How did the Organization of Early Societies Change?

The organization of early societies changed through the development of complex institutions. Societies changed from having no method of ruling to having a stable government system. In the textbook, while discussing the five primary characteristics of a civilization, the author discusses the effects of complex institutions, “The soaring populations of early cities made government, or a system of ruling, necessary…government is an example of an institution- a lasting pattern of organization in a community” (Textbook 20). This shows that in early societies, there was no proper form of ruling that used to exist. However, as populations grew, a structured way of ruling and organizing the societies became necessary. Eventually, resulting in the change from no real method of ruling, to an orderly government institution that would maintain organization of a society as a whole. One can further comprehend that this was the most impactful change, because the author states that government was, “a lasting pattern of organization” in a society. Therefore, complex institutions changed the organization of early societies.

Effects of the Agricultural Revolution PEEL

Sung Cho

Mr. Owen Fidler

Asian Studies

January 19, 2015

Of the various effects brought by the Agricultural Revolution, the beginning of farming was ultimately the most important. Farming provided a steady food source. It was a very attractive alternative for the hunter-gatherers, because if people planted a certain amount of seeds, they could harvest the exact amount in return. Whereas, hunters could not guarantee how much food supply could be provided from day to day, having to deal with both surplus and scarcity of food. As it states in the textbook, “Unlike hunting, [farming] provided a steady food source” (Textbook 14). Furthermore, farming allowed humans to settle in certain areas, which encouraged people to develop in other aspects such as culture and art, instead of continuously trying to look for food. For example, the Catal Huyuk’s of 1958 demonstrated the benefits of a settled life. Not only did “Catal Huyuk’s agricultural surpluses support a number of highly skilled workers, such as potters and weavers”, “these permanent settlements provided their residents with opportunities for fulfillment- in work, in art, and in leisure time” (18). Therefore, as farming has brought forth benefits, such as steady food supply and furthered development in other aspects of living, the discovery of farming was one of the most significant effects of the Agricultural Revolution.

How Did Imperialism Affect Japan?

Sung Cho

Mr. Owen Fidler

Asian Studies


Imperialism affected Japan in developing major power and influence amongst the world.  In the textbook, under the chapter of Modernization in Japan, it states that during the Meiji Era, “As Japan’s sense of power grew, the nation also became more imperialistic…Japan’s victory over China changed the world’s balance of power” (812). During the Meiji Era, the altercation in the Japanese power structure allowed absolute power to the emperor and no longer the shogun. The emperor, Mutsuhito rapidly modernized the nation by adapting the ways of Western civilization. This resulted in a strengthened military. Shown in the quote, modernization led to the eagerness of the emperor to imperialize other nations. Japan’s aim was to initiate both economic (by opening trade ports) and military imperialism on Korea. However, as China intervened, the Japanese fought the Chinese. As suggested by the quote, Japan’s victory over such a large and influential country instantly made Japan a nation of great power. Finally, Japan’s act and attempt of imperializing affected Japan to develop as a nation with major power and influence.

India During the Mughal Empire- DBQ Document #2

Document 2 is an excerpt from Jahangir, Akbar’s son and Mughal emperor from 1605 to 1627. He is most noted for increasing the size of the empire by conquering new lands and continuing his father’s policies. He also wrote a memoir that was intended to glorify himself and set an example to his successors. While it covered the first thirteen years of his reign, his addiction to alcohol and opium eventually stripped him of his ability to lead effectively. In this passage, he retold a conversation he had with Akbar regarding Hindus in the Empire.

…I find myself a powerful monarch, a shadow of God upon earth. I have seen that he bestows the blessing of his gracious providence upon all his creatures without distinction…with all of the human race, with all of God’s creatures, I am at peace; why then should I permit myself to be the cause of any molestation or aggression to any one?… I have thought it therefore my wisest plan to leave these men alone. Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engaged, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind…


How did Jahangir view his Hindu subjects? What were his reasons for allowing them to practice their religion?


Point: The powerful monarch, Jahangir does not view his Hindu subjects any different from the rest of his subjects. In fact, he explains that they are a contributive group towards society.

Evidence: “I have seen that [God] bestows the blessing of his gracious providence upon all his creatures without distinction…”

Explanation: This statement of Jahangir conveys that he believes God created all mankind for a purpose, and gives his blessing to everyone equally. Therefore, Hindu’s should not be viewed as an exception. They should also be accepted and treated “without distinction”.

