Odisha State Board CHSE Odisha Class 11 History Solutions Unit 3 Changing Traditions Long Answer Questions.
CHSE Odisha 11th Class History Unit 3 Changing Traditions Long Answer Questions
Long Questions With Answers
Discuss the life and teaching of Jesus.
According to New Testament Jesus was born on 25th. December 4 B.C. He was born in Bethlehem in province of Judea. Bethlehem was a village, five miles way from Jerusalem.
His father Joseph was a poor carpenter and his mother was Virgin Mary. They lived in the village of Nazaerth near city of Galilee.
Mary had recieved a divine message that a son would be born to her who would deliver the world from its sins. They shifted from Nazareth to Bethlehem where they took shelter inside a stable. In that stable was born Jesus. Many miracles were associated with Jesus before and after he was born.
To the Jesus, these were auspicious signs that the king of kings would be born to deliver them from their sufferings. Joseph could not give proper education to his son. However, Jesus attended the synagogue and was greatly moved by the recitation of the holy scriptures by the priests.
Not much is known about his childhood Teachings of Jesus Christ teaching were primarily oral. These were delivered through the word of his mouth.
Our chief sources of information regarding these are principally five. Fistofthese are the writings of the New Testament and the Gospels. The compositions of Apocrypta constitute of second source of information.
The third source, the writing of Philo, name great help to understand the then ‘conduction of society and the attitude of the people to religion’. The writings of Josephus from our fourth source, though these appear to carry some meaning only for Pelemics. Finally comes the Old Testament.
The Jewish Portions of the Old Testament like the book of Daniel and the book of Enoch are important in that these tell us about the theories associated with the rise of prophets or messiahs.
Also they give us a clear picture as associated with the rise of prophets or messiahs. Also they give us a clear picture us frequently used, ‘son of man’ can be understood properly after reading about it from the book of Enoch.
The Gospels came to be complied during the later half of the 1 st. century A.D. These are filled with stories of miracles and supernatural elements.
The four Gospels named after the four Apostles, namely Mathew, Mark, John and Luke were not authored by then but carry the traditions that prevailed during the time of each one of them.
These Gospels historic significance. The Gospels are historic significance. The Gospel of Luke is in particular, based upon the documents of the time so it is historical. These Gospels echo the teaching of Jesus.
The teaching of Jesus were not written down and complied during his lifetime. They came to be written down into the New Testament of the Bible during 70 and 100 A.D. ‘
Jesus has ‘the words of eternal life’. He didn’t proclaim himself as the Massiah. He rejected the superistion of the Jewish faith. He believed in the one god of the early Jewish faith. The God was their father. He asked them to pray so that father’s will would be done on earth. It would them be that the kingdom would be stablished.
This divine kingdom was in the hearts of men and women. Virtues would entitle them to this kingdom, so he asked the people to develop love, faith, charity, justice, equality and humility etc. ‘Love your enemies’ the kingdom of God is come high to you’ ‘bless them that curse you’ ‘do good to ‘them that hate you’ were some of his own words.
All are equal before God. He preached for universal brotherhood. He praised truth asked people to avoid falsehood. Jesus died the death of a martyr. In his own words ‘Better the death of one man than the ruin of a people’.
He anticipated his death at hands of the pilate, so he said ‘my kingdom is not of this world’.
When he was crucified his final prayer was an appeal to God to excuse his murderers. The crucifixation took place in 33rd. year of the Christian Era. “Jesus was not a founder of dogma or a maker of a creed; he infused into the world a new spirit”.
Describe the life and teaching of Mohammed?
Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam or Mahammedianism was born in Arabia. Arabia is a land of sandy deserts and green cases in the middle east. Its people are known as the Arabs. Arabs important towns were Mecca and Medina.
Mecca however is famous for something much more wonder than the haaba shrine of their chief God, here was born the prophet of Isam Mahammed in 570 A.D.
His father was Abdulah and mother Fatima were poor and by his sixth year Mohammed last birth. The orphan boy was brought up by grandfather Abdul Matailb and uncle Abu Talib.
This illustrate shephered boy was made to near sheep and whenever he was alone and felt inspired he would leave the sheep to graze and go to the cave to meditate all by himself.
In his youth he was chooser by a wealthy widow of Mecca named Khadija to look after her trade. He later looked after her as well after he married1 her. Soon a daughter was homed to them known as Fatima.
He was deeply influenced by the idea of one God or monotheism of the Syrian Jews. The Christianity of Palestine also influenced him.
This influence led him to the critical of the Arabs who worshipped many idols.
Often he retired to Mount Hera near Mecca and meditated. Then suddenly a realization or divine message came to him.
It was said that Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to advise Mohammed to preach the divine message the people as a prophet of God.
Mohammed founded Islam. It meant total surrender to the will of the God or Allah.
He started to convert others. But for long he could not convert any other than Khadija and Slalve Zeid as well as adopted son Ali and friend Abu. People opposed them.
