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Philip's Atlas of World History 

First published in 2002 by Philip's 

an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group 

2-4 Heron Quays 


E14 4JP 

Second edition 2005 

Reprinted with revisions 2007 

ISBN-13 978 540 08867 6 
ISBN-10 540 08867 6 

Copyright © 2002-2007 Philip's 

A catalogue record for this book is available from 
the British Library 

All rights reserved. Apart from any fair dealing for 
the purpose of private study, research, criticism or 
review, as permitted under the Copyright Designs 
and Patents Act, 1988, no part of this publication 
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, 
or transmitted in any form or by any means, 
electronic, electrical, chemical, mechanical, 
optical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, 
without prior written permission. All enquiries 
should be addressed to the Publisher. 

Commissioning Editor Jane Edmonds 

Editors Christian Humphries 

Jannet King 
Petra Kopp 
Martha Leyton 
Richard Widdows 

Editorial Assistant Louise Jennett 

Picture Research Sarah Moule 


Katherine Knowler 
Sally Banner 

Cartography by Philip's Map Studio 

Additional cartography by Cosmographies, Watford 

Designed by Design Revolution, Brighton 

Additional artwork by Full Circle Design 

Printed and bound in Hong Kong 

Details of other Philip's titles and services can be 
found on our website at 



Patrick K. O'Brien FBA 

Centennial Professor of Economic History 

London School of Economics 

Convenor of the Programme in Global History 

Institute of Historical Research 

University of London 

Jane Mcintosh 
University of Cambridge 



Peter Heather 

Reader in Early Medieval History 

University College London 

University of London 



David Ormrod 

Senior Lecturer in Economic and 

Social History 

University of Kent at Canterbury 

Roland Quinault 
Reader in History 
University of North London 



Pat Thane 

Professor of Contemporary History 

University of Sussex 

Reuven Amitai 

Senior Lecturer and Department Head 

Department of Islamic and Middle 

Eastern Studies 

Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Lito Apostolakou 
Visiting Research Fellow 
Centre for Hellenic Studies 
King's College 
University of London 

Dudley Baines 

Reader in Economic History 
London School of Economics 
University of London 

Ray Barrell 

Senior Research Fellow 

National Institute of Economic and 

Social Research (NIESR), London 

Antony Best 

Lecturer in International History 
London School of Economics 
University of London 

David Birmingham 
Professor of Modern History 
University of Kent at Canterbury 

Ian Brown 

Professor of the Economic History 

of South East Asia 

School of Oriental and African Studies 

University of London 

Larry Butler 

Lecturer in Modem History 

University of Luton 

Peter Carey 

Laithwaite Fellow and Tutor in 

Modern History 

Trinity College 

University of Oxford 

Evguenia Davidova 
Research Associate 
Institute of History 
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia 

Kent G. Deng 

Lecturer in Economic History 
London School of Economics 
University of London 

Saul Dubow 
Reader in History 

University of Sussex 

Ben Fowkes 

Senior Lecturer in History 

University of North London 

Ulrike Freitag 

Lecturer in History 

School of Oriental and African Studies 

University of London 

Stephen Houston 

University Professor of Anthropology 

Brigham Young University 

Janet E. Hunter 

Saji Senior Lecturer in Japanese 
Economic and Social History 
London School of Economics 
University of London 

Robert Iliffe 

Lecturer in the History of Science 

Imperial College of Science, Technology 

and Medicine 

University of London 

Timothy Insoll 
Lecturer in Archaeology 
University of Manchester 

Liz James 

Lecturer in Art History 

University of Sussex 

Simon Kaner 
Senior Archaeologist 
Cambridge County Council 

Zdenek Kavan 

Lecturer in International Relations 

University of Sussex 

Thomas Lorman 

School of Slavonic and European Studies 

University of London 

Rachel MacLean 
British Academy Post-Doctoral 
Research Fellow in Archaeology 
University of Cambridge 

Patricia Mercer 

Senior Lecturer in History 

University of North London 

Nicola Miller 

Lecturer in Latin American History 
University College London 
University of London 

David Morgan 
Senior Lecturer in History 
University College London 
University of London 

Jean Morrin 
Lecturer in History 
University of North London 

R. C. Nash 

Lecturer in Economic and Social History 

University of Manchester 

Colin Nicolson 

Senior Lecturer in History 

University of North London 

Phillips O'Brien 

Lecturer in Modern History 

University of Glasgow 

David Potter 

Senior Lecturer in History 

University of Kent at Canterbury 

Max-Stephan Schulze 
Lecturer in Economic History 
London School of Economics 
University of London 

Ian Selby 
Research Fellow 
St Edmund's College 
University of Cambridge 

Caroline Steele 

Lecturer in Iliad Program, Dartmouth College 

Research Associate 

State University of New York at Binghamton 

Diura Thoden van Velzen 
English Heritage 

Jessica B. Thurlow 

University of Sussex 

Luke Treadwell 

University Lecturer in Islamic Numismatics 

Oriental Institute 

University of Oxford 

Nick von Tunzelmann 

Professor of the Economics of Science 

and Technology 

Science and Technology Policy Research Unit 

University of Sussex 

Emily Umberger 

Associate Professor of Art History 

Arizona State University 

Gabrielle Ward-Smith 
University of Toronto 

David Washbrook 

Reader in Modern South Asian History 
Professorial Fellow of St Antonys College 
University of Oxford 

Mark Whittow 
Lecturer in Modern History 
Fellow of St Peter's College 
University of Oxford 

Beryl J. Williams 
Reader in History 
University of Sussex 

Richard Wiltshire 
Senior Lecturer in Geography 
School of Oriental and African Studies 
University of London 

Neville Wylie 

Lecturer in Modem History 
Acting Director of the Scottish Centre 
for War Studies 
University of Glasgow 






1 Colonization of the world IN million 
years ago to 10,000 bc 

2 The spread of fanning c. in. -3000 m : 

.1 Civilizations o. 3000-1700 B 

■4 Civili/miuiis o. 500-200 BC 
5 The world AD 200-500 



1 Early hominids 

2 The spread of hominids 

3 Colonization of the globe 

ASIA 12,000 BC-AD 500 

1 Hunter-gatherers in Asia 

2 The birth of farming in the 
Fertile Crescent 

3 Farmers of West and South Asia 

4 The spread of farming in East Asia 

EUROPE 8000-200 BC 

1 The spread of farming in Europe 
7000-3500 bc 

2 The age of copper 3500-2000 BC 

3 Bronze Age Europe 2500-800 BC 

4 Celtic Europe 800-200 bc 

AFRICA 10,000 BC-AD 500 

1 Postglacial hunter-gathers in the 
10th-6th millennia BC 

2 Farming in the 7th-lst millennia BC 

3 Trade and industry in the 
1st millennium BC 

4 The spread of Bantu speakers 

THE AMERICAS 12,000-1000 BC 

1 Colonization of the Americas 

2 Hunter-gatherers and early farmers in 
North America from 8000 bc 

3 Farming in Mesoamerica 7000-1200 bc 

4 Farming in South America from 6500 BC 

10,000 BC-AD 1000 

1 Colonization of the Pacific 

2 Adapting to Australia 

3 Easter Island 

4 New Zealand 


4000-1800 BC 

1 Mesopotamia in the Early Dynastic 
Period c. 2900 BC 

2 The city of Warka 

The city of Mohenjo-Daro 

3 International trade in the 4th and 
3rd millennia BC 

4 The Indus civilization 


EGYPT 3500-2180 BC AND CHINA 1700-1050 BC 

1 Old Kingdom Egypt 

2 Bronze-working in China 

3 Shang China e. 1700-1050 bc 

1200 BC-AD 700 

1 The Olmec c. 1200-300 BC 

2 Classic highland civilizations c. ad 1-700 

3 Patterns of urbanization 

4 Early Classic Maya c. ad 200-550 

1400 BC-AD 1000 

1 Pre-Chavin and Chavin 1400-200 bc 

2 Nazca and Moche 375 BC-AD 650 

3 Tiwanaku and Huari AD 400-1000 

4 Irrigation systems in the 
Andean region 



1 Empires and trade in the 2nd millennium BC 

2 Middle and New Kingdom Egypt 

3 Invasions and migrations in the 
Mediterranean c. 1200 BC 


1 The Assyrian Empire 911-824 bc 

2 Phoenicia, Philistia, Israel and Judah 

3 The Phoenicians c. 800 BC 

4 Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and 
Median Empires 750-550 BC 


1 Vegetation and agriculture 

2 Colonization and trade 750-550 bc 

3 The Persian Wars 492-479 BC 

4 The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC 

WORLD 600-30 BC 

1 The expansion of the Achaemenid Empire 

2 The growth of Macedonia 

3 The Hellenistic world 

4 The successor kingdoms 

1500 bc-ad 600 

1 World religions to AD 600 

2 The spread of Buddhism to ad 600 

3 The Holy Land 

4 The origins and spread of Christianity 
to AD 600 


1 Kingdoms and empires 400 BC-AD 500 

2 Invaders and settlers 

3 Town and country 

4 Trade and religion 


1 The emergence of unified China 
350-221 bc 

2 The Han Empire 206 bc-ad 220 

3 The city of Chang'an 

4 Agriculture and commerce 
1st century bc 

6000 BC-AD 500 

1 Southwestern Central Asia 
c. 6000-2000 BC 

2 Central Asia c. 2000-1000 bc 

3 Spread of Indo-European languages 

4 Nomad confederacies 800 bc-ad 100 

5 Nomads in the 4th and 5th centuries ad 


1 Trading networks 150 bc-ad 500 

2 Southeast Asia 150 bc-ad 500 


1 The Roman Empire ad 106 

2 The defence of the empire ad 100-300 

3 Trade in the Roman Empire 


1 Germanic tribes in the 1st century ad 

2 Barbarians beyond the frontier 100-350 

3 Invasions and migrations 375-450 

4 Successor kingdoms c. 500 





1 Food produerion in the 15th century 

2 States, empires and cultural regions 

0. I 2' I" 


1 World religions 750-1450 

2 The Christian world c. 700-1050 

3 Religions in Asia c. 1500 


1 Kingdoms in mainland Southeast 
Asia 500-800 

2 Kingdoms and empires 800-1200 

3 Kingdoms, sultanates and trade 1200-1450 


1 Boundaries and campaigns 
of conquest 527-1025 

2 The themes c. 1025 

3 Religion and trade 

4 Constantinople c. 1025 

68 THE SPREAD OF ISLAM 630-1000 

1 The Islamic conquests to 750 

2 Territories controlled by Abbasid 
caliph in the 9th century 

3 The early Abbasid city of Baghdad 

4 Central Islamic lands in the 10th century 


1 The spread of Slavic culture 300-660 

2 State formation c. 800-1000 

3 Trade c. 700-1000 

4 Slavic states c. 1000 


1 East and Central Asia 618-907 

2 Tang China 618-907 

3 Korea c. 600 

4 Korea and Japan 750-900 


1 The growth of Frankish kingdoms 

2 The empire of Charlemagne and his 

3 The Carolingian Renaissance 

4 The 9th-century Frankish economy 



1 Hunnic campaigns in the 5th century 

2 The Avars in the 6th century 

3 The western steppe c. 895 

4 The Magyars 896-955 

78 THE VIKINGS 800-1100 

1 Voyages of exploration 

2 Viking trade and raids 

3 Conquest and settlement 865-92 

4 Conquest and settlement 892-911 

5 The kingdom of Denmark in the 
11th century 

WEST AFRICA 500-1500 

1 States in West Africa 500-1500 

2 Vegetation zones in West Africa 

3 Principal trade commodities 
and trade routes 800-1500 


1 States and trading communities 

2 Trade routes and commodities 

3 Great Zimbabwe 


1 Sican and Chimu cultures 850-1475 

2 Late Classic Maya 550-900 

3 Post-Classic Yucatan and highland 
Mexico c. 900-1500 

4 Western Mesoamerica 500-1475 

86 EAST ASIA 907-1600 

1 China under the Northern Song c. 1000 

2 East Asia in 1150 

3 Korea under the Koryo dynasty 936-1392 

4 Korea and Japan 1400-1600 

88 THE MUSLIM WORLD 1000-1400 

1 The Muslim world 1022 

2 The Seljuk Empire 1092 

3 The Muslim world 1200 

4 India under the Sultanate of Delhi 

5 The Muslim world 1308 


1 The Holy Roman Empire c. 950-1360 

2 Switzerland 1291-1529 

3 German expansion to c. 1360 


1 The kingdoms of France and Burgundy 
c. 1050 

2 Spain 1157 

3 Spain and the western Mediterranean 1300 

4 English lands 1295 

5 The kingdoms of France and Aries 1265 


1 The First Crusade 1095-99 

2 The Crusader States 1140 

3 The Crusader States 1186 

4 The Third Crusade 1189-92 

5 The Fifth Crusade 1217-21 



1 The Byzantine Empire 1025-1096 

2 The Balkans and Anatolia after the 
fall of Constantinople 1204 

3 The Byzantine Empire: restoration 
and decline 1340-60 

4 The growth of the Ottoman Empire 

98 THE MONGOL EMPIRE 1206-1405 

1 The Mongol conquests 1207-79 

2 Mongol campaigns in eastern Europe 

3 The successor khanates 

4 Area subjugated by Timur-leng 


1 The rise of specialist production in 
western Europe from 950 

2 Rural growth: the Chartres region of France 

3 Urban growth across Europe 

4 Mediterranean trade in the 12th and 
13th centuries 

EUROPE 1000-1500 

1 The urban population of Europe c. 1300 

2 Northern and central Italy c. 1500 

3 The Low Countries c. 1500 


1 Eurasian trade routes in the 14th century 

2 The spread of the Black Death in Europe 

106 EUROPE 1350-1500 

1 Europe c. 1400 

2 The Hundred Years' War 1337-1453 

3 The Church during the Great Schism 

4 The economy after the Black Death 


1 The Pueblo Peoples 

2 Chaco Canyon 

3 Moundbuilders of the Mississippi 

4 Native American peoples c.1500 

5 Movements of Native American peoples 
14th to 18th centuries 


1 The Inca Empire 

2 Plan of Inca Cuzco 

3 The provinces of the Aztec Empire c.1520 





1 Eurasian kind empires o. 1 7<Ki 

2 European wttrld rrnde ISoii 

3 Wurld trading umpires 17711 


1 Voyages of exploration 1485-1600 

2 Routes across the Pacific 

118 EUROPEANS IN ASIA 1500-1790 

1 The Portuguese in Asia c.1580 

2 European activity in Asia c.1650 

3 Principal commodities in Asian trade 

1 The Caribbean 1492-1550 

2 Central and southern North America 

3 Cortes' expedition to Tenochtitlan 

4 South America 1526-50 

SOUTH AMERICA 1500-1780 

1 Mexico, Central America and 
eastern Caribbean 1520-1750 

2 Spanish and Portuguese South 
America 1525-1750 

3 Administrative divisions of Spanish 
and Portuguese America 1780 


1 Colonization of the North American 
mainland to 1750 

2 Colonization of the Caribbean 1625-1763 

3 The Seven Years' War 1756-63 

HEMISPHERE 1500-1880 

1 The transatlantic slave trade 

2 Slave economies of the western 


1 The distribution of population in 
Europe c. 1650 

2 The Atlantic economies 1650-1750 

EMPIRES 1600-1800 

1 European empires and trade 

2 World silver flows 1650-1750 


1 European urbanization 1500 

2 European urbanization 1600 

3 European urbanization 1700 

4 European urbanization 1800 

5 The growth of London 1600-1700 


1 Centres of learning c. 1770 

2 Scientific and technological 
innovations 1650-1735 

136 AFRICA 1500-1800 

1 Peoples, kingdoms and economic activity 

2 Towns and trade centres of the Gold and 
Slave Coasts 1500-1800 


1 Trade and production centres in the 
Ming period 

2 Voyages of Zheng He 1405-33 

3 Ming and Manchu Qing imperial borders 

140 TOKUGAWA JAPAN 1603-1867 

1 Major domains and regions in the late 
Tokugawa period 

2 Major transport routes in the late 
Tokugawa period 

3 Urbanization in the late Tokugawa period 


1 The growth of the Ottoman Empire to 1683 

2 The making of the Ottoman-Safavid 
frontier 1514-1639 

3 Trade routes in the 16th and 17th centuries 




1 Mughal conquests 1506-1605 

2 Trade and manufacturing 

3 Expansion and encroachments 1605-1707 

4 An empire in decline 

146 EUROPEAN STATES 1500-1600 

1 Europe c. 1560 

2 France in the 16th century 

3 Italy 1500-59 


1 The expansion of Muscovy 

2 The growth of the Russian Empire 

3 Russian development in the west 1598-1795 


1 Swedish expansion in the 16th and 
17th centuries 

2 Swedish military ativity c. 1620-1710 

3 Sweden in 1721 

4 The Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania 

5 Partitions of Poland 1772-95 

152 THE HABSBURG EMPIRE 1490-1700 

1 The Habsburg Empire 1556-1618 

2 The Burgundian inheritance 

3 The Habsburgs in central Europe 1618-1700 


1 The Protestant and Catholic Reformation 

2 The Reformation in Switzerland 

3 The Reformation and religious 
conflict in France 


1 Wars and revolts in Europe 1618-1680 

2 The acquisitions of Louis XIV 1643-1715 

3 The expansion of Prussia 1618-1795 


1 Major fortifications and battles 1450-1750 

2 The Thirty Years War 1618-48 




1 Political svMuins l'J14 

2 Major European conflicts 177(1-1') I 3 

3 Major milium conflicts outside Europe 
1770-1'' 13 


1 The colonial economy c. 1770 

2 British North America 1763-75 

3 The American War of Independence 1775-83 

EUROPE 1789-1815 

1 Revolutionary France 1789-94 

2 Napoleonic Europe 1796-1815 

3 European coalitions 1793-1815 

1 Resources and development in England 1750 

2 The cotton textile industry in Lancashire 

3 Industry in Britain 1850 


1 The growth of industry and railways 

2 The level of industrialization 1860 

3 The level of industrialization 1913 


1 Treaty settlements in Europe 1814-15 

2 Civil unrest in Europe 1819-1831 

3 Centres of revolution 1848-49 

DECLINE 1700-1918 

1 Territorial expansion and contraction 

2 Habsburg territories 1814-1914 

3 Nationalities in Austria-Hungary 1900 

4 Revolution in the Austrian Empire 1848^19 

GERMANY 1815-71 

1 Italy after the Congress of Vienna 1815 

2 The unification of Italy 

3 The German Confederation, Austrian 
Empire, Prussia and Denmark 1815 

4 Germany from confederation to empire 


1 The decline of the Ottoman Empire 

2 Retreat in the Balkans 1699-1739 

3 Retreat in the Caucasus 1826-78 

4 The birth of the Republic of Turkey 1920-23 

EXPANSION 1795-1914 

1 The territorial expansion of the 
Russian Empire 1795-1914 

2 The economic development of European 
Russia 1800-1914 

3 The years of revolution 1905-7 

UNITED STATES 1783-1910 

1 Territorial expansion from 1783 

2 Stages of settlement 

3 Routes of exploration and settlement 

4 Treatment of the Native Americans 


1 The slave population and cotton production 

2 The legal position of slavery 1861 

3 The Civil War 

UNITED STATES 1790-1900 

1 Railroads and canals 1860 

2 Industrial development 1890 

3 Population and urbanization 1900 


1 Settlement in eastern Canada before 1825 

2 Westward expansion to 1911 

3 Political development since 1867 


1 Latin America and the Caribbean 1800 

2 Liberation campaigns of Boh'var and 
San Martin 

3 Latin America and the Caribbean 1830 


1 South America 1830-1914 

2 Mexico 1824-67 

3 Central America and the Caribbean 

194 THE BRITISH IN INDIA 1608-1920 

1 The growth of British dominion 1756-1805 

2 Expansion of the empire 1805-58 

3 The empire 1858-1914 

4 Agriculture and railways 1850-1925 

IMPERIALISM 1790-1914 

1 Autonomous states and colonies 1792-1860 

2 The High Colonial Age 1870-1914 


1 Wars against China 1840-95 

2 Foreign spheres of influence and treaty ports 

3 The Taiping Rebellion 

4 The 1911 Revolution 


1 Urbanization, industrialization and 
modern prefectures 

2 Growth of the railway network 

3 Acquisitions overseas 1870-1933 


1 Exploration of Australia and New Zealand 

2 Economic development of Australia 

3 Economic development of New Zealand 

204 AFRICA 1800-80 

1 Principal African and European trading 
routes c. 1840 

2 The spread of Islam and Christianity 

3 European exploration 


1 Africa on the eve of the First World War 

2 The South African (Boer) War 1899-1902 

3 Colonial economic development 


1 Empires and patterns of world trade 

2 International investment 1914 


1 World population growth and urbanization 

2 Major population movements 1500-1914 




] Wars 1914-45 

J Wars since 1945 

3 Major trading biocs 1998 


1 European Alliances 1882 

2 European Alliances 1914 

3 The Balkan Wars 1912-13 


218 THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-18 

1 The First World War in Europe and the 
Middle East 

2 The Western Front 

3 Trench warfare: Battle of the Somme 


1 Europe in 1914 

2 Treaty settlements in Europe 1919-23 

3 The division of the Ottoman Empire 

4 Post-war alliances 


1 Revolution and civil war in Russia 

2 Revolutionary activity in Europe 

3 The Soviet Union 1928-39 


1 Communist retrenchment 1934-36 

2 Civil war 1945-49 

3 Industrial development 1895-1949 

226 LATIN AMERICA 1914-45 

1 Increasing urban population 1920-50 

2 US influence in Mexico, Central 
America and the Caribbean 

3 Latin America in the First World War 

4 Latin America in the Second World War 


1 The effect of the Depression in North 

2 The effect of the Depression in Europe 

3 Decline in exports from countries trading 
mainly in primary products 1928-29 to 

4 Countries on the gold standard 1929-34 

230 THE RISE OF FASCISM 1921-39 

1 Expansion of the Italian Empire 1922-39 

2 Expansion of Nazi Germany 1933-39 

3 The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 

4 Right-wing dictatorships 1919-39 


1 Military campaigns in Europe 1939-45 

2 Germany's "New Order" in Europe 
November 1942 

3 Central Europe 1945 

234 THE WAR IN ASIA 1931-45 

1 The Japanese in China 1931-45 

2 The Japanese offensive 1941-42 

3 The Allied offensive 1942-45 

EUROPE 1945-89 

1 Communist Eastern Europe 1945-89 

2 The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 
in the 1970s 

3 The economy of the Soviet Union 
and Eastern Europe 1948-89 


1 The economic effect of the Second 
World War 

2 The economic integration of Western 

3 Employment in industry and services 
1950 and 1991 


1 Population changes 1900-96 

2 Distribution of non-white population 1900 

3 Distribution of non-white population and 
civil rights demonstrations from 1955 


1 US security commitments post-1945 

2 US overseas trading commitments 

244 THE COLD WAR 1947-91 

1 Cold War conflicts 

2 The Korean War 1950-53 

3 The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 


1 Colonies and mandates 1939 

2 Decolonization 1945-98 

3 Commonwealth of Nations 

4 Decolonization in the Caribbean 


1 Administrative structure of India 
in the 1930s 

2 The partition of India 1947 

3 Disputed territory and separatist 


1 The end of Western rule 

2 The Vietnam War 1959-75 

3 Trade and urbanization 

252 JAPAN SINCE 1945 

1 Changes in distribution of population 
since 1960 

2 Distribution of manufacturing output 
since 1960 

3 Japanese investment and trade in East Asia 


1 Population distribution in 1976 

2 Land productivity and major industrial 
centres in the 1980s 

3 Open cities and Special Economic Zones 

256 AFRICA SINCE 1939 

1 Independent Africa 

2 Multiparty democracy 

3 South Africa under apartheid 

4 South Africa after apartheid 


1 Main exports in the 1990s 

2 US intervention in Latin America 
since 1945 

3 Ethnic composition 


1 The Middle East and surrounding region 
since 1945 

2 The Palestine conflict 

3 The Arab-Israeli Wars 1967 and 1973 

4 Wars in the Gulf 1980-88 and 1990-91 


1 The break-up of the Soviet Union since 1991 

2 Caucasus region 1988-98 

3 The August rebellion 1991 


1 The transition from communism to 
democracy 1989-96 

2 Economic development 1990-97 

3 Former Yugoslavia 1991-99 


1 UN membership and peacekeeping 

2 The division of Cyprus 1974 

3 The UN in Bosnia 1994 


1 The spread of democracy 

2 Religious and ethnic conflicts 1917-98 

3 The division of Ireland 1922 


1 Women and the right to vote 

2 Women in employment 1990s 

3 Girls in secondary education 1998 

4 Women elected to the US Congress 


1 The richest 20 countries 1950/1970/1990 

2 The oil crisis 1973-74 

3 Openness to trade 1980 


1 Population increase 1950-97 

2 Urbanization of the world 

3 Human migration 1918-98 

SINCE 1945 

1 Expenditure on health as percentage of 
GNP 1960-65 

2 Expenditure on health as percentage of 
GNP 1990-95 

3 Infant mortality rates 1990-95 

4 Food consumption and major famines 
since the 1940s 


1 Distribution of wealth 

2 Human Development Index 

3 Literacy and education 1995 

SINCE 1945 

1 Carbon dioxide emissions and threatened 

2 Threat to the Ganges delta 

3 Deforestation in the 20th century 

4 Acid deposition and urban pollution 

5 Water pollution since the 1960s 

SINCE 1945 

1 Car ownership and production 

2 Passenger kilometres (miles) flown 1994 

3 Computer ownership 

284 INDEX 




There could be no more opportune time than the 
start of the third millennium AD to produce an 
entirely new atlas of world history. Not only does 
this symbolic {if arbitrary) moment provoke a mood of 
public retrospection, but the pace of global change itself 
demands a greater awareness of "whole world" history. 
More than 20 years have passed since a major new atlas 
of this kind was published in the English language. In 
that period there has been an explosion of new research 
into the histories of regions outside Europe and North 
America, and a growing awareness of how parochial our 
traditional approach to history has been. In this changed 
environment, the demand for an un-biased overview of 
world history has steadily grown in schools and colleges, 
and among the general reading public. 

Several developments within the study of academic 
history promote the seriousness with which histories of 
the world are now taken. First the accumulation of 
knowledge about the past of different nations has engen- 
dered excessive specialization. The sheer volume of 
publications and data about details of the past stimulates 
demand from students, scholars and a wider public for 
guidelines, meaning and "big pictures" that world 
history, with its unconfined time frame and wider geo- 
graphical focus, is positioned to meet. 

Secondly the broadening of traditional history's central 
concerns (with states, warfare and diplomacy) in order 
to take account of modern concerns with, for example, 
ecology, evolutionary biology, botany, the health and 
wealth of populations, human rights, gender, family 
systems and private life, points the study of history 
towards comparisons between Western and non-Western 
cultures and histories. 

Thirdly young people now arrive at universities with 
portfolios of know-ledge and aroused curiosities about a 
variety of cultures. They are less likely than their prede- 
cessors to study national let alone regional and parochial 
histories. Schools and universities need to provide access 
to the kind of historical understanding that will satisfy 
their interests. To nourish the cosmopolitan sensibility 
required for the next millennium, history needs to be 
widened and repositioned to bring the subject into fruit- 
ful exchange with geography and the social sciences. 
Barriers between archaeology, ancient, classical, 
medieval, early modern, contemporary and other "pack- 
ages" of traditional but now anachronistic histories arc 
being dismantled. 

Unsurprisingly, the implications of "globalization" for 
hitherto separ-ated communities, disconnected 
economies and distinctive cultures have been analysed 
by social scientists. They serve governments who are 

uneasily aware that their powers to control economies 
and societies nominally under their jurisdiction are 
being eroded, both by radical improvements in the tech- 
nologies for the transportation of goods and people 
around the world and by the vastly more efficient com- 
munications systems that diffuse commercial 
intelligence, political messages and cultural information 
between widely separated populations, 


As the world changes at an accelerated pace, for problem 
after problem and subject after subject, national frame- 
works for political action and academic enquiry are 
recognized as unsatisfactory. Historians are being asked 
for a deeper perspective on the technological, political 
and economic forces that are now transforming tradi- 
tional frameworks for human behaviour, and reshaping 
personal identities around the world. Philip's Atlas of 
World History has been designed, constructed and 
written by a team of professional historians not only for 
the general reader but to help teachers of history in 
schools and universities to communicate that perspec- 
tive to their pupils and students. 

World histories cannot be taught or read without a clear 
comprehension of the chronologies and regional para- 
meters within which different empires, states and 
peoples have evolved through time. A modern historical 
atlas is the ideal mode of presentation for ready refer- 
ence and for the easy acquisition of basic facts upon 
which courses in world history can be built, delivered 
and studied. Such atlases unify history with geography. 
They "encapsulate" knowledge by illuminating the sig- 
nificance of locations for seminal events in world history. 
For example a glance at maps on pages 78 and 116-7 will 
immediately reveal why explorers and ships from 
western Europe were more likely (before the advent of 
steam-powered ships) to reach the Americas than sailors 
from China or India. More than any other factor it was 
probably a matter of distance and the prevailing winds 
on the Atlantic that precluded Asian voyages to the 

Historical atlases should be accurate, accessible and 
display the unfurling chronology of world history in 
memorable maps and captions. The team of historians, 
cartographers and editors who collaborated in the con- 
struction of Philip's Atlas of World History set out to 
produce a popular work of reference that could be 
adopted for university and school courses in world 
history. In the United States and Canada such courses 
are already commonplace and the subject is now spread- 
ing in Britain, Europe, Japan and China. New textbooks 
appear regularly. American journals dealing with world 
history publish debates of how histories designed to 

cover long chronologies and uneonfined geographies 
might be as rigorous and as intellectually compelling as 
more orthodox histories dealing with individuals, 
parishes, towns, regions, countries and single continents. 
The editors attempted to become familiar with as many 
course outlines as possible. 

Their plans tor the atlas were informed by the ongoing, 
contemporary debate (largely North American) about 
the scale, scope and nature of world history. For 
example, they were aware that most "model" textbooks 
in world history arc usually constructed around the 
grand themes of "connections" and "comparisons" 
across continents and civilizations, and that a scientifi- 
cally informed appreciation of environmental, 
evolutionary and biological constraints on all human 
activity are regarded as basic to any understanding of 
world his ton'. 

Through its carefully designed system of cross-referenc- 
ing, this atlas promotes the appreciation of 
"connections", "contacts" and "encounters" promoted 
through trade, transportation, conquest, colonization, 
disease and botanical exchanges and the diffusion of 
major religious beliefs. It also aims to facilitate "com- 
parisons" across space and through time of the major 
forces at work in world history, ineluding warfare, revo- 
lutions, state formation, religious conversion, industrial 
development, scientific and technological discoveries, 
demographic change, urbanization and migration. 
Histories or atlases of the world are potentially limitless 
in their geographical and chronological coverage. 
Publications in the field are inevitably selective and as 
William McNeill opined: "Knowing what to leave out is 
the hallmark of scholarship in world history". 

History in its broadest context 

As I write this foreword conflict escalates in the Middle 
East. The crisis in the Middle Bast features in Part 5: 
"The Twentieth ( lentury", but in the atlas it is also set in 
the context not just of our times, but of the whole span 
of history. The atlas opens with "The Human Revolution; 
5 million years ago to 1(1.000 uc" placed within an inno- 
vative opening section dealing largely with archaeological 
evidence for the evolution of tools and other artefacts, as 
well as the transition from hunting to farming in all the 
com incuts except Antarctica from around 10.00(1 ec. 

This first section also covers connections and compar- 
isons across the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, the 
Indus Valley, Egypt, China and Mesoameriea and South 
America as well as those later and more familiar empires 
of Greece. India, China and Rome. Vet the editors have 
also ensured that small countries (such as Korea), impor- 
tant but often forgotten traders and explorers (such as 

the Vikings), and the nomadic peoples of Central Asia, 
the Americas and Africa have found their place in this 
comprehensive atlas of world history-. 

Furthermore, coverage of the world wars of the 20th 
century, the Great Depression, the rise of communism 
and fascism, decolonization and the end of the Cold War 
and the events of the 1990s makes the atlas into a dis- 
tinctive work of first references for courses in current 
affairs and contemporary history. Facts, brief analyses 
and illuminating maps of such seminal events in world 
history as the transition to settled agriculture, the inven- 
tions of writing and printing, the birth of religions, the 
Roman Fmpire. Song China, the discovery of the 
Americas, the Scientific. French and Industrial 
Revolutions, the foundation of the Soviet Union and of 
communist China are all carefully chronicled and repre- 
sented on colourful maps drawn using the latest 
cartographic technology. Although any general atlas of 
world history will, and should, give prominence to such 
traditional, historical themes as the rise and decline of 
empires, states and civilizations, a serious effort has been 
made wherever possible in the atlas to accord proper 
emphasis to the communal concerns of humankind, 
including religion, economic welfare, trade, technology, 
health, the status of women and human rights. 

The Philips Atlas can be used easily to find out about a 
significant event {The American Revolution), the hist ory 
of defined places and populations (India under the 
Mugiuds 1526-1765), religious transitions {The 
Reformation and Counter Reformation in Europe 
1517-164S), or social movements on a world scale 
(World I'oputation Growth and l'rhaniz(Uion 
IlWO-1914). Nevertheless the atlas has also been 
designed in the context of a remarkable revival in world 
history, which is now underway, and which represents 
an exciting alternative to histories narrowly focused on 
the experience of national communities. World history 
offers chronologies, perspectives and geographical para- 
meters which aim to attenuate the excesses of ethnicity, 
chauvinism and condescension. The length and breadth 
of an atlas of world history covering all continents, and a 
chronology going back twelve millennia, can work to sep- 
arate the provincial from the universal, the episodic from 
the persistent. It can expose the decline as well as the 
rise of societies, nations, cultures and civilizations. In so 
far as this atlas succeeds in these goals, and thus con- 
tributes to the widespread aspiration for an education in 
world history, it can also help nurture a cosmopolitan 
sensibility for the new millennium. 

Patrick K. O'Brien FBA 

Institute of Historical Research, I 'niversity of London 


The first humans evolved in Africa around two million years ago. By 
9000 BC their descendants had spread to most parts of the globe and in 
some areas were beginning to practise agriculture. From around 4000 BC 
the first civilizations developed, initially in the Near East and India and 
subsequently in China, Mesoamerica and South America. In the centuries 
that followed, to ad 500, many states and empires rose and fell. 

▼ The world wos ml colonized 
in a single mourned!; there 
were ol least two moj« episodes 
In Ihe Frril, between 1,8 million 
and 300,000 {MR 091, tarty 
rnrno spread from Anko ik lor 
ik China and wtsrim i urooe In 
the second, the descendants ol 
early Homo were replaced by 
representatives ol modern 
, Homo spem, who 
i Australia by 60,000 and 
the Americas by M, 000 yean 
ago. During the whale af this 
period ihe migration ol humans 
wt»arecrrry affected by ci 
number of ki ages, when sn 
bmbU la reveal land 
'bridges" ibol in later years 
become submerged. 

Some five to eight million years ago, a species 
of small African primates began walking 
upright. While there are many theories about 
the advantages conferred by moving on two legs 
rather than four, there is general agreement that 
the success of the hominid line (humans and their 
ancestors) is due in part to the adoption of this 
new method of locomotion, Between five and one 
million years ago, hominid species proliferated iu 
East Africa and southern Africa, giving rise by 1.8 
million years ago to the new genus, Homo, to 
which we ourselves belong {mup )), 

The development by Homo of stone tools - and, 
we may presume, tools that have not survived, 
made of other materials such as bone and wood - 
was a major advance in human evolution, allowing 
our ancestors to engage iu activities for which they 
lacked the physical capabilities. This ability to 
develop technology to overcome our physical 
limitations has enabled us to develop from a small 
and restricted population of African apes to a 
species that dominates cven p continent except 
Antarctica and has even reached the moon. 
Between l.S million and 300,000 years ago. 
members of our genus colonized much of temperate 
Europe and Asia as well as tropical areas, aided by 
their ability to use fire and create shelter. By 
9000 uc the only parts of the globe which modern 
humans - Homo sapiens - had not reached were 
some remote islands and eircumpolar regions. 

A With ihe development ol agriculture 
and settled communities there was a 
growing need for storage Pottery 
began lo be mode on o wide scale in 
order lo meet this need, but it obo 
served os o vehicle lor human artistic 
activity This Maya cylindrical pottery 

vessel depicts players in a ballgame 
thai was on importottl ritual activity 
throughout ihe anrienl cndiialions of 
Mesocroerko A standard but as yet 
undeciphered text in the complex 
Maya hieroglyphic writing runs round 
the top of the vessel 

1 ColONIUIICm Of IHE WM1D 1 .8 MltUON TUBS »0O 10 1 0,000 K 

PJ WW MOtMd at (Off MJIHHEt ^M MB (MMUIO 9J iOTfl nlTO 

Stl Irital 1MB001 1 8 mfanto jOfJ.MB W. 

Ms minxd In nofc> 



In Itt.tKK) mi the world was inhabited solely by 
groups who lived by hunting and gathering wild 
foods. Within the succeeding 8,000 years, however, 
much of the world was transformed (mop J). 
People in many parts of the world began to produce 
their own food, domesticating and selectively 
breeding phim-- and animals harming supported 
larger and more settled communities, allowing the 
accumulation of stored food surpluses - albeit with 
the counterpoised risks involved in clearing areas 
of plants and animals that had formerly been a 
source of back-up food in lean years. Agricultural 
communities expanded in many regions, for 
example colonizing Europe and South Asia, and iu 
doing so radically changed the landscape. 

▲ Rock paintings, such as these "X-ray 
style" figures from Nourlangie in 
Australia's Northern Territory, provide a 
fascinating record of the everyday 

world of hunter-gatherers. They also 
give some insight into the rich spiritual 
and mythological life of the people 
who created them. 


As the millennia passed there was continuing 
innovation in agricultural techniques and tools, 
with the domestication of more plants and animals 
and the improvement by selective breeding of those 
already being exploited. These developments 
increased productivity and allowed the colonization 
of new areas. Specialist pastoral groups moved into 
previously uninhabited, inhospitable desert regions. 
Swamps were drained in Mesoamerica and South 
America and highly productive raised fields were 
constructed in their place. Irrigation techniques 
allowed the cultivation of river valleys in otherwise 
arid regions, such as Mesopotamia and Egypt. 

High agricultural productivity supported high 
population densities, and towns and cities grew up, 
often with monumental public architecture. 
However, there were also limitations in these 
regions, such as an unreliable climate or river 
regime, or a scarcity of important raw materials 
(such as stone), and there was often conflict 
between neighbouring groups. Religious or secular 
leaders who could organize food storage and 
redistribution, craft production, trade, defence and 
social order became increasingly powerful. These 
factors led to the emergence of the first 
civilizations in many parts of the world between 
around 4000 and 200 bg (maps 3 and 4 overleaf). 
A surplus of agricultural produce was used in these 
civilizations to support a growing number of 
specialists who were not engaged in food 
production: craftsmen, traders, priests and rulers, 
as well as full-time warriors - although the majority 
of soldiers were normally farmers. 

Specialists in some societies included scribes. 
The development of writing proved a major 
advance, enabling vast quantities of human 
knowledge and experience to be recorded, shared 
and passed on. Nevertheless, in most societies 
literacy was confined to an elite - priests, rulers 
and the scribes they employed - who used it as a 
means of religious, political or economic control. 
In most parts of the world, the belief that there 
should be universal access to knowledge recorded 
in writing is a recent phenomenon. 


Although without written records it is impossible to 
reconstruct details of the belief systems of past 
societies, evidence of religious beliefs and ritual 
activities abounds, particularly in works of art, 
monumental structures and grave offerings. 

2 T» sntEU or farming i. 1 0,000-3000 ac 

Jtyncuiin cvmuviK of, 

■I 8000 k ISfl tOOOK I I 40011k 

33 7000* ^| 5000K ■ 3000k 

■ Fwmfcls 3000k 

3] tMwqottwei 3000 «: 

regttn 3000k 

■4 Forming developed in many 
ports of the world from around 
1 0,000 !C. Differences in the 
locally available plants and 
animals and in local conditions 
gave rise to much variation 
between regions. Domestic 
animals, for example, played on 
important part in Old World 
agriculture, whereas farmers in 
Mesoamerica and North America 
relied heavily an wild animals 
and craps such as beans for 
protein. A settled lifestyle usually 
depended on the practice of 
agriculture. However, in some 
oreas, such as the Pacific coast of 
North America, an abundant 
supply of wild resources allowed 
settled communities to develop 
without agriculture. 

► Intensive and highly 
productive agriculture gave rise 
10 civfaed sooefies in 
Mesopotamia. Egypt and 

northern India in the 4th and 
3rd millennia (C and in China 
by 1700 k. 

► Between 1200 and 500 si: 
mrifeed societies were 
established in the Americas. By 
this time the early states of 
Eurasia and Africa had dedined 
and been replaced by others, 
such as the Persian Empire, 
Minoan and Mycenaean Greece 
and the Zhou state in China 

Ritual and religion were a powerful spur to the 
creation of monumental architecture by literate 
urhan societies such as the Egyptians, Greeks and 
Romans. I>ut also in smaller societies dependent OS 
agriculture, such as the prehistoric inhabitants of 
Europe who huilt the megalithie tombs, or the 
moundbuilders of North America, Monuments also 
reflected other factors, such as a desire for prestige 
or to affirm territorial rights Although such 
building activity implied the ability to mohilize 
large numbers of people, this did not necessarily 
require hierarchical social control; it could be 
achieved within the framework of a community led 
by elders or priests. 

£^U 3 CMLIZAttaHS C. 3000- 1 700 K 

A Scenes from the life and "former 
lives" of Buddha (c. 563-483 K) are 
among those decorating the jfupo at 
Amcravoii in southern India. The stupe 
dates mostly from the 2nd century m. 

by which time several major religions 
- Hinduism, Zocoastrionism, Judaism , 
Buddhism and Christianity - had 
developed and begun to spread 
through Asia and Europe. 

Concern with the proper disposal of the dead 
was displayed from Neanderthal times, more than 
5(),(MH) years ago. In the burial or other treatment 
of the body regarded as appropriate (such as 
cremation or exposure), the dead were often 
accompanied by grave offerings. These could range 
from food or small items of personal dress, to large 
numbers of sacrificed relatives or retainers as in 
tombs dating from the .Ird millennium bc: in Egypt 
and the 2nd millennium hi; in Shang China. The 
offerings might be related to life after death, for 
which the deceased needed to be equipped, but 
also frequently reflected aspects of the dead 
person's social position in life. 

■4 New regions became caught up in 
the expansion of stoles: Korea and 
parts of Central Asia fell to the Chinese 
Han Empire, Europe was swept up hy 
the Roman Empire, and the North 
American southwest come under the 
cultural influence of Mesoomericon 
states. Elsewhere, however, formers, 
herders ond huntef-golberecs continued 
their Traditional lifestyle, affected to 
varying degrees by their civilized 
neighbours, who regarded them as 
"barbarians" Such "barbarians" could 
turn the tide of empires: Central Asktn 
nomads were the periodic scourge ol 
West, South and East Asia for 
thousands of years, and Germanic 
confederacies, with Central Asians, 
brought dawn the Western Roman 
Empire in the middle of the 1st 
millennium in. 

Grave offerings often provide valuable elues 
about past social organization. They also point to 
the important part played by artisans in the 
development of civilized communities, in particular 
producing prestige items for use by the elite and 
manufactured goods to bo traded in exchange for 
vital raw materials. In developed agricultural 
societies, craft production was unlikely to be a full- 
time pursuit for more than a handful of individuals, 
but this did not prevent high standards being 
reached in many communities. 

Unlike pottery, which was made by the majority 
of settled communities, and stone, used for tools 
worldwide from very early times, metahvorking did 
not develop in all parts of the globe, due in part to 
the distribution of ores. Initially metal artefacts 
tended to be prestige objects, used to demonstrate 
individual or community status, but metal was soon 
used for producing tools as well. The development 
of techniques for working iron, in particular, was a 
major breakthrough, given the abundance and 
widespread distribution of iron ore. 


By about 500 bc ironworking was well established 
in Europe, West and South Asia, and in parts of 
East Asia and Africa. States had developed in most 
of these regions at least a thousand years before, 
but for a variety of reasons the focal areas of these 
entities had changed over the course of time 
(map 4). The formerly fertile lower reaches of the 
Euphrates, cradle of the Mesopotamia n civilization, 
had suffered salination, and so the focus had shifted 
north to the competing Assyrian and Babylonian 
empires. In India the primary civilization had 
emerged along the Indus river system; after its fall, 
the focus of power and prosperity shifted to the 
Ganges Valley, which by the 3rd century BC was the 
centre of the Mauryan Empire. 

Europe was also developing native states, and by 
the 1 st century ad much of Europe and adjacent 

regions of Asia and Africa were united through 
military conquest by the Romans. The rise and 
expansion of the far-reaching Roman Empire 
was paralleled in the east by that of the equally 
vast Chinese Han Empire {map 5). 

Military conquest was not. however, the only 
means by which large areas were united. The 
Andean region, for example, was dominated in 
the 1st millennium BC by the Chavin culture, 
seemingly related to a widely shared religious 
eult centred on a shrine at Chavin dc Iluantar, A 
complex interplay of political, economic, 
religious and social factors determined the 
pattern of the rise and fall of states. 

On the fringes of the human world, pioneers 
continued to colonize new r areas, developing 
ways of life to enable them to settle in the 
eircumpolar regions and the deserts of Arabia 
and to venture huge distances across uncharted 
waters to settle on the most remote Pacific 
islands. By At) 500 the Antarctic was the only 
continent still unpeopled. 

undent world provided o milieu 
in whith ihe sciences and 
technology thrived. The 
Babylonians. Indians and 
Greeks, lor example, developed 
mathematics and astronomical 
knowledge la o high level, while 
ihe Chinese pioneered advances 
in u number of fields, among 
them melrjllurgy and mining 
technology The Ramans were 
also skilled innovators, 
particularly in engineering, 
where in Ihe public domain ihey 
built magnificent roads and 
aqueducts, such as Ihe Pont du 
Gard In France, pictured here. 

▼ The burials ol important 
people were often lavishly 
furnished with spectacular works 
of craftsmanship. The body ol 
Princess Oou Won ol the Han 
kingdom at Zhongshnn in China 
was buried in lite 2nd century n: 
in this suit made of {ode plaques 
bound together with gold thread. 
In Chinese belief jade was linked 
to immortality, ond suits such os 
this were intended to preserve 
the body of the deceased 


5 MILLION YEARS AGO to 10,000 bc 

1 Continuous gen; flow model 

Vis ago 








2 Discrete evolution mddei 

A Some experts believe tint modern 
h umons evolved from the early hominids h 
ii :. rolls I in if nm Asia and Europe (1 1. 
However, ii is moie generally eaepled Ifwl 
they originated in Africa and then spread - 
01 lite expense of olher haminid species (II. 

► The last of Ine inhabited conlinenls la be 
colonized by hominids was South Ametka. 
probably between 1 4,000 and 
1 1,000 years ago. 

3 Colonization of the globe 

31 Wo*irrium eKtortHf rcrr sneers 


^J laid rttlrased ii'i \vw SBU Ml 

i 16.000 k 

^^^ twrfFoRan 

| Also Kruped Irr H. MferifaMj 

~2 Im ohuH tv H. etna 

A SeolwwnsrtB 

i-, luiul sire 

^ Effltfnrts* 

Traces of the earliest ancestors of humans, the 
Australopithecines, have been found in Africa, dating 
from between five and two million years ago when the 
forests had given way in places to more open savanna 
{map 1) A line of footprints discovered at Laetoli j s vivid 
evidence that these now extinct early hominids (human 
ancestors belonging to the genera Australopithecus and 
Homo) walked upright. I lorn in id fossils from this remote 
period are rare, since the creatures themselves were not 
numerous. The remains that have been found probably 
belong to different species' some, such as A. robustus and 
A. boiset, lived on plant material; others, such as the smaller 
A africanus, ate a more varied diet. Hy two million years 
ago the hominids included Homo habilis, small creatures 
whose diet probably included kills scavenged from carni- 
vores. Unlike their Australopi thee ine cousins, Ii. lutttilix had 
begun to manufacture stone tools (called "Oldowan" after 
the key site of Olduvai), roughly chipped to form a service- 
able edge for slicing through hide, digging and other 
activities which these small hominids could not perform 
with their inadequate teeth and nails. These developments, 
along with physical adaptation, were crucial in the amazing 
soeeess of humans compared with other animal species. 

The move into temperate regions 

By L8 million years ago this success was already becoming 
apparent in the rapid spread of hominids well outside their 
original tropical home, into temperate regions as far afield 
as East Asia {map 2). This move was made possible by a 
number of developments. Hominids began to make new and 
more efficient tools, including the multipurpose handaxc. 
which extended their physical capabilities. A substantial 
increase in body size allowed representatives of Homn to 
compete more successfully with other scavengers, and by 
50(1,(101) years ago our ancestors were hunting as well as 
scavenging, using wooden spears and probably fire. Fire was 
also important in providing warmth, light and protection 
against predators, and for cooking food, thus making it 
easier to chew and digest. To cope with the temperate 
climate, hominids used caves and rock shelters such as 
those found at the famous Chinese site of Zhoukoudian. 

There had been a gradtial cooling of the global climate, 
with ice sheets developing in the Arctic by 2.4 million years 
ago. Around 900,000 years ago this process had accelerated, 
giving rise to a pattern of short ice ages approximately every 

100,000 years. These ice ages were interspersed with short 
phases of temperatures similar to or higher than those of 
today, and much longer periods of intermediate tempera- 
tures. The pattern of ice advance and retreat had a major 
effect not only on the distribution of hominids and other 
mammals but also on the preservation of their fossils, so the 
picture that we have today is at best partial. During warm 
periods, hominids penetrated as far north as southern 
England: in cooler periods, sea levels fell and many coastal 
areas that are now submerged became habitable. 

1 Early hominids 


1 9te <f 

A «fly iirM^^tam 


tmidvs, A mammis) 
a tafef gmihe rVriNdLrpfitaihtt 

A kjlBf rotor AifSfniiptlhaiiriis 

rX fltotA A bout, 

A. wtbopm} 

■ o 


1 " ! '°™QAa 

^twi A^Jfc Tbrtianti 
AiQI M»nJ V" Koobi ^aAAADD 
ChesowafiiaAH " 

A - * KENYA i '»°* , 


B [irrcila Hamo fH liMi 

■ tap to" 1 * 'ft WJW* - 


fit mKftriJ , H rtfWter?.os r 

tf JiWOBj 







AM 5wart)ijrDrii,*. : - ; i 


A Marry haminid species Flourished in sub-Sofiaran 
Africa between live and <me miltem yean ago. 
but most died out Modem humans are the 

only surviving descendant 

Tropic of Conor 

2 Thi spread of hominics 


(astine 01 lime ol pjbool maonxn 

Spueoc n H . HfMs yoot hcRwra . 


Mors 1 rrAon years coo 


offer 1 mSon years ago 


Hamnkt tones dared before 1 million years ago 


Hnanid rtmcais daKd before 200,000 K 

-rt. erjaster 


Nmninid rgrnoins doled Mm !00,OCO K 

-W. areata 


Horniibd remains doled Mare 200,000 n: - 

-H. fcaoWcwpsistt 


Camp/cK< uporiof! are 




HondtM ndusrry sie 





Song iron 



The emergence of modern humans 

Around 100,000 years ago two hominid species were living 
in the eastern Mediterranean region. One was the Asian rep- 
resentative of the Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) - 
descended from H. heidelbergensis - who inhabited Europe 
and West Asia from some time after 200,000 BC; the other 
was an early form of Homo sapiens (modern humans) who 
had first appeared some 20,000 years earlier in southern 
Africa. By 40,000 bc modern humans were to be found 
throughout the previously inhabited world - Africa, Asia and 
Europe - and in Australia (map 3). 

Opinions are divided as to how this came about. One 
school of thought holds that the descendants of the first 
hominids to colonize these various regions had evolved 
in parallel (diagram 1); there was continuous gene flow 
between adjacent regions, spreading adaptations and 
changes throughout the hominid world but with regional dif- 
ferences also present, as in the modern races. This view sees 
the emergence of modern humans as a global phenomenon. 

The alternative and more generally accepted view is that 
the original colonists developed into different regional 
species (diagram 2). Modern humans emerged in Africa and 
were able to spread at the expense of other hominids, pro- 
gressively colonizing West Asia by 100,000 bc, East Asia and 
Australia by 60,000 BC and Europe by 40,000 BC. Whether 
they interbred with the hominids they displaced or simply 
extinguished them is unclear, but almost certainly Homo 
sapiens was the only surviving hominid by about 30,000 bc. 

From Asia modern humans moved into the Americas, 
crossing the Bering Strait during an ice age when the land 
bridge of Beringia was exposed, and migrating southwards 

later. The date of this colonization is still hotly debated, but 
the earliest incontrovertible evidence of humans in the 
Americas south of the glaciated area comes after the ice 
sheets began to retreat - about 14,000 years ago. 

Cultural development 

Early modern humans and their Neanderthal contempo- 
raries used similar tools and seem to have been culturally 
related. However, although Neanderthals and even earlier 
hominids may have communicated with sounds to some 
extent, H. sapiens was the first hominid to be able to com- 
municate in a fully developed spoken language. This was a 
critical development, making possible detailed planning and 
discussion of group activities and interactions and, more 
importantly, allowing the knowledge acquired through indi- 
vidual experience to be shared and transmitted from 
generation to generation. 

From about 100,000 years ago many aspects of human 
consciousness and aesthetic sense began to evolve, as evi- 
denced by the finely shaped and consciously planned stone 
tools of both Neanderthals and modern humans, and by the 
beginning of burial. The emergence of human consciousness 
becomes ever more apparent in the art that dates from 
about 35,000 BC, and very probably earlier in Australia. 
Archaeologists have found exquisite figurines depicting both 
humans and animals, as well as magnificent animal and 
abstract paintings and engravings on the walls of caves and 
rock shelters. The most famous of these finds are in south- 
ern France and adjacent Spain, but early art has been found 
all over the world, with fine concentrations in Australia, 
Africa and Russia. 

▲ Until recently the immediate 
descendants of Homo habilis were all 
classified as homo erectvs, but it now seems 
more probable that there were a number of 
roughly contemporary hominid species: 
ft ergaster in Africa, ft erectus in East Asia 
and ft heidehrgemsm Europe. The 
paucity of hominid fossils makes their 
classification extremely difficult, and there 
are major and frequent changes in the 
interpretation of the limited evidence. 

O FROM HUNTING TO FARMING 12,000 bc-ad 500 pages 18-27 

ASIA 12,000 bc-ad 500 


o HuireMjclherer ste 
^| ton of Mntamnt 16.000-BO00 H 
Dhrt*ution of wild foods 1. 1 9.000 K: 

rcoti end tubas [yams *10 

▲ Animal bones are much more likely to 
be preserved than plant remains, so the 
archaeologist's picture of past subsistence 
probably underestimates the importance 
of plant foods. Ibis is particularly true of 
tubers, roots, leafy vegetables and fruits, 
which must have provided the bulk of the 
diet in areas such as Southeast Asia. We 
have a clearer picture of the development 
of early agriculture in areas such as China 
and West Asia, where cereals (rice, millet, 
wheat and barley) and pulses (beans, peas 
and the like) were the principal food plants. 

T Living in sedentary settlements made 
ft possible to store cereals and other plant 
foods, including nuts, to provide some 
insurance against lean seasons or years. 
It also enabled people to accumulate 
possessions that today provide valuable 
evidence of their way of life. 

Evidence from many parts of the world indicates that 
during the final millennia of the last glacial age - 
between around 16,000 and 12,000 years ago - the 
range of foods eaten by humans broadened considerably. In 
the "Fertile Crescent" of West Asia (the arc of land com- 
prising the Levant, Mesopotamia and the Zagros region) wild 
wheat and barley provided an abundant annual harvest that 
enabled hunter-gatherers to dwell year-round in permanent 
settlements such as Kebara (map 1). Nuts and other wild 
foods, particularly gazelle, were also important here. 

Around 12,000 BC the global temperature began to rise, 
causing many changes. Sea levels rose, flooding many 
coastal regions; this deprived some areas of vital resources 
but in others, such as Japan and Southeast Asia, it created 
new opportunities for fishing and gathering shellfish. 
Changes occurred in regional vegetation, with associated 
changes in fauna. Throughout Asia, particularly in the 
southeast, plant foods became increasingly important. 

In the Levant wild cereals at first spread to cover a much 
larger area, increasing the opportunities for sedentary com- 
munities to develop. A cold, dry interlude around 9000 to 
8000 BC caused a decline in the availability of wild cereals 


2 The birth of farming in the Fertile Crescent 

Scvecd of imrnina DHnWbiri 

■ biWODtt 223 "M™«* Finds of Dttadn 

3 n» ?00O it mU stoet <tnd pm [if* 


• Ecrly ngncuHuul MPlfaranf 

and the abandonment of many of these settlements, but 
communities in well-watered areas began to plant and 
cultivate the cereals they had formerly gathered from the 
wild (map 2). By 8000 BC, when conditions again became 
more favourable, these first farming communities had grown 
in size and number and they began to spread into other 
suitable areas. Initially these new economies combined 
cultivated cereals with wild animals, but around 7000 BC 
domesticated sheep and goats began to replace gazelle and 
other wild game as the main source of meat. 

Subsequent millennia saw the rapid spread of farming 
communities into adjacent areas of West Asia (map 3). 
They appeared over much of Anatolia and northern 
Mesopotamia by about 7000 BC, largely confined to areas 
where rain-fed agriculture was possible. Agricultural com- 
munities also emerged around the southeastern shores of 
the Caspian Sea, and at Mehrgarh on the western edge of 
the Indus plains. Pottery, which began to be made in the 
Zagros region around this time, came into widespread use 
in the following centuries, and copper also began to be 
traded and worked. Cattle, domesticated from the aurochs 
(Bos primigenius) in the west and from native Indian cattle 
(Bos namadicus) in South Asia, were now also important. 
In Anatolia cattle seem to have played a part in religion as 
well as in the economy: for example, rooms in the massive 
settlement at (Jatal Hoyiik in Anatolia were decorated with 
paintings of enormous cattle and had clay cattle-heads with 
real horns moulded onto the walls. 

Diversification of agriculture 

By 5000 BC the development of more sophisticated agricul- 
tural techniques, such as irrigation and water control, had 
enabled farming communities to spread into southern 
Mesopotamia, much of the Iranian Plateau and the Indo- 
Iranian borderlands. It was not until the 4th millennium BC, 
however, that farmers growing wheat and keeping sheep, 
goats and cattle moved into the adjacent Indus Valley and 
thence southward into peninsular India. The development 
of rice and millet cultivation by the Indus civilization 
(pages 28-29) led to a further spread of agriculture into the 
Ganges Valley and the south of India. 

Eastern India also saw the introduction of rice cultiva- 
tion from Southeast Asia, while sites in the northeast may 
owe their development of agriculture to contact with north- 
ern China. In the latter region farming probably began 
around 7000 BC and was well established by 5000 BC 
(map 4). In two areas in the Huang He Basin, at sites such 
as Cishan and Banpo, communities emerged whose 


economies depended mi cultivated millet, along with fruits 
and vegetables, chickens and pigs, while further south, in 
the delta of the Yangtze River, wet rice cultivation began, 
tlcmudu is the best known of these early rice-farming 
com ni unities: here waterlogging has preserved finely con- 
structed wooden houses and a range uf hone tools used in 
cultivation, as well as carbonized riec husks and the 
remains of other water-loving plant foods such as lotus. Here 
also was found the first evidence of laeouerware; a red- 
lacquered wooden howl. Although water buffalo and pigs 
were kept in this southern region, both hunted game and 
fish continued to play an important role in the economy. 

By 3000 ne: wet riec agriculture was becoming estab- 
lished in southern China, northern Thailand and Taiwan, 
and millet cultivation in northern China. Communities in 
the northwest also grew wheat and hurley, introduced from 
the agricultural communities of West or Central Asia. In 
■Southeast Asia tubers and fruits had probably been inten- 
sively exploited for millennia. By 3000 H<: wet rice was also 
grown in this region and buffalo, pigs and chickens were 
raised, hut wild resources remained important. 

The inhabitants of Korea and Japan continued to rely on 
their abundant wild sources of food, including fish, shellfish, 
deer, nuts and fullers. Often they were able to live in per- 
manent settlements. The worlds earliest known pottery hail 
been made in Japan in the late glacial period: a range of 
elaborately decorated potter)' vessels and figurines was pro- 
duced in the later hunter-gatherer settlements of the 
archipelago. Trade between communities circulated desir- 
able materials such as jadeile and obsidian (volcanic glass). 
Around 1500 l«: crops (in particular rice) and metallurgical 
techniques began spreading from China into these regions, 
reaching Korea via Manchuria and thence being taken to 
Japan. By AD .1(10 rice fanning was established throughout 
the region with the exception of the northernmost island, 
Hokkaido, home of the Ainu people, where the traditional 
hunter-gatherer way of life continued into recent times. 

4 The ifrmd « farming in East Asia 

Cut »« i («™d tuMmim: 

| rice 

• Initial (oiling settlement below J000 K 

3] mil 1 '' 

O Initial (alining seitlernBrir aim 3000 Pi. 

^^ Spreod flF flee (orrwig 

• Drnkoped lonwig sanhmul iAh 3000 H 






3 Farmers of West and South Asia 

ropiftj unsfffifft: 


• peal 

• by TOOK 

O (oppn 

a «0ty 

• bySOOOK 

a en 

s7 otatafer 

o bf 3000 k 

• w 


o ihiWOK 


• Km 

Southern Droit of rfcy 



fuming in Wist to 






« Mm 

A Ekmpo. a typical eatfy Chinese fanning 
setdemeni. contained (twtlinjs, storage pits 
and animal pens, o communal Ml. o 
cemetery end kins in which finely decorated 
pottery was fired. The dingers were 
probably oueody keeping siltworms. 
oWxwgh mosi leiite woe mode of httnp. 
Fty around 3000 K sertkmeflfs were often 
fortified with tamped earth wnBs, implying 
intercommunity warfare. Clear signs of 
developing social stratification appeal ot this 
time - fot example, elite butiuk containing 
prestige goods of bronze and imported 
materials such os jade, mode by an 
emerging doss ol speootsl ttaftsmen 
Following the intiodoclkm ol melaltirgy 
horn China during ihe 1st millennium ; M, 
Korea and Japan oka developed o 
sophisticated bronze industry. 

4 By -1000 K farming communities 
established in many ateas of ftsio weie 
linked by node Areas ol high ogriwhurol 
productivity, such as southern Mesopotamia, 
were dependent on tr ode to obtain the 
basic caw nuleriuk lacking in the alluvial 
environment, such us wood and stone. They 
were, however, able to support full-lime 
craft spetiolKts producing goods lor eipott. 
portkurociy textiles ond fine pottery, as 
wel as surplus agricultural produce. 

O MESOPOTAMIA ANO THE INIKS REC ill >N -tOOO-ISOO iu: ,xi£c" iK-J'> © CHINA T 70CM050 in: jtt^ji .WJ-.JI 

EUROPE 8000-200 BC 

A From the 6tfi centuty it mm™ Celtic 
chiefooms began In benefit bom trade with 
lbs Greeks dud Etruscans, their increasing 
weattn being reflected in massive hilforts 
and splendidly furnished graves, Metol oces 
and other row materials - goods previously 
tiiculoied Krlhin Europe - were now 
syphoned off by the Mediterranean world in 
exchange far luxuries, especially wine and 
related artefacts, such as Greek pottery and 
Elruston bronze Bognns, Tnese In turn 
provided inspiration for native Celtic 
craftsmen: this (logon come from o rich 
grove at HasseYrjti, in northeastern France. 

► By 7D00 IK faming communities were 
spreading ham Anatolia into southeast 
Europe, bringing wheat, barley, sheep and 
goats. Pigs and tattle, indigenous la Europe, 
were kept, and wild plants and animals were 
also exploited by these early farmers. 
Farming also spread into neighbouring areas 
and by 4000 bc was widespread across the 
continent, nfttwygh the numbers of farmers 
were relatively small. Hie greater part of 
Europe was still sparsely inhabited forest, 
only gcodiMOy being rjeored lot farming 
seldemenl ever succeeding millennia. 

1 The spriad of farming in Europe 
7000-3500 bc 

[553 frown d own lvi>«-oiir%ff sertedwi 
b 4503 1 

A MagrrirMongtCTew 
'jprwei rf Iranme tomimmriB: 
^| wtheosM /OOO-BUO Hi. 
7] tMammvMl-WKI* 
I | central yMMSMtr 
^1 Mediranrjirai 440D-3? W ec 
3 WBWiaMlWSOrjK 
■ m*eni«((l-350FJ6 
7] «estn»tS<»-3Sull!£ 
• tony tarmac 

B Dmtipat tairan ™tkino enpee 
wines w ironed ftoIbudIs 
i sum g»o ludwy/fru rant 
O 'jurdftussli* 

The postglacial conditions of the period XtMHt— KKHI hc: 
offered new opportunities to the hunter-gatherers of 
Europe. Activity concentrated on coasts. lake margins 
arid rivers, where both aquatic and land plants and animals 
could be exploited; the ecologically less diverse forest inte- 
riors were generally avoided. Initially groups tended to move 
around on a seasonal basis, but Liter more permanent eom- 
munities were established, with temporary speei a 1- purpose 
outstations. Dogs, domesticated from wolves, were kept to 
aid hunting. Some groups managed their woodlands by judi- 
eious use of fire to encourage hazel and other useful plants. 


From around 7000 BC farming communities began to 
appear in Europe [map J). Early farmers in the southeast 
built villages of small square houses and made pottery, 
tools of polished stone and highly prized obsidian, as well 
as ornaments of spondylus shell obtained by trade. Once 
established, many of the sites in the southeast endured for 
thousands of years, gradually forming tells (mounds of 
settlement debris). By 500(1 Est: some eomm unities were 
also using simple techniques to work copper. 

Between 5500 and 4500 tic pioneering farming groups 
rapidly spread across central Europe, settling predominantly 
on the easily worked loess (wind-deposited) river valley 
soils. They kept eattle, raised crops and lived in large 
timber-framed long houses which often also sheltered their 
animals. At first these groups were culturally homogeneous, 
but after about 4500 BC regional groups developed and 
farming settlements increased in number, spreading out 
from the river valleys. 

The hunter-gatherers in the central and western 
Mediterranean came into contact with early farmers colo- 
nizing southern parts of Italy. They acquired pottery-making 
skills and domestic sheep and goats from these colonists, 
and later they also began to raise some crops. 15y .1500 BC 
communities practising farming but still partly 
reliant on wild resources were estab- 
lished over most of western 
Europe. Huge m ega 1 i t h i e 
("large stone") tombs a? 4 **^ 4 ' 1 * 

were erected, which 4 ^^ha^, 

acted as territorial 

markers affirming community ties to ancestral lands. These 
[umbs tonk many forms over the centuries and were asso- 
ciated m ith a variety of rites, generally housing the Fioncs of 
many individuals, usually without grave goods. 

The use of m rials 

By 3500 He a new economic pattern bad developed as 
innovations emanating from West Asia spread through 
Europe via farming communities in the southeast and the 
east, on the fringes of the steppe. These included the use of 
animals for traction, transport and milk, woolly sheep, 
wheeled vehicles and the plough. Hough agriculture allowed 
new areas and less easily worked soils to lie cultivated, and 
there was a general increase in animal husbandry; special- 
ist herders also appeared (map 2). Trade, already well 
established, now grew in importance, carrying fine flint and 
hard stone for axes over long distances in a series of short 
steps between communities. Major social changes were 
reflected by a significant shift in the treatment of the dead: 
in many regions communal burial in monumental tombs 
gave way to individual burials with personal grave goods, 
often under a harrow. New types of monuments erected in 
western areas suggest a change in religious practiees, with a 
new emphasis on astronomical matters. 

From around 2500 tic copper was alloyed with tin to 
form bronze. The need for tin, a rare and sparsely distri- 
buted metal, provided a stimulus to the further development 
of international trade in prestige materials (mciji .3). These 
were particularly used as grave goods and votive offerings. 
emphasizing the status achieved by their owners. Chiefs 
were now buried under massive harrow's with splendid gold 
and bronze grave offerings, while lesser members of society 
were interred under harrows in substantial cemeteries. 
Command of metal ore sources gave certain communities 
pre-eminence, while others derived their importance from 
a key position at the nodes of trade routes. The Carpathian 


r** & 



Won faded Wire art and orcefiriBnOTi Mcii&ectHarM 

ImdaJ ccmnodfc: D goti Stone circles ond 

D copper A rWir 

A By 3000 ec copper and gold metallurgy 
were practised across most of Europe. These 
metals were used to make prestige goods 
that enhanced the status of high-ranking 

individuals. Drinking vessels for alcohol 
were also status symbols - Corded Ware in 
eastern and northern Europe and, later, 
Beakers in central and western Europe. 

region enjoyed particular prosperity around this time; 
Scandinavia, which lacked indigenous metal ores, never- 
theless now became involved in international trade, and by 
the late 2nd millennium developed a major bronze industry 
based on metal imported in exchange for furs and amber. 
Agriculture and livestock also brought wealth to favoured 
areas, and there was a major expansion of farming onto light 
soils formerly under forest. Substantial field systems mark 
the organization of the agrarian landscape in at least some 
regions. By the start of the 1st millennium, however, many 
of the more marginal areas for agriculture had become 
scoured or exhausted and were abandoned. 

Warfare and religion 

By the late 2nd millennium warfare was becoming a more 
serious business. Often settlements were located in defens- 
ible positions and fortified. (In previous centuries fortified 
centres had been far fewer and more scattered.) However, 
until the late centuries bc armed conflict between individual 
leaders or raids by small groups remained the established 
pattern, rather than large-scale fighting. 

A greater range of weapons was now in use, especially 
spears and swords, their forms changing frequently in 
response to technical improvements and fashion. Bronze 
was in abundant supply and made into tools for everyday 
use by itinerant smiths. Iron came into use from around 
1000 bc and by 600 BC it had largely replaced bronze for 
tools and everyday weapons, freeing it for use in elaborate 
jewellery and ceremonial armour and weaponry. 

Major changes occurred in burial practices and religious 
rites. In most areas burial, often under large mounds, was 
replaced by cremation, the ashes being interred in urns 
within flat graves (urnfields). Funerary rites became more 
varied in the Iron Age and many graves - particularly in 
wealthy areas - contained lavish goods, as in the cemetery 
at Hallstatt in western Austria, which profited from the trade 
in salt from local mines. Substantial religious monuments 
were no longer built, religion now focusing on natural loca- 
tions such as rivers and lakes. 

Celtic Europe 

During the 1st millennium bc much of France, Germany 
and the Alpine region came to be dominated by the Celtic 
peoples (map 4), who also settled in parts of Britain, Spain 
northern Italy and Anatolia. By the 3rd century BC towns 
(known to the Romans as oppida) were emerging in many 
parts of Europe, reflecting both increased prosperity and 
more complex and larger-scale political organization. In the 
west this development was short-lived as Europe west of the 
Rhine progressively fell to Roman expansion. In the east and 
north, however, Germanic and other peoples continued the 
life of peasant agriculture, trade, localized industry and 
warfare that had characterized much of the continent for 
many centuries. 

3 Ironii Age Europe 2500-800 ic 

FcfliroJ wnWrwft' 

* Bdibuid 2500-1300 K 

- i*in 


b befora ISOOe 

I _|Un*BfcltJB)1300-BOO»c 

Wres i7 traded oriniKJNs: 

nfta 1300 k 

■ WWd 




• hchtrii<orth 

♦ ImJdmstre 

□ fti 



-;-- \ .-< 



f . - • 

jBjtjl Elko, 




e "t, 

1 ^te?» tJr *sSa A 

fce> o 

% * 
> a 





a, • 
_ o Q . 

u a. 


*B V ifUfr, 

$ t o 

A Small Kale chiefdoms emerged in monr 
parrs of Europe during the 2nd millennium 
IC, but their leaders' power was limited. 

From around 1 300 1(, however, this 

situolion began to change, culminating in 
the larger groupings of the Iron Age. 

▼ Melolwork and, occasionally, people 
were sacrificed by me [efts oi their soaed 
European sites - rivers, lakes and woods. 


4 Celtic Europe 800-200 bc 

Area benefimg from crude f :l- burials: Hihl 

Attn (enrnri K A tltl century K • Oppidnm (twist 

SrtcmWiK A ShantafK =-— Celt wtftm 

Meratts 6W*: — Etifian lords c. WO K 

- itdcMuryK bog bafes Ml (iNc lands bf fOO ic 

— " 5ii»nW|K rtwoFmjs (Acsintat 







tO Hnraoo, • 

11 <■• „ 

O THE ROMAN EMPIRE 500 bc-ad 400 pages 54-55 

AFRICA 10,000 bc-ad 500 

IfottEffrmuon Sat 

"Ouloidnr *" «■? ■ ■•Emtvtfw* 

1 Rim «■ _ ■•* • • 

? -.; 



U c f a ii 

^Kaiambo ftJIl 

] Postglacial hun ier-gaiherers 


I 1 Si^iwd Dessi c. 6000 BC 

IdkoinitaSdoot MBJk 
I I tmmtiBt asm 
| PrisanHiGrf tropical raintaesr 
■ Ksira-otttwH site 
«< Fisher and hiuntai-gntliaa Hi 
H Alftj of iftk «i' 
B DecMied pnrrery 

^f f^f 


By 10,000 BC most of Africa was inhabited by hunter- 
gatherer groups (map 1). Although generally only 
their stone tools survive, the majority of their arte- 
facts would have been made of perishable materials such as 
wood, leather and plant fibres. At Gwisho in Zambia a large 
find of organic objects, including wooden bows and arrows, 
bark containers, and leather bags and clothes, provides us 
with some insight into what is normally lost. Further infor- 
mation on the lives of African hunter-gatherers comes from 
their rich rock art, known in many areas of the continent 
but particularly in the Sahara and in southern Africa. This 
not only depicts aspects of everyday life, such as housing 
and clothing, but it also gives a picture of archaeologically 
intangible activities such as dancing and traditional beliefs. 
With the retreat of the ice sheets around this time con- 
ditions became both warmer and wetter, creating new 
opportunities for hunter-gatherer communities. Rising sea 
levels encouraged the utilization of coastal resources, such 
as shellfish in southern Africa. Many groups moved between 
the coast and inland sites, exploiting seasonally available 
food resources, and people also began to hunt smaller game 
in the forests that were spreading into former savanna 
regions. In the Sahara belt, largely uninhabited during the 
arid glacial period, extensive areas of grassland now devel- 
oped and the existing restricted bodies of water expanded 
into great lakes, swamps and rivers. These became favoured 
areas of occupation, often supporting large permanent set- 
tlements whose inhabitants derived much of their livelihood 
from fish, aquatic mammals (such as hippos), waterfowl and 
water plants, as well as locally hunted game. Similar lake- 
side or riverine communities developed in other parts of the 
continent, for example around Lake Turkana in East Africa. 

Early farming in Africa 

Some communities began to manage their resources more 
closely: they weeded, watered and tended preferred plants, 
and perhaps planted them, and they herded local animals, 
particularly cattle but also species such as eland and giraffe 

▲ During glacial periods tropical regions 
such as Africa experienced considerable 
aridity. Willi the reheat of the ice sheets in 
temperate regions by about 10,000 It ports 
ol Africa become warmer and welter, offering 
new ecological opportunities to the continent's 
population. Postglacial changes were 
particularly marked in northern 
Africa, where increased humidity 
provided conditions favouring 
permanent settlements. At 
many places pottery (too 
fragile to be used by 
mobile groups] was 
being mode from 
oround 7500 BC. 

•> A brood hand eastwards 
from West Africa was ihe original 
home ol many of the plant species 

thai were taken into cultivation. 
Here lorming had become well 
established by oround 1 000 bc. 

I Farming in the 7th-bst millennia k 

Ealy fomng site 

African nee 


foiVf heeding site 



Hunrer-aathflrer site afar 4Q0D 8i 

I | 

',■:,;,,! "I ^ 


*:■"■: ' ': " ' - 


teSf. ensete rod eta Eitapcn (rops 

C"iu 'ic 

areas of crap domesrkorion. 








(map 2). In the Nile Valley, nut-grass tubers had been inten- 
sively exploited since glacial times, and by 11,000 bc cereals 
such as sorghum and probably barley were also managed. 
Sheep and goats, and some crop plants such as wheat, were 
introduced, probably from West Asia. By about 5000 bc 
many communities in northern Africa were raising indig- 
enous crop plants such as sorghum and keeping domestic 
cattle, sheep and goats, though they also continued to hunt 
and fish and to gather wild plant foods. Dependence on agri- 
culture intensified, domestic resources grew in importance, 
and the number of farming communities increased. 

From around 4000 bc, however, the Sahara region 
became increasingly dry; lakes and rivers shrank and the 
desert expanded, reducing the areas attractive for settle- 
ment. Many farmers moved southwards into West Africa. 
Although harder to document than cereal agriculture, the 
cultivation of tubers such as yams and of tree crops such as 
oil palm nuts probably began around this time. Local 
bulrush millet was cultivated and African rice, also indig- 
enous to this region, may well have been grown, although 
at present the earliest evidence for its cultivation is from 
Jenne-jeno around the 1st century bc. By around 3000 bc 
farming communities also began to appear in northern parts 
of East Africa. 

The spread of metalworking 

Around 500 BC metalworking began in parts of West Africa 
(map 3). Carthaginians and Greeks had by this time estab- 
lished colonies on the North African coast (pages 40-41). 
They were familiar with the working of bronze, iron and 
gold and were involved in trade across the Sahara, and this 
may have been the means by which knowledge of metal- 
lurgy reached sub-Saharan Africa. Sites with early evidence 
of copperworking, notably Akjoujt, have also yielded objects 
imported from North Africa. Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia were 
now working metals and may also have been a source of 
technological expertise. Alternatively, the working of gold 
and iron may have been indigenous developments: the 
impressive terracotta heads and figurines from Nok were 
produced by people well versed in smelting and using iron. 
Although iron tools were very useful for forest clearance, 
agriculture, woodworking and other everyday activities, the 
spread of ironworking was at first extremely patchy. While 
some areas in both East and West Africa were working iron 
as early as the Nok culture around 500 bc, other adjacent 
regions did not begin to do so until the early or middle cen- 
turies of the first millennium AD (pages 80-81). In some 
cases, however, such as the equatorial forests of the Congo 
Basin, the absence of early evidence of metallurgy is likely 
to reflect the poor preservation of iron objects: ironworking 
was probably well established there by the late centuries BC. 

based mixed farmers growing cereals that included sorghum 
and millet, plus other plants such as cowpeas, beans, 
squashes and probably yams. 

The interrelations of these settlers with the native 
hunter-gatherer groups were varied. Some hunter-gatherers 
in areas suitable for agriculture were totally displaced by the 
newcomers; others established mutually beneficial relations, 
adopting aspects of the intrusive culture, such as pottery or 
domestic animals; some groups raided the new farming 
communities to lift cattle, sheep or goats. The southwest 
was unsuited to the cultivation of the introduced crops, but 
hunter-gatherers there began to herd domestic sheep. 

By the late 1st millennium ad iron tools had largely 
replaced stone tools throughout most of Africa. In some 
areas - the Copperbelt in Zambia and Zaire, for example - 
copper was being made into ornaments such as bangles, 
though gold would not be worked in the southern half of the 
continent before the close of the millennium. 

T The Greek historian Herodotus reported 
attempts by Persian and Phoenician sailors 
to circumnavigate Africa in the early 1st 
millennium bc. The Carthaginians also 
penetrated southwards by sea, establishing 
outposts as far south as Mogador and 
probably reaching (erne (Heme Island). 
Paintings of chariots characteristic of the 
1st millennium BC have been found in the 
Sahara. Although these do not mark the 
actual routes taken by traders across the 
desert, they do provide evidence of their 
presence. Trans-Saharan trade was 
facilitated in the late centuries bc by the 
introduction of camels for transport. 

C^. # Aljo^» 

__ __ 

"'■''' ii nt an So a 






A f In it f I c 

Tnn*jci ^pi Sqmyn DuLiya 

A Oboboao 



WimRok a 


k,«n9C> .,>^G-b. ton, 




India n 

Oct- (Jll 

3 Tram and industry in the 1 st millennium ic 

o Ctrtognouctay — > fronySoSroi Irode route 
■ Ckwitdof^ 9 Art decKfag down 

_| Kok tuliure ♦ {ooperoortoig Sfo cenlwv a 




rr °f*°fQvria*„ 

Early farming in southern Africa 

The early centuries ad saw the spread into much of the rest 
of Africa of ironworking, along with pottery, permanent set- 
tlements, domestic animals and agriculture (map 4). By the 
2nd century the eastern settlers had reached northern 
Tanzania, from where they quickly spread through the 
coastal lowlands and inland regions of southeastern Africa, 
reaching Natal by the 3rd century. Depending on local con- 
ditions and their own antecedents, groups established 
different patterns of existence within the broad agricultural 
framework: those on the southeastern coast, for example, 
derived much of their protein from marine resources such 
as shellfish rather than from their few domestic animals; 
other groups included specialist pastoralists and broadly 

► Archaeological data and linguistic 
evidence combine to indicate that a number 
of radical innovations - including 
agriculture, herding, metalworking and 
permanent settlement - were introduced to 
the southern half of the continent by the 
spread of people from the north who spoke 
Bantu languages. Originating in part of 

southern West Africa (now eastern Nigeria 
and Cameroon), Bantu languages 
progressively spread southwards along two 
main routes, in the east and west. The areas 
these farmers penetrated were inhabited by 
hunter-gatherer communities, speaking 
Khoisan languages in the south and 
probably in other areas. 

:i i I ant i l> 
Octii n 

4 The spread of Bantu spiakess 



— *■ Spwd of ramoting {Bang! 


• Mrtric 

o by id cKKry u inm mre.i 

• b»WeH*jrf» (mam rault! 
Ff StooinW?, v» 

kscofisrit-kMcmgi USOO 

EJofid'i toff ^ 

O STATES AND TRADE IN WEST AFRICA 500-1500 pages 80-81 © STATES AND TRADE IN EAST AFRICA 500-1500 pages 82-83 

THE AMERICAS 12,000-1000 BC 

T The antiquity of the first Americans is 
still a controversial issue. A few sites, such as 
Meadowcroft in North America and Monte 
Verde in South America, are sometimes 
claimed to hove been occupied well before 
1 2,000 bc. However, undisputed evidence of 
people at these and other sites dates from 
1 2,000 BC onwards, with Fell's Cave in the 
extreme southern tip of the continent being 
occupied by 9000 bc. 

Controversy surrounds the date of human colonization 
of the Americas (map 1). During glacial periods when 
sea levels fell, the Bering Strait became dry land 
(Beringia), allowing humans living in Siberia to move across 
into the northernmost part of the Americas. However, sub- 
stantial ice sheets would then have prevented further 
overland penetration of the continent. Only subsequently, 
when the ice sheets melted, could further advances occur - 
although it is conceivable that migration into the Americas 
took place by sea, down the Pacific coast. 

Several glacial cycles occurred following the emergence 
of modern humans (pages 16-17), during which, at least 
hypothetically, such a migration could have taken place. 
Nevertheless, despite (as yet unsubstantiated) claims for 
early dates, humans probably reached the far north of the 
Americas about 16,000 BC, during the most recent glacial 
episode, and spread south when the ice sheets retreated 
around 12,000 BC. Not only do the earliest incontrovertibly 
dated sites belong to the period 12-10,000 BC, but biological 
and linguistic evidence also supports an arrival at this time. 
In addition, the adjacent regions of Asia from which 
colonists must have come seem not to have been inhabited 
until around 18,000 BC. 

The colonization of the Americas after 10,000 BC was 
extremely rapid, taking place within a thousand years. The 
first Americans were mainly big-game hunters, although 
occasional finds of plant material show that they had a 
varied diet. Their prey were mostly large herbivores: bison 
and mammoths in the north, giant sloths and mastodons 
further south, as well as horses, camels and others. By about 

7000 bc many of these animals had become extinct (except 
the bison, which became much smaller in size). Humans 
probably played some part in these extinctions, although 
changes in climate and environment are also likely factors. 

Hunter-gatherers and early farmers 

After 8000 BC bison hunting became the main subsistence 
base of the inhabitants of the Great Plains of North America 
(map 2). Hunting was generally an individual activity, but 
occasionally groups of hunters and their families combined 
in a great drive to stampede bison over a cliff or into a 
natural corral, so that huge numbers could be slaughtered at 
once. Elsewhere in North America, a great range of regional 
variations developed on the theme of hunting and gather- 
ing, and in many areas these ways of life survived until the 
appearance of European settlers in recent centuries. 

The people of the Arctic regions led a harsh existence. 
Their inventiveness enabled them to develop equipment 
such as the igloo and the kayak to withstand the intense 
cold of winter and of the Arctic seas, and to hunt large 
blubber-rich sea mammals such as whales and seals. Other 
northern groups relied more on land mammals, notably 
caribou. The inhabitants of the Pacific Coast region grew 
prosperous on their annual catch of salmon and other 
marine and riverine resources. They acquired slaves, 
constructed spectacular wooden structures and gave mag- 
nificent feasts. In the deserts of the southwest, seasonal 
migration enabled people to obtain a diversity of plant, 
animal and aquatic foodstuffs at different times of the 
year, while the wooded environment of the east also 

Arctic fh'tiut 

. JL^H ----- 



1 I ManneMofuitaKLlt-.OOQK 

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O c. 13—17.000 Hi 
• c. 12-10,000 ft 
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3 Farming in Mesosmeriq 7000-1200 bc 

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•4 Much of our evidence for early valleys, such as that at Tehunton, where 

agriculture in Meioomerica comes from the arid enviroameni has preserved a 

inlensive investigation of a few highland wealth of plant food remains . 


provided a diverse range of such foods. In areas of abun- 
dance, some eastern groups were able to settle in camps for 
much of the year, burying their dead in large cemeteries. 

These woodland folk also developed long-distance trade 
networks, exchanging such prized commodities as copper, 
marine shells and fine-quality stone for tool-making. Later, 
groups in the Ohio Valley and adjacent areas (the Adena 
and Hopewell cultures) elaborated their exchange networks 
and raised substantial mounds over their dead. By about 
2500-2000 BC some groups in the eastern region were cul- 
tivating local plants, such as sunflowers and squashes. In 
the southwest similar developments were encouraged by the 
introduction around 1000 BC from Mesoamerica of maize, a 
high-yielding crop which did not reach the eastern commu- 
nities until around ad 800 (pages 108-9). 

Developments in Mesoamerica 

After 7000 bc hunter-gatherer bands in highland valleys of 
Mesoamerica supplemented the foodstuffs they obtained 
through seasonal migration by sowing and tending a number 
of local plants such as squashes and chillies (map 3). By 
5000 BC they were also cultivating plants acquired from 
other regions of Mesoamerica. Among these was maize, at 
first an insignificant plant with cobs barely 3 cm (1.2 in) 
long. However, genetic changes progressively increased the 
size of the cobs, and by 2000-1500 BC maize had become 
the staple of Mesoamerican agriculture, supplemented by 
beans and other vegetables. Villages in the highlands could 
now depend entirely on agriculture for their plant foods and 
were occupied all year round. As there were no suitable 
herd animals for domestication, hunting remained impor- 
tant into colonial times; the only domestic animals eaten 
were dogs, ducks and turkeys (introduced from North 
America). Lowland regions of Mesoamerica followed a some- 
what different pattern: coastal and riverine locations 
provided abundant wild foods throughout the year, making 
year-round occupation possible at an early date. Agriculture, 
adopted in these regions later than in the highlands, pro- 
vided high yields, particularly in the Veracruz region where 
the Olmec culture emerged around 1200 BC (pages 32-33). 

Early farming in South America 

Preserved organic remains from arid caves in the Andes 
provide evidence that plants were cultivated in South 
America by around 6500 BC (map 4). Along with local vari- 
eties like potatoes, these included plants (such as beans and 
chillies) native to the jungle lowlands to the east. It is there- 
fore likely that South American agriculture began in the 
Amazon Basin, although humid conditions in this area 
precluded the preservation of ancient plant remains. Pottery 

and other equipment used to process manioc (cassava) offer 
indirect evidence that this important American staple food 
was grown in South America by 2000 BC. 

By this time village communities were established 
throughout the Andean region and had developed strategies 
to exploit a variety of local resources. The coast provided 
exceptionally rich fisheries, while inland crops were culti- 
vated using irrigation, with cotton particularly important. 
The lower slopes of the Andes were also cultivated, with 
crops such as potatoes at higher altitudes, while the llamas 
and alpacas of the high pastures provided meat and wool. 

Apart from residential villages, often furnished with 
substantial cemeteries, early South Americans also built 
religious centres with monumental structures. By 1200 BC 
the Ghavin cult, centred on the great religious monuments 
of Ghavin de Huantar and marked by characteristic art, 
architecture and iconography, had united peoples along 
much of the Peruvian coast (pages 34-35). 

-4 Die initial inhabitants of North America 
were big-game hunters, but after 8000 bc 
many regional groups began to develop 
their own individual ways of life based on 
locally available resources. Later, many 
groups also participated in regional trade 
networks, obtaining valued commodities 
such as turquoise and obsidian in the 
southwest. The rich diversity of North 
American life is reflected in the surviving art 
and artefacts: exquisite ivory figurines 
of animals from the Arctic; vivacious rock 
paintings from many areas showing 
hunting, dancing and musicians; beautifully 
made decoy ducks of reeds and feathers 
from the Great Basin; and carvings in mica, 
copper and soapstone from the Hopewell 
mounds of the east. 

T From about 6500 bc agriculture in South 
America included not only the cultivation of 
plants native to the local area but also crops 
from other regions. Maize was probably 
introduced from Mesoamerica: it appeared 
in Ecuadorian farming villages and in the 
Andean highlands around 5000 bc, then 
spread from 800 into the Amazon Basin, 
where it supported rapid population growth. 

© CIVILIZATIONS IN MESOAMERICA 1200 bc-ad 700 pages 32-33 © CIVILIZATIONS IN SOUTH AMERICA 1400 bc-ad 1000 pages 34-35 

AND THE PACIFIC 10.000 bc-ad 1000 

A Among me clones which the early 
Maori setders of flew Zealand become 
skiled in curving vras jade, from which 
■his pendant is made. 

T The rapid spread of the Asian peoples 
who colonized the Pocilic islands after oboul 
1 590 K b something of on enigma. Their 
moiiwiion cannot hove been solely on 
expanding population's need lo find new 
territories to settle, since only small 
founding populations remained - well 
below ihe numbers that the islands could 
have supported. Iky carried wilfi them ad 
the plants and animals they required m 
order to eslauish horticultural communities, 
but murine resources also played on 
important role in their economies. 

The* Pacific was one of l ho last reruns on Earth to ho 
colonized by people. Modem humans spread into 
Southeast Asia and (mill there crossed the sea to New 
Guinea :tnd Australia (which formed a single landmass at 
that time) by about 60,(1(1(1 tie:. A few of the islands adjacent 
to New Guinea were also settled before 30,000 BO, hut 
expansion into the rest of the Pacific only began around 
1500 Be: and was not completed until At) 1000 (map 1), 


The early inhabitants of Australia were confined initially to 
the coast and Inland river valleys, spreading to colonize the 
south by 10,000 isc (map 2). They gathered a variety of wild 
resources and hunted the local fauna, which at that time 
included a number of large species such as a giant kanga- 
roo, /VoctrpJoc/oH . Between 25.000 and 15.000 these huge 
creatures became extinct: humans may have been partly to 
blame, although increasing aridity was probably also respon- 
sible. By 23,000 BC ground-stone tools were being made - 
the earliest known in the world -and by 13,000 uc: people 
had learnt to process the toxic hut highly nutritious eycad 
nuts to remove their poison. The harsh desert interim of 
Australia was colonized by groups who adapted their 
lifestyle to cope with this challenging environment. 

By 31X10 ne; further major changes had taken place. New 
tools were now in use, including the boomerang (invented 
by MOOT) im:) and small, fine stone tools suited to a variety of 
tasks, of which wood-working was of prime importance. 
The ciingo, a semi- wild dog, had been introduced into 
Australia, perhaps brought in by a new wave of immigrants 
from Southeast Asia. Dingoes outcompeted the native 
predators such as the thylaeiiie (Tasmanian tiger), a car- 
nivorous marsupial which became extinct. 

Although they never adopted farming Australia's aborig- 
ines exercised considerable control over the wild resources 
at their disposal, clearing the bush by fircsetting in order to 
encourage new growth and attract or drive game, and 
replanting certain preferred plant species. New Guineas first 
inhabitants were also hunters and gatherers, but by 7(K)0 
Hi: some communities here had begun cultivating local 
plants like sugar cane, yam, raro and banana, and keeping 
pigs Imap 1 ). Al Kuk, in the highlands, there is evidence at 

this early date for a network of drainage channels to allow 
crops to he grown in swampland. 

Migration after 1500 m: 

Farming communities were also developing in East and 
Southeast Asia; around 1500 Bt: a new wave of colonists 
began to spread out from this area, moving from the main- 
land into Taiwan and the Philippines, then into the islands 
of Southeast Asia and from here into the Pacifio. By 
10(H) at: they had reached the Marianas in the north and, 
much further afield, Tonga and Samoa in Polynesia to the 
east. The movement of these people can l>e traced front the 
distribution of their distinctive pottery, known as Laprta 
ware, a red-slipped ware decorated with elaborate Stamped 
designs. They also used obsidian (volcanic glass) and shell 
for making tools, and brought with them a range of South- 
east Asian domestic animals, including dogs and chickens. 
By this time the colonists had become skilled navigators, 
sailing in double canoes or outriggers large enough to 
accommodate livestock as well as people, and capable of 
tacking into the wind. The uniformity of their artefacts 
shows that contacts were maintained throughout the area, 
with return as well as outward journeys. The Polynesians 
used the stars, ocean currents, winds and other natural phe- 
nomena as navigational guides, and they made ocean charts 
of palm sticks with the islands marked by cowrie shells. 

▼ The inhabitants ol the eastern Polynesian 
islands erected stone platforms and courts 
with stone monoliths. These were shrines 
Imnrae) which were used lor prayer and lor 
human and animal sacrifice lo the nods, as 
were the unique stone monuments - huge 
stone platforms (ahu) and colossal stone 

heads (rrrwi) - ol Easter island. Ho tester 
Island statues wete erected oiler to 1 600 
and by 1 863 all existing ones had been 
ddiberateJy toppled (lo be re-erected From 
the 1 950s). a development that reflects 
social upheoral related to ielotestoiion and 
consequent pressure on resources. 




J ^Al.u T« Pita Kwra 

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-4 He comple* social and cutlural life 

o( Aostr olio's Aboriginal in Ira hi tours is 
reHecled in pointed and engraved nit 
(which appeared almost as early os the first 
settlement of Australia], in burials with an 
array al grave goods, in a variety of ritual 
sites, and in the Aborigines' i rh oral 
traditions. Units between communities 
based on kinship were enhanced by long 
distance Irade: commodities such as coastal 
shells were taken into the interior while 
raughed-aut stone axes from quarries in the 
interior moved in the opposite direction. 

T The culture al the early Maori settlers in 
New Zealond dilfered from that of other 
Polynesians in the emphasis il placed on 
long-distance Irade. Among the ilems Traded 
were various types of stone used far making 
tools and weapons, including greenstone far 
watcluhs and amulets, and motet iols surh os 
obsidian (volcanic glass I, argil lite (white 
clay rent I and shells 

The colonization of eastern Polynesia 

This wave of colonization uame to :i standstill around 
1000 t«: in western Polynesia. Groups from the unionized 
regions spread north and oast to complete the settlement of 

Micronesia from that time, hut it was not until ahout 2<KI uc 
that a new surge of eastward colonization took place, estab- 
lishing populations on the more scattered islands oi eastern 
Polynesia, including the .Society Islands, Tahiti and the 
Marquesas. These people evolved a distinctive culture which 
differed from that developed by groups in the areas already 
settled - areas that were still open to influence front 
Southeast Asia, liy now the Polynesians had almost entirely 
abandoned poltery: eastern Polynesians began making dis- 
tinctive new types of stone adze, shell fish-hooks and 
jewellery. They also built stone religious monuments. 

The best known and most striking of these were the 
ICaster Island statues, liastcr Island and I lawaii were settled 
in a further colonizing movement by around At> 400. Nearly 
J. 000 kilometres (1,250 miles) from Piteairn. its nearest 
neighbour, ICaster Island was probably never revisited after 
its initial settlement. The resulting isolation allowed its 
people mi develop a unique form of general Polynesian 
culture, notable for its mysterious stone heads (mop .!.). 

INka Zealand's first settlers 

Between Al> 800 and 1000 a final wave of Polynesian voy- 
agers colonized New Zealand (map 4) and the Chatham 
Islands to the east. Here new challenges and oppor- 
tunities awaited them. 

New Zealand is unique in the Pacific in enjoying 
a temperate climate; most of the tropical plants cul- 
tivated by Polynesians elsewhere in the Pacific could 
not grow here, although sweet potatoes ( introduced 
into Polynesia from South America) flourished. In 


compensation there were rich marine resources and a 
wide range of edible plants indigenous to [lie islands - 
of which one. the root of the bracket fern. Ixjeaine an 
important cultivated plant on North Island. 

There was also a large population of huge flight- 
less birds (moa), which had evolved in great diversity 
due to the absence of mammals and predators. 
Reverting to their distantly ancestral hunter-g-itherer 
way of life, the new settlers (early Maori I bunted 
these birds to extinction within 500 years, aided 
by the dogs ami rats they had introduced. The 
native flora also became depleted. As South 
Island was unsuitcd to agriculture its pop- 
ulation declined, and on North Island 
increased reliance on horticulture 
went hand in hand with growing 
warfare between the commu- 
nities, accompanied by 
the building of fortified 
settlements, trophy 
head-hunting and 

^Mounl Comal 





a MflroJryBoy 


fl Kcuri Point 

North blond 


♦■ ~ a* =" 

4 New Zealand 
a PBjIcitiWttnlemHn) 
■ Source of trailed irons 
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~ Shelmtbden 

AND THE INDUS REGION 4000-1800 bc 

▲ Hie unstable physical environment of 
Mesopotamia caused many radical changes 
in the pattern of settlement. Sediments from 
the Tigris and Euphrates filled in the head of 
the Gulf, isolating ancient ports. Moreover, 
the courses of the rivers also changed, 
taking precious river water away from 
settlements. Since rainfall was inadequate 
to sustain crops, these settlements were 
usually soon abandoned. 

T Early Mesopotamian cities varied in size 
and importance, from 1 0-hectare (25-acre) 
Abu Salabikh to Warka (Uruk), which 
covered over 400 hectares (1,000 acres) 
and had a population of 40-50,000 people. 
Warka's 9-kilometre (6-mile) city wall 
enclosed temples, palaces and houses, 
sometimes grouped into specialized craft 
quarters, as well as open spaces for 
gardens, burials and waste disposal. 
Indus cities, by contrast, generally 
comprised a large planned residential area 
and a raised citadel with public buildings 
and, probably, accommodation for the 
rulers. In the largest, Mohenjo-daro, the 
lower town contained both spacious private 
houses and industrial areas hosting the full 
range of Indus crafts. 

Agricultural communities had emerged in many parts 
of the world by the 4th millennium bc. In some areas 
high productivity supported high population densities 
and the emergence of cities, necessitating more complex 
social organization and giving rise to more elaborate public 
architecture. These developments encouraged trade in 
essential and luxury goods as well as craft and other occu- 
pational specialization. Such "civilized" communities 
appeared first in Mesopotamia, around 4000 bc. 


By 4500 bc the advent of irrigation agriculture had enabled 
the settlement of the dry southern Mesopotamian alluvium 
(map 1). A social world comprising groups of agriculturalist 
kinsfolk living in hamlets, villages or towns evolved, to be 
transformed around 600 years later into one of specialists 
living in complex and hierarchical social arrangements in 
an urban milieu. Religion played an important part in this 
process: while religious structures are recognizable in the 
earlier archaeological record, palaces and other large secular 
buildings appear only later in the 4th millennium. Religious 
complexes became larger and increasingly elaborate 
throughout the period. 

A number of urban centres emerged, of which one in 
particular stands out - ancient Warka (map 2A), also called 
Uruk. The city had at least two very large religious precincts 
- Eanna and Kullaba. In the Eanna Precinct the earliest 
written records, dating from around 3100 bc, have been 
found: tablets of clay or gypsum inscribed with ideographic 
characters. These first texts were economic in nature, com- 
prising lists and amounts of goods and payments. 

By 2900 BC there were also other important urban 
centres in southern Mesopotamia - city-states ruled by 
individual kings who negotiated shifting economic and 
political alliances among themselves and with polities 
outside Mesopotamia. The wealth and power of the Early 
Dynastic rulers can be seen in the elaborate burials in the 
Royal Cemetery of Ur, some including human sacrifices as 
well as objects of gold, silver and lapis lazuli. 


From the fragmented historical record of this period it is 
apparent that the region was becoming divided between the 
lands of Akkad (from Abu Salabikh to the edge of the north- 
ern Mesopotamian plains) and of Sumer (from Nippur south 
to Eridu). Sumer and Akkad were not political entities but 
regions whose people spoke two different languages while 
sharing a common material culture. Around 2350 BC 
Sargon I, a charismatic and powerful Akkadian ruler, subju- 
gated all Sumer and Akkad, also conquering lands to the 
northwest as far as Turkey and the Mediterranean, and to 
the east as far as Susa. His was perhaps the first empire to 
outlast the life of its founder, but by 2200 bc it had collapsed 
and was followed by a period of Sumerian revival. 

