History 111 Midterm

How has geography influenced the course of history?
Early humans migrated to other areas in search of food. Humans settled in areas because of fertile farmlands. Bodies of water, desert and mountains some times protected from conflict.
What is history?
Period of time after pre-history. Occurs after writing is discovered. Study of past and its connections. Helps understand how the world works.
After pre-history. Period of time after writing was discovered.
Large, complex societies or regional groups of complex societies with widely shared or similar customs, institutions, and beliefs. Emergence of early civilizations traditionally marks the beginning of the historical era.
What role did technological innovation play in the development of early humankind?
More effective hunting and gathering; fire; Agricultural Revolution; irrigation; food storage and production. Increase in food led to permanence in place. This led to complex communities, states, and civilization.
What was important about the shift to the use of systematic agriculture in the Neolithic period?
Humans raised crops and domesticated animals. This led them to form permanent settlements. This let to complex communities and the formation of towns and cities. This also led to other occupations and the creation of states and then civilizations.
The belief that non-human spirits existed that would help or harm humans. Held in common by diverse group of people, primarily remaining primitive tribal peoples.
Old Stone Age 2000000 bce to 10000 bce
Earliest and longest stage of cultural development.
Hominids improved social and communicative skills; learned to hunt in groups and migrated to diverse regions.
New Stone Age 10000 bce to 3000 bce
Developed better tools, cultivated crops, domesticated plants and animals, established permanent settlements. Made the transition from foraging to farming. Agricultural Revolution.
Why did cities first form in Mesopotamia?
Agriculture flourished in the plains around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Periodic floods deposited silt that kept the soil fertile. As surplus food became available, the population grew. Farming villages became towns, cities, and then more complex societies. The area was protected from conquerors by mountains and deserts. It became one of the world’s earliest civilizations.
What enabled ancient Egypt to exist for so long a period of time as a cultural unit?
Settlements on the Nile were united into one kingdom. During the Old Kingdom, it was mostly peaceful and stable society. One of the ancient world’s most powerful and prosperous realms. Developed connections with Asians and other Africans. Avoided warfare. Worldview less gloomy; religion more optimistic. Women had more prominent role. Floods left land fertile.
One of world’s earliest civilizations in the ancient NE. “Between the rivers.” Located in fertile area where farming flourished. Population grew. People formed increasingly complex societies that led to emergence of civilization. Protected from foes by mountains and desert. Included city states of Sumer (Gilgamesh).
Babylon’s most notable ruler. Reigned from 1792 to 1759 BCE and issued the famous law code bearing his name. Code was a compilation of earlier Mesopotamian laws. Carved on black stone pillar and placed in temple to promote public knowledge. Regulated relations among social classes and assigned penalties. eye for an eye. Insights into mesopotamian society. Men had more rights. Hierarchical – nobles, commoners, slaves.
Ethical Monotheism
Belief in a single God who guides humanity through ethical principles. Distinct form monotheistic beliefs which may be based on dogma or doctrines. All ethical standards derived from God. Foundation within Judaism, Christianity and Islam is found in 7 Noahide laws which became universal laws for all humanity.
Ruler of Egypt who was seen as powerful godlike figure. Main duty was to maintain ma’at without which there would be chaos. Seen as descendants of Re, the Sun God and chief divinity, who ruled the heavens much as pharaohs ruled the earth. Religion and governance were one and the same. Governed through agents and officials.
Old Kingdom
One of 3 great kingdoms of ancient Egypt 2700-2200 BCE. Egypt’s kings ruled a mostly peaceful and stable society. They created a centralized state with an effective bureaucracy and tax collection system. They established connections and traded with other societies, largely avoiding warfare. Most enduring achievements were the pyramids, used as burial chambers. Ended w/ ruinous drought followed by era of civil war and chaos. (1st Intermediate Period)
What factors contributed to the eventual destruction of the Roman empire?
Augustus never formalized his position within the empire. Control was personal rather than institutional. Princeps civitatis
Empire was too large.
Expansion and multiethnic diversity brought it into contact with monotheism which challenged Roman core values.
After Golden Age, smallpox, political incapacity and external pressures. Disintegrated into military despotism.
Why were the ancient greeks so interested in questions of philosophy?
