8000 BCE � 650 CE
Civilization: A group of people who support each other and coexist with some form of language, economy, and government.

  • The Neolithic Revolution
i. The beginning and consequences of the introduction of agriculture, domestication of animals, and a more sedentary lifestyle.
ii. During the later part of the Stone Age.
  • Pastoralism and Agriculture
i. Replaced subsistence foraging and hunting.
ii. Provided the base for a more complex bartering/goods system.
iii. Expanded the limited trade of nomadic hunter-gatherers.
iv. Development of agriculture led to permanent settlements which increased world population.
v. Surplus grains provided the circumstances for the development of specialized occupations, such as artisans, administrators, metallurgist, etc.
  • Bronze Age
i. Metal tools, primarily bronze and copper, began to be used around 4000 BCE.

RiverValley Civilizations

  • Sumerians = first civilization in the region.
  • Cunieform writing - used as a system of accountancy.
  • Statues dedicated to gods/dieties decorated the cities.
  • Ziggurat = religious building; typically at center of town and most elaborate.
  • Sumerians fell to Akkadians, who fell to the Babylonians.
Indus Valley
  • Contained the Indus River.
  • Allowed urban civilizations such as Harappa and Mohenjo Daro to develop (by 2500 BCE)
  • Traded with Meopotamian societies.
  • Had unique art and literature.
Shang China
  • 1500 - 1000 BCE
  • Defeated and replaced by the Zhou after long and bloody war.
Zhou China
  • Successor of the Shang Dynasty.
  • Feudal China
  • Established the Middle Kingdom.
    • Became a region of extreme importance in Chinese history.
  • Mandate of Heaven = Rulers were "Sons of Heaven" predestined to rule.
  • Developed the oral form of Mandarin Chinese.

Classical Civilizations

  • Laid the foundation for modern civilization.
  • Clysthenese (c. 570 BCE), a nobleman (aristocrat), thought that all ordinary people should be able to govern themselves.
  • Life expectancy of the masses was less than 15 years.
  • Science and math weren't important and reading and writing was a rare skill.
  • There were over 1000 city-states jostling for power.
  • 6th Century � Argos was oldest city-state, Carthage was dominant economically, and Sparta was dominant militarily.
  • Athens had little power back then. (Spartan food was gross.)
    Sparta conquered other city states and made the peoples into helots. Every year they declared war on the enslaved helots to practice their military prowess.
  • Storytellers, or Bonds, would memorize over a million lines of poetry to pass on important traditional tales such as �The Illiad� and �The Odyssey�.
  • Clysthenese designed the revolutionary new governmental system of Democracy, a simple voting system; the rule of the people.

Qin China
  • Successor of the Zhou.
  • Centralized the gov't and ended the feudal system; replaced it with bureaucratic system.
  • Began construction of the Great Wall.
  • Used national censuses to account for taxes.
  • Standardized coinage, weights, and measures; included road width and the length of wheel axles.
  • Developed the written form of Mandarin Chinese.
  • Promoted the expansion of the silk industry.
Han China
  • 206 BCE - 220 CE
  • Silk Road established; aided in spread of Buddhism.
  • Organized production of salt and iron.
  • Textile, pottery, paper, and porcelain industries.
  • Intricate public works, such as irrigation and canal systems.
  • Copper coin currency.
  • "Sons of Han" = sense of identity/superiority.
  • First Civil service exams.
    • Promoted the scholar-bureaucrat.
  • Polytheism, Confucianism, and Buddhism were present in country.
  • Legalism and Daoism (defined below).
  • 322 BCE - Chandragupta Maurya grabs power (322 - 298 BCE)
  • Bureaucracy and legalistic monarchy
  • United a majority of the subcontinental lands.
  • Ashoka (Maurya's grandson) expanded Maurayan Empire to nearly the southern tip of India.
  • Empire collapsed and regional kingdoms began to flourish.
    • Kushan state (ended 220 CE)
  • Considered the Golden Age in India.
  • Smaller than the Maurayan Empire, but more political stability.
    • Marriages between regional families and Guptan rulers.
  • Supported Hinduism
  • Loose political system in which regional leaders swore loyalty to the dominant Guptas.
    • Spread uniform law.
    • Sponsored public works.
  • Established a cultural and intellectual life for India.

Early Religions / Philosophies

Confucianism: The system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.

Daoism: A philosophical system developed by Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events

Legalism: The principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy.

Judaism: The monotheistic religion of the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the Talmud. Compare Conservative Jew, Orthodox Jew, Reform Jew.

Roman/Greek Polytheism: The belief in more than one god. The ancient Greeks, for example, were polytheists; their gods included Apollo, Athena, Dionysus, and Zeus. The Romans adopted these gods as well and would worship idols of the specific god.

