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Time Period III
600 CE – 1450 CE
Main Ideas
• 3.1 = Exchange and communication networks
expand and intensify
• 3.2 = State formation and interactions
experiences changes and continuities
• 3.3 = Economic productive capacity increases
and causes a lot of changes
Main Topics Covered
• Islam comes into being
• Islamic armies conquer & create empires
• The Byzantine Empire = centralization & unity continue in the
Rome of the East (modern day Turkey, etc.)
• Western Europe experiences collapse of Rome, disruption,
and new cultural forms (Vikings, feudalism, manorialism, &
the rise of Roman Catholic Christianity); Russia’s culture looks
to Byzantium & becomes Orthodox Christian
• Tang and Song Dynasty China reunify East Asia & drive
economic innovation (flying money, paper money, banking, &
mass production)
• In the Americas, huge new empires develop (Maya city-states
unify culturally & later Aztec & Inca centralize as empires)
• In West Africa, huge new empires develop & are in contact
with the Islamic world (Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Swahili Coast)
• The Mongols cause huge amounts of exchange & stability and
also chaos and disruption of older patterns of empire
Islam
• Arabia before Islam – tribal and warlike
• Muhammad’s job – merchant, b/c Arabia
traded out bunches of incense
• Mecca – trade center b/c of truce around
Ka’ba, where polytheistic deities were
worshipped
• Mix of cultures, including Judaism and
Christianity (mothotheism)
Islam, cont.
• Muhammad’s cave visions – recited the Koran
• Gained followers. Messed with Ka’ba trade
• Meccan leaders were haters. Early Muslims
flee to Median (hijra, 622 CE)
• Muslims vs. other Arabs – war. Muslims win
and take Mecca
• Unity found through the common use of 5
Pillars, Arabic language, and worship of 1 God.
= All Muslims unified through common belief,
culture, language, & practices = Dar al Islam
Caliphate System & the Sunni and
Shi’ite split
• Muhammad’s death = succession crisis
• 2 main factions: Sunni and Shi’ite
• Sunni – leader (caliph) = chosen by the Umma
(community as a whole)
• Shi’ite – leader (caliph) = Muhammad’s
relatives
• Caliph = caesaropapist ruler
• Sunnis = dominant majority today
Umayyad & Abbasid Caliphate
• Umayyad = ARAB conquest empire built off
booty
• Conquered Arabia, Sassanian (Persian) & much
of the Byzantine Empires (Mideast & Anatolia)
b/c these old empires were internally weak; also
conquered North Africa, Spain
• Abbasid = MUSLIM golden age of unity; House of
Wisdom; retention & building on Greek logic &
learning
• Fell apart as Abbasids weakened. Turkic slave
soldiers took control (Mamluks and Seljuks)
Byzantine Empire
• Eastern Roman Empire (Mideast, Anatolia, N.
Africa – until many areas taken by Umayyad in
the 700s)
• Retained unity as Western Europe fell to
nomadic invasions after 400 CE.
• Lasted until 1453.
• Orthodox (led by Patriarch)  converted the
Kievan Rus
• Mosaic art, centralization, Constantinople
capital city; Justinian = example of
caesaropapist ruler
Kievan Rus
• Russian city-states dominated by the Prince of
Kiev
• TRADED furs especially down the rivers
leading to the Caspian & Black Seas (the
Byzantine Empire and Abbasid Caliphate were
trading partners)
• Most people were rural
• Converted to Orthodoxy by Byzantine Empire
to its south
• Conquered by the Golden Horde Mongols &
made to pay tribute
Medieval Europe
• Roman Empire totally fell apart in Western Europe
(think modern France, Britain, Germany) after 476.
• Local (feudal) lords with castles became the
protectors (b/c central gov’t had collapsed)
• Feudalism = social/political system in which work,
protection, and loyalty are exchanged. Serfs work
the land, Lords provide the land and protection in
exchange for ag products, knights serve as warriors
who are given fiefs of land with serfs on it to life on
by lords
Medieval Europe
• Manorialism = ECONOMIC system based on
local production
• Roman Catholic Church & pope provided
some unity
• Missionaries (often friars) went out converting
people
• Instability was an important characteristic
(think Vikings – who raided and then settled
down, assimilating into local populations)
Sui
• 589-618 CE
• China after the classical period (aka: Han
Dynasty) was also disunified
• Sui, using Legalism, reunified it
• Grand Canal built, making an inter-linked
economy out of N. and S. China
Tang
• 618-908 CE
• Known for Buddhism; rulers even patronized
Buddhism (the religion leaked as the Han Dynasty
collapsed, providing hope in a crappy, scary time)
• Huge army & territory – Silk Road Trade!
