Chapter 13 Outline


Chapter 13 Outline

(The Worlds of the Fifteenth Century)

Zheng He (the Admiral of the Eastern Ocean) was around 87 years before

Columbus creating a Chinese influence in the South China Sea and the

Indian Ocean as far as the shores of Eastern Africa.

Chart on pg 570 (discuss some of the major developments)

Columbus’ expedition was a precursor to the Atlantic Slave Trade, the decimation of the native population of the Americas, the massive growth of world population, the Industrial Revolution, and the growing presence of

Europeans on a world stage.


The Shapes of Human Communities

Various types of societies:

Ex:Hunter gatherers/ agricultural/ chiefdoms/ pastoral/ empires

Paleolithic Persistence

There was still a large presence of hunter/gatherer societies that slowly adapted but had not quite caught up with their agricultural counterparts.

Ex: Australia/ Siberia/ arctic coastlands/ parts of Africa & the Americas

Australia had neighbors in New Guinea that practiced agriculture and they did adapt hunting techniques/technologies (fish hooks/ netting)

Firestick Farming: controlled burns that made hunting easier and promoted the growth of certain plant species

The northwest coast of North America created “complex” or “affluent” hunter/gatherer societies because of the ways in which they governed people etc…

Agricultural Village Societies

Agricultural societies that had avoided the incorporation into larger empires still dominated the landscape of the 15 th century.

Ex: North America, Amazon River Basin, SE Asia, & Africa south of the equator.

City states emerge in West Africa (573) and they do extensively trade with the outside worlds, they just don’t create the same state based societies.

Soon West Africa would be caught up in the Atlantic Slave trade.

The East coast of the Americas begins a transition from strictly hunter/gatherers to agricultural societies at this time.

Ex: “Warfare replaced successful food getting as the avenue to male prestige” (Agriculture was seen as women’s work)

Great Law of Peace- 5 Iroquois tribes established a loose alliance (Iroquois

League of 5 Nations) that would work together to end blood feuds and decide how to react to outsiders (Europeans)

You have the advent of the smaller agricultural societies maintain their freedom from larger empires and slowly growing their economies

Herding Peoples

Nomadic pastoral peoples impinged more directly on civilization than did hunting/gathering or agricultural peoples (Mongol incursion)

Turkic warrior named Timur ruled after Genghis Khan and attempted to reinstate the Mongol Empire in the late 14 th and early 15 th century.

Timur would mark the last great surge of the nomadic people of Central

Asia ruling vast areas, soon Russia & China would take over.

Fulbe peoples of West Africa would slowly move eastward and adopt

Islam and grow to resent the agricultural societies that would tax them for places to graze their animals.


Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: Comparing China & Europe

Ming Dynasty

China was a religious center (Confucianism/ Daoism/ Buddhism), an artistic mecca, & an economic hub. They were however greatly disrupted by the Mongol rule for a century and the “Black Death” which originated there.

Sought to eliminate foreign rule and revert back to their Confucian teachings very much like the Han, Tang, and Song dynasties.

Brought China back to traditional ways like it was before the Mongol rule.

China expanded their maritime expeditions by this time to the world’s largest. Expanded the tribute system to far reaching lands.

These voyages abruptly stopped in 1433. (Death of Yongle)

European Comparisons: State Building & Cultural Renewal

Europe was not as unified as China and they broke up in to highly competitive states (countries : Spain, France, Italy city-states, etc..)

Rise of Moscow the Russian city-state after the Mongols leave

European Comparisons: Maritime Voyaging

Portugal lead the way in expeditions

Columbus was funded by Spain & Vasco da Gama made it around the tip of South Africa.

Europeans were searching wealth and religious converts to help fight the Muslims. Whereas the Chinese were simply exploring and profiting from trade.

Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: The Islamic World

Map page 585

In the Islamic Heartland: The Ottoman and Safavid Empires

Ottoman Empire 14 th -20 th century. (Turkey & the Balkans)

The Ottoman Empire sultan became a caliph & this helped legitimize their empire in the Muslim world.

Constantinople was sacked in 1453 by the Ottomans and this effectively ended the Christian Byzantine Empire and allowed the

Ottomans to see themselves as the successors to the Roman Empire.

Safavid Empire: Shia based empire that occurred in modern day

Persia (Iran)

This was in contrast to the majority of the other Muslim empires that were Sunni Muslims. This caused warfare

On the Frontiers of Islam: The Songhay & Mughal Empires

Songhay empire profited by taxing those who traveled through the

Sub-Saharan trade routes. Islam was a growing religion there and this helped to expand the Islamic world in Africa.

Mughal Empire Controlled most of India and spread Islam in to Asia.

Civilizations of the Fifteenth Century: The Americas

Aztec Empire

Group of Northern nomads that settled in present day Mexico.

Very loosely structured and in sharp contrast to Western European countries.

Quote 590 “Gazing on such wonderful sights..”

Cortes comes and conquers them in the early 1500’s

Disease and drought brought this empire to its knees.


Present day Peru, had a vast system of roads.

Were very advanced for the time period, Pizzaro from Spain conquers them after Cortes reaches Mexico.

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