history gle’s: h-1c-m10, m11, m12, m14, and e-1a-m3, m4, m8, and e-1b-m1
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6TH GRADE WORLD HISTORY TERMS! -- PART II: HISTORICAL CULTURES,
PERSONS, GENERAL TERMS AND ECONOMICS.
History GLE’s: H-1C-M10, M11, M12, M14, and E-1A-M3, M4, M8, and E-1B-M1.
Some Early Cultures: Ghana: a country on the western coast of
Africa, called the Gold Coast by Portuguese and Dutch colonists.
Mali: A former West African Empire and a present day Country in the Saharan Region.
Songhai: An ancient African (Saharan) Culture Timbuktu: Important African trade city located
on the Niger river in the Saharan region. Mayan: Of or related to the Mayas, their
culture, their languages, or the language groups which it belongs. Early Central American Indian civilization.
• Aztec: a member of a people of central Mexico whose civilization was at ts height at the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century.
• Inca: a member of the group of Quechan peoples of highland Peru who established an empire from northern Ecuador, to central Chile before the Spanish conquest led by Pissarro.
The Mayan Civilization included 4-sided, step-pyramids, and a court on which a basketball-type game was played. They were located primarily in the Yucatan area of Mexico.
The Aztecs ruled an empire in central Mexico, the Incas ruled South America.
The Middle Ages brought about a system of governance known as “Feudalism”. This system included a hierarchy, or caste system where the king/monarch was at the top level, and peasants/serfs were at the lowest. It depended upon “loyalty” sworn by the lower member to the one above, in return for a favor (called a fief) from the upper member. That lower member was called a “Vassal” of the upper.
The center of Feudal life was the “Big House” or “Manor”, or the “Castle”. Castles were usually homes of kings and high nobles who gave surrounding land to nobles in return for their oath of allegiance—they in turn gave out sections of THAT land to other vassals, such as knights for an oath of THEIR allegiance. The knights would in-turn “allow” peasants, or serfs, who were TIED to the land, and allowed to live so long as they worked it.
Common to the Middle Ages was the code of Chivalry, a code of honor held by knights and nobles. Also the development of “Heraldry” or coats of arms by families, especially those most prominent ones. A family coat of arms, such as the Anglo/Norman crest of the Ogle family seen here, was a source of pride with almost every part having a symbolic message attached.
Some people developed Guilds, which were like modern unions, in that people skilled in the same craft, grouped together for the purpose of advancing their skills, and their particular craft. Among the most prominent guilds were the stonemasons, the smiths, weavers and glassworkers. This was the guild system.
Since the time of Charlemagne and even before, there has been much controversy over who controlled the “Holy Land”. Actually, the center of controversy was the “Holy Sepulcher”, or tomb where Christ was placed after the crucifixion. Access for pilgrims became much more difficult after the Mohammedans, (today’s followers of Islam—known now as Muslims) captured Jerusalem. At first the Caliphate was cooperative with the Christian west; but eventually it became more violent, and more strained. Finally, in 1096 AD, Pope Urban II, called on all Christian kings to unite in a “Crusade” (named for the Latin word for “cross”, to recapture the Holy Land. This ugly struggle would span across two centuries and more.
The first Crusade was very successful; but the peace did not last long. Eventually, the Muslims recaptured Jerusalem, and many more crusades followed, none met the success of the first. The last major “crusade” was the 9th, led by St. Louis IX, King of France, and Prince Edward I, of England-which ended in a shaky truce, the Moslems retained control.
The Magna Carta: Magna Carta is Latin for “Great Charter”. The document to the right is an actual photograph of this famous document signed by King John Lackland of England, in 1215 A.D. and the Nobles and Barons who insisted upon his signing it. It is the first such document that limited the authority and power of the King, and granted greater power to the Barons, and ultimately to the general population, listing some rights.
The Great Charter of Liberties, as it was originally titled, asserted that the king had no authority to arbitrarily punish anyone except by following the law of the land. Many later documents, including the US Constitution drew on its precepts.
