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Terms in this set (402)

• The Janissaries were Christian boys taken from conquered territories and raised as Special Forces
• The Janissaries were highly skilled soldiers in the Ottoman Empire
• The Janissary - also spelled Janizary or in Turkish, Yeniçeri - was a member of an elite corps in the standing army of the Ottoman Empire from the late 14th century to 1826
• Highly respected for their military prowess in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Janissaries became a powerful political force within the Ottoman state
• The Janissary corps was originally staffed by Christian youths from the Balkan provinces who were converted to Islām on being drafted into the Ottoman service
• The Janissary were part of the Devshirme System or the gathering or collecting of Christian boys in the Ottoman Empire
• Subject to strict rules, including celibacy, they were organized into three unequal divisions (cemaat, bölükhalkı, segban) and commanded by an ağā
• In the late 16th century the celibacy rule and other restrictions were relaxed, and by the early 18th century the original method of recruitment was abandoned
• The Janissaries frequently engineered palace coups in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in the early 19th century they resisted the adoption of European reforms by the army
• Their end came in June 1826 in the so-called Auspicious Incident
• On learning of the formation of new, westernized troops, the Janissaries revolted
• Sultan Mahmud II declared war on the rebels and, on their refusal to surrender, had cannon fire directed on their barracks
• Most of the Janissaries were killed, and those who were taken prisoner were executed
• Christians were brutally persecuted and driven into secrecy
• Before the Tokugawa shoguns came to power, in 1543 the Portuguese traders reach Japan (were actually shipwrecked there) and were soon followed by the Jesuit missionary order (established in 1540) in the person of St. Francis Xavier who arrives in Japan in 1549
• The Jesuits worked among the daimyo of the samurai class and were initially well received by leading daimyo
• However, the reunification of Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1600 brought with it an emphasis on the reestablishment of order following a century of civil war and turmoil
• Aware of the political and religious domination of the Philippines since the Spanish colonized the country in 1565, the Japanese political leaders were suspicious of the Dominican and Franciscan missionaries that arrived in Japan from the Philippines and worked among the non-samurai classes
• The Japanese daimyo moved to curtail missionary activity beginning in the 1590s
• In 1606, the new Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, proscribed Christianity (just at a time the Jesuits were being received at the imperial court in China), and by 1614 a concerted effort to end all Christian practice was underway
• There were an estimated 300,000 Christians in Japan at this time.)
• Apprehensive about the spread of Christianity, Ieyasu expelled all Portuguese and Spanish missionaries, among them Joao Rodrigues, and persecuted Japanese Christians thereby greatly reducing the Christian presence from Japan
• Christianity was viewed as a divisive and foreign threat that could lead to civil war or dissension in Japan
• The Hanseatic League dominated trade in the Baltic region
• The Hanseatic League, also called Hansa, German Hanse, was an organization founded by north German towns and German merchant communities abroad to protect their mutual trading interests
• The league dominated commercial activity in northern Europe from the 13th to the 15th century
• Hanse was a medieval German word for "guild," or "association," derived from a Gothic word for "troop," or "company"
• Northern German mastery of trade in the Baltic Sea was achieved with striking speed and completeness in the late 12th and early 13th centuries
• While overseas, the German merchants had tended increasingly to form associations ("hanses") with each other in order to secure common action against robbers and pirates
• From the mid-13th century this cooperation became much more extensive and regularized, and by 1265 all the north German towns having the "law of Lübeck" had agreed on common legislation for the defense of merchants and their goods
• The Hanseatic League attempted to protect its ship convoys and caravans by quelling pirates and brigands, and it fostered safe navigation by building lighthouses and training pilots
• Most importantly, it sought to organize and control trade throughout northern Europe by winning commercial privileges and monopolies and by establishing trading bases oversea
• The Hanseatic League's aggressively protectionist trading practices often aroused opposition from foreign merchants
• The league typically used gifts and loans to foreign political leaders to protect its commercial privileges, and when this proved inadequate, it threatened to withdraw its trade and occasionally became involved in embargoes and blockades
• The league died slowly as England contested with the Netherlands for dominance in northern European commerce and Sweden emerged as the chief commercial power in the Baltic Sea region
• The Hanseatic League's diet met for the last time in 1669
• 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
• The emperor or mansa ruled
• 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
• A guild is an association of crafts workers - like bakers or carpenters
• The guild sets the standards for the work and goods produced and also controls who can enter the guild - first as an apprentice then as a journeyman and finally as a master craftsman
• The medieval guilds were generally one of two types: merchant guilds or craft guilds
• Merchant guilds were associations of all or most of the merchants in a particular town or city; these men might be local or long-distance traders, wholesale or retail sellers, and might deal in various categories of goods
• Craft guilds, on the other hand, were occupational associations that usually comprised all the artisans and craftsmen in a particular branch of industry or commerce. There were, for instance, guilds of weavers, dyers, and fullers in the wool trade and of masons and architects in the building trade; and there were guilds of painters, metalsmiths, blacksmiths, bakers, butchers, leatherworkers, soapmakers, and so on
• Guilds performed a variety of important functions in the local economy
• They established a monopoly of trade in their locality or within a particular branch of industry or commerce; they set and maintained standards for the quality of goods and the integrity of trading practices in that industry; they worked to maintain stable prices for their goods and commodities; and they sought to control town or city governments in order to further the interests of the guild members and achieve their economic objectives
• Yes, organizations of merchants and craftspeople in European cities were called guilds
• The Phoenicians were a seafaring people from present-day Lebanon
• The Phoenicians established cities throughout the Mediterranean and were traders in the region
