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AP World History

Final Study Guide – Semester One

Chapter 1 – From Human Pre-History to Early Civilization

1. Characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies

In a hunter-gatherer society, the man is regarded as the hunter while the woman is the
gatherer. They were nomadic and lived off of the land. Wherever the game went, they
followed it. They lived in small groups and were patriarchal. The population growth was
really slow and that two people only needed one square mile to survive. Some more
characteristics of hunter-gatherers were the use of stone tools, the spread of humans
around the world, cave paintings and rituals, and the domestication of some animals.

2. Societal impacts on the development of agricultural societies

A sedentary society allowed a group of people to stay in one place. There was also a food
surplus where specialization took place. Specialization is when one person specializes in
a certain skill. The population exploded and villages and permanent houses developed.
The development of agricultural societies allowed for the focus of surviving to economic,
political, religious, and technological aspects of life. Metals tools were developed and a
social hierarchy began.

3. Traits that make a society a civilization

Some scholars prefer to define civilizations only as societies with enough economic
surpluses to create division of labor and a social hierarchy. The chief difference between
civilizations and other societies involves the emergence of formal political organizations,
or states. Another trait that makes a society a civilization is when the society can produce
political units capable of ruling large regions. More traits are when a merchant and
manufacturing class is present, and when almost all societies have sedentary agriculture
and food surplus.

4. Political organization of the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley

The Tigris-Euphrates River Valley is also called Mesopotamia, or the Fertile Crescent.
The Sumerians were the first people who invaded this region. They had organized city-
states ruled by a king who had divine authority. The Sumerian state also had carefully
defined boundaries. The Sumerian government helped regulate religion and enforce its
duties, and provided a court system. Kings were the military leaders, and with the nobles,
and the priesthood, they controlled the land, which was worked by slaves. Babylonians
eventually conquered the Sumerians and established a very harsh code of law,
Hammurabi’s Law Code.
Chapter 2 - Classical Civilization: China

5. “Son of Heaven” concept

The “Son of Heaven” was regarded as the emperor of China. The emperor was divinely
appointed by the gods, and could only be the “Son of Heaven” if he had the Mandate of
Heaven. If the emperor lost the Mandate of Heaven then it would be bad.

6. Emphasis of classical Chinese views of nature

The Chinese stressed the importance of a harmonious life on earth and the proper balance
between earth and heaven. The philosophy is called Daoism and in Daoism, the Dao is
“the way”. Every object must be balanced, thus one must be peaceful to no throw off the
balance. Personal meditation was important in Daoism and so was the observation of
nature. Daoism was more important among the lower classes than the aristocrats.

7. Social hierarchy in classical China

The main social division was between the land-owning gentry and the peasants. Beneath
the peasants were the “mean” people which had the unskilled jobs. At the top of the
hierarchy it was the land-owning aristocracy and bureaucrats. Next were the laboring
masses which were the peasants, artists, and laborers. Then it was the “mean” people. In
the social hierarchy of the family, the father was the head honcho, while the mother had
to listen to him. Even when the mother is under the father, she had a lot of influence with
her children. The children came last with the oldest male at the top of the children.

8. Characteristics of Confucian beliefs

Confucianism was primarily a system of ethics. It stressed respect for one’s social
superiors and elders, and it stressed polite manners and courtesy. Confucius urged a
political system that was not based rank by birth but would make it accessible to all
talented members of society. He also said that there were no wrongdoing parents. The
most important rule of Confucianism was the Golden Rule, which states, “Do unto others
as you would have them do to you.”

Chapter 3 - Classical Civilization: India

9. India’s political traditions

The most persistent features of India involve regionalism which allowed local rulers to
maintain rule as long as loyalty was observed to the overarching Indian government. The
early Mauryan dynasty rulers depended on their armies. The Gupta dynasty was ruled by
creating a demanding taxation system, spreading uniform law codes, sponsoring general
service (ex. Road building), and relying on tricks to remain in power. There was also no
single language in the Gupta dynasty and did not have a bureaucracy which allowed local
rulers to maintain regional control
10. Impacts of the caste system…what purposes did it serve?

The caste system gave India the most rigid overall framework for a social structure. It
provided a way for various races to live together, just in different castes. The social
standing that one is in cannot be changed and is hereditary. Each class is called a varna
and each person had an obligation to work, care for his/her family, and various other
things to help the community. It also described features of economic and social life. The
Brahmans (priests) were the highest caste then the Kshatriyas (warriors) then the Vaisyas
(working class) then the Sudras (common laborers) and last the Untouchables who were
outside the caste.

