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Period 3 Vocabulary
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Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks
Although Afro-Eurasia and the Americas remained separate from one another, this era witnessed a deepening and widening of old and new networks of human interaction within and across regions. The results were unprecedented concentrations of wealth and the intensification of cross-cultural exchanges. Innovations in transportation, state policies, and mercantile practices contributed to the expansion and development of commercial networks, which in turn served as conduits for cultural, technological, and biological diffusion within and between various societies. Pastoral or nomadic groups played a key role in creating and sustaining these networks. Expanding networks fostered greater interregional borrowing, while at the same time sustaining regional diversity. The prophet Muhammad promoted Islam, a new major monotheistic religion at the start of this period. It spread quickly through practices of trade, warfare, and diffusion characteristic of this period.
I. Improved transportation technologies and commercial practices led to an increased volume of trade, and expanded the geographical range of existing and newly active trade networks.
A. Existing trade routes flourished and promoted the growth of powerful new trading cities.
Required examples of existing trade routes:
B. New trade routes centering on Mesoamerica and the Andes developed.
C. The growth of interregional trade in luxury goods was encouraged by significant innovations in previously existing transportation and commercial technologies, including more sophisticated caravan organization; use of the compass, astrolabe, and larger ship designs in sea travel; and new forms of credit and monetization.
D. Commercial growth was also facilitated by state practices, trading organizations, and state-sponsored commercial infrastructures like the Grand Canal in China.
E. The expansion of empires facilitated Trans-Eurasian trade and communication as new peoples were drawn into their conquerors’ economies and trade networks.
Required examples of empires:
II. The movement of peoples caused environmental and linguistic effects.
A. The expansion and intensification of long-distance trade routes often depended on environmental knowledge and technological adaptations to it.
B. Some migrations had a significant environmental impact.
Required examples of migration and their environmental impact:
C. Some migrations and commercial contacts led to the diffusion of languages throughout a new region or the emergence of new languages.
III. Cross-cultural exchanges were fostered by the intensification of existing, or the creation of new, networks of trade and communication.
A. Islam, based on the revelations of the prophet Muhammad, developed in the Arabian peninsula. The beliefs and practices of Islam reflected interactions among Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians with the local Arabian peoples. Muslim rule expanded to many parts of Afro-Eurasia due to military expansion, and Islam subsequently expanded through the activities of merchants and missionaries.
B. In key places along important trade routes, merchants set up diasporic communities where they introduced their own cultural traditions into the indigenous culture.
C. The writings of certain interregional travelers illustrate both the extent and the limitations of intercultural knowledge and understanding.
D. Increased cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of literary, artistic, and cultural traditions.
E. Increased cross-cultural interactions also resulted in the diffusion of scientific and technological traditions.
IV. There was continued diffusion of crops and pathogens throughout the Eastern Hemisphere along the trade routes.
A. New foods and agricultural techniques were adopted in populated areas.
B. The spread of epidemic diseases, including the Black Death, followed the well established paths of trade and military conquest.
Key Concept 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions
State formation in this era demonstrated remarkable continuity, innovation and diversity in various regions. In Afro-Eurasia, some states attempted, with differing degrees of success, 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, powerful states developed in both Mesoamerica and the Andean region.
I. Empires collapsed and were reconstituted; in some regions new state forms emerged.
A. Following the collapse of empires, most reconstituted governments, including the Byzantine Empire and the Chinese dynasties — Sui, Tang, and Song — combined traditional sources of power and legitimacy with innovations better suited to the current circumstances.
B. In some places, new forms of governance emerged, including those developed in various Islamic states, the Mongol Khanates, city-states, and decentralized government (feudalism) in Europe and Japan.
C. Some states synthesized local and borrowed traditions.
D. 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.
II. Interregional contacts and conflicts between states and empires encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers.
Required examples of technological and cultural transfers:
Key Concept 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Changes in trade networks resulted from and stimulated increasing productive capacity, with important implications for social and gender structures and environmental processes. Productivity rose in both agriculture and industry. Rising productivity supported population growth and urbanization but also strained environmental resources and at times caused dramatic demographic swings. Shifts in production and the increased volume of trade also stimulated new labor practices, including adaptation of existing patterns of free and coerced labor. Social and gender
structures evolved in response to these changes.
I. Innovations stimulated agricultural and industrial production in many regions.
A. Agricultural production increased significantly due to technological innovations.
B. In response to increasing demand in Afro-Eurasia for foreign luxury goods, crops were transported from their indigenous homelands to equivalent climates in other regions.
C. Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export; industrial production of iron and steel expanded in China.
II. The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline, and with periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
A. Multiple factors contributed to the declines of urban areas in this period.
Required examples of these factors:
B. Multiple factors contributed to urban revival.
Required examples of these factors:
C. While cities in general continued to play the roles they had played in the past as governmental, religious, and commercial centers, many older cities declined at the same time that numerous new cities emerged to take on these established roles.
III. Despite significant continuities in social structures and in methods of production, there were also some important changes in labor management and in the effect of religious conversion on gender relations and family life.
A. As in the previous period, there were many forms of labor organization.
Required examples of forms of labor organization:
B. As in the previous period, social structures were shaped largely by class and caste hierarchies. Patriarchy persisted; however, in some areas, women exercised more power and influence, most notably among the Mongols and in West Africa, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
C. New forms of coerced labor appeared, including serfdom in Europe and Japan and the elaboration of the mit’a in the Inca Empire. Free peasants resisted attempts to raise dues and taxes by staging revolts. The demand for slaves for both military and domestic purposes increased, particularly in central Eurasia, parts of Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean.
D. The diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neoconfucianism often led to significant changes in gender relations and family structure.