Assignment Big History Andrew Elsey
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Assignment Big History Andrew Elsey Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Big History Andrew Elsey HIST140 Summer 2011
  • 2. The Day the Universe Changed
    • You see what your knowledge tells you your seeing, and how you react depends on what you know.
    • We try to take everything in the universe apart, we just can’t leave it alone, we are amazingly curious. We believe our version of things is the best way and will fight to the death to protect it.
    • We protect our ability to be curious and get answers, to question authority and remove it from power if we don’t like what its telling us, this is the reason for constant change throughout our history.
    • The Greeks questioned everything.. Why is this here? How did it get here? They found order in nature, and without order, there is only chaos.
    F 22 Raptor Most advanced aircraft to date. Protects our right to question.
  • 3. The Day the Universe Changed
    • The oldest answers to the most basic questions about how to operate are common to virtually every culture on the planet. This is because they are required to keep order.
    • Institutions run rituals on a regular basis, they take the admin out of daily life and run it for you. (Banking, Government, sewage, ect.)
    • We ask questions to learn how to manufacture, then manufacture to support our growth, then ask more questions to grow and change again.
    • We like to ask questions because we know the answers will change things. The only constant in life is change.
  • 4. The Journey of Man
    • Africa is the birthplace of everyone, Dr. Spencer Wells has linked man back to the continent of Africa.
    • The DNA from one person can stretch to the moon and back 3,000 times. Our DNA is split into 46 bundles called chromosomes. Because of its sheer length, DNA is prone to mutations which are normal and everyone has them. When they occur, they are passed down to our children. Dr. Wells called these “Markers.” These chromosomes stay with us through history and become our time machine. He studied male DNA because the Y chromosome is directly handed down through generations. To remove DNA from a blood sample, first you remove the red blood cells, then the proteins, then use a form of alcohol to separate the DNA.
    • 50,000 – 70,000 years ago our planet was in the middle of a full blown ice age. This ice age lowered the ocean level dramatically because the ocean was freezing. This is the reason our first people were able to migrate to different continents that are not connected today, but they were connected back then.
    • The jungles of Africa had dried up and become a desert, this forced the people out of Africa because of drought.
    • One group of immigrates went through India to Australia, other groups went to the Middle East and China, from there they went to Asia and Europe, and then finally through Russia on their way to the Americas.
  • 5. The Journey of Man
    • To accommodate different climates and locations, our ancestors physically changed in different ways depending on their location. The skin color of Africans is dark because they are exposed to the sun so much so their skin is full of melanin, which is our natural sunscreen.
    • When immigrants moved to locations like Europe, where there was less sun, the body had to lighten its tone to let in more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. This accounts for our lighter skin tones.
    • When immigrants moved into sub-arctic and arctic temperatures they became shorter to lessen surface area and they became thicker to help conserve body heat.
    • They say Africa is the cradle of mankind, then Asia was its nursery. Dr. Wells was able to find a man who is genetically connected to over one billion people.
    • Research shows the there was a migration from Asia to the Americas in the peak of the ice age 15,000 years ago. But when they succeeded in the migration they landed in the Americas which was a barren land rich in resources. It all paid off.
    The Journey Of Man
  • 6. Catastrophe
    • David Keyes has uncovered a possible catastrophe that happened in or around 535 AD. This date was arrived upon by the use of tree rings, ice caps, and recorded records of an event in the general time period from different cultures all over the world.
    • There were records of the sun darkening and yellow ash falling from many records from different countries all over the world. And additionally, historians are generally not known for keeping record of climate changes unless they are stupendous.
    • There were three possibilities; a comet, an asteroid, or a volcano. Comets and asteroids were ruled out through scientific reasoning. It would take a 4 kilometer asteroid or a 6 kilometer comet to produce climate changing effects but there is no evidence of a crater that large anywhere on the Earth’s surface. Additionally, major comets and asteroids come in contact with our planet millions of years apart, while major volcano’s have a history of every few thousand years.
    • Sulfuric acid was found in the ice caps during the 535 AD period, which points to a volcano. But the volcano must have been near the equator for the equatorial winds to carry the ash around the entire planet. Records from China of a loud bang in Feb, 535 AD were recorded coming from the southwest, towards Indonesia. Indonesian Book of Kings also described event. Krakatoa is the worlds most infamous volcano, located in Indonesia.
    • After research on Krakatoa was done, it is believed that Krakatoa completely exploded and reformed but the date is unknown, then in 1883 completely exploded again and is now in the process of reforming. After carbon dating charcoal from a 6,600 B.C eruption and a 1250 AD eruption. Evidence suggests large eruption we are looking for was closer to 1250 AD.
    • If Krakatoa did erupt, the explosion is estimated at two thousand million Hiroshima size nuclear bombs. Would produce a thirty mile high fountain of magma, and cover 1,000 miles in ash.
  • 7. Catastrophe
    • In 535 AD temperatures all around the planet dropped due to particles of ash from Krakatoa. Without the strength of the sun to heat and evaporate the ocean surfaces, there was less moisture released into the atmosphere. This ultimately lead to droughts and famines and then massive flooding after the ash cleared.
    • The eruption of Tambora in 1815 produced sulfur dioxide that entered the stratosphere. This lead to dramatic changes in weather, frosts every month in some locations, poor crops, starvation, and migration. It is only a sample of what the damages of Krakatoa could have been like in 535 AD.
    • In 542 AD the Roman Empire reported outbreaks of the bubonic plague. Scientists believe these outbreaks are strongly related to changes in the climate. Cooler temperatures allow the bacteria to flourish.