At the close of the 3rd millennium BC Ur, long an impor- 
tant Sumerian city, came to dominate the region. The Third 
Dynasty of Ur ruled the cities of Sumer and Akkad and east 
beyond the Zagros Mountains, establishing a system of gov- 
ernors and tax collectors that formed the skeleton for the 
complex bureaucracy needed to control a large population. 
However, this last Sumerian flowering had lasted only 120 
years when Ur was sacked in 2004 bc by the Elamites. 

International trade 

The literate Sumerians provide an invaluable source of 
information on contemporary cultures, from whom they 
obtained essential raw materials such as metals, wood and 
minerals, and luxuries including lapis lazuli. The most 
distant of their direct trading partners was the Indus region, 
known to them as Meluhha, the source of ivory, carnelian 
beads and gold; closer lay Magan, a major source of copper, 
and Dilmun (Bahrain), long known to the Sumerians as the 
source of "sweet water" and "fish-eyes" (pearls) (map 3). 
Dilmun acted as an entrepot in this trade, but there were 
also Meluhhan merchants resident in some Sumerian cities. 
Sumer exported textiles, oil and barley to its trading part- 
ners, but the Indus people were probably most interested in 
receiving silver obtained by Sumer from further west. It is 
likely that Magan was an intermediary for trade along the 
Arabian coast with Africa, the source of several types of 
millet introduced into India at this time. The Indus people 
also had writing, but the surviving texts - brief inscriptions 
on seals and copper tablets - have yet to be deciphered, and 
probably contain little beyond names and titles. 

2 Urban development 

A The city of Warka 

■ Cilyn 



h en m I 
?nd miUflriiic 


B The city of Mohenjo-Duo 

| Evidence of ntairid ttftHtf 

| iKcarated oietft 

| Pubk bufcliirgi 


— — WqIj 


Mcifr streets 





A In the 4th and early 3rd millennia BC 
Summons traded with towns across the 
Iranian Plateau. By the later 3rd millennium 
BC, however, they were trading directly with 
the Indus region by sea, and trade in lapis 
lazuli had become an Indus monopoly. 

► Indus settlements in what is now desert 
point to a time when a network of rivers 
(lowed parallel to the Indus, augmenting 
the area available for agriculture. The area 
at the mouth of these rivers was important 
in both local and international trade. 

The Indus region 

In the Indus region, colonized by farmers in the later 4th 
millennium BC, many settlements were replaced by planned 
towns and cities around 2600 BC (map 4). Within their 
overall similarity of plan there was considerable local varia- 
tion, particularly in the layout of the citadel, probably 
reflecting heterogeneity in religious and cultural practices. 
For example, the citadel at Mohenjo-daro was dominated by 
a Great Bath, suggesting ritual bathing, important in later 
Indian religion (map 2B). In contrast, those of Kalibangan 
and Lothal had pits where sacrificial material was burnt. 

Despite some regional variation, uniformity was a 
keynote of the Indus civilization. Throughout the Indus 
realms high-quality goods such as pottery, flint blades and 
copper objects, shell and stone beads and bangles, and 
steatite seals were manufactured from the best materials 
available, such as flint from the Rohri Hills. Although the 
Indus people owed much of their prosperity to the rich 
agricultural potential of their river valleys, a significant 
proportion of the population were mobile pastoralists, their 
flocks and herds grazing in the adjacent forests and grassy 
uplands; it is probable they acted as carriers in the internal 
trade networks that ensured the distribution of goods. 

Outside the heartland of the civilization, mobile hunter- 
gatherers provided the means by which the Indus people 
obtained goods and materials (such as ivory, carnelian and 
gold) from other regions of the subcontinent, in exchange 
for cultivated grain, domestic animals and manufactured 
goods such as copper fish-hooks. The fishers of the Arawalli 
Hills also participated in this network, trading their locally 
mined copper. 

Around 1800 BC the Indus civilization went into decline. 
A probable cause was the drying up of some of the rivers, 
but other factors may have included disease, changes in 
agricultural practices, and perhaps the depredations of Indo- 
Aryan nomads on the Indus periphery. 

* a 2 

IK! <& 

,'r— -"*.„-' . 


Bwmjlig — . . M 


# •• w 

Arabian Sua 

4 Tin Indus cmuzmion 

Ancient [oaslfina 

frcded cmfflwifiiK: 

htcisfir raifH of river 

A flint 

A cJiokedunv 

♦ Stwfite 

• City 

Haicra Ancient rtuer 

♦ shell 

9 ivory 

D ctper 

• Tom 

__, pVhj d toncwlralBd Indus sflflbmwf 

r [omglon 

* timber 

D oaote 

» Other seifcment 

O HUNTING TO FARMING: ASIA 12,000 bc-ad 500 pages 18-19 O THE MEDITERRANEAN 2000-1000 bc pages 36-37 O INDIA 600 bc-ad 500 pages 46-47 


EGYPT 3500-2180 bc AND CHINA 1700-1050 bc 

▲ Ancient Egypt became the world's first 
large, centrally ruled state. It was headed by 
a divine king (pharaoh) who was known as 
the son of Ra, the sun god. According to 
some experts, pyramids represented the 
staircase along which the pharaoh would 
return to the heavens after his death. The 
most famous pyramids are those at Giza, 
angled at a perfect 52°. Close by is Khafre's 
Sphinx, 73 metres (240 feet) in length and 
carved from a limestone outcrop. Originally 
it was plastered and brightly painted, the 
bearded face wearing a spectacular 
headdress sporting a cobra motif. 

► "Gift of the Nile" was the name given 
by the Greek historian Herodotus 
(c. 485-425 bc) to the country where 
Ancient Egyptian civilization flourished 
without rival for over 2,000 years. While 
the Nile Valley provided fertile soils, the 
surrounding deserts yielded the precious 
metals and building stone used in ambitious 
artistic and architectural endeavours such as 
the pyramids. These won such acclaim in 
Ancient Greece that they became known as 
one of the "Seven Wonders of the World". 

The first civilizations emerged in areas where high 
agricultural productivity was possible, supporting 
dense populations. In the Old World they appeared 
along the rivers in Mesopotamia, northern India, Egypt and 
northern China. Craft specialization developed, trade flour- 
ished, writing began and rulers were often given elaborate 
burials. However, each civilization also had unique features 
rooted in its own cultural background and environment. 

Life in Ancient Egypt evolved around the Nile, which pro- 
vided a regular water supply and fertile soils and thus, by 
contrast with the surrounding desert regions, made agricul- 
tural production possible. Navigation on the river was easy, as 
boats could travel northwards with the current or sail south- 
wards on the northerly winds. From the 5th millennium bc 
farming communities along the Nile gradually began to merge 
into a cultural, political and economic unit. This process of 
unification was encouraged by trading contacts and the need 
to control the floodwaters of the Nile. To reap the benefits of 
the yearly inundation of the river, communities had to work 
together to build dams, flood basins and irrigation channels 
over large areas. In around 3000 BC this co-operation resulted 


1 Old Kingdom Egypt 



H l"'!il':ri.> 



Mii«d reHirav 



O 90U 



□ HpfH 



O gwitt 



# mniothire 



9 lurqwM 



□ iffltMM 

— 1» 





in the establishment of a single kingdom and the First 
Dynasty: according to tradition, in 3100 bc King Menes 
united the delta region (Lower Egypt) and the river valley 
(Upper Egypt) and founded a capital at Memphis. 

The Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom periods 

The period of the first Egyptian dynasties was one of great 
cultural and economic significance, when hieroglyphic script 
was developed and administrative centres established. 
During the succeeding period of the Old Kingdom (2686- 
2181 bc), Egyptian culture flourished and the great pyramids 
were built as spectacular royal tombs (map 1). The first was 
the step pyramid constructed for Pharaoh (or King) Djoser 
(2667-2648 bc) at Saqqara: over 60 metres (200 feet) high, 
it was the largest stone building of its time. The first true 
pyramids, with sloping sides, were constructed at Giza, and 
the largest, built for Pharaoh Khufu (2589-2566 bc), reached 
a height of nearly 150 metres (500 feet). Eventually the rule 
of the Old Kingdom dynasties collapsed, possibly because of 
the expanding power of the provincial governors, or perhaps 
because scarce rainfall led to famine and unrest. Central 
government would be restored with new dynasties during the 
Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 bc) and the New Kingdom 
(1550-1069 bc) periods (pages 36-37). 

The growth of Egyptian trade 

In search of building materials, gold and luxury items, the 
pharaohs established a wide trade network. During the Old 
Kingdom period links were forged with many areas of West 
Asia, including Byblos on the Lebanese coast, predomi- 
nantly in a search for timber, and expeditions were sent to 
mine turquoise, copper and malachite in the Sinai Desert. 
The Eastern Desert yielded copper and stone and gave 
access to the harbours on the Red Sea, from where trade 
with East Africa and Arabia was conducted. While these 
trading missions were mainly peaceful, the area to the south 
of the First Cataract along the Nile became a prime target 
for expansion. This land, called Nubia or Kush, offered large 
quantities of gold as well as connections with the African 
hinterland, which was an important source of spices, ebony, 
ivory and other luxury goods. During the Old Kingdom 
period, a mining settlement was established at Buhen - the 
first step in a process of southward expansion which would 
peak in the 15th century bc. 

Arts and crafts flourished in Ancient Egypt, particularly 
in the service of religion and in providing for the dead. 
Religion also played a major role in northern China, where 
ancestors were given the greatest respect and were consulted 
by divination using oracle bones prior to important events 
such as hunting trips, childbirth and military campaigns. 

The rise of the Shang civilization 

Around 1700 bc the Shang civilization emerged as a 
powerful new state in the northern plains of China. It is 
known from later historical sources, from magnificent 
archaeological remains of cities and great tombs, and from 
written inscriptions carved on oracle bones and cast on 
splendid ritual bronze vessels. Bronze-working was 
important to Shang culture and to many other peoples in 
China, and several different traditions can be recognized 
(map 2). However, it is the use of writing that sets the Shang 
civilization apart: although ideographic pictograms were 
used as potters' marks as early as the 3rd millennium BC, 
the Shang inscriptions provide the first evidence of the 
development of a literate civilization in China. 

During the latter half of the 2nd millennium bc the Shang 
dynasty conquered and controlled large parts of northern 
China (map 3). The first Shang king, Tang, achieved domi- 
nance by defeating 1 1 other peoples and then winning over 
36 more by his fair rule and moral leadership. 

Shang rule reached its greatest extent under Wu Ding, 
one of Tang's successors, who was renowned for his wisdom 
and led a series of successful military campaigns. Wu Ding 
was supported in his campaigns by his consort Fu Hao, who 
herself led armies into battle against the hostile Fang people. 


The secret of Slicing military success svas the use of war 

chariots, which were so prized that they were sometimes 
included in burials. Fu Usui's sumptuous tomb is the richest 
known Sluing burial, containing over 400 bronze treasures, 
2,01X1 cowrie shells and more than 500 jade artefacts. Most of 
the other great tombs, however, were looted in antiquity. 

Royal cities 

Walled towns or cities ruled by royal lineages were central 
to early Chinese states, but they were often "moved": eight 
such transfers are recorded for the Shang capital before the 
reign of the first king (the Ixiginniiig of the "dynastic period") 
and a further seven for the .10 kings of the dynastic period. 
We know most about the last capital, Yin (near modem 
Anyang), which was founded by Pan (leng in about 1400 Hi:. 
Yin was located on the marshy plains of the I luting lie 
River, at that time a warmer and moister environment than 
now exists. The coast was considerably closer and the region 
was fertile, supporting two crops a year of rice and millet. 
Water buffalo and wild boar roamed the luxuriant forests 
which have long since disappeared. Yin sprawled over a large 
area in which residential compounds for the ruling elite anil 
clusters of commoners' dwellings were interspersed with 
bronze foundries and workshops producing jade and lacquer 
ware and pottery. At its centre lay the royal palaces and 

ancestor temples set atop platforms of pounded earth, and a 
royal cemetery where kings lay in magnificent shaft graves. 
We know little about the later Sluing rulers, except for 
the debaucheries of the lasl king, the tyrannical Chou. Such 
were ( Zhou's excesses and tortures thai ihe Shang people 
welcomed his defeat at the hands of the Zhou in the Battle of 
Change, traditionally dated 1 122 In bin probably closer to 
1050 BG. The Zhou were to become China's longest-ruling 
dynasty, governing the region until 256 BC {pages 48-^49), 

3 Shang China c. 1700 

-1050 k 

taoflfft {(KKnre 

O lit? Slugs* 

9 Hortt/rhrjrajr turd 

# Ide Shung sirs 

D Sluing {Qpitui 

Hi Ding's cmpoigri gggirasi iho 

WU Shnng mdssoI slots 


Wei Hojrili pwpk? 


Aim of Shong brwites ♦ Til ore vMte 

San Other bane tmctam □ (uper m scut* 


No "Wn bron* es 


1 ^'° ' ' " \ 


I 'v-j ,™ _ 

O "'"Jt" 


GUANG *"*■>. 
««.. WANG XINGn 2 *^ 

Yuwu Rang Qnondon m/ 

Ovonron- a Mfef *ijuon DANG Htiinion TWma 

O*. (Kunyii 9 PB " 3 ' p F S """» 

C ^na g en WE) To^—^ ™?L__/ 


Qtang 9n C A !fW» I l» 11 n SfM Wi" CooRong 

Rong brf *° Bo? ° . 

Luhun O Xuzhau* 


< Hie immediate predecessors of the 
Shang begin winking in brotue - n crafi 
reaching great heights under both the Shong 
nnd Iheit neighbours. Cos) breme vessels 
used ro serve food and drink in ceremonies 
honouring on<«tors. tallowed Ihe rrndhinnnl 
shapes previously made in pottery, often 
mlrkalely decoroled and featuring ihe fate 
of a monster known os taotic. Hie discovery 
of many fine bronzes al Saniiapdui in 
Sechuon proves the existence ol c*ce(leni 
btonie working Irrtdirions ouiside the Shong 
area. Working in bronte probably began 
earlier ia Soulheosl Asia ond south China. 

-4 The Shong stale mis the mosl imporlanl 
of China's early states - and ihe only one 
thai was literate. From Ihe oracle bones the 
Shang employed lo foretell ihe outcome ol 
military compaigns, we know Ihe names ol 
many fag (alien stoles) with whom they 
were in tonflitl at various times. Defeated 
enemies were oil en sacrificed to gods or 
ancestors. Shang kings maintained a small 
personal bodyguard bul could raise armies 
ol up to 5.000 men from their provinces in 
wartime. These were mainly foot soldiers 
armed with halberds, supporting an elile 
lorce of drariotry. 

T Many bronze vessels produced in Sbnag 
China were decorated with animal motifs. 
The lid ol this gong (lidded jar) is in ttie 
form of an imaginary animal combining 
ieolures ol birds and ligecs. (fags were 
used during the lime al Fu Noo around 
1 200 K. but were soon replaced by 
onimcrl-shaped jars. 

O T1IK MEDITERRANEAN AND THE GULF REGION 200ft-10O0 w. pa&#3f,-J7 O HIRST EMPIRES IN CHINA linn w:-\n 221) pages -),S_/'J 


1200 BC-AD 700 

1 The Ounce 1200- 



1 Oirrrat heailflnd 



• CtMtUOM 


pU SO WW QltMn EkWB 

O fJImsc-nftaiced sn 


ii :n gnu In miitprc 

IE Ometw 



Irrjdd [ormiodihes 


slmpy spiwi 

Q db»toi 



63 Wdmgtfone 







J / 

.iic X ? loV -^ 

San Loremp^I - - 


A 1 1 a n t i 

# Ocean 


A The Oim,K me best known for Ihe 
mossive carved heads and other cfctmclive 
>toi te ■vculmurK found in their three 
sweessiw tererrotwl (enlres el Son lorenio 

(UOMDOit) i:- -.Viiin (900 mo si 

ond Ires Zaooies 1600-300 id and or 
other Mesoame rican sHss 

T TeatihuKan influenced nnd probably 
d much ol the extensive area with 
Ii it traded, including the Maya city nf 
It ii undeoi lo what extent 
this dominance was achieved and 
maintained by military force: although 
Tentihuaton art rarely shows its people as 
warriors, this is how they appear in the art 
oi their powerful neighbours, the Mayo ond 
Mertle Alban. 


12(10 bc much of Mesoameriea 
was inhabited by agricultural com- 
munities, which were linked through 
trade in both essential everyday commodities and 
exotic materials. The most prosperous area at this time 
was the Gulf Coast, where annual river flooding supported 
rich agriculture, and It was in this region that the Olmec 
culture emerged (map 1 ). 

While some scholars believe chat the Olmec dominated 
Mesoameriea, controlling the settlements in which their dis- 
tinctive artefacts have been found, others see the Olmec as 
the religious leaders of the time, with their successive cere- 
monial centres acting as places of pilgrimage. Another school 
of thought views the Olmec as the most visible and most 
easily identified of a number of contemporary regional cul- 
tures that were mutually influential. 

Much that is characteristic of later Mcsoameriean 
civilization is already evident in the Olmec culture. The dan- 
gerous animals (in particular the jaguar) and the natural 

-Alxrj Tbkal'k 


HaciJU- Oeea n 



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Xirxled CDfmwitiiH: 

| leolihufflai Emprt a\i aw dl (Jiudl iffluews 

& atarion 



• Mdjch i/bdHJienTr-i 

^ tutting siww 



O OHicr urban wtra 

□ iron m for mirrarc 



^— tortBnpcfTJYatan 

1 pte and alto prE-si 

limes A 


□ Iraaibfld ■.If .it 

4 ilinr 

**»% ^ 


phenomena (such as rain) which 
feature prominently in Olmec art reap- 
pear in various guises in later religious art. 
The concern with the movements of sun, moon 
and stars that underlies much Mcsoameriean religion 
is apparent in the astronomically aligned layout of the 
Olmec ceremonial centres, where the first temple pyramids 
and plazas, as well as caches of precious offerings to the gods, 
have been found. The characteristic colossal carved heads, 
which may be portraits of Olmec rulers, wear helmets for the 
ritual ballgame, a dangerous sport with religious significance 
that was part of most Mesoameriean cultures and often 
involved die sacrifice of members of the losing team. 

Personal blood sacrifice, practised in later Mcsoameriean 
religions, also appears to have been a feature of Olmec life, as 
stingray spines and other objects used to draw blood have 
been found at Olmec sites. These items were widely traded - 
as were both jade, which had great ritual importance, and 
obsidian (volcanic rock glass), used to make exceptionally 
sharp tools but also fine ritual or status objects. The wide- 
spread distribution of these materials reflects not only their 
religious significance throughout Mesoameriea but also their 
role as indicators of status in communities where social hier- 
archies were beginning to emerge. Prestigious Olmec pottery 
and figurines (including the characteristic "were-jaguar" 
babies) served the same purpose. 

The Teotihlacan and Monte Ai.kan Kmi-irks 

By about .100 ik; the Olmec had lost their pre-eminent 
position and other civilizations were developing in the high- 
land zone, particularly the Teotihuaean Empire in the Basin 
of Mexico and the Monte Alban Empire of the Zapotcc people 

in the Oaxaea Valley (muj> 21. This was the beginning of 


what is known as the Classic Period, which lasted until 
around AD 900. Agricultural productivity now greatly 
increased in this region as irrigation techniques using wells 
and canals were developed to supplement rain-fed farming. 
Raised fields may also have been cultivated. 

Like the Olmec, all these civilizations were heavily 
involved in trade. The city of Teotihuacan (map 3A), 
founded before 300 bc, was well placed to control wide- 
spread trading networks. It contained over 600 workshops 
manufacturing goods for local use and for export - objects 
of obsidian (400 workshops), basalt (a building stone), shell 
and other materials, as well as distinctive pottery. 

The city of Monte Alban was founded around 500 BC. 
Like Teotihuacan, it was the ceremonial and political centre 
of its state, but in contrast it was not the centre for regional 
craft production. Evidence shows that initially the Monte 
Alban state grew by military conquest, but by ad 300 its 
expansion had been checked by that of the Teotihuacan 
Empire, although the people of Monte Alban seem to have 
been on friendly terms with their neighbour. 

Ballcourts and depictions of sacrificial victims at Monte 
Alban show the continuation in the highland zone of the 
religious practices of Olmec times. Also continued was the 
use of written symbols (glyphs) to record dates and related 
information. Concern with the movements of heavenly 
bodies and the related calendar had led to the development 
of glyphs by the Olmec; by 500 bc the people of the Oaxaca 
Valley were recording dates and names on their carved stone 
slabs (stelae). However, the only region where a complete 
writing system developed in the Classic Period was the Maya 
lowlands (map 4). 

The Early Maya civilization 

The Maya writing system was extremely complex, with 
many variations in the form of individual glyphs and in the 
way in which a word could be expressed. It was also used to 
record an extremely elaborate calendric system, involving 
interlocking and independent cycles of time, including the 
52-year repeating cycle used throughout Mesoamerica and 
the Maya Long Count, a cycle beginning in 3114 BC accord- 
ing to our present-day dating system. These depended both 
on a detailed knowledge of astronomical patterns and on 
sophisticated mathematics, including the concept of zero. 

Although the Maya script is still not fully deciphered, 
scholars are now able to read many inscriptions on carved 
stelae, temple stairs and lintels and have pieced together the 
dynastic history of many of the Maya kingdoms. (Unlike the 
two highland empires, the Maya were not politically unified, 
although they were united culturally.) Maya inscriptions 
record the descent of each ruler from a founding ancestor, 
his performance of appropriate ritual activities on dates of 
significance in the astronomical religious calendar, and his 
victories over neighbouring rulers. Although wars of con- 
quest did occur at this time - Uaxactun's takeover by Tikal 
(map 3B) in AD 378 is the prime example - the main motive 
for warfare was to capture high-ranking individuals to be 
used as sacrificial victims. 

Blood sacrifice was of central importance in Maya and 
other Mesoamerican religions, based on the belief that 
human blood both nourished divine beings and opened a 
pathway through which humans could communicate with 
the spirit world. While personal sacrifices could be made by 
any member of Maya society, it was largely the responsibility 
of each king to ensure the well-being of his state through the 
provision of sacrificial victims and by letting his own blood. 
Members of the king's family were appointed as provincial 
governors of lesser centres within the kingdom, and they also 
acted in other official capacities including that of scribe. 

The 7th century saw the demise of Teotihuacan and 
Monte Alban and the rise of other highland states, while in 
the Maya region important changes had already occurred 
(pages 84-85). The pattern of existence that had emerged 
in Olmec times continued, however, as the template for the 
Mesoamerican way of life up to the time of the European 
conquest in the 16th century. 


^ Morwirtf sd/cmmwiol twtre 


■ toiidanhul/iraft compound 



VlCaiuiTui «'*•' 


A Tkhihlucan 



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■ "J. w,J 

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■ *.. ; "c * Si|Pi, *«>« 

A The cities of Teotihuacan and Tib! 
highlight the contrasting patterns of life 
in the highland and lowland civilizations. 
Tikal, in the Maya lowlands, covered more 
than 1 20 square kilometres (47 square 
miles) with an estimated population of 

50,000, while Teotihuacan in the highlands 
housed two to four times as many people 
in a sixth of the area. House compounds in 
Mayo cities were interspersed with doorstep 
gardens and raised fields in swamp areas, 
and a great variety of crops were grown in 

both. By contrast the agricultural lands 
supporting Teotihuacan lay outside the 
city, in the Basin of Mexico. Highland and 
lowland cities alike, however, focused on a 
ceremonial centre containing temples and 
the residences and burial places of the elite. 

4 Early Classic Maya c. ad 200-550 


Urban renlra 

.:, shells 


A -i i 

HJtside lerraung ' sfarjrffp' spines 
(med field % frsilhen 

/dfl Djibikholnm 


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lratf {ommafiriH 

C aKtcfcin 

/ sdi 

%% man 

— *- TnKtemte 


Vaxuna T 




: tnaription giving 


jade mi other rjnen stone dynastic history 

XkifTipak# \ 

Gulf o 

("Mexico J 


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Jl "* 

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k. Recent discoveries have shown that the 
Maya employed intensive farming 
techniques, including hillside terracing to 
counteract erosion, and canals dug along 
rivers and in bajos (seasonal swamps) for 

drainage, water storage and probably fish- 
farming and communications. Highly 
productive raised fields were constructed 
between grids of canals - although the 
known extent of these fields is likely to 

represent only a fraction of what once 
existed. As in other Mesoamerican 
civilizations, trade played an important role 
in Maya life, providing materials for daily 
living, religious rituals and status symbols. 



1400 BC-AD 1000 

▲ Spondylus and strombus sheik, widely 
regarded as food (or the gods, featured 
prominently in Chavin and later Andean 
art. Imparted from the coast of Ecuador, 
they were an important commodity in 
the exchange networks that ensured the 
distribution of foodstuffs and other raw 
materials (such as obsidian, or volcanic 
glass) and manufactured goods (notably 
pottery and textiles) between the different 
regions of the Andean zone during the 
Chavin period. Chavin de Huantar probably 
owed its pre-eminent position to its location 
at the centre of trade routes running both 
north-south and east-west. In some areas 
roads were built to facilitate trade and 
communications, and these networks 
(and the commodities they carried) 
changed little in later periods. 

By the late 2nd millennium BC a patchwork of inter- 
related farming settlements existed throughout the 
Andean region, from coasts and lowland valleys to 
high pastures. In addition to residential villages, the Andean 
people were constructing religious centres which took 
various forms (map 1). Those in coastal regions were char- 
acteristically built in the shape of a U, with terraced mounds 
laid out along three sides of a rectangular plaza, and a 
pyramid often stood on the central mound. Some of these 
temple complexes - notably Gerro Sechin, where graphic 
carvings of victims survive - give evidence of human sacri- 
fice as a part of the rites performed. Thus they foreshadow 
the practices of later Andean cultures, which included a 
widespread trophy head cult (for example among the Nazca) 
and warfare to obtain captives for sacrifice (particularly 
evident among the Moche). 

Chavin de Huantar 

Around 850 bc a similar U-shaped ceremonial centre was 
constructed in the mountains at Chavin de Huantar. 
Housing the shrine of an oracular fanged deity set within 
labyrinthine passages, Chavin de Huantar became a place 
of pilgrimage, the centre of a cult that was widespread in its 
influence, as demonstrated by the distribution of artefacts in 
the characteristic Chavin style. Carvings decorating the 
temple mounds focused on religious themes, as did designs 
on pottery, jewellery and other objects. Chief among these 
was the Chavin deity, which continued to be worshipped 
down the ages in various forms, such as the Staff God of 

Tiwanaku. Other supernatural creatures included jaguars, 
caymans and composite beasts; shamans were also depicted 
and they were believed to be able to transform themselves 
into exotic birds and animals. 

Traded objects, such as goldwork, were included as 
grave goods in the elaborate burials of the Chavin elite. 
These burials were often placed in shaft tombs within the 
platforms of the Chavin ceremonial centres, another prac- 
tice that endured down the ages - for example in the 
magnificent burials found in the few unlooted Moche 
huacas (sacred pyramids) such as that at Sipan. 

The Paracas and Nazca cultures 

The distinctive Paracas culture emerged in Chavin times, 
around 600 BC. Their craftsmanship survived in an exten- 
sive cemetery (map 1 ) containing numerous mummies of 
elite individuals wrapped in beautifully embroidered cotton 
textiles and accompanied by fine pottery, goldwork and 
other offerings. By around 375 bc the Paracas culture had 
developed into the Nazca culture (maps 2 and 4B), also 
renowned for its textiles and fine polychrome pottery. Some 
vessels were designed in the form of trophy heads, and real 
heads - pierced for suspension on a rope - have been recov- 
ered from Nazca cemeteries, in particular that at the chief 
Nazca ceremonial centre of Cahuachi. 

Unlike Chavin de Huantar and the ceremonial centres 
of other Andean civilizations, Cahuachi seems not to have 
functioned as a town, though it was probably a place 
occupied briefly by thousands of pilgrims during religious 
ceremonies and festivals. In its neighbourhood are the enig- 
matic Nazca Lines, designs on a gigantic scale which were 
created by removing stones to expose the light desert soil 
beneath and depict animals, birds and geometric shapes 
familiar from the Nazca pottery. Their form can only be 
appreciated from the air, so they are thought to have been 
intended for the gods to view and to have been used in the 
performance of religious activities. 

▼ The Moche culture was centred on the site 
of Moche, in northwest Peru. Its adobe 
pyramids, among the largest in the New 
World, contained temples and rich tombs 
later desecrated by other Andean peoples 
and the Spanish. Through time, the Moche 
spread to most of the northern coast of Peru, 

from the Huarmey Volley in the south, and, 
in the latest phase, to the Lambayeque 
Valley in the north. Further south, the Nazca 
culture is well represented by large 
cemeteries and substantial religious 
structures of mudbrick. The culture is best 
known, however, for the Nazca lines. 

bcfap Gny^l 

Sanla Raw* • J| 

C«to Slimas/i 


P ft C i / ' <-■ 

O c e " " 






Nazca nfluerice 


Aran of ttaz'13 Iras 


EjhruI Mil 




Other religion sire 





LnEitanqt^o ^-Hm deJ I 


▼ Irrigation played cm imporlani role in 
Soulh American agriculture, and water 
control was well developed during the 
Chovin period (1 200-200 K], when a 

serse-s of canals was skilfully used la 
provide awe-inspiring sound effects in ihe 
great ceremoniol centre of Cfvovin r)e 
Urtantor. Idler civilizations in Ihe Andean 
region employed a variety of different 
techniques appropriate to local conditions. 
The Mnche supplemented perennial and 
seasonal watercourses by creating a 
network of canals (B). To the south, in the 
Nazca region, underground aqueducts 
designed to prevent water loss by 

evoporotion (A) were prohobly 
constructed after id (00 when the region 
fell to the Himi who also hull 
sophisticated hillside irrigation terraces. 
Die fiwanntu state undertook a large- 
scab programme of swamp drainage and 
canal construction in ihe Pnmpa Koani 
region of Lake Tilicom to establish a 
complex network ol fertile raised 
fields ((). Some of these irrigation 
systems (such as the Nazca underground 
aqueducts} hove survived into modern 
limes; others have recently been revived 
and are proving far mare successful than 
modern methods. 

4 Irrigation systems in the Andean Region 

1 ?mile> 
1 7 3 Uwiwoi 

A Nazca,- underground aqueducts 
near Cahuacni 

River Uakiarant ojjKkxf 



Grande uea 

Card Porenronl n 1 

Baud Sflosonolrr 

O ■.!,■..,;■. 


30 rrmrnri 

C Pampa Koani near 

' - Cnnnl 
^\ Salttflmeni rrwunJ 

The Moche culture 

Partially contemporary with the Nazca culture, which 
flourished until around ad 600, was the Moche culture of 
c. AD 1-650, maps 2 and 4B). Their ceramics, painted with 
exceptionally fine calligraphy, reveal a ceremonial life 
focused on mountain worship, royal mortuary cults, warfare 
and the dismemberment of captives. The recent discovery 
of an unlooted pyramid (huaca) at Sipan, containing the 
burials of two Moche lords, has given us a vivid picture of 
Moche burial practices. Accompanied by a number of sacri- 
ficed men, women and dogs, these lords were lavishly robed 
in garments decorated with gold and silver, copper and 
feathers; they were provided with rich grave goods in the 
same materials, along with spondylus and strombus shells. 
Details of these burials are familiar from decoration on 
the painted or moulded pottery. Moche ceramics also 
included some of the first (and only) portrait effigies in the 
Americas, all cast from moulds and often into the stirrup- 
handled vessels common to Peru. Although heavy in 
religious imagery, these ceramics are unusually narrative for 
South American art, leading some scholars to postulate 
influence from other areas such as Mesoamerica. 

The cities of Huari and Tiwanaku 

Around ad 650 the Moche culture was eclipsed by new art 
styles emanating from Huari, near Ayacucho in the south- 
ern highlands of Peru (map 3). More distant still lay a city of 
comparable complexity, Tiwanaku, near Lake Titicaca. 
Although both cities had emerged c. 400, the connection 

► In the period m 400-1000 Andean 
South America contained at least thcee 
expansive political entities embrndng 
distind ecological zones and ethnic groups. 
The city af Tiwanaku extended its control 
fcom the rich farmlands around Lake 
Triicoca to lower valleys in adjacent areas 
of southern Peru, northern Chile and 
northern Argentina. At about the same 
period, during ihe so-called ""Middle 
Horizon", a related I hut probably rival) 
polity flourished around ihe city of Huari 
in Peru, displacing the coastal culture of 
Moche around ;n 650. 

between them remains enigmatic. Most archaeologists 
believe that they were not so much dual capitals of one 
empire (an older theory) as antagonistic polities, one - 
Huari - oriented to the north, the other - Tiwanaku - to the 
high timberless plains known as the altiplano. 

While recent political instability in the region of Huari 
has made it difficult to study, Tiwanaku has been intensively 
investigated, unveiling elaborate raised fields (map 4C). 
Whether the fields around Lake Titicaca were systematically 
organized and harvested by the Tiwanaku state continues 
to be controversial. Field research in the Moquegua Valley 
indicates late Tiwanaku expansion into a number of 
enclaves, with maize in particular being cultivated. Also 
subject to Huari influence, this valley was important as the 
source of many prized materials which included lapis lazuli, 
turquoise, obsidian (volcanic glass) and copper. 

-4 The Nazca pottery vessel (/eft) depicting 
a seated warrior holding a trophy head is 
representative of the cult of trophy heads 
which was widespread in South America. The 
container with a funerary effigy (right) is 
characteristic of the Chavin style. 

© THE AMERICAS 12,000-1000 bc pages 24-25 © CIVILIZATIONS IN MESOAMERICA AND SOUTH AMERICA 500-1500 pages 84-85 

REGION 2000-1000 bc 

A Heferliti - itw subject of ihb bust 
carved by the royol sculptor Thutmose - 
win the powerful wife ol the beretied 
phornoh Akhsoolen Ir. 1 352-36 ic|. 
Amending the throve ns Amenholep IV, ihe 
king dunged hh mime when he introduced 
Ihe rrarotlieistk worship ol Wen, the sun 
god. He [minded o new capnol, AMibIdIbei 
(modern Amarna), but ihb, lib his religion, 
was abandoned after hh dearh 

▼ During ihe New Kingdom period o Row 
ol goods such as gold, limber and Ivory 
from Egypt reached Phoenicia, Cyprus, Crete 
and, lurther olield, Ihe interiors of the Hear 
Easl In return Asiatic products such as 
copper and tin - and, before 1450, pottery 
horn Crete - were imported rnk> Egypt. 
While Ihe Egyptian arid Hittite empires 
ployed key rules in ihe extensive 
Mediterranean Itode networks ol the 2nd 
mirlermium K, behind the const there were 
oilier powerful siotes - those of the 
Assyrians, Babylonians (the Kasite 
kingdom |, Hurrians (die kingdom ol 
Mrtarmi] and Elomiles. Much of their 
economic power derived from control of 
•nporttml overland routes - us well us those 
in the Gull. 

The eastern Mediterranean became extremely affluent 
during the Bronze Age, This prosperity was largely 
based on a booming International trade in whieh the 
Egyptians and later the llittites played key roles (map I). 
During the period of the Middle Kingdom (2Q55-1 650 n<:). 
Egypt experienced stability under a eentral government led 
by dynasties from Thebes. Dominion over Nubia, which had 
been lost during the political disintegration of the First 
Intermediate Period (2181-2055 BCj, was restored, guaran- 
teeing access to products from the African heartland. Royal 
missions were sent to re-establish diplomatic contacts with 
Syria and 1'alestine, a move that further encouraged trade in 
the eastern Mediterranean. 


from approximately 2(MH) bc: the Mittoan civilization flour- 
ished oil the island of Circle, centred around palaces such as 
Knossos, I'haistos and Mallia, and the island developed its 
own script. Initially pietographs resembling the Hittite signary 
and Egyptian hieroglyphs were uaud, but around 1700 BC :r 
linear script was invented, the so-called "Linear A". 

Around 1450 lie: most Minoau palaces were destroyed by 
fire. This was once considered to he linked to the massive 
volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Thrra (Samorini), 
but the eruption is now thought to have taken place around 
162N BC, One possibility is that the destruction was due to 
occupation by mainland Greeks, the so-called Myecnaeans, 
who extended the already far-flung trading networks of the 
Minoans and adapted the Minoan script to suit their 
language, an early form of Greek. This "Linear B" script can 
he read, unlike the still mtdeciphcred Linear A. Tablets 
written in (his new script were found on the mainland and 
on Crete. While the Mycenaean culture showed great 
affinity with that of Minoan Crete, it also displayed a far 
more warlike character: Mycenaean palaces were reinforced 
with enormous fortifications and the theme of warfare 
dominated their wall paintings. 


The mighty states of the Assyrians, Itabylonians, Hurrians 
and Elaiuitcs flourished by controlling hinterland connect- 
ions (m«jj I ). In southern Mesopotamia (Babylonia) foreign 
trade was increasingly in the hands of private individuals, in 
contrast to earlier periods when trade was controlled by 

temples or the government. Luxury items such as gold, lapis 
lazuli , is'ory and pearls were exchanged for Mesopotamia!! 
textiles, sesame oil and resin. 

At the beginning of the 2nd millennium there was a strug- 
gle for ascendancy and control among the southern cities, in 
whieh Isin and Larsa were early players. Later the city of 
Babylon under King Hammurabi (r, 1792-50 m:J conquered 
most of the cities of southern Mesopotamia and up the 
Euphrates to Mari. Although this empire was relatively short- 
lived, it transformed southern Mesopotamia into a single 
state. Hammurabi is most famous for his Law Code whieh, 
although not the earliest known in Mesopotamia, is the first 
for which we have the complete text. 

While these changes were occurring in the south, in 
northern Mesopotamia the inhabitants of the core Assyrian 
city of Asbur were creating trailing networks with cities in 
Anatolia up to 800 kilometres (SIX) miles) away, where they 
established trading outposts to exchange Assyrian textiles 
and "annakum" (probably tin) for silver and gold. 


To the north and cast of Mesopotamia there were, by the 
mid-2nd millennium tic;, numerous small Human (some- 
times called Mitannian) principalities, while the llittites 
controlled much of Anatolia. Texts written in the wedge- 
shaped characters of the cuneiform script tell ns there w-ere 
other kingdoms in Anatolia such as Arzawa, Assuwa. 
Ahhiyawa and l.ukka. but their exact location is uncertain. 
In 15 ( >5 uc. the llittites under King Mursili defeated 
Babylon. Soon afterwards, however, the llittites were beset 
by internal dissension and revolts, and lost much of their 
extended territory until they were left controlling only 
central Anatolia, For about a century very little is known 
about events in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. In 1480 ik: the 
Ilurrian kingdoms were united by King Parrittcarnn as the 
kingdom of Mitarini, and by 1415 Ht: the Kassites, a people 
who had been slowly moving into liabylouia, had established 
dominance in the area. The llittites once again controlled 
much of the Anatolian plateau and were heavily involved in 
Mediterranean trade, receiving commodities such as copper, 
gold and grain as tribute from the cities under their influence 
or control. At the same time they were spreading southwards 
into the Levant, an area where the Egyptians under the New 
Kingdom dynasties were aLso expanding. 


INkw Kingdom Egypt 

Egyptian unity had once again been destroyed when the 
llyksos, an Asiatic tribe, seized part of tile country around 
165(1 hi:. Their rule lasted for about 100 years until Ahmose 
(r. 1550-25 hi:) drove them out and established the New 
Kingdom (1550-1069 lie), a period of great cultural flowering 
(map 2). This was also the time of the greatest Egyptian 
expansion, predominantly geared towards securing resources 
from N'uhia and West Asia. Thutmose 1 (r. 1504-1492 BC) 
campaigned as far as the Euphrates River, and Thutmose III 
(r. 1479-25 1st:) reclaimed Syria, thus extending the empire 
to Carehemish. lie also established Egyptian control over 
Nubia up to the Fourth Cataract. 

Egyptian domination over Palestine and Syria once again 
lapsed until Sety 1 (r. 1294-79 BC) recovered Palestine, He 
initiated a period of fierce competition with the I littitcs for 
control of the Levant, which came to a head at the Battle of 
Qadesh in 1275 Hi:. Although the Egyptians claimed victory 
the llittites probably gained the upper hand, as the area 
around and south of Damascus came under I littite influence. 

Soon after this battle the resurgent Assyrians under King 
Adad-nirari I (r. 1,105-1274 Hi:) captured the Mitauuian 
capital of Wash uka nni (whose location is still unknown) and, 
with the collapse of the Mitauni kingdom, established them- 
selves as a power equal to Egypt. In response the llittites 
formed a pact of non-aggression with the Egyptians that led 
to a period of stability in the region. 

Thk "Ska Peoples" 

Early in the 12th century BC large movements of peoples 
around the eastern Mediterranean coincided with the social 
and economic collapse of many of the Late Bronze Age 
kingdoms (map 3). A wave of destruction was wrought by 
tribes known collectively as the "Sea Peoples": cities on the 
Syrian coast and Cyprus were sacked, along with liittite set- 
tlements and Mycenaean palaces, and the liittite Empire and 
Mycenaean civilization both came to an end. 

The Assyrians were not directly affected by these 
upheavals and continued to expand. They invaded Babylon 
as well as the Levant, where they took advantage of the 
collapse of the liittite Empire. However, by [he close of the 
2nd millennium Assyrian dominance was also fading and the 
kingdom of Elam to the east now became the mosi powerful 
player in the region. 

CCoreSemi* * 



Ali-ili d rr.irncin Scu 

♦ G,B( rVmpl.ii» , 
♦ ■Haworfl— |6-7H. h«jn* 

Tropic erf Cone* 


• V 

V ■'■■ 

2 Middle and Hew Kingdom Egypt 2055-1 069 bc 

l i;y.i"i::i . ■-.::■ '1 i*. n ! ■ K\ ■ III5HH i 

* Middle Kingdom pyratnidi 

urnter S&nusret 1 Tr. 191 7-1 B72BC} 

■ Middle Kiipdctri Hnnto 

— imbr Svnusral III <■. 1 83*— 1 7 acj 

Middle Kiigdcrri rsmpies 

tfidBrThuimoSa III (r.1 479-25 K) 

■ Hevh Kingdom lambs 

— *■ Esjypticn (flnttttjV to Westirie 

■* Urn Kmgcbn Parnate 

vdSvrv{ MHH** 

■4 While the Old Kingdom period i . known 
as the "Age of the Pyramids", the Hew 
Kingdom was the eio of the vast temples 
anil lavishly painted lombs ol pharaohs and 
nobles in (he Valley al Ihe Kings ami ihe 
odjcienl areas around Thebes. The Valley 
ol ihe Kings alone hasted 62 rock-iul lombs, 
of whiih the mast famaus is mat of 
lutankhomun. His grave wos ihe only one 
whkh archaeologists Eound largely intact 
end it contained, besides his mummy, an 
wounding werjirh of grove goods including- 
dismanded chariots, beds, masks, gomes 
and musical instruments. 

T Ihe movements of the "Sea Peoples" 
- bands who roomed the Mediterranean 
during ihe 1 3th century EC - have been 
reconstructed an ihe bash at few written 
sources and title archaeological evidence. 
In Egypt two attacks by these tribes have 
been documented. Merenpfah 
(r. 1213-1103 K) withstood an atlntk an 
the Nile delta by o united force of Libyans 
and the Sea Peoples, they returned during 
the reign of Barneses III 1 1 184-53 ICl, 
attacking by land and sea. lhey were 
defeated, but later some settled peacefully 
in Egypt, others in Palestine. Egyptian 
pharoohs triumphantly cecorded iheir 
victories over the Sea Peoples, exaggerating 
Ihe threat posed by groaps vrhom ot other 
limes they often employed as mercenaries. 
II has been assumed that the lazed cities 
elsewhere in the Hediterraneon vwb caused 
by Ihe same Sea Peoples, although interna! 
unrest and earthquakes were probably 
among other factors involved. 

3 Invasions and migrations in the Mediterranean c. 1 200 ic 

tgytriion tmrara Aiee r ronflin Ltetweer unites one I jyeflom $ tjeslieyec s 1 

Hrthie Empke Wvcwneen Gseete i-*- Movement of peoples 


RMP1RES AMI TRADERS UOO-mki bc pa&*38^9 


NorttiBm tiifts. ircluding lbs Uilttfl, Sfiunjen ond Twesh, -mttadt EjiriiP 

bur are dofcoted 


Palesel, Shflkfllflih, Dflriy«t ij'jbi cud Wesfriesh launch setfind in .1. > ••■■•■ ,1 il 

antxk «i Egypi 

Ugail and {ypnot fWii possibly desfrcyEd by Sea Ftapta 

d Grewe and (ttfy tubjiKtod to wMfeipreac deslnicliar- 


■fcoy imd "Hittite Cinnies kdjttfhDniradl^ |KB5i>ly by Anrwrnans- -and FtifYBn3 n, 5 


PoBibry TfJEsfi arte in fauna. Shenkn 11 SmSnu 




1200-600 BC 

▼ The Phoenietam emerged as o major 
sealrading nation in (he hi millennium Bt. 

In addition ID cedar from iheir mountains 
and purple dye made from local shellfish 
ihey traded copper from Cyprus and other 
row moleriok obtained from their colonies 
in rhe western Mediteftanean and Met 
afield. Their line craft products - including 
glassware and ornaments carved from the 
ivory of Syrian elephants - were ol» highly 
sought alter. To the south the Phoenician 
homeland bordered on Ate newly bunded 
slates ol the Israelites and the Philistines - 
the latter descended horn one group ol the 
"Sea Peoples" who had caused such 
upheaval in the Mediterranean during the 
lole ?nd miknnMn K. 

3 The Phoenicians c. 800 sc 

| A/bo Dt Greet sfrtiiernenr 
3 Area of FtiranitBn SBIrfeinflnt 

From approximately 121)11 ki MIK) nc: West Asia was in 
an economic and political downswing, lloth the 
archaeological and textual evidence indicates that 
there was no longer the vast wealth that had supported the 
lavish royal lifestyles and military campaigns ol the Late 
Hron/.e Age. Although major cities remained occupied, the 
empires of the Egyptians, Ilurrians, llittites. Klamites and 
Assyrians no longer held sway over the region. However, 
beginning hi 911 BC, Adad-nirari II (r. 911-891 BC) started 
to re-establish central authority in Assyria (muu 1). After 
securing Assyria he sacked Inn did not conquer Babylon 
and subsequently eon dueled a successful series of cam- 
paigns in the rtabur region, Expansion of the Assyrian 
Empire continued throughout much of the 9th century Etc, 
and with their mighty armies the Assyrians were to dom- 
inate West Asia almost continuously for 200 years until 
their defeat hy the Medes and Babylonians in 612 uc. 


The Assyrians did not have a policy of uniform military con- 
quest and incorporation; instead they established a pattern 
of conquest thai entailed first receiving gifts from indepen- 
dent rulers, who were considered as "clients". If the client 
statu subsequently failed to provide "gifts" (tribute), the 
Assyrians treated this as an act of rebellion and conquered 
the state. A local ruler was then appointed, or the country 
was annexed and ruled by a provincial governor. This 
method of domination and control channelled all the trib- 
utes of clients and booty of conquered countries into the 
heartland of Assyria. Thus the Assyrians not only acquired 
an extensive empire but also great wealth, enabling their 
rulers to build fabulous palaces, establish several new capi- 
tals and commission works of art ranging from exquisite 
ivory carvings to monumental stone reliefs. 

Israel anb Jumh 

The Levant was one of the main areas to suffer the effects of 
Assyrian expansion. The Israelites had settled in Palestine, 
their traditional "promised land", around 125(1 tit: (hicijj 2 1. 
A little later, around 12(1(1 Ht:. the Philistines occupied the 
adjacent area of Philistia. Increasing pressure from this and 
other neighbouring tribes forced the Israelites to unite 
under one king during the 1 1th century He:. The first, Saul, 
was defeated bv the Philistines, hut his successor David 





' ■'■'■■ trie,.., 






I tin 



SinporC? *" ^"V^ ELAM 


1 The Assyrian Empire 91 1-824 bc 

^| 111 K 

| B?4k 

A liii Assyrians controlled their empire by 
installing local rulers or or ovineiol ooranors 
and a system af tribute. From the Idle a lh 

lenrury onwards Ihey sometimes enslaved 
ond resettled thousonds ol conquered 
people in areas for from their homelonds. 

(r. 1006-966 BC) expanded the kingdom and chose 
Jerusalem as its religious and political centre, f.'nder David 
and his son Solomon (r. 966-26 1st;) the kingdom prospered, 
becoming an international power and a centre of culture 
and trade. Tensions between the northern and the southern 
tribes mounted, however, and after Solomon's death the 
kingdom was divided into two parts, Israel and Judah. 


To the north Phoenicia had become a major trading eenpire 
after the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization around 
12(H) itt: (urines J6-J7). Phoenicia consisted of autonomous 
city-states such as By bios, Sidon and Tyre, which 
established new trade routes and from the end of the 9th 
century lie: founded colonies in North Africa. Spain and 
Sardinia {map .1). Carthage was a wealthy Phoenician 


trading centre and gradually established its own empire. 
Phoenician interest in the western Mediterranean led to 
clashes with Greeks in southern France and Corsica, while 
the Carthaginians later engaged in a power struggle with the 
Romans that ended with their city's destruction in 146 bc. 

Egypt and Assyria 

After the central government of the Egyptian New Kingdom 
collapsed around 1069 BC, the country was ruled by two 
competing dynasties based in the Nile delta and Thebes. 
Nubia, parts of which had been colonized by Egypt from 
Old Kingdom times (pages 30-31), now became indepen- 
dent (map 4). A family of local lords established itself as a 
powerful dynasty, governing from Napata. When the rulers 
based in the delta threatened Thebes, the priest of the state 
god Amun sought the protection of the Nubian king Piy 
(r. 746-716 bc), granting him the title Pharaoh of Egypt. 
Piy conquered Thebes and went northwards to put down 
opposition by the delta rulers. His successor completed the 
conquest of Egypt, reversing centuries of Egyptian domi- 
nation of Nubia. The start of the Nubian dynasty marks the 
beginning of the so-called Later Period (747-332 bc). 

In the early 8th century the powerful Assyrians suffered 
a period of weakness, which allowed the kingdoms of other 
peoples to thrive, among them the Urartians in eastern 
Anatolia and the Chaldeans in southern Mesopotamia 
(Babylonia). However, by the middle of the century the 
Assyrians were once again expanding, for the first time cam- 
paigning north of the Euphrates - where they conquered a 
number of city-states which had formed after the collapse 
of the Hittite Empire 600 years earlier. 

The process continued under Sargon II (r. 721-705 BC), 
who expanded the boundaries of the empire beyond those of 
the 9th century bc (map 4). By 701 BC the Assyrians had 
annexed Phoenicia, Israel and Judah, and in the 7th 
century BC they turned their attention to Babylon, where 
they were confronted by a powerful culture that would suc- 
cessfully hold its own against the Assyrian might. Although 

eventually defeating the Babylonians and their Elamite allies 
in 694 BC, Assyria always considered Babylon special 
because of its history, its culture and the power of its 
ancient gods. Thus Babylon was ruled by a member of the 
Assyrian royal family as co-king rather than as governor. 

In 671 bc the Assyrians launched an attack against the 
Egyptians and, after initial setbacks, secured domination of 
the country. However, they never completely controlled it 
and, after a number of additional campaigns, they withdrew 
to leave friendly "client kings" in place. During this period 
Egyptian culture flourished, with Greek Classical and 
Hellenistic influences becoming increasingly prominent. 
The Nubians, meanwhile, retreated southwards. 

The Neo-Babylonian Empire 

In 626 bc, after 60 years of stability and growth under 
Assyrian co-kings, a Chaldean who took the royal name of 
Nabopolassar seized power in Babylonia and established 
what is known as the Chaldean or Neo-Babylonian Empire. 
Ten years of civil war between the Babylonians and the 
Assyrians followed, but by 616 bc Nabopolassar was strong 
enough to take his armies north, where he defeated the 
Assyrians and their Egyptian allies. In 615 bc the Medes, 
who originated from the area around Hamadan, sacked the 
Assyrian capital Ashur. In 612 bc the combined forces of 
the Medes and Babylonians besieged and sacked Nineveh, 
effectively bringing the Assyrian Empire to an end. 

Soon afterwards Nabopolassar was succeeded by his 
son, the biblical conqueror Nebuchadnezzar, and the Medes 
began their extensive conquest of the Iranian Plateau. They 
were eventually defeated around 550 BC by the Persian 
leader Cyrus, who went on to conquer Babylon in 539 bc. 
The fall of Nineveh in 612 BC can be seen as a turning point 
between the millennia that saw the old empires of Egypt, 
the Hittites, Babylon and Assyria rise, fall and rise again, 
and the arrival of new players on the world stage: these 
were the Persians and the Greeks, who also went on to 
establish extremely powerful entities that finally clashed. 

▲ In the early 8th century bc waning 
Assyrian power allowed neighbouring 
kingdoms to prosper. The Urartians, centred 
in eastern Anatolia around Lake Van, 
greatly expanded their territory, notably to 
the south. They had adopted a number of 
ideas from the Assyrians - including the use 
of cuneiform writing - but they had their 
own distinctive culture and were skilled in 
working both bronze and iron. 

In Babylonia the Chaldeans, an Amorite 
tribe, became prominent. The languishing 
Gulf trade revived under their auspices, and 
the resulting wealth and stability enabled 
Babylonian cultural life to continue, assuring 
the survival of Mesopotamian literary and 
scientific traditions. 

Assyrian power grew once again in the 
late 8th century bc, and after gaining 
control of Babylonia and the Levant the 
empire was soon in conflict with Egypt. 
Assyria made a partially successful attack 
on Egypt in 671 bc, returning in 663 bc 
and attacking Memphis, prompting the 
Nubian ruler Taharqo to flee south to 
Thebes. Within just 40 years, however, 
Assyria itself was attacked and subdued by 
the Babylonians, who continued to rule in 
Mesopotamia until 539 bc, when Babylon 
fell to Cyrus of Persia. 


750-400 bc 

A Gicek Dft ond nichilHture had a 
profound effort on the Romany This 
Romon marble (opy of Alheno, goddess 
of wot and wisdom, was based an a 
stalue by the Greek sculptor Myron in 
'fir tiIi (emu v VL The original would 
have been made af brame using the 
'lost-wcnc" technique, a method dial 
enabled the Greeks to portray the most 
lifelike of figures. 

▼ During ihe 8th ond 7lh centuries it the 
Creeks come la play a pivotal rale n the 
growing Mediterranean trade. However. 
their ambitions aha led to [onfrantalnns 
/.■til rival me (hmii forces, notably Ihe 


750-550 bc 
iPririripol tctorY-foiindiiitj dry 

• Colcmy a'Slablished betel 700 ir. 

• Colon* Klolilisfied 7DO-bOa m. 
Q Colony isfflUM after (DO It 

• Phowilran rolnnv 

fttiopat trade route 

rdtd guods: 

□ (OPIH 

a 9* 

More than 7(1(1 years after the fall of' Myeenae (pct£es 
.16-.J7), a new civilization flourished in Greece. The 
cultural and political life of (ireeee. and particularly 
of Athens, in the 5th century BC was to have a profound 
impact on Western civilization. In Athens tlve principles of 
democracy were established and scientific and philosophical 
reasoning taken to unprecedented heights. The Athenian 
literary tradition - exemplified by the tragedies of Sophocles 
and the comedies of Aristophanes - formed a central part 
of its legacy. Also in Athens, architecture and forms of art 
such as sculpture and vase painting took on the Classical 
styles that still influence the Western sense of aesthetics. 

The Greek landscape is dominated by the sea and by 
mountains, which cover 80 per cent of the mainland and 
reach heights of over 2,000 metres (6,000 feet) [map 1 ). 
Authors such as Plato glorified a past when the countryside 
was htsh and densely wooded, hut by the 1st millennium BC 
poor soil and the scarce rainfall during the summer months 
limited the possibilities for growing crops. Modern botani- 
cal and geological studies reveal a remarkable stability in 
the Greek countryside during the last 3-4,000 years, until 
the recent industrialization of agriculture. Today's farmers 
grow labour-intensive crops such as apricots and grapes in 
the valleys along the coast, cultivate cereals and olives on 
the less fertile mountain slopes, and use the mountain pas- 
tures as grazing land. It is likely that the ancient rural 
population of Greece practised a similar mixed agriculture, 
supplemented with marine resources. 

TlIK Greek city-states 

Whereas the many islands in the Aegean .Sea provide secure 
points for navigation and promote maritime traffic, cross- 
country communication is hindered by the mountains, 
which leave many areas isolated. In these mountain pockets 
independent, self-governing city-states, or/jo/eis, developed 
during the St 1 1 century BC. Their focal point was visually an 
urban centre positioned on a defensible rock: the acropolix 
(literally the "high town"). This functioned as the political, 
administrative and religious centre for the surrounding 
countryside. Home city-states expanded their influence and 
came to dominate; others remained on a more equal footing 
with neighbouring cities, with whom they acted as a federal 
unit in matters such as foreign policy. During the 8th 
century t«: a sense of a Greek identity emerged, primarily 
based on language and religion - and expressed in the pan- 
Hellenic (all-Greek) festivals such as the Olympic Gaines 
and the shared oracles at Delphi and Dodona. 

From around 750 BC food shortages, political unrest and 
trade interests prompted the Greeks to venture out and 


((iiuun i * fe 


Z} letaMWBMusos "Zi G«2» 

■ tmAoidclwes 

A Geography and natural resources set the 
pot omelets for Ihe political and cuftutol 
development of Closskal Greece. Often 
separated from each other by mountains, 

the city-slates evolved independently, many 
of them relying on travel by sen. A lack of 
high-quality agricultural land further 
encouraged expansion overseas. 

establish new city-states well away from home {map 2). 
These colonies retained the culture and religion of the 
mother cities, yet in a political sense functioned independ- 
ently. The earliest colonies in Syria (Al Mina) and Italy 
(Ischia), founded by Kretria and Ghaleis, were primarily 
trading posts, hut the quest for arable land probably played 
a key role in the colonization of Sicily and the Black Sea 
area, mostly by Ghaleis, Corinth and Miletus. While these 
trade connections and colonies were of great cultural sig- 
nificance, promoting an exchange between the eastern and 
western Mediterranean areas, they also led to major con- 
flicts, for example with the Phoenicians (pc&'es 38-3 ( J). 


111 the east the expansion of Persia's Aehaemenid Empire 
{iHuiCN 42-43} led to confrontations with the Greek cities of 
Asia Minor [tnap .1). With the support of Athens and Eretria 
these cities rebelled against the Persian king Darius I in 
4W tic:, and the rebellions were not finally suppressed until 
-PJ.l BC. Darius then demanded the submission of all the 
mainland Greek cities, but Athens and Sparta refused. In 
A')2 in: Darius sent out a punitive mission, which backfired 


after most of the Persian fleet was lost in storms around 
Mount Athos. When Eretria was sacked in 490 bc Greece 
was divided on how to respond, but the Athenians and a 
small Plataean force took the initiative and defeated the 
Persians at Marathon that year. Infuriated, Darius's succes- 
sor Xerxes prepared an even larger invasion, to which many 
of the Greek city-states responded by mounting their first 
united force, led by Sparta. The Athenian leader Themi- 
stocles interpreted the oracular pronouncement that they 
should rely on Athens's wooden walls to mean strengthening 
their navy, and he enlarged the fleet to 180 ships. 

The first confrontation took place in 480 BC at Thermo- 
pylae, where the Spartan rung Leonidas held out bravely but 
was defeated. After inflicting considerable losses on the 
Persian navy at Artemisium in 480 bc, the Athenians with- 
drew to the Bay of Salamis. They knew they could not 
defeat the Persians on land and so left their city to the 
enemy, who burned Athens to the ground. The huge Persian 
fleet followed the Athenian navy to Salamis but was unable 
to manoeuvre within the narrow straits there and was oblit- 
erated in 480 bc. The following year, at Plataea, the Persian 
land army suffered a similar fate at the hands of the 
Spartans, and the Greeks dealt the Persians the final blow in 
479 bc at Mount Mycale, where the Persian troops had 
taken refuge. The small and independent Greek city-states 
had managed to defeat the greatest empire at that time. 

Athens and Sparta 

Athens gained tremendous prestige through its contribu- 
tions to the victory over the Persians and, when Sparta 
declined, seemed the obvious leader of an anti-Persian pact. 
Although the main aims of this confederacy, the Delian 
League, were protection against the Persians and seeking 
compensation for the incurred losses, the Athenians soon 
used the alliance to build an empire. They imposed heavy 
tributes on their allies and punished revolts mercilessly. In 
454 BC the Delian League's treasury was moved to Athens 
and funds were overtly channelled into the city's coffers. A 
grand building scheme was launched to restore the city, 
crowned by the construction of the Parthenon (477^138 bc) 
and the Erechtheum (421-406 bc). This was Athens's 
Golden Age, much of it masterminded by Pericles. 

Sparta and other Greek cities watched the growth of 
Athens with suspicion. Not only did they fear Athens's mili- 
tary power, but they were also wary of democracy, Athens's 
radical contribution to political innovation. This rule of the 
people (women, slaves and foreigners excepted) was per- 
ceived as posing a direct threat to Sparta's ruling upper 
classes and, after mounting tension, war broke out in 431 
bc (map 4). It was a costly conflict: Attica's countryside was 
sacked annually and the population, withdrawn within the 
city's walls, suffered famine and plague that killed a quarter 
of its number, including Pericles. The Peloponnesian War 
lasted 27 years, ending with Athens's downfall in 404 bc. 

▲ The Greeks exported their political and 
social ideas alongside their art, and various 
colonies around the northern shores of the 
Mediterranean are still littered with temples, 
theatres, gymnasia and agoras, or market- 
places. The remains of this late Sth-tentury 

temple are at Segesta in Sicily - a focal 
point for Greek trade. Its columns are in the 
simple Doric style, first of the three major 
orders of Classical architecture; the 
progressively more complex and ornate 
Ionic and Corinthian styles followed later. 

3 Thi Persian Wads 492-479 k 

«■ NMiw<tolKsnteifleei4fO« 

tain nssrf sua 493 K 



A ftj> bonis m-4»K 

ifK Df VJ will fVK 

Pfftoi ErnpK 4?3 K 

▲ The Persian kings Darius I and Xerxes T The unity displayed by Greece during 

planned three invasions in their attempts to the Persian Wars was short-lived. Athenian 

subdue mainland Greece. While the first 
failed in 492 bc, the second and third (490 
and 480 BC) posed such a serious threat 
that Greece responded as a united force. 

imperialist policy led to war with Sparta and 
its Peloponnesian allies - described by the 
historian Thucydides as the most appalling 
of all the Greek wars in losses and suffering. 




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600-30 BC 

T On his succession in 359 BC Philip II 
was master of a tiny kingdom, yet he 
transformed the Macedonian army into a 
formidable fighting machine - increasing 
the numbers of aristocratic cavalry, 
introducing the heavy infantry phalanx 
armed with sarmas (long pikes), and 
mounting sieges of unprecedented 
efficiency. By his death in 336 BC Macedonia 
was a major power, dominating Greece and 
threatening the Persian Achaemenid Empire. 
His son Alexander, charismatic leader and 
military genius, inherited Philip's ambitions 
as well as his army, and he conquered not 
only the Persian Empire but also lands well 
beyond. However, his attempts to weld his 
vast conquests into a unified empire under 
combined Macedonian and local rulers 
ended with his early death in Babylon at 
the age of 32. 

Following the fall of the Assyrian capital, Nineveh, in 
612 BC, the former Assyrian Empire was divided 
between the Babylonians and the Medes, with a small 
corner of the extensive new Median territory occupied by a 
dependent related Indo-Iranian tribe, the Persians. In 
550 BC the Persian King Gyrus, of the Achaemenid family, 
rose against his overlord and occupied the Median terri- 
tory. Learning of this, King Croesus of Lydia (a country rich 
in goldmines) saw an opportunity to enlarge his empire to 
the east. He consulted the Delphic oracle, which prophe- 
sied that he would destroy a great kingdom and, confident 
of his success, Croesus faced Cyrus at Hattusas. The battle 
ended in stalemate, however, and Croesus retreated to 
Sardis, followed by Cyrus, who besieged the city until 
Croesus's surrender in 547 BC - when Croesus realized that 
the kingdom whose destruction the oracle had referred to 
was his own. 

The Persian Achaemenid Empire (map 1 ) now encom- 
passed the Lydian territory, including the Greek cities on 
the coast of Asia Minor which Croesus had annexed in 
585 BC. In 539 BC Gyrus also conquered Babylon. He was 
said to have been a just ruler who allowed his subjects reli- 
gious freedom and did not impose excessively harsh taxes. 

The Persian satrapies 

In 530 BC Cyrus was killed on campaign and was succeeded 
by his son Cambyses, whose greatest military feat was the 
annexation of Egypt in 525 BC. After Cambyses and his 
brother mysteriously died, Darius I (a cousin of 
Achaemenid descent) came to the throne in 521 BC. Rather 
than accepting the existing administrative structures as his 
predecessors had done, Darius organized the empire into 
20 provinces or "satrapies", each ruled by one of his rela- 
tives. To ensure efficient government he created a road 
network and installed a regular system of taxation based 
on the gold Daric coin. 

Darius added the Indus province to the empire and 
brought Thrace under Persian rule in 512 BC, but his attack 
on the Scythians in the Danube area was unsuccessful. 
Darius suffered another setback in 499 BC, when Cyprus 


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A Persian rule combined an empire-wide 
legal and administrative system with an 
acceptance of local customs, practices and 
religions. Trade prospered under the 
Achaemenids, facilitated by the efficient 

road network, a standardized system of 
weights and measures, and the innovative 
use of coinage. Sophisticated irrigation 
works using underground watercourses and 
canals increased agricultural productivity. 


1 The expansion of the Achaemenid Empire 

| PcHiDfi cue hrtiivy before 550 m 

^J Extern kinydaai annexed c 525 n 

__ Modinn kingdom onraxed:. 5 SO K 

j find expansion under Darius and Xerxes 

| Lydton kingdom annexed t. 547 Hi 

* Gash between Persia and subjected stare 

| Wvw kingdom onrwied < 339 nc 

XV! Adioemenid sanapv 












.Arabirnr S^a 

and the Greek city-states on the coast of Asia Minor 
revolted. Although Cyprus was swiftly brought back under 
Persian rule, the Greek rebellion persisted until 493 bc. 
The missions sent by Darius and his successor Xerxes to 
punish the mainland Greeks for their support ended in 
Persian defeats in 490, 480 and 479 bc (pages 40-41). The 
rest of the empire remained intact until it was conquered 
by Alexander the Great. 

Macedonian expansion 

When Darius invaded Thrace, Macedonia had little choice 
but to become a Persian vassal, and it remained a marginal 
state on the international political scene until Philip II 
ascended the Macedonian throne in 359 bc. Philip forged a 
professional army, unified Macedonia and, having gained 
control of Thessaly, expanded into Illyria and Thrace, bring- 
ing important harbours and goldmines into the empire. 

His expansion (map 2) met with hostility from Athens 
and Thebes, whose military power had greatly diminished 
during the Peloponnesian War. After his victory over a com- 
bined Theban-Athenian army at Ghaeronea in 338 BC, 
Philip was the undisputed master of Greece until his assas- 
sination in 336 bc - just as he was preparing to invade 
Persia. His 20-year-old son Alexander III succeeded him, and 
after crushing opposition to his reign in Macedonia he joined 
the remainder of his father's army in Persian territory. 
Having defeated the army of the Persian satraps at Granicus 
in 334 bc, Alexander faced Darius III (r. 335-330 bc) at Issus 
in 333 bc. On a narrow coastal plain he dealt the Persians a 
devastating defeat and captured Darius's family. 

He then conquered Syria, Egypt and Mesopotamia before 
confronting Darius again in 331 bc on the plains of the Tigris 
near Arbela. After a long battle, Darius fled and Alexander 
moved on to sack Persepolis in retribution for the destruc- 
tion of Athens in the Persian Wars some 150 years earlier. 

In the east, Alexander's self-proclaimed status as King of 
Asia was threatened by rebel satraps. However, in 327 BC he 
crushed remaining opposition in eastern Iran and 
Afghanistan, before invading northern India. His ambition 
had now shifted to expanding beyond the boundaries of the 

former Persian Empire, and he crossed the River Indus in 
326 BC; he hoped to proceed to the River Ganges, regarded 
as the eastern limit of the inhabited world, but was stopped 
by mutiny in his tired army. Instead he subdued the tribes 
along the River Indus and returned to Babylon, where he 
died in 323 BC of fever, exhaustion or possibly poison. 

Alexander the Great had forged an empire which 
stretched from Greece to the River Indus (map 3) and 
which merged Greek and Oriental cultures. Greek became 
the common language, and Greek gods were venerated side 
by side with local deities. Both Macedonians and Persians 
ruled as satraps, and Alexander encouraged his generals to 
marry Persian women, as he himself had done. He founded 
70 new cities, many called Alexandria, which acted as 
military but also cultural centres of the new cosmopolitan 
society. Alexander's success was rooted in his prowess as a 
military leader, a role in which he displayed great personal 
courage, and in clever propaganda, such as the construc- 
tion of a myth proclaiming his divinity - a belief which he 
himself seemed to share. 

Alexander's successors 

After Alexander's death a long power struggle ensued 
between his generals, the so-called "War of the Diadochi" 
(successors). The main contenders were Antigonus of 
Phrygia, Seleucus of Babylonia, Ptolemy of Egypt, and 
Antipatros, in charge of Macedonia and Greece. Macedonia, 
generally regarded as the seat of legitimate rule, became the 
centre of continuous conflict. After the murder of 
Alexander's son by Gassander, son of Antipatros, the various 
successors all proclaimed themselves kings between 306 
and 303 BC (map 4). 

While this marked the definite end of Alexander's 
empire, the war was not yet over: after renewed hostilities 
three kingdoms (later called the Hellenistic Kingdoms) were 
securely established by 275 bc. The Antigonids ruled in 
Macedonia, the Seleucids in Syria and the Ptolemies in 
Egypt, but their reigns ended when the Romans captured 
their territories (in 148, 64 and 30 BC respectively). 
Meanwhile the successors of Ghandragupta - who, after 
Alexander's death, had founded the Mauryan Empire and 
taken control of the Punjab region - remained in power 
until approximately 186 bc (pages 46-47). 

-4 Alexander's army met the Persian forces 
of Darius III at Issus in 333 BC - and scored 
a victory that both heralded his conquest of 
southwest Asia and signalled the beginning 
of the end for the 220-year-old Achaemenid 
dynasty, rulers of the first Persian empire. 
This graphic detail, modelled on a 4th- 
century bc Hellenistic painting - 
commissioned by Alexander's own generals 
- is taken from the mosaic at the House of 
the Faun in Pompeii. It was created in the 
late 2nd or early 1st century bc - clear 
evidence of Alexander's enduring reputation 
among the Romans. 

T Throughout the lands of Alexander's 
short-lived empire, Greek culture blossomed 
under Hellenistic rule, usually enriched by 
indigenous cultures; even in India, at the 
very limit of Alexander's conquests, it had a 
lasting effect. Developments in astronomy, 
medicine, mathematics and engineering 
took place alongside patronage of the arts, 
the building of libraries and the 
encouragement of education. With the 
Roman Empire acting as intermediary, these 
achievements laid the basis for a later 
European civilization. 

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4 The successor kingdoms 

Kingdoms under 

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© THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE GULF REGION 2000-1000 bc pages 36-37 © THE ROMAN EMPIRE 500 bc-ad 400 pages 54-55 


1500 bc-ad 600 

T The 1st tentury tit witnessed o schism in 

Buddhism: the resullonl Mahoyono 
Buddhism offered universal salvo I ion nnd 
spread through Control Asia and China, 
while the mare [onservutive Thernvoda 
Buddhism betame influential in 
Southeast kirn. 

By dOO AH a series of major religions had spread 
throughout Eurasia [map I). Distinguished from 
other, more local beliefs by a focus on holy writings, 
or script u res, most of them continue to flourish today, 

The oldest religion is Hinduism. Its sacred writings, the 
Vedas, were first compiled by seers and priests, or rishis, 
and were based on myths, legends and hymns passed down 
from aiitiqniiy. Many of [lie beliefs and rituals of Hinduism 
had their origins in the sacrificial cults introduced to India 


Pat i/io 

2 The spread of Buddhism to as 600 

| Ongincl rare orec ot Buddtrsni 6fli [enniry K 

— *- Buddhism by 1st rosaey*} 
— ^ Moyanaftikliigfl tram til century u 
— *- DHMidDfiuddkunhinSrixtnUYja 
• Buddhist inilie • faUut (ompie/intnntflv 
A tWymwriwi 

by the Indo- Aryans from around 15<XI tie, while others were 
indigenous and can be traced back to the Indus civilization 
(jX^efi 3S-29); iruleed it deris'es its name from the river. 

Central to Hinduism are a belief in [he iransmigralion 
of souls, the worship of many deilies (who eventually came 
to be seen as aspects of one god), the religious sanction of 
strict social stratification, the caste system, and the ability 
to assimilate rather than exclude different religious beliefs. 
Unlike most of the later major religions, Hinduism never 
really spread beyond the bounds of its home country, 
although it was very influential in some of the early states of 
Southeast Asia (p^es 64-65). 

TlIK SI'KtVl) <»(•' Hi I lilt! [Ml 

Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563-483 bc), the founder of 
Buddhism, was horn a wealthy prince in northeastern India 
(ni«ii 2). Renouncing worldly trappings and achieving 
enlightenment, or nirvana, he became known as the 
liuddha < the Enlightened). Gautama lived at a time of great 
religious ferment in India, and Buddhism was one of a 
number of sects [hai aimed to reform Hinduism. Another, 
more extreme, reform movement was Jainism, whose 
asceticism was a reaction to the rigid ritualism of I linduism. 
Buddhism shared with Hinduism the belief in the cycle 
of rebirth, but differed in ihe way in which escape from 
the cycle could be achieved. Indeed the appearance of 
buddhism stimulated a resurgence in Hinduism, which may 
be why buddhism failed to take a permanent hold in India. 

T Several launders ol world religiorts - 
notably Buddha, Confuiius, Zoroaster and 
Christ - lived in the 1st millennium K at 

immediately otter it. ludorsm and Hinduism 
hod their roots in earlier limes, when many 
peoples worshipped local gads 

1 Would bsugiohs to ad 600 

B CrmlKJiiTtbyUjK 

31 ConhKnntsm tad Dmism 3rd Einrury 

^] ChioticiiiPH esrrifcdiEd ju 3? 2— 600 

It 1a Tsf (intuy u 

H tormsmanwTi from tlti rentuy K 

tudosm before 400 k 

_l tofqestrxrcun antatai under 

Spread ol the trtojora: 


— *■ frisItmrmilMSt iMS-WO 

H Hnojrsm 1mm fcifr cemwy K 

— *• Bolltairissaisi !Mn-«i600 

| iuddrnmbyuMX) 

— •>■ JamnshQosgamt.euXIH-tfWO 

« - ; 

: ■ .• "V " 


4 The origins and spread de 
Christianity to ad 600 

__ hatam m awtf Qwsaon by An 32i 

• GvisTiao [ooimifiirv esicblishml by M 325 
ft RoK oi origin of ClirisliBn sett 
Zl fteriorniriorvri^ Chmfion bre AD- £00 
■ Church council 

Buddhism was given official backing by the Mauryan 
Emperor Ashoka (r. 272-231 bc), and Buddhist monuments, 
such as the great stupa at Sanchi, were built. Over the 
following centuries Buddhism - with its emphasis on over- 
coming suffering and breaking out of the endless cycle of 
rebirth through discipline, meditation, good works and the 
banishing of desire - spread throughout much of Asia, 
reaching Japan in the 6th century AD. Great Buddhist 
centres, based around religious communities, developed. 

Confucianism and Daoism 

Two philosophical traditions were dominant in China when 
Buddhist monks arrived there in the 4th century ad. 
Confucianism, named after the author of the Classics, 
Kongzi, or Confucius (551-479 bc), propounded a set of 
morals encouraging a way of life ruled by the principles of 
order, hierarchy and respect. Confucius worked for much 
of his career as an administrator in one of the Warring 
States (pages 48-49), and his ideas subsequently greatly 
influenced political philosophy in China and many other 
parts of East Asia. 

The other tradition, Daoism, or "the Way", called for 
people to find ways of being in harmony with the world. It 
was based on the teachings of the philosopher Lao-tze, 
written down in the Dao De Jing (probably in the 3rd 
century bc). In its combination of cosmology and the sanc- 
tification of nature, certain mountains were considered 
especially sacred and became the focus of worship. 

Zoroastriatnism and Judaism 

In West Asia a new religion developed out of the ancient 
Indo-Iranian belief systems during the 1st millennium BC. 
Zarathrustra, known to the Greek world as Zoroaster, lived 
in Persia, probably during the 10th century bc, though some 
date him from 628 to 551 BC. Zoroastrianism, the religion 
named after him, had a major impact on the development 
on many other religious traditions, including Judaism and 
Christianity. Its scriptures, the Avesta, set out the Zoro- 
astrian belief that life is a constant struggle between good 
and evil. Zoroaster rejected the pantheism of the Indo- 
Iranian religions and proclaimed one of the ancient deities, 
Ahura Mazda (the "Wise Lord") as the one supreme god. 

Zoroaster believed that the end of the world was imminent, 
and that only the righteous would survive the great confla- 
gration to share in the new creation. 

Following the death of Zoroaster his teachings spread 
throughout the Persian Achaemenid Empire of 550-330 BC 
(pages 42-43) until the conquests of Alexander displaced 
Zoroastrianism with Hellenistic beliefs. Renewed interest in 
Zoroastrianism developed towards the end of the Parthian 
Empire (238 bc-ad 224), and it was taken up as the official 
religion of the Sasanian Empire, where it flourished until 
the arrival of Islam in the 7th century. 

Zoroastrianism had considerable influence on the devel- 
opment of Judaism (map 3), which had originated with the 
people of Abraham - nomad groups living in the northern 
Arabian Desert in the 2nd millennium BC. Jewish tradition 
holds that these Hebrew people spent time in slavery in 
pharaonic Egypt before leaving under the leadership of 
Moses around 1250 BC. They settled in Canaan and fought 
with the local inhabitants, particularly the Philistines, until 
peace was achieved under King David around 1000 BC. 

Jewish communities were established in Egypt in the 
2nd century BC, in Italy from the 1st century AD, in Spain by 
ad 200 and in Germany by ad 300. The teachings of 
Judaism form the Old Testament of the Bible; in addition, 
Jewish law is recorded in the Talmud, the first codification 
being the Mishnah, written down about ad 200. 

The rise of Christianity 

Named after its founding figure, Jesus Christ (c. 4 bc-ad 29), 
Christianity (map 4) developed from Judaic roots. 
Christians believe in one God and that Jesus, born in 
Bethlehem, is the Son of God - the Messiah whose arrival 
on Earth had long been promised in the Jewish tradition. 
Jesus's radical teachings and disregard for the establishment 
led to his death by crucifixion, an event Christians believe 
he overcame in the Resurrection. In the first few centuries 
ad, Christianity flourished in many parts of the Roman 
world, and Christ's teachings (written down in the New 
Testament) spread by apostolic figures such as Paul of 
Tarsus. By 600 it had travelled from its origins in the eastern 
Mediterranean as far as the western shores of the Caspian 
Sea in the east and the British Isles in the northwest. 

< Eorly Christians were often persecuted 
by the Romans, who saw them as a threat 
to the stability of the empire because they 
refused to acknowledge the divinity of the 
Roman emperor. By ad 64 Nero used 
Christians as victims in the imperial arenas, 
and in the early 4th century Diocletian 
organized campaigns against them. 
However, Diocletian's successor Constantine 
legalized Christianity, and at the first 
"Ecumenical Council" (held at Nicaea in 
325) he brought church and state together. 
Constantine had converted to Christianity 
after a key victory over his rivals in 31 2, a 
victory he ascribed to the power invested in 
him as the servant of the Highest Divinity, 
which he equated with the Christian god. 
Many sects emerged during this early 
spread of Christianity, and councils were 
periodically held to discuss the doctrinal 
disagreements raised - with some sects 
declared heretical as a result. 

T After the death of David's son Solomon 
in 926 bc, the iewish lands were divided 
into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 
which then had a turbulent history of 
division and conquest by Assyria, Babylonia 
and, lastly, by Rome. Between ad 66 and 73 
rebellion against Roman rule broke out, but 
the empire reconquered Jerusalem in 70, 
destroying the Jewish temple. Following a 
long siege at Masada the last of the rebels 
were crushed in 73, and after a second 
revolt was brutally put down (1 32-35) 
many Jews left Judah (called Judaea by 
the Romans). 

3 The Holt Land 

I 1 Dart's iiiigfeiin i. 1 ODD It 
■ Cflpiid city gfnr drffiicn of 

kingdom 9fh century 
O Ptiilfcioe coy 

5kJon o 


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Aihdod rl 1 ™ 

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© RELIGIONS OF THE MEDIEVAL WORLD 600-1500 pages 62-63 O THE SPREAD OF ISLAM 600-1000 pages 68-69 


600 bc-ad 500 

A By the 6th century tic prosperous slates 
in the Ganges Valley were competing foe 
dominance, expanding not only by mlHory 
conquest but also through dynastic 
marriogca ond political alliances - a trend 
that set the pattern for the rise and fall of 
slofBS in subsequent centuries. Strong rulers 
such as the early Muuryas and the Guptas 
succeeded in uniting large areas to form 
empires, hut weak successors were unable 
Id hold them together. 

► Despite their diverse origins and 
different political notaries, the invaders 
of the subcontinent followed a common 
pattern. Each group introduced new cultural 
elements - seen, for example, in orl styles 
influenced by the Hellenistic world - but 
far more marked was their "lndianization T . 
Most ol them readily adopted Indian culture, 
settling in towns such as lalcsosna [laiilal or 
fAathura, converting tD Buddhism or other 
Indian religion;, palroniung on and 
architecture, profiling horn South Asia's 
nourishing inter national trade, ond on I he 
whole becoming socioSy assimilated. 

2 Invaders and settiers 

. ''ii : route oi Prime Vijtrrn l SQO bi 

*■ butt <k Aieitnta l. 330- 32S IT 

rdbfotjistu 330- 130 «r 

I uf Sokm 2nd renluy Hi' 

loffMlijm; fflu-ioll 

-»■ Mavementrrf Kusturrs r. Hfl k-ta 4i 

* Motermin ef Hums u 350- S! 1 

-►Atoinient of tails 161 «(. 1 02— B9 K 




( > C »' ci n 


yvi ianka 

During the 2nd millennium bc Indo-Aryan nomads 
were the first of many groups from Iran or Central 
Asia to invade the Indian subcontinent. Initially they 
spread only into the Ganges Valley, but according to legend 
(given support by recent archaeological work), around 
500 bc a group led by Prince Vijaya also gained control of 
Sri Lanka. In 530 bc the Persians conquered the northwest, 
but the area subsequently fell to Alexander the Great (pages 
42-43) and the Indo-Greek kingdoms that emerged after his 
death dominated the region for several centuries. However, 
neither Persians nor Greeks ever penetrated deeper into the 
subcontinent, due to the strength of native dynasties. 

Kingdoms and empires 

By 500 bc kingdoms existed throughout the Ganges region. 
Chief among these was Magadha, favourably located for 
control both of riverborne trade and of the sources of raw 
materials such as iron. Magadha gradually expanded at the 
expense of its neighbours and before 297 BC its king, 
Chandragupta Maurya, ruled most of north India (map 1). 
His grandson Ashoka (r. 272-231 bc) further extended the 
empire, conquering Kalinga in 261 bc, and only the extreme 
south retained its independence. Pillar and rock edicts mark 
the extent of Mauryan political authority: these proclaimed 
Ashoka's ethical code of social responsibility and toleration. 
It was an age of peace and prosperity. 

The political unity of the Mauryan Empire did not long 
survive Ashoka's death in about 231 BC Numerous inde- 
pendent kingdoms emerged, such as the Satavahana realms 
in western India, but none was strong enough to resist the 
waves of foreign invaders (map 2). The Sakas, arriving from 
Central Asia around 130 bc, gradually gained control of 
much of the north and west. They were succeeded by the 
Parthians from the Iranian Plateau and the Central Asian 
Kushans, who loosely united the Ganges Valley and the 
northwest until the mid-3rd century ad. From the 5th 
century ad onwards, the north was prey to attacks by the 
ferocious Hunas (White Huns) who swept in from the east. 

By the time they reached the Ganges Valley or the 
Deccan, the force of foreign invasions was spent, and Sri 
Lanka and the south were generally spared. Instead they suf- 
fered periodic attacks by native groups such as the 
Mauryans, Tamils and Guptas. In the 4th century AD the 
Guptas, who ruled a small kingdom in the Ganges region, 
began to expand, gaining control of adjacent regions through 
military conquest, diplomacy and dynastic marriages. Unlike 
the earlier Mauryan Empire, however, they established only 
indirect political authority over much of this area, local 
rulers usually acting under their suzerainty. 

Rural and urban development 

Much of the subcontinent, such as the jungle regions, was 
unsuited to agriculture and was inhabited by hunter- 
gatherers. In addition to the wild produce they collected for 
their own needs they obtained materials for settled farmers, 
such as honey, venison and lac (used for lacquer), exchang- 
ing these for cultivated foodstuffs and manufactured goods. 

Throughout this period the majority of South Asians 
dwelt in villages. Rice was the main staple in the east and 
Sri Lanka, millet in the south and wheat in the north; 
animals, particularly cattle, were kept. By around 500 BC 
irrigation works such as canals, dams and tanks were being 
constructed to increase agricultural productivity. Rulers - 
particularly the Mauryas, who exercised strong centralized 
control over their realms - also encouraged the cultivation 
of wasteland, often by the forced resettlement of groups of 
low-caste cultivators. In Sri Lanka sophisticated hydraulic 
engineering developed from around 300 bc, using sluice pits 
and long canals. Land taxes and levies on produce provided 
the main income for states throughout the period, although 
trade also yielded considerable revenues. 

Many towns and cities developed as centres of trade and 
industry, and they flourished even during periods of weak 
political control (map 3). Many, especially in the west and 
south, were ports for seaborne trade. They contained 

llltS 01 WOIID HISTOII: Pitt t 





3 Town »no couniby 

o Meier Inm or circ SCO* 

V tafeocopM 

• M0|rtlmnOlceynMoiF|OTpmd 


■ Mafymaptt 

3 Jnodlmsiond/'trmMn 

• Mop town soty n tushon penad 

■m hfUM oo™i\ 

■ fcidaxopwi 

Ino Mm Who out toW ■* <W 

a Euta Abator apW 

j ino wten niw b» tup 

• Mopr mn off a Bvpto iwiod 

_' Jm^atunatKO 








Kqiwiuj | 



ftflffaOfECufn _ .^ 


Ginnoggro Q« 




Vcti kiIi 



^''g^DtMr*™ Cjjwa Pundfowcdhor.0 









palaces, parks and 
facilities lor in; him;. 
Hindu temples. Buddhist 
and .lain monasteries, and 
i in- houses and workshops of 

merchants and artisans. Small 
craft enterprises developed into 
major Industries, generally under 
the! of caste-based guilds. 

*• Ne«jnofdlior«i 

■*•**'•• Pro«i<npgro 




Nogorrixialond^f ££ n 

4 Many town ond tities were estoWshed 

under the Mouryos, though they developed 
somewhat laltf in the south, whei t 
■rigatkm ogritutlutB had begun onty oround 
300 it fottid Dulharily wit hatdin- 
hond with town dwetng: when the Ikdmilcu 
broke owy ' ,om ** "tdMwl Sotavohana 
[moire in the 3rd tentury a. lor eicmple 
am of rherr first acts was To establish 
'fijayopuri ("city of victory', now modern 
NogorjunakontSo) on the honks of the 
Krishna Rivet, 


By the early centuries m< regular 

seaborne trade linked southern India $™™™ B°Mo # 

and Sri Lanka with countries to both 

east and west [map J I. The Romans 

traded gold in exchange for gemstoncs, 

textiles and spices; to the east. Indians 

and Sri Lanka ns obtained gold, tin and 

spices from the kingdoms of Southeast Asia 

(pages 52-53). In addition, Southeast Asia 

acted as an entrepot between China and 

India. China also traded overland along the Silk 

Road, which skirted the deserts of Central Asia, 

From north India Chinese goods, particularly silks, 

were carried through Persia or by sea to Alexandria. 

Rome's principal port for trade using the Indian Ocean, 

These land and sea routes also carried Indian religions 
to the lands of the east In the mid- 1st millennium hi: a 
number of new religions appeared, notably Buddhism and 
Jainism {pages 4-i—t5). They rejected Brahmitrieal Hindu 
orthodoxy, including the caste system, and were enthu- 
siastically adopted hy the lower castes, merchants and 
craftsmen. Buddhism rapidly became the dominant religion 
in north India, later spreading into the south. Ashoka sent a 
Buddhist mission to Sri Lanka, where King Devauampiya 
Tissa became an ardent convert, establishing a liuddhist 
realm which has endured until today. Simple complexes of 
monastic cells grew by the early centuries AD into sub- 
stantial monasteries, usually richly endowed by royalty, 
merchants and guilds. Located on the outskirts of towns and 
along the great highways, they supported Buddhist monks 
and nuns, accommodated travellers, provided education and 
could raise venture capital. 

Under the QuptttS (e, 32<l— 55t>) there was a major revival 
of Hinduism, which had continued in some areas and was 
now enhanced by features adopted from the breakaway reli- 
gions, particularly bkakti I personal devotion to deities or 
saints). Buddhism gradually withered away in the country 
of its birth but remained vigorous in Sri Lanka, China. 
Japan, Tibet and Southeast Asia Hinduism was also Intro- 
duced to the latter region, ami a patchwork of Buddhist and 
Hindu stales developed there tjxuivs fiJ-6,1). 



t Trode ond reunion de vetoped together, 
with Buddhism being carried eastwards 
from India to the For lost oncj Southeast 
Asio by merchants, !y [he 5lh tentury id 
Chinese pilgrims were mitmg me Indian 
subcontinent la study original document", 
and to worship ond offer gifts at shines 
such as that ol the Buddha's tooth 
an the island of Sri Lanka. 


© FIRST CIVILIZATIONS: MESOPOTAMIA AND THE INDUS REGION 4000-1800 bc pages 28-29 © THE MUSLIM WORLD 1000-1400 pages 88-89 


1100 BC-AD 220 

► In the 8th century ec regional entities 
began to assert their independence from the 
Zhou state, fighting among themselves for 
dominance as well as fending off attacks 
from barbarian neighbours. By the late 5th 
century power was concentrated in seven 
principal states - Han, Wei, Zhao, Qin, Chu, 
Yon and Qi. They all built enormous walls to 
protect their borders, fortified their cities 
and even their villages, and constructed 
roads and canals to expedite the movement 
of troops and supplies. As military 
technology and the science of warfare 
flourished, the organization, weaponry and 
ferocity of the Qin army combined to give 
them superiority over the other Warring 
States, and in 221 nc the Qin united the 
whale area to form the first Chinese empire. 

T The conquests in Central Asia of the Hon 
emperor Wu Di and his embassies 
to the west opened up a major trade route 
linking East and West. Merchant caravans 
took Chinese goods (especially silk) as far 
as the Roman Empire in exchange for 
Western luxury goods. Well-preserved 
documents from northwestern China and 
along this "Silk Road" record the everyday 
life in garrison towns. 

2 The Han Empire 206 bc -ad 220 


--- Furrhe lemUv odcM tc Man E<npn« J>y i£i 71 Q 

Wnshnn xgiais unoV Koit PtolttliinXa S9 K-U) 23 XIO Nirneol 


In the period between the victory of the Zhou king Wu 
over the Shang in the mid-1 lth century BC and the 
downfall of the last Han emperor, Xian Di, in ad 220, 
China underwent a series of political, economic and philo- 
sophical transformations that were to lay the foundations 
for Chinese government and society until the 20th century. 

The first Chinese dynasties 

The Zhou, possibly descended from nomads, established 
their royal capital at Hao in their ancestral heartland in the 
Wei River valley. For 250 years Zhou rulers held sway over 
a unified domain, their rule legitimated by the Mandate of 
Heaven - the divine right to rule China - which they 
claimed to have inherited from the Shang. Long inscriptions 
on fine bronze vessels record their achievements. By 
770 BC, however, the empire had begun to fragment, and 
under pressure from barbarian tribes to the northwest the 
Zhou capital was moved east to Luoyang. Despite the con- 
tinued claim of Zhou kings to the Mandate of Heaven, real 
power slipped away to a multitude of regional states. 

By 403 BC seven major "Warring States" were competing 
for control of China (map 1). Through a series of tactical 
victories beginning in 280 BC, and under King Zheng from 
246 BC, the state of Qin achieved supremacy by 221 BC. 
Zheng had reformed Qin, replacing the old kinship-based 
government with an efficient bureaucratic state. 
Proclaiming himself Shi Huang Di, "the First Emperor", he 
established his new capital at Xianyang. Despite an early 
death in 210 BC, he left a legacy that paved the way for Liu 
Bang, the founder of the Han dynasty four years later, to 


3 The city of Chang ak 

| Qnprads* ■ Grit 

Z\ Hrpmd* I taontwesitWim 




▲ Chang'an, the capital of the Han from 
206 ic to ad 23, had a population of 
about 250,000. Famed for its towers, it 
boasted wide boulevards, immense walls 

and gates, religious buildings, palaces and 
royal pleasure gardens. Its great markets 
were at the centre of a network of trading 
emporia that stretched across the empire. 

build the Han Empire (map 2). Liu Bang and his descen- 
dants ruled China from 206 bc to ad 220, with a brief 
interruption during Wang Mang's Xin dynasty (ad 6-23). 

Movements of population 

By ad 2, the date of the first national census, China had a 
recorded population of 57 million. This huge number was 
often mobilized for warfare or vast public works, and in the 
reign of Wu Di (141-87 bc), the "Martial Emperor" who 
greatly expanded the territories of the empire, some two 
million people were resettled in colonies in the north and 
northwest. However, the later part of the Han dynasty saw a 
major movement of population southwards - a process that 
was precipitated by a major shift in the course of the Huang 
He River between ad 2 and 11 that left much of north China, 
traditionally the centre of power, depopulated. 

The art of war in early China 

These mass population movements occurred in a country 
unified through major developments in the art of war. Under 
the warlords of the Warring States, both individual gallantry 
and mass brutality were displayed, and armies became pro- 
fessional. From the 6th century BC new weapons, notably 
iron swords and armour, had replaced the traditional bronze 
halberds. Cavalry outmanoeuvred chariots on the battlefield 
and the new cities became targets for siege warfare. The 
Zhao stronghold of Jinyang was besieged for a year before 
the attackers turned on each other in a classic piece of 
Warring States treachery. From the 5th century BC the 
states built pounded-earth walls along their frontiers. 

While earlier rulers either mounted expeditions against 
the nomadic "barbarian non-Chinese" or were harassed by 
them, the Qin and Han were aggressively expansionist. To 
keep the nomads out of his new empire, Shi Huang Di joined 
the sections of walled defences earlier states had built, thus 
creating the Great Wall. The Xiongnu, among the most 
aggressive of the Central Asian peoples (pa^es 50-51, 
52-53), were particularly troublesome for the early Chinese 
empires, and the Han emperor Wu Di's constant search for 
allies against them created new links with the middle of the 
continent. The nomads often had to be bought off as much 
as driven away by force, as shown by the Chinese treasures 
from the tomb of the Xiongnu chief at Noin Ula. Under the 
Han, military expansion was backed up by a programme of 
colonization, and commanderies were set up in areas as far- 
flung as modern Korea and Vietnam. 

Town and country living 

A truly urban civilization developed in this period, with 
walled cities becoming the focus of trade, as in the case of 
Chang'an (map 3). Many modern Chinese cities are built on 
foundations laid in the Zhou period, and the earliest 
Chinese coins, miniature bronze knives and spades come 
from Zhou cities. Coinage was standardized by the First 
Emperor and the multitude of local mints was finally 
brought under central control in 119 bc. 

The empire depended on the production of a wide range 
of goods and services, and in particular stable agriculture 
(map 4). Agricultural productivity was increased by gov- 
ernment reforms and the use of more efficient tools, 
especially new ploughs made of iron. The importance of iron 
was recognized through the introduction, again in 119 bc, of 
state monopolies over its production, along with control of 
the production of salt and alcohol. 

Politics and the end of the Han Empire 

In the period of the Warring States, a political philosophy 
developed that recognized the uplifting nature of public life, 
but also viewed politics as ultimately corrupting. Clashes res- 
onate throughout the history of the early Chinese empires 
between, on the one hand, the authoritarian politics of many 
of the rulers and, on the other, the high ideals of Confucius 
(551-479 bc) - perhaps the most influential of all Chinese 
philosophers - and his Reformist successors, which placed 
emphasis on virtue and fair government. Unlike their Shang 
predecessors, rulers were bound more by codes of human 
conduct than the demands of the spirits. Laws were first cod- 
ified in the state of Wei under the rule of Duke Wen 
(r. 424-387 BC). Although much criticized, these formed the 
model for the Han law code. It was, however, peasant revolts 
inspired by messianic beliefs, often drawing on Daoism, that 
disrupted and weakened the Han Empire towards the end of 
its life. Movements such as the revolt of the Yellow Turbans 
in 184 ad, punished by the slaughter of over 500,000 people, 
left the empire open to the ambitions of powerful indepen- 
dent generals who divided up its territories between them. 

▲ The massive mausoleum of Shi Huang 
Di, "the First Emperor", located at the Qin 
capital of Xianyong (later Chang'an under 
the Han dynasty), took 700,000 conscripted 
labourers 35 years to build. The life-size 
terracotta soldiers pictured here were 
among the 7,500 that guarded the vast 
burial pits surrounding the elaborate tomb. 

T While rice, millet and wheat were the 
staples of Han agriculture, supplemented by 
vegetables, many areas also produced other 
commodities such as timber or fruit. Hemp 
was grown to make clothing for the 
majority, while silk supplied the elite. 
Iron was produced from the 6th century sc 
and was used for the majority of tools and 
weapons. Salt production was another major 
industry, obtained from the sea in coastal 
regions but elsewhere mined from brine 
deposits often found deep underground. 

4 Agriculture and commerce 1st century ic 

^ Slock raising, ^\ Area of irvrenspre DflntuHure 

* Tinimr ^J kta of coalmining 
"^ Han Empiff 1st cenmrv Br 

r"> : ■. ftaod 

• i.-'i.r. "uii ' Canal 

n Iran working 9 Mojo* node centre 

\( t 

© CHINA 1700-1050 BC pages 30-31 © EAST ASIA IN THE TANG PERIOD 618-907 pages 72-73 


6000 bc-ad 500 

T Between 1 500 and 800 BC copper- and 
bronze-working were token up and refined 
across the Central Asian steppe - at the 
same time as a new way of life appeared, 
linking European Russia with the western 
borders of China [map 2). Horses and 
wheeled transport allowed people to exploit 
areas where pasture was too sparse to 
support herds in one place all the year 
round. Encouraged partly by changes in 
climate and vegetation, people took up a 
nomadic existence, moving with their herds. 
These animals, formerly kept for meat, were 
now mainly reared for milk which was made 
into a variety of foods, including cheese, 
yoghurt and fermented drinks. 

Among the nomads were groups speaking 
Indo-European languages {imp 3). They 
probably included Tocharian speakers in the 
Tarim Basin, where there have been finds of 
desiccated mummies of individuals with a 
strongly European appearance which date 
from this period. In West Asia, texts that 
include Indo-European terms identify other 
Indo-European-speaking groups, including 
the leaders of the non-lndo-Europeon- 
speaking Mitanni. 

Central Asia is a vast arid zone of steppe grasslands, 
looming mountains and inhospitable deserts. On its 
southwestern mountain fringes an agricultural way of 
life developed as early as the 6th millennium BC at sites like 
Djeitun, and some of these communities later developed into 
towns and cities (map 1). For example, Altyn Depe was first 
occupied in the 6th millennium, was enclosed by a wall in 
the 4th millennium, and by the 3rd millennium covered an 
area of nearly 30 hectares (74 acres) with craft production 
areas, elite compounds, fine burials and large platforms 
reminiscent of the great Mesopotamian ziggurats (pages 
28-29). Agriculture in this region depended on a precarious 
irrigation system that collapsed around 2000 BC. However, 
later inhabitants such as the Persians (later 1st millennium 
bc) and Sasanians (from the 3rd century ad) devised more 
complex underground irrigation canals (qanats) which again 
brought prosperity to the region. 

Up to the 5th millennium BC settlements were scattered 
along the rivers of Central Asia. These often consisted of par- 
tially subterranean houses and were home to small groups 
of hunter-gatherers who caught fish and a variety of game 
and collected plant foods. Later these hunter-gatherer com- 
munities began to adopt pottery and aspects of food 
production from the agricultural or pastoral groups with 
whom they came into contact (map 2). 

Settlement and pastoralism 

By 4500 BC small permanent communities had appeared in 
favoured regions of Central Asia on the margins of Europe 
and West Asia, growing crops and, more particularly, herding 
livestock. Some of these were among the first to domesticate 
the horse, initially for meat. Their successors used wheeled 
vehicles: indeed four-wheeled wagons appeared in burials in 

1 Southwestern Central Asia t 6000-2000 bc 

| too of irnrjDfitu dgn'dnrt r. !D0O K • Brain tgg Imrst MOO -2000 If 

[5«{ WOO-WOOk 

— ~ 


▲ Southern Turkmenia was one of the 
regions in which agricultural communities 
had developed by 6000 BC. Part of the 

urban revolution, the later towns and cities 
of Turkmenia were centres of technological 
excellence and trading entrepots. 