Gradually other converted. The authorities of Mecca tried to punish him so he flee from Mecca to escape trial and prosecution. Medina invited Mohammed.
His flight from Mecca to Medina is known as the Hijra from these day was started the first Islamic year, to mark the down of a new era. People of Medina accepted him get converted to his faith and made him their governor.
His followers used force on other Arab tribes to convert them to Islam. He stayed in Medina for long eight years. During this time he built the first mosque after the synagogue of the Jews.
In 630A.D. the prohet of Islam became the leader in the first major among military success of Islam when his Medina ary defeated Mecca.
Mohammed entered into Mecca in a triumphant procession. He convinced and converted the inhabitants of Mecca. Soon whole Arabia came to accept him. They spread Islam far and wide. He died on 632 A.D., Holy Koran is the sacred scripture of the Mohammedans or Islametas or Muslims.
It has 114 chapters or suras. Mohammed was illiterate but he used to dictate his visions and sermons to his followers. They wrote these down and records are preserved carefully one of Mohammed’s wives in a box. This collection later known as Koran.
Teaching Islam as noted earlier means the ‘surrender to the God’. This God is Allah, the supreme and kind, the only God. They believed that God sent prophets to the earth, that Abraham and Moses had been the prophets earlier and Mohammed was the last and greatest prophet.
They believed in the final day of judgement on which the refers non Muslims will go to hell and the good Koran abiding believer will enter paradise. This last belief is directly borrowed from Jews and Christians.
Mohammed believed in tire Heaven of only physical enjoyment. Thus his idea of Heaven is different from thsoe of the Christians and the Hindus.
A true Mohammed performs five duties of his life, He should offer prayers five times a day, at fixed hours he must recite. There is not God but true god is Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. He should give alms to the poor. He must observe fasting from down to dusk during the month of Ramzan.
This is the month when Mohammed received the Words of God from Gabriel, finally life of the believer would be incomplete without at least a single pilgrimage to Mecca. Mohammed expected his followers to defend their faith even at the cost of their lives.
Describe about the first order of three orders society?
Priests placed themselves in the first order, and nobles in the second. The nobility had, in reality, a central role in social processes. This is because they controlled land. This control was the outcome of a practice called ‘vassalage’.
The kings of France were linked to the people by ‘vassalage’, similar to the practice among the Germanic peoples, of whom the Franks were one. The big landowners the nobles were vassals of the king, and peasants were vassals of the landowners.
A nobleman accepted the king as his seigneur (senior) and they made a mutual promise: the seigneur/lord (lord’ was derived from a word meaning one who provided bread) would protect the vassal, who would be loyal to him. This relationship involved elaborate rituals and exchange of vows taken on the Bible in a church.
At this ceremony, the vassal received a written charter or a staff or even a clod of earth as a symbol of the land that was being given to him by his master.
The noble enjoyed a privileged status. He had absolute control over his property, in perpetuity. He could raise troops called ‘feudal levies’. The lord held his own courts of justice and could even coin his own money.
He was the lord of all the people settled on his land. He owned vast tracts of land which contained his own dwellings, his private fields and pastures and the homes and fields of his tenant-peasants. His house was called a manor.
His private lands were cultivated by peasants, who were also expected to act as foot-soldiers in battle when required, in addition to working on their own farms.
What are importance of church in society?
The Catholic Church had its own laws, owned lands given to it by milers and could levy taxes. It was thus a very powerful institution which did not depend on the king. A
t the head of the western Church was the Pope. He lived in Rome. The Christians in Europe were guided by Bishops and clerics – who constituted the first ‘order’.
Most villages had their own church, where people assembled every Sunday to listen to the sermon by the priest and to pray together.
Everyone could not become a priest. Serfs were banned, as were the physically challenged. Women could not become priests. Men who became priests could not marry.
Bishops were the religious nobility. Like lords who owned vast landed estates the Bishops also had the use of vast estates, and lived in grand palaces. The Church was entitled to a tenth share of whatever the peasants produced from their land over the course of the year, called a ‘tithe’.
Money also came in the form of endowments made by the rich for their own welfare and the welfare of their deceased relatives in the afterlife.
Some of the important ceremonies conducted by the Church copied formal customs of the feudal elite. The act of kneeling while praying, with hands clasped and head bowed, was an exact replica of the way in which a knight conducted himself while taking vows of loyalty to his lord.
Similarly, the use of the term ‘lord’ for God was another example of feudal culture that found its way into the practices of the Church. Thus, the religious and the lay worlds of feudalism shared many customs and symbols.
Describe about the third order: Peasants, free and unfree society?
Let us now turn to the vast majority of people, namely, those who sustained the first two orders. Cultivators were of two kinds: free peasants and serfs (from the verb to serve’)
Free peasants held their farms as tenants of the lord. The men had to render military service (at least forty days every year). Peasant families had to set aside certain days of the week, usually three but often more, when they would go to the lord’s estate and work there. The output from such labour, called labour-rent, would go directly to the lord.
