The Earth and Its People- Questions And Answers

Essay Questions based on the Book The earth and Its people 5th Edition Author Bulliet

  1. What relations did Japan have with Westerners in the early modern period between the Warring States era and the isolation of Japan?
  2. What relations did China have with Westerners in the early modern period in China, especially Jesuit missionaries?
  3. Discuss how Russian went from being a vassal of the Mongols to becoming a legitimate European power in the 18th century.
  4. Discuss the major tenets of the Enlightenment.  How did the Enlightenment affect the American and French Revolutions?
  5. How did the French Revolution affect European politics in subsequent (19th) century?
  6. How did industrialization change the way people lived in the 19th and 20th century?  Be sure to use examples that highlight shifts in product availability, price, living conditions, environmental conditions, the daily lives of families, women and children, and political conditions.
  7. How did the Industrial Revolution affect relations between the industrialized world and the non-industrialized world?  Be sure to use examples of the resulting imperialism.
  8. What effects did the French Revolution have on the Latin American Revolutions?  Be sure to use examples from at least two of the revolutions in Latin America that were mentioned.
  9. Discuss how women participated in the creation of political, social, and economic change in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Be sure to use examples from Europe, Asia, and America in your answer.
  10. Why did anti-foreign and anti-Qing sentiment grow in China (be sure to treat these separately)?  What were the consequences of the anti-foreign and anti-Qing sentiment?
  11. Discuss how Japan went from an isolated nation to a burgeoning global power in the 19th and early 20th century.

Sample Answers In An Essay Format

Japans and westerners had limited and restricted association with one another during the early modern period especially between the warring era and the isolation of japan, the contact between them was restricted but then there was still some traces of contacts between the two entities, a small group of Dutch traders existed on the island of Nejima near Nagasaki and provided some level of commercial and cultural contact. Japan was not completely isolated under the sakoku policy.

The relationship was however hindered by so many factors, among others was forbidding the publication of the Western book in Japan. There were still some other books in Japan that could still discuss the Western scientific advances. Through these publications the relationship managed to overlook some of the restrictions that existed between the two entities. Not until the mid-1850’s, the time that Commodore Mathew Perry (US Navy) sailed into Tokyo Harbor to open trade relations with the Island of Japan. From this time, trade relations had a greater impact in improving the trade relations that were once broken and restricted.

The history of relations between China and the Western world in the early modern period can be generally be described as slightly welcoming. Most of the big Chinese Confucian scholars were the first converts to be the Jesuits. The missionary efforts and other work of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, between the 16th and 17th century played a significant role in continuing the transmission of knowledge, science, and culture between China and the West, and had an impact on Christian culture in Chinese society today.The first attempt by the Jesuits to reach China was made in 1552 by St. Francis Xavier, Navarrese priest and missionary and founding member of the Society of Jesus. Xavier never reached the mainland, dying after only a year on the Chinese island of Shangchuan. Three decades later, in 1582, Jesuits once again initiated mission work in China, led by several figures including the Italian Matteo Ricci, introducing Western science, mathematics, astronomy, and visual arts to the Chinese imperial court, and carrying on significant inter-cultural and philosophical dialogue with Chinese scholars, particularly representatives of Confucianism. At the time of their peak influence, members of the Jesuit delegation were considered some of the emperor’s most valued and trusted advisors, holding numerous prestigious posts in the imperial government.

Russian transition from being a vassal of the Mongol to a legitimate European power had its foundation on the progressive policies of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great that led to the development of education system. Catherine went to become the most powerful sovereign in Europe. This begun with the increasing of the central control over the provinces. After the fall of the Khazars in the 10th century, the middle Volga came to be dominated by the mercantile state of Volga Bulgaria, the last vestige of Greater Bulgaria centred at Phanagoria. The Mongols held Russia and Volga Bulgaria in sway from their western capital at Sarai, one of the largest cities of the medieval world. The princes of southern and eastern Russia had to pay tribute to the Mongols of the Golden Horde, commonly called Tatars; but in return they received charters authorizing them to act as deputies to the khans. In general, the princes were allowed considerable freedom to rule as they wished, while the Russian Orthodox Church even experienced a spiritual revival under the guidance of Metropolitan Alexis and Sergius of Radonezh.

