The Manchu were a Chinese people who were linked to the Ming, Jin, and Qing dynasties. They ruled over China until 1911, when they were overthrown and a republic was created. During their reign, the Chinese suffered severely.
An empire that dominated much of the Indian subcontinent and up into the middle East, the Mughals were wealthy and powerful. They were agriculturally productive and led by an emperor.
The ottomans were a powerful Islamic Empire, built on trade and military force. It engaged in trade and served as a Middle man between East and west, but also tried to expand into the Mediterranean.
Russia was a largely agricultural society, with an economy backed by the labor of serfs. Serfdom was eventually ended by Peter the Great, who Westernized the country and brought it into the modern era. Previously, the country had restricted trade to a few cities.
Portugal dominated the world's seas for much of the age of discovery. Portugese ships and explorers were some of the best in the world, bringing the country wealth and power. The Portugese were the first to circumvent Africa and access the lucrative Indian ocean trade.
The Spanish competed directly with Portugal and other European empires, establishing colonies in the New World after Columbus' expedition. These colonies helped them to level the playing field with the previously dominant Portugese.
The Dutch used powerful ships and joint stock companies to establish colonies and embark on lucrative expeditions. The Dutch controlled much of Indonesia, amassing wealth and trade goods from their colonies there.
The French had a powerful navy, which was often used in conflicts with the British and its other competitors. The French also established colonies in the New World.
The British navy was well funded and well disciplined, and became a major instrument of national power. At their peak, the British used their naval dominance to control their massive and widespread empire. Their naval bases and ships allowed them to control world trade and gain the upper hand in military matters.
A navigational device used to determine time and location using the sun and the stars. Used in maritime exploration
• Revised maps
New areas of the world were discovered, and their mapping made navigation easier. This allowed explorers to expand on the explorations of others, and gave people a better idea of the general shape and layout of their world.
Fast, highly maneuverable ships used by the portugese in the 15th century to sail the Atlantic Ocean and African Coast.
Acquired by Europe during the Columbian Exchange, helped to boost the European population leading to an increase in military and economic strength.
Maize was brought to the New world, where it became one of the continent's most important crops.
Native to South America, Manioc (Cassava) was brought to Europe, where it diversified food offerings and boosted population.
Sugar plantations were common in South America, creating a distinct plantation culture that would encourage the triangular trade and spread into North America.
Like sugar, tobacco was also grown in the new world for sale in Eurasia. It was a cash crop that brought farmers and plantation owners great wealth
• Vodun in the Caribbean
An indigenous religion known in the West as Voodoo, Vodun is spiritual and emphasizes that spells and charms can be used to impact the material world.
• The cults of saints in Latin America
Saints gained followings in Latin America, where churches and monuments were dedicated to them. Some of these saints were worshipped to a greater extent than the principal deities of Christianity were.
• Sikhism in South Asia
Sikhism is an outgrowth of Hinduism that revolves around the importance of spiritual purity and acceptance of the teachings of the Guru.
• Renaissance art in Europe
During the Renaissance, art saw a huge resurgence. Artists used exciting new paints and materials to create extremely realistic and vibrant paintings. One major theme of Renaissance art is that it often tries to capture elements of nature.
• Miniature paintings in the Middle East and South Asia
Miniature paintings, often detailing religious figures, were a common sight in these areas. They were less expensive than their large counterparts, meaning that a middle or working class family could use them to decorate their home.
Wood block printing in Japan
Wood block printing became a major art form in Japan, and remains a distinctively Eastern art form even to this day. The subject matter was often based in nature.
These books were written to chronicle the acts of emperors and people of power during conquests, often with a strong propaganda slant.
William Shakespeare's work formed the basis for most of modern Western literature. He was extremely popular in London, even among the royal court.
The Spanish playwright who wrote Don Quixote, Cervantes is perhaps the most influential of Spain's playwrights and authors.
The founder of the Mali empire, Sundiata wrote the Epic of Sundiata, an extremely important piece of work in the African cannon which was largely spread by Griot poets.
• Journey to the West
One of the four great Chinese classical novels, Journey to the West was the Eastern counterpart to the West's Adventures of Marco Polo.
A Japanese Dance-Drama, performed live on stage. It is a very stylized form of theatre, known for its sophisticated costumes and makeup
The development of frontier settlements in Russian Siberia
Much of the land in Russian Siberia was non-arable, so it was used as a massive prison colony.
Cotton textile production in India
Until the British industrial revolution, India controlled much of the world textile market. They were able to produce textiles more cheaply than Britain and other European nations.
Silk textile production in China
The silk worm is indigenous to China, so China's silk industry was unique. Silk quickly became one of China's premiere trade goods, creating a massive network of trade routes.
• Chattel slavery
A system of slavery in which slaves and their offspring are treated as personal property.
• Indentured servitude
Indentured servitude involves a person working as an unpaid servant until a debt is fulfilled. In the Americas, a shopkeeper or merchant might pay a young man's way across the Atlantic in exchange for several years of free labour.
