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“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Lord Byron.

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Presentation on theme: "“But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Lord Byron."— Presentation transcript:

1 “But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.” Lord Byron

2 THE COMPARATIVE ESSAY The comparative essay requires students to compare and contrast how at least two (perhaps more) civilizations or nations have undergone or responded to a historical event or experience Students must give equal weight to both (or all) civilizations or nations specified in the question Students must also balance similarities and differences, although one may be considered more important than the other The central task for this essay is comparison

3 GENERAL TIPS FOR WRITING THE COMPARATIVE ESSAY Students should take 40 minutes to complete the comparative essay Students should spend 5 of the 40 minutes reading the question, reflecting on the question, and organizing thoughts concerning the essay The comparative essay requires that students compare and contrast how at least two civilizations or nations have undergone or responded to a historical event or experience The essay’s focus is on comparison

4 Because the central task of the comparative essay is comparison rather than a theme, it may appear difficult to create a thesis statement. The question may not lend itself to a clear-cut theme or argument but by emphasizing how likenesses outweigh differences or vice versa or by arguing that similarities and differences are equally balanced, a solid thesis statement can be created.

5 Let’s Practice!

6 FROM THE 2005 WORLD HISTORY AP EXAMINATION (COURTESY OF COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION BOARD): Compare and contrast the political and economic effects of Mongol rule on TWO of the following regions: China Middle East Russia

7 THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER BEFORE WRITING Who were the Mongols, when did they conquer a vast empire, and how did they govern their empire? Why did the Mongol Empire fracture into different khanates? What was similar and different about Mongol khanates in China, Russia, and the Middle East? Why was Mongol rule similar or different in China, Russia, and the Middle East? For which regions under Mongol rule(China, Russia, and the Middle East) can more facts be recalled?

8 Definition: Compare To examine the character or qualities of especially in order to discover resemblances or differences ~Merriam-Webster dictionary Definition: Contrast To set off in contrast: compare or appraise in respect to differences ~Merriam-Webster dictionary

9 SO, WAIT A MINUTE It’s not just what is the same but what is different

10 REMEMBER TO READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY Compare and Contrast Political and Economic Effects Of Mongol rule on TWO regions

11 GENERAL FACTS ABOUT THE MONGOLS Mongol conquests began in 1211 under the leadership of Genghis Khan (also Chingiz, Jenghiz, or Chinggis) The first target was northern China; by 1215, the Mongols had breached the Great Wall and seized the city of Beijing The Mongols also moved against Central Asia, capturing the great Silk Road trading center of Samarkand But the Mongols were better at conquest than they were at governing By 1260, the last khan to rule over a united Mongol empire (Mongke) died

12 Civil war broke out, and the empire’s four largest units became independent states The homeland, which went to Kublai Khan, included Mongolia, China, and territories to the east and southeast The Golden Horde ruled over Russia and parts of eastern Europe until the mid-1400s The Il-Khan Mongols converted to Islam and ruled much of the Middle East until the rise of the Ottoman Turks in the late 1300s A Mongol state, the Jagadai Khanate, governed Central Asia well into the 1400s Like the Il-Khans (with whom they often struggled), the Jagadai became Muslims

13 MONGOLS IN CHINA In China, Kublai Khan ruled Mongols destroyed cities and were ruthless warriors But once their domain was established, the empire was generally peaceful The empire allowed for the exchange of goods, ideas, and culture The Mongols adopted Chinese methods to administer China The Mongols made use of Chinese administrative practices, techniques of taxation, and their postal system

14 The Mongols gave themselves a Chinese dynastic title, the Yuan, meaning “great beginnings” They transferred their capital from Karakorum in Mongolia to what is now Beijing Kublai Khan, China’s Mongol ruler from 1271 to 1294, ordered a set of Chinese-style ancestral tablets to honor his ancestors and posthumously awarded them Chinese names Kublai Khan improved roads, built canals, lowered some taxes, and prohibited Mongols from grazing their animals on peasants’ farmland Mongol khans also made use of traditional Confucian rituals Despite these accommodations, Mongol rule was still harsh, exploitative, and foreign

15 The Mongols did not become Chinese, nor did they accommodate every aspect of Chinese culture The Mongols largely ignored the traditional Chinese examination system and relied heavily on foreigners to serve as officials And the Mongols kept the top decision-making posts for themselves Few Mongols learned Chinese, and Mongol law discriminated against the Chinese In social life, the Mongols forbade intermarriage Mongol women never adopted foot binding By 1368, Chinese rebels had ousted the Mongols

16 MONGOLS IN RUSSIA From the survivors and the cities that surrendered early to the Mongols, laborers and skilled craftsmen were deported to other Mongol lands or sold into slavery But if the ferocity of the initial conquest bore similarities to other Mongol conquests, Russia’s incorporation into the Mongol Empire was very different To the Mongols, it was the Kipchak Khanate To the Russians, it was the “Khanate of the Golden Horde”

17 From the Mongol point of view, Russia had little to offer The availability of extensive steppe lands for pasturing their flocks north of the Black and Caspian seas meant that the Mongols could maintain their preferred nomadic way of life The Mongols could dominate and exploit Russia from the steppes Russian princes were required to send substantial tribute to the Mongol capital at Sarai, located on the lower Volga River A variety of additional taxes created a heavy burden, especially on the peasantry Continuing border raids sent tens of thousands of Russians into slavery

