Terms in this set (50)

• Japan's Tokugawa (or Edo) period lasted from 1603 to 1867 until the Meiji Restoration of 1868 toppled the long-reigning Tokugawa shoguns and propelled the country into the modern era
• Tokugawa Ieyasu's dynasty of shoguns presided over 250 years of peace and prosperity in Japan, including the rise of a new merchant class and increasing urbanization
• To guard against external influence, they also worked to close off Japanese society from Westernizing influences, particularly Christianity
• The Tokugawa Shoguns had come to power after a devastating civil war in Japan
• The primary goal of the Tokugawa Shoguns was to ensure unity and peace
• Indeed, the years of the Tokugawa Shogunate are known as "The Great Peace"
• To prevent any disunity, the Tokugawa shoguns isolated Japan - this meant no foreigners in [excluding the Chinese and Dutch who were allowed to trade at the port of Nagasaki] and no Japanese out
• The Japanese were forbidden from going abroad for if they travelled abroad, they would return with new ideas that could create division within Japan
• The Japanese were not allowed to leave and the foreigners were not allowed to enter
• Yet in this time of isolation, there was tremendous productivity
• And isolationism did not mean a rejection or earlier cultural borrowing; the Japanese still practiced Buddhism and Confucianism
• Isolationism also did not mean economic depression as merchants became increasingly wealthy from expanded internal trade opportunities and agriculture became very productive thereby freeing many Japanese from farm work
• Yet with the arrival of Commodore Perry, an American, the Japanese had fallen dangerously behind, and the Tokugawa Shoguns were forced to end their policy of isolationism by opening Japan to foreigners
• With this change, the government also changed as the Japanese realized that to compete in the world, modernization was required
• In 549 BCE, the Persians, led by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid family, overthrew the Median court of Western Iran
• Cyrus thus founded the first Persian Empire
• The Achaemenid kings are known to have been very pious Zoroastrians, trying to rule justly and in accordance with the Zoroastrian law of asha (truth and righteousness)
• The Avesta is the holy book of Zoroastrianism
• Zoroastrians believe there is one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) and He created the world
• They believe that the world is a cosmic battleground between good and evil and that people are free to choose to follow good or evil
• Those who follow good are rewarded with Heaven and evildoers punished in Hell
• Cyrus the Great was relatively tolerant
• While he himself ruled according to Zoroastrian beliefs, he made no attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the people of his subject territories
• The Jews most famously benefited from this; Cyrus permitted them to return to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, and rebuild their temple
• Darius the Great, another significant emperor, was also famously pious and showed the same general tolerance for other faiths as his predecessor Cyrus
• Under Darius the empire was stabilized, with roads for communication and a system of governors (satraps) established
• Darius initiated two major building projects: the construction of royal buildings at Susa and the creation of the new dynastic center of Persepolis
• A culturally diverse empire
• However, in 498 B.C.E., the eastern Greek Ionian cities, supported in part by Athens, revolted
• It took the Persians four years to crush the rebellion, although an attack against mainland Greece was repulsed at Marathon in 490 B.C.E.
