III
in response
b. Military janissaries and clerical scholars (ulama) cobbled together an alliance that continuously thwarted
i. Janissaries, and clerics also, were
the main resistors to change
ii. Sultans did not seek popu lar support in light of the fact that they
were unelected sultans in a multiethnic and multireligious empire
in the new age of popu lar sovereignty and national feeling
c. Mahmud II (r. 1808–1839) ended this
political deadlock by manipulating
conservatives; his reforms and those of
his successors were known as the Tanzimat, or reorganization period
i. In 1826, he eliminated the janissaries with clerical support by
promising that a new corps would
pray fervently
ii. He used European advisers to create a modern army, a medical college and school for military
iii. Schools began to teach European
languages and sciences
iv. Legislation passed guaranteeing
equality for all Ottomans, regardless of religion
8. The Tanzimat reforms were not revolutionary because reforms were pushed
within an autocratic framework and
impeded real reforms
a. Bureaucratic and religious infrastructure remained committed to old ways
b. Landowners resisted land reform
c. Merchants profited from a debt-ridden
sultan and prevented the empire’s fiscal
collapse through fi nancial support to
the state
D. Colonial reordering in India: British India was
Europe’s most important and profitable colonial possession from 1750 to 1850
1. The English East India Company monopoly: Chartered by the British crown
since 1600, the company’s control over
India’s imports and exports contradicted
British claims of “free trade”
a. Initially, the company attempted to
control Indian commerce by establishing trading posts and not conquering
b. After conquering Bengal in 1757, the
company and British colonial rulers
amassed great fortunes as they collected taxes and kept a portion for their
personal fortunes
c. Bengal army revolted but lost
d. British allowed Hindu and Muslim
kings and princes to stay as puppets
and paid them pensions
e. British also established a bureaucracy
and standing army for the smooth collection of revenues
f. To know the culture as a means of control, Orientalist scholarship arose; the
company state presented itself as a
force for revitalizing Hinduism
2. Effects in India
a. The company adopted a land tax structure for India in 1793, which became its
largest source of revenue
b. Company rule changed India’s urban
geography as it displaced older Mughal
cities with new colonial cities like Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay
c. Europeans lived close to company forts
and trading centers, while Indian
migrants lived in crowded “black towns”
d. In Britain, the company’s position in
India generated calls for an end to its
monopoly on trade with the subcontinent, with no consideration for the
urban Indian poverty
e. In 1813, Parliament ended its monopoly
f. Indian economy was forced to shift in
order to support the British economy,
which slowed down their own indus-
Chapter 15
trialization and created unfavorable
trade imbalances; they went from an
important textile manufacturer to an
exporter of raw cotton to support the
British textile industry
3. Promoting cultural change
a. Britain also tried to change Indian culture so that India would value British
goods and culture over its own
i. James and John Stuart Mill argued
that dictatorial rule could bring
good government and economic
progress to India because Indians
were unfit for self-rule or liberalism
b. British reformers and evangelicals also
began to call for changes in Hindu and
Muslim society through European education and legislation
i. They demanded an end to the sati,
or widow burning
c. Increasingly, officials and scholars
began to view Indians as backward and
in need of enlightenment
d. The British forced English to replace
Persian as the language of administration and a European over Eastern
e. The new British colonial rule was not stable, and wealthy landowners, landlords,
moneylenders, peasants, forest dwellers,
artisans, and merchants alike chafed and
revolted under the British economy
E. Persistence of the Qing Empire
The Qing rulers (from 1644 onward) were
careful to continue the Ming political structure
and social order and were unaware of the revolutionary events in North America or Europe
1. Expansion of the empire
a. The Qing expanded the empire to the
north and the west, and conquered Taiwan, central Asia, Tibet, western Mongolia, and Xinjiang
b. As a result, increased agricultural productivity allowed for greater commercialization and increased state revenue
i. Despite the Chinese ideal for
women to stay at home, in reality
women toiled the fields alongside
c. Competition for land drove Chinese to
move into remote newly acquired
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 189
2. Problems of the empire
a. Qing regime faced problems despite
their expanding empire because of the
rapidly growing population of 300 million, which severely strained resources
b. Qing was beset by understaffed bureaucracies, new taxes, and growth in
c. European upper classes were eager consumers of Chinese silks, teas, jade,
tableware, jewelry, paper, and ceramics;
however, the Chinese had little interest
in European goods
d. By the mid-nineteenth century, the
Chinese could no longer ignore European demands and their power, and the
Opium War exposed China’s
3. The Opium War and the “opening of China”
a. By the eighteenth century, opium and
tobacco consumption had spread
throughout China despite a Qing ban
in 1729
b. The English East India Company
fueled this consumption by smuggling
opium from India into China in order
to purchase Chinese tea
i. The use of opium cut down on the
need to pay for Chinese goods
with silver
ii. Silver began to flow out of China,
reversing a long-term trend
c. In 1834, Parliament ended the company’s trade monopoly with China, meaning that more merchants could provide
opium for Chinese addicts
d. In 1838, the emperor sent Lin Zexu, a
court official, to end the opium trade
and enforce the ban
e. After blockading 350 British merchants
in their quarters, they gave up over
20,000 chests of opium, or $9 million
worth, which was flushed out to sea
f. In 1840, a British fleet with steamships
retaliated by bombarding the coastal
regions and sailing up rivers
4. Forcing more trade
a. The Qing capitulated and accepted the
Nanjing Treaty of 1842
b. The British took the island of Hong Kong
c. The Qing were forced to pay for the
war and for confiscated opium
190 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
d. British had the right to five “treaty”
ports for trade and settlement
e. The Qing were forced to accept extraterritoriality for European residents
VI. Conclusion
A. From 1750 to 1850, changes wrought by politics, ideas, commerce, industry, and technology
brought a more integrated Atlantic world, but
with Europe at the center
B. In Europe and in the Americas, revolutions
empowered new nation-states and redefi ned
hierarchies of class, gender, and color
C. Through newly gained economic and political
power from industrialization, Europeans
forced Egypt, India, and China to open their
markets to benefit Europe, even to the point of
D. While Europe did not gain uncontested control
over other peoples, there was a global reordering
Industrial Revolution and the Internet Revolution
(Also Known as the Digital or Information
Historians often discuss two sets of revolutions, the Neolithic and industrial revolutions, with the most impact to
human societies in terms of economic, social, and political changes. Recently, there has been the beginning discussions of a third revolution, the Internet or digital or
information revolution, which has had a major impact on
contemporary life since the 1980s. Computers, cell phones,
and Internet access to quick information have been the
major features of this third revolution, often coupled with
the first two. A lecture on the industrial revolution, by starting with the current Internet revolution, would help students understand the revolutionary impact that society
faced in catching up to the technological changes and the
economic and social problems that occur as people from all
different sectors of society respond to these changes. For
example, the industrial revolution’s push and pull from
rural areas and small businesses to urban factories, creating
both a change in livelihood and a loss of traditional craft
jobs, are a major topic of the economic and social upheavals
that England faced. Amid this turmoil in England, Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto in 1848. Their message created a spark that fueled the
labor movement to improve working conditions for wage
laborers. In a similar fashion, the Internet revolution has
made some people wealthy, it has eliminated a great variety
of jobs, and others who cannot catch up with the technology
fall behind. The following Web site, article, and books might
help start further reading and exploration on the topics.
Making the Modern World: The Industrial Revolution
The Science Museum in Britain features an online
exhibit called “Making the Modern World,” produced
in partnership with Peter Symonds College, Winchester, and sponsored by the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. They have teaching modules on the
industrial revolution, including sections on the textile
Consider the following Forbes article, “The Internet Revolution Is the New Industrial Revolution” (October 5,
John Hinshaw and Peter Stearns, 2013. Industrialization
in the Modern World: From the Industrial Revolution to
the Internet, 2 vols.
Arnold Pacey, 1991. Technology in World Civilization: A
Thousand-Year History.
Bill Kovarik, 2011. Revolutions in Communication: Media
History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age.
Asking students to analyze primary-source documents
can also help bring home the dramatic impact of the
industrial revolution on everyday peoples’ lives. Several
documents exploring the impact of industrialism on workers, women, children, cities, and others can be found at
The Internet Modern History Sourcebook: The Industrial
Women in World History Curriculum: The Plight of Women’s
Work in the Early Industrial Revolution in England and
Lynn Reese created this Web site of secondary-level classroom resources and lesson plans on women in world
history with a U.S. Department of Education grant.
1. Identify the variety of ways that the industrial revolution shaped societies in the early nineteenth century.
2. How did these changes challenge ideas about politics, work, gender, the role of government, and social
3. What are some similarities and differences with the
current Internet revolution?
Chapter 15
Britain’s Industrial Revolution
The question of why Britain was the fi rst to experience
the process referred to as the industrial revolution has fascinated historians for decades. Kenneth Pomeranz’s The
Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the
Modern World Economy (2000) provides the basis for a
good lecture on the topic that not only introduces the
necessary processes that began to transform the world in
the late eighteenth century, but also challenges students’
inherited assumptions about Western superiority, a legacy of the Enlightenment (explored in Chapter 13). The
British Museum has an interesting essay from a 2008–
2009 exhibit entitled “The Industrial Revolution and the
Changing Face of Britain.”
/online_research _catalogues/paper_money/paper
_money _of_england__wales/the_industrial
Royal Museums Greenwich has a Web site combining
the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory,
and the Queen’s House in one museum. The National
Maritime Museum has steamships:
1. What are some of the fundamental assumptions that
European-based societies make about what modernity means? What progress means?
2. What made Britain unique in regard to the speed with
which they became industrialized? Was it merely that
the most significant technological advancements
were made in Britain, or did other factors play into its
rapid industrial growth?
3. How did Britain’s colonies help build its economic
wealth? Military power?
The Opium War, the Treaty of Nanjing,
and Hong Kong
A lecture on the Opium War and the Treaty of Nanjing of
1842 can highlight several themes in this chapter. First
and foremost, this lecture demonstrates the global reordering with Europe at the center by the mid-nineteenth
century. The British steamships that defeated China are
symbols of British industrialization and economic power,
as well as British supremacy as a military power. Second,
it offers a chance to introduce the Nanjing Treaty of 1842,
the loss of Hong Kong, and why it was under British control. While Qing China was not colonized, China faced
severe losses and war reparations with this unequal treaty.
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 191
Third, it provides the opportunity to discuss contemporary politics and the shifting of the global balance of
power back to China at the end of the twentieth century,
since Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. Last, but
not least, the episode reveals the important role that the
drug trade played in the world economy, especially in the
United States and Europe. It can be juxtaposed against
contemporary times. In par ticu lar, students can usually
be prodded into a lively discussion of the merits of legalizing drugs, much as the Qing dynasty considered the
matter over a century ago. Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven
Topik’s The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture,
and the World Economy, 1400–the Present (1999) treats
this issue in an intriguing and concise manner in Chapter
3. Also useful are Peter Ward Fay, The Opium War, 1840–
1842: Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the Early Part of
the Nineteenth Century and the War by Which They Forced
Her Gates Ajar (1975); Jack Beeching, The Chinese Opium
Wars (1977); and Arthur Waley, The Opium War through
Chinese Eyes (1979).
The Royal Museums Greenwich has a Web site combining the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, and the Queen’s House in one museum. The
National Maritime Museum has steamships:
Royal Museums Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum
Permanent Gallery: “Traders: The East India Company
and Asia”
The National Maritime Museum’s permanent gallery
explores Britain’s maritime trade with Asia, in par ticular the role played by the East India Company. You can
also do a search for “opium,” and fi nd photographs of
opium ships and bottles
1. How did the opium trade change the Chinese economy? The British economy?
2. Why did the Qing ban opium?
3. What do Lin Zexu’s letter to Queen Victoria and his
actions reveal about the Qing perceptions of the British?
The End of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the
Transition to Legitimate Commerce
A lecture on the end of the slave trade, its impact on
Africa, and Africa’s transition to legitimate commerce
is fascinating. A discussion about the struggle to end the
slave trade explores the economic reordering in the Atlantic world. Key to understanding the end of the slave trade
192 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
is related to not just the moral abhorrence to the institution
of slavery and the success of early abolitionists, but also the
economic cost of the slave trade, making it less attractive
than in past centuries. Students can gain perspective regarding the life of a former slave turned abolitionist in The Interesting Narrative of Ouluadah Equiano.
A discussion on the transition to legitimate commerce
also brings to light the shifting political dynamics with
African states. There is little published on entrepreneurs
such as Jaja of Opobo. For references, see J. F. Ade Ajayi,
ed., UNESCO General History of Africa, vol. 6: Africa in
the Nineteenth Century until the 1880s (1989); and Robin
Law, ed., From Slave Trade to “Legitimate” Commerce: The
Commercial Transition in Nineteenth- Century West Africa
(African Studies No. 86, 1995).
1. What were some of the debates that brought the end
of the slave trade? Economic, political, social, and
2. How was the British abolition movement different
from the movement in the United States?
3. Why did Europeans think slavery was acceptable?
Why were they beginning to question their belief that
slavery was moral?
Reenacting the United States v. the Amistad
Supreme Court Trial of 1841
Using the primary trial documents from the Amistad trial,
set up a mock trial and assign roles for your students, that
is, journalists, judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, abolitionists, and jurors. Ask students to create a profi le of the
people they are representing and their position. Allow
prosecutors and defense attorneys to call witnesses and
expect witnesses to be capable of responding. Require
your journalists to write news reports and your abolitionists to write broadsides for their supporters. Or you could
have students go to the Web site below and explore the
primary-source documents from the trial, then create an
argument that supports their position—it would be best
to assign positions given. You could have the group of
jurors decide on the outcome of the trial, based on the
arguments presented by both sides. Have students read
primary sources and transcripts from the U.S. National
Archives and Records Administration, with its collection
of primary sources with lesson plans, including the section on the Amistad case:
The Amistad Case
“La Marseillaise” French Revolution Anthem
One of the major developments covered in this chapter is
the emergence of the republic nation-state and notions of
popu lar sovereignty. “The Marseillaise,” written in 1792,
symbolizes popu lar sovereignty and the French Revolution. It was adopted as the French national anthem in
1795, and it is called the Marseillaise because it was fi rst
sung in the city of Marseille. General and Emperor Napoleon replaced the anthem with another, and not until 1871
did the song regain its place in France permanently. Numerous references have been made to the song, including one
in the Beatles’ 1967 “All You Need Is Love.” Search for the
song on YouTube. The lyrics are available at the following
Web site:
The Modern History Sourcebook: La Marseillaise
Play “The Marseillaise,” and have students sing along.
Some questions for students:
1. Analyze “The Marseillaise” from the perspective of a
new nation of the people. How does this new French
national anthem capture the revolutionary fervor?
How does it express this new language symbolically,
textually, and aurally?
2. As Napoleon was expanding the French Empire as
well as French ideas about the new nation, how would
this song affect newly conquered subjects? Or the rest
of the world? Does it have universal appeal?
3. How does this song symbolically reflect the changes
to European thinking about monarchies? How does it
represent the ideas of the revolutions in the Atlantic
The Steam Engine
The steam engine was paramount to the industrial revolution. Steam engine power allowed for faster ships that
could go up river, better improved transportation infrastructure and the development of railroads, and efficiency
in manufacturing technologies for textiles, sugar, and
iron. You might explore with students any number of animated, steam-powered machines, including the spinning
mill and the Cornish Beam engine. These models, which
you can build and run, are found at:
British History In-Depth: Victorian Technology and
Chapter 15
Royal Museums Greenwich has a Web site combining
the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory,
and the Queen’s House in one museum. The National
Maritime Museum has steamships:
Ask students to name other uses for steam technology.
Why was it so revolutionary? Finally, ask them to compare the steam engine to the Internet today. The goal of
this exercise is to demonstrate how the steam engine, like
the Internet, allowed people to do what they already did
in many cases, but much more efficiently. This comparison allows you to discuss with students how the steam
engine and the Internet brought about new work patterns,
new business organizations, and changes in outlook.
1. Why was steam technology so revolutionary?
2. What are some applications for steam technology?
3. How would it make many types of jobs obsolete while
creating new jobs? How does that compare to the
Internet technology of today?
■ Amazing
Grace (2007, 111 min.). This fi lm recounts
British parliamentarian Wilbur Wilberforce’s struggle to
end legalized slavery in Great Britain. Although some of
the fi lm is sentimentalized, it provides the opportunity to
reflect on a number of familiar and not-so-familiar themes
with students. Among these themes is the use of the song
“Amazing Grace”: when it was written, why, and what the
lyrics might mean. In addition, the fi lm allows you to
reflect on the differences in the abolition movement in
Great Britain as opposed to the United States, the parliamentary process, and the Quaker movement.
■ Amistad (1997, 152 min.). This historically based drama
is set in 1837 and portrays the powerful events surrounding
a shipboard slave revolt. Remarkably, the fictional account
is very close to the real event in which the leader of the
rebels is tried in an American court of law and found innocent. A plethora of primary-source documents of the events
remain, allowing us to “look over the shoulder” of the
defense attorney in this moving docudrama. You can link
this fi lm to the Amistad trial activity described in the “Class
Activities” section.
■ Babette’s Feast (1987, 103 min.). You need not show this
fi lm in full, but brief scenes will succeed in conveying to
students the dramatic population shift due to industry and
urban growth. People moved away from places such as the
setting for Babette’s Feast—Jutland, Denmark—that could
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 193
no longer provide jobs and growth industries. Whole communities were dying as young people emigrated for America and Australia. This visually rich movie is slow paced
but fi lled with symbolism and religious meaning.
■ Burn! (1969, 115 min.). Burn! is a good movie that shows
the making and the “selling” of war. Set on the imaginary
Caribbean island of Queimada, the fi lm depicts nineteenthcentury economic imperialism. In the story, the British
send a professional mercenary to agitate African slaves. He
sells a war, making promises he never intends to keep as a
way to get the Maroons to rise up against the Portuguese,
allowing the British to get a foothold in the colonized region.
The fi lm includes fabulous depictions of class structures,
sugar plantations, and colonial attitudes.
■ Daughters of Free Men (30 min.). This documentary
describes daily life in nineteenth-century factories and
textile mills through the eyes of one girl. It recounts the
difficulties that “mill girls” had in maintaining any independence, unlike girls in rural areas. As the industrial
revolution continued, two kinds of urban, working-class
women and girls emerged: the mill girl, who was looked on
as having questionable virtue, and the domestic servant
girl, who had the protection of a male employer but found
herself vulnerable to his demands. An excellent Web site
with supporting documents and teaching resources is
available at:
American History Project: Center for Media and Learning
■ Havelaar (1970, 169 min.). Based on the famous novel
by Eduard Douwes Dekker (pseudonym Multatuli) of the
same name, this Dutch fi lm takes place in Java during the
1850s. It does an excellent job of showing the excesses of
the nineteenth-century Dutch “cultivation system” and of
colonial corruption and indifference in the East Indies.
Havelaar tries to protect the Javanese under Dutch indirect rule (read: neglect) by replacing it with the direct rule
of Dutch civil servants. When Multatuli (a former civil
servant) originally published this book in 1860, it aroused
dramatic political and social controversy.
■ History of Sex: From Don Juan to Queen Victoria (1999,
100 min.). This section of the History of Sex documentary
series focuses on the dramatic shift in European sexual
mores from the eighteenth century to nineteenth-century
Victorian Europe. It discusses the uses of birth control,
marriage, medical and scientific ideas about the body, and
same-sex relationships.
■ Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India (2001, 223 min.). This
is a long movie, in Hindi with English subtitles; however,
it was an international hit and is rich in the Bollywood style
194 ◆ Chapter 15 Reordering the World, 1750–1850
of movie and music, with poor farmers taking on the British
Empire. The setting is a small Indian village, Champaner,
in 1893 as the residents struggle under the British-imposed
land taxes (lagaan) and drought. In desperation, the villagers
agree to a cricket wager: if they win, no taxes for three years.
■ Les Misérables (1998, 2000, 2012). Three different versions of Les Misérables have been fi lmed in the past two
decades. The fi lm adaptations are based on a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1862, a great
novel of the nineteenth century that highlights the social
issues facing post–French Revolution France.
■ The Luddites (50 min.). Set in 1812, this documentary
recounts the revolutionary response of some English people
who felt their lives were being taken over by new machines
after the introduction of mechanical looms and spinning
■ The Opium War (1997, 150 min.). This historical drama
has been the subject of much controversy, but the general
consensus is that it is a daring and brilliant recounting of
the Opium Wars and the motivations behind them. Made
in 1997 to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to China
(Hong Kong had been ceded to the British as a result of
the Opium Wars), the fi lm criticizes the Chinese and British governments alike. It is worth showing at least a portion of this fi lm to your students.
J. F. Ade Ajayi, ed., 1989. UNESCO General History of Africa,
vol. 6: Africa in the Nineteenth Century until the 1880s.
Olivier Bernier, 2000. The World in 1800.
Ken S. Coates, 2004. A Global History of Indigenous Peoples:
Struggle and Survival.
Philip D. Curtin, 2000. The World and the West: The European Challenge and the Overseas Response in the Age of
Peter Ward Fay, 1975. The Opium War, 1840–1842: Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the Early Part of the
Nineteenth Century and the War by Which They Forced
Her Gates Ajar.
Niall Ferguson, 1998. The House of Rothschild: Money’s
Prophets, 1798–1848.
Michael Fisher, 1993. Indirect Rule in India.
Trevor Getz and Heather Streets-Salter, 2010. Modern
Imperialism and Colonialism: A Global Perspective.
Erik Gilbert and Jonathan T. Reynolds, 2012. Africa in
World History.
Dominique Godineau and Katherine Streip, trans., 1998.
The Women of Paris and Their French Revolution (Studies on the History of Society and Culture).
Dena Goodman, 1996. The Republic of Letters: A Cultural
History of the French Enlightenment.
John Hinshaw and Peter Stearns, 2013. Industrialization
in the Modern World: From the Industrial Revolution to
the Internet, 2 vols.
Ashley Jackson, 2013. The British Empire: A Very Short
Resat Kasab, 1988. The Ottoman Empire and the World
Economy: The Nineteenth Century.
Jay Kinsbruner, 1994. Independence in Spanish America.
Lester Langley, 1996. The Americas in the Age of Revolution, 1750–1850.
Roger Louis, ed., 1998. The Oxford History of the British
Empire, vol. 3.
Barbara D. Metcalf and Thomas R. Metcalf, 2006. A Concise History of Modern India.
Sophie Mousset, 2007. Women’s Rights and the French
Kevin H. O’Rourke and Jeff rey G. Williamson, 2001. Globalization and History: The Evolution of a NineteenthCentury Atlantic Economy.
Arnold Pacey, 1991. Technology in World Civilization: A
Thousand-Year History.
Douglas M. Peers and Nandini Gooptu, eds., 2013. India
and the British Empire.
Kenneth Pomeranz, 2000. The Great Divergence:
China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World
Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik, 2005. The World That
Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy,
1400–the Present.
Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid, eds., 1989. Recasting
Women: Essays on Colonial History.
Peter Stearns, 1993. The Industrial Revolution in World
Abolition of Slavery
The British National Archives, a government department
and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice,
created a site with a wide variety of historical resources
from primary documents to educational materials
Amazing Grace: The Film
If you like the fi lm, this is the fi lm’s teaching companion
Web site; it is for grades K–12 but also can be used for
higher education. Some interesting and entertaining
activities can be used with or without the fi lm, as well
as further links
Chapter 15
British Library Exhibit, Trading Places: The East India
Company and Asia
The British Library features a special virtual exhibit on
the history of the East India Company and its expansion into Asia, the Ottoman Turks, the Mughals, and
the Chinese
http://portico.bl.uk/online gallery/features/trading
Internet Modern History Sourcebook: The French
Fordham University’s modern history Internet sourcebook for primary sources and collection of Web sites
on the French Revolution
Internet Modern History Sourcebook: The Industrial
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution
A collaboration of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (George Mason University), the
American Social History Project (City University of
New York), and the Department of History, University
of California, Los Angeles, for the American Historical
Review, housing over 600 primary sources and images
on the French Revolution
Making the Modern World: The Industrial Revolution
The Science Museum in Britain features an online
exhibit called “Making the Modern World,” produced
in partnership with Peter Symonds College, Winchester, and sponsored by the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. They have teaching modules on the
industrial revolution, including sections on the textile
Manas: The East India Company
Great UCLA course Web site on the history, culture, and
society of India
Reordering the World, 1750–1850
◆ 195
National Archives Teaching with Documents: The American
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
has a great collection of primary sources with lesson
Royal Museums Greenwich
This consists of the National Maritime Museum, the
Royal Observatory, and the Queen’s House in one
museum. The National Maritime Museum
has steamships
Royal Museums Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum
Permanent Gallery: “Traders: The East India Company
and Asia”
The National Maritime Museum’s permanent gallery
explores Britain’s maritime trade with Asia, in par ticular the role played by the East India Company. You can
also do a search for “opium” and fi nd photographs of
opium ships
Women in World History Curriculum: The Plight of Women’s
Work in the Early Industrial Revolution in England and
Lyn Reese created this Web site of secondary-level classroom resources and lesson plans on women in world
history with a U.S. Department of Education grant
Ouluadah Equiano, with Shelly Eversley, 2004. The Interesting Narrative of Ouluadah Equiano: Gustavus Vassa,
the African.
Martin McCrory and Robert Moulder, 1983. French Revolution for Beginners. (The famous illustrated series,
both rigorous and accessible)
Alternative Visions of the
Nineteenth Century
▶ Reactions to Social and Political Change
▶ Prophecy and Revitalization in the Islamic World and
Islamic Revitalization
Charismatic Military Men in Non-Islamic Africa
Prophecy and Rebellion in China
The Dream
The Rebellion
Socialists and Radicals in Europe
Restoration and Resistance
Radical Visions
The nineteenth century was a time of turmoil and transformation, not just for powerful colonizing and industrial
economic forces, but also for individuals offering local
alternatives, local circumstances, traditions, and alternative visions. In various regions around the world, rebellions,
whether they emanated from political radicals, charismatic
prophets, peasant movements, or anti-imperialist insurgents, developed counter-visions to the emerging status
quo, the conservative old order, or the new global order
based on colonizing or industrializing forces. Many of the
leaders of the African, Asian and Islamic worlds were anticolonial rebels who attempted to reorganize their communities with the language of prophetic revitalization,
which provided an alternative vocabulary of political and
spiritual legitimacy. The chapter gives voice to those who
opposed colonization and global capitalism centered on
European and North American power. The confl ict over
the future, in many ways, was the distinguishing feature
of world history during this century.
