1st Margin Question- In what ways did the gathering and hunting people of Australia differ from those of the northwest coast of North America?
A few key differences might be that the Paleolithic societies of Australia were more manipulative of their environment, one example is "firestick farming", which is really just one or many deliberately set fires (controlled fires) which would destroy the underbrush and expose the animals that might have lived underneath it, and make hunting easier, and also encouraging plant growth of specific species. While the Australian people and the North American people both used hunting and gathering to collect the food necessary to sustain their societies, the American civilizations were placed in (not literally placed in) an environment of more abundant resources, and thus did not learn to manipulate the environment as well as the Australians had.
Another one is that the people of the northwest coast of America was the way their actual civilization was structured, they had permanent village settlements with large and sturdy houses, a society somewhat ranked by class, sometimes including slavery, and chiefdoms dominated by powerful clan leaders, and also an extensive amount of food storage. One can assume that because Strayer did not include the structure of the Australian societies, that they probably didn't have a notable or elaborate form of social or economic structure.
I'm not sure what you meant by giving up already, this isn't even my final form, Bingham. Bwwahh HAHAHA!!!!!!!!
Really? Giving up already? Fine, but you will pay the price.
In what different ways did the peoples of the fifteenth century interact with one another?
•brought together a variety of culturally different people
•Christians and Muslims encountered each other directly through the Ottoman Empire
•Hindus and Muslims interacted in the Mughal Empire
•Incan Empire took measures to integrate its diverse peoples
•Christianity provided a common religious culture for peoples from England to Russia
•great divide between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy
•Protestant Reformation broke up Christians of the Latin West
•Buddhism remained a link among China, Korea, Tibet, Japan, and parts of SE Asia
•Islam brought together Africans, Arabs, Persians, Turks, Indians, and many others in the pilgrimage to Mecca
•conflicts within the umma, hostility between the Sunni Ottoman Empire and the Shia Safavid Empire
•a common Islamic culture over the Afro-Eurasian region smoothed the passage of goods among different peoples as it did for trans-Saharan trade
Patterns of trade
•hunting societies of Siberia interacted with the civilizations of Eurasia by funneling furs and other products of the forest into the Silk Road trading network
•agricultural peoples of southern Nigeria received horses brought overland from the drier regions to the north
•the Mississippi River in N. America and the Orinoco and Amazon rivers in S. America facilitated a canoe-borne commerce
•coastal shipping operated in the Caribbean and along the Pacific coast between Mexico and Peru
•in the Pacific, the Micronesian island of Yap became the center of an oceanic trading network
•people of Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji intermarried and frequently traded
•Silk Road contracted as the Mongol Empire broke up and the plague reduced demand for its products
•rise of the Ottoman Empire blocked direct commercial contact between Europe and China, but it promoted oceanic trade in Japan, Korea, China, the islands of SE Asia, and across the Indian Ocean
I knew I could count on you Christina!
Everyone should note the way these webs align with our SPICE themes, specifically Political, Cultural and Economic.
How did Aztec religious thinking support the empire?
The Aztecs identified the sun with their deity, Huitzilopochtli, who they believed was losing energy in a constant battle against darkness. Therefore, the Aztec world was always seen as hovering on the edge of catastrophe. The Aztecs held frequent human sacrifices to replenish the energy of the sun/Huitzilopochtli since they thought that because the gods had shed blood while creating humankind, the reverse would please the gods. The victims were considered to have "died for the god." The growth of the Aztec Empire became a way to maintain cosmic order to prevent catastrophe. It also caused Aztecs to focus on capturing prisoners in war to sacrifice instead of killing them. Priests and rulers became mutually dependent because the human sacrifices were both religious and political.
In what ways did European maritime voyaging in the fifteenth century differ from that of China? What accounts for these differences?
Europe's Columbus had three ships with a crew of about 90 and Vasco de Gama's four ships crew was comprised of 170 sailors. Zheng He, meanwhile had hundreds of Chinese ships and a crew of thousands. Motivation differed between Europe and China as well- Europe sought the wealth of Africa and Asia, Christian converts and allies for its struggle against Muslims, and it tried to monopolize by force the Indian Ocean commerce and created colonies in America. By contrast, China had no equivalent struggle against Muslim powers, needed no military allies in the Indian Ocean, didn't need the materials these regions produced, and sought neither conquests nor colonies. China therefore decided to end its voyages following the death of Emperor Yorgle- many officials saw the voyages as a waste of time and resources, believing they were self-sufficient enough to attain what they needed. In contrast, Europe had no unified political authority with the power to end the expeditions, much of the elite were interested in overseas expansion, and unlike China, Europe wanted to seek out the greater riches of the East.
