midterm essay review

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Analyze and describe the decline and fall of ONE of the following empires. In your answer, be sure to describe the social, economic, and political changes that occurred over the course of the empire’s history. Roman Empire Han Dynasty
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ROMAN EMPIRE a) political instability manifested in assassinations and civil wars due to unorderly succession of emperors – barrack’s room emperors b) invasions by Germanic tribes and the economic burden of defending the frontier – Roman government hired Germanic tribes because the population had decreased drastically due to plagues so no one was in the army – the Visigoth King Alaric successfully sacked the city of Rome – the Germanic leader Odoacer staged a revolt and deposed the Emperor Romulus Augustulus. From then on, no Roman emperor would ever again rule from a post in Italy, leading many to cite 476 as the year the Western Empire suffered its deathblow. c) the devastation wrought by plague and social unrest HAN DYNASTY a) the Han government had trouble collecting enough tax revenue to fund the court and to support the armies that defended China from external threats. b) revolts by peasants and Taoists, especially the Yellow Turban Rebellion – famine forced many farmers and former military settlers in the north to seek employment in the south, where large landowners exploited the labor surplus to amass large fortunes. c) disintered emperors – after Emperor Xuan, emporors neglected their duties in favor of amusement – court officials vied for power with the scholar-officials and army generals, at times even leading to massacres within the palace.
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Analyze and describe the spread of ONE of the following religions from 2000 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. In your analysis, be sure to discuss the factors that brought about the religion’s expansion and the impact that it had in the new regions. Christianity Buddhism
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CHRISTIANITY a) how both religions greatly appealed to subordinated peoples like women and peasants because they did not enforce a strict social hierarchy b) both religions did not require a specific cultural context to be practiced in contrast to Hinduism and Confucianism c) Christianity gained increasing popular support in the Roman Empire and spread to the Germanic tribes of northern and western Europe d) missionary work and conversion were fundamental values of Christianity BUDDHISM e) Buddhism greatly expanded during the Mauryan Dynasty, as the ruler Ashoka built Rock and Pillar Edicts that preached the religion’s values f) Buddhism unified many of the Asian peoples as the religion spread along the land-based trade routes of Central Asia (Silk Road).
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Describe and analyze the administrative, economic, and social developments that brought about the golden age of ONE of the following civilizations from 2000 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. Hellenistic Civilization Roman Empire Gupta Dynasty (India)
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A civilization’s golden age is characterized by a period of relative peace, economic prosperity, and high achievements in arts, literature, and the sciences. + how territorial expansion is a common feature of all three golden ages because it provides an empire with valuable natural resources, revenues from conquered lands, and protection from invaders ROME – in Rome, stability was restored during the Pax Romana as the central emperor (Augustus) established a bona fide legal system (“innocent till proven guilty”, the right of the accused to propose a defense, equality under law), a common coinage, civil service, and infrastructure for long-distance trade and commerce GREECE a) the Hellenistic golden age occurred under the leadership of Alexander the Great, who conquered lands stretching from the Greek mainland all the way to the Indus River Valley. b) Hellenistic society incorporated Greek, Egyptian, Persian, and many other cultures that gave rise to advancements in math, science, art, and literature. GUPTA DYNASTY a) although it was smaller than the preceding Mauryan Dynasty, the Gupta Dynasty enjoyed a period of peace and economic prosperity as India was no longer plagued by overpopulation and insufficient land in its rich river basins and large, irrigation projects were constructed b) also during the Gupta Dynasty, there was a return to traditional Hinduism – strict caste system
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Describe and analyze the changing status of women in ONE of the following areas from 600 to 1450. In your analysis, be sure to discuss the relationship between cultural resurgence and the status of women, identifying specific causes of the changes. Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates (Middle East) Tang and Song Dynasties (China)
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TANG AND SONG DYNASTIES a) the subordination of women in China as evidenced by the widespread practice of foot-binding b) how the rise in neo-Confucianism reinforced the subjugation of women UMAYYAD AND ABBASID CALIPHATES The Qur’an emphasized equality of all people before Allah, and it outlawed female infanticide, and provided that dowries go directly to brides. However, for the most part, Islam reinforced male dominance. a) men occupied all of the prominent religious and administrative positions in Islamic society b) the Quran permitted men to have multiple wives – Muhammad had 4 wives himself c) in affluent Islamic homes during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, women and their children stayed in a separate part of the house called a harem. d) women started to wear veils
