Theme 1. History, Science, and Trade By: Jeffrey Phongsamran
Its important to keep history alive so we can learn and improve the present and past
Everything has an affect on history. Civilizations have been created and destroy by to trade, climate, and disease.
Had Columbus not been motivated to establish trade routes , he may not have visited the western hemisphere leading to large waves of migration from Europe to the new world.
Had the climate in the 6th century been more favorable, Rome may have been around for a longer period of time
Had the natives of America and South America not been hit with an epidemic disease, settlers may not have survived or been able to settle in the western hemisphere.
What is History?
History is Story, a collection of events from writings, paintings, and songs.
Historical facts are based on at least two sources:
(1) Witness from the event.
(2) Recordings by someone gathering information from other witnesses and recordings.
Because of conflicting views and limited sources of recordings or physical evidence, it’s important to verify facts before interpreting them. Any story can be edited or fictionalized.
Historical Proof comes from:
(1) Reliable witness
(2) Logical Possibility
(3) Observable causes and effect
We are what we know
People react the way they do based on what they know.
The universe is constantly changing as we learn new things and it changes the way we live.
Viewpoint is the way that different people view and interpret the meaning if a historical event.
History is important because people learn from past mistakes, If nothing was ever recorded history would continue to repeat it self.
From leaning about the past we can make improvements to every aspect in the present and the future.
The Journey of Man
Geneticist Spencer Wells is trying to reconstruct a world family tree
By traveling the world and gathering DNA he has concluded that humans today may be related to a man who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago.
Genetics and molecular biology in humans has been extremely important in finding where modern humans first evolved.
African populations have the most ancient alleles and the greatest genetic diversity, which means they’re the oldest
His work supports the Out of Africa model, it says that all modern humans evolved in Africa and then left in several waves of migration.
It is generally agreed that Homo erectus evolved in Africa and gradually began to expand to Eurasia about 1.7 million years ago.
100,000 years ago, hominids populated the earth in Africa, Southeast Asia and China, and Neanderthals in Europe.
30, 000 years ago, only surviving hominid species was H. sapiens.
Homo Sapiens were anatomically similar to the modern man 150,000 years ago, but became more cognitive due to a genetic mutation making us smarter about 50,000 years ago.
Due to the change in thinking, humans were able to communicate, develop tools, and travel more efficiently allowing them to migrate to more areas and increase population.
During the 6th century there seems to have been a catastrophic disaster that was causing havoc with the climate
By looking at tree rings scientist could see when the climate was favorable or not by how well the tree was growing.
By reading layers of ice scientist were able to discover what was in the atmosphere at certain times.
David Keys concluded that the climatic problem could only be caused by: (1) A large meteor strike, (2) A large comet strike, or (3) A catastrophic volcanic eruption.
Ice caps show increase in sulfuric acid, meaning it was a volcanic eruption.
Records of the past show that the sky's were dark for an abnormal period of time, winters were harsh and long, and summers was short.
These catastrophic results on the climate were disastrous to civilizations and may have led to their downfalls.
The volcano that caused the catastrophic climate was Krakatoa.
Changing Interpretations of America’s Past
12,000 years ago the natives of America lived of the wilderness and had very little impact on the environment around them.
Native populations were fairly large before the arrival of European explorers.
When large waves of settlers began to come in, they found abandoned Indian settlement… had it not been for these settlements the settlers may have starved to death.
The natives were being killed off by disease. They did not know to isolate people who are sick, instead they gathered around the sick causing disease to spread even faster.
Had the natives survived the epidemic, the huge migration of European settlers would have been seriously affected.
- When the first Spanish explorers first arrived in South America, they said it was filled with large populated cities along the rivers edges.
Later explorers venturing into South America could not find any large populations, instead they only met primitive tribal people called the amazons.
It is believed that these large populations could have been killed off by epidemic disease just like the Native Americans. Evidence like pot shards and old plazas in the jungle point to large civilizations and advances civilizations.
There is evidence that the Amazons were able to live in the land thought uninhabitable. They had pretty advanced soil management that would be able to support large populations.
Nokugu was a complex of 5,000 people completed by roads connected all the communities together.
The World & Trade
The Norse were actually the first to set foot in the western hemisphere, however they ended up in constant conflict and finally retreated due to the little ice age.
During the late 1400’s early 1500’s Asia had many trade goods that were desired by the Europeans. Asia had temples of gold, silk, and spices that were in high demand. Because of this Columbus was trying to discover a new trade route, instead he found a new world.
America and its abundance in natural resources eventually became the new place to create wealth. Europeans were willing to travel for months to get to the new world and trade.
However, the livestock that the Europeans brought over lead to dramatic changes in its native’s life. The horses became integral parts of some tribes life style. The pigs and cows brought disease that the natives weren’t prepared for and eventually wiped them out.
The potato went from being the food no one wanted to
the second largest food crop in the world
Potatoes were easy to grow, required little attention, and could withstand harsh climates.
First place to live off potatoes in Europe was Ireland. In the 1600’s the British resorted to scorched earth policy to starve out rebels. However because potatoes could grow underground and were hard to burn out the potato became the salvation of a hungry continent.
In the new world maize, a variety of
corn, grew through out America.
It was miraculously hardy and nutritious
that even without sponsors it was grown all over the world.