Evidence: “Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engaged, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind”.

Explanation: Not only does Jahangir believe his Hindu subject should be viewed with equality, he is stating that they also play a large role in the “benefit of mankind”. Besides the arts and science, Hindu’s are engaged in further improving society.

Link: Finally, through Jahangir’s beliefs of God and the Hindu’s positive impact to both mankind and the Mughal Empire, Jahangir views his Hindu subjects with equality and respect.


The powerful monarch, Jahangir does not consider his Hindu subjects any different from the rest of his subjects. He believes that they are equal, and are a contributive group towards society. In the midst of the conversation, he states, “I have seen that [God] bestows the blessing of his gracious providence upon all his creatures without distinction…” This conveys that Jahangir is convinced God created all mankind for a purpose, and gives his blessing to everyone equally. Hindu’s should not be viewed as an exception. They should be accepted and treated without distinction. Further into the conversation, Jahangir elaborates the consequences regarding Hindu’s in the empire, “Neither is it to be forgotten that the class of whom we are speaking… are usefully engaged, either in the pursuit of the arts or science, or of improvements for the benefit of mankind”. Not only does Jahangir believe his Hindu subjects should be viewed with equality, he is stating that they also play a large role in the “benefit of mankind”. Besides the arts and science, the acts of Hindu’s show that they are engaged in further improving society. Finally, through Jahangir’s beliefs toward God, and the Hindu’s positive impact to both mankind and the Mughal Empire, he views his Hindu subjects with equality and respect. Therefore, Hindu’s should be able to practice their religion in the empire.

Spice Trade, Through the Lenses of Social Studies

Spices are a common additive in all types of food. However, many people today fail to see beyond its gustatory delights. There was a time in history when cultures, geography, economics, and even political systems were influenced and shaped by spices. The spice trade led to many successful endeavors: the spread of religions, economical benefits, and prestige amongst nations. Multiple subjects of social studies are geared to better understand the influences of spice trades that affected global societies.

Trade_routes2                    Map representing major trade routes and religions spread during the spice trade

The connection of geography and cultures played a vast role in the spice trade. Regions with suitable environmental features could raise and grow spices in mass quantities. This prosperity, in turn, allowed them to initiate the spice trade with their neighboring countries. Later, in order to expand trading, they created trade routes, and middlemen traveled to Arabia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East to trade. Along with their travels came environmental, social, and cultural interaction, which led to the crossbreeding of technology, religion, and other ideas. As shown in the map, Islamic religion was at the center of the spice trade. The Islams had occupied the Spice Islands since the 14th century; therefore, the environment allowed Islams the access to a substantial amount of spices for exporting. Eventually, the Spice Island’s prosperous geography granted them the opportunity to spread the cultural anthropology of the Islamic religion during trade. The teachings of Islam were spread to all major trade ports. Other religions that spread widely with the spice trade were Buddhism and Christianity. The growing trade expansion was vital to the influence of the major religions of that era.

In addition to social and cultural benefits, economic gain was notably another connected subject behind the spice trade. Greedy trade suppliers who were interested in the improvement of economical living grasped the opportunity of lucrative trade routes in their objective to gain money and power. By manipulating the supply and demand scale of the market system, merchants sold spices at a higher price when they recognized greater demand. However, when there was not enough demand, the merchants sold their spices at lower costs and could still dominate the market. According to the map above, spices flowed to Europe and were mainly controlled by the European merchants. In the supply process, the cultural terms of the buyer altered gain and loss. As written in the passage Spice It Up, during Big Era Six, “The Europeans believed good health depended on a balance of the fluids or ‘humors’ in ones body… by adding spices to one’s food, these humors were put into balance” and, “…each time [spices] changed hands, their price increased” (Segade 22). People purchased and sold spices not just to give flavor to food, but for cultural values and economical benefit.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 7.53.43 AM