I. Introduction
A. By the late nineteenth century, the United
States confi ned almost all Amerindians to
▶ Insurgencies against Colonizing and Centralizing
Alternative to the Expanding United States: Native
American Prophets
Alternative to the Central State: The Caste War of
the Yucatán
The Rebellion of 1857 in India
B. One Paiute Indian named Wovoka had a vision
in 1889, where the “Supreme Being” told him
that if they shunned white ways, especially
alcohol, and performed the cleansing Ghost
Dance, then Indians would be reborn to live in
eternal happiness
C. The “Red Man’s Christ” inspired new hope
and drew people to make pilgrimages from
hundreds of miles around, including the Sioux
D. The movement failed; for example, in 1890,
Sioux ghost dancers were massacred at a South
Dakota creek called Wounded Knee
E. The chapter gives the voices and visions of
those who opposed global capitalism and European and North American colonialism
II. Reactions to social and political change
A. The political and economic transformations of
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries had people and communities question how
to defi ne and rule territories and what social
and cultural visions to embody
1. In Europe, political and economic revolutions overturned the old order
2. In North America, the United States’
expansion west led to the dispossession of
Chapter 16
Native American land and the loss of Mexican territories
3. In Latin America, new nation-states struggled to sustain order after overthrowing
Spanish colonial rule
4. In Asia and Africa, rulers confronted
European economic and military power
B. Dissidents and their actions depended on
their local traditions and the degree of contact
with the effects of industrial capitalism, Eu ropean colonialism, and centralizing
1. Some rebels called for the revitalization of
traditional religions and communal bonds
2. Other dissidents imagined a society where
there was no private property and goods
were shared equally
3. Mainly in Europe and the Americas, utopians and radicals envisioned an end to private property and capitalism
4. Among the not colonized regions of the
Middle East, Africa, and China, religious
prophets and charismatic military leaders
revitalized societies in the hopes of preventing colonization
5. Among colonized South Asian and American indigenous groups, rebellions targeted
the authority of the state
III. Prophecy and revitalization in the Islamic world
and Africa
A. The Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal Empires
faced political and military decline, which
brought religious revitalization movements
that recaptured glories of past traditions,
replacing Muslim monarchies with new theocratic governments
B. In non-Islamic Africa, where long-distance
trade and population growth were transforming the social order, prophets and charismatic
leaders gained power by resolving local environmental crises
C. Islamic revitalization
1. Movements to revitalize Islam took place
on the peripheries, in areas that seemed
immune from threatening repercussions of
the world economy
2. The reformers looked to past traditions,
but also attempted to establish new fullscale theocratic polities as an instrument
of God’s will and the vehicle for purifying
Islamic communities
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 197
3. Wahhabism: one of the most powerful
reformist movements on the Arabian Peninsula, the Najd region
a. Muhammad Ibn abd al-Wahhab (1703–
1792) demanded a return to the pure
Islam of Muhammad and preached that
the community had become too religiously lax
b. Abd al-Wahhab stressed the oneness of
Allah; his followers were called Unitarians or Muwahhidin, and criticized Sufi
sects for extolling saints over God
c. Wahhabism swept across the peninsula
and proved to be a threat to the Ottoman hold
d. Wahhabis became militant; followers
sacked Shiite shrines and overtook the
holy cities of Mecca and Medina
e. The Ottomans persuaded Muhammad
Ali of Egypt and his army to put down
the revolt
f. While the Egyptians defeated the Saudis, Wahhabism continued to grow in
the Muslim world
4. Usman dan Fodio and the Fulani
a. Muslim revolts, mostly Fulani, erupted
in West Africa in response to increased
trade with the outside world and the
trading of religious ideas across the
b. Fulani were cattle-keepers who originated from present-day Senegal, were
both nomadic and sedentary, and
moved across the Sahara; the sedentary
Fulani converted to Islam and sought
to recreate a purer Islamic past
c. Fulani Muslim cleric and prophet
Usman dan Fodio (1754–1817) created
a vast empire from modern northern
Nigeria, by waging holy war ( jihad)
against Unbelievers. He targeted Hausa
rulers deemed too lax in their Islamic
practices in an 1804 revolt
i. Gained support from Hausa peasantry and Fulani peoples
d. Drawing on Muhammad’s hijra, or
withdrawal from Mecca to Medina to
create a true community of believers,
he moved from Konni to Gudu, creating a new community
e. Despite sharia (Islamic law) and women’s
place in the religion, dan Fodio and
198 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
other male leaders recognized women’s
role in Islam, and Fulani women of
northern Nigeria made critical contributions to religious revolt
f. dan Fodio’s daughter, Nana Asa’u, was
well known as an intellectual and as
one who accompanied warriors to battle, nursing them, encouraging them,
and hurling a spear to the enemy
i. Asma’u’s poem “Song of the Circular Journey” celebrates the triumphs of jihad military forces
g. Usman dan Fodio created an enduring
and stable theocratic empire by 1809,
the Sokoto Caliphate
D. Charismatic military men in non-Islamic Africa
1. Non-Islamic Africa also experienced
revolts, prophetic movements, and the creation of new states in response to the same
combination of factors, long-distance
trade, and population increase
2. In early nineteenth-century southern
Africa, political revolts called Mfecane
reordered the political map
3. The Bantu population in southern Africa
had grown to strain the resources of the
4. Shaka Zulu, the son of a minor clan leader
with powerful military and organizational
skills, created a ruthless warrior state
5. He assimilated many conquered peoples and
territories; like the Mongols, he recruited
young men as warriors and relegated them to
leadership positions based on merit
6. His adversaries developed similar kinds of
military states, like the Ndebele in Zimbabwe and the Sotho of South Africa
7. Shaka created a modern nineteenthcentury state
IV. Prophecy and rebellion in China
A. In the mid-nineteenth century, China, like the
Islamic world and Africa, while still maintaining authority over most of the realm, was
reminded of the looming power of the West
B. Rising population put increased pressure on
land and resources, with rising opium consumption bringing social instability and fi nancial crisis
C. After the British defeated the Qing Manchu in
the Opium Wars, the dynasty faced declining
authority and legitimacy
1. The rebellion drew on China’s tradition of
peasant revolts rooted in religious sects
such as egalitarian or millenarian ones
(convinced of the imminent coming of a
just and ideal society) with roots in Daoism
2. Women played an important role
D. The dream
1. Founding prophet Hong Xiuquan (1813–
1864) was a native of Guangdong, southern China
a. He encountered Western missionaries
while preparing for the civil ser vice
examination in the 1830s
2. On failing the exam, he began to have
visions that led him to form the Society of
God Worshippers and the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom
a. Hong’s organs were replaced, and he was
cleansed anew by the “Heavenly Mother”
b. The “Old Father” denounced Chinese
shaven heads (a Manchu practice), the
consumption of opium and other
debauchery, and even Confucius
3. After failing his fourth civil ser vice exam,
Hong read a Christian tract in 1843, allowing him to interpret his dreams
a. The “Old Father” was Lord Ye-huo-hua
(Jehovah), or God, and Jesus was his
older brother
b. Like Jesus, Hong believed he had been
sent to save the world from evil
E. The rebellion
1. Unlike other sectarian leaders, Hong
began preaching and converting publicly,
destroying Confucian idols and shrines
2. The Taiping Rebellion heralded a new era
of economic and social justice, as Hong’s
message of a troubled world and restoration of the heavenly kingdom appealed to
the masses’ concept of a socially just and
egalitarian order
3. His followers lived in contradiction to
Chinese traditions of hierarchy, patriarchy,
and religion
4. Hong’s fi rst followers came from the margins of society, whose anger was directed
at the Qing Manchus instead of the Europeans, after the social and economic problems caused by the Opium War
a. Manchus were called “demons” and
considered the obstacle to realizing
God’s kingdom on earth
Chapter 16
b. Converts could not consume alcohol or
opium, or indulge in sensual pleasure
c. Men and women were segregated for
administrative and residential purposes
i. Women served in the Taiping
army or bureaucracy; many of
them were Hakka, an ethnic
group to which Hong belonged
d. All land was divided among families
according to need, with men and
women receiving equal shares
e. Bureaucratic examinations involved
the Bible and other religious and literary compositions by Hong
In 1850, a following of over 20,000
launched a full-fledged rebellion against
the hated Qing Manchus
a. In 1851, Hong set up the Taiping kingdom with its capital at Nanjing, declaring himself the Heavenly King
b. In 1853, Taiping rebels captured Nanjing and systematically killed Manchu
men, women, and children
Several factors contributed to the fall of
the Taiping
a. Struggles within the leadership
b. Excessively rigid codes of conduct
c. Han and Manchu elites rallied to the
dynasty’s side
d. Westerner governments also supported
the Qing, and they provided a mercenary army led by foreign officers
Qing forces crushed the rebellion and
killed Hong in 1864
Rebels became an inspiration for further
reform as the desire to reconstitute Chinese society and government did not end
Like the leaders of the Islamic and African
world, Taiping rebels attempted to reorganize their communities with the language
of prophetic revitalization, which provided
an alternative vocabulary of political and
spiritual legitimacy
V. Socialists and radicals in Europe
In a new era dominated by conservative monarchies,
radicals, liberals, utopian socialists, nationalists,
abolitionists, and religious leaders organized to
create a better world
A. Restoration and resistance
1. The social and political unrest between
1815 and 1848, the Restoration period,
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 199
stemmed from the ambiguous legacies of
the French Revolution and the Napoleonic
2. French revolutionaries’ attempt to replace
Christianity with reason resulted in the
clergy’s loss of power, but very few Europeans gave up their religious beliefs entirely
3. Revolutionary ideas, religious radicalism,
and reformist thought and fundamentalist
beliefs fueled social and political rebellions
in Europe
a. English Puritans and German Anabaptists: violent and passive resistance
b. Czech Protestant John Amos Comenius promoted the image of Pansophia,
an ideal republic of Christians united in
the search for knowledge of nature as a
means of loving God
c. Enlightenment thinkers and radicals
promoted a world progressing toward
scientific, political, and even biological
4. Self-conscious reactionaries crusaded to
restore monarchies and reverse secularization and democratization
a. Slavophiles in Russia were ardent monarchists and promoted native traditions
versus the excessive Western reforms
introduced by Tsar Peter the Great
5. Liberals and proponents of liberalism
pressed for civil liberties, legal equality—
including state restrictions on trade and
church hold on education—while preserving the free market, the Christian
churches and the rule of law
6. Reactionaries won in Eastern, Central, and
Southern Europe, while liberals had
greater influence in Britain, France and the
Low Countries
B. Radical visions
1. Radicals envisioned total reconfiguration
of the old regime’s state system, continuing the revolution
2. Radicals shared an agenda for popu lar sovereignty but were a diverse lot with much
3. Nationalists
a. Nationalism was important to liberals
and radicals but a threat to
b. Radicals defi ned “the people” as those
who shared a common language and
200 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
common history and each would have
own state
c. Each nationalist movement drew backers from the liberal aristocracy, the
well-educated and commercially active
middle classes, and university students
d. Nationalists demanded new nationstates in Poland, Serbia, Greece, Italy,
and Germany, each in slightly different
i. Inspired by religious revivalism
and enlightenment ideals, Greece
secured its independence from the
Ottoman Empire in the 1820s
ii. The Greeks could not decide
between creating a secular republic or a Greek Orthodox state, so
they created a monarchy, and
invited a Bavarian prince to
become king
e. Most nationalist movements were suppressed or slow to accomplish change
4. Socialists and communists
a. Socialists and communists were concerned about the inequalities produced
by industrial capitalism and worried
i. The economic gap between
impoverished workers and the
new wealthy employers
ii. Division of labor common with
the industrial revolution would
make people into soulless, brainless machines
b. They argued that the whole free market
economy had to be transformed to save
human beings from self-destruction,
and not just the state
c. Ordinary workers, artisans, domestic
servants, and women in manufacturing
joined radical prophets in staging
strikes, riots, peasant rebellions, and
protests to campaign for economic,
social, and political equality
5. Fourier and utopian socialism
a. Charles Fourier (1772–1837) and his
Utopian Socialism was the most visionary of all alternative movements
b. Fourier, a former cloth trader, thought
of himself as the scientific prophet of a
new utopian world through organization rather than bloodshed
i. In 1808 created a system, Fourierism, planned for reorganizing
society into phalanxes or communities of about 1,500 people
ii. All members of the phalanx would
work in short spurts of 2 hours in
varied tasks, and undesirable work
would fall to adolescents
c. Fourier’s writing gained popularity in
the 1830s
i. Women worked toward social and
moral reform, and viewed Fourier’s system as a higher form of
Christian communalism
ii. His writings influenced Russians
such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Italians like Giuseppe Mazzini, the
Spanish republican Joaquin Abreu,
and the German Karl Marx
6. Marxism
a. Karl Marx (1818–1883) became the
most important Restoration-era radical
b. Collaborating with Friedrich Engels
(1820–1895) who wrote The Condition
of the Working Class in England, they
developed scientific socialism
i. They argued that what mattered
in history were the production of
material goods and the ways in
which society was divided into
producers and exploiters
ii. They claimed that history consisted of successive forms of
exploitative production and rebellions against them
c. Marxists believed the current clash
between wage workers, proletarians,
and capitalists would usher in a brave
new world of true liberty, equality, and
i. A proletarian revolution would create a “dictatorship of the proletariat” and the end of private property
ii. The state would wither away
because there would be no need
for human exploitation
iii. History moved through stages:
from feudalism to capitalism,
socialism, and fi nally communism
7. The revolutions of 1848 resulted in uprisings in France, Austria, Italy, and Czechoslovak ia, but they were crushed by the
Chapter 16
reactionary crackdowns; still, radical
visions continued to shape views of
a. Marx published The Communist Manifesto in 1848, calling on the workers of
all nations to unite and overthrow
b. Their many admirers and followers
never abandoned the dream of social or
economic reconfiguration
VI. Insurgencies against colonizing and centralizing
A. In the nineteenth century, Native Americans
and Indians subject to British colonization
developed local alternatives to their colonial
status, drawing upon traditional cultural and
political resources
B. Alternative to the expanding United States:
Native American prophets
1. Early calls for resistance and a return to
a. In 1805, the Shawnee Prophet Tenskwatawa foretold how invaders would
vanish if Amerindians returned to their
customary ways and traditions
b. In 1680, Popé encouraged the Pueblo
villages in New Mexico to rise up
against colonial Spain and was successful until the Spanish reconquest in
c. During the 1750s, Delaware Shamin
Neolin led rebels against the British in
the Ohio Valley and, while the British
quelled the uprising, they forbade colonists from trespassing on Indian lands
west of the Appalachian
2. Tenskwatawa: The Shawnee prophet
a. Shawnee Indians of the Ohio River
valley were among the most bitter and
angry because of Eu ropean
b. The Shawnee had lost most of their
holdings to the United States
c. Many leaders cooperated with American officials and Christian missionaries
in order to survive
i. Shawnees were forced to give up
hunting for farming
ii. Missionaries prodded Shawnees
to give up “heathen” ways to
become “civilized” Christians
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 201
iii. Shawnees were pushed to abandon communal traditions for private property rights
d. Shawnee prophet Tenskwatawa (1775–
1836) and his religious visions show
similarities to Hong Xiuquan, the Taiping leader
i. A failed hunter and medicine
man, Tenskwatawa recounted to
all his vision of heaven where virtuous Shawnee would return to
traditional life and evildoers suffered punishments in hell
ii. He exhorted Indians to boycott
Eu ropean trade goods, especially
alcohol and guns, and sever relationships with Christian
e. He claimed that if they heeded his message, the deer would return, killed Indians would be resurrected, and evil
Americans would leave their land west
of the Appalachians
f. Like the Qing response to Hong’s leadership, Americans initially dismissed
Tenskwatawa, but as he gathered more
followers from wide and far, it also
raised the serious possibility of a panIndian confederacy
g. American territorial governor William
Harrison challenged Tenskwatawa to
make the sun stand still; Tenskwatawa
predicted an eclipse on June 16, 1806
h. Tenskwatawa made plenty of enemies
among fellow Indians who liked alcohol or Christianity
3. Tecumseh and the wish for Indian unity
a. Tenskwatawa’s brother Tecumseh
(1768–1813), a noted warrior, spread
Tenskwatawa’s vision around the Great
Lakes, organized around an enlarged
Indian confederation, and also combatted American expansion
b. In 1811, William Harrison and the
American forces burned Tecumseh’s
village, Prophet’s Town in Indiana
c. He fought on the side of the British in
the War of 1812 against Americans to
check their expansion, but was killed
4. Indian removals
a. By 1815, Americans outnumbered Indians in the west by a seven-to-one margin
202 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
b. In the 1830s, most Native Americans
from the Appalachians and the Mississippi were cleared out, like an ethnic
c. Tenskwata died in the fi nal removals,
and while other Indian prophets
emerged, these visions and dreams
failed to halt American expansion and
the colonization of Indian lands
C. Alternative to the central state: The Caste War
of the Yucatán
1. The most protracted revolt was the Mayan
revolt against the Mexican government
from 1847 to 1901
2. Early Mayan autonomy
a. The Mayan of the Yucatán escaped
slave labor recruitment for silver mines
or sugar plantations because of their
b. In southern Mesoamerica they
were drawn into long-distance trading
networks and still enjoyed relative
autonomy for centuries
c. They maintained their villages, ruled
by elders, with collective ownership of
the land
3. Growing pressures from the sugar trade
a. In the nineteenth century, regional
elites (white and mestizo) began growing sugar and used debt peonage (cash
advances that obligated them to work
for meager wages) to coerce labor out of
b. During the Mexican-American War of
1846–1848, government officials
sought revenue and soldiers from
Mayan villages
c. In 1847, a small group of free Mayans
began a revolt against local white elites
because of the spiritual, material, and
physical threats that spread and lasted
half a century
D. The Caste War
1. The confl ict was known as the Caste War
because Mayans wanted to defend
their sovereignty, and end their status as
a special caste who paid separate taxes
and did not enjoy the same rights as
2. Mayan armies were successful initially,
and by 1848 they controlled most of the
3. Whites appealed for U.S. and British military aid, offering themselves up for
4. Mayan men returned to farm while the Mexican government finished the 1848 MexicanAmerican war, allowing them to return their
soldiers to defeat the Mayan armies
5. Beginning in 1849, the war took a new
turn and Mexican troops brutally killed
between 30 and 40 percent of the Mayans,
selling captured people into slavery
6. The war degenerated into guerrilla warfare, and grounded to a stalemate
E. Reclaiming a Mayan identity
1. The war transformed the Mayans and
their identity into a spiritual crusade and
cultural separation, not just political
2. Jose Maria Barrera claimed a divine
encounter at the Speaking Cross
a. He forged a syncretic, alternative religion with its sacred center at a stone
temple, Balam Na, “House of God”
3. Mayans managed to create an autonomous
region and polity in the Yucatán, which
was cut off from the Mexican government
4. By the late nineteenth century, the people
of the Speaking Cross faced formidable
disease and hunger
5. The rise of henequen cultivation and production (the stuff of automobile seats and
binding bales for farms) drove the Yucatan
into one giant plantation
a. The Mexican government threw its full
military weight to force Mayans onto
white plantations
6. Hunger and government arms crushed the
rebellion by 1900 and extinguished their
alternative vision
F. The Rebellion of 1857 in India
1. By 1857, the East India Company’s rule in
India was a century old and had become
increasingly autocratic, encompassing the
entire region
2. India under company rule
a. In the 1840s the company increasingly
annexed independent princely states,
removing previous allies from power
b. By collecting taxes directly from the
peasants, bypassed landed nobles as
intermediaries, throwing them into
Chapter 16
c. The company’s new system of settlement enhanced the power of moneylenders, eroded peasant rights, and
transferred judicial authority separated
from Indian society
d. In 1765, the company forced a treaty on
the kingdom of Awadh, forcing tribute
payments to protect the kingdom from
enemies while attempting to monopolize more of their commodities
3. Treaty violations and annexations
a. In 1856, the company, violating treaty
obligations, annexed the kingdom of
b. The British goal in creating a productive colony included major infrastructure development of railroads,
telegraph lines, and a postal network
c. Simmering discontent exploded into
the furious Rebellion of 1857, as
rumors spread among Hindu and Muslim soldiers that they were required to
bite cartridges greased in animal fat
4. Rebellion breaks out
a. On May 10, 1857, a military mutiny
started at a military barrack
b. Soldiers reasserted the authority of the
Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah
c. The revolt spread quickly into a widespread civil rebellion as peasants, artisans, and religious leaders joined in,
which threw the company into a crisis
d. Although the dispossessed aristocracy
and petty landholders led the rebellion,
many individual leaders came from
lower ranks
e. The rebellion led a Muslim theologian
and charismatic prophetic leader of the
common people, Ahmadullah Shah, to
call on Hindus and Muslims to unite
against British rule
5. Participation by the peasantry
a. Peasants claimed the revolt even though
they were brought in by the upper classes
and became important historical actors
b. Common denominator was the experience of oppression
c. Peasants attacked anything that
smacked of company rule or any local
people who benefited from company
rule, especially targeting moneylenders
and local power-holders
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 203
d. The revolt was really a series of revolts
through which local people attempted
to settle local and regional grievances;
no national vision existed
e. The revolt did not challenge traditional
hierarchies of caste and religion
6. Counterinsurgency and pacification
a. By 1858, the British brutally and violently crushed the rebellion
b. The British eliminated the Mughal
dynasty through exile and execution
c. The female leader of the state of Jhansi
in northern India, Laskshmi Bai,
mounted a counterattack against the
British, but died in battle
d. In August, Parliament assumed control
over India, ending company rule and
transferring authority over India to the
British crown
e. While the British had crushed the
rebellion, the various communities
of insurgent groups that orga nized
shocked them
f. The British resumed the work of transforming India into a modern colonial
state and economy, promising religious
toleration, improvements, and local
Indian participation in government
VII. Conclusion
A. The nineteenth century was a time of turmoil
and transformation, not just for powerful forces
but also for individuals offering local alternatives, local circumstances, and traditions
B. When viewed on a global scale, these rebellions
signify the existence of many groups of people
yearning for an independent world with multiple centers and historical trajectories.
C. Rebel leaders cultivated power and prestige
D. At the center of alternative visions, common
people and their voices gained a place on the
historical stage, compelling ruling elites to
adjust the way they governed
Invention of “Tribalism” and Traditions
The giant intellectuals in African history, as well as advocacy groups, have furthered the discussion on the invented
and stereotypical use of the word “tribe,” as well as the
204 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
invention of tribalism. A number of scholars, most notably, Hobsbawm, Ranger, and Vail argue that “tribe” and
notions of “tribalism” were invented by Eu ropeans in the
nineteenth century, as they conquered and colonized
Africa. Nineteenth-century Eu rope was a period of scientific empiricism as well as pseudo-scientific racism
and even classification of people into “tribes.” African
scholars argue that ethnicity, identity, and language are
fluid in Africa. On the other hand, Eu ropeans wanted
to categorize and legalize ethnic categories, creating
identity cards and passes that forced ethnic categories.
See the following two articles and books for further
Christopher Ehret, “Introducing Africa and Its History,”
in The Civilizations of Africa, pp. 3–17.
Chris Lowe, 2008. “Talking about ‘Tribe’: Moving from
Stereotypes to Analysis.” www.africaaction.org/talk
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, 1983. The Invention
of Tradition.
Leroy Vail, 1989. The Creation of Tribalism in Southern
1. Why do African historians criticize the term “tribe”?
How did the phenomenon develop in the nineteenth
2. What alternative terms do Christopher Ehret and
Christopher Lowe offer instead of the term “tribe”?
How are they more analytical or accurate?
3. How does Christopher Lowe illustrate the problematic concept of “tribe” in the example of the Rwandan
Henequen Cultivation and the Rise
of the Capitalist Industrialist
Because of global forces, in late nineteenth-century Mesoamerica, the growth of henequen as a textile crop turned
the somewhat politically autonomous Yucatán into a
giant plantation serving white and mestizo planters. A
lecture on this topic demonstrates the clash between
the industrial capitalist order and alternative visions of
social and economic order. Mayans managed to create
an autonomous political region and polity in the Yucatán, which was cut off from the rest of Mexico, until the
rise of henequen cultivation and production and world
demand for henequen, the stuff of automobile seats and
binding bales for farms, One source for an interesting
discussion on the topic is “The Tie That Bound” in Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik’s The World That
Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy,
1400–the Present (1999). See also Don Dumond’s The
Machete and the Cross: Campesino Rebellion in Yucatan.
You could make ready comparisons to the dramatic economic shifts in other regions as local sources of income
were depleted or altered, in par tic u lar these confl icts in
values similar to those of Chinese peasants controlled
by the Manchu.
1. Why did henequen become such an important global
2. How did the demand for henequen change the Yucatan
politically? Socially? Econom ical ly?
3. What kind of influence did it have on the developing
global trade? Who did most of the labor in its processing? Who profited the most from it?
Frontier Comparisons: South Africa and the
United States in Colonization
South African and American historians delve into some
compelling discussions on white settler frontiers in the
two countries. Expansion and colonization allowed for a
white racial and cultural identity as well as the concept of
an expanding and growing nation-state. You might also
bring local rebellions and confl icts to light. You may want
to parallel the lives of the Zulu leaders Shaka and Cetshwayo, and the Sioux leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
You can contextualize the events surrounding their lives,
including the encroachment of colonial whites, attempts
at appeasement, and the extent of local visions in creating
a new society without Europeans and colonization. For
further reading, see:
Robert Hine and John Mack Faragher, 2000. The American West: A New Interpretive History.
Susan Newton-King, 2009. Masters and Servants on the
Cape Eastern Frontier, 1760–1803.
Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, 1997. Of Revelation
and Revolution, Volume 2: The Dialectics of Modernity
on a South African Frontier.
The following Web sites might provide teaching ideas
as well as images:
New Perspectives on the West
Autry Museum
Africa and Europe: 1800 to 1914
storyofafrica/index _section11.shtml
1. How did new frontiers help new countries develop
their sense of identity?
Chapter 16
2. These figures who attempted to bridge or stave off
encroaching colonization. What kind of a world were
they attempting to create?
Industrial Revolution and the Beginning of the
Trade Union Movement
Assign Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Communist Manifesto of 1848, which called on the workers of all nations to
unite and overthrow capitalism. Karl Marx (1818–1883)
became the most important Restoration-era radical from
1815 to 1848. In an era dominated by conservative monarchies in Europe, socialists and communists were among
other radicals, liberals, utopian socialists, nationalists,
abolitionists, and religious leaders who organized to create a better world. Many of these movements were continuations of French Revolution ideals and also included
economic and social equality components as well as political ones. Socialists and communists were concerned
about the inequity gap between impoverished workers
and new wealthy employers, as well as the division of
labor common with the industrial revolution, turning
people into machines. This document helps show the
popularity and power of the movement and its legacies
into the twentieth century. You may want to ask the students why and how ordinary workers, artisans, domestic
servants, and women would be attracted by the arguments articulated in the Manifesto. Why would they be
willing to join radical economic prophets in staging
strikes, riots, peasant rebellions, and protests to campaign for economic, social, and political equality? What
was the level of anxiety in Europe due to population shifts,
economic changes, and global industrialization? Despite
their failures to bring about a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” their many admirers and followers never abandoned the dream of social or economic reconfiguration
and launched the trade union movement with great successes over time in achieving better work conditions. It
might help students understand the Manifesto if they
understood the social and economic problems caused by
the industrial revolution. See the following Web sites for
further reading:
History Matters: The U.S. Survey Course on the Web
The American Social History Project (of City University
of New York and George Mason University, with initial
funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation) is a gateway to Web resources, teaching resources, and primary
source documents, including music, for teachers of
high school and college American history
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 205
Labor History Links
Great University of Illinois Web site on teaching
resources and fi lms for labor history
You can fi nd the Manifesto on a number of sites,
Manifesto of the Communist Party
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
The following are some of the questions you will want
your students to consider as they read, and later discuss,
the Manifesto.
1. What is the link between the industrial revolution
and socialism and communism?
2. What mattered most in Marx and Engel’s material
3. What was their utopian vision of the world? And how
would it be achieved?
The Industrial Revolution, Trade Unions, and
the Yellow Peril in the United States: Chinese
Chinese arrived in the United States in the 1830s in small
numbers. However, with the California gold rush of 1848,
over 20,000 Chinese arrived in the 1850s. American labor
groups viewed the influx of Chinese immigrants as “yellow
peril” and “cheap working slaves” who undercut American laborers. Chinese were required to pay an alien poll
tax, not allowed to testify in court, and called “Indians.”
The 1870s economic depression added more fuel to antiChinese racist sentiment and riots, and Chinese Americans
became scapegoats during difficult economic times. A
number of labor organizations, even ones with names like
the Anti-Coolies Association and the Supreme Order of
the Caucasians, ran boycotts of Chinese businesses and
instigated riots in Chinatowns across the American West.
Ronald Takaki’s Strangers from a Different Shore: A History
of Asian Americans (1998) is a good source. Also take a look
at the following Web sites, which have some interesting
primary source documents for students to read:
National Archives Teaching with Documents: Affidavit and
Flyers from the Chinese Boycott Case
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
has a great collection of primary sources with lesson
206 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
History Matters: “Our Misery and Despair”: Kearney Blasts
Chinese Immigration
Library of Congress: The Chinese in California, 1850–1925
A large collection of thousands of images and documents
on the Chinese in California
1. Why were Chinese targeted as racial scapegoats during difficult economic times?
2. How did some Chinese and Americans fight back?
Prophet Nongqawuse and the Xhosa
Cattle-Killing Movement
The story of a young girl prophet, Nongqawuse and the
Xhosa people is a fascinating one. It reveals the turmoil of
nineteenth-century Xhosa people and the hope of prophetic
revitalization, which provided an alternative vocabulary
of political and spiritual legitimacy, after their defeat to
white settlers: the British and Afrikaners (Dutch descendants). The Xhosa people suffered two major war defeats
at the hands of the British and their Afrikaner allies: the
Xhosa war of 1835, in the settler hunger for more land and
territory as they trekked and expanded northeast into the
interior of South Africa, and the 1846 War of the Axe, in
which their territory was completely annexed by the British, and they were destroyed as a political entity and became
a part of British Kaffaria. In 1856–1857, in search for restoration, the Xhosa put their faith in a young girl, Nongqawuse. She claimed she had visions, partly Christian
influenced and partly influenced by Xhosa traditions and
gods. She prophesized that if the Xhosa were willing to kill
their cattle and destroy their pots of grain, then their world
would return to economic prosperity and the white settlers would be driven to the sea. They did just that. They
killed their cattle, and destroyed their pots of grain. In
addition, a lung sickness epidemic destroyed the rest of the
cattle and a terrible famine hit the region, resulting in the
deaths of thousands of Xhosa people.
1. Why would the Xhosa believe a 16-year-old girl’s
prophecy? What kind of a world vision did she promise would return?
2. What are some alternative interpretations of this event?
3. Why are there Christian ideas associated with these
For further reading, see:
Jeff Peires, 1989. The Dead Will Arise: Nongqawuse and the
Great Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement of 1856–7.
“New Trends in the Historiography of the Xhosa CattleKilling Movement,” 2008. African Studies 67:2.
Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement
Yale history PhD student Andrew Offenburger created
a great Web site on Nongqawuse, based on his MA
research. Images of comic books, art, and a bibliographic guide
Nunna daul Isunyi—“The Trail Where
They Cried”
In 1838, the U.S. government forced the removal of Cherokees from the state of Georgia to Oklahoma. Fifteen thousand Cherokee made a bitter winter trek covering 850
miles, where a quarter of the people who started (~4,000)
died en route. As one of the “civilized” tribes, the Cherokee nation and people had created a constitution and
become Christian, with Cherokee bibles and newspapers.
Their legal battles lead to U.S. Supreme Court decisions,
which U.S. President Andrew Jackson defied. You may
want to show the fi lm We Shall Remain: Cherokee Trail of
Tears (2009). This phenomenal PBS series should be on
every undergraduate or even high school student fi lm list.
This five-part series is a collaborative project between
Native American and other fi lmmakers to create a historically rich, compelling music and history from the early
European settlement and interactions with the Wampanoags to Wounded Knee. Each episode is a complete
fi lm on its own, and the most compelling is the “Trail of
Tears.” There is a worthwhile companion Web site with
teaching resources, including fi lm transcriptions and
_broadcast/teach _and_learn
Cherokee Nation: Trail of Tears
A good source for both essays and primary sources on the
Trail of Tears from the perspective of the Cherokee
1. What is the Trail of Tears? How did it occur?
2. What was the role of the Supreme Court? Andrew
Jackson’s role? What are the legacies of American government actions?
3. Who were John Ross and John Ridge? What were the
roles of the Cherokee nation leadership, and how did
they differ in their approaches? What was their vision
for the future of the Cherokee nation? Why was there
Chapter 16
dissension in the leadership? What are the legacies of
Cherokee decisions?
The Mexican-American War and the Politics of Song
Using the following Web sites, divide students into groups
and provide each group with lyrics from one of the rebel
songs. Instruct them to read the lyrics from “The Maid of
Monterrey,” “The Death of Ringgold,” and the Mexican
national anthem.
U.S.-Mexican War: 1846–1848
Go to the Educators Section and the Lesson Plan “Songs
of War”
The Mudcat Café: Maid of Monterrey
(click on “Maid of Monterrey”)
Himno Nacional Mexico
Other songs are available online as well. In the Mudcat
Café site’s video clip library, you can play one or two songs
for them as well. Have each group unpack the songs for
relevant symbols. How did the songs build support for the
war and/or nationalism? How did they create a sense of
rightness for the war? Once students have created lists of
symbols, bring them back together to discuss which symbols were the same and which were different. Why? For
example, religious symbols are invoked in many of the
Mexican songs because of the majority Catholic population. That was not possible in the United States; other
commonalities had to be discovered. For more information on sheet music, how to interpret it, and its value in
history, in par ticu lar the Mexican-American War, see:
19th- Century California Sheet Music
1. What role do songs play during war time?
2. How do war songs both romanticize and criticize wars?
Edward Said’s discussion on orientalism is one of the most
influential in postcolonial studies. Said questions the predominant Eu ropean view of the “East,” or the “other,”
which was essentially Asia, in contrast to the “West,” the
“occident,” or Europe. Discuss the development of the term
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 207
orientalism during this period. Provide students with a
range of images that are considered classic to the age of
colonialism and represent European ideas of the “Oriental.” These can range from early realist paintings by JeanLeon Gérôme and Jean-August-Dominique Ingres to later
paintings by James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Paul
Gauguin. Ask students to discuss what they see in these
paintings. What might be considered “oriental,” according
to the academic defi nition? What do they see in the images
that might be paradoxical? What influences are present
that we fi nd in material culture today? Why did Europeans
need to develop a new identity within which to homogenize varieties of people groups? What historical function
did it serve?
Edward Said, 1979. Orientalism.
Edward Said, 2012. Culture and Imperialism.
1. What are orientalism and the “orient” according to
2. How is it contrasted with the “occident,” or the West?
■ From Harmony to Revolution: The Birth and Growth of
Socialism (2005, 57 min.). Focusing on the American utopian socialist movement, this fi lm looks at how socialist
principles became militaristic in Russia but political in
the United States. First, it follows the rise of Lenin and the
USSR, and then it expands on Marx’s analysis of revolution by reviewing the later actions of Eugene Debs and
Samuel Gompers as well as others active in American
socialism. In par ticu lar, the fi lm discusses the New Harmony experiment started by Robert Owen.
■ Karl Marx (2006, 22 min.). This film offers a biographical and contextual timeline of Karl Marx, one of the
world’s most important intellectual thinkers. Beginning
with his childhood, it proceeds through his youth, his life
in Paris and Brussels, and his relationship with Engels.
The fi lm includes spoken excerpts from many of his writings and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of his
philosophy. By contextualizing his life, it shows Marx’s
compassion for the global working class, which inspired
his theories and undermines many of the myths about his
■ Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005, 130 min.). This film is
based on the life of Mangal Pandey, the Brahman East India
Company soldier who led the attack on his British superiors, sparking the Indian Mutiny of 1857. This epic presents
the Indian viewpoint but leaves no group unscathed, criticizing British imperialists as well as Gandhi for his conciliatory stance. The movie provides another opportunity to
208 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
discuss alternative voices as well as how the British used
Hindu symbolism and cultural mores to encourage colonial conformity among the Indians, as mentioned in the
text chapter. The flaws in the fi lm should be discussed,
among them the mythologizing of Pandey. The fi lm shows
the British killing civilians—but no evidence exists that
this ever happened. The fi lm shows the British practicing
slavery—this was not policy, and some of the retribution
that the British take in the fi lm is exaggerated. However,
on the whole, the fi lm provides a good counterweight to
the more often heard historical accounts of the rebellion.
