How did the organization of early societies change?
The organization of early societies changed slowly with time, and slowly became more structured and complex. Different institutions develop that make societies more organized and more orderly, and power hungry rulers can disrupt that organization. Once early humans settled and began agriculture in Sumer, the organizational structure slowly turned into a social ranking. The surplus food led to specialized workers, then to complex institutions which led to different social classes. These social classes became the primary organizational structure of society, while previously, it had been just one social class (maybe differing between gender). In China, the dynastic cycle changed the organization of governments. Different rulers of different dynasties might have had different view on how the country should have been ruled. The Zhou overthrew the Shang, and began rule through the method of feudalism, as they thought it would work better, changing the organizational structure. Once the feudal system was overthrown, it developed into another organizational structure, or in this case, unorganized structure, the warring states. Early societies can become either more organized or more chaotic depending on the peoples actions.
How did Japan’s location result in it pursuing imperialist policies?
Japan’s location was a prime spot to invade from, resulting in the Japanese pursuing their imperialism policies more. An important example of this advantage was that Japan was able to invade China, Korea and the Islands in South East Asia easily (textbook) and was able to control the colonies of European nations and America easily (textbook). This shows that they were able to take advantage of their position in the Pacific Ocean. The invasions of China and Korea also showed that Japan was able to recognize the opportunities it had geographically and capitalize on them. Japan used their position on the Pacific to land sneak attacks on other nations, such as the bombing Pearl Harbour (textbook). The Japanese were in close proximity to the other large nations. They were in a good position to land attacks on the nations and to surprise them. These attacks were also made available through the power structure that Japan had. The military government was in charge of the nation, leading to less merciful attacks. The Japanese were able to utilize their close vicinity to the major nations and their colonies to pursue their imperialistic goals.
Point: The neutral relationship that the Hindus had with the Mughals were turned negative under Aurangzeb’s rule.
Evidence: “Entirely excluded from holding public offices”
Explanation: The Hindus have been completely segregated by the government. Aurangzeb no longer allows them to be a major part of the society by not letting them “hold public offices”.
Evidence: “All of the worshiping places of the infidels… have been thrown down and destroyed”
Explanation: Aurangzeb destroyed the sacred places of the Hindus, this would have changed the dynamic between the two parties a lot. With their temples gone, the Hindus have no place to worship, and would naturally feel oppressed by the Mughal government
Link: Aurangzeb has oppressed the Hindus, and has destroyed their temples, and in result has destroyed the Hindu’s relationship with the Mughal government.
The neutral relationship that the Hindus had with the Mughals were turned negative under Aurangzeb’s rule. Through the single line written by Baktha’war Khan: “Entirely excluded from holding public offices”, we are shown that the Hindus were completely segregated by the government. Aurangzeb no longer allowed them to be a major part of the society, by forbidding them to “hold public offices”. Another reason the relationship between the two parties changed was because Aurangzeb destroyed “All of the worshiping places of the infidels (Hindus)”, as said by Khan. This action alone would have changed the dynamic between the two parties significantly. With their temples gone, the Hindus had no place to worship, and would naturally feel oppressed by the Mughal government. From this sentence, we can also deduce that the Mughal government didn’t have much respect for the Hindus, even referring to them as “infidels”. The relationship of tolerance between the Mughals and Hindus was severed after Aurangzeb oppressed the Hindus.
Nowadays, spices come by easy. But, back in the 15th to 18th centuries, spices didn’t make their way into everyday life often. Most of the spices bought and sold belonged to the Southeast Asian spice trade. We can develop our understanding of the spice trade by simply using the four lenses of social studies; Economics, Geography, Cultural Anthropology and History. These four all work together to help us get to know the spice trade a little better.