2 Central Asia c 2000- 1 000 ic 

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— >> Spread of war choMfs 
Dispersal ol iwmuds 

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■ Chinese silk 

southern Russia in the 4th millennium BC, and by 2000 BC 
the chariot dominated battlefields from Mesopotamia to 
China. The introduction of the spoked wheel (replacing the 
heavy solid wheel) made these vehicles much more man- 
oeuvrable. Horse-riding was first adopted around 2000 bo 
by peoples dwelling north of the Caspian Sea. By 1000 BC 
full nomadic pastoralism had developed, from which 
emerged the horse-riding warriors who were to become the 
scourge of the Classical world. 

While the origins of Indo-European speakers are still a 
matter of heated debate, many scholars would now place 
them among the groups dwelling between the Black Sea and 
Caspian Sea in the 4th and 3rd millennia bc. These are 
archaeologically identifed as the Srubnaya and Andronovo 
cultures and their predecessors. During the 2nd millennium 
BC groups speaking Indo-European languages can be identi- 
fied in adjacent areas (map 3). By the beginning of the 1st 
millennium ad Indo-European languages were spoken in 
Europe as well as much of West Asia, Iran, South Asia and 
parts of Central Asia. 

By the 1st millennium BC a fusion of nomadic and 
sedentary cultures gave rise to several kingdoms in south- 
western Central Asia, which by the mid-6th century BC were 
largely under Persian control. The Achaemenid kings of the 
Persian Empire built roads, fortified cities and developed 
irrigation systems, and the influence of Persian culture was 
felt deep into Central Asia. Persian rule came to an end with 
the campaigns of Alexander the Great, and Hellenistic 
systems of administration and culture spread throughout 
the region (pages 42-43). The Graeco-Bactrian kings were 
the first to establish links across Central Asia with China. 

The nomad confederacies 

In the later centuries BC a series of powerful confederacies 
emerged among the nomad peoples. Historical accounts of 
these nomad societies and the threat they posed to the 
Classical civilizations have been left behind by Greek, 
Roman, Chinese and other authors, who named great tribal 
confederacies, including the Xiongnu and Yuezhi in the east, 
and the Scythians, Sakas, Cimmerians and Sarmatians 
further west (map 4). These nomad groups buried their elite 
in great mounds such as those at Noin Ula, Pazyryk and Kul 
Oba. Horses, central to the nomadic way of life, often played 
a major role in burial rituals, sacrificed to accompany their 
owners, along with much gold and silver and lavishly deco- 
rated textiles, some of which have been marvellously 
preserved in the frozen conditions of the tundra. Such rich 
burials are described by the Greek historian Herodotus, 

whose accounts closely match the archaeological finds. 
These nomads wore highly decorated clothes and orna- 
mented their bodies with tattoos. Hemp was not only used 
for textiles but was also smoked, as evidenced by remains 
of smoking paraphernalia. Stringed instruments also found 
in the tombs attest a love of music and song. 

The Xiongnu formed one of the greatest of the nomad 
confederacies. Originating on the Mongolian plateau, they 
conquered and ruled the oasis cities of the Turfan Basin in 
the 2nd century BC. While they sometimes harried the 
borders of the Chinese Empire, on other occasions they 
enjoyed good trading relationships with China (pages 
52-53), as can be seen in the presence of exquisite Chinese 
silks and other manufactured treasures, such as bronzes and 
lacquer, in the burial of a Xiongnu chief at Noin Ula. 
Xiongnu expansion drove other nomad groups further west, 
including the Yuezhi, who settled on the Oxus (Amudarya) 
River. One branch of the Yuezhi, the Kushans, later estab- 
lished an empire in northern India (pages 46-47). 

The Xiongnu and other nomad peoples developed a dis- 
tinctive culture, marked particularly by a splendid tradition 
of zoomorphic art. Other shared practices included binding 
children's heads in infancy to produce an elongated shape. 
They also developed major innovations in equestrian and 
military equipment, such as the composite bow or the scale- 
armour which made Sarmatian cavalry such formidable 
opponents of the Romans. Similarly the Huns, mounted 
steppe warriors armed with powerful reflex bows, wrought 
havoc in 5th-century Europe and northern India (map 5). 


▲ From the 1st millennium bc substantial 
population movements took place in the 
steppe region. Groups often spilled over into 
adjacent settled lands, in some cases laying 
waste settled communities before being 
driven off, as with the 8th-century 
incursions of the Cimmerians into West Asia. 
Sometimes the invaders settled and became 
incorporated into the civilization of the lands 
they overran - the Sakas and Kushans in 
South Asia, for example. China successfully 
resisted many nomad incursions - partly by 
erecting massive defences that culminated in 
the Great Wall - though its western 
provinces fell for a period to the might of 
the Xiongnu nomads. 

▼ The Huns moved through Central Asia 
during the 4th century ad, as evidenced by 
finds of their typical large bronze cauldrons, 
bows and artificially deformed skulls. One 
branch entered Europe in the 5th century, 
briefly wreaking havoc under the 
charismatic leadership of Attila, while the 
Hephtalites (Hunas or White Huns) overran 
the Sasanian Empire and laid waste the 
cities of northern India, where they 
established a short-lived empire. 





UU"'"" • 5 *""' 

J''' ■ 

5 Nomads in the 4th and Sth centuries ad 

HUN Hound rafakniv <~~* GnriMloKhra fofcot: 

— &- Movement of romadcwlfideitty ■ I 

• RmimMore 
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© FROM HUNTING TO FARMING: ASIA 12,000 bc-ad 500 pages 18-19 © EAST ASIA IN THE TANG PERIOD 618-907 pages 72-73 

150 bc-ad 500 

▼ Bronze-working cultures had developed 
in mainland Southeast Asia during the 3rd 
millennium ec, and by 500 »c the bronze 
objects that were produced included the 
famous Dong Son drums. The drums were 
placed in elite burials and probably had a 
ritual significance. Made using a "lost wax" 
casting technique, they were widely 
distributed and reached the islands of 
Southeast Asia, where metallurgy was also 
being practised. By the 2nd century ec the 
area was linked to both India and China by 
sea routes which were used by Hindu 
Brahmin priests and Buddhist missionaries 
as well as merchants. As a result, new ideas 
of astronomy, art, science, medicine, 
government and religion were spread, and 
Buddhist and Hindu states were established 
in the region. One of the greatest was 
Funan, reputedly founded in the 2nd 
century BC by the Brahmin Kaundinyo and 
reaching its peak in the 3rd century AD. The 
remains of a major Funan trading city have 
been excavated at Oc Eo. 

In the early 2nd century BC the Xiongnu nomads drove 
their Yuezhi neighbours westwards, in the process 
making the Yuezhi king's skull into a drinking cup. In 
138 bc the Han Chinese emperor Wudi sent Zhang Qian to 
the Yuezhi, hoping to make common cause with them 
against their mutual Xiongnu enemies. After enormous 
difficulties and numerous adventures, Zhang Qian reached 
the Yuezhi in the Oxus Valley - and although he failed to 
persuade them to renew their conflict with the Xiongnu, he 
took back to China detailed accounts of the lands he visited 
and the new opportunities for trade that they offered. 

Over the following century Han China established trade 
routes through Central Asia which, despite passing through 
some of the most inhospitable terrain in Eurasia, soon pro- 
vided access to West and South Asia and indirectly to the 
Roman world (map 1). For a time the Chinese controlled 
this "Silk Road" through Central Asia, establishing the 
Western Regions Protectorate with garrisons in the caravan 
towns, but the area was always menaced and often con- 
trolled by barbarian groups such as the Wusun and, 
especially, the Xiongnu. During the first three centuries ad 
the western portion was ruled by the Kushans, who had 
established an empire in northern India (pages 46-47). 

Dependent largely on the hardy Bactrian camel, the Silk 
Road trade took Chinese silks (a prized commodity in the 
Roman Empire) and other luxuries to India and thence to 
the markets of the West. In exchange, many Roman manu- 
factured goods found their way to China, along with the 
highly valued "heavenly horses" of Ferghana, gems from 
India, and grapes, saffron, beans and pomegranates from 
Central Asia. Ideas travelled, too: by the 1st century AD 
Buddhism was spreading from its Indian home to the oasis 
towns of the Silk Road, later becoming established in China, 
Korea and Japan (pages 44-45). 

A number of possible routes linked China and the West, 
their course channelled by lofty mountains and freezing 
deserts, but political and military factors were also impor- 
tant in determining which routes were in use at any time. 
The oasis towns along the Silk Road rose and fell in pros- 
perity with the fluctuating importance of the various routes. 
The collapse of the Han Empire in the 3rd century AD, the 
decline of the Kushans and the break-up of the Roman 

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Empire all had their impact on the Silk Road, though links 
between East and West continued - for example, taking 
Chinese pilgrims to visit the Buddhist holy places in India. 

Southeast Asia 

By the 2nd century bc sea routes linking India with China 
via Southeast Asia were also in common use. While Indian 
literature makes only vague references to trade with 
Southeast Asia, finds of Indian beads and Western objects 
in the region - such as Roman coins and cut gems - and of 
Southeast Asian tin in south Indian sites, attest to the 
region's contacts with India. The seaborne trade grew in the 
early centuries AD, a period when urban centres and states 
were appearing in much of Southeast Asia (map 2). 

Riverborne trade linked China and mainland Southeast 
Asia during the 1st millennium BC, and sea traffic developed 
during the period of the Han Empire. In 111 BC Han armies 
conquered the formerly independent state of Nan Yue, 
establishing colonies and, from ad 40, directly administering 
the province. At this time the area to its south was probably 
home to a number of small independent chiefdoms united 
in opposition to Chinese territorial aggression. Chinese 
interest in Southeast Asian trade burgeoned after the fall of 
the Han in ad 220, when the Chinese elite fled south, and 
trade with the West along the Silk Road was largely replaced 
by maritime trade via Southeast Asia to India. 

Trade across the Indian Ocean 

Trade links had been operating around the coasts of the 
Indian Ocean from the later 3rd millennium bc. Regular 
seaborne trade took place in the Gulf, Sumerians trading 
directly with the Indus civilization, along with the coastal 
inhabitants of Oman and Makran and the seafaring traders 
of Bahrain. Land or coast-hugging sea routes also brought 
African plants and Arabian incense to India and the lands 
of the Gulf (pages 28-29). Egypt was economically and 
politically involved with Nubia to its south along the River 
Nile (pages 30-31), and seaborne expeditions through the 
Red Sea were mounted by Egypt to bring back exotic mat- 
erials from the Land of Punt, probably situated in Ethiopia. 
In subsequent centuries the rise and fall of Mediter- 
ranean, western Asiatic and Indian Ocean states and 
cultures brought a variety of participants into this network, 
including Persians, Phoenicians and Greeks. By the 1st 
millennium BC both Arabians and Indians were familiar 
with, and exploiting, the monsoon winds to cross the Indian 
Ocean instead of laboriously following the coast. These 
winds carried them east in the summer, down the Red Sea 
and across to India, while the northeast monsoon in the 
autumn carried vessels westward from India and down the 
African coast. It was not until the final centuries BC, 
however, that the Greeks and Romans also became 
acquainted with the monsoon winds. The volume of Roman 

traffic in the Indian Ocean greatly increased during the 
reign of Emperor Augustus (27 bc-ad 14), with perhaps over 
100 ships setting out from the Red Sea in a single year. 

A Greek sailing manual of around 60 AD, The Periplus 
of the Erythraean Sea (Indian Ocean), has provided a 
wealth of information on trade in this area. Alexandria was 
the starting point for most east- and southbound trade: here 
the bulk of cargoes were assembled and shipped down the 
Nile as far as Koptos, where they were taken by camel to 
either Myos Hormos or Berenice on the Red Sea. Some 
expeditions travelled south as far as Rhapta on the coast of 
East Africa, obtaining ivory, tortoise-shell and incense - a 
round trip of two years because of the timing of the winds. 

Others made the more dangerous ocean crossing to 
India, where they exchanged gold, wine, manufactured 
goods and raw materials for gems, fine Indian cotton tex- 
tiles and garments, Chinese silks, spices, aromatics and 
drugs. On the return journey they would stop at Kane and 
Muza to obtain frankincense and myrrh, reaching 
Alexandria within a year of departure. Arab and Indian 
merchants also still plied these routes. Unlike the Romans 
(whose trade was in low-bulk, high-value commodities, 
carried directly between their source and the Roman 
world), other Indian Ocean traders dealt in everyday com- 
modities such as grain, foodstuffs and ordinary textiles and 
might trade in any port. 

A A variety of routes linked the countries 
of Asia, East Africa and the Mediterranean. 
Long-established routes through the Gulf 
and across the Iranian Plateau flourished 
during the 1st millennium bc under the 
Achaemenids and their Hellenistic 
successors. From the 2nd century bc the 
newly established Chinese trade route across 
Central Asia linked with these existing 
routes, while Arabs and Indians operated 
sea trade across the Indian Ocean, and 
desert caravans carried incense from 
southern Arabia via the Nabataean state to 
Rome. By the 1st century ad hostility 
between the Parthian and Roman empires 
had closed the overland route through 
Persia, and the Romans became directly 
involved in Indian Ocean trade. Chinese 
goods reached India via the Silk Road and 
indirectly by sea via Southeast Asia; from 
here they were taken by Roman shipping 
across the Indian Ocean, along with Indian 
goods. The Axumite kingdom benefited 
from this shift, becoming a major producer 
of incense, while the Arab states that had 
operated the overland caravans declined. 

© MESOPOTAMIA AND THE INDUS REGION 4000-1800 bc pages 28-29 © KINGDOMS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA 500-1500 pages 64-65 


500 BC-AD 400 


▲ Skilful political manoeuvring helped 
Octavian (Augustus) to secure victory over 
his rivals in the struggle to succeed his uncle 
Julius Caesar. Augustus used his position of 
supreme power well, enacting a raft of 
important legal, economic, social and 
administrative reforms, reviving traditional 
religious beliefs, encouraging the arts, and 
constructing and restoring many public 
buildings in Rome. 

T The Roman Empire was the first state to 
bring unity to much of Europe. From the 
cold hills of southern Scotland to the deserts 
of North Africa, Rome introduced a common 
culture, language and script, a political 
system that gave equal rights to all citizens, 
a prosperous urban way of life backed by 
flourishing trade and agriculture, and 
technical expertise that created roads, 
bridges, underfloor heating, public baths 
and impressive public buildings, some of 
which survive today. Raman culture also 
spread to lonrfs beyond the imperial frontier, 
influencing among others the Germanic 
bar bit ions who later overran the empire - 
bul who would eventually perpetuate many 
of its tr udiiions and inslitulions, notably 
through the medium of the Christian Church. 

The classical world was the cradle of European civil- 
ization: if Greece shaped Europe's culture, Rome laid 
its practical foundations. Throughout Rome's mighty 
empire, science was applied for utilitarian ends, from under- 
floor heating to watermills, aqueducts and an impressive 
road network. Rome bequeathed to posterity its efficient 
administration, codified laws, widespread literacy and a uni- 
versally understood language. It also adopted and spread 
Christianity, for which it provided the institutional base. 

The city of Rome developed in the 7th and 6th centuries 
BC from a number of settlements spread over seven low, flat- 
topped hills. Ruled by kings until about 500 bc, it then 
became a republic governed by two annually-elected consuls 
and an advisory body, the Senate. Around the same time 
Rome defeated the tribes in the surrounding area and grad- 
ually expanded through Italy: in the Latin War (498-493 BC) 
it crushed a rebellion of the Latin tribes, incorporating them 
in a pro-Roman League, and by the 3rd century BC it had 
overrun the Greek-influenced civilization of the Etruscans, 
famous for their fine pottery. 

Victory over the Samnites in 290 BC led to a confronta- 
tion with the Greek colonies in southern Italy, whose defeat 
in 275 bc gave Rome control of the entire Italian peninsula. 
To strengthen its grip on the conquered territory, colonies 
were founded and settled by both Roman citizens and Latin 
allies. Swift access to these colonies was provided by an 
extensive road network, created from the late 4th century 
bc and greatly extended during the 2nd century bc. 

Expansion beyond Italy 

The first confrontation outside Italy was against the 
Carthaginians, who saw their commercial interests in Sicily 
threatened by Rome's expansion. During the three Punic 
Wars (264-241, 218-201, 149-146 BC) Rome seized terri- 
tory formerly held by the Carthaginians (Sardinia, Corsica, 
Spain and the tip of northern Africa), but also suffered its 
worst defeats. In 218 bc the Carthaginian general Hannibal 
crossed the Alps and obliterated the Roman army at Lake 
Trasimene (217 bc) and at Cannae (216 bc). To withstand 
the Carthaginians, Rome had constructed its first fleet 
around 260 bc and became a maritime power with control 
over a Mediterranean empire that incorporated the former 
Hellenistic kingdom of Macedonia (pa^es 42-43) from 148 
BC and Pergamum from 133 BC. As a result, Greek culture 
began to exert a powerful influence on Roman life and art. 
The newly acquired provinces {map 1 1 created the 
opportunity for individuals to make a fortune and forge a 
loyat army. One of these new powerful commanders, 
Pompcy (106-iS nc), conquered Syria, Cilieia, Bithynia and 
Pontus, while Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) annexed 
Gaul and expanded the African province. 

Caesar's influence had grown to such an extent that the 
Senate saw its position threatened and ordered him to 
disband his army in 49 bc. 

Caesar disobeyed and crossed the Rubicon River - in 
defiance of the law that forbade a general to lead his army 
out of the province to which he was posted - and ruled 
Rome as a dictator until he was assassinated in 44 bc. 
Caesar's adoptive son Octavian (63 bc-ad 14) officially 
restored the Senate's powers, nominally taking up the posi- 
tion of princeps (first citizen) while gradually increasing his 
authority. In 27 bc he was awarded the title "Augustus" 
("revered one"), and this date is usually taken as the start of 
the imperial period. 

Augustus's reign brought a period of peace and stability, 
the so-called Pax Romana, which would last until ad 180. 
His main military efforts were aimed at creating a fixed and 
easily defensible border for his empire {map 2). Augustus 
conquered the entire area up to the River Danube, which, 
together with the River Rhine, formed his northern border. 
In the east the frontier was less well defined and was con- 
trolled more by political means, such as alliances with 
neighbouring kingdoms. 

Augustus also annexed Egypt, Judaea and Galatia and 
reorganized the legions left by his predecessors, keeping a 
firm grip on those provinces that required a military 
presence by awarding them the status of imperial province. 
The emperor himself appointed the governors for these 
provinces, while the Senate selected the governors for the 
others. Augustus also reorganized the navy: he based his two 
main fleets at Misenum and Ravenna to patrol the 
Mediterranean against pirates, while smaller fleets were sta- 
tioned within the maritime provinces to guard the borders. 

Roman trade 

Trade flourished under Augustus's rule. The military infra- 
structure such as sheltered harbours, lighthouses and roads 
greatly benefited commercial activity, and the presence of 
Roman soldiers in faraway provinces further encouraged 
long-distance trade {map 3). Gradually, however, the 
provinces became economically independent: they started 
to export their own products and eventually, during the 3rd 
century, began to deprive Rome of its export markets. 

1 The Roman Empire ad 106 


Imperial frontier ■'■:■ i 06 


[toman expansion to ?01 er 


ftomoe exponsion 201-100 p," 


Raman expensian 100-44 er 


Raman exponsoa M K-u ]A 


Ramaa exponsjoo ID 14-96 


Raman Expansion to Y6-1 06 


Ramaa prownre 


Ramaa regioa 


Raman urevtnrjal ccoiral 



2 The defence of the empire ad 


JinpefldhoitliefiD 104 

Mobi Rwnan loud 

• !m|iorlDT provincial ra^nl 

flcmnday balwften ltiL> EdUhh 

_| lamfnFy Hmpisd -dfhar AD 1 06 

and Wflitari EmpJra 3rd {ffirury .0 

ur-n DeffliicB woiki 

H IsghJOflrv Inse 

h-j-ltl Hfiicfln Mcqtions 

& Naval bass 

■4 Unlike his acqubjtive predecessor Irrjm, 
t mperoi Hadrian concentrated an 
reinforcing the previous Reman Ws 
at frontiers. Ke sir en glhened rhe dgtj 
Dtamwtes timet between itw Rhine and 
the Danube with a wooden priteode and 
numeious [am and h thoughl la have 
storied work an a modbridc wnl and drtdi 
whkh wos to become the African frontier, 
the IcrMlm ihkae He bull the first 
stone wuH la mure the British frontier - 

second wis later constructed by Antoninus 

1 r. ) 38- 1 61 ) - and also reinforced Trajan's 
work an the Syrian times, a poicy later 
contiiued by Diodelion 

The empire aftek Augustus 

Same of Augustus's successors attempted to enlarge the 
empire, others to consolidate existing territory. Whereas 
Tiberius (r. An 14-37) retrained from any expansion, 
Claudius (r. 41-54) annexed Mauretania, Thrace, Lycia and 
parts of Britain, while Vespasian (r. 69-79) conquered the 
"Agri Decumates" region. Under Trajan (r, 98-117) the 
empire reached its maximum extent, including Arabia and 
Dacia by 106. Trajan subsequently subjugated Armenia, 
Assyria and Mesopotamia, but these conquests were soon 
abandoned by Hadrian (r. 1 17-138). 

Under Diocletian (r. 284-305) the empire was divided 
into Eastern and Western parts, each ruled by an 

"Augustus", while the provinces were replaced by a massive 
new bureaucracy and the army was greatly extended. 
However, the resignation of Diocletian in 305 was followed 
by chaos - out of which, in 312, Constantine (r. 306-337) 
emerged victorious in the West. In 324 he reunited the 
empire and made Christianity the official religion, and in 
330 he established a new capital at Constantinople. 
Following his death in 337 the empire was divided and 
reunited several times before it was permanently split in 
395. The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 (pages 
56-57) signalled the end of the Western Empire; to the east, 
the empire was to continue in the guise of the By Kan tine 
Empire until 1453. 

T During the reign of Augustus Irode 
became Rome's lifeline, la leed its rapidly 
expanding urban population, it depended on 
the import of torn - first from Sicily Inter 
from Afika and Egypt - and la suit the 
tastes of Rome's "nouveoux riches' luxury 
goods were imported Irom even further 
afield - silk from Gum, hrar for wigs from 
Germany, ivory from Africa. However, the 
traffic was two-way: during the 1st century 
An, for example, Rome developed a 
lucrative business supplying the provinces 
with products such as wine end alive oil 

O Fl'Hbl'E SOOn-Wiii pnge* -«--') O H \ltls.\H I AN INVASIONS KIO-500 pc^e* 56-57 Q RVZANTINE EM?! RE 537-1025 pnfies 66-67 


▲ Roman legionaries were first called 
upon ro defend the empire against a 
serious threat from the Germanic tribes 
in the 2nd century ad - the date of this 
Roman stone relief. 

T From the pages of Oermania by the 
Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (55-1 20) 
there emerges a clear picture of the 
Germanic world of the first century ad, 
comprising a multiplicity of small political 
units, with any larger structures being little 
more than temporary tribal confederations. 
By the 350s, however, long-term processes 
of social and economic change (largely the 
product of extensive contacts with the 
Roman Empire) had created a smaller 
number of much more powerful groupings. 
Of these the Gotones (Goths), then based in 
Poland, would have the biggest impact on 
Rome and its European dominions. 

Throughout its history the Roman Empire suffered 
frequent small-scale raids along its European fron- 
tier, but major invasions were rare. In the early 1st 
century AD a defensive alliance to resist Roman aggression 
had been formed under the leadership of Arminius, a chief- 
tain of the Gherusci - one of a host of minor political units 
that comprised the Germanic world at this time (map 1). 

However, the first large-scale invasion of the Roman 
Empire did not occur until the 160s, when the movement 
of Gothic and other Germanic groups from northern 
Poland towards the Black Sea led to the Marcomannic War. 
Recent archaeological investigations have revealed the 
spread of the so-called Wielbark Culture south and east 
from northern Poland at precisely this period (map 2). 
Another time of turmoil followed in the mid-3rd century, 
associated with Goths, Herules and others in the east and 
Franks and Alemanni in the west. Archaeologically, the 
eastward moves are mirrored in the creation and spread of 
the Goth-dominated Gernjachov Culture in the later 3rd 
century. None of this, however, amounts to a picture of 
constant pressure on the Roman Empire. 

Relations between the empire and the peoples beyond 
its borders, whom the Romans regarded as uncivilized 
"barbarians", were not all confined to skirmishing and 
warfare. Numerous individual Germans served in Roman 
armies, while Roman diplomatic subsidies supported 
favoured Germanic rulers. Some important trading routes 
also operated, such as the famous amber route to the Baltic 
(pages 38-39), and there was a steady flow of materials 
(timber, grain, livestock) and labour across the border. 

These new sources of wealth - and in particular the 
struggle to control them - resulted in the social, economic 
and political transformation of the Germanic world. By the 
4th century the many small-scale political units, which had 
relatively egalitarian social structures, had evolved into 
fewer, larger and more powerful associations that were 
dominated by a social elite increasingly based on inherited 
wealth. The main groups were the Saxons, Franks and 
Alemanni on the Rhine, the Burgundians and Quadi on the 

■ 5 2 f 


,-j^U <-',£* -» -J? v „ (BtKJIANS) / 




I Germanic tribes in the 1st uhtury u> 

Oil German* tribe hi canrury «I r aKMDuig id Tacitus 
Fresher ot me Raman Empire 

<f A 






middle Danube, and the Goths on the lower Danube (map 
2). None had the power to stand up to the empire on their 
own, but neither was Roman domination of them total, the 
Alemanni even seeking to annex Roman territory in the 
350s and dictate diplomatic terms. 

The arrival of the Huns 

The prevailing balance of power was transformed some 
time around 350 by the arrival on the fringes of Europe of 
the Huns, a nomadic group from the steppe to the east 
(map 3). By 376 the Hunnic invasions had made life intol- 
erable for many Goths and they had started to move 
westwards. Three groups came to Rome's Danube frontier 
to seek asylum: one group was admitted by treaty, a second 
forced its way in, and the third, led by Athanaric, sought a 
new home in Transylvania. Goodwill was lacking on both 
sides, however, and the two admitted groups became 
embroiled in six years of warfare with the Roman Empire. 

A huge Gothic victory won at Hadrianople in 378 con- 
vinced the Roman state of the need to recognize the Goths' 
right to an autonomous existence - a compromise con- 
firmed by peace in 382. In the meantime the Goths under 
the leadership of Athanaric had in turn forced Sarmatians 
onto Roman soil, Taifali barbarians had crossed the Danube 
to be defeated in 377, and numerous groups of Alans had 
begun to move west, some being recruited into the Roman 
army in the early 380s. In 395 the Huns made their first 
direct attack on the empire, advancing from the area 
northeast of the Black Sea (where the majority were still 
based) through the Caucasus into Asia Minor. 

The division of the Roman Empire into the Western and 
Eastern Empires in 395 (pages 54-55) was soon followed by 
further invasions (map 3). In 405-6 Goths under the lead- 
ership of Radagaisus invaded Italy, and while he was 
defeated and killed in the summer of 406, many of his 
followers survived to be sold into slavery or incorporated 
into the Roman army. At the end of 406 another large group 
of invaders - mainly Vandals, Alans and Sueves - crossed 
the Rhine. It is likely that, as with the invaders of the 370s, 
they were fleeing from the Huns, who by around 420 were 
established in modern Hungary, the subsequent centre of 
Hunnic power (pa^es 76-77). 

The collapse of the Western Empire 

By around 410 numerous outsiders were established within 
the Roman Empire in western Europe. The Vandals, Alans 
and Sueves had pillaged their way to Spain (map 3), and 

2 Barbarians beyond the frontier 100-350 

1 WiBftwk Cuttiffu 1 si [flntury AD GOT Gflnnonii pctjp^iluenlury 

J] fopoiEirjfl iif Wiefcofk Cuhnre l 150-230 iALj Ncn-Gemonn pi* Ml iHiturv 

t^NJ (anjndim CiAun c 2SO-350 fmisliea of tha Romin Empae c. 300 

▲ The Romans regarded all peoples 
outside their empire as inferior, referring 
to them as "barbarians". There were two 
main groups: first, the largely Germanic- 
speaking settled agriculturalists of central 

and eastern Europe; second, the nomadic 
steppe peoples belonging to various 
linguistic and ethnic groupings who 
periodically disturbed the eastern fringes 
of continental Europe. 



3 Invasions and migrations 375-450 

n^v GoihnwitoyMmE.3ft 

— »- Edits 

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— *■ Vejgmhs 


— *• tan* 

gg HuiIotIbyc 41 MS J 

»■— fajfiw npanri Iranti* 395 

— ►■ (kiBWlfcnn 

Itorawnfs ol pwpIe *ift oporosimote ttote' 

— ^ Suflvs 

— *■ Hm 


— *■ Alum 

X Bontomthdaw 

the Goths, who had crossed the empire's frontier in 376, 
had moved to Italy under the leadership of Alaric. Here 
they were reinforced by the former followers of Radagaisus 
to create the Visigoths. They sacked Rome in August 410, 
but by 420 the Romans had forced them to accept settle- 
ment in Aquitaine on compromise terms. Rome had also 
counterattacked in Spain, where one of the two Vandal 
groups and many Alans were destroyed, before the death of 
Emperor Honorius in 423 led to ten years of internal poli- 
tical strife which crippled the empire's capacity for action. 
During this period the Vandals and Alans, now united 
under Geiseric, seized the rich lands of North Africa, while 
eastern Britain fell decisively under the sway of Anglo- 
Saxon invaders. 

The losses in Britain, Aquitaine, Spain and North Africa 
fundamentally eroded the power of the Western Empire. 
Essentially, it maintained itself by taxing agricultural pro- 
duction, so that losses of land meant losses of revenue. 
Tax-raising in northern Gaul was periodically disrupted by 
Franks and others. By 440 the Western Empire had lost too 
much of its tax base to survive. It was propped up for a 
generation, however, through a combination of prestige 
(after 400 years it took time for the empire's contempo- 
raries to realize that it was indeed at an end), support from 
the Eastern Empire, and temporary cohesion fuelled by 
fear of the Huns, whose empire reached its peak under 
Attila in the 440s. 

The collapse of Hunnic power in the 450s, however, 
heralded Roman imperial collapse. New kingdoms quickly 
emerged around the Visigoths in southwestern Gaul and 
Spain, and the Burgundians in the Rhone Valley, where 
they had been resettled by the Romans in the 430s after 
being mauled by the Huns. At the same time the Franks, no 
longer controlled by the Romans, united to create a 

kingdom either side of the Rhine (pages 74-75). The end of 
the Huns also freed more groups to take part in the share- 
out of land (map 4). Lombards and Gepids took territories 
in the middle Danube, and Theoderic the Amal united 
Gothic renegades from the Hunnic Empire with other 
Goths serving in the Eastern Roman army. This new force, 
the Ostrogoths, had conquered the whole of Italy by 493. 


^.^s^^ V 


IIAVmHANi»«"«4, slA Vi 


»* ao V*>*A S"^ 


"■■r„ „U 


- - ApprcntnGte ftorrfws d "boric™ ' fcingdatns t. 5LX3 

A In the 5th century o combination of 
fear of the Huns (especially for the 
Visigoths, Vandals, Alans, Sueves and 
Burgundians) and opportunism (notably for 
the Anglo-Saxons, Franks and Ostrogoths), 
prompted a series of militarily powerful 
outsiders to carve out kingdoms from the 
territory of the waning Western Roman 
Empire. To protect their estates, the basis of 
their wealth, many local Roman landowners 
decided to come to terms with the invaders, 
with the result that the successor kingdoms 
all acquired some important vestiges of 
Roman institutions and culture. 

-4 Ttie frontiers that replaced the divisions 
of the Western Roman Empire by 500 were 
far from fixed. For example, in the 6th 
century the Frankish kingdom grew apace, 
the Ostrogoths were destroyed by the 
Byzantine emperor Justinian, and the rise 
of the Avars prompted the Lombards to 
invade northern Italy in 568. 

© THE ROMAN EMPIRE 500 bc-ad 400 pages 54-55 O FRANKISH KINGDOMS 200-900 pages 74-75 


Humans already occupied much of the globe by the year 500. Over the next 
thousand years the spread of intensive food production enabled their 
numbers to continue rising and a growing area to become more densely 
occupied. As a result, states and empires and other complex forms of socio- 
economic organization developed in almost every continent. Foremost in 
terms of wealth, population and technological achievement was China. 

► Between 500 ond 1500 
intensive forms of agriculture 

developed in many parts ol the 
world, but the vast grasslands ai 
the Eurasian steppe continued to 
be populated by horse-breeding 
paslorofisl nomads and semi 
nomads. Riding eastwards end 
westwards (ram ten! ml Asia, 
I hey frequently raided the lands 
of permanently settled peoples 
who increasingly ased the plough 
la tultwole their fields. 

1 Food production in the 


I I fWttrtm 
~^\ Hmd nilliralioB 
| Plcu^fi c Jfwrion 
| Hunting and Icod oorhenrg 
JJ untfl w no toncn MCLflcaiwi 

► The West African city 
kingdom of Benin - renowned 
partly for ihe brass hoods of 
which this is on example - 
developed from the 1 3th century 
as an important centre of trade. 
It was at the southern end af a 
network of trade routes across 
the Sahara, sane of which had 
existed for many centuries but 
did not became important until 
the 9ih century when Muslim 
met (huii is in Noith AFi iici began 
ta travel southwards. 

A number of intensive methods of cultivation 
had been developed before 51 II I. However, 
the medieval period witnessed the spread of 
such methods over an ever-expanding area, 
dramatically increasing outputs in parts of Africa 
by the 8th century, in eastern Europe by the turn 
of the millennium, and in some regions of North 
America throughout the centuries up to 15(H) 
(map J). Depending on the environment, different 
crops were involved: sorghum and millet in Africa, 
wheat in Europe, and maize, beans and squash 
amongst others in North America. 

At the same time new intensive farming regimes 
were developed which tackled the problem of 
sustaining soil fertility in the face of continuous 
use. In medieval Europe an unprecedented level of 
central planning evolved, based on the manor. This 
made possible economics of scale in the use of 
expensive items (such as draught animals and iron 
tools) and the implementation of a new strategy for 
raising production while maintaining fertility - the 
three -year rotation system. Wheat was grown in 
one year, beans and other legumes to restore 
nitrogen to the soil were grown in the next, and the 
land was allowed to lie fallow in the third. 

On the basis of such advances, populations often 
grew dramatically. In England, for example, the 
figure of just over one million in about 500 nearly 
quadrupled to over four million before the Black 
Death (bubonic plague) took its dreadful toll across 
Europe in 1347-52, while China's population under 
the dynasties of the Tang (61S-907) and Song 
(960-1279) increased from just over 50 million in 
the mid-Sth century to over 100 million in the late 
1 3th century. 

Food production and populations did not always 
increase, however. Where a figure seems to have 
reached its optimum under a precise set of 
environmental conditions, a period of depletion 
often followed. In Mesoamerica, for example, the 

"Maya Collapse" of the 9th century, when the 
population dropped dramatically from almost five 
million in the Yucatan Peninsula alone, can at least 
partly be attributed to degradation of the land 
caused by intensive agriculture coupled with a 
reduction in rainfall. In western Europe it is 
possible that the impact of the Black Death - which 
reduced the population by between a quarter and a 
half - may have been intensified because numbers 
had in places already passed the point of 
sustainability for the agriculture of the time. 


The Black Death was seen by the Christian 
population of Europe as God's punishment for their 
sins. Christianity won an increasing number of 
adherents in Europe during the medieval period, 
while Buddhism spread to East and Southeast Asia. 
In India, the land of Buddhism's birth, Hinduism 
revived, particularly in the south. 

In the 630s the new religion of Islam emerged in 
the Arabian Peninsula and through military 
conquest rapidly took hold of the Middle East, 
North Africa and parts of Europe. It reached the 
limits of its westward expansion in 732, when a 
Muslim army was defeated at Poitiers in central 
France. However, over the following centuries the 
states and empires of Islam frequently inflicted 
defeats on Christendom. At the end of the 13th 
century the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria completed 
their recapture of the Holy Land (Palestine) from 
the Latin Church and in 1453 the Ottoman Turks 
finally succeeded in capturing Constantinople - 
capital of the Orthodox Church. Islam also eclipsed 
Zoroastrianism in southwest Asia, pushed Hinduism 
back in India from the 1190s, and spread into 
Central Asia through the conversion of the Mongols 
from the late 13th century. 


In the ancient world much effort was devoted to 
building and adorning cultural and ceremonial 
capitals such as Babylon, Athens, Rome and 
Constantinople. The medieval period too saw the 
construction and expansion of such cities. In 
China, Chang'an was adopted by the Tang dynasty 
as their capital and was developed to cover an area 
of 77 square kilometres (30 square miles), with a 
population of about one million in the 7th century. 
With Baghdad, the Muslim Abbasids founded what 
was to become probably the world's largest city in 
the early 9th century, with an area of 90 square 
kilometres (35 square miles). The Muslims also 
oversaw the development of some of Europe's 
largest cities at this time - notably Cordoba and 
Seville in Spain and Palermo in Sicily. It was not 
until the 12th century that the towns of Latin 
Christendom really began to grow, the larger among 
them - such as Paris and Cologne - building 
magnificent churches, town halls and palaces. 

By 1500 only a tiny proportion of the world's 
population lived in large cities. In Europe, for 
example, just three million out of an estimated 
total of KO million lived in cities with over 10,000 
inhabitants. The characteristic form of medieval 
urban ism everywhere was the modest market town, 
evolved as a sen-ice centre for the local agricultural 
economy. It was a place where surplus crops could 
be exchanged for other foodstuffs and goods, 
making it possible to grow a wider range of crops 
suited to local soils. It was also home to a variety of 
specialist craftsmen, whose various wares (tools, 
leather goods, ceramics, and so on) were made for 
sale to the rural population. 

< Thrrju ghoul the medieval 
period Agriculture was the 

occupation a I ihe vast mojotily 
of people. From the I Dili century 
it was mode more productive in 
Europe partly by the introduction 
a! the three-year rotation system 
end improvements in Ihe design 
of the plough. However, the 
poltern of life continued much as 
it always had, dictated by the 
seasons. This 1 51 h- century 
illustration of ploughing the 
fields and sowing ihe winter 
grain in October is taken from a 
Book of Hours lies fres fi'ftes 
Hemes in Due de Berry), which 
was produced by the Frontu- 
flemish limbourg brothers, like 
many medieval calendars, the 
book illustrates the changing 
occupations of the monlhs, from 
sowing to harvesting. 

▼ China's cities were omong ihe 
most impressive of the medieval 
world. A busy street scene is 
depicted in this 12th-century 

illustration of Knileng, capital of 
the Song dynasty between 960 
and ! 124. Attacks horn the north 
by the Jurdren then led to Ihe 
adoption of the more scut hern 
Kangzhou as the Sang capital 
With its estimated population ol 
one ond a hull million, Hongzhou 
became a symbol of o golden age 
in China's history. 







31 .an.-. 


3] Emprei *nd snrti? of Lain Climtsndtmi 

^] MaOinltaiislDiH 

| Hft&i9PR4f Info 

I] SwsoHosKwIfcuttMsHM 



A Stoles and empires continued 
lo rise ond (all in the medieval 
period Many of those in Eurasia 
in 1 200 were la be overwhelmed 
by I be destructive conquests ol 
ihe Mongols in tbel 3ib century. 

T The Byzantine Emperor 
Justinian I {r.527-45) 
attempted lo recreate the Raman 
Empire al I be 4th century, before 
it was divided into Eastern and 
Western parts. Among his 
conquests were Italy, where be 
adopted tbe <ity of Ravenna as 
I be imperial capital and did much 
ta adorn it. This 6 th -century 
mosaic in tbe Church of San 
Wnle shows ibe Empress 
Tlieadofo with her attendants. 

The development of market towns was ,1 clear 
sign of growing sophistication in rural economies, 
where specialization and exchange (developed in 
many parts ol' Asia, Europe, Mesoamerica and 
South America well before 500) replaced self- 
sufficiency as the basis of agricultural production. 
During the medieval period they spread across 
Europe and came to play an important role in the 
economies erf both West and East Africa. 

Some towns also serviced regional and long- 
distance trade based largely on linking contrasting 
ecological nones and dealing in items that were 
perceived as luxuries - notably metals, clothing 
materials and spices. From the later 8th century 
the Viking merchants of Scandinavia linked the 
fur-producing forests of subarctic regions with the 
wealthy cities of the Middle East, while from the 
9 th century a growing trans-Saharan trade moved 
gold, ivory and slaves between West Africa and the 
Muslim north African eoast. Trade in a variety of 

items, including metal work, stones and cacao, 
continued to flourish in Mesoamerica, as did the 
movement of silks and spices along the highways of 
Central Asia until the nomadic Mongol hordes 
created havoc there in the 13th century. 


Much of the new food surplus was now used to 
support people performing a range of specialist 
functions, many of which were not directly 
concerned with traditional forms of economic 
activity. The number of religious specialists grew as 
Christianity joined Buddhism in generating 
numerous monastic communities. Most specialists, 
however, were associated with the spread of states 
and empires {map 2), A class of literate 
bureaucrats - devising and administering laws and 
gathering taxes - became a feature of the majority 
of medieval states. Long established in parts of 
Asia, such people became central to the functioning 
of many European states from the 12th century. 

Another specialist, even more widespread, was 
the warrior. The Chinese Song Empire was 
sustained by huge armies, supported by taxes 
raised from a dependent rural populace, while in 
Japan the sam urai became a socially dominant 
military aristocracy in the first half of the 2nd 
millennium. The great empires of Mesoamerica and 
South America were similarly built around large 
bodies of specialist warriors. In Europe an elite 
knightly class developed from the late 11th century, 
eclipsing the more widely spread military 
obligations of earlier centuries. For 2(10 years these 
knights provided the backbone of the crusader 
armies that set out to recover and protect the Holy 
Land from the Muslims. 

Medieval state structures took many forms. Sonic 
were extreme! v loose associations, such as the 

merchant communities of Viking Russia. While 
these did support a king, his rights were very 
limited and he and his fellow merchant oligarchs 
did little more than exact relatively small amounts 
of tribute from largely autonomous Slav subjects. 

The feudal states of western Europe, by contrast, 
supported an oligarchic landowning elite who 
exercised tight controls over their peasantry. The 
kings, however, again had restricted powers; it was 
only the development of royal bureaucracies after 
about 1200 that allowed them to exploit their 
kingdoms' taxable resources more effect ively. 

The vast Chinese empires were organized on yet 
another basis, with an oligarchy of bureaucratic 
families eompeting for power and influence through 
a governmental system which they entered via civil 
service examinations. Some Mesoatneriean states, 
such as those of the Maya, also had literate 
bureaucracies, while in the 1 5th century even the 
non-literate Ineas in South America used their 
gut pus (knotted strings) for the record- keeping 
vital to any dominant imperial power. 

The history of medieval empires and states was 
never confined to armies, bureaucracies and 
dominant elites. Nearly all displayed progress in 
art, music, architecture, literature and education. 
Elites everywhere patronized the arts and 
sponsored entertainments, as surviving examples 
from imperial China, Moorish Spain, early 
Renaissance Italy and many other places testify. 

Sometimes these cultural spin-offs marked 
advances in themselves. In the 8th century, lor 
example, the monasteries of Carolingian Europe 
produced a cursive form of writing that accelerated 
manuscript production for the remainder of the 
medieval period, and in early 15th-century Korea 
the world's first system of moveable metal type for 
book printing was introduced. 


During the prehistoric period humans had become 
widely dispersed as they had colonized the globe. 
Nevertheless, many groups had maintained 
contacts with their neighbours, exchanging ideas 

and materials. The development of civilizations 
from the 4th millennium lie saw the establishment 
of direct political and trade links between 
geographically distant regions. Such links increased 
very noticeably during the medieval period, in line 
with advances in nautical technology. 

At the turn of the millennium Viking adventurers 
combined the sail power and hull strength of their 
ships to forge the first tenuous links across the 
Atlantic to America. More substantial connections 
were developed by Muslim traders who in their 
dhows exploited cyclical winds and currents to 
expand the triangular trade that had existed since 
the 1st century .\l> between the Red Sea, East 
Africa and India. lieyond India the trade network 
extended as far east as China, from where in the 
early 15th century expeditions sailed to Southeast 
Asia and Africa. Their ships were five times the size 
of the Portuguese caravels in which the northwest 
coast of Africa was explored from 1415. 

While ocean travel would produce maritime 
empires outside the Mediterranean only after 1500, 
land empires continued to ebb and flow in t Ite- 
med icva I period, with some covering vast areas. 
Successive Chinese dynasties controlled slates 
often larger than modem China, hi the 7th century 
the power of the Western Turks ran from the 
borders of China to the fringes of eastern Kurope, 
and in the 13th century the nomadic Mongols 
conquered a vast area of Eurasia to create the 
largest land empire the world has ever seen. 

Political, economic and cultural ties between 
states all burgeoned in the medieval period, 
accelerating the process of making the world a 
"smaller" place. However, as well as generating new 
wealth and cultural stimulation, interaction across 
Eurasia brought the plague to Kurope - to 
particularly devastating effect in the Nth century. 
The medieval world was a place in which empires 
were established and sustained by bloodshed, great 
art often flourished because of unequal 
distributions of wealth, and the triumph of 
Christianity and Islam came at the cost of 
widespread persecution. 

A In common with ihe other 
ww Id religions. Islam generated 
te own style ol art oral 
rralhmanship - of w+ikh lhr> 
14 id -ten! my mosque lamp 
n on example Geometric wid 
Rotol poltecns odwrted ttte «lk 
ol mosques ond secular 
buildings, as well as potter y. 
otass and melorwor k 

TAnkowWol, bdl in the 1 3lh 
century, is perhaps the nasi 
impressive of the Hindu and 
Buddhist temple complexes thai 
survive among the ruins of 
Angkor in Cambodia Angkor 
was the (nprlol ol the Khmer 
Empire, which emerged in the 
9th century and dominated 
mainland Southeast Asia lor 
over 400 years. 


A The magnificent temple complex of 
Borobudur in central Java was built between 
750 and 850 as an expression of devotion 
to Mahoyana Buddhism. This carving adorns 
one of the temple walls. 

T The rise of Islam from the 630s cut 
a swathe across the Christian Mediterranean 
world. By way of compensation, missionary 
Christianity spread ever further into 
northern and eastern Europe, while minority 
Christian regions survived in Central Asia, 
the Middle East and northeast Africa. 
Meanwhile Buddhism, marginalized in the 
subcontinent of its birth, extended ever 
further north and east, into Tibet, China, 
Southeast Asia, Korea and, finally, Japan. 
In Southeast Asia it faced in turn o challenge 
from Hinduism and then from Islam. 

In the period 600-1500 ad all the great world religions 
extended their sway. Buddhism, Christianity and Islam 
were ultimately the most successful (map 1), but the 
older tenets of Judaism and Brahmanical Hinduism still 
found converts. Other ancient systems were threatened: 
Hellenism, the sophisticated neo-Glassical philosophy of the 
Mediterranean world, survived only in a subordinate role, 
while localized "pagan" traditions and preliterate belief 
systems often disappeared when challenged persistently by 
a missionary religion such as Buddhism or Christianity - 
particularly if it enjoyed the backing of a government. 

The impact of Islam 

Islam emerged in the 7th century as a mass movement of 
devout converts to the Koranic revelation (pages 68-69), 
men who employed warfare to help win adherents from 
Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and the older 
localized faiths. It fractured the cultural unity of the 
Christianized Roman Mediterranean and totally eclipsed 
Zoroastrianism in Persia. Islamic secular culture absorbed 
Classical, Zoroastrian and Hindu traditions as well as those 
of the Arabian Desert. However, the global expansion of the 
Islamic world (Dar al-Islam) brought subdivision and even 
schism. The Islamic sunna (code of law) was variously 
interpreted, often regionally, by four separate law schools. 
Shiite partisans of dynastic leadership split right away from 
the consensual Sunni tradition and developed their own 
conventions. By the time Islam reached the Danube in 
Europe, the Niger in West Africa and the Moluccas in 
Southeast Asia in the 15th century, it was far from cohesive. 

The changing face of Christianity 

Although Christian minorities held on in Egypt, the Middle 
East and Central Asia (map 2), "Christendom" became 
increasingly identified with Europe, where both the Western 
(Latin) and the Eastern (Greek or Orthodox) traditions 
compensated for their losses to Islam by vigorous and some- 

times competitive missionary activity. Latin Christianity 
won over Germanic-speaking peoples and their central 
European neighbours, while large areas of the Balkans and 
eastern Europe were converted to Orthodoxy. After cen- 
turies of intermittent disagreement between the Latin and 
Greek Churches, the Great Schism of 1054 finally brought 
about the divide between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. 

The crusades of 1095-1291 to the Holy Land were 
essentially counter-productive (pages 94-95). They put 
Muslims forever on their guard against Latin Christendom 
and may have added to the pressure on communities of ori- 
ental Christians to convert to Islam. Militant Latin 
Christendom was more successful in the Baltic region and 
the Iberian Peninsula, where the later medieval period saw 
the political reconquest of all Moorish territory. By 1500 
Spain had become a launchpad for transatlantic ventures 
and the transmission of Christianity to the New World. 

The spread of Buddhism outside India 

Buddhism lost its western lands to Islam and it never 
regained any large-scale presence in India, the subcontinent 
of its birth, where the mainstream Hindu tradition predomi- 
nated alongside what remained of the Jain faith. Buddhist 
numbers were increasingly concentrated in lands to the east 
and north and, paradoxically, Buddhist strength was at its 
greatest where there was ideological power-sharing with 
other faiths - the case in both China and Japan (map 3). 

In China the secular philosophy of Confucianism was 
revitalized during the Tang dynasty of the 7th to 9th 
centuries, retaining its classical status and control of the 
education system. It offered moral and intellectual guide- 
lines for a life of public service, virtuous prosperity and 
happiness to members of the scholar gentry, including the 
"mandarins" of the Chinese civil service. Buddhism 
remained - like the indigenous Chinese philosophy or 
"way" of the Dao (Tao) - as an alternative, culturally sanc- 
tioned code, appealing to those who could never hope to 






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achieve the Confucian scholarly ideal or who found its 
secular priorities unsatisfying. 

In Japan Buddhism had been adopted from China by the 
6th century. It became remarkably pervasive and was intel- 
lectually and spiritually creative, bringing literacy to the 
whole country - but it never ousted Kami (Shinto), a tradi- 
tionalist compendium of reverence for nature, land and 
state which remained intrinsic to Japanese cultural identity. 

Organizational and cultural parallels 

Despite profound divergences in creed and world outlook, 
the major medieval faiths had organizational and cultural 
parallels. All had "professional" adherents who adopted a 
consciously devout, disciplined or even ascetic way of life. 
While the reclusive tradition of withdrawal to the wilderness 
pervaded a range of religious cultures, hermits and wander- 
ing "holy men" were never as influential as members of 
disciplined religious orders and brotherhoods. The Sangha 
(monastic order) was central to the life of the Buddhist 
world and included nuns; the Persian Sufi movement was 
vital to the spread of Islam among the ordinary people; the 
great Benedictine houses of western Europe preserved a cul- 
tural and political inheritance through centuries of feudal 
disorder - as did, in a similar political context, the great 
Buddhist houses of medieval Japan. However, when mendi- 
cancy appeared in the West, with the establishment in the 
13th century of wealthy orders of friars, it was very different 
from the contemplative and ascetic mendicancy of the East. 

Medieval religions offered practical services to state and 
society. In many countries the educated clergy were the 
only people able to write and therefore worked as official 
scribes. Churches, mosques and temples operated a broad- 
casting system and communications network, and pilgrims 
and travellers could expect hospitality from religious found- 
ations. Members of many religious communities were adept 
at acquiring communal or institutional (as distinct from per- 
sonal) wealth. They could operate as financiers and at the 
same time expand their sphere of influence; thus Hindu 
temples were the banks of South India and 15th-century 
Portuguese overseas enterprise was funded by the crusad- 
ing Order of Christ. 

Much of the ritual year was defined by medieval religion 
and, where communal prayer was an obligation, the hours 
of the day. The spires, domes and towers of religious archi- 
tecture dominated the skylines of major cities. Yet remote 
regions retained old beliefs and customs: there were fringe 
areas in Mesopotamia where sects clung to the traditions of 
the temples as late as the 11th century, and the 14th- 
century traveller Ibn Battutah found West African Muslims, 
even some of those who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca 
(the hajj), amazingly relaxed in their religious observance. 

Challenges to the established religions 

Challenges to the established religions came from within 
rather than from residual "old beliefs". The Buddhist world, 
for example, saw the development of eccentric and magical 
practices on the margins of the Tantric tradition, while early 
Islam experienced a succession of breakaway movements 
from the mainstream Sunni community - Kharijite, Ibadhi 
and a range of Shiite alternatives. In the Christian world 
many "heresies" countered established orthodoxy. Medieval 
religious culture was not necessarily intolerant: pilgrimage, 
a universal form of devotion, could be a mind-broadening 
experience, and different religions were sometimes capable 
of coexistence and even co-operation. For example, in the 
13th century, at the height of the Christian reconquest of 
Moorish territory in Spain, Santa Maria La Blanca in Toledo 
functioned peaceably as the mosque on Fridays, the syna- 
gogue on Saturdays and the church on Sundays. 

► The Buddhist canonical divide between 
the Mahayana and Theravada traditions 
continued to follow Asia's cultural and ethnic 
(aultlines. Wherever it took root in 
Southeast Asia, such as Annan (Vietnam), 

the Mahayana tradition was widely 
regarded as "Chinese" Buddhism, while 
recognition of the Theravada tradition was 
associated with independence from the 
influence of Chinese culture. 

2 The Christian world l 700-1 050 

| Latin Christian area l 700 

_l Aim lomaled to trm'n Chnstiimily (.700-1050 

■1 MMnOntonmoc 700 

— I *mi«m«1sl to r*rtoiJiHar6!m>f( 700-1050 

| Honophifsto Oistton aro c. 700 

^ Hestonon QiristHr ami t. 700 

^^ Boundniy of nea under MaJfii rule c. BOO 

E22 EKleniaforanndetMastmiiiet 1000 

▲ The last three centuries of the first 
millennium ad saw the steady development 
of o deep and lasting cultural divide - 

between an Eastern, Greek-rooted Orthodox 
tradition and a Western, Latin-based Catholic 
culture. Both lost both lands and devotees to 

Islam in the Near East and North Africa, but 
resilient Christian communities continued to 
survive in these areas under Muslim rule. 

3 Religions in Asia c 1 500 

| ttnheyana Buddhism 
1 I ThenNpdo Buddhism 

| Danom ]] 5hirrro 

I I Cenfuiiniiism J Hinduism 

| Ajkis nearly blomkized 

3 Arms mlh sierfamt Muslim popJofon 

I Athqs with scntfered Muslim papulation 

— *■ Otredion of spreod «l btom en 
Saiflheasr Asiu. mill dates 



T Angkorean power reached its greatest 
height during the reign of Jayavarman VII 
(r. 1 1 81— c. 1 21 8). His capital was Angkor, 
at the centre of which was Bayon, a huge 
pyramidical temple and one of more than 
900 Buddhist temples built by Khmer rulers 
from the 9th century onwards. While the 
Angkhorean imaUs dominated the 
mainland of Southeast Asia for four 
centuries, the empire of Srivijaya gradually 
gained control of many of the ports and 
polities scattered along the coasts of the 
archipelago. Although not the closest of 
these polities to the sources of major trade 
commodities - such as camphor, 
sandalwood, pepper, cloves and nutmeg - 
Srivijaya did have the advantage of 
possessing o rich agricultural hinterland. 

In the 6th century Southeast Asia was a region in which 
warfare was endemic and the borders of political enti- 
ties, known as mandalas, expanded and contracted with 
the power of their overlords. The influence of India was 
evident in the widespread practice of Hinduism and 
Buddhism (pages 44-45). Also evident was the influence of 
China, which under the Han dynasty had first begun to 
administer the area of Nam Viet (in what is now northern 
Vietnam) in 40 ad (map 1). In 679 the Chinese Tang gov- 
ernment set up a protectorate-general in the area and the 
Chinese commanderies - in particular, that in Chiao-Chih - 
became important trade centres. There were, however, 
many rebellions, and in 938 independence from China was 
secured and the Dai Viet kingdom established. To the south 
of Nam Viet was Champa, where fishing, trade and piracy 
were more important economic activities than agriculture. 

The Khmer kingdoms 

In about 550 the capital of the great Hindu kingdom of 
Funan, Vyadhapura, was conquered by King Bhavavarman 
of Chen-la. Regarded as the first state of the Khmers - one 


2 Kingdoms and empires 


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1 Kingdoms in mainland 
Southeast Asia 500-800 

fcpC'imft eflirt at 

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▲ By the 6th century Champa included 
areas that had previously been part of Nam 
Viet to the north and the great Hindu 

kingdom of Funan to the south. Funan was 
finally conquered in 550 by Chen-la, a 
kingdom that had once been its vassal. 

of the many ethnic groups in the region - Chen-la had by 
the 7th century expanded its power throughout much of 
mainland Southeast Asia. In 802 the Khmer king 
Jayavarman II established the Angkorean mandala, the 
forerunner of modern Cambodia, which was to dominate 
central mainland Southeast Asia until the 13th century 
(map 2). His new capital at Hariharalaya was on the great 
inland sea of Tonle Sap - the key to the floodwaters of the 
Mekong that were essential for the intensive rice irrigation 
schemes on which Angkor depended. 

Thai and Burmese kingdoms 

The hold of the Khmers over central mainland Southeast 
Asia was to be broken by the Thais. In the middle of the 7th 
century the Thais had formed the kingdom of Nanzhao in 
southwestern China. Perhaps partly due to pressure from 
the Chinese, they had moved south along the river valleys 
into Southeast Asia, conquering the Buddhist kingdom of 
Pyu in the middle of the 8th century. Around 860 a Thai 
polity in the area of modern Thailand was founded with its 
capital at Sukhothai (map 2). It was the first of three Thai 
kingdoms to emerge on the Chao Phraya River, displacing 
earlier Hindu kingdoms such as Dvaravati. The invasion of 
southwest China by Mongol forces under Qubilai Khan in 
1253-54 pushed more Thais south - probably from the 
region of Nanzhao - and the Thai kingdom centred at 
Chiengmai was founded around 1275, followed further 
south by Ayuthia in 1350 (map 3). 

The Burmese kingdom of Pagan was established shortly 
after Angkor emerged in Cambodia in the 9th century 
(map 2). In 1044 Anawratha ascended the throne and did 
much to extend the realm of the Pagan kings, the greatest of 
whom was Kyanzittha (r. 1082-1112). These kings built one 
of the most elaborate and extensive Buddhist monuments 
in the world in their capital at Pagan, where vast temple 


3 Kingdoms, sultanates amd 

TRADE 1200-1450 

Approximate erfen' of' 

■■■ SuMnil23ll 

^— • WengmffliL 1290 

I I AHmrimuK ciwirvl min UDgduiB 

in Mir 15* mar 
it git 

fieoir HihreniuY 

induing cknwJ tomtom 
linn- " 

complexes spread 60 
kilometres (.15 miles) 
across the floodplaius of 
the [rrawaddy Kiver. This 
great building programme was 
to ruin the kingdom: in 12S7, after 
a period of decline, Pagan succumbed 
to invasion from China. 

In the 15th century a new power, Pegu, 
developed in lower Burma (iri(tp .3). Pegu fostered 
trading links with India and maritime Southeast Asia 
through its seaports, which included Martaban. It was also 
often in conflict with the inland agricultural state of Ava, 
which craved access to the ports controlled by Pegu. Despite 
occasional support from Ming China, the rulers of Ava were 
constantly harassed by the Shan hill peoples, culminating 
in the assassination of the king in 1426, and as a result Ava 
eventually gave up its ambitions regarding Pegu. 

TllE EMMIKI OF Smujtw 

Throughout the Malaysian Peninsula and mueh of island 
Southeast Asia, maritime empires flourished. The empire of 
Srivijaya (c. 670-1(125) tmap 2), with its centre near the 
modern port of Palembang in Sumatra, was based on control 
of the resources of the forests and seas of the Indonesian 
archipelago. The city blossomed, its wealth reflected in cer- 
emonial centres such as those described by the 7th-eentury 
Chinese traveller I Citing, where 1,000 priests served gold 
and silver Buddhas with lotus-shaped bow Is. 

In central Java, kingdoms had developed by the 6th 
century in which some of the greatest monuments of the 
ancient world were to be constructed {map 2). The 
Sailendras. one of the central Javanese royal lineages, sup- 
ported Mahayana Buddhism, a patronage that found its 
greatest expression in the magnificent temple complex of 

Borobudur, built between 750 and 850. As 
well as being devout the Sailendras were aggressive 
warriors, and they mounted a scries of seaborne expeditions 
against kingdoms on the mainland; Chiao-Chih in 767, 
Champa in 774 and Chen-la of Water in around 800. They 
kept control of Chen-la of Water until it was taken over by 
[he Kilmer Kmpire. They also held sway over large areas of 
Sumatra. However, after 860 control over Java moved from 
the Sailendras to Hindu lineages, including the builders of 
the great Hindu complex at Prambanan. 

In the 11th century a new power emerged in east Java, 
and control of the international trade routes began to slip 
away from Srivijaya. In 1025 this process was hastened 
when the Krivijayan capital was sacked by Chola invaders 
from south India. Airlangga (c. 991—1049) was one of the 
most important of the rulers of this cast Javanese realm, 
which came to dominate and grow wealthy on the bur- 
geoning international trade in spiees. Following Airlangga 's 
death in 1049 the realm was divided in two, with Singharasi 
to the east and Kediri to the west. In the mid- 13th century 
the rulers of Singbasari took over Kediri to lay the founda- 
tions of the great maritime empire of Majapahit, which 
controlled the region until the 15th century. 

A. The trode twite that hod facjhotw) the 
spread el Hinduism mid Buddhism to 
ioulheosl Asia also emou raged the spread 
el Islam. Il readied the northern tip of 
Sumalta in the 13m century; by the 1 Slh 
century il had readied Malaya and lava. A 
number ul Muslim states were denied al the 
expense of the fullering Mnjapohil 
kingdom, including one based on Meluka, a 
thriving commercial port which by the end 
of the 1 5lh century controlled ihe $irait of 
Malacca. Inl511 Melaka feU In the 
Portuguese, thus ushering in on era during 
which Europeans wreaked great change an 
the Muslim. Buddhrsl and Hindu kingdoms 
and empires of Southeast Asm 

© EURASIAN TRADE 150 BG-AD 500 pages 52-53 © EUROPEANS IN ASIA 1500-1790 pages 118-19 


T In the 7th century the traditional 
Roman provinces were reorganized into 
large fanes that were ruled initially by 
military commanders. This was the first 
step to ending a system in which the 
expansion and defence of the empire 
depended on the deployment of mercenary 
armies and the imposition of high levels of 
taxation on the peasantry. 

Throughout their history the Byzantines described 
themselves as Romans, and saw their empire as the 
continuation, without break, of the Roman Empire. 
Consequently, to give a starting date for the Byzantine 
Empire is a matter of debate among historians. The date of 
527, when Justinian became emperor and launched a far- 
reaching campaign of conquest, is one of several options. 
Others include 330, when the Roman emperor Gonstantine 
the Great moved his capital to the city of Byzantium, 
naming it Constantinople, and 410, when Rome was sacked. 
Yet another is 476, when the Western Empire virtually 
ceased to exist, leaving Constantinople and the Eastern 
Empire as the last bastion of Christian civilization. 

Fluctuating borders 

The history of the empire is one of constantly fluctuating 
borders as successive emperors campaigned, with varying 
degrees of success, against Persians and Arabs to the east, 
and Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Russians to the north and west 
(map 1). Two of the most successful conquering emperors 
were Justinian (in power from 527 to 565) and Basil II (co- 
emperor from 960 and in sole authority from 985 to 1025). 
Justinian looked to the west to regain the old empire of 
Rome, and he and his general Belisarius conquered North 
Africa and Italy, while struggling to hold the eastern fron- 
tier. However, the resources of the empire were not 
sufficient to retain this ground, and during the 7th century 
most of these territorial gains were lost. The rise of Islam 
offered a new enemy with whom the empire was to be in 


I fairwfoVnp under Bordi 

tomtay ri tynrmnc Ensue 1 025 CHAl Itain 

conflict until finally succumbing in 1453 (pages 96-97). In 
the four centuries between the reigns of Justinian and Basil, 
emperors never ceased both to fight and to negotiate for 
territory. However, it was in the 11th century that 
Byzantium made its greatest gains to the west, with Basil 
"the Bulgar-Slayer" bringing the entire Balkan peninsula 
under Byzantine control after defeating the Bulgarians. Basil 
also forged links with the Rus and Vikings to the north, 
employing them as troops in his wars of conquest. 

Administrative structure 

Totalitarian in ambition and ideology, absolute in his power 
to intervene directly in every aspect of both government 
and life itself, the emperor was the beginning and end of 
the political and administrative structure. Initially this was 
based on the Roman system of provincial government. In 
the 7th century, however, the traditional Roman provinces 
were reorganized into large units called "themes" (map 2), 
where the military commander also functioned as civil 
administrator and judge. The population of each theme 
provided the basis of recruitment for the army, which took 
the form of a peasant militia. Ordinary soldiers were given 
land in frontier regions and exempted from taxation in 
exchange for military service. By the 8th century the 
themes were the centres of revolts, with theme generals 
becoming pretenders to the imperial throne. Consequently, 
throughout the 8th and 9th centuries the central govern- 
ment worked to diminish the power of large themes, and by 
the 11th century the military commanders had been 
replaced by civil governors. 


Byzantium saw itself as the Christian empire under Got!, its 
mission to reduce the world to one empire. Church and 
state were Inextricably linked. Ecclesiastical organization 
was as hierarchical as that of the state. Five patriarchates, 
based at Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria and 
Antioch, marked out the centres of Christian worship in che 
Late Roman period and fought for supremacy in 
the Church. By the 1 1th century, however, the three 
oriental sees were no longer part of the empire, and in the 
ensuing centuries it was the struggle between Rome and 
Constantinople that affected the course of Byzantine 
history. Heneath the patriarchs was a system of bishoprics, 
within which the bishops derived considerable influence 
from their control of all ecclesiastical properties and chari- 
table Institutions, The empire also extended its influence 
through missionary expeditions, above all in the strategi- 
cally important ikilkan area (rrurn J). 

I* Under Justinian the Roman province; of 
Africa 1533-34) and Italy IS35-40) were 
reconquered. From the mid-eih century, 
however, defensive warfare became 
endemic, and in the erafy 7th century 
attacks by the Avars and Arabs W to the 
virtual extinction ol the empire. A 
prolonged period of determined defence 
followed be lore Basil II succeeded in 
expanding me boundaries once more in 
the Nth century. 

1 Boundaries and campaigns of conques 


| Ifyimfas Empire 527 

A AJtii ran] 

| Co"qiK^rf^[i(uoiS2?-4S 

A BdkjjDrTffi (Did 

Boundary of ompM S?7 

A fcjsswi rid 

Bantary d t/nptt 565 

AV Frapre's neotan S45 


MA bote's Batftaun 1025 

— -#• 6-rTairTO rafnpngrc of retonoTjesJ 

■ liSeaw copvtd <. I0?S 



.S'lvi 11/ 

Mti rtit ,i t a 


Septmui Sev&rus 


4 Constantinople*. 1025 

-♦■ Wbf aid gtire 

_| faui 

f Mopdiwih 

1 Fo'dt'i flr nlnar 'Tjwlcnr hulling 

!!■:<'■ 0J 

3 CgJw 

Simply called "the City" (map 4), Constantinople was 
the most important city in the empire. It was the emperor's 
base, and thus the centre of all civil, military and ecclesias- 
tical administration. Its position was almost unassailable, 
as the Muslim armies who attempted to capture it in the 
7th and 8th centuries discovered (pages 66-67). For 
almost 900 years it withstood all attacks by enemy forces 
until, in 1204, it was overrun and ransacked by the army of 
the Fourth Crusade. 

T The main trade routes were sea or river- 
based and the chief centres of trade were 
on the coast. Dominant among them was 
Constantinople, which not only served as 
the emperor's capital but also as the heart 
of Christendom for many centuries. 

A The transformation of the small town of 
Byzantium into the city of Constantinople 
was accomplished remarkably quickly. 
There is evidence that by the middle of the 
4th century there were 1 4 palaces, 1 4 
churches, 8 aqueducts, 2 theatres and a 
circus, as well as homes for the inhabitants 
who were forced to move to the city from 
nearby setttlements. Comparatively little 

now survives of Byzantine Constantinople 
in present-day Istanbul, but Hagia Sophia, 
the great church built by Justinian as a 
centre of worship for all Christendom, can 
still be seen, along with a host of lesser 
churches. A handful of imperial monuments 
exist, the most obvious of which ore the 
Sth-century city walls in the shape of an 
arc almost 6 kilometres (4 miles) long. 

The importance of religion in the empire is reflected in 
its surviving artistic achievements. Churches and monas- 
teries, often beautifully decorated with mosaics and wall 
paintings, are to be found throughout the empire's 
territories, along with portable works of art, such as 
enamels, books, metalwork and, above all, icons. The few 
secular buildings and objects that remain are often in Late 
Roman cities such as Ephesus - gradually abandoned in the 
7th century - but most notably in Constantinople. 


irufftrltj' 1 


'i ii e a 

3 Religion and trade 

rJfli/idrjiydeinrHra 1025 

Centra flf artiste arhvrtv , 


■ InifHtrrnnl nudiftj centre 

i Ektaptli 

Mnin trading route 

^1 MfiMn 

..if-1 BO 




O THK HUMAN KMI'JRK 5<X> !»:-.« j HI" |»vjMJ^i,i O TIM-. 1IK< :1.INK Of llll. BYZANTINE AND KlSh HI' Till; ( iTTOMAN KMHKF.K IIIJS-ISOI) |nu!(.w W>-97 







In the second quarter of the 7th century ai> the map of 
the world was abruptly and irreversibly changed by a 
scries of events that astonished contemporary observers. 
From the (kIDs the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, previ- 
ously accorded little attention by the "civilized" world, burs! 
out of their homelands and attacked the fertile regions to 
the north in a series of campaigns that resulted in the com- 
plete destruction of the Sasanian Empire and the end of 
Byzantine control of the Near East. They then set about 
forging a new social and cultural order in the conquered 
territories, based on the principles of the religion they 
brought with them - a force which has continued to exert a 
profound influence over the region to the present day, 

>lt Tiunnm thk 'TKoniET" 

In the early years of the 7th eentury tribal Arabian st>cjety 
underwent a transformation: a new communal structure 
emerged to replace the traditional tribal divisions that had 
hitherto dominated the Arabian Peninsula. This community 
was largely the ereation of a single man, Muhammad, a 
trader from Meeea, the main commercial town {if western 
Arabia. Following divine revelations in which he identified 
himself as the "Seal of the Prophets" (after whom no others 
would come), Muhammad preached a new moral system 
that demanded the replacement of idol worship with sub- 
mission to a common code of law and the unity of Muslims 
("those who submit |to God]") against unbelievers 

Although he was persecuted by the Mcccans in the early 
years of his mission, Muhammad later enjoyed rapid success 

/ va //i jii 

-4 Near the ancient Snsoniun capital of 
(tesiphon, the Abbasids' new capital city 
ol Baghdad wets built in circular form, 
with the Great Masque and caliph's 
palace - symboliiing the dote osscxiota 
al religious and political power - located 
together al its centre. 

in nearby Medina, where he made many converts and laid 
down the rules governing the conduct of the community. 
Thereafter he sent missionaries to spread his message 
throughout Arabia, and shortly before his death (probably 
in 632) he led his triumphant army back to reclaim Mecca. 

The victory of Islam 

Within a decade of Muhammad's death the Muslim armies 

- inspired by zeal for their new faith and a desire for plunder 

- had inflicted defeat on both regional superpowers, the 
Byzantines and the Sasanians, already weakened by decades 
of conflict with each other. The Muslim victories at Varmuk 
and Qadisiyya (in 636) opened the way to further expan- 
sion {map /). In UA2 the Muslim armies conquered Egypt, 
by the mid-64lls Persia was theirs, and hy the late 64<)s they 
had occupied Syria as far north as the border with Anatolia, 

The wars of conquest continued, albeit at a lesser pace, 
for roughly a century after the humiliation of the Byzantines 
and Sasanians. After overrunning the whole of the North 
African coastal region and taking root in much of the 
Iberian Peninsula, the Muslim state reached the limits of its 
westward expansion into Europe at the Battle of Poitiers in 
central France in 732. The one realistic prize which always 
eluded these conquerors was Constantinople: in spite of 
several Muslim attempts to capture it by siege, it remained 
the Byzantine capital until 1453. 

Internal conflict 

The euphoria generated by these successes was tempered 
from the start by disagreements between Muslims concern- 
ing several matters - including, most crucially, the question 
of who was to lead the community. The Prophet had com- 
bined both religious and political authority in his own 
person and this model was followed for the first three 
centuries by the caliphs who led the community after him. 
However. Muhammad had made no arrangement for the 
succession, and more than once in the eenturv after his 






Conquests of isan 


ttardoy ol Burnt** Enpn l kW 



Socnkrf ol Sosora tntae c. (30 

■ «»-34 

— *■ 

Jfcpinwtes of odiaice of Musfcn erne 

■ 634-644 


Botfc #iiti doe 

3 H4-661 


Utanr sentcnKfil or camp *itti data 

| [461-750 


Unsuccessful sw»s ol tHHtootinopte 


death the Islamic world was thrown into turmoil by fiercely 
contested civil wars fought over this issue. 

In spite of such upheavals, political power was consoli- 
dated at an early stage in the hands of the first Islamic 
dynasty, the Umayyads, who ruled from their capital in 
Damascus for nearly 100 years (661-750). Although much 
maligned by later Muslim writers, this caliphal dynasty 
succeeded in giving an Arab Muslim identity to the state. 
The caliph Abd al-malik b. Marwan (d. 705) decreed that 
Arabic (instead of Greek or Pahlavi) should be the language 
of administration, began a programme of religious building, 
and instituted a uniform Islamic coinage. Trade flourished in 
the region, with Syria in particular benefiting from the 
revenues flowing into the caliph's coffers. 

The Abbasid dynasty 

In the middle of the 8th century a new dynasty, the 
Abbasids, toppled the Umayyads, whom they accused of 
ruling like kings rather than caliphs - without the sanction 
of the community (map 2). Abbasid rule witnessed a real 
change in the Muslim state, with the caliphs constructing a 
grand new capital of Baghdad (also known as the City of 
Peace) in Mesopotamia (map 3). It is no coincidence that 
Abbasid courtly culture borrowed heavily from that of the 
Persian royalty, for the focus of Muslim culture now swung 
eastwards from Syria. 

At the same time as Islam was expanding internally, 
Muslim eyes and minds began to be opened to a wider 
world, both through growing trade - in particular with the 
Far East - and through a burgeoning interest in ancient 
knowledge, primarily Greek, which was furthered by the 
translation into Arabic of foreign books. 

Like their predecessors, however, the Abbasids failed to 
gain universal acceptance for their claim to be the legitimate 
leaders of the Muslim world. Although the caliphs conti- 
nued to rule in Baghdad until they were deposed by the 
Mongols in the mid-13th century, they gradually lost their 



^* , Black Sea. 

.ll.-Jir.-m. M # OJAZIRA "«~*J 

8a #, Soirw 

^"iRAQ «**»> . 

PA R \ 

■£^«>^A SISTAN 
•I 5wro« |(|1J)^n 








Bounced *btosdEmcm8W 

territories to local warlords, rulers who governed indepen- 
dently while still proclaiming formal subservience to the 
caliph. Parts of North Africa, far from the seat of caliphal 
power, began to fall outside caliphal control practically from 
the first years of Abbasid rule. By the beginning of the 10th 
century a rival caliphate was set up in Egypt, and Iraq and 
Iran were divided into petty kingdoms, many ruled by 
Iranian kings (map 4). In the 11th century these kingdoms 
were swept away by the steppe Turks who invaded the 
Muslim world and changed the ethnic and cultural map as 
decisively as the Arabs had done four centuries earlier. 

for* wdS^M 

(far, mmm % <g* 

'- *■■■ i * 

A By 750 Islam was the major civilization 
west of China and one in which there was a 
particularly close association between 
religion and culture. Mosques served not 
only as religious and social centres but 
also as centres of scholarship, which was 

overwhelmingly Arab in orientation, 
although influenced by Greek, Roman, 
Persian and Indian traditions. This 
painting of Medina, with the mosque of 
Muhammad at its centre, comes from an 
illustrated Persian text written in Arabic. 

▲ Rapid urbanization followed the rise of 
the Abbasids, particularly in Iraq and Persia, 
as would-be converts flocked to the cities 
from the countryside. It has been estimated 
that while only 1 per cent of the population 
of these regions was Muslim when the 
Abbasids came to power, within a century 
this figure had grown to SO per cent - and 
had reached 90 per cent by the beginning of 
the 10th century. 

T As the political unity of the Muslim state 
began to disintegrate, local cultures 
reasserted themselves. The Samonid kings 
(81 9-1 005) who ruled from their capital in 
Bukhara encouraged the composition of 
Persian poetry at their court, while their 
western rivals, the Buyid rulers of Iraq and 
Persia (932-1062), held the caliph captive 
in his palace and styled themselves 
Shahanshahs like the Persinn kings of old. 




Sx \ 

I "V 

i 4 Cihtral Islamic lahk in the 1 Ofh auruFtr * 

Boundary twtwnen tircgdams 



© THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE 527-1025 pages 66-67 © THE MUSLIM WORLD 1000-1400 pages 88-89 


A An early Premyslid ruler of Bohemia. 
Prince Wenteslas in 925 overthrew his 
mother who, as regenl, was persecuting ihe 
Christians. He continued Ihe Ch rislian iialian 
of Bohemia hut this, together wilh his 
submission to Ihe Germans, aroused 
opposition, and in 919 he was killed 
and succeeded by his brother. Bolesiav I. 
This portrait of the prince, ihe patron sainl 
ol the Czechs, was painled by a memuet el 
the Ccech School in ihe 1 6th cenlury. 

▼ In the 9lh and early I Olh centuries Slavic 
slates farmed in Moravia, Poland and 
Bohemia. Polish and Bohemian rulers used 
fortified administrative centres to dominale 
previously independent tribes. While Great 
Morovio was based on large urban cenlres 
an ihe River Maravo, slate lormation among 
ihe Elbe Slavs was held in check by the 
power of the German duchies, nolabry 
SoKony under Otto I. 

It is evident from first archaeological traces of the Slavs 
that in the ,lrd and -fill centuries they lived in the 
fertile basins of the Vistula. Dniester, Bug and Dnieper 
rivers [map I). In the early 5th century, however, the 
nomadic llusis conquered and drove out Germanic peoples 
to the west of this area lixcge.s 56-57 i, allowing the Slavs to 
move as far as the Danube: frontier of the Byzantine Empire 
by around 500. The subsequent victories over the 
Byzantines by a second nomadic people, the Avars (pages 
76-79|. meant that Slavic groups sverc able to penetrate 
sou! beast wards into the Balkans and even the I'cloponncse. 
At the same time Slavs also moved north and west as Avars 
encroached on their territory. 

As a result, most of central Europe as far west as the 
Klhc was settled by Slavs - Moravia and Bohemia had been 
settled by 550, and much of the Kibe region by MM). The 
process can be traced archaeological!)* in the emergence 
and distribution of various Slavic cultures, which arc 
mainly distinguished by the pottery they produced. 

In the 6th century the Slavs operated in numerous 
small and independent social units of a few thousand. Some 
had kings, but there were no established social hierarchies 
and no hereditary nobility - merely freemen and slaves. 
Slavs were particularly ready to adopt captured outsiders 
as foil members of their groups, and this partly explains 
why they were able to Slavieizc central and eastern Europe 
in such a relatively short period of time. They lived in 
small, unfortified villages, grew crops and raised animals. 

However, from the 7th century, hillforts - each serving 
as a local centre of refuge tor a small social unit - became 
the characteristic form of Slavic settlement, and several 
thousand have been found in central and eastern Europe, 
They subsequently merged into larger, more organized 
political entities, the first of which evolved in Moravia in 
the Oth century (rnatp 2) but was swallowed up by Magyars 
moving westwards from around 'JIM) (pewjew 76-77}. 

Kcomimii: TiiAivsi'oityi vim's 

After about 500 Slavic agriculture became more productive 
thanks to the adoption of Roman ploughs and crop rota- 
tion. This agricultural revolution was only one element in 
a wider process of economic development which, arehaeo- 
logically, is reflected in the wide range of specialist 
manufactures, not least of silver jewellery, found on Slavic 
sites. Much of the Slavs' new wealth derived from contacts 
with economically more developed neighbours. Its greatest 


Balltt I 

2 S mi! FOChunON (800-1 ODD 

Vii ^^_li 


■ Wnli Wrm I D1i remii 

| fmoirscn ol n> tanpH ttyroty th-1 lit (Brums 

8'lung Ma, J, ■By**"'"-' 

■ nmrM Mtorr 9iH— 10th lerRnm 

■ PittnrJtd odrmmsMvi centre 1 Oit -1 1 rn (entutsi 

Nw* March 


Htv Slov people 

S . 

s a x o n r 

■ Pmjw 

■ Oiicrno 


KWS ' W. ■- 

P O I A N D \^. t 

■ ■ 


JllJANIAHS Kiak» S0 


533" ■ ***** 


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Cora Stoic r>Ki t HlO 

Irn sMttet by Slew fy r 




Area flf Sluffl rullurc c 500 


Irwircwre; by Shim < 5BQ 


A Between around 400 and 650 Slavic - 
speoking groups came It dominate much of 
central and eastern Europe. Their spread in 
and around ihe Carpathians [tD c. 550) is 

mirrored in ihe distribution ol the so-called 
Prague Cullure. Over the next century, large 
areas ol Ihe North European Plain were 
similarly colonized by Slavic peoples. 

single source was the trade in slaves with the Muslim 
caliphates, conducted from the Nth century onwards and 
evidenced by hoards of Arab silver coins found in central 
Europe (inctp J). Western Slavic groups and the Rus cap- 
tured slaves from eastern Slavs living in the area between 
their respective territories. Some slaves were sold directly 
to Muslim (and some western) merchants in central 
Kurope, notably in Prague, while many were shipped to the 
Muslim world by Scandinavian and other "middlemen". 
These intermediaries bought slaves at the trading centres 
of the south Baltic coast (such as Elbing, Wiskiauten and 
(irobin) arid subsequently transported them down the river 
routes of eastern Kurope, particularly the Volga, which gave 
direct access to the Caspian Sea and Muslim Mesopotamia. 

The formation ok states 

The slave trade played an important rule in generating new 
political structures- Traders had to organize to procure 
slaves, and this, together with the new silver wealth, made 
possible nesv ambitions. In the first half of the 10th 
century, for example. Micsco 1 established the first Polish 
state with the help of his own armoured cavalry, which his 
wealth enabled him to maintain. Perhaps this force was 
first employed to capture slaves, but it soon took on (lie 
role of establishing and maintaining territorial control with 
the aid of a series of hillforts. The Premyslid dynasty of 
Bohemia, which originated around Prague, adopted a 
similar strategy, and by around *JOO it controlled central 
Bohemia through a network of three central and five fron- 
tier hillforts- Over the following century the dynasty 
extended its influence much further afield and in its newly 
aecpiired territories it replaced existing hillforts, which had 
served for local self-defence, with fortified administrative 
centres in order to maintain its control. 

To the east, the litis of Kiev had by about 1000 created 
the first Russian state, extending their control over other, 
originally independent trading stations such as Smolensk, 
N'ovgorod, Izborsk and Staraia Ladoga {map 4). Each of 
these trading groups consisted of a relatively small number 
of originally Scandinavian traders and a much larger 
number of Slavs who produced the goods, shared in the 
profits - and Quickly absorbed the Scandinavians. 



//", cv-z 

#r -,.- 


^ A 

4 Slavic STATES C. 


O EprsopolMt 

H Dwusftt ctnoio ol Peloid 

pre fK#! 




c£2 fW »r 




siOvajoa c . ^e s ^ 

HUNGARY - a * 

pi u<: 


S « 

While SlavtC state formation generally involved assert- 
ing aggressive dominion, this was not always the east'. 
During the Kith century the Kibe Slavs - comprising the 
previously independent Abodrites, llcvellians and Sorhs - 
increasingly aeled together to throw oft the domination 
being exerted on them hy Ottonian Saxony, which in the 
middle of the century had caned up their territories into a 
series of lordships or inarches. However, the Kibe Slavs 
reasserted their independence in a great uprising of ')Hi. 

The adoption op Ciiristianitt 

State formation also had a religious dimension. Franks and 
then Ottomans, the Papacy and liyzantiutn were all inter- 
ested in sending missionaries to the Slavic lands, most 
famously in the mid-°th century when ( lyril and Methodius 
went, with papal blessing, from Constantinople to Moravia. 

»* From the 8lh century hoards til ii ah 
silver coins were depDEhed in Slavic centrnk 
and enstern Europe - evidence of Slavic 
partiripnlion in trie fur unci slave trades 
conducted in the rich lands of ihe Ahbasid 
Caliphate. Slavs also traded with the 
f ronkish (arolingian world lo the west. 

There the brothers generated a written Slavic language to 
translate the Bihle and Christian service materials. In the 
Kith century litis. Polish and Bohemian leaders all adopted 
Christianity. Kiev, tJniezno and Prague, capitals of their 
respective states, all became archbishoprics, Kiev and 
Gitiezno with their own episcopal networks. 

Christianization allowed ambitious Slavic dynasts to 
sweep away not only the old Slavic gods but also the eults 
that were unique to each independent group and so 
reflected the old political order. The establishment of strong 
Christian churches thus contributed significantly to the 
process whereby the small, independent Slavic communi- 
ties of the 6th century evolved into the new Slavic states of 
central Europe in the <>th and Kith centuries. 

-4 By the year 1000 three dominant 
dynasties had emerged in the Slav lands at 
(entrd and enslern Europe - in Bohemia, 
Poland and Russia - each tenlred an their 
respective capitals al Prague, Gretna and 
Kiev. While timely tonl tolling their tare 
areas, these new states also fought each 
other 101 coalrol of the lands in hetween 
[Moravia, Volhynia, Silesia, Byelorussia), 
which repeatedly changed hands over 
several centuries. Dynastic unity in Poland 
and Russia was to collapse gradually in the 
1 !th and 1 3th centuries, leading lo 
partitions and the creation of less 
expansions! kingdoms. At the same lime 
German expansion - al firsl demographic, 
ihen political - was to undermine Ihe 

[ Ihe western Slavic stales. 

© BARBARIAN INVASIONS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 100-500 pages 56-57 © THE MONGOL EMPIRE 1206-1405 pages 98-99 





U Uot 


EMPIRE *" t 





Arabian Si'tt 



i * 


/JflV Qf 


▲ Hie Tang dynasty established a vast 
empire - larger than any other Chinese 
empire before the conquests of the Manchus 
1 ,000 years later. Throughout the empire 
Buddhism flourished, and Chinese pilgrims 
travelled along the trade routes of the Silk 
Rood - firmly under Tang control between 
the mid-7th and mid-8th centuries - to visit 
stopas and shrines in India. The expansion 

of the Tang was finally halted in 751 when 
two major defeats were inflicted on their 
armies - by the kingdom of Nanzhao at 
the Battle of Dali and by the Muslim Arabs 
at the Battle of Tolas River. This last battle 
resulted in the Abbasid Empire gaining 
control of the area west of the Pamirs and 
established the boundary between the 
civilizations of Islam and China. 

T The central administration controlled 
every province, using regular censuses to 
gather information about the available 
resources and population. (In 754 there 
were nearly 53 million people living in over 
300 prefectures.) A network of canals linked 
the Yangtze Valley with areas to the north, 
supplying the huge army that defended the 
long imperial borders. 

hi ° e 



V p r '" a 

JcsuiteiL N. 

/^\jl<2wejfe / 


FervgUroLt. She*ig*tror^r-\ / 

'un / ^^X 

j=dj GUANNE1 / / \ -Jfc 

j^i^/^ J 2 



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J\ J DON*— f 

NAN l_ \ ) ( - J 

1 ^^■^v r ~ f X^ngiKou 


' iff 




_ d^ 

f \ .-. ^Yofigzixou 

J /A 



Koad Prwtnrial bwfor 


toot truly 8* HBtury 

, .Jioaztiau 



| Aim at hgh □ Mnupgliion pnWni! 

population density 


Ir K, 


Strut It 



1 East ambCehtral Asia 


Tang, rmpiri ilt-W 


ChfflBSfl cultural rsgkin cryrydB 


Areo under Tung cwrrrri 64 S - 


Tung military prarwltrrofa 6S9 




AbtastfEnrcmr 75C 


talk *itti do* 

_ ' 

« f*H. 

Following the collapse of the Han Empire in AD 220 
China was divided into the three competing kingdoms 
of Shu, Wei and Wu. A brief period of unity was pro- 
vided by the rule of the Western Jin between 265 and 316 
before northern China fell under the control of non- 
Chinese chiefs, leaving the south in the hands of an elitist 
aristocracy. The country was reunited under the Sui 
dynasty - established in 581 - but the dynasty was short- 
lived. In 618, after four centuries of division and turmoil, 
the Tang dynasty took control (map 1). 

The influence of Tang China was to be felt throughout 
Asia in the three centuries that followed. Its political sta- 
bility and economic expansion led to the unprecedented 
development of links with many peoples throughout East 
and Central Asia, and these fostered a cultural renaissance 
and cosmopolitanism in China itself. Tang armies brought 
the trade routes of the Silk Road under Chinese control, 
with protectorates established as far west as Ferghana and 
Samarqand. In the middle of the 7th century, the Chinese 
Empire reached its maximum extent prior to the Manchu 
conquests a thousand years later. For a hundred years Tang 
armies were not seriously challenged, and Tang models of 
government were taken up by many neighbouring peoples 
- who in turn expanded their own spheres of influence. 
These included the kingdom of Nanzhao in the southwest, 
Bohai in the northeast, Silla in Korea and the early 
Japanese state centred on Heijo. 

The Tang system of centralized government (map 2) 
was introduced by the second Tang emperor, Tai Zong 
(r. 626-649), and was supported by a professional bureau- 
cracy of civil servants. The cities were linked to the 
countryside through a well-developed infrastructure of 
canals and roads. New agricultural land was opened up, 
especially in the south, and in the first part of the Tang 
period peasants owned their own land, paying for it in taxes 
and labour. Later on, however, as central power waned, 
wealthy and powerful landowners extended their area of 
control. Rural prosperity supported the growth of new 
industries, notably the production of fine pottery and 
luxury goods that were often inspired by fashionable 
foreign items. 


3 Korea c. 600 

iaumfaiy of kingdom ar 

empire l tOC 
♦ tomb 

Yclltfw Svu 



▲ Lavishly furnished tombs, often adorned 
with fine paintings, housed the remains of 
the elite in Korean society, while the 
majority had simpler burials. Among the 

grave offerings were exquisite gold crowns 
and other jewellery made of gold foil and 
wire. Fine stoneware pottery made in the 
kingdom of Kaya was exported to Japan. 

The Korean Peninsula 

In the Korean Peninsula, Tang armies assisted the kingdom 
of Silla (map 3), which in its campaign of expansion had 
crushed Paekche in 660. The defeat of Koguryo in 668 
marked the beginning of the unification of Korea. To the 
northeast the state of Bohai was established by Tae Gho- 
yong, a general from Koguryo who refused to surrender to 
Silla, and in 721 a wall was built to separate the two states 
(map 4). Silla finally compelled the Chinese to abandon 
their territorial claims in Korea in 735, but all through this 
period maintained good relations with the Chinese: Korean 
scholars, courtiers and Buddhist monks made frequent 
journeys to China, and Korean trading communities were 
established in eastern China. Many individual Koreans 
played important roles in the Tang Empire. In 747 a 
Chinese army was led to the upper ranges of the Indus by 
Ko Son-ji, a Korean military official. 

The role of Buddhism 

Not only the Chinese and Koreans, but also the Japanese, 
were brought together by the spread of Buddhism from 
India throughout East Asia. Buddhism often received offi- 
cial support and many of the most spectacular Buddhist 
monuments in Asia were built at this time, from the cave 
temples at Dunhuang in China to the Horyuji and Todaiji 
temples in Nara in Japan. The Silla capital at Kumsong 
(modern Kyongju), which already boasted fine monuments 
such as the Ch'omsongdae observatory, was further embell- 
ished with great Buddhist structures including the 
Pulguk-sa temple (c. 682). However, the relationship 
between this new religion and the government was not 
always easy: in 845 Emperor Wu Zong ordered the closure 
of nearly 45,000 monasteries and temples throughout 
China in an attempt to restrict the influence of Buddhism. 

Developments in Japan 

On the Japanese archipelago a centralized bureaucratic 
government developed from a series of successive capitals 
in the Kinai region. In 710 the new capital at Heijo, near 
the present city of Nara, was designed by Emperor 
Gemmyo following Chinese principles of city planning. The 




BOHAI f 1 " 


4 Korea and Japan 750-900 

Boundary of kingdom a _mpie l 750 

a Capitol 

PravirKi_H bondar m Sflla c. 750 

♦ _ urJdtet lernple 

ProviiKkil bordEr in Japan c. 800 

• _ lint' shrine 

I Kinai region 

A Hcl| m o uiirrjin 


Pacifia Ocean 

subsequent Nara period saw major political, economic and 
land reforms as well as campaigns against the Emishi and 
Ezo peoples who lived north of the boundaries of the 
expanding Japanese state. In 794 the capital was moved to 
Heian (now Kyoto), ushering in the golden age of Heian 
civilization during which a sophisticated courtly lifestyle 
developed among the elite classes. In the later part of the 
Heian period (794-1185) the samurai culture, which 
placed great value on military prowess, also evolved. 

The decline of Tang power 

The 9th century saw the waning of Tang influence and an 
ever-increasing independence in surrounding countries 
(map 1). In 751 Tang armies suffered two major defeats: at 
the Battle of Dali in the south, over 60,000 Tang soldiers 
perished at the hands of the troops of the kingdom of 
Nanzhao; in the west, Arabs took control of much of 
Central Asia in the Battle of the Talas River, which set the 
border between the Chinese and Abbasid empires. 

The faltering of the Tang dynasty was symbolized by the 
rebellion of An Lushan, the commander of the northeastern 
armies, who gained great influence over Emperor Xuan 
Zong (r. 712-56) through the imperial concubine Yang 
Yuhuan. In 755 An Lushan rebelled against the emperor and 
led a force of over 100,000 men on the capital. Although the 
rebellion was eventually put down, the empire was greatly 
weakened and became vulnerable to external attacks. In 
787 the Tibetans sacked the capital Chang'an, and in 791 
defeated Chinese and Uighur forces near Beshbaliq, ending 
Chinese domination of Central Asia. As central control 
weakened and provinces became more powerful, China 
once again moved towards disintegration. Following more 
revolts, the last Tang emperor was deposed in 907. 

China's relations with surrounding countries changed as 
these countries themselves changed. The last Japanese 
embassies were sent to China in 838, and in 894 the 
Japanese government, now dominated by the Fujiwara clan, 
officially banned travel to China. In the Korean Peninsula 
serious rebellions broke out in Silla in 889, and out of these 
rebellions was born the kingdom of Koryo, centred in the 
north, which was to control all of Korea from 936. 

▲ Buddhism rapidly gained popularity in 
Japan following its introduction from Korea 
in the 6th century, but traditional Japanese 
Shinto religion was actively encouraged by 
7th- and Sin-century rulers. The two creeds 
were brought together in the Tendai 
teachings of Saicho after the capital was 
moved from Heijo to Heian in 794, and the 
strong links between religion and 
government were subsequently severed. 

A The long-established East Asian tradition 
of erecting lifesize stone terracotta guardian 
figures on and around tombs reached its 
apogee in the three-coloured glazed statues 

© FIRST EMPIRES IN CHINA 1100 bc-ad 220 pages 48-49 O EAST ASIA 907-1600 pages 86-87 



T Royal tours were a crucial element of 
(arolingian governmental control. As a 
younger man, Charlemagne averaged 
29 kilometres (1 8 miles) a day and stayed 
regularly in all parts of his kingdom, 
thus enabling him to keep his local 
representatives in line. Also performing 
this function were teams of inspectors 
(imss/1, each usually comprising a layman 
and a prominent ecclesiastic. Charlemagne's 
grandson, Charles the Bald (r. 843-77), 
later evolved clearly designated areas of 
inspection [missatka) in the north. 

The Franks were created by the reorganization of a 
number of Germanic groups on the northern Rhine 
frontier of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century ad. 
They comprised several subgroups, most prominently the 
Salians and Ripuarians, which were further divided into 
warbands, each with their own king. The collapse of the 
Roman Empire after about 450 prompted further changes, 
with Ghilderic (d. 482) and his son Glovis (r. 482-511), 
uniting increasing numbers of Franks under their rule. 

The two men belonged to a prominent Salian family - 
called the Merovingians after a legendary founder Merovech 
- but their careers turned the family into a royal dynasty 
for all Frankish peoples. At the same time, the newly united 
Franks were able to conquer more and more territory: 
Ghilderic started by taking over the Roman province of 
Belgica II, to which Glovis added the region around Paris 
(the kingdom of Aegidius and Syagrius), Alemannia and 
Aquitaine. Glovis's sons and grandsons further conquered 
Provence, Burgundy and Thuringian territory (map 1). 

The Franks did not, however, evolve governmental 
structures of sufficient strength to hold this large new state 
together. The conquests had generated renewable wealth for 
kings to reward local landowners and hence attract their 
support, but when the conquests petered out kings had to 
buy support using their own landed resources, so that great 
men became wealthier at the expense of kings. By around 
700 the real power had passed to a relatively small number 
of families in each of the regions of the kingdom: Austrasia, 
Neustria, Burgundy, Aquitaine and Provence (map 2). 

In the 8th century the rulers of Austrasia in the north- 
east - called the Carolingian dynasty - reunited the whole 
Frankish world. Between about 695 and 805 their armies 



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▲ Hie collapse of Roman power in northern 
Gaul after about 450 facilitated the 
unification of the Franks and the extension 
of their dominion. The Romans had kept the 

tribes divided and weak, but Merovingian 
leaders Childeric and Clovis eliminated rival 
Frankish warlords to create a new dominant 
force in post-Roman western Europe. 


were on campaign for all but five years, taking advantage of 
an open frontier to the east. As a result, Austrasia's rulers 
could offer ongoing rewards to would-be supporters and thus 
outbid noble rivals from the other regions. In three genera- 
tions - Charles Martel (d. 741), Pippin the Short (r. 741- 
68) and Charlemagne (r. 768-814) - the dynasty reunited 
Francia and conquered Lombard Italy, Saxony, Alemannia, 
Thuringia, Bavaria and the Avars (map 3). On Christmas 
Day 800 Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome. 

The structure of government 

The Merovingians based their rule on the existing Roman 
structures: the cities, or civitates, and their dependent ter- 
ritories. However, by about 800 the civitates had ceased to 
exist, and in their place was a patchwork of smaller coun- 
ties. It was thus much easier to create continuous territories 
when the kingdom was divided, as between Charlemagne's 
grandsons in the Treaty of Verdun in 843. 

The main governmental problem remained constant: 
how to exercise centralized control over a very large 
kingdom in an era of primitive communications. Powerful 
landowners were essential to a king's rule, but they had to 
be prevented from becoming too independent; continual 
royal travel was a central part of the strategy. 

Royal finance still relied on conquest. Once expansion 
petered out after the conquest of Saxony (805), and espe- 
cially when Louis the Pious (d. 840) was succeeded by a 
great number of quarrelling sons, Merovingian patterns 
reasserted themselves. Financial resources, above all land, 
were transferred by rival members of the dynasty in a bid 
to buy supporters. By 900 Carolingian power in West 
Francia was confined to the Paris region, while East Francia 
was run by non-Carolingians from 911 (pages 92—93). 

The Carolingian Renaissance 

Under Charlemagne determined efforts were made to revive 
Classical learning. Texts were gathered and copied, and the 
teaching of good Latin was made a priority in royally spon- 
sored monasteries and cathedrals with scriptoria or writing 
offices (map 3). This Carolingian Renaissance was generated 
by the work of a relatively small number of institutions, and 
its central thrust was religious. Carolingian monks copied 
Classical texts because their language and contents were 
considered necessary for a full understanding of the Bible. 
Editing variant texts of the Bible to produce one orthodox 
version, codifying divergent sources of church law, provid- 
ing service books in good Latin: all of these were basic tasks 
Charlemagne wanted his scholars to undertake. Charle- 
magne also wished - as he proclaimed in the Admonitio 
Generalis of 789 and the Programmatic Capitulary of 802 - 
to ensure higher standards of Christian religious observance 
and biblically guided morality in his realm. His bishops 
attempted to enforce this programme through a sequence of 
reforming councils designed to harmonize standards 
throughout the empire. Louis the Pious did the same with 
monastic practice through further councils between 817 and 
819. The Papacy likewise received strong royal support, and 
was endowed with the lands which would form the basis of 
the papal state through to the 19th century. 

The Frankish economy 

By around 600 the Merovingians had presided over the col- 
lapse of most of the more sophisticated elements of the 
Roman economy: taxation, substantial long-distance trade, 
towns, specialized manufacture and coins (apart from a very 
high-value gold coinage that was useless for everyday trans- 
actions). There were also associated declines in population 
and agricultural production. The 7th and 8th centuries, 
however, witnessed substantial recovery. New trading routes 
spread across the Channel and North Sea, their progress 
marked by the appearance of a series of trading stations or 
emporia (map 4). Monetary-based exchange also increased 
- using, from the later 7th century, a lower value silver cur- 
rency. The quantity and quality of silver coins grew 
dramatically with the new coinage introduced by 

Charlemagne in the 790s - a coinage that Charles the Bald 
later managed to his own profit; a dense network of mints 
allowed him periodically to change coin types, demand that 
people use new coins, and charge them fees for reminting. 