Division of peninsula into city-states fostered an appreciation of virtues, capabilities and rights of individual. Inspired by belief and virtues of Greek gods. Socrates – fulfillment equals attaining good, beautiful and true through excellence in learning. More fundamental than drama to western culture and thought. Rhetoric, math, science, and philosophy. Rigorous questioning and analysis of ethical issues.
Born during Peloponnesian war and shaped by its turbulence. Saw civil society as deeply flawed. Student of Socrates. Founded his own school of thought. The Republic – dialogues aimed towards more effective form of government. State exists to serve its people and only a philosopher-king is qualified to lead. Democracy is absurd. Gives power to most popular but not most knowledgable.
Plato’s most brilliant student. One of the most influential thinkers of all time. Philosopher, poet, scientist, student of politics. Took entire universe as his field of study. Ideas and principles shaped thought of medieval Islamic and Christian European worlds.
Funeral Oration. Athenian aristocrat who was repeatedly elected to highest positions in govt. Under his leadership Athens became an economic and commercial power. Exerted power throughout the region.
Julius Caesar
Prominent general who enjoyed military success in Spain and Gaul. Proclaimed himself dictator of Rome. part of First Triumvirate – betrayed Pompey. Ruled rome for one year. Overriding goal was to restore order. Revised Roman calendar, made senate more representative of citizenry, gave soldiers and poor and opportunity to own land. Spread culture into lands he helped conquer. Willing to implement reforms but resented for ambitions and betrayal of Pompey. Assassinated. Death led to civil strife.
Pax Romana
Roman Peace. Result of Augustus offering command positions to German chieftains and Roman citizenship to some of their followers. use of privilege and citizenship won over most powerful Germans and helped Rome lay foundations of multiethnic empire while reducing pressure on extended borders.
How and why did Harappan (Indus River) civilization end?
No one knows. Population seems to have fallen. The cause could have been climate changes, diseases, deforestation and soil exhaustion. There is evidence that there may have been floods and earthquakes due to shift in tectonic plates. People abandoned cities for farming due to lack of surplus food in more urban areas.
Why did Buddhism arise as a religious reform movement?
it grew out of the teachings of Gautama Buddha who experienced enlightenment and taught the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Promoted by Ashoka and Kanishka. Promoted Buddhist architecture, meditation, sculpture and art. Stressed compassion and devotion to divinities. Moderation. Formula to escape from suffering and find inner peace.
Indus River (Harappan) civilization
An entire culture, including Mohenjo-Dara and Harappa cities. Early Indian civilization. Farming was its foundation. Family, nature and fertility were central to its outlooks. Languages ancestral to those in Dravidian. Connections with distant cultures. Decline perhaps due to flooding or climate reasons.
Indo-European pastoral nomads who migrated into Indus valley. Blended cultures. War focused and ruthless. Oral forms of sacred hymns (Vedic culture). Patriarchal. Loved wine and music. Polytheistic. Believed in life after death. Glorified warfare – rajahs. Enjoyed competition and gambling.
One of two great epic Indian poems. Tells the story of Rama and his wife Sita. Written in post Vedic India. Recounts an ancient war and prescribes proper conduct and devotion to duty. Virtues and ventures of gods and heroes. Source of inspiration, not just entertainment.
Gautama Buddha
Founded Buddhism. Influence compared to that of Moses, Confucius, Jesus or Mohammad. Born into princely family, determined to discover secret of aging, illness and death, left his family. Experienced enlightenment. Central teachings known as Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path (righteous living).
Asoka (Ashoka)
Indian ruler. Buddhist. Reign began in violence. used imperial powers to propogate faith. Spread Buddhism across the subcontinent and beyond. Practiced paternalistic government devoted to welfare of the people. Rule based on political control, bureaucracy and army.
Why did the large scale civilization emerge somewhat later in the Americas than in Eurasia?
Isolation. Distance form Africa. Abundant wild life and land kept many as hunter gatherers.
Why did Aztec civilization expand so quickly in the fifteenth century?
Fear. Tenochtitlan terrified all who lived in central Mexico. Sought to take over and dominate. Because of sacrifices there was an ever growing need for war and more humans to sacrifice.
Classic period in Mesoamerica’s history. One of Mesoamerica’s most complex civilizations. Guatemala and Yucatan peninsula. Built on Olmec foundations. Developed village-based agriculture. Cacao. Astronomy and math, social and political structures. Adapted belief system that sought to explain meaning of human life. Hierarchical, privileged hereditary elite. Autonomous city states with sacred king’s bloodletting rituals. Books on bark, numeric system using 0, long count calendar.
