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Lecture 2

Week 2 Lecture 1 GEOG 2200 2012 Notes.docx

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Carleton University
GEOG 2200

Page1Week 2 Lecture 1 The Making of the Modern World Connections through HistoryGEOG 2200 Global ConnectionsGeography and history are intimately bound together Geographies do not appear overnight they reflect processes that take years even centuries to unfold It is very fair to argue that the present is produced out of the pastSo lets step back in time Last week I introduced the role played by trade routes and how much more than just goods moved along these routesFeudal Europe was the western terminus of a much larger world system that stretched across the Mediterranean the Middle East the Indian Ocean and into Asia This network was provided some stability by flourishing centres of civilization For example straddling the centre of this network were the Caliphates residing in Damascus and Bagdad who guaranteed safe passage between the two worlds of the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean And further to the east were the Sung dynasty and the Middle KingdomAlong the Silk Road a term coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877 there flowed caravans of goods innovations ideas and peoplemissionaries adventurers merchants and armies For 2000 years the Silk Road formed the primary artery of Eurasian trade linking ports trading cities oases and hundreds of culturesEurope benefitted greatly from this flow From China came jade paper the compass gunpowder printing porcelain lacquer ware silk pearls peaches apricots citrus fruits and almonds We all are connected through historyAs individuals As communities As nationsWe all have connections to other parts of the world throughMigrationEmpires andEmigrationToday we are going to concentrate on one question Why Europe This involves taking a ththsomewhat wild gallop through European history from the 13 century up to the mid18 century in the hope of answering that question It will take us through several key events in European th history from the first stirrings of the transition from feudalism to merchant capitalism in the 13ththcentury through the creation of the European worldsystem in the 16 and 17 centuries to the thprotoindustrialization period of the early 18 century that lay the foundations for the Industrial Revolution Please keep in mind that this is a wild gallopWhy NOT ChinaWhy was it Europe that emerged as the foci of the world economic system and not China China had roughly the same population as Europe for a long timewell into the fifteenth centuryand was certainly more advanced in science and technology Chinas ironmasters had developed blast furnaces for the casting of iron as early as 200 BC Iron ploughs were created thth in the sixth century The compass was created in the 10 century The water clock in the 11century The Chinese were also far more advanced than the Europeans in terms of medicine papermaking and printing and the production of explosives The nature of their imperial system allowed for central decisionmaking a welldeveloped internal communications system and a
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