11. Differences between Buddhism and Hinduism

It was the religion of India’s majority. It believed in reincarnation and if a person prayed
for a long time and had correct actions in his or her’s life then that person could reach a
higher caste. Hinduism had no major god, and no central figure. It also encouraged arthra
(secular goals), and karma (worldly pleasures). There were several gods two being
Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer). Hinduism was also very tolerant of
other religions and adaptable to them and it emphasized good and evil behaviors

Buddhism believed in achieving nirvana which is the state of nothing or enlightenment.
Buddha was the god of the religion. Buddhism did not believe in the caste system and it
believed that one could be holy at any level. Buddhism also believed in reincarnation but
not actually moving higher or lower on the caste system.

The ultimate state in Hinduism was brahma (being one with everything) while the
ultimate state in Buddhism was nirvana (becoming nothing).

12. Differences and similarities in Hinduism and Confucianism

Hinduism was the main religion in India while Confucianism was the main religion in
China. Confucianism wasn’t technically a religion but rather a philosophy. Both
emphasized respecting social superiors. Hinduism was more rigid than Confucianism.

Chapter 4 - Classical Civilization in the Mediterranean: Greece and Rome

13. Administration of the Roman Empire

The administration of the Roman Empire was a Roman state that began as a local
monarchy in central Italy. Roman aristocrats succeeded in driving out the monarchy and
established their own government. The Roman Republic was an aristocratic democracy
with the Senate as the main legislative body, which was staffed by aristocrats who voted
on issues. There were two consuls that shared primary executive power. After Julius
Caesar, the Roman Empire was established. The Senate became far less important and the
emperor wielded absolute authority.

14. Similarities between Greek politics and Indian politics

Greece and India didn’t have rigid unifying governments. Greece was ruled by
cooperating city-states that often argued and fought wars against each other, while India
was ruled by loose binding government that united regional rulers. Neither of the
civilizations had a strong central government such as bureaucracy.

15. Major Roman achievements

One major Roman achievement was that they became rulers of a massive empire/republic
and for a time it was the premier military power. They were builders of amazing feats of
engineering. There was also peace inside their massive empire and just laws for all. They
also built vast road systems and public works.

16. Makeup of the republican Roman Senate

The most important legislative body was the Senate and it was composed of almost
entirely of aristocrats. Out of the Senate, they elected two consuls that held executive

Chapter 5 – The Classical Period: Directions, Diversities, and Declines by 500 C.E

17. Focus of faiths in North Africa, Asia, and Europe by 200 C.E.

In eastern Asia, Buddhism surged. Daoism also began to reemerge, and the Daoist leaders
were called Yellow Turbans. In India, Hinduism continued to grow and a mother goddess,
Devi, brought popular emotionalism into Hinduism. In Europe/Rome, Christianity
became much more prevalent and in North Africa, Islam began to emerge.

18. Decline of the Roman Empire

The quality of political and economical life began to decline. Plagues reduced the
population and Rome began to hire less loyal and effective mercenary armies. Rome’s
upper-class began more pleasure seeking, ignoring the politics and intellectual life
declined. Constantine tried reuniting the empire with Christianity, but then he established
an eastern half of the empire centered on Constantinople. Eventually invasions from the
Germanic Goths took over the western half of Rome. The eastern half continued to
flourish until its demise in 1453, a millennia later.

19. Barbarians
The barbarians were the Germanic people called the Goths. There were two different
groups of Goths, the Ostrogoths and the Visogoths. The barbarians were called that name
because of their uncivilized manner.

20. Compare the decline of the Han Empire to that of the Roman Empire

A similarity of the decline of the Han and the Roman was that they were both politically
corrupt. They both also had disease. But the decline of the Han was not caused by any
outside factors while the decline of Rome was caused by inside and outside factors, the
outside being the invading Goths. Another reason for the Han is that they had over-taxed
peasants which eventually caused a civil war. In Rome, aristocrats practiced a hedonistic
lifestyle while led to their demise.

21. Compare Hinduism and Christianity

Hinduism and Christianity are similar in that they emphasize devotion, piety, and stress
spiritual concerns beyond secular concerns. They also both offer hope of a better
existence after this life. Christianity stressed the egalitarianism of all of its believers
while Hinduism practiced a caste-based system. Hinduism was polytheistic while
Christianity was monotheistic.

Chapter 6 – The First Global Civilization: The Rise and Spread of Islam

22. Regions affected by Islam

South Asia (India), Southeast Asia, and Africa (north of the Sahara and the Swahili [east]
coast) were most affected by Islam.

