expansion & interconnection

Report
8
EXPANSION &
INTERCONNECTION
WHAT ARE THE POSITVE AND NEGATIVE
EFFECTS OF INTERCONNECTION?
UNIT 8
EXPANSION & INTERCONNECTION
CONTENTS
UNIT 8 BASICS
3 Unit 8 Overview
4 Unit 8 Learning Outcomes
5 Unit 8 Lessons
6 Unit 8 Key Concepts
LOOKING AHEAD
8 Looking Back: What Happened in Unit 7?
KEY CONTENT
10 Why Did Civilizations Expand?
11 The Four World Zones
12 How Did the World Become
Interconnected?
13 Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and Zheng He
14 Systems of Exchange and Trade
15 The First Silk Roads
16 Lost on the Silk Road
LOOKING AHEAD
18 What’s Next in Unit 9?
BIG HISTORY PROJECT / UNIT 8 / EXPANSION & INTERCONNECTION
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UNIT 8
OVERVIEW
Key Discipline:
History
Timespan:
Civilizations expanded and world zones connected between 500 CE and 1750 CE
Driving Question:
What are the positive and negative impacts of interconnection?
Threshold for this Unit:
There is no new threshold for this unit
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UNIT 8
LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of Unit 8, students should be able to:
1.
Analyze what propelled the expansion and interconnection of agrarian civilizations.
2.
Investigate the implications of interconnected societies and regions by looking at how
commerce has spread.
3.
Explain how new networks of exchange accelerated collective learning and innovation.
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UNIT 8
LESSONS
8.0 Expansion
In 1400, the world was divided into four world zones. The expansion, exploration, and the desire to
expand trade led these world zones to be connected. The resulting connections dramatically
increased the opportunities for collective learning.
8.1 Exploration and Interconnection
Exploration required crossing dangerous deserts and deep ocean waters. Connecting the four
world zones posed many challenges, but after 1400, innovation and collective learning took a giant
leap forward.
8.2 Commerce and Collective Learning
Systems of exchange and trade made the world a smaller place. The Afro-Eurasian world zone
gained power and the possibility for collective learning in every world zone expanded dramatically.
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UNIT 8
KEY CONCEPTS
• Anthropocene epoch
• Industrial Revolution
• Black Death
• Malthusian cycles
• carrying capacity
• Modern Revolution
• exchange networks
• Silk Roads
• globalization
• Steam engines
• Holocene epoch
• steppe lands
• hub region
• world zones
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LOOKING BACK
WHAT HAPPENED
IN UNIT 7?
Unit 7 focused on the emergence of agriculture, as well as the first cities and civilizations.
We learned:
• How the development of agriculture changed humans’ lifestyle.
• How cities, states, and civilizations developed to organize agricultural societies.
• About the development of writing and the impact that has on what evidence is available to
modern-day historians.
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KEY CONTENT
WHY DID CIVILIZATIONS
EXPAND?
Video / Craig Benjamin
• Agrarian civilizations needed to expand because they derived their wealth primarily from
resources they grew from the land.
• A parcel of land was only able to produce a limited number of crops each year, and
environmental fluctuations affected the quality and size of the crops.
• The only certain way to increase productivity was to take over more land.
• However, innovations designed to improve the effectiveness of armies were also used to
improve economic productivity.
• Iron developed for weapons could be used to make better plows, which improved farm
productivity.
• Similarly, roads built to allow armies to move from region to region also allowed merchants to
trade over wider areas, thus making for more productive economies.
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THE FOUR
WORLD ZONES
Article / Cynthia Stokes Brown
• In the era of agrarian civilizations, the world was divided into four major zones: Afro-Eurasia,
the Americas, the Australasian, and the Pacific.
• Afro-Eurasia was the dominant zone because it was the first to develop agriculture, was the
largest zone in terms of area, had the largest population, the most resources, and the largest
network for collective learning.
• People settled the three other zones much later in this age. While farming was critical to life
in the Americas, foraging was still the dominant lifestyle for much of this age in the Australasian
and Pacific zones.
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HOW DID THE WORLD
BECOME INTERCONNECTED?
Video Talk / David Christian
• David Christian discusses the four world zones and how the connections between them
increased over time.
• In the age of agrarian civilizations the world was divided into four zones: Afro-Eurasian,
Americas, Australasian, and Pacific.