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Analyze and describe how the relationship between religion and state changed from 600 to 1450 in ONE of the following areas. Be sure to discuss the factors that led to these changes. Eastern Europe Middle East
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MIDDLE EAST a) how the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates of the Middle East established a theocracy in which, Islamic law and the religious priests dominated society EASTERN EUROPE b) Byzantine rulers in Eastern Europe governed the state and religion (caesaropapism –the monarch as both head of state and church) e.g. emperor Justinian ordered the construction of great churches and monuments such as the Hagia Sophia
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Analyze and describe the changing roles of cities in TWO of the following areas from 600 to 1450. Be sure to discuss some of the factors that led to these changes. Western Europe China Middle East
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WESTERN EUROPE a) the role that population growth and Mediterranean trade played in spurring urbanization in western Europe b) how European cities promoted social and cultural diversity as many artisans and merchants left the countryside to take advantage of the economic opportunities that the cities offered (guild system) MIDDLE EAST c) how cities in eastern Africa and the Middle East became great centers of learning in the Islamic Empire during the caliphate period d) the emergence of new class hierarchies in western Europe, and the Middle East as power shifted from the traditional landholding aristocrats to wealthy merchants CHINA d) the Chinese cities during the Tang and Song Dynasties that flourished and became more cosmopolitan (arts, sciences, and knowledge significantly expanded during this time period) as a result of the commercial trade networks that developed in Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea
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Describe and analyze how the function and role of belief systems changed in TWO of the following dynasties from 2000 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. Be sure to discuss changes and continuities. Qin Dynasty (China) Han Dynasty (China) Mauryan Dynasty (India) Gupta Dynasty (India)
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CHINA + belief systems were primarily important for strengthening the central government and maintaining social order. In India, religions served to unify different ethnic groups and encourage cultural diffusion as well as maintain social order.a) Legalism became the dominant belief system of the Qin Empire as Qin rulers enforced Legalism’s principles of a strong, centralized state that used punishment and harsh laws to maintain order b) Confucianism emerged during the Han Dynasty as evidenced by the civil service examinations, an educated bureaucracy, and the importance of the family INDIA a) how Buddhism flourished during the Mauryan Dynasty because of emperor Ashoka who was committed to preaching Buddhist values (the Rock and Pillar Edicts) and Indian merchants who introduced it to Central and Southeast Asia via land-based trade routes b) traditional Hinduism re-emerged during the Gupta Dynasty in India, possibly in response to the chaos that precipitated following the decline of the Mauryan Empire, which fostered the caste system and the subordination of women.
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Compare and contrast the eastern religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism) v. the western religions (Judaism and Christianity) during the period 1000 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. in terms of the degree to which they influenced socio-political events in their respective regions.
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EASTERN RELIGIONS a) how initially, the eastern religions more directly influenced the secular government in India and China as evidenced by the Indian and Chinese administrative systems b) the connection between the trade routes and the spreading of eastern religions WESTERN RELIGIONS c) the initial persecution of Christians and Jews in the Roman Empire d) the eventual flourishing of Christianity in the Byzantine Empire. ((constantine and the chi-ro symbol)) SPECIFIC EXAMPLES INCLUDE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN -Buddhism and the Silk Road -the Rock and Edict Pillars of Ashoka, which spread Buddhist teachings throughout the Mauryan Empire in India – the adoption of Confucian teachings like the civil service examinations, the Five Relationships, and a patriarchal emperor during the Han Dynasty -Constantine and the spread of Christianity in the Byzantine Empire; the Germanic tribes living in the western Roman Empire who converted to Christianity.
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Compare and contrast the role of the military in the expansion of TWO of the following classical civilizations. Rome Han China Gupta Empire
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INCLUDE: a) the importance of the military in conquering new territories b) how the military was used to quell internal protests from nobles attempting to usurp the throne and peasants desiring greater property privileges c) the importance of the military in defending the imperial borders against attack from foreigners d) the high status that was given to the military in society. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO INCLUDE: INDIA -the warrior caste in Aryan society – the constant threats that the Gupta Dynasty faced from the White Huns and other nomadic groups; CHINA -the Legalist philosophy, which enforced a strong centralized government and military in Qin China construction of the Great Wall as a means of defense against invaders -defense of the Central Asian trade routes ROME -Roman expansion into the Middle East and Europe – the Punic Wars.
