APWH Unit 3
With the fall of the three major classical civilizations at the end of the previous unit (Rome, Han China, Gupta India), the stage was set for new trends that defined these years as a separate period with different migrations and conquests and more developed trade patterns than before. Some major events and developments that characterized this era included the following:
- Older belief systems, such as Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, came to become more important than political organizations in defining many areas of the world. Large religions covered huge areas of land, even though localized smaller religions remained in place.
- Two nomadic groups–the Bedouins and the Mongols–had a huge impact on the course of history during this era, not to mention the influence of others such as the Vikings.
- Islam began and rapidly spread throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia, forever transforming the societies it came into contact with.
- Whereas Europe was not a major civilization area before 600 CE, by 1450 it was transformed economically, socially, and politically, and some of its kingdoms were beginning to assert world power.
- Major empires developed in both South America (the Inca) and Mesoamerica (the Maya and Aztec.)
- China grew to have cultural and political hegemony over many other areas of Asia as it reunified and experienced a commercial revolution that helped it become one of the largest and most prosperous empires of the time.
- Long distance trade continued to develop along previous routes, but the amount and complexity of trade and contact increased significantly.
Major Comparisons and Snapshots:
- Compare Japanese and European feudalism
- Compare developments in political and social institutions in both eastern and western Europe
- Analyze the role and function of cities in major societies
- Compare Islam and Christianity
- Analyze gender systems and changes, such as the impact of Islam
- Compare Aztec Empire and Inca Empire
- Compare European and sub-Saharan African contacts with the Islamic world
Need to Know vs. Not Need to Know:
- Arab caliphate, but not the transition from Umayyad to Abbasid.
- Mamluks, but not Almohads.
- Feudalism, but not specific feudal monarchs such as Richard I.
- Manorialism, but not the three-field system.
- Crusading movement and its impact, but not specific crusades.
- Viking exploration, expansion, and impact, but not individual explorers.
- Mongol expansion and its impact, but not details of specific khanates.
- Papacy, but not particular popes.
- Indian ocean trading patterns, but not Gujarati merchants.