■ The Secrets of the Dead: The Day of the Zulu (2001,120 min.).
This series uses a scientific approach (à la CSI) to reevaluate historical events. In The Day of the Zulu, the scientists
evaluate physical evidence on both sides of the Battle of
Isandlwana, where the British were roundly defeated by
the Zulu nation in South Africa. Taking into account a
solar eclipse on that day, battle tactics, the Zulu’s use of
hallucinogenic drugs before battle, and one strategic mistake on the British side, the fi lm explains the outcome of
this battle. An accompanying Web site provides a step-bystep plan of the battle as well as teacher resources:
_zulu/index .html
■ U.S.–Mexican War 1845–1848 (four parts, 1998,
240 min.). These PBS videos portray alternative views of
the U.S.-Mexican war that up to now has been, historically, one-sided. Not only does the series explore the relationship between the United States and Mexico, but also
it looks at the repercussions that the land transfer had on
the two countries after the war. Told from multiple points
of view and featuring both Mexican and American historians, the series makes a genuine attempt at fairly balancing
the perspectives of this event. PBS/KERA’s binational
education project, “The U.S.-Mexican War (1846–1848),”
offers an overview of the war as well as resource materials.
U.S.-Mexican War
www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/index _flash.html
■ We Shall Remain: Cherokee Trail of Tears (2009, 450 min.).
This phenomenal PBS series should be on every undergraduate or even high school student film list. This five-part
series is a collaborative project between Native American
and other fi lmmakers to create a historically rich, compelling music and history from the early European settlement and interactions with the Wampanoags to Wounded
Knee. Each episode is a complete fi lm on its own, and the
most compelling is the “Trail of Tears.” There is a worthwhile companion Web site with teaching resources, including fi lm transcriptions and questions.
Benedict Anderson, 1983. Imagined Communities.
Dee Brown, 1970. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An
Indian History of the American West.
Anne M. Butler, 2007. Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery:
Prostitutes in the American West, 1865–90.
Gregory Evans Dowd, 1992. A Spirited Resistance: The
North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745–1815.
Don E. Dumond, 1997. The Machete and the Cross: Campesino
Rebellion in Yucatan.
Norman Etherington, 2001. The Great Treks.
Eric Gilbert and Jonathan T. Reynolds, 2012. Africa in
World History, 3rd ed.
Carolyn Hamilton, 1998. Terrific Majesty: The Powers of
Shaka Zulu and the Limits of Historical Invention.
Eric Hobsbawm, 1992. Nations and Nationalism since 1780:
Programme, Myth, Reality.
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, 1983. The Invention
of Tradition.
Albert L. Hurtado, 1999. Intimate Frontiers: Sex, Gender,
and Culture in Old California (Histories of the American Frontier).
Spencer Klaw, 1994. Without Sin: The Life and Death of the
Oneida Community.
Ian Knight, 2006. Brave Men’s Blood: The Epic of the Zulu
War, 1879.
Paul Landau, 2010. Popular Politics in the History of South
Africa, 1400–1948.
Stewart Lone, ed., 2007. Daily Lives of Civilians in War time
Asia: From the Taiping Rebellion to the Vietnam War.
Aran MacKinnon, 2012. The Making of South Africa, Culture and Politics.
Donald R. Morris, 1998. The Washing of the Spears: A History of the Rise of the Zulu Nation under Shaka and Its
Fall in the Zulu War of 1879.
Jeff Peires, 1981. The House of Phalo: A History of the Xhosa
People in their Days of Independence.
Jeff Peires, 1989. The Dead Will Arise: Nongqawuse and the
Great Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement of 1856–7.
Warren Perry and and E. Kofi Agorsah, 1999. Landscape
Transformations and the Archaeology of Impact: Social
Disruption and State Formation in Southern Africa.
Nelson Reed, 2001. The Caste War of Yucatán, rev. ed.
Robert Ross, 2000. A Concise History of South Africa.
Edward Said, 1979. Orientalism.
Edward Said, 2012. Culture and Imperialism.
Jonathan D. Spence, 1996. God’s Chinese Son: The Taiping
Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan.
Chapter 16
Ibraheem Sulaiman, 1986. Revolution in History: The
Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio.
P. J. O. Taylor, ed., 1997. The Oxford India Companion to
the “Indian Mutiny” of 1857.
Leroy Vail, 1989. The Creation of Tribalism in Southern
Nigel Worden, 2011. The Making of Modern South Africa:
Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy.
Autry Museum
BBC: The Story of Africa: Africa and Europe (1800–1914)
University of Buckingham military historian and broadcaster Saul David wrote the following set of lectures
for BBC:
ryofafrica/index _section11.shtml
Cherokee Nation: Trail of Tears
A good source for both essays and primary sources on
the Trail of Tears from the perspective of the Cherokee
The History Guide: Utopian Socialists: Charles Fourier,
Robert Owen, Saint-Simon
Professor of History and Military Studies at American
Public University’s John Steven Kreis started a Web
site for high school and college undergraduates with a
series of lectures on Europe
The Internet Modern Sourcebook: The Long Nineteenth
Century: The Hegemony of the West
Fordham University’s Paul Halsall gathered a great
resource of primary sources
Library of Congress: The Chinese in California, 1850–1925
A large collection of thousands of images and documents
on Chinese in California
The Mexican-American War and the Media,
Virginia Tech University’s history department has created
sources for transcriptions of newspaper articles, indexes,
images, bibliographies, timelines, and official
www.history.vt.edu/MxAmWar/INDEX .HTM
Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
◆ 209
National Archives Teaching with Documents: Affidavit and
Flyers from the Chinese Boycott Case
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
has a great collection of primary sources with lesson plans
National Park Ser vice: The Museum of the Cherokee
This $3.5 million dollar exhibit combines photos,
images, special effects, and audio with an extensive
artifact collection to tell the story of the Cherokee
nation, including the tragic Trail of Tears
PBS: Indian Country Diaries
A teaching resource and summary of the fi lm
PBS: New Perspectives on the West
PBS created the West, a multimedia guided tour in 2001,
through each episode of an eight-part documentary
series by the same name that premiered on PBS stations in September 1996. This Web tour offers selected
documentary materials, archival images and commentary, as well as links to background information and
other resource materials
PBS: We Shall Remain
Phenomenal set of five fi lms with a worthwhile companion Web site with teaching resources, including fi lm
transcriptions and questions.
Reading Photographs: Imaging and Imagining the Ghost
Dance: James Mooney’s Illustrations and Photographs,
Thomas W. Kavanagh of Indiana University posted photographs and other images, reproduced courtesy of the
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian
Institution, in a Web essay on the Ghost Dance
Tecumseh: A Biography
University of Toronto/Université Laval created an online
museum on the war of 1812
www.warof1812 .ca/tecumseh.htm
The U.S.–Mexican War
PBS/KERA’s binational education project, “The U.S.Mexican War (1846–1848),” offers an overview of the
war as well as resource materials
www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/index _flash.html
210 ◆ Chapter 16 Alternative Visions of the Nineteenth Century
Wounded Knee: Museum Virtual Tour
Wounded Knee Museum in South Dakota also has virtual museum exhibits, including one on Wovoka’s
Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee encampment
Xhosa Cattle-Killing Movement
Yale history PhD student Andrew Offenburger created a
great Web site on Nongqawuse and the Xhosa CattleKilling Movement, based on his MA research. Images
of comic books, art, and a bibliographic guide
Pagan Kennedy, 2002. Black Livingstone: A True Tale of
Adventure in the Nineteenth- Century Congo.
Robin Law and Paul E. Lovejoy, eds., 2006. The Biography
of Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua: His Passage from Slavery to Freedom in Africa and America.
Margaret McCord, 1998. The Calling of Katie Makanya:
A Memoir of South Africa.
Ida Pruitt, 1945. A Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of
a Chinese Working Woman.
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
▶ Consolidating Nations and Constructing Empires
Building Nationalism
Expanding the Empires
Expansion and Nation Building in the Americas
The United States
Latin America
Consolidation of Nation-States in Europe
Defi ning “the Nation”
Unification in Germany and in Italy
Nation Building and Ethnic Confl ict in the AustroHungarian Empire
Domestic Discontents in France and Britain
Industry, Science, and Technology
New Materials, Technologies, and Business Practices
Integration of the World Economy
From 1850 to 1914, Europeans benefited from nation-state
building and imperial expansion and changed the map
of the world. Colonization and nationalism intertwined,
advanced simultaneously, and were pushed forward by the
industrial revolution in the second half of the nineteenth
century. Governments “nationalized” diverse populations
with laws, education, military ser vice, and government,
rather than by territory, history, and culture. Not all peoples
identified with the nation-state or empire, as the concept
of nation-state certainly did not eliminate ethnic, class, or
gender inequalities. One major consequence of nation
building was that it sparked colonized peoples and racial or
ethnic minorities to redefi ne the ideas and language of
“nation” and assert the values of self-determination. Subject peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Americas resisted, often
eloquently incorporating nationalist declarations of their
colonial regimes to shame them for violating their own
standards of freedom and self-determination.
I. Consolidating nations and constructing empires
A. Nationalism spread in the eighteenth century
because of the Enlightenment
▶ Global Expansionism and an Age of Imperialism
India and the Imperial Model
Dutch Colonial Rule in Indonesia
Colonizing Africa
The American Empire
Imperialism and Culture
Pressures of Expansion in Japan, Russia, and China
Japanese Transformation and Expansion
Russian Transformation and Expansion
China under Pressure
B. Enlightenment philosophes defi ned nations as
“peoples who shared a common past, territory,
culture and traditions”
C. Building nationalism
1. Ruling elites created nations by creating a
central bureaucracy, laws, markets, military, education, and a “national” language
2. Nation-states in the late nineteenth century
were varied: some were based on old
national identities (Japan, England, France,
Spain, and Portugal), others were brand new
states that formed because of military conquests (Germany and Italy), while multinational empires like Russia and Austria faced
secessionist challenges from intellectuals
D. Expanding the empires
1. Nation-state building and imperialism, or
the conquest of new territories, went hand
in hand
2. Germany, France, the United States, Russia, and Japan caught up to Britain by
industrializing and scrambling to acquire
212 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
3. Colonialism facilitated the movement of
people, labor, capital, resources, commodities, and information
4. Colonial subjects, the people who were
conquered, were not considered members
of the nation and did not benefit from the
colonial relationship
II. Expansion and Nation Building in the Americas
A. New nations in the New World—the United
States Canada, and Brazil—shared similar
goals and incorporated new frontiers while
using different methods to subjugate indigenous peoples and administer their new
B. The United States
1. Manifest Destiny: Americans believed it
was God’s will to expand westward, and
obtained new territories via purchase,
and military warfare
a. The United States gained California
through the Mexican-American War
of 1846–1848
b. The gold rush in California led to a
great American migration to the state
in the 1850s
c. The gold rush also inspired a rush of
immigrants from around the world,
creating a cosmopolitan place
2. Civil War and states’ rights
a. Territorial expansion and the question of free or slave labor in the new
territories eventually caused the Civil
War. This second American revolution led to the abolition of slavery and
the granting of citizenship to former
male slaves
b. After the Civil War in the South, the
Ku Klux Klan terrorized African Americans and attempted to restore white
planter rule.
c. Post–Civil War Americans created a
stronger national government, which
brought dramatic economic growth; by
1900, the United States had 200,000
miles of railroad track
3. Economic and industrial development
a. United States joined Britain and Germany as an economic giant
b. The limited-liability joint-stock company became a powerful source of
mobilizing capital from shareholders,
and banks and brokerage fi rms as intermediaries made a killing
i. One percent of all Americans controlled 90 percent of its wealth
c. The 1890s overproduction led the
American economy into a deep
d. Class confl ict heightened
i. Millions of urban workers lost
their jobs
ii. Labor leaders blamed the industrial capitalist state and called for
iii. Farmers faced bankruptcy
C. Canada
1. Like the United States, Canada built a new
nation based on vast agricultural land for
European immigrants; however, their separation from Britain was peaceful
2. Building a nation
a. French and English speakers created
sharply different communities based on
language, religion, and culture
b. 1867, Canada gained Independence by
an Act of Parliament in London, and
not through revolution, as a “dominion” within the British Commonwealth
3. Territorial expansion
a. In response to U.S. expansion, Canada
expanded west to build and integrate
their nation
b. The government lured European and
American emigrants to settle and invest
with fi nancial incentives and property
c. The Canadian government signed treaties, used warfare, and created the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police to resolve
frontier land confl icts with Indians
4. Canada emerged with a strong central government but a weak sense of national
D. Latin America
1. In Latin America, the richest lands went to
large estate holders with cash crops, and
these elites monopolized power much
more so than in North America
2. Brazil: Expansion and economic
a. Like Canada and the United States,
Brazil also extended their territories,
incorporating the distant Amazon
River basin region around Manaus
Chapter 17
b. Rubber production in the region
brought great wealth to merchants,
landowners, and workers
c. The rubber boom went bust because of
overproduction, increased cost, and
international competition
III. Consolidation of Nation-States in Europe
A. In Europe, former monarchies and elites were
pushed into sharing power with citizens who
increasingly defi ned themselves as subjects of a
nation rather than provinces.
B. Defi ning “the nation”
1. Late eighteenth-century intellectuals
changed the notion of “nation”
a. Adam Smith: the wealth of each nation
is based on the output of its producers
b. Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes: the nation is
made up of workers, and all men were
equal under the law
2. Literacy, press, standardized laws, taxes,
roads, and railroads laid the foundations
for emerging nation-states and their political integration
3. But who were the people?
a. In the past, the people of a community
were based on religion, language, or
under the domain of a prince
b. The 1848 Revolutions attempted to
defi ne and bring power to “the people,”
but they were not always successful
C. Unification in Germany and Italy
1. Prussia and Piedmont-Sardinia exploited
nationalist sentiments and swallowed
their linguistically related neighbors to
create two new nation-states, Germany
and Italy
2. Building unified states
a. Question: who are the people of a
b. Liberal nationalists won the argument
that language overrides religious
c. German’s Otto von Bismarck and Piedmont’s Camillo di Cavour successfully
created Germany and Italy with clever
diplomacy and military power.
3. States’ internal confl icts
a. The new states rejected democracy
b. The states were not cohesive
c. “National minorities” rights came into
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆ 213
d. Berlin felt themselves in the shadow of
D. Nation building and ethnic confl ict in the
Austro-Hungarian Empire
1. Germany’s wars of unification came at the
expense of Habsburg or the AustriaHungarian supremacy in central Europe
a. The Compromise of 1867, after the German defeat of the Austrians, resulted in
the Austro-Hungarian Empire
b. The Austro-Hungarian empire was
plagued by questions of language, ethnicity, race, and religion
i. Czech, Polish, Slavic, Italian,
Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Ukrainian, or German?
ii. Influx of Eastern European Jews
and Slavs migrating to the large
iii. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish
E. Domestic discontents in France and Britain
1. While France and Britain were already
unified as nation-states, they faced major
2. Destabilization in France
a. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870–
1871 destabilized France
b. France signed a humiliating peace
treaty with Germany
c. The French created a conservative
Third Republic, leading to:
i. Sharp class confl icts over the
ii. Rising anti-German nationalism
and desire for revenge
iii. Increasing and virulent racism
against colonial subjects
3. Irish nationalism in Great Britain
a. The idea that all Britons (English,
Welsh, Scottish, and Irish) belong
to the same nation-state was a
b. England responded to working-class
agitation by granting political rights to
all men (but not women)
c. English successes; its economic prosperity, dominance as a world power,
and vast colonies; and the long reign of
Queen Victoria helped bind the working and middle classes along with the
elites to the nation
214 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
d. The Irish pressed for home rule within
the British Empire
i. 300 years of oppressive English
ii. Catholic (Irish) and Protestant
political and economic inequalities (while legal equality was
fi nally achieved in 1836)
iii. The British failure to act during
the potato famine of 1846–1849
4. By the late nineteenth century, European
nation-states were shaped by literacy,
urbanization, and warfare, with a concept
of “the people” as adult males.
IV. Industry, Science, and Technology
A. The second industrial revolution, from 1850,
reordered the global relationships
B. New materials, technologies, and business
1. Steel, coal, oil, electricity, and other
chemicals and pharmaceuticals became
miracle essentials for industrial production like automobiles, shipbuilding, and
2. The revolution saw new business practices
develop in Europe and the United States,
such as the creation of joint-stock companies to mobilize large capital
a. U.S. Steel, Standard Oil, and Siemens
are a few examples
C. Integration of the world economy
1. This second industrial revolution concentrated and reinforced economic power for
these industrializing nations
2. Movements of labor and technology
a. The world economy created a demand
for labor in fields, factories, and
i. Indians indentured themselves to
work on sugar plantations and
railroads in the Caribbean, Mauritius, Fiji, and Southern and East
ii. Chinese worked on the railroads
in the Western United States,
including California, and on the
sugar plantations of Cuba
iii. Irish, Poles, Jews, Italians, and
Greeks flocked to factory work in
North America
iv. Italians farmed wheat and corn in
b. New technologies in warfare and transportation increased European global
dominance and economic integration
i. Steam-powered gunboats and
breech-loading rifles opened new
territories for conquest and trade
ii. Railroads facilitated the movement of peoples and goods to
coastal ports
iii. The Suez Canal allowed for more
efficient travel between Europe
and Asia
iv. Telegraph cable technology created quicker communication
3. Charles Darwin and natural selection
a. British Scientist Darwin’s Origin of Species
laid out the principle of natural selection
i. The “struggle for existence”
among species for a limited food
supply, along with sexual selection, resulted in the “fittest” surviving to reproduce
b. Social Darwinism, the application of
Darwin’s theory of animals and birds to
humans, emerged to justify:
i. The suffering of underclasses
ii. The right to rule
iii. European racial and cultural
V. Global expansionism and an age of imperialism
A. In the late nineteenth century, increasing
European rivalries created a frenzy of imperialism and territorial conquest primarily in
Africa, but also in Asia.
B. India and the imperial model
1. Britain’s government rule in India proved
to be a model for other colonial rulers
2. British government replaced East India
Company (EIC) rule in 1858, a period
known as the Raj or “rule”
a. The government continued the EIC’s
practice of modernizing the transportation and communication system and
integrating India into a colonial state
b. By 1910, Indian taxpayers paid for and
constructed the fourth largest railroad
network in the world
i. Other public works projects
included dams and telegraph lines
c. The British instituted these public
works projects, including dams and
telegraph lines, to better access to raw
Chapter 17
materials from India and better distribute British manufactured goods
i. India supplied the British with cotton, jute, tea, wheat, and oil seeds
d. Despite India’s trade surpluses, the
British extracted taxes and debt payments from India by imposing payments for its colonial administration,
troops, and interest for public works
e. While Indians developed a unified territory and a national identity as “Indians” under colonial rule, they were
denied their own political community
and sovereignty
C. Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia
1. Even earlier than in British India, Holland
transitioned from Dutch East India Company control to government rule in the
2. The Dutch forced Indonesians to grow
coffee on one-third of their land, but paid
them less than market price
a. In the 1840s and 1850s, Indonesia
faced famine
b. Over 300,000 Indonesians starved to
c. Colonial Dutch government cracked
down on discontent
3. As a response, the Dutch began an ethical
policy for ruling Asia and encouraged
Dutch settlement
4. The Dutch crushed Indonesian armed
5. The Dutch profited im mensely from their
Indonesian colony and their export crops
D. Colonizing Africa
1. Africa bore the brunt of European rivalries
and imperialism
a. Europe carved most of Africa into colonies in a short period of 30 years
b. Sparked by Britain’s invasion and occupation of Egypt, which the French considered theirs
c. European powers, the United States,
and the Ottoman Empire met in Berlin
in 1884–1885 to recognize the claims
made by European power that had
achieved occupation on the ground.
2. Partitioning the African landmass
a. New colonial boundaries ignored previous African states, as well as ethnic, language, cultural, and commercial centers
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆ 215
b. Motivations for conquest and partition
in Africa
i. European explorers intrigued and
excited readers with accounts of
Africa and its unlimited economic
a. David Livingstone, a Scottish
doctor and missionary whose
stories intrigued the West
b. Henry Morton Stanley, who
was hired by the New York Herald to fi nd Livingstone
c. Carl Peters formed German
East Africa
d. King Leopold II of Belgium
seized as his personal territory
a region he named the Congo
Free State
e. Cecil Rhodes championed
British imperialism in southern Africa, with the creation of
the Rhodesias, Nyasaland,
Bechuanaland, the Transvaal,
and the Orange Free State.
Europe’s civilizing mission:
Missionaries went ahead of
European armies to convert
souls to Christianity
3. African resistance
a. Africans resisted European rule in two
ways: They capitulated to Europeans to
negotiate to limit the loss of autonomy,
or they fought directly to preserve their
b. Lat Dior of Senegal died in a battle with
the French in 1886, fighting their
attempts to infi ltrate the interior and
build railways
c. Menelik II of Ethiopia repulsed the
Europeans because of his skill in playing European rivals against each other
and his modern, well-equipped army
i. In the Battle of Adwa in 1896,
Ethiopia defeated the Italians, a
well-celebrated moment in African history
d. European military technology, especially the breech-loading and the
maxim machine guns, were superior to
African military technology
e. However, some Africans adapted their
military tactics like Samori Touré, who
used guerrilla tactics against the French
216 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
in the West African savannah; he was
eventually defeated after 16 years
4. Colonial administrations in Africa
a. Some European administrations, such as
Leopold’s Congo, relied on brute force
b. Actual power fell to “men on the spot”
or military adventurers, settlers, and
avaricious entrepreneurs
i. Europeans created standing
armies for colonial control
ii. These rough-and-ready systems
led to violent African revolts
c. With “civilization” goals unmet, Europeans created new colonial regimes
with three major purposes:
i. Colonies would pay for their own
ii. Administrators would preserve
peace and crush rebellions
iii. Colonies would attract missionaries, settlers, and merchants
d. Europeans perceived their African colonies like British India: that they would
export raw materials and import manufactured goods
i. Africans did not benefit from this
ii. Africans paid a high cost to their
traditional social, economic, and
political life
a. In Southern Africa, men were
coerced and forced to work in
hazardous gold mines with
inadequate health ser vices
b. Companies made huge profits
for Europeans
e. European colonial rule was fragile,
maintained heavily by military and
police forces
E. The American Empire
1. The United States followed the European
model of colonization
2. In the 1890s, the United States declared
war on Spain and invaded the Philippines,
Puerto Rico, and Cuba
a. Puerto Rico was easily annexed
b. Cubans resisted annexation
c. Filipinos launched a war of independence, but after 2 years of bitter fighting, the Philippines became an
American colony
3. The United States revised their expansionist model into one where large corpora-
tions with government support would
intervene in other nations’ foreign affairs
and turn them into dependent client states
F. Imperialism and culture
1. Expansion, conquest, and colonization
brought wealth to Europeans and Americans and reinforced notions of cultural
and racial superiority.
2. Orientalism: non-Western peoples were
considered exotic, sensuous, and economical ly backward
a. In The Descent of Man, 1873, Darwin
classified people into:
i. Higher races, or Europeans, who
were anointed by God or by Nature
ii. Lower or darker races, who were
not as evolved as Europeans and
would not be able to catch up
iii. “Evolues”: Africans who studied
European languages, sciences, and
religions, so that they might hope
to evolve
3. Celebrating imperialism
a. The invention of photographs spread
popu lar images serving imperial propaganda at home and abroad
b. Boys’ literature focused on adventure
in exotic locales, savage Africans, and
devious “Orientals”
c. Girls’ literature stressed domestic service, childrearing, and nurturing in
order to populate more of the world
VI. Pressures of expansion in Japan, Russia, and China
A. Japan, Russia, and China provide three contrasting models of expansion and conquest in
East Asia
B. Japanese transformation and expansion
1. In the 1850s, Americans, Russians, Dutch,
and the British forced the Tokugawa rulers
into humiliating treaties opening Japanese
a. In 1868, young military reformers toppled the Tokugawa Shogunate, promising its former mythic greatness
i. The Meiji Restoration became a
new symbol restoring Japan to its
mythic greatness with reforms
and propaganda, including:
a. A revamped single national
b. A single government and
political community with lin-
Chapter 17
guistic, ethnic homogeneity
and superiority
2. Economic development
a. During the Meiji period, Japan’s economy transformed remarkably
b. In 1871, the government banned feudalism and peasants became small
landowners, improving productivity
c. Under the slogan “Rich country, strong
army,” the government created a uniform currency, a postal system, telegraph lines, railroads, a civil ser vice
system, foreign trade associations, and
savings and export campaigns, and
even hired foreign consultants
d. In 1889, the Meiji government created
a constitution on the German model
and, with 1% of the population voting,
elected Japan’s fi rst parliament, the
Imperial Diet
e. Japan developed large-scale managerial corporations based on family
f. Women played a role in marrying into
family alliances and as custodians of
the home
3. Expansionism and confl ict with neighbors
a. Expansion offered more markets, raw
materials, and a chance to assert the
country’s superiority and greatness
i. In 1872, the Japanese conquered
the Ryūkyūs, or the Okinawans
ii. In 1876, the Japanese built a diplomatic and economic relationship with Korea
iii. In 1894–1895, the Japanese
defeated the Chinese in the SinoJapanese War and took Taiwan
iv. In 1910, Japan conquered Korea
b. Like Europeans, Japanese viewed colonial peoples as inferior
c. They also expected colonies to serve
the economic interests of the
C. Russian transformation and expansion
1. Russia started expanding as a defensive
measure to Germany, the British, China,
and Japan
2. Russia invaded the Ottoman territories of
Moldova and Romania in 1853
3. Britain and France halted Russian expansion by defeating them in the Crimean
War of 1853–1856
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆ 217
4. Modernization and internal reform
a. A wave of “Great Reforms”: Defeat in
the Crimean War spurred Russian Tsar
Alexander II to modernize
b. The government:
i. Abolished serfdom, although land
holders kept the best land, and
serfs had to pay large redemption
taxes for the poor land they
ii. Reduced military ser vice
iii. Began a mass education system
iv. Developed railroads, industrial
production, and mining
5. Despite modernization attempts, the government was not willing to stop autocracy
a. The press, courts, and people in the
streets denounced the regime
b. 1881, the tsar was killed by a terrorist
c. Leo Tolstoy wrote about the despotic
government in War and Peace
6. Territorial expansion
a. Russia conquered much of the Caucasus Mountains to prevent the Ottoman
or Persian encroachment
b. Russia fought the British over Turkestan, India, Iran, and Afghanistan
c. The most impressive Russian expansion was in East Asia, the area north of
d. Russia founded the East Asian Pacific
Ocean port city of Vladivostok, meaning “Rule the East”
e. Russia sold Alaska to the United States
f. They built the Trans-Siberian railroad
Moscow to East Asia
7. Governing a diverse nation
a. Russia was only partially successful in
integrating its diverse linguistic and
ethnic communities into a political
b. In 1897, Russia completed its first population census, and they recorded 104 nationalities and 146 languages and dialects
c. The government prohibited other languages and publications and promoted
“Russification,” or the use of the Russian language and promotion of Russian culture
d. They divided the empire into governorships ruled by civilian or military tsars
or autocrats
218 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
e. Russians assimilated indigenous
peoples, repressed Poles and Jews,
and favored Baltic Germans and
8. Expansionism proved to be expensive
and generated instability from external
D. China under pressure
1. The Chinese were more concerned about
internal revolts than with threats from the
2. Adopting Western learning and skills
a. Growing numbers of Chinese were
troubled by European military arms
and technology
b. The 1860s Self-Strengthening Movement sought to adopt Western learning
and technological skills but kept Chinese culture intact
i. They built arsenals, shipyards,
coal mines, and steamships
ii. Yung Wing sent 120 students to
study abroad
c. Conservatives pushed back
i. Conservatives expressed skepticism over Western technology
and its benefits
ii. Study-abroad students were forced
to return after the United States
rejected them from military
iii. The fi rst short railroad was torn
up in 1877 shortly after it was
3. Internal reform efforts
a. China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese
War (1894–1895) led to serious
attempts at reform
b. Hundred Days’ Reform (June to September 1898)
i. Scholars Kang Youwei and his student advocated for the development of railroads, state banking, a
modern postal system, and institutions to foster agriculture,
industry, and commerce
ii. Although the Emperor Guangxu
supported the reforms, Empress
Dowager Cixi came out of retirement to overturn them
iii. The Guangxu emperor was put
under house arrest, and scholars
went into exile
4. The Chinese Qing government’s refusal for
reforms left the country vulnerable to both
internal instability and external aggression
VII. Conclusion
A. Between 1850 and 1914, the majority of the
world’s population lived in empires, not in
1. The ideal of “a people” is easier in concept
than in reality
2. Governments “nationalized” diverse populations with laws, education, military service, and government, rather than by
territory, history, and culture
B. Colonization was intertwined and integral to
nation building for many societies
1. Not all peoples identified with the nationstate or empire, as the concept of nationstate certainly did not eliminate ethnic,
class, or gender inequalities
a. Russia was also powerful, but it rested
on a weak foundation
C. An unintended consequence of nation building
was that it sparked colonized peoples and racial
or ethnic minorities to redefi ne ideas and language of “nation” and assert the values of
1. Filipinos and Cubans, for example, quoted
from The American Declaration of Independence to oppose American invaders
2. Koreans defi ned themselves as a nation
crushed and oppressed by Japan
3. Indians shamed the British for violating
English standards
Defining Imperialism
Ask students to defi ne Eu ropean imperialism. What
might have been motivations for conquest? Ask students
to follow the commodities, raw materials, or new markets
for manufactured Western goods: the Suez Canal, diamonds, gold, rubber, cotton, tea, opium, and so on. How
important is the “civilizing” mission for Europeans and
Americans? The roles of missionaries? What does it mean
when Cecil Rhodes said, “We are the fi nest race in the
world, and the more of the world we inhabit, the better it is
for the human race”?
1. What were European motives for conquest?
2. How important is the “civilizing” mission for Eu ropeans and Americans? What about the roles of
Chapter 17
3. What does it mean when Cecil Rhodes said, “We are
the fi nest race in the world, and the more of the world
we inhabit, the better it is for the human race”?
Rubber, Belgian Conquest, and Genocide
in the Congo
Belgian King Leopold II’s conquest of the Congo, and his
personal and unquenchable greed for wealth and rubber
profit driving the genocide of the Congolese, is a compelling but violent lecture topic. The Belgian king and his
army killed over 10 million people and cut off many hands
for the purpose of extracting cheap natural rubber to meet
worldwide demand for cars and bicycles. Missionaries
and investigative journalists played a crucial role in uncovering the genocide and human rights abuses in the Congo.
You may want to show the entire fi lms or clips from them
and/or have students read the book cited below.
For further exploration of the topic, see:
Adam Hochschild, 1998. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of
Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa.
Peter Bate, 2003. White King, Red Rubber, Black Death
(84 min.).
Pippa Scott, 2006. King Leopold’s Ghost (140 min.).
1. Why did the Belgian King Leopold and his army commit genocide? Why did they cut off so many hands?
2. Why was there a worldwide demand for rubber?
3. How was the genocide uncovered?
Railroads and the Development of an Empire
Railroads are a fascinating topic for a number of reasons.