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Compare and contrast the economic, political, and social characteristics of the Harappan culture and the Aryan culture that proceeded it in India.
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SOCIAL a) how the Harappan civilization had large complex cities with monumental architecture that exhibited city-planning while, the Aryan invaders were nomadic pastoralists. c) the Harappan people did not know how to use iron while the Indus people did ECONOMIC Harappan economy had its base in trade and commerce (copper, gold, tin, silver w/ Persia and Sumeria) while vedic economy had predominance of agriculture and cattle rearing POLITICAL d) the importance of the priestly class in Aryan society and possibly, Harappan society as well (as evidenced by the monumental architecture). SPECIFIC EXAMPLES GO LOOK FOR INCLUDE REFERENCE TO MOHENJO-DARO AND HARRAPA a) the Vedas, which describe early Aryan society b) the importance of the religious priests or Brahmin in Aryan culture c) the fertile Indus Valley which provided large crop surpluses for the Harappan civilization and eventually led to the adoption of agriculture by the Aryan invaders.
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Analyze and compare how Confucian and Hindu principles fostered social hierarchy in China and India, respectively.
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a) how these belief systems favored the educated/priestly classes b) the subordination of women, which was characteristic of both religions c) why Buddhism, which did not enforce a rigid social hierarchy, gained support among women and members of the lower classes d) how Indian and Chinese emperors used the social hierarchy to maintain social order and increase their own authority.SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE -the Laws of Manu which laid out the fundamentals of the caste system – the scholar-gentries of Confucianism – the principles of samsara, karma, and dharma in Hinduism – the Brahmins, “religious priests” who were given an elevated status in Aryan society – the patriarchal structure of both Confucianism and Hinduism – the view of the Chinese emperor as the father of an extended family.
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Discuss and compare the effect that religion had on TWO of the following legal codes. Hammurabi’s Code Laws of Manu Twelve Tables Rock and Edict Pillars of Ashoka
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a) how the early civilizations used religious principles to promote ethics and maintain social order b) how religion incorporated the social customs and traditions of the different people who practiced it c) the role that religion had as a unifying force for an empire d) the importance of the central ruler in promoting religious law. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE – how the Laws of Manu formulated the caste system in India – the Rock and Edict Pillars of Ashoka were based on Buddhist doctrine – Hammurabi’s Code was believed to have been passed down by the Mesopotamian sun god who was associated with justice – Hammurabi’s code mainly dealt with civil affairs such as marriage, inheritance, and family relations – the Twelve Tables enforced ancestor worship and the role of the patriarch as the chief priest of the family religion.
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Compare and contrast the development of the classical civilizations in China and India during the period 300 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.
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a) the nature of centralized rule in both regions b) the role that religion played in each of the empires c) the importance of interregional trade in driving the economy d) the consequences of centralized government on cultural progress e.g. Golden Ages. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE -the Mauryan Empire during which trade in silks, cotton, and elephants to Mesopotamia flourished -spread of Buddhism during the Mauryan Dynasty and Hinduism during the Gupta Dynasty -the importance of the powerful Indian military in protecting the central rulers -the Gupta Dynasty’s golden age during which the arts and sciences thrived -unification of China during the Qin Dynasty -the Great Wall was constructed to protect the Chinese mainland from invaders -Legalism was enforced during the Qin Dynasty to enforce harsh punishments and strict laws -the Han Emperors implemented Confucian principles such as the civil service system.
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Analyze and compare TWO of the following Chinese belief systems. Explain how their teachings influenced the central administration and society. Confucianism Daoism Legalism
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a) how the belief systems regarded the central emperor b) the connection between education and philosophy in Chinese society c) how each of these belief systems viewed women d) the response of the different social classes to each philosophy. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE – Legalism’s emphasis on punishments and harsh laws that are enforced by a strong, central ruler – the Qin Dynasty’s adoption of Legalist doctrine in order to bring about Chinese unification – Confucianism’s belief in the goodness of human beings and the importance of ethics and morals as a ruler – the five relationships of Confucianism – rise of the scholar-gentry during periods when Confucianism was enforced by the central government – Daoism’s chief interest in achieving harmony and balance with nature – the Daoist belief in refraining from secular affairs and forming small, self-sufficient communities rather than a centralized bureaucracy.
