HST 202 Lecture Terms
Beginning of Semester – Midterm
Marketer Projection: A Marketer Projection is a type of map which distorts size. Since the
world is a sphere, it is impossible to accurately represent it on a flat piece of paper.
Arabization was the spread of culture and education through Arab people (those from middle
eastern countries speaking Arabic), mostly scholars, from North Africa to West Africa. They
brought the religion of Islam, language, and much more culture across Trans-Saharan trade
routes (across the North African desert) by travelling on camels. One of the ideas they brought
was Arab ethnocentrism, meaning that they believed a person’s looks could define where they
came from and also many of their qualities/abilities. Muslim armies spread as far as the Arabian
and Iberian Peninsulas. Mali, and later the Songhai empire, was affected and became West
African Muslim empires. In Mali, Timbuktu was the main port city and center of culture.
Arabization was the beginning of the African Diaspora and contributed to the rise of West African
kingdoms. It helps show that Africa was not undiscovered until Europeans came – it had its own
roots well before. There was also a great deal of “old world slavery” involved with Arabization. The
important fact to remember is that this system was based on captivity and conquered peoples. It
was very different from the form of chattel slavery developed in America. Social structure did not
necessarily place slaves on the bottom of society.
Muslim/Muslim Land: It is important to distinguish between Muslim people and Muslim
lands. A Muslim person practices the religion of Islam. A Muslim land, on the other hand, is
ruled by an Islamic ruler but may include people who do not practice Islam. Muslim lands
included Mali which was eclipsed by Songhai. The fact that these became Muslim lands shows
how far Arabization spread. Islam also played a large role in the lives of people in these societies.
Bilad As-Sudan: Bilad as-Sudan means “the land of the blacks”. This is not, however, associated
with skin color or racism. Africa was named this because Europeans did not think anyone existed
there and it was a “dark land”. This shows that color was not originally something that denoted
personal value. The ideology of race/racism is seen as a social construct. White people created a
racist belief system to benefit them and explain reality once they “discovered” Africa and created a
system of chattel slavery over the course of many years.
Ghana: Ghana was the most ancient West African empire. It was not Islamic. Their primary
export was gold, which shows that they were very wealthy. They often traded with the Arabs for
salt. They existed before much of the Arabization occurred and the African diaspora began.
Mali: Mali was the West African empire that was a Muslim land after taking over non-Muslim
Ghana. Manasa Musa, the ruler, made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca. Along the way, he
displayed his wealth but also was very generous to those he crossed paths with. Travelling with
him were slaves, but their status was much different than that of chattel slaves who would be used
much later North America. Timbuktu was a major city of culture and commerce. Mali’s main
export was gold, which displayed the wealth of the empire. Arab scholars also became prominent
and Muslim culture flourished.
Songhai: Songhai was the Muslim empire that eclipsed Mali. Notable about this land is that
while they exported gold, their main export was captives. These captives were a major part of the
Indian Ocean Trade. The Indian Ocean/Red Sea Slave Trade, however, was much different
than that developed in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It was also much faster than the Trans-
Saharan Trade Routes.
Gold: Gold was a main export of all the West African empires. It was obviously a natural
resource, but also displays the wealth of the kingdoms. Unlike the common notion that Africa was
“undiscovered” and “uncivilized” before Europeans and Americans came, they actually had a great
deal of success, wealth, and culture. Their history extends far back before they were “discovered”
Feudalism: Feudalism is a system based on social hierarchy. It places serfs at the bottom who
were not free people. Next were peasants who were technically free but tied to the land they
worked. On top is a small class of nobility who ruled the others and kept most of the wealth for
themselves. Feudalism splits land into small “fiefdoms” and divides the population. Feudalism
was a major barrier to European trade and success because there was constant war and famine.
People were too occupied keeping peace and finding food for survival to worry about trade, scholarship, and culture. This kept Europe quite isolated from the rest of the world while
Africans, Arabs, and Asians were doing quite the opposite.
Law of Primogenitor: This European law said that land was only given to a first born son. It
caused a great deal of poverty for large families and men who struggled to live without land, food,
and money. It became one of the major reasons Europeans moved to the “New World”. They were
enticed by the promise of land and fortune which was unattainable in Europe. This in turn caused
issues with Native Americans when after several generations a family needed to extend their land
onto already occupied territory.
The Crusades: Europe was divided in many ways during the Medieval Times, one being
religion. The Crusades were an attempt to unite Europe in one denomination of Christianity
through several wars. They failed, but they sparked an interest in Europeans about other cultures
and lands. They discovered Asian trade routes. Europe would soon become even more curious
and begin their Age of Discovery, “finding” Africa, and exploring/colonizing the new world.
Marco Polo: Marco Polo was an explorer who trekked across Asia to open trade routes, find new
goods, and expand the present knowledge he held about other lands and cultures. His journey led
into the Age of Discovery where many cultures intersected (Old World) and new ones were
created (New World).