I want to do the BPQ 1 in class, so I'll take 2.
How does this chapter distinguish among the various kinds of societies that comprised the world of the fifteenth century? What other ways of categorizing the world’s peoples might work as well or better?
This chapter organizes societies in two ways. First, it organizes them into Paleolithic peoples, agricultural village societies, herding peoples, AND established civilizations and empires. It then organizes those civilizations by region.
There are alternatives, including organization by cultural region—Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Mesoamerican, and Christian. Another possibility would have been organization through webs of connections, starting with a single society and radiating out to a look at its nearer and more distant contacts.
What distinguished the Aztec and Inca empires from each other?
•5-6 mil. people
•controlled part of the Mesoamerican cultural region
•largely left conquered people alone, no elaborate administrative system arose to integrate conquered territories or to assimilate conquered peoples
•human sacrifice and ideology accompanying it was vital to supporting the empire
•demanded tribute from subjugated peoples
•loosely structured and unstable conquest state, frequent rebellions
•viewed children as belonging equally to their mothers and fathers
•male and female priests participated in rituals dedicated to both sexes
•female officials exercised local authority
•much larger- 10 mil. subjects
•encompassed almost all of Andean civilization
•divided central regions into hierarchical units. Took measures to culturally integrate subjugated peoples and their rulers
•human sacrifice took place, but nothing on the Aztecs' scale
•demanded labor service, mita, from subjugated peoples
•authority of the state directed Incan society and its economy far more than that of the Aztecs
•men reckoned their descent from fathers and women from their mothers
•Inca men venerated the sun, and women, the moon
•female political officials governed the empire
•work of previously marginal peoples who had forcibly taken over and absorbed older cultures
•fell to Spanish conquistadors and diseases
•created by military conquest, became the largest states ever witnessed in their respective regions
•drew upon the traditions of earlier civilization
•represented an especially dense and extended network of economic relationships
•practiced "gender parallelism"- women and men operated in two separate but equivalent spheres
•parallel religious cults for women and men emerged
•social roles were clearly defined and different, but the domestic concerns of women were not regarded as inferior
•military life, limited to men, grew in prestige as both empires expanded
•some new rulers adapted to the gender systems of the people they conquered
Okay, I know it's kinda late, but this is my first post, so I don't really care! At least you know I'm trying, Bingham! Here goes:
How would you define the major achievements of Ming Dynasty China?
•Ming China was able to reform a broken Chinese society.
-Politically, Ming reestablished the examination system and created a highly centralized government.
-Environmentally, it restored millions of acres. Canals, reservoirs, and irrigation works were rebuilt; and billions of trees were planted.
-Economically, the economy of China rebounded (because of the environmental work). Trade flourished and population grew.
• Maritime Travel
-The Maritime expeditions made China a major presence in the South China Sea and Southeast Asian port cities.
-Dozens of rulers from other states took part in the Chinese tribute system.
-The expeditions established Chinese power and prestige in the Indian Ocean and exerted Chinese control over foreign trade in the region.
The not-so-great thing: When the Chinese withdrew from the seas, they turned their backs on control over a large-scale maritime empire in the Indian Ocean.
So that's all I got. How was that? Anything to add? Anything unnecessary?
In terms of culture, I also added
•attempted to eliminate all signs of foreign rule, discouraging the use of Mongol names and dress, while promoting Confucian learning based on earlier models from the Han, Tang, and Song dynasties
•Emperor Yongle sponsored an encyclopedia, seeking to summarize and compile all previous writing on history, geography, ethics, government, and more
What role did Central Asian and West African pastoralists play in their respective regions?
Pastoralists in Central Asia:
-Timur (or Tamerlane), a respected Turkic soldier, brought significant destruction to Russia, Persia, and India in an attempt to restore the Mongol Empire.
-Unfortunately, Timur died in 1405 and due to conflict between his successors no lasting empire was established.
-Timur's successors were able to maintain control over the area between Persia and Afghanistan for the remainder of the 15th century.
-This area patronized artists, poets, traders, and craftsmen and established a sophisticated elite culture.
-This conquest was the last nomadic success of pastoralists in Central Asia.
Pastoralists in West Africa:
-Pastoralists in Africa steered away from established empires.
-The Fulbe was West Africa's largest pastoral society.
-The Fulbe migrated eastward from the upper Senegal River; Post- migration they lived in small, agricultural communities where they paid grazing fees and taxes to pasteurize their cattle.
-Relations with these agriculturalists were often tense. (Duh. Taking orders from farmers who make you pay them to pasteurize your animals is not the best equation for a successful relationship.)
-This sense of cultural superiority was heightened as the Fulbe, amidst their eastward migration, adopted Islam.