They represent the second industrial revolution and technological progress in the late nineteenth century. They
facilitated infrastructure and economic development within
nation-states and empires. They were also interesting
spaces for workers and the communities they created.
After the end of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in the midto late nineteenth century, Europeans depended heavily
on indentured laborers as a form of unfree or semifree
contract labor. These laborers were recruited heavily from
India, China, and Europe. Railroad development in North
America, Africa, and Asia, and the workers they recruited
reflect their colonial relationships.
While discussing colonial rule and railroads, you may
want to introduce the topic of an Indian diaspora. Why
were there Indians in the Caribbean and in Southern and
Eastern Africa? You might also introduce Gandhi and
how he became politically conscious in his early years
working as a lawyer in South Africa serving an Indian
African community, the majority of them working-class
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆ 219
Indians. (I fi nd students are also fascinated by the arrival
of the Chinese to America, not just those immigrating for
the gold rush but also those who worked on railroads.
Ronald Takaki’s Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (1998) is a good source.)
For the United States, see David Haward Bain, Empire
Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad (1999);
for Russia, see Hans Rogger, Russia in the Age of Modernization and Revolution, 1881–1907 (1983); and for India
and other colonies, see Clarence B. Davis and Kenneth
E. Wilburn Jr., eds., Railway Imperialism (1991).
1. How did railroads develop nation-states and empires?
2. Why were Indians in the Caribbean and in Eastern
and Southern Africa?
3. How did railroads create new communities?
The Crimean War (1853–1856), Florence
Nightingale, and the Beginning of Professional
The Crimean War marked a shift in people’s attitudes
about war, violence, and medicine. A number of new inventions motivated the shift. For example, this was the fi rst
European war where images of soldiers wounded on the
battlefield were photographed and published around the
world. The European public was appalled by the gruesome
images, which were called daguerreotypes. This war was
more violent than Europeans had imagined, in part due to
the technological development of new industrial weapons.
In response, Florence Nightingale and other women left
Britain to go to the war front and set up hospitals. Nightingale established stringent sanitation rules, saving many
lives and revolutionizing health care, fi rst in Crimea and
later in England. Nightingale singlehandedly modernized
the medical field with germ theory. Henri Dunant also
started the International Red Cross, the fi rst international
medical aid organization.
For further reading on Nightingale, see:
Monica E. Baly and H. C. G. Matthew, 2004. “Nightingale, Florence (1820–1910),” in Oxford Dictionary of
National Biography.
1. Why was the use of photographs in the Crimean War
2. What changes were made regarding sanitation and
health care after this war?
Canadian Independence
American students rarely study Canadian history. Canada
gained independence peacefully from Great Britain in 1867,
when other empires were rushing to acquire colonies.
220 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
A lecture could discuss this separation and why it occurred
at a time when it seemed Great Britain wanted more territory. Explain the motivations and the diplomatic machinations behind the decision. Numerous sources are
available for this lecture, including those listed at the end
of this chapter.
1. How did Canada obtain independence peacefully?
2. What kinds of compromises did Canada make in order
to achieve a peaceful independence?
Abina Takes Her Master to Court in West Africa
Abina, a young woman, took her former master to court in
1876 in the Gold Coast, West Africa. For Abina, British
colonial courts and administration provided her a legal
opportunity for social justice, while in other instances,
colonial courts legalized patriarchal hierarchies.
Have students read Trevor Getz and Liz Clark’s book,
Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History (2011).
Trevor Getz and Liz Clarke have made a splash by giving
voice to a slave woman, combining graphics and court
testimony reports to write a graphic history, and capturing a new medium (the graphic novel) for those of us who
seek creative ways to teach history. They tell a fascinating
historical story that highlights those who may have been
voiceless in the past, with a beautiful set of illustrations in
the comic genre to tell the story of a young former slave
woman in the Gold Coast who takes her former master to
court in the British colonial regime in 1876. The authors
pay careful attention to both their audience of history students as well as their faculty audience. There is a graphic
illustrated part of the book. More interestingly, they include
the transcript, a useful historical context that includes a
discussion on slavery in the Gold Coast as well as the British “civilizing” mission, and historical methodology questions and suggestions on how to use this book in the
classroom. They explain how they deconstructed and
reconstructed the story, and ask keen methodological questions on what makes this story authentic or “truth,” as
well as a construction of our own making. In essence, they
are discussing the historical craft of storytelling in a way
that will be enlightening to history students at all levels
of sophistication, at either the high school or university
level. You could use this book to assign for book reviews
or discussion.
1. Why does Abina take her former master to court?
What arguments does she make?
2. After reading the court testimony, critique Getz and
Clark’s interpretation of Abina’s story. Is it authentic?
Public Art and Late Nineteenth-Century Imperial
Views of the World
A great topic of discussion related to imperialism is to talk
about American and European views of the world. The
U.S. Customs House in New York City houses statues representing four continents of the world: America, Africa,
Asia, and Eu rope. The same sculptor Daniel Chester
French, who created the famous Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, constructed the continents in 1900–1907. In
addition to the continents are “the eight races.” You may
want to Google the photographs and you can find some
official factual information on the following website:
1. What were American views of the world?
2. What did they think of the peoples of the various continents at the turn of the twentieth century?
3. What are some of the symbolisms, and how might
they reflect public opinion and popu lar culture?
Patriotic Music and Empire Propaganda
A good strategy to introduce the topic of “nation and
empire” is to play some of the patriotic songs that became
popu lar in Britain during the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. You can fi nd song texts and music
fi les for “Rule Britannia” and “God Save the Queen” at the
Modern History Sourcebook: British Imperial Anthems.
Modern History Sourcebook: British Imperialistic Anthems
Ask students to listen to the songs, think about the lyrics, and discuss some of the following questions:
1. How do these songs reflect the argument that nationstate building and imperialism went hand in hand?
2. Why did territorial conquest signify national greatness?
Mapping European Exploration and Conquest
of Africa
Map work is helpful when studying European exploration
and conquest of Africa, as students will be able to visualize precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial boundaries as
well as the environmental diversity of the second largest
continent in the world. Michigan State University’s African Studies and MATRIX digital humanities centers have
created an online curriculum resource called the Exploring
Africa! curriculum.
Chapter 17
African Political Entities before the Scramble
http://exploringafrica.matrix .msu.edu/teachers
/curriculum/m6/activity2 .php
Lead your students through a class discussion on how the
African continent looked prior to the “scramble for Africa.”
Have your students mark the major empires and states on
the map, such as Asante, Axum, Congo, Egypt, and the Ethiopian, Monomotapa, Yoruba, and Zulu Empires.
Scramble for Africa: The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 to
Divide Africa
http://exploringafrica.matrix .msu.edu/students
/curriculum/m10/activity2 .php
With the next map, discuss the events leading to the
scramble for Africa at the Berlin Conference, Belgian and
German motivations, and the paper partition of Africa
among the European powers, along with two rules that
they established:
Colonialism and Africa’s Integration into the Global Economy
http://exploringafrica.matrix .msu.edu/students
Postcolonial Africa
http://exploringafrica.matrix .msu.edu/students
By physically marking the changes on the map, students
can see how European conquest and divisions ignored
national, cultural, linguistic, and historical boundaries.
The modern national boundaries in Africa today are
legacies of the colonial divisions of the late nineteenth
1. Why are there such vast differences among the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial maps of Africa?
2. What is the scramble for Africa?
3. What were the “five modes of economic activity and
revenue generation in colonial Africa”?
Nineteenth-Century Russia, Japan, and Germany
To explore the theme “nations and empires,” a group activity comparing and contrasting Russia, Japan, and Germany
in the second half of the nineteenth century can be interesting and prepare them for studying the twentieth century.
Divide students into small groups, and assign a country to
each group. Have them discuss the countries and their
experiences of the second half of the nineteenth century:
Prussian and German unification into the “Second German Reich,” Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War, and U.S.
Admiral Perry’s “opening” of Japan, bringing about their
transformations to more powerful nation-states.
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆
For further reading, see:
Peter Stearns, 1993. The Industrial Revolution in World
E. J. Hobsbawm and Chris Wrigley, 1999. Industry and
Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution.
1. What was unique about each of the countries and
their experience in the second half of the nineteenth
century? How did they respond?
2. What prompted their transformations?
3. Did they attempt to industrialize? Modernize?
■ The Four Feathers (1939, 130 min.; 2002, 131 min.). This
fi lm has several remakes, although the best known are the
versions from 1939 and 2002. The 1939 production, much
of which was fi lmed on location, is still considered the
best. The Four Feathers is useful for providing a fairly
faithful reenactment of the battle of Omdurman (1898)
between the British and the Sudanese Islamic rebel, the
Mahdi (in the 1939 fi lm), and the 1885 battle of Abu Klea
(in the 2002 fi lm). The story is a good example of upperclass British opinion and the more subtle pressures that
women exerted on British men to fight for the empire and
national pride. One interesting difference between these
two fi lms is that the 1939 fi lm was made in support of
“empire” and Great Britain, whereas the 2002 fi lm was
directed by Shekhar Kapur, an Indian. Although it strongly
emphasizes the theme of imperialism, it reflects a more balanced perspective, taking the local population into account.
■ King Leopold’s Ghost (2006,140 min.). Pippa Scott. This
is the fi lm version of Adam Hochschild’s book with Don
Cheadle as narrator. An excellent documentary, but it
may be difficult to locate a copy.
■ Lagaan: Once upon a Time in India (2001, 155 min.).
This is a Bollywood fi lm extraordinaire with plenty of
singing and dancing, set in an Indian village in the late
nineteenth century. The story revolves around the villagers’ struggle for survival at the hands of an often cruel,
imperialist British commander who compels a “land tax”
(lagaan in Hindi) beyond their resources. The village
leader manages to make a deal for a reprieve if the village
wins a cricket match against the British soldiers. The fi lm
allows you to discuss British imperialism, cultural differences, caste structures, economic dependencies, religious
(Hindu) mores, and other aspects of the relationship
between the British and Indian people.
■ The Meiji Period (1868–1912) (1989, 52 min.). This documentary recounts the opening of Japan to trade with
222 ◆ Chapter 17 Nations and Empires, 1850–1914
Europe and North America. It discusses the transition
from shogun-based rule to modern rule when the emperor
turned his face to the West. Once the United States forced
the opening of the ports, the British, Russians, French,
and Dutch demanded the same rights. The changes were
swift and dramatic. Japan learned its lessons well.
■ New York: Episode 3, “Sunshine and Shadow” 1865–1898
(1999, 120 min.). This documentary highlights the international, bustling cosmopolitan life of New York City. The
goal of New Yorkers, as imperialists, was to get rich. The
fi lm incorporates period photographs and draws on iconic
architecture, literature, and events to relay the opportunistic and optimistic mood of the time. From reformers such
as Theodore Roosevelt, to “Boss Tweed,” to the establishment of Central Park and the building of the Brooklyn
Bridge, New York had a life unlike that of any other city in
the world. Portions of this fi lm work well with some of the
suggested class activities and lectures regarding technological advances and imperialism.
■ White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (2003, 84 min.).
ArtMattan Productions, Belgium. Directed by Peter Bate
this is a good documentary that provides the opportunity
to discuss the European conquest of Africa, with the specific example of King Leopold II’s conquest of the Belgian
Congo. The king’s personal and unquenchable greed for
profit results in the genocide of the Congolese for the
production of rubber. The fi lm also discusses the role of
investigative journalists, missionaries, and historians in
bringing to light the atrocities committed by the Belgian
king and his troops in killing 10 million people of the
Benedict Anderson, 1983. Imagined Communities.
David Haward Bain, 1999. Empire Express: Building the
First Transcontinental Railroad.
W. G. Beasley, 1987. Japanese Imperialism, 1894–1945.
David Bushnell and Neill Macauley, 1994. The Emergence
of Latin America in the Nineteenth Century.
Colin G. Calloway, 1996. Our Hearts Fell to the Ground:
Plains Indian Views of How the West Was Lost (Bedford
Series in History and Culture).
Clarence B. Davis and Kenneth E. Wilburn Jr., eds., 1991.
Railway Imperialism.
Mike Davis, 2002. Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño
Famines and the Making of the Third World.
Eduardo Galeano, 1997. Open Veins of Latin America: Five
Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent.
Trevor Getz and Heather Streets-Salter, 2010. Modern
Imperialism and Colonialism: A Global Perspective.
Trevor Getz and Liz Clarke, 2011. Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History.
David Gillard, 1978. The Struggle for Asia, 1828–1914: A
Study in British and Russian Imperialism.
Liah Greenfeld, 2007. Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity.
John Hawley, ed., 2008. India in Africa: Africa in India:
Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms.
Daniel R. Headrick, 1981. The Tools of Empire: Technology
and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century.
E. J. Hobsbawm and Chris Wrigley, 1999. Industry and
Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution.
Adam Hochschild, 1998. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of
Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa.
Steven Howe, 2002. Ireland and Empire: Colonial Legacies
in Irish History and Culture.
Paul Landau, 2010. Popular Politics in the History of South
Africa, 1400–1948.
Patricia Limerick, 1987. The Legacy of Conquest: The
Unbroken Past of the American West.
Patrick Manning, 1988. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa,
Harold Marcus, 1994. The History of Ethiopia.
Carl H. Nightingale, 2012. Segregation: A Global History
of Divided Cities (Historical Studies of Urban America).
Thomas Pakenham, 1991. The Scramble for Africa,
Richard Pankhurst, 1998. The Ethiopians: A History.
Hans Rogger, 1983. Russia in the Age of Modernization and
Revolution, 1881–1907.
Edward Said, 1979. Orientalism.
Edward Said, 2012. Culture and Imperialism.
Peter Stearns, 1993. The Industrial Revolution in World
Kerry Ward, 2009. Networks of Empire: Forced Migration
in the Dutch East India Company.
William Worger, 1987. South Africa’s City of Diamonds:
Mine Workers and Monopoly Capitalism in Kimberley,
Africa Past and Present—Episode 73: Namibia: Herero
Protest, Prophecy, and Private Archives
Michigan State University’s history department and
MATRIX—The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and
Social Sciences Online produces a podcast about African history, culture, and politics in the diaspora
Chapter 17
Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the
World’s Transportation Commission, 1894–1896
Extensive archive of travel photographs from around the
world; links to teaching suggestions
BBC: The Story of Africa
ryofafrica/index .shtml
History of the American West: 1860 to 1920
Archival collection with extensive images from the period
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
Great resource for primary source documents, images,
and teaching materials, organized by historical themes
www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook .html
Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Imperialism
Subentry of Modern History Sourcebook, with focus on
documents regarding imperialism
Nations and Empires, 1850–1914 ◆
The Suez Canal
Women’s Work
Details across classes and lifestyles in Europe and the
place of children and women in the family
_work _01.shtml
World History Connected
Teaching and scholarly journal on world history
World History for Us All
San Diego State University in cooperation with the
National Center for History in the Schools at University of California, Los Angeles, created a national collaboration of K–12 teachers, college faculty, and
educational technology specialists with teaching units
The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War
General overview of historical events
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
▶ Progress, Upheaval, and Movement
Peoples in Motion
▶ Discontent with Imperialism
Unrest in Africa
The Boxer Uprising in China
Worldwide Insecurities
Imperial Rivalries at Home
The “Woman Question”
Class Confl ict in a New Key
Cultural Modernism
Popu lar Culture Comes of Age
At the turn of the twentieth century, Eu ropeans and
people of Eu ropean descent occupied a commanding
position in the world. They led a world in which scientific, technological, and economic advancements promised to usher in an age of progress and prosperity. Yet
theirs was a world unsettled. In Eu rope and the United
States, the Enlightenment idea of “progress” was questioned because of challenges that came with urbanization, industrialization, and colonized people’s resistance
to colonialism. Elites were unprepared for the scope of
change facing them: the expansion of empires creating
an unbalanced global economy, great disparities in wealth,
the size and power of industrial fi rms, and large cities
with urban problems. Women increasingly agitated for
greater independence and enhanced political, economic,
social, and legal rights. In the arts and sciences, anxieties
produced creative energies and exchanges: Modernism
became synonymous with “Westernization” for the peoples
of Asia, Africa, and South America, while in European
and North America, modernism was the way that artists,
writers, and scientists broke with convention and sought
new ways of seeing the world. Western artists borrowed
from indigenous cultures, and non-Western artists borrowed Western vocabulary and ideas, sometimes to
orga nize anti-Western ideas. Ethnic and national identities came unraveled. Race, more than ever before,
became a central feature of identity and a justification
Modernism in European Culture
Cultural Modernism in China
Rethinking Race and Reimagining Nations
Nation and Race in North America and Europe
Race-Mixing and the Problem of Nationhood in
Latin America
Sun Yat-sen and the Making of a Chinese Nation
Nationalism and Invented Traditions in India
The Pan Movements
for inequalities. These rivalries based on ethnic nationalism eventually contributed to the tensions that caused
World War I.
I. Progress, upheaval, and movement
A. Some benefited from changes in the decades
before 1914; others faced social and economic
anxiety, disruption, and frustration
1. In Europe and the United States, left-wing
radicals and middle-class reformers sought
political and social change
2. In places colonized by Europe and the
United States, resentment grew toward
colonial rulers and indigenous
3. Revolutions in China, Mexico, and Russia;
peasants and workers attempted to topple
autocratic regimes
B. New industries drove economic growth and
urbanization, creating inequities, loss of jobs,
and organized opposition to authoritarian
C. Modernism became synonymous with “Westernization” for the peoples of Asia, Africa, and
South America, while in Europe and North
America, modernism was the way that a generation of artists, writers, and scientists broke
with convention and sought new ways of seeing
the world
Chapter 18
D. Peoples in motion: mass emigration on a global
1. “Caucasian tsunami,” or a demographic
revolution of Europeans to the United
States (and Argentina) in the 1840s and
1870s, and again in 1901–1910 with over 6
million to the United States
2. Emigration, immigration, and internal
a. Between the 1840s and 1940s, 29 million South Asians were recruited to
labor on plantations, railways, and mines
in South and Southeast Asia, East and
Southern Africa, and the Caribbean
b. 800,000 Chinese emigrated to North
and South America, New Zealand,
Hawaii, West Indies, and Southeast
Asia between 1845 and 1900
c. Industrialism pushed millions to migrate
within their own countries, from the
countryside to cities or to new frontiers
d. People traveled as:
i. Mine, construction, and plantation laborers (to replace slaves)
ii. Colonial officials and soldiers
iii. Missionaries or hunters
iv. Merchants and traders
e. Migrations were sometimes risky and
brought painful experiences in the new
i. Tensions from low wages, poor
working and living conditions,
and exploitation
ii. Culture shock and loss of family
f. There were few restrictions until 1914
i. U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act of
ii. Most viewed immigrants as a positive force in fueling economic
growth and productivity
3. Urban life and changing identities
a. Cities boomed into the millions and led
to city planning
b. Urban life in the early twentieth century different than the mid-nineteenth
century, and especially transformed
women’s lives
i. Previously women held positions
as domestic servants, textile workers, or agricultural work, which
extended in the urban world to
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 225
shop girls, secretaries, teachers,
and even a handful as doctors
ii. Western women’s culture of
acceptable behavior changed due
to increased literacy and cheaper
reading materials
iii. Ready-made clothes and goods
allowed women more leisure time
iv. It became fashionable for women
to be seen on the boulevards
4. Western notions of race became key in
defi ning national identities and justifying
inequalities in response to political,
economic, and social upheaval; massive
migration; cultural change; and modern
II. Discontent with imperialism
A. As Asians and Africans escalated resistance
against European colonial rule, and Europeans
repressed these rebellions with harsh violent
force, Europeans at home questioned their
B. Unrest in Africa
1. As African anticolonial uprisings grew in
the fi rst decades of colonial rule, Europeans concluded the following:
a. Africans were too stubborn or unsophisticated to appreciate European
b. Others called for reform to colonial
c. A few radicals demanded an end to
imperialism and colonial rule
2. The Anglo-Boer War
a. The South African Anglo–Boer War
(1899–1902) pitted British settlers of
the Cape and Natal against Afrikaners,
descendants of Dutch settlers of the
Transvaal and Orange Free State, with
the area’s 4 million Africans
b. The discovery of gold in the Transvaal
in the mid-1880s caused highly contentious politics
c. The Transvaal president launched a
preemptive strike against the British,
starting a relentless guerrilla war that
would last three years
d. The British introduced a terrifying
institution: the concentration camp,
where 28,000 Afrikaners and 14,000
Africans died
226 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
e. The British won, but suffered heavy
losses of 20,000 soldiers and reputation
scandals regarding the camps
f. The Transvaal and Orange Free State
fell under British control
3. Other struggles in colonized Africa
a. German orders to commit genocide
against the Herero and San peoples in
German Southwest Africa (Namibia)
between 1904 and 1906 aroused public
revulsion in the Western world
b. Equally troubling was the Maji-Maji
revolt in German East Africa (Tanzania) in 1905–1906, killing 300,000
c. Western apologists and defenders of
imperialism tried to rationalize these
incidents by claiming that Africans
were fanatics, that violent colonial rule
was the exception, or that other European colonial powers ruled with violence, but not theirs
d. European powers accused each other of
violence while increasing the number
of colonial and military officials
C. The Boxer Uprising in China
1. In response to China’s population growth
to over half a billion, outstripping
resources, the Qing emperor attempted to
modernize industry, agriculture, commerce, education, and the military in 1898
a. Opponents blocked him and placed
him under house arrest, while the
Empress Dowager Cixi ruled, supported by conservatives
2. External factors: Dynastic authority started
breaking down because of foreign pressures
a. China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese
War of 1894–1895 was humiliating
b. After the war, Japan acquired Taiwan
as a colony, while Britain, France,
Germany, and Russia also demanded
Chinese territory as “spheres of
c. The United States proposed an “opendoor” policy that would keep all of
China open to all traders but
demanded that China adhere to Western political and economic conventions
d. Most violent reaction was the Boxer
uprising, started by peasants in
response to the growing aggressiveness
of Christian missionaries
e. In 1897, Chinese residents killed two
German missionaries in northern
Shandong; in response, the German
government demanded three cathedrals to be built, removed hostile local
officials, and seized the port of Jiaozhou
f. In 1899, martial arts groups organized
under the name Boxers United in Righteousness with the slogan “Support the
Qing, destroy the foreign,” and called
for an end to Christian privileges
i. Boxers believed that they possessed divine protection from
earthly weapons
3. Internal Factors
a. The movement flourished in northern
China, especially in areas hit hard by
natural disasters and harsh economic
conditions, with young men swelling
the ranks
b. Young unmarried women wearing
“Red Lanterns” were crucial to the
movement with their considered magical powers to counteract the cunning
influence of Christian women
c. The Qing court vacillated over supporting the Boxers until 1900, when
Qing powers clashed with the Boxers,
and later that year, the empress dowager declared war against foreign powers
4. Foreign involvement and aftermath
a. Boxers attacked Christian and foreign
people and symbols without
b. A multinational foreign army of 20,000
from mostly Japan, and also Russia,
Britain, Germany, France, and the
United States, crushed the Boxers and
forced China to pay double its annual
income as damages
c. China’s defeat dealt another blow to the
Qing both internally and externally
d. The rebellion revealed Western reach
beyond port cities and elites to peasants across China and China’s widespread political opposition to both
Westernization and Christianization
III. Worldwide insecurities
A. Rivalries among Western powers, the booms
and busts of expanding industrial economies,
class confl icts, challenges from women and
Chapter 18
their roles, and urbanization shook European
and North American confidence
B. Imperial rivalries come home
1. The creation of a European-centered
world deepened rivalries within Europe
and promoted instability
a. The unification of Italy and of Germany, at the expense of France and
Austria, smashed the old balance of
b. New alliances appeared pitting Britain,
France, and Russia against Germany
c. Ottoman and Habsburg Empires
d. An arms race ensued
C. Financial, industrial, and technological
1. Adam Smith’s small-scale, laissez-faire
capitalism gave way to an economic order
dominated by huge, heavily capitalized
fi rms benefiting from exploitative divisions of labor
2. Instead of smooth progress, Western
economies bounced between booms and
3. Global fi nancial and industrial integration
a. International fi nancial integration
meant that more and more countries
joined the world system of borrowing
and lending and their national currencies were backed by gold
i. Banks in London were at the center of global fi nances
b. American journalists, or muckrakers
increasingly exposed the skullduggery
(shady dealings) of fi nancial and industrial giants committed to enriching or
empowering themselves
c. Reformers soon called for greater governmental regulation
4. Financial crises
a. Banking needed closer government
supervision; however, government did
not have the resources to protect
investments during crises
i. When 550 American banks collapsed between 1890 and 1893, J.