23. Pre-Islamic Arabian culture and religion

Pre-Islamic Arabian culture was Bedouin nomadic culture. Bedouin people lived in
highly mobile encampments. The base unit was a clan, which was in a larger organization
called a tribe. Clans often fought clans, and tribes often fought tribes. The leaders were
called shaykhs. Bedouin culture was very violent. Revenge was important; because of
this blood feuds could occur. The culture was based on camel and goat herding. Poetry
was made. Bedouin religion was a mix of animism and polytheism.

24. Ka’ba

The Ka’ba is a shrine in Mecca. Before Islam it was a religious shrine that was the focus
of an obligatory truce once a year for the Bedouin clans. After Islam it became the central
shrine of Islam. All Muslims must pray towards it 5 times a day. It is also the site of the

25. Role of the Umayyads

At the time Muhammad came out with Islam, the Umayyads, a Bedouin clan, were in
control of Mecca. Once they realized Muhammad was a threat to the Ka’ba which
brought them wealth they tried to kill him. Muhammad fled to Medina, where he
eventually gathered an army and came back and conquered the Ka’ba, which he
established as an Islamic shrine. Also, the Umayyads had a role in the Shi’a/ Sunni
division. They fought Ali over who should be caliph. After Ali appeared to be winning
the Umayyads offered a truce to Ali. While the negotiations were taking place they
Umayyads gathered their forces and attacked Ali. The Umayyads eventually won. The
Shi’a supported Ali, and the Sunni supported the Umayyads. The Shi’a said that the
caliph should be a blood relation of Muhammad; the Sunni said it should be the most
qualified individual.

26. The Five Pillars of Islam

The five pillars of Islam are accepted by all believers and it provided the basis for an
underlying religious unity. The first one is the confession of faith, “There is no God but
Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” The second one is to pray facing the holy city of
Mecca five times a day. The third one is to fast during the month of Ramadan. The fourth
one is to pay the zakat or tithe for charity which is one-fortieth of a person’s salary. The
fifth and last pillar is the hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca to worship Allah at the Ka’ba
once in a lifetime.

27. Benefits / drawbacks of Arab warriors converting people to Islam

The benefits of Arab warriors converting people to Islam are that there would be more
warriors to conquer more territories. There were not that many benefits for the Arab
warriors because was mostly drawbacks. The main drawback was that the Arab warriors
mainly went on the conquests was for the booty and if there were more converts then
there would be less booty for the Arab warriors.

28. Citizenship in the Umayyad Empire

During the Umayyad Empire, the mawali, non-Arab converts, still had to pay the jizya, or
the head tax, levied of non-believers. It was difficult for mawali to get high status jobs.
Dhimmis, people of the book, had to pay the jizya, commercial, and property taxes.
However, they were usually allowed to rule themselves.

29. Abbasid view of slavery

The Abbasid view of slavery was a good one. There were many slaves employed by
during the Abbasid dynasty. The wealthy elite employed many male and female slaves.
Female slaves were often made into concubines, and the males into eunuchs. Most slaves
came from non-Muslim regions such as: the Balkans, central Asia, and Sudanic Africa.
Many slaves were very well educated and were loved by their owners. Also, slave women
and concubines often had more freedom than their owner’s freeborn wives. The Abbasids
believed that they were preparing the slaves for life in the Muslim world, and converted
them to Islam. Children born in the Abbasid dynasty to slave parents were declared free.

Chapter 7 – Abbasid Decline and the Spread of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast

30. Problems of succession in Islam

The person that created the problem of succession in the Islamic leadership was al-
Mahdi. He did not choose which of his older sons would succeed him and he allowed his
wives and concubines to become involved in the palace intrigues. After al-Mahdi’s death,
his successors became poisoned or murdered. The next caliph Harun al-Rashid was
heavily dependent on a group of Persian advisors and never found a successor therefore
causing a civil war to break out.

31. Causes for disruption in the agricultural economy of the Abbasids

Constant civil violence and the construction of palaces, mosques, and public works
drained the treasury of the Abbasids. The expense fell heavily on the already hard-pressed
peasantry of the central provinces of the empire. The need to support mercenary troops
also increased the revenue demands for the peasantry. Taxation and pillaging led to the
abandonment of many villages and the irrigation works that had been essential to
agricultural production in the Tigris-Euphrates basin fell into disrepair. Many peasants
died because of famine, floods or violent assault. A disruption in peasant life equals a
disruption in agriculture economy.

32. Women in Islamic society

The women in Islamic society were very limited to what they can do. The lower level
women could help farm, weave clothing, and raise silkworms, while the rich women were
not allowed any careers. They were married at puberty and devoted their lives to their
husbands. Islamic expansion limited the freedom and influence of the women in the
Abbasid Era. Slave women even had more freedom than the freed ones.

