Hum Hist handout 13

Hum Hist handout 13 - Human History Week 8, lecture 2...

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Human History Week 8, lecture 2 Expansion 2/25/10 Cycles and patterns in premodern history Year 1000 CE: good place to take stock of situation How much had really changed since beginnings of agriculture? How did changes within core of Old World empires and secondary core of new World states relate to the rest of the world? By early 1st millennium CE, biggest Old World empire (Rome) have cities up to a million people, subject population of 50 million-plus, per capita energy capture eight times as high as hunter-gatherers But in 1st millennium CE, Old World empires hit ceiling Three constraints: (1) Probably can’t go higher with pre-fossil fuel technology of muscles, wind, water Most sophisticated energy source known: Barbegal watermill, France (1st century CE): generates 30kW (2) Without gunpowder, can’t control steppe nomads (3) Without oceangoing ships, can’t link Old and New Worlds Basic patterns of life therefore change little Most people remain farmers; gendered division of labor remains crucial; extra-household
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Hum Hist handout 13 - Human History Week 8, lecture 2...

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