Chapter 11 Contending with Isolation: ca. 1000-1200 Focus Questions HOW DID geography influence the spread of culture and statebuilding in North America and Mesoamerica? WHY WAS the Indian Ocean so important for the spread of culture? WHY WERE the land routes across Eurasia less significant than the sea routes across the Indian Ocean? WHICH AREAS of India were most prosperous in the tenth and eleventh centuries and what was the basis of their prosperity? HOW DID their relative cultural isolation affect Japan and Western Europe during these centuries? Geography and the Americas American isolation: sporadic contact w/Asia, Europe in pre-Columbus era Arctic Regions N/S travel inhibited by mountain ranges, rivers Civilizations develop in Andes (S. America), Mesoamerica, N. American SW Dramatic shifts in climate/geography inhibit contact with other regions Thule Inuit (indigenous peoples of Arctic) migrate across Arctic and North Atlantic oceans using walrus skin boats Inuit settle Greenland, Western North America (Alaska) Migrations by Scandinavians (Norse) to America, Iceland, Greenland Exploitation of sea resources, transformation of Greenland’s environment: farming, grazing Isolation, changing climate dooms settlements Southwest and Mississippian Regions: 800 to 1300 C.E. Large scale residential, ceremonial centers in SW: Chaco canyon, Pueblo Canyon cultures Cahokia, mound cultures of Northern Mississippi region Mixed agriculture, trade: extensive networks reaching to SW, Mesoamerica, Northern plains, SE The Indian Ocean Trading System Richest and most diverse system of the time Spices, textiles, precious metals and stones, animals, agricultural goods, etc. Monsoons made navigation across thousands of miles easy. Rise of the Khmer Empire Angkor Wat: 12th century Writing system, ideas about Buddhism and Hinduism Chola kingdom in southern India: 11th-12th century Clearing forest, combining agriculture & commercial trade Maritime imperialism: merchants with private armies Ethiopia Trade, but identifies more with Judeo-Christian traditions, as opposed to the Islamic traditions of its neighbors. What is different about American cultural regions as compared with the Indian Ocean? Trade not impossible, but more difficult More variety in climatic zones, terrains Easier for communications to be broken Widely dispersed populations Mixed nomadic hunter/gatherer and farming communities Lack of technologies more common in Eurasia Does Everyone Wants to be Connected? Japan Borrows from China: Confucianism and Buddhism, ideas about government and religion, system of writing, literature, architecture, etc. Reaction in 838 C.E. with suspension of trade Development of these ideas in unison with native Japanese practice Why would a society want to look inward in such a fashion? Western Europe: On the Margins with Few Resources Develops a siege mentality and military solutions to opening up trade The Reconquest of Spain and Sicily from Muslims Crusades in the Levant and into Eastern Europe Crusades open Mediterranean trade networks with the Levant and Egypt, more cultural influences Northern trade networks tie in with developing trade/travel networks on the Volga River (Novgorod). With influx of new goods and technologies, Europe develops manufacturing in finished tools and textiles that gives it more to trade with the East Today’s Question Are gender preferences in culture inevitable? Consider Various forms of art, including the novel, arose as “women’s art”: either for women or, as in Heian Japan, by women. Divisions in the arts reflected inequalities in the status of women and the limited opportunities available to them in traditional societies. But gendered differences in artistic taste—from “chick flicks” and romance novels to the heavily male audience for many video games—persist in the modern world. Do these facts suggest that inequalities persist? Or is “sexual stereotyping” in childhood is responsible, with parents inculcating different values in children of different sexes? Or are there underlying biological differences, which really do pre-dispose men and women to contrasting preferences in art and life?