Geography and economics are the two bigger lenses of the spice trade. They are analyzed together to discover the governments’ motives of getting more involved with the spice trade. In the early days of spice trading, things went along with a little bit of government intervention and was mostly controlled by the middlemen, as seen from the first 3 pages of the secondary source, A Taste of Adventure, “For thousands of years before Da Gama and hundreds of years afterwards, the secret of the spice trade was simple: great demand and highly controlled supply”. However, towards the middle of the spice-trading era, the different nations’ governments became greedier. Governments began to realize the fact that the middlemen were selling the products at a high, marked-up price. In order for the nations to save money, they decided to cut the middleman out. However, geographical location played a big role. In order to avoid the middlemen, the countries in Europe had to send their merchants to South-East Asia by sea. As seen by the map, trade routes that passed through the Middle East were nearly abolished. The way that economics and geography work together help us understand the way the spice trade’s systems worked.
The system of trade, after government intervention was implemented, also helps us develop an understanding about the people of the spice trade era. The governments had completely disregarded the well being of cultivators, seen from a quote from seaman, George Early; “The price paid by the government for these articles is extremely low… This system has been found so oppressive, that frequently the natives, driven to desperation, destroy their own plantations, preferring beggary to such severe taxation for the support of a government which seeks only to enrich itself.” Economics, geography and cultural anthropology all play a part in helping us learn about the people during the spice-trade. Government officials cared about power, and they thought if they were wealthy, they were powerful, which was true and this was mostly driven by their culture, and how they perceived themselves and others. The way that they, and even some of us today, were taught is that being rich, is equal to being powerful. This reflected in the way they treated others, as shown by the text George Early, a British sailor, wrote when he passed by Batavia, “The price paid by the government for these articles is extremely low… This system has been found so oppressive, that frequently the natives, driven to desperation, destroy their own plantations.” The way that they treated others could also stem from historical actions made by other important figures, which brings me to my last point.
History played a big part in how people acted back in the spice trade era. They learned about important historical figures in their time (they’re still significant), and how they treated others. Most of the historical figures enslaved people; such as: Christopher Columbus, Ponce de León, etc. This most likely would have given people the impression that if you treat others poorly, it is a sign of dominance. This passage from the same text written by George Early, “(the government) proves utterly regardless of the welfare and prosperity of those who are subjected to its rule,” shows that the authorities gave no consideration to the people they purchased from, and they didn’t care about their well-being whatsoever.
In conclusion, the four lenses of social studies work together to help us understand the way people acted, the way the trade systems worked and how the European governments worked back during the Southeast Asian spice trade era. When we study the spice trade, we can develop our understanding by simply mixing ideas and generating new ones. This gives us more insight and much more knowledge about how the trade worked.
Map: “Modern World History From the Age of Discovery to the Present.” Iowa State University. Iowa State University, n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2015.
Batavia Primary Source: From J. M. Gullick, Adventures and Encounters: Europeans in South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995.
A Taste of Adventure: “A Taste of Adventure” The Economics. The Economics, 17 Dec. 1998. Web. 12 Aug 2014.
The way that the simulation worked, showed us that government intervention was not uncommon. The government found out that the mark-up prices from the middlemen were high, and they decided to go to the farmers themselves. It was this, that made colonization “mainstream”. This helps us understand how the economy could be now. Government intervention is something that is common nowadays, even when transportation and communication is as easy as a click of a button. During the time that the merchants traded, religion spread. Religion is something that is universal, but they had to have originated somewhere, and spread from there onwards. This is what trading accomplished. In our simulation, we learned that traveling to different places was part of a traders’ routine. The trader could learn of religions elsewhere, and spread it to the different countries they were traveling between. Spices were made valuable because of geographical location. Spices were so desired in Europe because it was scarce there. The conditions that are needed to grow the spice crops, were apparent in mostly tropical areas, scattered mostly around Southeast Asia.
Written in 13 minutes
I created a book cover for the novel “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” by Mary E. Pearson (shown above). Set in the future, this book deals heavily on self-discovery. After Jenna Fox gets into a fatal car accident, she is brought back to life using illegal technology by her parents. Everyone around Jenna seems the same, however she knows she has changed. Jenna Fox has the human parts, but she knew she wasn’t. After she found out about the operation, in her mind, Jenna thought of herself as just a machine. This cover represents the way Jenna Fox pictures herself, and even the way the people are around her.
Background image link: http://www.iphone4wp.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/iPhone-4-Blue-Background-05.jpg