Unit 2 World History
The Step Pyramid of El Castillo near current day Cancun Mexico. (From my personal files)
A reconstruction of a 13th Century Mongol Warrior from a Museum.(Creative Commons photo. Attribution to author and info can be found here)
This chapter is usually a favorite among students because of the content that they find here. As opposed to most chapters focused on East Asia, the students have a working knowledge of at least a couple of groups in this chapter and they usually enjoy hearing how much of their pop culture knowledge is wrong. While most chapters on East Asia center around China, this one covers some other civilizations at length. The Japanese are a favorite among students because of the rise of the Samurai in Japan. After that we cover the rise of the Mongol Empire, which captures the attention of students due to the questions over whether they were more barbaric than other conquerors in history. Students also get a renewed focus on women’s history in this unit. While most of it is still pretty negative, they do get to hear about the Trung sisters and their valiant fight against the Chinese. There is also a long conversation about the connections started with other cultures because of the spread of the Mongols in history.
- Is this era in Chinese history the most unequal in terms of gender relations in the history we have covered so far? Why or why not?
- Should Genghis Khan be considered a great man for his actions, despite all the large scale massacres he committed in his life?
- What were the reasons that Muslim conquerors of India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan abandoned their usual peaceful coexistence with other faiths and instead treated the Hindu so poorly in comparison?
- Why do you believe Admiral Zheng He is considered an important enough person to be labeled the 14th most important person of the millennium by Life magazine?
This area is in the process of being created. In the meantime, please see the class notes for any information you may need for this chapter. An example of a completed page can be found in chapter 11.