The RenaissanceAfter the fall of Rome in 476 AD, you have a very violent and long period of time characterized with a loss of the magnificence that was Rome—this “was” called the Dark Ages”; but in today’s PC world, that is considered a negative thing to say, so the period from about 476 to 800 is known as the “migratory” period and other similar, more PC terms. With Charlemagne re-establishing the “Holy Roman” Empire we have the Middle Ages, but a total “Rebirth”, or Renaissance began in Florence Italy, in the late 1300’s and spread through Europe for the next three centuries. Art, Architecture and fashion all were part of this “rebirth”, from darkness.
Guild System: Medieval associations of craftsmen and merchants such as weavers and shoemakers who practiced the same craft. Guilds arose in the towns of western Europe to set standards and promote the interests of the craft.
Feudalism: An economic and political system of Europe in the Middle Ages, based on obligations.
Crusades: A series of “Holy Wars” in the Middle Ages in which European Christians attempted to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims.
Magna Carta: A document drawn up by the English nobles in 1215 that spelled out certain rights and limited the king’s power.
Renaissance: A period of cultural and artistic flowering (means re-birth) that began in Italy 1350.
CharlemagneKing of the Franks and father of both modern Germany and France, Charlemagne is ranked by most historians as one of the 50 most important individuals in human history. Almost ALL of the kings of France, Germany, Spain, England and Italy were all descendants or relatives of Charlemagne.
When proclaimed Emperor of the Romans on Christmas of 800, it was the renewal of the Western Roman Empire—a major event in history.
Marco PoloMarco Polo is MUCH more than a game played in a swimming pool! The REAL Marco Polo was an explorer and trader from Venice Italy. He made a great trip all the way to China in 1271. He became a trusted friend of the Great Khan, who gave him many gifts, jewels, spices, and other things he brought back to Europe upon his return journey.
The writings and journeys of Marco Polo stimulated a great interest in Europeans to trade more with the “Far East” of Asia. This was a huge step in leading later men to find easier routes (by water) to the Far East.
Christopher ColumbusOne of the most maligned men of modern history, and a victim of political correctness has been the Genoan sailor, “Admiral of the Sea”, Christopher Columbus. From once being a super- hero, his name is now associated with genocide, slavery, cruelty and a litany of other accusations—generally taken out of historical context by those who wish to rewrite history. Columbus Day, Oct. 12, is still a “Holiday”. In separating truth from fiction it has been long established that Columbus was never out to prove the world was round—this was already a well accepted belief in his OWN time. What he DID want to do, was find a shorter way to get to the wealth of the “Indies” by sailing west. The fact that Leif Ericson had already reached North America is of no consequence, because it led to no further colonization. Because of his belief that he’d reached the Indies, he
called the natives, “Indians”, a name which has stood for centuries until the newer PC terms became more popular. He never “introduced” slavery, as slaves were quite common to ALL major Indian civilizations in the Americas centuries before he arrived. His discovery DID launch a rush of colonization of the “New World” which is why he is rated in the top 10 most influential individuals of human history.
Famous Historical People: Charlemagne: 742-814 AD – King of the
Franks and first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He strengthened Christianity, resulting in the start of the HRE. United Europe first time since fall of Rome and considered by many the “Father” of modern Europe.
Marco Polo: Venetian traveler who was among the first European traders to visit China and record his experiences. He was popular with Khan.
Prince Henry the Navigator: The founder of a school of navigation, he made Portugal a world sea power.
Leif Ericson: A Norwegian Viking, son of Erik the Red. He discovered Vineland, in AD 1000 in present day Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada.
Christopher Columbus: He was an Italian (Genoa) explorer. He made four trips across the Atlantic, financed by the Spanish monarchs, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Columbus was searching for a shorter route to China and India. His first voyage lasted seventy days. On October 12, 1492, he discovered an island in the Bahamas (San Salvador), and considered a part of the continents called America. His discovery led to a rush of exploration of the “New World.”
Francisco Pizarro: Spanish conquistador who conquered the Incas and Peru.