In addition, they could be required to. do other unpaid labour services, like digging ditches, gathering firewood, building fences and repairing roads and buildings. Besides helping in the fields, women and children had to do other tasks. They spun thread, wove cloth, made candles and pressed grapes to prepare wine for the lord’s use.
There was one direct tax called that kings sometimes imposed on peasants (the clergy and nobles were exempted from paying this).
Serfs cultivated plots of land, but these belonged to the lord. Much of the produce from this had to be given to the lord. They also had to work on the land which belonged exclusively to the lord.
They received no wages and could not leave the estate without the lord’s permission. The lord claimed a number of monopolies at the expense of his serfs.
Serfs could use only their lord’s mill to grind their flour, his oven to bake their bread, and his wine-presses to distil wine and beer. The lord could decide whom a serf should many, or might give his blessing to the serfs choice, but on payment of a fee.
What were the development of science in 11th- 17th centuries?
By the eleventh century, there is evidence of several technological changes. Instead of the basic wooden ploughs, cultivators began using heavy iron-tipped ploughs and mould-boards.
These ploughs could dig much deeper and the mould-boards turned the topsoil properly. With this the nutrients from the soil were better utilised.
The methods of harnessing animals to the plough improved. Instead of the neck- harness, the shoulder-harness came into use. This enabled animals to exert greater power.
Horses were now better shod, with iron horseshoes, which prevented foot decay. There was increased use of wind and water energy for agriculture.
More water-powered and wind-powered mills were set up all over Europe for purposes like milling com and pressing grapes.
There were also changes in land use.
The most revolutionary one was the switch from a two-field to a three-field system. In this, peasants could use a field two years out of three if they planted it with one crop in autumn and a different crop in spring a year and a half later.
That meant that farmers could break their holdings into three fields. They could plant one with wheat or rye in autumn for human consumption. The second could be used in spring to raise peas, beans and lentils for human use and oats and barley for the horses. The third field lay fallow. Each year they rotated the use among the three fields.
With these improvements, there was an almost immediate increase in the amount of food produced from each unit of land. Food availability doubled.
The greater use of plants like peas and beans meant more vegetable proteins in the diet of the average European and a better source of fodder for their animals. For cultivators, it meant better opportunities.
They could now produce more food from less land. The average size of a peasant’s farm shrank from about 100 acres to 20 to 30 acres by the thirteenth century.
Holdings which were smaller could be more efficiently cultivated and reduced the amount of labour needed, This gave the peasants time for other activities.
Some of these technological changes cost a lot of money. Peasants did not have enough money to set up watermills and windmills. Therefore the initiative was taken by the lords. But peasants were able to take the initiative in many things, such as extending arable land.
They also switched to the three-field rotation of crops, and set up small forges and smithies in the villages, where iron-tipped ploughs and horseshoes were made and repaired cheaply.
From the eleventh century, the personal bonds that had been the basis of feudalism were weakening, because economic transactions were becoming more and more money based.
Lords found it convenient to ask for rent in cash, not services, and cultivators were selling their crops for money (instead of exchanging them for other goods) to traders, who would then take such goods to be sold in the towns.
The increasing use of money began to influence prices, which became higher in times of poor harvests. In England, for instance, agricultural prices doubled between the 1270s and the 1320s.
Why the Europeans economic expansion slowed down?
In Northern Europe, by the end of the thirteenth century the warm summers of the previous 300 years had given way to bitterly cold summers.
Seasons for growing crops were reduced by a month and it became difficult to grow crops on higher ground. Storms and oceanic flooding destroyed many farmsteads, which resulted in less income in taxes for governments.
The opportunities offered by favourable climatic conditions before the thirteenth century had led to large-scale reclamation of the land of forests and pastures for agriculture.
But intensive ploughing had exhausted the soil despite the practice of the three-field rotation of crops, because clearance was not accompanied by proper soil conservation.
The shortage of pasturage reduced the number of cattle. Population growth was outstripping resources and the immediate result was famine. Severe famines hit Europe between 1315 and 1317, followed in the 1320s by massive cattle deaths.
In addition, trade was hit by a severe shortage of metal money because of a shortfall in the output of silver mines in Austria and Serbia. This forced governments to reduce the silver content of the currency and to mix it with cheaper metals.
The worst was yet to come. As trade expanded in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, ships carrying goods from distant countries had started arriving in European ports. Along with the ships came rats -carrying the deadly bubonic plague infection (the Black Death’).
Western Europe, relatively isolated in earlier centuries, was hit by the epidemic between 1347 and 1350. The modern estimate of mortality in that epidemic is that 20 percent of the people of the whole of Europe died, with some places losing as much as 40 percent of the population.
As trade centres, cities were the hardest hit.
In enclosed communities like monasteries and convents, when one individual contracted the plague, it was not long before everyone did. And in almost every case, none survived.
The plague took its worst toll among infants, the young and the elderly. There were other relatively minor episodes of plague in the ,1360s and 1370s. The population of Europe, 73 million in 1300, stood reduced to 45 million in 1400.