To the Orthodox Church and most princes, the fanatical Northern Crusaders seemed a greater threat to the Russian way of life than the Mongols. In the mid-13th century, Alexander Nevsky, elected prince of Novgorod, acquired heroic status as the result of major victories over the Teutonic Knights and the Swedes. Alexander obtained Mongol protection and assistance in fighting invaders from the west who, hoping to profit from the Russian collapse since the Mongol invasions, tried to grab territory and convert the Russians to Roman Catholicism. (Rosenberg, Nathan 1982)

The Mongols left their impact on the Russians in such areas as military tactics and transportation. Under Mongol occupation, Russia also developed its postal road network, census, fiscal system, and military organisation therefore becoming strong gaining a legitimate power, European power.

  • The enlightenment was perceived as a revival period, a revival of philosophical thought in which principles of learning which had been previously taken for granted, were questioned and often discarded by scientific methods and innovative attitudes. Enlightenment contrasts with the darkness of irrationality and superstition that supposedly characterized the middle Age. The following are the major central tenets of Enlightenment thought:
  • The Enlightenment devalues local ‘prejudices’ and customs, which owe their development to historical peculiarities rather than to the exercise of reason. What matters to the Enlightenment is not whether one is French or German, but that one is an individual [human], united in brotherhood with all other [humans] by the rationality one shares with them.
  • In general, the Enlightenment plays down the non-rational aspects of human nature. Works of art, for example, should regular and instructive, the product of taste rather than genius. Education should impart knowledge rather than mold feelings or develop character.
  • Reason is man’s central capacity, and it enables him no only to think, but to act, correctly.
  • Both a person and humanity as a whole can progress to perfection.
  • All men including the view of many females are equal in respect of their rationality, and should thus be granted equality before the law and individual liberty.
  • Tolerance is to be extended to other creeds and ways of life.
  • Beliefs are to be accepted only on the basis of reason, not on the authority of priests, sacred texts, or tradition. Thus Enlightenment thinkers tended to atheism, or at most to a purely natural or rational deism, shorn of supernatural and miraculous elements and designed primarily to support an enlightened moral code, and in some cases, to account for the fact that the universe is a rational system, wholly accessible to human reason.(Temple, Robert; Needham, Joseph  1986)

The French Revolution had a major impact on Europe and the New World. The long-term impact on France was profound, shaping politics, society, religion and ideas, and polarizing politics for more than a century. The closer other countries were the greater and deeper was the French impact, bringing liberalism and the end of many feudal or traditional laws and practices.(D. M. G. Sutherland, 2002 1 pp. 1–24) However there was also a conservative counter-reaction that defeated Napoleon, reinstalled the Bourbon kings, and in some ways reversed the new reforms.

Likewise in Switzerland the long-term impact of the French Revolution has been assessed by Martin:

French politics were permanently polarized—new names were given, “left” and “right” for the supporters and opponents of the principles of the Revolution. The model democratic country of the Americas, where a strong monarchist and aristocratic resistance forced the egalitarian republican movement to advance with prudence and to implement its more radical goals only gradually. Such gradualism is evidenced in the French Revolution’s three successive phases: Absolute monarchy until 1789, increasingly radical revolutionary government until the abolition of royalty in 1792 (Constitutional Assembly and Legislative Assembly, Radical revolutionary republican government (Convention and Terror) Similar phases can be observed in many of the egalitarian revolutions of the New World.

  The struggle of women for equality with men in economic and socio-political rights and cultural opportunities, as well as their participation in the political struggle in general. Various trends within the women’s movement reflect the positions of those social groups and political currents that these orientations represent. The women workers’ movement is an integral part of the workers’ movement.

Women first demanded equality in the period of the formation of the bourgeois system. The first journal devoted to women’s struggle for equality began to be published in France during the revolution, and the first women’s organizations were founded

Industrialization had both positive and negative effects to the lives of people between the 19th and 20th centuries

The automobiles:Henry Ford’s company released their first car ever, changing the world, in 1903. If the Industrial Revolution had never occurred, then this breakthrough would have not been possible. This kind of invention played a greater role in the automobiles of today. Today, the greatest inventions known to man are products of the very industrial revolution, we would never even dream of items like computers, boats, cars, color photos, recordable movies, and medicine without industrialization. There were remarkably greater impacts of industrial revolution on people’s lives between 19th and 20th century, however, there were also some negative impacts of the same to the people for example, the one that happened in Minibata Bay, in Japan.

The industrial revolution led to many new technologies, lots of them dedicated to improving energy sources. This led to making power plants, some of them nuclear. In Chernobyl, one of the power plants exploded in a horrible accident. 31 people died there, but over 1000 died from the radiation over time. (RM. Hartwell, 1971, page 339–341)

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