Danny DelgadoHistory 140 / Fall 2011 BIG HISTORY
The Day The Universe ChangedJames Burke did an outstanding job of presenting this topic: Showing how a cultures viewof the World around it determines how it sees itself, and is reﬂected even in the smallestdetails of its customs and habitsIn his presentation he shows the traces of development of Western thought through itstransformation since the days of Ancient GreeceIn the course of overrunning Moorish Spain, Christian Europe discovered libraries,universities, optics, mechanics, and natural philosophy. This rediscovery of classicalknowledge led to the founding of universities and the replacement of Augustinianphilosophies by Aristotelian theories.He shows that Western Europes rediscovery of perspective through the study of Araboptics led to revolutions in art and architecture. The West’s new-found ability to controlthings at a distance resulted in new methods of warfare and the conﬁdence to make longvoyages of exploration.Observes that the invention of printing and the advent of cheap paper forever
Traces modern societies recognition of the value of statistics to medical advances stemmingfrom responses to the French Revolution and an English cholera epidemic. Identiﬁes theorigins of medicine as a science with the discovery of anesthesia, antiseptics, andbacteriology.Tracks the expectation of change, fundamental to contemporary society, through thedeveloping sciences of botany, geology, and biology to DarwinΓ??s theory of evolution.DarwinΓ??s theory, in turn, has been used as a justiﬁcation for Nazism, communism, andcut-throat capitalism.Points out that studies of the properties of magnetism, electricity, and light have ledscientists to the realization that Newtonian physics is inadequate to explain all that theyobserve. The public, meanwhile, has continued to concentrate on the technological by-products of science.Observes that over the centuries Western civilization has regularly shifted its conception
The Journey of ManThe Journey of Man focuses on the research ofgeneticist Dr. Spencer Wells who wants to prove histheory that the global migration of man began of manwith a tribe of Africans who battered by drought andfamine, left home land searching for a brighter futuresome 60,000 years ago. Well leaves his laboratorybehind and ventures out on a mission in which heattempts to follow the common genetics whichconnect such varied travelers as the Aborigines ofAustralia, the Nambia Bushmen and the Native Peoplesof North America
CatastropheThe global chain of revolutions that began in the catastrophe ofA.D. 535A strange dusky haze covers much of earth of normal sunlightCrops fail in Asia and the Middle East as global weather patternsare drastically changed.Bubonic plague, exploding out of Africa, wiped out entirepopulations in Europe. Flood and drought brought ancient culturesto the brink of collapseThe Roman Empire lost half of its territory in the century followingthe catastrophe.The Ancient Southern Chinese State weakened by by economicalturmoil
CatastropheRestless tribes swept down from central Asian, a new religionknown as Islam spreads through the Middle EastHistorical records makes hitherto unrecognized connections betweenthe wasteland that overspread the British countryside and the fallof the great pyramid building Teotihuacan civilization in Mexicobetween a little known Jewish empire in Eastern Europe and therise of the Japanese nation state between storms in France andpestilence in Ireland.These are not isolated upheavals but linked events arising from thesame cause and rippling around the world like enormous tidal wave
Guns, Germs, and Steel Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond recounts how he became intrigued when his New Guinean friend Yali asked, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” The cargo that Yali refers to is technology—tools as simple as axes; accessories such as umbrellas; and more complicated inventions such as computers, cell phones, and the Internet. After all, Diamond points out, a mere two centuries prior to his meeting Yali, New Guineans were still using stone tools. What factors caused this gap between the development of one culture and another?
Guns, Germs, and SteelAfter all, Diamond points out, a mere two centuries prior to his meeting Yali, New Guineans were stillusing stone tools. What factors caused this gap between the development of one culture andanother?Diamond searched for an answer by examining millions of years of history, mapping out themigrations of early humans from Africa to Eurasia, from eastern Asia to the Paciﬁc Ocean islands,and from Siberia to the North and South American continents. He follows humans as they evolvebiologically, and then he concentrates on speciﬁc representative societies to illustrate his ﬁndings.To deﬁne the differences between developing cultures, Diamond emphasizes the effects of foodproduction, writing, technology, government, and religion. Then he demonstrates, in his opinion, whythe differences among various cultures occurred. More important (and one of the reasons for someof the controversy surrounding this book), Diamond concludes that it is ultimately geography, notbiology or race as some other studies have tried to prove, that produced the cultural disparities hisfriend Yali had pointed out.
The World and TradeIt must be pointed out the fact that the most important expeditionﬁnanced by Isabella of Spain that of Christopher ColumbusIn his attempt to reach the Indies he would eventually discover theAmerican continentIt is common knowledge the fact that Columbus’s claim for theﬁnancing of an expedition in the Indies was rejected by thePortugueseIt was only at the court of Spain that he found support for hisendeavor an essential element for both the evolution of the Spanishcrown and the political interpretation at the time
The World and TradeAsia’s goods sprang the spread of globaleconomicsTrade spread in MediterraneanAsia consisted of luxury commoditiesPotato goes from staple to luxury a hugefactor in global nutrition and survival
The World and TradeAddictive commodities create foundation forworld economicsTea, Cocoa, Tobacco and Coffee central inexchange and consumptionCaused exploitation and impoverishmentSpanish conquest turns cacao rare toplentiful
The World and TradeSpanish conquest ended indigenous economySugar Plantations bot help and hurt economyTobacco adds to global trade and socialissuesLuxury of addictive Coffee spreads toAmericas and ends monopoly in the middleeast
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