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What I Have Learned In History

3196 words - 13 pages

What I have learned each week in this course
I feel this semester, only the first of many I will endure, was a successful one. The objective of the course was to make us understand the history of the world, and I certainly have learned a lot. I learned the different origins, many civilization, and how what people discovered a while ago makes a difference. I also learned that history is an effort to learn the thought, belief, in what they did.
This semester we started on chapter one, which focused on human origins to early agricultural centers. Chapter one explores the origins of civilization in the four major river valleys of the world from prehistory to the establishment and utilization ...view middle of the document...

The civilization, however, was generally pessimistic in outlook, an observation based mainly on the evidence of religious sources that depict a gloomy picture of the afterworld as a “land of no return.” Egyptian civilization developed in a different manner and remained, for the most part, optimistic in its long history. Geographically, the Nile River unified the region and made agriculture possible while the desert afforded the protection from nomadic invaders necessary for the evolution of centralized political authority. Pharaonic authority was reflected in the pyramids of the Old Kingdom and the imperialism of New Kingdom dynasties, Thutmosis III and Ramses II. After an account of the monotheistic religion of Akhenaten, the chapter continues with an account of the contributions of the Hittites (smelting of iron), Kassites (promotion of Babylonian culture), and especially the Assyrians who established an empire which by 665 B.C.E. included Palestine, Syria, and much of the area extending to the Persian Gulf. This empire kept out nomadic barbarians on the frontier to permit the civilized Middle East to at least maintain its advancements in the various areas. The Assyrian Empire fell because of internal revolutions and a defeat by the Neo-Babylonians in 612 B.C.E. Indian civilization developed in a unique fashion as the early urban literate culture was superseded by the Aryan culture after a few hundred years. The chapter examines the development of the early Indian and Aryan cultures separately. The Indus or Harappan Civilization developed in the region of modern Pakistan, and excavated sites dating from 2500–1500 B.C.E. show an unusual conformity in the culture based upon similar city layouts, building construction and flood walls. Reasons for the decline of this civilization are open to speculation, but could involve abnormal flooding and/or the appearance of warlike nomads around 1800 B.C.E. The Aryan culture that “refounded” Indian civilization about 1500 B.C.E. did not develop an urban culture, but depended on stock breeding and agriculture. Our understanding of these people is partially based upon the Vedic ritual texts, which offer general inferences about religion, society, values and thought in early Aryan India. The chapter characterizes the civilization in each of these specific areas. Early Chinese civilization developed about 4000 B.C.E. in the Yellow River valley. The political institution was the city–state and the largest of these areas was the capital of the Shang Dynasty (1766–1050 B.C.E.). This capital migrated a great deal, therefore the great monumental architecture of Mesopotamia or Egypt did not develop in China. The Shang civilization developed a system of writing, which has been preserved primarily on oracle bones. Bronze appeared in China about 2000–1800 B.C.E., much later than in Mesopotamia or India. This later Bronze period developed into the Chou (1050–771 B.C.E.), which continued the basic structure created by the...

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