Carolingian achievements 

Politically the Carolingian period ended in failure. The 
united western European empire could not be held together, 
even if Charlemagne's resumption of an imperial title would 
directly inspire his Holy Roman successors (pages 90-91). 
In economic and cultural terms, however, the Carolingian 
period was deeply formative. Trade, a monetarized economy 
and more specialized production all began to flourish, pro- 
viding the essential backdrop to the "take-off" of the 
western European economy which followed in the 11th 
century and after (pages 100-1). Carolingian scholars also 
set new standards in Christian belief, practice and intellec- 
tual development, with Latin Christendom growing from the 
seeds planted by Charlemagne. 



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▲ Carolingian scholars developed a new, 
easily written script - the Carolingian 
miniscule - which greatly speeded up the 
tedious process of book copying. They also 
revived Classical Latin from Classical texts, 
making it the language of medieval 
learning. Their strict choices helped define 
the limits of modern knowledge: they 
ignored texts whose contents they 
considered unnecessary or inappropriate for 
Latin Christendom, and consequently these 
works have (ailed to come down to us in the 
modern world. 

-4 In the 7th and 8th centuries the 
Frankish economy recovered well from its 
Merovingian decline. Sea trading links 
flourished to the north and new centres 
of trade were established. Louis the Pious 
(r. 81 4-40), Charlemagne's only surviving 
son, ordered that there should be a market 
in every county, and they feature widely in 
the charters of Charles the Bald. The 
Carolingian period thus witnessed 
substantial moves away from locally focused 
subsistence agricultural economies towards 
greater specialization and exchange. 

© THE ROMAN EMPIRE 500 BC-AD 400 pages 54-55 © THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE 962-1356 pages 90-91 


> By the mid-440s the Hunnic Empire 
dominated large numbers of Germanic 
groups in the middle Danube legion and 
exercised n loose hold over large tints ol 
eostem and north -central Europe. The 
military success of ihe empire is evident 
from ihe large number of rich buciots that 
have been found, particularly in ihe middle 
Danube region, which date hom the Hunnic 
period. Same of these burial; may have 
been of Huns, but many clearly belonged lo 
ihe Germanic dynasts who first profiled 
from the empire and subsequently led ihe 
independence movements which destroyed it 
afle 'he uealh of Amis in 153 

T In Ihe Safe the Avars established 
themselves in the area of modem Hungary 
and for the next 70 years raided territories 
from ihe thine to Constantinople. They 
nearly conquered Constantinople in 6Ii bul 
in doing so suffered a defeat which greatly 
reduced their offensive mililcry polentiul. 
While this allowed the defection of many of 
their subjects, they remained o dominant 
power in central Europe uniil being defeated 

At the western end of the immense grasslands that 
run between China and Europe is the Volga and 
Ukrainian steppe, while further west are two regions 
of Europe that in soil and climate can he regarded as con- 
tinuations of the steppe, the Llobrudja in modern Romania 
and the Great Hungarian Plain. In the 1st millennium AD 
the rich grazing lands of this area attracted successive 
waves of Asian nomads and semi-nomads who were from a 
variety of ethnic backgrounds and supported themselves 
by raising animals that were moved annually between 
upland summer and lowland winter pastures. 

Among the most important of these westward-moving 
peoples were the Huns (from c. .ISO), whose ethnic affilia- 
tion is unknown, and the Turkic-speaking Avars (from 
around 560). fn the latter half of the 6th century they were 
followed by further groups from the confederation of the 
so-called Western Turks (the Bulgars, Khazars and the 

Finno-Ugrian-speaking Magyars), and in the 9th century by 
independent Turkic-speaking groups, the Peehenegs and 
the Oguz. As more nomads moved onto the steppe, they 
drove the earlier arrivals further west and towards the 
lands around the Mediterranean - lands whose relative 
wealth could he tapped through raids and more sustained 
military campaigns, or through the extraction of annual 
tributes. In 395, for example, the Huns, who at this point 
were settled in the Ukrainian steppe, raided both the 
Roman and Persian empires (ptiges 56-57), and by the 
410s they were established on the Great Hungarian Plain, 
supplying mercenaries to the Roman state. In the 440s, 
after a sequence of highly destructive campaigns, their 
feared leader Attila was receiving 900 kilograms (2.000 
pounds) of gold a year in tributes. The Avars later mounted 
a series of campaigns against the Byzantines, particularly 
in the 580s, and extracted a steadily increasing tribute. In 
the 10th century the Magyars terrorized Europe with raids 
from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean coast of Prance. 

The buiuhnc of kmpikes 

The steppe peoples not only raided the empires of other 
peoples but also built empires of their own, either on the 
steppe or within Europe, On the Great Hungarian Plain the 
Huns established a powerful and aggressive empire between 
about 410 and 469 (mop I), They were succeeded by the 
Avars, who moved west from the Ukrainian steppe in 
around 560 to escape the Western Turks and established 
an empire that was to last until 796 (map 2). 

Gentred around the ruling elan of the Asina, the 
Western Turks built a huge empire stretching from the 
borders of China to the Ukrainian steppe, but it bad col- 
lapsed by the 630s. During the following 40 years three of 
its constituent parts - the Bulgars, Khazars and Magyars - 
established longer-lived entities in the [fobrudja, Volga and 
Ukrainian steppe respectively. These empires remained rel- 
atively stable for over 200 vears, until in the late 9th and 


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early 10th centuries the Pechenegs moved west, expelling 
the Magyars and undermining Khazar power (map 3). The 
Pechenegs themselves would later fall victim to the Seljuk 
Turks, a dynasty who were to emerge from the Oguz in the 
11th century (pages 88-89). 

All these shifting empires were based on the conquest 
and exploitation of subject tribes, who were usually a 
mixture of nomadic peoples and more settled agricultural 
groups. Attila's Hunnic Empire of the 440s consisted of a 
dominant Hunnic core but with numerous, particularly 
Germanic, groups such as Goths, Gepids, Herules, Rugians, 
Sueves and Lombards. The Avar Empire of the later 6th 
century incorporated Gepids, Bulgars and numerous Slavic 
groups, and the Bulgar state in the Dobrudja and sur- 
rounding territories also incorporated many Slavic tribes. 
The Khazars on the Volga steppe exercised dominion over 
the nomadic Magyars before they established their own 
empire in the Ukraine, as well as over large Slavic and later 
Scandinavian Rus groups to the north. 

Once they had achieved some degree of dominance, 
peoples of the steppe tended to cease being simple nomads 
and profound social evolution sometimes followed. For 
example, when the Huns first reached the Ukrainian steppe 
around 375, they were led in their continual search for new 
pastures by a multiplicity of chiefs. By the 430s, however, 
one dominant dynasty, that of Attila, had emerged, sup- 
pressing all rivals. With warfare dominating their lives, the 
Huns were able to use the wealth of the Roman Empire to 
create a new, more stratified social hierarchy under a 
single ruler. 

The impact of the nomads on Europe 

The nature of these nomad empires explains much of their 
impact on Europe. Built on military dominance, they 
required continued military success to survive. In their 
campaigns they used soldiers and leaders recruited from 
the peoples they dominated, and their successes were to 
some extent shared with these peoples. A successful cam- 
paign both maintained a leader's prestige and provided 
booty to be distributed - not only among the nomad core 
but also to selected leaders among subject groups, whose 
loyalty was thus maintained. The campaigns led to a sub- 
stantial degree of instability in Europe, as groups escaping 
from the intruders sought new homes. The collapse of the 

Western Roman Empire in the 5th century was brought 
about by Germanic groups escaping the Huns, and Avar 
pressure later led to a great migration of Slavs into central 
and eastern Europe and Lombards into Italy. 

Warfare, however, could not be successful forever. The 
Europeans eventually learned how to contain the steppe 
peoples, for whom the logistic problems of continuous 
warfare increased as closer targets were conquered. Once 
expansion stopped, decline quickly followed. Within 16 
years of Attila's death in 453, the Huns had ceased to exist 
as an independent force in Europe. Without booty to 
distribute or prestige to inspire fear, Attila's sons lost control 
of the subject peoples. Similarly, when defeat by 
Constantinople had curbed the power of the Avars in the 
7th century, numerous Slavs and Bulgars escaped from the 
Avar Empire. Long-term survival was only possible for 
steppe peoples by adopting the lives of sedentary land- 
owners and embracing mainstream European culture, as the 
Magyars did after being defeated by the Saxons at the Battle 
of Lechfeld in 955 (map 4). 

▲ In the 9th century the Khazars played a 
dominant role in trade throughout the 
Ukrainian steppe with both the Bulgars and 
Magyars. Directly or indirectly, their 
hegemony also extended to the Slavic and 
Rus groups of the neighbouring forested 
zone to the north. 

T Driven into the heart of the continent by 
the arrival of the Pechenegs on the 
Ukrainian steppe around 895, the Magyars 
in turn terrorized central, southern and 
even parts of western Europe with 
widespread raids. Their expansion was 
first curbed in 936 and then halted in 955 
by the newly powerful Saxon kings Henry I 
and his son Otto I. 

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4 The Magyars 896- 955 

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© FROM HUNTING TO FARMING: EUROPE 8000-200 bc pages 20-21 O THE MONGOL EMPIRE 1206-1405 pages 98-99 



► Viking raiders ranged widely, reoching 
ihs coos! of Holy. So, too, did Viking traders, 
exchanging goods at tcrwm in western 
Europe ami following the river routes of 
western Russia to «fl fun and slaves as for 
amy as Baghdocl. Both traders and rntders 
used the new ship technology to create new 
ways of making money out of the wealth of 
ihe great torolingion ond Abbasid empires. 

► Kew ship ledinolrjgy, combining lis use 

of soil power with o strong hul flexible hull 
which torrlrt survive ihe impact of oreon 
waves, made extraordinary voyages of 
exploration possible far ihe adventurous 
Vikings. In 9B6 Bjarni Hertorfsson reached 
North Amerkc after being blown off course 
during a voyage from Iceland lo Greenland. 
His discoveries along the coasts of 
Newfoundland and Labrador were followed 
up by Led Eirilcsson, who in about 1 003 
soled from Greenland in order lo follow 
HerjrJfsson s route in reverse. 

A Ihis Wing sine dragon .headed amulet 
comes horn Inland which was colonized by 
the vikings in the late 9th century. Its cross 
shape may well have a thrhlkin 
cannolatian: ihe inhabitants of Iceland - 
together with lhase of Denmark Norway 
and Sweden - were converted lo Chrrslianily 
in the lale lOlh and early I Ith centuries. 

The Vikings first came to the attention of other 
Kuroj>eans when, at the end of the Nth century, they 
sailed from their Scandinavian homeland to launch a 
scries of ferocious raids on the coasts of Britain, Ireland and 
France. However, In the 300 years that followed they not 
only plundered in western Europe but also embarked cm 
voyages of exploration, established a far-feaching network of 
trading routes and created new states. During these years the 
term "Viking" was applied only to those who undertook 
expeditions of plunder, but it lias since come to lie used 
more widely to refer to all the inhabitants of Norway, 
Denmark and Sweden at that time. 

Voyages of exploration 

In the late Sth century Norwegians sailed to the Shetland* 
and Orkneys, drawn across the North Sea by the prevailing 
winds and currents. This was a shorter journey than coasting 
round Scandinavia and led naturally on to the northern 
coast of Scotland, the Hebrides. Ireland and western Britain 
(map J). The Norwegians then ranged further afield and 
reached the Faroes in the early 9th century and Iceland, 
another 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) northwest, in the 
N60s and 870s. Greenland was first visited in about 900. 
when the Norwegian Gunnbjom was blown off course. 
Settlement there began in the late 10th century, bringing 
further explorers, such as Eirik the Red, who Surveyed much 
of the new land. According to a 12th-century saga, it was 
during a voyage to Greenland in 986 that Bjarni llerjolfsson 
was storm-driven south to reach the sheires of North 
America. He made three landfalls, line i if which is tin night to 

coincide with the site of a permanent Norwegian settlement 
dating front around 10(H) near L'Anse aux Meadows, cm the 
northern tip of Newfoundland, Hcrjolfssoii was followed by- 
other voyagers, notably Leif F.iriksson (in (003) and his 
brother Thorvald (between 1005 and 1012). 

Trading and raiding 

Most Vikings sailed in search of profit, whether as traders or 
raiders. They exchanged goods at trading centres (emporia) 
irt northern Europe and followed the river routes of western 
Russia - ehiefh the Volga route to the Caspian to gain 
access to the rich Muslim world (titcr/i 2). between the later 
Mtb and 10th centuries the natural resources of the north - 
particularly furs but also honey, wax, falcons, walrus ivory 
and large numbers of slaves - were exchanged for Arab silver, 
mostly at a threat emporium in the land of the Volga Bulgars 
[pages 76-77), During the 9th century Norwegians and 
Danes also moved west, taking slaves from Ireland and 
Scotland via new trading settlements at Dublin and York. 

Commerce and plundering were linked: slaves were 
usually captured in raids and the trading centres became a 
natural target tor raiders Exploiting many of the established 
trading routes, Norwegians raided northern Britain from 7%. 
and Danes quickly followed suit, moving along the Channel 
to attack southern lingland and northern France. Merchants 
were forced to pay protection money and many of the old 
emporia (especially Quentovie. Dorestad and Hamwie) were 
repeatedly sacked In the N40s and S60s settlements along 
the western coasts of France and Spain, and along the 
Mediterranean coast as far as llalv, were also raided. 



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▲ Alfred's newly constructed fortresses 
(the burns) protected his kingdom from the 
second Great Army of 892-95. Many of its 
frustrated contingents then returned to the 

continent, creating chaos in Brittany and, 
under King Rollo, eventually being granted 
land to found the Duchy of Normandy at 
the mouth of the Seine in 911. 




3 Conquest mid settlement 865-9? 

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Conquest and settlement 

A totally new level of activity unfolded in western Europe 
from the 860s with the arrival of the "Great Armies", inde- 
pendent (mostly Danish) groups led by their own kings but 
often totalling several thousand men and now enabling 
Vikings to settle in previously inpenetrable areas south of 
Scotland. The first Great Army landed in England in 865 and 
within five years had subdued Northumbria, Mercia and East 
Anglia. The next seven years saw a series of assaults on the 
one surviving kingdom, Wessex, which under Alfred the 
Great successfully resisted and defeated the Viking Guthrum 
at Edington in 878. The Vikings were given territory north 
of the River Thames, and this was formally established as 
Danelaw (map 3). Dissatisfied with this arrangement, some 
Vikings turned to continental Europe, and for 13 years 
(879-92) battles raged along the rivers of northern France, 
even reaching Paris. Following a serious defeat on the River 
Dyle the remaining Vikings returned to England in 892, but 
this time Alfred fended them off with ease (map 4). 


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▲ By around 1000 the Jelling dynasty had 
created the first Danish kingdom. It reduced 
local autonomy and created new political 

structures, allowing it to exploit both human 
and other resources of Jutland and its 
neighbouring islands. 


Danelaw never constituted a unified state, and when the 
Vikings no longer arrived in targe numbers after 9(10 the 
Wessex monarchy swallowed up their territories to create 
the first united kingdom of England. By contrast King Rollo's 
settlement in France eventually emerged as the independent 
Duchy of Normandy, and Viking trading stations in western 
Russia coalesced Into a state in the 10th century (pages 
70-71}. However, the main forum of Viking state formation 
was Scandinavia itself. In about 800 no unified kingdoms 
existed there, but by around 1000 a dynasty with its capital 
at Jelling, led by Svein Korkbcard and his son Cnut, had 
established control over all of Denmark. Having suppressed 
their rivals they built fortresses, set up regional administra- 
tive centres, created the first native Scandinavian coinage 
and - because Svcitt and ( aiut were also Christians - estab- 
lished a number of bishoprics (map 5). 

Similar processes began in Norway in the 990s. when 
Olaf Tryggv assort, returning from extensive raiding in 
England as a rich man and a convert to Christianity, founded 
the Norwegian monarchy. The entity he created was far from 
stable, however, and .Sweden also remained politically frag- 
mented. Thus when Svein and taint gathered forces for the 
conquest of England ( 10O.1-17) they were joined not only by 
Danes hut also by numerous independent groups from across 
Scandinavia. ( mut became a strong ruler of England, but his 
hold on Denmark and Norway was weak, and on his death 
in 10.15 his empire disintegrated Within 50 years the 
Vikings had been driven out of England by the Normans, and 
hy the 12th ecu I tin' they were no longer a force to lie feared 
outside the shores of Scandinavia. 

A Numbering sever al thousand men .the 
" Gr eat Armies' whkft storied to tolled in 
western Europe horn about 865 marked a 
new eta in Viking expansion. Mainly Danish, 
they were large enough to conguer and 
settle whole Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and - 
when chirked by Aided the Great al Wessex 
in Hi - to cause similar disruption on the 
Continent by exploiting the major river 
systems al Frame and the Low Countries. 

► Even to the modern eye the Viking 

langships are impressive. The 9lh century. 
1 6-seoter Gokslod ship recovered by a 
Norwegian excavation., is 23.5 metres [just 
ow 76 feel I long, clinker-planked with thin 
oak atladted by a combination al lashings 
and small iron plates to 1 9 homes built up 
fTom o huge keel. An Atlantic crossing ol 
1 6)3 in a replica of this ship - made in just 
2S days Itom Bergen to Newfoundland - 
demonstrated the timeless efficiency al the 
design. It was, however, normally only used 
lor coastal sailing;; the broader and deeper 
halfship was considered more suitable for 
long-distance ocean crossings. 

© FROM HUNTING TO FARMING: EUROPE 8000-200 bc pages 20-21 O EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 


•* :■: i'.-'JL'ii ijiiilhi ll iv.l I:-.:-. 

had emerged in Wosl Africa, each 
governed by an slile whose wedlh 
and power ton be judged from 1hetr 
subsioniial lowm, their rich bur iaK 
and the fine works of (ro.ftmon&hip 
aealed for them. 

1 States in West Africa 50<M 500 

tyiywarnoirj m«\\ of muniio of Sonpjioy r. 1 5DQ 

typro*imulfl Bxrant of unpin of Ghono 1 1 050 

ftppuliriiiit «Ibh« of empire of Mall 

in iha 1 4iti umuty OYO 


n» 9ih-Hlh (ffiMBH 

Tropic of Concw 



tfAUSA «C iUmlO 
.Kathi |c 15001 o X N 9 DIar B am0 
' "' (_ O ( 

ZariTtajra Znrio 

'■■ NUPE 
jc. 1500) KWARARAFA 



. ,v#" 



▼ The various vegeiatiao zones of Wml 
Africa supported differenr agricultural 
regimes and produced different raw 
resources - such as gold from ihe vnamn 

and foiesl, and salt from the desert. This 
diversity in lurn helped stimulate the 
development ol interregional trade. 

Early West African states look a number of forms, 
varying in size from the vast Songhay Empire, which 
held in its sway many different ethnic groups, to 
smaller, mure ethnically homogeneous ttausa city-states 
such as Kano {map 7). Methods of government, too, were 
equally varied: the great medieval empires of the savanna 
and semi-desert Sahel regions employed often complex 
bureaucracies utilizing Muslim officials and the Arabic 
script, while in the forested region of the south, different 
systems existed which attached varying importance to the 



2 Vegetation zones in West Africa 


%uAjd prafrft: 



6 pfllmoci 


Wfc ■rnrte 




I sowino ond wooded -Dreutand 

rt Doofi 



Q cotton 

| Wooded mm end tewtond ntfimst 

flf comttEi 


role of king. Among the tgbo in the Niger delta, for 
example, there was no king and loyalty to the state was 
maintained through religious ties, ceremonies and clans. 

Trade and the eormatioiv of states 
Trade was intimately linked with the growth of states in 
West Africa, initially local and interregional in focus but 
later developing into long-distance trade across the Sahara. 
Trade flourished partly because of the existence of different 
environmental zones that stretched east-west across the 
continent and comprised the Sahara Desert, the Sahelian 
semi-desert, the Sudannic savanna and wooded grasslands, 
and finally the more heavily wooded region merging into the 
rainforest {map 2). The forms of agriculture practised varied 
between zones: for example, the yams cultivated in the 
southern wooded region could not be grown in the Sahelian 
or Saharan zones, whereas pastoraiism or animal herding 
was viable in the Sahel. This variation resulted in a need to 
exchange commodities, often carried out by merchants 
from the Sahel or savanna regions (map J). 

Prosperity generated through trade, coupled with the 
growth of settlements at important trade centres, gradually 
led to urbanization and the foundation of states. Recent 
excavations have shown that the settlement of Jcnne-jeno in 
Mali, the earliest town yet found in West Africa, was founded 
in about 300 1st: and had developed into a thriving town by 
AD 500. Although .lenrie-jenn never grew into a state, it 
served as a centre of trade where savanna commodities such 
as gold, iron and various foodstuffs were traded for Saharan 
salt and possibly - though this is less certain - for copper. 

Another town founded in Mali by the 7th century was 
Gao, later to become the capital of the Songhay Empire. To 
the west, in Mauritania, the capital of the empire of Ghana 
also appears to have been in existence by this time, though 
only pan of the settlement - the merchants' town of Koumhi 
Saleh - has so far been found. While Ghana was in all prob- 
ability the first of the stales founded in West Africa, events 
were also proceeding rapidly to ihe east of this area on the 
margins of Lake Chad. The kingdom of Kanem, east of the 
lake, was mentioned in an Arab document in the mid-9th 

to Jsfornrc I A 
Spain I J 




yfff^ « e " ' « ' r i , e „ „ 




'™o, ! 



*K»- ■» 

Nguiorgomo.'jf / * 

Old(V : 

o? O 

Qui/ 0/ 
Ot< * « e h 


to central Sudan 
m Jf and ftetJ Sea 

7- i- 

3 Principal trade commodities and trade routis 800-1500 

faded goods. • foodstuffs ■ <errjnncs fade route 

A aft ^ Am B paper ^ GoHsowhi 

90W 9 mxy O flfaj P~l Kq(or Imfa nu« produtticn 

# tolomrfc © cowrie shefc ifi coppef | Coppvsaite 

# tlolh H brass *f fttnn A Mqoiwfrflun 

# bead* ^ weapons — *■ (taction d tod* a Mmwsdtsww 

t^ %■'-■■• i - : 

century and had certainly been in existence for some time 
before that. Later, apparently in the 14th century, this state 
shifted west of Lake Chad to Borno and became known as 

The forest regions, with their higher density of popula- 
tion than the savanna or Sahel regions, were a source of 
slaves, and states began to emerge in this area around the 
12th century. Trade appears to have been linked with the 
growth of the Akan states in modern Ghana, an area rich in 
gold where trade centres such as Begho were founded 
perhaps as early as the 12th century. To the northeast the 
seven Hausa city-states, the Hausa Bakwai, were established 
during the 13th century. Together with a further seven 
related but non-Hausa states to the south, these formed a 
link in the 15th century between Kanem-Borno to the east 
and the Songhay Empire and the Akan states to the west. 

The forest kingdoms also emerged comparatively early, 
with Benin (now famous on account of its bronze sculp- 
tures), occupied by the 13th century. Similar castings, 
predating those of Benin, were produced in Ife, birthplace of 
the Yoruba nation - a state with a well-developed tradition 
of forest farming, town living, crafts and government. 

Contacts with the Muslim world 

Indirect trans-Saharan trade is known to have occurred 
during the 1st millennium BC, but it is unlikely that cara- 
vans travelled right across the desert until the introduction 
of camels towards the end of that period. Archaeological evi- 
dence indicates that trans-Saharan trade became far more 
important with the consolidation of Islam in North Africa 
from the early 9th century ad, and from this time it had a 
major economic and social impact on the developing states 
of sub-Saharan Africa. 

There was a great demand in the Muslim world for West 
African products, particularly gold, slaves and ivory. Among 

the items sent south in return were manufactured goods 
such as cloth, glazed pottery, glass vessels, beads, paper, 
brass and cowrie shells (later used as currency). Transport 
was by camel caravans, which travelled from well to well to 
the Sahelian trade centres of Koumbi Saleh, Tegdaoust and 
Gao. From there some of the goods were traded on further 
into West Africa - indicated, for example, by the discovery 
of many thousands of 9th-century coloured glass beads at 
the site of Igbo-Ukwu in the southern forest zone. 

Through contacts with Muslim merchants, the Sahelian 
trade centres were exposed to Islam from the very begin- 
nings of trans-Saharan trade with Muslim North Africa. 
Various local rulers of the empires of Ghana, Kanem-Borno, 
Mali and Songhay converted to Islam, which spread right 
across the region through the activities of local merchant 
groups such as the Mande or Wangara, who were respons- 
ible for much of the trade in gold and kola nuts from the 
Akan states. Hausa was also gradually Islamized but further 
south, in the forest states such as Ife or Benin, the tradi- 
tional beliefs of animism were maintained, with religious 
and secular authority often intermixed. 

The arrival of the Portuguese 

Major events in the second half of the 15th century were to 
have far-reaching effects on the states, societies and trade 
systems of West Africa. Paramount among these was the 
arrival of the Portuguese on the west coast in the 1440s, fol- 
lowed by the establishment in 1482 of a Portuguese trading 
post at Elmina on the coast of modern Ghana. This meant 
that imported manufactured goods such as cloth could now 
be obtained directly from the coast and that another outlet 
for West African commodities was established. The slave 
trade across the Atlantic also began, starting with the first 
cargo of slaves from West Africa to the West Indies in 1518 
- a momentous event with tragic consequences. 

▲ Located on the inland Niger delta, the 
town of Jenne-jeno owed its prosperity to its 
great agricultural wealth, exporting rice, 
cereals, dried fish and fish oil to 
neighbouring regions by using the Niger as 
a transport highway. It was the first of many 
such towns that emerged in West Africa, all 
of them trading local raw materials and 
produce for everyday commodities and 
luxuries from other regions as far away 
as Muslim North Africa. 

▼ Like the people of Benin, the Yoruba 
produced fine bronze heads and figurines. 
However, they are particularly renowned for 
their terracotta heads, such as this one of a 
1 2th-l 3th century queen from Ife. 

© FROM HUNTING TO FARMING: AFRICA 10,000 bc-ad 500 pages 22-23 O AFRICA 1500-1800 pages 136-37 



A Soapslone brcughl From d wurie 
24 kilometres (IS mte) way *tts used 
or Great Zimbabwe to carve ritual objects 
in the form ol people and birds. 

P* The agricultural communities thai had 
colonized East and southern Alrka in ihe 1st 
millennium ad developed into kingdoms oad 
slates in the eor(y centuries of Ihe 2nd 
millennium. Both cattle-herding and 
command of raw materials - irKlvdrng gold, 
copper and ivory - wete by now of mojor 
importance. En the north, following a 
mission of 543, Christianity had become 
established in the Axumile kingdom, white 
Muslim traders who settled on the toast 
ham the 9th century were responsible not 
only lor the introduction ol Islam but also 
the development of Islamic slotBS. Further 
inlond elites emerged, marked by ich 
burials such as those at Sanaa and by 

il centres such as Great Zimbabwe 

In the; orb century East Africa was a mosaic of very 
different cultural groups employing a variety of subsis- 
tence strategies. Though in many areas foraging was still 
the primary means of providing food, agriculture and stock- 
keeping had already spread throughout the length of the 
continent. In areas such as the arid far southwest and the 
forests of central Africa, nomadic hunter-gatherers, being so 
well adapted to these environments, were still thriving in 
1500 AD. However, by the Nth century more settled com- 
munities had also begun to he established, which frequently 
emu rolled resources such as copper and ivory or acted as 
trading settlements. Some of these settled cum muni ties 
later developed into kingdoms and became integrated Into 
extensive trading networks. 

lit Ethiopia the Christian Axumite kingdom had begun 
to decline in the 7th century after losing control of its ports 
to the Arabs, and was finally destroyed in the 10th century. 
Christianity nevertheless remained strong in Kthiopia. and 
the focus of Christian Kthiopia {map 1) shifted south from 
Axum to I.alibela (then called Adefa I. While the Axumite 
kingdom had been urban in character, the empire which 



>\ 1 States and trading communities 

| WffllW SullDDOlffl H> lV 1 ?fh ((-flM> 

| Svnrhi sfirrterrpfiM in itie 14th centurv 

| JimbnhiV& In llie ldrtr-1 ^Hi rwruriK, 
31 BinvoiD kingdom m the 14th Ctiftrury 





Ad u^ 

i^cbj m 

v t<" 

I ),.,„■ ...,,.t. 


nba Island ' N t/ t il tt 

' l6ar <> e e a a 

i 'Wohernor 

( ItTpombij Uediy 




"Great Zmtubwo 

Mopungutwo Cl_, 
1 *- "vflibuisi 





replaced it was largely feudal, its rulers shifting their court 
when local resources had been exhausted. Rock -cut 
churches, created between the 10th and the 15th centuries, 
are the main legacy of the Christian Ethiopian Empire. 

The 1m. imitation of East Afruu 

To the cast and southeast of the Christian empire. Islamic 
trading settlements were established along the coast and 
along the trade routes leading into the interior from the 
major ports, of which Zeila was perhaps the most important. 
As the Muslim population increased, the creation of a 
number of Islamic sultanates led to conflict with the 
Christian Ethiopian Empire. During this period the Somali 
slowly expanded from around the Gulf of Aden - along the 
coast north to Zeila and south to Mogadishu, and into the 
interior- to occupy much of the Horn of Africa. By the 12 th 
century Islamization of this area had become well advanced. 
During the Oth century" a series of trading settlements, 
united by a common religion, language and style of living, 
emerged along the East African coast. These Swahili- 
speaking Islamic communities, though African, lay on a 
branch of the great trade routes connecting the Red Sea, 
southern Arabia and India, and they adopted various 
aspects of the cultures with which they came in contact. By 
the 14th century Swahili towns and settlements had greatly 
expanded from the early sites of Manda and Shanga and 
stretched from Mogadishu south to Chtbucnc, with com- 
munities on the Comores and Madagascar, Towns such as 
Kilwa contained fine, multi-storied houses built of coral, and 
their inhabitants ate a diet containing rice, spices and 
coconut - cosmopolitan Indian Ocean tastes, 


political developments also occurred in interior East Africa. 
In the region of the Great Lakes a series of huge earthwork 
enclosures was built: at Bigo over 10 kilometres (six miles) 
of ditches and ramparts enclosed almost 300 hectares (750 
acres). It is thought that these en closures were used for cor- 
ralling cattle and that this kingdom, which later came to be 
known as Rimynro, based its wealth and power on its 
control of cattle. Further south, control of the copper and 
goldfields (rnup 2) may have been a factor In the rise of 
other powerful elites. An excavated sequence of burials at 
Sanga illustrates the emergence of a hierarchical society by 
the 10th century and the development of a currency system 
of uniform small copper crosses Although the main copper 
belt w-as 200 kilometres (125 miles) to the south, the society 
represented in the Sanga cemetery used copper to indicate 
wealth and status. 

On the Zimbabwe Plateau, with its highland and lowland 
grazing areas and its gold, iron, copper and tin resources, 
a powerful elite emerged at the beginning of the present 
millennium. Its capital was located at Great Zimbabwe 
{map ,f ). a substantial complex of stone towers and enclo- 
sures surrounded by duga (mud structures), which may 
have had a population of some 18,000 people. Similar 
stone structures are found across the plateau, indicating 
the extent of the authority exercised by the Zimbabwe 
elite. Religion may have played a role in legitimizing this 
authority: many ritual objects have been found at 
Great Zimbabwe, in particular soapstone carvings and 
monoliths, some surmounted by birds. 

East Afmcan i it auk 

The control and exploitation of particular resources or of 
trade routes played a role in the development of virtually 
every- state and kingdom in East Africa. The area was rich in 
resources - in metals such as gold, copper and iron, and in 
exotic materials such as ivory. Whereas West Africa, with its 
treacherous winds and coasts, had to rely on the trans- 
Saharan trade routes until the end of the 15th century. East 
Africa was Connected from an early date to the trade net- 
works of the Bed Sea and Indian Ocean (pagBS S2-53), and 
beyond as far east as .lava and China (map 2). At the north- 
ern end of the coast, traders mav have been active from as 




2 Trade nouns and commodities 

Wflja fcnie route # lecnles 

— K Dbkikti cf tmde * ipcrrt 

■eotooHiaY o vj^to 

O ttartinK&itd goods 6f book 

A wre 3 potreta 

* wry C- 

,>? Ebtt £ ■■<■■ 

* hrw * timtxii 
O Bold □ M( IE ld 

* Iran ore C appf j fapo sB 

early as the 1st century AD, when it was found chat using 
the favourable winds, a good dhow could make ;i return trip 
t'rom Mombasa to Cambay during one monsoon season. 

The main export from the Horn of Africa was slaves, 
shipped up the lied Sea and to the Arabian Peninsula. In 
return various manufactured goods were imported, includ- 
ing arms from the Arab world and ceramics from Arabia, 
Persia and China. Ceramics were also a major import along 
the length of the East African coast, where SwahiJi houses 
were built with rows of wall niches to display their collec- 
tions of porcelain. Other imporcs included textiles, spices 
and sugar. Great Zimbabwe grew wealthy from the trading of 
copper, gold and iron ore. and the coastal trading towns 
controlled the export of various produces - metals, ivory and 
slaves - from the interior, to which they transported beads. 

The trading communities of the East African coast 
reached their height at the end of the 15th century. In 1497 
a Portuguese expedition led by Vasco da Garaa landed at 
Sofala, beginning a new chapter in the history of East Africa. 
Initially the Portuguese established forts at Kilwa and Sofala 
to safeguard their trade routes to India, but the rich coastal 
trade here soon became an equal attraction. The nature of 
these coastal settlements, and their relationship with the 
interior, would now alter irrevocably. 

3 Great Zimbabwe 

Stone struciues 


J" o °l A™> el oooo hm 

o a sf~* 

o« / 

o /;■•■.. o 

"■■jtoo o 0„ 

\ / C Acropolis 0d 

»' \ \i2J ••»•« c_ - 

V ^^T^fffl'fjO 0o°0 
00° \f\ (ia c, £> 0°0 


»■%• a o ^»Greot Enclosure v 

o«o o 


a Q °0 °O°0 °0 ° ^v 

o n o ^v 


<>0 \v 

o fl N. 

7$ 0.5 milei 


OS 1 km 


A Trade routes aiross the Indian Ocean, 
wfiirh had existed al least frnm the hi 
century Ki, nourished during the period 
from 500 to 1 500, Taking advantage ol the 
monsoon winds in both direction*, dhow* 
sailed between the ports nf East Africa, the 
Red Sea, India, Sri Lank-::. Southeast Asia 
and China hearing raw materials, spites and 
luxury goods - among them Persian and 
Chinese porcelain. 

4 In about 1 250, stone structures began 

to be constructed at Great Zimbabwe. 
comprising dryslone walk forming 
enclosures, platforms to support hut* and a 
massive enclosure containing a conical 
lower. Great Zimbabwe was the capital ol 
the rulers af a society that drew its wealth 
from bath cattle keeping and tending with 
the coastal slates at East Africa. In the mid 
I5lh century the settlement - like Kilwa on 
the caasl - began to decline. 

© FROM HUNTING TO FARMING: AFRICA 10,000 bc-ad 500 pages 22-23 © AFRICA 1500-1800 pages 136-37 


A Gold - ol which ihh Chimu iwm. v 
ceremonial knife, is mode - wos prized by 
mony South Amnion tullures for its 
symbolic connection with ihe sun. 

▼ The Yucatan Peninsula ond adjacent 
regions were homo to lire Maya. In the 
period 500 to S00 large cities, some 
(entailing, os many as 100,000 people, 
donti noted Ihe smaller cities ond kingdoms 
undei divine relets, (olokmol, in 
southeastern Cnrripechc. vras by lor the most 
active in forging alliances end orrbestraling 
battles. A persistent anlogonrsm existed 
between CoWctml ond me similarly large 
ond prestigious kingdom of lifcal. with both 
apparently organized inta slote-lilce entities. 

Mesoameriea and the; Andes region of South America 
wore - Inline to some of the most sophisticated civil- 
izations in ancicnl America - includinii, in the 
period from around 500 to 151)0. the Later Maya, Toltee, 
Teuehithm, Tarascan, Zapotec, Mixtee, Siean and (lliimn 
While some consisted of only cine ethnic group, others occu- 
pied an ecologically distinct region, such as areas in the hot 
lowlands (tierra catiatte) or cooler highlands (lierrTt.rnci). 
Most began in a heartland under tight dynastic control but 
then spread to more distant areas which were governed only 
indirectly, often through local rulers. 

Tin: Omit CI LTtIRE 

To the west of the Andes the Chimu. a dynasty from the 
Moehe Valley, gradually came to dominate a thin coastal 
strip in Bern between the 10th and 15th centuries (tnrcp I ). 
leonographic clues suggest substantial continuity with the 
religion of the earlier Mnchc state (priges .I4-.T5), although 
with a new twist: the capital city of Chan Chan contains ten 
immense enclosures thought to have served as mortuary 
temples for deceased Chimu emperors. 

In three phases of expansion the Chimu lords extended 
control over and beyond the valleys once controlled by the 
Moehe, with the same tendency of avoiding highland zones. 
Evidence of Chimu control in the south is patchy as local 
polities were incorporated by the Chimu without any sub- 
stantial change to local government liy contrast, areas to 
the north may have been subjected to territorial conquest. 
Around 135(1 the Chimu conquered the Lambayec|tic Valley, 
where the Sican culture with its rich burials and prosper- 
ous, irrigated settlements had succeeded the Moehe. Chan 
Chan wielded heavy control until 1475. when the Chimu 
empcrur was seized by the Ineas (pttgex 1 10-1 1 1 and taken 
hack to their highland capital of Cuzeo. 


Chidm Ibfl 

Gulf of 



'' Ji mil n 







" Q to ' 

P ritoi 



t in ■:■ "i 

.Lamcmai .•■ 
D M p t DMunHo 

Dos Pilot- ';- -OlKivtt 

u Hun onto wafc 
■: Cuf 'xol 


Pac ifi c 
Ocea n 

2 Uii Classic Maya 550-900 

Sbq^ied boundaiv flf 'Cgiomrl sime 

fiugiDfinl capimJ 



A Ar its height hi 1475 the Chimu culture 
occupied a thin coastal strip from near 
preseniday lima 10 me Gull ol Guayaquil, 
in Ecuador. Sketchy historical evidence helps 
identify the the lords of Chimu and of its 
capital Chan Chan, who presided aver an 
expansion thai emanated horn the Moehe 
Valley. By 1 200 this dynasty held sway aver 

five valleys and by 1475, led by Empeiot 
minchancaman, it hod vaulted over the 
Sechuia Desert into a region formerly 
linked lo the Amazonian cultural area. 
Greol cci licit, connecting river valeys 
facililaled irrigation agriculture and the 
growth of urban civilization in the heartland 
of ihe Chimu. 

Tuii Latkh Maya 

In Mesoameriea the Maya went through great changes in the 
period between 500 and the Spanish conquest in the 16th 
century. Until about 8<H>, kingdoms ruled by "holy lords" 
and administered by courtiers waged war and created 
alliances against a backdrop of a rising population - one that 
approached five million in the central Yucatan Peninsula 
alone (man 2). However, between 800 and 900 the popula- 
tion plummeted dramatically for a variety of reasons, some 
of them agricultural and meteorological (such as envir- 
onmental degradation) and others political, including 
intensified conflict between elites. 

The so-called "Maya Collapse" was more pronounced in 
the centre of the peninsula than elsewhere, partly due to a 
lower birth rate and a higher mortality rate here than 
elsewhere, hut also because of large-scale movements of 
people into more peaceful zones. Thus while the reduced 
population of the central area settled on defended islands in 
lakes, some Maya groups undoubtedly moved to cities in die 
northwest which had only just overcome a severe water 
shortage by developing a new means of collecting and 
storing rainwater in underground cisterns. 

At the time of the collapse, the large city of Chiehen ltza 
lorded over a confederacy that shaped the northern penin- 
sula (map ,1). In the late l.llh century the smaller city of 
Mayapan took over, its rule lasting until around 145t>. The 
final years before the .Spanish conquest saw power disperse 
into small kingdoms - a development that made the Yucatan 
Peninsula far more resistant to Spanish incursions than 
Tenochtitlan. imperial city of the Aztecs in the Valley of 
Mexico (pages 1 10-11). 


3 Posi-Cussic Yucatan and highland Mexico c 900-1 500 

| j TotiKJiearrirndfrorn ?D0 

| Nun Wnya arec 





— >■ Immigration dI fatlKS t. 900 

• PuTun Moya n uJl> {sirra 





— > Spraod of Tolttc influbKe c. MO— 1 200 

D Mojoi Maya anne c. 9O0-145O 





• lotoctfo 

BCftB Mop Ttataafou. 1450 





The Toltecs 

The emperor of the Aztecs was one of the 15th-century 
rulers in Mesoamerica who claimed descent from the 
Toltecs, a legendary people who had inhabited the semi- 
mythical paradise city of Tula. There is some historical 
evidence to support these legends, Tula having been 
identified with a major ruined city which was at its peak 
around the 10th century and was abandoned and destroyed 
around 1160 (map 3). Its inhabitants, the Toltecs, included 
groups from the Gulf coast as well as Nahuatl speakers 
originally from the "barbarian" lands to the north. 
Monumental sculptures and other artwork at Tula show the 
Toltecs as warriors - and practising the Mesoamerican 
rituals of captive sacrifice and the ballgame. 

Major conflict around 980 may have led one group of 
Toltecs to flee to the Yucatan, where religious and perhaps 
dynastic elements typical of Tula appeared in Ghichen Itza 
at this time. The Toltecs remaining at Tula then came to 
dominate a large area of central Mexico, playing a major role 
in trading networks which stretched as far north as the 
Pueblo area of southwestern North America (pages 108-9), 
the source of highly-prized turquoise. After the collapse of 
Tula there was probably a major dispersal of its inhabitants, 
introducing Toltec elements into the Valley of Mexico, 
Cholula and the Maya area. 

The Teuchitlan, Tarascan, Zapotec and Mixtec 

Western Mexico (map 4) has often been described as the 
land of "enduring villages", each with deep-shaft tombs con- 
taining sculptures of everyday life. However, recent research 
has shown that from 500 to 900 this hilly, dry and remote 
part of Mesoamerica contained not only shaft tombs but also 
a distinctive temple type known as the guachimonton: a cir- 
cular configuration of mounds around a central pyramid, 
often with a ballcourt extending out as an alley from the 
central group of buildings. The concentration of such fea- 
tures in the Teuchitlan Valley, together with raised field 
agriculture (chinampas) and fortified control points along 
valleys leading into this area, suggest a unitary state. 

By the late pre-Conquest period a local people, speak- 
ing an isolated language known as Tarascan, controlled a 
large area of western Mexico around Lake Patzcuaro, from 
where they successfully harried the Aztecs. The Tarascans 
were exceptional craftsmen, particularly in their working of 
gold and silver. Their emperor, the kasonsi, commissioned 

stepped platforms known as yacatas, probably the funerary 
monuments of his ancestors. In a dualistic pattern also 
common in central Mexico the kasonsi shared power with a 
powerful priest. 

To the southeast of the Tarascan kingdom, in the Oaxaca 
Valley, were the Mixtecs. They had eclipsed the power of the 
Zapotecs, who around 700 had abandoned their great 
Classic centre of Monte Alban in the valley and later moved 
to a new base at Mitla. Here the Zapotecs constructed a for- 
tified stronghold with fine palaces and continued to practise 
sacrificial rites until the arrival of the Spanish. 

The Mixtecs, who were originally based in a series of 
small warring kingdoms in the north and west of the Oaxaca 
Valley, expanded their territory by warfare and dynastic 
marriages during the Post-Classic period (between 900 and 
the Spanish conquest). By 1350 they controlled the Oaxaca 
Valley and influenced neighbouring regions as far as 
Cholula. Both the Mixtecs and Zapotecs suffered at the 
hands of the Aztecs, but neither people was ever completely 
conquered; like the Tarascan Empire, both these cultures 
would soon be destroyed by powerful European invaders. 

A After the "Maya Collapse" in the 9th 
century, Chichen Itza flourished before 
being replaced in the late 13th century by 
a political hegemony centred on the densely 
serried and walled city of Mayapan. Trading 
communities prospered both along the coast, 
particularly behind the protection of the 
barrier reef on the east coast of the Yucatan 
Peninsula, and in the southwest, home of 
the Putun Maya, who operated a major 
Post Classic maritime network. 

▼ From an original homeland somewhere 
in the Sonora Desert in the extreme 
northwest of Mexico, Nahuatl-speaking 
peoples - among them the ancestors of the 
Toltecs and Aztecs - migrated into central 
Mexico via western Mexico, an area that 
was subject to substantial population 
movements between 500 and 900. 

Bafmaum QTiintajFrtxan 

( httfof 

*Ktf ' .CWula 

I'licifiv Ocean 

4 Western Mesoamerica 500—1475 

■ MMhrtnl 

• Zapo'lH s1e 

O Toman silt 

" '-:: :'."■: :■■ 

| budvInAfe 

• Sine ihowmg nftax? 

• Maiftiiffi 

• tahtaufc 

ol Muri spnta 


^1 boson bifite 

A I Oaxaca 

Tibnlon9o'» ^Albor, 

Zoochila* • Mil |„ 

© MESOAMERICA 1200 bc-ad 700 pages 32-33 © SOUTH AMERICA 1400 bc-ad 1000 pages 34-35 © SPAIN AND THE AMERICAS 1492-1550 pages 120-21 



► In (Offiftosl lo the (OirnopoTrtan and 

expansionhl fang dynasty, the Song dynasty 
was introspective and defensive. The threat 
from the north forced rite Song to maintain 
o massive professional army, which by I (MO 
contained over 1 .250,000 men. Military 
expenditure exploded and the production of 
arms and armour readied unprecedented 
rates. The Song also developed new 
methods of warfare: the fiist surviving 
formula lot gunpowder dates horn this 
period, although tt hod been invented 
under the fang. 

A A painted wooden carving of Buddha 
Itom lopon's Mutomachi period 
( 1 33 5-1 573) conveys o vastly different 
image lo the Iroditional Buddhist figures of 
the linfioa subcontinent. Arriving in Japan 
from China by the 6th century, Buddhism 
was hugely influential, notably in education, 
but it foiled lo replace the indigenous 
religion of Shinto. 

Following tfie fall of the Tang dynasty in W7 {jutges 
72-73), southern China was broken up into small 
"kingdoms" ruled over by warlords, while northern 
China was controlled by a rapid succession of "dynasties". 
the Later periods of the Liang, Tang, Jin, Han and Zhou, This 
period of disunity, known as the Ten Kingdoms and Five 
Dynasties, was ended in 960 by the general Zhao Kuaugyin. 
who brought ChllM under the control of the Song dynasty 
and reigned as ICmperor Taizu until 'J 76 

The reunified Chinese Empire (mop I) was rather differ- 
ent in character from its Tang predeeessor. It was much 
smaller: Central Asia had been lost, and the Liao state in the 
northeast was eontrolled by the Kb i tan people, the Xixia 
State in the northwest by the Taitgut people. The Khitaii anil 
the Tangut were non-Chinese, and the north presented a 
constant military threat to the Song. Initially the Song 
emperors established the northern city of Kaifcng as their 
capital. However, after the loss of mueh of northern China to 
Jurehcn Invaders, who created the Jin state, the Song estab- 
lished a second capital further south in Hangzhou. 


The Song period saw a great revival in Confucianism, 
regarded as the native Chinese philosophy, at the expense of 
buddhism, which had been imported from India during the 
Tang period. The class of scholar-officials burgeoned as great 

emphasis was placed on civil service examination, which 
began during the Han periiKl and continued under the Tang 
rulers, as the method of recruiting die governing elite, by the 
end of the era some 400,000 candidates sat exams eaeh year, 
sometimes with hundreds of aspirants chasing a Single post. 
Scholarly families fuelled a demand for the many new books 
of all sorts that the improvements in printing, such as wood- 
block printing and the use of moveable type, allowed to l>e 
produced. The Song era also witnessed new artistic forms, 
notably the rise of landscape painting - and indeed the 
Emperor lluizong (r, 1100-J 126) was blamed for the loss of 
the north because he allowed his interests in art to distract 
him from government. 

The population of China rose to over 100 million by 
1 ](KI. with a much higher increase in the south than in tile 
north. This demographic growth was accompanied by great 
economic growth and an expansion in mercantile activity, 
notably in waterborne trade, facilitated by the world's first 
paper money. Vast new tracts of land were opened up for 
agriculture, and the development of an unregulated property 
market led to the appearance of huge estates. All across 
China new cities flourished, often starting out as bustling 
markets Inn with tea houses and shops soon added to attract 
traders and customers. In the 1.1th century the Italian trav- 
eller Marco Polo was to describe the later Song capital of 
Hangzhnu as the finest and most splendid city in the world. 


Events in the northeast 

The Liao state in the northeast was a union of a number of 
Khitan tribes - originally from the margins of the 
Manchurian steppe - brought together by the ruler Abaoji in 
the early 10th century. Their state comprised a solidly 
Khitan northern part and a southern part divided into 16 
provinces and occupied mostly by the three million Chinese 
ruled over by the Khitan. From the late 10th century the 
Khitan repeatedly attacked the Koryo kingdom in Korea, 
capturing the capital Kaegyong in 1011. There were also 
frequent forays against the Tangut to the west. 

By the 12th century a new power had emerged in the 
northeast - a confederation of Jurchen tribes from the 
mountains of eastern Manchuria. Following victory over the 
Liao state in 1125, the Jurchen seized north China two 
years later and established the Jin dynasty (map 2). The 
Song dynasty survived in the south until 1279, when the 
whole country fell to the Mongols (pages 98-99); they were, 
in their turn, to be replaced in 1368 by the Ming dynasty. 

Korea and Japan 

On the Korean Peninsula (map 3) the Koryo kingdom lasted 
until 1392. The later years of the dynasty were marked by 
repeated debilitating incursions by northern nomads and, 
from 1231, a series of invasions by Mongol armies. In 1232 
the court was forced to flee the capital to Kanghwa Island 
and by 1259 the government had accepted Mongol domina- 
tion. Rebellions and coups took their toll, and in 1388 
General Yi Song-gye mounted a coup d'etat, ushering in the 
Yi dynasty that was to last from 1392 until 1910 (map 4). 

Hanyong, modern Seoul, replaced Kaegyong as the 
capital and in October 1446 Hangul, the new Korean script, 
was promulgated. Employing a phonetic alphabet, which can 
be learnt much more quickly than Chinese ideographs, this 
script brought literacy to the peasants and enabled the 
gradual appearance of a vernacular literature. 

In Japan the seat of government shifted from Kyoto to 
Kamakura in 1185 as military overlords, or shoguns, took 
power from the emperor in Kyoto. The Kamakura period 
(1185-1335) saw the development of the militaristic 
samurai culture. In 1274 and 1281 two unsuccessful 



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y^^*°" % ^J<io<iBes--r - 2^ rlezk3lJ 


Kyoto o 


/ .-Uwigxing 

) SONG Fudxnu 

/ Choozfcou / 
V^ Gwwgzfic* 1 

South China 

2 East Asia in 11 50 

Sombydonwwtnjdom IISO 

MON People 

expeditions were launched against Japan from Korea by the 
Mongols. Power returned to the imperial capital of Kyoto in 
the Ashikaga or Muromachi period (1335-1573), but during 
the Onin Wars, which began in 1467 and continued for over 
a century, the country was wracked by bloody civil conflict. 
Christianity arrived in 1543, accompanied by new tools of 
war, including castle architecture and flintlock guns. 

The internal fighting was ended by two successive uni- 
fiers of the country, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 
whose respective castles give their names to the Azuchi- 
Momoyama period (1573-1613). After winning control of 
most of Japan in 1590, Hideyoshi failed in his first invasion 
of Korea in 1592 when his force of 160,000 men - aiming to 
conquer China after subduing Korea - were thwarted after 
the Korean admiral Yi Sun-Sin famously cut his enemy's 
nautical supply lines. 

Japanese incursions into Korea were met with counter- 
attacks by combined Ming Chinese and Korean forces, and 
indeed Hideyoshi died in his second attempt at conquering 
Korea in 1597. Power passed to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who estab- 
lished the Tokugawa Shogunate (pages 140-41) and closed 
the doors of Japan to the outside world. 

▲ In 1 1 61 the Jin dynasty adopted 
Kaifeng, the old Song seat of government 
on the Huang He, as their capital, while the 
retreating Song set up a new capital further 
south at Hangzhou. 

T The 1 6th century in Japan is known as 
the era of the Warring Stales, or Sengoku 
period, during which regional warlords 
fought each other to win control of the 
country. When it ended, the Japanese rulers 
set their sights on conquering Korea. 



3 Korea under the Koryo 

DYNASTY 936-1392 


■ dpid 

■ tefticf [jdrntitsTiiitive 

■"-"■ Null bBtvrefln Kikbu and Jui 

■ Kotyg kill are 



■ Sangjymol 

k Under ttie Koryo, pottery monufocture 
flourished. Cultural achievements included 
the publication of the first Korean histories, 

while among technical innovate was the 
use of moveable type, leading lo the world's 
first costing of metal type in 1403- 



4 Korea and Japan 1400-1600 

| Tenitrjey unified by Oria Nobunaga 


by 1582 

HidByostii's route 1597 

22 Tofcugninn dnmain 1 560—8"? 

:^-* CwjniBfiilKitl hy Mini) 

i^p-^ Hldey&lv's iniliroiy campoigiG 

and Krxean Fans 

.-. Me mi-, dels 

1592, 1597 

© EAST ASIA IN THE TANG PERIOD 618-907 pages 72-73 © CHINA 1368-1800 pages 138-39 © TOKUGAWA JAPAN 1603-1867 pages 140-41 


▼ During the I Oth century the political 
unity of the Muslim world ccfloosed. Ik 
Abksid caliphs, previously dominant from 
"he Atlantic to India, were replaced by a 
serin of regional dynasties, and ihe caliph 
in Baghdad was reduced to little more than 

At the beginning of the 1 1th century (In.- Muslim world 
stretched from Spain in the west to the borders of 
Central Asia and India (map 1 K Ifet the political and 
religious unity provided Tor mosr of [fie Muslim world by the 
Abbasid Caliphate - with the notable exception of Cmayyad 
Spain - had been lost by the lbth century. The Abbasid 
Umpire had fragmented and the central lands of Egypt and 
Iraq were Occupied by the Fatimids and the Uuyids, both 
Shiite states that rejected the Sunni caliph's religious 
authority. The caliph himself now survived as no more than 

*™V^w-- ? 

/ 10*0 


1 The Muslim woru) 1 022 

_3 Sumu Muslin stum | BvJcnMe ln<M K Bcrcie *irh dote 

| SUM Mushi states PEC tank people 


► Under MolikU. the Sejuk-led 
wot bonds ol the Ogur Turks reunited much 
ol the old Abbasid Empire. His authority 
was hosed loosely on a combination of 
personal prestige and Ihe ability, furnished 
by his miliary successes, lo distribute 
material reward to more oi less 
autonomous subordinate rulers, each 
with his own warrior following. 

i> The unity foslered by the Seljuks in the 

1 1 ih century was illusory. ReDont on 
continued military expansion la provide Ihe 
rewards coveted by local leaders, it was not 
sustainable in the long term. Instead, in the 
1 2th century the Muslim world fragmented 
iiiTu a series of regional authorities - o 
localization of power which made possible 
gains by the Byzantines crusaders, nomads 
and others at the expense of particular 

Muslim [ 


£._ Eiinhon 

2 T»t Seuuk Empire 1092 

| tariwri diridly odmiwwra! by Y^A lurnluy njlsl liy bruifles of tahik taraily 

Sdluksijlms 133 *ibm«nr*»i» 

a powerless figurehead in Baghdad under the ignominious 
tutelage of a Buyid sultan. In the far west the L'mayyad 
( laliphate was close to collapse and partition between a 
number of successor states - the tidfii kingdoms - and the 
Maghreh (N'orth Africa) was divided between several Berber 
dynasties. The major power in the east was the Ghaznavids, 
a Turkish dynasty of former slave soldiers whose only rivals 
were the recently converted Turkish Qarakhanids and the 
still largely non-Muslim Turkish nomads, especially the 
Oguz, on the steppe to the north. Muslim political weakness 
had already allowed the Byzantines to expand into Syria and 
Armenia, and it would soon open the way for Christian eon- 

quests in Spain and Sicily. 

Tin; Great Seuuk Empire 

In the west the Muslim retreat was only temporarily halted 
by the occupation of Muslim Spain by Berber dynasties from 
(he Maghreh - first the Almoravids ( 1086-1 143) and later 
the Almohads ( 1 15(1-1228). In the central and eastern lauds 
the situation was transformed first by the conversion of the 
i inu/ Turks to Sunni I rather than Shiite] islam, and then In 
1(1.18 by the Oguz invasion of Iran, led by the Seljuk 
dynasty. Victory over the Ghaznavids at Dandankan in 
Ib4l), the conquest of Baghdad from the Buyids in 1055 and 
the defeat of the Byzantines at Mauzikert in 1071 enabled 
the Seljuks to create a loose Sunni empire that stretched 
from the edge uf the steppe to Anatolia and Palestine. The 
religious, if not the political, authority of the Abbasid caliph 
was restored, and the next target was Shiite Egypt 

The so-called Great Seljuk tmpire (to distinguish it from 
the later Anatolian state of the Seljuks of Rum) reached its 
zenith under Malik Shah (map2). His death in 11)92 opened 
a new phase of political instability and fragmentation which 
provided the opportunity in IG98-99 for Latin Christians 
from western Europe to establish the Crusader States in 
Syria and Palestine (pages 94-95). The Seljuks continued 
to rule in parts of western Iran as late as 1 I'M, hut the 
Seljuk era was over in Syria by 1117, and in most of eastern 
Iran by 1 1 56. Only in Anatolia did an independent branch 
of the Seljuk dynasty flourish into the 13th century. 

One beneficiary of .Seljuk decline were the Abbasid 
caliphs, who enjoyed a new found political Independence in 
southern Iraq, but otherwise the central and eastern lands 

^r" s -^-b-* 


* frlt - rH u^ s 


\ r a l> i » *' 

2 Salwkidt of Erzpnjm 


A 5|tiah-Amtgci«tfi 


of the Muslim world fell to Turkish dynasties. Several of 
these lineages, including the Xengids, the Ildegissids and the 
Salghurids, had their origins as atabegu, holders of 
delegated Seljuk authority (map J), but there were two 
important exceptions - the Ayyubids and the Ghurids. 

The Ayyubids were a Kurdish dynasty who began as 
soldiers serving the Zungids. The most famous Ayyubid. 
Saladin, overthrew the Fatimid ('aliphate in 1171, so restor- 
ing Sun ni authority in Egypt. Having expelled the Zengids 
from Damascus and Aleppo and retaken Jerusalem from the 
crusaders, he established himself as the dominant Muslim 
leader in the western Near East (pages 94-95). 

The Ghurids were an Iranian dynasty from a tribal back- 
ground in eastern Iran. They eame to prominence serving 
the Ghajcnavids and Seljuks - before, like the Ayyubids. 
taking over from their former masters as rulers in their own 
right. From the 1150s until their disastrous defeat by the 
nomad Qara Khitai in 1204, the Ghurids were the leading 
power in eastern (ran. Their conquests in India between 
1192 and 1206, going beyond the earlier Ghaznavid terri- 
tories based on Lahore, laid the foundation for the Turkish 
Sultanate of Delhi in 1211 and long-lasting Muslim rule in 
the subcontinent (map 4 ). 

The Mongol invasions 

The late 12th century, the age of Saladin and the Ghurids, 
was a period of calm before a storm which threatened the 
complete destruction of Islam. From 1219 the pagan 
Mongols invaded and gradually conquered the area of 
modem-day Iran, Iraq and eastern Anatolia {pages 98-99). 
Baghdad was sacked in 125H, and the last generally recog- 
nized Abbasid caliph put to death. In the West. Christian 
armies were conquering most of what remained of Muslim 
Spain -and in 1217-21, and again in 1249-50, they threat- 
ened to seize Cairo and end Muslim rule in Egypt. 

The Muslim world was saved partly by disunity among 
the Mongols. After 1242 the Mongols in the west were 
divided between the Golden Horde, the Ilkhanatc and the 
Chaghatai Khanate, and they frequently fought one another 
as fiercely as they did their non-Mongol enemies (map 5). 
Islam as a religion and a culture also proved capable of 
converting some of its conquerors. Although the Spanish 
Christians proved resistant, both the Golden Horde and the 
llkhan Empire had converted to Islam by the early 14th 
century. Muslim survival was also due to fierce resistance - 
in India from the sultans of Delhi, in Syria and Palestine 
from the Mamluk rulers of Egypt. 

s (usually Turks imported 
I been a feature of Muslim 
8th century. The Egyptian 
sening the Ayyubids were 
Kipcbak Turks, brought as 
from the Black Sea and 




/ i D*i c r I 


4 India under the Sultanate of 

Delhi 121 1-1398 


Suttannle of DeAi 173 b 


Additional aien ai Siiltoraro of M\* OSS 


Hindu oieos ixii inkfln over bv Mirc 

Tmur-tejiq's iiTrtisibft chh) Sodc d DeM 



BandbriK d Hrdu slate itesMbtta 



Bonlt rttth dd« 



FJIdoi Wort» B Dl -i 

f ^* 

(AlJSSdf "&*"•*■ -O^ 


"Sindabui V.|o)*rajw 


-- L%t3nBornudfD 

OjurFollIKl ,'** 

; I „„ 


taken to Egypt, where they were converted to islam and 
trained to become a formidable military force. In 1250, after 
the French crusader invasion landed, the leaders of one of 
the main mamluk regiments murdered the last Ayyubid 
sultan in Egypt and seized power. By the beginning of the 
14th century the Mamluk regime had permanently halted 
the Mongol advance - and expelled the crusaders from their 
last coveted territories on the Levantine mainland. 

■4 Founded In 1 21 1 by Turks from 
Afghanistan, the Sultanate of Delhi was the 
man centre of Muslim domination in India 
- and the base from wtikh, at least 
nationally, it spread across math of the 
subcontinent However Indian nobles used 
sltongaoints to control trading routes os well 
as peasant producers. The destruction ol the 
sultanate hy the Mongol conquer a Timer- 
leng in 1 398 paved the way for lb 
decentralization ol power inlo the hands ol 
local Hindu and Muslim rulers. 

T Mongol military power conquered much 
ol the Muslim world in the 1 3th century. 
However, because the Mongols converted la 
Islam their Icogmented empire toiled to 
threaten Muslim religious and cultural 
domination of most ol the lands of the 
farmer Abbaskl Caliphate. 


3 The Muslim worid 1 200 


Byzmlwe Empire 


frusndflr srares 


QtW Christian sWH 


NpmndH people 


Hindu stares 


Muslim LJTM 


© THE SPREAD OF ISLAM 600-1000 pages 66-67 © THE BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN EMPIRES 1025-1500 pages 96-97 


▼ (he Holy Roman Emperot claimed to be 
the temporal sovereign of western 
Christendom, ruling in co-operation with ihe 
spiriluol sovereign, the Pope. However, Ihe 
empire never encompassed Ihe whole of 
western Christendom and had little political 
substance in Italy, while relations wilh the 
Pope were often slonrry. 

When the East Prankish king, ( >t c< i I. was crowned 
emperor by the Pope in Rome in 962, his empire 
comprised lands north of the Alps whioh had 
formed the East Franeia of ihe 843 Carolinglan partition 
(pages 74-75) together with Lotharingia (the .H43 "middle 
kingdom" lo which Burgundy- the territories from Basel to 
Provence - was to be added in 1U32-.14), and Lorn hardy 
(map I). This empire was passed on with relatively minor 
geographical alteration thereafter to his son and grandson 
(Otto II and Otto III) and then to his Saltan, Staufen, Well', 
Luxembourg arid Habsburg successors. 

By taking the imperial title. Otto was deliberately pre- 
senting himself as the successor of Charlemagne - restorer 
of the Christian empire in the west - in order to enhance 
his prestige. Two centuries later, when Frederick Barbarossa 
succeeded to the same kingship and imperial status, he 
reaffirmed the continuing tradition by instigating 
Charlemagne's canonization and by adding the word "holy" 
to the name of the empire. A further two centuries later, in 
1.15?. Charles IV of Luxembourg secured his imperial 

1 The Hour Roman Empire c 950-1360 

BoundorMf empre 135-6 ~] Kingdom of Iroly. 1 Zrti nnd I3lti c«r!irufies 

fates ol residewfr rfll impend dynasties: 

BiHiidory nl tet Fittncio and irary t TOD Upra era 

• Installing. rlatsburj 

I] rattan ointiDl. J3t * Bob win dote 

• Seta • Witxttort 

3 RnBkmcrf&igiinejr .193? ifciwott 

o Staufai tnnmbno 

rVtfCOENBLRG . ____ 

IWq *■ 

Son Germane 


2 Swiihrund 1291-1529 

| irsferesi (omorx lltl 

J Decencies el rheilWItawi 

Hie tmlcsnifi leogue I3&3 

_] Hie Coramn Suopl Distort 

Contorts and deoeriderioffi ocHed Or 1515 

loimtoy 1479 

| J Jim Allied Cwnm 

1 J 1 1 Bote of irjinirig 5*is! {onledwotim 

A The Swiss Confederation grew from on 
initial "pence CBwdotion * formed by the 
three Foresl (unions in 1791 . II eiponded 
in ihe mid-Mth cenlury la include the 

lowns of Luiern. Born and Zurich in a 
league which controlled the trode route 
Itom ihe Rhine Valley across the Alps via 
ihe Si Golthard Pass. 

coronation in Koine, and then, in 1.156, issued the Golden 
Bull. This came to be viewed as the basic constitutional law 
of the empire, defining as it did the right of seven Electors 
meeting at Frankfurt - the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne 
and Trier, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Duke of 
Saxony, the Margrave of lirandenburg and the King of 
Bohemia - to designate the emperor-elect, also called "King 
of the Romans", in this form, the Empire continued until its 
dissolution in h 1 'i ■ 

The Italian kim;ship 

Within the Empire the sense of two component kingships 
was maintained; the primary northern kingship comprising 
Franks, Saxons, Swabians. Bavarians and Lotharingians. 
and the southern secondary kingship of the Lombards. The 
emperor-elect, chosen by German princes, travelled south 
across the Alps lo secure recognition in northern Italy and 
coronation by the Pope in Home, but there was little gov- 
ernmental substance to his position in Italy. Intermittently, 
attempts were made to change this situation. Between the 
mid-Kith and mid-llth centuries the Liudolfing and Kalian 
emperors spent lengthy periods south of the Alps. In the 
years 115S-77 the Staufen emperor Frederick Barbarossa 
sought to benefit from the gathering pace of economic 
growth and north Italian trade (pages 100-1), but failed to 
win a decisive victory over the Lombard League of north- 
ern town communes. His son successfully took over .Sicily 
and southern Italy in 11'14, but his grandson's renewed 
attempt in 1 236-50 to master Lombardy was thwarted by 
the alliance of communes and Papacy. 

The pattern of northern intervention in Italy survived 
the Staufens' loss of the Sicilian as well as the German king- 
ship in 1254-ON. However, after the expeditions of Henry of 
Luxembourg in 1.11(1-13 and Litdwigof Wittelsbach in 1328, 
imperial jurisdiction south of the Alps was merely theoreti- 
cal. In practice, government and politics evolved as an 
autonomous system of local regimes - and the flowering of 
Both Italian economic enterprise and Renaissance culture 
developed independently of the Empire (pages 1 1/2-0), 

The northern Empire 

In Germany the king's position was stronger than in Italy, 
yet here too the force of localism was of primary 
importance. Traditions of local lordship and identity were 
very powerfully entrenched, prc-dating the Carolingian 
"unification"' of the region under a single kingship, and 


remained the necessary framework of government. It was 
impossible for any single authority to exert control over so 
large and diverse an area and even when - in Germany as 
elsewhere in the 12th and 13th centuries - more bureau- 
cratic governmental techniques were developed, they 
benefited local rulers rather than the emperor. These local 
rulers might be noble dynasts, communal associations in 
individual "free towns", or more varied groupings. Among 
the latter the Swiss cantons, which included both Alpine 
rural communities and towns, were the most successful in 
consolidating a separate existence (map 2). 

Eastward expansion 

Both the diversity and the extent of German society were 
enhanced between the 10th and 14th centuries by large- 
scale expansion eastwards. In the 10th century the Saxon 
Liudolfings gained acceptance as kings through their 
successful military leadership in warfare against the Slavs 
east of the Elbe - and above all against the Magyars who, 
from 900, were raiding along the Danube Valley. The victo- 
ries of Henry I in the north in 933 and Otto I in the south in 
955 opened the way to German movement eastwards, 
in a number of permutations of tribute-taking and land- 
settling ventures (map 3). 

After the 11th century, kings and emperors had little to 
do with such expansion. Instead, local dynasties - such as 
the Babenbergs in Austria or the Wettins in Meissen - 
recruited the necessary human resources of peasant farmers 
and urban traders and provided the local structure of 
military and juridical organization. This movement of east- 
ward expansion far exceeded even the expanded limits of 
the Empire (Reich), whose princes attended the Reichstag 
and engaged in the politics of elective kingship. Throughout 
east-central Europe, with the active encouragement of local 
rulers, German communities, equipped with German 

customary law, were induced to settle alongside Slav and 
Magyar populations. 

From the mid-12th century some of these local rulers 
were connected with crusading impulses (pages 94-95). 
The Wendish Crusade from 1147 to 1185, waged by German 
princes and Danish kings, brought forcible Ghristianization 
to Holstein, Mecklenburg and Pomerania. A further series of 
crusades developed after 1200 in the east Baltic area of 
Livonia, extending into Finland by the 1240s under the 
impetus of Swedish conquest. Most notably, from the 1220s 
the Teutonic Order (an organization of soldier-monks, 
founded in Palestine in the 1190s, whose members were 
recruited from the Rhineland and other parts of the Empire) 
acquired independent rule in Prussia and from there waged 
the "Perpetual Crusade" against the pagan Lithuanians. 

The Hanseatic League 

The 12th and 13th centuries also saw the creation of a 
network of German maritime enterprise in the Baltic, from 
Novgorod to Flanders and England through the North Sea. 
The timber, furs and grain of Scandinavia, northern Russia, 
and the southern hinterland of the Baltic were shipped 
westwards, with return cargoes of cloth and other manufac- 
tured commodities. Merchants formed associations (hanses) 
to protect and enhance their trade and in the 13th century 
this trading network developed into the Hanseatic League 
(map 3). The League linked the newly founded German 
towns (dominated by the Hanseatic merchants) on the 
southern Baltic coast between Liibeck and Riga, both south- 
wards to the German hinterland and the newly exploited 
lands to the east, and northwards to Scandinavia. 
Throughout t is area local rulers awarded grants of privi- 
lege in reti n for profit-sharing arrangements, thus 
contributing o German economic and cultural expansion 
within Europe. 

A By the 1 3th century the movement of 
Germans eastwards had advanced the limit 
of the Empire over a wide band of territory 
from Austria north to Meissen, Brandenburg, 
Holstein, Mecklenburg and Pomerania. In 
the 1 220s the Teutonic Order contributed to 
the defence of Hungary and Poland against 
their pagan neighbours in Transylvania and 
Prussia, and in the following decades it 
established control over Prussia and Livonia. 
From here it waged the "Perpetual Crusade" 
against the pagan Lithuanians until 1410, 
when it was defeated at Tannenberg by the 
Poles and Lithuanians (whose conversion to 
Christianity was achieved in 1 386-87 
by the less violent method of dynastic 
marriage diplomacy). 

© FRANKISH KINGDOMS 200-900 pages 74-75 © EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 



1 The kingdoms of France and Burgundy c 1 050 

Bciiiiiiirv ar fipgitom ol fifliM 

NOR Imponwir lay taidships 

Boundary df ttngtbrn af augurcry 

Co teuiHy 

_J toft dmun ol Copctai lines 

W jto Vwoytiry 

| Eptopl InriWnpH 



A Ik more imporlnnl regional powers In 
I ranee and Burgundy around 1 050 
included Normandy Flanders, Anjou and 
Toulouse os well as the Capelian kings 
Their ouhHoriry was no more stable Irian 
hod been thai of the Corolingions. 

▼ The kings ol Arogon wre united in 
1 1 37 with the obeody powerful counts ol 
Barcelona, and they used the growing 
commercial wnllh ol the pari of Barcelona 

lo exlend their control to southern fiance 
through the imposition ol feudal lies. 

T The Christian kings in Spain 
strengthened then position by organizing 
opposition la the Muslim rulers in the south. 
Having held out ogeinsi the Almobnds and 
tltnofmitb, they ovetron much of the 
Muslim letfilory in the 1 3th century 

Between the Tilth arid 13th centuries much political 
control in France, Spain, England and other areas of 
Western Europe was devolved to loeal landowning 
aristocracies who built castles and employed armoured 
knights to assert their power over the peasants. Depending 
nit circumstances, these loeal magnates came more or less 
under the control of kings or regional lords. There was no 
simple pattern, hut underlying changes in the economy 
meant that tile power and influence of kings and regional 
lords, after declining during the 1 1th century, had generally 
grown by around 1300. 

The kingdom of France 

During the Nth and early 9th centuries the French 
Carolingian kings (pages 74-75) had been Immensely 
successful in harnessing the aristocracy in a common 
enterprise. However, by the end of the 10th century royal 
power and the political structure of West Franeia were 
undergoing a fundamental transformation. One reason for 
this was that in about 950 the economy of western Europe 
had entered a phase of steady growth, marked by rising 
population, new settlements and an increasing volume of 
exchange (ptuje.s 10O-1). At the same time the Garoliugian 
lands in West Franeia had been given away or sold off in an 
attempt to buy support - and lacking any obvious foreign 
enemy either to plunder or unite against, the French kings 
had soon been reduced to comparative impotence. By W7, 
when Hugh Capet replaced the hist Carolingian king, royal 
authority extended little beyond the small royal domain in 
the lie de I"' ranee (jtittp 1 }. 

The extent to which power had devolved varied from 
area to area, and authority by no means remained stable. 
In the county of Macon, for example, the counts had largely 
thrown off the authority of the dukes of Burgundy by WO. 
only to then find their own authority steadily undermined. 
As a result, by about 10.10 the local eastle-holders {ctinwl- 
Ums) and great churches were in effect independent, with 
their own courts exercising private justice - "banal lord- 
ship" - over a large subject population. 

The consolidation w i>o«kk 

I ;\ the 12th century three factors tended to lavout larger 
and more coherent political units. First, the growing profits 
arising from customs, tolls and urban expansion were more 
easily exploited by regional powers than by Independent 
castellans. As trade across Europe increased, the taxation 
of its profits at regional level made kings and other greater 
lords a dominating social force. Second, the increasing use 
of written records and accounts gave rise to a new bureau- 
cracy of clerks, accountants and lawyers whom only the 
wealthiest could afford to employ, but who in turn allowed a 


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much more effective exploitation of resources. Third, the 
spread of feudal relations enabled kings, on the basis of their 
growing wealth, to impose greater obligations un their 
castle-holding subjects, 


An example of these factors being turned to good effect is 
the rise of the House of Aragon. In the late 1 1th and 12th 
centuries the counts of Barcelona (from 1 137 also kings of 
Aragon ) imposed feudal ties on the aristocracy of Catalonia, 
and went on to do the same in the kingdom of Burgundy for 
the turbulent aristocracy of the county of Provence (map 
2). Although Count Pere H's defeat and death at the Battle of 
Muret in 1213 brought an end to Aragonesc power north of 
the Pyrenees, his successors had carved out a substantial 
Mediterranean empire by the end of the century (map 3). 

Controlling and directing the rceunqucst of Muslim 
.Spain was a further lever of power in the hands of Christian 
Spanish monarehs. During this period, the Christian king- 
doms first terrorized the successor states (rn(fcs) to the 
once-powerful Muslim L'mayyads ilKiges 88-89), and then 
held out against the counterattack of the Berber Aimoravids 
and Almohads before overrunning must of what was left of 
Muslim territory in the 13th century. 


During the 10th and early 11th centuries the Anglo-Saxon 
kings faced the threat of Viking conquest, and in the process 
forged a sophisticated and cent rally controlled administra- 
tive machine. A network of shires was created, and royal 
mints enabled the Crown to enforce a standardized coinage 
and gain a considerable income through regular remintings. 

4 English unds 1 295 

__] Aim fomrallBd by Fnglish king* 


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5 The kingdoms of France 
awfArus 1265 

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•4 By 1 265 the Copt lion kings dimity or 
inditetlly ruled large areas of France, and 

tin extent of English -controlled territory 
hod beta g realty reduced. 

Gan^R igt 

CSoultloni{KDH E *"* f ■ 

A The English rrown effectively tonltolW 
most of the Jrilnh lib ::y UOII Its 
aJvante into Scotland tame to o holt In 

The Norman Conquest in 1066 paradoxically reinforced the 
English state, sweeping away aristocratic rivals to the crown 
and leaving William I and his successors with the most 
centralized and best administered state in western Europe. 
As in Spain, royal power in England benefited from 
controlled expansion and the distribution of any profits 
arising from it. Between the 11th and 1.1th centuries the 
English kings conquered Wales (complete by 12'>5) and 
Ireland (from 1169), and threatened to do the same to 
Scotland until their defeat at liaimoekhurn in 1.114 {map 
4). The English kings also extended their territory in 
Prance, liy the time Henry II ascended the throne in 1 154 
he ruled, in addition to England and Normandy (which he- 
had inherited from his mother}, territory itt western Prance 
(inherited from his i'lautagenet father): further territory had 
come with his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine (map 5). 


In France, luck and political skill favoured the Capctians. 
The death of Henry H's son Richard I in 1 1W opened the 
way for the French king, Philip Augustus (1180-1223), to 
deprive Richard's brother John of French lands, including 
Normandy and Anjou. in a series of campaigns between 
120.1 and 1206. Philip's achievements, confirmed by a deci- 
sive victory in 1214, transformed the political geography of 
western Europe, with the Capetian kings now dominant 
(map 5). Paris became the uncontested political and admin- 
istrative hub of the kingdom, and an intellectual centre for 
the whole of Latin Christendom. 

© FRANKISH KINGDOMS 200-900 pages 74-75 © EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 



A The b«kbone oi the armies of ihe Fku 

Crusade was provided by linights traveling 
as pari af their lords' households. The 
capture ol Jerusalem irt July 1099 after two 
years' journeying - and a series of unlikely 
mrlilciry victories - convinced survivors and 
toniemporories thai Ihe enterprise had been 
blessed by God. 

► Despiie many oppeols, ihe Q»isl»n 
rulers ol the Crusader Stales were unable lo 
altrart sufffcienl milHoty manpower lo 
ensure ihe survival af their territories. Many 
western Europeans did settle in Ihe East, but 
most regarded crusading activity as an 
extended penitential plgrimoge rather ihon 
the start af a new life as a colonial elite. 
Those who did settle gradually acclimatized 
to on eilenl thai pilgrims and crusocks 
hesh hoar the West found disconcerting. 

Over tin: course i»t 2(K» years :i total of five major and 
several minor crusades set out from Christian 
Europe with tin,' declared aim of either recapturing 
or protecting the,- Holy Land (Palestine) from the Muslims. 
The first was launched at Clermont in central France on 
27 Movent her lll'JS hy I 'ope Urban II. A vast number of 
people - perhaps about 1 1 Jt >.< X M > — were inspired to take part 
in a penitential military pilgrimage to recover the Holy 
Sepulchre in Jerusalem imap I ). For the I'ope the expedi- 
tion was a response to liyzautiue appeals for help in the 
wake of the Turkish conquest of Anatolia, offering the 


■-.,<.. _- I 

2 The Crusader States 1 1 40 

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opportunity to raise papal prestige through the leadership of 
Latin Christendom in such a spiritually beneficial enter- 
prise. For the participants it was. perhaps above all else, an 
opportunity to earn salvation, their enthusiasm testifying to 
the degree to which Christian teaching had implanted in 
Western society a fear of the dreadful fate after death that 
awaited people who had not atoned for their sins. However, 
holies of land, booty and fame were also important. 

Tin: (Ikcsaiikh Status 

By the time the expedition reached Jerusalem there were 
hardy 14,000 crusaders. They nevertheless managed to 
capture the city and, over the next 4(1 years, establish and 
expand the boundaries of four states in the surrounding 
region: the kingdom of Jerusalem, the county of Tripoli, the 
principality of Autioch and the county of Odessa (inrtp 2). 

Their initial success owed a great deal to the temporary 
political divisions in the Muslim world. The death of the 
powerful Seljuk sultan Malik .Shah in W)2 had plunged the 
sultanate into a complex civil war. Ultimately Malik Shah's 
son Uerkyaruk prevailed, keeping control of the area of 
present-day Iraq and Iran, Inn Ridwan and Dukak, the sons 
of his uncle and chief opponent, Tutiish id. H)*'?), still ruled 
in Aleppo and Damascus respectively. The brothers were 
loath n> co-operate With each other, with Kerhogha (the 
Scljuk governor of Mosul whom Uerkyaruk sent to bring 
help iiijriirlM rlic encadc!' 1 - .'. or with rhv Shiiti lalimid 
Caliphate in Egypt. The Eutimids had ruled most of Syria 
and I'alesiine through the 1 I ill century up d i the 1070s, and 

had themselves recaptured Jerusalem from the Seljuks only 

a year Itelorc the crusaders entered the city in 109°. 

The Second Crusade 1 1 146 — IM) failed to take Damascus, 
and after 11S4 the situation changed significantly. In that 
year Mosul, Aleppo and Damascus were united under Un- 
aggressive leadership of Stir a]-l)iu. who deliberately under- 
pinned his authority with an ideology of holy war against 
the crusaders The decline of the Shine Katimid Caliphate 
also altered the balance of power. The agricultural and 
commercial riches of Egypt were potentially the key to dom- 
ination of the Levant. However, attempts led hy King 
Amalrie of Jerusalem between 1 16.1 and 1 ltV> to conquer or 
control Egypt merely encouraged N'ur al-lHtt to send one of 
his generals, a Kurd called Saladin, to keep the crusaders 
out. Saladin successfully fought off the crusaders, before 
putting an end to the rati mid Caliphate in 1171 (mo/) .'I. 

After Nur al-1 tin's death in 1 174. Saladin gradually dis- 
possessed his former master's heirs, and hy 1 186 they had 
heeu forced to recognize his overlordship. Saladin was now 
ahle to wage war with the combined resources of Egypt and 
Syria, and in July 1 1S7 he indicted a crushing defeat on the 
crusaders at the Battle of llatlin, near the Sea of Galilee. 



3 The Crusader States 1 1 86 

k^kfl fyzarline Ernpne — ». fenfllrk^ cnmpafgns 1 163— i^ 

H COickin AnrierJn .\ Baffle 

I Cnjsoder chafes ■ Hg^itallar fortress 

I I Sdodins toirirorHjs d TwrujlGr fortress 

4 Tut Third Crusade 1 1 89-92 

Routes of mail mtsndflr airwes 

A The crusaders' hold on the Holy Land 
was threatened by the rise of Soladin and 
the unification of Egypt and Syria. However, 

during the Third Crusade, Richard I of 
England came close to reversing Saladin's 
11 87 conquest of Jerusalem. 

The Third, Fourth and Fifth Crusades 

The Crusader States were saved from complete extinction 
by the arrival of the Third Crusade (1188-92) (map 4); 
political divisions among Saladin's Ayyubid heirs and then 
the growing Mongol threat to the world of Islam (pages 
98-99) prolonged their existence. At the same time Western 
enthusiasm for crusading only continued to grow, and in 
fact Latin territories in the eastern Mediterranean reached 
their greatest extent in the early 13th century. 

The Fourth Crusade (1198-1204) was diverted to 
conquer Constantinople, and its aftermath saw the creation 
of a series of Latin states on former Byzantine territory 
(map 5). The Fifth Crusade (1217-21), with contingents 
from Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, England and France, 
appeared close to success in Egypt before its final defeat in 
1221. The French king Louis IX invested enormous 
resources on crusading in the east, but his Egyptian expe- 
dition of 1249-50 ended in disaster. The powerful Mamluk 
state which replaced the Ayyubids after 1250 (pages 88-89) 
was initially more concerned with the imminent threat from 
the Mongols, but as that receded the Mamluk advance 
proved relentless, culminating in 1291 in the fall of Acre, 
last of the major crusader strongholds in the Near East. 

The establishment of military orders 

The crusading movement between 1095 and 1291 is striking 
evidence of the militaristic nature of Western aristocratic 
culture. It also reflects the importance of European sea 

power, especially that of Venice and Genoa, whose ships 
carried many of the crusaders to Palestine. During this 
period European maritime power grew to dominate the 
Mediterranean, creating a base of experience for later 
expansion to the Americas and the East. The failure to 
maintain crusader settlement in the Levant reflects the 
strength of Muslim opposition, but also the inadequacy of 
crusader manpower and resources. Even at their greatest 
extent in the 1140s the Crusader States amounted to little 
more than an embattled coastal strip. 

One solution was the establishment by 1 139 of the mil- 
itary orders of the Hospital of St John and the Knights 
Templar. Effectively knights living by monastic rule, both 
the Hospitallers and the Templars soon acquired extensive 
properties in the West which gave them the financial 
strength the settlers lacked. From the 1 140s onwards many 
crusader lords found it necessary to hand over their more 
exposed strongholds to the military orders, who alone had 
the means to maintain and defend them. 

Soon after its inception the crusading idea was trans- 
ferred to other contexts. The war against the Muslims in 
Spain was now treated as a crusade, as was that against the 
pagan Slavs, Lithuanians and Baits in the north, where the 
Teutonic Knights - founded in the Levant in the 1190s - 
played a major role (pages 90-91). Also treated as 
crusades were expeditions to crush heresy, such as the 
Albigensian Crusade in southern France (1209-29) and 
those against the Hussites in Bohemia (1420-21, 1427, 
1431), as well as those against political opponents of the 
Papacy. One such opponent was the Emperor Frederick II, 
who had actually taken part in a crusade in 1228-29, but 
himself became the target of a papal crusade in 1240-50. 

Even after 1291 crusading remained deeply rooted in 
Western chivalric and popular culture through to the 
Reformation of the 16th century, and resistance to the 
Muslim Ottomans could still be seen in crusading terms in 
the 17th century. The Templars were suppressed in 1312 in 
the wake of heresy charges brought by Philip IV of France, 
but the Hospitallers survived (on Rhodes until 1522, on 
Malta until 1798), and do so still with their headquarters in 
Rome. In the modern Islamic world the crusading move- 
ment has come to be seen as evidence of the long and 
bloody past of Western Christian imperialism. 

▲ The fifth Crusade was an attempt to 
destroy Muslim power through the conquest 
of Egypt, whose commercial and agricultural 
wealth was the key to long-term control of 
the Near East. Ironically, more was achieved 
by the excommunicate crusader, Emperor 
Frederick II, who in 1229 recovered 
Jerusalem by negotiation. 

▲ Captured from the Byzantines by the 
Seijuk Turks in 1 084, Antioch was taken by 
the forces of the First Crusade in 1 098. The 
principality it served - one of the four 
Crusader States - remained a Christian 
outpost for nearly two centuries. 



1 The Syzahiine Empire 1025-1096 

Doniirmnl religion ^^ BoundwY d Buzoniine tmpiifl I02S 

| Grriicdoic flvywiirv | Terrir-nrv unrip Byioniine tunno! 1096 

"Jl [nihiiln ChisMI) | Teirirory Mkai by Seliub of Rom 1072-56 | 

| ttDraphysito and aiiiw Christian irodiftniH A 
~" I Iskim 

▲ After 1025 the Byzantine Empire lacked 
the infrastructure and resources to maintain 
the boundaries that had been established 
under Basil II. In the east their defeat in the 
Battle of Manzikert in 1 071 enabled the 
Seljuk Turks to establish themselves in 
Anatolia, while the Normans took aver 
Byzantine territory in southern Italy. 

T Following the sack of Constantinople by 
the Fourth Crusade in 1204, Byzantine lands 
were divided up. Territory in Europe came 
under the control of a Frankish emperor, 
who tried unsuccessfully to convert the 
populace to Catholicism, while the centre of 
Orthodox power shifted to Nicaea in 
northern Anatolia. 

When the Byzantine warrior emperor Basil II died in 
1025 he left an empire that had doubled in size 
during his reign and presented a serious challenge 
to its Muslim neighbours. Unfortunately for the Byzantines, 
subsequent emperors could not maintain the impetus 
achieved under Basil. They became embroiled in the eccle- 
siastical politics that provoked the "Great Schism" of 1054 
- a theological split between the Orthodox and Western 
churches that has effectively lasted ever since. The schism 
invited hostility from the West at a time when Muslim power 
was regrouping. Norman adventurers took control of what 
was left of Byzantine southern Italy, just as a renewed 
Muslim offensive by Seljuk Turks culminated in the Battle 
of Manzikert (1071) - a Byzantine defeat that wiped out the 
eastern gains of Basil II and established the Muslim state of 
Ieonium (Konya) in the heart of what had once been 
Christian Anatolia (map 1). 


Block - Sl " 

DymxAiurtO I « 






OF Na^io > % -* 




2 The Baikans and Amatoua after 
the fatlof constantinople 1 204 

H ujlrii iioin 

M t . diterranea « 

The decline of the Byzantine Empire 

The Byzantine Gomnenian dynasty (1081-1185) attempted 
to cope with the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert by 
rebuilding diplomatic bridges with the Latin West. A 
request by Alexius I Gomnenus for modest Western mili- 
tary assistance was one of the factors that promoted the 
crusading movement (pages 94-95). The crusades tem- 
porarily transformed the politics of the Near East by taking 
Muslim pressure away from Constantinople - only to bring 
the city under increasing Western or Frankish influence. 

In the 12th century Constantinople enjoyed a brief 
economic boom as a major staging post for western 
Europeans on the road to Jerusalem. However, the empire's 
finances were fundamentally weak and the Byzantines 
could meet their commitments only by granting commer- 
cial concessions to their erstwhile dependency, Venice. As 
a result the Byzantine economy became increasingly 
dominated by Venetian merchants in Constantinople - to 
the extent that from 1171 onwards Byzantine rulers 
attempted to cut back Venetian interests. This promoted 
tension and led ultimately to anti-Venetian riots in 
Constantinople at a time when the empire was increasingly 
threatened in the Balkans and Anatolia. Venice was now an 
enemy and took its revenge. In 1204 the old blind Venetian 
doge, Enrico Dandolo, successfully engineered the diver- 
sion of the Fourth Crusade away from Jerusalem and 
towards Constantinople. The sea walls were breached for 
the first time and the city was captured and systematically 
looted over a period of three days. This event was to mark 
the beginning of the Byzantine Empire's fragmentation. 

Between 1204 and 1261 Constantinople was the seat of 
a Frankish emperor and Latin patriarch, ruling over subor- 
dinate Frankish fiefdoms: the kingdom of Thessalonica, 
duchy of Athens and despotate of Achaia (map 2). Venice 
dominated the Greek islands and made a particularly 
lasting mark in and around Naxos (where there was a 
Venetian duchy until 1566), although it proved impossible 
to graft Catholicism and an alien feudalism onto rural 
Greek society. Greek rule survived in Western Anatolia, 
based at Nicaea, and also in Epirus and in Trebizond on the 
Black Sea. 

It was the Greek Emperor of Nicaea, Michael VIII 
Palaeologus, who recaptured Constantinople for Orthodoxy 
in 1261. The restored Byzantine Empire was, however, 
beset by the same problems as before: it was economically 
hamstrung, with Venetian and Genoese trading houses in 
control of its international commerce. Furthermore, it was 
hedged in by quarrelling rivals - threatened to the north by 
Balkan Slavic peoples and in Anatolia by the Turks. By the 
mid-14th century Greece had fallen to the Serbs (map 3), 
who were countered not by Byzantine forces but by 
advancing Muslim power. By 1354 the Ottoman Turks were 
in Europe. Thereafter the Byzantine polity dwindled into a 
diplomatic entity based on what was effectively the city- 
state of Constantinople. 

The rise of the Ottoman Empire 

The Ottoman victors were the major Turkish force to 
emerge from the crisis of the Mongol invasions that devas- 
tated the Muslim world in the 13th century and eliminated 
Seljuk power (pages 98-99). Ottoman rulers claimed 
descent from Osman (Uthman), the most prominent of the 
Muslim "ghazis" who, in the 13th century, established inde- 
pendent fiefdoms amid the political ruins of what had 
formerly been Byzantine and Seljuk Anatolia. Ottoman 
society and culture were profoundly Islamic, but with a dis- 
tinctive ethos derived from Central Asian nomadic 
antecedents. Politically, the Ottoman world was oppor- 
tunist and expansionist. Osman's son, Orhan Ghazi, was 
able to move his capital as far west as Bursa and marry a 
daughter of the Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzene. 
This marriage epitomized the steady increase of Turkish 
influence in medieval Anatolia - a process which led to 
Byzantine culture gradually losing, or abandoning, its long 
struggle with Islam in the interior of Asia Minor. 


The Ottoman capture of Gallipoli in 1354 presaged a 
serious Ottoman invasion of Europe (map 4). By 1365 
Adrianople had become the Ottoman capital Edirne. 
Advances into Serbia, culminating in the Battle of Kosovo 
Polje in 1389, put an end to Serbian expansion. At the same 
time the Ottomans consolidated their control of Asia Minor, 
and an Ottoman navy came into being, plying the waters of 
the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic. Many of its cap- 
tains were renegade Europeans. The first Ottoman siege of 
Constantinople itself was mounted in 1391. It was to be 
diverted only because of a renewed threat from the Mongols 
under the leadership of Timur-leng {pages 98-99). 

The defeat of Constantinople 

It was now obvious that Byzantine Constantinople was 
living on borrowed time. It continued to function as a centre 
of scholarship and of an artistic style visible today in the 
remains of medieval Mistra in the Peloponnese. The 
Classical and Post-Classical heritage of Constantinople was 
still impressive, despite the ravages of 1204. However, its 
latter-day scholars were slipping away towards Renaissance 
Italy, taking their manuscripts with them. Meanwhile, the 
Ottoman Turks were developing their war machine. Since 
the 14th century Ottoman victories had been won with the 
aid of Balkan and other mercenaries. This recruitment of 
foreigners was formalized by the use of devshirme troops 
(recruited from Christian slaves taken into Islamic military 
training and educated as an elite corps). 

Constantinople, as a Christian bastion, continued to 
receive the political sympathy of western Europe, although 
this was bedevilled by a mutual suspicion which the token 
reunion of the Greek and Latin churches in 1439 could not 
dispel. The Greeks feared papal aggrandisement and they 
had long seen unruly Western mercenaries and ambitious 
Italian merchants as more threatening than the Ottoman 
Turks. It was from the East, however, that the final blow was 
to fall when, in 1451, the Ottomans, under Mehmet II, laid 

v$r >,?•■ 


- JJfradss 



3 The Byzantine Empire: restoration and decline 1 340-60 

— ■ Bixiivdory e^ B^zmnns Empira 13^0 

ferntwY Mnlrclled by 

| Byraulira Einpff 1340 

^\ Knights of Si iohn 

| tabu 136Q 

| Vesica 

| Mmm EnvtotS&G 

_J Genog 

siege to Constantinople. Powerfully armed with artillery, 
some of which was of Western manufacture, the Ottomans 
broke through the walls of the city on 29 May 1453 - the 
last day of the Roman Empire and the first day of a mature 
Ottoman Empire that would continue to expand until well 
into the 17th century. 

< In 1 361 an Orthodox ruler was restored 
in Constantinople in the form of the 
Emperor of Nicaea, but by the mid-1 4th 
century the Ottomans had taken control of 
northwest Anatolia and were making 
inroads into Europe. From the northwest the 
Serbs were also expanding, and the restored 
Byzantine Empire was powerless to resist. 

▲ In their siege of Constantinople in 1 453 
the Ottomans successfully used cannon to 
break down the city's outer walk. They also 
gained access to the harbour (the Golden 
Horn), despite a Byzantine blockade, by the 
feat of dragging their ships out of the 
Bosporus and across a stretch of land. The 
Ottoman pillage of Constantinople - 
depicted here in a Romanian wall painting - 
lasted for three days and nights before 
Sultan Mehmet II restored order. 

-4 As the Byzantine state declined, the 
Ottomans moved in to fill the resulting 
power vacuum, not only overcoming other 
Muslim states in Anatolia, but also 
establishing a stronghold in mainland 
Europe and defeating the Serbs in 
Kosovo in 1 389. In 1 453 they captured 
Constantinople and, strengthened by this 
success, they expanded westwards to control 
the Balkans as far north as Belgrade. 

© THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE 527-1025 pages 66-67 © THE OTTOMAN AND SAFAVTD EMPIRES 1500-1683 pages 142-43 



▼ The empire (pealed by Chinggis Khan 
between I ?C4 mid his dealh in 1227 
stretched from China to Persic (Iran). 
However, it did not survive b o united 
empire beyond 1 260 when it split into a 
number of khanales whose rulers went en to 
conquer further territories - mosl notably 
thina iti 1279. 

The largest land cmpirt' ever created, the Mongol 
Empire was founded by Temtijin, who united the 
Mongolian and Turkish-speaking tribes roughly in the 
area known today as Mongolia. In 12(16 he was acclaimed 
ruler by a council of tribal leaders and given the title of 
Chinggis (Genghis) Khan, usually translated loosely as "uni- 
versal ruler". The following year he embarked on :i series of 
raids into northern China, which were soon to turn Into a 
full-scale campaign of conquest that was only completed by 
his successors over 70 years later Imrin / ). 

Meanwhile. Mongol forces were expanding westwards 
along the steppe as far as the kingdom of the Muslim 
Khwarazru-shah (pages HH-H')). Chinggis Khan decided to 
redireet the bulk of Iris army against the Islamic world, and 
iir a campaign lasting front 121<J to 122.1 lie conquered most 

iv The Mongols did not follow op the total 
victories they paired in 1 241 at LiegniSz 
(in Poland] end Pest (in Hungary! and 
soon withdrew to the south Russion steppe. 

This may have been bemuse of the news of 
the death of Ihe Creel Khan Ogodei, hut 
also perhaps due la a lock ol sufficient 
pasture lands in this ores. 

2 Mongol campaigns in eastern Europe 

A ttongdwrtor 




*O s 


T *U K 



▲ After bringing the Turkic nomadic 
populations inhabiting the steppe north of 
the Caspian and Black seas under control, 
Mongol forces launched a devastating 
campaign in the winter of 1 237-38 against 

the cities of the Russian principalities. In 
1 240 the Battle of Kozelsk - depicted in 
this illustration from a 1 6th-century Russian 
chronicle - resulted in the city of Kiev being 
razed to the ground. 

of the kingdom of the Khwarazm-shah. Great destruction was 
wrought on the cities of Bukhara and Samarqand and in the 
area south of the Oxus. A rudimentary Mongol administrative 
apparatus was set up in Iran, which grew into the bureau- 
cracy that ruled the country into the 14th century. 

There were several reasons for Ghinggis Khan's success in 
establishing a widespread tribal empire which long outlived 
him. He built a large army of top-quality soldiers - the tradi- 
tional horse-archers of the Eurasian steppe, experts in the 
tactics of concerted mass assault, whom he infused with iron 
discipline. An effective military leader himself, he had the 
foresight and talent to cultivate a cadre of extremely capable 
and loyal generals. lie introduced several changes that laid 
the groundwork for a long-term Mongol administration - the 
adoption of an alphabet for the Mongolian language, the basic 
tenets of a financial system, and a system of law known as 
the Yasa. Finally, he propagated an imperialist ideology, 
premised on the assumption that the Mongols had a heaven- 
given "mandate" to conquer the world. All those who resisted 
this mandate were rebels against the heavenly order and 
could be dealt with accordingly. 

Chinggis Khan died in 1227, on campaign in China. He 
was followed as Great Khan by his second son, Ogodei 
(r. 1229-41), under whose rule the empire continued to 
expand. In China the Jin Empire was eliminated in 1234, and 
war began with the southern Song. In the Middle East all of 
Iran and the Caucasus were subjugated in the 1230s, and 
most of Anatolia followed in 1243. The most impressive cam- 
paigns, however, were those in Russia and then eastern 
Europe, where total victories were secured in April 1241 at 
Liegnitz (Legnica) and Pest (Budapest) (map 2). 

The successor khanates 

In the aftermath of the death of the fourth Great Khan - 
Mongke, a grandson of Chinggis Khan - the Mongol Empire 
effectively split up into a number of successor states. In China 
and the Mongolian heartland, Qubilai (Kublai) - a brother of 
Mongke (d. 1294) - established the Yuan dynasty, and had 
conquered all of China by 1279. This conquest was accom- 
panied by much destruction, particularly in the north, but 
not all aspects of Mongol rule were negative. Trade appears 
to have flourished and the country was united for the first 
time in centuries. From West Asia there was an influx of cul- 
tural influences in such areas as medicine, mathematics and 


1a i 


■ 3 The successo 


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astronomy. Mongol rule lasted in China until a series of 
popular uprisings in the 1360s, from which emerged the first 
Ming emperor - at which point large numbers of Mongols 
left China for the steppe. 

