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Humanities: Aztecs, Incas, Renaissance and Exploration

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What does "Renaissance" mean?
rebirth
The Renaissance came after the ___________ era in western Europe.
medieval aka middle ages (postclassical)
What is humanism?
revival of classical learning, focused on individual endeavors
Where in Europe did the Renaissance begin?
Italy
Why did the Renaissance begin in Italy?
Due to its geography, Italy was better off economically than most of the rest of western Europe and benefitted from cultural diffusion from neighboring societies. Also, many classical structures were in Italy (Roman empire)
True or false: the Renaissance was characterized by an increasing interest in church matters and less focus on individual potential and achievements.
False - the opposite is true (note: the church was still important, but faced competing values)
What is a "Renaissance man?"
a person with many talents or areas of knowledge, particularly in the "humanities"
How did monarchs' authority change from the Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance?
Monarchs had a significantly larger amount of power (absolute monarchs, parliamentary monarchs).
True or false: the first book printed by Gutenberg's printing press was the dictionary.
False (it was the Bible)
In what ways did the printing press affect European society during the Renaissance?
First time books were printed on a large scale, knowledge and education spread more quickly, books were more affordable, literacy rates rose, harder to monitor what is being printed/facilitated the Protestant Reformation (people could read and interpret the Bible and the ideas of the reformers for themselves)
True or false: Before the Renaissance, people gathered knowledge by studying classical thinkers, whereas during and after the Renaissance, people began relying on the Bible to learn about the world around them.
False (there was less emphasis on the Bible for truths about the natural world during and after the Renaissance)
Explain the primary reasons why individuals generally didn't question or challenge the church before Martin Luther's time.
fear of excommunication, didn't have access to the Bible/couldn't read, dependent on Pope's interpretation of the Bible
What are "works" as it is used in religion?
good deeds and sacraments
What are indulgences?
money given to the church in exchange for a certificate: belief promoted by some church leaders that people could "buy" their way to heaven
Who started the Protestant Reformation?
Martin Luther
What was the main "weapon" used by Martin Luther against the church?
scripture verses (he showed that biblical teachings contradicted some church practices)
How did the printing press assist Martin Luther's cause?
allowed him to disseminate his grievances (95 theses) and to print German copies of the Bible
What are some of the Protestant branches of Christianity that emerged during the Renaissance?
Lutheran, Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist
How did the church respond to Martin Luther's 95 Theses?
They excommunicated him but then launched the Counter-Reformation to address some of their corrupt practices
What famous Renaissance writer did we focus on in class?
Shakespeare
What classical building influenced the design of the dome of the Florence cathedral (aka the Duomo)?
Roman Pantheon
How were Renaissance cathedrals different from medieval cathedrals?
They generally didn't have flying buttresses but instead returned to classical forms with simple, elegant lines
How did Europeans gain knowledge about the natural world before the Renaissance?
They relied on informal observation, the Church and classical thinkers
How would the Enlightenment build on the scientific revolution?
Enlightenment thinkers applied the scientific method to the analysis of people, which included the establishment of the social sciences (psychology, etc.)
Where in the Americas were the Aztecs located?
Mesoamerica
What neighboring society most directly influenced the Aztecs?
Mayans
On what lake did the Aztecs settle?
Lake Texcoco
What was the capital of the Aztec empire?
Tenochtitlan
In their cosmology, what sign told the Aztecs where to settle?
an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a cactus
What Aztec engineering accomplishments did we focus on in class?
causeways linking their capital to the mainland and chinampas
Describe the main characteristics of the Aztec religion.
polytheistic, human sacrifice was necessary to nourish the sun god in his fight against the darkness
Who were the primary sacrificial victims in the Aztec society? Who else became victims?
mostly prisoners of war; some slaves, some nobles would volunteer
While many American societies practiced human sacrifice, what aspects were unique to the Aztecs' approach?
They sacrificed on a much larger scale and engaged in cannibalism.
Who was allowed to practice cannibalism in the Aztec society?
royalty/nobles, and the limbs of the victim could be given to his/her captor
According to the article we read in class, why did it make sense that the Aztec religion engaged in cannibalism?
They didn't have enough protein sources, due to their lack of large, domesticated animals.
What are chinampas?
manmade floating gardens to maximize land available for farming
List the Aztec social hierarchy from top to bottom.
emperor; nobles, priests, warriors, merchants; commoners (including farmers); slaves
What intellectual developments are associated with the Aztecs?
They developed a writing system, had compulsory education for their citizens, astronomy/math, made medical advances including bone-setting; they borrowed the Mayan calendar
Who defeated the Aztecs?
Spanish conquistadors, led the Hernan Cortes
What were the primary causes of death among the Aztecs after the arrival of Europeans?
war and disease
Where was the Inca empire located?
South America: Andes Mountains
What was the capital of the Inca empire?
Cuzco
What does "Sapa Inca" mean?
Great Emperor
Describe the power of the Inca emperor.
He had absolute power, claimed to be a divine ruler, was also the religious leader. The Inca language and religion were imposed on conquered people. Jobs were assigned to people, and the government arranged marriages.
What were the incentives for Inca expansion?
typical reasons: economic gain, political power AND split inheritance (also to acquire victims for sacrifice)
What was split inheritance?
Inca rulers only inherited the title of ruler, because possessions stayed with the mummified, deceased ruler; therefore the new ruler needed to acquire his own wealth through conquest.
What was the cult of ancestors?