P. Morgan prevented the country’s
gold reserves from depletion
ii. J.P. Morgan rescued Wall Street
from another fi nancial panic in
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 227
b. In 1913, the United States created the
Federal Reserve System to oversee the
nation’s money
c. Linked by international capital,
national economic matters increasingly became international affairs, as
the 1907 American fi nancial crisis
provoked similar crises in Canada,
Mexico, and Egypt
5. Industrialization and the modern
a. Industrialization linked nations and
industries spread to new places
b. With European investors, Russia built
railways, telegraph lines, and factories
and used coal, iron, steel, and petroleum,
but development remained uneven
c. Industrial development gap was wide in
colonial territories
d. By 1914, the factory and railroad were
symbolic of the modern economy
6. Economic progress came at a cost
a. Trains and ships connected local communities to the wider world, but often
destroyed local customs
b. Factories produced cheaper goods but
polluted the countryside
c. “Scientific management,” or Taylorization, often left workers as nothing more
than cogs in a machine
D. The “woman question”
1. The politics of domesticity, or the woman
question: that women be given more rights
as citizens and more fundamental changes
to the family and larger society
2. Women’s issues in the West
a. Women increasingly challenged the
idea of separate spheres: women’s work
in the domestic sphere while men in the
public and economic life
b. At century’s end, women were
employed as teachers, secretaries, typists, department store clerks, and telephone operators and thus gained some
social and economic independence
c. Women gained greater access to education, and many of them entered previously all-male professions
d. Women became involved in public
reform movements
e. Many women began to assert control
over reproductive rights
228 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
i. Contraceptives were illegal in
most countries, but women found
ways of obtaining them, and
birthrates fell to half of those a
century prior
ii. Women understood that having
fewer children was a way to raise
the class status for the rest of the
3. The push for woman’s suff rage increased
but had very limited success
4. Varying views of feminism
a. Middle-class European and American
women were not seeking gender equality, because they feared it would make
them too “mannish”
b. Radicalized women, however, did challenge the established order and became
powerful phi losophers and political
c. Radical women met stiff repression and
opposition, especially outside of
Europe and the Americas
5. Women’s status in colonies
a. Woman question hotly debated in colonies but by men, not women
b. Westerners argued that colonialism
benefited women, arguing that veiling,
foot binding, widow burning, and
female genital mutilation were justifications for colonial intervention
c. In reality, colonialism often added to
women’s burdens
i. As male workers were drawn into
the export economy, the responsibility for domestic production fell
on women
ii. In Africa, the growth of mining
and large estate production meant
that men were often gone for
much of the year
iii. European schools excluded
women, as did many European
property-law practices
iv. Colonial missionaries preached a
form of domestic obedience to
v. Customary colonial law, instituted by colonial officials, favored
men, and women lost their property and other rights they enjoyed
before European colonization
E. Class confl ict in a new key
1. Under capitalism, although Eu ropean
and North American living conditions
improved, the growing inequal ity of
incomes produced sharper class confl ict and frustrations with slow pace of
a. Most workers remained peaceful, but
some radicals turned to violence, especially in closed political systems
2. Rise of movements such as syndicalism
(the organization of workplace associations that included unskilled laborers),
socialism, and anarchism
3. Strikes and revolts
a. In the Americas and in Europe, radicals
adapted numerous tactics to express
working-class discontent
i. The popularity of the Labour
Party in Britain and the Social
Democratic Party in Germany
epitomized this development
ii. In the early twentieth century,
syndicalists, anarchists, radical
royalists, and revolutionary
socialists organized to make work
stoppages commonplace
b. The United States did not see the emergence of a successful labor party or radical factions; instead, it saw workers
attempt to form unions and organize
i. The American Railway Union’s
1894 Pullman Strike, with 3 million railway workers, revealed the
power of workers but also the
enduring power of the status quo
as federal troops cracked down on
the strikers and the government
against the union
c. A few upheavals succeeded in overturning the status quo from below, for
example the 1905 Russian workers’
4. Revolution in Mexico
a. The Mexican Revolution in 1910,
fueled by the unequal distribution of
land and disgruntled workers, was over
the succession of long-term dictator
General Porfi rio Díaz
b. A flood of peasants, farmers, cattlemen,
and rural workers desperate for a
Chapter 18
change in the social order fought for ten
brutal years to defeat Díaz and destroy
large estates
c. 10 percent of the country’s population,
or nearly 1 million Mexicans, died in
the confl ict
d. The Constitution of 1917 created a new
regime that respected democracy, the
sovereignty of peasant communities,
and land reform
i. Trade unions received sweeping
rights, which paved the way for
nationalizing the country’s mines
and oil industries
ii. The creation of rural communes
for peasants, ejidos, reminiscent of
precolonial life
e. The new Mexican regime used new
national myths to rejuvenate the new
republic based on the heroism of rural
peoples, Mexican nationalism, and a
celebration of the Aztec past
5. Preserving established orders
a. Aside from Mexico, in other Latin
American countries the ruling elite
remained united against assaults from
b. In Europe and the United States, conservative regimes agreed to piecemeal
reforms to stay in power
i. Bismarck, the German chancellor,
agreed to enact social welfare
measures in 1883–1884 to insure
workers against illness, accidents,
and old age and established maximum working hours
c. In the United States, muckraking journalists uncovered unsanitary practices
in slaughterhouses, bank failures, and
anxieties about the closing of the
American Western frontier to motivate
the government to pass a burst of
reforms called “Progressive”
i. Progressive reformers attacked
immigrant-dominated political
and corporate corruption as well
as urban vices such as prostitution, gambling, and drinking
ii. The federal government passed
consumer protective legislation to
supervise banking, steel, railroads, and meat packing
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 229
d. Progressive reform movements
attempted to intervene in the capitalist
market and lay the foundations for the
modern welfare state, in order to support the poor, the aged, the unemployed, and the sick
IV. Cultural modernism
A. Modernism, the movement originating from
experimental thinking shaped by anxieties and
opportunities, came to prominence in the arts
and sciences in the early twentieth century
1. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
and his art were the epitome of modernism; inspired by African art, he broke away
from Renaissance styles
2. Modernism was controversial; it intentionally broke traditions and rules
3. Nature of the movement was international
but also elitist
4. Artists abandoned harmonic and diatonic
sound and representational art
5. Modernism replaced the certainties of the
Renaissance and Enlightenment with the
unsettledness of a new time
B. Popu lar culture comes of age
1. New urban settings, technological innovations, increased leisure time, and a nearly
universal education in the late nineteenth
century allowed a popular culture to emerge
2. Popu lar culture offered affordable and
accessible forms of art and entertainment
to the “masses” such as lithographs or
mass-produced engravings, dance halls,
vaudev ille shows, travel lectures, and spectator sports
3. The press provided popu lar entertainment
and information catering to different markets, as more people could read
a. Newspapers such as the English Daily
Mail and the Petit Parisien had circulations of over 1 million and appealed to
readers with little education
i. In the United States, immigrant
urbanites avidly read newspapers in
English and their native languages
b. Books increased in number and fell in
price, especially those about cowboys,
murder, and romance
4. The kind of culture one consumed became
a reflection of status or desired status or
230 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
5. Artists, scholars, and writers in different
regions tried to adapt to social, political,
and economic changes from around the
world, which resulted in remarkable innovations breaking with tradition, characterizing modernism
C. Modernism in European culture
1. In intellectual and artistic terms, Europe
at the turn of the century experienced perhaps the richest age it had seen since the
a. French sociologist Durkheim studied
suicide; French psychologist Le Bon
theorized about the volatility of crowds
2. Artists expressed ambivalence regarding
the modern, as represented by the railroad,
large cities, and factories
3. Primitivism came to symbolize Europe’s
lost innocence and the forces that reason
could not control, such as sexual drives,
religious fervor, or brute strength
a. Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was one of
the leaders of modern art after he left
France for Tahiti and found new forms
of contentment and art
i. Gaugin posed human being’s great
questions and suggested that Polynesians might have better answers
than the “civilized” French
4. German Albert Einstein, Indian physicist
Satyendra Nath Bose, and other scholars
laid the foundations for today’s quantum
5. Overall, faith in rationalism faltered and
some questioned if it was not too difficult
to sustain
a. Nietzsche (1844–1900) claimed that
European Truth, or faith in science or
Judeo-Christian moral codes, was a
life-destroying quest for power, and
individuals would do better to invent
new forms of truth
b. Freud (1856–1939) introduced the subconscious to explain human behavior,
and asserted that human beings were
driven by sexual longings and childhood traumas
D. Cultural modernism in China
1. The late Qing period was a time of competing cultural modernities, in contrast to
the post-Qing era, which pursued a single,
Western-oriented modernity
a. As in the West, Chinese authors could
now write for a wider audience; more
than 170 publishers in China served a
growing readership of 2– 4 million in
urban areas
b. The newly rich also patronized the arts,
creating new opportunities for
increased cultural diversity
2. The late Qing intellectuals, artists, and
literati integrated Chinese and foreign
styles into their explorations of topics such
as the self, sexuality, and their future
a. The Shanghai School of painting incorporated Chinese and foreign techniques
b. Artist Ren Xiong (1820–1857) and his
self-portrait reflected the influence of
photography, a new visual medium
c. Futuristic novels drew on science and
Chinese-Western relations
3. Chinese artists struggled to fi nd a balance
between Western thought and traditional
Chinese learning, a worldwide challenge
to accepting the impulses of modernism
V. Rethinking race and reimagining nations
A. Despite the reshuffl ing of ideas and people at
the turn of the century, people and nations
defended the idea of identities as deeply rooted
and unchangeable
1. The Linnaean classification system became
the means for ranking whole nations
2. Racial roots became a crucial part of cultural and national identity
3. The preoccupation with race reflected a
worldwide longing for fi xed roots in an age
that seemed to be burning its bridges to
the past
4. In Europe and America, race and nation discussions reflected fears of losing individuality in a technological world, rising tensions
among states and fear of being overrun by
the brown, black, and yellow peoples
5. In India, China, Latin America, and the
Islamic world, discussions of identity were
part of the anticolonial debate, opposition
to Western domination, and corrupt indigenous elites
6. A variety of national movements came out
of these discussions—anti-Qing, India’s
anticolonial, and even pan-ethnic
movements—suggesting the urgency of
questions regarding identity and belonging
Chapter 18
B. Nation and race in North America and Europe
1. At the turn of the century, Americans worried that they had exhausted what had
once been an inexhaustible supply of land
and resources with the disappearance of
the buffalo, erosion of soils, and depletion
of timber, and the 1890 Census Bureau
announcement that the frontier had closed
2. Restricting immigration
a. White Americans felt anxious about
the closing of the American frontier
and the end of pioneer individualism
b. White Americans drew new racial lines
of discrimination, since old forms like
slavery had broken down
c. Racial prejudice against the Chinese
resulted in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion
Act, prohibiting nearly all Chinese
d. “Jim Crow” laws codified racial segregation and inequal ity in the American
South for most of the nation’s 7 million
African Americans
e. White Americans worried about immigrants from Eastern and Southern
Europe, who were not considered
white, as well as the “darker peoples” or
colonial subjects in the Philippines,
Puerto Rico, and Cuba
f. In Europe, the scramble for Africa was
similar to the American frontier closing,
since Germans and Italians obtained
very few territories while the British and
French were concerned about how to
maintain and control their empires
3. Facing new social issues
a. Europeans shared similar anxieties as
Americans; millions became obsessed
with racial purity, the preservation of
the white race, and disease
b. Racial identities hardened in colonies,
even though sexual relations between
European colonizers and indigenous
women were common to European
c. Medical attention regarded homosexuality as a disease and a threat to
d. In Russia, violent pogroms targeting
large Jewish populations pushed them
to Western Europe, stirring up powerful prejudices
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 231
C. Race mixing and the problem of nationhood in
Latin America
1. Ethnic mixing generated social hierarchies
dating back to the sixteenth century, with
white Europeans at the top, creole elites in
the middle, and indigenous and African
populations at the bottom
2. Contested mixtures
a. Racial hierarchy saw disruptions beginning in the 1880s as a deluge of poor
European immigrants arrived and a few
people of color ascended the social
b. In an age of acute nationalism, mixed
ethnic groups of Latin America generated anxieties
c. In many Latin American countries,
Indians and blacks were considered
“decadent and degenerate”
d. Many Latin American governments
attempted to attract northern Europeans in the effort to “whiten” their communities, but European migrants did
not live up to their expectations
3. Promoting nationhood by celebrating the
a. Latin American government leaders
invented myths to legitimate their rule
b. In Mexico, General Díaz created a
mythic arc from the greatness of the
Aztec empire to 1810, marking the
Mexican war against Spain to the
benevolence of his regime
c. Mexican Intellectuals like José Vasconcelos, an opponent of Díaz, celebrated
Mexico’s Indian and Spanish Catholic
past, arguing that Mexico’s greatness
flowed from its mixture of cultures
D. Sun Yat-sen and the making of a Chinese nation
1. As elsewhere, the pace of change generated
the desire to trace one’s roots back to
secure foundations, and Han traditions
were reinvented in the hope of saving the
Chinese soul threatened by modernity
2. The Chinese looked back before the Qing
dynasty to Han China for inspiration in
creating modern Chinese nationalism
3. Promoting Han nationalism
a. Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925) blasted the
Manchus and trumpeted the image
of a “true” Han Chinese political
232 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
b. Sun established an organization in
Hawaii, advocating for the Qing downfall and the creation of a republic
c. Sun’s racial nationalism and democratic
ideas primarily appealed to overseas
Chinese communities facing discrimination in their adopted homes
4. Replacing the Qing and reconstituting a
a. The Qing dynasty grew weaker with
the Sino-Japanese war, the Boxer rebellion, and reforms that came too late and
at too high a cost
b. The Qing government’s nationalization
of railroads sparked a mutiny in 1911,
ending 2,000 years of dynastic rule
c. Sun returned to China to reconstitute a
nation based on Han assimilation of
other ethnic groups such as the Manchus, Mongols, Tibetans, and Muslims
E. Nationalism and invented traditions in India
1. British colonialism, which consolidated the
territory, also made it possible for anticolonialists to create a resistance movement
uniting India as a people and a nation
2. A modernizing elite
a. The leaders of this nationalist movement were Western-educated intellectuals from colonial cities and towns
i. They developed colloquial languages of Hindi, Urdu, Bengali,
Tamil, and Malayalam into standardized literary forms, allowing
the facilitation of communication
throughout British India
b. The growth of print cultures went
hand-in-hand with the growth of a new
public sphere where the intelligentsia
discussed and debated social and political matters
c. In 1885, voluntary associations
founded the Indian National Congress,
which was dominated by lawyers, merchants, and local notables; they criticized British policies and demanded
greater representation of Indians in
administrative and legislative bodies
d. Underlying political assertiveness was
cultural nationalism, based on their
unique culture, common colonial history, and an acute awareness of Indians
as colonial subjects
3. Building a modern identity on rewritten
a. Recovering traditions was a way to
establish a modern Indian identity
without attaching their identity to
recent British colonial subjugation
b. As in Latin America, Indian nationalists delved into the past and rewrote
histories in order to establish a modern
nation-state that the region did not
have prior to colonization
c. Intellectuals reconfi gured Hinduism
so that it resembled Western religion
with a central deity and textual
d. In the process of fashioning this identity, Indian revivalists often became
narrow in their vision, emphasizing
Hindu traditions as the only source of
Indian culture
e. Muslims started the Indian National
Muslim League in 1906 to advance the
political interests of Muslim people,
and not the religion
4. Hindu revivalism
a. Hindu revivalism became a powerful
political force by the close of the nineteenth century
b. When British authorities partitioned
Bengal into two territories—one predominantly Hindu, and the other
Muslim—Hindu militants protested
and boycotted British goods
i. Activists formed voluntary organizations (Swadeshi Samitis) to
promote the indigenous manufacturing of soap, cloth, medicine,
iron, and paper
c. The Swadeshi movement swept aside
moderates in the Indian National Congress and installed a radical leadership
that broadened nationalist resistance
and agitation
d. The British responded with force to
keep their colony
e. Unlike leaders of the Rebellion of 1857,
late nineteenth-century Indian nationalists imagined a modern national community with religious and ethnic
symbols in the political arena, something the British found more difficult to
control as they resembled themselves
Chapter 18
F. The pan movements
1. Dispersed people around the globe
attempted to rearrange borders to unite
their dispersed ethnic or religious communities to create pan movements
2. Pan movements threatened multiethnic
and multireligious polities such as the
Ottoman, Habsburg, British, and French
3. Pan-Islamism
a. Muslim intellectuals and political leaders called all to put aside sectarian and
political differences to unite under the
banner of Islam in opposition to European imperialism
b. Iranian (and Shiite) Jamal al-Din
Afghani (1839–1897) urged Muslims
to overcome their Sunni and Shiite differences and unite against the West
c. Egyptian reformer Muhammad Abduh
(1849–1905), an Afghani, published a
pan-Islamic newspaper in Paris and
also attempted to thwart Europe from
dividing up the Ottoman Empire
d. Pan-Islamic appeals confused Muslims
as they faced divided loyalties between
nation-states and Islamic leaders, but
the message struck an important chord
4. Pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism
a. Pan-Germanism gained followers
across Central Europe, where it competed with a pan-Slavic movement of
Poles, Czechs, Russians, Serbians,
Ukrainians, and other Slavs
i. German-speaking elites in Slavic
lands were alarmed by the assertion of Slavic nationalism
a. Pan-Slavism in Eastern and
Central Europe demanded
greater autonomy, if not independent states, for this region’s
growing Slavic majority
b. As Russian persecution drove
Jews westward, German
resentment increased
ii. Georg von Schönerer founded the
League of German Nationalists in
1882 after the Habsburg Empire
failed to favor German nationals
a. Elected to the upper Austrian
house, he tried to pass antiJewish legislation modeled on
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 233
the American Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
b. While Schönerer’s plans were
too radical for most German
Austrians, his anti-Semitism
found stronger echoes later by
Adolf Hitler after 1933
b. Pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism gave
rise to militant groups dangerous to
nation-states and eventually brought
about World War I
VI. Conclusion
A. Eu ropeans began to question the Enlightenment idea of “progress” because of challenges
from urbanization, industrialization, and colonized people’s resistance to colonialism
B. To many ruling elites, it appeared that the
“masses” were developing the means to unseat
them and were unprepared to deal with modern ideas and identities
1. Nationalists learned to mobilize large populations to challenge colonialism
2. Socialist and right-wing leaders challenged
liberal political power in Europe
C. Elites were unprepared for the scope of
change facing them: the expansion of empires
creating an unbalanced global economy, great
disparities in wealth, the size and power of
industrial fi rms, and large cities with urban
D. Anxieties produced creative energies and
exchanges: non-Westerners borrowed Western
vocabulary and ideas, and vice versa
E. Eu ropean power rivalries intensified, resulting in the Great War with violent
Modernism and Picasso, Gauguin, and Matisse
At the turn of the twentieth century, Eu ropean artists
and intellectuals launched the richest age seen since the
Renaissance. Inspired by African and Asian art, Eu ropean modern art (or modernism) came to prominence.
Modernism replaced the certainties of the Renaissance
and Enlightenment with the unsettledness of a new time.
Shaped by anxieties and opportunities at the turn of the
century, modernism expresses controversy, the sense of
breaking tradition and rules, and experimental thinking.
These artists abandoned harmonic and diatonic sound
234 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
and representational art. Primitivism, one form of modern
art, came to symbolize Europe’s lost innocence and the
forces that reason could not control, such as sexual drives,
religious fervor, or brute strength
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and his art
were the epitome of modernism; inspired by African art,
he broke away from Renaissance styles. He was famous
for questioning European society, or what lies beneath the
civilized exterior, as in the examples of paintings of nude
French artist Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was one of the
leaders of modern art after he left France for Tahiti and
found new forms of contentment and art. Gaugin posed
human being’s great questions and suggested that Polynesians might have better answers than the “civilized” French.
The most famous of his work was the 1897 painting, Where
Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
which is held at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
The following museum Web sites have extensive collections, which can also be viewed online with biographies of
the artists.
Musée Picasso (Paris)
Museu Picasso (Barcelona)
Museo Picasso (Malaga)
Hermitage Museum
Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Hermitage
Museum has all three artists
Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY)
The Metropolitan, or “Met,” has all three artists with
This page has information on Henri Matisse
Seattle Art Museum
Musée Matisse (Nice, France)
1. What is modernism?
2. How do these artists reflect their views of their unsettled world?
Minstrel Shows and Racial Identity
A lecture on the popularity of the minstrel show (blackface
vaudev ille performers) in the United States and Europe at
the turn of the twentieth century explores the intersection
of new forms of popular culture and the rethinking of racial
identities. It also provides an opportunity to discuss Jim
Crow laws and the rise of organizations like the Ku Klux
Klan. For information, see the following:
Frank Sweet, 2000. A History of the Minstrel Show.
W. T. Lhamon, 2000. Raising Cain: Blackface Per formance
from Jim Crow to Hip Hop.
Shobana Shankar, 2012. “Parchman Women Write the
Blues? Between Oral and Written Testimonies of Black
Women Prisoners in Mississippi in the Jim Crow Era,”
American Music.
Ken Padgett, an author, historian, freelance writer, and
webmaster from San Diego, California, created a Web site
on the history of black face with images, fi lm clips, and
sound fi les
Blackface: Minstrel Shows
1. Why did the practice of blackface even begin?
2. Why did some notable African Americans criticize
blackface? Why did white audiences enjoy blackface
per for mance?
3. What were the Jim Crow laws? How were they fi nally
4. How did some African American women respond to
Jim Crow?
U.S. National Parks
If your students like camping, and even if they don’t, this
is a great lecture that helps them appreciate why history
matters as well as the importance of environmental conservation and history. In response to industrialization and
the closing of frontiers at the turn of the twentieth century
in the United States, a few pioneering environmentalists
attempted to create a national park system. Scientist, botanist, and geologist John Muir was one of the earliest and
strongest advocates. He took President Theodore Roosevelt on a 3-day camping trip in 1903, which had a profound
effect on the president and on conservation. President
Theodore Roosevelt established many conservation policies, such as the National Forest Ser vice, and expanded
national parks and wildlife reserves to give Americans a
chance to “play pioneer.”
Documentary historian Ken Burns created The National
Parks: America’s Best Idea, a series of six videos. Showing
Chapter 18
clips of these videos will remind students of the beauty and
majesty of America’s wilderness. PBS also has a companion Web site with video clips and stories of those related to
the parks’ history.
The Sierra Club’s John Muir Exhibit
The National Parks Service History
Denise D. Meringolo, 2012. Museums, Monuments, and
National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public
1. Who is John Muir, and why is he important to American preservation of the wilderness?
2. How did President Theodore Roosevelt protect some
of the American wilderness?
3. Why were some people in the United States resistant
to the development of national parks?
Revival of the Olympic Games
An intriguing lecture for this chapter can center on the
revival of the Olympic Games. The Frenchman Baron
Pierre de Coubertin’s efforts to revive the games, which
began again in 1896, captured both optimism and anxieties
at the turn of the twentieth century. The Olympics symbolize fraternity and peace; on the other hand, the early
modern games excluded women and most colonial peoples. They also hinted at Western anxieties that men had
become too soft and needed sports to revive their masculinity. For further reading see the following:
John J. MacAloon, 1981. This Great Symbol: Pierre de Coubertin and the Origins of the Modern Olympic Games.
Allen Guttmann, 1994. The Olympics: A History of the
Modern Games.
1. Why did Europeans believe men had become too soft?
What kinds of social pressures and practices attempted
to reinvigorate manhood and masculinity?
2. The fi rst Olympic Games proved successful, and the
games continue over 100 years later. Why do you think
the world has embraced the games as they have?
Birth of a Nation
Showing a clip from an old black-and-white movie entitled
Birth of a Nation (1915) (originally titled The Clansman)
might launch a heated lecture and discussion on growing
racial anxieties in the United States and Europe in the
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 235
early twentieth century. The fi lm depicts African Americans as brutes and ogres bent on destroying white civilization. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is portrayed as heroes, and
in some states, the KKK used the fi lm as a recruiting tool.
The National Association for the Advanced of Colored
People (NAACP) and other groups protested the fi lm, and
it was banned in a number of American cities. Despite its
controversy, the fi lm was commercially successful. Further discussions can be found in the following:
Robert Lang, ed., 1994. The Birth of a Nation.
1. Why do you think the view represented in this fi lm
was so widely accepted? Were there local and/or
international events that would have supported these
2. Why would white actors play African American
Columbian Exposition
A brief overview of the Chicago Columbian Exposition in
1893 can help set the mood for the confl ict between the
ideas of progress and the growing anxieties in the United
States and Europe around the turn of the twentieth century. For information, see Robert Muccigrosso, Celebrating the New World: Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893
(1993). Images to use in class can be found at
A Digital Archive of American Architecture: World’s Columbian Exhibition Chicago in 1893
www.bc.edu/bc _org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/1893fair
More information on the exposition can be found at
World’s Columbian Exhibition: Idea, Experience, and
An interesting site to use with students is the Urban Simulation Team’s virtual tour of the Columbian Exhibition at
1. How did the idea of a World’s Fair come about? Who
paid for it?
2. What were the goals for creating a World’s Fair?
3. Why do you think the 1893 World’s Fair was such a
huge success?
The Women’s Suffrage Movement
The women’s suff rage movement emerged out of the abolitionist movement: Quakers and other activist women’s
236 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
experiences of fighting for the abolition of slavery, for
temperance, and for human rights. While supporting such
causes, middle-class Victorian women acquired a freedom
they might never have achieved otherwise. Once the door
was open, women never looked back. Thus began the
women’s suff rage movement, or what has also been called
the fi rst wave of feminism. At Seneca Falls, New York, in
July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott held
the fi rst women’s rights convention. The movement was a
truly global one, with a minority of activist women communicating with one another around the world. This important historical period is little discussed, yet it was very
relevant to events going on around the world. A lecture
recounting the details of the struggle these early women
faced, their fi rst accomplishments, and their impact on
the world helps to round out students’ vision of this era.
For more information, see the timeline found at
www.suff ragist.com/timeline.htm
And see the chapters “The Beginnings of First-Wave Feminism” and “Issues in First-Wave Feminism” (pp. 197–280)
in Marlene LeGates, In Their Time: A History of Feminism in
Western Society (2001).
1. Why do you think women chose this era to speak out
for the vote?
2. What are some of the contradictions regarding European women’s loss of rights in this period as juxtaposed with the rights they were gaining?
3. What parts of the world appeared to be more active
about demanding women’s rights? What parts were
less active? Why the difference?
The First Genocide of the Twentieth Century
German genocide of the Herero and San peoples in German Southwest Africa (Namibia) between 1904 and 1906
killed up to 100,000 Africans. The event also aroused public revulsion in the Western world. German genocidal
policies in Namibia are linked to the Ottoman practice in
the Armenian genocide as well as the German’s “fi nal solution,” or the Jewish Holocaust. For further reading, see
Jan-Bart Gewald’s 1999 book Herero Heroes: A SocioPolitical History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890–1923.
Numerous edited volumes include chapters on the Herero
genocide: Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, The History
and Sociology of Genocide (1990); Adam Jones, Genocide:
A Comprehensive Introduction (2007); and Samuel Totten
et al., eds., Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and
Critical Views (1997). One of the best sources of ready
information on the genocide is the fi lm Namibia: Genocide
and the Second Reich (2005). This fi lm draws from all of
the experts on the topic and synthesizes the material
very well.
1. What is genocide? Why would the Germans order
the genocide of Africans in German Southwest
2. What were some of the terms and practices fi rst
employed in the Herero Genocide that you know were
applied later in the Holocaust?
3. Is there a connection between genocide and
Restricting Immigration: The 1882 Chinese
Exclusion Act and ARC Research
In the American West, animosity and racism toward Chinese workers resulted in Congress passing the 1882 Exclusion Act, prohibiting Chinese immigration to the United
States. While the Chinese were not the only immigrants
to be discriminated against, this legislation was the fi rst in
barring immigration to a specific ethnic group. The U.S.
National Archives and Records Administration has a
great collection of primary sources with lesson plans associated with the Exclusion Act, including nearly 300 primary sources of specific individual cases. Having students
study and present specific cases of personal stories will
help them connect to historical individuals. A high school
teacher created this lesson plan (see #7).
Ronald Takaki’s Strangers from a Different Shore: A
History of Asian Americans (1998) is a good source. Also
take a look at the following websites, which have some
interesting primary source documents for students to
History Matters: “Our Misery and Despair”: Kearney Blasts
Chinese Immigration
Library of Congress: The Chinese in California,
A large collection of thousands of images and documents
on the Chinese in California
1. How did the exclusion act target the Chinese?
2. What do the primary sources reveal about the lives of
Chinese Americans and their struggles at the turn of
the century?
Chapter 18
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 237
Boxer Uprising and Eurocentrism
To explore the 1900 Boxer uprising in China, show a clip
from the fi lm 55 Days at Peking (1963) starring Charlton
Heston and Ava Gardner. An uncritical view of Western
imperialism, this Hollywood fi lm depicts Eurocentric
attitudes on race, colonialism, and nationalism in regard
to the Boxer rebellion. The besieged Westerners in China
are represented as heroic and modern, whereas the Chinese are represented as barbaric and evil.
You may also want to ask your students to read eyewitness accounts. Some can be found at the Web site entitled
“Asia for Educators: An Initiative of the Weatherhead
East Asian Institute” at Columbia University:
■ December Bride (1991, 90 min.). This feature film, set in
rural Ireland, is based on Sam Hanna Bell’s 1951 novel
about the rigid religious rules in rural Protestant, turn-ofthe-twentieth-century Northern Ireland. The story revolves
around the period’s patriarchal laws regarding inheritance
and landownership: in Ulster, only first-born Protestant
males could own land. The protagonist, an unmarried young
woman working for two single brothers, becomes pregnant
but refuses to marry either brother and is forced to fight the
community and society in an effort to create political
change. A part of the “Ireland into Film Series,” December
Bride provides an opportunity to consider Ulster’s Protestant history. A book is available to support the fi lm, the
works of Sam Hanna Bell, and further discussions of the
period: Lance Pettitt, December Bride (2002).
Internal Crisis and Famine and the Boxer Rebellion
This is an excellent website with teaching resources of
art, maps, videos, and other Web resources primarily for
educators and students;
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/index .html
The following books also provide background. For the
European experience, see Diana Preston, The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China’s War on Foreigners That
Shook the World in the Summer of 1900 (2001). For more
exploration of the Boxers, see Joseph W. Esherick, Origins
of the Boxer Uprising (1988).
1. How is Eurocentrism depicted in the fi lm or texts?
2. How are the views different from a Chinese recounting?
Film and Questions
The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony:
Not for Ourselves Alone (1999, 210 min.) is a heartwarming and inspiring PBS documentary by Ken Burns and
Paul Barnes that traces the lives and friendship of two
extraordinary nineteenth-century women, Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. They faced a nearly insurmountable battle for equal rights for women. While they
were not able to achieve suff rage in their lifetime, they laid
the foundations for other women to follow. The corresponding PBS Web site also has narrated slides, primary
source documents, and additional questions for teachers
and students:
1. How did the women’s rights movement in the midnineteenth century get started?
2. How did the lives of these women shape the movement?
3. What are their successes? Failures?
■ Expo: Magic of the White City (2005, 116 min.). Expo is a
documentary about the World’s Fair of 1893, officially the
World’s Columbian Exposition. Narrated by Gene Wilder,
it recounts many of the important cultural contributions
of the fair, from the work of Frederick Law Olmsted and
Daniel Burnham to the introduction of the fi rst amusement park and the scientific advances of Nikola Tesla,
Thomas Edison, and George Westinghouse. This will
work with the “Lecture Idea” on the World’s Fair.
■ Gandhi (1982, 191 min.). Starring Ben Kingsley, this epic
biographical fi lm following the life of Mohandas Gandhi
won eight Oscars, including best fi lm, best director, and
best actor. The movie follows Gandhi’s political transformation in South Africa until his death in India. He led the
Indian people in a nonviolent, passive resistance movement to overthrow the British.
■ In Search of History: The Boxer Rebellion (50 min.).
Using the subject of Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997
allowed the director to help us relate to China’s struggle
for autonomy, which has been ongoing since before the
Opium Wars. Shifting from Hong Kong’s celebration to
1900, the fi lm traces the violence committed by the people
in a populist revolt against all foreigners, primarily missionaries and foreign religion—the Boxer rebellion. The
fi lm explores the roots of the uprising. The Boxers (or Fists
of Righteous Harmony), martial artists from mostly peasant classes, believed themselves impervious to bullets.
■ Junoon (1978, 141 min.). Junoon is an Urdu word for craziness or obsession, and thus describes the overarching
point of this feature fi lm, set during the Indian Rebellion
of 1857. Junoon won multiple awards. It is the story of a
Muslim militia leader who falls in love with a Christian
“Ferangi” girl while fighting British forces.
238 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
■ Mahatma Gandhi: The Great Soul Lives (1998, 60 min.).
Through the voices of those who knew him, this fi lm
incorporates biography, history, and philosophy into its
60 minutes. Beginning with Gandhi’s college life in
London and going on to his law practice and ashram in
South Africa, the fi lm shows his personal growth toward
a philosophy of nonviolent action and a belief in independence for his people. The interviews of his daughterin-law and others help us to visualize the growth of the
Indian National Congress and the struggle for India’s
■ Mr. Sears’ Catalog (60 min.). Part of the PBS American
Experience series, this episode offers a look at the history
of rural America from the 1890s to the 1920s, as well as
how it transformed American consumer culture, by tracing the growth of the Sears Roebuck Company through
the development of its “wish book.” As they made their
cata logue available to farms across the United States,
Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck revolutionized
retail sales and changed rural America.
■ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (2009, six episodes, 120 min.). This PBS documentary by Ken Burns, a
documentary historian, consists of six episodes on the
history of the national park system.
■ Rhodes: The Life and Legend of Cecil Rhodes (1996, six
parts, 455 min.). This BBC production is too lengthy and
detailed to use for anything other than brief teaching
moments, but for this purpose it can be very useful. You
can point out various subthemes to students, such as the
native African and Boer–Anglo relationships or the role
of missionaries in promoting colonialism. The series provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the meaning of
“kaffi rs” and the enforced restructuring of black Africans’
family systems due to apartheid. In addition, the fi lm provides a scene showing the phi losopher John Ruskin delivering a sermon on imperialism at Oxford. Several scenes
impart the excitement of the diamond rush.
■ Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Part 1: “Promises Betrayed
(1865–1896)” (2002, 56 min.). This excellent documentary explains how the term Jim Crow arose. It provides the
historical post-Reconstruction context, as well as the trigger mechanism—that is, African Americans’ attempts to
assert their constitutional rights. In addition, the documentary examines how the North supported and tacitly
approved of the development of Jim Crow laws, leaving no
one innocent in the process. Although the focus of this
documentary is on U.S. policy, South African apartheid
laws were being formalized at this time as well. The general Western support for social Darwinism as a reputable
science allowed for these kinds of actions. You can use
this fi lm to tie these pieces together. An accompanying
Web site with teaching resources is at
■ The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony: Not for Ourselves Alone (1999, 210 min.). This
heartwarming documentary by Ken Burns and Paul
Barnes traces the lives and friendship of two extraordinary nineteenth-century women, Stanton and Anthony.
They faced a nearly insurmountable battle for equal rights
for women. While they were not able to achieve suff rage
in their lifetime, they laid the foundations for other women
to follow.
■ Topsy:
William Morris (1996, 57 min.). Some people
responded to the second industrial revolution by reviving
age-old artisan skills. William Morris of Great Britain was
one of the leaders of the arts and crafts movement. This
documentary profi les England’s most influential designer,
known to his friends as Topsy. He and his allies (Dante
Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and others), sometimes known as the Pre-Raphaelites, succeeded in creating some socialist reform in England and elsewhere. Their
influence is felt still today. Morris formed Morris and Co.,
at which books, fabrics, pottery, and other craft items
were hand made.
Lynn Abrams, 2002. The Making of Modern Woman:
Europe, 1789–1918.
Benedict Anderson, 1983. Imagined Communities.
Benedict Anderson, 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism.
Marie-Claire Bergère, trans. Janet Lloyd, 2000. Sun Yat-sen.
A. Adu Boahen, 1989. African Perspectives on Colonialism.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1927. Autobiography:
The Story of My Experiments with Truth.
Jan-Bart Gewald, 1999. Herero Heroes: A Socio-Political
History of the Herero of Namibia, 1890–1923.
George Head Hamilton, 1994. Painting and Sculpture in
Europe, 1880–1940.
Eric Hobsbawm, 1992. Nations and Nationalism since
1780: Programme, Myth, Reality.
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, 1983, 2012. The
Invention of Tradition.
Albert L. Hurtado, 1999. Intimate Frontiers: Sex, Gender,
and Culture in Old California (Histories of the American Frontier).
Peter Katjavivi, 1988. A History of Resistance in Namibia.
Alan Knight, 1986. The Mexican Revolution: Porfirians,
Liberals and Peasants.
Chapter 18
Paul Landau, 2010. Popular Politics in the History of South
Africa, 1400–1948.
Marlene LeGates, 2001. In Their Time: A History of Feminism in Western Society.
Aran MacKinnon, 2012. The Making of South Africa, Culture and Politics.
Jim Masselos, 1998. Indian Nationalism.
Margaret H. McFadden, 1999. Golden Cables of Sympathy: The Transatlantic Sources of Nineteenth- Century
Denise D. Meringolo, 2012. Museums, Monuments, and
National Parks: Toward a New Genealogy of Public
Donald R. Morris, 1998. The Washing of the Spears: A History of the Rise of the Zulu Nation under Shaka and Its
Fall in the Zulu War of 1879.
S. C. M. Paine, 2005. The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–
1895: Perceptions, Power, and Primacy.
Diana Preston, 2001. The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic
Story of China’s War on Foreigners That Shook the
World in the Summer of 1900.
Robert Ross, 2000. A Concise History of South Africa.
Edward Said, 1979. Orientalism.
Edward Said, 2012. Culture and Imperialism.
Ronald Takaki, 1998. Strangers from a Different Shore: A
History of Asian Americans.