• The Royal Road was a road of a distance of more than 1,500 miles
• The Royal Road connected the empire
• Royal messengers, who, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, were stopped by "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night," traversed the entire road in nine days, thanks to a system of relays
• Little is known about the life of Johann Gutenberg, including his year of birth
• The few known facts about Gutenberg's life originate from a handful of legal and financial papers
• These papers reveal that he was born Johann Gensfleisch zum Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany and moved to Strasbourg sometime before 1434
• Legal records show that he and a partner produced metal hand mirrors used by pilgrims visiting holy sites
• His metal-working skills must have been useful to him as he developed a method of making metal type for printing
• Sometime between 1444 and 1448, Gutenberg returned to Mainz, but there is little information about his activities for the next ten years
• It is likely that he spent this time developing his new printing method, as some scholars believe it took at least ten years for Gutenberg to take his ideas from conception to invention
• Gutenberg's Bible was completed around 1455
• A 1455 document known as the Helmsperger Instrument shows that Gutenberg's wealthy business partner Johann Fust sued him for the return of a large sum of money loaned by Fust
• These funds were most likely used in the development of Gutenberg's printing method and the production of the Bibles
• Gutenberg lost the lawsuit and had to turn over some of his printing equipment to Fust, who later formed an important printing partnership with Peter Schoeffer, Gutenberg's assistant
• Little is known about Gutenberg's later years, except that he was financially supported by the Archbishop of Mainz and may have lived comfortably until his death in 1468
• Movable type or Gutenberg's printing press greatly increased the production of books
• When the city of Kiev resisted the Mongols, it was destroyed
• Moscow, however, cooperated and the princes of Moscow became the primary collectors of Russian tribute for the Mongol Empire
• The Mongols ruled Russia for 240 years during the 13th to 15th centuries
• One of the greatest effects of Mongol rule in Russia was the rise of Moscow as not only the preeminent city in Russia but also the central power of a large and expanding empire
• Badly plundered and partially burned in the early Mongol assaults, the city was gradually rebuilt and its ruling princes steadily swallowed up nearby towns and surrounding villages
• After 1328, Moscow also profited from its status as the tribute collector for the Mongol khans
• Its princes not only used their position to fill their own coffers, they annexed further towns as punishment for falling behind on the payment of their tribute'
• A result of the Mongol invasion, Moscow used its position as collector of tribute for the Mongols and the seat of Russian Orthodoxy to emerge as the political leader of Russia
• As Moscow grew in strength, the power of the Golden Horde declined
• Mongol religious toleration benefited both the Orthodox church and Moscow
• The Metropolitan, or head of the Orthodox church, was made the representative of all the clergy in Russia, which did much to enhance the church's standing
• The choice of Moscow as the seat of the Orthodox leaders brought new sources of wealth to its princes and buttressed Muscovite claims to be Russia's leading city
• In 1380, those claims received an additional boost when the princes of Moscow shifted from being tribute collectors to being the defenders of Russia
• In alliance with other Russian vassals, they raised an army that defeated the forces of the Golden Horde at the battle of Kulikovo
• The Mali Empire was the second of three West African empires to emerge in the vast savanna grasslands located between the Sahara Desert to the north and the coastal rain forest in the south
• The Mali Empire was strategically located between the West African gold mines and the agriculturally rich Niger River floodplain
• Mali's rise begins when the political leaders of Ghana could not reestablish that empire's former glory following its conquest and occupation by the Almoravids in 1076
• Consequently a number of small states vied to control the salt and gold trade that accounted for Ghana's wealth and power.
• In 1235, Sundiata Keita, the leader of one of these states, Kangaba, defeated its principal rival, the neighboring kingdom of Susu, and began consolidating power in the region
• Sundiata's conquest in 1235 is considered the founding of the Malian Empire
• Under Sundiata's successors Mali extended its control west to the Atlantic, south into the rain forest region, including the Wangara gold fields, and east beyond the great bend of the Niger River
• At its height in 1350 the Mali Empire was a confederation of three states, Mali, Memo and Wagadou and twelve garrisoned provinces
• The emperor or mansa ruled over 400 cities, towns and villages of various ethnicities and controlled a population of approximately 20 million people from the capital at Niani
• The Malian Army numbered 100,000 men including 10,000 cavalry
• During this time only the Mongol Empire (China) exceed Mali in size
• The mansa reserved the exclusive right to dispense justice and to tax both local and international trade
• That trade was centered in three major cities, Timbuktu, Djenne and Gao
