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HI 440 Study Guide - Summer 2018, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - City, New World, Smallpox


Department
History
Course Code
HI 440
Professor
Matthew Booker
Study Guide
Midterm

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HI 440
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
Fall 2018

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Environmental History is both “material” and “cognitive:”
Material refers to actual physical changes in the land
Cognitive refers to how individuals think of nature and their relationship to the rest of the
world and how those ideas led to the environmental change
These both influence each other
Why does environmental history matter?
All human experience takes place and space
History is about context, and the greatest is the world we live in
The natural world is ignored at our peril
It helps us face “the task of living in nature while thinking ourselves outside of it”
Now let’s go back…
As the natural world splits apart, the distance between those spaces become barriers to
human movement and, at the same time, enable human movement to travel across sea
The first great story of environmental story is through migration and trade that
reconnects the world to each other
Neo-Europes
Human populations took advantage of the new landscapes and developed new economies
that made sense in the places they lived
Migration changed where people lived (Asia)
In China, the Han Chinese expanded into Southern China in the 7th century and
concentrated forms of agriculture, such as rice.
China was the center of life in Asia for a very long time; especially under the
Mongols in the 13th century
The Ottoman empire spread their ideas to Africa during this time
People sought to find governmental systems to govern agriculture and trade, and the
same story is true in the Americas
Migration changes where people lived (Americas)
The expansion of the Inca Empire forced migration and they developed a trade
system centrally organized amongst the members of their society (NOTE: this is
opposite to Asia, they traded with people outside their territories)
In central (Mesoamerica, five city states fought for power and the Aztecs took
control in the 13th century, establishing Tenochtitlan
Dense city
Had waterways
Sanitation
Mississippian cultures, which were Indian city states, occupied North America.
European Discovery of the Americas
Their coming to the Americas initiated trade between the Indians and Europeans
The language of trade was understood, while actual language was not, and they gave gifts
to each other. However, there were practical issues:
Diseases were spread
Indians could not necessarily eat and drink all the gifts brought (ex: milk)
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Endemic refers to constantly present, but Epidemic refers to something that is constantly
around
Epidemic disease explodes like wildfire
“Virgin soil” means if you take people who have been isolated from the rest of
humanity for thousands of years, and you expose them to endemic diseases, the
result will be epidemic diseases
Villages in Mesoamerica were destroyed by diseases such as smallpox - the process of
sharing and trading resulted in this
The Columbian Exchange
Animals, plants and germs were brought to the New World (map on slides)
The New World supplies few diseases to the Old World → why?
There weren’t many diseases in the New World that could be transmitted
New World people were relatively healthy as opposed to the Old World, but then
the wave of disease falls on them like a hammer when new trade happens
The children and elderly were victim most of the time, and New World societies were
very much weakened
The overtaking of the New World by the Europeans was not a fair fight because people
were already weakened
Essentially, only a handful of conquistadors were able to take over one of the
biggest territories (Aztecs) ever, and this was due to disease
Europeans had...
The ability to survive diseases that were epidemic to the New World
Christianity, and it drove Europeans to expand their beliefs and “save” the Indians
*The role of private property and the devleopment of the “free market” and “capitalism”
*Will be expanded on next lecture!
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