Furthermore, components of the spice trade demonstrated unified relationships between geographical areas, economical transactions, and cultural dynamics. Unlike European purchasers that were looking for cheap prices of spice, other nations such as China had previously gained wealth. Rich countries could already utilize their geographical environment to export and manufacture an abundance of quality goods, which led them to a success in economics. Therefore, they did not seek imported goods, but valued the notion that others should show prestige and respect to them. For example, an inscription carved in a temple in 1431 reads, “The emperor…has ordered [Zheng He] and others at the head of several tens of thousands of officers and flag-troops to ascend more than one hundred large ships to go and confer presents on [Western countries] in order to make manifest the transforming power of the (imperial) virtue and to treat distant people with kindness…” (Morison). China’s intentions were to boast that it was the center of the economic universe. The emperor valued the manisfest of Chinese virtues and presents; however, the text also implies the gifts allowed foreign countries to note that China’s economy was abundantly growing and manufacturing a prolific supply of spices. For the Chinese, their geographical status resulted in economical success, which later allowed them to establish their cultural beliefs, prompting prestige and respect from other countries.

Finally, the analyses of the various subject areas of social studies help one understand the spice trade in more depth. The lenses of social studies, geography, economics, and cultural anthropology are all interconnected together to analyze and unify the puzzle pieces of the various events that took place during the spice trade.


Works Cited

Map- “Trade Routes 2.” Wikipedia. N.p., 16 Oct. 2013. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.     <>.

Spice It Up- Segade, Irene. “Big Era Six – The Convergency.” (n.d.): n. pag. World History for Us All. UCLA. Web.     <>

Primary Source- “Zheng He Documents.” Zheng He Documents. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2015. <>.

Islams and Spice Trade- “Islam and the Spice Trade.” N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2015. <>.

4 Lenses of Social Studies, connected? or disconnected?

15 minutes

Through the Traders Simulation and the ‘Spice it up’ activity, I have learned that the 4 lenses of social studies are connected. At first, as stated in the ‘Spice it up’ passage, Europeans showed interest in spices, because of their values. They believed that adding spices to food led to balanced life. This initiated anthropological attention. The need for spices became more vital amongst all of Europe. Slowly, the citizens began to organize themselves. This shows the essence of importance of cultural anthropology. The Europeans cultures have led them to develop interest in spice. Besides culture, depending on geographical features, (just like the Traders simulation) farmers began to raise and grow spices that were fit for their environment. Then, sold it to the traders. After that, depending on their own economical status, traders sold the spices to the merchants in very high prices when it was high in demand, and at low prices when it was low in demand. As the spice trade began evolving as a stable, organized system, traders from India, China, and Malay were actively trading as well. Trading with, and encountering all sorts of people around the world, cultures began to spread. For example, as a result of Asians trading with Europeans and Arabs, Christianity and Muslims set foot on Asia. Spreading diverse religions and beliefs. This shows, Not only in terms of cultures and values, the people economical statuses and job stabilities were being established. Just like the result of the Traders simulation, farmers and traders sold their spices at a decent price and lived a stable life. Some merchants lived very differing lives, some were suffering of insolvency, and others were enjoying a wealthy life. The history of the spice trade has both improved and worsened our lives and the current world. Diversity has become a common characteristic amongst all regions; however, there has been rapid disparity in the socio economical status of citizens.

Spice It Up Critical Reading

What topic does this task make you want to learn more about?

During this class, we were given a passage to read. The passage covered ideas about spices and the history of the spice trade. This task has made me want to learn more about why pepper was such a desired spice, and how trade influenced the wealth of citizens.

Forgiveness, the Resolution to All of Suffering and Remorse

“I know [Alaska] forgives me, just as I forgive her” (Green 221). The resolution of Looking for Alaska is when Miles “Pudge” Halter realizes that forgiveness is the only way out of the labyrinth of suffering. Female protagonist Alaska Young was too afraid to do anything while watching her mother die. Therefore, she has struggled and conflicted to escape the labyrinth of suffering (commonly called guilt) for many years, “I JUST HAVE TO GO. HELP ME GET OUT OF HERE!” (132). However, as she dies of an accident, Miles takes the guilt on himself. Alaska’s driving in an unconscious state eventually led to her fast death. As the death of Alaska is announced to the entire school, Miles begins to fill with remorse. Moments before her death, Miles turns out to be the one that allowed drunken Alaska to drive. Though Alaska has finally escaped the labyrinth of suffering by choosing to die, Pudge’s struggle has just begun. His struggle against himself highlights the largest conflict throughout the novel. Along with the Colonel, Miles tries to investigate and unravel what exactly happened to Alaska on the night she died. And, in the falling action, the Colonel and Pudge discover Alaska had committed suicide, and the night of her death casts back to the same date as her mother’s death. Shortly, in memory of Alaska’s death, Miles and the Colonel, along with two other friends pull the largest prank on Culver Creek Boarding School. But even after commemorating Alaska’s death in a unique way, Miles’ labyrinth of suffering about Alaska carries on. He has yet found a way out. And so during his final exam, he is assigned by “The Old Man” to write about the same topic. His labyrinth of suffering. That is when Miles finally realizes that forgiveness was his way out of the labyrinth of suffering.

