World History

Why Study World History?

The goal of World History is to put into perspective how major historical events are related according to the overall narrative of humanity’s development and struggles.
The supposed result is that the affected person becomes more familiar with the dissimilarities surrounding their world and has gained greater wisdom from these historical experiences.
Jerry Bentley attempts to clarify the essence of studying world history, he claims that studying the subject definitely surpasses the surfacing technical aspect that current historians tackle. Since the field of study revolves around dealing with archives and records from the past, world history facilitates deeper understanding of global change, progression and development.
I strongly agree with Bentley that one of the significant effects of history is awareness on relativity, it plays an abundant role in clarifying the relations between societies hence one’s global stance. In addition to relative clarification, it also serves a public benefit by emphasizing the vitality of citizenship and patriotism.
It offers the best vantage point for study of the great divergences that agriculture, science, and mechanized industry have introduced into human history
World history is the best scholarly approach for the analysis, understanding, and explanation of the world and its development through time.
During the past two centuries or so, the national state in particular has emerged as an especially effective model for the organization of societies and the mobilization of human energies. It would be foolish to ignore the roles of national states in modern history, or to suggest that all national histories dissolve into world history, or to assume that world history by itself is sufficient for purposes of analyzing, understanding, and explaining the experiences of national communities. Even as educational curricula make space for the study of world history, there remain very good reasons for historians to focus attention also on more local, regional, and national histories.
In the absence of larger contexts or frameworks, individuals would find themselves in the condition of William James’s famous infant, who for lack of conceptual and discriminatory faculties experiences the world as “one great blooming, buzzing confusion.”
So my first claim holds that world history is essential as a mode of study because it deepens the understanding of individual societies’ experiences by clarifying their relationships with other societies and by placing them in comparative perspective. This claim has to do with the generation of precise historical knowledge and the quest for deep historical understanding in appropriate contexts. The study of history can hardly have much value or benefit unless it stands on a solid foundation of accurate and reliable knowledge. So it is crucial for purposes of justifying the study of world history to recognize that for many purposes, world history yields better knowledge than alternative approaches to the past because of its capacity to situate historical development in appropriate larger contexts.
Furthermore, the study of world history goes beyond showing that human beings have been dealing successfully with difference for a very long time, and it goes beyond demonstrating that difference is not necessarily a frightful prospect
So why study world history? Of all the fields of scholarship, world history offers the deepest and richest understanding of the world and its development through time, it has excellent potential to promote constructive engagement with that which is different, and it has strong potential as well to foster the development of good judgment, with the possibility that good judgment will transmute in some cases into genuine wisdom about the fundamental issues confronting the contemporary world.

Chapter 13

What accounts for the magnitude and speed of the Mongol conquests? How did Mongol expansion and Islam affect each other?
What benefits resulted from the integration of Eurasia into the Mongol Empire? How did Mongol rule in China foster cultural and scientific exchange?
In what ways did the Ming Empire continue or discontinue Mongol practices?
What are some of the similarities and differences in how Korea and Japan responded to the Mongol threat?