This catastrophe, combined with the economic crisis, caused immense social dislocation. Depopulation resulted in a major shortage of labour. Serious imbalances were created between agriculture and manufacture, because there were not enough people to engage in both equally.
Prices of agricultural goods dropped as there were fewer people to buy. Wage rates increased because the demand for labour, particularly agricultural labour, rose in England by as much as 250 percent in the aftermath of the Black Death. The surviving labour force could now demand twice their earlier wages.
What are the political changes occured during 11th and 17th centuries?
Developments in the political sphere paralleled social processes. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, European kings strengthened their military and financial power.
The powerful new states they created were as significant for Europe as the economic changes that were occurring. Historians have therefore called these kings ‘the new monarchs’.
Louis XI in France, Maximilian in Austria, Henry VII in England and Isabella and Ferdinand in Spain were absolutist rulers, who started the process of organising standing armies, a permanent bureaucracy and national taxation and, in Spain and Portugal, began to play a role in Europe’s expansion overseas (see Theme 8).
The most important reason for the triumph of these monarchies was the social changes which had taken place in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
The dissolution of the feudal system of lordship and vassalage and the slow rate of economic growth had given the first opportunity to kings to increase their control over their powerful and not-so-system of feudal levies for their armies and introduced professionally trained infantry equipped with guns and siege artillery (see Theme 5) directly under their control.
The resistance of the aristocracies crumbled in the face of the firepower of the kings.
Describe culture, literature and art of Europe?
From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century, towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct ‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns particularly Florence, Venice and Rome became centres of art and learning.
Artists and writers were patronised by the rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same time made books and prints available to many people, including those living in distant towns or countries.
A sense of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted their ‘modem’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to understand the solar system and new geographical knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
There is a vast amount of material on European history from the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings, sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century historians used the tenn ‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural changes of this period.
The historian who emphasised these most was a Swiss scholar Jacob Burckhardt (1818-97) of the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886), Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the historian was to write about states and politics using papers and files of government departments.
Burckhardt was dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-all in history writing, History was as much concerned with culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the Renaissance in italti in which he called his readers’ attention to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century.
This culture, he wrote, was characterised by a new belief – that man, as an individual, was capable of making his own decisions and developing his skills. He was ‘modern’, in contrast to ‘medieval’ man whose thinking had been controlled by the church.
Describe about the education of Europe.
The earliest universities in Europe had been set up in Italian towns. The universities of Padua and Bologna had been centres of legal studies from the eleventh century.
Commerce being the chief activity in the city, there was an increasing demand for lawyers and notaries (a combination of solicitor and record-keeper) to write and interpret rules and written agreements without which trade on a large scale was not possible.
Law was therefore a popular subject of study, but there was now a shift in emphasis. It was studied in the context of earlier Roman culture.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-78) represented this change.
To Petrarch, antiquity was a distinctive civilisation which could be best understood through the actual words of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
He therefore stressed the importance of a close reading of ancient authors. This educational programme implied that there was much to be learnt which religious teaching alone could not give. This was the culture which historians in the nineteenth century were to label ‘humanism’.
By the early fifteenth century, the term ‘humanist’ was used for masters who taught grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and moral philosophy. The, Latin word humanitas, from which ‘humanities’ was derived, had been used many centuries ago by the Roman lawyer and essayist Cicero (106-43 BCE), a contemporary of Julius Caesar, to mean culture.
These subjects were not drawn from or connected with religion, and emphasised skills developed by individuals through discussion and debate.
These revolutionary ideas attracted attention in many other universities, particularly in the newly established university in Petrarchis own hometown of Florence. Till the end of the thirteenth century, this city had not made a mark as a centre of trade or of learning, but things changed dramatically in the fifteenth century.
A city is known by its great citizens as much as by its wealth and Florence had come to be known because of Dante Alighieri (1265¬1321), a layman who wrote on religious themes, and Giotto (1267-1337), an artist who painted lifelike portraits, very different from the stiff figures done by earlier artists. From then it developed as the most exciting intellectual city in Italy and as a centre of artistic creativity.
The term ‘Renaissance Man’ is often used to describe a person with many interests and skills, because many of the individuals who became well known at this time were people of many parts. They were scholar-diplomat- theologian-artist combined in one.
Describe about the Artists and Realism of Europe?
Formal education was not the only way through which humanists shaped the minds of their age. Art, architecture and books were wonderfully effective in transmitting humanist ideas.
Artists were inspired by studying works of the past. The material remains of Roman culture were sought with as much excitement as ancient texts: a thousand years after the fall of Rome, fragments of art were discovered in the ruins of ancient Rome and other deserted cities.
Their admiration for the figures of ‘perfectly’ proportioned men and women sculpted so many centuries ago, made Italian sculptors want to continue that tradition. In 1416, Donatello (1386-1466) broke new ground with his lifelike statues.
