As states and empires increased in size and contacts between regions multiplied, religious and cultural systems were transformed. Religions and belief systems provided a bond among the people and an ethical code to live by. These shared beliefs also influenced and reinforced political, economic, and occupational stratification. Religious and political authority often merged as rulers (some of whom were considered divine) used religion, along with military and legal structures, to justify their rule and ensure its continuation. Religions and belief systems could also generate conflict, partly because beliefs and practices varied greatly within and among societies.
I. Codifications and further developments of existing religious traditions provided a bond among the people and an ethical code to live by.
II. New belief systems and cultural traditions emerged and spread, often asserting universal truths.
IV. Other religious and cultural traditions continued and in some places incorporated into major religious traditions.
As the early states and empires grew in number, size, and population, they frequently competed for resources and came into conflict with one another. In quest of land, wealth, and security, some empires expanded dramatically. In doing so, they built powerful military machines and administrative institutions that were capable of organizing human activities over long distances, and they created new groups of military and political elites to manage their affairs. As these empires expanded their boundaries, they also faced the need to develop policies and procedures to govern their relationships with ethnically and culturally diverse populations: sometimes to integrate them within an imperial society and sometimes to exclude them. In some cases, these empires became victims of their own successes. By expanding their boundaries too far, they created political, cultural, and administrative difficulties that they could not manage. They also experienced environmental, social, and economic problems when they overexploited their lands and subjects and permitted excessive wealth to be concentrated in the hands of privileged classes.
I. The number and size of key states and empires grew dramatically by imposing political unity on areas where previously there had been competing states.
- Required examples of key states and empires (Student should know the location and names):
II. Empires and states developed new techniques of imperial administration based, in part, on the success of earlier political forms.
III. Unique social and economic dimensions developed in imperial societies in Afro-Eurasia and the Americas.
A. Through excessive mobilization of resources, erosion of established political institutions, and economic changes, imperial governments generated social tensions and created economic difficulties by concentrating too much wealth in the hands of elites.
With the organization of large-scale empires, the volume of long-distance trade increased dramatically. Much of this trade resulted from the demand for raw materials and luxury goods. Land and water routes linked many regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. The exchange of people, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens developed alongside the trade in goods across far-flung networks of communication and exchange. In the Americas and Oceania localized networks developed.
I. Land and water routes became the basis for trans-regional trade, communication, and exchange networks in the Eastern Hemisphere.
II. New technologies facilitated long-distance communication and exchange.
III. Alongside the trade in goods, the exchange of people, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens developed across far-flung networks of communication and exchange.
(BESIDES ISLAM) ALL MAJOR EARTH RELIGIONS TAKE HOLD HERE.
HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT CIVILIZATIONS ARISE HERE (ROME, INDIA, CHINA)
MVP OF THIS ERA: THE CLASSICAL CIVILIZATIONS. HOW THEY RULE, INTERACT, and FALL.
TRADE ROUTES EMERGE AND ARE AS IMPORTANT AS RELIGION & CIVILIZATION.
THOSE RELIGIONS FROM ABOVE; GREW, SPREAD, and CHANGED FROM HERE ON.