33. Famous Muslim leader of the Crusades

The most famous Muslim leader of the Crusades was Saladin. He united the Muslim
forces and recaptured the Holy Lands back from the Christian knights.

34. Success of First Crusade

There were eight crusades. The First Crusade was by far the most effective because of the
element of surprise and Muslim political division. Much of the Holy Land was captured
and divided into Christian kingdoms. Jerusalem was captured and its Muslim and Jewish
inhabitants were slaughtered. However, later on the Muslims re-conquered most of this
land under Saladin. Eventually they were all taken back.
35. Impact of the Crusades on Christians and Muslims

The impact of the eight Crusades was much greater on the Christians that on the
Muslims. The crusader’s experiences in the eastern Mediterranean intensified borrowing
from the Muslim world. They took the Muslim type of weapons and many ways of
building fortifications. They also recovered much of the Greek learning and mastered
Arabic numerals and the decimal system. The Christians basically took the technology
and the intelligence of the Muslims and added it to their own.

36. Political centers of Islam

The main political centers of Islam were Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo.
When the Umayyads gained control they moved it to Damascus, and when the Abbasids
took control it was moved to Baghdad.

37. Islam vs. Hinduism

Islam stressed in the egalitarianism of all believers while Hinduism embraced a caste-
based social system. Islam first met Hinduism when the Muslims invaded India. When
the Muslims conquered India, the Hindus realized that Islam would have a large appeal
on the Indian population. So the Hindus placed more emphasis on devotional cults. The
bhaktic cults increased popular involvement in Hindu worship so the amount of converts
to Islam did not go up.

38. Indian Islamic Kingdom

Islam was the first culture that matched Indian culture so it was Hinduism’s first real
challenge. The first wave of Islamic invasions didn’t conquer much land, just Sind and
the Indus valley. The second invasion, which was led by a Turkic slave dynasty, allowed
Islam to become the political rulers of northern India. The Islamic Indian Empire had its
capital at Delhi. For the next 300 yrs, northern India was ruled by Muslims at Delhi. The
rulers of Delhi were called, Sultans of Delhi. The sultans fought each other as well as
invaders and Hindu princes.

Chapter 8 – African Civilizations and the Spread of Islam

39. Major outside contacts with sub-Saharan Africa

Islam provided the major external contact between sub-Saharan and the world. The
arrival of the Portuguese in the 15th century

40. Differences between African civilizations and other post-classical societies

Disparities between the technologies and ideologies of Europeans and Africans also
created differences in the ways in which their societies developed.
41. Spread of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa

42. Indigenous religions of sub-Saharan Africa

It is difficult to generalize a specific religion because of the size of the continent.

However, the main belief was an animistic religion. There was a belief in the power of
natural forces personified as deities and spirits. Worship came in the form of dancing,
drumming, and sacrifice. African religion provided a cosmology, a view of how the
universe works, and a guide to ethics and behavior.

43. “Equality before God and inequality within the world”

This statement means that under Allah, everyone is equal but when under the world there
is inequality. This statement also led to utopian reform movements. Groups such as the
Almohadis are characteristic within Islamic history, because they are dedicated to purify
society by returning to the original teachings of Muhammad.

44. Christianity in Africa

There were many Christian empires in Africa. In addition to the Christian kingdom of
Axum, Christian communities thrived in Egypt and Nubia, further up the Nile. But when
the Islam penetrated Egypt, the Copts (Christian Egyptians) got to keep their own
religion. The Ethiopian Kingdom that grew out of the Axum Kingdom was probably the
most important Christian outpost in Africa. Ethiopia turned inward because of the
pressure of its surrounding Muslim neighbors. The greatest accomplishment for
Christianity in Ethiopia is when King Lalibela sponsored a building project in which 11
churches were sculpted from a rock.

45. Urbanization in the Mali Empire

Mali towns became very commercial after the arrival of Islam. Merchants and scholars
were attracted by the power of Mali. Port cities, such as Jenne and mainly Timbuktu,
flourished. The mosques of these cities became centers of knowledge and wealth. This
attracted many scholars to visit these cities, and they became cultural centers. However,
the majority of Mali’s population remained dependent on agriculture and farming the

46. Islam and the African slave trade

With the Muslim conquests of North Africa and commercial penetration to the south,
slavery became a more widely diffused phenomenon and the slave trade developed
47. View of slavery in the Muslim society

In theory, Muslims viewed slavery as a stage in the process of conversion – a way of

preparing pagans to become Muslims – but in reality, conversion did now guarantee
freedom. Slaves were used in a variety of occupations, varying from domestic servants to
soldiers and administrators.