Artists’ concern to be accurate was helped by the work of scientists. To study bone structures, artists went to the laboratories of medical schools. Andreas Vesalius (1514-64), a Belgian and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Padua, was the first to dissect the human body. This was the beginning of modem physiology.
Painters did not have older works to use as a model. But they, like sculptors, painted as realistically as possible. They found that a knowledge of geometry helped them understand perspective and that by noting the changing quality of light, their pictures acquired a three-dimensional quality.
The use of oil as a medium for painting also gave a greater richness of colour to paintings than before. In the colours and designs of costumes in many paintings, there is evidence of the influence of Chinese and Persian art, made available to them by the Mongols.
Thus, anatomy, geometry, physics, as well as a strong sense of what was beautiful, gave a new quality to Italian art, which was to be called ‘realism’ and which continued till the nineteenth century.
What is the Copernican Revolution? Discuss.
The Christian notion of man as a sinner was questioned from an entirely different angle – by scientists. The turning point in European science came with the work of Copernicus (1473-1543), a contemporary of Martin Luther. Christians had believed that the earth was a sinful place and the heavy burden of sin made it immobile.
The earth stood at the centre of the universe around which moved the celestial planets. Copernicus asserted that the planets, including the earth, rotate around the sun. A devout Christian, Copernicus was afraid of the possible reaction to his theory by traditionalist clergymen.
For this reason, he did not want his manuscript, De revolutionibus (The Rotation) to be printed. On his deathbed, he gave it to his follower, Joachim Rheticus. It took time for people to accept this idea.
It was much later – more than half a century later, in fact – that the difference between ‘heaven’ and earth was bridged through the writings of astronomers like Johannes Kepler (1571¬1630) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).
The theory of the earth as part of a sun-centred system was made popular by Kepler’s Cosmographical Mystery, which demonstrated that the planets move around the sun not in circles but in ellipses.
Galileo confirmed the notion of the dynamic world in his work 7he Motion. This revolution in science reached its climax with Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation.
Galileo once remarked that the Bible that lights the roads to heaven does not say much on how the heavens work. The work of these thinkers showed that knowledge, as distinct from belief was based on observation and experiments.
Once these scientists had shown the way, experiments and investigations into what came to be called physics, chemistry and biology expanded rapidly.
Historians were to label this new approach to the knowledge of man and nature the Scientific Revolution. Consequently, in the minds of sceptics and non-believers, God began to be replaced by Nature as die source of creation.
Even those who retained their faith in God started talking about a distant God who does not directly regulate the act of living in the material world.
Such ideas were popularised through scientific societies that established a new scientific culture in the public domain. The Paris Academy, established in 1670 and the Royal Society in London for the promotion of natural knowledge, formed in 1662, held lectures and conducted experiments for public viewing.
Was there a European ‘Renaissance’ in the fourteenth century? Discuss.
Let us now reconsider the concept ‘ of the ‘Renaissance’. Can we see this period as marking a sharp break with the past and the rebirth of ideas from Greek and Roman traditions? Was the earlier period (twelfth and thirteenth centuries) a time of darkness?
Recent writers, like Peter Burke of England, have suggested that Burckhardt was exaggerating the sharp difference between this ‘ period and the one that preceded it, by using the term ‘Renaissance’, which implies that the Greek and Roman civilisations were reborn at this time and that scholars and artists of this period substituted the pre-Christian world¬view for the Christian one. Both arguments were exaggerated.
Scholars in earlier centuries had been familiar with Greek and Roman cultures and religion continued to be a very important part of people’s lives. To contrast the Renaissance as a period of dynamism and artistic creativity and the Middle Ages as a period of gloom and lack of development is an over-simplification.
Many elements associated with the Renaissance in Italy can be traced back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It has been suggested by some historians that in the ninth century in France, there had been similar literary and artistic blossoming.
The cultural changes in Europe at this time were not shaped only by the ‘classical’ civilisation of Rome and Greece. The archaeological and literary recovery of Roman culture did create a great admiration of that civilisation. But technologies and skills in Asia had moved far ahead of what the Greeks and Romans had known.
Much more of the world had become connected and the new techniques of navigation enabled people to sail much further than had been possible earlier. The expansion of Islam and the Mongol conquests had linked Asia and North Africa with Europe, not politically but in terms of trade and of learning skills.
The Europeans learned not just from the Greeks and Romans, but from India, Arabia, Iran, Central Asia, and China. These debts were not acknowledged for a long time because when the history of this period started to be written, historians saw it from a Europe-centred viewpoint.
An important change that did happen in this period was that gradually the ‘private’ and the ‘public’ spheres of life began to become separate: the ‘public’ sphere meant the area of government and of formal religion; the ‘private’ sphere included the family and personal religion. The individual had a private as well as a public role.
He was not simply a member of one of the ‘three orders’; he was also a person in his own right. An artist was not just a member of a guild, he was known for himself. In the eighteenth century, this sense of the individual would be expressed in a political form, in the belief that all individuals had equal political rights.
