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Chapter 15 Notes

Chapter 15 Notes

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Published by: IvanTh3Great on Jan 30, 2008
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CHAPTER 15
Tropical Africa and Asia, 1200–1500
I0.Tropical Lands and PeoplesA0.The Tropical Environment10.The tropical zone falls between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropicof Capricorn in the south. The Afro-Asian tropics have a cycle of rainy and dryseasons dictated by the alternating winds known as monsoons.20.While those parts of the tropics such as coastal West Africa, west-central Africa,and southern India get abundant rainfall, there is also an arid zone extendingacross northern Africa (the Sahara) and northwest India, and another arid zone insouthwestern Africa. Altitude also affects climate, with high-altitude mountainranges and plateaus having cooler weather and shorter growing seasons than thelow-altitude coastal plains and river valleys. Major rivers bring water from thesemountains to other areas.B0.Human Ecosystems10.Human societies adopted different means of surviving in order to fit into thedifferent ecological zones found in the tropics. In areas such as central Africa,the upper altitudes of the Himalayas, and some seacoasts, wild food and fish wasso abundant that human societies thrived without having developed agriculturalor herding economies.20.Human communities in the arid areas of the tropics relied on herding andsupplemented their diets with grain and vegetables obtained through trade withsettled agriculturalists. The vast majority of the people of the tropics werefarmers who cultivated various crops (rice, wheat, sorghum millet, etc.)depending on the conditions of soil, climate, and water.30.In those parts of South and Southeast Asia that had ample water supplies,intensive agriculture transformed the environment and supported dense populations. In most parts of sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of SoutheastAsia, farmers abandoned their fields every few years and cleared new areas bycutting and burning the natural vegetation.40.The tropics have an uneven distribution of rainfall during the year. In order tohave year-round access to water for intensive agriculture, tropical farmingsocieties constructed dams, irrigation canals, and reservoirs.50.In India, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka, governments mobilized vast resources toconstruct and maintain large irrigation and water-control projects. Such huge projects increased production, but they were highly vulnerable to naturaldisasters and political disruptions. In contrast, the smaller irrigation systemsconstructed at the village level were easier to reconstruct and provided greater long-term stability.C0.Mineral Resources10.Tropical peoples used iron for agricultural implements, weapons, and needles.Copper, particularly important in Africa, was used to make wire and decorativeobjects. Africa was also known for its production of gold.20.Metalworking and food-producing systems mobilized the labor of ordinary people in order to produce surpluses that in places supported powerful states and
 
 profitable commercial systems. Neither of those elite enterprises would have been possible without the work of ordinary people.II0.New Islamic EmpiresA0.Mali in the Western Sudan10.Islam spread to sub-Saharan Africa by a gradual process of peaceful conversion.Conversion was facilitated by commercial contacts.20.In 1240 Sundiata (the Muslim leader of the Malinke people) established thekingdom of Mali. Mali’s economy rested on agriculture and was supplemented by control of regional and trans-Saharan trading routes and by control of the goldmines of the Niger headwaters.30.The Mali ruler Mansa Kankan Musa (r. 1312–1337) demonstrated his fabulouswealth during a pilgrimage to Mecca. When he returned to Mali, Mansa Musaestablished new mosques and Quranic schools.40.The kingdom of Mali declined and collapsed in the mid to late fifteenth century because of rebellions from within and attacks from without. Intellectual life andtrade moved to other African states, including the Hausa states and Kanem-Bornu.B0.The Delhi Sultanate in India10.Between 1206 and 1236 the divided states of northwest India were defeated byviolent Muslim Turkish conquerors under the leadership of Sultan Iltutmish, whoestablished the Delhi Sultanate as a Muslim state. Although the Muslim elite thensettled down to rule India relatively peacefully, their Hindu subjects never forgave the violence of the conquest.20.Iltutmish passed his throne on to his daughter, Raziya. Raziya was a talentedruler, but she was driven from office by men unwilling to accept a femalemonarch. Under Ala-ud-din (r. 1296–1316) and Muhammad ibn Tughluq (r.1325–1351), the Delhi Sultanate carried out a policy of aggressive territorialexpansion that was accompanied (in the case of Tughluq) by a policy of religioustoleration toward Hindus—a policy that was reversed by Tughluq’s successor.30.In general, the Delhi sultans ruled by terror and were a burden on their subjects.In the mid-fourteenth century internal rivalries and external threats underminedthe stability of the Sultanate. The Sultanate was destroyed when Timur sackedDelhi in 1398.III0.Indian Ocean TradeA0.Monsoon Mariners10.The Indian Ocean trade increased between 1200 and 1500, stimulated by the prosperity of Latin Europe, Asian, and African states and, in the fourteenthcentury, by the collapse of the overland trade routes.20.In the Red and Arabian Seas, trade was carried on dhows. From India on toSoutheast Asia, junks dominated the trade routes.30.Junks were technologically advanced vessels, having watertight compartments,up to twelve sails, and carrying cargoes of up to 1,000 tons. Junks weredeveloped in China, but during the fifteenth century, junks were also built inBengal and Southeast Asia and sailed with crews from those places.40.The Indian Ocean trade was decentralized and cooperative, with various regionssupplying particular goods. In each region a certain port functioned as the major emporium for trade in which goods from smaller ports were consolidated andshipped onward.B0.Africa: The Swahili Coast and Zimbabwe10.By 1500, there were thirty or forty separate city-states along the East Africancoast participating in the Indian Ocean trade. The people of these coastal cities,
 