In Central Asia the Khanate of Chaghatai - Chinggis 
Khan's third son - gradually coalesced under his descen- 
dants, while further to the west the so-called Golden Horde, 
ruled by the descendants of Jochi, Chinggis's fourth son, 
evolved. Around 1260 there arose in Iran an additional 
Mongol state known as the Ilkhanate, from the title Ilkhan 
("subject ruler") by which the rulers were known. This state 
was founded by Ilulegu, the brother of Mongke and Qubilai, 
who conquered Baghdad in 1258 and brought to an end the 
Abbasid Caliphate which had existed for over 500 years. 
Hulegu's troops were stopped at Ayn Jalut in northern 
Palestine in 1260 by the Mamluks of Egypt {pages 88-89), 
and the border between the two states was stabilized along 
the Euphrates - though the war between them, at times 
intense, lasted until 1320. The Ilkhans, along with their 
subjects, converted to Islam around the beginning of the 
14th century, leading to large-scale patronage of Islamic 
institutions. In Iran, as on the steppe to the north, the 
Mongols appear to have been absorbed by a larger nomadic 
Turkish population, whose size greatly increased during the 
period of Mongol domination. 

In the late 14th century the Turkified and Muslim 
descendants of the Mongol tribesmen in Transoxania 
gathered around Timur-leng (Tamerlane), who created an 
empire stretching from Central Asia to western Iran 
(map 4). The empire did not survive his death in 1405 as 
he had failed to set up an efficient administration and made 
no serious provision for his succession. 

The legacy of the Mongol Empire 

Looking at the history of the Mongol Empire as a whole - 
and without belittling the destructive effects of their 
conquests - one clear beneficial outcome can be seen: for 
the first time in history, most of Asia was under one rule, 
enabling the transfer of merchandise, ideas and other cul- 
tural elements. This legacy was to continue long after the 
demise of the united Mongol state in 1260. 


4 Aru surjughed by Timur-leng 1 360-1405 

| Area under TirnuHeng's car rral 140S 

▲ Among the successor states of the 
Mongol Empire, the Khanate of Chaghatai 
and the Golden Horde had much in 
common: in both there were large 
permanently settled areas controlled by 
nomads living on the steppe. The relatively 
small number of Mongols, both elite and 
commoners, were gradually absorbed by 
the much larger Turkish tribal population, 
adopting Turkic languages while 
maintaining aspects of Mongol identity and 
culture. Around the same time they 
converted to Islam, although there were 
those who resisted the abandonment of 
traditional Mongol shamanism. 

< Timur-leng's campaigns contributed 
to the collapse of the Golden Horde in 
around 1400. In its place a number of 
smaller hordes arose, which were 
gradually absorbed by the growing 
Russian state of Muscovy. The Tatar, 
Uzbek and Kazakh peoples were to 
emerge from the nomadic populations 
controlled by the Horde, the last two 
moving eastwards around 1 500 to their 
current locations. 

© SLAVIC STATES 400-100(1 pages 70-71 © EAST ASIA 907-1600 pages 8(>-H7 © CHINA 1,168-1800 pages 138-39 © RUSSIA 1462-1795 pages 148-49 



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▲ During the central part of the Middle 
Ages, Europe moved decisively away from 
locally self-sufficient, "closed" economies. 
Trade was no longer limited to transporting 
relatively small quantifies of high-value 
luxury items destined for consumption by a 
rich and privileged elite, but came instead to 
encompass a wide range of agricultural and 
manufactured goods. 

Between about 950 and 1300 the European economy 
was transformed (map 1). The motors of economic 
growth were a growing population, a developing 
market structure, increasing regional and subregional 
specialization and growing monetarization, based partly on 
the discovery of major new silver mines and partly on the 
development of commercial instruments (such as bills of 
exchange and letters of credit) that allowed monetary trans- 
actions to extend beyond the immediate availability of coin. 

Rural and urban growth 

The clearest evidence that the European population 
increased comes from the growing number of settlements of 
all types throughout the continent. Many mark the opening 
up of previously uncultivated land for agriculture: place- 
names and archaeology tell a story of forests cut back, 
marshes drained and former pasture lands brought under 
the plough (map 2). New markets also appeared and old 
towns expanded, with urban growth evidenced by new 
parishes, larger circuits of walls and new suburbs (map 3). 

In France, Germany, Italy and England local secular and 
ecclesiastical lords played decisive roles in the creation of 
a hierarchy of new market towns. Founding a market town 
not only opened the prospect of a new source of revenue; it 
also made it possible for the lord either to take payments in 
kind and sell them on the market for cash, or to demand the 
payment of rents and dues in coin, which peasant producers 
could now obtain by entering the market themselves. 

Markets encouraged specialization at all levels, and 
urban craftsmen produced a growing volume of goods for 

the market, confident that they could obtain food and cloth- 
ing from the same source. Similarly, farmers aimed less at 
self-sufficiency and more at the production of cash crops 
such as grain, grapes or wool. 

Regions and sub-regions also started to specialize. By the 
beginning of the 12th century Flanders had become a cloth 
economy, its towns dependent on wool from England, grain 
and wine from the lie de France and the Rhineland, and on 
access to customers. Indeed the cloth industry had made 
Flanders the richest, most densely populated and urbanized 
region of northern Europe. By the 13th century areas of spe- 
cialist production included the wine trade in Gascony; grain 
in Sicily, southern Italy and eastern Europe; salt in the Bay 
of Biscay, the Alps, the west of England, Saxony and 
Languedoc; timber and fish in Scandinavia and the Baltic; 
fur in Russia; iron in Sweden, Westphalia and the Basque 
country; metalworking in the Rhineland; and cheese in 
eastern England, Holland and southern Poland (map 1). 

Mediterranean commerce 

Italian merchants reached Flanders as early as the begin- 
ning of the 12th century, but at this date links between 
northern Europe and the Mediterranean were still fairly 
limited and it is more realistic to think in terms of European 
economies rather than an integrated whole. While the 
wealth and developing urban culture that characterized 
southern France, Catalonia and above all northern Italy was 
based partly on the same pattern of population growth and 
rural development occurring in Europe north of the Alps, 
the southern economies also benefited from access to the 
flourishing commercial world of the Mediterranean (map 4). 
The documents of the Cairo Geniza, an extraordinary 
Jewish archive amassed from the 11th century onwards, 
vividly illustrate the growing involvement of Latin mer- 
chants, especially Italians, in Mediterranean commerce. 
From the mid-1 lth century their activities were increas- 
ingly backed by force, and during the 12th century Muslim, 
Jewish and Greek shipping and much of their trade were all 

T More intensive agricultural regimes 
formed the backbone of economic 
expansion in Europe, providing sufficient 
surpluses in basic foodstuffs to feed the 
growing number of specialist producers 

offering their goods in exchange for the 
food produced by the peasantry. The 
development of the Chartres region, with 
its pattern of forest clearance and the 
subjugation of the landscape, is typical. 

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hut driven from the Mediterranean Sea. When the Spanish 
Muslim scholar Ibn .lubayr went on a pilgrimage to Mecca 
in 1183-85 he travelled entirely on (icnoese ships, apart 
from the small coaster which took him across the Strait of 
Gibraltar and the boat in which lie crossed the Red Sea. 

between the 11th and 1,1th centuries a number of 
important developments took place in the Mediterranean 
region: I'isa and Henna took over Corsica and Sardinia in 
1015; the Normans conquered southern Italy and Sicily 
(secure by 1070), and Malta in 1091; the Crusader States 
were established in Syria and Palestine after 1099 (pages 
94- ( JS); Cyprus was conquered in 1191 by Richard 1 of 
England (who then gave the island to Guy of Lttsignan, 
titular King of Jerusalem ); a Venetian empire was created in 
the Aegean after 1304; and the Balcarics, Valencia and 
Murcia were recaptured from the Muslims by 124,1 {map 4). 
As a result the Latin slates had complete control of the 
Mediterranean trunk mutes by the mid- 1,1th century. 
Trading networks were established that would continue to 
flourish for centuries to come. 

Part of what passed along these routes was a trade in 
foodstuffs, bulk raw materials and textiles. Italian, French 
and Spanish merchants not only took European goods to 
North Africa, Egypt and the Byzantine world, but also 
played an increasingly dominant role in the internal trade of 
these societies. Profits from this involvement brought 
enough Islamic gold to Italy to enable Genoa and Florence 
in 1252. and then Venice in 1284. to strike a regular gold 
coinage for the first time in Latin Europe since the 8th 
century. However, the big profits of Mediterranean trade 
were to be made in the luxuries for which the West was 
offering a rapidly expanding market - the spices, silks 
dyestuffs and perfumes of the East - and here the balance 
was heavily in favour of Muslim sellers. To buy on the 
Egyptian markets, Latin merchants needed large supplies of 
coin and bullion. 

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A crucial development was the opening up from the 1 IftOs 
of new European silver mines, of which the most important 
were in Germany. Interregional trade in northern Europe 
brought large quantities of German Silver Into tile hands of 
Flemish, French, Rhenish and English merchants who then 
paid silver to southern merchants, mostly Italians, in 
exchange for goods from the East. 

The linchpin of the new trans-Alpine economy was the 
Champagne fairs, held at Troyes, Bar-sur-Auhe, Lagny and 
Provins, where the powerful counts of Champagne could 
guarantee security. These new tics brought a large amount 
of silver to the south - so large in fact that during the second 
half of the 12th century the Provins denier (the coinage of 
Champagne] became the standard coin for commercial pay- 
ments in northern and central Italy. They also brought 
Mediterranean commercial techniques and firms of Italian 
bankers to the north. With the introduction of transferable 
bills of exchange, the European economy was no longer 
limited by the availability of precious metal. Bankers were 
willing to offer enormous credit facilities to reliable clients, 
so that the rulers of the major European states were now 
given the means to operate on an entirely new scale. 

A hpcimisii in sectors of ihc European 
economy not geared 10 load production is 
strikingly demonstrated in Ihe phenomenon 
ol urban growth. Towns and dries provided 
monufutturinig centres <md markers lor 
longdistance Irade. whether interregional 
or international. They aba serviced their 
local agricultural economies, providing ihe 
markers and goods lhal made possible local 
speciolitaiion and exchange 

▼ The era ol ihe crusades was oka one ol 
growing Mediterranean commerce. 
European ttaders toot some leilte and 
foodstuffs nasi, but above al ihey carried 
stiver coins vrilh which (a purchase the 
valuable dyes anil sokes that came ham 
India and the Far East. 



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Medl'terra we a n 

Sub ■ Sahawt gold 

© FRANKISH KINGDOMS 200-900 pages 74-75 © EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 


T In the 1 4th century oil the towns in the 
two urban clusters that had developed in 
northern Italy and northern France and 
Flanders were to some degree self- 
governing, although only Venice asserted 
absolute freedom from outside authority. 

After the collapse of the Roman Empire at the end of 
the 4th century, towns in Europe had tended to 
decrease in size, complexity and autonomy, particu- 
larly within Latin Christendom. In 1000 Europe's five 
largest towns - Constantinople, Cordoba, Seville, Palermo 
and Kiev - were outside this area. However, by 1500 the 
pattern of urban development in Europe had undergone 
great changes: Constantinople was still one of the five 
largest towns, but the other four were now Paris, Milan, 
Venice and Naples. At this time around 70 per cent of the 
estimated 80 million inhabitants of Europe lived in the 
countryside, with a further 20 per cent in small market 
towns. Just three million people lived in the hundred or so 
towns of at least 10,000 inhabitants, but they represented a 
social, economic, cultural and political force of far greater 
importance than their number might suggest. 

During the Middle Ages urban enterprise came to set the 
pace of social and cultural development in western Europe. 
By 1300, under the impulses of the new international 
economy of trade, finance and industry (pages 100-1 ), two 
main clusters of towns had developed: one in northern Italy, 
the other in northern France and Flanders, with London 
and Cologne in close proximity (map 1). 

The Italian communes 

Between 1050 and 1150 Italian towns from the Alps as far 
south as Rome were controlled by communal regimes made 
up of local men of property and high status. The communes 
achieved power partly by violent assertion but also by the 
formation of "peace associations", which had the declared 
aim of bringing peace and order to a locality. Once in 

charge, the communes directed their energies towards 
mastering the immediately surrounding territory (contado) 
- vital for maintaining food supplies and communications. 
In the later 12th and 13th centuries their local control was 
repeatedly challenged by the Staufen emperors, rulers of the 
Holy Roman Empire (pages 90-91 ). 

The communes ultimately emerged victorious, but the 
strain of warfare, together with increasing social tensions 
generated by large-scale immigration from the countryside, 
frequently fuelled recurrent factional conflicts. This resulted 
in the subversion of communal government and the seizure 
of power by partisan cliques under so-called signori, such 
as the Visconti in Milan (dukes from 1395) or the Este 
family in Modena and Ferrara (dukes from 1452) (map 2). 

Towns in northwest Europe 

In northwest Europe the forms of town government varied. 
Here too, from around 1100, communes were set up by local 
revolt, or by local lords granting jurisdictional privilege. 
Paris and London, however, developed as royal residences 
and capitals of kingdoms, while the towns of the Low 
Countries, although prone to turbulence, remained within 
the framework of territorial principalities. The county of 
Flanders was divided into four territorial-jurisdictional 
sectors known as the "Four Members", three of which were 
dominated by the towns of Ghent, Bruges and Ypres. Much 
of the business of government was transacted not by the 
count's officials, but in the regular meetings of representa- 
tives of the Four Members. 

By the 1460s, 36 per cent of the population of Flanders 
were town dwellers, half of them resident in the three big 


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► From the early 14th century only a few 
communes in Italy escaped princely control 
- notably Venice, intermittently Genoa and 
Lucca, and Florence before the Medici coup 

of 1 434. Much of their internal organiz- 
ation was grounded in occupational guilds 
which exercised protectionist control of 
local vested interests. 

towns, half in the 49 smaller towns (map 3). This demo- 
graphic pattern was even more pronounced in Holland, 
where 45 per cent lived in towns but no single town 
exceeded 16,000 inhabitants. 

The growth of urban autonomy in Germany 

By the 15th century urban development in Germany - 
although gathering force later than in some other regions - 
had produced some 35 communities with over 2,000 inhab- 
itants and around 3,000 with some sort of recognized town 
status. About 50 of these were free cities under no princely 
jurisdiction. Unlike the Italian communes, some of which 
controlled whole regions, the German communities were 
more tightly focused on their urban centres; even Metz, one 
of the largest, held jurisdiction over only 250 surrounding 
villages. Also unlike their Italian counterparts, they rarely 
engaged in warfare. Even after trade guilds had occasionally 
asserted themselves forcefully in the 14th and 15th cen- 
turies, the towns remained under the control of a small 
number of noble families - 42 in Nuremberg, for example, 
and 76 in Frankfurt in around 1500. 

By this date the German towns were enjoying a golden 
age of economic growth and cultural vitality - a vitality that 
had been a feature of European urban society since the 12th 
century. Among its achievements had been the Gothic 
architectural style of church building; secular buildings of 
equivalent scale, such as the town halls of Florence and 
Bruges; the spread of printing presses from the Rhineland 
to over 200 towns throughout Latin Christendom between 
1450 and 1500; the "civic humanism" of post-communal 
Italy; and the "scholastic humanism" fostered by the 
foundation of some 80 universities - five by 1200, a further 
14 by 1300, 26 in the 14th century, and 35 in the 15th 
century (pages 134-35). 

The Early Renaissance 

The great town halls of communal Italy were built mainly 
between 1260 and 1330 - around the lifetime of the civic- 
minded vernacular poet Dante (1265-1321), and of his 
fellow Florentine, Giotto (1266-1337), whose painting came 
to be seen as marking the beginning of a new sense of space 
and form. Over the following century Florence continued to 
loom especially large in the visual arts, with architecture 
and sculpture as well as painting coming to express a 
"classical" ideal inspired by the Graeco-Roman past. 
Florence also produced writers such as Boccaccio 
(1313-75), whose vernacular poems and prose rapidly 
influenced French and English writing, and Petrarch 
(1304-74), whose humanist Latin writings became forma- 
tive in the education of the elite throughout Latin 
Christendom in the course of the 15th century. 

The transmission of style, however, was not all one way. 
The "new art" of the painters and musicians of the towns of 
the Low Countries was much in demand in 15th-century 
Italy, and in 1500 artists and writers were, literally, citizens 
of a world of Renaissance culture. The career of the artist 
Dtirer (1471-1528) moved between his native Nuremberg, 
Venice and Antwerp, while the humanist writer Erasmus 
(1469-1536) travelled constantly between Gouda, Deventer, 
Paris, London, Bologna, Rome, Leuven, Freiburg and Basel. 
Their achievement, in their own lifetimes, of Europe-wide 
fame beyond the span of their personal travels was itself an 
early product of the general spread of three urban inven- 
tions: the woodcut, the engraving and the printed book. 

► By 1 500 some 34 per cent of the 
population of the Low Countries lived in 
towns - an urban density equalled only in 
parts of northern Italy. Despite the 
protection of local interests by the 

occupational guilds, there was consider- 
able economic and cultural exchange 
between towns - so much so that Antwerp 
had become the leading commercial and 
cultural centre of western Europe. 


tet/v Wlh 

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5000-10,000 Utahim 

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under 20 nhnhMs 


doln nor Quoiln'jle 


© THE ECONOMY OF EUROPE 950-1300 piiges 100-1 © EUROPEAN URBANIZATION 1500-1800 pages 132-33 


► The merchonts' "Silk Roods", which 
doubled as militory routes for invaders and 
mercenaries, and linked up with the 
seaways of the Indian Ocean and the Black 
and Mediterranean seas, were also 
highways lor infection with the plague. 
Medieval international travel was slow and 
companionable: wayfarers carried huge 
quantities of supplies; they utilized ports, 
campsites, caravanserais and storehouses 
that were infested with black rats whose 
fleas carried the plague. They also dealt 
extensively in the bales of cloth which so 
often harboured fleaborne infection. 

► Part of the response of western European 
culture to the plague was to personify death 
via various visual media. The fame macabre 
entered court entertainment, and artists and 
sculptors experimented with the grisly 
themes of the cadaver and the skull. This 
1 Sth-century fresco from the Italian School, 
entitled The Triumph of Death, H a direct 
descendant of the genre spawned by the 
terrifying disease a century earlier. 

In the 14th century the "Old World" may have lost 
between a quarter and half of its population as a result of 
pandemic plague. The infective agent or plague bacillus 
was, and is, endemic to the ecology of certain remote areas 
of Asia. At times environmental factors or simple mutation 
can promote a dramatic rise in the numbers of the rodent 
fleas which are the plague's usual carriers. Facilities for 
transport and travel can then promote widespread person- 
to-person infection and turn an isolated outbreak of bubonic 
plague into an epidemic and ultimately a pandemic - 
without the intervention of rat or flea. 

The "Black Death" of the 14th-century was not the first 
visitation of plague to the Middle East or to Europe. The 
Byzantine historian Procopius gave a chillingly precise 
account of the symptoms and progress of the disease as it 
struck the Persian and Byzantine empires in the 540s. This 
plague reached Britain in 546 and Ireland in 552, and its 
aftershocks extended late into the 7th century. 

The Black Death invades Europe 

The medieval pandemics of the 6th and 14th centuries were 
the unpredicted side-effects of expanding horizons and 
increasing contact between East and West (map 1). The 
second scourge of the plague reached East Asia in the early 
1330s and West Asia less than a decade later. 

This time it may well have hit an already debilitated 
population. A run of rainy years and poor harvests in much 
of mid- 1340s Europe had lowered resistance and led to the 
widespread consumption of suspect food supplies. Typically 
the plague was at its most virulent in congested urban areas, 
and dedicated professionals such as doctors and priests suf- 
fered disproportionately. Yet there were always survivors - 
as many as a quarter of sufferers may have lived through an 
attack of plague to become invested with an awe-inspiring 
immunity - and there were regions, even towns, that went 
largely unscathed (map 2). 

While much plague history is anecdotal and local, such 
details can be just as telling as the massive mortality esti- 
mates. Pestilence halted work on the cathedral of Siena in 
Italy, and the building is still truncated today. The popula- 
tion of the Oxfordshire village of Tusmore in England was 
wiped out in 1348 and never restored. There were dramatic 
local responses to stress, such as episodes of penitential 
flagellation and vicious outbursts of scapegoating as vulner- 
able groups in society, notably the Jews, were targeted as 


the bringers of death. Such incidents were not, of course, 
unknown outside the plague years. 

Effects of the Black Death 

The questions whether or to what extent the 14th century 
pandemic changed the course of world history can only be 
the subject of conjecture. In China, which suffered the first 
and perhaps the most serious wave of devastation, demo- 
graphic collapse may have fostered the consensus that the 
ruling Mongol or Yuan dynasty had lost the "mandate of 
heaven". The Yuan were ousted in 1368 in favour of an 
indigenous Chinese dynasty, the Ming. In the West, the loss 
of manpower to pestilence may have left a declining 
Constantinople too weak to prevent Ottoman incursions 
into Europe: from 1354 there were Ottoman victories in the 
Balkans which reached a peak at Kosovo (1389) and esta- 
blished a lasting Muslim government in the midst of 
Orthodox Christendom. West Asia certainly saw a dramatic 
reduction in the population of its big Islamic cities and a 
reversion to nomadism outside them. Perhaps the effects of 
the plague facilitated a last Mongol invasion by the armies of 
Timur-leng (1369-1405), who briefly redrew the political 
map from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean (pages 98-99). 
However, no western European states or societies col- 
lapsed in the wake of the plague. Great cities like Venice 
experienced short-lived administrative dislocation and then 
recovered. Social tensions were exacerbated as surviving 
craftsmen, labourers and servants now had the advantage 
of scarcity and might resist the demands of lords, masters 
or officialdom. There was an increase in the Mediterranean 
slave trade as one solution to the labour shortage. 

There was also a demographic shift. Thousands of set- 
tlements in agricultural western Europe were abandoned in 
the two centuries that followed the population peak of the 
early 14th century. Very few of these "lost villages" were 
specifically eliminated by the plague or its accompanying 
panic, but in the aftermath of the plague, survivors from the 
fens and moorlands of the agricultural margins could move 
(with the encouragement of landowners who needed their 
labour) into the best of the farming land. 

The "time of pestilence" was also a time of resilience. 
Survivors dutifully buried their dead and coped with the 
paperwork of mortality, probate and the ricocheting 
finances of societies which had lost, on average, a third of 
their taxpayers. The 14th century had none of the universal 
expectation of population growth and longevity which char- 
acterizes the modern era. Life expectancy was less than half 
that of today and even those who survived the plague years 
had a very limited chance of reaching 70. Eyewitness 
accounts of the plague years describe a society whose 
preachers used memento mori ("remember you must die") 
as a watchword and regularly portrayed earthly existence 
as a vale of tears. The plague, which served to underline this 
concept, was easily incorporated into Christian theological 
debate; it is also likely to have reinforced Islamic fatalism 
and possibly the cyclical view of history and society set out 
in the writings of the philosopher Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406). 

Meanwhile, mainstream Western culture took refuge in 
the incorporation of mortality into art and personified death 
as a figure in popular stories and morality plays. Modern 
communicators still draw on this plague-time imagery of 
mortality to convey an apocalyptic warning. 

▼ Hie plague reached East Asia in the mid- 
1 330s and West Asia a decade later. The 
Crimean port of Kaffa was an important 
flashpoint for the transmission of the plague 
to Anatolia, the Levant and Europe. Kaffa 
was a Genoese trading base which in 1 347 
was under attack from the Kipchak Turks, in 
whose ranks the plague was raging. Ma's 
policy of "business as usual" in a corpse- 
strewn environment resulted in the flight of 
its business partners and they took the 
infection with them: a fleet of Genoese 
galleys from Kaffa carried the plague to 
Messina in Sicily and then, by January 
1 348, to Genoa itself. Genoa's commercial 
rivals Pisa and Venice succumbed shortly 
afterwards, and the pestilence went on to 
devastate most of Europe until it had 
reached Scandinavia via the Hanseatic 
seaways by 1350. 

2 The spread of the Buck 
Death in Europe 

Approximate extent of oreo reorhnrj by 

Block Dm* m: 

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| 134! Zl 1351 

U 1349 Z3 '352 

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effected by Black Deaiti 

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© THE ECONOMY OF EUROPE 950-1300 pages 100-1 O EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 


The period 1350-1500 was one of major transition in 
the history of Europe. Constant warfare reshaped the 
boundaries of kingdoms and other political entities 
(map 1), while the loss of over a third of the population as 
a result of the Black Death of 1347-52 (pages 104-5) 
generated economic, social and political change. It was also 
a period of crisis in the Church, as papal schism let loose 
challenges to the old order of Latin Christendom. 





1 illROPK. 1400 

Boundary tf fa Hglf tan Cinpira 

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' Ik alCrora 1385/4 *► Nlmn pnpiiln MMoi> 

| Outran Eiqiii' mi* to 

A In the wake of the Black Death there 
was an outbreak of popular revolts across 
Europe. The sudden, dramatic fall in the 
population resulted in the contraction of the 
labour force and a rise in wages. However, 
while living standards improved, there was 
an increase in the incidence of warfare - 
leading to higher taxation and social unrest. 

► In 1328 Philip of Valois was able to 
assume the French crown by right of descent 
through the male line, but he was 
challenged by Edward III of England, 
descended more directly from the last 
Capetians through his mother. In 1 337 
Philip confiscated the Plantagenet lordships 
in France (Gascony and Ponthieu); Edward's 
response in 1 340 was to adopt the title of 
"King of France". The resulting war, an 
intermittent series of conflicts, was as much 
a French civil war as an Anglo-French 
contest. By 1453 the English had been 
expelled from all of France except Calais, 
and the Valois were in the process of 
achieving effective authority in France. 


2 The Hundred Years War 1337-1453 

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l'v"^l toea recognizing Rorciogenet Mwphip MZQ-38 
A Wujoi bvarrte wth onto 

Western and central Europe 

From 1337 much of western Europe became the arena for a 
struggle between the the Valois princes and the Plantagenet 
kings of England for the succession to the Capetian kingship 
of France. The resulting Hundred Years War (map 2) gave 
rise to a network of alliances linking the Valois to Scotland 
and Castile, the Plantagenets to Portugal, and both at dif- 
ferent times to the Wittelsbach and Luxembourg dynasties 
of the Holy Roman Empire. Such links helped to sustain 
Scotland's independence from England. They also stimu- 
lated the emergence of a more powerful Burgundy which 
brought together the territorial principalities of the Low 
Countries - first, in the 1360s, as a Valois satellite, then as 
a Plantagenet ally (1419-35 and 1468-77), and finally as a 
Habsburg inheritance. 

The Hundred Years War network of alliances figured 
significantly in the warfare in the fberian Peninsula which 
resulted in the establishment of the Trastamara dynasty in 
Castile in 1369 and the Aviz dynasty in Portugal in 1385. A 
century later, between 1474 and 1479, two autonomous 
monarchies emerged whose expansionist ambitions found 
expression, in the case of Portugal, in maritime expeditions 
along the coast of Africa, and, in the case of Castile and 
Aragon, in the conquest of Muslim Granada (1480-92). 

Italy developed as an essentially self-contained political 
complex, with Milan, Venice and Florence expanding into 
regional territorial states by the mid-15th century. In the 
south, the Trastamaran Alfonso V of Aragon added the 
kingdom of Naples to his existing possession of Sicily in 
1442, after conflict with a Valois claimant. This was followed 
half a century later by a renewed Valois-Trastamara struggle 
in the post-1494 wars which turned Italy into the battle- 
ground of Europe (pages 146-47). In the meantime, Naples 
along with Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy sought 
intermittently after 1455 to function as a league to secure 
"the concert of Italy" from outside intervention. 

Germany and the Holy Roman Empire (pages 90-91), 
which were far less affected by large-scale warfare than 
other areas, came to function as a network of princely and 
urban local regimes, with relatively few moments of wide- 
spread disruption after the 1340s. The institution of elective 
kingship proved largely cohesive and peaceful, and the 
imperial title passed in virtually hereditary succession from 
the House of Luxembourg to the Habsburgs in 1438. 

Eastern and northern Europe 

In east central Europe the position of the Luxembourgs and 
Habsburgs as rulers of Bohemia (from 1310) and Hungary 
(from 1387) was intermittently challenged by the rise of the 
Lithuanian Jagiellon dynasty. To their rule of the Polish- 
Lithuanian commonwealth the Jagiellon dynasty added the 
kingship of Bohemia (1471-1526) and Hungary (1440-44 
and 1490-1526). In the Baltic, attempts to unite the three 
kingships of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were briefly 
successful with the creation in 1397 of the Union of Kalmar. 
Nonetheless, from 1448 the Oldenburg dynasty maintained 
its control in Denmark and most of the western Norse world 
from Norway to Iceland. Flanking Latin Christendom, the 
Muslim Ottoman Empire (pages 96-97) and the Orthodox 
Christian Russian Empire (pages 148-49) emerged. 

Religious developments 

In 1309 the French Pope Clement V had taken up residence 
in Avignon. The monarchical style of the Papacy had 
reached its peak when in 1378, shortly after its return to 
Rome, a disputed papal election caused the Church to split 
and two rival popes - based in Avignon and Rome - to 
operate simultaneously (map J). This remained the situa- 
tion until 1417, when the General Council at Constance 
(1414-18) secured the election of Pope Martin V. 

At the same time parts of Europe were marked by 
dissent from established theological doctrine and by anti- 
clerical criticism. In England the Lollards, influenced by 
John Wyeliffe, made no effective headway. However, in 
Bohemia the Hussite movement, launched by John Hus, 


developed into a revolutionary challenge to the established 
order. In 1415 IIus was burned at the stake for heresy, an 
event that provoked the Hussite Wars against the Holy 
Roman Emperor. The Hussites achieved dramatic military 
victories in the 1420s, but their theological and political 
impact was contained after peace was agreed in 1434-36. 

A great challenge to the Papacy came from the Goneiliar 
movement. This developed into a constitutional struggle 
between reformist clergy seeking to use the church coun- 
cils (such as that at Constance) to reduce the authority of 
the Pope, and the bid by the Papacy to reassert the pre-1378 
order of church government. The Conciliarists eventually 
had to acknowledge defeat in 1449, the preference of lay 
rulers for a monarchical papal ideology proving decisive. 

The effects of the Black Death 

The dramatic fall in population during the Black Death led 
to severe disruption of agricultural and industrial produc- 
tion and trade (map 4). It also led to smaller and more 
professional armies, although there was an increase in the 
incidence of warfare, which in turn induced social tension 
and revolts (among them the Jacquerie Revolt in northern 
France in 1358, the Peasants' Revolt in England in 1381, 
and a wave of urban revolts in northwest Europe, the Baltic 
region and Italy around 1375-85). The levy of war taxation, 
often the trigger of such unrest, was of fundamental impor- 
tance in the development of representative institutions, 
which in the form of parliaments or "Estates" became the 
vehicle for a heightened sense of the political community 
throughout Europe. 

3 The Church during the Great Schism 1378-141 7 

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^^ (mired IdlitnfKMy _J Areos tKogwiiir} AvrgwrctosflrJ Pupc 

< The initial cause of the Great Schism was 
a disputed papal election in 1 378. It lasted 
for almost 40 years (1 378-1 417) because 
lay political groups exploited the situation, 
rapidly aligning themselves behind the rival 
claimants to papal office. Thus Valois France 
and its allies in Scotland and Castile 
recognized the Pope resident (from 1379) 
in Avignon, while England and Portugal as 
well as most parts of the Holy Roman 
Empire and northern and eastern Europe 
recognized the Pope resident in Rome. 

T Between about 1 370 and 1 500 the rural 
world was marked by depressed grain 
prices, partly offset by increasing 
diversification from arable into pasture 
farming and horticulture. With the 
contraction of the labour force, wages rose 
and sustained the demand for a wide range 
of manufactured and other commodities, 
both staples and luxuries. The result was a 
more buoyant economy in the towns and 
the fostering of technological innovation in, 
for example, silk weaving, printing and 
metallurgical processes. 

© FRANCE. SPAIN AND ENGLAND 900-1300 pages 92-93 © ECONOMY OF EUROPE 950-1300 pages 100-1 © EUROPEAN STATES 1500-1600 pages 146-47 


T Among the pueblos built in the southwest 
were a group in Choco Canyon. These moy 
have housed members of the elite, or been 
craft and redistribution centres, or 
communal religious centres occupied only on 
ceremonial occasions. Choco Canyon was 
connected to towns and villages several 
hundred kilometres away by a network of 
wide, straight roads (used only by travellers 
on foot, as there were neither wheeled 
vehicles nor pack animals). Trade was well 
developed, linking the early pueblo peoples 
with the north, the Pacific coast and 
Mesoamerica, from where they obtained 
copper bells and live scarlet macaws prized 
for their feathers. In exchange they 
provided the Mexicans with turquoise mined 
in the region immediately to the south of 
the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 

North America in the 6th century was home to many 
different cultural traditions. Farming communities, 
growing native or introduced crops, were established 
in some parts of the south. Elsewhere, richly diverse ways of 
life were based on natural resources. 

The southwest 

Between 200 and 900 settled communities developed in the 
American southwest (map 1), growing crops (especially 
maize, squash and beans) introduced from Mesoamerica. 
These communities also began to make pottery to supple- 
ment their traditional basket containers. Semi-subterranean 
houses were constructed. Plazas, mounds and ballcourts 
reminiscent of those of Mesoamerica appeared in the 
Hohokam area by 600, at settlements such as Snaketown; 
these public spaces were probably the focus of ceremonial 
and ritual activities. Smaller villages clustered around the 
main centres, which are thought to have been the homes of 
chiefs controlling the networks of irrigation canals that made 
two annual crops possible in this arid region. 

Irrigation was also vitally important to the Anasazi and 
Mogollon peoples in the similarly arid areas to the north and 
east of Hohokam. Around 700 in the Anasazi area and 1000 
among the Mogollon, villages of semi-subterranean houses 
gave way to villages built above ground but containing a 

I The Pueblo Peoples 

~ Deien 

— WttDbm rolhird legion 1 1 300 

tasazi cultural region c. 1300 


o toc.1300 

• btelftlloeorrf HltirjnfwY 

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MogoRai ciftrt ream r. 1 300 

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Iraied mo-iBriuk- 

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9 Rkowkm D ronatrwrors 
£ he unlet maews 
j loft* halls 
— K Rairte erf Spanish eKpediftml 528 -36 


2 Chaco Canyon 


9 Keoflrdoft 

subterranean ceremonial structure (kiva). These developed 
into larger and more elaborate complexes of adjoining 
rooms, called pueblos by the Spanish in the 16th century. 
Among the best known is Pueblo Bonito (map 2). Here a 
massive plaza containing two large kivas was surrounded by 
a semi-circular, five-storey, tiered complex of some 200 
rooms and smaller kivas, housing up to 1,200 people. 

Further north the pueblos of the Mesa Verde region had 
developed along different architectural lines. At first situated 
on plateaus, by 1150 most were constructed on natural or 
artificial platforms on the face of canyon cliffs, such as Cliff 
Palace. These cliff-side villages, many dominated by watch- 
towers, were probably designed for defence and reflect 
deteriorating environmental conditions at the time. 

A major shift in trade patterns took place around the 
14th century, when it appears that the Mogollon village of 
Casas Grandes was taken over by Mexican pochtecas 
(merchants). It grew into a town and became a trade and 
craft production centre, surrounded by a network of roads 
and forts, directly controlling the turquoise sources. Mexican 
architecture now appeared and sophisticated irrigation 
systems were constructed. 

In other areas favourable climatic and environmental 
conditions had promoted the spread of farming into marginal 
regions in preceding centuries, but by the later 13th century 
conditions were deteriorating. There was widespread 
drought and many sites were abandoned, their inhabitants 
moving into more fertile areas, particularly along the banks 
of rivers. In the 1450s Apache and Navajo hunters began to 
make raids on the fringes of the area, and in 1528 a Spanish 
expedition signalled future domination by Europeans. 

The southeast 

By about 400 the extensive exchange networks of the 
Hopewell people (pages 24-25) were in decline and funer- 
ary moundbuilding was going out of fashion in all but the 
southern regions of the southeast. However, by 800 the intro- 
duction of maize, later supplemented by beans, allowed an 
increased reliance on agriculture, but concentrated settle- 
ment on the easily cultivated river floodplains (map 3). As 
before, communities were linked by a long-distance trade 
network. Many were autonomous small chiefdoms but in 
some areas a hierarchy developed, with subordinate chief- 
doms answerable to a centralized authority operating from 
a major centre. The largest town in this emerging mosaic of 
Mississippian chiefdoms was Cahokia, a powerful and pros- 
perous centre c. 1050-1250, which housed perhaps 30,000 
people in dwellings clustered around the palisaded centre 
with its plaza and huge mounds. 

Other Native Americans 

From 800, horticulture based on beans, squash and maize 
spread through the mid- and northeast (map 4). Although 
hunting continued to be important, the increased reliance on 
agriculture encouraged settlement in semi-permanent villages. 
By the time the Europeans arrived in North America in the 
16th century, the northeast was a patchwork of nations 
settled in small territories, constantly at war but also trading 
with one another. Later some settled their differences, uniting 
into the Iroquois Confederacy which became involved in the 
wars between rival European powers in the region. 

The Great Plains had been home for thousands of years 
to small groups of buffalo (bison) hunters and small-scale 
hortieulturalists. The introduction of the bow and arrow may 
have increased hunting efficiency and, possibly for this 
reason, several peoples moved onto the Great Plains from 
the surrounding areas. After about 900, colonists from the 
Mississippian cultures brought maize cultivation to the 
Missouri region of the Great Plains. The stockades and moats 
surrounding their settlements, along with evidence of 
massacres and scalpings, indicate that these groups were 
constantly at war. 

Further west, in the Great Basin, hunter-gatherer groups 
continued their long-standing nomadic way of life (map 5) 
until it was destroyed by white settlers. Under influence from 


V Mississiapion lawns were the ceremonial 
cenlres fof their surrounding communities, 
partkipating a! ibis time in rhc religious 
lirtdrta known os the "Southern Cull". 
Symbolic artefacts (baracterislir of this cull 

- sikIi as (opper pendants, seoshelk and 
hgurines bearing distinctive designs 
(including snakes, ho nth and weeping faces) 

- were bund al cenlres throughout the 
Misshsippian call area. Mounds in the hearl 
at these centres were crowned by temples 
ond sometimes the bouses of Ihe elile. 

the Anrisazi of the southwest, the Fremont - a number of 
culturally-related groups who practised horticulture and 
made (Bstill©tiV6 figurines and other artefacts - flourished 
from around 5(H) until the late 1,1th century, when they were 
wiped nut hy droughts. Around 145(1 Apache and Navajo 
from the far northwest reached the area and. after contact 
with the Spanish, took up horse-breeding und hunting (in the 
western Great Plains. 

The Pacific coast, with its wealth of game, wild plants and 
fish, enabled communities to live in villages all year round. 
The general abundance, coupled with periodic shortages, led 
to a Stratified society: chiefs gained prestige by providing 

iS 55 

the Mississippi 

PwidpoJ onwps: 


\ Middle Mraraippicn 
|H SaAAppoMcn 

ne MisusSippial 

lavish feasts and gift-giving displays, which might involve the 
deliberate destruction of valued objects (the "potlatch 
system"). Shells were used by some groups as a medium of 
exchange, and slave-raiding was also widespread. Expert 
woodearvers, these coastal groups fashioned totem poles anil 
extravagantly decorated houses and artefacts. A detailed 
insight into their life comes from Ossette, a village partly 
covered by a mudslide around 1 550 (and thus preserved tor 
posterity): here wooden houses and beautifully made 
wooden tools, nets and other objects were found, including a 
decorated wooden replica of a whale's fin. 

In the far north, limit communities spread northwards 
anil eastwards through the Arctic. This was made possible 
by a number of innovations that improved adaptation to 
life in extreme cold: igloos, snowshoes, snow goggles, dog 
sledges, kayaks and the larger umiaks, as well as harpoons 
capable of killing sea mammals as large as whales. During the 
warmer temperatures of the period from around 900 to 
1300, the lnuit colonized Greenland, where they came into 
contact and sometimes conflict with the Vikings, who estab- 
lished a toehold there and on Newfoundland between 982 
and 1400 (pages 78-79). 

adopted by the Plains peoples, these animals 
revolutionized hunting lethniquas, enabling 
efficient slouahier ol buffalo and eosy long 
dislonce movement. Many peoples soon 
abandoned agriculture in favour ol a way 
of lile based on horseback hunting. 

S Movements of Native American 



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© t'KOM 111 NTINi ; TO FARMING: TDK AME81GAS IJ.OOO-UXHI v* ■ )*w* 24-2* Q SPAIN AND TUB. 'AM ERIC AS U92-I55II nates 12(1-21 


► Also known as Tahuanlinsuyu ("the 
land of the (our quarters"), the Inca 
Empire extended from modern Ecuador to 
southern Chile. The rulers established their 
authority over the peoples they conquered 
by relocating large numbers, either 
sending them to work temporarily at 
nearby way-stations, or moving them 
permanently to more distant provinces. 
They also ensured that provincial heirs to 
power were educated in Cuzco and 
brought provincial cult objects to the 
capital. In the provinces sacred mountains 
such as Cerro El Plomo in Chile became the 
sites of state-dedicated child sacrifices, and 
oracular centres and ancient ruined cities 
were appropriated for Inca ceremonies. 

▲ The Inca ruler was believed to be 
descended from the Sun God, one of a 
number of deities to whom offerings were 
made - as visualized in the painting on this 
wooden cup. Decorated with inlaid pigments, 
it represents the trophy head of an Anfi, an 
uncivilized enemy from the Antisuyu tropical 
forest "quarter" of the empire. Made by 
Inca descendants in the colonial period and 
influenced by European art, it juxtaposes 
pre-Hispanic characters and activities with 
the abstract motifs (tokapu) of traditional 
Inca art. 

► The Inca capital of Cuzco was literally 
the focal point of the empire. Four avenues 
emanating from the centre of the city were 
linked to the empire's road system and led 
to the symbolic four "quarters" of the 
empire. Two of these avenues also divided 
the city into ritually complementary 
northwest and southeast halves, Hanan and 
Hurin. The stone walls of Cuzco later served 
as the bases for Spanish colonial buildings. 

1 The Inca Empire 

■^^ Imponnl Iwunilay 

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The short-lived Inca Empire in the Andes and Aztec 
Empire in Mesoamerica were the last to dominate the 
two principal areas of urbanized culture which had 
developed over a period of 3,000 years before the arrival of 
the Spanish. Both mobilized labour for state projects and 
extracted valued materials and objects from their subjects, 
but while the Aztecs undertook most of their building and 
manufacturing projects in the imperial core - particularly 
in their capital city, Tenochtitlan, under present-day Mexico 
City — the Incas had broader control over their subjects and 
directed projects in distant territories. In Tenochtitlan the 
Aztecs created a remarkable assembly of large, finely carved 
stone sculptures in a mere 70-year period before the fall of 
their empire to the Spanish in 1521, but little can now be 
seen of these. In comparison, distinctive Inca architecture, 
ceramics and other remains have been found throughout 
their empire, the largest in pre-Spanish America. 

The Inca Empere 

Unlike the inhabitants of Mesoamerica, who recorded 
history in manuscripts with hieroglyphic dates and picto- 
graphic representations of rulers and their activities, the 
ancient Andeans used knotted strings (quipus) for record- 
keeping. The reconstruction of the history of the Inca 
Empire is therefore problematic. Inca conquests of local 
neighbours around the capital of Cuzco probably date from 
the 14th century (pages 84-85), and the period of greatest 
expansion began around 1440 under Pachacuti, who rebuilt 
the imperial capital, and his successor Tupac Yupanqui. At 
its height the empire covered a 4,200-kilometre (2,600- 
mile) strip along western South America, encompassing 
coastal and highland valleys from Quito in modern Ecuador 
to southern Chile (map 1). 

The Incas were great builders, and the extent of their 
empire is still visible in an advanced road system of high- 
land and lowland routes along which armies and caravans 
of llamas moved. At intervals there were settlements or way- 
stations built of distinctive Inca stonework, such as the 
well-studied site of Huanuco Pampa. These architectural 
complexes included accommodation for local artisans and 
labourers working for the state, feasting halls and ceremo- 
nial plazas for the wooing of the local elite, facilities for 
storage, and lodgings for imperial representatives. All 
aspects of production, from the acquisition of materials to 
the manufacture and distribution of finished items, were 
controlled by the state. 

The Inca capetae, of Cuzco 

Cuzco was the political, cultural and ritual focal point of the 
empire. It was surrounded by settlements of Inca common- 
ers and members of the elite and their retainers, relocated 
from sometimes distant areas of the empire. Cuzco proper 
(map 2) was relatively small, containing only the residences 
of the living ruler and royal clans reputedly descended from 
previous kings (some fictitious), plus the temples, plazas, 
platforms and halls for imperial ritual. Palaces and temples 
consisted of rows of simple adobe or stone rooms with 
gabled straw roofs; where they differed from homes of com- 
moners was in the quality of workmanship and materials, 
such as finely worked ashlar masonry, gold and silver sheets 
attached to walls, and elaborately dyed and plaited thatch. 

The Aztecs 

Because the Aztecs kept written records, we have a better 
idea of their imperial history. The empire was founded in 
1431, after the Aztec war of independence from the 
Tepanecs who had previously dominated the Valley of 
Mexico. It was formed by an alliance of three cities - 
Texcoco, Tlaeopan and Tenochtitlan - the last of which 
quickly became the dominant city. 

All Tenochca Aztec rulers were warriors, but the two 
responsible for the greatest expansions were Motecuhzoma, 
or Montezuma I (r. 1440-69), who also reorganized Aztec 
society and rebuilt the imperial capital, and Ahuitzotl 
(r. 1486-1502), who extended the empire to the border of 




4 Tai Valley of Mexico 

■ Trqile Allonce city 
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TiPANEC T-Vu^o , ^^ 

" c Azcapotalto , „ , 

Jalelofco CoolopiK 

■ Tenochtitlan ° 

Coyooran 1 ' rl CuUiuocen. 



G u IJ off 


::;■"■::. nfeun 










D c 

5 // 

1 J ! ft 


3 The provinces of the Aztec Empire c.1520 

Impend twuiidarv 

Pravintid bountoiy 

Altec egcnwm. 

• Prwhul topiTdl 

~| nnds Iniotll (1427-40), toUra™ I 

^] Irclepentleni [wlirv 

(1440-691 urn) AbivckuII :iJ6?-a1) 

o Colorv -lift 

IH whAUiiiii (1464-1502) 

♦ ;.-.•* 

mil ttnKiun II 11 502-1 9) 

• Mcyii Lily 

• PofHjffiDdf 


/' a c i / f c 
Of t a n 

■ ZjuIk ma/a^- - 

modern Gviatemala. Early expansion by Montezuma I and 
two other kings consolidated the highlands on all sides of 
the capital, while later thrusts by Ahuitzotl and Montezuma 
II (r. 1502-19) went into tropical coastal areas and temper- 
ate highlands to the south and east. The west and north 
were blocked by the enemy Tarascan Empire and by cul- 
turally less complex groups to whom the Aztecs applied the 
derogatory term "Ghichimecs". At the time of the Spanish 
arrival in 1519, Aztec armies were reportedly poised to 
invade the northern Maya kingdoms on the Yucatan 
Peninsula from the port of Xicalango. 

The structure of the Aztec Empire 

The Aztec Empire extended from the Pacific to the Gulf 
coast, but imperial provinces were bordered by blocks of 
unconquered territories, keeping the people of Mesoamerica 
in a constant state of warfare. The region had well-devel- 
oped market and long-distance trading systems centuries 
before the rise of the Aztecs, who tried to control these 
where they could; however, many networks continued to 
operate independently. The Aztecs did not put their ener- 
gies into administrative structures, and their empire lacked 
the monumental road system of the Incas' polity. However, 
Aztec artisans were accomplished stone carvers, as 
evidenced by surviving temples at mountain sites like 
Malinalco to the southwest of the capital. 

After conquest of a province, numerous captives of war 
were brought to the capital for sacrifice. As in Peru, 
captured deity images were put in Aztec temples, sacred 
mountain sites were appropriated for ceremonies and 
temples, and tribute was demanded. However, conquered 
groups were not relocated; instead, loyal subjects from 
Tenochtitlan and nearby areas were sent to strategically 
located colonies, while members of the foreign elite and 
traders spent time in the cities of the imperial centre. 

At its height Tenochtitlan, which occupied an island in 
the shallow lake that dominated the Valley of Mexico, had a 

population of perhaps 200,000, four times that of its nearest 
rival. According to contemporary descriptions, it had a huge 
central precinct in which four great causeways met. The 
precinct contained many temples and was immediately sur- 
rounded by the palaces of rulers and the elite. Beyond were 
the neighbourhoods of commoners, where enclosed com- 
pounds and house gardens were organized in a grid of 
streets and canals. 

Texcoco and Tlacopan on the east and west shores, 
along with numerous other towns as old as or older than 
Tenochtitlan, remained uneasy allies and potential enemies 
of the capital. Thus when the Spanish arrived in 1519 they 
found thousands of Indian allies both in the valley and 
throughout the empire ready to revolt against the Aztecs. 

▲ The Aztec Empire covered much of what 
is now central Mexico, with one separate 
province adjacent to distant Maya territory. 
There were substantial unconquered areas 
next to and surrounded by imperial 
provinces. The empire's capital, 
Tenochtitlan, and its two uneasy allies - 
Tlacopan and Texcoco - were just three 
of some 50 cities with surrounding 
territories and satellite towns in the lake 
zone of the Valley of Mexico. 

< Manuscripts of the Spanish colonial 
period have made it possible to reconstruct 
the Aztec Empire's structure. Among them 
is the Codex Mendoza, which includes 
pictures of the pre-Conquest tributes that 
were demanded from individual provinces 
- among them warriors' clothing, bags of 
feathers and dried chillies. 



Before 1 500 there was a gradual overall increase in the world's population 
and economy, although epidemics and widespread famine sometimes caused 
a temporary decline. Then in the space of 300 years the population more 
than doubled, from 425 to 900 million, and the world economy expanded 
rapidly as Europe embarked on a process of exploration, colonization and 
domination of intercontinental commerce. 

► Porcelain wos amongst the 
Chines* products lor which there 
wos o great demand in Europe. 
Another wos silk. The export ol 
both products horn China 
ensured thai trade with the West 
continued to flourish throughout 
the 16lh, 17th and ISlh 
centuries, although Chines* 
merchants did not themselves 
venture outside Asm. 

to the American mainland and the creation of 
Spanish and 1'ortiiguusc colonies in the Caribbean 
and South America. New trade routes across the 
Atlantic and Indian oceans were pioneered by the 
Spanish and Portuguese, to be taken over in the 
17th century by the Dutch, English and French. 
Africa was both a survivor and a victim of this 
transoceanic transport revolution. The economies 
of its states - and the extensive trade network 
linking the north, east and west of the continent - 
were little affected by contact with the Europeans. 
However, from 1450 over 12 million Africans were 
forced to embark on a journey across the Atlantic 
as slaves destined to work in the plantations and 
gold and silver mines of Europe's colonics in the 
Americas and the Caribbean, 

The Europeans* exploration and discovery of 
the world began in earnest in the second half 
of the 15th century when the desire to find a 
sea route to the East led to a series of Portuguese 
voyages down the west coast of Africa. The Cape of 
Good Hope was finally reached in 148K, just four 
years before Christopher Columbus set sail across 
the Atlantic, on behalf of Spain, in search of a 
westward route to China. His discovery of the West 
Indies was quickly followed by Spanish expeditions 


The Europeans were to have a greater effect on the 
economies of Asia. In South and Southeast Asia the 
Portuguese combined plunder with trade, and by 
the 1560s they were importing about half the spiecs 
reaching Europe from the East. With overland 
Eurasian trade becoming increasingly hazardous - 
and also costly as local rulers extorted high 
protection costs - merchants from other European 
nations sought to establish themselves in the 

■> Despite periods ol vigorous 
territorial and economic 
expansion, the greet lond 
empires (oiled to participate in 
the commercial revolution led by 
the countries ol northern Europe 
in the 1 7ih and 1 Bib. centuries. 
In 1700 they still covered rat 
areas, but in the following 
century the three Muslim 
empires - the Mughal, Sulovid 
and Ottoman - declined as the 
commercial and military power 
al the Europeans expanded. 

1 Eurasian land 
SMPiSES c 1 700 


total 7K 



oceanic Asian trade. In 1600 and 1602 the English 
and Dutch East India Companies were created, and 
within a few years the Dutch company had 
weakened Portuguese power in the Indian Ocean. 
However, local politics and rivalries between Hindu 
and Muslim entrepreneurs and courtier-traders 
continued to influence the patterns of European 
commerce and imperialism. 

In the first half of the 17th century a struggle 
between Crown and Parliament in England, and a 
war of liberation in the Netherlands (from which 
the independent Dutch Republic emerged), placed 
merchant capitalists in both countries in more 
powerful positions. By the 1650s they were the 
leading economies of Europe. A century later trade 
outside Europe accounted for 20 to 25 per cent of 
the Dutch Republic's total trade, while the figure for 
England was as high as 50 per cent. 


The rapid growth of northern European trade was 
not closely related to technological achievement: in 
the 17th century Europe imported Asian 
manufactured goods rather than vice versa, and per 
capita productivity in India and China was 
probably greater than in Europe. However, the 
technological superiority of India and China was 
not matched by an urge towards overseas 
expansion and conquest. Under the Ming dynasty 
(1368-1644) Chinese voyages of exploration in the 
early 15th century had reached as far as the east 
coast of Africa. Yet while these voyages helped to 
consolidate China's sphere of influence in Asia, 
they did not lead to the creation of a far-reaching 
overseas trading network. Instead, trade with the 
rest of Asia and with Europe continued to flourish 
with the aid of overland routes, short-distance sea 
routes and foreign merchants, resulting in an 
outflow of ceramics and silk, and an inflow of silver. 

China relied on intensive agriculture to support 
its ever-growing population, but in the 16th century 
it was stricken by harvest failures, droughts and 
famine, which in turn led to frequent rebellions. 
Insufficient resources were devoted to defence, and 
in 1644 the Ming dynasty gave way to Manchu 
conquerors from the north. Under the Manchus, 
China became preoccupied with defending its own 
borders, which by 1760 had expanded to 
encompass a greater area than ever before (map 1). 

In India the Mughal Empire - established in 1526 
by Muslim warrior descendants of the Mongols - 
was centred on cities in the country's heartland. Its 
rulers financed their administration, and the 
architectural achievements for which they are 
renowned, by taxing local agriculture and 
commerce. However, they had little interest in 
overseas trade beyond the existing involvement of 
the artisanal industries in the Muslim trading 
networks that stretched from Arabia to Indonesia. 
The Portuguese, who were intent on seizing control 

of these networks, used their ships' guns to 
overcome opposition and established trading posts 
around the coast. They were followed by Dutch, 
English and Trench merchants. 

The Mughal Empire was just one of three 
powerful Muslim empires in the 16th century, 
Another was that of the Ottoman Turks, who after 
their capture of Constantinople in 1453 had 
embarked on a process of territorial expansion in 
Africa, Asia and Europe. This was to continue until 
1683 when their last major expedition was driven 
back from Vienna, the Austrian Ilabsburg capital. 

Among the other great powers with which the 
Ottomans came into conflict in the 16th century 
was the third representative of the political and 
cultural achievements of Islam at this time - the 
Safavid Empire (1501-1736) in Iran. Despite a 
resounding Ottoman victor)* in 1514, it was not 
until 1639 that the border between the two empires 
- the present-day frontier between Iran and Iraq — 
was firtnlv established. 

■4 Hie Mughal emperor Akbar 
is shown in this painting after 
riding an elephant aver o bridge 
af brum acres-; lbs River Jumna. 
Ruling between I "S56 and 1 605. 
Akbor was responsible (or tbe 
considerable expansion of the 
Mughal Empires territory and 
for creating a tenltaliied ami 
efficient administration . 

During tbe Mughal period the 
Europeans established trading 
posts around the coast. They 
brought gold nnd silver from tbe 
Americas, and so in tbe short 
term they stimulated tbe Indian 
economy. Hawevet, in the 18th 
century their activities were to 
contribute to the decline of the 
Hughols and the beginning of 
British rule in India. 

▼ flie shahs of ihe Safavid 
Empire were gteat patrons of 
architecture and ait - of which 
this picture made up of tiles is a 
fine example. Greatest of all 
artistic patrons was Abbas I 
(1 587-1629). After his death 
the empire went into decline 
and finally collapsed in 1 736. 

▼ The Europeans' "discovery" 
of ihe world gave an enormous 
stimulus la cartography and I he 
improvement of optical 
inslruments. Il also heralded a 
new rapacity for observation of 
the natural world which 
eventually surpassed even Inert 
of the Chinese. The sophisticated 
depiction of spatial relationships 
which evolved in art is 
exemplified in IbeAtliit's Studio 
(C IndOlby llii: Di!t[h|i[iiii'i- 
inn Vermeer. 


The conflict with the Safavids temporarily diverted 
Ottoman attention away from Europe, where the 
power with which it most frequently eame into 
direct confrontation in the Kith and 17th centuries 
was the llabsburg Empire. In the 1520s this empire 
was little more than the largest conglomeration of 
territories and rights in Europe - among them 
Spain, Austria, Hungary and the former lands of the 
Duchy of Burgundy - since the Mth century, ft was 
not welded into a more coherent empire until the 
Thirty Years War of 161S-4S, from which time the 
llnhshurgs began the rcconquest of Hungarian 
territory lost to the Ottomans and thus became the 
major dynastic power of central Europe. 

To the northeast of the llabsburg Empire lay 
Poland - a kingdom which through much of the 
17th and ISrh centuries was in conflict with 
Russia, ("rider Muscovy's Grand Duke Ivan III 
(r. 1462-1505), Russia began a process of 
exploration and expansion on land comparable with 
that undertaken overseas by the western European 
maritime powers. By the end of the 18th century 
its empire stretched from the llaltie to the Pacific 
Ocean, and formed a world economy in miniature. 

A In 1607 on English colony was 
established in Virginia, where John 
White had pointed ihis view of o Native 
American village in the 1580s. Further 
norm the colony of Plymouth was 

established in 1 620 by the Pilgrim 
Fathers, a Puritan group who had 
broken away (ram the Church of 
England. Many such separatist groups 
were lo settle in North America. 


Following the European discovery of the Americas 
- and the highly valued commodities to be found 
there - world demand for gold and silver ensured 
the gradual integration of the New World into the 
emerging European world economy. The Spanish 
conquest of Central and South America from the 
end of the 15th century was accompanied by the 
decimation of the native Indian population - not as 
a deliberate act of genocide but mainly as a result 
of diseases imported from Europe and a regime of 
forced labour, The estimated pre -conquest 
population of about 57 million was reduced to less 
than six million by the late Kith century. A similar 
fate awaited the smaller North American population 
when European colonists began to arrive in the 
17th cent tin'. In order to replace native forced 
labour, slavery was introduced by the Spanish 
conquistadores and their successors. Between 1500 
and Ki5() about 500,000 African slaves were 
imported by the Spanish and 1'ortuguese. Far 
greater numbers were subsequently imported when 
the slave system was extended to the Dutch, 
English and Freneh colonies. 

In the short term the Europeans' discovery of the 
New World drained resources away from Spain and 
Portugal, who pursued their expansionist strategies 
through conquest. Expansion in the Americas did 
not become profitable for the European powers 
until the later 17th century, when a thriving 
colonial economy began to develop, based on the 
plantation crops of sugar in the West Indies; 
tobacco, rice and indigo in the central and 
southern mainland colonics; and familv farms. 


llFXtm OWtSSS WIpifB 

| IrMi 


■1 - 

B hrtflBM 

B Spjngh 

■sol Mdnrid 








< Al ihs beginning of the 16 ill 
century European trading route 
did no! reoch beyond West 
Africa. By the end of the lBlti 
century they (raised the Allnntir, 
Pacific and Indian oceans, 
inextricably linking Europe, Asio 
and the Amerkos in the growing 
exchange al row moteriok, 
foodstuffs, manufactured goads 
and silver. 

handicraft production and ultra-colonial trade in 
New England and the other northern colonics. 
Profits from trade with the colonics at first went 
principally to the Dutch Republic, followed closely 
by England and then France. 


The domination of the evolving global economy by 
Europe, rather than by China or the Islamic 

powers, was due to a number of convergent forces, 
including the development of maritime enterprise 
and, later, of scientific and technological 
innovations. The division of the Church during the 
16th-century Reformation, between Catholic and 
Protestant believers, encouraged international 
rivalry and emigration to the \ew World. However. 
above all else, it was the existence of a competitive 
state system in Europe, and the willingness and 
capacity of European governments to mobilize 
military and naval power in support of trade, which 
secured European hegemony. By the mid-bSth 
century the octopus-like grip of the European trade 
routes formed an interlocking whole, in which 
American bullion paid for Asian luxuries and for 
the supplies of timber and other naval stores from 
the Baltic countries that were essential for further 
commercial expansion {nuxp$2 and 3). 

The growing European appetite for colonial and 
Asian goods - including tea, sugar, tobacco, spices, 
and silks - as well as luxury items produced within 
Europe, was to play a significant role in the 
industrialization of western Europe, and of Britain 
in particular. The spread of consumerism and the 
desire for market-bought products encouraged rural 
households to specialize in both food production 
and various types of cottage industry In order to 
enhance their purchasing power - with the result 
that an early "industrious revolution" operating at 
the level of the household economy took place. 

At the same time the commercial revolution 
provided new overseas markets for manufactured 
goods, especially in North America after around 
1750, as well as essential raw materials such as 
dyestuffs, raw cotton and silk, and iron ore. The 
struggle to protect overseas markets and colonial 
sources of supply stimulated war industries such as 
shipbuilding, armaments and metal-smelting, all of 
which saw major technological improvements in 
the lSth century. The expansion of the Europe- 
centred world economy thus paved the way for the 
Industrial Revolution which was to take place first 
in Britain, and then in Europe and the United 
States, with enormous repercussions for the world 
in the 1 9th century. 




UB7 Doffl flf Pomigiiffie dhcovary in Africa 
Dovif Nome tfuptaaf with tatotfuc^ge 
— *- tuplorers or> behalf of Spun 
— *- Explorers on behalf c ; Ponugal 
— * tuplorefi an b^haH ol France 
— >■ IxpJDiHs on bflhoH oi Englnral 

Enploieis on behoH 4> tha Dutdi 
— — Tha world known of by 

Europeans [. 1450 

Arctic Ocean 



▼ Ferdinand Magellan's voyage octoss the 

Pacific in 1520-21 began with the perilous 
journey around Cape Ham, through the 
stroits thai now bear his norae. However, the 
Spanish conquest ol Mexico ond Peru in the 
I 5?0s and 1 5 30s provided Spanish 
explorers with new storting points for rooles 
from Sooth America lo the East Indies. 

— J^* Caitmr 1534-35 "N." " NETHER LANDS 

/^ s. cjbc-J/e - r^f y*t EUROPE 



D/o*« HnTOdfexnbniKnhdbnotwraoa 
^ bpiofss w bvpl of Scwi 
^ Expums on Mnorr of tngtond 

Most civilizations knew something of the world 
outside their own territorial boundaries before 
Europeans discovered the existence of the Americas 
in the 1490s. The Greeks had circumnavigated Britain as 
early as 310 bc, by the 1st century ad Rome had established 
links with China, while the Chinese themselves had explored 
Central Asia, reaching the Euphrates by AD 360. However, 
the insularity of the Chinese court in the late 15th century 
(pages 138-39) - leading to the destruction of most of the 
official records of Zheng He's pioneering voyages of 1405-33 
in the Pacific and Indian oceans - undermined any sustained 
contact with the wider world. The discoveries by European 
explorers were new and momentous in the sense that 
expanding geographical horizons were matched by new 
mental horizons. 

The geographical discoveries of the late 15th century 
were neither isolated nor accidental historical events. Rather, 
they were part of a European expansionist phase, and were to 
some degree a response to the disruption of Eurasian 

commerce brought about by plague, the closure of the Silk 
Road and the caravan routes during the 1360s, and the fall 
of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The need to 
find a direct route to the Far East, principally for trading silks 
and spices, provided a powerful impetus to exploration. 

The Portuguese led the way with a series of expeditions 
from 1415 to explore the west coast of Africa (pages 80-81). 
In 1445 the westernmost tip of the continent was rounded, 
and by 1460 they had travelled 3,200 kilometres (2,000 
miles) south as far as Sierra Leone, bringing back spices, gold 
and slaves. By 1474 the equator had been crossed, and in 
1488 Bartholomew Dias reached the Cape of Good Hope 
(map 1 ) - an important step towards the establishment of a 
sea route to India, which was achieved by Vasco da Gama in 
1497-98. After Dias's voyage, mapmakers were able to show 
the sea encompassing southern Africa, but the globe was still 
envisaged as a much smaller - and younger - planet than is 
actually the case, and was thought to be dominated by the 
Eurasian landmass. 


, \ 596-97 






lbkyo _ ~i 

,.>P«<ltSdi |\ 

■ / / Indian 

I i / Ocean 

i 1 ' ■•' 

J TV j«T ** ,f ! / 1.542 V 


8 '> U i h c r n O c e ti n 

A When Christopher Columbus set sail 
across the Atlantic in 1492 he was guided 
by the assertion of the Greek geographer 
Ptolemy (c. ad 85-1 50) that the circum- 
ference of the Earth is about 1 1 ,000 
kilometres (7,000 miles) shorter than it 
actually is and that, going west, there is no 
land between Europe and Asia. His belief 
that the West Indies were islands off the 
coast of China was quickly discredited when 
further Spanish expeditions began to 
explore the Americas and, beyond them, 
the Pacific Ocean. 

The Spanish and the New World 

While Portuguese explorers searched for a passage to the East 
by a southeasterly route, the Spanish searched in a westerly 
and southwesterly direction. Although they were unsuccess- 
ful in reaching their immediate goal, the result was the 
discovery of the West Indies and the Venezuelan coast by 
Christopher Columbus between 1492 and 1502. Columbus, 
as his Spanish patrons realized, had greatly underestimated 
the distances involved in reaching Asia by a southwesterly 
route, but he nevertheless pressed on. The New World was 
Spain's unexpected prize, confirmed in the Treaty of 
Tordesillas of 1494, and first described by the explorer and 
writer Amerigo Vespucci in travel accounts published from 
1507. By the 1520s the Old World recognized the Americas 
as an enormous "new" continent between Europe and Asia. 
Spanish exploitation of the Caribbean islands began with 
the settlement of Hispaniola in 1493, followed by that of 
Cuba and Puerto Rico. These islands provided a base for the 
exploration of Central America, and the failure of the 

Spanish to find a sea route to Asia encouraged further colo- 
nization and plunder. Mainland settlement began in 1509-10 
on the isthmus of Panama. Hernan Cortes, the first of the 
conquistadores, established Spanish control over the Aztec 
Empire in Mexico in 1521, and in South America Francisco 
Pizarro subdued the empire of the Incas in Peru and Bolivia 
during the 1520s and early 1530s (pages 120-21). The con- 
quest of Mexico and Peru provided new opportunities for 
transpacific exploration (map 2), and in 1527 Saavedra 
travelled across the Pacific from the coast of Mexico to the 
Moluccas. A viable return route, from the Philippines to 
Acapulco, was first navigated by Urdaneta in 1565 and was 
followed thereafter by Spanish galleons. In 1567 Mendana 
and Sarmiento led an expedition in search of a great south- 
ern continent and found the Solomon Islands. Mendana 
attempted to return there to establish a Christian colony in 
1595, accompanied by the Portuguese navigator Quiros. 
They were unable to find the Solomons but instead stumbled 
on the Marquesas and Santa Cruz islands. However, it was 
not until the more scientific voyages of the 18th century that 
the full extent of the Pacific, from Alaska to New Zealand and 
the east coast of Australia, was to be explored. 

The English, French and Dutch in North America 

For much of the 16th century the Spanish and Portuguese 
attempted to exclude northern Europeans from their 
expanding colonial empires and the new sea routes across 
the southern hemisphere. As a result, the opening up of the 
north Atlantic world was mainly an English, French and 
Dutch enterprise, although it was more than a by-product of 
the quest for a northwestern route to the East. The first 
initiatives were probably undertaken as early as the 1420s 
by Bristol merchants involved in trade with Iceland. These 
traders were certainly exploring the coast of Newfoundland 
in 1481, some time before John Cabot made his historic 
voyage of 1497. Cabot, under commission from the English 
crown, discovered 640 kilometres (400 miles) of coastline 
from Newfoundland to Cape Breton, and by 1509 his son 
Sebastian had travelled as far south as Cape Cod. 

In 1510 the English knew more about North America 
than any other European country did, but during the next 
half century the French moved into the lead. In 1524 
Verrazano, in the service of France, sailed along the coast 
from Cape Fear to Newfoundland, thereby proving that the 
earlier discoveries of Columbus and Cabot were part of a 
single landmass. The first steps in exploring North America's 
interior were taken ten years later by Jacques Cartier, who 
travelled along the St Lawrence River as far as Montreal. It 
was not until the 1570s and 1580s that the English returned 
to the area, with the voyages of Frobisher and Davis, in 
search of a northwest passage via Newfoundland (map 1). 
The years 1577-80 also saw an important breakthrough in 
English efforts when Francis Drake circumnavigated the 
world in the search for a new transpacific route. 

The northern maritime countries were fortunate to 
inherit the more sophisticated seamanship and navigational 
skills of the Portuguese and Spanish. The art of celestial nav- 
igation, using the quadrant and astrolabe, was improved by 
the Portuguese during the 1480s, when manuscript copies of 
the first navigational manual, the Regimento, became avail- 
able prior to its publication in 1509. Sebastian Cabot, an 
expert cartographer, helped to spread knowledge of Spanish 
navigational techniques in England. Although ships gradu- 
ally increased in size during the 16th century, improvements 
in ship design were not, of themselves, sufficient to stimu- 
late the long-distance exploration which took place during 
this period. The Dutch introduced top masts and sails, as 
well as the fluytschip (a flat-bottomed cargo carrier), and 
these advances certainly facilitated commercial exploitation 
and colonization of a type that was markedly different from 
the plundering of the conquistadores and the privateering 
expeditions of Drake. However, the idea of European settle- 
ment in the Americas in order to exploit fully the land's 
natural resources was surprisingly slow to win acceptance 
and, when it did, was invariably difficult to sustain. 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 © THE RISE OF EUROPEAN COMMERCIAL EMPIRES pages 130-31 



_ wi*v 





»°™farK**n. | INDIA) 

*< w 

MING Bjgl« 

• ■: 


A The rortuguea seaborne empire wus 
hosed on o series of forts linking together 
Iroding enlrapots bom the most of Africa to 
South and Southeast Asia, end on lo China 
and Japan. This system secured Portuguese 
liode with the East lot nearly a century. The 
empire was governed horn Goo. on to west 
coosl of India, which had beta captured for 
Portugal by Afonso de Albuquerque in 
1510 Although the Portuguese were In lose 
most of their eastern possessions Jo the 
Oulch in the 17th century, they managed la 
hold on to Goo, surviving Dutch blockades 
of to city in 1603 and 1639. 

Although European explorers ha J ventured into Asia 
in lht* 1st century ad, significant European contact 
with the continent (inly liegau oil 27 May 1498 when 
the Portuguese fleet of Vaseo da Cama landed at Calient on 
the west coast of India, Da Cama had rounded the Cape of 
Good Hope in search of the valuable spices and silks which 
had long reached Europe only via expensive overland 
routes. Over the next hundred years a Portuguese 
"seahorne empire" spread around the coasts of the Indian 
Ocean, moving ever further east and developing a chain of 
forts linking Ormuz, Cioa, Cochin, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 
Melaka and Temate [map I). Japan was reached in 1542 
and a settlement established in China, at Macau, in 1555, 

I'oitlt (.1 ksk TRADING mi rim 

The motives of the Portuguese were both economic and 
religious. In the pursuit of wealth, they at tempted to 
establish a monopoly over the spice trade to Europe and 
to force entry into an already extensive trading network 
within Asia. Previously, this commerce had been 
conducted by indigenous merchants along free-trade prin- 
ciples, but the Portuguese coerced local merchants into 
paying them licence fees and seised the most lucrative 
trade routes for themselves. In the service of Cod. (hey 
promoted Christianity, lit some cases, the two objectives 
dovetailed neatly; in Japan, between 1542 and lf>.V>, they 
made more than 100.(11)0 converts while running a 
valuable silk trade from Macau and advising the rising 
power of the Tokugawa shogunatc on military tactics. 

Vet Portuguese influence in the East was to prove 
short-lived. In part, it suffered from problems at home. 
Rivalry with Spain was intense and after the crowns of the 
two Iberian countries were united in 1580 internecine strife 
became bitter, A further problem was caused by the revival 
of Asian empires, whose temporary weaknesses had been 
exploited by the Portuguese. In Japan, for example, once the 
Tokugawa f/«ij>es Mft-^/J ) had achieved victory in the civil 
wars, they expelled the Iberians and in KiW outlawed 
Christianity as a danger to the stabilitv of their new state. 

i<™«c y 'si*-™ •' 

IH ten tiiaiik i;n Asm 

For the most part, however, Portuguese influence was 
eclipsed by the rise of another European power. The Dutch 
had long been involved in war against Spain (pages 
752-5.D and took tile unification of its throne with that of 
Portugal as a sign til to penetrate Asian waters and attack 
the Portuguese Empire. I'ollowing the establishment of 
their East India Company in 1602, the Dutch pro- 
gressively displaced the Portuguese in Asian trade and 
developed their own trading empire further east (map 2). 
They also expanded Asian trade with Europe, Africa and 
the Americas, bringing Chinese porcelain into Western 
markets and Indian cotton textiles to the slave coasts of 
Africa and plantations of the New World. 

The success of the Dutch was based on superior 
mercantile and maritime skills, which enabled them to 
enforce trade monopolies with greater ruthlessness. It also 
owed Something to religion since, as Protestants, they were 
less interested in making converts than dieir Catholic rivals 
and were thus perceived as less of a threat by the 
indigenous societies, i'ollowing the expulsion of the Iberians 
from Japan, for example, the Tokugawa invited the Dutch 
to conduct Japan's external trade at Nagasaki. 

[hitch maritime influence grew during the 17th century 
and remained strong east of Ceylon throughout the IStli 
century. However, it mo faced eventual eclipse. One reason 
for this was [hat the Dutch were drawn into the polities of 
the hinterlands behind their port settlements and spent 
scarce resources on local wars at great cost to their trade. 
However, the principal reason for their demise was the 
belated entry into Asian trade of the much stronger 
European states of England and France. 

Tin-. Knu.isii wii iiik Kkknch in Indiv 
English merchants had initially tried to break into the spice 
trade of the Indonesian archipelago but after the Massacre 
nf Amboina in 1623, when Dutch forces had destroyed 
their principal trading settlement, they were effectively 
excluded. Instead they concentrated on India, where the 


f The Europeans were drawn towards Asm 
by Ire lure of exolk consumer goods - ten, 
spices end silk - and by high-quality 
manufactures such as porcelain and printed 
cotton ten riles (dintres]. 

authority of the Mughal Empire (jtuges 144—15) eon- 
strained the Dutch from gaining too tight a control and 
offered opportunities tor competitive trade (map.}). 

India was originally regarded as of limited mercantile 
importance because its spices were thought to lie of lower 
quality than those found elsewhere. Vet this judgement was 
subsequently proved to be mistaken; India also possessed 
an enormous cotton textile industry, the significance of 
which became increasingly apparent as rite 17th century 
advanced (pages l')4-*>5). Cotton textiles were already 
established in the vast network of Asian trade, so the 

3 Principal commodities in Asian tram 


B«i jingo 

Si ? Opium 
- Contn taUes a CotoicBlgrid 
I Sexes 

■* tea 




» ON.nflbo 

D.H.O %, 

Fuit»u Pacific 

,.„ INDIA 

C-^gzt™ fijmxao Ocean 


SURMA Mora " 

S| AM Mcnfc Philippine l> 


*\ ^TOMndloi 


Ai .Ntonpolom 

Si n 

L Ceylon 



4 "7, 4 Kftoan 

«*i H,v» 

\ " Borneo 1 j * 

Sumatra Moluccas 

Celebes h,,^ 

1 nil i u n Ocean 

* * * t * Guinea 

Batoia Jim. Scu Amlxjlno ^fljmJa 

» .«" i0 i '^ mll <» , ' S •' 

Java a 


Knglish gained secondary access to markets front the Gulf 
to the China seas. There was also a growing demand in 
Europe for Indian textiles, and from the 1650s onwards the 
cloth trade became the main source of European profits in 
Asia. This, in turn, caught the attention of the French, 
whose first Asian settlement was established in India in 
1 f>(>4, and the two newcomers steadily reduced the Dutch 
presence around the shores of India, The English also used 
India as a staging post for ventures further east, forging a 
broad triangular trade with China, from which tea, raw silk 
and porcelain were exported to tlte West in return for 
Indian silver and opium. 

From the second quarter of the Ifsth century trade rela- 
tions between England. France and India began to change. 
Many European states put up tariff barriers against Indian 
textile imports in order to protect their own dom- 
estic industries. This increased the importance to the 
English of trade with China and, in turn, placed greater 
emphasis on their ability to gain access to Indian silver and 
opium. In addition the Mughal Empire, which had previ- 
ously confined European activities to the coasts, began to 
break up. Its successor states were soon at war with one 
another, making demands for finance and armaments 
which the Europeans found too lucrative to ignore. From 
the I 740s England and France also began a series of wars 
against each other which were to last - with brief inter- 
ruptions - for the rest of the century, and end in the 
domination by "iirilish India" of a vast area of the world 
from Arabia to the China seas. 


*», BSuna l<SJ8-33 

pC ■-'■.'■. , - 
loot foErrg 




1651 Hacghly 


Bart 4 


pMowlipamn 141 1 

1 Madm 1639 



ieSs-io A>M«iw)f° 

Pj£07 i 

rtjTiGinquebar I65S 
IAU Catkin p. .' a jS^IMg 

IMlOakn P ' I OJrinowoli l(W 


iVioWf™ It 


t n. I. mi/. 1 1. 




iwogdii. Ce y ,on 




■jr., 1*02 

■ GKscUiliM? 

I it </ i (i (i O c i' u n 













p a e ' f ' ' 


fi a (j i ti 
r: /i i a " 

PhitipP"" 6 





OWm 1609/50 
Bat ■■ BO 

1. European activity in Asia c. 1650 

^ Dwell pcssEsiws ~| Danist possessions 

| toibgiiflss pooessms TcWO TsarotecqieiriDn 
□ Eocfnrr 

, . , , rl >ngc»3an«F.fllo*an 

Palombonq : 

l^t* ™ rta " 

1AM Durfi J'.ti' 



6S70 ^"^ Hnt™*-™ 



Smul.iS""" O 

./<k»i Sea 


A Bf Ihe Mud I /ih century lln: Dutch hod 
tame to daminale Asian trade, taking ovei 
P'jriuguii! positions orcund the Indian 
Ocean, especially in southwest India ond 
Ceylon (Sri Lonkn). Further east they 

founded theit own trading capital at Bala™ 
[Jakarta), which dominated the Indonesian 

□rrhipclago. The Spanish established trade 
mules ocioss the Pacific between me 
Philippines and their American colonies. 

iambat / ' \ 




SufchrSra ^^ . Nsw 

1622/58 % LJ, *™/J' 

Amboma (Ambon) 

Jul J/47 ((.,.„/„ to , (l 
'-^ 5^ "^ ^" 

O "»wr 

* ! ^»Jnt 


O KINGDOMS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA 500-1500 pages 64-65 © SOUTHEAST ASIA IN THE ERA OF IMPERIALISM 1790-1914 pages 196-97 


tofxicd f 


1 The Caribbean 1492- 




— f Cokmrxn 1492-93 
— *> Eoli«b»sl(93-94 

— »■ Col»oirii5l49a 

— •> ColimhislSK-4 


—+ Mo 1499 

Paei '"i c 

— *■ Basndo& and da Lo Coso 1 50 1 — 2 

'■ a □ n 

— »• DjSjks and flirtcm 1505 


— •» Bdtb»lSI3 

force to Iboi> 1513 

A CiucioJ lo the liisl pilau ol Spanish 

coloniiciion were the foul voyages in which 
Columbus discovered the principal Caribbean 
islonds and explored major sections oi the 
ma in la nd coosl . These were Followed by 
lurrher naval expeditions mounted from 
Spain - involving many af Columbus's 
former companions. 

► The travels of Narrow, rfe Vaca, de Soto 
ond Comnado wore no) ronsidered 
successful since ihey bcoughl neither weolth 
nor property lo the Spanish crown. 
Information they provided, however, 
resulted in a new understanding of the 
motel contours ol the southern port of North 
Amerira, which was reflected in 
[On temporary mops of the area. 

V Acting on information gleaned from 
earlier voyages around the Yucatan 
Peninsula. Herndn Cortes led a small or my 
into Mexico in search of Azlec gold in 1 51 9. 
On the way he formed on alliance with the 
Haxtalans, enemies of ihe Alters, and with 
iheir help he completed his coaguest of the 
After Empire in 1521. 

3 Cortes' expedition to 

— *■ CwiVrtxitetotatimloiiiSl? 
— *■ tart mmti 1520 
Kertreot ocuf return 1 520— 21 

Columbus discovered America in the name of Spain in 
\A')2. bur this famous voyage was merely the initial 
step in the Spanish colonization of a large part of the 
eoniinent, a process that cook plaee in chree stages. 

The Caribbean and the Cult or Mexico 

Until 151S the Spanish undertook the exploration and set- 
tlement of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico I map 1 ). 
However, Spanish attempts to exploit their new territories 
by establishing trading posts in the Caribbean were unsuc- 
cessful, because the simple agrarian societies of the islands 
could not sustain a trading economy. Instead, the Spanish 
established colonies of exploitation in llispaniola, Cuba and 

Puerto Rico, using forced Indian labour in agriculture and 
goldmiuing. l'rom 151(1, however, the economy was under- 
mined by the collapse of the indigenous workforce, caused 
by Spanish mistreatment and by the spread of European 
diseases to which the islanders had little natural resistance. 

Tiik Aztec and Inca km r ikes 

Spanish interest therefore turned to the great civilizations of 
the mainland iptigcs 11I)-1 1 1 which, in the second and 
most important phase of Spanish colonization, were recon- 
noitred and eventually conquered in a two-pronged 
exploration from the islands [map 2). 

In 15 IS I [email C lories was sent by the governor of Cuba 
on a commercial and exploring expedition to the Yucatan 
Peninsula. Once ashore, Cortes repudiated the governor's 
mandate and henceforth acted on his own initiative, 
acknowledging rally the authority of the King of Spain. His 
small army of military adventurers or conquistadorex, 
having founded the town of Veracruz and symbolically seur- 
tlcd its own boats, marched to Tlaxcala (map .1). Here they 
overcame initial resistance to form an alliance with the 
Tlaxealans, themselves resentful of Aztec overlordship 

(lories and his Tlaxealaii allies entered the Aztec capital, 
Tenoehticlan, in 1510, hut early in 1520 Cortes was forced 
to return to the coast to meet and win over to his side a 
hostile Spanish army dispatched from Cuba under Narvaez. 
Unfortunately ihc greed of the Spanish left behind in 
icnoclititlan had alienated the .Yztecs and, mi CorteV 
return, the Spanish were driven from the city in a scries of 
events which led to the death of the Atzec emperor 
Montezuma. Cones' army retreated to Tlaxcala, and in 1521 
they and chcir Tlaxealan allies launched a successful cam- 
paign against Tcuoehtitlan. This victory brought under 
Spanish control the millions of central Mexicans who had 
formerly been Aztec tributaries. 

Meanwhile, from llispaniola. the Spanish had organized 
colonics in Ilaricn and on the Pacific coast of the Panama 
isthmus, first crossed by balhoa in 1513. Panama was used 
as a base for expeditions into Nicaragua and beyond and. 





2 Centum and southebn North America 1519 


Roirnn of; 

— *■ Cm* 1519-71 

— > 

De Soto 1539- 


-->■ Car* 1524-25 


AhiMbn 1541) 

-> »fa'.«r".i 

l-M — *■ 

tvxidn 1540 



'•'•If 'if vJQ 

faxricn / 


P* Piioao's tonquest 

of fhe empire ol the 

Inins wis ihe first stn^e p anar 

111 t)lG 5 i'il ;ol..ll .'O'.MI 

of South America. Rumours 
ol gold inspired three separate 
expeditions in six years into the 
mountains al what is now Colombia. 

more importantly, lor a 

series of exploratory 

voyages in the late 1520s 

along the Peruvian coast. 

organized by Francisco 

Pizarro and Diego de 

Amalgro {map 4). Between 

1531 and 1533 Pizarro's 

small army conquered the 

Inea imperial cities of 

Cajamarea and Cuzco. put to the Emperor Atahualpa 

and replaced him with a puppet 

ruler, the Emperor Maneo. 

Victory in Peru, however, was not 

as elearcut as that in Mexico: the 

Ineas rebelled under Maneo and 

brutal civil wars broke out, both 

between the oonqui&tadores themselves 

and later between the colonists and royal 

officials sent to govern them. Amalgro and all 

five Pizarro brothers were killed in these wars, 

and Peru was not brought under Spain's control until 

around 1560. 

Further into the mainland 

Mexico and Peru provided the resources for the third 
and final stage of Spanish territorial gains between the 
mid- 1520s and mid- 1 540s. Alvarado's and Cone's' 
expeditions from Mexico began the process by which 
Guatemala and the Yuoat;in were brought under 
Spanish control, while a number of other campaigns 
extended Spanish authority into northern Mexico. 
However, the protracted wanderings of the N'arvaez, de 
Vaea, de Soto and Coronado bands in the southern 
United States were epic failures, establishing the north- 
ern limits of Spanish colonization. The expeditions of 
Amalgro, Valdivia and Renaleazar front Pent extended 
Spanish rule into Chile in the south and Ecuador and 
Colombia in the north, where the conqtiistadores 
encountered independent expeditions, such as 
Quesada's. pushing down from the Caribbean coast. 
•South America also had its share of heroic failures, 
such as Orcllanas descent of the Amazon (map 4). 

The Spanish also tentatively explored the Plata 
region in naval expeditions mounted from Spain, the 
most notable of which was Sebastian Cabot's 
exploration of the Parana and Paraguay rivers in 
1526-30. From the mid- 1 540s the surge of conquests 
waned. By this time Spain had conquered the Americas 
nearly as far it was ever going to, although many areas 
were not intensively colonized until the 18th century. 

The relentless courage, determination and energy 
which had been displayed by the Spanish canquistadores 
in acquiring land, wealth and subject populations in the 
Americas are probably without parallel in the history of 
European imperialism. However, the ferocious cruelty with 
which they treated the native populations is hard to square 
with their lofty claims that they were driven not just by the 
desire to get rich but also by the ideals of bringing 
Christianity and civilization to the American Indians. In 
practice they recognized no authority but their own, and 
their reckless disregard for their own lives was exceeded 
only by their callous Indifference to the welfare of the 
peoples they conquered. 

t.'tn-ittlM.;i)i Sen 

1 efad 


4 South America 1 526- 



Baulraro 1538-3! 


total 5 zs 

— •» 

MIhd IM 

— *■ 

Frnrxisto Pirnrro T531 —J] 


Gmnfa tare 1 HIM Z 

— *• 

Mp 1535-37 


W«in 1540-47 


FKhrmonn 153) -3) 



A m r o n 



n 5«iiioeod^Oiil> 

▼ Atnhuolno, Ihe Into ruler, was topluied 
by Francisco Pizarro offer being enticed to 
a meeting in the main square of (ojomorto. 
Bis unarmed reiiaue was qukhry ovsrtome 
and slaughtered by the Spanish artillery. 





Cape Hotn 



*■ Silver mining, which was concenttoied 
in Mexico cmd based on the Forced labour 
of A™ icon Indian workers, octounled 
for over 90 per cent el Spantsh-Ainerkan 
exports between 1 550 and 1 640. In the 
Spanish laribbson colonies of Cuba, 
Santo Domingo and Puerlo ilka, 
however. African slave labour was used 
to work ibe sugar and coffee plantations. 



1 C 1 



Hy»j 1579 
ffl ft. tor . , 


■ *' RiW»T> Verar:nJ: 



fropjc of ConcK 

0< ^ 

1 Mexico, Central America and the eastern 



AM Hahw pncgle l 1 520 

J.520 Du1& ui (oenrtohon 

O iuoal 

Artec Empm 1519 

of M 

• rnflpB 

lunri-i oalcjnized by trie Spanish. 

Sea mule raule 

■ codiineot 

H i| 1MD 

Eranomir rKhmties: 



3 ImslKk 


(rental limb in 1 750 

11 Infer 

# Miles 




I iwosauro 



. -5U 

— \ ma 


2 Spanish and Portuguese South America 1 525-1750 

23 Inco Empire ISIS 


Dijrdi colcfly 





limb cctoi 



■i r°IH0 


ksyrr mhsBfl SUPe 


am i 

■ wi7sa 



I |*wfe l«ol7» 





PdcIujwm seWsiwir 



Sea trooe route 

■ vIMO 


i adojaolui 

land node mmj 

■ •;. I75D 



1 1 FlnntH* himb 1 7S0 




l he peoples conquered by the Spanish and Portuguese 
in the Americas embraced a very wide range of cul- 
tures. Within the Inca and Aztec empires there were 
urban and agricultural communities in which small-scale 
farmers produced ample surpluses for the noble and reli- 
gious classes (jKtges J 70— J J >. In other regions there were 
less stratified, serai-sedentary and nomadic societies in 
which people produced little beyond their own consump- 
tion needs At the time of the Conquest it is probable that 
the indigenous population of Spanish America amounted to 
some 40-50 million. Ml per cent of which was found in 
Mexico ami Peru, while Portuguese Brazil had a population 
of 2.5 million (pie chart 1). What is certain is that until 
around Id5<) all American Indian societies suffered massive 
population losses - reducing the original totals by 0(1 per 
cent. These losses, once thought to be caused by Spanish 
brutality, are now largely attributed to the Indians' lack of 
resistance to European and African diseases. While the 
Indian population declined, the European, African and 
mixed populations rose sharply as a result of migration from 
Spain and the slave trade (pie chart 2). In the 18th century 
there was very rapid population growth among all racial 
groups, particularly the mixed and African populations. 

The Spanish Khi'ikk 

The economic development of the Spanish Empire was 
concentrated in areas that had once been part of the Inea 
and Aztec empires in central Peru and central Mexico 
(mops I untt 2). Here the Spanish introduced a system 
known as the cm-ran renc/a, under which groups of Amer- 
ican Indians were allotted to a Spanish overlord, or 
encornendero, W whom they supplied labour and tribute 
and from whom, supposedly, they received protection. 

In practice, the encomietuia system was highly 
exploitative and this, combined with the decline in the 
Indian population, led to its replacement by the 
repattb/n&ento in Mexico and the mita in Peru. These were 
state-regulated labour systems under which the Indian 
communities were required to supply labour to private 
employers (and also to the state in Mexico) in three main 
activities: mining, agriculture and textiles. The mining of 
silver and mercury, which grew rapidly between 1 550 and 
1640, was of key importance: silver alone provided Spanish 
America with 0(1 per cent of its exports. The agricultural 

■4 The Spanish crown claimed sovereignty 
over al American letrrtory to the west ol The 
line laid down rjt Ihe Treaty of Tordesillos in 
1 494, while Portugal was given ihe territory 
lo tbe east This lormed ihe basis of ibe two 

empires. In practice, however, Spanish 
wealth in South America was tonceinrated in 
Peru, while the Portuguese empire extended 
across ihe line along the Amazon and into 
the Mala Gross: region la the soulh. 


1 Distribution of the American Indian population 
of Spanish and Portuguese America c 1 500 

Total population: 52.900,000 



Otlff Hi' 


3 Administrative divisions of Spanish and 
Portuguese America 1780 

H tallo4lBlhP««Snii(hfaHni(Culiii)l/« 

Elofe Ik**^ FWw|j^ wd S*w!wi timtoY tf 5fl 



(wfcd Arcena 

□ Broil 

1 1 ''.■■ 

sector also expanded as [he Spanish set about producing 
commodities previously unknown to the Indians, principally 
wheat, eattle. sheep, wine and sugar. The production of wool 
and cotton textiles was concentrated in Mexico. Economic 
development outside Mexico and Peru was slow or even 
non-existent, and here the Spanish continued to use the 
eneomienda system to appropriate the small surpluses of 
foodstuffs and cash crops, such as cochineal, which the 
depleted Indian populations could produce. 

In the middle decades of the 17th century the decline 
In the number of Indians and in the International price of 
silver caused an economic recession in Spanish America. 
However, recovery began around 1(>7I> and in the 18th 
century there was rapid economic growth In Mexico and 
Peru this was based on the revival of the silver export 
industry and the expansion of agriculture and textile 
manufacturing. These activities used mainly wage labour 

However, the reluctance of Indians to work outside their 
communities led tu the practice whereby Spanish employ- 
ers advanced wages and credit to Indians and used the 
resulting debts, which the labourers could not repay, to 
bring them into the workforce. In the peripheral areas, 
expansion was driven by goldruiniug in Ecuador and 
Colombia and by the plantation production of sugar, coffee 
and indigo in Mexico, the Central American isthmus, Cuba, 
Venezuela. Colombia and Ecuador - all activities which 
depended on imported slave labour and externa] markets. 
These areas were integrated into die mainstream economy 
in the I Nth century. 

The Poktiiuijksk in Brazil 

In brazil, which was developed much more slncil\ than 
Spanish America, the Portuguese hegan by bartering tools 
and trinkets lor Indian-supplied dyewoods. However, the 
indigenous market for manufactures was Boon saturated, 
and from e. 1550 the colonists turned to sugar production, 
the basis of the Xcw World's first great plantation system. 

The sugar industry depended entirely upon foreign 
markets and dominated Brazil's economic and social 
development until 17(10. The early sugar plantations were 
worked by Indian labourers, most of them enslaved. 
However, their productivity was low because they came 
from cultures with little experience of settled agriculture, 
and their numbers were drastically reduced by exposure to 
European diseases, particularly during the 155<ls and I 5(>l)s. 
Consequently, by the early 17th century the colonists had 
substituted imported African slaves. I'rom around 1670 the 
sugar industry was cheeked by competition from English 
and French Caribbean producers, and thenceforth the main 
impetus to Brazilian economic growth came from the 
opening up of gold and diamond mines in the interior 
regions of Minas (ierais and GoiSS, which were also worked 
by imported slaves {map 2), 

Spanish sirmmm in the colonies 

The economic and social development of the Spanish 
colonies did not take place in a political vacuum. In the 
early colonial period the Spanish crown had little 
authority in America. The colonists observed the legal 
forms, as when they founded new townships, but in effect 

oMmlco Or, 


-'GuoBmalu Of 

r, '.> 

■4 In the I Btii ieniuiy the structure ol 
colonial governmenl in Spanish America was 
reformed. The vicerayalty nf New Granatin 
was treated in 1739 in Hn north ol Peru, 
and in 1776 a fourth vkeroynlly was 
established in ft* Rio tie la Plain region. 








they ruled themselves. They NEV/ granADA 

largely ignored their chief 
critics, the friars, who came 
to the Americas to chris- 
tianize the Indians in the 
''spiritual conquest", and 
most of whom deplored the 
Spanish mistreatment of 
the indigenous population. 

The Spanish crown, 
fearful that the 
iitltnxK - the adventurers who 
had conquered Mexico, Central 
and South America - would form 
an autonomous and hereditary aristo- 
cracy, began from around 1550 to 
impose its authority cm its American 
acquisitions. The government's main 
concern was to curl) the colonists' 
virtually unlimited powers over the 
Indians, so it whittled away the quan- 
tities of tribute and labour extracted 
by the encomeiKicms and trans- 
ferred numerous encomiendas 
from private to Crown jurisdiction. 
KLirthcrmore, a royal bureaucracy 
ss'as created to absorb the powers 
formerly held by the com/tiisr- 
odorcs. Spanish America was 
divided into viceroyalties 
(irirjp .1), each subdivided into 
a small number of audiencias 
- substantial areas adminis- 
tered by ;i legal council - and 
a larger number of correg- 
imientos - rural districts with 
urban ecntres governed 
by eorre^iViores. 

From around 1641) Spain's authority in the Americas 
weakened as im|x>rtant royal powers over the colonists were 
commuted in exchange for fiscal payments, and as the prac- 
tice of selling official posts to American-born Spaniards 
became widespread. These posts were used to benefit their 
holders, and their extended family networks, rather than to 
enhance royal authority. Weak government led to a stagna- 
tion in Spain's revenues from the Xesv World and a decline 
in the empire's capacity to defend itself. The consequences 
of these developments liecame all too apparent in the Seven 
Years War (175(>-6.1), when Britain inflicted crushing 
defeats on the Spanish in North America (pages 724-25). 
This experience stimulated the "bourbon Reforms", a pro- 
gramme of economic and political reorganization through 
which the Spanish crown attempted the bureaucratic recon- 
quest of its American empire. 



tBol.ivl '- 


6uena\ Ar'^ 

2 Population of Spanish America 

C. 1 800 (nil elhnir gronm} 

Total population: i zjdo,™ 

r \ Weoco 

i i uwnTiil Jtoflwi 

^H (flritaon 

L~~? Pimi 
CD Qltar 

5 Arofrirti 

© SPAIN AND THE AMERICAS 1492-1550 pages 120-21 © INDEPENDENCE IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 1780-1830 pages 190-91 


hod lb.:: lensl 

< Ihe Spanish Empire in Korth Amsrira 
wcs voir, but it otlrocled lew Spanish 

allien and inert was vstoaify no economic 
development oulside f bride. Hie Ffenrh 
Empire, ollhough large, was thinly 
populated ond its limiied Hotiomk 
development was 'boded an fishing and the 
canlrost, lhe British Empire 
eilenswe iBrriloty — bul if 
developed! a ikh, diverge and papulous 
Mammy and an ulensive overseas trade. 

White population growth 1 630-1 780 

lin rhousands) 
1.400 r 

Africah-Ameriun/Caiiiideah population growth 
1 650—1770 lin thouMrtdst 

1M0 1440 1490 1700 1720 1740 1/40 1780 

Ftmh Unh »— latsn nginbrd intones InortW 

ftirditmblKai Br 

-r 1 1 r 

1449 1440 1700 1720 1740 1740 1780 

Following the discovery of the New World hy European 
explorers at the end of the 1 5th eentury and beginning 
of the 16th, Spain and Portugal had laid claim to all 
of the Americas. However, this Iberian monopoly was not 

aecepted by the other European powers and in the second half 
of the loth century it was pierced by hundreds of voyages 
dispatched from northern Europe. Ships were sent to trade or 

pillage and even, in a few instances, to found colonies, although 
none of the latter survived, from these beginnings Britain. 
France and Holland founded empires in America and the 
Caribbean in the 17th century. British colonics were set up in 
two main waves: from 1607 tu 16,14, when settlements were 
established in Virginia, Maryland, New England and the 
eastern < laribliean; and from 1655 to 1680, when Jamaica was 
seized from the Spanish, the Carolinas and Pennsylvania were 
founded and New Vurk was taken from the Dutch (rutijj I ). 

' Ifencti Ccfttean 



i"''' GMhV 


< UnSIco the while population of lhe 
British moinlond colonies, the population of 
f renin Canada grew slowly because its 
economy was based on furs and fish, which 

required much less labour lhan agrkuliure. 

In the Stilish mainland colonies the slave 
population increased rapidly, bul in the 
Caribbean harsh treatment and Iropkd 
diseases prevented its natural growth and 
encouraged the slave irade with Africa. 


In the early 17th century the French established fishing 
and fur-trading colonies in Canada at New France and 
Acadia (Nova Scotia) and settler colonies in the Caribbean 
and the western portion of Hispaniola (map 2). The Dutch 
established trading factories - as on Curacao - rather than 
colonies, but they founded one major colony, Dutch Guiana, 
taken from the British in 1665 (pages 122-23). 

The northern colonies 

Outside the southeast and southwest regions, the indigenous 
people of North America (pages 108-9) lived mainly in semi- 
sedentary or nomadic societies, and the North American 
colonists never seriously attempted to live from their labour 
as the Spanish colonists did in parts of South America. Some 
Native Americans were enslaved - as in South Carolina - but 
the main contacts between Europeans and Native Americans 
were through the fur trade, where furs were supplied by 
native trappers, and through warfare. In general the Native 
Americans responded to the arrival and settlement of the 
Europeans on the east coast by moving west, leaving depop- 
ulated regions to be settled by migrants from Europe. These 
migrants were mostly people seeking economic betterment 
or freedom from religious persecution. Taking advantage of 
the region's rich natural resources, they created prosperous 
farming communities specializing in the production of grain, 
livestock and timber, and benefiting from the relatively 
disease-free environment of the region. 

The plantation colonies 

Conditions in the plantation colonies of the southern main- 
land and the Caribbean were very different. Here disease was 
rife, discouraging free migration and killing many of those 
who did take the risks of settlement - mainly white inden- 
tured servants who had little choice over their destinations 
and provided several years of unpaid labour in exchange for 
their passage and a plot of land at the end of their service. 
Some 200,000 of these servants migrated to British plant- 
ation colonies, fewer to the French Caribbean, and they were 
employed in the production of tobacco and other plantation 
staples for export to Europe. From around 1650, however, 
there was a fundamental change in the labour system of the 
plantation colonies. The shift from tobacco to sugar caused 
an explosive increase in the demand for labour which could 
not be met by Britain and France. This led to the use of 
imported African slaves, first in the Caribbean and then, 
from 1680, in Virginia and Maryland (pages 126-27). 

