"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are." - David C McCullough

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Quarter 2: 

Read over these website pages: http://www.nchs.ucla.edu/history-standards/world-history-content-standards/world-history-era-4#section-2   http://www.nchs.ucla.edu/history-standards/world-history-content-standards/world-history-era-4#section-3 These National Standards provide a general description of our goals for this unit. 

Unit 5: Postclassical World:  The Rise of Islam and Return of Dynastic China

Text Pages: Pages 254-257, 258-279, 280-303, 304-325                Chapter 13, 14, 15

Key Ideas: After the decline and collapse of the classical empires, new societies rose to take their place.  A series of these states were inspired by a new religion, Islam. From its origins in Arabia, Islam quickly spread to the Sasanid empire in Persia and even into parts of Byzantium. Muslims, or “ones who have submitted” to the will of Allah, spread their religious convictions but also drew inspiration from the Persian, Greek, and Indian worlds. Eventually the dar al-Islam (“house of Islam”) would cover a cosmopolitan world ranging from Spain in the west to India in the east.

The collapse of the Han dynasty brought an end to centralized rule in China for three and a half centuries.  Order was restored in the sixth century with the rise of the Sui.  Eventually, the Tang and Song dynasties oversaw a booming economy based on improved agricultural production and technological innovations.  Increased trade led to growing interaction between China and the rest of the world.  Buddhism formed the most important import into China during these centuries.  In turn, the Chinese influenced the development of Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

India, just as Greece, Rome, Constantinople, and China, played an influential role in shaping neighboring societies, in this case south and Southeast Asia.  The great difference between the situation in India and that of the other states was that no Indian state developed to rival the political authority of the Tang or Roman states.  Nevertheless, India’s distinctive political, cultural, and religious traditions continued to evolve and influence its neighbors. Indian merchants carried Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to Southeast Asia.

Calendar of Activities and Assignments:

19 October: Text pages 254-257, 258-264.  Introduction to the unit.  In class, read McNeill pages 265-271 (Mohammed’s Life and His Message).  Compare it to other religions studied in the course. Discuss the reading packet in class.  Also, read the passage from the Quran on page 263. How is the Islamic view of Allah similar to the Jewish or Christian view of God? Assign Mohammed as a Man of his Time reading packet, for discussion only.  Due October 20th.

20, 23 October: Text pages 264-273.  The Spread of Islam.  Reading excerpts from the Quran, excerpt on page 350 of the text. DBQ Group work/lesson:  Spread of Islam completed in class.  ​Chapter 13 Image Analysis assigned.  Due on October 24th.​

24 October: Text pages 273-279.  Islam:  Empire of Faith DVD, Episode Two “The Awakening” in class with guide/questions.  Combine with DBQ on Islamic Contributions to the World.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHhbSvOcz4g (54:57 – 1:15:19)

25 October: ½ Day of Attendance.  Text pages 281-288. Begin to address the qualities of each dynasty.  Some group work – and reference to the packet.  Also, see McNeill text.  “China’s Political History,” “The Sui, T’ang, and Sung Dynasties,” and “Foreign Relations” on pages 244-246, and “The Growth of Trade” on pages 248-250 posted online.  Assign Asia Packet – due November 1st.   

26 October: Text pages 288-298. Begin with the short reading about the Tang Court.  Some questions to consider and relate to earlier reading/discussion.  Afterward continue with a general discussion of characteristics for each dynasty using both texts – and the packet.

27 October
: Interpreting Chinese art – a busy market place (see image on page 289). 






30 October:  Text pages 298-303.  Continue  with a discussion of the qualities of China’s market economy – what stimulated it (read source on page 294 and answer) and then move to ideas that pass through China – towards other areas (Korea, Japan, Vietnam) with group work.  Reading/Notes guide completed in small groups – with careful consideration of important vocabulary. 

31 October: Begin with short reading of regional literature – the Tale of Genji.  http://www.learner.org/courses/worldlit/the-tale-of-genji/watch/

1 November:  Text pages 304-325.  Looking at artwork in Indonesia – the Borobudur Buddha head.  Assign Chapter 15 History Analysis.  Due on November 3rd. 

2 November: Mechanisms of Movement.  Lecture on monsoons, dhows, and the interaction of Islam and Hinduism.  Short segment on monsoons and India from PBS, The Story of India. Show selection from PBS, The Story of India, DVD detailing important qualities of this period (Episode Four – Ages of Gold).  Guide is completed.   

3 November: Unit Five Test. (35 Multiple Choice questions, 5 short answer, 1 essay – select from choices)

Essay Choices:

A. Why did a powerful, centralized state like the Tang dynasty in China never arise in India, after the collapse of the Guptas? What factors might help explain this fact? How was India affected by its lack of political unification?

B.  Examine the technological innovations of the Tang and Song periods. How did these innovations change the shape of Chinese history?

C. There were many foreign religions in China at this time, but Buddhism is the one that caught on. Why is that? What about Buddhism made it particularly appealing? How did it influence and blend with other belief systems at the time? How did its influence spread from China?

D.  Unlike the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic civilization has a clearly datable beginning – the life of the avowed mortal, Mohammed.  Examine the role Muhammad played in the rise of Islam. What was his basic philosophy? How did his life experiences shape this thought?

E.  Examine the spread of Islam. What areas were brought under Muslim control and how? How did Islam influence these areas? How did these areas influence Islam? In what ways did Islam work as a unifying force?

Historical Terms and Concepts to Know  *Who, what, where, why, when, how, so what?

Battle of Manzikert, 1453, Khadija, cotton, paper manufacture, Caravanserais, madrasas, Omar Khayyam, Bedouins, hadith, Yathrib (Medina), Abu Bakr, Ali, jizya, Abu al-Abbas, Sakk (“check”), Al-Ghazali, “Hindi” numbers, Othman, astrolabe, Muhammad, Arab, Muslim, Islam, Quran, dar al-Islam, Five Pillars,     jihad, sharia, hajj, Ka’ba, caliph, Sunni, Shia, hijra, umma, Umayyad, Abbasid, ulama, qadis,  Harun al-Rushid, sultan, sufi, Ibn Rushd/Averroes, Dynasties of China,  Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, grand canal, Tang Taizong, equal field system, Uighers, fast-ripening rice, footbinding, porcelain, Gunpowder, printing, Chan/Zen Buddhism, paper money, neo-Confucianism, Heian court, Silla dynasty, The Tale of Genjii, Samurai, Harsha, the Sind, Sultanate of Delhi, Chola, monsoons, dhows and junks, jati, Angkor Wat, Swahili states, Yang Jian, Zimbabwe, Marco Polo, Ming Hongwu, Ming Yongle, Osman, Mahmud of Ghazni,  Mehmed II, Song Taizu, Murasaki Shikibu, Zhu Xi, Sui Yangdi, An Lushan, Li Po, Nara period, Heian period, Kamakura shogunate, Muromachi shogunate, Gupta dynasty, Emporia, Three Kingdoms.

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