48. Contact breeds Conflict

48 Days.  1,152 hours. 69,120 Minutes.

Conflicts often bring about massive death and despair.  These are no different.  But, there were some important by-products (besides the slaughter of countless millions of people).


1. Tang vs. Abbasids

This is an epic battle of the heavyweights.  The Reigning Cultural Champion (China) during her renaissance versus the new kid on the block with the fastest growing religion on earth.  As far as I can tell, they fought once.  It was so important no one even knows where, exactly.  Abbasids had just become an empire (like less than a year after waxing the floor with the Umayyads).  The Tang would stop expanding westward and this is by far the further the Abbasids got.  Wait, that doesn’t really matter… What happened that makes this AP-worthy?!?

PAPER! Papermaking was transferred to the west by a Chinese prisoner.  So, yeah… pretty much paper making… That’s why its here.

2. The Mongols vs. Afro-Eurasia

We’ve already mentioned the Mongols as big-deal world power in this era, but what they’re getting at here is that the  Pax Mongolica or Mongol peace allowed for unprecedented world trade and the spread of many East Asian technologies to the West (ex. Gunpowder & Bubonic Plague)

3. The Crusaders vs. Anybody not Christian

The Crusaders were initially called in by your friends the Byzantines to save Christendom from Islamic invaders.  But, it turned into a quest to regain the holy land; which they did for about a century.  The real influence here is that Europe got to see first hand how a first-class global society (Byzantines or Islamic Caliphates) functioned up close.  All of the sudden, that lame Feudalism back home isn’t so awesome.  The next era (1450-1750) is all about Europe waking up.  Well, the Crusades were their alarm clock.

Below are the rest of the Cross-Cultural exchanges in map form:

Posted on March 29, 2019 .