48. Trade in East Africa

By the 13th century, a string of urbanized east African trading ports had developed along
the cost. They shared the common Bantu-based and Arabic-influenced Swahili language.
The trading ports were very beautiful and well-constructed because of the gold mines
nearby. The ports also exported many luxury items like silk and gold.

Chapter 9 – Civilization in Eastern Europe: Byzantium and Orthodox Europe

49. Iconoclastic controversy in Christian Church

An important controversy over religious art arose in the 8th century, when a new emperor
attacked the use of religious images in worship. This attack called iconoclasm (the
breaking of images), roused huge protest from Byzantine monks, which briefly
threatened a split between church and state. After a long battle, the use of icons was
gradually restored, and the tradition of state control over church affairs also resumed.

50. Commercial center of the Byzantine Empire

Constantinople was the commercial center of the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople’s

bureaucracy regulated trade and controlled food prices. The focus of the Byzantine
Empire was almost exclusively on its capital city. It had an enormous trading network,
and produced high-quality luxury goods.

51. Western European influence in Kievan Russia

Kievan Rus’ borrowed much from Byzantium. Princes from Russia were attracted to
Byzantine ceremonies and luxury and the concept that a central ruler should have wide
powers. Many characteristics of Orthodox Christianity gradually penetrated Russian
culture. Almsgiving and monogamy are also some of the things that Russia took from the
Byzantines. The main proof that there was a lot of western Europe influence on Russia is
the fact that Russia accepted the Orthodox faith.

Chapter 10 – A New Civilization in Western Europe

52. Scandinavian invaders in the Middle Ages

The Scandinavian invaders, or the Vikings, periodically disrupted life from Ireland to
53. Feudalism

Feudalism was a system of military relations that linked military elites. Lords provided
protection and land to vassals, who in turn owed the lord military service, goods,
payments, and advice. Kings used feudalism to boost their power. Bureaucracy was not
used. Vassals controlled their own land. Feudalism was a system of rules and regulations
that controlled the relationship between lords and vassals.

54. Manorialism

Manorialism was the system of economic and political relations between landlords and
their peasant laborers. Most people were serfs, and lived on self-sufficient agricultural
estates called manors. Serfs received protection from their landlords as well as the
administration of justice. In return, the landlord received a portion of the crop and the serf
had to remain on the land. Serfs had a tough life, however they were not slaves. They
couldn’t be bought or sold and retained ownership of their houses as long as they kept up
with their obligations

55. Feudal Structure


Lord Lord Lord

Vassal Vassal Vassal Vassal Vassal Vassal

Chapter 11 – The Americas on the Eve of Invasion

56. General characteristics of Aztec and Incan societies

They were very militaristic, and were focused on expansion and the warrior. They were
mainly polytheistic, and worshipped many deities. Most deities represented natural events
and things. They were mainly sedentary, and focused on the growth of corn.

57. Aztec rise to power

The Aztecs were a group of around 10,000 who migrated to the shores of Lake Texcoco
around 1325. After the fall of the Toltecs around that area, many tribes tried to claim
authority in that place. The Aztecs soon established a reputation because of toughness in
battle. They saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a serpent in its beak and they called it
a sign to have a settlement on a marshy island in Lake Texcoco. They called it
Tenochtitlan. From Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs began to take a more active role in politics.
They served as mercenaries and then as allies brought prosperity to the Aztecs so by
1428, they had emerged as an independent power.
58. Aztec religion

Aztec religion was polytheistic and focused on deities that controlled portions of nature.
There were at least 128 major deities. Most deities had a male and female form because
Aztecs recognized balance in all things. Aztec gods can be organized into three themes:
1. Agricultural Cycle + Fertility – examples are gods of rain, water, corn, and fertility
2. Creator Deities – gods + goddesses who brought the world into existence
3. Warfare + Sacrifice – deities that regulated war and fighting
The central figure of warfare and sacrifice was Huitzilopochil. Huitzilopochil was the
Aztec’s own tribal deity. Sacrifice was a major theme in Aztec worship. Sacrifice was
extremely common and was a main component in the culture of the Aztecs. They
believed that sacrifice kept the gods happy with them.

59. Aztec economy

Feeding the vast Aztec empire was very difficult, so the Aztecs used several devices to do
it. They often demanded food as tribute from conquered states. In the lake surrounding
Tenochtitlan, chinampas were used. Chinampas were beds of weeds, mud and earth that
floated on the lake. The Aztecs used these chinampas to get food for the capital. The
chinampas produced an average of four corn crops per year.

60. Lives of women in Mesoamerican societies

Women’s main role in Aztec society was the household. Child-rearing and cooking were
their primary responsibilities. Weaving skill was highly regarded. Marriages were
arranged between high lineages. Polygamy existed among nobles, but not peasants. Aztec
women could inherit land and pass it to their heirs. Women also had to grind the corn for
food, which could take 6 hours a day. Peasant women often worked in the fields.

