China's Yellow River gave birth to one of the great early civilizations. Despite frequent devastating floods, a series of agricultural villages have sprung up along the banks of the river, producing major crops such as wheat and millet. Around 1600 BC, the agricultural villages along the Yellow River were unified under the banner of the nomads known as Shang. One of the most important contributions of the Shang Dynasty was the establishment of a new social stratification system. In business society, the highest social class is reserved for the king, while warriors, craftsmen, merchants, and farmers occupy other levels. The Shang Dynasty also made scientific and technological contributions to Chinese society, such as the introduction of bronze as a material for the production of weapons and other commodities. During the Shang Dynasty, the Chinese began to raise silkworms and produce silk, which later became one of China's most valuable trade commodities. However, perhaps the most important contribution of the Shang Dynasty was the introduction of a writing system. The written language of quotient uses ideograms (characters) to express various ideas. About 600 years later, the Shang Dynasty declined. Around 1046 BC, the Shang Dynasty was overthrown by the Zhou Dynasty. Many historians agree that the most important development of the Zhou Dynasty was the emergence of a philosophy called Confucianism. The founding of Confucius (Kung-fu-tzu), this philosophy believed in the values of respect for ancestors, sound government and education. Confucius taught that only an educated person can control the government in order to achieve social harmony.
Indus River Valley Civilization
In the area called Pakistan today, another civilization formed in the Indus Valley. Most of the information about this civilization today comes from the ruins of the two main cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Both of these cities provide evidence for the complexity of the early Indus society. It is believed that the Indus civilization prospered before it began to decline around 1900 BC. Around 1500 BCE, the Indus River valley was invaded by a race of Indo-Europeans known as the Aryans. The Aryans came from parts of Iran and Afghanistan today. They were a warrior who rode horses, ate meat, and hunted with bows and arrows. They entered the Indian subcontinent through the Khyber Pass and immediately controlled the local Indus Valley people. One of the most significant changes the Aryans made to the traditional Indus lifestyle was the introduction of a new social stratification system. Because the Aryans have a lighter skin color than the local Indus, the hierarchy is based on skin color. The lighter-skinned Aryans believed that they were superior, and reserved the top three classes for themselves. The highest class (Brahman) is occupied by priests (called Brahman). Warriors and rulers belong to the second category (Kshatriya), and farmers, merchants, artisans, and free men belong to the third category (Visha). The lowest class (Sudra) includes unskilled workers, peasants, and bondage serfs. The main historical record of the civilization of the Indus Valley during the Aryan era is the Vedas, a four-volume collection of hymns, prayers, magic texts, incantations, hymns, and priestly textbooks used for rituals. In addition to being a form of historical documents, the Vedas eventually became one of the main spiritual texts that will dominate Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent. According to the Vedas and other writings such as Upanishads, Mahabharata and Ramayana, Hinduism eventually became the main religion in the world. Hindus usually believe that the life we see is nothing more than an illusion. After death, all people will be reincarnated according to their karma or behavior in life. People find themselves in a higher or lower caste in the next life, depending on whether their karma is good or bad. Hinduism was not the only major world religion to be established on the Indian subcontinent. Around 500 BCE, questions about the meaningfulness of Hinduism led to the birth of Buddhism.
How Romans flooded the Colosseum for sea battles?
In 80 C.E., for 100 days of the year, over 50 000 residents of Roman empire and visitors from abroad traveled to Colosseum to watch gladiator and animal fights, carriage races, and most important of all, staged naval battles (Naumachiae). Naval battles were invented during the reign of Gaius Julius Caesar in 100 B.C. Before the construction Naumachiae were held on natural and artificial waters of Rome.
Emperor Vespasian started building the Colosseum in 70 C.E. It was intended to be the symbol of Rome’s power. His son, Flavius Titus, finished the construction in 80. C.E. using the war spoils. He named it Flavian amphitheater. The grand opening was celebrated with 100 days of parades, musical performances, public executions and gladiator combats. Unlike other arenas, this one was financed by the emperor himself and the sole purpose of it was to bolster faith in the godlike ruler.
How they exactly accomplished to flood the arena remains a mystery to this day. Some historians hypothesize that Romans used giant aqueducts. Others believe that the system of chambers and sluice gates used to drain the arena also filled it.
Boats were 7 to 15 meters long and had flat bottoms. They were constructed to resemble vessels from historical battles. There were dozens of ships floating around the arena. During battles, gladiators, dressed as warriors, would fight until only one side was left standing.
However, not every show was this brute. Horsemen run on the water to emulate Triton. Animal walked on the water. Myths were re-enacted by condemned prisoners. During night, nude synchronised swimmers would perform in the moonlight.
But the Colosseum aquatic age didn’t last for a long time. Naumachiae were so popular that in 90.C.E. they received their own lake in the nearby area. Moreover, the colosseum was soon filled by underground animal cages that didn’t allow water flooding.
There were people who couldn't live without slavery, and others who couldn't live with slavery, but most people just didn't care. The pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups could not make an agreement where both sides would be satisfied. The slave system was at severe risk unless the laws of the nation recognized ownership of slaves no matter where the slave was at the moment, otherwise they would just cross into free territory and be free. New laws required escaped slaves to be returned to their owners, even if the slave was in an area where most of the people hated slavery, like Chicago, which had riots when the law was enforced. The new president Lincoln was for anti-slavery and pro-slavery groups thought that he would not enforce the laws, so most of the states where slavery was legal decided to declare independence from the rest of the country. When Lincoln tried to resupply the fort in Fort Sumter, South Carolina, troops loyal to South Carolina fired on the fort. That action set public opinion in New York City, which profited from the primary slavery crop cotton, to drop its support for the independence states and there was just enough support to send more troops to the South to bring them back into the union. The Union should have won the war easily because they had more men and resources, but they had bad commanders until Lincoln picked Ulysses S. Grant, who was right man for the job. In the meantime, more and more people from the North found out about slavery and became disgusted by slavery. Grant and the rest of the Union commanders chased the remnants of the Confederate army all over the South until they surrendered.
