Torrey Schaefer History 140 September 2011 Theme 1: big history
There is a different way that people should approach history, and that is asking yourself the question “what happened before this?”. There is always an origin for something and the things that are in the world currently are a direct result of something that has already occurred. The concept starts off small, and can then expand into a series of questions that derive from each other. What is Big History?
James Burk addresses a concept that identifies the true origin for change over time. It all starts with the concept of knowledge; over the years we have had questions, and with those questions we have strived for, and found answers to many of those questions. This curious human nature is the leading cause for advancement and constant change as we look back at history in time. The Day the Universe Changed
Spencer Wells is a geneticist and an anthropologist that developed the concept of a “genetic odyssey”. He uses DNA as a map through time and can determine the roots of modern society, all the way back to the origin. Specifically, he used mutilations in DNA to be traced back to where those originated. He believes that it all started from a tribe in Africa that still current exists, and from there, some of their brothers and sisters left, creating a new complexity to the world. Journey of a Man
David Keys examines, with supporting research, that the bridge between our civilization and ancient times was a major volcanic eruption in 535 AD. There was no sunlight and thus there was famine, plague and massive natural disasters and weather. In short, they were hard conditions that the people of that time had to adapt to. Catastrophe!
Because of these events, the people living had to adapt in such ways that there was major changes, all the way from the collapse of the Arabian civilization, to reuniting of China, and also importantly, more migration. It is interesting because if this theory is correct, it shows a dramatic and intimate relationship between nature and humans. Catastrophe! Continued..
This concept is based on the book by Jared Diamond, a professor that explored the nature of advancement of humans. He asks the question: if we all started at the same root, as hunters and gatherers, why are there different types of knowledge and advancement all over the world? The answer: advancement of certain peoples is not based on intelligence, but more so is a result from a direct chain of developments. Guns, Germs, and Steel
The title says is all. Farm based societies conquered others and remained dominance from a series of things. There was one, the representation of guns in that even if there was an out-numbering, there was certain advancements that make the control over populations possible. Then, there was plague and disease causing others to become weak and therefore more easily able to control. On top of that, central government systems promoted powerful military organizations. This all has nothing to do with genetics. This plays on the concept that there are places that still do not have as much power as others, and what, if not be genetics, separates the two types of peoples in some type of dominance. He thinks that the answer to that is specifically correlated with military and government advancements. Guns, Germs and Steel
Christopher Columbus started it all when it comes to the charting of the Western World, and from there, he encouraged more to explore even further. After that Cabrillo started his advancement and explored and expanded the western coast of America. At the time there was interaction with Asia and Europe. Silk and spiced became a greatly demanded import and there was also the establishment of silver. The World and Trade (1400’s)
Apart from the trade of Asia and the growing interaction between them and the Europeans, there were many other things that were happening in that time. For one, there was a great uproar in the demand for coffee. During this time is when the cocoa plant became a staple for many other countries besides the Arabian peninsula and expanded to the Middle East and eventually Europe. Potatoes became the second largest food crop in the world. This is the time that Europeans took charge of exploration and started to advance to the new world. The World and Trade (1400’s)