61. Similarities and difference between Aztec and Incan empires

Both Aztec and Inca were based on intensive agricultural production. Both controlled the
circulation of goods and their redistribution. Both Aztec and Inca had kinship-based
institutions, the ayllu (Inca) and the calpulli (Aztec). Both Empires recognized local
ethnic groups and political leaders. Both allowed variation from one region to another as
long as tribute was paid.

The Aztecs tried less to create an overarching political state than the Inca. Trade was
more developed by the Aztecs. Both were different socially. Both had different
metallurgy, writing systems, and hierarchies. The Aztecs also lived in the forests while
the Incas lived in the Andean mountains

Chapter 12 – Reunification and Renaissance in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang
and Song Dynasties
62. Tang Empire – how did it emerge?

The Tang Empire emerged because of the military skills and political savvy of one of
Yangdi’s officials, Li Yuan, the Duke of Tang. Li Yuan was a loyal supporter of Yangdi,
the Sui ruler, but as Yangdi grew more and more irrational and unrest spread from one
end of the empire to another, Li Yuan was convinced by his sons and allies that a
rebellion could save the empire. From the struggle after Yangdi’s death that continued
until 623, Li Yuan emerged as the victor, and with his son, he laid the basis for the golden
age of the Tang.

63. Title of jinshi

Jinshi was the title given to the most knowledgeable scholar-gentry. During the tang
empire, the civil service exams expanded greatly, and jinshi was the title given to the
scholars that passed the most difficult exams. Jinshi gained many social benefits upon
receiving their title. They gained much material comfort, and were allowed to wear
special types of clothes. They also were exempt from corporal punishment.

64. Chinese bureaucracy

The scholar-gentry elite and Confucian ideology is what made the Chinese bureaucracy.
The scholar-gentry were the officials of the bureaucracy and they governed the empire.
The Tang rulers used the scholar-gentry to offset the power of the aristocracy. This
bureaucracy reached from the imperial palace down the subprefecture, or district level.
There was an executive department, which was divided into six ministries including war,
justice, and public works. There also was a powerful Bureau of Censors whose task is to
keep track of the officials and report their failings.

65. Buddhism during the Tang Dynasty

Buddhism had become extremely important and powerful in the time between the Han
and tang. The common people were attracted to the Salvationist pure land Buddhism,
while the elite were attracted to Chen (Zen) Buddhism. Daoism and Confucianism were
jealous of Buddhism’s success and worked to convince the Tang emperors it was
dangerous. They did this by convincing the emperors that large Buddhist monastic
establishments were an economic challenge to the imperial order. Because these lands
weren’t taxed, the government lost a lot of money. Also, they lost labor power because
peasants on those lands couldn’t be conscripted. Eventually this grew into an open
persecution of Buddhism, and thousands of Buddhist monasteries were destroyed and
their inhabitants forced to abandon their monastic orders.

66. Reforms introduced by Wang Anshin

Wang Anshin was the chief minister of a Song emperor named Shenzong, and worked
during the 1070’s and 1080’s. The Song dynasty was declining at this point, while Wang
tried to fend off its demise. Wang believed that an energetic government would increase
the resources and strength of a dynasty. So Wang tried to correct defects in the
government. He made cheap loans available, made government assisted irrigation
projects, taxed landlords and the scholar-gentry, and made new highly trained mercenary
armies. When the emperor Shenzong died, he was replaced by an emperor who was more
conservative and didn’t believe Wang’s ideas. So, Wang’s work ground to a halt.

67. Size of Tang Empire compared to previous Chinese empires

The Tang Dynasty had the biggest territory to date in Chinese history. Tang armies
conquered deep into central Asia, as far as present-day Afghanistan. The empire extended
to parts of Tibet, the Red River valley of the Vietnamese, and Manchuria. The Yangtze
River basin was also integrated with north China for the first time since the Han. In 668,
China also overran Korea and a vassal kingdom called Silla that remained loyal to the

68. Scholar-gentry in the Song Dynasty

During the Song period the civil service exam became highly regulated and important,
however, a greater number of participants passed the exam. This caused the bureaucracy
to become overflowing with scholar-gentry. There were more people to do every job than
the job took. So, many paid scholar-gentry had nothing to do.

69. Urbanization during the Tang-Song era

Chinese urbanization began after the completion of the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal
connected the north and south. The canal and the Tang’s conquests in central Asia
promoted commercial expansion. The Chinese began an extensive trading network. The
Chinese exported finished goods while importing luxury items. The government
supervised the markets of the empire, and the markets were filled with products.
Merchants arranged guilds to protect their interests. Paper money also began to be used.
Because of this the population of cities greatly swelled.

