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Period 3 Key Concept 3.2 Continuity & Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions
Terms in this set (6)
How did state formations develop in the post-classical era?
• State formation was demonstrated remarkable continuity, innovation and diversity in various regions.
• In Afro-Eurasia, some states attempted, to preserve or revive imperial structures, while smaller, less centralized states continued to develop.
• The expansion of Islam introduced a new concept — the Caliphate — to Afro-Eurasian statecraft. Pastoral peoples in Eurasia built powerful and distinctive empires that integrated people and institutions from both the pastoral and agrarian worlds.
• In the Americas, states developed in both Mesoamerica and the Andean region.
How did post-classical states avoid the mistakes of classical empires in the regions where classical empires collapsed?
Most reconstituted governments following the collapse of empires, (Byzantine Empire, Sui, Tang, Song Chinese dynasties) combined traditional sources of power and legitimacy.
Traditional sources of power and legitimacy such as (patriarchy, religion, land-owning elites) were continued. For EX- the Tang Dynasty reinstated this tradition of using a Confucian bureaucracy in China's political system. The Byzantine Empire thought of itself as the continuation of Roman civilization, build upon the foundations of classical Rome.
The governments of the era also used innovations better suited to the current circumstances such as new methods of taxation, tributary systems, and adaptation of religious institutions.
For EX- the Tang's attempt to address a problem of unequal distribution of land across society by introducing the equal field system. To ensure steady source of revenue the Tangs developed the tributary systems with its neighbors - Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. To counter this threat of the barbaric invasion Byzantine Empire developed a system of imperial organization called the theme system. Each theme, or province, was placed under the leadership of a general who organized its administration and defense
What new forms of governance emerged in the post-classical era?
• In some places, new forms of governance emerged, including those developed in various Islamic states such as the Abbasids and Delhi sultanates. - During the reign of the Abbasids, Caliph ruled with absolute authority, presided over a centralized bureaucratic state and supported by military force. While the Delhi sultanates had a centralized form of government
• New methods were also used in the Mongol Khanates, the city-states in the Italian peninsula
o The Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of nomadic tribes in the Mongol homeland under the leadership of Genghis Khan
o The very first Italian city-state can be considered the Republic of Venice, which broke apart from Byzantine Empire Independent, self-governing cities emerged first in Italy and Flanders
o They relied on manufacturing and trade for their income, and they had legal independence so that their laws could favor manufacturing and trade.
o In Italy, Venice emerged as a dominant sea power, trading in Muslim ports for spices and other goods
• Not all the new political developments of this era produced centralized states. On the eastern coast of Africa, trade and Islam gave rise to powerful but independent city-states like the Swahili city-states that thrived on Indian Ocean commerce. Despite the strong Islamic character of the Swahili city-states, they were highly tolerant and cosmopolitan. Because it was a trading center for merchants of various faith.
• Another example of political decentralization in this time period is the rise of feudalism in Western Europe and Japan.
o The need for security from invaders such as the Vikings forced people looked to local landowners to provide them with protection and they in turn gave their labor to the landlord. These reciprocal bonds of obligation were the core of feudalism. In Europe these bonds were sealed by legal contracts between vassals and those above them.
o When Japan was not able to maintain a centralized rule, they too fell into feudalism with samurai warriors comprising the military caste. One important difference, however, was the absence of negotiated contracts between vassals and their superiors
How & where did governmental diffusion occur in the post-classical era?
Some states synthesized local and borrowed traditions. The traditions of the Persians influenced the Islamic states and Chinese traditions influenced Japan.
• From the Persians the Muslims adopted art, architecture, knowledge, and urban living. Other Persian traditions like veiled women were adopted by the Arabs.
• Japan received ideas on language, Religion, and government systems from China.
How did states in the Americas develop in the post-classical era?
In the Americas, as in Afro-Eurasia, state systems expanded in scope and reach: Networks of city-states flourished in the Maya region and, at the end of this period, imperial systems were created by the Mexica ("Aztecs") and Inca.
The Aztecs gained territory by terrorizing adjacent peoples and tribes. And the Inca gained land by diplomacy and military conquest.
What technological and cultural exchanges did states encourage in the post-classical era?
Interregional contacts and conflicts between states and empires encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers.
• The conflict between Tang China and the Abbasids at the Battle of Talas led to technology transfers of such as paper and gunpowder
The unification of Eurasia under the Mongols led further to technological and cultural transfers.
• Through the Mongols, Islamic mathematics and astronomy spread from the Dar la Islam into China
o Other areas of exchange were knowledge of geography and cartography. Most instrumental in this exchange was Rashid al-Din, the scholarly connection between the great Mongol courts in Iran and China. Transfer of geographic information from China to the Middle East resulted into the most accurate maps in the world at that time
o In the world of food and agriculture, the Pax Mongolia allowed for the transfer of grapes and fruit trees to China. In return, luxury items of Chinese cuisine, such as pepper, cinnamon and tea, were introduced into the Muslim world. Perhaps the most important technological transfers during the Pax Mongolia were block printing and gunpowder.
o Through the Mongols, block printing, which had developed during China's Song Dynasty, was transferred to the Muslim world. Copying the Song Dynasty, the Mongol Ilkhanate in Persia even issued paper money for a brief time. The best known technological exchange facilitated by the Mongols was gunpowder
The arrival of the crusaders did intensify the technological and cultural transfers.
• Europeans borrowed the practice of making damascene swords from the Muslims
• An important cultural transfers were Arabic numerals and the decimal system, the game of chess as well as foods such as yogurt, coffee, sugar and dates, and luxury items like Persian carpets, silk, and cotton textiles were introduced in Europe because of the Crusades.
• Europeans were also introduced to their own cultural and intellectual past that were lost to Europeans during the invasions after the fall of Rome, had been preserved in Muslim schools. Contacts with Muslims through the Crusades and in Spain, reintroduced Europe to its own intellectual and cultural heritage.
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