Continued expansion 

In the 18th century the populations of all the British main- 
land colonies had fast natural rates of growth (graphs). In 
the northern colonies this pushed agricultural settlement 
into the interior. In the southern colonies the coastal regions 
intensified the slave-plantation production of tobacco, to 
which was added rice and indigo in South Carolina and 
Georgia. Settlement also spread into the southern "back- 
countries" - temperate mixed farming zones - whose 
economic and social development was akin to that of the 
northern colonies. The French mainland colonies in Canada 
and Louisiana achieved a massive territorial expansion to 
1763, but their demographic and economic development 
was very slow. In the Caribbean, both the British and French 
slave-plantation economies grew rapidly. 

Colonial government 

Neither Britain nor France exercised much political influ- 
ence over their colonies until the 1660s, when France 
established an authoritarian system with military governors 
and powerful colonial officials accountable to the king. 
Britain also created royal bureaucracies but their power was 
shared with elected legislative assemblies. Both governments 
subjected imperial trade to strict mercantilist controls, 
requiring the colonies to trade exclusively with their mother 
countries. The benefits reaped by Britain and France were 
enormous because colonial trade was the fastest growing 
sector of international commerce in the period. 

Colonial trade had two dimensions: the export of slave- 
produced staples such as tobacco and sugar from the 
plantation colonies to the metropolis, and a reverse stream 
of manufactured goods, services, and labour from Europe 
and Africa to the colonies. The British northern colonies 
exported relatively little to Britain, but they imported vast 
quantities of manufactured goods from Britain, covering 
their trade deficits by exporting foodstuffs, raw materials and 
shipping services to the Caribbean and southern Europe. 

The strengthening of government in North America also 
had diplomatic consequences. Between 1689 and 1763 
Britain and France fought four major wars - conflicts that 
became increasingly focused on colonial disputes. Britain got 
the better of these wars, especially the last, the Seven Years 
War of 1756 to 1763 (map 3). However, post-war British 
attempts to make their colonists share the burden of the 
huge military costs of these endeavours also preciptated the 
American Revolution (pages 164-65) and, with that, the 
collapse of British imperial power on the mainland. 

▲ During the 17th century the British and 
the French made significant inroads into 
Spanish territory in the Caribbean, 
establishing colonies in Jamaica and 
St Domingue as well as on the islands of 
the Lesser Antilles. The economies of these 
colonies were based heavily on sugar 
plantations worked by African slaves. 

T The Seven Years War, in which Britain 
inflicted a number of crushing military and 
naval defeats on France and Spain, brought 
an end to the French Empire in mainland 
America. Under the Treaty of Paris in 1 763, 
Britain took Canada and all territory east of 
the Mississippi, while Spain acquired the vast 
territory of French Louisiana. 

3 The Seven Years War 

| Bntisn pcrssossions 1 756 
Frcnrh pxresessians 1756 

~^j SpCDlirfl pCrHflSSJOTS 1 756 
BMi^KiqusirKim 1763 
Sponis'i uu|LiBitaHii 1 743 
frerahpfcttsskirB 1743 

© EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF THE WORLD 1450-1600 pages 116-17 © AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1775-83 pages 164-65 © CANADA 1763-1914 pages 188-89 

HEMISPHERE 1500-1880 

f Between around 1 500 and 1 870 al 
leosl 9.5 million AMcpn sieves were lortihly 
"■ i! !».:: led lo die I . i ">|i-:: n empires in ihe 
Amir™. It has b«en estimated that am 
two million mere died, mainly iram disease 
while crossing the Altarttic en grossly 
owroowded end insanitary ships. Wosl 
were shipped to Ihe Caribbean and Brazil, 
where high mortetily rates among ihe slave 
popululinns meanl ihal new slaves were 
[ooslanlry being imported to replenish the 
labour force. Fewer slaves were imported lo 
British North America because better 
conditions there allowed slave populations lo 
increase naturally. 

Five major European empires were established in the 
Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries 
{tnup 1 ). In the eeonomies of four of these empires — 
the Portuguese, Dutch, British and French - African slavery 
was the most important form of labour. In the fifth - the 
Spanish - African slaves played a significant and, in the 
18th century, an increasing role. This occurred alongside 
the exploitation of the indigenous population. 

Slavery was an important element of European imperi- 
alism in the Americas because of the scarcity of labour in 
relation to the region's abundant natural resources. 
Exploitation of the indigenous population was a strategy 
used in Spanish Mexico and Peru, where the sedentary and 
economically advanced American Indian societies provided 
labour and tribute payments to the Spanish as they had to 
their former Aztee and Inca overlords. However, the semi- 
sedentary and nornadie Native American peoples who 
occupied much of .Spanish North America and overwhelm- 
ingly predominated in the other empires, eould not satisfy 
the white colonists' demands for labour and commodities. 



, Britiih North ^eriea '" 
and IMUrd Sitrf-s 




European twrlnnei in Hie JUnfiritm [ 1 7/LV 
I" | flnrnh 

J] francJi 

3 DuKh 


| Soqnnh 
SAO Nimtoir of slaves imported, in ibcu5ui(& 
■ 1500-1600 H IflH-liH) 

~Z 1601 — 1700 | ■ lBH-UN 

i<Unj Cabo 

At Ian tiff 

i > c v a it 

Caribbean Sea 

/ ■ , n l li^i, 

r Fnanch Wat rndSeu 

IraprtT d( Cancer 

Total slave imports, by region 

I in thousands) 


Attempts to enslave these peoples proved 
unsuccessful in the long run. partly because 
they exhibited fearful mortality rates in 
captivity and partly because colonial govern- 
ments generally opposed such enslavement, 

A second source of labour was the large 
number of European migrants to the more tem- 
perate zones, such as the mainland colonies of 
British America, but white migrants preferred to 
become independent farmers rather than wage 
labourers. The shortage of such labour was even 
more acute in the tropical colonies, where the hirt and 
humid climate and the constant threat of disease 
discouraged free migrants from settling. 

The colonists therefore turned to a third source of 
labour: slaves from Africa. Since the late 15th century 
African slaves had been used on plantations on European- 
colonized Atlantic islands such as Madeira and Sao Tome. 
They proved to have two great advantages for the European 
colonists. First, they and their offspring, who were treated 
as chattels, eould be coerced into almost any form of work; 
second, their supply was infinitely more elastic than the 
availability of labour from indigenous or European sources. 

The first major slave eeonomies were created in the 
Spanish and Portuguese empires, which imported about 
500,000 slaves between around 1500 and 1650. The 
Portuguese concentrated their slaves in the sugar plant- 
ations of coastal Brazil, while the Spanish used theirs in a 
number of regional eeonomies, the most important of 
which were the sugar and wine estates of the semi-tropical 
coastal lowlands of Peru and Mexico and the silver mines of 
northern Mexico. 

The period between 1650 and 1810 saw a massive 
expansion of slavery in all the major European empires in 
the Americas \mup 2). The Portuguese expanded their 
sugar plantation system in Brazil and, after 1700. imported 
hundreds of thousands of slaves to work the diamond and 
gold mines in the interior of the country in the Minns 
Gerais and Goias regions. The vast majority of the Spanish- 
owned slaves were employed not in Mexico and Peru but 
on the sugar and coeoa plantations of Cuba and Venezuela 
and in the gold-mines of Colombia. These formerly peri- 
pheral regions of the Spanish Empire l>eeame increasingly 
important, entering the mainstream of the Spanish- 
American economy in the 18th century. The British. Dutch 
and French poured slaves into their Caribbean and 
Guyanese colonics, where they produced sugar, coffee and 
other plantation staples. On the northern mainland the 
British and French colonists imported smaller numbers of 
slaves into the tobacco- producing colonies of Virginia and 
Maryland, the rice and irrdigo economies of South Carolina 
and Georgia and the sugar colony of Louisiana. 

The demographics of slavery 

The conditions of life for staves in the Americas, and in 
particular their relative ability to produce new generations 
of slaves, were determined by the lahotir requirements of 
[he plantation crops that they cultivated and the disease 
environments in which they lived. Most were employed on 
large-scale sugar and coffee plantations in the tropical and 
semi-tropical zones, where their masters underfed ami 
overworked them, and where they were ravaged by dis- 
eases such as dysentery and yellow fever. These slave 
populations experienced high mortality and low fertility 
rates, which meant that the expansion of labour forces 
depended on a swelling stream of human imports from 
Africa, from where over six million slaves were imported 
between e. 1650 and e. 1800 (map I). The extent of the 
natural decline of slave populations can be gauged from the 
example of the British Caribbean colonies, which imported 
some 1 .5 million slaves during this period, but hy 1800 had 
an African-Caribbean population of just over 500,000. 
Natural increase was experienced by only a small number 





2 Slave economies of the western hemisphere 

iflrtiTMifBiial boundnrv { 1830 

Loiit-T ■. otfMty rti whit 'i itoM emplay«l 

^ coton | mar 

^] rk& and irHlifie B rpw ' 911 -opficulluig- 

3 'dIxkod | wiinrj 

| c-nftes 

(3 Slme pop^nfiw (in tfiouuvib) t.liSOD 

Q SlcfE papukrhcii (mrtKUHDids) L.184D 
p 1731 "xtedikNkmihwrfo&tos 

Sponn/i Canrra/ Anwnicp 







C.rihtom A'" 

of the slave populations - for example, those 
in the tobacco colonics of Virginia and 
Maryland - who henefited from adequate food 
supplies, an environment less conducive to 
than was to he found in the tropical colonies, and a 
Sess demanding laliour regime. 

Abolition and tiik slave trade 

The period from 1810 to 1880 represented the final 
era of slavery in the Americas. Although a number of 
Countries abolished their transatlantic slave trades 
(Britain in 1807 and the United States in 1810, for 
example), American slavery continued to expand. The 
plantations of Brazil and of the Spanish and French 
colonies in the Caribbean imported nearly two million 
slaves between 1.H10 and 1860. In Cuba the slave popula- 
tion more than doubled in these years, while in the same 
period the slave population of the southern United States, 
mainly engaged in cotton production, increased by natural 
means from 0.9 to .1.7 million. 

The abolition of the institution of slavery, as opposed 
to that of the slave trade, was a long process which 
extended from the 1820s up to the 1880s. The number of 
slave revolts increased in the late 18th and early l'Jth 
centuries imaj) 2), but with the exception of the revolt 
in 179] in French St Dominguc (which was to become 
the independent state of Haiti in 1804), none succeeded 
in achieving local abolition. Instead, the end of slavery 
was brought about partly by the economic decline of 
the slave economies but largely by political events 
- in particular, war and revolution. Several of the 
newly independent Spanish-American republics 
outlawed slavery between 1824 and 1829: 
slaver)' in the British West Indies was abol- 
ished by a reforming British government 
in 1834; and in the United States slavery 
was ended in I8t>5 by the victory of the 
Union states over the Confederate 
states in the American Civil War. 


4 In the 1 7lli and 1 Blh centuries the 
Impest slo«e populations were in Bruit 
Hie Caribbean and it* southern British 
mainland colonies (part ol the Ureled Slates 
from 1783). Sims populations in rhevasl 
area of Sponish mainland imerito were 
quite modtft hy comparison. The brutal 
conditions oi slavery Ihraughouf the 
(tmeikns cutised lieqoenl slave revolts 
whkh were suppressed wilh great fetocity. 



T Dutch and English cities grew throughout 
the 1 7th century, with migration from the 
countryside causing an almost threefold rise 
in London's population from 200,000 to 
575,000, while that of Amsterdam rose 
from 65,000 to 200,000. However, while 
other English cities such as Bristol, Newcastle 
and Exeter lagged far behind London both 
in size and rates of growth, Amsterdam was 
merely first among equals in the densely 
urbanized Netherlands. 

After more than a century of economic growth, 1620 
saw the beginning of a period of economic crisis and 
stagnation in many parts of Europe. The economic 
decline of Spain and Italy was accompanied by the migra- 
tion of skilled labour and capital to the north. English and 
Dutch merchants broke into Mediterranean trade during the 
Eleven Years Truce with Spain, from 1609 to 1621 (pages 
156-57). The Dutch retained and expanded their share of 
Baltic commerce to achieve a near-monopoly of the region's 
trade by 1650, while English trade with the Baltic grew 
significantly from the 1670s. This coincided with the rise of 
Amsterdam and London as important world trading centres 
(pages 132-33), and with a permanent shift in Europe's 
economic centre of gravity from the Mediterranean to the 
North Sea/Baltic zone - a shift reflected in population trends 
(graph 1 and map 1). 

The rise of Holland 

The 17th century, often described as Holland's "golden age", 
was also the period of England's "apprenticeship" to the 
Dutch Republic. In the wake of the Dutch revolt against 
Spain in 1572 and also after the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes by the French crown in 1685 (pages 154-55), 
Protestant refugees were welcomed in the towns of southern 
England and the northern Netherlands. Bringing with them 
their expertise in new industries and industrial processes, 
including brewing, papermaking, the manufacture of glass 
and ceramics, and silk weaving, they made a significant 
impact on the English economy. In an increasingly scientific 
age, the Dutch capacity for visualization was highly valued, 
showing itself in a range of skills associated with the "art of 
describing": mapmaking, engraving, drawing, painting and 
the making of scientific instruments. Dutch engineers were 
active in promoting drainage and embankment works in 
countries throughout Europe (map 2). 

By the early 18th century an international division of 
labour was emerging, shaped as much by government policy 
as by market forces. In France and England especially, new 
forms of economic nationalism had emerged during the 

1 Population trends in Europe 1600-1790 

1 The biSMitimott of population in Eurow c 1 650 

PupiilatKinilsiratYr.lASO: lM»n popdttfiPK 1650: 
]]] ovBf4D|wwrap»sqkm □ ovef?50,0OO 

I I 20-40 psrora paiqtin O 50,000-150,000 

~^\ 0-20 persons pa sq to ° 10,000-50,000 

i tf*M 


Oct. it n 

° °*^r| M 

'■>*> Nr± 1 

6 >^v ■ 


ie 6 


.0 o 

M t 'I I I t r r 

' ° n ^oO 9 i a 






and Woks 

▲ While the populations of Spain and the 
Italian and German states declined sharply 
during the period 1 600-50, those of 
England and the Dutch Republic continued to 

grow. From around 1650 populations in 
southern Europe and Germany began to 
increase, while overall numbers in England 
and the Netherlands stagnated. 

1660s and 1670s, embodied in policies designed to promote 
overseas and colonial trade, and industrial diversification, 
at the expense of competitors. Anglo-Dutch and Anglo- 
French rivalry was sharpened by the imposition of 
protectionist import duties and restrictions on the export of 
raw materials, and above all by the English Navigation Acts 
of 1651 and 1660 which sought to wrest the colonial carry- 
ing trade from the Dutch. By the early 1670s the Dutch 
economic miracle was over, and English merchants would 
soon displace the Dutch as the dynamic force behind 
European and world trade (graph 2). 

Anglo-Dutch competition 

Anglo-Dutch competition was evident in many fields, 
including the North Sea herring fisheries, woollen textile 
manufacture, textile dyeing and finishing, and by the 18th 
century, sugar refining, tobacco processing and linen 
bleaching. These activities all involved processing and as 
such were fields in which the Dutch excelled by virtue of 
their success in controlling the markets for finished 
products. English industry, on the other hand, was more 
deeply embedded in the domestic manufacturing economy, 
and relied on the labour of rural households. 

Trade rivalry and industrial competition created an 
international climate in which warfare became endemic, 
from the Anglo-Dutch wars of 1652, 1665-67 and 1672-74, 
to the intermittent Anglo-French struggles of 1689-1815. 
Military expenditure by the British state multiplied fivefold 
between the 1690s and the Napoleonic Wars, and provided 
a huge stimulus to the industrial and construction sectors. 
Shipbuilding, the metallurgical and arms industries, civil 
engineering and the building and supply of naval dockyards 
stimulated employment, investment and innovation through 
increased public spending. 

As the Scottish political economist Adam Smith real- 
ized, the Anglo-French wars of the 18th century represented 
a struggle for economic supremacy as much as for political 
power in Europe, India and North America. France was a 
late starter in the race for colonial trade and territory, but 
made remarkable progress during the middle decades of the 
18th century, especially in the West Indies (graph 2). 
Nevertheless, British domination of the Atlantic economy 
was secure by the end of the Seven Years War (1756-63). 
On the eve of the American War of Independence (1775-83) 
British imports from the West Indies and the American 
mainland colonies far exceeded those from either the North 
Sea or Mediterranean zones, and the lion's share of British 
manufactured exports went across the Atlantic. 


In the last resort, however, the European economies 
were dependent on their natural resources and the legacy 
of political history. This was especially true in the case of 
agricultural and primary production, and the extent to 
which nations and regions were able to commercialize these 
sectors. Whereas the Dutch chose to develop a compact and 
specialized agricultural sector and to depend on large-scale 
food imports, the English chose agricultural self-sufficiency, 
protectionism and, after 1689, the manipulation of food 
prices in the interests of producers by means of subsidized 
exports. French peasant agriculture, on the other hand, con- 
strained by labour-intensive farming methods and a host of 
geographical, political and institutional limitations, was 
strongly resistant to commercialization. Above all, it was on 
the basis of plentiful energy sources that Britain was able to 
surge forward towards industrialization. The availability of 
coal released British producers from dependence on organic 
materials such as timber and charcoal at a time when Dutch 
peat supplies were becoming exhausted. In short, the Dutch 
Republic faced the limitations of a city-state underpinned 
by merchant capital - just as Britain was emerging as a 
strong nation-state, with a developing industrial base. 

2 Overseas trade estimates 1 620-1 790 

£ raillkyi icomtoni pkk) 




I (CD 




- 1 

QbraJtero Malaga U 

2 The Atlantic economies I &5G-1 750 

kms of tactile production' 

^\ \m of rrpfinnl production 

a Area diamed hy Dutch ervginnef^ 

fluollei ■ 

Q rVlajiiintJuru tf nun wons 

in the 1 7th century 

__ .rim 

| [{(Olrrwiirq 

| Mflin harnnrj fishing grawiih 

'I. V .11 

— *•- Cod mode 

Q Principal part 

o * 

A In the two centuries before 1 800 English 
overseas trade expanded steadily while that 
of the Dutch Republic stagnated. France's 
overseas trade accelerated more rapidly 
than England's in the 1 8th century, showing 
a fivefold increase during the period from 
1 71 6 to 1 788 - double the increase 
registered for England at this time. 

-4 In the period 1 650-1 750 there were 
several highly commercialized centres of 
production in western Europe, but rural 
industry, particularly the processing of 
textile fibres, was to be found throughout 
Britain and northwest Europe. Woollen cloth, 
linens, fustians and silk were the main 
textiles produced. Coalmining was 
concentrated in England and Scotland, from 
where coal was exported to nearby Europe. 

▲ During Holland's "golden age" in the 
17th century, Dutch merchants -such as 
the one on the right in this painting - were 
to be found throughout the world, from the 
Baltic to the Americas and Asia. However, 
from the 1650s their dominant role in 
European and world trade was increasingly 
threatened by the English. 

O EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 © THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN BRITAIN 1750-1850 pages 168-69 

EMPIRES 1600-1800 

T In the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries the 
countries of northwest Europe were at the 
centre of an expanding world economy, 
often able to trade on terms that were 
heavily in their favour. In many of the 
colonized parts of the Americas and Asia 
the production of a narrow range of 
primary products for export markets was 
encouraged, thus planting the seeds of 
future economic dependency and 

The geographical discoveries by Europeans in the late 
15th and early 16th centuries gave Europe access to 
many new sources of wealth: land, precious metals 
and new products such as coffee and tobacco. However, in 
the rush to exploit all these, the rivalry between the 
European states produced a world divided into commercial 
empires. In the short term the discoveries probably acted 
as a drain on European commercial and financial resources, 
particularly those of Spain and Portugal. The profits from 
the silver mines of Spanish America and the Portuguese 
spice trade were substantial for those directly involved, but 
while the outflow of precious metals from the Americas may 
have quickened economic activity in Europe, it also inten- 
sified the inflationary pressures that were already present. 
Overall, the growth of transoceanic trade (map 1 ) made 
little impact on the European economy before the 1550s, 
and it has been suggested that it was not until the late 17th 
century that commercial and industrial profits from 
European trade with Asia and the Americas became visible 
and significant, initiating a commercial revolution. By this 
time the benefits resulting from Iberian overseas trade and 
investment had become more widely diffused across 
Europe, accruing principally to the Dutch Republic, 
followed closely by England and, later, France. 

New commercial organizations 

Whereas Spain and Portugal relied on the formation of gov- 
ernment agencies to promote colonial and commercial 
enterprise, the newer colonial states adapted existing forms 
of corporate organization to serve new purposes. In this 
respect, the English and Dutch East India Companies 
(formed in 1600 and 1602 respectively) can be seen as fore- 
runners of the modern multinational corporations. Owned 
by shareholders, managed by boards of directors and 
employing accountants and other salaried workers, these 
independent companies wielded great political power at 
home and abroad. Their efficiency and the impact of their 
monopoly powers have been questioned, but they undoubt- 
edly played an important role in the expansion and 
integration of the global economy. 

Trade in the Far East was enmeshed with politics and 
diplomacy, and required powerful trading bodies to act on 
behalf of states. However, this was not the case in the 
colonies of North America and the Caribbean where, with 
the exception of the Dutch West India Company 
(1621-1791), trade was conducted mainly by private, unin- 
corporated merchants. Such merchants operated through 
social networks that were formed on the basis of religious, 
family and other personal ties. Before 1700 the bulk of 


transatlantic commerce was conducted by British 
merchants operating through colonial agents, but local 
merchants increased their share of trade from the early 
years of the 18th century, especially in the northern 
colonies. Although institutionalized monopoly powers were 
not necessary for the development of trade with North 
America, the English Navigation Act of 1651 (prohibiting 
imports to England from outside Europe unless carried in 
English ships) effectively established a national monopoly 
which played an important role in undermining Dutch 
competition during the following century. 

As the world economy expanded the Americas, Europe 
and the Far East became inextricably linked through trade, 
shipping and bullion flows. Silver bullion from the mines of 
Central and South America enabled the northern European 
economies to buy goods from Asia and the Baltic (map 2). 
Imports from the Baltic region, such as timber for ship- 
building, iron ore and naval stores, contributed to the 
further expansion of long-distance trade, while the flow of 
Asian imports - silk, calico, spices and drugs - brought con- 
sumer goods to Europe and North America. It was not until 
the second half of the 18th century that the amount of silver 
bullion exported to Asia fell sharply, compensated for by 
rising exports of British manufactured goods. 


*rff^ s f>*** 



Tropic of Concof 

At iilm 

-. Philippines 
ilfij\762-6i B>J 





The stimulus to commercial expansion 

A major stimulus behind the commercial revolution of the 
1 7th century was an increase in consumer demand. In spite 
of demographic stagnation in Europe, towns and cities 
continued to expand (pages 132-33), and as they did so 
new patterns of consumption and social behaviour evolved. 
Contributing to the diversification of consumption habits 
was the arrival of new and exotic commodities such as 
spices, tobacco, tea, coffee, sugar, tropical fruit, dyestuffs 
and Asian textiles. Such commodities resulted in, for 
example, the development of coffee houses, more fashion- 
able clothing and household furnishings, and new domestic 
rituals such as tea-drinking. Maize and potatoes helped to 
feed Europe's growing population in the 18th century, 
without competing with home-produced foodstuffs. New 
industries such as sugar refining, tobacco processing, cotton 
manufacture and textile printing developed as a result of 
long-distance trade and colonial development. 

However, despite the benefits of trade with Asia and the 
Americas, economic growth in Europe depended mainly on 
trade within Europe itself, and on improvements in 
domestic agriculture and manufacturing. Long-distance 
trade was expensive, not always profitable, and did not con- 
tribute a great deal to capital formation within those 
countries which were at the core of the world economy. 
Competition between the European states - and the conse- 
quent need to defend, administer and control colonial 
territories - involved increased public expenditure and 
more complex government administration. Furthermore, 
the growing European demand for imported products 
resulted in balance of payments problems for the countries 
involved, to which there were two obvious solutions: to 
increase the volume of re-exported goods, and to provide 
shipping services. In this sense, the commercial revolution 
generated its own momentum. 

Government involvement in commerce 

The countries that gained most from this economic expan- 
sion were nation-states such as France and England, which 
were capable of developing the machinery of strong central 
government alongside aggressive mercantilist policies. 
Mercantilism aimed to increase employment through the 
encouragement of overseas trade, especially the import of 
essential raw materials, while protecting home industry by 
the imposition of high import duties. In comparison with 
the English and French variants, Dutch mercantilism 
remained weak and incidental, particularly in the colonial 
field. The decentralized federal structure of the United 
Provinces, together with the deeply entrenched interests of 
its merchants overseas, inhibited the kind of aggressive 
unity that was partly behind the increasing power of its 
larger neighbours - France and England. 

A Coffee houses were representative of the 
new social habits that evolved in Europe in 
the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries as a result of 
the import from Asia and the Americas of 
commodities then regarded as exotic. 

T Silver from the mines of Central and 
South America reached Europe via Spain 
and Portugal, where it entered the arteries 
of world trade. The Dutch, who were the 
dominant commercial power in Europe, 
operated as Europe's bankers in circulating 
coin and bullion, using it to purchase goods 
from three principal areas: the Baltic, the 
Middle East and East Asia. 

%^ 4 Jr* „ JS 

Oct a " 

„_ i ww ... /-~A 

POC i/fi 

Ocea n 


2 World 5il«r flows 1650-1750 

► StnrtH 

© THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF THE WORLD 1450-1600 pages 116-17 © WORLD TRADE AND EMPIRES 1870-1914 pages 208-9 



-4 Die process of urbanization in Europe 
involved three overlapping phases. In the 
first of these, from 1 500 to around 1650, 
there was general growth of towns and 
cities of all sizes. In the second phase, 
between 1650 and 1750, a few large cities 
- most notably London, Paris and 
Amsterdam - expanded rapidly, while in 
the third phase there was an increase in the 
size and number of smaller cities and a 
relative levelling off in the growth of larger 
cities. In the 16th century the most 
urbanized regions in Europe - defined by 
the percentage of the total population 
resident in towns and cities - were the 
northern and southern Netherlands, and 
Italy. From the early 1 7th century, 
however, urban growth subsided in the last 
two regions while cities in the northern 
Netherlands expanded rapidly, in common 
with those of England and Scotland. By 
comparison, only moderate urbanization 
took place in France. 

1-3 European uriimizatwh 


?er[«itogfl gf populate! hng in turns. 


| | a-n H IS-OTi 

1 ■ | I0-JS* 

■1.1 | | ZS-3D! 

| | 1D-15K H <JWf30% 

(own with poputatan of: 

• 8.000-40,000 

■ 40.000— 70O.0OD 

■ 200.000-400,000 

■ mi 400,000 

▲ In the mid-1 8th century the Monument 
- a column erected to commemorate the 
Great Fire of London of 1 666 - was 
surrounded by spacious brick and stone 
buildings that were a great improvement on 
the wooden structures that had stood in their 
place before the Fire. There were, however, 
many features of London that continued to 
pose a threat to the health and safety of its 
citizens, including the streets that were often 
rutted dirt tracks strewn with mounds of 
rubbish. The standard of sanitation was very 
poor and was to be the cause of many 
outbreaks of cholera and typhus throughout 
the 18th and 19th centuries. 

By the early 16th century a European-centred world 
economy was emerging, characterized not only by the 
rise of transoceanic trade but also by new and dis- 
tinctive patterns of urban growth in Europe itself. Between 
1500 and 1800 the towns and cities of Europe came to form 
a single urban system, involving the integration of regional 
trading networks and the commercialization of predomi- 
nantly rural economies. 

In 1500 the most urbanized regions in Europe were Italy 
and the Netherlands, but from the early 17th century the 
potential for urban growth began to move steadily north- 
wards, with the northern Netherlands becoming the most 
urbanized area while rates of urban growth in Italy and the 
southern Netherlands subsided (maps 1-4). The Dutch 
Republic (the northern Netherlands) approached a ceiling 
in the mid-17th century because in the preceding century 
there had been no increase in the number of smaller centres 
from which cities could develop. England, by contrast, con- 
tained hundreds of market towns and industrial villages 
capable of expansion. By the early 19th century the rate of 
urban growth in Britain had reached that attained by the 
Dutch a century earlier, but at a much higher level of popu- 
lation. Between 1680 and 1820 the population of England 
and Wales grew by 133 per cent, while that of the Dutch 
Republic increased by only 8 per cent. In both countries, 
however, a single dominating commercial centre had 
emerged by 1700. 

The growth of London and Amsterdam 

London's meteoric growth (map 5) overshadowed that of all 
its rivals, including Paris (graph). In 1600 about 5 per cent 
of the English population lived in London; by 1700 this pro- 
portion had reached 10 per cent, much higher than in other 
European capital cities apart from Amsterdam, which 
contained 8 per cent of the Dutch population. Paris, by 
comparison, contained only 2.5 per cent of the French 
people. The exceptional position of London may account for 
the rapid development of the English economy in the late 
17th and 18th centuries, at a time when London was 
absorbing half the natural increase of the entire population. 
This rapid expansion led to problems of overcrowding 
and insanitary conditions, bringing disease and high death 
rates. It was therefore only through substantial migration 
from the countryside that London and other large cities 
could continue to grow. A more healthy environment for 
Londoners only began to evolve with the replacement of 
timber by brick as a building material, and the introduction 
of building regulations after the Great Fire of London in 
1666. In Amsterdam, efforts to create a more carefully 
planned city intensified after 1613, when construction of 
the spacious outer girdle of canals began. 




' 'Nut 

^4 ; 


The changing role of cities 

From the 14th to the 19th centuries the European economy 
was dominated by a sequence of leading mercantile cities: 
Venice, followed by Antwerp, Genoa, Amsterdam, and 
finally London. However, these cities were gradually over- 
taken by nation states in the deployment of commercial 
wealth, capital and military power. In Germany towns and 
cities lost their autonomy as princes absorbed them into 
petty feudal states, while in Italy the towns themselves 
became city states. The Dutch Republic, forged in the 
struggle against Spanish centralization in the late 16th 
century, emerged as something of a hybrid, a federation of 
city states dominated by Amsterdam as first among equals. 
As Europe's commercial and financial centre of gravity 
shifted from Amsterdam to London in the early 18th 
century, a strong territorial state and an integrated national 
economy provided the resources for a new type of com- 
mercial metropolis, the modern "world city". 

In the advanced pre-industrial economies of Europe, 
dominant cities acted as centres of innovation in many 
fields, especially in the luxury trades, textile finishing, sci- 
entific instrument making, printing, and the fine and 
decorative arts. Since the 12th century, when universities 
had begun to take over the educational role of the monas- 
teries, European cities had played a key role in the 
dissemination of knowledge. To their traditional educational 
function was added, from the later 17th century, a growing 


4 European 


Percentage of pooukninn lining in 

awns, by ragia 

□ o-i* 



| | 25-30', 

□ l-» 



( | S-IQ 1 , 

20-25 1 , 

bwi w* populcnw of: 



• 200.000-400.(100 

• 40.0DO 


■ ave 


-4 In the period 1750-1850 the majority 
of large cities grew at much the same rate 
as the population as a whole, while smaller 
centres experienced a much higher rate of 
growth. The notable exception to this rule 
was London, whose meteoric growth 
continued unabated. 

The growth of European cities 

m K: 


1 1 1 I J 1 


^^ AnEtefdnm 


— Lisbon 




^— Verne 

T The population of London expanded 
from about 120,000 in 1 550 to 575,000 by 
1 700. This latter figure represented 1 per 
cent of the English population, a uniquely 
high proportion in comparison with other 
European capital cities at the time. 

public sphere of political debate, scientific discourse, and 
literary and aesthetic criticism. Newspapers first made their 
appearance in London in the 1620s, and by the 1690s they 
were carrying regular advertisements for a wide range of 
goods and commercial ventures, including books, medi- 
cines, lotteries, real estate and auction sales. Amsterdam led 
the way in the circulation and analysis of commercial 
information, as informal business correspondence was 
transformed into printed lists of commodity prices from 
1613 onwards. 

New urban centres 

As population levels rose in Europe after 1750 a new pattern 
of urban growth began to unfold. Expansion was no longer 
confined to the larger cities; indeed, it was the growth of 
small cities and the emergence of new urban centres which 
lay behind an overall increase in the pace of urbanization. 
There are two possible explanations for this, both arising 
from the overall growth in population. First, there was an 
increased demand for food, which in turn stimulated the 
rural sector and the expansion of regional marketing and 
administrative centres. Second, the clustering of rural pro- 
ducers in and around industrial villages during the 
preceding century had created the basis for several new 
manufacturing centres that were now able to emerge in 
response to growing markets. 


S s 

I \ 

i. Posture ^^ 

Ground ■« 


5 The growth of London 1 600 - 1 700 

_"j Bu*uj oreoc 1600 

^ telirttiilbuilvopoiffli ITDO 


trpy wrJ 

* Hira pueii stepe 





W Jlr 


High Hoiborn \ 

p-\ .^>^ 

1-iburnta"®' '^B 


P^fiH^Bd2vJ m. ■ 

Prison fft 

Som aiSK \* 

PoiW OiwwlKbmnlt Sonwne* " / tJ*9« Whih, Hoc» lane 
Pod H Jamil Xolhnd '°« fon 

While Hal .! 
SI JoMn's Park * 


' . : 

WESTMINSTER . . . j ■ lanM, 


IBlV Sv 



*«• lAMKTH 




I Centres of learning c. 1770 


• Mr 1400 

• 1400-1500 

• 1501-1600 Mi Safe) 
1 601-1 Wwltidnlt) 

Acadeinv af Sowi founded: 

O 1 600-1 770iwiTidBls) 
Barnnkii garden bunded: 

• 1500-1600 
A 1601-1770 

▲ From the mid-1 6th century botanical 
gardens were established in many university 
towns, and in the following century 
academies of science added a new 
dimension to the range of institutions which 
promoted learning. The most important of 
these were the Roman Accademia dei Lincei 
(1 603), the Accademia del Cimento in 
Florence (16S7), the Royal Society of 
London (1 660) and the Academie Royale 
des Sciences in Paris (1665). 

Between the early 16th and mid-18th centuries there 
was a remarkable growth both in the understanding 
of the natural world and in the capacity to exploit it. 
In 1500 the study of mathematics was well established in 
major universities across Europe (map 1 ) and by the end of 
the 16th century it was a central discipline in both 
Protestant and Catholic centres of learning. The idea that 
the world should be represented geometrically formed a 
central strand of the Renaissance and was especially influ- 
ential in the development of perspective representation by 
Italian painters and architects. The research of a number of 
people - including Nicolaus Copernicus (in Krakow), 
Johannes Kepler (in Tubingen and Prague), Galileo Galilei 
(in Padua and Florence) and Isaac Newton (in Cambridge) - 
suggested that God's Creation had been made according to 
a mathematical blueprint. England was briefly predominant 
in the field of natural philosophy following the publication of 
Newton's Principia Mathematica in 1687, but in the 18th 
century cities as far apart as Basel, St Petersburg, and Paris 
became centres of European scientific creativity. 

Centres of learning 

The works of Aristotle formed the basis of the university 
curriculum until the end of the 17th century, when 
Cartesian and then Newtonian doctrines began to take hold 
in most of Europe. A number of factors were involved in 
bringing about this shift: new discoveries, as well as a more 
critical attitude to ancient texts, progressively weakened the 
credibility of Aristotelian styles of explanation, while the 
development of print and paper production meant that 
information was available to unpreeedentedly large numbers 
of people, particularly the new urban elites. Moreover, with 
the exception of Newton's research at Cambridge, 
innovation in the exact sciences ceased to be university- 
based after the late 16th century. Instead, the princely 
courts in Germany and Italy became the major centres of 
creative work, while the Roman Accademia dei Lincei at the 
start of the 17th century was the first of a number of acad- 
emies, both metropolitan and provincial, which promoted 
learning in natural philosophy and astronomy (map 1). 
Little of note could have been achieved without networks 


of correspondence which connected individuals in all the 
major European cities, the most significant being those 
organized in the 17th century by Marin Mersenne, Samuel 
Hartlib and Henry Oldenburg. Many of these letters were 
printed in philosophical journals - the Journal des Savants 
and the Philosophical Transactions - which were estab- 
lished in the 1660s. 

The development of botany 

From the late 15th century European voyages to the 
Americas, Africa and Asia (pages 116-17) provided novel 
and extraordinary facts which greatly supplemented and 
even contradicted the existing Classical texts. Botany was 
galvanized by information and samples pouring in from 
places outside Europe. From the Americas came maize, 
potatoes, runner beans, pineapples and sunflowers, and by 
1585 peppers from South America were being cultivated 
in Italy, Castile and Moravia. New drug plants included 
guaiacum, Chinese root and sarsaparilla. Botany was 
practised at universities with strengths in medicine, and 
botanical gardens were set up to cultivate rare and exotic 
plants (map 1). Books such as Leonard Fuchs's De Historia 
Stirpium, published in 1542, pioneered naturalistic 
depictions of plants, and the number of plants recorded in 
such books expanded from less than a thousand in 1500 to 
the 6,000 recorded in Gaspard Bauhin's Pinax of 1623. 

Scientific instruments 

Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries systematic 
observation and the use of experimentation and the micro- 
scope accelerated the development of botanical and 
zoological knowledge across Europe. At the same time the 
development of the telescope revolutionized the study of 
astronomy, with major new astronomical discoveries made 
by scholars in London, Danzig, The Hague and Rome. 

Research into the existence and nature of a vacuum 
linked developments in natural philosophy to those in tech- 
nology. A vacuum was impossible in the Aristotelian system, 
but in the 1640s experimenters in France argued that the 
space at the top of a tube inverted in a bowl of mercury was 
void of matter. At about the same time Otto von Guericke of 
Magdeburg began trials with the evacuation of air from a 
copper surrounding. His ideas were taken up by Robert 
Boyle and Robert Hooke in Oxford, who constructed an 
air-pump with a glass receiver in 1659. The Dutchman 
Christiaan Huygens supervised the construction of a pump 
at the Academie Royale in Paris in 1665, and a number of 
instrument makers sold different sorts of pumps in Paris in 
the 1670s. London, Paris, Leipzig and Leiden all became 
particularly influential centres of pump construction in the 
18th century, while London alone became the most 
important general site of instrument manufacture (map 2). 

Industrial technology 

There were also momentous developments in the area of 
industrial technology. As pits were dug deeper and deeper 
to extract coal and minerals such as tin and lead, steam 
engines emerged as a response to the need to rid mines of 
water. At the start of the 17th century a number of people 
considered the possibility of using steam to raise water, 
either for clearing mines or for producing fountains and 
cascades for aristocratic gardens. It is no coincidence that 
a pioneer of air-pump design, Denis Papin, was also 
extremely influential in the early history of the steam 
engine. Having worked on air-pumps with Boyle and 
Huygens in the 1670s, he wrote an article in 1690 describ- 
ing how steam could raise a piston which would then be 
allowed to fall due to atmospheric pressure. 

Papin's article may well have influenced Thomas Savery, 
who produced the first workable apparatus for raising water 
by fire at the end of the 1690s. Savery was the latest in a 
line of engine constructors based around London, and 
although his machine was practical in limited situations, it 
was of no help in deep mines and suffered repeatedly from 
boiler explosions. 

It was the Englishman Thomas Newcomen's piston- 
driven atmospheric engine which would transform industry 
in the period before James Watt's innovations revolution- 
ized the design of steam engines towards the end of the 18th 
century. Newcomen's first working engine was installed in 
Staffordshire in 1712 (map 2). The design of Newcomen's 
engine was a closely guarded secret, and for the first 15 
years no machine outside Britain was made to work without 
the support and maintenance of a British engineer. The 
success of the Newtonian system and the domination 
enjoyed by the British in the art of engine design throughout 
the 18th century are indicative of the geographical shift in 
innovative science and technology which had drifted north- 
wards from Italy at the end of the 16th century. 

-4 Thomas Newcomen's engine consisted of 
a cylinder fitted with a piston, which was 
attached to a counterweighted rocking 
beam. This, in turn, was connected to a 
pumping rod. Steam created in the cylinder 
(arced the piston up; cold water was then 
used to condense the steam, creating a 
vacuum in the cylinder. Atmospheric 
pressure subsequently caused the piston to 
move down, so raising the other end of the 
rocking beam and lifting the pumping rod. 

T From the 1650s the air-pump was 
developed in a number of European cities 
and by the 1 670s air-pumps were on sale in 
Paris. The Musschenbroek brothers then 
developed another centre of production in 
Leiden, which became the most important 
supplier of air-pumps, telescopes and 
microscopes in Europe. 

The first Newcomen engine was installed 
in 1 71 2 at Dudley Castle in Staffordshire 
and the design was quickly taken up by 
coalfields and other mining operations 
across the north of England, although the 
engine's appetite for fuel was colossal. Its 
running costs were, however, a major 
obstacle to its diffusion across Europe. 


*&>. *•%&**> 





72 EMPI 




2 Scientific and technological innovations 1650-1735 

Siffl m which cir-uump fettloped: Siie nT *hich New aran engne ustd: 

a \m-mo ■ inz— is 

• 1716—25- 
Q 172fi-35 




A t I a 


* M 




*' . 

. Tripoli 

'i n S <! " 







Goo ' </ i „ 

3 ,-- O o ■ 

* OldO™ ,Lr> 
ASANTt , l,e 










1 Cape Coasf 

m * 




* Scrip, 

fT" Owltfffj 


-- Mlk 

W Ms 

• km 

»' Saghum 

rf Horses 


O Wan 

K Gmb 

EI (cope- 

* Mfindoth 

IK Came* 

O oij 

'' :!l ii > 

r^ Sheep 

* Tlmbet 

^r rkrttrjnm 

•rX fish 

T Hmd 

W Ensela 

O fan* 

O Rit* 

r Lgunins 

* Leather 



4 ^ 


*«**»*- '- 





"- Luanda 



A Premodern slates in Arrkrj hod 
Muctuatinrj spheres of inMuence which are 
difficult to plat on maps. A city-stale such as 
Kara, g marked empire such as Asonte and 
a shrine town such us Ife might retain u 
fixed central location - but the ruling courts 
of the Amhuro of Ethiopia., or the Monde of 
Mali, or the Lundg of Congo regularly 
moved from place to place in the manner of 
medieval European royalty. Specialists in 
animal husbandry such as the I Jin. of 
Wesi Africa, the Somali ol Eosl Alrico or the 
Tstrona of South Africa became even mare 
mobile than the rulers ol forming 
communities as they sought aul ihe best 
ecological opportunities lor gracing their 
cornels ond caille. In conltnst lo this. 
Fishermen and miners had fixed settlements 
and defended iheii Konomk assets. 


c4« Tw>n 

i lie three centuries 

after 150!) were 
marked hy an 

increase in interaction 
between Africa's peoples and 
those of the outside world, 
though this increase should not 
be exaggerated, On the east 
coast there was no radical change 
in the pattern of cultural and com- 
mercial exchange that had existed 
since the lime of the Roman Empire, 
hut Indians and Europeans encouraged 
the further exploitation of East Africa's 
copper mines, mangrove forests, elephant 
herds, gold deposits and shore-line fisheries 
Imcif) I ). Foreigners also exploited opportunities to recruit 
voluntary, and more especially involuntary, migrant labour 
to serve as ships' crews and pearl divers, as household slaves 
and eoneuhincs, or as field hands in the coconut groves and 
date plantations of the Middle East. 

The central interior of Africa was only indirectly affected 
hy the globalization of Africa's external relations before 
1SOI), Local merchants and kingdoms fought over salt 
quarries, iron mines and fishing lakes. Africa's ongoing agri- 
cultural revolution took a new leap forward when traditional 
grains such as millet and sorghum were supplemented hy 
the slow diffusion of tropieal grains from the Americas such 

:' ■ ■■■, 






.'-"'■ - 1 


Fori Dauphin 


as flour maize and flint maize, while 
the traditional crops of root yam and 
vcgetahle banana were augmented by new 
carbohydrates processed from cassava 

The influence ok 1si„\»i ami Christianity 

In the northern third of tropical Africa, [slam slowly perco- 
lated along the ever-changing dust tracks of the Sahara, up 
the cataracts of the Nile and down the sailing routes of the 
Red Sea to bring new spiritual energy, theological ideas, 
commercial codes of practice, jurisprudence, the Arabic 
alphabet and mosipie-hased scholarship to the towns of 
Africa. Perambulating scholars settled in Timbuktu and 
Kano, where local holy men synthesized their own customs 
with those of Mediterranean Islam. Islamic art and archi- 
tecture spread too - as seen in the great minarets of the 
Niger Valley, regularly coated in river clay, and the palaces 
of the Swahili east coast, which were built of carved coral. 


In western Africa, Christianity was the vehicle for 
religious change and adaptation. In the Kongo kingdom, 
one faction seized power in 1506 with the help of foreign 
priests who subsequently built chapels and schools, created 
a small bureaucracy and archive, and developed powerful 
Christian rituals to match local ones. A hundred years later 
the Papacy sent Capuchin friars to Kongo and the 
surrounding principalities with a view to spreading the new 
religion into the provincial and rural areas. Rustic tradi- 
tionalists proved more resistant to religious change than 
ambitious townsmen, however, and Christianity created 
factionalism, discord and eventually a civil war. 

Trade and colonization 

The impact of European merchants on the Atlantic 
seaboard of Africa was older, and initially more pervasive, 
than that of Christianity. Much merchant activity was 
carried out at open beaches off which 200-tonne sailing 
vessels anchored; on lagoons where canoes plied, carrying 
merchandise and slaves; and in creeks where timber vessels 
that were no longer seaworthy were permanently anchored 
as floating storehouses. On the Gold Coast (map 2) the 
pattern of trade was different, with around 40 gold-trading 
fortresses being built by European trading nations. Among 
the greatest of these castle-warehouses was Cape Coast 
Castle, the headquarters of the English. Its installations 
were matched by the fortifications and slave-trading houses 
of the French on the island of Goree and, in the south, the 
Portuguese fortress at Luanda, which was to become Africa's 
largest slave-exporting harbour on the Atlantic Ocean. 

During the 16th and 17th centuries three attempts at 
colonization of parts of Africa were made by foreigners. The 
Ottomans spread through North Africa during the early 
16th century, capturing cities from Cairo to Algiers and 
creating an empire which only began to break up when 
Napoleon attacked Egypt in 1798. The next great coloniz- 
ing episode was the Portuguese attempt to gain and retain 
commercial dominance on both the western and eastern 
flanks of Africa after 1570. Unlike the Ottomans, the 
Portuguese were unable to conquer significant parts of the 
mainland, though they attempted to do so in both Morocco 
and Ethiopia. They did, however, create Creole communi- 
ties on the islands and in a few fortress towns, notably along 
the Zambezi River. The part of Africa most vulnerable to 
foreign attack proved to be Angola, where Portuguese mer- 
chants became conquistadores in the Spanish-American 
style. The third episode of early colonization was carried out 
by the Dutch, who between 1637 and 1652 captured three 
strategic points - the gold-trading castle of Elmina, the slave 

harbour of Luanda and the prospective military base at 
Cape Town. Although the Portuguese were able to recover 
Luanda in 1648 and resume their conquest of Angola, the 
Dutch influence there proved pervasive. At Cape Town the 
creolized Dutch remained a distinctive segment of the 
population after the British captured the city in 1806. 

The African response to the European opening of the 
Atlantic to long-distance shipping was to build their 
markets, their cities and their royal capitals away from the 
coast and beyond the range of direct foreign interference. 
In Angola, where European armies penetrated 300 kilo- 
metres (200 miles) inland, the greatest of the African 
trading empires built the royal compounds of Lunda beyond 
the reach of the conquistadores. In Asante, by contrast, the 
resistance to invasion was so effective that a royal city with 
permanent palaces could be safely established at a strategic 
crossroads little more than 150 kilometres (100 miles) from 
the coast. The Asante Empire was able to absorb several 
older kingdoms which had been brokers between the coast 
and the interior. The empire of Oyo partially eclipsed the 
ancient trading city of Benin and absorbed the powerful 
shrine city of Ife; a brash new trading state was created in 
Dahomey and attracted Latin American and European 
merchants anxious to buy prisoners of war in exchange for 
firearms and gunpowder as well as textiles and luxuries. 

Consequences of the slave trade 

The period 1500-1800 saw an enormous increase in the 
scale of the American, Mediterranean and Asian purchase 
of slaves. In some areas, such as Angola, the consequence 
was a demographic haemorrhage as thousands of people 
were sold abroad each year, thereby undermining the capac- 
ity of communities to renew themselves. In Guinea the slave 
trade caused such acute social malaise that small commu- 
nities became dominated by secret societies which 
manipulated a rising fear of witchcraft. In the Niger Basin 
whole communities were devastated by raids which caused 
death, famine and disease on a spiralling scale. In contrast 
to this, some successful broker kingdoms built up their 
agrarian economies with new crops and preserved their pop- 
ulation by refusing to sell young women captives abroad. 

In the long term, however, the effects of the slave trade 
were to entrench violence as a way of life and create a dam- 
aging intellectual climate which presumed that white people 
were superior to black people. The decolonizing of the 
minds of both the perpetrators and the victims of the slave 
trade was to be a slow process, further delayed by the colo- 
nial interlude which affected Africa during the first half of 
the 20th century. 

N U P E 

B O R G U 


,.. | Kjiimo** j, 



By i n *-' mho 

Winrwtw^ •LK!hriitinrjiborg 
Commwida 9 *Capa Coast Caslle 

fA E Y 



Bightof Benin 


Benin City 





Slave C 





2 Towts and raws aimiis of the Gom AHD Suvi Coasts 1 500-1 800 

CosseBwisnilffiO- • Bnmli • Fcstfi • fart • Damn • fauguw 
AKI People or kingdom 




Fernando Poo 

A When the Portuguese first arrived in 
Benin City in 1 486 they found u 
sophisticated and wealthy kingdom. Royal 
patronage was the basis for the production 
of elaborate sculptures and artefacts, and 
the demand for copper and brass for this 
work formed the basis for early trade with 
the Portuguese. This 1 6th-century ivory 
carving, probably intended for the 
European market, shows a Portuguese 
soldier engaged in the slave trade. 

-4 Die Gold Coast and the Slave Coast were 
the most intensively exploited parts of the 
African seaboard. Here Europeans built 
fortified castle-warehouses to protect their 
chests of gold and stocks of textiles from 
plunder and to serve as warehouses, 
cantonments, slave-pens and well-appointed 
residences for European governors. 

O WEST AFRICA 500-1500 pages 80-81 © EAST AFRICA 500-1500 pages 82-83 O AFRICA 1800-80 pages 204-5 



▲ China during the Ming period was open 
to foreign trade, doing business with its 
neighbours in every direction. Its exports 
were predominantly manufactured goods, 
including silk cloth, ceramics, paper and 
bronze coins, but they also included some 
raw materials (such as silk). This pattern 
changed in the 1 8th century when China 
responded to international demand and 
began to supply large quantities of silk, tea 
and porcelain to the West. Having only small 
deposits of precious metals, it relied largely 
on imported silver and gold to support its 
increasingly sophisticated market economy. 

In 1368 the Mongols, who had ruled China since 1271, 
were ousted by a peasants' revolt, the leader of which 
crowned himself Emperor Taizu and founded the Ming 
dynasty. The Ming period (1368-1644) marked a renais- 
sance in China's cultural, political and economic strength. 
Administrative systems for running the empire dating from 
221 BC were resumed, the imperial examinations for appli- 
cants to the civil service were reinstated, and there was a 
national census and land registration for the purposes of 
taxation. The Spiritual School (xinxue), based on the 
tradition of the Ideologist School of Confucianism (lixue) 
was established, supporting the need for social order 
according to the "Will of Heaven". It was to remain popular 
throughout the Ming and subsequent Qjng period. 

Developments in agriculture 

An agricultural system based on small freeholds was 
rebuilt, and initially attempts were made by Emperor Taizu 
to control the tax burden on the poorer farmers. During 
the second half of the Ming period, however, ownership of 
land became increasingly concentrated in the hands of a 
few. This led to the introduction of dual ownership, under 
which a freeholder could offer land for permanent lease. 
Sharecropping - a system by which a proportion of the 
crops produced by the leaseholder is handed over in rent - 
was also common. 

There were significant technological improvements in 
Chinese agriculture. From the second half of the 16th 

century new crops were adopted from the outside world, 
including the potato and sweet potato, maize, sugar beet, 
tomato, kidney bean, mango, papaya, agave, pineapple, 
chilli and tobacco; several improved species, such as the 
American peanut and cotton, were also introduced. This 
resulted in an agricultural revolution, with an increase in 
the use of marginal land and, as a consequence, in agricul- 
tural production. China's landscape and the Chinese diet 
were both dramatically altered. The publication of the 
Complete Treatise on Agricultural Administration in 
around 1625 also had a major impact. Its author, Xu 
Guangqi, was the de facto Prime Minister, and he enthusi- 
astically promoted the new crops and Western technology 
for water control. As a result, the Chinese economy was 
able to survive the increasingly frequent natural disasters 
of the second half of the Ming period. 

Trade and expansion of influence 

Ming China was active in domestic and foreign trade. 
Trading guilds were well established in commercial centres 
and long-distance trade in staple products flourished 
{map 1). China was essentially open to foreign trade, as is 
evident from the outflow of ceramics and silk, and the 
inflow of silver that enabled China to adopt its first silver 
standard. A large number of Chinese settled in Southeast 
Asia, along the maritime trading routes. In addition, 
European Christian missionaries in China introduced 
Western technology. Some, such as Matteo Ricci in the 


16th century, were appointed to high positions in the 
Imperial Court. 

Chinese influence was extended by the state-sponsored 
voyages of the early 15th century, led by Admiral Zheng 
He. The admiral and his fleet crossed the South China Sea, 
the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, visiting among other 
places Sumatra, Calicut, Zufar and Mogadishu (map 2). 
The armada - consisting of 27,800 mariners on 200 ships - 
was well equipped with charts and compasses, and its cap- 
tains were knowledgeable about meteorological and 
hydrological conditions. Its voyages, which represent the 
most spectacular episode in Chinese maritime history, 
helped to consolidate China's sphere of influence in Asia. 

Western powers presented little threat during the Ming 
period. In 1622-24 the imperial navy twice defeated invad- 
ing Dutch fleets: off China's south coast, at Macau and 
Amoy, and off the Pescadore Islands near Taiwan. Only 
Japanese pirates generally caused concern on the coasts. 
The real danger to the empire came from the Tatar and 
Manchu invasions on the northern and northwestern fron- 
tiers, and in 1449 Emperor Zhu Qizhen was captured while 
fighting the invaders. Between 1368 and 1620, 18 major 
construction projects were carried out to overhaul the 
6,700 kilometres (4,200 miles) of the Great Wall (map 3). 

The decline of the Ming dynasty 

The military strength of the empire gradually faded, and 
internal rebellions broke out every year from 1522. There 
was a decline in the efficiency of the Ming government, 
partly due to interference in the process of government by 
court eunuchs, but also because rampant tax evasion threw 
the government into financial difficulties. In response, 
around 1573 a "one-whip method" of taxation was intro- 
duced, intended to lower administrative costs by reducing 
the number of different taxes levied, and to spread the tax 
burden more fairly. This reform was short-lived, however, 
and financial and socio-economic crises were to haunt the 
Ming dynasty until its downfall. 

The Ming dynasty ended in 1644 with the suicide of 
Emperor Zhu Yiujian following the fall of Beijing to rebels. 
Officials of the Ming government enlisted the aid of the 
Manchus - a hitherto nomadic people from beyond the 
Great Wall who had adopted the Chinese culture - to help 
them drive the rebels from Beijing. However, once in 
control of the capital the Manchus refused to leave, and the 
rule of the Manchu Qing dynasty (1644-1911) began. (A 
Ming exile government survived in Taiwan until 1683 in the 
form of a city state with a large fleet and an extensive 
trading network in East and Southeast Asia.) 

3 Ming and Manchu Qing imperial borders 

| Aw under MngdfpnEfy 
__| Adfrnngl aio unda Mont 
dyrasty m 1 760 
I Mdnfhii rassal sraia 








Early Manchu Qing rule 

The legitimacy of the Manchu Qing dynasty was always in 
question, and perhaps as a consequence it made few inno- 
vations; its language, state machinery, legal framework and 
economic policies were all inherited from the Ming. The 
early Qing can, however, be credited with maintaining a 
long internal peace and with expanding the Chinese empire 
to its greatest extent ever, by joining the Manchu territory 
in Manchuria and Siberia to China, consolidating military 
control over the part of Turkestan known as the "New 
Territory", and developing a political link with Tibet 
(map 3). As a result, the population of the Chinese Empire 
reportedly tripled from around 143 million in 1740 to over 
423 million in 1846. From 1800 onwards, however, the 
Qing dynasty was increasingly under threat from internal 
uprisings - caused by famine and a corrupt government - 
and from aggressive Western powers. 

▲ Under the Manchu dynasty the Chinese 
Empire, already extensive, trebled in size. 
However, with the exception of Manchuria, 
the territory gained was neither highly 
populated nor particularly fertile. Although 
the vassal states of Korea and Annam 
provided the empire with only a small 
income, they did form buffer zones against 
potential invaders. 

< Zheng He's fleets, which numbered 200 
ships, sailed on a series of voyages across 
the Indian Ocean as far as Arabia and the 
east coast of Africa, and throughout the 
islands of Southeast Asia. The ships returned 
laden with goods and exotic plants, as well 
as prisoners of war (including the King of 
Ceylon). Zheng's fleers used force on three 
occasions: in Sumatra in 1404, in Ceylon 
(Sri Lanka) in 1 41 0, and in Sumatra in 
1413, mainly against Chinese pirates. 

© THE MONGOL EMPIRE 1206-1405 pages 98-99 © LATE MANCHU QING CHINA 1800-1911 pages 198-99 







(SMmnzW I 

1 Major domains and regions in the late Tokugawa period 

~\ Kyushu lsgiHi 

| [ tor:' . - - 

~1 ShMuregion 

| Chugdku cegwn (Son* 


_j HoUuido rsjxn 

^] Kinki region 

2 Arlofar fo/ffmrJonnw 

3] Kiiwi region 

Q tojM ^inpon/JuAwJoirairi 

— ] Chubu isgicfi 

KUM >Jnme of (bmiwi 

□ HoluturtgJon 

{Ha*} fcingr<n^ 




▲ Throughout the Tokugowa period Japan 

remained divided into a largely stable 
number of domains, with the Tokugowa and 
related families {shinprn) together 
controlling aver 25 per cent of the land. 
However, people generally identified 
themselves with a particular region rather 
than a domain, and economic and social 
developments occurred on o regional basis. 

▲ Tokugowa leyasu was responsible for 
the establishment of the Tokugowa 
Shogunate in 1 603. Theshogunate 
achieved peace throughout the islands of 
Japan far two and a half centuries - but 
only through the imposition of strict controls 
on all classes of society and a policy of 
isolation from the rest of the world. 

In 1603, after many decades of civil war, Japan came 
under a new structure of military government headed by 
the Tokugawa family. The emperor, resident in Kyoto, no 
longer had any real political power, although the Tokugawa 
administration, called the Shogunate or Bakufu, ruled in his 
name. It discharged some of the functions of a national gov- 
ernment but a degree of decentralization persisted, with the 
country divided into domains, each ruled by a semi- 
autonomous daimyo (lord). Former enemies of the regime 
became tozama (outside) lords, while those deemed 
friendly were denoted fudai and were given important 
government posts. Fudai domains, along with those of 
collateral branches of the Tokugawa family (shinpan), were 
concentrated in the centre of the country (map 1). The 
shogunate had no power to tax within any of the domains, 
or, in general, to intervene in the political control of these 
private fiefdoms. Its only income came from lands directly 
owned by the Tokugawa and related (collateral) families, 
including, for example, the Ii and Matsudaira. 

In an attempt to ensure their continued dominance, the 
Tokugawa implemented controls over individual lords and 
the population in general. Contacts with countries outside 
Japan were restricted to a minimum, giving rise to a period 
of national seclusion, or "isolation". AH daimyo had to visit 
the shogunal capital, Edo, regularly, and leave their families 
there as hostages. They were compelled to engage in public 
works to restrict their finances, and public disorder within 
domains could incur heavy penalties. A strict hereditary 
caste system headed by the ruling samurai (warrior) caste, 
followed in descending order by farmers, artisans and 
merchants, was enforced. The economy was based on rice, 
with the size and wealth of the various domains measured in 
terms of the rice crop. The daimyo paid their warrior 
retainers stipends measured in rice, and the warrior caste 
as a whole marketed any surplus not required for 
consumption to purchase other necessities and luxuries. 

Urbanization and economic growth 

Although the influence of the Tokugawa over the daimyo 
progressively weakened, the ruling structure remained 
broadly unchanged until the fall of the shogunate in 1867. 
However, the very success of the regime in achieving 

political and social stability stimulated changes which were 
ultimately to contribute to its downfall. Removal of the 
likelihood that output would be plundered or destroyed 
encouraged both farmers and artisans to increase produc- 
tion, while peace made the transport of raw materials and 
finished products easier (map 2). 

By the end of the Tokugawa period a growing proportion 
of the population resided in towns of over 5,000 people, and 
in some areas this proportion reached over 30 per cent 
(map 3). The need for the ruling caste to transform their 
rice income into cash stimulated the rise of powerful 
merchant families, many based in the city of Osaka. These 
merchant houses accumulated great wealth, despite their 
low social status, and a growing proportion of the popula- 
tion engaged in educational and cultural pursuits. 

Agricultural output increased with the aid of improved 
techniques and land reclamation, and the majority of 
peasants ceased to be simple subsistence rice producers, 
becoming involved, along with artisans, in the supply of 
handicrafts and other goods. The population, after growing 
in the first half of the Tokugawa period, stabilized. The latter 
years saw the rise of manufacturing activities outside the 
towns, the development of local specialities and the 
emergence of what has been termed "proto-industriali- 
zation". It is generally agreed that these economic develop- 
ments were a significant factor in supporting Japan's 
subsequent process of industrialization. 

Social change and unrest 

The scale of economic growth and change in the 17th and 
18th centuries put pressure on the old system, with the 
authorities becoming powerless to control the expanding 
commercial interests and networks. Social status and wealth 
no longer went hand in hand, and the daimyo and their 
followers found themselves in debt to rich merchants who 
were nominally at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The 
distinctions between castes became blurred as individuals 
ceased to confine themselves to their prescribed occupa- 
tions; the samurai, in particular, now had little reason to 
demonstrate their military role, instead becoming bureau- 
crats, scholars and, increasingly, anything that would make 
ends meet. New economic structures, such as landlordism, 


Incidence or peasant uprisings in the Tokugawa period 

▼ Peasant uprisings peaked in the 1 830s 
- an era of famine - when unres! nal only 
involved greater numbers than ever before 
bul oko spread ta embrace whole regions. 
Ruling occurred both in lowns and in Ihe 
countryside, culminating in a major uprising 
in Osaka in 1937. 


threatened to undermine the traditional tribute relationship 
between peasant and warrior Above all, the benefits of 
growth were not evenly spread. Sot only did the ruling caste 
lose out through their dependence on relatively fixed riee 
prices at a time of inflation, but the lower strata of agricul- 
tural workers and urban residents proved highly vulnerable 
to crop failures, market manipulation and arbitrary 
exactions by some of their rulers. Local unrest, often 
violent, became an increasingly frequent occurrence, 
particularly from the late 18th century (fear ulturt). 

The ultimate failure of the riding caste in many areas - 
particularly those controlled by the shogunate and its 
closest followers - to cope adequately with the effects of all 
these pressures fundamentally weakened the system, 
rendering it vulnerable to political and military opposition 
from within, and Western threats from without. When, after 
1853, Western countries managed to breach Japan's 
seclusionist policy, their presence further weakened the 
integrity of an already shaky system, and contributed to 
growing internal conflicts. In 1S67 these resulted in the 
downfall of the Tokugawa and the establishment by its 
enemies of a new regime, nominally headed hy the emperor, 
the following year. 

2 Major transport routes in 
the late Tokugawa period 

nak Nmrmliffl*! 

Mofjr land null 

Othti bnd nwte 


• Waeton 

A Transport routes used by the ruling 
doss were increasingly supplemented, balti 
on land und hy sea, by routes lor the 
transport ol goods around Ihe country. 
These routes were otso used by Ihe common 
people, and ths was a contributory fitter in 
the increasing mobility of the population in 
the later yeors ol ihe Tokugawo regime. 

V The shogunale polky of bringing 
members of the samurai warrior doss ir 
the capital of each domain, and the 
concentration of doimyo families 
and retainers in [do and other towns, 
slimukiled a substantial increase in 
urhaniialion, which in turn promoted 
conspicuous consumption 



Fwwwoe d paction fomg n PrcmoaJ bevriny 


iwmcrfrrcraitwSOMiiWitais IMv pogUunm 

J UnoKtC. ■ Owl0O.0l»iMiia« 

J 10-?OS • 5CO0O-1 00,000 mrabiiants 

B M-30% n.m-Him'Mmn 
IB 30-". 


s « " 

Hagi 1 j Kanazcx 

fc*«^ ,tSirYYrxrt Fuki "d 

-^J^ Kendal 

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p u r * / ' " ° ■ ' n , 

■ 135 


O EAST ASIA 907-1600 pages 86-87 O THE MODERNIZATION OF JAPAN 1867-1937 pages 200-1 


▼ The Ottoman Empire, already 
substantial in 1 500, continued to expand in 
lit-: 1 6lb raid 1 7th centuries, though net 
without setbacks, such as its defeat in the 
naral BoHb at Leponio in 1 571 . Its dedme 
ran be dated from 5 663 when Ottoman 
troops wore farted la retreat after failing in 
their attempt lo lake Vienna. 

V The area east of the Euphrates was the 

subject of much dispute between the 
Ottomans and Safavids in die 1 6lh ond 
early 17lh centuries, until u boundary 
between the two empires wns finally agreed 
with the Peace of Zuhob in 1639 

The Ottoman and Safavid states represented twin 
peaks of islamic political and cultural achievement, 
and each handed down a powerful and complex 
legacy to the modern Islamic world. Krom [he mid-1 5th 
century to 168.1 the Ottoman Empire was also one of the 
most successful and militarily effective states of all time, 
lis sultan, whom Western contemporaries called "The 
Grand Signior". was regarded with immense respect 
throughout Christendom. Ottoman power was based on 


OTTOMAN 6r»«" ItfS VX *^ ■«. '- J ^ ' **^ 

^:r ¥#*> fir*** 

2 The making of the Ottoman- Saiavid 

FRONTIER 1514-1639 

^] Empire irf 'Oirfi Ismnll I belne Bonle nl Chdldnan 1 S 1 4 

I Qrtomrfitmprrf before 1514 
"I turn Inrarterl by OnMran fares 1 5 1 4-tfi^8 
I Maximum range d amies nf ILM k'm ns 
- - - Maximum extent nf empire cl Stinti jSbbas 1 1 6 ?9 

BoiHidijyesretWieillryPmtofiiiiol 163? 

GHfl Penile X Sort, w* dux 










„ - 





gunnery, the maintenance of a navy and an effective 
system of military recruitment and training. Originally, the 
Ottoman Janissary regiments were maintained by the 
devskirme - the "gathering" of child slave recruits from 
the margins of the empire, who eventually were able to 
leave military sen ice as free Muslims. However, by the 
17th century local, Muslim-horn recruits were beginning to 
dominate the army. 

The < )ttoman state displayed a high level of religious 
tolerance for the substantial proportion of the empires 
subjects who were not Ottoman Turks or even Muslims. 
Members of minority communities became senior ( Htonian 
commanders and administrators; indeed, the Orthodox 
Greek community was probably richer and more numer- 
ous than that of the ruling ( hlomail Turks. 

The Ottoman economy was based on an agricultural 
society winch supported a system of military and religions 
fiefdoms. A vital adjunct to this peasant world was provided 
by the empire's most notable and outward-looking commu- 
nities - the Greeks, Armenians, Syrians and Scphardi .lews 
who dominated many of the empire's cities and towns. 

Territorial expansion was intrinsic to Ottoman power 
[map t ). As late as the I 7th century there was no sign that 
policy-makers in Constantinople believed that Ottoman 
territorial authority had reached saturation point or 
achieved natural frontiers. Ye I this was, in effect, the case. 
The Ottoman threat lo Italy faded and Vienna - the "Red 
Apple of the West" in < )ttoman military folklore - remained 
a prize that eluded the sultans. The defeat of the last great 
Ottoman expedition to Vienna in 16S3 marked the begin- 
ning of the empire's long decline. 

The Safavid state 

The Safas-ids made their mark by nurturing the culture that 
defines modern Iran, The founder of the Safavid dynasty 
was Shah Ismail I (r. 1501-24), who re-established a 
centra! government timid the political chaos into which 
Persia had fallen in the aftermath of the age of Timur-leng. 
Ismail's partisans were the Qui I bash - red-capped 
Turcoman devotees of the Safawi religious brotherhood. 
The shah welded the Qizilhash into a political force by 


S tl 



linking his and their ambitions to the establishment of 
"Twelver Shiism" as the religion of the Persian state. In the 
wider Islamic world, this nostalgic Shiite tradition was 
increasingly a marginal or sectarian faith, regarded by the 
Sun n i majority as heretical . In Sat'avid Persia, Shiism 
became the defining national creed, providing the Safavids 
with an ideological focus. Unfortunately, it also exacerbated 
enmities between Persia and its Sunni Muslim neighbours 
and rivals, the Ottomans to the west and the Uzbek raiders 
from Transnxania (map 2). 

Safavid shahs - most notably Abbas 1 (r, 1587-1629) - 
were deliberate propagandists of Shiite culture. They were 
patrons of representational art, usually in miniature, and 
undertook a magnificent building programme of religious 
architecture, palaees and public works. The greatest splen- 
dours survive in Abbas I's capital, Esfahan. 

Tut mRGirve w a frontier 

The Ottoman Turks inherited from their Byzantine prede- 
cessors a determination to keep the Black Sea dependent 
on Constantinople, free from control by Central Asian 
rulers. When Shah Ismail and his Qizilhash forces began 
to infiltrate eastern Anatolia from Tabriz in the early 16th 
century, they provoked a massive Ottoman military 
response. The armies of Sultan Selim the Grim were in the 
forefront of contemporary military capacity, and the 
Ottoman artillery gained a dramatic victory over the 
lightly-armed Persians at Chakliran in 1514. 

The Battle of Chaldiran appears to have shifted the 
centre of gravity of the Persian Empire to the cast, but it 
was not a final encounter. It led to more than 120 years of 
intermittent Ottoman-Safavid conflict over laud occupied 
by Azeris, Kurds and Mesopotamian Arabs [map 2). (By 
diverting Ottoman attention from the Balkans, this conflict 
relieved western Europe of some of the military pressure 
to which it had been exposed since the Ottoman elimi- 
nation of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.) The standard 
pattern in this long conflict was one of an Ottoman offen- 
sive countered by Persian "scorched earth" and guerrilla 
tactics. Shah Abbas I was briefly able to set the Safavid 
forces on the offensive and reconstitute most of the empire 

• . " ' ~ 

3 Trade routes in the 16th and 1 7th centuries 

Mopr land rnule ---- Sea retire 

Qlhar laii route 


ffgd Gee 

once ruled by his predecessor Ismail, but the eventual 
settlement, enshrined in the lasting Peace of Zuhab in 
1639, favoured the Ottomans. The frontier had no logic in 
terms of language, ethnicity or culture. It divided rather 
than defined communities, splitting Sunni from Sunni and 
Shiite from Shiite, but it formed the basis for the frontier 
between the Ottoman and Persian empires and survived as 
the Irau-Iran border. The Safavid Empire continued until 
the invasion of its lands by the Ghilzai Afghans in 1722 
heralded the demise of the dynasty in 1736. 

The world of me r tin aivts ami caravans 

The Ottoman and Safavid states governed lands that had 
been in contact with a wider world since antiquity. The 
empires were crossed by commercial and pilgrimage routes 
and contained gateways by land and sea which linked the 
Mediterranean and Levantine worlds to the Indian sub- 
continent, Southeast Asia and China {map .1). 

Many Ottoman and Safavid traders were also Muslim 
pilgrims undertaking journeys to Mecca. However, a good 
proportion of the traders and migrants from the Islamic 
empires were not Muslims hut members of Christian and 
Jewish minority groups operating in partnership with 
Europeans, many of whom were based in Constantinople, 
Smyrna, Aleppo and Alexandria - the empire's "windows 
to the West". Safavid contacts with the Western world were 
tenuous and bedevilled by the difficulties of the Persian 
terrain, hut during the 16th century European adventur- 
ers did make their way to Esfahan and hack. At the same 
time, the powers of western Eurojse tiegan to establish their 
own sea routes to the East Ipttges 1 18-19), thus threaten- 
ing to wrest control of Eurasian trade from the Muslims. 
However, although in 1515 the Portuguese captured 
Or muz. a Gulf market for horses and spices, they lost it 
again to the Safavids in 1622. Thereafter, the old trade in 
spices mill silk - and a new trade in tea - continued to be 
serviced by caravan routes into the 18th eenturv. 

A The territory ruled by the Ottomans and 
Safavids wos criss-crossed by land and sea 
routes used by merchants and pilgrims 
alike. Sea travel wis risky but could be 

relatively straightforward an Mediterranean 
short baps or in regions governed by the 
alternating monsoon winds. Overland traffic 
was arduous anil slow but continued lo play 
an Important rale in trade wilh Asia until 
well kilo the 18lh century. 

A The dome ol ibe Modrosa 

Shah mosque is among the mc 
of Safavid architecture built in 
century in Esfahan. the capital 

yi Madar-i 
iny splendours 

of Abbas I. 

© THE BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN EMPIRES 1025-1500 pages 96-97 © THE DECLINE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE 1683-1923 pages 178-79 


1 MUGHAKOHQUESIS 1506-1 605 
. 1516—29 

Arab 4 a n 

S V it 

Bay of 

▲ On the death of Babur in 1 530 the 

Mughal Empire was little mare than an area 
in northern India under military occupation. 
During the reign of Akbor, between 1556 
and 1 605, it was much expanded and 
became a centrally governed state. 

T The artisan industries of India - 
especially those manufacturing cotton 
textiles - were at first stimulated by the 
arrival of the Europeans in the 1 6th century. 
As a result, India became the workshop of 
the world known to Europeans. 


Primipat rmrifigi rogrs 






* tanks 



O diamonds 


,r !|v.r.; 

O mmlcrafr 



The Mughal Empire was founded in 1526 by Babur, 
Sultan of Kabul. Babur was of Turkic origin and traced 
his ancestry back to Timur-leng (Tamerlane) and to 
Ghinggis Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China. His advance 
from Kabul was at the expense of Afghan warlords who 
themselves had spread into the plains of India, 
conquering the Sultanate of Delhi and establishing the Lodi 
dynasty. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the Battle of 
Panipat in 1526 and then, until his death in 1530, progres- 
sively extended his sway across the Ganges Valley as far 
east as the borders of Bengal (map 1). 

Consolidation under Akbar 

Babur's successor, Humayan (r. 1530-56), faced a resurgence 
of Afghan power and, between 1540 and 1555, was driven 
into exile while the empire was ruled by Sher Shah and his 
sons. In 1555 Humayan retook Delhi to restore the Timurid 
monarchy, and when he died the following year the succes- 
sion passed to his son Akbar (r. 1556-1605). Having driven 
the Mughals' enemies from Delhi, Akbar used his long reign 
both to expand the empire and, even more significantly, 
to consolidate and transform it, converting a rulership 
founded on warrior nomadism into one based on central- 
ized government. 

The state which Akbar constructed had a number of key 
features. At the top he built a "service" nobility of mans- 
abdars who provided administration across the empire. 
Many mansabdars were immigrants from elsewhere in the 
Islamic world, whose loyalty was owed exclusively to the 
emperor himself. Beneath them, Akbar incorporated the 
Hindu Rajput chieftains who ruled over lower castes and 
commoners. These chieftains possessed local power bases 
which were notionally independent of Mughal authority, but 
their status and security were enhanced by membership of 
an imperial aristocracy. To facilitate their incorporation, 
Akbar - who was fascinated by all religions - also promoted 
a cultural style which crossed strict religious boundaries. 
Beneath the mansa6dari-Rajput elite, the empire rested on 
the labour of millions of peasants and artisans from whom 
large revenues were extracted. 


8 < n 

Knv 0/ 

; Mughal Mnyc-tfiS 

[ 1 Moulin May cIMO 
^] Mmittn rerrilHy r_ USO 

^] tats uNnonious unto 
ramose. 1765 

^J Aieas outononioifs uratef 
irdeperdenf diiefs < 1 765 

▲ Following the death of Aurangzeb in 
1 707 many regional states competed for 
power, and the roles which the Europeans 
were acquiring in trading and banking 
became increasingly significant. Frequently 

the regional states depended on European 
commercial agencies - such as the British 
East India Company - which, as a result, 
moved more directly into the political 
foreground during the 18th century. 



3 Expansion and shcrqachmgnts 1605-1707 

) topranmtfB «IW af,Vuqrw) Empw 1- 60-S 


Mffiicmi oeo damd bf tongna 1 707 




Rnndd (kiM; taulqiwurs 1707 


fkiL*irari' al province 


AikincD nt WiorinlKEr 


p ik"'Dlfc in rebellion against nie einiiim i 1 7 DH 

Mopr Eufflpenn traano posts: 


Pnnugjesa ►? frnrwh 


Hi O Duidi 



Industry and tkaije 

Akbar's successors Jahangir 

(r. 1605-27) and Shah Jahan 

(r. 1627-58) continued these 

imperial structures - which 

made Mughal ntlership one of 

the wonders of the time Mughal 

splendour and power were com- 

parable only to those of the 

Ottoman and Chinese empires 

(page* 136-39 and 142-43). They 

were based on the mobilization of 

great wealth through a system of eash- 

taxation, which itself was made possible 

by the high productivity and commercial 

development of the economy. India's fertile 

river valleys yielded substantial agricultural 

surpluses, which in turn supported extensive 

artisan industries {map 2). Krom at least the 

111th century these industries had been drawn 

into trading networks stretching from Arabia to Indonesia. 

At the end of the 15th century Asian trade had also 
begun to attract European interest (ptifics J 18-10). Kirst the 
Portuguese, then the Dutch, r-'roneh and English, reached 
India by sea and developed trading links (map 3). They 
brought with them huge quantities of gold and silver taken 
from the Americas, further stimulating the Indian economy. 

1 lowx-ver, the European presence also spelled danger - 
although its character did not become fully apparent until 
the 18th century. At that point, and most notably after the 
death of the Emperor Aurangneb (r. 1658-1707), Mughal 
power went into precipitate decline (map 4). The empire 
was unable to respond to invasions from abroad or to 
rebellions at home Even the mansabdari elite turned 
against it, as governors (or ncwabs) declared themselves 
independent and sought to establish their own kingdoms. 
Although the emperorship retained a symbolic significance 
throughout the rest of the century (and was not formally 
abolished until 1857), the real substance of Mughal power 
was weakening even by 17,10. 

i&sar' 'iggiaar*' 

The eih pike's collapse 

Many different explanations 
have been put forward for the 
sudden collapse of so mighty and 
established an empire. Nearly all of these 
have rooted the problem in Aurangzeb's 
reign ile sought to expand Mughal power 
southwards, taking virtually the whole of the 
subcontinent under imperial rule. However, in 
doing so be became involved in protracted con- 
flict against opponents whom he could 
neither defeat nor incorporate. 
Aurangzeb's long wars in the south proved 
extremely costly. They stretched the 
finances of the empire and promoted 
changes in its internal structures, lie 
increased the weight of taxation, 
which fomented revolt in other 
provinces. Frustrated by the Hindu 
Marathas, he became increasingly 
intolerant in his religious practices - 
threatening the Hindu-Muslim accord 
which had marked Akbar's empire. To cope 
with the rising pressures, Aurangzeb also expanded the 
martsabdari elite in ways which reduced the representa- 
tion of Muslim immigrants and thus increased that of local 
Indian powers. The empire which he bequeathed to his 
successors in 1707 was already deeply strained. 

Yet there may have been other causes of Mughal 
decline, which point to the growing influence of a wider 
world. Rapid commercial expansion in the 17th century, 
when an ever-growing number of trading posts was estab- 
lished, both altered the political geography of India and 
changed the social balance between military and economic 
power. Commerce was based on overseas trade and most 
enriched the maritime provinces. It also strengthened the 
position of mercantile groups and the gentry classes. The 
Mughal Empire, founded by warrior descendants of the 
"Mongol Horde" and centred on cities in India's heartland, 
was singularly ill-equipped to manage such developments. 

'3Quilon H 


fHO ,t CcJombo 

. liffl (Portuguese, 
Cell.* «">«»*H 

■4 Aurongzeb attempted to establish Mughal 
power in southern India. However, in doing so 
he tame up against roes - in particular, the 
Marothos - whom he mold da little to contain. 
The Morolhas introduced new forms of 
warfare, based on guerrilla lottics, which 
defied Mughal armed might. Also, as thief. 
loins risen from the peasantry - rather than 
imposed on lop af it - Marotha leaders 
spurned the kinds ol inducements which hod 
mode the Rajputs susceptible lo imperial 
influence. From the 1480s ttaalha armies 
broke through the Mughal cordon meant to 
contain them, and ravaged lar and wide. Ihe 
Europeans, who had established trading posts 
around Ihe CDast, were mere observers ol 
events at tfiis time. 

A The Mughak are renowned for their 
architectural achievements, the most 
famous ol whkh is the loj Mobol. built 
between 1(32 and I MS by Shah Jahan. 
Painting ako flourished, particularly during 
Ihe reign al Jahangir, shown here looking al 
a portrait of Alitor his father. 

© THE MUSLIM WORLD 1000-1400 pages 88-89 © THE BRITISH IN INDIA 1608-1920 pages 194-95 


▼ Frontiers in Europe changed consider- 
ably between 1500 and 1560. In 1500 
the border between France and the Holy 
Roman Empire, (or example, was that 
defined by the Treaty of Verdun in 843, 
with the addition to France of Dauphine 
in 1 349 and Provence in 1 481 . The treaties 
of Madrid (1526) and Cambrai (1529) 
fundamentally modified the border in the 
north by transferring Flanders and Artois 
from France to the Empire. 

Maps of 16th-century Europe are often deceptive 
in that they appear to suggest that the western coun- 
tries - France, Spain and England - and the eastern 
countries - Poland and Russia — were consolidated and 
centralized, while sandwiched between them many tiny 
entities were grouped together to form the Holy Roman 
Empire (map 1). In fact, all the European states were highly 
decentralized and regionalized in 1500. France (map 2) 
actually saw an increase in devolution during the 16th 
century as many provinces escaped central control in the 
French Wars of Religion (1562-98). 

Spain consisted largely of a union of the kingdoms of 
Castile and Aragon, with Castile itself made up of a number 
of component kingdoms. In 1512 Ferdinand of Aragon 
added to this by annexing the kingdom of Navarre, though 
not the portion of it north of the Pyrenees. Stability in 
Spain rested on the willingness of the government (centred 
at Madrid from the 1560s) not to touch the immunities and 
privileges of these kingdoms, another of which was added 
to the Spanish Habsburg realm in 1580 when King Philip II 
of Spain also became King of Portugal. 

Poland was divided up into counties and governorships 
dominated by the nobility, and was formally made up of 
two realms, the kingdom of Poland and the vast Grand 
Duchy of Lithuania. Agreements reached between 1569 
and 1572 turned the kingdom into an elective monarchy 
in which the power of the king was limited by a diet made 
up of senators and delegates. 

The Russian Empire came into being as a multi-ethnic 
empire only after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547. It was 
created through the conquest of the Tatar khanates of 
Kazan and Astrakhan in the 1550s and expansion across 
the Urals into Siberia from the 1580s (pages 148-49). 
Though often ruled brutally, it hardly consisted of a cen- 
tralized realm and, indeed, for a decade of Ivan's reign 
(1564-74) it was deliberately divided by the tsar into a 
personal domain, in which his word was law, and the rest 
of the country, in which the boyars (nobles) ruled. 

The Holy Roman Empire 

By the 16th century the jurisdiction of the Holy Roman 
Empire was, in reality, confined to the territory north of 
the Alps. The Italian section continued formally as part of 
the Empire, with its rulers nominally invested as Imperial 
Vassals, but as time went on this had less and less meaning. 
The Swiss Confederation gained exemption from imperial 
duties in 1499 and was formally released from imperial 
jurisdiction in 1648. 

In 1500 and 1512 the rest of the Empire was organized 
in Imperial Circles for purposes of raising taxes and 
administering justice. The Netherlands was formed as the 
Burgundian Circle, the northern provinces of which were 
formally recognized as independent of the Empire in 1648. 
As a result of the Lutheran Reformation (pages 154-55), 
many of the ecclesiastical territories were secularized after 
1520. The basic constitution of the Empire (the Golden 

t* 1 


1 Europe c 1560 

Bounduy erf me Holy Roman Empire 

| Amman HatKiixg terrirones 

Spansh Hahsbufg tamtam 

_] Ottoman Empire 

_| Iribumry ra itie GtJttnwn Empire 

^| Venefon ler ritones 

_] Major German saiiar states 

\',. L 


2 France in the 1 6th centusv 

_ hiv r'"luh 

| Qm^HjCbrfliqiirflfFBTi I5*i? 

| Pom "1'fttelion 

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^^ Jiirefcrwd of Partomanr rrf Pais 

_j duupietj trv Englum! until 1 558 





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lands of itc (otm dymsiy 

3 Halt 1500-59 

tkvafry of ihe 1% Rwmn Impre 


_J IWo Sotmli («rnrol (rati ovo dme 

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■ hxtftafe ISOO 

1 AsutreotWiCcriataiition 

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tipn dmo ante 

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-4 France was composed of provinces, 
some of which were under centralized 
control {pays d'elecliom) while others 
raised local taxes through regional 

assemblies (pap d'etals). Law differed 
widely between regions, the main distinction 
being between the Roman-based law of the 
south and the customary law of the north. 

Bull of 1356, which defined the princes who had the right 
to elect the Emperor), was modified by the Treaty of 
Augsburg of 1555 to accommodate these changes, granting 
princes and cities the right to be Lutheran and recogniz- 
ing the secularization of church property up to 1552. 

European dynasties 

Most European states were to some extent dynastic - they 
were regarded as a family inheritance. The collection of 
lands under the rule of the King of Spain in the second half 
of the century (Portugal, Castile, Navarre, Catalonia, Naples 
and Sicily) was the product of dynastic inheritance under 
the Habsburg Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 
to 1558 (pages 152-53). In the British Isles, King Henry VIII 
of England claimed the throne of Ireland in 1541, and in 
1603 King James VI of Scotland inherited the English 
throne, thus uniting all three kingdoms under one monarch. 

In central Europe at the beginning of the 16th century, 
one branch of the Jagiellon dynasty of Poland ruled over 
Poland-Lithuania while another ruled over Bohemia and 
Hungary. Hungary, one of the largest kingdoms of the late 
Middle Ages, was a union of Hungary itself (with power 
devolved to powerful regional magnates), Croatia and parts 
of Bosnia. After King Lajos II of Hungary was overwhelmed 
by the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 (pages 
142-43), much of his inheritance passed to the Habsburgs 
through his sister's marriage to Ferdinand I, the brother 
of Emperor Charles V. 

From the 1540s the borderland between this eastern 
Habsburg territory and the Ottoman Empire was marked by 
a number of territories: Hungarian Transylvania (Erdely), 
Moldavia and Wallachia were ruled by local princes as trib- 
utaries of the sultan, whose direct rule extended to Buda 
and the central region of Hungary. In the north the Union of 
Kalmar of 1397, which had brought together Denmark, 
Norway and Sweden-Finland under the same monarch, was 
broken in 1523 with the secession of Sweden-Finland under 
Gustav I Vasa (pages 150-51). 

Dynastic wars 

The ruling dynasties of Europe were all closely related to each 
other, though this did not prevent the fighting of wars. Often 
described as "Wars of Magnificence", these were pursued for 
glory and the vindication of dynastic title, and were 
considered more admirable than "common wars" fought for 
the annexation of territory or other forms of gain. An example 
of this occurred in Italy (map 3) where the House of France 
and the Spanish House of Aragon - whose rights were 
inherited by the Habsburg Charles V - both laid claim to 
Naples in the south and to Lombardy and the duchy of Milan 
in the north. In the latter, the richest part of Italy, the struggle 
was more than one of inheritance. Francis I of France gained 
control of Milan in 1500, lost it in 1512 and reconquered it 
in 1515, but Charles V had to oppose this if his power in Italy 
were not to crumble. War began in 1521 (the French 
evacuated Milan in 1522), and lasted intermittently in the 
peninsula until the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559. 
Signed by representatives of Henry II of France and Philip II 
of Spain, this treaty had the effect of liquidating French 
ambitions in Italy while maintaining French acquisitions in 
Lorraine - Metz, Toul and Verdun (map 2). This established 
a new international order which was to survive with modifi- 
cations until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1 648. 




4 In the period of intermittent war between 
France and the Habsburgs from 1 521 to 
1 559, France occupied the territory of 
Savoy-Piedmont (1 536-59) os o gateway 
across the Alps into Italy. Despite the disaster 
of the sack of Rome in 1 527 by troops of 

Charles V, papal authority over Romagna was 
strengthened, with the Venetians agreeing to 
evacuate Ravenna in 1 530. Parma was 
acquired from Milan by Pope Julius II in 
1512 and granted out as a duchy by Pope 
Paul III to his son Pierluigi Farnese in 1 545. 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 O REVOLUTION AND STABILITY IN EUROPE 1600-1785 pages 156-57 


► Grand Duke linn III extended his 
territory by annexing the neighbouring 
principalities of Novgorod In M78, Tver in 
MBiand Vial!-:ij m N39. In 149-1 h^ 
pushed westwards into Poland- -Liihuania. 
occupying Viazma and the lowns of the 
upper Oka basin. Ivan's son, Vasili III, 
continued with ihtt policy of aggressive 
expansion. Inking Smolensk, Chernigov, 
Pskov and Jbajan. 

▼ As port ol the process ol expansion, 
osfrogs (fortified trading posts] 1 were 

established nt strategic points. An osfrog 
was founded at Tomsk in 1 604 and by 140? 
Tur achansk on the Yenisei (titer hod been 
reached. The river became the frontier af 
the empire in 1 619, with another string 
ol oslrogs hang established along il. 

2 The growth of 
the Russian Empire 

| Rirssio-i Irrrlkuv 146*' 

| Hajistms HtI-1533 

3 itqMHfr. I533-159S 

( I tafntm ISW-HI9 

J fagnsitmis 1619-1*89 

i QKupiod by fturasm tfi^fl— B9 

^■' AiqnsilnnsliSf-inS 

O Main Boding posr/fortress (ostng}. 
with floit v Isncntai 

OSt HtCMpKCfc 

■ EiMni of iicntin I79S 

The expansion of Russian rick- Lata Europe and Asia 
was a process of exploration and discovery compar- 
able with the do n tempo raucous exploration of the 
oceanic world by western European peoples. It was, 
however, also the creation of a highly autocratic land 
empire. In the mid- 15th century the Russian state tif 
Muscovy was just erne of many small principalities in north- 
ern Europe which paid tribute to the Tatars; by the end of 
the 18th century it was at the heart of an empire that 
stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Ktralt, 


Arctic tJrrJe 


PSKOV f '*, 'l***»*L \ 


| Muscovy 1. 1 300 

Ki Ms subset to NovtjomI 

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1489 ngfrgtctquwioii 

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H kqgsiUH Htt-)H» 

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■ Acquisition: ^05-1^33 

■ hm 

| facturertiorvs I533-159S 

■ ISO! 

Extent of cmpirn In Europe 1 !>98 

I J 1S14-J1 

O ° 

ruN<3 u5 

The process of expansion began after Muscovy had freed 
itself from Tatar domination in the 145(Js. Grand Duke 
Ivan 111 (r. 1462-1505) and later his son, Vasili III 
(r. 1505-33) set about extending his territory by annexing 
neighbouring regions [map 1). Ivan IV became the next 
grand duke in 153.1 at the age of three, and during his 
minority the btrvars (nobles) vied with each other for 
control of the state. No further territorial expansion took 
place until after he was formally crowned as the first "tsar" 
(emperor) in 1547. However, in 1552 a successful campaign 
was launched against the Tatar stronghold of Kazan, and this 
was followed by the seizure of Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea 
in 1 556. Russian territory now extended the entire length 
of the Volga, bisecting Tatar domains and dominating the 
peoples ol the northern Caucasus and eastern Caspian. 

Expansion into Asia 

In the east the foundation in 1560 of a fortified post at Perm 
on the River Kama brought the Muscovites to within easy 
reach of the l.'rals, where trading in furs promised to be a 
great source of wealth. Krom 1578 the Stroganovs, a family of 
merchants who had been granted a vast tract of unexplored 
land by the tsar, took the lead in exploration and settlement 
beyond the Urals. Their allies in this process were the 
Cossacks, descendants of peasants who had fled from 
worsening economic conditions in Russia to become 
fighting guards of the frontier. The Khanate of Sihir was 
conquered in 1581, and the colonists founded ostrogs - 
fortified trading posts - along the Irtysh and Oh rivers, 
controlling the lower reaches of both by 1592 (map 2). 

Expansion continued to be rapid in the 17th century. 
The Lena River was reached in 1632, the Indigirka in 1639 
and the Kolyma in 1644. The explorer Uhezhnev reached 
the liering Strait in 1648 and Khabarov got to the Amur 
River in 1 64". The Khamchatka Peninsula was entered by 
Russian explorers in 1679, These territorial advances took 
place largely at the expense of the indigenous, often 
nomadic, peoples who were powerless in the face of 
Russian imperialism Any resistance was effectively sup- 
pressed by punitive expeditions from the ostrogs-. 

Russian ambitions in i hi west 

In the west, Russian ambitions were more circumscribed. In 
1558, in an attempt to take land around the lialtic, Ivan IV 
became embroiled in a devastating war of 25 years which 
rained both Livonia and Bstonia and left the Russian armies 
prostrate, liy the end of his reign all Ivan's western conquests 




agt?' JJ> ** 

i* - Sr " 

**gi« ty.v 




3 Russian development in the 
west 1598-1795 

_, Rusion tarirorv lo 1 598 
fZl LoostoPolondl417/H 

lepoined 1 667/fl6 
^3 Losses lo Sweden 1617 
^J Acguisiiipni from Poland 1 645 
2 J^quiutrarrs ficnn Sweden 1721 
| Atqtislws to Poland 1772-95 
~j Aiquiytwu m sou*. 1730- W 

• toluol ftraoiEnim I SW 


□ Ironsmerte* 
C« Iron rraaufotlLTM 
-£- Sulotitf itJ 
* Copper imelier 

Copper iranofaiwes 
^ Fodder works 
Hi Mica mine 
ill. Dorkymi 
Eittar of pwsdni nhnfofc 

BolelnliK 1606-7 

Slefito (orm 1670 
■- Mm* 1707-8 

had been lost. His death in 1584 unleashed a generation of 
instability culminating in the "Time of Troubles", a period of 
political and social upheaval and foreign occupation that was 
not settled until a national revolt led to the installation of a 
new dynasty, the Romanovs, in 1613. 

At this time Russia's main western enemy was Poland, 
which took advantage of Russia's internal problems to take 
back Smolensk and Chernigov in 1618. Another threat was 
the growing power of Sweden (pages 150-51), which 
acquired Ingria and Garelia from Russia in 1617. Russia, 
however, was able to take advantage of the Swedish 
invasion of Poland in the 1650s to conclude a treaty with 
the Ukrainian Cossacks and detach them from Poland. 
Between 1667 and 1689 Russia also regained Smolensk and 
Chernigov from Poland. 

Peter the Great 

By the beginning of Peter the Great's reign (1689-1725), 
Russia had tripled its territory in a century. In Siberia, con- 
solidation was now the order of the day, but in the west, 
Russia faced the military power of Sweden under Charles 
XII. As a consequence, the Great Northern War broke out 
in 1700. Sweden was defeated by Russia in the Battle of 
Poltava in 1709 (pages 150-51), and the outcome, formal- 
ized in 1721, was the acquisition from Sweden of Estonia 
and Livonia, and the return to Russia of Ingria and Carelia. 

The coastal fortresses of Vyborg, Reval and Riga had fallen 
into Russian hands, and Peter had been able to found the 
new Baltic port of St Petersburg in 1703 (map 3). 

Acquiring a port on the Baltic was one element of 
Peter's ambitious plans to overhaul the state and 
"Europeanize" Russia. So, too, was the construction of a 
navy and the acquisition of a port on the Black Sea. He 
achieved the latter when he captured Azov in 1696, but he 
lost it again in 1711 during the Great Northern War. It was 
not regained until the reign of Anna in 1739. Thereafter, 
the conquest of the land surrounding the Sea of Azov 
(Kuban, Crimea and Taurida) had to wait until the 1780s, 
during the reign of Catherine II (1762-96). 

Westernization and the economy 

In order to compete with other western powers, Russia 
needed to industrialize. A few ironworks had been set up by 
foreigners in the 1630s in the Tula and Moscow regions, but 
Russia remained an overwhelmingly peasant society and 
lagged far behind western Europe. Peter the Great operated 
an essentially mercantilist policy, patronizing certain 
commercial interests in order to encourage export trade. As 
a result there was rapid growth of both mining and the 
armaments industry (map 3), but this "forced industrial- 
ization", impressive as it seemed at the time, had little 
impact on the living standards of the peasants. 

▲ During the reign of Peter the Great the 
number of industrial plants increased from 
about 20 to around 200. Many of these 
produced armaments, while others were 
mining and metallurgical plants in the Urals. 
However, conditions for the vast majority of 
Russian people - oppressed by both 
landlords and the state - continued to 
deteriorate, leading to massive peasant 
rebellions which periodically convulsed 
Russia in the 1 7th and 1 8th centuries. 

© THE MONGOL EMPIRE 1206-1405 pages 98-99 © RUSSIAN TERRITORIAL AND ECONOMIC EXPANSION 1795-1914 pages 180-81 


A Under King GlhIov II Adolf 
(i. I ril 1 -321, Sweden become a major 
power in ihe Bailie region. As well as 
modernizing ihe army, Gustav introduced 
o number of (onslilulionol, legal onrJ 
educuiionol reforms before being killed 
in battle during the Thirty Years War. 




3 Sweden in 172 1 

| Swedish terrilorv 

k TTw Great Hortfwn Wbr of 1700-71 . 

involving Sweden, Russia and Denmark at 
different times, finally exhausted Swedish 
military strenglh. Treaties in 1719-20 
handed firemen and Yerden to Hanover and 
Stettin to Prussia, ond in 1 771 the Treaty ol 
Nystndt conceded the loss ol livonio, Estonia 
and Ingria la flicssia. The overseas bases lar 
Sweden's Bailie empire were thus cat away. 

At the* begin 
was still d< 
in place* foi 

t the I iegi lining of the 16th century the Bailie region 
I dominated by power blocks which had been 
'or over a hundred years, In Scandinavia the 
Union ol" Kalmar. dating from 1397, joined together 
Denmark, Norway and Sweden-Finland in a loosely 
governed monarchy centred at < ^opcnhsigen. All round the 
southern Bailie the alliance of tree ! lanscatic cities, such as 
Danzig and Hiheck, controlled trade. In the cast, the Order 
of the Teutonic Knights still ruled over a region that 
included East Prussia, Estonia, Livonia and Gourland 
(map 1 ). The largest country was Poland-Lithuania, created 
in 1396 when the ruler of the east Grand Duchy of 
Lithuania came to the Polish throne. 

The Baltic, however, stood on the serge of great changes. 
Economically, it was already in the process of becoming a 
major supplier of' rasv materials to the increasingly urban 
capitalist society of northsvestern Europe. Poland svas 
becoming a major supplier of grain, while furs and hemp 
from Novgorod and Muscovy, and timber and ores from 
Sweden, were already major elements in European trade 
and production. Consequently control of the ports, tolls and 
waterways to western Europe seas an increasingly important 
factor in the politics of the Baltic region, 

A new iihi'kii in hie Baltic 

In 1521 a Swedish nobleman. ( Instav Vasa, led a successful 
revolution in Stockholm against the Danish king, thus ending 
the Kalmar Union. Gustav Vasa became king in 1523, 
beginning a new period of Swedish independence and 
nationhood. The civil wars which followed in Denmark and 
Sweden re-established the power of the aristocracy and 
limited that of the monarchy. 

In the 1520s the Reformation (pages 154-551 hastened 
the disintegration of the lands of the Teutonic Order, white 
in Estonia. Livonia and Gourland the Order became 
fragmented, leading eventually to civil war in 1556-57. 
The Livonian lands nosv became a prime object o 
competition between Poland. Muscos'y (Russia), 
Sweden and Denmark. During the resulting war, 
the emergence of Sweden as a real power in 
the Baltic region svas confirmed when the 
Ha rosea tic port of Reval placed itself 
under Swedish protection in IS60 
(map J). Thereafter, the maintenance 
of this foothold in Estonia became a 

major determinant of Swedish policy- though Denmark, the 
most powerful state in the region, opposed .Swedish 
pretensions. In 15N2 a treaty between Poland and Russia 
left most of Livonia in Polish hands, and in 1595 Ssseden 
made good its hold on Estonia by signing the Treats" of 
Tcusiuo with Russia. 

At the beginning of the 17th century Denmark was 
still the leading Baltic power, with control of the Sound - 
the only deep-water access to the Baltic. As a result of a war 
with Sweden in 16 11-1.1, it succeeded in expelling the 
Swedes from their only port on the North Sea (Alvshorg) 
and gaining trading access to Livonia. However, military 
intervention in northern (k-rmany in 1625-29 was fl disas- 
trous failure and a severe blow to Danish power- 

Erorn 1603 Poland and Sweden fought for control of the 
great Baltic trailing eerttres such as Riga, Dorpat and Res'ak 
King (lustav 11 Adolf (f.1611-32) uf Sweden succeeded in 
capturing Riga in 1621 and the whole of Livonia by 1625, 
and the following year he occupied most of the ports along 
the Prussian coast. Tlte war was only ended by the Truce of 
Alt mark in 162''. allowing Ssseden to continue to milk the 
revenues of the Prussian ports. 