70. Status of women in the Tang-Song era

Both within the family and in society at large, women remained clearly subordinate to
men. This male-dominated hierarchy was promoted by Confucius. Although the society
was male-dominated, opportunities for personal expression for women in the upper
classes increased in the Tang and early Song era. As the example of Empress Wu made
clear, Tang women could wield power at high levels of society. Both eras allowed divorce
by mutual consent and allowed women access to a broad range of activities. During the
late Song era, women’s status deteriorated rapidly.

Chapter 13 – The Spread of Chinese Civilization: Japan, Korea, and Vietnam

71. Focus of imperial Japanese court at Heian

The focus of the Japanese court at Heian was court culture. The people of the court had
extremely luxurious lives full of aesthetic delights. Social status was very important,
gossip abounded. The pursuit of beauty was also a focus. Politeness and graciousness
were extremely important. Poetry and other art forms were highly valued; poetry and
other literary works the most so. Things that are unclean such as commoners, dirt, and
cheap items were to be avoided at all costs.

72. Japanese military elite

The Japanese military elite were the true powers of Japan. The bushi, the military elites,
and their samurai armies had little kingdoms based around fortresses. These bushi often
fought with each other, and the country sides were rather lawless. The samurai had a
strict code of honor; they could not show cowardice or weakness. Often they committed
seppuku, ritual suicide, as a way to restore their honor. Eventually the bushi were
renamed daimyos after the establishment of the shoguns.

73. Relationship between the Japanese imperial court and the provincial military elite

The Japanese imperial court became more of a figurehead position after the rise of the
provincial military elite. The provincial military elite (bushi and samurai) protected the
emperor from the crime-filled countryside. Each bushi ruled a mini-state along with his
samurai army. The real power behind the throne was in the shoguns, who established a
bakufu, or a military government. Eventually the term bushi was changed to daimyo once
the shoguns had total control of the government.

74. Relationship between the Ashikaga Shogunate and the emperor

The shogunate that was in place before the time of the Ashikaga Shogunate was the
Kamakura Shogunate. The Kamakura Shogunate was run by the Minamotos, who are
dominated by another family called the Hojo. Eventually, one of the heads of a branch of
the Minamotos called Ashikaga Takuaji led a bushi revolt. They overthrew the Kamakura
Shogunate and established the Ashikaga Shogunate. The current emperor refused to
recognize Ashikaga so Ashikaga drove him into the mountain town of Yoshino. The
emperor tried to fight the Ashikaga Shogunate and the puppet emperors they put on the
throne. Eventually the emperor was defeated, but by then the power of both factions was
depleted. If was then that the daimyos was established. Japan was divided into 300 little
kingdoms and each daimyo ruled one.

75. Influence of Chinese culture on Vietnamese rulers

The Vietnamese adopted a bureaucratic style similar to the Chinese’s. There were 6 main
ministries with a bureau of censors to lower corruption Civil service exams were used.
Vietnamese children attended Chinese style schools, wrote and read Chinese, and studied
Confucian literature. Chinese agricultural techniques were adopted, which made
Vietnamese agriculture more productive. Adopting Chinese style politics and military
organization allowed the Vietnamese to dominate their neighboring countries.
Chapter 14 – The Last Great Nomadic Challenges: From Chinggis Khan to Timur

76. Mongol culture

The Mongols were a nomadic society and culture. Their survival depended on the goats
and sheep they drove from pasture to pasture. The only grain they had was from trade
with sedentary farmers. They dressed all in hides from their animals. They rode small
ponies that they used for war and for hunting. Their lives centered on the riding of these
animals. The basic Mongol unit was the tribe, which was divided into smaller kin-related
clans. Confederations would be made between tribes in times of wear, but they never
lasted long. Bravery was highly valued, and strength and leadership were necessary to

77. Early campaigns of Chinggis Khan

In his early campaigns, Chinggis was confronted for the first time, large, fortified cities.
The Mongols were thwarted at first by the intricate defenses the Chinese had, but with the
help of some captured artisans and Chinese military commanders, the Mongols soon
adapted to the Chinese and devised an arsenal of siege weapons. Also when the Mongols
met resistance from the towns, they slaughtered or sold into slavery everyone except
artisans and famous scholars. Towns that surrendered without a fight normally were left
alone but had to pay tribute.