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Compare and contrast the factors that led to the collapse of TWO of the following classical civilizations. Han Empire Gupta Empire Rome Ancient Greece
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a) how power struggles between the central ruler and the noble classes contributed to decline b) the impact of invading tribal groups c) how economic depressions led to protests among commoners and merchants d) the connection between territorial expansion and the burden that defending the borders placed on the central military e) how different religions competed to spread their influence. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE – the Germanic tribes of western Europe – the expansion of the Persian Empire into Greek territory – periods of weak rulers in Han China – Han economic reforms that raised taxes, thus discouraging manufacturing and trade – disastrous famines and epidemics that reduced the population in China – pressures from the White Huns and other nomadic groups in the Gupta Empire – competition between Buddhism and Hinduism in India and Confucianism and Legalism in China.
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Compare and contrast the development of TWO of the following river valley civilizations during the period 8000 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. Explain how proximity to a major waterway proved to be critical to these civilizations. Egypt Mesopotamia Harappan Civilization Ancient China
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a) how river valleys provided fertile soils for agriculture b) the rapid population growth and urbanization that occurred with the expansion of agriculture c) the economic importance of a major waterway for trade and cultural exchange d) whether or not these civilizations became unified or remained a loose confederation of independent city-states e) the connection between the secular government and religion in these early civilizations. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE a) the spread of animal and crop domestication throughout the Middle East and Africa (Neolithic Revolution) b) the pharaonic period in Egypt c) the Sumerian city-states d) the political and religious importance of the city-state’s ruler in Mesopotamia e) necessity of sophisticated irrigation systems in each of the civilizations listed above f) urban planning and the growth of cities in the Indus Valley e.g. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa g) agricultural surpluses promoted trade during the Shang Dynasty in China.
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Discuss and compare the attitudes towards women of TWO of the following religions during the period 600 to 1450. Buddhism neo-Confucianism Christianity Islam
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a) whether or not women were allowed to serve as religious priests b) how religious doctrine that subordinated women was incorporated into secular law c) the connection between a religion’s expansion and its appeal to women d) the role of women in the domestic sphere vs. their role in the public sphere. SPECIFIC EXAMPLES TO LOOK FOR INCLUDE – the limited educational and social opportunities permitted in neo-Confucianism – the popularity of foot-binding in China – the evolution of the church hierarchy, which curtailed the rights and privileges that Christian women were given in earlier periods – during the Islamic golden age, women were allowed to obtain an education, choose a husband freely, and inherit property – however, as Islam incorporated discriminatory practices e.g. the harem from other Middle Eastern cultures such as Persia, women lost many of the these privileges, -Buddhism gave women full freedom to participate in religious life and considered them to be wise like men – Buddhism greatly appealed to women in the regions in which it was introduced.
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periods of golden ages in each area
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Ancient Egypt – the Middle Kingdom The Hebrews – the reign of King Solomon India – the Gupta dynasty China – the Han and Song Dynasties Greece – the Hellenic Age (reign of Pericles) Rome – Pax Romana (Caesar Augustus) Islam – the Abbasid Dynasty (Harun Al-Rashid)
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women’s status in each area
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India – women enjoyed equal status to men in many aspects of life but this status disappeared through time, for example the practice of child marriages started around the sixth century. The Hebrews – very male dominant; women only had few rights within the home. The man had authority over his wife and daughters, establishing their activities and their relationships. – had a dowry China – during confucianism, were inferior due to Confucius’ Five Relationships. – foot binding Islam – at first, were allowed to obtain an education, choose a husband freely, and inherit property but then harem made women lose privileges Rome – valued as wives and mothers – at first not regarded as equal to men (under control of husband/father) but by the 1st century AD, women had much more freedom to manage their own business and financial affairs (could own land/property) Greece – Athens Athenian women and girls were kept at home with no participation in sports or politics. Wives were considered property of their husbands. They were responsible for spinning, weaving and other domestic arts. – Sparta Girls were educated in reading and writing and could participate in sports; they were treated more as equals to men. The goal was to produce women who would produce strong healthy babies. At age 18 she would be assigned a husband and return home. Citizen women were free to move around and enjoyed a great deal of freedom. Domestic arts (weaving, spinning, etc.) were usually left to the other classes. Spartan women could own and control their own property. In times of war the wife was expected to oversee her husband’s property and to guard it against invaders and revolts until her husband returned.

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