• But the most important legacy (handed down from the past) of the Phoenicians their development of an alphabetic writing system that was adapted by the Greeks
• In an alphabetic writing system, each letter represents a sound and thus fewer symbols are needed for writing than when every word has its own character - yes, to this day, when children are taught to read in English (the alphabetic writing system adopted from the Greeks who adopted it from the Phoenicians), they are taught the sounds of the letters - this method for teaching reading is called phonics after the Phoenicians
• Their major cities were Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and Arwad - all were fiercely independent, rival cities and, unlike the neighboring inland states, the Phoenicians represented a confederation of maritime traders rather than a defined country
• The most significant Phoenician contribution was an alphabetic writing system
• The Phoenician alphabetic writing system became the root of the Western alphabets when the Greeks adopted it
• The main natural resources of the Phoenician cities in the eastern Mediterranean were the prized cedars of Lebanon and murex shells used to make the purple dye
• The name Phoenician, used to describe these people in the first millennium B.C.E., is a Greek invention, from the word phoinix, possibly signifying the color purple-red and perhaps an allusion to their production of a highly prized purple dye
Chinggis Khan or Genghis Khan
• Between 1206 and his death in 1227, the Mongol leader Genghis Khan conquered nearly 12 million square miles of territory - more than any individual in history
• Chinggis Khan was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a "kurultai" - while "Khan" is a traditional title meaning "leader" or "ruler," historians are still unsure of the origins of "Genghis" - it may have may have meant "ocean" or "just," but in context it is usually translated as "supreme ruler" or "universal ruler"
• Genghis Khan often gave other kingdoms a chance to peacefully submit to Mongol rule, but he didn't hesitate to bring down the sword on any society that resisted
• The Mongols were skilled warriors on horseback - their cavalry was unrivaled
• The Great Khan had a keen eye for talent, and he usually promoted his officers on skill and experience rather than class, ancestry or even past allegiances
• One famous example of this belief in meritocracy came during a 1201 battle against the rival Taijut tribe, when Genghis was nearly killed after his horse was shot out from under him with an arrow - when he later addressed the Taijut prisoners and demanded to know who was responsible, one soldier bravely stood up and admitted to being the shooter - stirred by the archer's boldness, Genghis made him an officer in his army and later nicknamed him "Jebe," or "arrow," in honor of their first meeting on the battlefield - along with the famed general Subutai, Jebe would go on to become one of the Mongols' greatest field commanders during their conquests in Asia and Europe
• Unlike many empire builders, Genghis Khan embraced the diversity of his newly conquered territories - he passed laws declaring religious freedom for all and even granted tax exemptions to places of worship - this tolerance had a political side - the Khan knew that happy subjects were less likely to rebel - but the Mongols also had an exceptionally liberal attitude towards religion
• Along with the bow and the horse, the Mongols most potent weapon may have been their vast communication network - one of his earliest decrees as Khan involved the formation of a mounted courier service known as the "Yam" - it consisted of a well-organized series of post houses and way stations strung out across the whole of the Empire - by stopping to rest or take on a fresh mount every few miles, official riders could often travel as far as 200 miles a day - the system allowed goods and information to travel with unprecedented speed, but it also acted as the eyes and ears of the Khan - the Yam also helped protect foreign dignitaries and merchants during their travels
• Sikhism is a religion that developed in northern India - a region where Hindus and Muslims lived
• The Sikh faith began in the 15th century when Guru Nanak began teaching a faith that was quite distinct from Hinduism and Islam yet influenced by both religions
• Like Hindus, Sikhs have the beliefs of karma and reincarnation
• Like Muslims, Sikhs are monotheists
• One morning, when he was twenty-eight years old, Nanak went down to the river to bathe and meditate - it was said that he was gone for three days and when he reappeared, it was believed that he was filled with the spirit of God
• It was then that Guru Nanak began his missionary work and the religion of Sikhism was born
• Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, and the basic Sikh belief is represented in the phrase Ik Onkar meaning "One God"
• Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region in India in the 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev
• Sikhism broke from Hinduism due, in part, to its rejection of the caste system
• The primary source of Scripture for Sikhs is the Guru Granth Sahib, regarded as the living Guru, after the final Guru in human form, Guru Gobind Singh, passed away
• A Sikh place of worship is known as the gurdwara - the word gurdwara means "doorway to God"
• The Five Ks are the articles of faith that Sikhs wear as ordered by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh
• The Five Ks are Kesh or unshorn long hair, a kangha or a small wooden comb meant to keep the hair combed twice a day, a kara or an iron bangle to be worn on the hand used most, a kachera is a specific undergarment for modesty, and a kirpan or short dagger
• Sikhs believe in defending the right of all peoples to religious freedom
• The Mongols conquered the largest contiguous empire in world history due to being highly skilled warriors on horseback and highly disciplined soldiers
• The Mongols used psychological warfare to frighten their enemies into submission
• Yes, the Mongols were successful at conquest because they adopted advanced technology quickly, they organized their armies efficiently, and they were talented cavalrymen or warriors on horseback
• Chinggis Khan's organized units of soldiers were based on the principle of ten
• He organized his people into units of ten, a hundred, a thousand, and ten thousand, and the head of a unit of ten thousand would have a strong personal relationship with Chinggis himself
• That kind of loyalty was to be extremely important in Chinggis's rise to power and in his ability to maintain authority over all the various segments of his domain
• Chinggis's military tactics showcased his superiority in warfare
• One particularly effective tactic Chinggis liked to use was the feigned withdrawal: Deep in the throes of a battle his troops would withdraw, pretending to have been defeated
• As the enemy forces pursued the troops that seemed to be fleeing, they would quickly realize that they'd fallen into a trap, as whole detachments of men in armor or cavalries would suddenly appear and overwhelm them
• Another key tactic was the use of the horse in warfare
• The Mongols were superior warriors and conquered a vast empire stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Sea