78. Mongolian religious policy under Chinggis Khan

Chinggis Khan was very religiously tolerant. Although he followed the shamanistic
beliefs of the Mongols, he tolerated all religions. He filled his court and administration
with Muslims and Chinese bureaucrats. He spoke with Daoist monks, and was very
curious about all religions.

79. Mongolian empire after death of Chinggis Khan

Chinggis died during a campaign of Tangut China. He died in August 1227. The
pasturelands that the Mongols controlled were divided between three of his sons, and
Batu, a grandson. Ogedei, Chinggis’s third son, was elected grand khan, or khagan. The
Mongol empire was divided into the four khanates.

80. Mongols in Russia

The Golden Horde was one of the khanates that were made after Chinggis’s death. The
Golden Horde was ruled by Batu, Chinggis’s grandson. Batu began his invasion of Russia
in 1236. The Russian attack was sort-of a tune up for Batu’s troops, on their way to
Western Europe. The Mongols dominated Russia for 2 ½ centuries. During this time
Russian peasants became serfs. However, trade increased during this time and Moscow
grew to a superpower. Moscow was the tax-collector for the Mongols. Eventually
Moscow defeated the Golden Horde at the Battle of Kulikova. Because of Mongol
control, Russia was protected from kingdoms such as Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary,
but also, they were cut off from the transformations that led to the Renaissance and the

81. Social impacts of Mongol conquest in Russia

The peasants became serfs because of Mongol conquest in Russia. The scared peasants
fled to the Russian ruling class for protection. However, because they then had to pay
both Mongol overlords and their landlords, they became greatly impoverished.

82. Impacts of Mongolian conquest on the Islamic world

The Mongols killed the last Abbasid caliph and ended the dynasty. After the death of the
caliph, the umma, or the community of the faithful, had no central authority. The
destruction of Islamic cities destroyed the focal points of Islamic civilization.

Chapter 15 – The West and the Changing World Balance

83. Western response to problems of international trade in 1400

International trade was difficult in the time before the early 1400’s because of un-
advanced naval technology. The shallow bottom boats couldn’t make long journeys, and
lack of navigational tools made going in the right direction difficult. However, the West
soon developed an ocean-going vessel and navigational tools such as the compass and the
astrolabe. Mapmaking also greatly improved. These advances allowed European trade to
progress and merchants and sailors to reach parts of the world previously blocked to

84. Compare Turkic expansion to Mongolian expansion

The leader of the Turkic expansion was Timur-i Lang. He was from a noble-land owning
clan, not a tribal, herding background. The Mongol empire was much larger than that of
the Turks. Also, unlike the Mongols, the Turkish campaign brought no benefits to the
areas it conquered. It didn’t bring peace of increased trading like the Mongols.

85. Culture of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was a Muslim empire that continued the caliphate. The Ottoman
Turks defeated Byzantine Constantinople in 1453. Poems and art became more focused
on religion, while science declined. Religious leaders had the upper hand over scientists,
poets, and philosophers. Secular themes in art declined. The society was also very
warlike and practiced little or no trade at all.

86. Innovation of the Ming Dynasty

The Ming dynasty began a strong trading empire for a short time. The Ming rulers
reestablished influence over surrounding states and won tribute from Korea, Vietnam, and
Tibet. They also began huge, state-sponsored trading expeditions to southern Asia and
beyond. The leader of these expeditions was a eunuch named Zhenghe. Zhenghe was a
Muslim from western China. China began getting a lot of revenue from trade, and was
becoming a dominant trading power.

Chapter 16 – The World Economy

87. Impacts of the Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange was the exchange of food and disease between the Old and
New Worlds. The Native Americans and other residents of North America were hit with
massive epidemics of Afro-Eurasian diseases. More than half the native population died.
This massive population loss allowed Europeans to establish a stronghold on the
continent more easily. New World crops were also spread to Europe. Corn and potatoes
were rapidly spread throughout Eurasia. This caused population gains in Europe.
Eurasian animals such as horses and cattle were spread to the New World.

88. Old World and New World contributions to the Columbian Exchange

The Columbian Exchange was the exchange of food and disease between the Old and
New Worlds. The Old World gave disease to the New World, as well as domesticated
animals such as horses and cows. The New World gave foods such as potatoes and corn
to the Old World.

89. Joint-Stock Companies

Joint-stock companies are organizations that pool the resources of all the investors, which
minimize risk and reward. Unlike previous companies before that time where one or two
people risk a lot of money for a lot of profit, everybody risks a little, and gains a little. An
example is the East India Companies. Most joint-stock companies made good money.
Because of joint-stock companies a merchant middle class was created.

90. Mercantilism

Mercantilism was the theory that a nation shouldn’t import goods from outside its own
country but that it should sell its exports as widely as possible. This encouraged the new
world economy.