Unit 1 WH - Everglades High School
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A Global View: Early Civilizations
Section 1: Toward Civilization How did the first civilizations evolve? City-based civilizations – city-states emerged (Kings, priests, and traders rose to wealth and power. Invention of writing – new way of life) Development of tiny villages of stone and mud huts, raised crops and herded/penned up animals. Agriculture emerged. Specialization in arts, crafts, trade and war. Over thousands of generations, they learned to make tools, fire, decorate cave walls with pictures of animals. First humans were wanderers, wearing animal skins and hunted for food, search for fruits, roots, and wild grains.
Ancient Societies Early civilizations took shape in North Africa, the Middle East, India, and China. Hereditary monarchs for leadership – these rulers depended on priests, officials, aristocrats, or merchants for support. Mohenjo Daro or Babylon – centers of political power and economic development.
Ancient Cultures Architects constructed elaborate royal palaces, temples, and royal tombs -pyramids of Egypt. Sculptors carved beautiful statues of gods, goddesses, and rulers. Painters depicted scenes of everyday life or military victories. Development of writing preserved some of the world’s oldest literature. Religion also grew more complex – (Most ancient societies believed in more than one god (polytheism), but the Hebrew people of the Middle East introduced Monotheism – the worship of one-single, all powerful God.
First Civilizations: Africa & Asia (3200 B.C. – 500 B.C.) Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile: More than 5000 years ago, a rich farming civilization grew in the valley of the Nile River in Egypt. The people learned to build dikes, reservoirs, and irrigation ditches to channel the river and store water for the dry season. Eventually these villages joined together into 2 kingdoms. Ruler – King Menes (created the world’s first unified state along the Nile).
History of Ancient Egypt
Old Kingdom Pharaohs – Egyptian Rulers - They built the majestic pyramids to serve as tombs. - They were looked upon as “messengers of the gods”.
- Trade and warfare brought Egypt into contact with other civilizations (cultural diffusion).
- New ideas, customs, and technologies spread from one people to another.
Egyptian Civilizations Worshipped many gods and goddesses Society was organized into classes: Pharaoh Nobles Merchants and Artisans Farmers and Slaves
City-States of Ancient Sumer To the North East of the Nile lies the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia – land between the Tigris and Euphrates River). A City-State is a political unit made up of a city and the surrounding lands. Control of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was the key to the development of a civilization in the Sumerian city-states. The city-states of Sumer often fought for control of land and water. War leaders gained importance and eventually became hereditary rulers. A social hierarchy, or system of ranks emerged. The Sumerians invented the earliest form of writing called cuneiform. Scribes, or specially trained people who knew how to read and write, maintained records for the kingdom.
Roots of Judaism The early Hebrews developed Judaism, which is a monotheistic religion (based on the belief in one true God). Holy book – Torah Prophets or spiritual leaders urged the Hebrews to obey God’s law. These prophets preached a strong code of ethics, r moral standards of behavior. By 1000 B.C. the Hebrews established the Kingdom of Israel. Invading armies captured the Hebrew Kingdoms and the Hebrews became known as Jews. They lived in captivity for many years and were forced to leave their homeland. This diaspora or scattering of people sent Jews to different parts of the world.
Early Civilizations and Empires of India Cities of the Indus Valley: India’s first civilization emerged in the Indus River Valley about 2600 B.C. 2 Main Cities – Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Most Indus people were farmers. Merchants and traders sailed with cargoes of cotton cloth, grain, copper, and pearls all the way to the city of Sumer. By 1750 B.C. the quality of life in the Indus Valley was declining – severe floods had ravaged cities and farms along the Indus River = abandonment of cities.
Early Civilizations and Empires of India Kingdoms of the Ganges: People migrated from the Indus Valley to North West India. Over hundreds of years, the people spread into northern India and intermarried with existing residents. Their descendants called themselves Aryans. In time, the Aryans moved alongside the Ganges River and a new Indian civilization had emerged. Most of what we know about the Aryans comes from the Vedas, a collection of Hindu prayers, hymns, and other religious teachings.
Early Civilizations and Empires of India Aryan Society: people were divided into social classes 1. Priests 2. Warriors 3. herders, farmers, artisans, merchants 4. farmworkers, servants, and other laborers 5. dalits – did jobs no one else wanted * Over time these divisions gave way to a more complex caste system – social groups into which people are born and which they cannot leave.
Early Civilizations and Empires of India Aryans’ Religious Beliefs: They were polytheistic Later, they moved toward believing in a single spiritual power – brahman, who lived in all things.
Early Civilizations and Empires of China Chinese history began in the Huang He Valley, where Neolithic people learned to farm. Like other places, the need to control a major river through large water projects led to the rise of a strong central government. Geography: Great barriers blocked the easy movement of the Chinese to the outside world:
High mountains Brutal deserts Thick jungles Pacific Ocean
Early Civilizations and Empires of China The Shang and Zhou Dynasty: About 1650 B.C. a Chinese people called the Shang came to power in Northern China. In 1027 B.C. the Zhou people overthrew the Shang. The Zhou (Joh) dynasty lasted until 256 B.C. A dynasty is the time during which one family rules.
