The Agricultural Revolution began with the transformation of hunting and gathering to farming and domesticating animals. Societies were becoming patriarchal and less egalitarian. Instead of being primarily mobile, people started to settle in permanent villages, eliminate their hunting and gathering ways as well as create civilizations with job specialization. Also coming along with the Agricultural Revolution was the Secondary Products Revolution which provided for other uses of animals such as sheep for wool and manure for soil. Three types of societies emerged: Pastoral Societies, Agricultural Societies and Chiefdoms.
The Silk Road began around 200 BCE during the Han Dynasty. It linked pastoral and agricultural based people all around Eurasia. China provided goods such as silk and paper. The people living in the grasslands of Central Asia contributed with furs, livestock and horses. India was well known for its cotton textiles and spices while toe Mediterranean basin traded gold coins, glass and jewelry. The Silk Roads were commonly used for trading luxury goods with the most desired good being silk. These trade routes aided in the spread of Buddhism but on the negative side, also was the main reason the Black Death became a pandemic disease. As trade by sea became more popular and technology advanced, the Silk Road began its decline following Mongol domination.
The Mongols started out as an unstable collection of tribes who were nomadic pastoralists surviving on trusted kinship alliances. Defeating a rival tribe allowed someone to get the recognition of becoming chief. The leader that gets credit for the Mongol domination is Temujn(1162-1227). He was recognized as Ghengis Khan in 1206 as the supreme leader of the unified Mongol Nation. Throughout the thirteenth century the Mongols attacked socities throughout Eurasia and East Asia with the exception of Japan, as a typhoon prohibited them from reaching it. Their success was partially due to good timing. China was divided, the Abbasid Empire was shrinking and their military organization was key. The trust and loyalty that was cemented between a leader and his men as well as the unique organization of the army in units of 10 contributed to their success. In 1209, the Mongols took over China and established the Yuan dynasty ridding of Confucian policies. In 1368, the Mongols in China were driven back to their homeland and the Ming dynasty established. The Mongols thoroughly dominated Persia by sacking Baghdad in 1258, ending the Abbasid Caliphate. They taxed the Persians heavily, used torture and whipping, established a system of underground water channels and increased the wine and silk industry. Eventually the Mongols were driven out of Persia. In Russia, Mongol ruling was a little different. They thought Russia's economy was underdeveloped and they had little to offer however, the Mongols still chose to rule from afar. Princes mainly dominated Russia but were still under authorization from Mongolian leaders. The princes acted as tax collectors and overlords. Eventually, the princes overthrew the Mongols. However, the Orthodox church did flourish under Mongol rule. The Mongol empire hit its downfall in the 1360s.
The Shang Dynasty started the dynastic cycle in China that continued on until the fall of the QIng Dynasty in 1911. The Mandate of Heaven was someone who was granted the right to rule by the Gods and if something negative were to happen to that ruler's dynasty, such as drought, rebellion, invasion, famine or disease, then that ruler would be overthrown and a new Mandate of Heaven would be established. The Shang Dynasty was also known for their use of oracle bones.
The Warring States Period occurred in China between 403 BCE and 221 BCE. This was a time in Chinese history that consisted of constant warfare and turmoil. The Three Schools of Thought also emerged in this time frame to try to explain and help people cope with the conflict. It consisted of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Legalism, with the help of Qin Shihuangdi, offered the best solution to China's problem with its practical approach, strict laws, agricultural approach, and military focus. In 221 BCE, Shihuangdi begun the Qin Dynasty with the new approach of Legalism. It focused on having a centralized bureacracy with laws, currencies, weights and measures. His animosity towards Confucianism and cruel punishments created conflict and in 207 BCE, the Qin Dynasty ended. The Han dynasty was then created in 206 BCE.
The Qing Dynasty began with the rule of Emperor Kangxi who provided stability during his reign. He was a Confucian scholar who repaired roads and waterworks, lowered taxes and provided economic incentives to reestablish areas that were devastated by rebellions under the Ming dynasty. He welcomed the Jesuit advisers who discussed philosophical and scientific discussions, mapped China and illustrated books showing European anatomical and philosophical knowledge. Much of the expansion during the Qing was by nomadic groups such as Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang. The Qing established an agreement with the Russian empire, the Treaty of Nerchinsk which said that the Amur River was the dividing line between the two empires. The Court of Colonial Affairs existed as well, and they were Buddhist monks who controlled immigration into new regions without forced assimilation. During the Qing, the Silk Roads were on the decline and the pastoralists now became spectators in the world. The Qing was a foreign dynasty ruled by Manchuria. The Qing, the last Chinese Dynasty declined in 1911.
Trade in Africa along the Trans-Saharan Trade Routes thrived throughout history specifically with the rise of Islam and the rise of West African civilizations such as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The earliest long distance trade was among the Arabs. Two primary zones were the main factors in trade among Sub-Saharan Africa those being the Savannah Grasslands and the forested areas further South. The people of the grasslands traded grain crops such as millet and sorghum while the forested areas traded root and tree crops such as yams and kola nuts. Jenne-Jeno was located on a critical point in Trans-Saharan trade, the Nile River. The introduction of camels was crucial to the prosperity of these Sand Roads. Ivory, gold, salt and slaves and later on, Islamic scholarship, were the most sought out goods and ideas among the Trans-Saharan Trade Routes.