Edward Tannenbaum, 1976. 1900: The Generation before
the Great War.
Louise Tilly and Joan Scott, 1987. Women, Work, and
Richard H. Timberlake, 1993. Monetary Policy in the
United States: An Intellectual and Institutional
Africa Past and Present, Episode 73: Namibia: Herero Protest, Prophecy and Private Archives
Michigan State University’s history department and
MATRIX—The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and
Social Sciences Online produces a podcast about African history, culture and politics in the diaspora
Anglo-Boer War Museum
Asia for Educators: An Initiative of the Weatherhead East
Asian Institute at Columbia University
Excellent Web site with teaching resources of art, maps,
videos, and other web resources primarily for educators and students
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/index .html
An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
◆ 239
Colonialism and the Herero Genocide
Tufts University Adjunct Professor of Genocide Studies
Laura Graham created a PowerPoint slide on the Herero genocide in German Southwest Africa (Namibia)
A Digital Archive of American Architecture: World’s Columbian Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago
Boston College Professor Jeff rey Howe’s collection of
architectural images
www.bc.edu/bc _org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/1893fair
Ehistory: Events of the Pullman Strike
Ohio University’s Ehistory Web site has a great selection
of multimedia resources and timelines
Hermitage Museum
Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, this museum has one
of the largest collections of modern art in the world,
some of which can be viewed online
A History of Women’s Suff rage
Grolier Online, in conjunction with its encyclopedia, created a Web page on the history of women’s suff rage and
the nineteenth amendment
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/suff rage
The Indian National Congress
The official Indian National Congress site, with some
historical documents and timeline
Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY)
The Metropolitan, or “Met,” has extensive collections of
modern art, including biographies of artists
Musee Matisse (Nice, France)
Musée Picasso (Paris)
Museo Picasso (Malaga)
Museu Picasso (Barcelona)
National Archives Teaching with Documents
The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
240 ◆ Chapter 18 An Unsettled World, 1890–1914
has a great collection of primary sources with lesson
New York Public Library: Small-Town America
New York Public Library’s collection of stereoscopic
antique photographs of a variety of American scenes
19th Century Architecture: World’s Fair of 1900, Paris
Boston College Professor Jeff rey Howe’s collection of
architectural images
www.bc.edu/bc _org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/1900fair
PBS: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony: Not for Ourselves Alone
The corresponding PBS website for the 1999 fi lm also
has narrated slides, primary source documents, and
additional questions for teachers and students
Railroaded: Spatial History Project
This was created in a collaboration between Stanford
University and W.W. Norton
-american-railway-union-1893 -1894
Votes for Women: Selections from the National American
Woman Suff rage Association Collection, 1848–1921
The National American Woman Suff rage Association
(NAWSA) collection of books, pamphlets, and other
primary-source documents documenting the suff rage
Of Masses and Visions
of the Modern, 1910–1939
▶ The Quest for the Modern
▶ The Great War, 1914–1918
The Fighting
Empire and War
The Russian Revolution
The Fall of the Central Powers
The Peace Settlement and the Impact of the War
Mass Society: Culture, Production, and Consumption
Mass Culture
Film and Advertising
Mass Production and Mass Consumption
The Automobile Assembly Line
The Great Depression
Mass Politics: Competing Visions for Building Modern States
Liberal Democracy under Pressure
British and French Responses to Economic Crisis
The American New Deal
Authoritarianism and Mass Mobilization
World War I shook the foundations of the nineteenthcentury European-centered world. From August 1914 to
November 1918, while most of the battles were fought on
European soil, it was a truly global war and involved countless countries and soldiers across the world. The war catalyzed the momentum toward mass participation, mass
consumption, and mass production—or modernism—
that was already emerging at the dawn of the twentieth
century. New media of radio and fi lm helped spread war
propaganda and mass culture. One of the effects of World
War I was that the ideas of freedom, self-determination,
and sovereignty influenced colonies around the world.
During the 1920s and 1930s, long after the fighting ended,
leaders and peoples around the globe struggled with this
development. How should societies be organized to reflect
▶ The Soviet Union and Socialism
Mass Terror and Stalin’s Dictatorship
▶ Italian Fascism
▶ German Nazism
▶ Dictatorships in Spain and Portugal
▶ Militarist Japan
▶ Common Features of Authoritarian Regimes
The Hybrid Nature of Latin American Corporatism
Anticolonial Visions of Modern Life
African Stirrings
Gandhi and Nonviolent Resistance
A Divided Anticolonial Movement
Chinese Nationalism
Peasant Popu lism in China: White Wolf
A Postimperial Turkish Nation
Nationalism and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood
in Egypt
these new values and assumptions? The Great Depression
of the 1930s heightened this dilemma as it became clear
that mass production and consumption had failed to meet
the material needs of many members of society. In the wake
of these developments, three competing visions emerged
for how to be modern: liberal democratic, authoritarian,
or anticolonial, which competed for preeminence leading
up to World War II. Not only was this an intellectual competition, but also it meshed with geopolitical rivalries and
imperial networks, making the world a tinderbox of tension by the end of the 1930s.
I. Introduction
A. World War I ended in German East Africa,
where 10,000 German-trained African soldiers fought 100,000 British-trained African
242 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
B. From August 1914 to November 1918, while
most of the battles were fought in European
soil, it was a truly global war and involved
countless countries and soldiers across the
C. One of the effects of World War I was that the
ideas of freedom, self- determination and sovereignty influenced colonies around the
D. World War I prompted production and consumption on a massive scale, one of the striking features of economic modernity
E. New media of radio and fi lm helped spread war
propaganda and mass culture
F. The harsh treaty after the war led to an unbalanced global economy and the Great
G. Three different ideological visions arose after
the war—liberal democratic, authoritarian,
and anticolonial—which competed for preeminence leading up to World War II
II. The quest for the modern
A. “Modern” was difficult to defi ne in the 1920s
and 1930s
1. Economic modernity involved mass production and mass consumption; the automobile, record player, the cinema, and
radio reflected the benefits of economic
and cultural modernism
2. Political modernity meant mass involvement in politics, strong leadership, and, for
some, democracy to replace monarchical
and colonial rule
3. Three competing political debates on
modernism emerged
a. Liberal democratic: a model connecting capitalism and democracy by widening governance participation with
state power to regulate bureaucracies
b. Authoritarianism: both right-wing and
left-wing dictatorships subordinated
the individual to the state, managed
and owned most aspects of the economic production process, enforced
censorship and terror, and exalted an
all-powerful leader
c. Anticolonial: questioned the liberal
democratic order because of its support
of colonial rule and generally favored
mixing Western ideas with indigenous
local traditions
III. The Great War
A. 4 years of warfare and violence shook the hierarchies of European society, while among colonies, it damaged European claims to civilized
superiority and encouraged subjects to break
from imperial rulers
B. The causes of the war were complex
1. While Britain had been the preeminent
power in the nineteenth century, the German economy started surpassing Britain’s
and its navy was catching up
2. Rivalry between Great Britain and Germany led to the formation of military
a. The Central Powers were Germany and
b. The Triple Entente (later the Allied
Powers) affi liated Britain, France, and
C. The spark that ignited hostilities: the 1914
assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne
in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by an assassin hoping to
trigger an independence movement of Slav territories (in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) and
unite them with Serbia
D. The fighting
1. Battlefronts, stalemate, and carnage
a. Instead of a quick war, vast armies
fought a defensive war
b. Trenches on the Western Front
went from the English Channel to the
i. Machine guns and barbed wire
guarded the trenches
ii. Life in the trenches proved tedious,
damp, dirty, and disease ridden
c. On the Eastern Front, Russians moved
into Prussia and Austria-Hungary
d. By 1915, the war had grown into a
i. The battles of Ypres in 1915 and
the Somme in 1916 saw hundreds
of thousands of casualties with little gain for either side
e. The death toll forced governments to
enlist more and more men so that millions were serving in each belligerent
f. War undermined traditional gender
i. Thousands of women served in
auxiliary units
Chapter 19
ii. Women replaced men in occupations on the home front
iii. Food shortages led women to
rebel against the state for food for
their children
g. Nearly 70 million men fought in the war
i. By 1918, casualties exceeded
8 million, with another 20 million
ii. Civilians suffered from aerial
bombardment, food shortages,
and disease
2. Empire and war
a. The horror of war reached across
i. The Ottoman Empire, which
joined the Central Powers, battled
the British and Russia in Egypt,
Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and
the Caucasus
a. In 1915–1916, Ottoman forces
massacred or deported over
1 million ethnic Armenians,
claiming they were cooperating
with Russians; many consider
this a genocide
ii. Britain and France conscripted
millions of soldiers from their
Asian and African colonies, and
the British dominions of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
iii. At home in Europe or in some colonies, subjects revolted as the prolonged and bloody war brought
despair and disillusionment
a. Mission-educated John Chilembwe led a revolt in British
Nyasaland, “Africa for the
b. Controlling the mobilized
masses proved more difficult
in Eu rope, and after 1916,
antiwar demonstrations
and strikes rolled out
3. The Russian Revolution
a. The war destroyed empires, and the
fi rst to go was Romanov Russia
b. In Russia’s 1917 February Revolution,
military and civilian elites overthrew
the monarchy and created a parliamentary provisional government with
grassroots councils, or soviets
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 243
c. In October 1917, Bolsheviks, led by
Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, proclaimed a socialist revolution for the
soviets to overtake the February “bourgeois” revolution
i. Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of
Brest-Litovsk, a peace treaty with
the Germans
ii. The Bolsheviks relocated their
government to Moscow to create
a socialist soviet government
4. The fall of the Central Powers
a. The United States’ entry into the war in
1917 tipped the balance in favor of the
b. German soldiers faced hunger, influenza,
imminent defeat, and potential civil war
c. German generals agreed to an armistice in November 1918
i. Kaiser Wilhelm II fled the country,
and the empire became a republic
E. The peace settlement and the impact of the war
1. The victors imposed a punitive peace on
Germany at the “peace conference” held at
the Palace of Versailles in 1919
a. The treaty assigned to Germany sole
blame for the war, forced it to pay reparations, and gave its colonies to the
victorious powers to be administered
as “mandates”
b. American President Woodrow Wilson
had hoped for a more harmonious and
peaceful settlement
i. His ideas for a League of Nations
and national self-determination
did see partial adherence in the
peace treaty
a. The U.S. Senate refused to
ratify the treaty and thus kept
the United States out of the
League of Nations
b. Russia was also excluded from
the talks and the League
ii. Many new nation-states emerged
in Eastern and Central Europe but
not beyond
2. The war ushered in other changes
a. Women did not retreat from new
i. In Russia, Britain, Germany, and
the United States, women gained
the right to vote in all elections
244 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
ii. Increasingly, young unmarried
women expressed their sexuality
in public
IV. Mass society: Culture, production, and consumption
A. Mass culture
1. New forms of mass culture and entertainment were partially war time products, as
the war politicized cultural activities and
broadened the audience for nationally oriented information and entertainment
2. Propaganda campaigns attempted to
mobilize entire populations through public lectures, theatrical productions, musical compositions, and censored
newspapers, fi lm, and radio
3. Postwar mass culture distinctive in that
a. Different from elite culture of opera,
classical music, paintings, and literature,
and it reflected the tastes of the working
and middle classes, who had more time
and money to spend on entertainment
b. Relied on new technologies of radio
and fi lm to reach the entire population
and sense of nation
4. Radio
a. Reached its golden age after World War
I, during the 1920s; syndicated programs and radio broadcasts endeared
themselves to women, children, and the
entire family
b. By the late 1920s, two-thirds of American homes had a radio
c. Radio was an instrument to mobilize
the masses, especially for authoritarian
regimes, but it could not exert full control over mass culture
5. Film and advertising
a. Hollywood emerged as vulgar and
decadent, because of its prominently
displayed sexual fi lms
b. Film also served political purposes like
radio, with antiliberal governments taking the lead with propagandistic cinema
i. The Nazi’s Leni Riefenstahl Triumph of the Will (1934) is an
c. Radio and fi lm became big business,
with advertising shaping national consumer tastes, especially in the United
d. The American entertainment reached
an international audience and the
world began to share mass-produced
images and fantasies
B. Mass production and mass consumption
1. The same factors that promoted mass culture also fed mass production and
2. World War I spurred the development of
mass production techniques to supply
huge quantities of identical war material,
in response to the modern world’s
demands for greater volume, faster speed,
reduced cost, and standardized output 3,
The war reshuffled the world’s economic
balance of power to the United States
as a “working vision of modernity,” where
production (one-third of the world’s
industrial goods by 1929) and consumption
3. The automobile assembly line
a. The American motor car was an outstanding example of the relationship
between mass production and consumption, while also symbolizing the
machine age and the American road to
b. Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor
Company in 1903, pioneering the mass
production of automobiles
i. Ford mass produced the Model T
and sold it at a price that middleclass consumers could afford
ii. Ford’s factories assembled a car
every 10 seconds
iii. An impressive 4 million out of 45
million workers owed their jobs to
the automobile industry; Ford paid
workers twice the national average,
recognizing that mass production
required mass consumption
c. By 1930, Americans owned 23 million
cards, a demonstration of mass production success
4. The Great Depression
a. Overproduction caused sagging prices
and especially farmers throughout the
United States, Canada, Australia, and
Latin America suffered more than manufacturing industries
b. On October 24, 1929, called “Black
Tuesday,” the American stock market
collapsed, plunging the world fi nancial
and trading systems into crisis creating
the Great Depression
Chapter 19
c. Causes of the depression go back to the
i. European nations were left with
huge debt and borrowed from
American banks
ii. When many investors and governments defaulted on their loans
toward the end of the decade, the
U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates and tightened credit
iii. Beginning with Central Europe,
bank failures caused other lenders
to call in their loans, spurring
panic and more bank closures
until eventually the stock market
crashed on Wall Street
d. World trade suffered as fi nancial turmoil spread
i. To protect domestic producers,
fi rst the United States and then
other governments abandoned
free trade and raised protective
tariff barriers
ii. By 1935, world trade was at onethird of its level in 1929
iii. Primary producers in the nonindustrial world suffered the most as
commodity prices dropped
e. The Depression forced many to rethink
laissez-faire liberalism, or the idea of
unregulated free markets
i. Many advocated state intervention to alleviate the crisis
ii. John Maynard Keynes, a British
economist, published The General
Theory of Employment, Interest,
and Money, which spawned the
Keynesian revolution: that the
market could not always adjust to
its own failures and that sometimes the state had to stimulate
the economy by increasing the
money supply and creating jobs
iii. Keynesian revolution took years
to transform economic policy and
produce the welfare state, in order
to save capitalism from itself
V. Mass politics: Competing visions for building
modern states
A. World War I challenged the liberal order—the
belief in progress, free markets, and societies
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 245
guided by the educated few—that had begun
at the turn of the twentieth century
1. Socialism gained new followers everywhere, except in the United States
2. Authoritarian and militaristic regimes
became increasingly popu lar for their solutions to problems like mass
B. Liberal democracy under pressure
1. 1920s Europe faced increasing anxieties
about modernization
a. The appeal of African American nude
dancer Josephine Baker and Oswald
Spengler’s The Decline of the West
(1919) reflected the declining confidence in urban industrial society
2. Many states had experimented with illiberal policies during the war
3. The war also broadened the size and scope
of governments
4. British and French responses to economic
a. After the war, liberal democrats wanted
to return to free-market policies, but
the economic crises, especially the
Great Depression, forced them to
rethink their ideas
b. The mobilized public demanded that
governments address their concerns
about jobs, housing, and war
c. Britain and France sustained their parliamentary systems; Britain even
retained their commitment to capitalism, but liberal democratic ideas were
on the defense
d. France experienced six governments
between 1932 and 1933, but a coalition of the moderate and radical left
formed the Popu lar Front government
who introduced the right of collective
bargaining, a 40-hour workweek,
2-week paid vacations, and minimum
5. The American New Deal
a. The United States also faced challenges
to its liberal democratic system
b. In contrast to postwar Europe, Americans elected conservatives to office in the
1920s who promised to retreat from the
government activism of recent decades
c. African Americans were left behind in
the South with “Jim Crow” laws enforcing
246 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
social and economic segregation and
political disenfranchisement
d. African Americans began migrating to
urban northern cities of New York and
Chicago, and formed vibrant cultural
scenes; the Harlem Renaissance is the
way in which African Americans used
art to protest racial subordination
e. By the end of 1930, 4 million Americans lost their jobs while President
Hoover insisted that self-reliance, not
government handouts, would restore
economic prosperity.
f. The Great Depression swept away conservative leadership and led to the landslide election of Franklin Roosevelt to
the presidency in 1932
g. In his fi rst 100 days, Roosevelt
launched the New Deal to provide
relief for the jobless and rebuild the
economy through regulatory agencies
i. The Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation to guarantee bank
deposits up to $5,000
ii. The Securities and Exchange
Commission to monitor the stock
iii. The Federal Emergency Relief
Administration to help states and
local governments aid the poor
iv. The Works Press Administration
provided 3 million jobs to build
roads, bridges, airports, and post
v. The Social Security Act started
old-age supplemental pensions
h. While unemployment remained high
throughout the 1930s, Roosevelt’s policies restored confidence in government, and the United States avoided
authoritarian solutions
i. Roosevelt set out to save capitalism’s essential features, not
destroy them
C. Authoritarianism and mass mobilization
1. All of the postwar dictatorships, whether on
the right or the left, were forged in opposition to liberal democracies, and they
claimed to create dynamic yet orderly societies with charismatic and powerful leaders
a. They treated the masses as an army
that needed to be commanded to create
orderly societies, rebuild economies,
and restore order
b. Charismatic leaders gained support by
embracing public welfare programs
c. The dictators promised to deliver
modernity without enduring its
costs—class divisions, unemployment,
and the like
2. The Soviet Union and socialism
a. The Bolshevik seizure of power In Russia delivered the most dramatic blow
against liberal capitalism
b. The Bolsheviks or Reds defeated the
Whites, including a foreign army coalition of Britain, France, Japan, and the
United States, in a bloody civil war
between 1918 and 1921
i. Grain requisitioning and military
maneuvering created stress on the
ii. A horrifying drought and famine
ensued from 1921 to 1923, in
which 7–10 million died from
hunger and disease
c. In order to revive the economy, in 1924,
Bolsheviks allowed for the reemergence
of private trade and private property
d. After Lenin’s death, Stalin seized control of the Communist Party, and the
nation soon became the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) or
the Soviet Union
3. The Soviets build socialism
a. Stalin built a new social and political
order by defining Soviet or revolutionary socialism in opposition to capitalism
b. Stalin’s socialism would have economic
planning and full employment, and
would outlaw “exploitation” of private
c. Building a noncapitalist society
required a class war, which started
with village communes becoming
collective farms and selling produce
at state prices
d. Early efforts to create socialism were
i. Many peasants resisted by burning
their crops, killing their livestock,
and destroying their equipment
ii. The regime deported resistors to
remote areas
Chapter 19
iii. Eventually those living on cooperative farms were allowed individual plots of land and the right to
sell their individual harvests at
peasant markets
e. The regime launched a 5-year plan to
“catch and overtake” capitalist countries in industries
i. Over 10 million received jobs
advancing technology by building dams, automobile factories,
and heavy machinery plants and
eliminating unemployment during the depression
f. The Soviets built socialism in the borderlands to include Ukraine, Belarus,
the Transcaucasian Federation, and
others in a 15-member USSR state
under Moscow centralized rule
4. Mass terror and Stalin’s dictatorship
a. The Soviet system became more
despotic with the growth in police
power from forcing peasants into collectives and orga niz ing mass
b. Stalin initiated mass terror against the
elite, although his motives seem
unclear as loyalty was not at stake
i. Millions of ordinary people helped
implement the terror, with many
showing zeal in fi ngering “enemies” and turning in neighbors
5. Italian fascism
a. Political situation in capitalist societies
started to change because of disillusionment with war costs and fear that a
communist takeover would occur in
Western Europe like Russia
i. In Italy, mass strikes, factory
occupations, and peasant land
seizures swept the country in
b. Benito Mussolini (1883–), a former
socialist journalist, seized power by
organizing fascism
i. Early program mixed nationalism
with social radicalism
ii. Mussolini called for a populist
program of women’s suff rage, an
8-hour workday, worker factory
control, land redistribution, and a
constituent assembly
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 247
iii. As champions of the little guy, fascists attracted thousands of followers, despite his violence-prone
troops wearing black
c. Mussolini organized a march on Rome
in 1922 and seized power
i. King Victor Emmanuel III refused
to send the army against them
ii. When the government resigned in
protest, the king asked Mussolini
to become the prime minister,
despite their small minority of
seats from the 1921 elections
iii. With fraud and intimidation,
fascists won 65% of the votes
in 1924
d. Within 2 years, he transformed Italy’s
constitutional monarchy into a dictatorship, dissolving all opposition parties
e. Mussolini also made deals with big
industries and the church
f. He also used propaganda of fi lm, radio,
and even parades to recapture the old
Roman empire grandeur and the cult of
the leader (“Il Duce”) to instill pride in
g. As the fi rst antiliberal, anti-socialist
alternative, Italian fascism became a
model for others
6. German Nazism
a. Germany, like Italy, seemed on the
verge of revolution after the war
b. Like Mussolini, Adolf Hitler formed a
movement that blended socialist and
nationalist ideas
i. During the 1920s, despite an
attempted coup and a widely read
autobiography, Hitler failed to
attract much support
ii. The Nazis’ fortunes soared after
the onset of the Great Depression
a. The economic catastrophe led
millions to abandon faith in
the Republic and seek more
radical alternatives
c. Hitler came to power “peacefully” and
i. In 1932, thinking he could control
Hitler and use the Nazis against
the communists and socialists,
President Paul von Hindenburg
appointed him as chancellor
248 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
ii. Hitler manipulated fears of communist conspiracy (and intimidation) to force parliament to grant
him dictatorial powers
d. The Nazi regime soon won broad
i. Rearmament programs absorbed
the unemployed
ii. State direction of the economy,
which remained in private hands,
reduced economic anxieties
a. The state sponsored public
works and organized leisure
activities and vacations for
low-income people
e. Germany reemerged as an international power
7. Dictatorships in Spain and Portugal
a. Military dictators seized power in
Spain and Portugal, leading to the instigation of the Spanish Civil War (1936–
1939) with 250,000 dead.
b. Spanish republican government introduced reforms to break the church and
landlords on the state, along with the
Spanish military, all of Europe’s major
powers got involved.
c. Spanish General Francisco Franco only
won because of German and Italian
military assistance
d. Franco was able to establish a dictatorship because of Stalin’s support
8. Militarist Japan
a. Unlike other countries, Japan benefited
from the war and did not suffer from
wounded power and pride
i. Without European and American
competition during the war, Japan
expanded its Asian trade and its
GNP grew 40%
b. Postwar Japan initially headed down
the liberal road, with the rise of mass
political parties and suff rage
c. However, a new Peace Preservation
Law served to curb mass leftist parties,
as it punished anyone advocating for
political change or abolition of private
property with 10 years labor
d. Emperor Hirohito’s rise to power in
1926 veered Japan farther from the liberal democratic order
e. The Great Depression also contributed
as American and Chinese protectionist
measures resulted in the plummeting of
Japanese trade by 50% and unemployment surged
f. The Japanese military increasingly
meddled in the nation’s politics
i. The armed forces were free of
civilian control and used “patriotic” organizations to pressure
prime ministers to resign, often
through violent intimidation
ii. These organizations professed loyalty to the emperor and the nation
iii. In 1931, military officers staged an
explosion on the Japanese-owned
Southern Manchurian Railroad
and used it as a pretext to conquer
Manchuria, a Chinese province,
and add it to the empire
iv. At home, patriotic organizations
continued to agitate against opponents of the military and its
expansionist goals
a. They promoted the traditional
Shintō religion, which revered
the state
g. In 1940, political parties were banned,
and the military effectively ruled an
authoritarian state
9. Common features of authoritarian regimes
a. Russia, Italy, Germany, and Japan
shared many traits
i. All rejected parliamentary rule
ii. All sought to create power
through authoritarianism, violence, and cult leadership
iii. Economical ly, all believed in
strong state intervention
iv. They employed mass organizations for state purposes
v. All but Japan adopted large-scale
social welfare policies
vi. All were ambivalent about women
in public roles
a. They urged women to stay at
home and produce healthy
b. Women had greater access to
professional careers, partly out
of necessity because of the rise
in the number of single women
after World War I
vii. All used terror and violence
against their citizens, colonial
Chapter 19
subjects, or “foreigners” living
under their regime
viii. Despite their brutality, during the
1930s, these regimes attracted
many admirers and would-be imitators in other countries
D. The hybrid nature of Latin American
1. Economic turmoil
a. Latin American countries avoided fighting in the war, but economic disruptions caused their exports to plummet
i. Radical agitation emerged at home,
and oligarchic political regimes fell
b. The Depression hammered Latin
America’s trade and fi nancial system
c. Latin American governments responded
by creating regimes that blended aspects
of authoritarianism and democracy
d. The state sponsored economic strategies
that looked to the domestic market, not
foreign buyers, as an engine of growth
e. After the war, elites formed mass parties that organized workers, peasants,
and ethnic minorities under the tutelage of the state
f. These “corporatist” states used social
and occupational groups to bridge
elites and the rank and fi le
2. Corporatist politics in Brazil
a. In Brazil, Getúlio Vargas created a
strong following, which he rode to
power in the 1930s
i. He created social welfare programs and sponsored public works
ii. He encouraged blacks to organize
iii. He supported samba schools
(organizations that taught the
popu lar dance and raised money
for public works)
b. Vargas squelched political rivals and
dissent, banning political parties in
1937 and creating national representation along corporatist lines
i. While individuals lost political
rights, excluded groups such as
unions gained more political power
c. Vargas used “modern” propaganda
campaigns to extend his support
E. Anticolonial visions of modern life
1. Debates over democratic or authoritarian
political models engaged the world’s colonial and semicolonial regions
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 249
a. Most Asians wanted to remove colonial
b. In Africa, the true role of colonialism
was questioned
c. The war reshuffled European empires
and created more colonies
i. France and Britain acquired colonial territories from the Ottoman
Empire and Germany
ii. In 1926, Britain rechristened its
empire the “Commonwealth” and
granted white settler colonies of
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand “dominion” status—
independence—in return for
loyalty to the crown
iii. Indians and Africans, or nonwhites, were deemed unready for
2. After the war, anticolonialism emerged as
the preeminent vision in Asia and Africa
a. Various nationalist movements
emerged and disagreed on how nations
should be governed once they gained
independence and on how citizenship
should be defi ned
i. The competing visions of democracy and radical authoritarianism
appealed to different leaders and
ii. The movements most often
looked to indigenous religious and
cultural traditions for galvanizing
the rank and fi le
b. The colonial figures involved in political and intellectual movements insisted
that the societies they sought to establish were going to be modern and at the
same time retain their indigenous
3. African stirrings
a. Anticolonial nationalist movements
were young, as Europeans recently
acquired them as territories, and these
movements intensified after the war
b. European demand for land and
resources brought environmental degradation, contributing to colonial
c. African interests received little voice
under colonialism; the French had one
African delegate to the National
Assembly, and the British none
250 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
d. As a result, many Africans began to
experiment with various forms of protest
i. In southeastern Nigeria, Ibo and
Ibibio women protested taxes by
refusing to deal with local chiefs
and boycotting foreign merchants
ii. Many of these protests resembled
modern political strategies in
iii. Protests also ran up against
Western-educated African elites
who consumed Western cultures of
homes, automobiles, clothing, and
foods; however, they also began to
confront colonial authorities
a. Jomo Kenyatta (1898–1978)
invoked precolonial Kikuyu
traditions in Kenya as a basis
for resisting against British
4. Imagining an Indian nation
a. The war brought full-blown challenges
to British rule, providing inspiration for
other anticolonial movements
b. For over a century, Indians heard British authorities extol the virtues of parliamentary government, but they were
mostly excluded from participation
c. During the 1920s and 1930s, Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) transformed
the Indian National Congress Party
into a mass party and an anticolonial
5. Gandhi and nonviolent resistance
a. Gandhi studied law in England and
organized Indian immigrants in South
Africa, where he developed a philosophy
of satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance
b. He promoted swaraj, “self-rule” by selfreliance and self-control pursued
c. In 1919, British soldiers opened fi re on
protestors, massacring 379 Indians and
wounding 1,200 who were protesting
policies at Amritsar, Punjab
i. Gandhi and others called for noncooperation and boycotts
ii. He transformed the Indian
National Congress from an elite
institution into a mass orga nization open to anyone who could
pay dues
d. In 1930, Gandhi organized a civil disobedience campaign around salt, a
commodity consumed by every Indian
i. He and seventy-one supporters
marched 3 weeks to the sea to
gather salt for free to break the
British monopoly on salt
ii. Journalists covered the march
extensively, moved by the
61-year-old Gandhi
e. Gandhi’s efforts inspired Indian pride
and national consciousness and millions to join strikes, boycott, and defy
British rule
6. A divided anticolonial movement
a. Gandhi did not aspire to dictatorial
power, and his program met with opposition from others in the Indian
National Congress
i. Although he supported Gandhi,
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), a
National Congress leader, wanted
India to become a powerful
nation-state by embracing science
and technology
ii. Radical activists wanted revolution, not peaceful protests
b. The Hindu–Muslim alliance of the
1920s splintered over representation
and political rights
c. The Government of India Act of 1935,
giving provincial autonomy and enlarging the franchise in India, widened the
gulf between Hindus and Muslims
d. New leadership under Muhammad Ali
Jinnah made the Muslim League the
sole representative organization of their
e. Hindus also sought to become a religious nation
f. Women demanded suff rage and other
political rights that the National Congress did not embrace
g. The Congress mobilized the masses in
order to overthrow British rule and
struggled to contain the different ideologies and new political institutions
h. By World War II, India was well on its
way toward political independence,
but British policies and India’s divisions foretold a violent end to Imperial rule
Chapter 19
7. Chinese nationalism
a. China was not formally colonized, but
its sovereignty was compromised
i. Chinese nationalists thus identified
ridding the nation of foreign domination as their number one priority
b. The fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911 led
to high hopes among nationalists that a
new modern nation would emerge
i. Quickly, the new Chinese government disintegrated as military
men competed for power
c. In 1919, the May Fourth Movement
blossomed in urban areas to protest the
Paris Peace Conference’s award of Germany’s concession rights in Shandong
to Japan
d. Beneficiaries of this emerging nationalism were the Guomindang, founded by
Sun Yat-sen
i. Looking to the Russian Revolution as an example, Sun allowed
Chinese Communists to join the
ii. The Guomindang also began to
organize workers’ unions, peasants, and women’s associations
e. After Sun’s death in 1925, leadership of
the Guomindang passed to Chiang
i. Chiang launched a military campaign to unify the country under
Guomindang leadership
ii. His efforts were a partial success,
and he formed a national government in Nanjing
iii. In 1927, he broke with the
f. Chiang attempted to mobilize the Chinese masses behind his efforts into the
i. The New Life Movement,
launched in 1934, attempted to
instill discipline and moral purpose in the citizenry
8. Peasant popu lism in China: White Wolf
a. Guomindang leadership viewed the
peasantry as backward and bereft of
revolutionary potential
b. Nevertheless, a peasant movement
emerged in 1913–1914 that challenged
the existing order
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 251
i. The White Wolf movement had
more than 20,000 members and
devoted itself to raiding trade
routes and market towns in order to
rob from the rich and aid the poor
ii. The White Wolf movement
gained its greatest support in
rural areas, where peasants were
experiencing the disruption of
new market forces
c. The Guomindang never bridged the
differences between the urban-based
movement and peasants, something
Communists would take advantage of
9. Post-imperial Turkish nation
a. The Treaty of Sèvres reduced the Ottoman Empire to a part of Anatolia, and
survival of this truncated state was
b. Mustafa Kemal and other army officers
organized resistance to this outcome
i. In 1920, they reconquered most of
Anatolia and the European territory surrounding Istanbul
ii. European powers agreed to renegotiate the Treaty of Sèvres
iii. The new Peace of Lausanne abrogated reparations in return for the
Turks relinquishing claims to Arab
lands and several Aegean islands
a. A massive transfer of Greek
and Turkish nationals then took
place between each country
c. Kemal, who took on the name
Ataturk—father of the nation—went on
to proclaim a republic and set the nation
on a crash course to modernization
i. Ataturk aimed to create a
European-style secular state
ii. He borrowed several antiliberal
models such as state economic
planning and the use of radical
racial theories to foster Turkish
economic development and identity with the state
10. Nationalism and the rise of the Muslim
Brotherhood in Egypt
a. Elsewhere in the Middle East, anticolonial movements emerged
i. In Egypt, after the war ended, Sa’d
Zaghlul pressed for an Egyptian
252 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
delegation to the Paris Peace
a. He hoped to present a case for
Egyptian independence
b. British officials arrested him
and exiled him to Malta
c. The country quickly burst into
In 1922, Britain proclaimed
Egypt’s independence but
retained many rights, such as the
right to station British troops on
Egyptian soil and to use these
troops in order to protect foreign
residents and the Suez Canal
In 1924, the British refused to let
the Wafd, Zaghlul’s political
party, come to power
Anticolonialism in Egypt soon
turned antiliberal
a. During the Depression, a fascist group called Young Egypt
had wide appeal
b. The Muslim Brotherhood,
established in 1928, attacked
liberal democracy as a façade
for middle-class, business, and
landowning interests
They wanted more than independence, urging the people to return
to a purified form of Islam
VI. Conclusion
A. The Great War and its aftermath accelerated
the trend toward mass society with rulers
worldwide concerned about satisfying the
B. Competing visions—liberal democratic,
authoritarian, and anticolonial ideologies—
emerged after the war
C. In Europe and America, liberal democracy was
the norm and was only saved from collapse
because of government regulation and oversight of the capitalist economic system
D. Authoritarianism seemed best positioned to
satisfy the masses during the Great Depression; while it involved brutal oppression, it
also seemed to restore pride and purpose to
the masses
E. Some anticolonial movements rejected liberalism because of its attachment to colonial rule
and modeled socialism and fascism, along with
traditional religions, as promising paths
F. While the decades after the end of World War I
brought great political and economic dislocations, the traumas were tame compared to the
outbreak of World War II
Mass Culture, Film, and Hollywood
Most students and people around the world are mesmerized with Hollywood, so this lecture is sure to capture
their interest. Radio and fi lm were keys to the development of mass culture in the early twentieth century.