• Between 1324 and 1325 Mansa Musa, the most famous of the Malian Emperors, made an elaborate pilgrimage to Mecca in Arabia, bringing thousands of followers and hundreds of camels carrying gold
• Through the highly publicized pilgrimage and indirectly through an elaborate trade that sent gold to the capitals of Europe and Asia, Mali and its ruler became famous throughout the known world
• Mali's power however was eventually weakened by palace intrigue that prevented an orderly succession of imperial power and by the desire of smaller states to break free of its rule to reap the benefits of the salt and gold trade
• The first people to achieve independence from Mali were the Wolof who resided in what is now Senegal
• In 1430 the nomadic Tuareg seized Timbuktu; this conquest had enormous commercial and psychological consequents: a relatively small but united group had occupied the richest city in the Empire and one of the major sources of imperial wealth
• The greatest challenge, however, came from a rebellion in Gao that led to rise of Songhai
• The once vassal state to Mali conquered Mema, one of the Empire's oldest possessions in 1465
• Three years later they took Timbuktu from the Tuareg
• Beginning in 1502, Songhai forces under Askia Muhammad took control of virtually all of Mali's eastern possession including the sites for commercial exchange as well as the gold and copper mines at the southern and northern borders
• In 1545 a Songhai army routed the Malians and their emperor from their capital, Niani
• Smallpox devastated the Native American Indians of Mesoamerica
• The largest decline in percentage of global population in history occurred as a result of epidemics in sixteenth-century Mesoamerica
• The Native American Indians lacked immunities to smallpox and other diseases due to a lack of domesticated animals in the Americas
• Within just a few generations, the continents of the Americas were virtually emptied of their native inhabitants - some academics estimate that approximately 20 million people may have died in the years following the European invasion - up to 95% of the population of the Americas
• No medieval force, no matter how bloodthirsty, could have achieved such enormous levels of genocide
• Instead, Europeans were aided by a deadly secret weapon they weren't even aware they were carrying: smallpox
• For thousands of years, the people of Eurasia lived in close proximity to the largest variety of domesticated mammals in the world - eating, drinking, and breathing in the germs these animals bore
• Over time, animal infections crossed species, evolving into new strains which became deadly to man
• Diseases like smallpox, influenza and measles were in fact the deadly inheritance of the Eurasian farming tradition - the product of thousands of years spent farming livestock
• Yet the people of the New World had no history of prior exposure to these germs
• They farmed only one large mammal - the llama - and even this was geographically isolated
• The llama was never kept indoors, it wasn't milked and only occasionally eaten - so the people of the New World were not troubled by cross-species viral infection
• When the Europeans arrived, carrying germs which thrived in dense, semi-urban populations, the indigenous people of the Americas were effectively doomed
• They had never experienced smallpox, measles or flu before, and the viruses tore through the continent, killing an estimated 90% of Native Americans
• Smallpox in the Americas was the deadliest epidemic in world history; more people in the Americas died from smallpox than any other epidemic in world history
• The most significant emperor of the Mughal Empire of the Indian subcontinent
• During the Mughal Empire, a Muslim minority ruled a Hindu majority
• During Akbar's reign, the Mughal empire tripled in size and wealth
• Akbar had created a powerful army and instituted effective political and social reforms
• By abolishing the sectarian tax on Hindus - the jizya - and appointing Hindus to high civil and military posts, Akbar the Great was the first Muslim ruler to win the trust and loyalty of his Hindu subjects
• He had Hindu literature translated, participated in Hindu festivals,
• Realizing that a stable empire depended on strong alliances with the Rajputs, fierce Hindu warriors, he married a Rajput princess
• Akbar was truly an enlightened ruler, a philosopher-king who had a genuine interest in all creeds and doctrines at a time when religious persecution was prevalent throughout Europe and Asia
• Understanding that cooperation among all his subjects - Muslims, Hindus, Persians, Central Asians and indigenous Indians - would be in his best interest, he even tried to establish a new religion that encouraged universal tolerance
• Akbar was strong-willed, fearless and often cruel, but he was also just and compassionate and had an inquiring mind
• He invited holy men, poets, architects and artisans to his court from all over the Islamic world for study and discussion, and he created an astounding library of over 24,000 volumes written in Hindi, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers
• Manifesting the ancestral love of the arts on a monumental scale, Akbar filled the landscape with walled cities of royal pleasure and comfort, designed to dazzle the native rajas and advertise the glory of his reign
• In the lovely capital city of Agra, Akbar built his remarkable Red Fort beside the Jamuna River
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