World History after 1500:
Plagues, warfare, technology, cultural exchange, migration, religion, empires,
1500’s- Many empires expanding. West would become dominant;
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.
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:
Gun powder, compass, silk, soap, paper, porcelain- all these things contributed
for China to be the most dominant country back then.
4x more people than the United States now.
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.
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
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
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