Another development was that the different regions of Europe started to have their separate sense of identity, based on language. Europe, earlier united partly by the Roman Empire and later by Latin and Christianity, was now dissolving into states, each united by a common language.
Explain the civilization of Aztecs?
In the twelfth century, the Aztecs had migrated from the north into the central valley of Mexico (named after their god Mexitli). They expanded their empire by defeating different tribes, who were forced to pay tribute. Aztec society was hierarchical. The nobility included those who were nobles by birth, priests, and others who had been awarded the rank.
The hereditary nobility were a small minority who occupied the senior positions in the .government, the and the priesthood. The nobles chose from among them a supreme leader who ruled until his death. The king was regarded as the representative of the sun on earth.
Warriors, priests and nobles were the most respected groups, but traders also enjoyed many privileges and often served the government as ambassadors and spies. Talented artisans, physicians and wise teachers were also respected.
Since land Was limited, the Aztecs undertook reclamations. They made chinampas, artificial islands, in Lake Mexico, by weaving huge reed mats and covering them with mud and plants. Between these exceptionally fertile islands, canals were constructed on which, in 1325, was built the capital city Tenochtitlan.
Its palaces and pyramids rose dramatically out of the lake. Because the Aztecs were frequently engaged in war, the most impressive temples were dedicated to the gods of war and the sun.
The empire rested on a rural base. People cultivated corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, manioc root, potatoes and other crops. Land was owned not by individuals but by clans, which, also organised public construction works, Peasants, like European serfs, were attached to lands owned by the nobility and cultivated them in exchange for part of the harvest.
The poor would sometimes sell their children as slaves, but this was usually only for a limited period and slaves could buy back their freedom.
The Aztecs made sure that all children went to school. Children of the nobility attended the calmecac and were trained to become military and religious leaders.
All others went to the tepochcalli in their neighborhood, where they learned history, myths, religion and ceremonial songs. Boys received military training as well as training in agriculture and the trades. Girls were trained in domestic skills.
In the early sixteenth century, the Aztec empire was showing signs of strain. This was largely to do with discontent among recently conquered peoples who were looking for opportunities to break free from central control.
Describe the civilization of the Mayas.
The Mayan culture of Mexico developed remarkably between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries, but in the sixteenth century they had less political power than the Aztecs. Com cultivation was central to their culture, and many religious ceremonies were centred on the planting, growing and harvesting of com.
Efficient agricultural production generated surplus, which helped the ruling classes, priests and chiefs to invest in architecture and in the development of astronomy and mathematics. The Mayas devised a pictographic form of writing that has only been partially deciphered.
What was the largest civilization in the South America. Discuss.
The largest of the indigenous civilisations in South America was that of the Quechuas or Incas in Peru. In the twelfth century the first Inca, Manco Capac, established his capital at Cuzco. Expansion began under the ninth Inca and at its maximum extent the Inca empire stretched 3,000 miles from Ecuador to Chile.
The empire was highly centralised, with the king representing the highest source of authority. Newly conquered tribes were absorbed effectively; every subject was required to speak Quechua, the language of the court. Each tribe was ruled independently by a council of elders, but the tribe as a whole owed its allegiance to the ruler.
At the same time, local rulers were rewarded for their military cooperation. Thus, like the Aztec empire, the Inca empire resembled a confederacy, with the Incas in control. There are no precise figures of the population, but it would seem that it included over a million people.
Like the Aztecs, the Incas too were magnificent builders.
They built roads through mountains from Ecuador to Chile. Their forts were built of stone slabs that were so perfectly cut that they did not require mortar. They used labour-intensive technology to carve and move stones from nearby rock falls. Masons shaped the blocks, using an effective but simple method called flaking.
Many stones weighed more than 100 metric tons, but they did not have any wheeled vehicles to transport these. Labour was organised and very tightly managed. The basis of the Inca civilisation was agriculture. To cope with the infertile soil conditions, they terraced hillsides and developed systems of drainage and irrigation.
It has been recently pointed out that in 1500, cultivation in the Andean highlands was much greater than what it is today, The Incas grew com and potatoes and reared llamas for food and labour.
Their weaving and pottery were of a high quality. They did not develop a system of writing. However, there was an accounting system in place – the quipu, or cords upon which knots were made to indicate specific mathematical units. Some scholars now suggest that the Incas wove a sort of code into these threads.
The organisation of the Inca empire, with its pyramid-like structure, meant that if the Inca chief was captured, the chain of command could quickly come apart. This was precisely what happened when the Spaniards decided to invade their country. The cultures of the Aztecs and Incas had certain features in common, different from European culture.
Society was were very hierarchical, but there was no private ownership of resources by a few people, as in Europe. Though priests and shamans were accorded an exalted status, and large temples were built, in which gold was used ritually, there was no great value placed on gold or silver. This was also in marked contrast to contemporary European society.
Discuss the voyages of exploration by Europeans.