Backstage of the WWI in the US
The United States had wanted to be out of World war I at first. US thought that this war was problem for others, mainly Europe. The reality of war proved otherwise. Three years after WWI had started, US started to be involved. The entry to the war happened after sinking one of the US ships, for which they blamed Germany. US quickly mobilized its military for the war. They fought against Germany and on the side of Western front with UK, France and Russia who played major role in the war. The cost of the war was huge and way surpassed allowed budget. The US started to implement taxes for its citizens, which really helped US’ economy. The richest people in the country had to pay the highest taxes and they were big contributors to the US army. In addition to that, British and France had huge loans to the US, since US was their major supplier before and during the war. The country didn’t lack money, but they didn’t have the biggest army in the war. For the first time in American history, women did jobs that had been mainly for men by this point. Women even made their own union, which was dedicated to help men in the war with everything they needed. The major employment of women started to take place. Their role was really appreciated by all people of the US. All of these things were happening in the backstage of the brutal battles of the by this point, the most violent war ever.
With the invention of the printing press, in 1440., books became more accessible and people began reading more. As a consequence, demand for eyeglasses rose. Before the invention, few people knew how to read, so their poor eyesight did not present them with so many problems. However, they came up with some solutions for this problem. In Ancient Greece, wealthy people with poor vision hired someone else to read for them. In the 10th century, European monks made reading stones from clear rock - often quartz. The clear rock magnified the letters, making them appear larger. Unfortunately, because of its cost, clear rock was a prerogative of the rich. In the 13th century, developers in Italy made a cheaper alternative. They made a reading stone from clear glass. Their development is a forerunner of today’s eye glasses. We know the glasses were invented in late 1200 . However, we don’t know who exactly invented them. The records show that they were invented in both China and Europe. Initially, in those countries, glasses were a symbol of wisdom and intelligence. In China they also represented wealth - the bigger the glasses were, the greater the affluence was. With the invention of the printing press, prices for glasses began to drop and glasses became a widespread commodity.
The Sarajevo assassination, on Vidovdan on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo, was organized by members of the revolutionary organization "Young Bosnia". Gavrilo Princip then successfully assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, who was on a tour of Sarajevo that day, as he participated in that day as general inspector in military maneuvers around the city. On the same occasion, Gavrilo Princip also tried to assassinate the head of the Provincial Government, Oskar Poćorek, but the heir to the throne's wife Sofia was killed by mistake. The Austro-Hungarian authorities used the assassination as an occasion to accuse, set an ultimatum, and a month after the assassination, declare war on the Kingdom of Serbia.
The May overturn was an overturn in which King Aleksandar Obrenović and his wife, Queen Draga, were killed. That action removed the line of the Obrenović dynasty, which had ruled Serbia since the mid-19th century. After the May overturn, the Karađorđević dynasty came to the throne of Serbia. The overturn had a great influence on the relationship between Serbia and European powers, because the Obrenović’s relied politically on Austria-Hungary, and the Karađorđević’s on France. The event itself, the murder of the king and queen, was carried out by a group of officers and civilian conspirators, led by an officer Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis. It was on the night between May 28 and May 29, 1903 (according to the old calendar). On the same day, 35 years earlier, Prince Mihailo Obrenović was killed in Košutnjak. The most prominent conspirators, led by Apis, later, with many newcomers, created a militaristic organization from the shadows, called "Unification or Death", also known by the informal name "Black Hand".
Topics to cover:
Sumer, Akkad and Mesopotamia
Indus River Valley Civilization
North America_ USA
Native American societies before European contact
Settlement of North America
Cultural Interactions Between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans
British settlement of the Atlantic Coast
Slavery and Colonial Society and Culture
The French and Indian war
The American Revolution
Founding documents of the USA
Administration in the beginning and the rise of Political Parties
The Mexican war
The Civil war
Reconstruction and postwar expansion
The Rise of Industrial Capitalism
Beginning of XX century
World War I
The Great Depression
World war II
The Cold War
Civil Rights Movements
The Vietnam War
Internal Politics in 70s
The end of the XX century
Recent History- XXI century
US foreign policy- past and present
US presidents and administrations
Inscriptions from left to right:
Divine speech (of Amun):
…[nb tA.wj] Nswt-bj.tj nb-xpt-ra zA-raw MnT.w-[Htp.w]
pA(w.t) r j(t).w=k nb n-aA-[mr.wt]
"…Lord of the Two Lands, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Nebkhepetre, Son of Re Mentuhotep…
Provisions more than all your ancestors inasmuch as…"
Next, above the papyrus plant one could still the remains of a figure of a vulture. Below, the inscription reads:
HD.t-nxn Aw.t-a nb(.t)
The white one of Hierakonpolis with the outstretched arm, mistress of…(Nekhbet)
Above the king, the inscription reads:
mnT.w-Htp.w anx(.w) D.t
Mentuhotep, may he live forever
wn=f Xnt.j [kA.w anx.w nb Di(.w) anx mj raw D.t]
May he be foremost [of the all the living spirits (ka), may he be given life forever like Re]
In front of Hathor:
...smA.n(=i) n=k tA.wi mi wD.t.n bA.w[jwnw mrr.w Tw anx.ti D.t]…Aw.t-jb nb
For you I united the two lands as the powers of [Heliopolis, who love you] commanded [may you live forever]…all joy