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HISTORY 70B Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Exam Guide - History Of China, Agriculture, Confucianism


Department
History
Course Code
HISTORY 70B
Professor
Mcloughlin
Study Guide
Final

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HISTORY 70B

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1.) According to Strayer, we should pay serious attention to human history before the
coming of civilization because the way of life before civilization sustained “humankind
for more than 95 percent of the time that our species has inhabited the earth” (Strayer 11).
Furthermore, Strayer states that achievements and breakthroughs of the Paleolithic and
Neolithic Eras “provided the foundation on which all subsequent human history was
constructed” (Strayer 12). Therefore, if we do not discuss about the Paleolithic and
Neolithic Eras we would miss a massive and important time in human history.
2.) Paleolithic peoples abandoned nomadic ways and began to settle because populations
grew, natural climate change began/the ice age ended, and people began to interact with
each other more. As reported by Strayer, the most significant change in the lives of the
Paleolithic peoples “occurred as the last Ice Age came to an end” and climate change
came to light and allowing many plants and animals to flourish (Strayer 24-25). With
these new resources and better climate, people were allowed to permanently settle where
they began to develop political elites, elements of a market economy, private ownership,
and class distinctions. Moreover, the increase in permeant settlement brought about the
Agriculture Revolution.
3.) The Agricultural Revolution had reduced gathering and hunting peoples into a minority.
With the help of migration, the Agricultural Revolution began to spread where people
who migrated took their agricultural ideas and began to influence the places where they
migrated to. Furthermore, when people did migrate with their agriculture ideas, they
would usually absorb, kill, or kick out the gathering and hunting peoples that were there.
This can be seen in the case of Bantu-speaking people where they “moved east and south
over the next millennia, taking with them their agricultural” (Strayer 36), and absorbing,
killing, or, driving away the gathering and hunting peoples they came across.
With the wake of the Agricultural Revolution came the dominance of the human species
over the other forms of life residing on Earth. The Agricultural Revolution lead to an
increase in population and so the human dominance began. Forests and grasslands that
once existed no longer did and were replaced with “cultivated fields and grazing lands
(Strayer 38). Moreover, humans began to modify the genetic composition of plants and
animals.
New innovations and technologies also were brought to light by the Agricultural
Revolution. Pots and other similar vessels were essential for settled societies unlike the
Paleolithic peoples who had very little use for these vessels. Moreover, the weaving of
textiles also became popularized with the help of domesticated plants and animals.
Furthermore, the technology of metallurgy allowed for settled societies to build tools
made of metal which caused the end of the “stone age.” The Agriculture Revolution also
brought a change in the use of domesticated animals where they no longer were used only
for their meat and hide. Domesticated animals were now used in producing milk, for
wool, to enrich soil, and most importantly for travel and to power plows and carts.
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4.) According to Strayer, civilization represents “a new and particular type of human society,
made possible by the immense productivity of the Agriculture Revolution” (Strayer, 60).
Being civilized meant that people were organized and controlled by states where one with
power can use their authority to compel obedience among its people. Moreover,
according to Strayer, the change from equality to inequality among people is what set
apart civilizations from earlier Paleolithic and Neolithic societies. In civilizations, people
were heavily divided by economic function, skill, wealth and status.
5.) The biggest differences between Mesopotamia and Egyptian civilizations are in their
environments and cities. Mesopotamia’s environment was open and thus vulnerable to
attacks and it was unpredictable and often-violent. On the other hand, Egypt’s
environment was predictable, more stable, and was surrounded by mountains, deserts,
and seas which Egypt “free security” (Strayer 80). Furthermore, the Mesopotamia
peoples exploited their environment greatly. Multiple cases of deforestation, soil erosion
and increasing salinization occurred that lead to a decrease in crop yields. Mesopotamia’s
exploitation of its environment eventually lead to the civilization weakening and then
being overrun by foreigners. In contrast, Egypt created a more stable agriculture system
using the natural flow of the Nile and so, avoiding the problems the Mesopotamia
civilization had. Another significant difference between these two civilizations are their
cities and states. The Mesopotamia civilization was separated into independent city-states
where each one was ruled by a King. On the other hand, the Egyptian civilization merged
several earlier states into a unified territory where its main focus was on a pharaoh. In the
Egyptian civilization, cities were far less important than how they were in the
Mesopotamia civilization. These civilizations also share some similarities. The
Mesopotamia and Egyptian civilizations have interacted and traded with each other and
other nearby civilizations. Moreover, both civilizations have influenced other nearby
civilizations with their culture and innovations. At the same time both civilizations have
also been influenced by other nearby civilizations’ culture and inventions as well.
6.) I define progress to be the act of moving forward or being in a better state than you were
before. In comparison to earlier Paleolithic and Neolithic societies, civilizations
represented progress in increasing urbanization, complex government systems, and
innovations. As people began to permanently settle, they began to build cities as well
where everything was under control by a state that provided coordination and regulation.
Moreover, under this state, state authorities had the ability to use force to compel
obedience and so gave a legitimate right to use violence and caused violence to decline.
This legitimate right to use violence from states is what separated states in civilizations
from chiefdoms from Paleolithic and Neolithic societies where violence and disobedience
was more prevalent. With civilization came many new innovations such as writing. For
example, in Mesopotamia writing was used to record who paid taxes, who owed to the
temple, worker’s earnings, complex calendars, allow laws to be seen physical, and gave
rise to literature and philosophy in a range of topics.
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