The people of South America and the Caribbean got to know of the existence of European people when the latter began to sail across the Atlantic Sea. The magnetic compass, which helped identify the cardinal points accurately, had been known since 1380, but only in the fifteenth century did people use it when they ventured on voyages into unknown areas.
By this time many improvements had been made in European sailing ships. Larger ships were built, that could carry a huge quantity of cargo as well as equipment to defend themselves if attacked by enemy ships.
The circulation of travel literature and books on cosmography and geography created widespread interest right through the fifteenth century.
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was a self-taught man who sought adventure and glory. Believing in prophecies, he was convinced that his destiny lay in discovering a route to the East (the ‘Indies’) by sailing westwards.
He was inspired by reading Imago Mundi (a work on astronomy and geography) by Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly written in 1410. He submitted his plans to the Portuguese Crown, only to have them turned down. He had better luck with the Spanish authorities who sanctioned a modest expedition that set sail from the port of Palos on 3 August 1492.
Nothing, however, prepared Columbus and his crew for the long Atlantic crossing that they embarked upon, or for the destination that awaited them. The fleet was small, consisting of a small nao called Santa Maria, and two caravels (small light ships) named Pinta and Nina.
Columbus himself commanded the Santa Maria along with 40 capable sailors. The outward journey enjoyed fair trade winds but was long. For 33 days, the fleet sailed without sight of anything but sea and sky. By this time, the crew became restive and some of them demanded that they turn back.
On 12 October 1492, they sighted land; they had reached what Columbus thought was India, but which was the island of Guanahani in the Bahamas. (It is said that this name was given by Columbus, who described the Islands as surrounded by shallow seas, Baja mar in Spanish.)
They were welcomed by the Arawaks, who were happy to share their food and provisions; in fact, their generosity made a deep impression upon Columbus.
As he wrote in his log-book, They are so ingenuous and free with all they have, that no one would believe it who has not seen of it, anything they possess, if it be asked of them, they never say no, on the contrary, they invite you to share it and show as much love as if their hearts went with it.
Columbus planted a Spanish flag in Guanahani (which he renamed San Salvador), held a prayer service and, without consulting the local people, proclaimed himself viceroy.
He enlisted their cooperation in pressing forward to the larger islands of Cubanscan (Cuba, which he thought was Japan!) and Kiskeya (renamed Hispaniola, today divided between two countries, Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
Gold was not immediately available, but the explorers had heard that it could be found in Hispaniola, in the mountain streams in the interior.
But before they could get very far, the expedition was overtaken by accidents and had to face the hostility of the fierce Carib tribes. The men clamoured to get back home.
The return voyage proved more difficult as the ships were worm-eaten and the crew tired and homesick. The entire voyage took 32 weeks. Three more voyages followed, in the course of which Columbus completed his explorations in the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles, the South American mainland and its coast.
Subsequent voyages revealed that it was not the ‘Indies’ that the Spaniards had found, but a new continent. Columbus’s achievement had been to discover the boundaries of what seemed like infinite seas and to demonstrate that five weeks’ sailing with the trade wind took one to the other side of the globe.
Since places are often given the names of individuals, it is curious that Columbus is commemorated only in a small district in the USA and in a country in northwestern South America (Columbia), though he did not reach either of these areas.
The two continents were named after Amerigo Vespucci, a geographer from Florence who realised how large they might be, and described them as the ‘New World’. The name ‘America’ was first used by a German publisher in 1507.
We have seen how, by the ninth century, large parts of Asia and America witnessed the growth and expansion of great empires – some nomadic, some based on 1 -developed cities and trading networks that centred on them.
The difference between the Macedonian, Roman and Arab empires and the ones that preceded them (the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chinese, Mauryan) was that they covered greater areas of territory and were continental or transfer continental in nature.
The Mongol empire was similar. Different cultural encounters were crucial to what took place. The arrival of empires was almost always sudden, but they were almost always the result of changes that had been taking place over a long time in the core of what would become an empire.
Traditions in world history could change in different ways. In western Europe during the period from the ninth to the seventeenth century, much that we connect with modem times evolved slowly the development of scientific knowledge based on experiment rather than religious belief, serious thought about the organisation of government, with attention to the creation of civil services, parliaments and different codes of law, improvements in technology that was used in industry and agriculture.
The consequences of these changes could be felt with great force outside Europe. As we have seen, by the fifth century CE, the Roman Empire in the west had disintegrated.
In western and central Europe, the remains of the Roman Empire were slowly adapted to the administrative requirements and needs of tribes that had established kingdoms there. However, urban centres were smaller in western Europe than further east.
By the ninth century, the commercial and urban centres, Aix, London, Rome, Sienna – though small, could not be dismissed. From the ninth to the eleventh centuries, there were major developments in the countryside in western Europe. The Church and royal government developed a combination of Roman institutions with the customary rules of tribes.
The finest example was the empire of Charlemagne in western and central Europe at the beginning of the ninth century. Even after; its rapid collapse, urban centres and trading networks persisted, albeit under heavy attack from Hungarians, Vikings and others. What happened was called ‘feudalism’.