Florence and Venice: Florence and Venice became centers of European culture during the
Renaissance. The Renaissance marks the end of the Bubonic Plague and also the end of European
isolation. Europe started to come into contact with Asia and Africa. They created art and
literature of their own and engaged in trade with other cultures. Italy was the home of many of the
wealthy merchants who came to power.
Iberian Peninsula: The Iberian Peninsula is the part of Europe where Spain and Portugal are
located. Spain and Portugal were the first European nations to unify. This allowed them to
explore and start their “Golden Age” well before other European countries. Their discoveries led
them to the New World (South America) and Africa. Their discoveries and encounters represent
the collision of the Old World and the New World. Everyone else was “late to the race” in claiming
colonies. The issue was that the Pope claimed the Spanish land so non-Catholic countries did not
respect these boundaries.
Unification of Spain: The unification of Spain allowed them to focus on exploration. They
unified and established order much sooner than the rest of Europe. This allowed them a head
start in the age of discovery. The Spanish exploration is commonly referred to as the Spanish
Century or Spain’s Golden Age. They discovered the Aztec in Mesoamerica and Columbus
discovered America much before other Europeans nations sent out explorers. The problem was
that Spain was Catholic and the Pope declared the land as Spanish but Anglican countries did not
respect their claims.
James Luna: James Luna is an artist and a Native American. He used his body as a piece of art
and called it a “Modern Artifact”. His statement shows that Native Americans are not only a part
of history that has disappeared- their culture still exists today. Native Americans have been
marginalized since Europeans first arrived to colonize their land and the struggle for territory has
continued ever since.
Bering Strait: The Bering Strait was a land bridge connecting Russia and North America years
ago. It is believed that people first arrived in America by crossing the Bering Strait. The common
lifestyle was that of a hunter-gatherer who followed the animals across the land. It makes sense
that the original Native Americans arrived by following the animals they were hunting and thus
being the first inhabitants and starting culture in a place the Europeans viewed as the “New
Yucatan Peninsula: The Yucatan Peninsula was where the Olmec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec
were located and present day Mexico is. Artifacts can be found here that demonstrate the
sophistication of the Native Americans, contrary to European beliefs that they were uncivilized.
Toltec: The Toltec eclipsed the Maya in 1000BC. They mysteriously retreated, however, and
abandoned their cities to live in smaller surrounding populations. Though not much is known
about them, they are part of the history of Native Americans and development of culture. Aztec: The Aztec rose up after the Toltec in Mesoamerica around the Yucatan Peninsula. They
had a capitol city at Tenochtitlan and the largest population in the world of 300,000 people. They
were conquered by the Cortez and his Spanish explorers. The Spanish’s strategy was to place
themselves at the head of the Aztec to take over the society and steal their riches. This was the
beginning of the colonization of the Americas by the Europeans.
Andes: The Andes people lived in South America in the area of the Andes Mountains. Their
culture flourished with a system of terracing, had social classes, a highly organized central
government. Unfortunately a drought took a toll on the population. Their cultural advancements
show how developed Native American culture was and how far back their history dates- much
before European arrival.
Inca: The Inca rose up after the Andes people. Their culture included a class system, trading
skills, art, scholarship, grain production, mining for gold and silver. Their large city was Kuzko
and the rest of the society was connected through a system of roads. This made communication
and travel easier, but also allowed enemies access. This led to the conquering of the Inca people
by Europeans. Pizzaro took their leader (Athalaupa) and killed him after he gave the Spanish the
gold they desired. The rest of the Incas were wiped out by European disease. The Incan Conquest
is one of the first events of European colonization of the Americas.
The Great Dying: The Great Dying refers to the death of 90% of Native Americans due to
European disease. The Native Americans did not have the same domestication process of animals
so they did not have the immunity that Europeans had already built. Only those tribes on the East
Coast that had far reaching trade networks had built some immunity. Disease spread rampantly
through contact and took a great toll on Native American populations. Along with actual war,
disease was one of the greatest killers of Native Americans and their cultures.
Powhatan: Powhatan is the name of an Algonquin-speaking leader, but the term is often used to
name his people, as well. The Powhatans were located in the Mid-Atlantic colonies, around the
Chesapeake area that the colonists first tried to claim when they arrived at Jamestown Island in
the early 1600s. Powhatan was a smart, cunning, and politically savvy leader. He knew that the
Europeans were a threat but instead of directly attacking them, he took out the only tribe he could
not conquer into his own so that the Europeans would have no valuable allies. In addition, he was
confused as to the European’s intentions because they settled on swampy, bad land. He hoped
that misfortune and natural causes would lead to their death. When it did not, he captured James
Smith and pried information out of him. He wanted the European’s valuable metal goods and
weapons, so he traded John Smith back with a promise to leave the Europeans alone in exchange
for the weapons he wanted. Powhatan shows that unlike the Europeans thought, the Native
Americans were smart people and had politics and culture of their own.
Treaty of Tordesillas: The Treaty of Tordesillas drew a line establishing land in the “New
World” claimed by Spain and that of Portugal. It was put in place by the Pope and therefore only
recognized by Catholic nations. When England and other nations began exploration, therefore,
they did not respect the Treaty of Tordesillas because they had declared t