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COMPLETE Modern History II Notes: Part 3 -- got 92% in the course!

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HIST 1082
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European Perspectives on Foreign Cultures and Early European Expansion 10/3/12 • Europeans came into contact with new culture groups o Encountered cultures with a lot of mental baggage of what the cultures should be like  Ottoman Turks  Sub-SaharanAfricans • Voyages from Italy to northern Europe set out with different goals o 1330s, Italian and Spanish sailors have mastered sailing within a triangle between theAzores Islands, Canary Islands, and Gibraltar  From bases inAzores and Canary Islands, Portugese started explorations inAfrica • Sailing down west coast ofAfrica caused navigational problems o Cape Bojador has trade winds blowing in two different directions, causing treacherous waters  Best way to sail further south is to sail further out to sea and then come back toward coast • by mid 1480s, reached Benin on Gold Coast • Ottoman Turks were conquering lands at this point in time o Expanding under leaders Osman o 1453, under Mehmed II, conquered Constantinople ending Byzantine Empire • Europeans dealt with all these new cultures inAfrican and Ottoman Turks by pre-existing world view and thoughts of cultures o Sense of superiority of Greek and Roman values o Superiority of Christianity  One and only true faith and defined christiandom in religious and cultural terms  Became increasingly intolerant and saw others as threatening and polluting society • Weren’t tolerant of Jews, Heretics, and Muslims but had frequent contact with them o Had well defined places within European culture  Islanders and Ottomans never really had contact o European ideas of non-Christians came from Biblical and classical teachings  Stereotypes made Europeans think of non-Europeans as barbaric and semi-human • Semi-human = ancient Roman encyclopedia, Pliny’s Natural History o Description of the world and several volumes dediated to describing people and cultures of world  Contained a lot of real information as well as false information about this topic o Taken very seriosously by Europeans o Included descriptions of semi-human monsters that inhabited places outside of Rome and Greek  Included in literary works as well as actual accounts from travelers, on maps, etc. • Barbarism/barbarians came from classical sources o Worse than Pliny’s monsters in that they judged cultures rather than faces o Originated with Greeks, who defined barbarism as whatever the Greeks weren’t o If culture failed to adapt European forms in any way, Europeans can identify it as barbaric  Wearing different clothing, eating raw not cooked food, being a nomadic pastoralist rather than farmer, etc. o Being a threat to Europeans can also get you label of Barbarian o Other sources showed China andAsia as full of riches and resources  Could still be seen as barbaric if didn’t share resources or ideas of riches o Actual knowledge coexisting with legend in regards toAsian/African wealth and power  Legend of Prester John and his war with Ghengas Khan where Khan defeated Prester John • John = mythical king/priest who ruled powerful Christian kingdom inAsia orAfrica o If chirstians could find him, he’d help free the holy land from Muslim rule • Westerns hoped to ally with mon
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