Deceased Inca rulers were mummified and treated as intermediaries with the gods, and brought into battle as a "good luck charm"
Was the social hierarchy of the Incas similar or different from the Aztecs?
similar
How was the Inca religion similar to the Aztecs? Different?
similar: polytheistic, sun god was most important; less brutal (fewer sacrifices), "Virgins of the Sun" worked in the temples
For what engineering achievements are the Incas remembered?
extensive road network through difficult terrain, suspension bridges, terraced agriculture, stonework, religious temples, palaces
Describe the road network created by the Incas.
extensive, had way stations (inns, storehouses, supply centers), relay points for runners carrying messages
Describe the Inca economy.
The government arranged marriages, each family was assigned a specific job, organized mit'a - had complete control over the economy.
What was mit'a?
The Inca government required a portion of its citizens to contribute to public building projects (roads, bridges, etc.). This was key to the Inca's success in creating its extensive infrastructure.
What domesticated animals did the Incas have available?
llama, alpaca
What was quipu?
Inca record-keeping system of knots (they lacked a true writing system)
What intellectual achievements are attributed to the Inca empire?
gold and silver metalwork; weaving; quipu; medical advances, including skull surgery, anesthesia and mummification
What ultimately happened to the Incas?
They were defeated by Spanish conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, and much of the population was killed by warfare and smallpox.
In general, did the Aztecs and Incas borrow OR reject ideas from their predecessors?
They were very influenced by their predecessors.
Incas, Aztecs or both - religious temples were the most prominent structures?
both
What were China's incentives for exploration?
potential profits, access to luxury goods
What were Europe's incentives for exploration?
God, gold, glory, adventure, spices - direct access to trade routes
Which society was better positioned for exploration at the beginning of the early modern era: China or Europe?
China
What technological developments allowed Western Europeans to explore new sea routes?
telescope, compass, caravel, better maps
What is mercantilism?
an economic policy embraced throughout Europe during the Renaissance, in which nations tried to enhance their own economic situation; key elements included exporting more than you imported, as well as using colonies for raw materials and markets
Who already played a key role in trade in the Indian Ocean before Europeans arrived?
Muslim and Chinese traders
What was the name of the Chinese citizen placed in charge of a series of voyages on behalf of the Chinese government in the early 1400s?
Zheng He
Why did China stop their sea expeditions?
They felt it wasn't practical (the voyages were expensive and didn't provide China with obvious advantages).
What is an absolute monarchy?
A ruler who had total authority: not accountable to a constitution or other government bodies/representatives
Which Portuguese ruler played a key role in supporting sea expeditions?
Prince Henry the Navigator
What Spanish co-rulers funded key sea expeditions, including Christopher Columbus's?
Ferdinand and Isabella
List the key reasons spices were in high demand in Europe in the early modern era.
flavor for a monotonous diet, medicines and perfumes, preservation of meat and alcohol, aphrodisiac folklore, exotic origins, conspicuous consumption
Why were spices so expensive in Western Europe before the early modern era?
Spices underwent a long journey from their place of origin, with many middlemen
For what is Christopher Columbus remembered?
"discovering" the Americas, starting the Columbian Exchange
What is the Columbian Exchange?
the massive exchange of plants, animals, people and diseases between the western and eastern hemisphere, triggered by Columbus' voyages
Did the following originate in the Americas or the Old World: smallpox, coffee, bananas, wheat, cattle, pigs, horses?
Old World
Did the following originate in the Americas or the Old World: tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, peanut
Americas
For what is Vasco de Gama remembered?
He discovered a direct route from Europe to India (around Africa)
What was the only European trading commodity of interest in the Indian Ocean?
silver (from their colonies)
For what is Ferdinand Magellan remembered?
His voyage proved that the world was round.
How did China react to Europeans who arrived at their border?
The government restricted its citizens' contact with the foreigners, was easily able to prevent European conquest.
What two European exports gained some traction in Japan?
firearms, Christianity
How ultimately did Japan respond to Europeans?
Japan implemented a law that closed itself to foreigners for the next 250 years
What fueled Europeans' interactions with Africans?
purchase of slaves for labor in American colonies
How were African slaves acquired by Europeans?
traded peacefully for them with African merchants (Africans acquired slaves to sell via warfare)
In the Triangular Trade, what type of good was moved from the Americas to Europe?
raw materials (e.g. tobacco, sugar)
In the Triangular Trade, what type of good was moved from Europe to Africa?
manufactured goods (guns, rum)
In the Triangular Trade, what primary "commodity" was moved from Africa to the Americas?
slaves
What key values defined the Renaissance?
interest in classical Greek and Roman ideas, eagerness for adventure, individual achievement
What were Luther's three main teachings?
salvation could only be acquired through faith; the Bible was the sole source of religious truth; the church didn't have special powers (all Christians had equal access to God)
Why was the scientific revolution "revolutionary?"
It didn't assume previous knowledge was accurate and instead took a rational, methodical approach to acquiring knowledge (via the scientific method)
What was the Treaty of Tordesillas?
a treaty endorsed by the pope, in which an imaginary line was created through the Americas, giving Spain control of the area west of the line and Portugal the area east of the line
Where were the most desirable spices located?
India, Spice Islands
What was China's attitude toward the Europeans and their goods?
They thought Europeans were barbaric and had inferior goods, but were interested in European technologies and knowledge
What roles did Aztec priests play?
They conducted religious rituals,were keepers of knowledge and wrote their society's history
What staple crops as associated with the Aztecs?
squash, corn and beans
What subjects were studied in Aztec schools?
history, religion; boys: warrior training; girls: domestic training
What key characteristics defined Renaissance art?
classical influences, more realistic, development of perspective