18 The Mongol impact on Russia was highly uneven Some Russian princes benefitted considerably because they were able to manipulate their role as tribute collectors to grow wealthy The Russian Orthodox Church likewise flourished under the Mongol policy of religious toleration, for it received exemption from many taxes Some cities, such as Kiev, resisted the Mongols and were devastated The city of Moscow emerged as a primary collector of tribute for the Mongols and eventually parlayed this position into a leading role as the nucleus of a renewed Russian state when the Mongols receded in the fifteenth century

19 MONGOLS IN MIDDLE EAST A second great civilization conquered by the Mongols was that of an Islamic Persia The Mongol takeover was far more abrupt than the extended process of conquest in China A first invasion ( ), led by Chinggis Khan himself, was followed thirty years later by a second assault ( ) under his grandson Hulegu, who became the first il-khan (subordinate khan) of Persia The sacking of Baghdad in 1258, which put an end to the Abbasid caliphate, was accompanied by the massacre of more than 200,000 people

20 Heavy taxes, sometimes collected twenty or thirty times a year and often under torture or whipping, pushed large numbers of peasants off their land The in-migration of nomadic Mongols, together with their immense herds of sheep and goats, turned much agricultural land into pasture and sometimes into desert A fragile system of underground water channels that provided irrigation to the fields was neglected, and much good agricultural land was reduced to waste But some sectors of the Persian economy gained Wine production increased because the Mongols were fond of alcohol and the Persian silk industry benefitted from close contact with a Mongol-ruled China

21 In general, though, even more so than in China, Mongol rule in Persia represented “disaster on a grand and unparalleled scale” But the Mongols in Persia were themselves transformed far more than their counterparts in China The Mongols made extensive use of the sophisticated Persian bureaucracy, leaving the greater part of government operations in Persian hands During the reign of Ghazan ( ), the Mongols made some efforts to repair the damage caused by earlier policies of ruthless exploitation, by rebuilding damaged cities and repairing neglected irrigation works

22 Most important, the Mongols who conquered Persia became Muslims, following the lead of Ghazan, who converted to Islam in 1295 No widespread conversion to the culture of the conquered occurred in China or in Christian Russia Members of the court and Mongol elites learned at least some Persian, unlike most of their counterparts in China A number of Mongols also turned to farming, abandoning their nomadic ways, while some married local people When the Mongol dynasty of Hulegu’s descendants collapsed in the 1330s for lack of a suitable heir, the Mongols were not driven out of Persia as they had been from China Rather they and their Turkic allies disappeared through assimilation into Persian society

23 BEFORE WRITING, LET’S REVIEW THE SCORING GUIDE Basic Core (For a possible total of 7 points) -Acceptable thesis (1 point) -Deals with all parts of the question (2 points) -Backs up thesis with appropriate historical evidence (2 points) -Provides one or two relevant, direct comparisons between or among societies (1 point) -Analyzes one or more reasons for a difference or similarity discussed in a direct comparison (1 point)

24 THE EXPANDED CORE FOR THE COMPARATIVE ESSAY The basic core of 7 must be earned before a student can earn a maximum of 2 additional points -Opens with an analytical, clear, comprehensive thesis -Deals with all relevant parts of the question: comparisons, chronology, causation, connections, themes, interactions, content -Gives ample historical evidence to back up thesis -Links comparisons to larger global context -Draws several direct comparisons -Regularly examines the reasons for and the results of key similarities and differences

25 KEY INGREDIENTS Thesis Addresses all relevant parts of the question Historical evidence to support thesis Provides direct comparisons between or among societies Analyzes reasons for differences or similarities discussed in comparisons And for expanded core points: Analytical, Comprehensive, Ample Evidence, Creative - links comparisons to larger global context, draws several direct comparisons, and regularly examines the reasons for and the results of key similarities and differences


27 HOW THE FACTS WILL DETERMINE THE THESIS Facts will provide the evidence needed to create a thesis statement So, ultimately, reflect on the political and economic effects of Mongol rule on two regions and then look for similarities and differences If there are more differences that similarities, emphasize the differences The thesis statement or argument that works is the thesis statement or argument that can be proven

28 SAMPLE THESIS PARAGRAPH The Mongol conquest and rule of China was vastly different from the Mongol conquest and rule of the Middle East from the 12 th through the 15 th Centuries CE, inevitably, some similarities existed for the various Mongol rulers shared a similar culture. Yet, in the case of China, Mongol rulers tried to preserve much of the political and economic framework of previous Chinese dynasties while largely ignoring the examination system and denying Chinese top administrative posts. In the Middle East, Mongol rule began in harsh and cruel way only to eventually lead to the Mongol assimilation into Islamic society. Ultimately, cultural interactions determined political and economic outcomes.

29 WHAT TO NOTICE Are there significant differences or important similarities? In this essay, Mongol rule in China and the Middle East are quite different but that does not mean that similarities are completely absent In addition, the political and economic effects of Mongol rule could be the political and economic effects of conquerors in general Are there connections to larger global trends? Finally, which style of rule benefitted the Mongols more? These thoughts can help clarify the thesis

30 NOW, LOOK FOR COMPARISONS TO THE LARGER GLOBAL CONTEXT Consider looking for general trends or global issues that move beyond the specific comparison Of course, answer the question fully but then use the facts to shed light on comparable global trends or patterns

31 FACTS MATTER Of course, to write a comparative essay, facts are critical Unlike the DBQ, the only information the student has to answer the question is the information the student has remembered And the best way to remember information is to practice and interact with it regularly

32 “ The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug..” Mark Twain

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