By 16,10 Ssseden svas a force to he reckoned with in 
European politics. Having modernized his armies. King 
(lustav II Adolf went to war in Germany to counter the 
[lire at to Sweden's security posed by the Uahshurgs (prices 
152-53). With his epic march through Germany in 
1630-32, Ssseden temporarily became the military arbiter 
of Europe and. despite setbacks in 1634-36, emerged in 
1648 as one of the victors of the Thirty Years War (map 2). 

Sweden's grossing ascendancy over Denmark svas 
recognized in 1645 by the Treaty of Brcimsebro, svhich gave 





I ] 

Sftffllisii atquilNKii l SA0-1W0 

Stfndi^ cotarh/uflon in Finfoud 


Swsdijd nt wpPM rjf Russia 1 o 1 3 


Oaurnoik — Nonwoy 


flCiUlil&d rir.. 1 hy Periinort . 


S«gs and Wws Nm in *rrs 

•*• PsseW royo' mm **h fore 

rV<ipu) irode tm 




Ironn ij 


CopjiLf miniiiji 




Oolil inninn 


► In ihe 1 6th century Sweden was a 

small rounlry ai jus! aver a million people 
However, with the aid el its natural 
resources, it buill a Baltic empire, 
reaching the summit ol its power 
between 1 671 and 1 660 

Sweden Jamtland and Harjedalen as well as a 20-year lease 
on Halland and freedom of passage through the Sound. 
Denmark also conceded Bremen and Verden, confirmed in 
the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) which also transferred 
western Pomerania to Sweden. These treaties, however, did 
not entirely settle the issue of predominance. Sweden still 
needed to assure its control of the Prussian ports, and in 
1655 King Charles X mounted an invasion of Poland that led 
to its virtual collapse. He then moved against the Danes and 
in 1658 forced them to abandon their provinces on the 
Swedish mainland - Bohuslan, Halland, Skane and Blekinge 
- as well as Trondheim in Norway (returned in 1660). 

The year 1660 marks in some ways the summit of 
Swedish imperial power based on a military system, both at 
land and sea, that made Sweden the envy of Europe. There 
were, however, a number of factors that threatened to weaken 
Sweden. The population was only a little over a million, and 
the constitution was liable to sudden fluctuations between 
limited and absolute monarchy. The possessions in northern 
Germany were extremely vulnerable and often lost during 
wars, only to be retained by diplomatic manoeuvres. 

The culmination of this was the Great Northern War of 
1700-21 and the Battle of Poltava in 1709 between Charles 
XII and Peter I of Russia (map 2). The Treaty of Nystadt in 
1721 marked the end of Sweden's hegemony over the Baltic, 
with the loss of Livonia and Estonia to Russia as well as part 
of western Pomerania to Prussia (map 3). 

The disintegration of Poland 

To the south, Swedish military adventurism was a key 
factor, along with Russian ambitions (pages 148-49), in the 
disintegration of the Polish state (map 4). Poland never 
recovered from the Swedish occupation of 1655-58, and in 
1667 it lost the eastern Ukraine and Smolensk to Russia. 
Thereafter, Poland became increasingly a plaything of 
surrounding powers. It was a major theatre of the Great 
Northern War of 1700-21, and by 1717 Peter the Great of 
Russia had turned it into a Russian protectorate. When a 
faction of the Polish nobility began to challenge this from 
the 1760s, the protectorate ceased to serve a useful purpose 
and Poland was divided up between Russia, Prussia and 
Austria in a series of partitions from 1772 to 1795 (map 5). 

▲ Swedish military power was based on 
a national standing army established after 
1 544 by Gustav I. This was supplemented 
by mercenaries when a larger force was 
needed for foreign conquest. In the early 
17th century the army was further reformed 
by Gustav II Adolf, paving the way for 
Swedish success in the Thirty Years War 
(1618-48) and beyond. 

T After a brief period as a Russian protect- 
orate, Poland was carved up in the course of 
three partitions in 1 773, 1 793 and 1 795 
between Russia, Austria and Prussia. 



4 The Common web a h of Pound- Lithuania 1461-1 672 

f urltiKf etfennf urhmnw! m Hfc2 Rnundorv cJ Poland 1549 

3 Imi To Rusmi jier mMiefirfy 1 494 -i 503 Poland - Urhuorna inform* 

~] Kingdom of Poland befwe Union d Lublin hfc9 boundary from 1549 

[•'■'; Occupied b( Poland 1 54 1 - 1 42 1 Enaarn boundary i tfilfi 


3 lo Fatal 1(1 t/M-litf/K 
"1 Lasr la RusiiD 1*6? 

Boundary in 14(7 

ScjHien bccjiidary in 1472 

AU S r % 


5 Partitions of Pound 1772-95 

Firsl Pstilwi 1 772 

Serand Puiirsn 1 793 

Thud PmSfai 1795 

_| ",: K'i7,v:i 

Zi TtiFtoi 

3 Toftiss* 

3 l» Ruisio 

3 Td Russia 

_| (o Russia 

| totosfria 


3 Mrttnd 

Boundary cJ Poland 


< Poland— Lilhuonia firsl lost ground lo 
Muscovy {Russia) between 1 503 ond 1 521 . 
In 1561, however, Poland gained control of 

lb (ourland territory el the Liranian Order 

and in 1618 regained port of the Smolensk 
region. Following Swedish invasions in the 
1 650s and renewed war with Russia, this 
territory was last again in 1667. 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 © REVOLUTION AND REACTION IN EUROPE 1815-49 pages 1 72-73 



▼ The Hoteburg, Emperor Charles Y 
presided over a vast collection of territories 
and fated formidable enemies - Valois 
Fronte. the Ottoman Empire and various 
alliances of Getman primes. In 1 556, after 
Charles's ubdkolion, the empire was divided 
in two, with Ferdinand I ruling the Austrian 
domains and Philip II inheriting his father's 
Spanish lands. 

In 1490 the Habsburg dynasty was just one of a number 
of ancient dynasties - among them the Valois of France, 
the Trastamaras of Castile and Aragon and the Jagicllons 
of Poland, Bohemia and Hungary- that were in the process 
of creating major princely states. Remarkably, by the 1520s 
the Habsburgs had accumulated under Emperor Charles V 
the largest conglomeration of territories and rights since [lie 
age of Charlemagne in the 9th century (map 1 }. The mili- 
tary and diplomatic system needed to rule and defend them 
in the emperor's name was formidable by the standards of 
the age. Vet in some ways it is a misnomer to talk about a 
Habsburg "empire" at this time, for Charles ruled his many 
territories largely through righrs of inheritance and they all 
maintained their separate constitutions. 

The extent of Habsburg territories 

Charles was the grandson of Maximilian I of the House of 
Habsburg, which had ruled over domains centred on Austria 
since the 13th century. Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 to 
1519, Maximilian gained control, through marriage, of what 
was left of the territories of the extremely wealthy Valois 
dukes of Burgundy. In 1506 Charles inherited these territo- 
ries from his father, Philip the I laudsome, and in the course of 
his reign he made a number of additions (map 2). In 1516 he 
inherited through his mother, .luana, daughter of Isabella of 
Castile (d.!504| and Ferdinand of Aragon, Spanish territories 

that included Majorca, Sicily and Naples. Milan was added to 
his territories in Italy throtrgh conquest in 1522. An alliance 
was formed with the Genoese Republic in 1528; the defeat of 
French expeditions to Milan and Naples (1528-29) and the 
overthrow of the Pre rich- hacked Florentine Republic in 1 530 
sealed Habsburg predominance in Italy. Thereafter, French 
challenges - the occupation of Piedmont in 1536-59 and 
invasions in ] 544 and 1 556-57 - proved transitory. 

In 1519 Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor, a 
role which brought formal prestige as the first prince of 
Christendom hut little more. The King of France, in any 
case, regarded himself as the equivalent of the emperor in 
his own kingdom and recognized no superior. Charles ruled 
more directly as Archduke of the Netherlands and of 
Austria. Control of the eastern Habsburg lands centred on 
Vienna w-as devolved to his brother Ferdinand, who was 
elected heir to the imperial throne in 1531, Charles's hopes 
of maintaining his prerogatives as emperor were under- 
mined by the determination of several German princes to 
defy him over the ban placed on Martin Luther, who had 
provoked the first serious challenge to the Catholic Church 
at the Imperial Diet at Worms in 1521 (pages 154-55). 

In both the Mediterranean and central Europe Charles 
directly confronted the power of the Ottoman Empire. The 
Ottomans had occupied Rhodes in 1522 and went on to 
defeat the Hungarian army in 1526. The Austrian territories 


were therefore In the front line, 
and Vienna withstood a major 
siege in 152') ;md a threat of one 
in 1532. The Ottoman threat was 
only held at bay by the combined 
dynastic and imperial power of the 
Habsburgs. In the western Mediterra- 
nean Charles sought, through the conquest 
of Tunis in 1535 and the disastrous expedition 
against Algiers in 1541, to huild on the foot- 
holds already acquired in coastal North Africa. 

Division of tiik kmi'ire 

Charles reached the height of his power at the llattle 
of Miihlberg in 1547, when he managed to crush the 
forces of the Protestant rulers of Hesse and Saxony [pages 
154-55), He then tried to reverse many of the religious and 
political developments in Germany since the I52(>s, hut his 
position quickly l>egan to crumble, [n 1552 the rebellion of 
the League of Princes in Germany allied to Henry 11 of 
France forced hint to accept that the inheritance was too 
large to be ruled by one man and that, as a family and 
dynastic concern, it had to be shared. Consequently, on his 
abdication in 15S6 the empire was divided between his son, 
Philip 11, who inherited the Spanish possessions, and his 
hrother. Ferdinand, who inherited the Austrian domains. 

The empire in central Europe 

As Charles's deputy in Germany, Ferdinand 1 had consoli- 
dated the llabshurg family's position as central European 
dynasts. When King Louis It of Hungary was killed at 
Mohaes in 152(> [pages 142^3), Ferdinand was elected to 
the Bohemian and Hungarian thrones by the magnates, who 
saw him as the best guarantor of their safety against the 
Ottoman Turks. However, Ferdinand was opposed by one 
Hungarian magnate - .Ian Zapolya of Transylvania, who was 
backed by the Turks - and all that he could salvage of 
Hungary were the territories of "Royal Hungary" (the west 
of modern Hungary and modern Slovakia). By the late Kith 
century these territories were elective monarchies, with 
large and powerful 1'rotestant nobilities, whose indepen- 
dence Ferdinand II (King of Bohemia from 1617 and of 
Hungary from Hi IK, and Holy Roman Emperor 1619-37) 
became determined to crush, while at the same time revers- 
ing the decline in imperial power within Germany. 

As a result of the Thirty Years War (161K-4KI the 
Hahshurg territories in central FJurope were welded into a 
much nunc coherent dynastic empire, [hough the opposi- 
tion of the princes of the Empire had undermined ambitions 
in Germany by 16.15. With the weakening of the Ottoman 
Turks in the 1 7th century, the dynasty was able to begin the 
piecemeal reconqucst of Hungary [tmtp .i), Largely com- 
plete by the end of the century, this established the 
llabsburgs as the major dynastic power of central Europe. 

The Spanish Empire 

In the west the Spanish branch of the dynasty descended 
from Philip II (r. 155(>-9K) continued the trend which was 
clear from the middle of Charles \ "s reign: the development 
of a Spanish empire that was dependent on the wealth 
arising from the Castilian conquest of the New World and 
on the deployment of military power and diplomatic 
alliances in Europe. Power was transmitted along a series of 
military routes leading from Spain to the Low Countries 
known collectively as the "Spanish Road" (map 1), and 
was challenged in the late Ibth century by rebels in the 
Low Countries and by England. Ultimately. Spain proved 
unable to maintain its control of the northern provinces of 
the Netherlands and agreed a temporary truce in 1609. 

The axis of power between Madrid anil Vienna remained 
vital to the Spanish system and was reinforced as the 
llabsburgs in central Europe came under pressure from 
rebellious nobles and Protestants. The axis was reaffirmed 
in 1615 and Spanish troops were deployed in central Europe 
and the Rhincland from 1619, while war was renewed with 

2 The Burgundian inheritance 

| nNbifpiikhirtoTlnHeGliteUbduplltf 

'. ■ Ijmwss ixwrel trr OoIb Y 

^1 BtfmffdkmiBntgift net porf oiitKHfltriufQiihatt M 

| Other Hobiburu ranilwM 
Bwndny of nie Italy Romon Empire btlira 1 5 1 S 

Bouillon ol rile Holy Rnmin Empln aft* 1 515 

Sauitani ItounfiKy at me United Promts 1 fcD9 

TflfWpiv mdlunid tiy rtis Lmiteif Pidwiw. IMa 1 

1 442 Ddid ill w qurjimn 

the Dutch in 1621. The last phase of the Spanish military 
system in western Europe showed that it was remarkably 
resilient in the face of massive setbacks such as the rebel- 
lions in Portugal and Catalonia in 1640 and the defeats in 
the Low Countries by France at Lens in 1643 and Roeroi In 
1648 [pages 15fh59). Nevertheless, the Treaty of 
Westphalia in 1648 forced the recognition of the indepen- 
dence of the United Provinces, and the Peace of the 
Pyrenees with France in 1659 registered a serious shift in 
the balance of power towards France. For the rest of the 
17th century, Spain and its dependencies were constantly 
on the defensive. They were certainly not in a position to 
aid the Austrian Habsburgs, who had to contend with the 
last great advance of the Ottomans (mrcp J). This reached 
its most western limit in 1683 but would continue to pose a 
threat well into the following century. 

A Hie kinds which (horlesV inherited in 
1 506 consisted ol mosl of ihe provinces at 
the Netherlands and the free county of 
Burgundy, hut not the duchy ol Burgundy, 
which hod been confiunted by Louis XI ol 
France in 14??. Iti Ihe course of his reign 
Charles annexed Geldetlond Grnningen, 
Fridond ond Ire bishopric of Ulrechl. His 
successor, Philip II, laced serious opposition 
from the nobility from 1 565 ond a lull scale 
revolt in Hollond hum 1 572. Ibis led lo ibe 
fnrmol repudiation ol Pllilip in 1581 by 
what wece to become the seven Uniled 
Provinces ol Ihe Netherlands. 

■* During ihe 1 6th and 1 ?lb centuries the 
Austrian Hobsburgs extended tbeii lettitory 
o«os5 Hungary and along the Danube as 
lar east as Transylvania. However, in 1a81 
ibe Ottomans claimed Hungary as o vassal 
slate and senl an army of 700.000 men lo 
advance on Vienna. Ihe subsequent two 
month siege ol the city in 1 683 vras only 
lilts A when a Polish aimy attacked the 
Ottoman forces and sent them into reheat. 
The Habsburgs eventually regained Hungary 
from the Ottomans under the Treaty ol 
Carlowiti in 1699. 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 © THE HABSBURG EMPIRE: EXPANSION AND DECLINE 1700-1918 pages 174-75 


▼ Protestantism loot o number ol forms 
rxrgss Europe. In terawny and kondinovio 
local Hfular fibers oromoied the esioblrsh- 
metil of new (hurdles, mostly along 
Lutheran lines. In ihe Netherlands. Calvinism 
became pnlilkally predflminanl during fhe 
Inlei 1 6th century, while in England the 
Anglican Church under Elizabeth I was 
CaKinhl with an episcopal government 
Further eosi, Calvinism was adapled in 
Transylvania (ia Hungary] - and in Poland 
so many nobles became Proleslanl ihal 
spetial provisions (or iheic loleralion had to 
be agreed in 1569-71. 

The Reformation is commonly associated with an 
outraged response to the corruption of the Church in 
the late 15th and early Idth centuries In tact, the 
cnniiii[i"ii mi' die liliiiivli had einile under attack before 
What was new at this time was the emergence of a powerful 
force of religious revivalism which swept across Europe and 
Sought an increased role for the laity in religious lite. 

Thk impact of Li tiikhamsm 

Tlii- I'nttestaiit Reformation is traditionally dated from 33 
October 1517 when Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses 
against indulgences (documents sold by [he Church which 

were widely thought to remit the punishments of purgatory) 
were posted on the door of the castle church at Wittenhurg 

iir Saxony. Luther's Theses provoked a hostile reaction from 
the uprier hierarchy of the Church. Moreover, the circulation 
i>f printed copies of the Theses and other writings meant that 
they received the attention of a wider public than might oth- 
erwise have been the case. Mis attack on financial abuses 
within the Church, and his emphasis on the spiritual nature 
of Christianity and the teachings of the gospel, found support 
among a broad range of the laity, 

liefore 1517 reform of the Church had been seen as a 
legitimate objective; now Luther's call for "reformation" was 
regarded as a fundamental threat to both the Church and the 
Holy Roman Empire. Luther was excommunicated in 1521 
after denying the primacy of the Pope, and later that year he 
was placed under arv imperial ban. 





V art h Se a 

'*EUn D 






C E 



Avignon f 


o N^ 

1 The Protestant and Catholic Reformations 

JB Reformed tailri dowiunr bi 1 580 

Lifttwrarwrri bimilly osrabtislied, with dale 

j/jity rWiboprisn.^ WaruiDflifns and Meltriiiyircs 

H Worried lairh a-wma c f 560-70 

OjKinrsrrv a JwannWuwn Iciirmlly esrabjrstal. with dole 

t Cflitfilil niftUOIl DTK, iHfCKitl (JtidHTiKHJI, Willi lil'L 

~^\ C»«im*h bed rAmied fort ( liSO-CO 

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^ Some pen&tnHton of rehrm i I5AQ-70 

frqkai |(mfc™»n*r (rivrisi? Omh ertjtM with don 

butd erf turf Iby «M*lf or twpmi 

~^\ Rflmcwed Dr&iioniirwitfy Cattiok 


A number of German princes broke with Rome and 
adopted Lutheranism, gaining stronger political control over 
the Church in their own territories as a result. This was met 
with fierce opposition from Charles V at the Augsburg 
Reichstag in 1530, and in response a League of Protestant 
estates - including Hesse, Saxony, Wurttemberg, the 
Palatinate and several imperial cities - was formed at 
Schmalkalden, thus splitting the Empire into two warring 
camps. It was not until 1555 that Charles V was finally forced 
to concede the Peace of Augsburg, granting full rights to the 
secular estates of the Empire to adopt Lutheran reform. 

Radical reformation 

The reform movement spread rapidly (map 1 ) but for many 
it was the ideas of local reformers that mattered most. By the 
end of the 1520s a split between the Lutheran Reformation 
and the radical (or Reformed) churches was clear. Thomas 
Miintzer encouraged a more radical view that was to culmi- 
nate in the "Kingdom of Zion" of the Anabaptists at Munster, 
while in Zurich Huldreich Zwingli led a reformation which 
differed from Lutheranism over, among other things, the 
sacrament of Communion. 

Protestantism in Switzerland received a blow with the 
death of Zwingli in battle in 1531, but it was ultimately 
revived by Calvin, a humanist and lawyer born in northern 
France. Calvin, who controlled the Genevan church by 1541 
(map 2), gave the French-speaking world a coherent and 
incisive doctrine as well as an effective organization. He 
proved to be the most significant influence on the emergence 
of the Reformation in France from the 1540s onwards, when 
he sent out a network of preachers to the main French cities. 
By 1557 an underground church was in existence and in 
1559 it declared itself openly. 

The Counter Reformation 

In Spain and Italy, where Spanish power posed a significant 
block to Protestantism, the internal reform of the Catholic 
Church was pushed forward by the foundation of many new 
religious orders devoted to charitable and evangelical work 
in the lay world, as well as by the militant Society of Jesus 
(Jesuits) founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1534, 

Within the Catholic Church as whole, the establishment 
of the means to resist Protestantism was a priority. The three 
sessions of the General Council of Trent held between 1545 
and 1563 restated theological doctrine in a way which 
precluded reunion with Protestants, and a series of decrees 
aimed at reforming the clergy and church organization was 
issued. Although the pronouncements of the Council of 
Trent were not immediately translated into action, the 
Council signalled that the Catholic Church was to become 
an evangelical movement, seeking to win converts both 
among heretics in Europe and the "pagans" of the overseas 
world. Crucial in this process was the growing identification 
between the Catholic Church and absolute monarchs, who 
had the power, through patronage, to win back disaffected 
nobles to the Roman Catholic faith. 

In France, although the Jesuits were at first not allowed 
to preach, a resurgence of Catholic piety and fundamental- 
ism eventually put a limit to any further expansion of 
Protestantism. When Catherine de Medici (the Queen 
Mother) ordered the liquidation of the Protestant leadership 
on the eve of St Bartholomew's Day 1572, mass fanaticism 
led to the massacre of 10-12,000 Protestants throughout the 
country (map 3). The ensuing factional chaos enabled 
Protestants to extract from the French crown a lasting 
guarantee of religious toleration in the Edict of Nantes 
(1598), but this in effect confirmed their minority status. 
When their guaranteed strongholds (places de surete) were 
removed by the Crown in the 1620s, they were reduced to a 
position of sufferance. In 1685 the Edict was revoked and 
around 200,000 Protestants (Huguenots) were forced to 
convert to Catholicism or flee the country. 

In the Netherlands a Calvinist minority seized power in 
Holland and Zeeland in 1572 but had to fight a bitter and 
prolonged war with Spain which was to last until 1648. In 

^* ow, ° i 

J* J 6 ^ 

y Vol™,™- *'""X 7 

t3Lj*i '" 1 

^€w^ s y 


1 Bern 

2 luzera IS Uri 
3Zug ]6 5chwyi 

4 Zurjcfi 1 7 L>iter™MwJ 

5 S^nffinuHB fS Vb/ois 
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7 Appeniell 20 Frikovrs 

8 TcHgenfcuiH 21 Voud 
9Gfokit 2?0*o 

10 Gree leoffim 23 NaucMtet 
JlVaWUj 2Jey™<K<>fW 
12 Cnjowmno 25 Sotomum 
l3Mm &1W 
Mtsuwtfirw 27 Aaiyou 

2 The Reformation in Swtieriand 

B Pior&lnnr ckiick mrabbshed for son* 

[lEfiod in ita 1 (jdi laMLfy 
^] Cithofc cantons our! tarirmes 
J fie^tfs wtiae bold Cfl*d*jan and 

nntenrasfn poctin 

Germany the Peace of Augsburg (1555) began to break 
down. Some princes converted to Calvinism in defiance of 
the Peace, and the spread of Catholic evangelism (and 
Protestant fears of Catholic acts of revenge) created 
enormous tension in the Holy Roman Empire, culminating 
in the start of the Thirty Years War in 1618 (pages 158-59). 
By the end of the war in 1648, when the Treaty of 
Westphalia recognized a new order in Europe, Roman 
Catholicism had been re-established in France, Poland, 
Hungary and Bohemia. However, there was no return to 
religious war and, to some extent, religious pluralism was 
reluctantly accepted between, if not within, states. 

-4 Switzerland was a major powerhouse of 
the Protestant Reformation but was intensely 
divided. The inner "forest" cantons were 
hostile to Zwingli and feared the power of 
Zurich where he was based. After his death 
in 1 531 Bern took up the military leadership 
of Protestantism, giving its protection to 
Geneva which, although not technically part 
of the Swiss Confederation, was to become 
the centre of Swiss Protestant doctrine. 

T French Protestantism was over- 
whelmingly urban. Crucial to its survival, 
however, was the support of a very large 
minority of the nobility. Its greatest 
concentration was eventually in a "crescent" 
stretching from Dauphine in the east to 
Poilou in the west. This was largely a 
result of the course of the French Wars 
of Religion (1 562-98) which rendered 
life precarious for Protestants north of the 
Loire, especially after the St Bartholomew 's 
Day Massacre in August 1 572. 

3 The Reformation and religious con fug in France 


PralHFfint church estdblished la some period in Hie) litti (srrurv 


Sire of CuttioJit mavam d Ptoteslmft Augusl 1 572 


hfjleiwil fcodwv 


Caul la futjgng toiev between (oihoks mi Ptoresftmts (from 1 576] 


tat festal 




• » at**?,? 



a ■-- - 



W e d { t e r 

•' a >i e (j fi Sea 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 O REVOLUTION AND STABILITY IN EUROPE 1600-1785 pages 156-57 


A The trial and execution of (hatles I of 
England, Scotland and if el and {lop) in 
January 1 64? was tallowed by the abolition 
of the monarchy and the declaration af a 
republic. Oliver Cromwell [bottom] came to 
prominence as a military leader during me 
[ml War of 1 6M-48 between supporters 
of the Icing nnd of Parliament. When 
parliamentary government failed in 1 653 
he became Iwd Protector and proceeded to 
rule England until bis death in 1 658. 

► ll ben been suggested that a general 
crisH in the 17th century, ia which ware aad 
revolts broke out acres; Europe, reflected 
global factors - in particular, a deleriwation 

in climate that led to famine, moss 
migrations and a bolt in population growth. 
ft is in fort the case that there were plague 
epidemics in Europe and China in the 1 640s 
as wall as parallel political upheavals. 

1 Wars and revolts in Europe 


taos effected try 
| war 
| popuvj iwrir 

- — poRfkrd revrit 

* Ctntre of pwntar revolt 

• Centre d pofcticol reidl 

In the 17th century the; major states of Europe were 
embroiled in trie long conflict in central Europe known 
as the Thirty Years War {pages 158-5'/). which com- 
bined dynastic and strategic conflict with religious strut-tiles, 
the latter breaking out both within and between states. The 
growth of armies and of military technology in this period 
{pages 158-59) eoutd only be achieved through an increase 
in taxation that was so large as to challenge the basis on 
which states had been governed since the late I Mb century. 

Rebellion ami civil war 

When Spain intervened in Germany on behalf of the 
Austrian llabsburg emperor In 161'J, and then renewed its 
conflict with the Dutch in 1621, It became committed to 
massive military expenditure which devastated its finances. 
In Castile, which had undergone :i loss of population since 
the 1590s, the monarchy found the burden increasingly 
difficult to bear. Unable to solve the problem by concluding 
peace, the government restructured the lax system so that 
the hitherto privileged regions of Portugal, Aragon, 
Catalonia and Naples bore a greater share of the tax burden. 
This caused a national uprising in Portugal in 16411. followed 
by rebellious in Catalonia ( 1640-53) and in Naples ( 1647-S) 
(mctp / ). All this nearly brought down the Spanish state. 

In France -governed by Cardinal Richelieu from 1624 - 
the steadily increasing tax burden was accompanied by an 
increase in royal tax officialdom at the expense of the local 
machinery of voting taxes through representative assem- 
blies. In addition to the massive Increases in direct taxes 
front 10,15 (when France formally entered the war against 
Spain and the Ilabsburgs) and the spread of a whole range of 
indirect revenues such as those on salt (the goberfel. the 
direct costs of billeting and supplying the army were Ironic 
by the civil population with increasing reluctance. From 
around 1630 numerous local revolts broke out, often sup- 
ported by regional notables resentful at the infringements 
of their privileges by the Crown, In 1636-37 the Crown was 
faced by a large-scale rebellion in the southwest which 
brought together under the name of Craquants many 
peasant communities outraged by army taxes. In lower 
Normandy in 163'J the Nu-I'iedn rebelled against the exten- 
sion of the full salt tax regime to that area. 

Cardinal Mazarin succeeded Richelieu as Chief Minister 
in 1643 and continued the same policies of high taxes and 
prolonged war against Spain, even after the Treaty 
of Westphalia in 164S. Hy then the Crown 
faced not only a discontented peas- 
antry but also opposition 
from within the rova 

bureaucracy over the suspension of salaries, and a nobility 
unhappy with the exercise of power hy the Chief Minister. 
The result was a confused period of civil war known as the 
Parotides, which paralysed French policy until 1653. 

Crisis across Ki ropk 

In Britain the attempts of Charles I to impose his 
religious policies on the Scots exposed the weakness at the 
core of the Stuart monarchy. Charles attempted to govern 
and raise revenues without Parliament throughout the 
1630s, but be was confronted hy a tax-payers' revolt and hy 
the fact that he could not raise an army without sonic form 
of parliamentary grant. The summoning of Parliament in 
164(1 triggered a sequence of events that imposed shackles 
on the king's powers and then provoked him to try a 
military solution The resulting civil war ( 1642— IS) led to 
the king's execution and the proclamation of a republic in 
1649. Opposition in Ireland and Scotland was crushed in 
1649-50 by the New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell. 
In 1653 the republic was replaced by a military dictator- 
ship, with Cromwell as "Lord Protector". 

During the same period, in the United Provinces of the 
Netherlands (formed in 157') after the Protestant Prince 
William 1 of Orange led a revolt against Spanish Catholic 
rule), an attempt to impose quasi- royal rule tinder William 
II of Orange collapsed and the Orangist Parly was purged 
from positions of power by the oligarchic States Party, There 
were also struggles for power in Sweden, and in the 1620s 
and 1630s large-scale peasant revolts broke out in the 
Alpine territories of the Austrian Habsburgs. Further east, 
Cossack rebellions flared up in the Polish Commonwealth 
in the 1640s and 1650s and in Russia in the 1670s, 

Not surprisingly, some contemporaries saw a pattern in 
all this. The English preacher Jeremiah Whittaker declared 
in 1643 that "these are days of shaking and this shaking is 
universal". Some modem historians have discerned a sys- 
tematic "general crisis" in which the political upheavals of 
the mid-1 7th century were a symptom of profound eco- 
nomic transformation. In contrast, the trend throughout 
Furope after 1 660 was towards political stability. 





IttHS ■•*"" 
-^ — ^,, 



Black Sei 



' < >■ ( 

rr a 

n c o 

S e u 


The establishment of stability 

Peasant revolts continued in France until the 1670s. 
However, despite the continuation of severe economic 
problems and the massive growth of armed forces to enable 
the annexation of territory (map 2), these revolts did not 
seriously threaten the state. After Mazarin's death in 1661 
Louis XIV assumed personal rule, which deflected the 
discontent of the nobility and assuaged the conflicts 
between government, officialdom and the courts. Thereafter 
he ruled as absolute monarch with the aid of a centralized 
bureaucratic government - a pattern which was to continue 
until 1789. Without any significant opposition, Louis was 
able to impose religious uniformity in 1685. 

The doctrine of "absolute power", though not new, 
became the keynote for many rulers eager to imitate the 
splendours of Louis' court at Versailles. In east-central 
Europe the Hohenzollerns - rulers of Brandenburg and 
Prussia - gradually increased their power after the Elector 
Frederick William I came to an agreement with the nobil- 
ity, under which his military powers were extended in 
return for the reinforcement of their controls over their ten- 
antry. By the middle of the 18th century the power of the 
Prussian state (map 3) equalled that of the Habsburgs in 
Vienna, who were themselves building an empire in the 
Danubian region (pages 152-53). 

Concert of Europe 

Elsewhere in Europe the defeat of the monarchy led to the 
emergence of oligarchic parliamentary systems - Britain 
from 1689, the United Provinces from 1702, Sweden from 
1721. In Spain, the regime of the Bourbon dynasty, con- 
firmed by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, imposed a 
centralized government on the French model. Thus, 
although major wars continued to be endemic and com- 
mercial rivalry both in Europe and overseas was fierce, 
governments were far more securely anchored than in the 
earlier 17th century. Religious uniformity, while still 
formally insisted on, was in practice no longer so vital. A 
Europe in which one or other dynastic state (Spain in the 
16th century, France in the 17th century) threatened to 
dominate the rest had been replaced by a "concert of 
Europe" of roughly balanced powers that was to last until 
the revolutionary period in the 1790s. 

2 The acoj is mo hs of Lou is XIV 1 643—1 71 5 

| Finite I&43 

__| itm<xa#dbt\nm\ffl-W 

| bqurshoiu 1552 (utfnMd \hi&) 

| Ten impend uiies ws fttxh France 

[ 1 kquisitarc F 643-1 661 

yarned juriJrfcriori 1 643, amttaf 1A72 

1 | i^wsiixre 1662-1715 

| Di.ihyaf liwrwra flaupied by France 


1434-5? rj,dlfc/0-9? 

LnsraiTi [ingii.ilic fraiMia 

Fcrtiasa twill iii sneripthtiiud by Vulwdt 


-4 From the 1 660s Louis XIV built on 
acquisitions made under Cardinal Richelieu 
to expand French territory at the expense of 
the Holy Roman Empire. Ihe high point of 
his achievements came in 1 684 when his 
acquisition of Luxembourg during a war 
with Spain and the Empire was confirmed by 
the Treaty of Regensburg. From 1 685 the 
threat he posed to other powers led to a 
series of alliances being formed against him. 
Eventually, the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) 
placed limits on French expansion. 

T Hie duchy of Prussia, founded in 1 525 
out of the remaining lands of the Teutonic 
Knights, passed to the Hohenzollern electors 
of Brandenburg in 1 61 8. Under Elector 
Frederick William I (1640-88), 
Brandenburg-Prussia did well out of the 
Peace of Westphalia in 1 648 and the 
Northern War ( 1 655-60) to extend its 
territories. His successors continued the 
process of expansion until Frederick the 
Great (1740-86) put the seal on the 
emergence of Prussia as a great power by 
his successful annexation of Silesia in the 
War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). 



east Prussia! sense© 


1 V"1 X UjtD 



3 The expansion of Prussia 


3 1 1488 
3 1 698-1 7 1 3 


\772 Tear of KDjjisiliwi of period of possession. 

BoundffY ot me FSoly Roman Empire 1 766 

A Bcmewrtioon 

© EUROPEAN STATES 1500-1600 pages 146-47 © REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE AND NAPOLEONIC EUROPE 1789-1815 pages 266-67 



The rising cost of waging war in 
the i »th century 

Average annual Spanish expenditure 
(in florins) 

A By the late 1 6tfi century the military 
expenditure of the Spanish monarchy had 
placed a severe burden an Castile. Philip il's 
armies were periodically left without pay, 
resulting in nine major mutinies in the army 
of Flanders between 1 570 and 1 607. 

V Ihe oevelopmeut el frontiers was 
accompanied by the construction of (new 
networks el fortifications, far example in 
northern France and in Russia Die Habs- 
burgs mobMed a militarily governed 
frontier zone in Hungary and Croatia, 
in which soldiers \ often Serbs) were 
settled in vilnges lor defence 
against the Ottomans. 

I Major fortifications 


■ hrfonani fortress 

$ Siegs «» oUa 

i\ Major borrlemrh dote 
— fessai ChHB Sm 
i^5 httetug rotor* fraibtt 

# ttai raffle for ornn flnl 


.etween the 15th and INth v:t:iitnri<js F.uropean warfare 
. was massively transformed in scale and complexity, 
'ami this had a powerful impact mi both state and 
society, It has been argued that the transformation 
amounted to a "military revolution" led by the Swedes and 
the Dutch in the decades arnutul Id(K). However, this view 
underestimates the role of France and Spain, and the 
process of military change is now seen as one that was 
evolutionary rather than revolutionary, 

Armies ajjo the htate 

The driving force behind military change was the develop- 
ment of a highly competitive stale structure, Itoth regionally 
(as in 15th-century Italy) and across Europe, Countries 
which had not invested in major military reorganization by 
the 17th century - such as Poland - were seriously disad- 
vantaged, but in those countries where military expenditure 
was high the impact was felt at all levels of society. 
Governments needed to he able to mobilize resources for 
war on a large scale, and this led to many western European 
states becoming "machines built for the battlefield", their 
essential purpose being to raise, provision and deploy 
armies in the pursuit of their ruler's strategic objectives, 
In going to war, European rulers in the Kith and 1 7th cen- 
turies were primarily concerned with safeguarding the 
interests of their dynasties, as in the ease of the Italian and 
flabsbttrg-Valnis Wars in I he 15211s to 1 550s (ridges 14(>-47, 
152-53), although at times religious and commercial 

concerns also played a role. In addition there were several 
civil wars involving a degree of ideological or religious 
dispute, such as the French Wars of Religion 1 1562-98) and 

the English Civil War 1 1642-1N). 


Changes in warfare were made possible by a number of 
crucial technical innovations. First, the growing sophistica- 
tion of artillery' in the 15th century altered the terms of war 
in favour of attack In mid- 15rh-ecn tarry France, more 
effective, smaller-calibre bronze cannons replaced the 
existing, unreliable wrought -iron version. One of the most 
widely noted features of Charles Mil's invasion of Italy in 
1494 was his deployment of the formidable French royal 
artillery. Bronze, however, was expensive, and the next 
important development was the manufacture of reliable 
east-iron guns in England during the 1540s. Cast-iron guns 
were three or four times cheaper than their bronze equiva- 
lents, and the traditional cannon foundries of Europe were 
unable to compete until the next century. 

The earliest cautions were huge and unwieldy, best 
suited for sieves. The major powers - Italy, France and 
iSpain — therefore embarked on highly expensive pro- 
grammes of refortification to render fortresses and cities 
impregnable to artillery bombardment. By the late Kith 
century, high and relatively thin walls and towers had given 
way to earthwork constructions consisting of ditches and 
ramparts which were to dominate the landscape of many 



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European cities until they were dismantled in the 19th 
century. This rendered warfare much more static, with cam- 
paigns centring on great siege operations; some of the major 
battles of the period - Pavia (1525), St-Quentin (1557), 
Nordlingen (1634), Rocroi (1643) and Vienna (1683) were 
linked to such sieges (map 1). As a consequence of these 
developments in siege warfare, wars of rapid movement of 
the kind embarked upon by the English in 14th-century 
France became unthinkable. 

Changes on the battlefield 

Artillery had its place on the battlefield, but because of dif- 
ficulties in using it tactically, it was slow to gain dominance. 
A further agent for change was the application of a diversity 
of armaments, formations and tactics: heavily armed cavalry 
gradually gave way to massed ranks of pikemen and, from 
the early 16th century onwards, archers began to be 
replaced by infantry armed with handguns. At Ravenna 
(1512), Marignano (1515) and Bicocca (1522), field artillery 
and handguns inflicted severe casualties on pike squares. To 
combat this, large mixed infantry formations were used, 
armed partly with pikes and partly with muskets. 

Despite these developments, the heavy cavalry did not 
disappear; in fact cavalry in general was overhauled to make 

use of firearms, most notably among the German reiters. 
Commanders now sought to organize infantry and cavalry 
more effectively. However, it was still difficult to manoeuvre 
large groups of men on the battlefield, especially since the 
main battles consisted of vast squares of infantrymen. The 
necessity of increasing the rate of fire of handguns led to the 
development by the Dutch armies in the 1590s of "volley 
fire", in which the infantry was laid out in long lines, firing 
rank after rank. The development of the "countermarch" - 
a combination of volley fire, advancing ranks and cavalry 
charging with their swords drawn - gave the Swedish king 
Gustav Adolf's armies the crucial edge in the 1630s, for 
example in the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631 (map 2). 

All these changes meant that battles took place over 
larger areas and involved greater numbers of soldiers. In 
1525, at Pavia, the French king's army of 28,000 men was 
defeated by a Habsburg army of 20,000; at Breitenfeld 
Gustav Adolf had 41,000 against 31,000 Habsburg troops; in 
1709, at Malplaquet, a French army of 76,000 faced an 
Allied army of 105,000. While the maximum number sus- 
tainable for a whole campaign in the mid-16th century 
seems to have been about 50,000, by 1700 the number was 
around 200,000 and by 1710 France, for example, could 
sustain a total military establishment of 310,000 men. 

< The Thirty Years War was in fact a 
complex of wars which combined dynastic 
and strategic conflict with religious 
struggles, the latter breaking out both 
within and between states. Germany 
became a battleground in which all the 
military powers developed and tested their 
strength; the armies frequently plundered 
towns, villages and farms for supplies, 
adding to the devastation. Each phase of 
the war saw a widening area of operations. 
The Holy Roman Emperor's power was at its 
height in 1 629 but thereafter began to 
collapse. Foreign intervention prolonged the 
war from 1635 to 1648. 

The composition of armies 

Spadit Amy of flwatu I57S 

ipflBtSi mlWy M rkWoffi I Bit 

IrwtH.yJAi., li«-0l 

▲ During the 16th century foreign 
mercenaries frequently outnumbered 
national subjects in the armies of the kings 
of France and Spain. Gradually the Italians, 
who had been the great soldiers of fortune 
in the 1 5th century, were supplanted first 
by the Swiss and then by Germans from 
the Rhineland and Westphalia. English 
mercenaries served in the Netherlands in 
the later 1 6th century, and Scots were 
particularly active in Germany during 
the Thirty Years War. 

© EUROPE 1350-1500 pages 106-7 O REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE AND NAPOLEONIC EUROPE 1789-1815 pages 166-67 


Between 1770 and the outbreak of the First World War in 1^14 a suecession 
of revolutions, industrial as well as political, brought widespread material 
progress and social change. These developments were international in 
character although their global impact was unevenly distributed. They had a 
common origin in the unparalleled expansion of European influence - 
economic, political, demographic and cultural - throughout the world. 

*■ In lh» mtd-1 Mi cainlvry 

Biiioin wm iht world's leading 
industrial nation, ofehoogh it 
amess of indintrnliiatiofl win 
galHering momentum in 
continental Europe and the 
United States. Britain's leading 
portion was demonstrated by 
ibe Gienl Exhibition, which 
opened in London in 1851 and 
cantoned em 7,000 Iriftth and 
as many loreian exhibits divided 
into four main (olegorias: row 
malcrialv machinery. 
manufactures and fine aits. It 
was housed in o specially budl 
it on and glass exhibition hall 
(ttw "Crystal Palate") which was 
rhdl a tint e»ompl» of Stilish 
MgiMMtng sitls. 

In tli is period most lit' the Americas, Africa and 
Australasia, together with much of Asia, became 
dominated cither by Kuropcatt states, or by 
peoples odf European culture and descent. This 
process, which slowly hut surely transformed the 
character of global civilization and forged the 
modem world, was based largely on Europe's 
economic and technological ascendancy By the 
ititd-l.stii century European commercial primacy 
was already established, bin its lead in 
manufacturing was apparent only in smite areas, 
such as armaments, ships and books, and it lagged 
behind Asia in a tew fields, such as porcelain and 
textile manufacture. 

In the later I Nth and early I'ith centuries there 
«:i> a new wave of economic growth and 
development, first in Britain and then in northwest 
Europe, This involved the concentration and 
mechanization of manufacturing in factories, and 
the use of eoal to generate steam power - changes 
which, while not entirely replacing domestic 
production or more traditional energy sources. 
revolutionized production, initially of textiles and 
iron and subsequently of other industries. Later 

known as the "Industrial Revolution", the changes 
led to such a rapid increase in manufacturing that 
by the middle of the l'Jth century Britain was 
described as "the workshop of the world". 


During the TJth century, industrialization spread 
first to northwestern Kurope and the eastern states 
of the Tinted States, and then further afield. This 
led to an enormous increase in world trade (which 
trebled between 187(1 and 1414) and in mass 
manufacturing. By 1 WO both the Tufted States and 
Germany surpassed Britain in some areas of 
production, such as that of iron and steel, Despite 
this, Britain remained the leading international 
trader and investor, with London the centre of the 
world capital market and of the international gold 
standard, Britain was also the most urbanized 
society in the world, with only a tiny minority of its 
population directly working in agriculture 

Elsewhere, the majority of the population - even 
in developed countries such as the Tnited States 
and K ranee -still lived and worked in rural areas. 
much as their forebears bad done. (Hohnl trade, 

industrialization and urbanization were still 
relatively undeveloped in 1914, yet Western 
innovations had already transformed many aspects 
of life throughout the world. Steam power provided 
energy not only for factories but also for railways 
and ocean-going ships, which, along with the 
telegraph and later the telephone, dramatically 
reduced the time and eost of long-distance 
transport and communications. 


In the political sphere the American Revolution of 
1775-83, which ended British rule over the 
Thirteen Colonies, was followed by the French 
Revolution, which began in 1789 and signalled a 
new era in the "Old World". Tom Paine, an 
influential transatlantic radical wrote in 1791: "It Is 
an age of Revolutions in which everything may be 
looked for." His optimism was premature, however, 
for the French Revolution failed in both its Jacobin 
and Napoleonic forms and was followed, after 1815, 
by a period of reaction in Europe, led by the 
autocratic rulers of Russia, Austria and Prussia. 
This did not, however, prevent the growth of 
Liberalism in Europe, which led to revolutions in 
France and Belgium in 18.10 and to reforms in 
other countries such as Britain. In 1848 there were 
further revolutions in France and Germany which, 
although not entirely successful, led to the 
democratization of political institutions in western 
Europe. By the early 20th century all European 
states, including Russia, had representative 
assemblies, most of which were elected by a wide 
adult male suffrage. Women were still generally 
excluded from the franchise, but this restriction 
was being challenged and undermined by 
campaigners in Europe and North America. In the 
United States and the British dominions most white 
men and some women could vote, but not the non- 
European ethnic groups. 

In most of the world non-democratic forms of 
government prevailed (map I), in both the Middle 
and the Far East, dynastic rulers with autocratic 
powers flourished until the second decade of the 
20th century. In the Asian, African and Caribbean 
colonies of the European powers, the native 
inhabitants were generally not allowed any direct 
voice in government, liven in Europe, democracy 
developed under the cloak of a much older and 
more absolutist political tradition: hereditary 
monarchy. Prance was the only major European 
power to become a republic before 1917. Bismarck 
- the dominant political figure in late 19th-century 
Europe - remained Chancellor of Germany only as 
long as he retained the support of the kaiser. The 
importance of hereditary dynasties in the European 
state system was illustrated when the murder of the 
Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, at Sarajevo in 
1914 precipitated the First World War. 

A ihe European revolutions of 
1 848, sparked off by ihe 

overthrow ol King Louis Philippe 
in Frame and the seizure ol the 
Chamber ol Deputies (shown 
here), largely foiled in Iheir 
short-term socialist aims. In Ihe 
long term rhey encouraged ihe 
liberalization and 
democratization of many 
Europeon constfrutions 

1 PtMlIlCAL ststems 1914 
2 Oepublk 

^] (onstiMwiol (wwrfpf 
^ ksiunfk Jiwouiy 
I I (otad tmtxi 

•4 All independent countries in 
the Americas embrated 
republicanism during the 1 9lh 
century, although the franchise 
was usually extremely limited 
ond elections were often 
suspended. By 1914 much ol 
Europe was ruled by elected 
governments, although outside 
France and Portugal manarchs 
still acted as heads ol state. The 
extent to which they actually 
exercised power varied From 
country la country, as did the 
proportion al citizens entitled to 
vote. Those areas of Asia and 
Africa not under European 
control or influence were ruled 
by autocratic monarchs. 


-sstftf 5 

2 Major Europe** conflicts 1 770-1913 


Ciinpoipi ■miltiin Nnpolsiw Win I7M-IStS 
Wn ill: © iwJflpernlend 

A twfroral e^jxnaon -a civil ^riF-e 


.M r il i I c r i .i " 


/ V 

A Military conflicts withir 
Europe in ibis period wete 
caused largely by (he leu hdi iuI 

ambitions of the French, the 
Russians and the Prussians. 
Smaller conflicts arose os 
Belgium. Greece, Hungary, Italy 
unci nl trie very end of the 
period, the Balkan states, (ought 
off colonial cule and established 
theic independence. 

▼ The American Civil Wor ivns 
the Moodiest con flic t in American 
history. The unsuccessful attempt 
by ihe outnumbered Cunfedeiales 
to storm ihe Unionists during the 
Batlle of Gettysburg in July 1863 
is generally considered to he the 
turning point ol the wor. 


In the 19th century Europe was the most powerful 
region in the world botli in economic and military 
terms, but it was seldom united either at the 
national or the international level. The growth of 
nationalist sentiment encouraged die emergence of 
''nation-states" such as Germany and Italy, hut 
several great powers - Russia, Austria and tlic 
United Kingdom - were composed of different 
ethnic groups whose antipathies to each other were 
increased by the growth of nationalist feeling. 
Nationalism and territorial ambition led many 
European countries to attack one another. There 
were numerous wars in western Europe as well as 
in the unstable region of the Balkans (map 2). 

The Fran uo -Prussian war of 1870-71 generated 
not only hundreds of thousands of casualties but 
also the Paris Commune., in which socialists briefly 
seized power. The late 1 9th century saw the 
emergence of new ideologies of egalitarianism and 

class conflict - Marxism, syndicalism and 
anarchism - which rejected liberal democracy and 
favoured "direct action" such as industrial strikes 
and assassination. 

Europe was a divided continent long before the 
First World War (1914-18) exacerbated its 
problems. This was apparent even on other 
continents, where many wars in the late 18th and 
19th centuries were fought between European 
powers (map 3). France and Spain, for example, 
helped the American colonists gain their 
independence from Britain, and Britain captured 
many French, Spanish and Dutch colonies during 
its struggle with Napoleon. 


The period 1770-1914 has been described as the 
"Age of European Imperialism" because it was 
characterized by a rapid expansion in European 
influence over the rest of the world. However, at no 
time between 1770 and 1914 was most of the world 
under direct European control. In the Americas 
European colonial rule was confined to the 
periphery, while in the Middle East and Asia 
important indigenous states survived despite the 
expansion of European influence. The extensive 
Manchu Qing Empire remained largely intact until 
the second decade of the 20th century. 

Japan acquired a maritime empire and rapidly 
developed its manufactures and foreign trade with 
the help of Western technology. Other Asian rulers, 
such as the shahs of Persia and the kings of Siam, 
kept their independence by playing off European 
rivals against each other. Even in India - regarded 
by the British as the most valuable part of their 
empire - control of about half the subcontinent was 
shared with native maharajahs. In Africa most of 
the interior remained beyond direct European 
control until the late 19th century. Furthermore, 
some native African states inflicted defeat on 
European armies - as the Zulus did at Isandhlwana 
in 1879, the Mahdists at Khartoum in 1885 and the 
Ethiopians at Adowa in 1896. 

Most European colonies were of minor economic 
importance to their mother countries, although 
there were some notable exceptions. Few colonies 
outside North America attracted large numbers of 
European settlers, except Australia, where the 
initial settlements were established with the aid of 
transported convicts. Very few Europeans settled in 
equatorial Africa or Asia, and even India attracted 
only a few thousand long-term British residents. 


In the 19th century the distribution of the world's 
population changed considerably. Although Asia 
remained far more populous than any other 
continent, the population of Europe increased 
rapidly, while that of North America exploded - 
largely as a result of European migration. The 

expansion of the European empires in Africa and 
Asia facilitated both Asian and European migration, 
while the African slave trade continued to Brazil 
and Cuba until tlic late 19th century. 

The great majority of people who left Europe - 
more than 30 million over the period - migrated to 
the United States. Americans, although they often 
retained some aspects of their European heritage, 
were proud that they had left the restrictions and 
conflicts of the "Old World" for the opportunities 
and advantages of the "New World" and supported 
the isolationist policy of the US government. The 
combination of a low tax burden with rapid 
westward expansion and industrialization gave the 
majority of white Americans a very high standard 
of living. By the late 19th century the United States 
was the richest nation in the world, although its 
military power and international status were still 
rel a t i vel y u nde ve loped . 


The worldwide success of the European peoples 
encouraged them to believe in their own 
superiority, hut it also exposed them to other 
cultures which subtly altered their own civilization. 
Japanese art, for example, inspired French and 
Dutch painters and British designers, while 
Hinduism prompted the fashionable cult of 
theosophy. In N'orth America, popular music was 
influenced by African-American blues and jazz. 
In Latin America Roman Catholicism became 
the main religion of the native peoples, but was 
obliged to make compromises with local practices 
and beliefs. Outside the Americas European 
Christianity had little success in converting other 

ethnic and religious groups. Islam, for example, 
remained dominant in the Middle East and much of 
South and Southeast Asia, while Hinduism 
remained the religion of the majority in India. The 
Chinese and the Japanese largely remained loyal to 
their traditional religions, despite much missionary 
activity by the Christian churches, which was often 
prompted by deep divisions between the Protestant 
and Roman Catholic churches. 

Throughout the period the vast majority of the 
world's ethnic groups remained attached to their 
own indigenous traditions and had little knowledge 
of other languages or cultures. Even in 1914 
European influence on the world was stilt limited 
and undeveloped in many respects. The largest 
European transcontinental empires - those of 
Britain and France - did not reach their apogee 
until after the First World War, and European 
cultural influence only reached its zenith in the 
later 20th century, by which time it had been 
subsumed in a wider "Westernization" of the world. 

A Many of the wars outside 
Europe were fought by European 
power;, or by people of 
European origin. In Latin 
Amerito, lor example, there was 
o sequence of wars at liberation, 
a; the Spanish colonial elites 
staged successful revolutions 
cgninst rule from Spain. 

^ One effect of the increased 
contact between Europe and the 
countries ol Asia during the 1 9th 
century was on exchange of 
cultural influences. The landscape 
woodcuts of Kolsushika Hokusoi, 
such as (his view af Mount Fuji 
(mm Nolcahara - one of a series 
entitled IhirtySix Vism ol 
Mount fu/7 1 1B26-33)- ate 
recognized as having influenced 
the work of Von Gogh ond other 
European artists. 


A The Declaration ai Independence was 
drafted by Thomas Jefferson 1 <ighf\ : with 
the assistance af Benjamin Frcnkiin (left 
and John Adams (cejirve), and adopted by 
the Continental Congress on 4 jwly 1774. 

T In 1 763 Britain cmloganiied the 
rkiericon colonists by unilaterally deciding 
to maintain a standing army in North 
America to protect its newly acquired assets, 
and by prohibiting while settlement to the 
west of on imposed Proclamation Line. 

The American Revolution or War tit" Indeixindeiiee gave 
birtli tu ci new nation, die I'nited Status of America, It 
involved wro simultaneous struggles: a military conflict 
with Britain, which was largely resolved by 17S], and a poli- 
tical conflict within America itself over whether to demand 
complete Independence from Britain and, if so, how the 
resulting new nation should be structured. 

Prior to the outbreak of war in ] 775, the territory that 
became the United States comprised thirteen separate 
British colonies, each with its own distinct burgeoning 
culture, institutions and economy {mup 1 ). Before 1763 the 
colonists, with their own colonial legislatures, had enjoyed 
a large measure of self-government, except in overseas 
trade, and had rarely objected to their membership of the 
British Empire. Changes to British policy after 176.1 gradu- 
ally destroyed this arrangement and created a sense of 
common grievance among the colonies. 

Causes hik ctuevance 

The spoils of the Seven Years War (1756-63) greatly 
enlarged the territory of British North America and estab- 
lished British dominance over the continent {miip 2). in 
order to police this vast area and to reduce substantial 
wiirtime debt, the British government took steps to manage 
its North American empire more effectively. Customs offi- 
cers were ordered to enforce long-standing laws regulating 
colonial shipping (Navigation Acts. 1650-96), and a series 
of measures was passed hy the British parliament which fur 
the first lime taxed the colonists directly (Sugar Act, 1 764; 
Quartering Acts, 1765; Ktanip Act, 1765). Having no repre- 
sentation in the British parliament, the colonists viewed 
these measures as a deli berate attempt to bypass the colo- 
nial assemblies, and they responded by boycotting British 
goods. Although most of these taxes were repealed in 1770, 
Committees of Correspondence were organized throughout 
the Thirteen Colonies to publicize American grievances 




Gulf of Mexiea 

2 British North America 

n Thw rtilrle&n {&m& 
I Otter fyjriiti lerhloritt 

__J Indion Encme 
I I Snunifsfi ntcrilUHY 

Boundary of fit* Rhrnw (onmh* [754 

— — PrOElnrranMi' Linr* <rf I ?fi3 

flutndarr at Qvota q-stobli vJi-od 1 77-1 





1 The colonial economy c.l 770 



J IrapM 


[flttio Dtid grain 



^\ Rite nod indipjo 




y ::-. ; 


". '.>.'': 

A Between 1 700 aid 1 770 the economic 
structure of the American colonies became 
increasingly diversified and sophisticated as 
the population increased sixfold la some 
1 .500.000. Manufacturing developed cm a 

significant scale and ihere was a dramatic 
growth of liade, not only with the mother 
country and the British West Indies hut also 
- illegally - with the French West Indies 
□nd continental Europe. 

In response to the Tea Act of 1773, a symbolic "tea 
party" was held when protestors dumped incoming tea into 
Boston harbour rather than pay another "unjust" lax. The 
situation worsened when the boundaries of the now-British 
colony of Quebec were extended to the territory north of 
the Ohio River (Quebec Act, 1774). Feeling the need to 
enforce its authority, Britain passed the Coercive Acts of 
1774 (the "Intolerable Acts"), which closed Boston harbour 
and imposed a form of martial law. Meeting in Philadelphia 
in 1774, the First Continental Congress asserted the right 
to "no taxation without representation" and, although still 
hoping that an amicable settlement could be reached with 
Britain, denounced these new British laws as violations of 
Am erica n rigliis. When lii'ilnin made it clear that die 
colonics must either submit to its rule or be crushed (the 
Restraining Act. 1775), the movement for full American 
independence began. War broke out when British troops 
clashed with the colonial militia at l^exington and Concord 
in April 1 775. 

At the start of the war, the American cause seemed pre- 
carious. The colonists were deeply divided about what they 
were fighting for and faced the full might of the British 
limpire. Britain had the greatest navy and the best-equipped 
army III the world, although the small size of the British amn- 
io the American colonies - composed of regular soldiers, 
American loyalists, I lessian mercenaries and Native American 
trilies, especially the Six Nations and the Cherokee - is evi- 
dence that Britain did not initially take the American threat 
seriously The Americans, however, with militiamen and 
volunteers, had more than enough manpower to defend them- 
selves, and in most batiks they outnumbered British troops. 
Much of the fighting, especially in the south, took the form of 
guerrilla warfare, at which American militiamen, aided by the 
civilian population, were much more adept than the British 
regular troops. They had the advantage of fighting on their 
own territory and, unlike the British, had easy access to sup- 
plies. By the war's end America had also won the support of 
Britain's enemies - France, Spain and Holland. 



The Declaration of Inhepemuence 

On 4 July 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted 
Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence* This 
document furnished the moral and philosophical justifica- 
tion for tile rehelliiHi, arguing that governments are formed 
in order tri secure the "self-evident" truth of the right of 
each individual to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" 
and that their power is derived from the consent of those 
they govern. Grounded in the notion that "all men arc 
created equal 1 ', the Declaration asserted the colonists' inde- 
pendence from Britain and effective!)' cut all ties with the 
mother country. 

■ kielK 

Dec 1775 

3 The American War of (ndepekdencf 1775-S3 

© finlisli victory 

<™^ American Ihmji or dsvqI 

."iwniRr ..;■■■'..',. 


No detiuve «tt«y 

4* French norol presence 

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Oct 1779 

31 » Parotkt 

Phases in thk ekjiitim; 
The fighting took place in 
tree distinct phases. The 
st phase (1775-76) was 
inly located in New 
land but culminated in the 
American failure to capture 
Quebec in December 1775, tlvus 
nabling the iiritish to retain 
nada. The middle phase 
'6-79) was fought mainly in the 
mid- Atlantic region. The American 
victory at Saratoga (October 1777) 
proved to be a major turning point 
in the war as it galvanized France 
into entering the war on America's 
side, contributing badly needed finan- 
cial aid and its powerful navy and 
troops. The final phase took place in the 
south and west (1778-81). Naval warfare 
now assumed greater importance, with 
French/American and British ships lighting for 
control of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean 
Sea. Spain declared war against Britain in .lunc 
1779, followed by Holland in 178(). In September 1781 
the French fleet drove the British navy from Chesapeake 
Bay, preparing die way for the British surrender at Yorktown 
(Oetober 1781). the last major battle of the war. 

Occasional fighting continued for over a year, but a new 
British cabinet decided to open peace negotiations. The 
Treaty of Paris (September 17R1) recognized the new repulv 
lie and established generous boundaries from the Atlantic 
Coast to the Mississippi, and from the Oreat hakes and 
Canada to the 31st parallel in the south. The Revolution was 
not accepted by all Americans (about one-third remained 
loyal to Britain), and up to 100,000 colonists fled the 
country to form the core of English-speaking Canada (pages 
188-89). The ideas expressed in the Declaration of 
Independence were enshrined in the American Constitution 
of 1 789, which legally established the federal republic and 
was subsequently used as an inspiration for other liberation 
movements, most notably in France. 

A The baldefronls of the American Wor 
of Independence sketched from Quebec in 
the north ID Florida in the south, and from 
the Atlantic coast as for west as what is now 
southwestern Illinois. The dense American 
forest and wilderness had o crucial import 
on the movement of troops, end the 
proximity of olmosl all the battlefields to 
either the sea or a river indirales the still- 
primitive nature af overland 

© COLONIZATION OF NORTH AMERICA 1600-1763 pages 124-25 © WESTWARD EXPANSION OF THE UNITED STATES 1783-1910 pages 182-83 

EUROPE 1789-1815 

▲ The French Revolution did not occur 
simultaneously throughout the country, but 
spread out into the countryside from urban 
centres. Some areas remained stubbornly 
resistant to revolutionary rule, but by the 
mid-1790s even these were brought under 
the control of central government. The 
crowned heads of Europe feared the spread 
of revolutionary fervour into their own 
countries, and were thus anxious to quell 
the revolutionary French. However, the 
Austrians were eventually defeated at 
Fleurus, while the Prussians were repulsed in 
Alsace, as were the Sardinians in Savoy, the 
Spanish in the south, and the British on the 
Vendee coast and the Mediterranean. 
Avignon (a papal state) was incorporated 
into France in 1791. 

The French Revolution of 1789 represented a major 
turning point in the history of continental Europe, for 
it marked the beginning of the demise of absolutist 
monarchies and their replacement by nation states in which 
the middle classes held political power. It arose partly from 
attempts by rung Louis XVI to overcome a mounting finan- 
cial crisis by summoning the Estates-General, a body of 
elected representatives which had not met since 1614. He 
thus aroused hopes of reform among the Third Estate (the 
bourgeoisie or middle classes) - hopes that could only be 
fulfilled by an attack on the judicial and financial privileges 
of the First and Second Estates (the aristocracy and clergy). 
While the king prevaricated, the First and Second Estates 
refused to surrender any of their privileges, and on 17 June 
1789 the Third Estate proclaimed itself a National Assembly. 
Riots had broken out in many parts of France early in 
1789 (map 1) in response to a disastrous harvest in 1788 
that had reduced many peasants and industrial workers to 
starvation. When the people of Paris stormed the Bastille 
prison - symbol of royal absolutism - on 4 July 1789, an 
enormous wave of popular unrest swept the country, and in 
what was known as the "Great Fear" the property of the 
aristocracy was looted or seized. The National Assembly 
reacted by abolishing the tax privileges of the aristocracy 
and clergy and promulgating the"Declaration of the Rights 
of Man and of the Citizen", in which the main principles of 
bourgeois democracy - liberty, equality, property rights and 
freedom of speech - were enunciated. Other reforms fol- 
lowed, including the replacement of the provinces of France 
by a centralized state divided into 84 departments. 

Powerless to stop these changes, the king tried, unsuc- 
cessfully, to flee the country in June 1791, thus provoking 

anti-royalist attacks. Tension between the moderates and 
anti-royalists grew as French royalist armies, backed by 
Austria and Prussia, gathered on France's borders. In April 
1792 war was declared on Austria, and in September the 
Prussians invaded northeastern France, but were repulsed 
at Valmy (map 1). A new National Convention, elected by 
universal male suffrage, declared France a republic. 

The Terror 

Louis XVI was put on trial and executed in January 1793. 
Anti-revolutionary uprisings, the presence on French soil of 
enemy armies and continuing economic problems, led to a 
sense of national emergency. The Assembly appointed a 
Committee of Public Safety, dominated by the extremist 
Jacobins and led by Robespierre. A reign of terror began, 
with the aim of imposing revolutionary principles by force, 
and more than 40,000 people (70 per cent of them from the 
peasantry or labouring classes) were executed as "enemies 
of the Revolution". 

In order to combat the foreign threat, the Committee of 
Public Safety introduced conscription. During 1794 the 
French proved successful against the invading forces of the 
First Coalition (map 3), and victory at Fleurus in June left 
them in control of the Austrian Netherlands. In July the 
moderate faction ousted Robespierre, who went to the guil- 
lotine. Executive power was then vested in a Directory of 
five members, and a five-year period of moderation set in. 

The Rise of Napoleon 

The Directory made peace with Prussia, the Netherlands 
and Spain, but launched an offensive against Austria in Italy, 
headed by a young general, Napoleon Bonaparte (map 2). 
He was brilliantly successful during 1796, forcing Austria 
out of the war, but then led an unsuccessful expedition to 
Egypt to try and cut Britain's communications with its 
Indian empire. Meanwhile, the Directory had become pro- 
foundly unpopular with all sections of the population, and 
was overthrown by Napoleon on his return to France in 
October 1799. In 1800, following the first-ever plebiscite, 
from which he gained overwhelming support, he was con- 
firmed as First Consul of France - a position that gave him 
supreme authority. He proceeded to introduce a number of 

2 Napoleonic Europe 1 796-1 81 S 

^H Frame) 1792 

Aran Lwder tal Fiench nih I W- 1 615. 

^] for more Itwn 10 years ^ SoreltorerjmflsinlSlO 

^] 5 - 1 (Mis ^- *nso iMiriiin which deportirianlci ndrniniiiiiilian inlrnduced 

I j lass rhon S years 
French uktay • wlltl duras, French dafaai ® wirh dales in wars aoaira] 

• Fini Caalirian 1 796— *7 • Sscmt Codiliai 1798-9) 

• Krd CoaMn I90S • fou* Coctiion ISM -7 

• Fifth Mr™ 1 609 - 1 5 (induing termsto War 1 60S -1 1 . Auslrar. War 1 809, 
Itakai (amnogn 1 6I2-H Woof Obmhon 1813, Campaign allBH-l S) 

-* EsfrHi»nCoriB9iil798-lJOI 


measures to create a centralized administrative structure, 
including the founding of the Rank of France in 1800. 
Between 1801 and 1804 a body of laws was created, known 
as tile Napoleonic Civil Code, which embodied many of the 
fundamental principles of the FYeuch Revolution and was 
subsequently imposed in countries conquered by N'apoleon's 
armies, in 1801 be signed a concordat with the Pope, thus 
helping to ensure that he received the Pope's approval when 
he declared himself emperor in 1804. 

Military campakiks 

By the end of 1800 France had once again defeated Austrian 
forces in northern Italy and by February 180] it had made 
peace wiili all its opponents except Britain. The following 
year it signed the Treaty of Amiens with Britain, but the 
resulting period of peace was not to last long, and in 1805 
Austria, Russia and Sweden joined Britain to form the Third 
Coalition (map J). In October the French fleet was com- 
pletely destroyed by the British in the (tattle of Trafalgar, 
but by the end of the year Napoleon's armies had inflicted 
heavy defeats on the Austrians and Russians at Ulm and 
Austerlitz respectively. They then moved on through the 
German states, defeating the Prussians in Oetoher 1806, 
Following his defeat of the Russians at Friedland in June 
18(17. Napoleon persuaded the tsar to join forces with 
France to defeat Britain, which once again was isolated as 
Napoleon's sole effective opponent. 

War against the Fifth Cuamtion 

In 1808 Charles IV of Spain was forced to abdicate in favour 
of Napoleon's brother Joseph. The Spanish revolted and the 
llritish sent a supporting army to the Iberian Peninsula 
{map 3). Elsewhere in Europe the economic hardships 

resulting from the French military presence tended to make 
Napoleon's rule unpopular with his subject nations. The 
imposition of the Napoleonic Civil Code in countries 
annexed by France, while potentially beneficial to the citi- 
zens of Europe, still represented an unwelcome domination 
by the French. It also caused disquiet among Napoleon's 
allies, the Russians, who in 1810 broke with France, even- 
tually joining Britain and Portugal in the Fifth Coalition. 

In 1812 Napoleon attempted his most ambitious annex- 
ation of territory yet, launching an invasion of Russia. 
Although he reached Moscow in September, he found it 
deserted and, with insufficient supplies to feed his army, he 
was forced to retreat. In Spain the British and Portuguese 
armies finally overcame the French, chasing them back 
onto French soil. At the same time the Prussians, Austrians 
and other subject states seized the opportunity to rebel 
against French rule. Tile Fifth Coalition armies took Paris 
in March 1814, Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to the 
island of Elba, and Louis Will ascended the French throne. 

A year later, while the ( loalition members were negoti- 
ating the reshaping of Fkirope at the Congress of Vienna, 
Napoleon escaped and raised an army as he marched north 
through France. Following defeat at Waterloo in 1815, he 
was sent into permanent exile on St Helena. The recon- 
vened Congress of Vienna deprived France of all the 
territory it bad acquired since 1792, It could not, however, 
prevent the spreail of revolutionary and Napoleonic ideas in 
Europe, as the maintenance or adoption of the Napoleonic 
Civil Code in a number of countries after IS], 5 testified. 

T Napoleons mitt waged war ocross 
Europe in his attempt to impose French rule 
and the Civil Code throughout me torn in em 
The turning point in bis, fortunes tome in 
1812 when, with on ormy already fighting 
in Spain, he embarked on on invasion of 
Russia. French supply Sites were sketched 
too far to support the army through the 
Russian winter, and the troops were forced 
to retreat, with most of the survivors 
deserting. Napoleon was eventually 
raptured in 1 HI 4 on French soil by the 
armies of the Fifth Coalition, and imprisoned 
an the island of Elba The final bottle 
occurred Mowing his escape, when a 
revived French ormy was defeated ol 
Wotetloo. in Belgium, on 1 8 lone 181 5. 
From 1 793 onwards the rulers of the 
European slates formed various alliances in 
on attempt to counter the threat Eram 
France. Britain was a common member, with 
other countries joining when it became 
expedient to da so. Russia oka joined all 
five coalitions, ahnough from 1 807 In 1 81 D 
it was allied to France, Spain, a member oi 
the First Coalition, became a French oily and 
then puppet stale from 1 7% until the 
Spanish people rase up in protest in 1808 
and precipitated the Peninsular War. 






in England 1 750 


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Lh al 

▲ In 1 750 most English people lived in the 
countryside but many worked in the 
well-established local industries us well as 
on the land. The largest centre of 
manufacturing was London, whose products 
included silk, gin, soap, glass and furniture. 
Its population had increased from an 
estimated 1 20,000 to 675,000 between 
1550 and 1750, and the resultant demand 
encouraged developments in agriculture, 
industry and transport. Around 650,000 
tonnes of coal was shipped to London from 
Newcastle each year - a trade that 
employed 15,000 people by 1750. 

1 Percentage of land enclosed in 
England 1500-1914 

A In 1 760, 75 per cent of the agricultural 
land in England was already enclosed and 
agricultural productivity had been improving 
for 200 years. 

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Britain became 
the world's leading industrial nation in a process of 
economic growth and change that is regarded as the 
world's first industrial revolution. In some respects, 
however, the process was of an evolutionary nature, with 
change occurring at different speeds in different sectors of 
the economy. 

There were a number of reasons why the process of 
industrialization first occurred in Britain rather than any 
other country in Europe. In 1750 Britain had a well-devel- 
oped and specialized economy, substantial overseas trade 
and an average per capita national income that was one of 
the highest in Europe. Domestic textile industries, iron 
smelting and the manufacturing of iron goods were well- 
established (map 1). The country was also fortunate in its 
natural resources, among them fertile land on which a pro- 
ductive agricultural sector had been able to develop. Early 
enclosure of fields (bar chart 1), together with crop 
improvements and livestock breeding, meant that British 
agriculture could feed a rapidly increasing urban work- 
force. Supplies of coal - fundamental to the nature of 
Britain's industrialization - were widespread and plentiful, 
and the development of a national market in coal was faci- 
litated by coastal trade. Navigable rivers provided initial 
internal transport, while faster-flowing rivers supplied 
water power for industry and corn-milling. 

The British government also played a very important 
role in establishing the conditions under which industry 
could thrive. Britain was free from the internal customs 
barriers and river tolls which stifled trade in Europe, while 
laws protected the textile and iron industries from foreign 
competition. Private property rights and a stable currency 
stimulated economic development, as did the stability pro- 
vided by a strong state in which warfare, taxation and the 
public debt were managed by sophisticated bureaucracies. 
Shipping and trade were protected by Britain's naval 

supremacy, which also helped to secure trading privileges 
and build up a worldwide colonial empire obliged to 
conduct trade using British ships. 

Rapid economic progress was further encouraged by 
Britain's success in war, in particular the war of 1793-1815 
against France (pages 166-67), during which Britain 
remained free from invasion and escaped the economic 
dislocation engendered by war on the continent of Europe. 
The war created a demand for armaments, ships and 
uniforms, which in turn stimulated Britain's shipbuilding, 
iron-smelting, engineering and textile industries. 

The textile industry 

In 1750 a variety of textiles - silk, linen, fustian (a mixture 
of linen and cotton) and, in particular, wool - had long 
been produced in Britain. The West Riding of Yorkshire, 
the West Country and East Anglia were centres of the 
woollen industry, while the fustian industry had developed 
in Lancashire (map 1). The skilled workforce employed in 
both industries was largely home-based and organized by 
merchants who thus built up capital and entrepreneurial 
skills. Such skills were used to great effect in the second 
half of the 18th century, when the cotton industry devel- 
oped rapidly. Technological change allowed Lancashire to 
produce and sell cotton cloth more cheaply than India, 
where production depended on low-paid labour. Inventions 
such as Arkwright's water frame and Watt's steam-powered 
rotative engine transformed cotton spinning in the last 
decade of the 18th century into a factory-based, urban 
industry. This led to an unprecedented rise in productiv- 
ity and production. Lancashire became the centre of the 
world's cotton manufacturing industry (map 2) and 
exported cotton cloth throughout the world. The woollen 
industry continued to be of importance, especially in the 
West Riding of Yorkshire, where mechanization was intro- 
duced and British wool was supplemented by merino wool 
imported from Australia. 

Iron, coal and transport 

Innovation in iron production in the 18th century facili- 
tated smelting, and later refining, using coke instead of 
charcoal. Steam power, fuelled by plentiful coal supplies, 
began to replace man, horse and water power, encouraging 
the development of the factory system and rapid urbaniza- 
tion near to coalfields. These developments were self- 
sustaining, for while steam engines increased the demand 
for coal and iron, better steam-driven pumps and rotary 
winding equipment facilitated deeper coalmines. 

Transport developed in response to the economic 
changes. Canals were constructed to carry heavy and bulky 
goods, and roads were improved by turnpike trusts, 
opening up the national market for goods. The combina- 
tion of colliery waggonways and the steam engine led to 
the piecemeal development of a rail network from 1825 
onwards which by 1850 linked the major urban centres. It 
also encouraged further industrialization by generating a 
huge fresh demand for coal, iron, steel, engineering and 
investment (map 3). 

The consequences of the Industrial Revolution 

The economic and social effects of industrialization were 
complex and wide-ranging. Between 1750 and 1850 the 
population of England almost trebled. By 1850 more than 
half the population lived in towns or cities, compared with 
only 25 per cent in 1800 (bar chart 2). Eleven per cent 
lived in London, which remained the largest manufacturing 
centre, and more than 60 towns and cities had over 20,000 
inhabitants. Such a process of rapid urbanization was 
unprecedented and unplanned. Crowded and insanitary 
living conditions meant that urban death rates were con- 
siderably higher than those in rural areas. At the same 
time, the development of the factory system generated 
issues of discipline, as some workers resented capitalist 
control of work processes and the replacement of tradi- 
tional skills by machines. There were outbreaks of machine 


N or l h 

Si a 

on Tyne 

2 The cohon textile industm in Lancashire 1850 

Navigable rw _j CooMiold ^^k Pneutatioii of dnj <i thousands toi 

foul # Cofton larlcnn ^9 17SQ[inw)gndllSll(aital 

3 Industry imBriuin 1850 





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breaking, especially in times of trade depression. Moral 
debates were prompted by the employment of women and 
children as cheap labour. 

Even as late as 1850, however, when British manufac- 
tured goods were trailed all over the world, many areas of 
Britain remained rural. In some regions industries had 
actually declined, among them wool production in the West 
Country and iron manufacture around Imnhridge lumps J 
and J). The vast majority of the industrial working popu- 
lation was employed in retailing and warehousing, 
workshops and small enterprises rather than in factories. 
Capita! and technology had become less involved with 
agriculture and more involved with industry, especially 

manufacturing, and with trade and construction related to 
industry. Vet agriculture was still the largest single occupa- 
tion and most of Britain's food was still home- prod need. 

By 1850 Britain was no longer the only country to have 
undergone an industrial revolution. Similar changes had 
begun to occur in continental Europe [pages 170-71), 
sometimes with the aid of British machinery, entrepre- 
neurial and financial skills. British industrial workers had 
also taken their skills to the Continent. In the second half 
of the century a considerable number were to emigrate to 
the United States, where the process of industrialization 
I yjrrfi-N IV. ST i iv;ts eventually to lead in Jiriiam lusury its 
position as the world's greatest industrial power. 

A The (otlon mills ol loraoiiaii are often 
regoided os being ol Ihe tentre ol Britain's 
industrial revolution. A long textile tioditiori. 
trie availability of coal ond the presence ol 
the port of Liverpool encouraged the rotton 
industry, whkh in turn promoted commercial 
ond linontiol institutions, trade, transport, 
mineral eitr action, engineering ond 
urboniialion. By I &30 one third of 
Lancashire's population worked in around 
1,000 ration factories and numerous 
small workshops. 

■4 In 1950 London, with a population of 

2.4 million, was still Ihe predominant 
manufacturing centre in Britain, london's 
brewing and refining industries in particular 
were among the largest in ihe country, and 
more loanage passed Ihrough the port of 
London than any other port in Britain. 
However, by 1850 Ihe lostesl-growing cities 
were the northern industrial centres of 
Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds 
and Sheffield. 



L^B Suipi population g 

I J Urban population rs § 

.ii:i.''i'T|;gi! &! W;il 




A to the population ol England inrreosed, 
its geographical distribution shifted in favour 
of the developing indusftial regions. En 1 750 
Middlesex, Lancashire, ihe Wesi Riding and 
Devon, the most populated counties, shared 
10 per cent of the toloJ English population. 
By 1851 Ihe four most industriuliied 
counties - Lancashire, West Riding, 
Staffordshire and Warwickshire - contained 
nearly a quarter ol the English population 

© SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN EUROPE 1500-1770 pages 134-35 O THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF EUROPE 1830-1914 pages 1 70-71 


▲ By the outbreak of the First World War 
Germany's industrial development had 
outstripped that of all other European 
countries, giving it on economic and 
political confidence which is reflected 
in this striking advertisement of 1 914. 

► The development of the European rail 
network followed the 1 9th-century pattern 
of industrialization, starting in northern 
France, Belgium, the Netherlands and 
northern Germany, and spreading to Spam, 
Italy and Austria-Hungary as the century 
progressed. Ihe availability of resources 
such as cool and iron ore largely determined 
the sites for the development of new heavy 
industries, but elsewhere long-standing 
home-based manufacture of textiles was 
transformed into factory-based 
manufacture, by the use water-power if 
coal was not readily available. 

The industrialization of Europe is considered to have 
started in the 1830s, some decades after the begin- 
ning of the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the late 
18th century. Much debate has centred on whether British 
industrialization "spilled over" into Europe (and if so, to 
what extent), or whether European countries accumulated 
their own technological and manufacturing knowledge. 
There is no question that there were substantial flows of 
skilled labour, entrepreneurs, capital and technology from 
Britain, and later from France and Germany, to the less 
industrialized parts of Europe. However, although the basic 
model of industrialization remained British, each country 
developed its own national characteristics. Substitutes were 
found for the particular resources that Britain possessed but 
which other countries lacked, more organized banking 
systems supplied finance to accelerate growth, and more 
aware governments supplied the ideologies and incentives 
to motivate growth. As a result, industrialization in the 
countries of continental Europe was more state-driven and 
more revolutionary in character than in Britain. The cul- 
mination of this model was the abrupt industrialization of 
the USSR under the Soviet system from 1917 onwards. 

Regional development 

In the first half of the 19th century many of Europe's 
modern nation-states were yet to come into existence. 

Germany and Italy were still fragmented into small political 
entities, while at the other extreme lay dynastic empires 
that spanned several nationalities, such as the Habsburg 
Austrian Empire, the tsarist Russian Empire (which 
included Poland), and the Ottoman Empire (which included 
much of the Balkans). The process of industrialization often 
took place in the context of shifting political allegiances and 
the forging of national identities. Political alliances and wars, 
such as the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, introduced 
border changes that were often somewhat haphazard in eco- 
nomic terms. On the other hand, some of the German states 
used economic unification - initially in the form of a 
customs union (Zollverein) in 1834 - as a step towards polit- 
ical union in 1871 (pages 176-77). 

Industry in its early stages was predominantly confined 
to a number of rather circumscribed regions. Some, such as 
the region just west of Krakow and a large area of northern 
Europe, cut across national boundaries (map 1). The exis- 
tence of coal and iron was the most important criterion for 
determining the speed at which regions developed, but 
locally available resources were also important, especially 
the supply of skills in textile regions. Some of the emerging 
industrial regions subsequently faded, such as the areas 
around Le Havre, Leipzig and Dresden, while some new 
ones emerged, such as that bordering the Ruhr in Germany. 
In general, industrialization can be said to have come to 

1 The grow™ of 
industry and rjwways 

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Wojof raibmry bw5 tansmxted: 

by IBID 

- 1870-1914 

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H steal 


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Q EkiiKd industry 



M * <«<<*"«„ . 

Sr'ory- /' 





regions rather than to nations. Even at the beginning of the 
21st century, much industrial activity in Europe is domi- 
nated by regional "clusters" of activity, rather than by a 
general spread of industrialization to all corners. 

Development of industry 

The pattern of European industrialization (starting in 
northwest Europe and moving northwards, southwards and 
eastwards) tends to support the idea that it was based on 
that of Britain. It is certainly beyond doubt that the tech- 
nological advances developed in Britain, for example in 
textile machinery and steam engines, did not need to be re- 
invented. However, the technology often needed to be 
modified to suit local conditions. For example, the type of 
steam engine most popular in Britain (developed by James 
Watt) consumed too much coal for its use to be worthwhile 
in regions where coal was more expensive than in Britain. 
As a result, water-wheels and the more efficient water tur- 
bines were often used to power machinery in France and 
Italy. Similarly, in the textile industry it was found that 
machinery developed for the manufacture of woollen and 
cotton cloth in Britain was not as suitable for the finer tex- 
tiles of France and Spain. 

The scattering of industrial areas encouraged the growth 
of railway systems, to facilitate the delivery of raw materi- 
als to manufacturers and the distribution of manufactured 
goods to customers. The first track was laid in northern 
Europe in the 1840s, and the network had reached all 
corners of Europe by 1870 (map 1 ). In countries such as 
Spain and Italy the railway was envisaged as the catalyst 
that would set in motion the process of industrialization, 
but in these countries, which were among the last to indus- 
trialize, the building of railway lines had little appreciable 
effect. In general, railways were successful at connecting 
already industrializing areas, rather than fostering the 
growth of new areas. 

The speed and impact of industrialization 

The impact of new industries and new technologies can be 
gauged from the levels of industrialization achieved, mea- 
sured in terms of the volume of industrial production per 
person (maps 2 and 3). In 1830 the figure for Britain was 
more than twice as high as in any other European nation 
except Belgium, and even as late as 1913 Britain remained 
ahead, although it was rapidly being caught by Switzerland, 
Belgium and, of course, Germany, whose steel production 
had by this time outstripped that of Britain (pages 216-1 7). 
Indeed, while Britain had a 13.6 per cent share of the world 
industrial output in 1913, Germany, with its much larger 
population, had 14.8 per cent, and was thus second only to 
the United States in terms of its industrial might. 

The most obvious effect of industrialization was on eco- 
nomic growth and on the living standards of the populations 
of the industrialized countries. While industrialization had 
developed first in countries whose societies were relatively 

▼ The degree of industrialization in Europe The Scandinavian countries of Norway, 

is clearly reflected in the growth of 
countries' Gross National Product (GNP). 
The nations of northern Europe (including 
Denmark) pulled away from the rest of 
Europe in terms of their national wealth. 

Sweden and Finland all had a lower GNP 
per capita than those of southern Europe in 
1 830, but had outstripped them by 1 91 as 
a consequence of a period of intense 
industrialization late in the 19th century. 

fifUKVE growth IN GNP Pt* CAPITA across Europe 1 830-1 9 1 

[atari fiMpe 

"■ »« "-" 

v. •-. .1 

• ■■■■-.?.■ 

2 The level of industrialization 1 860 


BatindaiH Lflrtl jl ineWml uuipuf per Liipilu 

Increase lit It*-: of n di'ihu 

tiislmt (IO0=UKi» l«ai 

nulpun cwr cucurn ^iiicb 1330: 

fuiuw [ I MS aH 10-75 

O 50-1 DOS 

m ii-3o 

• gttriom 

egalitarian, such as Belgium and France, it often had the 
effect of widening social inequalities for some years. The 
national income per head, the most common indicator of 
overall prosperity and growth, rose throughout Europe 
(graph), but its steepest increase was in northern Europe, 
where industrialization took its strongest hold. So, despite 
the squalor and misery of industrial regions and cities, it 
seems that industrializing nations as a whole, and certain 
sectors in particular, enjoyed long-term economic benefits. 

< Britain, with its head start, steamed 
ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of 
industrial output per capita in the first half 
of the 1 9th century, but Belgium, with 
readily available sources of coal and iron 
ore, also experienced an increase in output 
of more than 1 00 per cent. Elsewhere in 
northern Europe, and in Switzerland, 
industrialization made considerable 
headway, although the intense 
industrialization of northern France and 
Germany is not reflected in the per capita 
figures of those countries, since the majority 
of the population was still engaged in 
agricultural production. 

T Countries underwent their main periods 
of industrialization at different times. 
Belgium experienced a spurt early on and 
then again at the turn of the century while 
others, in particular the Scandinavian 
countries, were relatively late developers. 
Germany also started comparatively slowly 
but increased the volume of its industrial 
production per person by 240 per cent 
between 1880 and 1913. 

1 830 





© THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN BRITAIN 1750-1850 pages 168-69 O THE BUILD-UP TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1870-1914 pages 216-17 


*■ Itie Congress ol Yienno resulied in 
several mojor boundary changes, fiance 
had its borders relumed to those of 1/52. 
Poland was divided once again and 39 
Germon^ spooking states were organized inlo 
Ihe Gi-rrri;:n Corrfetfernlion domirwled by 
Prussia. wKkh wk given holf o( Soxorry 
Austria last its pouessiorfl in norrhwesl 
Europe la the Clutch in the newly created 
United NelhonWs, but was given much of 
norihem Italy by woy a! compensotion. 


▼ During the 1 SKh and early 1 831k 
rebellions broke oul across Europe, with 
Unroll idling for on end la obwlule 
monarchy in Spoin and Portugal and in Ihe 
Italian pen insula Ik Greeks. »iih ihe help 
of itie French Brilisti and Russians, drove 
the Ottomans hom Mocea. The Russians also 
mtefvened lo Oast rebellion in Poland in 
1830, having defeated Air own Decettibrtsl 
Revolution in 1 825. It* French brought 
obout a degree of irmsriiuiionol reform 
[allowing the replocemenl of Choi lei I by 
touis PMrppe in 1830, and Sekjimn 
ochwved independence (ram ihe United 
Ntlherlondt the some year. 

1 Tmrr settiements in Europe 1 8 1 4 -1 S 

3] fcHotttpcruon 

| band Duchy of Lunntaug IBIi 

loriier cf Ceirnoi CtHeamw 161 5 

Zl Unwel Norm, riSmdm 1815- 


N«ttfy created stotes/coalederotcrB 

Jfooubfcot&otow 1815-41 

§■ UwedNdWon* 1315-30 

■ MmM 1815 

Following their initial victory over Napoleon in IS 14, 
the major European powers met at the Congress of 
Vienna (1814— IS) to decide on the future political 
map of Europe. The Congress was dominated by three prin- 
ciples: territorial compensation for the victors, the 
restoration and affirmation of the ruling royal dynasties, and 
the achievement of a balance of power between the major 
European states. As a result of their deliberations the 
German Confederation was formed, replacing the Holy 
Roman Empire (map J). Elsewhere, national boundaries 
were redrawn, often with little regard to ethnic groupings, 
thus planting (he seeds of nationalist tensions. 

There was a shared conviction that the spread of repub- 
lican and revolutionary movements must l>e prevented. In 
September IM5 Russia, Austria and Prussia formed a "Holy 
Alliance", agreeing to guarantee all existing boundaries and 
governments and to uphold the principles of Christianity 
throughout Europe. The alliance was subsequently joined 
by the other major European powers - with the exception of 
Britain, the Pope and, not surprisingly, the Ottoman sultan 
- and over the next 411 years there were several occasions 
when the autocratic rulers of Europe took military action to 
suppress uprisings in states other than their own. 

Kr.vni.i novun Airnvm iivthksoeth 

In I>H2t> there was an explosion of revolutionary activity in 
Spain, hollowing the defeat of Napoleon, a liberal consti- 
tution had been introduced in 1812, hut this had been 
annulled hy King Ferdinand Vll on his return from exile in 
1 SI 5. In 1H20 his authority was challenged by an army 
revolt, supported hy riots across Spain (mop 2), with the 
result that the liberal constitution was re-established. 

2 CmuMttsTiH Ewoff 1819-1831 

™~* BcnScc ttSftTBDi CmeupAii 

v iferw&cHjy odMly ** did 
Ftnpi rtcfwfisfi Id put onm fnouknr 

— ^ Jluflroi 


— *■ Fmrfi 

— ■*■ biwrv 


S P 



— -. 

S*****. KINGDOM >SN 

Of IHErwo 

' _ Sic.fjf IS2Q 

M e " 

- _ H77-29 

*• P I R E 




Insurrections in Naples, Piedmont and Portugal in the 
summer of 1820 also attempted to introduce constitutional 
forms of government, and initially met with some success. 
However, Tsar Alexander I of Russia persuaded the 
Austrians and Prussians to support him in threatening mil- 
itary intervention, and in March 1821 Austria sent an army 
to crush the revolts in Piedmont and Naples. In December 
1825 Russia faced revolutionary action on its own soil when 
a group of military officers tried unsuccessfully to prevent 
the accession to the tsardom of Nicholas I, preferring his 
more liberal-minded brother. The following year the con- 
tinuing instability in Portugal prompted the British to 
intervene, in this instance with the intention of aiding the 
preservation of its constitutional government. 

In Greece a revolution broke out in 1821 with the aim of 
shaking off Ottoman rule and uniting the whole of the 
ancient Hellenic state under a liberal constitution. The 
Ottomans enlisted support from the Egyptian viceroy 
Muhammad Ali, whose troops seized a large area of the 
country by 1826, when Russia, France and Britain inter- 
vened to defeat the Muslim forces. However, the London 
Protocol of 1830, which proclaimed Greek independence, 
fell far short of the aspirations of the revolutionaries in that 
it only established a Greek monarchy in southern Greece, 
under the joint protection of the European powers (map 3). 

Unrest in the north 

By 1830 revolutionary passions were rising in France. King 
Charles X dissolved an unco-operative Chamber of Deputies 
and called an election, but when an equally anti-royal 
Chamber resulted, he called fresh elections with a restricted 
electorate. Demonstrations in Paris during July forced him 
to abdicate in favour of Louis Philippe, whose right to call 
elections was removed. His reign, known as the "July 
Monarchy", saw insurrections as industrial workers and 
members of the lower middle class, influenced by socialist 
and Utopian ideas, demanded an increased share of politi- 
cal power, including the vote. 

Nationalist resentment at decisions taken at the 
Congress of Vienna led to insurrection in both Belgium and 
Poland in the 1830s. In Belgium, which had been given to 
the United Netherlands in 1815, riots broke out in 1830 and 
independence was declared in October. In the kingdom of 
Poland, an area around Warsaw that had been given to the 
Russian tsar, a revolt by Polish nationalists resulted in a 
brief period of independence before the Russians crushed 
the movement in 1831, and subsequently attempted to 
destroy Polish identity in a campaign of "Russification". 

Britain also experienced a degree of social unrest. A 
mass protest in Manchester in 1819 was crushed and 11 
people were killed by troops in what became known as the 
"Peterloo Massacre". Inequalities in the electoral system 
provoked a strong movement for reform, which resulted in 
the Great Reform Bill of 1832. This expanded the electorate 
by 50 per cent and ensured representation from the newly 
developed industrial centres. Further calls were made by the 
Chartists for universal suffrage, with petitions presented to 
Parliament in 1838 and again in 1848. 

The revolutions of 1848 

By 1848 many of the European countries were suffering 
from an economic crisis; the failure of the potato and grain 
crops in 1845-46 was reflected in the price of food. There 
was political discontent at different social levels: peasants 
demanded total abolition of the feudal system, industrial 
workers sought improvements in their working conditions, 
and middle-class professionals wanted increased political 
rights. In Italy and Germany there were growing movements 
for unification and independence (pages 176-77). 

Revolutionary agitation began in Paris in February 1848, 
forcing the abdication of Louis Philippe and the establish- 
ment of the Second Republic. It then spread across central 
Europe (map 3). The Habsburg Empire, faced with demands 
for a separate Hungarian government, as well as demon- 
strations on the streets of Vienna, initially gave in to the 

3 Centres of revolution 1848-49 

l flf Gannon CMiffflferolwn 
4 [wine nf njrcfctian 



demands of the Hungarian nationalists and granted them a 
separate constitution. This, however, was annulled some 
months later, leading to a declaration of independence by 
Hungary. The Austrian response was to quell the revolt in 
1849 with the help of Russian forces (pages 174-75). 

Discontent in Austria spilled over into the southern 
states of the German Confederation, and liberals in Berlin 
demanded a more constitutional government. As a result, 
the first National Parliament of the German Confederation 
was summoned in May 1848. 

From revolution to reaction 

In June 1848 struggles between the moderate and the 
radical republicans culminated in three days of rioting on 
the streets of Paris. In crushing the rioters the more con- 
servative factions gained control, a trend that was repeated 
in Prussia, where royal power was reaffirmed. The second 
half of 1848 was marked by waves of reaction that spread 
from one city to another. The restoration of Austrian control 
over Hungary was achieved partly by playing off against 
each other the different ethnic groups within the empire. 
However, despite the suppression of the 1848 revolu- 
tionaries, most of the reforms they had proposed were 
carried out in the second half of the century, and at least 
some of the nationalist movements were successful. 

▲ Rebellions broke out across Europe 
during 1 848, inspired by the success of the 
French in abolishing their monarchy in 
February. The Habsburgs laced rebellions in 
Hungary and in the Italian cities of Milan 
and Venice, which were supported by 
Piedmont. Although the revolutions in Italy 
Germany and Hungary were all defeated, 
the liberal constitutions, unification and 
independence they were seeking did 
eventually come about. 



► During ihe IBlh century the Hnbsburg 
Empire look every opportunity to expond 
its tetrilory oi Ihe expense of its 
neighbour!. As a result oi the War ol Ihe 
Spanish Succession, the Hobsburgs goined 
territory in ttie Nelherlands and llafy. 
They fared less well in the eosl, however, 
where lerrilory laken from the Ottoman 
Empire in 1718 was regained by Ihe 

^5^ *> 



^j Austran hLabfiburg twrrtonss 1700 


leniietY acquired by Jwifton Hnlr^wui. 

1 Spomh Bourtwii Iwiiwy nhp 1714 

1 1 m Peac« aP UlfeKhl 171 3/14 


J 1710-50 

• AnglB-ftiWh-Auitwin tabsburQ VKiwy 

□ ns 

hfndhBmnr flaw? 

| 1 1772-1805 

▲ During her 40-year reign Empress Maria 
Theresa centralized control of the Habsburg 
territories through improved administrative 
systems, and won popular support with her 
social reforms. 

The Spanish Habsburg dynasty ended in 1700 with the 
death of Charles II. King Louis XIV of France 
supported the claim to the Spanish throne of Philip, 
Duke of Anjou, who was his infant grandson and the great- 
nephew of Charles. The British and Dutch, fearing French 
domination, supported the claim of the Austrian Archduke 
Charles, and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) 
ensued (map 1). The outcome, formalized in the Peace of 
Utrecht (1713/14), was a compromise under which Philip 
attained the Spanish throne on condition that he renounced 
any claim to France, and the Austrians gained control of ter- 
ritory in Italy and the Netherlands. 

During the 18th century the Austrian Habsburgs were 
the major dynastic power in central Europe. They were 
threatened, however, when on the death of Charles VI of 
Austria in 1740 other crowned heads of Europe refused to 
recognize his daughter Maria Theresa as his successor. In 
the resulting War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), 
Bavaria, France, Spain, Sardinia, Prussia and Saxony joined 
forces against Austria, the Netherlands and Britain in an 
unsuccessful attempt to oust Maria Theresa. 

Reform of the monarchy 

During her long reign (1740-80) Maria Theresa embarked 
on transforming the diverse Habsburg dominions into a cen- 
tralized nation state, and initiated many progressive reforms 
in the spheres of education, law and the Church. Her min- 
ister, Hagwitz, put the Habsburg finances on a more stable 
footing, and these reforms reduced the rivalry between 
ethnic Germans and Czechs. When Joseph II succeeded his 
mother in 1780, he was able to build on her centralizing 
policies, and although his most radical reform - that of the 
tax system - was abolished by his successor, Leopold II, 
before it was given a chance to work, Joseph is generally 
considered to have been a strong and enlightened monarch. 

In the years immediately after the French Revolution of 
1789, and during the period of Napoleon's leadership, the 
Habsburg Empire became involved in a succession of wars 
against France (pages 166-67), as a result of which it 
temporarily lost much of Austria, as well as territories in 
northern Italy and along the Adriatic. Under the peace 
settlement negotiated at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, 
the Habsburgs renounced their claim to the Netherlands in 
exchange for areas in northern Italy (map 2), 

Austria was by this time largely under the control of 
Foreign Minister Metternich, who used his influence to per- 
suade the other major European powers to assist Austria in 
crushing revolts in Spain, Naples and Piedmont. His own 
methods involved the limited use of secret police and the 
partial censorship of universities and freemasons. 

The revolutions of 1848-49 

The years 1848 and 1849 saw a succession of largely unsuc- 
cessful uprisings against the absolutist rule of the Habsburg 
monarchy (pages 172-73). Although reforms of the legal 
and administrative systems (known as the "April Laws") 
were set to take effect in Hungary later that year, they did 
not apply to the rest of the Habsburg territories. 

The unrest started in Vienna in March 1848 (as a result 
of which Metternich was dismissed) and spread to Prague, 
Venice and Milan. A Constituent Assembly was summoned 
to revise the constitution, but its only lasting action was to 
abolish serfdom. By the autumn the unrest had reached 
Hungary as a number of ethnic groups within the empire 
(map 3) made bids for greater national rights and freedoms. 
In December the ineffectual Ferdinand I abdicated in favour 
of his nephew, Francis Joseph. Not feeling bound by the 
April Laws, Francis Joseph annulled the Hungarian consti- 
tution, causing the Hungarian leader Louis Kossuth to 
declare a republic. With the help of the Russians (who 


feared the spread of revolutionary fervour), and the Serbs, 
Groats and Romanians (who all feared Hungarian domina- 
tion), the Austrian army succeeded in crushing the revolt 
in 1849 (map 4). 

From 1849 onwards an even more strongly centralized 
system of government was established. Trade and commerce 
were encouraged by fiscal reforms, and the railway network 
expanded. Coupled with peasant emancipation - for which 
landowners had been partially compensated by the govern- 
ment - these measures led to a trebling of the national debt 
over ten years. Higher taxes and a national loan raised from 
wealthier citizens led to discontent among the Hungarian 
nobles, who wished to see the restoration of the April Laws. 
In 1859 war in the Italian provinces forced the Austrians to 
cede Lombardy (map 2). 

Crisis and change 

Several factors combined in the 1860s to create a period of 
crisis for the Habsburg Empire. It was becoming clear that 
Prussia, under Bismarck, presented an increasing threat, but 
Austria was unable to keep pace with military developments 
because of the insistence of the international banks that it 
balance its budget. Unrest in Hungary was presenting a 
threat to the monarchy, and also making it difficult to 
collect taxes and recruit for the army. A centralized gov- 
ernment was unacceptable to the Hungarian nobility, but 
provincial government would be unworkable because of 
ethnic conflict. Austria was forced to reach a constitutional 
settlement with Hungary in 1867, forming the Dual 
Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Although Francis Joseph was 
crowned head of both, and there were joint ministries for 
finance, foreign policy and military affairs, each nation had 
an independent constitution and legislature. 

Encouraged by the constitutional change of 1867, many 
of the ethnic groups within the Dual Monarchy became 
increasingly vocal in their demands for the right to promote 
their language and culture, if not for outright autonomy. In 
Hungary, although other languages were not actually 
repressed, a knowledge of Hungarian was necessary for 
anyone with middle-class aspirations. Croatia was granted 
partial autonomy within Hungary in 1878, but continued to 
be dominated by its larger partner. There were also 
demands for greater autonomy from the Czechs in Austria, 
which were resisted by the German-speaking majority. 

T Throughout the 1 9th century the ethnic 
minorities within the Habsburg, and 
subsequently the Austro-Hungarian, Empire 

did not generally seek independence. 
Instead they sought to gain greater local 
autonomy within a reformed monarchy. 