Encomieda and hacienda systems
A legal system that was used in Spanish colonies to control the indigenous Americans in the regions. It was often brutal and unfair, designed to maximize Spanish profit.
The Soanish adaption of the Inca mit'a
Mita was a form of servitude that bordered on slavery. It was used by the Spanish to control indigenous peoples.
• The Manchus in China
The Manchus ruled China for centuries, during which time it faded and was subservient to the West.
Creole in elites in Spanish America
The Creoles in Spanish America had dominion over the region's indigenous peoples. They were near the top of the Spanish colonial hierarchy, and were given legal and political advantages.
• European gentry
European gentries often heavily influenced governments and cultural trends by holding political positions and patronizing the arts.
Urban commercial entrepreneurs in all major port cities in the world
Merchants amassed great wealth by buying and selling in port cities. Goods such as spices came from the East and were transported to the West.
The zamindars in the Mughal Empire
An aristocrat who ruled in the Mughal Empire. The position was hereditary and gave its holder great power over peasants. They often owned large tracts of land.
• The nobility in Europe
European nobles were often linked to monarchs through heredity, and are highly respected to this day. During feudalism, they controlled peasants and knights on their manors
• The daimyo in Japan
The daimyo were powerful landowners in feudal Japan. They contracted samurai and taxed the peasants working on their land.
A person of mixed heritage. Mestizos were in the middle of Spain's colonial hierarchies, below creoles and above indigenous peoples.
A person with one white and one black parent. They were below Mestizos in Spain's colonial hierarchy.
• Monumental architecture
Monumental architecture is a hallmark of traditional Western civilizations. Monumental buildings were generally built in homage to gods or powerful rulers.
• Urban design
Urban design made cities more efficient, and improved the quality of life for those living in them. Urban design included water distribution systems, systems for waste disposal, and the systems of roads and transport ways connecting the city.
• Courtly literature
Most literature in the traditional Japanese and Chinese canons center around the imperial court. Unfortunately, this means that most first hand accounts of Chinese and Japanese history has an elitist slant.
• The visual arts
The visual arts prospered during the renaissance; new forms of expression and communication developed and changed, altering the ways in which people related to their world and cultural heritages.
European notions of divine right
Many European nations used divine right to legitimize their leaders.
• Safavid use of Shiism
Shiism was adopted by the Safavids as the state religion. The current ruler of the empire adopted it, and it soon spread and grew to become the region's primary religion.
Mexica or Aztec practice of human sacrifice
Human sacrifices of captured enemies or citizens was often intended to please the gods. They were often killed in elaborate ceremonies with specially made and adorned knives.
Songhay promotion of Islam
Islam spread into Africa, where it was adopted by a number of prominent empires. The Songhay encouraged the spread of Islam by building temples and enforcing Islamic laws. However, people were nor forced to convert.
Chinese emporers public performance of Confucian rituals
Chinese rulers performed Confucian rituals to legitimize themselves and show their connection to the system of Confucianism.
Ottoman treatment of-Muslim subjects
Non-Muslims were taxed more heavily and were deprived of certain political and legal rights afforded to Muslims
Manchu policies toward
Under the Manchu, the Chinese had fewer rights. Although the Manchu initially made an effort to preserve Manchu culture, they eventually absorbed the region's culture and did not force theirs upon the Chinese.
Spanish creation of a separate "Republica de Indios"
The Spanish created the Republica in order to try to make natives "People of reason" and shield them from the "bad examples" provided by other tribes.
• Ottoman devshirme
The Ottoman government took Christian boys from their homes and enrolled them in academies or the military. To stay in the devshirme system, the boys had to convert to Islam.
Chinese examination system
The Chinese examination system was based on Confucian principles for deciding the composition of a government's bureaucracy.
• Salaried samurai
Samurai were salaried by a powerful landowner, who relied upon them for defense and contracted them out for the defense of Japan or in other conflicts.
Omani- European rivalry in the Indian Ocean
Europeans and Arabs struggled for dominance over the Indian ocean trade, which led to several wars. The regions both wanted to have exclusive rights to supply the West with Eastern goods and move Western goods to the East.
• Piracy in the Caribbean
Caribbean piracy revolved around stealing goods and money from Spanish ships. Some pirates acted independently, while others were privateers, contracted by governments to perform secret attacks.
• Thirty Years War
The Thirty Years War occurred mainly in what is now Germany, and was a conflict driven by the schism between Catholicism and Protestantism. It caused widespread destruction and involved many of Europe's powers.
Ottoman- Safavid conflict
The conflict ended a period of almost constant fighting between the two empires. The war ended in a stalemate, as neither army was able to successfully press into the other's territory.
• Food riots
Food riots occur during times of famine or draught, when an empire cannot supply enough food for its peoples. These riots destabilize the nations in which they occur, by crippling the image of the government.
• Samurai revolts
Samurais revolted for a variety of reasons, including wages and ideology. When they did, they were often able to decimate infrastructure.
• Peasant uprisings
Peasants often rose up in times of strife and famine, enacting coups or refusing to work. Over history, there have been many of these uprisings and rebellions.