Early Civilizations and Empires of China Religion: By Shang times, the Chinese prayed to many different gods and nature spirits. Over time, Chinese religious practices came to focus on respect for ancestors – they called on the spirits of ancestors to bring good fortune to the family. Believed that the universe reflected a balance between 2 forces, yin and yang. Yin was linked to the earth and female forces, while Yang stood for heaven and male forces.
Major Religions • • • •
Hinduism Has no single founder No single sacred text Most important Hindu gods – Brahman, Vishnu, & Shiva The goal of life for Hindus is to achieve union with Brahman. Reincarnation – is the rebirth of the soul in another body form
Buddhism • Urged people to seek enlightenment through meditation, rather than through priests, formal rituals, and many gods. • Founder was Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha which means the “Enlightened One”. • Buddhists seek nirvana, or union with the universe and release from the cycle of rebirth.
Hindu gods Shiva
Empires of India In 321 B.C. Chandragupta Maurya forged the first Indian empire – conquered much of India. India traded with civilizations in Africa, the Middle East, and Central & South East Asia. Most Indians of that period were village peasants. The caste system also greatly influenced Indian society. The caste rules governed where people lived and how they lived their lives.
Chinese Empire China’s most influential philosopher, Confucius was born in 551 B.C. A brilliant scholar who took very little interest in religious matters. He was more concerned with social order and good government. He put filial piety or respect for parents above all other duties. Hanfeizi – was another great philosopher whose ideas differed greatly from Confucius. He insisted that the only way to achieve order in society was to pass strict laws and to impose harsh punishment. Daoism – a third philosophy, sought to live in harmony with nature than to bring order to human affairs. They viewed government as unnatural and therefore the cause of many problems.
Ancient Greece The Early People of the Aegean The earliest civilization in the region was the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea, home to the Minoan people. The Minoans were greatly influenced by Egypt and Mesopotamia. These early people gained ideas and technology from these contacts. By about 1400 B.C., Minoan civilization had vanished. The Mycenaeans, another civilization of sea traders soon took over the Greek mainland and Crete. The Mycenaeans too absorbed both absorbed both Egyptian and Mesopotamian ideas. They are best remembered for the Trojan War.
Rise of Greek City-States After 750 B.C., the Greeks evolved a city-state called the polis. Typically, Greeks built cities on 2 levels. On a hill top stood the acropolis, or high city. There, the Greeks dedicated temples to the gods and goddesses. On flatter ground lay the walled main city with its market place, theatre, public buildings, and homes. At first, the Greek city-states was a monarchy – where the government was run by a king or queen. Slowly, power shifted to a class of noble landowners – aristocracy or rule by a landholding elite. As trade expanded, wealthy merchants, farmers, and artisans challenged the nobles for power. The result was oligarchy – government run by a small, powerful elite group of people.
Sparta vs. Athens Sparta - Warrior society - City-state took root - Spartan boys trained for Military service - Women ran the family’s estate
Athens - Democratic city-state – gov’t run by the people - only male citizens participated - women did not have the freedom to progress and educate themselves
Notable Leaders/Greek Citizens Philosophers and teachers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) used observation and reason to understand and explain life’s events, rather than them being a cause by the gods. Solon – Athenian who introduced reforms making the gov’t more democratic and the economy more profitable. Phillip II – Macedonian King who conquered Greece Alexander the Great – Macedonian leader who conquered an empire stretching from Greece to India and encouraged the spread of Greek culture throughout his empire.
Notable Greeks Alexander the Great Socrates
Rome Rome began as a small city-state in Italy. The people of this time settled along the Tiber River. In 509 B.C. the Romans became a republic, a gov’t in which officials were chosen by the people. The most powerful people in gov’t were the Patricians, or members of the landowning upper class. Eventually, commoners or plebeians also gained the right to be elected to the Roman senate. First emperor of Rome was Augustus – he laid the foundation for a stable gov’t and made economic changes to the country. Romans admired Greek culture. They adapted Greek ideas which dramatically influenced Roman architecture, art, and technology. The greatest legacy of Rome was its commitment to the rule of law and justice.
Rise of Christianity Leading figure was a Jew named Jesus. Jesus was born around 4 B.C. in Bethlehem. Some believed he was the messiah, or savior sent by God to lead the Jews to freedom. The teachings of Jesus were firmly rooted in the Jewish religion. Link to the belief in only one God and the Ten Commandments. To Roman authorities, Jesus was a dangerous troublemaker. Eventually he was executed. But his disciples, or followers, believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, talked with them, and then ascended into heaven. A few Jews believed and accepted him as the messiah, or Christ – those people became known as the first Christians.
Decline of Roman Empire After the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180, Rome was in turmoil. Eventually, the empire split into two parts (east and west), each with its own ruler. In the west – corrupt gov’t, poverty, declining moral values and unemployment. Eastern empire continued to prosper under the emperor Constantine and other emperors. In time, the eastern empire would become known as the Byzantine empire.