• Reintroduced the Confucian Exam System for
bureaucracy
• Women = better status (Empress Wu)
• 845 = gov’t turned against Buddhism, encouraged
by Confucian bureaucrats to stamp out foreign
“barbaric” practices
Song
• 908 – 1268 CE
• Neo-Confucian (blended in Buddhist & Daoist
beliefs but said Confucianism was superior)
• Women’s status  (foot-binding)
• Commercial Revolution (flying money, paper
money)
• Largest cities in the world Tribute system &
cultural influence spread to Korea, Vietnam, &
Japan
• Inventive – compass, paper, printing press,
gunpowder
• Conquered by Kublai Khan
Maya
• 600s – 900s
• MesoAmerica (intensive Maize-based
agriculture w/ chinampas [floating gardens],
etc.)
• City-states; culturally unified
• Built off culture of previous civs (Olmec, huge
city-state of Teotihuacan)
• Religious ritual = blood-letting
• Intense inter-city-state rivalries & war b/c lack
of centralized unity
Aztec
• 1300-1500 CE
• Conquest State, truly united & centralized
empire; enemies among conquered peoples
• Control through tribute (lots of turquoise)
and fear
– Sacrifice and enslavement of conquered
•
•
•
•
Tenochtitlan= capital
Complex social hierarchy (warriors & priests)
Important families rule outer territories
Innovative agriculture like chinampas to
intensively grow maize; full writing systems
Inca
• 1400s-1500s CE
• Military expansion & conquest state, created
resentment among conquered people (same
problem the Aztecs had)
• Highly centralized government
– Control of wealth, labor, trade (mit’a labor tax; allyu
extended family groups to do labor)
– Redistributive economy
• Capital at Cuzco
– Royal families rule outlying areas
• Quipus for record keeping, terrace farming,
irrigation, llamas
Mongols
• Pre-Empire
– Nomadic, disunified, raiders and looters,
family/tribe oriented (lots of fighting)
• Genghis Khan (1206-1227)
– Unifies various groups
– Massive Empire (China to Syria, Russia to Syria)
• Death of Genghis
– Four Empires emerge
Four Mongol Empires
• Great Khan (Yuan Dynasty)
– Centralized, never fully assimilate, utilize bureaucratic
system and cultural leaders
• Khanate of Chaghadai (Central Asia/Trade Routes)
– Protection and facilitation of trade
• Golden Horde (Russia, Northern Eurasia)
– Small furry animals and tribute
• Khanate of Persia (E. Abassid Caliphate
– Full assimilation and conversion to Islam
Pax Mongolica
• Facilitated trade through massive empire
– Protection and taxation
• Increases cultural interaction and diffusion
• Exchange of ideas, technology, religion,
disease
• Bad= destruction and disease – Bubonic
Plague
• People unified through dislike of Mongols
•
•
•
•
Great Zimbabwe
Southeastern Africa 1200s-1450
Started by Bantu-speakers
Iron working and agriculture
Inland state traded with Swahili Coast citystates like Kilwa into the IOMS
• Export of gold in exchange for:
– Fabrics, ceramics, spices and fruits (IOMS)
• Strong political state
• Stone architecture w/o use of mortar
Ghana
• 400s-1000s
• West Africa (based along the Niger River)
• Major trade routes
– River and Trans-Saharan (did not control trade,
just taxed it)
– Gold, salt, ivory
• Taxes and armies; protection of trade
– Iron weapons, military forts & garrisons, and iron
agricultural tools
• Began peaceful conversion to Islam via contact
with Muslim merchants among elites
Mali
• 800-1450 CE
• Conquers Ghana (Sundjata accomplished this)
• Centralized Government and Bureaucracy using
Islamic forms (shari’a law, Arabic, etc.)
• Niger River=Trade and Taxes
• Mansa Musa and Timbuktu
• Increased Conversion to Islam
• Export of Gold and Salt – controlled the mines
• Tribute to supply food
• Slaves and agriculture
• Conquered by Songhai
Songhai (y)
• 1000s-1585
• Islam to unify and jihads to conquer  became
stronger and stronger until it took over Mali &
beyond
• Strong government
– 5 provinces, Islamic Courts, Huge Army
• Political & ethnic social hierarchy (Hindu caste
similarity)
• Drought, disease, and decline of trade spells doom
• Islamic Universities, Arabic & Shari’a law united &
helped centralize
Marco Polo/Ibn Battuta
• World travelers
• Documented their journeys and experiences
– Marco Polo= Silk Roads
– Ibn Battuta= Dar al-Islam
• Ibn Battuta discusses similarities and
differences across Dar al-Islam
• Marco Polo discusses advanced Asian
continent for backwards Europeans
Japan
• Nara period = beginning of unified gov’t through
contact w/ China & the spread of literacy
through Buddhism
• Syncretism w/ native Shinto (animist) religion
• Heian period followed Nara period…cultural
awesomeness (1st novel ever written; capital at
Kyoto, haiku, origami, tea ceremony, etc.
• Central gov’t lost power…feudal period begins:
Daimyo (lords) leading samurai (warriors);
castles & other similarities to Western Europe at
the time