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World_History_1007_semester_notes - World History after...

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World History after 1500: World history: o Plagues, warfare, technology, cultural exchange, migration, religion, empires, trade. o 1500’s- Many empires expanding. West would become dominant; Background: Eurasia o The Mongols and their impact (1200s)- much of Eurasia is unified by the Mongols. Nomadic, came from central Asia, virtually unstoppable; Largest empire of land the world had seen thus far (Russia, China, Mongolia); Very brutal and took nor prisoners; skilled horseman (secret military tactic) and learned to shoot arrows; promoted unity and trade across the empire (postal service); caused the biggest epidemic in world history, the black death. o The spread of the bubonic plague- started in China and spread westward; a destructive and devastating event; killed about half the population in Europe; 4x more destructive than both world wars; destroyed people but not wealth (not crops or cattle); they had inherited the wealth of the diseased; China around 1500: o Gun powder, compass, silk, soap, paper, porcelain- all these things contributed for China to be the most dominant country back then. o 4x more people than the United States now. o Land and Population- Started by Yellow River nearly 2000 years ago. Land was flat and then moved towards the Yangtze River. Its population density was much the same, but the people were compressed because of the small land and so not much wealth. No land for cattle or farming. China was all about contributing to the whole, not for the individual. It is not part of their heritage to have basic rights. The art reflects this by showing the landscape as a greater priority rather than people. o Government- Emperor- The Mandate of Heaven Considered to be a sort of divine figure (god on earth). Supposed to have the power to bring prosperity, make the crops go. Cowtowing- prostrate yourself three times before addressing the emperor. Bureaucracy- the civil servants are very prestigious, through learning. Must pass a civil service exam. Depending on how well you did the position was determined on classical Chinese teachings from Confucius. Could move up, didn’t have to be of high status, though over time the system would be slightly corrupt. Things in turn wouldn’t get done and the government would start to fall apart. The government would have less control and the peasants would start rebelling and the cosmic consequence would be that the mandate of heaven should be given to someone else. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)- Comes in right after the bubonic plague. The Mongols were losing control and Hongwu (a peasant) succeeds in finally overthrowing them claiming the title of emperor.
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New dynasty is called “the brilliant” dynasty. Anyone suspected of going against him or being disloyal they were put to death. Hongwu’s children settle down and China becomes prosperous.
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World_History_1007_semester_notes - World History after...

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