Alaska was never able to forgive herself for what she had done to her mother, which is why Alaska had to die, in order to escape the labyrinth. However, if Miles forgave himself for what he had done for Alaska, he could perhaps be the only one to successfully escape the labyrinth of suffering, “…I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person” (219).

Frankly, I am satisfied with the resolution of Looking for Alaska, but there are certainly minor parts that I am not so satisfied about. To begin, it was very engaging to read a novel so similar to the life of teenage students like me. Grumpy deans like “the Eagle”, and wealthy and spoiled group of students like “The Weekday Warriors” maintained a high quality of realism from the exposition to the resolution of the book. Unfortunately, I felt it was rather odd that the Colonel, who played quite a large role in the novel, was not included as much in the resolution. Nevertheless, it was interesting to read about a realistic and deep moral taught by John Green.

Alaska’s Inescapable Truth of Life, COMING SOON….

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 10.33.17 PM

In the exposition of Looking for Alaska by John Green, protagonist Miles “Pudge” Halter, in search of a great perhaps, attends Culver Creek Boarding School. He falls in love with a girl named Alaska Young. Discovering that there is more to this gorgeous, clever, and funny girl, Pudge finds out why Alaska has become the self-destructive, moody, and outgoing person she is. As the novel reaches its rising action and climax, Pudge comes to realize that Alaska had to watch her mother die when she was a child. Overwhelmed by the guilt, person vs. self is the main internal conflict that she struggles, “how do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering” (Green 82). She often explodes into unexpected remorse as well, “I JUST HAVE TO GO. HELP ME GET OUT OF HERE” (132).

The suffering in life’s labyrinth is inescapable for Alaska Young, not even after she dies…

In the multimedia post above, I created a movie poster in PAGES that incorporates Alaska’s internal conflict. The girl on the left is Alaska with her emerald eyes. The image on the right may just look like lines; however, it portrays the life’s labyrinth that Alaska is trying to escape from.


“Alaska Young | TFIOS & John Green. | Pinterest.” Pinterest: Discover and save creative ideas. Web. 16 May 2015. <>.

Explore THE Unexplored

Viewing this project as a whole, I am especially proud of the teamwork of our group and the unity of our magazine. As it is shown in our magazine, we were able to produce an end product that successfully showed connection between each of the five themes for every minority. When depicting the Miao, we incorporated a small text box in the color red, purple for Mongols, green for Tibet, and yellow for Uyghur’s. The text box can be identified in the top right corner for almost every page of the magazine. Also, our entire group used the same font, Times New Roman and American Typewriter for nearly all the themes, which enhanced greater unity to the our magazine, Explore the Unexplored.

Personally, I believe I could have done a better job with my regional comparisons on page 8. Region was the most difficult concept for me to show understanding of; hence, I had to do a little more research, but I still think that I could’ve compared and contrasted additional factors apart from dialect, landscape, and animals.

While working on this project, I learned the importance of planning. Since our group planned ahead on the fonts, color scheme, page order, and many other precise factors of the magazine, at the end, we were able to thoroughly put together Explore the Unexplored. Unfortunately, we forgot to label page numbers; therefore, we wasted a lot of time adjusting every single page of the magazine.

For students doing this project next year, I would like to emphasize they focus less on individuality and prioritize cooperation. When doing projects, many students believe they can get a good grade just by successfully doing their part. However, that is never true. In this project, without communicating and discussing the details of every part of the magazine, you cannot achieve anything.

Finally, through this project, I have learned and understood the importance of group dynamics and the interesting characteristics of magazines. I hope this project will continue for future grade eight students.