Essays and Reflections I (Chapters 10-12)
Please do Part I, Part II and Part III. When you do the essays and reflections, please pay attention to
the following “keys to success” that will help you do a great job.
Keys to Success:
1. Explain your main points like you would to another student.
2. Write in simple sentences and short paragraphs.
3. Use specific information from the reading or from our class discussions.
4. Relate your answers to major trends and concepts we see in the time period.
Part I. Two Short Essays. Write short essays of at least half a page each (double spaced) on two of
the following key terms. Tell why the person, place, or concept is important to the era of 1000-1600
CE. Please make sure each of your short essays reflects how you understand the key term in relation to
what we are learning about the era. Include at least one picture for each essay, and tell how the picture
helps us understand the points you are making in the essay.
Part II. Longer Essay. Write an essay of about five solid paragraphs (double spaced) on one of the
following questions. Include at least two pictures and note how the pictures help us understand the
topic. Please make sure the information you share is different from what you wrote about in Part I.
Islamic World. Explain how Islam was a cultural and political phenomenon in the era leading up to
1600. Describe developments in at least two Islamic societies in this era.
African Societies. How do you see African societies developing in the era of 1000-1600? Give
specific examples of changes in at least two kingdoms or regions. How were these societies influenced
by increasing contact with the Islamic World, India, and Europe?
Christian Europe. Explain how Christianity was a cultural and political phenomenon in the era leading
up to 1600. Describe three key events or movements that shaped European society in this era.
America before 1500. What do you find most remarkable about the societies of the Americas before
the era of European contact? Discuss at least two of the societies depicted in our reading. Do you see
these societies following a path very similar to the societies of Eurasia in the same era, or do you see
them on a very different kind of path?
China. What do you find remarkable about China in the Song and Ming eras? In what ways did China
influence other parts of the world in this era? How do you see other parts of the world influencing
India. In what ways was India a “cultural mosaic”? Describe three social, economic, or political trends
in India and the societies touching the Indian Ocean in the era leading up to 1600.
Atlantic Trade. Explain the importance of trade in the Atlantic in the 1400s and 1500s. In what ways
did trade bind together societies of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Use specific examples from your
reading to show positive as well as negative impacts related to trade.
Part III. Reflections. In this part you share some of your own insights on the reading, emphasizing
what we can learn from writings from people in the time periods we are studying. For this part, please
plan to write at least a page (or about three solid paragraphs, double spaced).
At the end of each chapter you will notice a feature called “Global Themes and Sources”. Please use at
least two of the primary source documents in the “Competing Perspectives” section when you write
your reflections. They can be from any of the chapters covered in this assignment. Put the title of each
document in bold so I will know which documents you read. For example, you might have read “Aztec
Views of the Spaniards” or “Approaching Tenochtitlan” on page 448.
In your reflections, please be sure to address these questions:
How do you see the world changing in Chapters 10-12? How do the specific documents you read
reflect broad trends or concepts we have been reading about? What do the writings tell us about the
perspectives of the people who lived in the era?
Please include specifics from the readings to develop your answers. You may also use maps or pictures
you found in the reading, if you find these helpful.
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