Nomadic mobility and endurance, expertise in military technology, and systematic army organization made the armies of Genghis Khan all but invincible.
While the Mongols did not usually outnumber their enemies, they were experts on horseback and used superior bows.
Turkic pastoral peoples who suffered defeat were often enrolled in the Mongol ranks, thus magnifying the power of the Mongols themselves.
Nevertheless, economic disruption caused by oppressive taxes on agriculture steadily weakened the Il- khan state, allowing Golden Horde Mongols to conquer much of its territory.
Meanwhile, Timur rose to power in Jagadai territory and undertook conquests in Central and western Asia, the Middle East, and northern India. The Il-khans, Timur, and his successors, the Timurids, presided over an important flowering of Islamic culture that drew upon Iranian and Chinese cultural elements.
These rulers encouraged artists and intellectuals, who produced notable achievements in historical writing, art, mathematics, and astronomy.
Mongol military might made the court of the Great Khans a political center to which emissaries came from all parts of Eurasia.
Traders flocked to sell goods to the imperial rulers, and the Silk Road was strongly revitalized.
In the long run, the cultural contact between east and west that Mongol rule facilitated had greater impact than the Mongols’ political power.
Muslim astronomers and calendar makers found a welcome reception in China, and Chinese artistic styles became popular in Iran.
Imperial service depended more on a person’s skills than on ethnic or linguistic identity. This made for a dynamic cultural scene in Beijing, the Yuan capital, even though the turmoil of the period took its toll demographically in war casualties, spread of disease, and migration to south- ern China.
Incorporation into the Mongol Empire had proved a stimulus for neighboring Korea. The Korean rulers remained loyal to the Yuan and benefited from access to new technologies and administrative techniques.
Across the sea, Japan, which had twice repelled Mongol invasions, remained highly militarized. Yet the emergence of regional warlords coincided with cultural innovations, many of them inspired by Chinese example, that subsequently became central to Japanese identity

Chapter 13-details

1206, the mongols, Genghis khan
Mongol expansion, stretched from Poland to northern china
Trade roots improved
Markets expanded
Trade on the silk road
Russia, china and Korea benefitted due to cultural exchange


Nomadism lead to imperial expansion
Firm decision making led to independence
Weak groups secured their rights by providing strong groups, slaves, weapons, silk and cash
Arranged marriages helped generate political federation
At the age of 8
Buddhism, Christianity or Islam


Gengjis, force the rulers of north west china to submit to him
Captured the jing capital
Began to attack the west
Full scale invasion
Overwhelmed most on iran
Russian occupation
Moscow, Poland and Hungary
Europe suffered bc of him
Their conquest created a new historical situation and attracted merchant’s missionaries from all over Eurasia
They didn’t outnumber their enemies, but they had extraordinary abilities by having horses and bows (central Asian bows, made from wood, leather and bone) – example of recourses that helped them expand


Huge quantities of silk, all from china
Clothing and furnishing (trade was luxurious)
Artistic motifs
Porcelain (influenced Islamic world)


exchange also brought danger:
plague to china by the use of rodents
it then reached Europe and Egypt
Typhus, influenza, small pox
The great pandemic
Peace and trade that gave rise to the pandemic
Dominated the Muslim Turk population
Slaughtering dispute
Physical tax farming
Failure of paper money- economic depression
Fighting among the mongol factions, destabilized the government
Destabilization of the government

Culture and science in Islamic Eurasia:

Chinease techniques helped create the greatest period of Islamic paintings
Sharing of artistic trends, administrative practices and political ideas between iran and china
Astronomy and mathematics by Islamic scholars assumed the idea the earth is the center of the universe

Chapter 14

How did environmental differences shape cultural differences in tropical Africa and Asia?
Under what circumstances did the first Islamic empires arise in Africa and India?
How did cultural and ecological differences promote trade, and in turn how did trade and other contacts promote state growth and the spread of Islam?
What social and cultural changes are reflected in the history of peoples living in tropical Africa and Asia during this period?


By 1500 tropical Africa and Asia contained nearly 40 percent of the world’s population but just over a quarter of its habitable land. Living in every type of ecosystem, from lush rain forests to arid deserts, tropical peoples had become intimately familiar with their environments, learning not merely to survive but also to prosper in them.
African pastoralists tended herds of domesticated animals in dry regions, while in Asia the more favorable soil and rainfall enabled farmers to cultivate rice, as well as grains and legumes.
The period from 1200 to 1500 saw the rise of the first powerful Islamic states outside the Middle East.
Chief among these were the Delhi Sultanate, which brought South Asia its greatest political unity since the decline of the Guptas, and the Mali Empire in the western Sudan, which extended the political and trading role pioneered by Ghana. Mali was founded by…