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Discussion II: Global Trends Before 1500 (Chapters 10-11)

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In this forum we will discuss key trends in Chapters 10-11. These two chapters give us an overview of how Eurasia and Africa were coming together and making key changes in the era between 1000 CE and 1500 CE (CE is the same as AD). Chapter 10 also mentions how societies in the Americas were changing in this era, before they were contacted by Europeans. Most of our course covers events from 1500 to the present, but first I want to make sure you understand what was happening in the five centuries leading up to that.

In this forum I am asking each student to comment on one or more of the questions below. When you answer a question, be sure to mention specific information from the reading. It will help to give a page number or two for what you found. I also want you to respond to at least two other people. Note what you see in their post and add something to it, or perhaps note how it relates to something you posted or that someone else posted.

Please start a new thread only if you are the first person to write on a particular question. Otherwise, please post a contribution as a reply to an existing thread. Please do not start more than one thread. You will need to get some of your credit by responding to other threads. (If you find plenty of good threads already started, you may earn all your credit by replying to other people’s threads.)

Here are the questions for our discussion:

1. Explain the importance of maritime trade in changing the economies and societies of Eurasia from 1000-1300 CE. (Chapter 10)

2. How did the spread of Islam shape much of Eurasia and Africa in the era from 1000-1500? In what ways do you see Islam as an economic, cultural and political force rather than simply a religion in this era? (Chapters 10-11)

3. What do you find most remarkable about India in this era? Why was India so important as a cultural crossroads? (Chapter 10)

4. Why do the authors refer to the Americas and Sub-Saharan Africa as “Worlds Coming Together”? What do these two parts of the world have in common in the era of 1000-1300? (Chapter 10)

5. Explain the impact of the Mongols. How did this relatively small number of people transform the economic and political dynamics of Eurasia? (Chapter 10)

6. What do you find remarkable about the Christian societies of Europe in the years from 1000-1500? (Chapters 10-11)

7. Describe what was remarkable about Chinese society. Note some specific developments in the Song Era and the Ming Eras. (Chapters 10-11)

8. What do they mean by “Crisis and Recovery in Afro-Eurasia”? How would you describe Afro-Eurasia around 1500? (Chapter 11)

The forum is officially worth 20 points but you can get up to 25 points if you put a little extra into it. You can get about ten points for a really good post (about 5-8 sentences) that answers one of the questions while adding specific information that other people have not already contributed. You can also get about five points for a thoughtful reply (about four sentences) that comments on someone else’s post and adds a little bit to it.

Please contribute to the discussion during the first week of class. I will leave to forum open in the second week to allow more time for replies, and also to possibly help people working on Exam I. (As long as you post something by the deadline, additional posts you make after that will not be marked as late.)



Because India is surrounded by water on the east and west sides, it was an ideal location for trade routes in the region.In northern India, they were accustomed to having lots of outsiders wanting access to their land or to try to conquer it. From what I understand, the Hindu people were more passive when it came to converting immigrants and foreign invaders to their beliefs, culture and traditions. India was remarkable in this way because they were so tolerant and diverse in their population, and they didn’t believe there was only one religion and one language allowed.So, for example, there were Turkish Muslims, and Buddhists and Hindu followers all coexisting. At times they began appreciating each other’s cultures, languages and literature, and even wearing tunics and robes from cultures other than their own.Even some aspects of Buddhism and Hinduism became interchangeable because vegetarianism and nonviolence were valued in both.In fact, because it was a cultural crossroads, it helped India as a country because they collected tax and were able to be successful while allowing communities to maintain their own cultural identities. Over time people who were once outsiders considered themselves as Indians and this lead “to a more integrated and peaceful India.”

(pages 347-352)