Hinduism: The common religion of India. It�s based upon the religion of the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., having an extremely diversified character with many schools of philosophy and theology, many popular cults, and a large pantheon symbolizing the many attributes of a single god.

Buddhism: A religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject.

Christianity: The religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, sent by God. They believe that Jesus, by dying and rising from the dead, made up for the sin of Adam and thus redeemed the world, allowing all who believe in him to enter heaven. Christians rely on the Bible as the inspired word of God.

Collapse of Classical Empires

Fall of Rome
  • Began decline in 180 CE
  • Political confusion made leaders that took power weak/insignificant and conflicts over succession of the throne occurred.
  • Plagues traveled to Rome by international trade from southern Asia and decimated the population.
  • As the population fell, so did the economy. (No matter how much slave labor they utilize)
  • Recruiting for the army became difficult so people from Germanic tribes were hired to guard the borders of the empire.They were paying former enemies to protect them. (Would only make things worse in the end)
  • Intellectuals became less creative and important as their ideals began to slip away and the focus on preserving Rome with a militaristic discipline.
  • Internal problems with corruption grew in the government and the culture began to decline.
  • Imperial rule declined and with it, economic stability worsened. Farmers sought protection from wealthy landlords.
  • Landlords with large estates used influence to provided some stability, but in other ways it weakened the power of the emperor over time and moved the economy away from successful trade.
  • Diocletian ruled from 284 to 305 CE and tried to fix the empire- successful in getting economy back on track- pushed the worship of the emperor as god
  • Constantine ruled from 312 to 337 CE and built a second capital city, Constantinople. It helped regulate the eastern half of the empire. He also tried to use Christianity to unify the empire, but nothing could save the dying Roman empire.
  • Because the empire was split in half, the western half became even weaker- tax revenues declined, which hurt the armies
  • Germanic tribes started invading in the 400s and took over completely around 476 CE
  • The unity of Mediterranean lands was destroyed along with the Empire. Three zones of the Meditteranean region eventually became three new empires.

Decline in China
  • Hun tribes caused collapse of Han China
  • By 100 BCE, Han China was in a decline:Confucian intellectuals became less creative, control of government crumbled, bureaucrats became corrupt, local landlords took over their respective regions.
  • The Yellow Turbans (184 BCE) were Daoist leaders who thought everything would resolve itself .
  • As the economy went down, social unrest went up.
  • The decline caused China to not be able to fight back invading groups
  • Epidemics of disease spread throughout China.
  • The above factors caused about 300 years of chaos, during which many dynasties arose and fell.
  • The spread of Buddhism threatened China's cultural unity.
  • China "revived"; ousted foriegn rulers/invader around 500 CE.
  • Sui Dynasty ruled until 618 CE and then the Tang Dynasty took power. The Tang brought prosperity to China again and gained support for Confucianism and bureaucracy again.
  • Bureaucracy became less important over time, but didn't disappear.
  • Once invading tribes conquered China, they actually adopted Chinese traditions. Although the Chinese were defeated and disbanded, their civilization remained loosely intact.

Decline in India
  • The control of Gupta empire declined by 400 CE.
  • Hun tribes were invading parts of northern India around 500 CE- but destroyed Gupta Empire within the next century
  • Invaders formed a new ruling class of regional princes called Rajput: warrior princes; ruled small states and focused on military power.
  • Buddhism declined in India and Hinduism started regaining support as Hun princes were converted from Buddhism to Hinduism.
  • Islam began its spread after 600 CE and reached India around 600 CE
  • Hindus reacted to the spread by emphasizing more on religious devotion. (Texts were written in the classical language causing Sanskrit to decline) This prevented Indians from abandoning the traditional religion of Hinduism
  • Regionalism remained the primary form of government

  • Rise of the scholar-gentry
    • Weakened the old aristocracy by empowering the bureaucracy
  • Monastic lands and people on them were not taxed.
  • Anti-Buddhism instated taxes on monastic orders and took land from them.
  • Emperor Wuzong
  • Reopened Silk Road.
  • Yangdi conscripted peasants to build palaces, a new capital, and various public works.
  • Empress Wu, Empress Wei and Emperor Xuanzong's wife Yang Guifei
    • (Women could hold power)
  • Emperor Li Yuan and Taizon continued the policies.

  • Higher paid bureaucrats.
  • Scholar-gentry and aristocracy were ecnomically secured.
  • Attempts by Wang Anshi to reform jinshi education.
  • Neo-Confucianism strengthened stratification, gender roles and age roles like the case system in Hinduism.
    • Restricted women to the household.
    • Foot-binding
  • Complimentary husband
  • Polygamous men but monogamous wives and widows.

Yuan / Mongol