the “Swahili” people, all spoke an African language enriched with Arabic andPersian vocabulary.20.Swahili cities, including Kilwa, were famous as exporters of gold that was minedin or around the inland kingdom whose capital was Great Zimbabwe.30.Great Zimbabwe’s economy rested on agriculture, cattle herding, and trade. Thecity declined due to an ecological crisis brought on by deforestation andovergrazing.C0.Arabia: Aden and the Red Sea10.Aden had enough rainfall to produce wheat for export and a location that made ita central transit point for trade from the Persian Gulf, East Africa, and Egypt.Aden’s merchants prospered on this trade and built what appeared to travelers to be a wealthy and impressive city.20.In general, a common interest in trade allowed the various peoples and religionsof the Indian Ocean basin to live in peace. Violence did sometimes break out,however, as when Christian Ethiopia fought with the Muslims of the Red Seacoast over control of trade.D0.India: Gujarat and the Malabar Coast10.The state of Gujarat prospered from the Indian Ocean trade, exporting cottontextiles and indigo in return for gold and silver. Gujarat was not simply acommercial center; it was also a manufacturing center that produced textiles,leather goods, carpets, silk, and other commodities. Gujarat’s overseas trade wasdominated by Muslims, but Hindus also benefited.20.Calicut and other cities of the Malabar Coast exported cotton textiles and spicesand served as clearing-houses for long-distance trade. The cities of the Malabar Coast were unified in a loose confederation whose rulers were tolerant of other religious and ethnic groups.E0.Southeast Asia: the Rise of Malacca10.The Strait of Malacca is the principal passage from the Indian Ocean to theSouth China Sea. In the fourteenth century a gang of Chinese pirates preyedupon the strait, nominally under the control of the Java-based kingdom of Majapahit.20.In 1407, the forces of the Ming dynasty crushed the Chinese pirates. The Muslimruler of Malacca took advantage of this to exert his domination over the straitand to make Malacca into a major port and a center of trade.IV0.Social and Cultural ChangeA0.Architecture, Learning, and Religion10.Commercial contacts and the spread of Islam led to a variety of social andcultural changes in which local cultures incorporated and changed ideas, customsand architectural styles from other civilizations. African and Indian mosques aregood examples of the synthesis of Middle Eastern and local architectural styles;in Ethiopia, a native tradition of rock carving led to the construction of elevenchurches carved from solid rock.20.In the field of education, the spread of Islam brought literacy to African peopleswho first learned Arabic and then used the Arabic script to write their ownlanguages. In India literacy was already established, but the spread of Islam brought the development of a new Persian-influenced language (Urdu) and the papermaking technology.30.As it spread to Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, Islam also brought with it thestudy of Islamic law and administration and Greek science, mathematics, andmedicine. Timbuktu, Delhi and Malacca were two new centers of Islamiclearning.

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