The Columbian Exchange occurred between Africa, Europe and the United States. Europe introduced animals such as horses, pigs, cattle, goats and sheep who were new to the Americas. America contributed with corn, potatoes and casava and provided Europe with cheap food for industrial workers. Europe contributed with wheat, rice, sugarcane, grapes, veggies to America. The silver mines of Mexico such as the Potosi mine, provided for trading goods that East Asia wanted.
The Persian Empire began with a Persian king, Cyrus, uniting the Achaemenids and Medes under his rule in 600 BCE through political marriage and toleration. His policies allowed conquered people such as the Persians and Medes, to be appointed to a government position. He was seen as the person who unified Persia. Following Cyrus' death in battle, Cambyses took control and expanded Egpyt. He also is known for the lost army of 50,000 people. Next up was Darius the Great. He established the capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis which was known as the theater city. Darius also expanded the empire to the Indus River, established Susa as the political capital, and built a canal in Egpyt. A postal network and the Royal Road were established under his reign. Following Darius was his son Xerxes I, who dealt with the issue of the Ionian Greeks during the Persian Wars. He was a contributer to the Battle of Marathon, the Battle of Thermopylae, and the Battle of Salamis. Alexander the Great ended the Persian empire in 331 BCE.
The establishment and maintaining of India was like a roller coaster. The first empire, the Mauryan Empire, began in 322 BCE when Chandragupta seized power along the Ganges River. The government was highly autocratic which became a pattern throughout Indian history. Following the decline of the Mauryan empire, India was a series of regional kingdoms before Ashoka, Chandragupta's grandson, established the Gupta Empire on 320 CE. This was a very military based empire that consisted of strong generals, but very few major rulers. This was India's greatest period of political stability as it ruled for two centuries. In 525 CE, nomadic warriors called the Huns, overturned the Gupta Empire. Following the collapse of this empire was a period of regionalism. Hinduism became the dominant religion in classical India with the inclusion of the Caste System.
Indian Ocean trade really flourished during the time period of 450 CE to 1450 CE. Unlike the Silk Roads, the Indian Ocean Maritime System was used for bulk goods such as textiles, pepper, timber, rice, sugar and wheat. Monsoon winds made Indian Ocean trade more reliable and predictable allowing more consistent and controlled trade. Malay and Indian soldiers controlled trade around the time of its establishment. The Mediterranean Basin primarily traded ceramics, wine and olive oil. East Africa traded gold, ivory and tortoise shells. Arabia contributed with perfume and frankincense. India, as always, contributed with cotton textiles and spices. China's primary exports were silk, porcelain and tea. Southeast Asia, like India, traded spices such as nutmeg and mace. Srivijiya, a Malay kingdom, was located at a crtiical point in Indian Ocean trade. Other civilizations such as Saliendra, the Swahili city-states and Great Zimbabwe thrived off the increasing popularity of the IOMS. IOMS played a major role in the economic and political revival of China and the rise of Islam.
The Mughal Empire consisted of Muslim and Turkic Central Asian warriors. It was a very fragment and diverse subcontinent consisting of a Muslim minority ruling over a Hindu minority. Akbar (1556-1605) was a very tolerant ruler and tried to eliminate religious tension by removing the jizya and restraining the ulama and creating a divine faith. The next ruler, Shah Jahan (1628-1658) focused on arts, literature, painting, building and expansion and made Islam the official religion which caused tension among the empire. Auranzeb (1658-1707) took the hatred of Hinduism to a whole new level and destroyed Hindu temples, reinstated the jizya, enforced sharia belief, increased taxes and forbade sati, gambling, drinking and dancing. This divided the empire further and led to its decline in 1707.
Up until 476, the Roman empire was a primary player in the Mediterranean region. Around 509 BCE, during the Punic Wars, the Roman Republic was established by aristocrats who overthrew the monarchy. The Senate was the main contributor to this new republic and consisted of the Patricians, who were the wealthy class and the Plebeians, who were the poorer class. Rome's written code of law, the Twelve Tables, indicated the idea of tribune, in which the plebeians could rule against unfavorable legislation. Rome's victory in the Punic Wars (264-146 BCE) against Carthage allowed the empire to extend its control over the Western Mediterranean. The official "Roman Empire" was established with Julius Caesar ruling (100 to 44 BCE). He was a key player in the transformation of Rome's new imperial state. Around 180 CE, nomadic invasions started to become more prominent, multiple emperors claimed rule, and the economy declined. Constantine ruled for 312 to 377 CE and ruled the eastern half efficiently but the west became fragmented and was never fully able to recover. Finally, the Roman empire fell in 476 CE.