• Some innovations increased the possibility for collective learning within agrarian civilizations.
Writing, paper, and printing revolutionized the storage of information, leading to a huge increase
in collective learning.
• Some innovations increased the possibility for collective learning among agrarian civilizations.
Advances in transportation, communication, and road systems also helped to increase
connections and increase collective learning.
• Growth resulted from innovations, but it was hard to sustain. Population growth tended to
outpace innovation during this time, and starvation, disease, and famine often arose, bringing
this growth to a halt.
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IBN BATTUTA, MARCO POLO,
AND ZHENG HE
Articles / Cynthia Stokes Brown
• Explorers from different parts of the Afro-Eurasian world zone played a key role in helping to
connect the different parts of this massive world zone. The accounts they published about the
places they visited and the new objects, ideas, and peoples they encountered contributed
immensely to collective learning and stimulated further interaction.
• Ibn Battuta left his home in Tangier in 1325, returning in 1349. His travels took him to many
places in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Along the way he visited many important cities, including
Mecca, Baghdad, and Delhi.
• Marco Polo made two trips from Europe to China, spending the better part of the years 1271–
1295 traveling and exploring. His experiences of life in China, as well as in the other areas he
visited, were recorded in the book The Travels of Marco Polo.
• Zheng He lead seven overseas voyages in the name of the Chinese emperor between the years
1405 and 1434. On these voyages, he directed massive fleets and crews that visited ports
throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans, reestablishing Chinese tribute relationships that had
been interrupted by Mongol control of China.
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SYSTEMS OF
EXCHANGE AND TRADE
Video Talk / Craig Benjamin
• As the world zones connected, trade between agrarian civilizations facilitated the transfer of
goods, ideas, and diseases.
• Innovations in transportation and communications helped make increased trade possible.
• When the exchange network grew and diversified, collective learning increased.
BIG HISTORY PROJECT / UNIT 8 / EXPANSION & INTERCONNECTION
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THE FIRST SILK ROADS
Video Talk / Craig Benjamin
• Exchange networks not only facilitated the movement of goods, but they also stimulated
innovation because they helped spread collective learning further and create more diverse
networks.
• Agrarian civilizations were critical to the operation of the Silk Road because they created stability
and security, built and maintained road networks, and innovated to support traders.
• Important trade goods moved in both directions along the Silk Road. The Romans imported
Chinese silk, Han iron, Arabian and Indian spices, and agricultural products. The Chinese
imported agricultural products, art, glassware, and horses from Central Asia, India, and the
Mediterranean.
• Innovations like the use of the Bactrian camel and the discovery and use of the trade winds
across the Indian Ocean were critical to the success and expansion of the Silk Roads.
• Trade on the Silk Road stimulated economic growth, which benefited the agrarian civilizations
involved. The Silk Road also made the Afro-Eurasian zone more connected and its networks
more diverse than those of the other world zones. These benefits, coupled with the many
advantages that Afro-Eurasia already enjoyed over other world zones, allowed it to dominate the
others after 1492 when the world became interconnected.
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LOST ON THE SILK ROAD
Article/ Peter Stark
• Traders and travelers using the Silk Road faced a number of major challenges. They
encountered a great variety of climate zones and landforms, and in some places they were
vulnerable to attack by nomadic raiders.
• Some of the specific challenges that users of the Silk Road encountered were mountains, cliffs,
thin air, sudden thunderstorms, raging rivers, and log footbridges. Because they relied on yaks to
carry their goods, many of these challenges were magnified.
• Despite these challenges, traders persevered and exchanged a great variety of things. Silk was
carried from China to Europe. Chinese merchants bargained for horses, cattle, leather, furs,
ivory, and jade. The Chinese were introduced to grapes, wine, music, stories, and religions from
the other zones. Ideas were also traded back and forth.
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LOOKING AHEAD
WHAT’S NEXT?
In Unit 9, we will focus on the last threshold in the Big History course. This threshold is the
modern world. We will learn:
• How the pace of innovation and change has accelerated in the last 500 years.
• How increasing speeds of communication and transportation, as well as greater connection
between world zones, has led to a tremendous appetite for energy.
• About the effect our species has had on the biosphere in the time since the Industrial
Revolution.
• Some of the ways that commerce, labor, and the global economy have changed in recent years.
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