Postwar mass culture was distinctive from elite culture
and reflected the tastes of the working and middle classes,
who had more time and money to spend on entertainment. Radio and fi lm were keys to the new sense of
national American mass and popu lar culture, especially
fi lm and Hollywood. While Hollywood was viewed as
vulgar and decadent because of the sex displayed prominently in fi lms, Hollywood reached not only an American audience but also an international audience. The
world began to share the United States’ mass-produced
images and fantasies.
For further reading:
Steven J. Ross, 2000. Working- Class Hollywood: Silent
Films and the Shaping of Class in America.
Robert Sklar, 1976. Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies.
The University of Houston’s College of Education has
created a digital history Web site with teaching resources
for K–12 and college historians, and it has an interesting
section on Hollywood and fi lm history:
The Hollywood Museum
1. How did the rise of Hollywood and fi lm create and
spread mass working-class and middle-class culture?
2. How did the rise of Hollywood and fi lm create and
spread the United States’ cultural fantasies to the rest
of the world?
The “New Negro” and the Harlem Renaissance
“Jim Crow” laws in the American South enforced social
and economic segregation and political disenfranchisement. As a result, African Americans began migrating to
the urban northern cities of New York and Chicago, where
Chapter 19
they created vibrant cultural scenes. The “New Negro”
and the “Harlem Renaissance” are terms that describe the
movement in which African Americans used art to protest racial subordination.
Alain Locke, ed., 1999. The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.
Jeff rey Brown Ferguson, 2007. The Harlem Renaissance: A
Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History & Culture).
The Academy of American Poets: Brief Review of the Harlem Renaissance
John Carroll University’s multimedia collection for educators
and students on the Harlem Renaissance
The Library of Congress: Harlem Renaissance
A great collection of primary sources, including music
and photographs
www.loc .gov/rr/program/bib/harlem/harlem
The History Channel: Harlem Renaissance
1. Who is the “new Negro”?
2. What is the Harlem Renaissance?
The New Woman
Who is the New Woman? Writer Henry James popu larized the notion of the “New Woman” in the early twentieth century with two novels: Portrait of a Lady and Daisy
Miller. A lecture on the global development of the New
Woman, one international outcome of the period, is a good
way for students to begin to see how some women were
living out newly gained rights and dealing with the backlash from older generations.
The special issue of the NWSA Journal entitled Gender
and Modernism between the Wars, 1918–1939 (vol. 15, no. 3)
is devoted to the emergence of the New Woman around
the world, including articles about the New Woman in
China, Russia, Turkey, the United States, and Britain. Some
books on the topic include the following:
Angelique Richardson and Chris Willis, eds., 2002. The
New Woman in Fiction and Fact: Fin-de-Siècle Feminism.
William H. Chafe, 1972. The American Woman: Her Changing Social, Economic, and Political Role, 1920–1970.
Oxford bibliographies has an entry on the New Woman:
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 253
Professor Catherine Lavender of the College of Staten
Island, CUNY, has a good introduction on the New
Woman for a course entitled “Women in New York City,
1. Who or what was the New Woman?
2. How did the New Woman emerge?
3. Does the New Woman encompass all socioeconomic
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918
In addition to the battlefield carnage of World War I, a lecture on the influenza pandemic of 1918 that struck 50 million people around the world would also prove to be
interesting for students. Why would such a devastating
disease, which killed 675,000 in the United Staets alone,
be almost forgotten in the U.S. collective memory? The
spread of this virus would also remind students the devastating consequences of natural ecological disasters and
global integration that can magnify and spread disease
and disruption around the entire globe. For further discussion, see Alfred W. Crosby’s America’s Forgotten Pandemic:
The Influenza of 1918 (1990). The Public Broadcasting
System’s documentary series The American Experience
has an episode, “Influenza 1918,” with a supporting Web
1. Why did the influenza pandemic of 1918 occur?
2. What actions did public health officials take to try to
slow the spread of the pandemic?
3. Why has the influenza epidemic not been remembered well in the American collective memory?
Armenian Genocide
A discussion of the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the
Ottoman government would introduce the mass violent
culture during the Great War. The Armenian genocide
was one such consequence. Leaders of the Ottoman Empire,
or the Young Turks, intended to develop a modern Turkish
nation prior to World War I. To accomplish this goal, they
attempted to eliminate the Armenian settlements in the
Turkish heartland of Anatolia. Their decisions, and the
rest of the world’s lack of response, encouraged Adolf
254 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
Hitler’s treatment of the Jews. For further discussion,
see Vahakn N. Dadrian, The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the
Caucasus (1995) and the Armenian National Institute
Web site:
www.armenian-genocide.org/index .htm
1. Why did the Turks commit genocide?
2. What role did World War I play in the genocide?
3. How did the world respond to the genocide?
(1971); and H. Schiff rin, Sun Yat-sen: Reluctant Revolutionary (1980).
1. What similarities existed in each of the three leaders’
economic policies? What differences?
2. How did these less powerful countries try to shape
policy and ideology so as to cut a niche for their countries in global politics? Were they successful?
3. What role did the building of national identity play in
their success?
Keynesian Economics and the United States
The Great Depression and Relief Strategies
of Roosevelt, Hitler, and Stalin
A lecture comparing the economic and political strategies of Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Stalin
during the 1930s reveals many broad similarities and
says much about world history during the Great Depression. All three turned to greater state intervention, or total
intervention in the case of Stalin, to achieve economic
growth. All three also expanded the role of the state in
social welfare ser vices. And each exploited new mass
communication technology to further his political goals
and ambitions. For further reading, see John A. Garraty,
“Roosevelt and Hitler: New Deal and Nazi Reactions to
the Depression,” in Carl J. Guarneri, America Compared:
American History in International Perspective, Vol. 2 (1997);
Charles P. Kindleberger, The World in Depression, 1929–
1939 (1973); and W. Arthur Lewis, Economic Survey,
1919–1939 (1978).
1. What similarities existed in each of the three leaders’
economic policies? What differences?
2. Would Roosevelt have been able to establish similar
social welfare programs in the United States if there
was no Great Depression? Why or why not?
Modernizing Leaders
A lecture comparing Getúlio Vargas, Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk, and Sun Yat-sen would make a nice contrast to
the one above. Each represented an area that was peripheral to the European-centered world. And each tried to
refashion an ideology, system of government, and economic strategy to recreate a more equitable position for
his nation vis-à-vis the rest of the world. In the process, all
three had to address the question of national identity in
the modern age. For more information, see Robert M.
Levine, Father of the Poor: Vargas and His Era (1998); Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (1968); Lucien Bianco, Origins of the Chinese Revolution, 1915–1949
Robert Skidelsky’s John Maynard Keynes: A Biography
(1983) is a quick and useful read that provides the relevant material for a lecture on this most influential economist of the twentieth century. The lecture can emphasize
the origins of Keynes’s views on government intervention
in the economy in light of the Great Depression, his contribution to the modern academic discipline of economics, and his influence on the post–World War II era.
1. Keynes was one of the political and economic figures
calling for an end to the gold standard. What was his
reasoning for making this suggestion?
2. Keynes fi rst came to the forefront of the political world
after writing The Economic Consequences of Peace. In
this work, he criticizes aspects of the Versailles Treaty.
What were his criticisms? Why do you think he believed
the treaty was a poor document?
The Great War
This activity is a good way to begin your section on World
War I because it sets the stage for how monumental World
War I was, not just because of the physical changes it produced but also because of how it changed people’s view of
the future. Use the BBC’s Web site The Great War: 80
Years On:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special _report/1998
Click on “Images and Newsreels” to show students a
spectacular video montage of scenes from the battlefields
of the Western Front during World War I. If you have
access to The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century series, use a 15-minute clip without the sound, since
the documentary discussion will be too specific for your
par ticu lar goal (adding music would be useful). These
clips will give you better image quality. Showing either
one to students sets the mood for a discussion on the war’s
Chapter 19
devastation and why, for so many, it represented the end
of an era. Before you start the video, tell them to fi nd one
thing or image in the fi lm that they have a question about,
don’t understand, or would like to know more about. This
empowers them to explore the war in directions that
interest them and will engage them more fully when you
lecture on other aspects of the war. There are a number
of images that they might not understand: a line of men
walking with their eyes covered, scenes of vast wasteland,
horses, and tanks. Once they have seen either video, let
them ask questions about those things they noted. Spend
the rest of the class discussing them. If you have access to
actual memorabilia from the war, this is the time to bring
them out: war medals, gas masks, or eating utensils would
be useful.
Negotiating the End of World War I
Academics and pundits have roundly criticized the 1918
Treaty of Versailles and the peace settlement after World
War I. But having students try to negotiate the treaty
themselves allows them to see how difficult a task the
victors faced. Divide students into three groups to represent the United States, France, and Great Britain. Students should research each country’s goals beforehand
to assume the positions of their delegation. Then have them
debate. Let each side present its initiatives and have the
other two vote up or down on the proposal. A simple
majority rules.
1. What are the challenges in negotiating a peace
2. Did they develop similar or radically different treaties
to the historical one? Why?
Manifestos and the Growth of Fascism
One way for students to understand the mounting tension
in the Western world is through the responses of artists
and the growth of manifestos. Some scholars have suggested that the growth of fascism was supported, in part,
by the violent and aggressive manifestos written by Italian futurists, Dadaists, surrealists, and vorticists. They
were politically expressive and attempted to shape their
societies through their art and their actions. Start by
defi ning the word “manifesto.” Then divide your students
into four or more groups, and provide each of them with a
copy of one of the manifestos (they are easily accessible
on the Web). It might also be useful to provide some of the
group’s paintings or poetry. Let each group read the manifesto you provide and then apply their understanding of
the historical context to discuss what they have read. How
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 255
are the groups’ political positions represented in their art?
What kind of influence do students think such groups and
their manifestos might have had? After everyone comes
back together, ask each group to present its manifesto.
You can help fi ll in the historical pieces and provide some
of the art for the entire class to see.
1. What is a manifesto?
2. How are political positions represented in their art?
3. How and why did the period create extreme political
The Rise of Propaganda and the Shaping of Mass
Culture and Opinion
Propaganda posters and art might be a fun way to discuss
the rise of propaganda mediums during and after the war.
Postwar regimes manipulated propaganda to build mass
support for their governments and rule. Provide each
group a series of posters from one country, and ask them
about the appeal of each of the posters. Ask them to analyze common themes in images, styles, and symbolism.
For example, Soviet propaganda posters show men with
strong, chiseled faces, and the people are usually set in the
foreground of the poster. Have students analyze clothes,
backgrounds, colors, architecture, and any other consistencies they discover.
Chinese Propaganda
This Web site for the Chinese Posters Foundation was
created by Leiden University’s Stefan R. Landsberger
as editor; the International Institute of Social History,
Amsterdam’s Marien van der Heijden as coeditor; and
a Web site designer
Digital Poster Collection: Japanese Posters
German Propaganda Archive: Nazi and East German Propaganda Guide Page
World War I, II Posters, Photos, Poets, and Artists
Examples of Stalinist Posters and Political Art
1. Why was propaganda important to postwar regimes?
To influence mass culture?
2. Why might these posters have mass appeal? Describe
specific characteristics.
256 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
■ All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, 130 min.). This
black-and-white fi lm was based on the antiwar novel by
Erich Maria Remarque. Filmed in German, it was quickly
banned in Germany because of its strong antiwar and
anti-Nazi messages. The fi lm graphically reminded people
of the horrors of war, and it won numerous awards from
the international fi lm community. It is still considered an
important representation of the unique aspects of World
War I and the horrors of any war.
■ American Experience: FDR (1994, 128 min.). This PBS
documentary on the 32nd U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inspiring. While he was born into wealth,
his personal physical challenges with polio helped him
further develop his extraordinary empathy for the middle
and working classes. He remained true to liberal democracy
and pulled Americans out of the economic and psychological depression in the 1930s. For teaching resources,
PBS has a companion Web site:
■ American Experience: The Crash of 1929 (1988, 60 min.).
This documentary is part of the PBS American Experience
series. It explains how and why the New York Stock
Exchange crashed, what this meant to Americans, and the
aftermath of the crash. Much attention is given to the American belief in its economy and in the American dream. PBS
provides a partner Web site with teaching tools at
peans missionaries, the Red Cross, and other aid organizations were able to shelter at least some Chinese civilians.
This is a powerful fi lm that depicts the Japanese occupation with a credible account.
■ The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965, 98 min.). Academy
award–winning documentary on the life of Eleanor Roosevelt by Sidney Glazier. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of FDR,
was a pioneering feminist and leader in her own right who
fought tirelessly for social justice and ending poverty.
■ Gandhi (1982, 191 min.). Starring Ben Kingsley, this
epic biographical fi lm following the life of Mohandas
Gandhi won eight Oscars, including best fi lm, best director, and best actor. The movie follows Gandhi’s political
transformation in South Africa until his death in India.
He led the Indian people in a nonviolent, passive resistance movement to overthrow the British.
■ The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
(1994, 480 min.). This eight-part series on World War I is
unrivaled in its breadth and format, and it is well structured for teaching. Narrators read primary-source letters
and diaries to expand on the events. The footage is grim,
but not overly so. A unique blend of social, political, and
war history is merged into the series, from mental illness
to weapon technology. In the third hour, the series offers
little-known stories about the contributions of soldiers
from European colonies such as India, West Africa, and
Australia. The section on trench warfare is exceptional, as
are the sections on shellshock and the role of women. PBS
provides an accompanying Web site with very useful
teaching manuals:
■ American Experience: The Great Famine (2011, 53 min.).
PBS documentary on the 1921 Russian famine that left
7–10 million people dead.
■ The Battleship Potemkin (1925, 74 min.). The Soviet
Union commissioned this black-and-white fi lm on the
twentieth anniversary of the sailors’ revolt on the battleship Potemkin in 1905. The director Sergei Eisenstein successfully recreates what little is known about the mutiny,
which started over spoiled meat. Although the revolt ended
in failure, with the sailors surrendering to the Romanian
government, they and their deeds remained symbols for
the Russian Revolution. The Soviets used the fi lm to promote and support their ideologies.
■ Don’t Cry Nanking (1995, 110 min.). This movie
recreates the 1937 Rape of Nanking by focusing on a family with a Chinese father and a Japanese mother. In the
Safety Zone, established at the suggestion of Europeans
living in Nanking during the Japanese occupation, Euro-
www.pbs.org/greatwar/chapters/index .html
■ Jazz (2000, 19 hours). Ken Burns with PBS produced a
10-episode miniseries on the history of jazz and swing
from 1917 to 2000. The documentaries are mostly biographical and descriptive but, as is typical of Ken Burns,
they are well told.
■ Metropolis (1924, 110 min.). This German, black-andwhite, silent fi lm by Fritz Lang expressed much of the
angst of the 1920s, as reflected in expressionist art. The
sets are in art deco and modern style. The movie focuses
on the power and dehumanization of industry as well as
capitalism versus communism and the growing trend
toward fascism. It is a remarkable fi lm in a genre to which
many students have never been exposed; this alone makes
it worth showing.
■ Noirs et Blancs en Couleurs (Black and White in Color)
(1976, 90 min.). This feature fi lm is set on the border of
French Chad (French Equatorial Africa) and German
Chapter 19
Cameroun, one of the few places on the African continent
where word of the war did not arrive until after it began, in
August 1914. Later, British troops arrive to establish their
own control—adding to the already ethnically mixed
group of British, Indian, and African troops. Throughout
the preparations for war, the colonists are aware of the
ludicrousness of fi ghting a war in such an isolated part
of the world, and yet national pride and patriotism draw
them in. The fi lm manages to convey the humanity and
absurdity of the colonial situation. The fi lm won the 1976
Academy Award for best foreign-language fi lm.
■ Raices de Mi Corazon (Roots of My Heart) (2006, 50 min.).
Gloria Rolando’s documentary deals with the 1912 massacre of more than 6,000 members of a black political party
in Cuba known as the Independents of Color, all of whom
were veterans of the Cuban Wars of Independence. In the
fi lm, Mercedes, a woman from Havana, begins to decipher
her family secrets using the photo of her great-grandparents,
Maria Victoria and José Julián. Between reality and a world
of dreams, she learns about the ties this couple had with
the Independents of Color. The organization was largely
formed of veterans from the Mambi Army, the Cuban
Army of Liberation that defeated the Spanish in two wars
of liberation (1868–1878 and 1895–1898). But, ultimately,
the party’s struggle to find a place in Cuban society resulted
in the massacre of 1912.
■ Triumph
des Willens (Triumph of the Will) (1935,
114 min.). Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 propaganda fi lm is a
must-see if you spend time discussing Nazi propaganda.
Filmed primarily at the Nazi Party Congress at Nuremberg in 1934, it is a spectacle on a grand scale. Brief clips of
almost any portion show how nationalist fervor can be
represented and perpetuated through fi lm.
■ Water (2006, 118 min.) Water is the third in a trilogy of
fi lms by Deepa Mehta. Although controversial, the fi lm
aptly shows the misogyny of 1930s India as well as the differing worldviews among British-educated elite Indians
and the Indian masses. The story traces the life of a child
bride, who is quickly widowed and thus is relegated to
isolation and shunning until she dies. Use this fi lm for
examples of the negative and positive aspects of British
colonization as well as the discrimination that Indian
women faced as India strove to become more modern and
Rudolph von Albertini, 1982. European Colonial Rule
1880–1940: The Impact of the West on India, Southeast
Asia, and Africa.
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 257
Ralph Austen, 1987. African Economic History: Internal
Development and External Dependency.
Irving Bernstein, 1985. A Caring Society: The New Deal,
the Worker, and the Great Depression: A History of the
American Worker 1933–1941.
Lucien Bianco, 1971. Origins of the Chinese Revolution,
Donald Bloxham, 2005. The Great Game of Genocide:
Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the
Ottoman Armenians.
A. A. Boahen, ed., 1990. UNESCO General History of
Africa: Africa under Colonial Domination, 1880–1935.
Vera Brittain, 1933. Testament of Youth.
William Brock, 1988. Welfare, Democracy, and the New
Mark Broszat, 1981. The Hitler State: The Foundations and
Development of the International Structure of the Third
Judith M. Brown, 1990. Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope.
E. Bradford Burns, 1993. A History of Brazil, 3rd ed.
William H. Chafe, 1972. The American Woman: Her Changing Social, Economic, and Political Role, 1920–1970.
Iris Chang, 1998. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten
Holocaust of World War II.
Alfred W. Crosby, 2003. America’s Forgotten Pandemic:
The Influenza of 1918.
J. Fairbank, ed., 1983. The Cambridge History of China,
vol. 12.
J. Fairbank, ed., 1986. The Cambridge History of China,
vol. 13.
Sheila Fitzpatrick, 1984. The Russian Revolution, 1917–1932.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1927. Autobiography:
The Story of My Experiments with Truth.
C. Gilmartin, 1995. Engendering the Chinese Revolution:
Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920s.
Ted Gioia, 2011. The History of Jazz.
Colin Gordon, 1994. New Deals: Business, Labor, and Politics in America, 1920–1935.
Daikichi Irokawa, 1995. The Age of Hirohito: In Search of
Modern Japan.
John Keegan, 1999. The First World War.
Charles Kindleberger, 1973. The World in Depression,
Robert Lynd and Helen Lynd, 1929. Middletown: A Study
in Modern American Culture.
Patrick Manning, 1988. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa,
Roland Marchand, 1985. Advertising the American Dream:
Making Way for Modernity, 1920–1940.
Nathan Miller, 2003. New World Coming: The 1920s and
the Making of Modern America.
258 ◆ Chapter 19 Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
Chris Morris, 2006. The New Turkey: The Quiet Revolution on the Edge of Europe.
Stanley Payne, 1995. A History of Fascism: 1914–1945.
Andrew D. Roberts, ed., 1986. The Cambridge History of
Africa: From 1905 to 1940.
Lois Scharf, 1987. Eleanor Roosevelt: First Lady of American Liberalism.
H. Schiff rin. Sun Yat-sen: Reluctant Revolutionary. 1980.
J. Sheridan, 1977. China in Disintegration: The Republican
Era in Chinese History, 1912–1949.
Christopher Tomlins, 1985. The State and the Unions:
Labor Relations, Law and the Organized Labor Movement in America, 1880–1960.
Barbara W. Tuchman, 2004. The Guns of August.
Luise White, 1994. The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in
Colonial Nairobi.
Crawford Young, 1994. The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective.
Joshua Zeitz, 2006. Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style,
Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern.
The Academy of American Poets: Brief Review of the Harlem Renaissance
America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA- OWI, 1935–1945
Primary-source images in black and white and in color
Asia for Educators: An Initiative of the Weatherhead East
Asian Institute at Columbia University
Excellent Web site with teaching resources of art, maps,
videos, and other Web resources, primarily for educators and students
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/index .html
BBC: Suff ragettes
BBC has a multimedia collection on the women’s suff rage
www.bbc.co.uk/archive/suff ragettes/
Examples of Stalinist Posters and Political Art
Stanford University Professor Gregory Freiden in the Literatures, Cultures and Languages Department provides
his students with a digital collection of propaganda
posters and socialist realist art
The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century
PBS companion Web site with teaching tools for The
Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, a
KCET–BBC video co-production in association with
the Imperial War Museum
Harlem Renaissance
John Carroll University’s multimedia collection for educators and students on the Harlem Renaissance
The History Channel: Harlem Renaissance
In Flanders Fields Museum
Belgium City of Peace Ypres and the In Flanders Fields
Museum created a Web site with educational
Library of Congress: Harlem Renaissance
A great collection of primary sources, including music
and photographs
The Life of Henry Ford
This Web site on Henry Ford, the auto industrialist, is
dedicated to his life and achievements
Mahatma Gandhi Research and Media Service
German nonprofit Web site with a popu lar collection of
information on Gandhi
Nazi and East German Propaganda Archive
Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) Professor of
Communication Arts and Sciences Randall Bytwerk
created a Web site with a collection of Nazi and East
German propaganda
New Deal Network (NDN)
Housed at the Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT)
at Columbia University, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI), in collaboration with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Marist College,
and IBM, launched the NDN. This Web site is a New
Deal research and teaching resource with a collection
and database of photographs, political cartoons, and
texts (speeches, letters, and other historic documents)
New Woman
Oxford Bibliographies has an entry on the New Woman
Chapter 19
New Woman: Women in New York City
Professor Catherine Lavender of the College of Staten
Island of CUNY, has a good introduction on the New
Woman for a course entitled “Women in New York
City, 1890–1940”
Old Time Radio: The Golden Years
A small group of individuals created a Web site in order
to preserve old time radio from 1906 to 1962, known
as its “golden years”
www.old-time.com/golden_age/index .html
PBS: Jazz
This accompanying Web site for the Ken Burns fi lms on
the history of jazz has good teaching resources
Scholastic: History of Jazz
Scholastic has a brief history of jazz with biographies and
music samples. Winton Marsalis explains why the
blues is not sad with musical examples
Of Masses and Visions of the Modern, 1910–1939
◆ 259
/history _of_jazz.htm
A Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust: Nazi-Approved Music
The University of South Florida Center for Instructional
Technology has a collection of teaching resources on
the Holocaust with timelines and stories about people
and the arts
University of Oxford’s First World War Poetry Digital
Audio fi les of World War I poetry
World War I Songs and Patriotic Music
Lyrics, dates, and recordings
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
▶ Competing Blocs
▶ World War II and Its Aftermath
The War in Europe
The Pacific War
The Beginning of the Cold War
Rebuilding Europe
War in the Nuclear Age: The Korean War
The Chinese Revolution
Negotiated Independence in India and Africa
Violent and Incomplete Decolonizations
World War II destroyed the European-centered world that
had emerged in the nineteenth century. In place of European world leadership and European empires, a threeworld order emerged. The United States and the Soviet
Union headed the First World and Second World, respectively. Each believed that its ideology—liberal capitalism
and communism—had universal application. Soon after
World War II, these two camps became engaged in a “cold
war” to expand and counter each other’s global influence.
The Third World consisted of formerly colonized and
semicolonized people caught in between two superpowers
and their rival ideological blocs. While most countries
were able to free themselves of colonial rule, they were
unable to overcome deep-rooted problems of poverty and
underdevelopment. Moreover, Third World nations often
became the staging ground for cold war confl icts. By the
1960s and 1970s, stresses appeared in this three-world
order. Unrest and discontent boiled to the surface in all
three worlds in different forms. New sources of power,
multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations, and oil-rich states shifted the balance of economic
wealth and posed new problems and configurations.