Feudalism was marked by agricultural production around castles and ‘manor houses’, where lords of the manor possessed land that was cultivated by peasants (serfs) who pledged them loyalty, goods and services.
These lordis in turn pledged their loyalty to greater lords who were ‘vassals’ of kings. The Catholic Church (centred on the papacy) supported this state of affairs and itself possessed land.
In a world where uncertainties of life, poor sense of medicine and low life expectancy were common, the Church showed people how to behave so that life after death at least would be tolerable Monasteries were created where God-fearing people could devote themselves to the service of God in the way Catholic churchmen thought fit.
Equally, churches were part of a network of scholarship that ran from the Muslim states of Spain to Byzantium and they provided the petty kings of Europe with a sense of the opulence of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond.
The influence of commerce and towns in the feudal order came to evolve and change encouraged by Mediterranean entrepreneurs in Venice and Genoa (from the twelfth century).
Their ships carried on a growing trade with Muslim states and the remains of the Roman Empire in the east. Attracted by the lure of wealth in these areas, and inspired by the idea of freeing ‘holy places’ associated with Christ from Muslims, European kings reinforced links across the Mediterranean during the ‘crusades’.
Trade within Europe improved (centred on fairs and the port cities of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and stimulated by a growing population). Opportunities for commercial expansion coincided with changing attitudes concerning the value of life.
Respect for human beings and living things that marked much of Islamic art and literature, and the example of Greek art and ideas that came to Europe from Byzantine trade encouraged Europeans to take a new look at the world.
And from the fourteenth century (in what is called the ‘Renaissance’), especially in north Italian towns, the wealthy became less concerned with life after death and more with the wonders of life itself. Sculptors, painters and writers became interested in humanity and the discovery of the world.
By the end of the fifteenth century, this state of affairs encouraged travel and discovery as never before. Voyages of discovery took place. Spaniards and Portuguese, who had traded with northern Africa, pushed further down the coast of western Africa, finally leading to journeys
around the Cape of Good Hope to India which had a great reputation in Europe as a source of spices that were in great demand.
Columbus attempted to find a western route to India and in 1492 reached the islands which the Europeans called the West Indies. Other explorers tried to ’ find a northern route to India and China via the Arctic.
European travellers encountered a range of different peoples in the course of their journeys. In part, they were interested in learning from them.
The papacy encouraged the work of the North African geographer and traveller Hasan al-Wazzan (later known in Europe as Leo Africanus), who wrote the first geography of Africa in the early sixteenth century for Pope Leo X.
Jesuit churchmen observed and wrote on Japan in the sixteenth century. An Englishman Will Adams became a friend and counsellor of the Japanese Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the early seventeenth century.
As in the case of Hasan al-Wazzan, peoples that the Europeans encountered in the Americas often took a great interest in them and sometimes worked for them.
For example an Aztec woman – later known as Dona Marina – befriended the Spanish conqueror of Mexico, Cortes, and interpreted and negotiated for him.
In their encounters, Europeans were sometimes cautious, self-effacing and observant, even as they frequently attempted to establish trade monopolies and enforce their authority by force of arms as the Portuguese attempted to do in the Indian Ocean after Vasco da Gama’s arrival in Calicut (present-day Kozhikode) in 1498.
In other cases, they were overbearing, aggressive and cruel and adopted an attitude of superiority to those they met, considering such people ignorant. The Catholic Church encouraged both attitudes.
The Church was the centre for the study of other cultures and languages, but encouraged attacks on people it saw as ‘un-Christian.
From the point of view of non-Europeans, the encounter with Europe varied. For much of the Islamic lands and India and China, though, Europeans remained a curiosity until the end of the seventeenth centuiy. They were perceived as hardy traders and seamen who had little to contribute to their sense of the larger world.
The Japanese learnt some of the advantages of European technology quickly-for instance, they had begun large-scale production of muskets by the late sixteenth century. In the Americas, enemies of the Aztec empire sometimes used Europeans to challenge the power of the Aztecs.
At the same time the diseases the Europeans brought devastated the populations, leading to the death of over 90 percent of the people in some areas by the end of the sixteenth century.
An Introduction to Feudalism
The term ‘feudalism’ has been used by historians to describe the economic, legal, political and social relationships that existed in Europe in the medieval era.
Derived from the German and word ‘feud’, which means ‘a place of land’, it refers to the kind of society that developed in medieval France, and later in England and in Southern Italy.
In an economic sense, feudalism refers to a kind of agricultural production which is based on the relationship between lords and peasants. The latter cultivated their own land as well as that of the lord. The peasants performed labour services for the lords, who in exchange provided military protection.
They also had extensive judicial control over peasants. Thus, feudalism went beyond the economic to cover the social and political aspects of life as well.
Although its roots have been traced to practices that existed in the Roman Empire and during the age of the French king Charlemagne (742 – 814), feudalism as an established way of life in large parts of Europe may be said to have emerged later, in the eleventh century.