-Some pastoralists even settled in towns and became respected religious leaders.
-Ultimately, by the end of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Fulbe had significantly extended Islam through jihads and created and ruled a series of new states throughout West Africa.
How would you define the major achievements of Ming dynasty China?
-China before the Ming Dynasty already had an effective form of government to begin with, a highly productive economy, produced major artistic achievements. Of course until it was disrupted by Mongol rule.
-When the Ming dynasty began (1368-1644), they managed to get rid of the Mongols and also discouraged the use of Mongol names and dress, and promoted Confucian learning.
-Emperor Yongle (reigned 1402-1422) sponsored an enormous Encyclopedia of some 11,000 volumes with contributions from more than 2,000 scholars.
-The Ming dynasty also managed to put together or reestablish the civil service examination system, which was neglected under Mongol rule, then going on to create a centralized government.
-China eventually made a huge recovery from the destruction the Mongols had inflicted upon them, rebuilding canals, reservoirs, and irrigation works, and planting, according to some estimates, a billion trees in an attempt to re-forest China. As a result, the economy rebounded, and trade of domestic and international sorts flourished, and the population grew.
-Dozens of foreign rulers accompanied China’s fleets back to China (lead by Zheng He), where they presented tribute, performed the required rituals of submission, and received in return an abundant amount of gifts, titles, and trading opportunities.
-Zheng He’s expedition’s served to establish Chinese domination in the Indian Ocean and to exert control over foreign trade.
(These are what I personally consider some of the greatest achievements of Ming Dynasty China)
What political and cultural differences stand out in the histories of fifteenth century China and Western Europe? What similarities are apparent?
Similarity: While both Europe was making a recovery from it’s loss of population and economic damage by the plague (black death), China was making it’s rebound a similar way, although from a different source of infliction (Mongol rule). The demographic and economic revival of both civilizations was due to the durable infrastructure of both, and both joined in the common trait of the continuation of earlier patterns of state building.
Difference: Although both engaged in the continuation of earlier patterns of state building, they were both expressed ways specific to each civilization. In China, it meant a centralized form of government that encompassed most of it’s civilization, while Europe possessed more of a fragmented system of many individual and highly competitive states, sharply divided by Christendom.
Similarity: A well known “cultural blossoming”, known in European history as the Renaissance period, paralleled the rise of Confucianism in Ming dynasty China.
Difference: England and France fought for more than a century in the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) over rival claims of a piece of territory in France, nothing of the sort disturbed the internal life of Ming dynasty China.
Zheng He-licious, fleet delicious, make Columbus crazy.
Oh god what did I just do, Fergie.
In what ways did European maritime voyaging in the fifteenth century differ from that of China? What accounts for these differences?
The Differences Stated and Mostly Explained:
- The most prominent difference between Chinese oceangoing voyages and European ventures was the significant difference in size. Christopher Columbus captained three ships, each ship of about 90 men, Vasca da Gama had four ships, each manned with 170 or so men. Neither could compare in size to the fleet of Zheng He, possessing hundreds of ships notably larger than those of Columbus's, each ship carrying thousands of men. (Just to give you an idea of the difference in size in means of numbers)
-European voyagers sailed out to sea to seek the wealth of foreign regions (ex. Africa and Asia) - gold, spices, silk, and not under the wealth category, Christian Converts (of whom to use in their struggle against threatening Muslim powers). By contrast, China did not find much in foreign countries useful to them, as far as material possessions go, and were faced with no equivalent military power, meaning most of the civilizations they came into contact with were no more powerful than they were, if not much less. China also did not possess an impulse to seek converts, or enforce their culture in any means.
-Neither did China seek to build new empires, unlike Europe, carving out huge empires in the America’s and colonizing existing civilizations, although China’s fleet was much more powerful and overwhelming.
-Another significant difference separating the two cases is the decisive ending of China’s voyages and then the rapid escalation of European efforts to bring growing numbers of the worlds people under it’s control. Then again, Europe had no unified political authority enough to put an end to it’s maritime outreach, not to say it was necessarily a bad thing. An end was put to Zheng-He’s journeys so quickly because approval and support for his voyages were little in official circles, and when emperor Yongle left the stage, those who opposed prevailed within the politics of the court.
I really hope these are right.
If anyone wants me to go into more detail as to why these events took place, just let me know. It's seared into my brain.
Just an FYI to anyone making the chart that Bingham suggested: I recommend adding a West Africa section....
Yeah, and maybe an Australia /Oceania one too.
Bingham: This forum is for us to engage with each other publicly about where we are struggling with the coursework and to offer each other solutions for what works for us.
Why Geography Matters More Than Ever