Empire carved out of Andes mountains. Ruled all of present day Peru. Topa Inca Yupanqui and Pachacuti ranked with Alex. the Great and Genghis Khan as great empire builders. Assimilated and conquered population into empire through process of mitima – resettlement and integration. Nobility dominates a free people. Polytheistic and tolerant religion. Centralized empire. Sacrificed food, coca leaves, animals. Political system similar to Europe. Conquered by Spaniards.
Montezuma II
First priest to rule Aztec empire. Emperor when Spanish arrived. Rule based on coercion. Defeated by Spaniards.
What were some of the social and political characteristics of classical Chinese civilization of the Han empire?
Farming and herding; lives centered on families; patriarchs; large difference between urban and rural areas.
Compare and contrast the origin, development and characteristics of Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism.
Buddhism originated in India. Trace origins to Siddharta Gautama. Spread from roots in India to corners of world. Each place adopted and adapted to local practices and beliefs.
Christianity originated in Middle East with Christ, disciples and converts such as Paul of Tarsus who helped spread Christianity. Belief in one God. Golden rule – love everyone. Salvation as gift. Monotheistic.
Confucianism – not based on God. Ethical and philosophical system founded by Confucius. State ideology following abandonment of Legalism after Qin Dynasty. Humanism is its core.
Zhou dynasty
Two periods – Western and Eastern
Philosophical foundations for authority – mandate from heaven. Notable for rise of Confucianism and Taoism. Govern justly and humanely. Right to rebel if dynasty grows corrupt. Transformation of Chinese warfare (horseback and crossbow). iron tools and weapons enhance farming and warfare.
Laid foundation of China’s foremost ethical system. Aspired to help form a just society. Disciples compiled his sayings and ideals. Stressed humane conduct, civility and relationships. promoted good governance and discouraged oppression.
Qin dynasty
First emperor. Created a centralized, repressive regime. Standardized laws, writing, money, weights and roads. Built huge palace, canals, roads and Great Wall
Han Dynasty
Ruled one of world’s largest and wealthiest domains. Matched Roman empire in size and population. Large, effective imperial administration, sophisticated urban culture and intellectual life, and major advances in tech and commerce. Blend Legalist authority with Confucian civility. Forms first strong, effective civil service bureaucracy. Expansive army.
Qin Shi Huangdi
First Emperor. See Han dynasty.Invented silk, bow and arrow, boats and writing system. Unified China
What were the distinctive features of Byzantine civilization?
Continued political traditions of Greece and Rome. caesaropapism – spiritual and political authority in single person – Constantine.
challenged by Persia.
Justinian and Theodora – sought to reunify Church and empire; codified Roman law; empire becomes culturally Greek. Economy connects Egypt, India and China. volcano, plague, warfare Islamic conquests
What were some of the distinctive features of early Russian civilization?
Unknown origins. formidable topography. EArly period – Oleg extended control over neighboring East Slavics. Igor – series of campaigns, large scale war against Byzantine. Widow Olga ruled as regent for son whose rule was pivotal decade. 2nd period – connections to Christendom. Vladimir – adopted Eastern Christianity. became leader of Orthodox world upon demise of Byzantine Empire.
3rd period – chaos and conflict
Byzantine emperor. Resolved to unify Church and empire. Codified roman law. Political and economic realism overridden by religious faith. Last native Latin Speaking Byzantine emperor. Held eastern frontier against Persians and reconquered former Roman territories.
Byzantine empire
Also known as Eastern Roman Empire. Variant of Christianity and own conception of relationship between political and spiritual authority. controlled prosperous commercial region of eastern Mediterranean. Began with Constantines’ rule. Collapsed when Constantinople fell to Ottoman empire.
youngest son of Sviatoslav. Ushered in Kiev’s second and most glorious era. United and consolidated realm, secured its borders, enhanced its culture and commerce. Conversion to Christian faith and insisted that it be adopted throughout his realm. Left Russia leader of orthodox rule after B. empire fell.
Early people of Russia. Dispute over origins. Scandinavia or South. Founded the state known as Kievan Rus. First ruler – Oleg.

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