What is Important Here: One Contact with the New World
Debating the Great Opening 1450- 1600 Connection of “Old World” with “New World”. Old World = Eurasia and Africa New World = Americas Terminology Watch: –Eurasia = Europe and Asia –Europe, Africa, Asia are not countries.
We Do Things Differently in College History Not just names, dates and events. No standard version you have to memorize. Place yourself in an ongoing debate among world historians.
The BIG Question For Part One: –Why was it Europe that forged a permanent connection with the Americas at the end of the fifteenth century? –Did they have some unique advantage over the rest of the world?
Chapter One: Diamond’s Theory: Environmental Determinism Eurasian landmass had unique, natural geographic and environmental advantages. –Close to origins of man –Mediterranean Climate –Domesticable animals –East/West axis –(Reading 2, p.15)
Evidence of the Conquistadors? Reading 1 (p.12) Francisco de Jerez (Primary Source)
Critiques of Jared Diamond J. R. McNeill (Reading 2, p.16). What about human choice and agency? What about natural barriers within Eurasia, e.g. Himalayas? Chris Ehret (Reading 4, p.18). Do not underestimate the importance and civilization of Africa.
What about the other side of Eurasia? Map of Chinese Voyages in C.15th
Why was China the more likely candidate for exploration and expansion? Better technology Better commerce Better bureaucracy - meritocracy
So why did they not continue their voyages? Theory One: Chang Keui- Shang (Reading 6) – They were self-sufficient, they had no reason to sail East to get around Africa for trade with the Europeans. Theory Two: They need to respond to the threat of the Mongols. Theory Three: They followed a labor- intensive path of innovation to support their vast population.
Conclusion College level history about trying to figure what happened, how it happened and why it happened. Looking for patterns and interconnections. Next Time: Was there something exceptional about European culture? Did Europeans really have a military advantage over the rest of the world?