    • Ancient civilizations crumbled, the bubonic plague reached Britain in 547 AD and changed the political shape of the country. Anglo-Saxtons moved near the Celtics and formed England.
    • Changes in weather effect our entire way of life, it heavily influences where we live and is responsible for the locations of our civilizations today.
    • Scientists today are concerned about many different volcanoes including; Yellowstone Caldera, Long Valley Caldera in California, and Vesuvius in Napels. These volcanoes have the ability to alter the entire planet.
    Vesuvius, Naples
  • 8. Guns, Germs, and Steel
    • A few hundred conquistadores were able to conquer the new world because they had guns, germs, and steel.
    • Because hunting is so unpredictable, traditional societies have usually relied on gathering. Although it was harder work, it provided more reliable food than hunting.
    • At some point, the people in the middle east started growing their own food. Every year they would replant their largest and best crop seeds so as time went on their crops became more productive. They also started to control their food, where the lived, and bred their own livestock.
    • It was pure geographical luck that gave some better land for growing more nutritious food.
    • These lands gave more to the people and allowed them ti have more people on the farms which led to more production which equaled more food and more efficiency. Plaster was then discovered which was on the road to the discovery of steel. And steel would forever change the world.
    • Geographical location is the reason why some cultures are more advanced than others. We all have the same abilities, but not the same resources.
  • 9. Guns, Germs, and Steel
    • The reason some cultures were able to dominate others was simply because some had better land and resources. The Inca’s were very skilled at growing potatoes and corn but would never be as productive as the Europeans because of their prime farming location.
    • Horses were an extraordinary site for the Incas. Horses allowed people to be mobile and for the first time, control their land.
    • The leader of the Incas, Ataxalpa played a psychological game with the Spaniards inviting them into their land for a meeting when in reality they were going to ambush them. The 186 Spaniards were figured to have no chance against 80,000 Inca soldiers.
    • The Spaniards had guns, large strong steel swords (rapier), and big strong horses. The Incas were caught off guard and scared. They did not know the way to fight against horses so they broke ranks and fled. Their leader was eventually caught.
    • Smallpox eventually hit the Americas like wildfire. It was extremely contagious and there were no cures. The Spaniards had grown immunities from past epidemics and over the centuries their entire population had some degree of protection against the spread of diseases.
    • Europeans were accidentally conquerors by virtue of their geographical location and history. They were the first people to acquire guns, germs, and steel.
    Rapier
  • 10. The World and Trade
    • Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator who was born in Genoa in 1451. He is one of the most famous people in history yet no one knows really what he was like as a person or even what he looked like. Genoa was a trading city with gold and slaves at the top of the list.
    • Columbus was heading to Asia (Indonesia) in search of spices which were worth a lot of money because they were also used as medicine, and rich Europeans would pay anything to get their hands on it. Along with spices Columbus was fascinated with gold.
    • By the middle ages China was the richest empire in the entire world. This is due to their technological sophistication. They created gunpowder, the compass, and the worlds first paper. China was not in the trading business because it was not essential for their empire.
    • Muslims, on the other hand, were the opposite and dominated trade. They controlled major trade routes and would not let others use those routes. Islam was a major threat to Europe; religiously, militarily, and economically.
    • Marco Polo inspired Columbus to seek his fortune, this ultimately led to the accidental discovery of America
    Marco Polo The Explorer
  • 11. The World and Trade
    • Horses and cattle were unknown in the Americas until they were brought by Columbus. They completely changed the destinies of the people who lived here and the ones that followed. The grasslands of the American plains was a paradise for cattle.
    • North American Indians lived off of buffalo and the horse perfected their hunting because it allowed smaller groups to chase buffalo. For the first time, they had complete control over their environment.
    • Cows, mainly leather, became the economic foundation of many regions. Horses and cattle made the nation one of the richest nations of the 19 th century. This attracted millions of immigrants from Europe.
    • After the civil war, Texans came back to find millions of cattle that had grown out of control because all the herders were fighting in the war. They decided to move them to northern ranges, thus creating the famous cattle drives. These cattle drives consisted of 30 miles per day, six straight weeks at a time, and millions of longhorn.
    • The great grasslands of the northern plains that were only grazed by buffalo became very tempting for cattle herders. The only thing standing in the way was the Indians and their horses. It was not the weapons that defeated the Indians, but rather the million buffalo that were slaughtered. Indians were reduced to reserves, and stole cattle from the white man to survive.
    • Cattle was eventually replaced by wheat (also brought by Columbus) when the northern plains proved too harsh for cattle ranching. Cattle went to stockyards, and the great plains began producing bread and meat on an immense scale. This also attracter millions of poor and hungry European immigrants.
    • The potato became the food of the poor all over the world. It had many advantages; it was small, easy to plant, harvest, and prepare. For many, the potato was the difference between life and death. The potato famine killed nearly two million people in Ireland and another million immigrated to America. Most of Boston’s Irish community are from Potato famine immigrants.
    • Sugar cane also caused another humongous migration, not b choice, but by slavery. Sugar plantations needed enormous amounts of labor. Sugar cane fueled the African migration.
    • Corn is by far the most important crop Columbus brought back to Europe. It is and always has been essential to Indian life, and when it made it to Africa, has been predominant ever since. It is highly adaptable, can be stored for long amounts of time, and is very nutritious.
    • Columbus set out for spices and gold, what he discovered it worth more than all the gold ever produced by Europe.