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The River Valley Civilizations

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The most obvious being that their establishment was next to a river. For the Egyptians they used the Nile, in China they formed around the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers, Mesopotamia surrounded the Tigris and the Euphrates and lastly, the Indus River. The first being their similarity in their latitude. This led to similar climates with dry and easily workable soils, which allowed for a flourish in agriculture. The rivers flooded seasonally, depositing a large quantity of nutrient rich sediment on their lands. Influences spread very quickly in all of these areas, this was a response to the chaos that was occurring.

They all developed a written language, this allows historians to have a better understanding of their social and economic relationships. Their political and legal systems became clearer because of written language. The River Valley Civilizations began to be culturally divergent when it came to ideology. They each had their own ideology that was based in each regions’ ecology. For example, the Nile River had regular annual flooding, abundant sun and few storms. This allowed for an everyday abundance, creating a stable society, and an ideology that viewed nature positively. In contrast, the Chinese River Valley had irregular floods, loess soil, and a more unstable society with a negative view of nature.

The River Valley Civilizations are best understood for their similarities because it gives a clear understanding as to why they were able to grow so rapidly. Unit 2: In the Americas there were three main regions in which isolated development occurred. In the northern part of the continent, where societies such as the Canyon Culture and Cahokia rose (Isolation Lecture). The Cahokia were located very close to the Mississippi River, allowing them to trade with other societies, allowing them to continue to grow. In the central part of the continent, Mesoamerican societies began to flourish. The Mayans, being one of the most prominent, had their peak in the 10th century. They were able to create surplus, stratification and specialization in their society.

“In about 4000 BCE, people living in Central America domesticated teosinte, a wild grass and the ancestor of maize,” (Globalyceum The Americas). This became a significant role in creating the surplus needed for the population to grow. They also had several great advancements in math, the concept of zero, and astronomy. Their hierarchal society established social structures. In comparison to the hierarchal social structures of Afro-Eurasia, their system developed individually and without the influence of many other systems prior to them or to their surroundings. In the south, societies like the Moche, Nazca and Incas, were able to create agricultural advancements that allowed them to survive in harsh environments (Isolation Lecture).

These advancements included extensive storage houses, terracing and aqueducts. The members of the ayllu that was spread all the way up and over the Andes would exchange or barter the products among themselves as there was no money in the Inca Empire (Globalyceum Agriculture in the Andes). This meant that their lifestyle was more communal, and they were able to create a functioning trade system that required no money, but were unable to trade across great distances like the societies of the Axial Zone. There were some distinct characteristics to the American societies such as weak communication and because of this, it led to an unstable way of life. Because of its relative isolation, the Americas were able to develop without many diseases and were still able to domesticate some animals, but not to the extent as the Afro-Eurasian regions.

In Australia and the Pacific, their development was not as advanced in some ways to the Americas, but in others it surpassed it. “The Australian Aborigines survived with minimal technology and the simplest of artifacts, most of them used for hunting or woodworking,” (Globalyceum Australia). With the arid environment of Australia, the focus was to survive. They moved from place to place and developed a more spiritual hierarchy, with elders who passed down their knowledge to newer generations. Unfortunately, with the lack of a written record, only what was passed down from generation to generation and their rock wall art is known. The people that developed in the Pacific rose in Oceania. “It is believed that the groups of early people who migrated into the islands of Oceania came in waves primarily from sea-going Austronesian-speaking people from the island of Taiwan, off the coast of China,” (Globalyceum Early Polynesian Seafaring).

Over time, they were able to populate islands from the coasts of southeast Asia to Easter Island. This was a great feat due to the large distances between each island. The Polynesians are believed to be the first people to navigate open oceans. They created ways of navigating the oceans that were used for centuries, or wayfinding (Globalyceum Early Polynesian Seafaring). Their boats were not like the ships used in Afro-Eurasia, they were more like large canoes. But even with their relative isolation, they were able to create a complex way of navigating oceans that had never been done in any other place in the world. Sub-saharan: 5. Explore the distinctiveness of societies in sub-Saharan Africa, Mesoamerica, the Andes, Polynesia, and Australia. For each region select a trait that is unique to that area and is therefore a result of isolation.

There were many significant effects of Islam on the world from the 7th through the 12th centuries. The spread of Islam happened extremely quickly. Islam became the “glue” of the Axial Zone. It was an active religion that encouraged travel, trade, and interaction. This led to an innovative change, not a direct change. The great expansion of the religion also resulted in the expansion of their language and ideas. As the empire became larger and larger, they began to store the knowledge of previous great empires, such as the Greeks, and then began expanding on that previous knowledge, making huge leaps in mathematics and astronomy.

Best merchants – results in wealth and trade of ideas and religion Great expansion of the religion – expansion of their language, ideas, architecture, scholars, scientists, – storing the knowledge and expanding on it Math and astronomy 5. What were some of the most significant effects of Islam on the world from the 7th through the 12th century? Unit 4: Conquest: The Mongols were the best example of how conquest impacted the world. Chinggis Khan’s ability to connect warring states to become the largest contiguous empire ever. His ability to conquer such a vast was because the Mongols were very organized, were great warriors on horses, had discipline and were hardy.

The sheer size of their empire allowed for a total reorganization of society; but it’s through trade in which the Mongols expand and reach the western side of the continent. But they did not expand into Europe because they did not have a lot to offer when it came to material goods. Trade: Trade flourished in the Mediterranean because Europe was not a main point of interest, the goods in high demand came from the east. This meant that any goods that came in could be stolen, resulting in the militarization of the trade in the area. Two main cities were set up that dominated trade, Venice and Genoa. The trade increased dramatically. In the Indian ocean, Arab merchants dominated the area and non-Arab groups adopted some Arab cultures. Because the Indian ocean had monsoons, it made trade cyclical. The goods traded in the Indian ocean would then be taken to the Mediterranean and traded there for exorbant prices.

Exploration: The Iberian Peninsula was at the forefront of exploration west. With Portugal leading the way, they were able to pioneer many long distance sailing techniques that would later be used by Spain. Portugal was also the first to find a sea route to India. This meant that they could now bypass the Arab merchants to get things like pepper and silks for much cheaper, or by force. The exploration led by the Spanish was driven by Isabela’s passion for Catholicism. Both Portugal and Spain’s exploration efforts led to a route across the Atlantic Ocean, which broke the isolation barrier that the America’s had been in for thousands of years. This interchange of disease, crops and ideas was known as the Columbian Exchange, which completely changed the course of history.

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