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Cultural life flowered from the mid-fifteenth century in the Italian city-states, many of which profited from the new trading opportunities that growing world networks permitted. Contact among regions of the world expanded, bringing new ideas and prompting an appreciation of arts and letters--not only of the present but of the past. In Italy this cultural flowering was known at first as the renaissance of arts and letters, soon shortened to just "Renaissance" to accommodate cultural ingredients that came from beyond Europe. Italian and northern European cultural expansion benefited from similar retrieval of ancient knowledge in the Islamic world and East Asia. Like the Italians, the Chinese had grown even wealthier from the extensive links to global commerce provided by the Mongol Empire, but once thrown off, their cultural life flourished under the Ming. Cultural knowledge and the arts spread across Asia and into Europe. As part of state-building, the Ming nourished commerce but also rejected the cosmopolitan Buddhist legacy that arrived from central and south Asia. To strengthen dynastic Chinese rule, the Ming challenged Buddhism with a revival of age-old concern for the Confucian values that had languished under the Mongols. Foremost among these new Confucians was Wu Yube, so expert in his teachings that he attracted a wide coterie of disciples. In India, Nanak, an educated employee of an Afghan prince, sparked the founding of Sikhism. A similar search for reviving fundamental religious values occurred in Europe, where Martin Luther challenged the practices of the Catholic church, ushering in Protestantism. Religious reform and resistance to it were closely connected to the state-building efforts of enterprising monarchs such as Henry VIII of England. India likewise experienced a fervent movement to revive pure, ancient religious practices. Fourteenth and fifteenth century global trade and long-distance ventures such as those made by the Ming and then by the Portuguese further inspired and advanced these worldwide cultural and political developments. A brisk Indian Ocean trade flourished. Economic change ensued with the arrival of New World silver on the global market. The advance of printing not only furthered the cause of religious reform and state-building globally; it also helped globalize knowledge and intellectual experimentation. People of great power and those of more limited means came to live their lives differently because of this expanding web of shared knowledge and trade. Cities flourished, the enslavement of native Americans came to replace their use as human sacrifices, and diseases migrated at a more rapid pace and greater devastation than perhaps ever before.
Covering European history from the invention of the printing press to the French Revolution, this accessible and engaging textbook offers an innovative account of people's lives, from a variety of backgrounds, in the early modern period and within the global context of European developments. Six central topics - individuals in society, politics and power, cultural and intellectual life, religion, economics and technology - are explored in two chronological sections, 1450-1600 and 1600-1789. The text takes in Europe in its entirety, eastward to the Ottoman Empire, northward to Sweden, and southward to Portugal, includes European colonies overseas, and integrates religious, ethnic, gender, class, and regional differences. Students are encouraged to think about continuities as well as changes across this formative period and throughout the text, maps, illustrations, timelines, and textboxes of original sources and featured topics illuminate the narrative. Online resources include primary source material, music examples and regularly updated bibliographies.
Covering early societies, the classical, post classical, and modern periods, and the 20th century, and blending the great advances in historical research over the past quarter century,Experiencing World History represents an important addition to the teaching of world history. Focusing on major issues in social history in the context of world history and divided into five chronological sections that highlight the mixture of change and continuity, the volume traces key aspects of society over time, among them gender; work and leisure; state and society; culture contact and population patterns. Truly global in scope,Experiencing World Historyincludes deep coverage of all the major areas including Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. A brief introduction ties the social history themes to more conventional world history coverage, and an epilogue after each of the five sections suggests overarching themes and connections.
A History of World Societies introduces students to the global past through social history and the stories and voices of the people who lived it.
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