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History's precedents


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Midterm assignment

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History's precedents

  2. 2. Beginnings • 50,000 years ago – Language develops – Human society begins to fracture • Social groups first migrate along coastline. – Migrations forced by weather and food sources • Humanity has spread to all habitable areas of the earth
  3. 3. Rise of Dominant Societies • Why some societies become dominant – Abundant varieties of domesticable flora and fauna – Rate of diffusion and migration • Easier within East-West bias due to climate (Eurasia) – Diffusion between continents – Size of population and area • Large populations and area provided more concentration to adopt innovations
  4. 4. Why some societies failed • Fertile Crescent – Large forest with temperate clime • Environment was fragile with low rainfall • Cleared forest for agriculture and to obtain timber for construction and fuel • With no sustainment of vegetation, climate shifted – Societies died out but the domesticated animals and plant had migrated to Europe • China – Dominant due to food production, ecological diversity and technology – Shift in political power brought new group in power. • Ended “treasure fleet” associated with previous political power • Suspended all oceangoing shipping – By no competing or interacting with other social groups, China lost by not keeping abreast of innovations
  5. 5. Rise of the Empires • Greece – Alexander the Great • Conquest based on superior military tactics and technology • Rome – Direct descendant of Greece – Conquest initially based on military power – Access to luxury, opulence and trappings of power led to conquered subjects identifying themselves as Roman – Rome eventually fell to its immense size
  6. 6. New Empires • Holy Roman Empire – More a confederation of separate Christian kingdoms than a true empire – Emperor appointed by Pope • Spain – One of many kingdoms in the Holy Roman Empire – Created by marriage of Isabella (Castile) and Ferdinand III (Aragon) and later conquest of Emirate of Granada in 1492
  7. 7. New World • Columbus – Requested funding from five rulers before Spain approved the voyage in 1492 – Discovery changed world power • Spanish Empire uses new wealth to fund Navy as expression of power – Power dwindles due to inflation and waste of money spent to increase power of Holy Roman Empire • Other countries create empire by settling in new world
  8. 8. Sources • Journey of Man – National Geographic – Spencer Wells • Guns, Germs, and Steel – Jared Diamond • World in 1492 – No author identified • Peoples and Empires – Anthony Pagden • The Day the Universe Changed – James Burke • Wikipedia – Spanish Empire