I. Competing blocs
A. The breakup of Europe’s empires and the
demise of European world leadership led to the
division of the world into three blocs
▶ Three Worlds
The First World
The Second World
The Third World
Tensions in the Three-World Order
Tensions in the First World
Tensions in World Communism
Tensions in the Third World
B. The United States and Soviet
1. Both believed their respective ideologies
had universal application
a. United States—liberal capitalism
b. Soviet Union—Communism
2. Size
3. Possession of atomic weapons
4. Each embodied a model of civilization that
could be applied globally
C. Third World countries fought internal wars
over the legacy of colonialism
D. Internally and externally produced tensions
and confl icts challenged the three-world
II. World War II and its aftermath
A. By the late 1930s, German and Japanese ambitions to expand and to become a colonial
power like Britain, France, and the United
States brought these conservative dictatorships
into confl ict with France, Britain, the Soviet
Union, and eventually the United States
1. World War II was more global in scope and
in context than World War I
2. Distinctions between citizens and soldiers
were further eroded
3. The acts of barbarism robbed Europe of
any lingering claims to cultural superiority
Chapter 20
a. In the war’s wake, anticolonial movements successfully pressed their claims
for national self-determination
B. The war in Europe
1. The war began with Hitler’s invasion of
Poland in September 1939 and Britain and
France’s decision to oppose Germany
2. Blitzkrieg and resistance
a. Within 2 years, Germany and Italy
controlled virtually all of Western
Eu rope
i. The German tactic of blitzkrieg, or
lightning war, proved decisive
ii. Britain escaped conquest, but
German planes waged aerial war
on British cities
b. In June 1941, the Germans invaded and
nearly conquered the Soviet Union
c. Nazi occupation brought terror and
displacement to Europe
i. The war required more laborers;
with men fighting, women
became highly sought after for
the workforce
ii. 12 million foreign laborers were
brought to Germany for war production goals
d. The German offensive was halted in
the Soviet Union with German defeat
at the battle of Sta lingrad in 1942
i. For the next 2 years, the Red
Army slowly forced German
troops from Eastern Europe
ii. British and American troops battled German forces in the air and
on the seas, including parts of central Asia and northern Africa
iii. Allied forces fi nally opened up a
second front in Western Europe
with the successful D-Day invasion of June 1944
iv. In May 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally
3. The bitter costs of war
a. The Soviets lost up to 20 million people, both military and civilian
b. Aerial bombings in German and British
cities brought unprecedented hardships
c. Two-thirds of Europe’s Jews were killed
systematically in German “death
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 261
d. Nazis killed or imprisoned gypsies,
homosexuals, communists, and Slavs
among other groups
C. The Pacific war: the war broke out because of
Japan’s ambitions to dominate Asia
1. Japan’s efforts to expand
a. Throughout the 1930s, Japan
attempted to conquer Asia
i. In 1931, Japan conquered
ii. In 1937, Japan invaded and
attempted to conquer the rest of
China without success, although
the population paid a terrible toll
iii. During the 1937 “Rape of Nanjing,” Japanese killed over
100,000 civilians and raped thousands in the city of Nanjing
b. After a pact with Germany in 1940,
Japan occupied French Indochina in
1941 and made demands on the Dutch
East Indies for oil and rubber
c. The United States became the chief
obstacle to Japanese expansion, and, as
a result, Japanese launched a surprise
attack on the American naval base at
Pearl Harbor in December 1941
d. In 1942, Japan conquered the American colony of the Philippines, the
Dutch East Indies, and British-ruled
Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, and
Burma while threatening the British
Empire’s India
e. Japan justified its actions as anticolonial and pan-Asian, with the slogan
“Asia for Asians,” but developed myths
of Japanese racial purity and supremacy
and treated other Asians brutally, while
making terrible demands on Asians for
i. Millions were drafted and forced
into labor
ii. 200,000 mainly Korean “comfort
women” were forced to serve as
prostitutes for the Japanese army
2. Allied advances and the atomic bomb
a. American mobilization tilted the balance of power in the Pacific against
Japan by 1943
b. Fighting from island to island, Americans recaptured the Philippines; a combined force of British, American and
262 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
Chinese militaries recaptured Burma
for Britain
i. In August 1945, President Harry
Truman authorized the use of
atomic weapons
c. By summer 1945, Americans devastated the major cities of Japan, but
Japan did not surrender
d. Concerned that an American invasion
of Japan would cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, U.S. President
Truman launched the United States’
secret weapon, the atomic bomb, on
August 6, 1945, on Hiroshima
e. August 9, 1945, Americans dropped a
second atomic bomb on Nagasaki
i. Aside from the horrendous loss of
hundreds of thousands of lives,
the bombs left environmental
devastation by polluting air, land,
and groundwater for decades
ii. Japanese Emperor Hirohito surrendered a few days later
III. The beginning of the cold war
A. World War II left Europe in ruins
1. Physically, the continent was a wreck,
and psychologically, old regimes had
lost credibility
2. Socialism and Soviet-style communism
attracted wide support
B. Rebuilding Europe
1. The principal Allies in the fight against
Hitler—the Soviet Union, the United
States, and Great Britain—distrusted each
other and disagreed on how to address
Europe’s postwar recovery
2. The United States decided to “contain”
Soviet influence where it already existed in
Eastern Europe, initiating a “cold war”
between the former allies
a. After the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949,
Germany was divided into mutually
hostile states, each taking a different
side in the cold war.
b. To shore up democratic governments
and capitalist economies in Western
Europe, President Truman announced
the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall
Plan in 1947, which promised massive
economic and military aid
c. These efforts culminated in the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty
Orga nization (NATO) in 1949, a military alliance between Western Eu rope
and North America against the Soviet
3. To Stalin, containment looked like a direct
a. Stalin believed the Soviet Union
deserved to be dominant in Eastern
Europe to protect its postwar security
b. In 1955, the Soviet Union responded to
the Western Alliance with a military
alliance—the Warsaw Pact—between
itself and the nations it dominated after
the war in Eastern Europe
C. War in the nuclear age: The Korean War
1. Atomic bombs changed military affairs,
and the Soviets worked hard to catch up to
the Americans, testing their fi rst nuclear
bomb in 1949
a. The arms race led to stockpiling of
nuclear weapons on both sides: United
States and the Soviet Union
b. These armories prevented direct war
between the two superpowers but
sparked smaller confl icts
2. Open confrontation emerged in Asia,
where there were no well-defi ned Soviet
and American spheres, such as existed in
Europe after World War II
a. In 1950, North Korean troops backed
by the Soviet Union invaded
U.S.-backed South Korea, setting off
the Korean war
b. The U.S. and U.N. forces pushed North
Koreans to the Chinese border; the
Chinese came to North Korea’s rescue
and drove the South Korean and U.N.
forces back to the 38th parallel
c. In 1953, an armistice was signed to
stop the war, with the loss of 3 million
Korean lives, 250,000 Chinese, and
33,000 Americans
i. The confl ict energized the United
States’ anticommunist agenda and
led to an increase in NATO forces
d. In 1951, the United States signed a
peace treaty with Japan, whereby the
Japanese could rearm for self-defense
and the United States could station
troops and ships in Japan
i. The United States initiated largescale fi nancial aid to rebuild the
Japanese economy
Chapter 20
IV. Decolonization
A. After the war, emboldened anticolonial leaders
set about dismantling the weakened European
and Japanese order
1. Three patterns of decolonization and
nation building emerged
a. Civil war, such as in China
b. Negotiated independence, such as in
India and much of Africa
c. Incomplete decolonization, where large
numbers of European settlers complicated the process as in Algeria and
South Africa
B. The Chinese Revolution
1. After the First World War, the Chinese
Communist Party vowed to free China
from colonialism but had been outgunned
by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist regime,
been driven from cities, and taken refuge in
the interior
2. In 1934, Communists under Mao Zedong
embarked on a 6,000-mile “Long March”
to the northwest of the country to escape
further attacks by the Nationalists
3. Japanese invasion of parts of China debilitated the Nationalist military and the capacity of Chiang’s regime to govern even those
areas that had not fallen to the Japanese
a. Under Mao, the party reached out to
the vast peasantry
i. Mao’s emphasis on a peasant revolution helped him win broad support in China and served as a
model for other Third World revolutionaries after 1945
ii. Mao emphasized lower taxes,
cooperative farming, and women’s
liberation such as the outlawing of
arranged marriages and legalization of divorce
iii. The Communist Party increased
their membership to over a million in 1945
b. After the Japanese surrender in 1945,
the Communists and the Nationalists
resumed their civil war
i. Communists had the numbers and
guns (mostly supplied by the Soviet
Union), while the Nationalists had
American weapons and financing
ii. The Nationalists proved no match
for communist forces and fled to
the island of Taiwan in 1949
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 263
c. In 1949, Mao proclaimed that China
had a “great people’s revolution,” had
“stood up” to the world, and had become
a model and hope for the Third World
C. Negotiated independence in India and Africa
1. In India and parts of Africa, the British and
the French, realizing that only violent coercion would sustain their empires in the
postwar era, withdrew in an orderly manner
2. India
a. Although independence was achieved
nonviolently, India came dangerously
close to civil war immediately afterward
i. Within the Indian National Congress Party, there was much disagreement over the direction of
India after independence
a. Gandhi wanted a nonmodern
utopia of self-governing
b. Nehru looked to Western and
Soviet models to establish a
modern nation-state
ii. The Muslim minority increasingly
questioned the direction of Indian
nationalism that was often predicated on Hindu myths and symbols
b. Riots broke out between Muslims and
Hindus in 1946
i. Middle-class leaders were alarmed
at the potential for radical peasant
ii. On August 14 and 15, 1947, British
forces left a partitioned subcontinent between a Muslim majority
Pakistani nation-state and a Hindu
majority Indian nation-state
a. Within days, 1 million people
had been killed in sectarian
b. 12 million immigrated
between the two countries
c. Gandhi’s hunger fast to protest
the violence helped bring
d. Gandhi was assassinated a few
months later by a Hindu
c. Nehru and the Congress Party developed a workable system in India over the
next decade that emulated Soviet-style
economic planning and Western democratic institutions
264 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
3. Africa for Africans
a. World War II and the period immediately after saw the ranks of nationalist
movements swell
b. Africans migrated to cities in search of
a better life in the postwar years
c. Three groups led the nationalist movements of the late 1940s and early 1950s:
former ser vicemen, the urban unemployed and underemployed, and the
d. Faced with rising nationalist demands
and debt, European powers agreed to
decolonize, and it was mostly rapid and
i. In 1957, Ghana (British Gold
Coast) became the first independent state; led by Kwame Nkrumah
ii. By 1963, all of British Africa except
Southern Rhodesia (modern-day
Zimbabwe) became independent
e. Charismatic nationalist leaders took
charge of political powers
f. Decolonization in French-ruled Africa
followed a similar path after initial
French resistance
i. At fi rst, the French attempted
assimilation into metropolitan
France but did not want to share
the privileges of French citizenship with Africans
ii. France dissolved its political ties in
Africa in 1960, except with Algeria
g. Leaders of African independence
movements believed that precolonial
traditions would enable African communities to create African socialism,
escaping the ravages of capitalism
i. African personality: epitomized
by Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal’s “Negritude,” that Africans
felt communal solidarities that
allowed them to embrace social
justice and equality
D. Violent and incomplete decolonizations: the
presence of European immigrant settlers created violent confl icts that aborted any peaceful
transfer of power or left the process incomplete
1. Palestine, Israel, and Egypt
a. In Palestine, Arabs and Jews were on a
collision course since the end of World
War I
i. European Jews called Zionists
argued for an exodus from other
countries to Palestine, their place
of biblical origin, to create a Jewish state
ii. The British issued the Balfour
Declaration, making Palestine a
“homeland” for Jews
iii. British received Palestine as a
mandate after 1918; they also
guaranteed the rights of indigenous Palestinians
Immigration of Zionist Jews, buying up
more land and political influence, created confl ict with Palestinian Arabs,
and both grew dissatisfied with British
i. Tensions increased after World
War II, as concentration camp
survivors entered Palestine in the
hundreds of thousands, using
force to gain control of the state
In 1947, the British announced their
withdrawal from Palestine and asked
the United Nations to draw borders
i. The United Nations voted to create two states: Arab and Jewish
ii. Arabs rejected the partition while
the Zionists reluctantly accepted it
When the British withdrew their troops
in 1948, a Jewish provisional government proclaimed the creation of the
state of Israel
i. Israel was delighted to have their
own state, but was unhappy about
its insecure borders, its small size,
and the exclusion of parts of
ancient Israel
ii. Palestinians were shocked at the
partition, and looked to Arab
neighbors to help them regain lost
iii. Israel won the ensuing Arab-Israeli
War easily and extended their
iv. The loss delegitimized Arab ruling
elites, who were poorly prepared
v. It also created 1 million Palestinian refugees in surrounding Arab
In response to their bitter defeat, Egyptian officers, led by Gamal Abdel
Chapter 20
Nasser, overthrew King Faruq in 1952,
whom they believed was squandering
the nation’s sovereignty
i. Nasser quickly instituted broad
land reform that took large estate
owners of lands and redistributed tem to the landless and
ii. The new regime dissolved parliament, banned political parties, and
enacted a new constitution that
banned communists and the
Muslim Brotherhood and stripped
old elites of most of their wealth
f. In 1956, seeking to assert Egypt’s influence, Nasser nationalized the Suez
Canal Company, an Egyptian company
controlled mainly by French investors
i. Israeli, French, and British forces
invaded Egypt
ii. The Soviet Union and the United
States forced their withdrawal
iii. After regaining the canal, Nasser
became a hero and symbol of panArab nationalism across the Middle East, including among
Palestinian refugees
2. The Algerian War of Independence
a. Arab nationalism was particularly
strong in Algeria, where a sizeable
French settler population (the colons)
blocked a complete and peaceful
i. The French considered Algeria a
part of metropolitan France
ii. The minority European colons
settled on the best land, lived in
wealthy residential quarters of
major cities, and monopolized
political and civic power
b. Anticolonial nationalism in Algeria
gathered force after World War II
i. In 1954, a revolt pitted Front de
Libération Nationale (FLN)
forces and guerrillas against
French troops with atrocities and
terrorist acts on both sides
ii. The war dragged on for 8 years,
with a loss of 300,000 lives
iii. In 1958, colons and army officers
started an insurrection that led to
the collapse of the French govern-
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 265
ment and the emergence of Charles
de Gaulle as the leader of a government backed by a new constitution
c. In 1962, President de Gaulle and the
FLN negotiated a peace settlement
i. 90 percent of the European population fled Algeria, reconstituting the
original Algerian population mix
3. Eastern and southern Africa
a. British-ruled Kenya also faced a violent
war of independence between European settlers and African nationalists
i. The Kikuyu organized Mau Mau
uprising in 1952, forced the British to fly in troops initially, but
eventually conceded independence in 1963
b. Decolonization had to wait until the
1970s in Portuguese Angola, Portuguese Mozambique, and British Southern Rhodesia
c. African women played vital roles in the
decolonization strategies
i. In Egypt, educated women organized impressive demonstrations
ii. Kenyan women supplied rebel
forces in hiding with food, medical resources, and information on
the British military
d. With the largest and wealthiest European settler population, South Africa
defied majority rule longer than other
African states
i. In 1948, Afrikaner-dominated
Nationalist Party came to power
and enacted an extreme form of
racial segregation called apartheid
a. Under apartheid, Africans,
Indians, and colored (those of
mixed descent) saw their rights
restricted; racial mixing was
forbidden; and schools were
strictly segregated
b. The Group Areas Act
restricted blacks to living in
areas designated as homelands,
allowing them to leave only if
they had official “passes”
ii. The African National Congress
(ANC) protested these changes,
which led to government repression, despite their peaceful agenda
266 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
a. After the Sharpeville Massacre
in 1960, in which police killed
peaceful demonstrators, the
ANC and its leader Nelson
Mandela endorsed violence
against the regime
b. The ANC was banned, Mandela was sent to life imprisonment, and others were tortured
or beaten to death
c. Winnie Mandela was one of the
most dynamic of women leaders, who courageously spoke out
against the apartheid regime
iii. The West, especially the United
States, continued to support the
regime, seeing South Africa as a
bulwark against the spread of
communism in Africa
4. Vietnam
a. The French had ruled Vietnam since
the 1880s
b. French reforms gave rise to a new indigenous middle-class intelligentsia that
began to push for an independent Vietnamese nation-state in the interwar
i. Ho Chi Minh looked to Marxism
as a source of inspiration
ii. During World War II, he
embraced Mao’s idea of an agrarian revolution
a. Ho formed the Viet Minh—a
communist-led national liberation organization
c. When the French tried to restore their
control after World War II, the Viet
Minh opposed them with the use of
guerrilla tactics
i. In 1954, the Viet Minh won the
decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu
ii. A Geneva peace conference
divided the country into two
zones, one in the north controlled by Ho and the other,
in the south, controlled by a
French- and American-supported
d. North Vietnam supported the efforts of
the southern Viet Cong—communist
guerrillas—to overthrow the Westernbacked regime and unite the country
e. During the 1960s the United States
sent military forces to prop up the
southern regime
f. Faced with antiwar protests at home
and severe resistance by Vietnamese,
Americans began to withdraw troops
after the presidential election of 1968
g. A failed U.S. policy of Vietnamization,
implemented during the American troop
withdrawal, led to the collapse of the
South Vietnamese government in 1975
V. Three worlds
A. As decolonization spread, the United States
and the Soviet Union offered their models for
economic and political modernization to the
newly independent countries
B. Third World countries usually had ideas of
their own but found their efforts toward modernization infringed upon by the two
C. The First World
1. Building on the principles of liberal modernism, exemplified by the New Deal, the
First World was committed to capitalism
and democracy after World War II
2. Western Europe
a. The reconstruction of Western Europe
was a spectacular success
i. Agricultural and industrial productivity soared
ii. Consumer goods such as refrigerators and automobiles became
iii. Governments sponsored elaborate welfare states
3. The United States
a. The United States entered a prolonged
expansion during World War II that
continued until the early 1970s
i. Home ownership became
ii. “American-made” was synonymous with high quality
iii. With the baby boom came the
growth of suburbia
b. Prosperity did not benefit all; onequarter of the population lived in
i. African Americans made up a disproportionate part of those in
Chapter 20
ii. The civil rights movement
demanded equal rights and the
end of racial segregation
iii. The NAACP won many court victories, especially against segregation in education
iv. Martin Luther King Jr. successfully employed Gandhi’s tactics of
nonviolent confrontation to win
support against segregation
4. The Japanese “miracle”
a. American military and economic support allowed Japan to focus on rebuilding its destroyed infrastructure with
up-to-date equipment
i. The United States opened its markets to Japanese products
ii. Government policies channeled
wages into savings and fostered
the growth of export sectors
iii. By the 1970s, Japanese products
had become sophisticated and
successful in international
b. Japan’s economy experienced an economic boom during the 1950s and 1960s
D. The Second World
1. The appeal of the Soviet model
a. The Soviets turned Eastern Europe
into a bloc of communist “buffer states”
after World War II
b. The Soviets continued to frown on private property and to emphasize state
management of the economy with a
cradle-to-grave comprehensive welfare
c. The Soviet model appealed to many
because of its egalitarian principles,
despite its inability to provide the consumer goods common in the First World
d. Soviet science gained worldwide
acclaim, especially after the launching
of Sputnik in 1957
2. Repression and dissent
a. The Soviet system was inhumane, brutally suppressing dissent and people
who it deemed dangerous to the state
b. Even returning Soviet soldiers who had
been prisoners of war were sent to
camps after World War II because they
had had too much contact with
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 267
3. In the 1950s, the Communist Party tried
to soften these abuses
a. With Stalin’s death, the new party
leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced
Stalin’s human rights abuses as not part
of true communism
b. Leaders in Poland and Hungary immediately liberalized political and economic controls
i. Soviet leadership crushed this dissent, although it did allow some
economic and cultural autonomy
c. In the Soviet Union, dissidents of all
stripes emerged, but they were carefully monitored and often imprisoned
E. The Third World
1. Leaders of newly independent countries
were convinced that they could build
strong democratic polities like those in the
West and promote rapid economic development as the Soviet Union had, while
avoiding the empty materialism they associated with the West and the state oppression in communist regimes
2. Limits to autonomy
a. This third way proved difficult, as they
were seen as “underdeveloped”
i. The West sought to insure that
market structures and private
property remained intact
ii. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund loaned millions for development, but enforced
a First World approach to modernization in Third World nations
iii. First World multinational corporations also infringed on the sovereignty of many Third World
nations and transferred wealth
away from them back to the corporations’ home countries
iv. Both the United States and Soviet
Union frowned upon neutralism
and often impeded Third World
a. The Soviet Union backed communist insurgencies around
the globe
b. The United States used its
global alliances to establish
military bases around the
268 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
c. Both superpowers contributed
to the militarization of the
Third World
d. In Africa and the Middle East,
both superpowers sold weapons
to regimes in return for support
and often created “client states”
b. The obstacles became known as “neocolonial” problems
c. By the 1960s, many new states were
mired in debt and dependency and
were managed by corrupt regimes supported by one of the superpowers
3. Revolutionaries and radicals
a. During the 1960s, Third World radicalism emerged as a powerful force
i. Revolutionaries drew on the
world of Frantz Fanon, who urged
a decolonization of the mind as
well as society
4. The Maoist model
a. Mao’s leadership in China inspired radicals elsewhere
b. In 1958, he initiated the Great Leap
Forward to catapult China past the
developed countries
i. Divided China into 24,000 social
and economic communes for food
and industrial production
ii. 45 million perished from famine,
forcing the government to abandon the experiment
c. In 1966, Mao launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution by appealing to young people
i. Organized into “Red Guards,” 10
million young people, with help
from the army, pledged to cleanse
the Communist Party and society
of “old customs, old culture, old
habits, and old ideas”
ii. They ransacked homes, libraries, museums, and temples,
and destroyed classical texts,
art, monuments, and foreign
iii. The Red Guard also mounted violence against government officials,
party cadres, or strangers if they
were not considered faithful followers of Chairman Mao
iv. Between 1967 and 1976, to stop
the disruptions, the government
created an entire “lost generation” by depriving 17 million Red
Guards of their formal education
and relocating them to the countryside “to learn from the
d. Unaware of these failures, Third
World radicals found Mao’s socialist
program and emphasis on the peasants
5. Latin American revolution
a. In Latin America, radicals dreamed of
ending the United States’ domination
of the region
b. American intervention overthrew a
Guatemalan government bent on land
reform and reducing the influence of
the American United Fruit Company
on the country’s economic and political
c. In Cuba, Fidel Castro launched a successful guerrilla war against an
American-backed regime in the late
i. When Castro redistributed land
and nationalized foreign oil refi neries, the U.S. government began
to actively seek ways to overthrow
the new regime
ii. In 1961, the CIA sponsored the
failed Bay of Pigs invasion
manned by Cuban exiles and
opponents of Castro
iii. In 1962, Castro aligned himself
with the Soviet Union and
appealed to his new ally to install
nuclear weapons in Cuba in order
to forestall any future American
a. When the Soviets obliged, it
brought the world the closest it
has come so far to nuclear
b. Eventually the Kennedy
administration convinced the
Soviets to remove the weapons
d. Radicals throughout Latin America
were emboldened by Castro’s success
and hoped to emulate him
e. The United States worked with
Latin American allies using counterinsurgency methods to combat these
Chapter 20
i. During the 1960s, the Alliance for
Progress provided money and
advisers to improve local land systems and teach the population the
benefits of liberal capitalism
ii. Among others, the CIA worked
with the Chilean military to overthrow Salvador Allende, a leftwing elected president, in 1973
f. By 1975, most rebel forces had been liquidated or isolated, but most of Latin
America was run by military regimes
VI. Tensions in the Three-World Order
A. Third World radicalism exposed vulnerabilities in the three-world order, including the continuation of the Vietnam War, dissidence in the
Soviet bloc, and the rising fortunes of oilproducing nations and Japan
B. Tensions in the First World
1. Women’s issues and civil rights
a. The woman question became acute
with more women joining the workforce and gaining the right to vote
b. Students in Europe protested the
deployment of nuclear weapons
c. During the 1960s, American society
lost some of its confidence
i. Millions were disturbed by the
assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, the violence against
the civil rights movement in 1964,
urban race riots that engulfed the
country from 1965 to 1968, and
widespread opposition to the
Vietnam War—especially on college campuses
ii. This unsettledness occurred at
a time when President Lyndon
Johnson led an effort to expand
the welfare state and addressed the
weaknesses in American capitalism
iii. Johnson’s programs and the civil
rights movement unleashed other
campaigns for social justice
among Native Americans, Mexican Americans, homosexuals, and
women, among others
a. The development of an oral
contraceptive helped unleash a
sexual revolution and freed
many women to pursue careers
outside the home
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 269
2. Protests against the Vietnam War
a. Protests contributed to the withdrawal
of American troops from the confl ict
and encouraged greater dissent from
the foreign policy consensus of containing communism abroad
C. Tensions in world communism
1. Following the successful example of Yugoslavia in 1948 and the unsuccessful
attempts of Poland and Hungary in 1956,
Czechoslovak ia attempted, unsuccessfully,
to loosen Soviet domination in 1968 with
the Prague Spring
2. After the crushing of the Prague Spring,
underground dissent continued to grow in
the Soviet Union and its satellites
3. The Communist Party of the Soviet
Union allowed “national communisms”
to emerge in many Eastern countries as
well as in several Soviet republics, in
return for loyalty
4. By the early 1970s, the Soviet Union and
China, once allies, had split
a. In the 1960s, Romania gained autonomy in its foreign policy by playing off
its larger communist allies.
b. African nations exploited Sino-Soviet
tension to gain further aid from the
Soviet Union
D. Tensions in the Third World
1. Although the Third World never had a formal alliance, efforts to promote cooperation
often foundered in the 1960s and 1970s
a. Several countries in Africa, Southeast
Asia, South America, and Southwest
Asia formed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in
1960 to gain more from world trade in
this commodity
i. After the Arab-Israeli War of
1973, Arab members boycotted
Israel’s First World allies
a. The boycott dramatically
raised the price of oil and led to
an economic crisis in the West
2. Other commodity producers tried to
duplicate OPEC’s success with products
such as coffee and rubber
a. OPEC’s triumph proved short-lived
i. New oil discoveries outside
OPEC’s orbit reduced pressures
on consuming nations to purchase
oil from OPEC at inflated prices
270 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
ii. Most of the revenue gained from
the boycott flowed back to First
World banks or was invested in
the United States and Europe
b. First World banks loaned some of the
money to poor countries in Asia, Africa,
and Latin America at high interest rates
3. Some countries escaped the cycle of underdevelopment, such as South Korea and Taiwan, where states nurtured industries,
educated the population, and required foreign nationals to work with local fi rms
a. Their successes did little to change
international markets
VII. Conclusion
A. A new three-world order replaced European
and Japanese empires
1. The United States and the Soviet Union
became the world’s superpowers
2. The nation-state, not empire, became the
primary institution for organizing
3. The war and postwar reconstruction
enhanced the reach of the modern state
B. The three blocs lasted until the mid-1970s
1. Europe and Japan’s economic recovery
grew out of a cold war alliance with the
United States, where anticommunist hysteria accompanied the economic boom
2. The cold war cast a shadow over the Soviet
Union and Eastern Europe, where gulags
and political surveillance became widespread, while the regimes built their military
3. The Third World was unable to reduce poverty and got caught by superpower rivalry,
while struggling to find their own way
C. Third World revolutionaries sought radical
social and political transformations, seeking
different paths from Western capitalism or
Soviet socialism
The Korean War, AKA the “Forgotten War,” AKA
the “War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid
Korea,” and the Globalization of the Cold War
A lecture on the Korean War can be a great way to launch
a discussion on the cold war, as the Korean War is seen as
the fi rst globalization of the cold war. At the end of World
War II, the United States and the Soviet Union divided
Korea into two at the 38th parallel, which prevented
Korea from holding a democratic election. The actual war
started when North Korea invaded South Korea, the latter assisted by the United States, in 1950. The war
embroiled American, North Korean, South Korean, and
Chinese troops in a contest to control the Korean peninsula between 1950 and 1953. In 1953, an armistice was
signed to stop the war, with loss of 3 million Koreans,
250,000 Chinese, and 33,000 Americans. While the United
States and the Soviet Union were not directly involved in
a war, this confl ict energized America’s anticommunist
cold war agenda. In China, the war was called the “War to
Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea,” and in the United
States the “Forgotten War,” as it was overshadowed by the
Vietnam War. For further exploration, see the following
book and Web site:
Samuel S. Kim, 2006. The Two Koreas and the Great Powers.
Peter Lowe, 1986. The Origins of the Korean War.
The Korea Society has teaching resources for K–12
teachers on the Korean War.
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1. How did the Korean War start? What are the causes
of the war?
2. Why is it called the “fi rst globalization of the cold
war”? The “forgotten war”? The “war to resist U.S.
3. Do you think the two Koreas might be reunified?
Comfort Women
During World War II, from 1931 to 1945, the Japanese government forced up to 200,000 primarily Korean (but also
Chinese, Filipina, Taiwanese, Indonesian, and other young
Asian) girls and women into sexual slavery or prostitution
as so-called comfort women (Ianfu) for the Japanese military. Japanese government claims that contractors, and not
the military, ran the prostitution. Researchers, including
Japanese Professor Yoshiaki Yoshimi, show that the military, and not independent contractors, established and ran
“comfort stations.” See the following books and Web site
for further discussion:
George Hicks, 1997. The Comfort Women: Japan’s Brutal
Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World
Maria Rosa Henson, 1999. Comfort Woman: A Filipina’s Story
of Prostitution and Slavery Under the Japanese Military.
Sarah C. Soh, 2009. The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence
and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan.
Yoshiaki Yoshimi, trans. Suzanne O’Brien, 2002. Comfort
Chapter 20
Journalist and researcher Hilde Janssen and photographer Jan Banning photographed and visited 18 Indonesian
women who during the war were victims of forced sexual
labor. Film director Frank van Osch documented their
search for “comfort” women in Indonesia called Because
We Were Beautiful, in Dutch with English subtitles.
1. Who were “comfort women”?
2. Why is the issue still unresolved?
Robert F. Kennedy in South Africa in 1966
This lecture will highlight the global nature of civil rights
with decolonization. Students might be interested to note
that a student, Ian Robertson, the president of the antiapartheid National Union of South African Students,
invited U.S. Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy to visit
South Africa during the height of apartheid. As a result,
Kennedy made his famous speech comparing American
civil rights to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa,
entitled, “Ripple of Hope,” on June 6, 1966, at Jameson Hall,
University of Cape Town. He also visited Albert Luthuli,
the president of the African National Congress, who was
under house arrest and kept to a rural area. His visit brought
worldwide attention to the South African anti-apartheid
movement, which is especially interesting since the United
States was one of South Africa’s staunch supporters in the
anticommunist cold war struggle in Africa.
South African fi lmmakers Larry Shore and Tami God
directed a 2009 documentary on Kennedy’s trip, RFK In
the Land of Apartheid. NPR does an interesting interview
with the filmmakers and with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend,
RFK’s oldest daughter. You may want to show clips of Robert F. Kennedy’s speeches or have students listen to his
speech and the NPR interviews with fi lmmakers.
For some primary source documents:
www.rfksafi lm.org/html/documents.php
1. Why is this Robert F. Kennedy speech, “A Ripple of
Hope,” important to the anti-apartheid struggle?
2. How did the anti-apartheid movement gain renewed
hope with this speech?
The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
◆ 271
3. What is America’s connection to South Africa? The
cold war?
The Nazi Genocide of Jews, the Jewish Holocaust,
or the Final Solution
Every World War II lecture should include a component
that covers the Jewish Holocaust—or the Nazi genocide
of Jews, also known as the “fi nal solution”—that killed
nearly 6 million Jews, gypsies, and disabled people. Twothirds of Eu rope’s Jews were killed systematically in
German “death camps.” There is an abundance of fi lm,
literature, and other media on the topic. See some of the
following select material for further discussions:
Auschwitz Memorial and Museum
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Holocaust and genocide history research and exhibits
United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948
Howard Ballm 1999. Prosecuting War Crimes and Genocide: The Twentieth- Century Experience.
Donald Bloxham, 2009. The Final Solution: A Genocide.
Christopher R. Browning, 2007. The Origins of the Final
Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September
1939–March 1942.
1. What was the Nazi fi nal solution?
2. How does the United Nations defi ne genocide, and
why might this defi nition be problematic in taking
action in the second half of the century?
The Japanese Economic Miracle
A lecture on Japan’s economic recovery after its defeat
in World War II and its emergence as an economic superpower by the 1980s is interesting when exploring this chapter. Since Japan was a political and economic powerhouse
in Asia prior to World War I and II, it is not surprising that it
would become a world economic superpower by the 1980s.
Discuss Japan’s rise from defeat to an economic miracle and
enigma, alternative routes to modernity (mass production
and mass consumption), and the stresses felt in the First
World in the 1970s. The lecture could also include how the
Japanese model was successfully emulated in other East
Asian nations, such as South Korea and Taiwan.
For further reading:
272 ◆ Chapter 20 The Three-World Order, 1940–1975
John Dower, 1999. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of
World War II.
Karel Van Wolferen, 1990. The Enigma of Japanese Power:
People and Politics in a Stateless Nation.
For a broader view, see the following:
W. G. Beasley, 2000. The Rise of Modern Japan.
1. How did Japan recover from its defeat in World War II
to emerge as a world economic power?
2. Is this different from how Germany handled recovery?
What are the common denominators? Differences?
China’s Views to Progress
Jung Chang’s Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991)
provides an interesting format for a lecture on the Chinese
Communists’ victory in 1949 and Mao’s attempts to modernize the nation (the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural
Revolution). Also useful is Jonathan Spence’s Search for
Modern China (1991).
1. Although China espoused gender equality, was it actually achieved? Why or why not?
2. Why were Mao’s two major attempts to jumpstart the
economy (the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural
Revolution) unsuccessful?
The Suez Crisis
A lecture on the Suez Crisis can explore a number of themes
discussed in this chapter. Decolonization, the cold war, the
Arab–Israeli conflict, and the three-world order are all intertwined in this one event. Anthony Gorst and Lewis Johnman’s The Suez Crisis (1997) provides a variety of analyses
and sources on the incident. You may also want to show
parts of the Nasser 56 fi lm as a historical documentary and
as propaganda from Egypt’s perspective.
1. What is the history behind the construction and ownership of the Suez Canal?
2. Why did the Soviet Union and the United States, cold
war rivals, unite to defend Egypt’s right to control the
3. Why is this event considered a proxy war in the cold
Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War
A lecture on the Vietnam War might be explored from
multiple angles. The struggle in Vietnam involves decolonization, nation building, the cold war, and cracks in the
First World system. A lecture with a background on Ho
Chi Minh, his education, and the Vietnamese Declaration of
Independence would prove to be interesting for students.
Mark Atwood Lawrence, 2010. The Vietnam War: A Concise
International History.
This book gives a broad analytical framework:
Gabriel Kolko, 1994. Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United
States, and the Modern Historical Experience.
Modern History Sourcebook: Vietnamese Declaration of
Independence, 1945
1. What rings familiar and true about the Vietnamese
Declaration of Independence?
2. How did the French respond? Why?
3. How did the United States become involved in Vietnam? Why?
4. Why do you think this war was unpopu lar in the
United States?
Third World Development
A lecture comparing Soviet interven