Classical Empires Fall The nature of History is that things change. In early history there were the great empire of the Han Dynasty, Rome, and India (Gupta). For new empire to emerge, however, the old ones need to fall.
Han Dynasty The Han Dynasty had existed and ruled for a number of years. They suffered from political instability when a young emperor would lose the throne. The Dynasty would regain control but suffer from instability from then on. The Han also faced the attacks of Nomadic tribes from Central Asia, which caused higher taxes and unhappy subjects. The Han would also suffer from epidemics, outbreaks of disease, because trade from the Silk Road would bring in new disease.
Roman Empire Rome, much like the Han, suffered from political instability and nomadic tribes. In the last half of the 3 rd century, of the 26 different emperors of Rome, 25 were killed or committed suicide. To pay for the expenses of the empire taxes were raised on the lower levels of society (farmers) To avoid the taxes farmers would abandon their farms and move into the city
As more farmers moved to the cities there were not enough jobs, disease became a problem, and the price of food rose. Taxes cause inflation, and civil unrest. To make Rome easier to rule the Emperor Constantine would split the empire in two and make Byzantium the second capital.
Rome will face pressure from Germanic tribes from the north. They will succeed in sacking Rome three times 410, 455, and removing the last emperor in 476. The Byzantine empire would live on.
Gupta Empire (India) The Gupta empire ran differently from the Han and Roman. They allowed for autonomy (self governance) but kept strong central control. For this reason they did not suffer the set backs of political or social issues like the other classical empires.
The Gupta fell because of foreign invaders known as the White Huns. The Gupta benefited from having 2 defenses: The Persian military and the Himalayan Mts. The Gupta Empire successfully defends against them once, but drain their resources paying for the defense, and fall to the second invasion
Rise of new Civilizations In the place of the Romans the Sassanian Empire of Persia (the Persian Empire) will stretch from the Byzantine Empire to India. As they are direct neighbors with the Byzantine Empire both peoples will spend a large amount of money fighting wars with each other.
In China no new dynasty will immediately emerge, but about 300-400 years later the Tang and Song dynasties will take over. Some of the most stable and successful times in the history of Ancient China.
Dark Ages Europe will fall into the Dark Ages, where cities will fall, economies will crumble, and art and literature aren’t produced. New leaders, such as Charlemagne, will eventually come and start new kingdoms, Holy Roman Empire. The knowledge of Europe will be kept safe by the Byzantine and Islamic Empire
Mesoamerica Also, independently, at this time empires will rise in Mesoamerica (Mexico & Central America) Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec Empires
Muslim Empire Muhammad will receive the message of God around 610 (You know this story) Muhammad will retake Mecca in 630, and die two years later. His father-in-law, Abu Bakr, will be selected by the Muslim community to be their next leader/ruler, AKA a Caliph
Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali will be the first four Caliphs (632-661) They will conquer parts of northern Africa, the Middle East, and take the Persian Empire from the Byzantine.
Why the Success? 1. Belief God was on their side. 2. Mastery of the Camel for transportation and warfare.
Umayyad After the four Caliphs the Umayyad family will take over the Islamic Empire. They will continue expanding across Africa, and into Spain. They will also capture parts of China. They are only defeated when they try to enter France (Charles Martel) and at Constantinople (Byzantium)
Abbasids The Umayyad Caliphate will be overthrown by the Abbasids. They move the Capital to Baghdad, rule for 500 years, and the time is considered the height of the Islamic Empire.
Split of the faithful Shi’a Never truly accepted the Umayyad or Abbasid rulers. Follow the descendants of Ali, the last caliph Minority Sunni Accept the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers The majority of Muslims Sufis Mystics who reject worldly rule and seek direct experiences with god. Holy men who are important in spreading the religion
Despite the differences of its followers Muslims will for a massive empire by 900, known as Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam) The Muslim empire will encourporate Arabs, Christians, Jews, Persians, Indians, Turks, North Africans Berbers, and Black Africans. Christians and Jews will be respect by Muslim rulers as, “People of the Book,” and allowed to keep practicing their faith. Non-Muslims had to pay a special tax though
Society and Economy Most people who are in the Muslim empire will convert (willingly) and learn Arabic The Common language helps unite the Empire Social System: 1. Muslims, 2. Converts, 3. People of the Book, 4. Others Women will be lower in society, but are allowed to own property (better than most cultures)
The Muslim empire will thrive on trade as it helped connect major trade roads. Camel and boats will be used to trade, and the common language allows for people to trade anywhere in the empire Rulers guaranteed safe conduct for trade
Culture of Islam Islam will have it’s own culture, but absorb ideas from Rome, Persia, China, and India. They will become wonderful Architects Will create universities for studying (Plato or Aristotle)
Muslims will make advancements in mathematics. They apply algebra to astronomy, and are responsible for the modern number system (including zero from India) Develop irrigation, canals, water wheels, dams, and improve on sailing by using Greek and Chinese technology.
Mongol Empire Nomadic tribes from Central Asia. Excellent warriors and raiders Their leader was called a Khan One Khan, Temujin, would unit the Mongol tribes and take the name Genghis Khan, or “Universal rider” The Mongols will go on to conquer most of Asia
Reasons for Success Excellent warriors when on horseback (ride while sleeping) Extremely disciplined, organized in groups of 10 Genghis was a great strategist and could fool his enemies in battle Genghis was brutal. If a city rebelled after he conquered it he would kill everyone. After Genghis dies he lets his grandsons carry on the mission.
Mongol Rule As their empire grew the Mongols had to learn to rule. They imposed their own value system: theft, lying, betrayal, & defiance could all be punishable by death. Believed in religious tolerance. They believed in one God, but that men had learned to interpret that one God differently.
The Empire would grow large, and be divided into four. The Four sections would continue to work with one another. This time is known as the Pax Mongolica, or the Peace of the Mongols. Trade will continue to flourish, and paper and gunpowder will make its way to Europe during this time. The Empire will be brought down by the Bubonic Plauge (Black Death) which will spread all the way to Europe
World Religions Many religions will spread during this time. Conflict sometimes occurred: Muslims didn’t like Hundiusm. The Crusades (Christians vs Muslims) would be fought for portions of the Middle East Muslims will be driven out of Spain as well