Greece rapidly rose between 800 and 600 BCE as a series of powerful city states instead of a single unified empire. Sparta and Athens, were the two most powerful states and during 500 and 449 BCE cooperated to fight off a Persian invasion. Athens had a direct democracy that relied on order in which all free adult males were citizens. Sparta focused on discipline and military talent. The two city-states either united to fight off foreign invasion or fought against each other for power and resources. A Greek city-state in Anatolia revolted against Persian rule and began the Persian War. A victory by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon led to the Athenian Golden Age. This alliance between Athens and Sparta resulted in the Delian League in which Athens led. This caused power conflict and led to the Peloponnesian War, which consisted of a head to head battle with Athens and Sparta. Because of this, Greece became vulnerable and was taken over by Macedonia.
The Byzantine Empire replaced the declining Eastern Roman Empire. Emperor Constantine, for a while, ruled the Byzantine state and tried to help Eastern Rome recover for its government corruption and damage due to nomadic invasions however, the major boom in the Byzantine Empire began with Emperor Justinian (527-605) who reconquered the Mediterranean Basin and controlled Greece, the Balkans and Anatolia. He focused on maintaining a very centralized government and ruled under the belief of Orthodox Christianity influenced by Caesaropapism, which involves the state's relationship with the church. Justinian's code was also arguably the most influential law system during this time frame. The decline of the Byzantine Empire began with the Fourth Crusade in which Western Forces seized and looted Constantinople and then took over Byzantium. This was a major issue considering Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and essentially their prized possession. When the Byzantines lost Anatolia, their fate was sealed. However they did have a major impact on Russia with Orthodox Christianity and the Cyrillic Alphabet.
Part of the success of reestablishing rule in the Western Roman Empire is attributed to Charlemagne (768-814). He ruled the Carolingian Empire, formed an imperial bureaucracy, standardized weights and measures and acted like an imperial ruler. Roman Catholicism was the main religion unlike the Byzantines who focused on Orthodoxy. Charlemagne established the capital at Aachen and spent a good amount of time traveling around the empire to assure that he maintained authority. Otto I of Saxony (936-973) followed Charlemagne and gathered Germany temporarily and also received the title of emperor by the pope, as was the norm. While the Eastern Roman empire was able to stay relatively unified, the Western Roman empire remained highly fragmented throughout its history.
During the Realm of Mohammad Ibn Abdullan, Islam first started its rise during 570-632 CE. Islam originally began with the Bedouins who were nomadic Arabs. They lived in independent clans or tribes and often fought with each other. They valued personal bravery, loyalty and hospitality. Mecca, located in the Middle East, was the site of Kaaba, the most prominent religious shrine in Arabia. Allah, a Muslim god, was established as the supreme god of the Arab Parthenon with Yamen. Mohammad was considered the messenger of Islam and created the sacred scripts of Islam, the Quran. It established the umma as the moral society of Islam and summarized Islam's core message in the Pillars of Islam. Jihad was considered the personal effort of each Muslim against greed and selfishness. The spread of Islam was facilitated through the trade routes in the Middle East and Africa as well as the establishment of Arab empires.
The Umayyad Caliphate was the first Islamic Dynasty. Under this dynasty,the Arab empire expanded. Under the Umayyads, caliphs became hereditary rulers, the capital city was moved from Medina to Damascus, located in Syria. The ruling class was the Arab military aristocracy and was highly disliked and provoked unrest throughout the empire. The Shia Muslims believed that the Umayyad caliphs were illegitimate usurpers. The Non-Arab Muslims resented their 2nd class citizenship and protested against the luxurious living of the Umayyad rulers. Class conflict and political unrest led to the overthrow of the Umayyads in 750 CE.
The Abbasid Caliphate followed the Ummayyad Caliphate as a dominant Islamic force. The capital was moved to Baghdad. Unlike the Umayyad Caliphate, Non-Araba played a prominent role in society. There was a huge amount of Persian influence in the creation of the new title of caliph. Persia also became a common language for the elite culture in the Eastern Islamic lands. Court rituals, painting, and agriculture were also Persian customs that were heavily appreciated by the Abbasids. Political unity didn't last long as local governers and military commanders asserted autonomy of regions but still gave formal allegiance to the caliph. Slowly, the Islamic world fractured into sultanates ruled by Turkish and Persian military dynasties. The Hulugu Mongols finally ended the empire 1258.
The Ottoman Empire was established in 1289 as the protector of the holy cities of Islam. Part of what played a role in the rise and success of the Ottomans was its location and control of trade, the wealth it made from trade as well as its superior technology. It was the growing influence of Turkic culture and peoples. The Ottomans ruled over the Balkans, who resided in Southern Europe. They were a Christian population and the Ottomans accomodated them with lighter tzes, autonomy in regulating social and religious ideas. Jewish refugees were also part of the Balkans. Devshirme was common among the Ottomans as it collected Christian boys and forced them to learn Turkish, convert to Islam and train with the Janisarries. As a result of this, their families got promoted a social status. The Ottomans were also seen as a huge threat to Christian Europe. They layed a seige on Viennce in 1529. As a result of a lack of industrializing,an influx of silver and a loss of power, the Ottomans declined in 1922.