Ferdinand Magellan: Portuguese navigator who sailed through what is now known as the Straits of Magellan. One of his ships was the first to complete a circumnavigation of the globe.
Hernando Cortes: Spanish Conquistador who conquered the Aztecs, and claimed Mexico for Spain.
To understand history properly, it is imperative to understand “Economics” because economy is the machine that drives a civilization! The first thing we run across is the risk/return factor. When someone decides to make a decision, they need to figure what the risks are, the “opportunity cost”, and what they stand to gain (the return), The difference in the two—is your Trade-off!
The most important LAW of economics is the law of Supply, and Demand! If there is a large supply, and a large demand, prices can be held high; but if the demand should drop, you wind up with too many unsold items, or a surplus—this LOWERS the price. When demand is larger than the supply, you have what is called a SHORTAGE, or not enough for the market—to balance this, prices go up. The bottom line is as demand drops, supply tends to go up.
The BARTER SystemEarly man did not have money (what is called “currency”) so what they did in order to get the things they wanted, or needed, was to TRADE what they could offer, for what they wanted. This system of moneyless exchange, is called BARTER! Sheep herders would exchange a sheep for perhaps a basket of wheat, or a sack of fish. Later the fisherman might exchange part of his catch to get grain for his bread, or to pay a skilled craftsman, like a carpenter, to build something for him—sometimes he would have to promise a share of his catch over a long period of time—all of this was the Barter system. The barter system is still used by some people—but not by nations.
Currency can be anything used to purchase or obtain a desired item of want or need. The earliest forms of currency may have been pretty rocks, later small flakes of gold, or silver. Today, each country tends to design its own currency and people travelling their must exchange their own currency for a type that is accepted in that country, or as in the case of the Euro, group of countries. The chart on the left shows symbols for “some” of the world currencies, the US dollar and cent, the English pound, the Israeli shekel, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, the Indian Rupee, and the Spanish Peso. What is something “most” of them seem to have in common?
Perhaps the single most important investment a person will make, is the purchase of a tract of land, or a house, or both—usually these are items too expensive to be purchased out of pocket.
In order to help them stretch out paying off such a large sum of money, lending institutions (banks) have used the “mortgage” which is a long-term loan in which the buyer gets to live in, and claim the land and/or house as theirs; but it is not finally theirs until the “mortgage” debt is completely paid off.
Economics of History Trade off: This means you choose to give up
one thing in order to gain something else. Example: You want a particular baseball hat, your friend wants your model car; each of you swap because you think it’s a good “trade-off”. It could also involve money.
Opportunity Costs: This is the value of a second choice that you gave up when you decided on your first choice. Example: You no longer have that nice baseball cap you swapped for. Every time one makes a choice, there is an opportunity “cost”.
Specialization of labor: When individual workers concentrate their labor on single tasks, enabling each worker to become better and more productive. An early example is the assembly line used to manufacture the automobile.
Forms of EXCHANGE:
• Currency: Money, or that which is used like money in general.
• Barter: To trade by exchanging goods and services WITHOUT using money.
• Mortgage: To give a claim on property as security for a loan.
• Supply: The term given to the number or amount of units available for sale or for the market.
• Demand: A willingness, or desire, on the part of a population to buy a product at a particular price.
• Surplus: The amount of a product/good that a firm or company or workers has offered for sale that is greater than the amount customers are willing to buy, or consumers need.
• Shortage: The amount of a product/good that a firm or company or workers offers that is less than the amount customers or consumers desire to have, purchase, or need.
Understand that mortgages do NOT come as a free loan. The lender will charge “interest” or a percentage of the loan each year so that they will make their share of money as well. In fact, the longer the mortgage, the greater the money the bank will make. For example a 30 year mortgage on a $200,000 house, will usually wind up costing the buyer well over $400,000 over the 30 years—thus the buyer gets his house; but the bank makes a tidy profit.
A final note: Study till you KNOW ALL of these terms on the four slide shows titled History and Geography “GLEs” and you WILL do just fine when it
comes time to take the iLeap test—guaranteed!