3 Nmionaltties in Austria- Hungary 1 900 

Ethnic background of raiairy of population Boundary: 

| (root Mknc- ~H\ Soil ofJusmo- 

m £ffl * I I Wo I Slovak Hungary 

7] Gtrroon | biuimi f 51mm bnwm Austin 

[] Union | Rulhennn frfrSI foral Cmot/Seib ond Hugely 

The rise of Serb nationalism 

Bosnia, predominantly inhabited by impoverished peasants, 
was administered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire under 
terms agreed at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. It was 
annexed in 1908 in order to protect Habsburg trade routes 
to and from the Dalmatian coast. The resulting incorpora- 
tion of a large number of Serbs into the empire was actively 
opposed by Serbian nationalists and was to contribute to the 
outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Following the 
defeat of the Austro-Hungarians in the war, the Treaty of 
Saint-Germain (1919) broke up the empire, granting auton- 
omy to its constituent nations and reducing Austria and 
Hungary to less than a quarter of their former area. 

4 Revolution in the Austrian Empire 1848-49 

^J Awfnun Empire Militay compoign of: 

Boufliorj of Hunooy [mot! 1841 

M [situ of rovcAjhai) — > AusWoiB [S4v 

^ Borne with dole — »• IumjrIM) 


▲ In 1815 the Austrian Habsburgs 
regained territory they had gained and 
then lost during the Napoleonic Wars. 
However, they were forced to give it up in 
the mid-1 9th century during the process of 
Italian unification, and in 1 867 were 
persuaded to grant Hungary equal status to 
that of Austria. 

-4 Ibe unrest in Hungary in 1 848 and 
1 849 was largely an expression of Magyar 
nationalism, and as such was opposed by 
those from minority ethnic groups, in 
particular the Croats. In 1 849, with Louis 
Kossuth appointed president of an 
independent republic of Hungary, the 
Austrians accepted Russian assistance, 
offered in the spirit of the Holy Alliance, and 
the rebels were eventually crushed at the 
Battle of Timisoara. 

© THE HABSBURG EMPIRE 1490-1700 pages 152-53 © THE BUILD-UP TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1871-1914 pages 216-1 7 

GERMANY 1815-71 

1 Italy aftes the Congress of Vienna 181 S 

2 The unification of Itait 


] Kington of SmSnii 

| tafedbyAgtWllSS? 

| Ceded in Frnnte 1 RbfJ 

~\ Umslwiit(Wnwitl!t[l 

j (sled hy tenia 1B66 


1861 tola nr wiiuii tines become 

:iipinl nt lnlv 

— «■ En»*ilinj«(ni*Mlile(tB40 

— *■ touted Gonlnldi'E, riwuMind IStl) 

P^v BoWe wTitot? 

A The Congress of Vienna in 1614-15 
lesltKed boundoriei wirhin llofy riitrf bad 
been lost under Napoleon's rule. Ii also 

restored members ol the conservative 
Auslrion Hnbsburg dynosty In power in 
Modern, Parma and Tuscany. 

A In 1859. following a war waged by 
Piedmont and Frame against ihe (million 
Habsburgs, lombardy was liberated from 
Austrian rule. The outorrohc rulers ol 
Florence. Forma ond Modena were also 
overthrown ond provisional government sel 
up under Predmonlese oulhority. France was 
granted Savvy and Nice by Piedmonl. 

In Hay 1861 Garibaldi answered requests 
lor support from Sicilian revolutionaries and 
landed an army in weslern Sicily. He 
proceeded lo rout the Neapolitan army in o 
series of bottles and lo proclaim himself 
ruler of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The 
Piedmonlese, anxious to unily the whale af 
Italy, despalched on army southwards lo 
lake the Fapal Slates, ond Garibaldi was 
persuaded to band over his authority in ihe 
south la King Victor Emmanuel II. 

Venelia was reded by Auslria to I Inly, 
following Austria's defeat of I B 66 a I the 
hand! of ihe Prussians, wham I Inly hod 
supporled. Rome and its surrounding 
territory wos seiied by lloty in 1 870. 

Among the most important developments in 19th- 
eentury Europe was the unification of Italy and 
Germany as nation -states — a process that funda- 
mentally altered the balance of power in the continent. 
Although nationalist feeling had been stimulated by the 
Ffeoch Revolution of 1789, and was originally associated 
with liberal ideas, unification was actually the result of 
diplomacy, war and the efforts of conservative elites rather 
than of popular action. German unification was promoted 
by Prussia, the most powerful German state, in order in 
protect its own domestic political stability; In Italy, 
Piedmont played this role for similar reasons. 

Attempts to i .niky Italy 

The Napoleonic Wars (orii»es if>6-67) had a dramatic effect 
on Italy. Napoleon redrew boundaries and introduced 
French political and legal ideas. At the Congress of Vienna 
in 1814-15 the major European powers attempted to 
reverse these changes by restoring deposed leaders, includ- 
ing members of the Habshurg dynasty, and giving 
conservative Austria effective control of Lombardy and 
Venetia in northern Italy \nuip J). These developments 
were a major setback for Italian nationalists, who sought to 
remove foreign interference and unite I tab'. The movement 
for national unification, or Risorgimeutn, eontinued to grow, 
despite the suppression of revolts in the 1820s and early 
1S.H Is (pages 172-73). A major figure in this movement was 

the idealist Giuseppe Maxzini, who hoped the people would 
overthrow their existing rulers, both Italian and foreign. 

In 1848 a wave of revolutionary fervour swept the cities 
of Europe - including those in Italy, where the rebels 
attempted to dispense with Austrian domination and to per- 
suade local rulers to introduce constitutions. King Charles 
Albert of the kingdom of Sardinia hoped to defuse the revo- 
lutions by expelling the Austrians from Lombardy and 
Venetia, but military defeats at Custozza and Nnvara forced 
him to abdicate in 1849 in favour of his son Victor 
Emmanuel 11. In Rome, Venice and Florence republics were 
briefly established, but France intervened to restore Pope 
Pius IX to power and the Austrians reconquered Lombardy 
and restored the conservative rulers of central Italy. 

The rime of Piedmont 

Moderate nationalists concluded that the best hope for 
Italian unification lay with Piedmont, which was economi- 
cally advanced and had introduced a relatively liheral 
constitution. The Piedmontese prime minister, Count 
Camillo di Cavour, had already decided that foreign help 
would be needed to remove Austrian influence and achieve 
unification, and reached a secret agreement with Napoleon 
111 of France at Plombiercs in 1858. Accordingly, when 
Cavour embarked on a war with Austria in 1859 France sup- 
ported him; Austria was defeated and forced to cede 
Lombardy to Piedmont (map 2). 

Piedmont's subsequent role in uniting Italy was partly a 
response to the actions of Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of the 
radicals who had created the Roman Republic in 1 848. In 
1860 Garibaldi led an expedition of republican "Red Shirts" 
(also known as Garibaldi's Thousand) through the Kingdom 
of the Two Sicilies, whose conservative ruler he defeated 
(map J I, Piedmont, anxious to preserve its constitutional 
monarchy, sent a force to annex the Papal States. Garibaldi 
then transferred the territory he had conquered to the 
Piedmontese king, who liecame head of the unified kingdom 
of Italy proclaimed in 1861, The remaining territories of 
Venetia and the Patrimony of St Peter were annexed during 
the subsequent ten years. 


The German Confederation 

Before the Napoleonic Wars Germany consisted of over 300 
states, loosely bound in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806 
Napoleon dissolved the empire, replacing it with a new 
Confederation of the Rhine comprising states in southern 
and western Germany, but excluding Austria and Prussia. 
The Confederation became a French satellite; its constitu- 
tion was modelled on that of France and it adopted the 
Napoleonic legal code. It was dissolved after the defeat of 
the French at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 (pages 166-68). 

The German Confederation, created as a result of the 
Congress of Vienna in 1814-15, included 39 states, the 
largest and most powerful being Austria and Prussia (map 
3). A diet (parliament), presided over by Austria, was estab- 
lished at Frankfurt, but plans to create a federal army and 
achieve constitutional harmony among the states failed. 

As in other parts of Europe, 1848 saw a wave of revolu- 
tionary activity in Germany (pages 172-73). Following 
unrest in Berlin, the Prussian king, Frederick William IV, 
introduced constitutional reforms and seemed sympathetic 
towards German unification. Middle-class German national- 
ists established a parliament at Frankfurt which drew up a 
constitution for a future German Empire. However, they 
were divided over whether to pursue a "Greater Germany", 
to include Catholic Austria, or a smaller grouping, dominated 
by Protestant Prussia. The parliament fell apart in July 1849 
and by the end of the year the old order had been restored in 
both Germany and the Austrian Empire. 

Although Austria and Prussia tried to co-operate during 
the 1850s, Prussia was already outstripping Austria in eco- 
nomic terms (pa^es 170-71). In 1834 Prussia had 
established a Customs Union (Zollverein) that bound the 
economies of the north German states closely, while exclud- 
ing Austria (map 4). Industrialization made Prussia the 
richest German state, and increased its military power rel- 
ative to that of Austria. 

T German unification can be seen as the 
annexation by Prussia of the smaller states 
of the Confederation. Following Prussia's 

display of military strength in France in 
1870-71 the southern states acceded to 
Prussian demands for a unified Germany. 

The expansion of Prussia 

The leading role in German unification was played by Otto 
von Bismarck, the Prussian Chancellor between 1862 and 
1871. Bismarck, who had come to see Austrian and Prussian 
interests as incompatible, sought to secure Prussian influ- 
ence over northern and central Germany, and to weaken 
Austria's position. He hoped that success in foreign affairs 
would enable him to control Prussia's liberals. In 1864 
Austria and Prussia jointly ousted Denmark from control of 
the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, but the two powers 
increasingly competed for control of the German 
Confederation. When Bismarck engineered a war with 
Austria in 1866 (Seven Weeks War), most German states 
supported Austria. Prussia, however, enjoyed advantages in 
military technology and defeated Austria quickly, signalling 
the end of the German Confederation and making German 
unification under Prussian leadership more likely. 

In 1867 Bismarck secured the creation of a North 
German Confederation (map 4). Each member state 
retained some autonomy, but the Prussian king, William I, 
became the Confederation's president, responsible for 
defence and foreign policy. Although the south German 
states were apprehensive about Prussian domination, 
Bismarck used their fear of the territorial ambitions of 
Napoleon III of France to persuade them to ally with 
Prussia. Bismarck needed to neutralize France if he was to 
achieve German unification on his terms, and he therefore 
provoked a war over the succession to the Spanish throne. 
In the resulting Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) France was 
decisively defeated, losing the largely German-speaking 
areas of Alsace and Lorraine to Prussia. 

In January 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, the 
German Empire was declared, merging the south German 
states with the North German Confederation. The new 
empire had a federal constitution, leaving each state with 
some powers, but the Prussian king became emperor and 
most government posts were put into Prussian hands. With 
well-developed industrial regions in the north and east 
(pages 170-71), a united Germany represented a powerful 
new economic force in Europe. 

▲ During 1870-71 the Prussians, under 
Kaiser William I and Chancellor Bismarck, 
defeated the French army and laid siege to 
Paris. This display of strength convinced the 
southern German states to join with the 
North German Confederation in a unified 
Germany - dominated by Prussia. 

T The German Confederation was 
established following the end of the 
Napoleonic Wars in 1 81 5. It comprised 39 
German-speaking states, by far the largest 
of which was Prussia, and included states 
under the control of the Habsburg Empire. 




T Between 16Mand 1739 the C 
lost large areas in the Balkans, alrhough 
ihey regained the Mocea ham Yenke in 
1 716 and Serbia and Wallnchio from the 
Austrian Habsburasin 1739. 

The decline of the ( ttteman Empire is often said to date 
from the massive defeat of the Ottomans outside 
Vienna in 168*1, hut despite the territorial losses 
resulting from the subseuuciit Treaty of Karlowitz in 16W. 
the 18th-century Ottoman state remained the biggest polit- 
ical entity in Europe and western Asia (nutp I ). All hough the 
effectiveness of the empire's prestige troops, the Janissaries, 
was weakened by increasing internal unrest, Ottoman forces 
were ahlc to hold Serbia. They also got the better of their old 
Renaissance opponent, Venice, by recovering the Morea in 
1718 (map 2). 

During the 18th century the major European states 
became more of a threat to the Ottomans. There were large- 
scale Russian encroachments around the black Sea in the 

Ionian ■ _.~ , 

ISP? hvm □trtvwi B™> » v*™« 

7 Retreat in Pit Bmjuns 1699-1739 

lentaM gn& under &wfy it totorriti H99 by: 

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I Gnomon I inptrG I _J Russki 

^j fariiwir arid bf OnomorB I73f 

later part of the century, and in 1 79ft a French army under 
Napoleon Bonaparte made a devastating, if shortlived, sur- 
prise attack tut Egypt, the empire's richest Muslim province. 
It was clear that the weaponry and the military capacity of 
the European states were moving ahead of those of their 
Islamic counterparts. At the same time, Europe's ideological 
conflicts reverberated among the Ottoman Empire's 
Christian subjects, encouraging bids for separatism and 
liberty which usually had Russian backing. Whole commu- 
nities in the Caucasus switched their allegiance from the 
Ottoman (and Persian) states to the Russian Empire, and 
disaffection spread among the prosperous and previously 
e< i-operative Greeks of the empire's heartlands. In 1K2 1 the 
western Greeks struck out for independence, and by 18,12 
they had won a mini-state (map I), 


The t (Etonian state responded to its losses with a programme 
of expensive remilitarization, as well as political and eco- 
nomic reform and development, funded precariously from 
what were now seriously reduced revenues. The strategy for 
survival was to replace the empire's traditional patchwork of 
cultural and religinus communities with a new- model 
Ottoman society in which there was one legal system, one 
citizen status and one tax rating for all. This was progressive, 
liberal l'7th-century policy, but it attacked vested interests 
in the provinces and among the Muslim clergy. 

The reform movement engendered a limited revival of 
international confidence in the Ottomans. During the 
Crimean War of 1853-56, British and French armies fought 
to defend Ottoman interests against Russian military escala- 
tion in exchange for an Ottoman commitment to equality' of 
status for its Muslim and non-Muslim subjects. This wag a deal 
die ( )ttoman state was unable to honour; twenty years after 
the Crimean campaign, the Ottoman authorities were still 
employing ill-disciplined troops to contain unruly Haiku u 
Christians, provoking an international outcry and eventually 
die resumption of full-scale war with Russia, Under the agree- 
ment reached at die Congress of Berlin in 1878, the region's 
political map was redrawn (maps 1 and J). "Turkey in 
Europe" became a much-reduced presence. 

T The Ottoman Empire reached its furthest 
exlent in the mid-1 7ih century, but when its 
troops railed to lake Vienna in 1 6B3 
European powers look advantage of their 
disarray and soiled p e ini or y in renlral 
Europe. The subsequent diMiicgtolion ol the 
empire look pkte over the item 240 years. 

The British took ronlrol of Egypt in 1 632, 
and the Middle Eastem territories were lost 
as a result ol an Arab uprising during the 
firsi World Wor. 


:ccr »6«» '*• ' ; 



1710 / jf 

t The decline of the Ottoman Empire 1 683 


1 I UKSMlffl-WftemytitWTOiifi 

1 . I Losses 1830-78 Italy nl Berlin! 

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3 Retreat in the Caucasus 1 826-78 

fornix gored br tow 
2 fumftawEmirelSU/!? 
_J ton trftmoi [inn «i (ohmium of Akamai 1826 

g2 tMwydwftidMuCT IJ»-7( 

▲ Following Russia's defeat of the 
Ottomans in 1 878, the Treaty of Berlin 
awarded an area of the Caucasus to Russia. 

This land was returned in 1 921 by Bolshevik 
Russia to those fighting for the 
establishment of the Turkish Republic . 

The rise of the "Young Turks" 

The new sultan, Abdul Hamid II, swiftly shelved the consti- 
tution he had adopted as the price of survival in 1876. He 
ruled in the tradition of the Ottoman dynasty - as a despot. 
His empire had two faces: a westward-facing and cosmopoli- 
tan Constantinople, run by European-educated officials who 
might also be slave-owners, governing a society that faced 
east. The empire's political geography was now predomi- 
nantly Middle Eastern, and Abdul Hamid was keen to exploit 

~_ Ngutrat zone 
—T I«0 

SriWipmlKtmofc f *k_ J,,, 

his status as caliph (senior ruler in the Islamic world) which 
gave Ottoman agents access to Muslim communities world- 
wide, including those living under the British Raj. 

Pan-Islamic policies met widespread, if covert, criticism 
from those within the Ottoman elite who would have pre- 
ferred a state with a nationalist Turkish identity to one with 
a more diffuse Ottoman or Islamic facade. The empire's fault 
lines were exposed by a new political force: the Committee 
of Union and Progress (CUP), a successful, originally con- 
spiratorial, pressure group dominated by Turkish nationalist 
army officers, commonly nicknamed the "Young Turks". The 
CUP was committed to the retention of "Turkey in Europe" 
and relatively dismissive of the empire's Middle Eastern 
provinces and peoples. In 1908 they forced the sultan to 
renew the long-suspended constitution of 1876, and the fol- 
lowing year deposed him in favour of his more pliant brother. 

The CUP set out with democratic ideals but found that 
these were incompatible with the empire's ethnic divisions. 
Showpiece general elections served chiefly to demonstrate 
the voting power of the minorities, particularly the Arabs. 
CUP administration survived only by becoming increasingly 
dictatorial, particularly when it faced a new round of terri- 
torial losses. It was in an attempt to remedy this situation 
that the leader of the CUP, Enver Pasha, with German mili- 
tary assistance, took the Ottoman Empire to war in 1914. 

Between 1914 and 1916 the empire survived a series of 
Allied invasions (pages 218-19). Casualties were immense 
and the loyalty of the empire's minority populations was 
suspect, with thousands of Christian Armenians massacred for 
their pro-Russian sympathies. Apathy and disaffection among 
the empire's Arab Muslims was even more dangerous. In 1916 
the Hashemi "sharif ', governor of Mecca, raised a desert army 
which, allied with the British, successfully detached all 
remaining Arab provinces from Turkish control. 

The birth of the new Turkey 

Post-war schemes for dismembering the empire and reduc- 
ing the Ottoman sultanate to puppet status were built into the 
Treaty of Sevres (1920), which the sultan's administration in 
Constantinople meekly accepted, thereby losing any last 
shred of credibility. An alternative Turkish nationalist gov- 
ernment was set up at Ankara, led by Mustafa Kemal, later 
named "Ataturk" (Father of the Turks). By 1923 the Ankara 
regime had won diplomatic and military recognition from all 
its former antagonists, including the Greeks, who had been 
defeated by Rental's forces in 1922. 

The Sevres agreement was replaced by the more gener- 
ous Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which legitimized Ankara's 
right to govern an independent Turkish Republic in a region 
broadly corresponding to modern Turkey. The Ottoman sul- 
tanate was abolished by the treaty and the archaic caliphate 
followed it into extinction in 1924. 

▲ The Treaty of Sevres (1920) stripped 
the Ottomans of the remains of their 
empire, and divided Anatolia into European 
"spheres of influence", leaving only a small 
portion to be directly ruled by the sultan. 
The Greeks, who saw the Turkish defeat as 
an opportunity to claim territory in western 
Anatolia with a substantial Greek 
population, had dispatched troops to 
Smyrna in 1919. Between 1920 and 1922 
their troops established a firm grip on the 
region. During this time, however, Turkish 
nationalists became increasingly organized 
under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, and 
in August 1 922 a Turkish nationalist army 
attacked the Greek forces and drove them 
from Anatolia in disarray. The other 
European powers, recognizing the 
overwhelming Turkish support for Kemal, 
withdrew, and the Republic of Turkey was 
founded in 1923. 

▲ As President of Turkey (1 923-38), 
Mustafa Kemal ("Ataturk") instigated a 
series of reforms that created a modern 
secular state from the remains of the 
Ottoman Empire. 

© THE OTTOMAN AND SAFAVID EMPIRES 1500-1683 pages 142-43 © THE MIDDLE EAST SINCE 1945 pages 260-61 


EXPANSION 1795-1914 

▼ Between 1 795 and 19H Russia sough I 
tD expend ils territory in all possible 
directions bul met wilh resistance from 
tank) Britain end France when it 
threatened their inlsresrs in the Balkans in 
the 1 850s. Expansion IP ihe south and cost 
was intermittent up unlil ihe 9 EtBOs, when il 
was hailed by British power and by brand 
financial difficulties. To the easl, ihe Russian 
Empire extended even anla die canlinenl of 
KoMh America, as far as northern California, 
until Alaska was said la the Americans for 
57 7 1 1 1- 1 ; i on in 1867. to the southeosr 
Russia continued la eierl its influence in 
Monchutia and Mongolia in ihe early years 
of the 20lh ternary, despite its defeat al ihe 
bonds al the Japanese in 1905. 

During tht' 10th century Russia continued a process of 
territorial expansion that had Ixigun in the 1460s hut 
whiol] was now largely confined to Asia. Victory over 
Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815 brought the acquisition of the 
western part of Poland ("Congress Poland") ami confirma- 
tion of earlier gains in lonland in IWl'J and Ressarahia in 
1812 {map 1 1. However, this marked the end of expansion 
to the west and in fact Romania soon cut its ties with Russia 
ami in 188,1 made an alliance with Germany and Austria. 
In the southwest the Transeaueasian territories were 
acquired between 18(11 and 1830 and the route to them 
finally secured by the conquest of Cheoheuia — completed in 
185 ( J - and Cherkessia in 1864. 

In Central Asia. Russia seized large areas, often moving 
in where there was a political vacuum it could fill and 
perhaps resources it could exploit (alt hough it failed to 
actually exploit them until the 1920s). The conquests began 

in the 1820s and accelerated from 185.1 onwards. In 1885, 
however, Russian troops clashed with Afghan farces at 
I'endjeh and came up against another imperialist power, 
Britain, which sent a stern wanting that Afghanistan was not 
for the taking. 

In the mid-1 9th century Russia also turned its attention 
to the eastern end of Asia, acquiring the regions north ami 
south of the Amur River. This enabled it to establish 
Vladivostok - the vital warm-water port that gave year- 
round maritime access to the Far East. The Trans-Siberian 
Railway - built between 1891 and 1 ''04 - linked Vladivostok 
to MOSCOW, and brought the potential for trade with the Kar 
East, It tempted Russian policymakers to take over 
Manchuria in order to provide a more direct route to the 
coast, despite warnings from economic pressure groups that 
they should !>e concentrating on expanding internal markets 
io Siberia I'he dream xt" eastern expansion reached both Its 
apogee and its catastrophe in the Russo- Japanese War of 
1904-5, which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Russia 
The limits of the empire- were thus finally set. 


Economic development 

The economic development of the Russian Empire (map 2) 
was continuous throughout the 19th century and into the 
20th century, but four periods can be distinguished. First 
there was slow and steady growth from 1800 to 1885, inter- 
rupted by setbacks in the 1860s when the iron industry in 
the Urals was adversely affected by the emancipation of the 
serfs. (Many who had been forced to work in the mines fled 
from the region on being freed.) Then, from 1885 to 1900, 
there was rapid government-induced growth, with a one- 
sided emphasis on railway building and heavy industry. 
Economic stagnation, prolonged by the effects of the 
revolution of 1905-7 (map 3), constituted the third period. 
The final period, from 1908 to 1914, was a time of renewed 
economic growth on a broader front. 

It was during this last period that the big rush to 
emigrate to Siberia began, stimulated by the government 
itself, with the intention of solving the problem of land 
shortage in European Russia that had contributed greatly to 
the rural disturbances of 1905-7. Emigration to Siberia 
increased rapidly (graph) and the population of Siberia rose 
from 5.7 million in 1897 to 8.2 million in 1910. Settlement 
was concentrated along the Trans-Siberian Railway, which 
provided a link back to the west for a developing capitalist 
agriculture and the gold, copper and coal mines. 

The 1905 Revolution 

Russia's economy expanded in the 1890s with little attention 
to infrastructure and a complete refusal to link economic 
with political changes. This created tremendous tensions in 
the Russian social fabric, which were exacerbated by the 
government's repressive measures and its attempts at a 
gigantic foreign-policy diversion. "What we need to stem the 
revolutionary tide," said the reactionary, anti-Semitic 
Minister of the Interior Plehve in 1903, "is a small, vic- 
torious war". However, the result of the Russo-Japanese War 
of 1904-5 was precisely the opposite: the "revolutionary 
tide" nearly swept away the whole tsarist system. Only the 
loyalty of parts of the imperial army at the decisive moment, 
in December 1905, saved the situation for Nicholas II. 

The revolution of 1905 (or, more accurately, 1905-7) 
started under liberal slogans, and indeed the demand for 
representative popular government on the Western model 
was a common denominator throughout. It developed, 
however, into something much more threatening than a 
mere change of political regime. The workers who went on 
strike in 1905 set up councils, or "soviets", in every major 
city of the Russian Empire (map 3). These institutions acted 
as local organs of power, initally side by side with the old 
authorities, and in some cases led armed revolts that aimed 
at the complete overthrow of the imperial government. 
They were to resurface in 1917, with a decisive impact on 
Russian and world history. 

The revolution of 1905 was not simply an urban move- 
ment of Russian workers and intellectuals. Agriculture had 
been neglected by the state in its drive for industrialization, 
and since the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 it had 
experienced either stagnation or a slight improvement, 
interrupted by the dreadful famine of 1891. It is hardly 
surprising that the peasants lost patience. The peasant 
revolts of 1905-7 were the first large-scale risings since the 
18th century, and they forced the government into an 
abrupt change of policy (the Stolypin Reforms of 1906-10). 
This was, however, ultimately ineffectual, since the govern- 
ment carefully side-stepped the peasants' major grievance: 
the issue of gentry landholding. The peasant movement 
would revive with a vengeance in 1917 (pages 222-23). 

The non-Russian nationalities also revolted in 1905, 
demanding autonomy or independence, depending on their 
level of social and national maturity. These demands would 
also resurface in 1917, leading to the complete disinte- 
gration of the Russian Empire, although the formation of the 
Soviet Union in 1922 delayed the establishment of inde- 
pendent national states on the territory of the former 
Russian Empire for nearly 70 years. 

LfWs% ,^/#V' ^ ; *^ 




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2 The economic development of European Russia 1 800-1 9 1 4 

Synods *i ■ : developed bflforfl 186(1 
fyr&fc-i B.Mped 1660-1914 

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O O Engtfieerihfj 
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'<Jt K 


k. Industrial expansion occurred mainly in 
engineering, metarworking and mining, 
with the development of engineering 
around Moscow and oil extraction around 
Baku particularly noticeable. Overall, the 
period 1 800—1 914 saw a clear shift in the 
centre of economic gravity from the Urals 
to the Ukraine and Poland. 

▼ During the years of revolution, 1 905-7, 
urban revolt was widespread across 
European Russia, with strikes and armed 
uprisings. In some cities workers organized 
themselves into Soviets. Revolts also took 
place in large cities in Siberia and Central 
Asia, where there was a substantial Russian 
or Ukrainian population. Rural revolt, on the 

other hand, was most intense in the Ukraine 
and to the south of Moscow, in provinces 
where land was held in common by the 
peasants and redivided every 20 years 
according to family size. This led to a 
strongly developed sense of community, 
making the peasants sympathetic to socialist 
revolutionary agitators. 

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© THE EXPANSION OF RUSSIA 1462-1795 pages 148-49 © THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 1917-39 pages 222-23 

UNITED STATES 1783-1910 



r fWtk 




v * « 

▲ The expedition of Meriwether Lewis and 
William Clark in 1804-6 succeeded in its 
quest to find a route from the Mississippi to 
the Pacific. Like so many pioneering 
journeys in the West, it relied heavily on the 
local knowledge of Native Americans. 
Sacajawea (pictured here with Clark) - a 
Shoshone woman who had lived with the 
Mandan - was particularly valuable to the 
venture as a translator. 

Throughout the 19th century American pioneers 
moved inexorably westwards across the Appalachian 
Mountains in search of good farmland and new oppor- 
tunities. Either through diplomacy, conquest or purchase, 
millions of acres of new territory came under United States 
control to form the transcontinental nation that we recog- 
nize today. This enormous landmass was swiftly occupied 
by settlers, and as these new areas gained large populations 
they were admitted to the Union as states. 

In 1783 the new nation extended from the Atlantic coast 
westwards as far as the Mississippi River (map 1). Its terri- 
tory was subsequently enlarged in two great expansionist 
movements. Firstly, with great astuteness, Thomas Jefferson 
bought a great swathe of the Midwest from France in 1803 
for a meagre 815 million. The "Louisiana Purchase", as it 
was known, instantly doubled the size of the United States. 
West Florida was annexed in 1813, while under the 
Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819, Spain ceded all of East Florida 
to the United States and gave up its claim to territory north 
of the 42nd parallel in the Pacific northwest. 

The second wave of expansion involved the acquisition 
of Texas, Oregon and California. In 1835 American settlers 
in Texas staged a successful revolt against Mexican rule, 
winning the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, and the Republic 
of Texas was born. The Mexican War (1846-48) between the 
United States and its weaker southern neighbour resulted 
in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), which gave the 
United States not only California but a huge region in the 
southwest (map 1 ). 

~ % ^HT 

1 Territorial expansion from 1 783 


'B'.r, i- ii-isiiira 'ill!, 

I I MdbfJtamlMt 

▲ The United States expanded westwards 
to the Pacific by a series of financial deals, 
negotiated settlements and forcible 
annexations. As each new territory was 
colonized by American settlers and a viable 
government formed, it became eligible for 
admission to the Union as a state and 
entitled to representation in Congress. 

For many years, Britain had contested America's claims 
to the Oregon Country. Its Hudson's Bay Company con- 
trolled the region but, in the face of growing American 
immigration in the west of the region, Britain surrendered 
most of the area south of the 49th parallel to the United 
States in the Oregon Treaty of 1846 (map 2). With the 
Gadsden Purchase in 1853, the United States owned all the 
territory of its present states except for Alaska (purchased 
from Russia in 1867) and Hawaii (annexed in 1898). 

Explorers of the West 

At the beginning of the 19th century part of the impetus to 
venture west came from the desire to increase trade - not 
only with the Native Americans but also with Asia. Reports 
from the expedition of Lewis and Clark (1804-6) (map 3) 
provided valuable information about the natural wealth of 


2 Stages of smuMiin 
■I AwaMbrtftti 
■ *hs*m nn-\m 

iMsanW 1830-1970 


▲ Settlement took place in a number of 
stages, often as a result of the displacement 
of people from areas within the United 

States caused by political and economic 
developments. Many European economic 
migrants also became American pioneers. 

the West. Zebulon Pike (1804-7) explored the sources of the 
Mississippi and visited Colorado and New Mexico, while 
Stephen H. Long (1817-23) investigated lands near the Red 
and Arkansas rivers. As well as these government agents, 
traders and fur trappers, such as Jedediah Smith, travelled 
extensively between the Missouri and the Pacific coast. It 
was they who opened the Santa Fe Trail between New 
Mexico and Missouri in 1821, while "mountain men", 
hunting in the Rockies in the 1820s, spread word of the 
riches to be found there. 

Westward migration 

The American people flowed west in several distinct migra- 
tion waves (map 2). The War of 1812 against Britain led to 
many people overcoming their fear of opposition from 
Native Americans and travelling westwards to find new agri- 
cultural land. Thousands of newcomers established small 
farms in what was known as the "Old Northwest" (now part 
of the Midwest). Most of the first settlers were southerners 
who had been displaced by the growth of the plantation 
system with its slave labour force. By 1830 their settlements 
filled southern Indiana and Illinois and were overrunning 
Missouri. In the following decade newcomers from the 
northeast settled around the Great Lakes, and by 1840 
almost all the Old Northwest had been carved into states. 
Many pioneers had also moved into the newly acquired ter- 
ritory of Florida and into the land bordering the Gulf of 
Mexico. Most settlers here came from the southeast, looking 
for fields where they could grow cotton. Small farmers had 
been followed by large-scale planters, who brought slaves to 
the region - the majority from the eastern states. Once set- 
tlers had occupied the entire area, pioneers began to push 
beyond the Mississippi. 

Many Americans believed in "manifest destiny", the idea 
that America was destined by God and by history to expand 
its boundaries over the whole of North America. After 1843, 
each spring, eager adventurers gathered at Independence, 
Missouri to organize wagon trains to travel the overland 
Oregon Trail across the Great Plains (map 3). This early 
trickle of settlement was hugely accelerated by the discov- 
ery of gold in California in 1848. When gold fever swept the 
nation, more than 100,000 "Forty-Niners" poured into 
California. Although relatively few found gold, many stayed 
on as farmers and shopkeepers. 

Utah was settled not by profit-seeking adventurers but 
by Mormons searching for an isolated site where they could 
freely worship without persecution. The journey of the 
Mormons to the shores of Great Salt Lake in 1847 was one 
of the best-organized migrations in history. 

Much of the West remained unsettled even after the 
frontier reached the Pacific Ocean. During the Civil War 
(1861-65) pioneers settled in the region between the Rocky 


Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, and after the war ranch- 
ers and farmers occupied the Great Plains west of the 
Mississippi. Cattle ranching on the open ranges involved 
driving herds over long distances along recognized trails 
(map 3), from the pasture lands to the railhead and on to 
market. However, the "cattle kingdom" was short-lived. The 
pastures became exhausted, and the Homestead Act of 1862 
encouraged farmers to move from the east onto free or low- 
cost land. The settlers enclosed the pasture lands, barring 
the roving cattle herds. This settlement was greatly facili- 
tated by the new east-west railroads (pages 186-87). 

The Native Americans 

As the pioneers moved westwards they ruthlessly took over 
land from Native Americans and fighting often broke out 
(map 4). The US government sent in support for the settlers 
and federal troops won most encounters of the so-called 
Indian Wars (1861-68, 1875-90). Settlement of the West 
largely brought an end to the traditional way of life of the 
Native Americans. Farmers occupied and fenced in much of 
the land, and white settlers moving west slaughtered buffalo 
herds on which many Native Americans depended for their 
survival. At the same time, the federal government pushed 
more and more Native Americans onto reservations. 

In the short period of one century, the United States 
expanded from being an infant rural nation confined to the 
Atlantic coast to a transcontinental powerhouse, with a 
large rural and industrial population. This territorial expan- 
sion occurred at a phenomenal speed and settlement 
proceeded rapidly, despite formidable physical and human 
obstacles. Having established its own internal empire from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, the USA was now in a position to 
challenge European supremacy on the world stage. 


Bwjr Paw Mountain 



lifluo ■ 

CROW X^l#n 

Dull W,k * S ' OU * <fe 
1876 X 


Sand Creek 
, 1864 


4 Treatment of the Native Americans 

^■* RoulBS of rite Oelnwirc Native Airiefimns 

Knjrtt of r, it southern tiibes, the 'Trail if focrV 
H Wqoi Irian !Bwnononnl&75 
NAV Native American fata 
X, Mi* Inlin Inula 


X.X I83S-. 

Oil If iff \li-x U'« 

▼ In 1806 a government-funded 

expedition, led by Lewis and Clark, 
established a route between the Mississippi 
River and the west coast. Alternative 
overland routes were established by 
pioneers seeking land or gold, and by 
surveyors looking (or railroad routes. 

A During the 18th century the Delaware 
Native Americans made a slow westward 
migration and in 1830 the Indian Removal 
Act also forced the southern tribes westward. 
Demands by white settlers for more land led 
to the establishment of Indian reservations 
and a series of bloody conflicts. 

© THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1775-83 pages 164-65 © THE INDUSTRIAL GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES 1790-1900 pages 186-87 


Casuaities of the Civil War 

275.1 75 



A The Union was able to muster many 
more troops than the Confederacy, and 
suffered a smaller proportion of 
casualties. Overall, 20 per cent of soldiers 
in the Gvil War died - the majority of 
them as a result of disease. 

T Although it was the issue of slavery that 
prompted the Southern states to secede 
from the Union, the situation was not 
clearcut, with four of the Union states - 
Delaware, Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky 
- permitting slavery. Kansas joined the 
Union as a free state in 1861. 

The American Civil War was fought between the 
Northern states (the Union), who wished to maintain 
the United States of America as one nation, and the 
Southern states (the Confederacy), who had seceded to form 
their own nation. The causes of the war included the long- 
standing disagreements over slavery and its expansion into 
the new territories, as well as conflicts over economic dis- 
parities between North and South and the division of power 
between the federal government and individual states. 

Although slavery had been a marginal issue in the found- 
ing of the Republic, abolitionists began to attack this 
Southern institution in the early 19th century. Following 
the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which forbade slavery in 
the Louisiana Purchase (pages 182-83) north of 36° 36', 
many thought that slavery would gradually die out as the 
tobacco industry declined. After 1830, however, the opening 
up of virgin lands in the Deep South to the cotton economy 
(map 1), coupled with the ever-increasing demand of 
European textile mills for raw cotton, suddenly enhanced 
the value of slave labour. 

The sectional divide 

American politics began to divide according to sectional 
interests, focusing on the status of slavery in the new 
western territories. The Compromise of 1850 forbade 
slavery in California (map 2), while the Kansas-Nebraska 
Act of 1854 opened up these two territories to slavery - 
leading to much violence in Kansas. 

Against this background, the Republican Party was 
formed to prevent further expansion of slavery, although in 
the controversial Dred Scott decision in 1857 the Supreme 
Court ruled that Congress could not exclude slavery from 
the territories. 

The issue of slavery came to the forefront during the 
presidential election of 1860. The Republican candidate, 
Abraham Lincoln, was hostile to slavery and opposed its 
extension to new territories, although he had pledged not to 
interfere with it where it already existed. Following his elec- 
tion as President in 1860, however, South Carolina 
immediately seceded from the Union, a decision followed 
by Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and 
Texas. These seven states formed the independent 
Confederate States of America early in 1861 and they would 
be joined by four more (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee 
and Arkansas) once war was declared. 

-' 2 The legal position of slavery 1 36 1 

' - | t Fis sttte 

':.!i:v ':.tir^ 1846 Dole whffl ilGrtfY flK drained 

ales open la staff? us a teajb 
rf Aa CndSopttEMto 1IS7 



I The slave population an d cotton production 

^j tore a! wNan [tfodllrtiDii 

i'H r/lex- ±1^ .; prw«t 50 - 1 5 : ■ d pqpu'flfar 
9 torc ATere <!ei*>s onfrca! Mi 75 : i(rf pocufcrtofl 

A The census of 1 860 revealed that there 
were nearly four million slaves in the 
southern United States, the majority of 
whom were agricultural workers. They were 

considered vital to the profitability of cotton 
production, which had expanded to meet an 
increased demand from the rapidly 
industrializing countries of western Europe. 

The outbreak of war 

War broke out on 12 April 1861 when Southern forces 
opened fire on federal-owned Fort Sumter. Arguing that 
secession was illegal and that the Union must be preserved, 
Lincoln took this as a declaration of war. Given the South 's 
dependence on European imports, the strategy of the North 
was to starve the South into submission by encirclement 
and blockade (map 3). 

The Confederacy won some early victories in 1861-62, 
successfully repelling Union attempts to capture their 
capital at Richmond, Virginia. The Union was forced (in par- 
ticular by the defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 
1861) to disband its militia in favour of a new army of 
500,000 volunteers. As the war progressed, however, both 
sides were forced to introduce conscription to raise troops. 

While the Union cause seemed imperilled in the east, in 
the southwest Union forces were successful in their attempt 
to seize control of the Mississippi, culminating in the 
capture of New Orleans, the largest city and most important 
port in the Confederacy. The Confederate attempt to invade 
Maryland in September 1862 was thwarted at the Battle of 
Antietam. This encouraged President Lincoln to sign the 
Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, which freed 
all slaves in the Confederacy. Although it did not apply to 
Union states in which slavery was still permitted (map 2), it 
nevertheless gave the conflict a new moral purpose: to 
preserve the Union and abolish slavery. Freedom for the 
slaves took place gradually as the Union armies moved 
southwards, and the Proclamation helped break down the 
opposition to recruitment of African-American soldiers. By 
the war's end, 186,000 of them had served in Union armies, 
albeit in segregated regiments under the command of white 
officers and at vastly reduced levels of pay. 

As the war progressed, the Union's greater manpower 
and superior economic and industrial resources began to 
prevail. The Union victory at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 
July 1863 proved to be the major turning point. The 
Confederacy was never strong enough again to undertake 
another major offensive. The next day the Confederate gar- 
rison of Vicksburg, Louisiana, which had been besieged by 
the Unionists since mid-May, surrendered. Not only had the 
Confederacy suffered huge and irreplaceable losses in the 
east, but it was also now split in two, with Union troops con- 
trolling the Mississippi. The second half of 1863 saw further 
decisive battles in the west in the Tennessee campaign, with 
the Confederate forces being driven back into Georgia. 


3 The Civil War 

— *■ JtikxitorcE 

^] Ufiinngd«isl86l-M 

— *- CordeoKnre fores 

^\ Union gmnslKi-iJ 

*I« Union ikror* 

] Union grins 1S65 

*I« CorrfsderolevHrtiir^ 


Infaisw Unhrio 

Iffi Fort {wilt dole when 

I | Free states 

token by Uoon lioopsl 



In 1864 the Union implemented two simultaneous cam- 
paigns. The first, centred (in Virginia, saw some of the 
fiercest fighting of the war (map 3 inset), with no real 
Victory for either side, although this war of attrition gradu- 
ally depleted the human and material resources of the 
Confederates. In the second Union campaign Atlanta was 
captured, followed by General Sherman's "scorched earth" 
march through Georgia to Savannah and then north 
through the Carolinas, which caused much devastation and 
famine in its wake. Wilmington, the Confederate's last 
remaining seaport, was effectively closed down at the begin- 
ning of 1865 as a result of the Union naval hlockade of 
Southern ports. At the outset of the war. the Confederacy 
had believed that the demand from Uritain and Fr;niLv for 
cotton would force them to enter the war on its behalf. As 
the war progressed, however, the two countries decided not 
to risk intervention for a losing eause. 

The Confederate General Robert K. Lee was forced to 
evacuate Petersburg and Richmond, and surrender to 
General Ulysses S. < Irant at Appomattox Court House on 9 
April 1865, effectively ending the war. By the end of May, 
the last Confederate forces had laid down their arms. 


In many ways the Civil War was the first "modem" war. It 
was fought by mass citizen volunteer and conscript armies, 
rather than hy professional soldiers. Railroads played a 
crucial role in the movement of troops and raw materials, 
while telegraphs were used for military communication as 
well as for virtually immediate Press reporting. The war also 
saw the first use of rudimentary iron-clad battleships, 
machine-guns, trench systems and dugouts. 

The Civil War was fought at the cost of enormous loss of 
life (pie chuna), btit it had the ultimate effect of preserving 
the United States of America as one nation hy settling the 
dispute over the division of power between the federal gov- 
ernment and individual states in favour of the former. It also 
effectively ended the institution of slavery, although it did 
little to resolve the problem of race relations, which reached 
a climax a century later (pufies 240-41). Furthermore, as 
the final decades of the 19th century were to reveal, the 
Civil War brought many economic benefits to the North, 
under whose leadership the United States had 
developed, by the end of the century, into the world's 
greatest industrial power. 

a Mrs: ol ihe lighting in the Civil Wni 
look plate on Southern temltuy, with the 
Confederals adopting defensive taclics cm 
familiar terrain, anil the Union side fenced 
to maintain lengthy supply lines. The Union 
side devised ihe "Anaconda Plan" by which 
ihey first encircled the Southern slntrs hy 
land and sea, and then split them up by 
seizing control of Ihe Mississippi River in the 
spring of 1 363 and marching through 
Georgia in ihe winler of 1 864 — 65. 


UNITED STATES 1790-1900 

1 Rmukmds and mimls I860 



During the course of the I'Jth century the United 
States was transformed from a simple agrarian 
republic into a modern industrial nation. This 
process of industrialization occurred in two main phases, 
in the first, from 1800 to the Civil War ( 1861-65), dWelop- 
ments in transportation and manufacturing, and an 
increase in population, resulted in a capitalist commercial 
economy. In the second phase a dramatic acceleration in 
the rate of change after 1S65 led to the creation of the 
modern American industrial superpower, 

Early industrialization 

t ihanges in transportation provided the main catalyst for 
industrialization: improved national communication created 
larger markets and greatly facilitated the movement of 
goods, services and people. The earliest manifestation of this 
development was the laying down of hard-surfaced roads, 
known as turnpikes, mainly in Mew England and the mid- 
Atlantic states. During the "Turnpike Era" (1790-1820) 
more than 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) of road were 
constructed , the earliest being the Lancaster Pike I 17*Mj 
between Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The 
most famous turnpike, the government-financed National 
Road, had crossed the Appalachian Mountains from 
Maryland to Virginia by 18 IN and reached Illinois by 1N.1N. 
These roads provided an early stimulus to economic devel- 
opment and westward expansion. 

The turnpikes were followed by advances in river and 
lake transportation The first of the commercially successful 
steamboats started ope rating on the Hudson River in 1607, 
but these ships became more widely used further west, 
travelling up and down the Ohio and Mississippi risers and 

■4 The development ol tonal and railroad 
syslems. coupled with the navigation ol 
rivers by steamboats, enabled a two-way 

trade flow wfieteby tow moletiok hom ihe 
west and south were transported lo Ihe east 
and returned as rtqoouloctured goads. 


A I he industries of the United Slates 
benefited from :irh natural resources, 
particularly tool and metal ores, which were 
transported to the industrial regions along a 
network of railroads, navigable rivers and 
canals. Industrial conflict occurred horn the 
1870s onwards as workers demanded a 
share of the country's increased wealth. 

■ ■■■ 


2 Industrial DEmoMtfHT 1890 

Weiof milrcHtd Ci lion or sntet nulls 

[ml mimg A Gil aid get, drilling 

_J GoM and s*# tmkq # kjtiE-manuloffcvq 

■ topper mho x in ol mfairal ranflin 


their tributaries. The steamboats stimulated the agricultural 
economies of the Midwest and the south by providing quick 
access to markets for their produce at greatly reduced 
prices, and enabled manufacturers in the east to send their 
finished goods westwards. 

The first half of the 19th century also witnessed wide- 
scale building of canals. In 1816 there were only 160 
kilometres (100 miles) of canal; by 1840 this figure had 
risen to 5,321 kilometres (3,326 miles) (map 1). The Erie 
Canal was completed in 1825, connecting Albany, New York 
to Buffalo on Lake Erie, thereby giving New York City direct 
access to the growing markets of Ohio and the Midwest via 
the Great Lakes, and to the Mississippi via the Ohio River. 

The first railroad was opened between Baltimore (which 
funded the project) and Ohio in 1830. Other cities followed 
Baltimore's example, and, with the markets of Ohio, Indiana 
and Illinois in mind, 5,324 kilometres (3,328 miles) of track 
had been laid by 1840 - a figure which trebled over the next 
ten years. In the 1860s federal land grants encouraged rail- 
road building to link together all parts of the nation and 
enable the quick and inexpensive movement of goods and 
people over great distances (map 1). 

The introduction of the telegraph in 1837 further 
enhanced the speed of communication. By 1861 there were 
80,000 kilometres (50,000 miles) of telegraph cable in the 
United States, connecting New York on the Atlantic with 
San Francisco on the Pacific coast. 

Developments in manufacturing 

Alongside developments in transportation, the early 19th 
century also saw the transition from craftwork in homes and 
in small shops to larger-scale manufacturing with machines. 
Domestic US manufacturing began to flourish when imports 
were scarce during the War of 1812 against Britain. The 
textile industry spearheaded these developments, with 
Francis Lowell founding, in 1813, the first mill in North 
America that combined all the operations of converting raw 
cotton into finished cloth under one roof: a "factory" system 
based on machine technology. These early forms of manu- 
facturing were concentrated in the east and mainly processed 
the products of American farms and forests. 

A primary factor in the industrial growth of the United 
States was an abundance of raw materials (map 2). In addi- 
tion, the country benefited from a large and expanding 
labour force, which also provided a vast domestic market 
for industrial goods. By 1860 its population had reached 
31.5 million, exceeding that of Britain. 

Industrialization after the Civil War 

In 1860 American industry was still largely undeveloped. 
Most industrial operations were small in scale, hand-craft- 
ing remained widespread and there was insufficient capital 
for business expansion. This situation changed fundament- 
ally after the Civil War (pages 184-85), with the rapid 
development of new technologies and production 
processes. Machines replaced hand-crafting as the main 
means of manufacturing, and US productive capacity 
increased at a rapid and unprecedented rate. Industrial 
growth was chiefly centred on the north, while the south 
largely remained an agricultural region. 

More than 25 million immigrants entered the United 
States between 1870 and 1916 (bar chart). Mass immigra- 
tion, coupled with natural growth, caused the population to 
more than double between 1870 and 1910 to reach 92 
million. In the new industrialized nation great cities and an 
urban culture flourished (map 3). 

In the late 19th century mass industrialization was stim- 
ulated by a surge in technological innovation and improved 
factory production methods, enabling goods to be produced 
faster, in greater quantity and thus more cheaply than ever 
before. The typewriter was introduced in 1867, followed by 
the cash register and the adding machine. Electricity was 
first used as a power source in the 1870s, while international 
telegraph cables and the invention of the telephone assisted 
communication in the latter part of the century. 



»*™«T<*^Prv / %£ 

0«l»<£ ClAbBS 3 ^^ 

-- ?—. s^r^ tar V 

' Elizobehh 




3 Population and urbanization 1900 


IKf sq mile per sq Uonsfre <ity/town: 

| | 0-2 fZ3 I" 1 ° lM.OOO-150,000 

3 3— IB J 2-7 a 250,000-500. 

H 19-90 [ 3 8-35 Q 500.000-1 

i;„C ■■! 



r % 


H am 1 mfei 

Caribbean .sVn 

Railroad-building likewise increased at a dramatic rate, 
providing a great stimulus to coal and steel production and 
rivalling the steamboat and canal barge as a means of trans- 
portation. By the 1880s a nationwide network of railroads 
enabled goods to be distributed quickly and cheaply through- 
out the country, often over great distances from the point of 
production (map 2). 

The highly profitable railroads provided the model for the 
development of the modern corporations that financed and 
directed this great industrial expansion. In order to eliminate 
cut-throat competition between companies and to encour- 
age capital investment for further expansion and greater 
efficiency, enterprises were increasingly consolidated into 
large-scale units, often monopolies, owned by limited 
liability shareholders. The federal government helped to 
create an entrepreneurial climate in which business and 
trade could flourish without undue hindrance. 

As a result of these developments the United States was 
transformed, by the end of the 19th century, from an 
essentially agrarian economy into a country in which half of 
its now culturally diversified population lived in its ever- 
growing cities. It had replaced Britain as the world's leading 
industrial power, and was thus set to dominate the global 
economy in the 20th century. 

▲ By 1 900 the population of the United 
States had reached 76 million, half of whom 
lived in the large cities that had grown in 
the northern industrial region. 

T The pattern of migration to the United 
States was influenced partly by political and 
economic developments in Europe. Before 
the 1 890s most immigrants came from 
northern and western Europe, in particular 
from Ireland following the Potato Famine in 
the 1840s, and from Germany. By 1900 
the majority of migrants were from central 
and eastern Europe, Russia and Italy. 

European immigration to the United State; 

I Mm 

I I Mi? 
I ~1 1900 

r ?l r rrS 




-^ E «- If' 

:.- :» 


is *3 


© THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1775-83 pages 164-65 © THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1900 pages 240-41 




1 Settlement in eastern 

Canada before 1S2S 

H Frw*h 

"Z2 N** Wae ™ 

| Scarlish Lerlai-.- 1/33 

~] Gerrrau 

| British oiler 173] 

^] American lectors alter 17B3 

A Since the )7lh renlury Frenrh speoking 
Canadians had largely «llled along ihe Si 
Lawrence River. However, In ihe 177EH and 
I ?HOs American Loyalists, escaping ream ihe 
newly farmed United Stales, migrated to the 
southwestern part of the aid province of 
Quebec and to the British colony of Novo 
Scotia. necessitating, the creation of another 
colony. Hew Bnjnswidt. 


tiring the Ksth century territorial rivalry between the 
) French and British in North America gradually 

increased, coming to a head in the Seven Years War 
of 1756-6.1. Although the British initially suffered defeats, 
their troops rapidly gained the upper hand after the appoint- 
paeni of General Wolfe in 1757 and by 1760 they had 
effectively defeated the French. France surrendered Canada 
to Britain in the Treaty of Paris in 176,1, and Britain found 
itself in the unprecedented situation of having a Colony with 
ci large white population of approximately 6,50(1, who were 
non-English-speaking and Roman Catholic. The British 
parliament passed the Quebec Act in 1774, which greatly 
enlarged tile territory of Quebec (pages J 64-65), guaran- 
teed freedom of religion to French Canadians (at a time 
when Roman Catholic subjects in Britain were effectively 
excluded from political participation), and recognised the 

validity of French civil law These measures succeeded in 
securing the loyalty of the Canadians at a time of increasing 
discontent in the British colonies elsewhere in America, 
During the American Revolution (1775-8.1) (JJqfiea Ifyf-OS) 
attempts by the Thirteen Colonies first to secure Canadian 
support, and then to invade the region, failed. 

The creation of the Cnited States of America had signi- 
ficant repercussions for Canada. It not only defined the 
Canadian-American border (with Britain giving up all land 
south of the Great Lakes) but also fundamentally altered the 
composition of Canada's population. Between 4(1,00(1 and 
60.01)0 Americans who remained loyal to the British crown 
flooded into ( aiuada during and after the war, creating the 
basis for Canada's English-speaking population (rnun J ). 

The C«instiittioisal Act ok 1791 

The loss of the Thirteen Colonies encouraged Britain to 
tighten its rule over its remaining North American posses- 
sions. Aeliiiiiwledgingtlie liieultnral nature of the ( lanadiaii 
population and I flu loyalists* desire for some form of repre- 
sentative government, the Constitutional Act of 17') 1 
divided Quebec into two self-ruling parts - English-speak- 
ing L'pper Canada (now Ontario) and French-speaking, 
largely Catholic, bower Canada (now Quebec) -dominated 
by a British governor and an tip pointed legislative council. 
There were also significant English-speaking pockets in 
l/0\ver 4 lanada. most notably the dominant merchant class 
in Montreal and farmers in the eastern townships. Canadian 
independence was further secured when repeated American 
invasions were repelled in the War of 1812. 

Westward expansion 

Canada's survival as an independent country ultimately 
depended on population growth and economic develop- 
ment. In the east, internal communications were improved 
in the first half of the l'Jth century through the construc- 
tion of roads and canals. Canada's western Pacific regions 
had been opened up in the last decades of the 18th century 
by explorers such as Alexander Mackenzie (nice)) 2), Simon 
Eraser and David Thompson, with fur traders and the 
British Hudson's Bay Company (which also controlled vast 
tracts in the northeast of the country) following swiftly 
behind. In the central region, south of Lake Winnipeg, 
settlement was encouraged by the Scottish philanthropist 
Lord Selkirk, who set up the Red River colony for Scottish 

A In 1 7)2 Alexander Makentw led an 

expedition from Lake Athabasca la find on 
outlet to ihe Pacific Ocean. The explorers 
braved the rapids of the Pence and Ftoser 
rivers before emerging an ihe wesl coast 
ol North America al Bella Coala the 
following year. 

► Expansion wesl inlo the prairies and 
along ihe west (oast during the )9lh century 
was preceded by tourneys of explorolion, 
whkh were often undertaken by fur trader:. 

The completion ol the Canadian Pacific 
Railroad in 1 835 provided a huge boost to 
Irode oeross Canodn, and numerous 
settlements developed along its route. 

,"'; S W 


9a •,. 

2 Westward expansion to 1 9 1 1 

tans serried: 


before 1971 




imraSui Prrik Inilnov, tanptared 19S5 



IttfecTMottsu* 1792-93 

bun i Ttampsm 1807-11 

Towrr mi?H poprJahor* 1 A7 1 




35.000-100, DOC 


belt* 25,000 



^™ ftoLfufcuv of wig'fld CoflledmtHin 166? 

t8d£ ten wIhii prminre entered CartfedefflTipti 

— foutfrjary of Rupert's Land, purchased 

iiV Canadian government 1870 

H Prolines after Ul? 

| fcrnmries trfter 1)1 ! 

[ 1 Sursri ratoiy until 1949 


PI hrr^gdMfc province m?/l?7? 


founder. esmlrtsriBdlffl 

immigrants in 1812. Two British colonies were founded on 
the Pacific coast: Vancouver Island (1849) and British 
Columbia (1858), which united in 1866. 

From Union to Confederation 

Canadian discontent with oligarchic rule led to two short 
rebellions in both Upper and Lower Canada in 1837 and 
1838, forcing Britain to reassess how best to keep Canada 
within the empire and how to unite the French and English 
Canadians. The resulting Act of Union of 1840 combined 
Upper and Lower Canada into the new Province of Canada 
and by 1848 Canadians had gained a degree of self-govern- 
ment. Under this system, however, both Canada West and 
Canada East (formerly Upper and Lower Canada respec- 
tively) had equal representation in the province's legislative 
assembly. This did little to ensure national unity and 
encouraged political stalemate; further problems arose after 
1850, when the population of Canada West exceeded that 
of Canada East, with the former unsuccessfully demanding 
representation by population. 

During the 1850s and 1860s calls grew to dissolve this 
ineffectual union and to replace it with some form of federal 
government by which each part of Canada could control its 
own affairs while a central government protected national 
defence and common interests. Constitutional change was 
also spurred on by external events. Britain increasingly 
wanted Canadians to shoulder the burden of their own 
defence, while Canada felt increasingly threatened by fears 
of an anti-British American invasion during the American 
Civil War (1861-65) and by the reality of raids across its 
borders in the 1860s by Fenians (Irish Americans demand- 
ing Irish independence from Britain). After conferences in 
Charlottetown and Quebec (1864), the British North 
America Act was signed by Queen Victoria in 1867. 

This act created the largely self-governing federation or 
Dominion of Canada under the British crown, with a con- 
stitution based on the British parliamentary system. It 
initially comprised only four provinces (map 3), with a pop- 
ulation of 3.5 million people, only 100,000 of whom lived 
west of the Great Lakes. The driving ambition of the 
"Fathers of the Confederation" was to unite all of the 

remaining British colonies in North America in order to 
achieve the economic and social development necessary for 
a viable nation, especially in the face of ongoing American 

In 1870 the government vastly extended Canadian ter- 
ritory by purchasing Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay 
Company (map 3); while the company retained its trading 
station and forts, it gave up its monopoly of the area which 
had long been difficult to enforce. The province of Manitoba 
was created in the same year, following the Red River 
Rebellion by settlers of mixed French and Native American 
ancestry, led by the metis Louis Riel. In 1871 British 
Columbia joined as Canada's sixth province after the 
promise of a transcontinental railroad (completed in 1885) 
linking it to eastern Canada (map 2). Similar financial 
incentives enabled Prince Edward Island to become the 
seventh province in 1873, although Newfoundland remained 
a proud self-governing colony until 1949. 

Realizing that population growth was necessary for 
national survival, the Canadian government actively pro- 
moted immigration from the British Isles and the United 
States and, towards the end of the century, from central and 
eastern Europe; this once more changed the cultural and 
ethnic mix of Canada's population. The new settlers 
moved primarily to unoccupied lands on the prairies 
(map 2), which enabled the provinces of Alberta and 
Saskatchewan to be created in 1905. In 1912 the remaining 
parts of the former Hudson's Bay Company lands were 
added to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. 

Tensions between the British and French 

The position of French Canadians as a cultural minority 
within the Confederation led to ongoing tension, exacer- 
bated by Canada's decision to send volunteer troops to fight 
for the British Empire in the Boer War (1899-1902). The 
situation reached crisis point when, in 1917, the Canadian 
parliament introduced conscription. Ironically, the fact that 
55,000 Canadians lost their lives fighting for the empire in 
the First World War led ultimately to the transformation of 
Canada into a fully independent sovereign nation under the 
Statute of Westminster in 1931. 

k Between the establishment of the 
original four provinces of the Dominion 
of Canada in 1 867 and the outbreak of the 
First World War in 1 914, the political map 
of Canada changed dramatically. As the 
population grew in the newly settled 
territories, provinces were created and 
federated to the central government in 
Ottawa. In 1912 Manitoba and Ontario were 
greatly enlarged to the north, with the 
annexation of land from the Northwest 
Territories. Further boundary changes 
occurred in 1 927, when the colony of 
Newfoundland was enlarged at the expense 
of Quebec, and in 1 999, when the Nunavut 
Territory - administered by its majority 
Inuit inhabitants - was created. 


CARIBBEAN 1780-1830 

T In 1800 the majority of Latin America 
was under Spanish control, administered by 
viceroys and captains-general. The 
Portuguese were still in control of Brazil and 
the British ruled in Guiana, where they had 
temporarily expanded to take over the 
adjacent Dutch territory (now Surinam). 
The French had taken control of Santo 
Domingo from the Spanish but were to lose 
it in 1 809. They had already lost the colony 
of Saint Domingue in 1 804, when it became 
independent Haiti. The Spanish territory 
was rich in minerals and included Potosi, 
the silver-mining capital of the world, 
although its resources were by now on 
the verge of being exhausted. 

In 1800 (map 1) few people, either in Europe or the 
Americas, could have anticipated that 25 years later all 
of Spain's mainland American colonies would be inde- 
pendent republics. Several colonial rebellions had occurred 
during the late 18th century, but they had all been defeated, 
and should not be interpreted as antecedents of indepen- 
dence. The most significant of these uprisings, in Peru, was 
interesting for what it revealed about the fundamental alle- 
giances of Spanish American Creoles (those of Spanish 
descent, born in the colonies). In 1780 a Creole revolt 
against Spanish tax increases was superseded by an anti- 
Spanish rebellion among the American Indians, led by 
Tupac Amaru. The small minority of Creoles hastily jetti- 
soned their own protest in favour of helping the colonial 
authorities to suppress this revivalist Inca movement - at 
the cost of 100,000 lives, most of them Indian. 

Creole allegiance 

The Creoles' fear of the African, Indian and mixed-race 
peoples, who made up approximately 80 per cent of 
Spanish America's population in the late 18th century, 
meant that many of them looked to Spain to defend their 
dominant social and economic position. This rationale was 
strengthened after a slave revolt in the French Caribbean 
colony of Saint Domingue in 1791 led to the founding, in 
1804, of Haiti, the first African-Caribbean republic in the 
Americas. Most Creoles calculated that their interests 
ultimately depended on Spain, despite an expanding list of 
grievances against the mother country. It was not until 
Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808, and installed Joseph 
Bonaparte in place of the Bourbon King Ferdinand, that 
some Creoles began to reconsider their options. They were 
presented with three main choices: to support Joseph 
Bonaparte; to declare allegiance to the provisional Spanish 

' J ^ 

Kl„ f New 






to j-~ v n 

-*;% i v Y V M 

^-fjfeEUZE ^^waica 

lUtrittbcan Sen 

^— - /* 

d*— c t 

\rtr-E&r\VAnv i 

A t t a 11 t i ■ 

Of. a n 

Guawnafe I 






P a c i / ! C 

C) v c a ti 

1 uiin America and the 
Caribbean 1800 

[aland .npiuEr 

| feilan 
I Fonujri [ Zl f ™ 

QAfl "^O^ iKM '~/ RiODEWPIAIA 

1 f I a n I i 
O t 1 *.' a n 

SafxaS IB 

> Guayaquil 

San Martin *- *vi Ciilm 

9 1323, ^ ; ■■ ""-'" 


Arequipd - - ,^jlo Paz 




° et!( *" I VKEROYALTY OF 



Rjl ' •2S^\o Menclbz ' 

Volporoiio T.Son'iugo 
Maip6 4 (a(JJ 


■5 1817 


2 Liberation campaigns of Bolivar and San Martjn 

A '-■■ 

— *■ ft*ffl*iUew»noffti»Hi*l81/-l! 

— J* San Momrs's [onpogn of liberation in Qiilt ISU-ld 

*■ D'Higgvis's rqmpaHjn of liberariais in Chile 1 E5 1 ? — IS 

— *• BnlM'iliMniiftiM-olSlv 

«. San Martn's, nnipiiiafi to ItwrmB Ptaru T Bl»— 71 

* E^to's(an*po^DanisTKa^isiiBnqinenVenen]elcrl871 

— *■ EUhart ond Sines Ihniiiniilllunini 

- -> Sfln W^rrfn\ |&umey id meor Eia&flir, and Siis deponure IS?? 

— « BaWsond Sum's Ihniirii of fan 1123-14 

> Bolivar's niuinphal vrsil Id Htnblish inde^flndMlt Bfllmid I92S 



A Venezuelan-born Simon Bolivar was 
involved in two (ailed insurrections before his 
successful campaigns against the Spanish in 
New Granada in 1 817-22, resulting in the 
creation of a new Republic of Gran Colombia. 
During this time Jose de San Martin, aided 
by Bernardo O'Higgins, had been liberating 
Chile. Leaving O'Higgins behind as president 
of the new state of Chile, San Martin travelled 
north to take Lima and to attempt to liberate 
what was to become Peru. In 1 822 he was 
forced to seek help from Bolivar, and in 
September 1822 retired from command. 
Bolivar subsequently completed the liberation 

of Peru at the Battle of Junin. In this he 
was aided by Antonio Jose de Sucre, who 
went on to win the final battle against the 
Spanish at Ayacucho in 1 824. 

The following year Bolivar made a 
triumphal visit to the region, during which 
he established the independent republic of 
Bolivia, which was named in honour of the 
"Great Liberator". Bolivar himself returned to 
Colombia but was unable to hold together the 
republic he had created, and in 1 830 (the 
year of his death) it broke up into the three 
modern-day states of Venezuela, Colombia 
and Ecuador. 



authorities that rapidly 
developed in resistance to 

French rule in the name of 

Ferdinand; or to establish 

autonomous ruling authorities. 

It was the third option that was 

adopted by most Creoles, even though 

they took care to emphasise that this Mwtxf' 

was a temporary measure until Ferdinand 

regained the Spanish throne. 

Creoles were, however, dissatisfied with 
Spanish rule on two main counts: commercial 
monopoly and political exclusion, both of which 
stemmed from attempts in the second half of the ISth 
century by the linurbon kings to extract more revenue from 
the colonies. Spain's commercial monopoly had been 
lightened up, and Spanish Americans were unable to exploit 
legally what ihey perceived as lucrative trading 
opportunities in the British and L'S markets. Taxes had been 
iuereased and collection vigilantly enforced. A new system 
of colonial administration had been introduced (hat 
interfered with well-established informal mechanisms for 
allocating power and resources within Spanish American 
societies. Bourbon absolutism aimed to strengthen the 
position ti( peninxulutvs [Spaniards born in Spain) at the 
expense of Spanish Americans. By the end of the 18th 
century, Creoles accounted fur a far smaller proportion of 
the upper levels of the colonial bureaucracy than in 175(1. 


During the first two decades of the I'Jth century there was a 
gradually developing sense among elite Creoles in Spanish 
America that their interests might best Ik- served by self- 
government. This redefinition of their position was enhanced 
by an incipient sense of national identity that had been 
developing within Creole communities throughout the 18th 
century - an idea of being distinct not only from Spaniards 
but also from each other. The political ideas of the French 
Enlightenment, although probably less Influential in the 
development of independence movements than was once 
thought, were certainly of importance to some of their 
leaders, notably the Venezuelan, Simon lioh'var. 

During the I SI Us, as Spain oscillated between reformist 
liberalism and absolutism, Spanish Americans first declared, 
and then fought for. their independence (tnap 2). Never- 
theless, the battles between republicans and royalists 
remained fairly evenly balanced until events in Spain during 
182(1-21 provided the final catalyst to the creation of a poli- 
tical consensus among creolcs that was needed to secure 
independence. Once it had become clear that Spanish liber- 
alism, which returned to power in 1821, was hem on 
restoring the pre- 1808 relationship between Spain and the 
American colonies, commitment to independence became 
widespread throughout Spanish America - with the excep- 
tion of Peru, where memories of the Tupac Amaru rebellion 
remained vivid. Peru was eventually liberated in 1824 by 
Bolivar's troops, after the retreat of the Spanish had been 
initiated by an invasion from the south led by the Argentine 
.lose dc San Martin, By ]82f> the last royalist troops had been 
expelled from South America, and Spain's empire in the 
Americas was reduced to Puerto Rieo and Cuba {mttp.l). 

Im)Epem*e\ce hiom Pokti <;ai. 

Uracil's independence was partly the result of colonial 
grievances, although less severe than those felt by Spanish 
Americans. However, in overall terms, it was even more 
attributable to events in Furope than was the decoloniza- 
tion of Spanish America. The Portuguese monarchy 
implemented milder versions of the Bourbon reforms in the 
late 18th century, but in general the local elite played a far 
greater role in governing Brazil than their counterparts in 
Spain's colonics. The main event which triggered an increas- 
ing awareness of Brazil's distinct identity was the Portuguese 
Prince Regent's establishment of his court in Rio de Janeiro 
in 1808, after he had fled from Napoleon's invasion of 

Out) aj 

Ifl KtCQ 






Oeca n 

I 1871 



Caribbean Seu 

▼ In a remarkably short space of rime, 
torn 1 81 B to 1825. ihe Spaniiii were 
ousted from Centra! and Saulfr America, 
Leaving only The rfTonghol& ol Cuba and 
Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, The ruler a( 
Brazil, D:m Padro, had dedared its 
independent from Portugal in 
1 8?? crowning himself emperor. 
A sufcettM revolt in the wurhei n area 
of The country refilled in an inrfependtml 
Uruguay in I &H 




3 Latin America and rat Caribbean 1 830 

^J InfcfBiiJaKi 


1818 tmo(Bit[i!nJ«M 


Q rr:^ 

1 lltl 

MHei ' 

1 5a*i 

H * mal 


Rio de Janeiro 


Portugal. This represented 
a shift in political power 
from Portugal to Uracil 
which was to prove 
irreversible. When the 
French were ousted from 
Portugal in lfs 1 4. the 
Prince Regent chose to 
stay in Brazil, which 
was raised to the status 
of a kingdom equal to 
that of Portugal. As 
King John, landowners 
resented his bowing to 
Uritish pressure to end 
the slave trade, while 
merchants were unhappy 
about increasing ISritish 
penetration of the Ura/ilian 
market, but these issues were 
causes of disaffection rather than 

rebellion. It was attempts by the Portuguese government in 
1821 to return Jinuiil to its pre-1808 colonial status that was 
the main cause of its declaration of independence in 1822 
under Pedro I - the region's only constitutional monarchy, 
brazil was unique in that it won its independence 
largely without the damaging consequences of civil war and 
economic collapse that occurred elsewhere in the region. 
In Spanish America mineral production plummeted to less 
than a quarter of its level before its independence struggles, 
industrial output declined by two-thirds, and agriculture by 
half. Socially, independence brought relatively little change. 
The corporate institutions of Spanish colonialism remained 
intact, the Church remained strong, and militarism was 
strengthened. Creoles simply Icxik over the property aban- 
doned by fleeing Spaniards and established themselves as a 
new oligarchy, which regarded the masses with at least as 
much disdain as their Spanish predecessors bad done. 

A Simon tofcrar was msirumenlol in the 
liberation bom Sponbh rule ol mudi ol 
Soulh Amsrha. However, he lolled in hii 
oilemph to bold lagtlhgt the Repvblk a! 
Gran Colombia, and died dkiflcrtioned. 



Islands d ■ 
1333 to Bntarti 

A. In the years following independence 
most countries become involved in wors ever 
rheir bauedorres. Argentina lest Ik folk land 
Islands to ibe British in 1 833, but secured 

Potnoonio in 1881. Belli Peru and Bolivia 
last out In Utile in lire War el the Pacific in 
1879, surrendering territory rich in ninnies 
and, in Bolivia's rose, an aullet Id the sen. 

1 South Aimrica 1830-1914 


Ccnf«ferafon el P«u end 

Beta tB3*-39 


□ore staety (liflWled 

tobvup 1910 

Primary products.. 














.." ■ 



















he newly Independent republics of Spanish America 

faced formidable challenges nf rccc instruction in the 

years following their ware of Independence. The first 

problem was territorial consolidation. Their boundaries 

were roughly based on colonial administrative divisions, but 

none was clearly defined, and nearly all Spanish-American 

countries went to war to defend territory at some point 

during the l'Jth century Imap J I. The only nation on the 

continent that consistently expanded its territory at the 

expense of its neighbours was brazil. 


Foreign powers were active in the 

region throughout this period, and 

acted as a significant constraint 

on the ability of the new 

states to consolidate their 
sovereignty. Spain was 
too weak to do much 
beyond defending its 
remaining colonial 
possessions, but it 
fought two wars over 
Cuban independence 
1 1868-78 and 1895-93) 
before US military inter- 
vention in IWft led to the 
Spanish-American War and 
the secession of Cuba and 
Puerto Kico to the United Stales. 
Following a three-year military 
occupation Cuba was declared an 
independent republic, albeit with a 
clause in its constitution (the "Plan 
Amendment") stipulating the right of 
the USA to intervene in its internal affairs, 
Mexico, which achieved independence in 
182 1 following a civil war, subsequently lost large 
amounts of territory to the USA. It was briefly ruled by 
the Austru-llungariau, Maximilian von Hahsburg, as 
emperor (1864-67), supported by French troops. Britain 
had colonies in Cuiana and British Honduras, and consoli- 
dated its commercial and financial dominance throughout 
most of the region, especially in Brazil and Argentina. 

Economic developmeni - 

Throughout the I'Jth century Latin American economies 
remained dependent on the export of raw' materials (nuips 

/. 2 and 3), continuing patterns of production established in 
colonial times. Although there has been considerable debate 
about the wisdom of this policy, in practice they had little 
choice. The colonial powers had left behind scant basis for 
the creation of sell-sulTteieot economics, and the indepen- 
dent states simply did not have the resources necessary for 
such development. Attempts were rnade to encourage indus- 
trialization in Mexico. Colombia and brazil in the lS.Klsaud 
1840a, but they all succumbed to competition from 
European imports. 

The export of primary products brought considerable 
wealth to Latin America, especially once the development of 
steamships and railways in the 1860s had modernized 
transportation. In the last quarter of the 19th century Latin 

American ecm es v. ei\. ;ihk to benefit from [lie overall 

expansion in the work) economy fuelled by European and 
US demands for raw materials and markets for their manu- 
factured goods (pages 208-9). At the time it made economic 
sense for Latin America to exploit its comparative advan- 
tage in the world market as a supplier of raw materials. 
Although this strategy later prosed [o be flawed, it did result 
in rapid economic growth and a wave of prosperity among 
Latin American elites in what became known as *ia belle 
epouue™ of Latin American development Ic 1880-1914) 
( )n the eve of the Kirst World War. the region svas producing 
IS per cent of the worlds cereals, .IS per cent of its sugar 
and 02 per cent of its coffee, cocoa and tea. 


Elitist politics 

Politics in 19th-century Latin America was entirely an elite 
affair, with electoral contests typically involving at most ten 
per cent of the population and dominated by rivalry 
between liberals and conservatives. Most of the republics 
had adopted liberal constitutions based on that of the 
United States, but these were to prove an inadequate blue- 
print for the authoritarian reality of Latin American politics. 
The major challenge in most countries was to consoli- 
date central state authority over remote and often rebellious 
areas. Until well into the 1850s local leaders, known as 
caudillos, raised armies to fight for their interests, holding 
sway over their followers by a combination of charisma, 
blandishment and brutality. In these circumstances, many 
liberal statesmen found themselves obliged to pursue 
distinctly illiberal policies. As the century wore on, Latin 
American liberalism, which came to power in most Latin 
American countries during the 1850s and 1860s, took on an 
increasingly conservative cast. One distinctive legacy of 
liberalism was an appreciable reduction in the wealth of the 
Catholic Church, particularly in Mexico, although liberals 
did not succeed in diminishing the religious devotion of the 
majority of the populations. 

Social changes 

Conditions barely improved for the Latin American masses. 
Indeed, American Indians had good reason to feel that their 
plight had been less onerous under colonial rule, when they 
had at least enjoyed a degree of protection from the Spanish 
crown against encroachments on their communal lands. The 
attempts of liberal governments to turn Indian peasants into 
smallholders by forcibly redistributing their lands left most 
Indians worse off, particularly those in Mexico. 

Slavery was abolished in Central America as early as 
1824 (map 3), and in the Spanish South American republics 
during the 1850s (map 1), but it continued in Portuguese- 
dominated Brazil, where a weak emperor was reluctant to 
antagonize the powerful plantation owners. Brazil did not 
pass legislation to end the trade in slaves until 1850 and it 
took until 1888 - the year before Brazil declared itself 
a republic - for slavery itself to be abolished. Even in 
conditions of allegedly "free" labour, however, the lack of 
alternative work meant that many former slaves had little 
choice but to join a floating rural proletariat, subject to 
seasonal work in exchange for pitiful wages. 

During the middle part of the 19th century the popula- 
tions of most Latin American countries more than doubled 
(bar chart), and by the end of the century Latin America's 
integration into the world economy was beginning to bring 
about changes in the socio-economic structure which 
independence had not. Urbanization, industrialization and 
their consequences continued from the 1880s onwards. The 
late 19th century saw the emergence of a middle class based 

Latin American population in 1820 and 1880 (in thousands) 


▲ The 19th century saw large population 
increases in most Latin American countries. 
Many countries experienced a doubling of 

their numbers between 1 820 and 1 880, 
while the population in the economically 
successful Argentina quadrupled. 

on professionals and state bureaucrats. Trade unions among 
the working classes - most of which were organized by 
European immigrants to Argentina or Brazil - first became 
active during this period, and public education programmes 
were initiated in the larger countries. It was not until after 
the First World War, however, that the political conse- 
quences of all these socio-economic changes were to 
manifest themselves. 

San Franc! ico 



tpoit 1367} 

,8M s 

2 Mexico 1824-67 

Qot^rdaTV <rf MakIco 192^ fmm products 

k<05 r indepeflrjem i^^ :■*) silw 

1B3M5. 1645 id US Q ton* 

m Ceded 1 B*i 1 BM M terequen 

371 (gded by Tredty flf GurxJaJupe 1 Hidajga 1 ft4B (sisal -hemp) 

I I Ceded 1«53 iGodsdvi Purriuse> 

1829 Dc-ic slavery nbnhshed 
■ Moon 1867 



Gil if tit' Mexico 

— Comixi'lii YUCATAN 

^ T 



▲ Mexico was substantially reduced in size 
during the mid-1 9th century. It lost Texas to 
an independence movement in 1 836 and 
California, New Mexico and Arizona after 
being defeated in the 1 846-48 war with the 

United States. (Mexicans rarely need 
reminding that the California Gold Rush 
began in 1 849.) Further territory was ceded 
in 1 850 and again in 1 853, as a result of 
the Gadsden Purchase. 

T Most of Central America and the larger 
Caribbean islands had gained independence 
by 1910. The smaller islands remained 
European colonies, while the United States 
retained control of Puerto Rico. 




i lectin 


filllf iff Mi.WJi.-S) 

gtAhacot *s 

Bahanm r _„ £ 


ah Eta#wra t 
G) 6cumo J S XTov ' 


3 Central America and ni 



_ flrilr.ll lAJSSUi.inrr. 

rtmoiy products: 

3 Franth posesaarc 

# iid;/.' 

3 VSporasnrc 

JP* twined 

~| OuHti presasiom 

4 Umba 

| Oonish posMsiorc 

• vM 

1898 Qftdfriepnkna 

^ btnoniB 

1886 Dnie itamv flboliihad 

O sup 

O tobotui 

'M Wbs 





Gtand Cayman^ O j 


I89B 1814 W««w» 



AMERICA COSTA O Canal opened 19 M 


» " 03 r COLOMBIA 

DOMMCAN _ v 'j- 

, REPUBLIC P Z? ia */,> (a "- 

HAFTI 1 ,844 *™ ^^^ T 

■ i j n " G^^ Martinique 

Caribbean Sea »!«*,?»" 

SV "™"| iaAatia 



O INDEPENDENCE IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 1780-1830 pages 190-91 © LATIN AMERICA 1914-15 pages 226-27 



k The eiportsion of Biiihh power 
in India Mrs pictcmeal li wis fcKiliiated by 
□ system of 'subsidiary alfiarice" undef vhkh 
the English East India Company supplied 
(coops lo o ruler in return In cash payments 
and Ira ding privileges. This gave the 
Company control of femtories that n 
fonnaiy under the role ol Indian princes. 

r ^S, 


▼ The pressures of British expansion 
provoked hostile reoriions (torn mony 
Indian slates, leading la a number of wars. 
The British army consisted mainly oE Indian 
soldiers, known os sepoys, wfw themselves 
mutinied ogams! British authority in 1357. 
This rs regarded in India as ihe country's 
fiisl nor ol independent. 

I Expansion of rut empire 1805 -SB 


, BnkihMiiMryliCS 1918 'to of ixojvwi 



BrMsKiMsmiB 1805-3? * C»e b! Into Jtutiry 1(57 

if o l8dt 

l PONjASf^l 

Dwwosit Into MM 1858 

%v f\ \sf\_ 


~/~V*\'. V"~ r£ 
j f*./ 1 ^ (AJUJMNA 11 

OfcS«HJ / ^*\*S "'"Jl'i'-J| , 'li, , r.j 

7 'MSIf 


■^L^nf^^^^ oCDla ™ L B u R M A 'l 

U ^/~T ) V.' B„ v .,1 "ir \ "V. 

«C\. Ham i,l I PEGU 

/ ta» 

HjdJ-rL-/^ Rmeoo "o 


1 '■' 




CfYLON Mcotort, 

; H d 

fan CC fi fl 

An English East India Company fleet first reached 
India in 1608 and, over the course of the next 
century, the Company developed its trade steadily 
around the coasts of the subcontinent. It quickly estab- 
lished trading posts, known as "factories", starting at Surat 
in 1619 and followed by Madras in 1634, Bombay in 1674 
and Calcutta in 1690. 

Although originally entering the "Indies" trade in 
pursuit of spices, the Company made most of its fortune 
from cotton textiles, whose manufacture was highly 
developed in India. However, until the second quarter of 
the 18th century, there was little to suggest that the British 
presence in India heralded an empire. Europeans in 
general were economically outweighed by indigenous 
trading and banking groups and were politically 
subordinate to the great Mughal Empire (pages 144-45). 

The turning point, which was to lead to British 
supremacy in India, came only in the mid-18th century 
when the Mughal Empire began to break up into warring 
regional states, whose needs for funds and armaments pro- 
vided opportunities for the Europeans to exploit. Another 
factor was the growing importance of the English East India 
Company's lucrative trade eastwards towards China, which 
enhanced its importance in the Indian economy, especially 
in Bengal. 

British-French rivalry 

Conflicts between the European powers started to spill over 
into Asia, with the French and British beginning a struggle 
for supremacy that was not finally resolved until the end 
of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. In southern India from 
1746 the British and French backed rival claimants to the 
Nawabi of Arcot. In the course of their conflict Robert 
Clive, who rose from a clerkship to command the English 
East India Company's armies and govern Bengal, intro- 
duced new techniques of warfare borrowed from Europe. 
These not only prevailed against the French but opened up 
new possibilities of power in the Indian subcontinent. 

In 1756 Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal, reacted 
to the growing pretensions of the British by sacking their 
"factory" at Calcutta and consigning some of their officers 
to the infamous "Black Hole". Clive's forces moved north in 
response and defeated Siraj-ud-Daula's army at Plassey in 
1757 (map 1). This created an opportunity for the conver- 
sion of the Company's economic influence in Bengal into 
political power; the defeat of the residual armies of the 
Mughal emperor at Buxar in 1764 completed this process. 

However, it was to take another 50 years for the British 
to extend their dominion beyond Bengal, and a further 100 
years for the limits of their territorial expansion to be 
established. First, they faced rivalry from other expanding 
Indian states which had also adopted the new styles of 
warfare, most notably Tipu Sultan's Mysore (defeated in 
1799) and the Maratha Confederacy (defeated in 1818). It 
was not until the annexation of Punjab in 1849 that the 
last threat to the Company's hegemony was extinguished 
(map 2). Even after this, the process of acquisition was 
continued: smaller states that had once been "subsidiary" 
allies were gobbled up and Baluchistan and Burma were 
brought under British control, in 1876 and 1886 respec- 
tively, as a means of securing unstable borders (map 3). 
Nor was political stability within the empire in India 
achieved with any greater ease. Most notably, in 1857 the 
"Great Mutiny" of Indian soldiers in the Bengal army saw 
the British lose control of the central Ganges Valley and 
face rebellion in the heartland of their empire. 

Effects of British rule 

The carrying forward of the imperial project in the face of 
so many problems was a reflection of the importance 
attached to India by the British. In the course of the 19th 
century it became "the jewel in the crown" of the British 
Empire, to which it was formally annexed in 1858 when 
the English East India Company was dissolved. Although 
there was little "white" settlement and most of its economy 


■4 The rapid growth ol India's railway 
network was an important radar in the 

transition From subsistence farming to 

commerciol age iculture, is it became easier 
to transport produce from itie countryside to 
the ports so the demo rati ol the British 
market for specific products came to he 
reflected in the crops grown During the 
American Civil Wor (1661-65), for 
example, when the supply of raw American 
[Dlton to the Lancashire cotton mills dried 
up, many Indian larmers switched to cotton 
production. When the war ended and the 
mills revelled' to American lotion Ihe li 
market collapsed, leaving larmers unable to 
return la food production. 

and key social institutions remained in indigenous hands, 
India was manipulated to yield singular advantages to 
Britain. Its most significant role was to supply a large army 
which was extensively used for imperial defence around 
the world. In addition, India became a captive market for 
the products of Britain's industrial revolution, a major 
exporter of agricultural commodities and an important area 
for the investment of British capital, especially in the 
rapidly expanding railway network (map 4). 

What effects British rule had on India remains a con- 
troversial question. The agricultural economy grew, with 
expanding foreign trade and British capital providing the 
rudiments of a modern transport infrastructure. However, 
the once-great textile industry declined and few other 
industries rose to take its place. Ambiguity also marked 
British social policy. A strong imperative, especially from 
the 1840s onwards, was to "civilize" India along Western 
lines, introducing "scientific" education, a competitive 
market economy and Christian ethics. However, a conser- 
vative view held by some in the British administration in 
India warned against disturbing "native" custom. After the 

Mutiny, such conservative counsels won out and were 
reinforced by a deepening British racism, which denied 
equal rights to Indian subjects of the British monarch. 

The reactions of Indian society to British rule were 
extremely mixed. Some groups mounted a ferocious 
defence of their traditional rights, but others responded 
positively to what they regarded as modernizing trends, 
especially taking up Western education. For such groups, 
the racism of the late-Victorian British and their turning 
away from earlier liberal ideals proved disappointing and 
frustrating. An Indian National Congress had been formed 
in 1885 to advance the cause of Indians within the empire. 
However, by the early 1900s it had already begun to reject 
the politics of loyalism and to express more fundamental 
objections. As the shadow of the First World War fell across 
the Indian landscape, the British Empire, which had suc- 
ceeded in bringing India into the 19th century, was fast 
losing its claims to lead it through the 20th. In 1920-22, 
shortly after the war, Mahatma Gandhi launched the first of 
the mass civil disobedience campaigns which signalled the 
beginning of the end of British rule in India. 

A As the frontiers of Britain's empire in 
India slowly stabilized, over a third of the 
subcontinent remained governed by Indian 
rulers, although the British used tcade and 
defence agreements to exert their influence 
over these areas. 

© INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS 1526-1765 pages 144-45 © SOUTH ASIA SINCE 1920 pages 248-49 




pGanmcq ' 

i Htsng Kmg 

"O o 

to China -683 

' r Babvyon h 



BSnlDiVi 1024 


pm* I7d7 ' 


Andaman k 

• | - : to Iritain F7W 

* . j 



, lo Orlto'n 1734 

*fw finang 


to Nrfti IWO 


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Paula Contipre 
to Fmnco f >*07 

fc 1 795-/802 ami I If 2j 

open to tntoift ITSQ^iA^VA 

itoi>. lets , ^ 

to Nelh 17« 


A Britain acquired Pinang (1 lib]. Province 
Wcllcslcy (1800). Singnpurc- (1BI 9) cincl 
tallica (182-11, whirb were ccmslrtulr-d 
l*i rh the addition in 1946 of lei bum in 
Borneo] eK the Straits Settlements in 1 826, 
in order to service its trade with China, lis 
conquests in Lower Burma (allowing the 
Second Ancjlo-Buirtrese War 1 1 8 52 1 - 
including Pegu ond the seaports of 
Maflaban, Btrssein end Rangoon - were 
designed to protect India's eastern frontier. 
Meanwhile, the victory of Ihe Dutch Dvee 
Vi'nhh oh i- influenced Muslim reformers in 
western Surnalia in the Podri Wot 
(1 821 -38) enabled tbem la undertake 
limited expansion along the easl and west 
eonsls of Sumatra. Dutch oulhorrty was 
establfshed in Jaenbi 1 1 IM), Jndrogiri 
crttempls to move further north were 
ihwarled by the combination of the 
resurgent po*er of Ihe Sullonole of Aceh 
and the influence of the mainly British and 
Chinese merchants in the Straits Settlements. 

Bitot '"'- *P '- 


) Autonomous states and colonies 


| Spanish possessiGfis 

| nmuguse prssessjom 

| WitoS5C$5»jrerlJ*(Birur 

3 CW*fl(I|msi|ionstotBiO 

2 Bmsli possflEisnii on* Kpursirims ■» ItUfl 

1770 fated arinrmwpndcdinssessioii 


3] LaiHfMilluno nrea 

. | uVfW^HQnnCJ BTCfl 

ej) Morrvnuwn dm 

| ttclfff state LfidW Siamest sureiainTy 

| SlHmeme 

Dovrn Vierom aid it era at itustt 

^M rnst-iaUtigurmVclncni 

^\ lae-spsikiny area 


'//A [lslBt»arilrvMu*iritoci( 

Sourish Hippies 

J nrwE oi Sulla SMzerrntv 

■Ti enoofBnmeftienekiltW 

~^\ emu if heolce rife front Ittt 


to&ibin IS 1 2 

> bMbfr IS 


id Bri mints J 2 
to NolJi (SIS' 

•m 17«t- 
. 1817 

New G ( 


to Britain I01!-Io 


~ ll» rep Sea 


.rtoi' il 

A'i. fi 




' /' Tanimixir li 

S&ii o gwei 

*3 Britain 181 J- 

^he outbreak of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic 
Wars in Europe in April 1792 marked the; beginning 
of a more intense European imperial involvement 
with .Southeast Asia - an involvement which reached its 
peak between 1870 and ]<)14. By then nearly the whole of 
Southeast Asia was under European rule, the major 
exception being Chakri-ruled Siam I modem Thailand). 

Bhiiisii, Dutch ami Sewisit i:eii.oiNt,\i.ts»i 
Britain's emergence as the leading commercial and seaborne 
power in the region was confirmed after 1705 when its nasal 
forces, operating from Madras and I'inatig in the Strait of 
Malacca, captured Dutch East India Company possessions 
throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Uy 1815 Britain 
controlled Java and the Spice Islands (Moluccas), and was 
soon to establish itself in Singapore ( 1819) and in Arakan 
and Tcnasscrim in Lower Burma following the Kirst Anglo- 
Burmese War (1824-26) (map /). Although .lava was 
handed back to Holland in 1816, Dutch power in Indonesia 
remained totally dependent on British naval supremacy 
until the Second World Weir. 

Commercially and militarily Britain owed much to 
India. Britisli India [pages 194-95) provided the troops for 

its colonial conquests in Southeast Asia, and Bengetl opium 
was the mainstay of Britain's lucrative trade with China 
{,xi£es 1WJ-99). Between 1762, when the English East India 
Company w;ls granted a permanent trading post in Canton 
(tiuangzhou), and the 1820s, when Assam tea production 
hegan, total Bengal opium exports increased 1,500 per cent 
from 1,400 to 20.00(1 chests per annum, and exports of 
Chinese tea tripled from 7,000 to over 20,000 tonnes. 
Britain's interest in Southeast Asia in this period was driven 
by its need to find trade goods saleable in Canton in 
exchange for tea, and by its desire to protect its sea lanes. 
Elsewhere, before the 1860s, European expetnston was 
slow. Dutch control of fertile Java was only consolidated 
following the bitterly fought Java War (1825-30), and Dutch 
finances only improved following the introduction of the 
"Cultivation System" (1830-70). This required Javanese 
peasants to grow cash crops [mainly sugar, coffee and 
indigo) for sale at very low prices to the colonial govern- 
ment. By 1877 this had produced 832 million guilders for 
the Dutch home treasury, which represented over 30 per 
cent of Dutch state revenues. In the I'hiltppines, Spanish 
power was cheeked in Muslim-dominated Mindanao and 
Suit) by the strength of the local sultans, while on the main 


island of Luzon, the seat of Spanish colonial authority since 
the late 16th century, the emergence of an educated mixed- 
race - Filipino-Spanish-Chinese - elite, known as the 
ilustrados ("the enlightened ones"), began to challenge the 
political predominance of the Iberian-born friars and the 
Madrid-appointed colonial administrators. 

Southeast Asian resistance 

The existence of newly established dynasties and kingdoms, 
especially in mainland Southeast Asia, complicated the task 
of the European colonialists. From the mid-18th century 
onwards Burma, Siam and Vietnam had all experienced 
extensive political renewal under the leadership of new 
dynasties. This encompassed a revitalization of Theravada 
Buddhism and Confucianism; the subjugation of minority 
populations to new state-sponsored forms of culture, 
religion, language and governance; the development of 
Chinese-run revenue farms and commercial monopolies; 
and the limited acquisition of Western military technology. 

The principal reason for the British annexation of Lower 
Burma between the 1820s and 1850s was to check the 
expansionist policies of a succession of Konbaung mon- 
archs. French involvement in Indochina, which began with 
the capture of Da Nang in 1858, was spurred by the anti- 
Catholic pogroms initiated by the Vietnamese emperor 
Minh-mang (r. 1820-41) and his successors. 

The political and cultural self-confidence of the 
Southeast Asian rulers went hand in hand with rapid 
economic and demographic growth. After a century of stag- 
nation, the exports of Southeast Asia's three key 
commodities (pepper, coffee and sugar) increased by 4.7 per 
cent per year between 1780 and 1820, with Aceh alone 
accounting for over half the world's supply of pepper - 9,000 
tonnes - by 1824. In the same period the region's popula- 
tion more than doubled to over nine million. This meant 
that when the Europeans began to move in force against the 
indigenous states of Southeast Asia after 1850, they encoun- 
tered fierce resistance. It took the Dutch 30 years 
(1873-1903) to overcome Acehnese resistance, and when 
the British eventually moved into Upper Burma in 

November 1885 and overthrew the Konbaung monarchy, it 
required another five years of sustained operations to 
"pacify" the remaining guerrilla fighters. 

In the Philippines the energies unleashed by the emer- 
gence of indigenous resistance movements proved too much 
for the incumbent colonial administration. Two years 
(1896-98) of armed struggle by the ilustrado-led Filipino 
revolutionaries brought the Spanish administration to its 
knees and facilitated the intervention of the United States, 
which acquired the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of 
Paris (December 1898). However, three more years were to 
pass before the military forces of the Philippine Republic 
were finally subdued in a series of bitter campaigns which 
required the deployment of over 60,000 American troops. 

Nationalist movements 

Apart from the Chakri monarchs in Siam (whose power 
lasted until 1932) none of the Southeast Asian dynasties 
survived the height of Western imperialism intact (map 2). 
Instead, new Western-educated elites emerged to take their 
place, eventually demanding political rights and recognition 
of what they saw as legitimate nationalist aspirations. 

Between 1906 and 1908 the foundation of the Young 
Men's Buddhist Association in Rangoon and the "Beautiful 
Endeavour" (Boedi Oetomo) organization of Javanese 
medical students in Batavia (Jakarta) led to the develop- 
ment of more radical forms of nationalism. In Vietnam this 
took the form of the anti-French agitation of the "Confucian 
scholar activists", such as Phan Chu Trinh and Pham Boi 
Chau, both of whom advocated the use of violence against 
the colonial state. Meanwhile, Japan's victory over tsarist 
Russia in 1904-5 (pages 200-1) had given the lie to the 
myth of Western superiority. The fact that Western colonial 
authority rested for the most part on very small numbers of 
troops and armed police - 42,000 for a population of 62 
million in the case of the Dutch in Indonesia - made it vul- 
nerable both to external attack and internal subversion. The 
rise of Japanese militarism during this period and the emer- 
gence of increasingly well-organized Southeast Asian 
nationalist movements sounded its death knell. 

▲ Prince Diponagara (1785-1855), leader 
of the Javanese lories against the Dutch in 
the Java War ( 1 825-30), attempted to 
restore Javanese control of the island and to 
enhance the role of Islam. Widely revered 
as a Javanese "Just King", he ended his 
days in exile in Celebes (Sulawesi). 

T The heyday of Western imperialism in 
Southeast Asia was brief, but it left a 
problematic legacy. Ihe introduction by the 
colonialists of Western-style bureaucracies, 
education, capitalist means of production 
and communications systems - especially 
the telegraph (which was introduced into 
Southeast Asia in 1 870-71 ), railways and 
steamships - led to the demise of older 
monarchical forms of authority and the rise 
of Western-educated, nationalist elites. 


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© EUROPEANS IN ASIA 1500-1790 pages 118-19 © SOUTHEAST ASIA SINGE 1920 pages 250-51 



■► The Firsl Opium War was Hie Biitisb 
response to attempts by the Cling rulers to 
restart Irnde lo the government-monitored 

nislom houses of Canton (Guangihoul. grid 
to ban the damaging import ol opium. 
Briiish g unships bombarded Chinese ports 
along Ihe hill length ol its toast in 1940 and 
gggin in I Ml -42. even venturing up ihs 
fanatic to Nanjing, until Ihe Chinese agreed 
peace terms which allowed lor the opening 
up af "Irenty ports n [mop 7]. Not satisfied 
with Ihe aulcame. however, the British 
joined lorres with the French in I B56 10 
enact farther concessions in the Second 
Opium War. China was ieleoled again by 
the French in 1885, and lost control of 
Koreo to Ihe Japanese in 1895. 

Wars against China 1840-95 

— «- I'tiJi tillu:ks June-Seat 1 340 
— »- Irtish atlrsks Auy 184 1— feh 114? 
Samiri OfHuin War I B56-6D^ 
— ►■ imolo-FreKh dukJis i3cr US7-*Ui» tai6 
— ■> tacJ»hHKhfinoihJa«-«uol859 
tagWiwoi tmatb JUodr-Ocr 1 MtJ 
Simrfienrh Wnr i aaa-ai: 
— ■» Irancli mocks Dei I8B3-fc 1 BBS. 
— *- Onnsse eltndis 1 B33-B4 
I Sirw-lapowse War 1 494-95: 

- taoneseoitorlsSepr KM-Mnr UK 




nWywi G'ffliofle. in millions ol pounds. 
— rarol value af imports tram India 

' WairtluealooiLmirtlcorhslI 


'72 &P t&t 4* 4p 4g 4o 94 44 Ofi Qe> Cr3 

— — -— P-J PJ « C** W £-J -Ifc. -^ J^ 

rrrrrTTt TTrT 

A ft™ ghoul the period 1800-37 the 
total value af imports From ihe English [est 
India Company increased steadily, while 
Chinese exports remained fairly stalk. 
Opium imports grew during this period, 
leading ihe Chinese to impose restrictions 
and tbe British lo use farce in order to 
protect their market. Following ihe 
deleal ol China in the Opium War of 
1 840-42, Ihe value el opium imported 
more than doubled. 

P* During the Sino-Japanese War of 
1 894-95 the Chinese defenders were Bnsily 
overcome by the more modern weaponry of 
the invading Japanese, As a result ol its 
defeat, China was forced lo cede the island 
ol Taiwan lo Japan. 

The- 19th century was a turbulent period for China, 
during which the Western powers posed an ever- 
increasing threat to the sovereignty of the Manohu 
dynasty. With most of South and Southeast Asia already ool- 
oni^ed, China represented the final target in the Asian world. 
China had enjoyed sizeable surpluses in trade with the 
West sinee the 1 7th century, exporting increasing" amounts 
of raw materials - in particular tea, sugar and raw silk - in 
the face ol growing competition from Japan and India. 
However, it hail also become economically dependent on the 
West, as it had few precious metals and needed the inflow of 
silver from foreign trade to facilitate the expansion of its 
internal trade, hi 1760 the Manchu CJitlg government had 
restricted the activities of foreign traders to just tour ports, 
thus facilitating tlte collection of duties from these traders. 
By the late 18th century tins had led to a system under 
which Canton (Guangzhou) was the sole port for foreign 
trade and all activities had to go through the government- 
monitored chartered trading houses (cokung). Westerners 
attempted, hut failed, to persuade the (Jing government to 
reform its restrictive policies, and it became clear that such 
policies could not he shaken off by peaceful means as long 
as Uing sovereignty remained intact. 

ThkOi'ii m Vurs 

Western traders soon found ways to get around the co/iung 
system, and smuggling was widely practised. More signifi- 
cantly, the British discovered an ideal commodity to sell in 
China: opium In the Chhia-India-lsritaiu trade triangle. 
China's tea exports were no longer offset hy silver bullion hut 
by opium, and from the beginning of the 19th century a 
balance of trade rapidly developed in favour of the Lnglish 


J The Iaiping Rebellion 

Aim (mncfcd b< rib* (.16(1 
— &■ AdvtKite of Taping 
relet S5I-53 
uViaiHesM mrton 
espedirmn IK3-54 
ADvance of fling lTDops 1 664 
Manse d Western taps 1 664 
Direciion of renens 


V _^ 


▲ During the Taiping Rebellion the Qing 
lost control of much of China's most fertile 
region, resulting in a 70 per cent drop in tax 

revenues. The Qing army was largely 
unsuccessful against the rebels, which were 
only crushed with the aid of Western troops. 

East India Company (graph). China's hard-earned silver 
began to flow out in large quantities, causing severe deflation 
in the economy. The Manchu Qing, who did not want to see 
the resulting loss of tax revenue, responded by imposing a 
total ban on the opium trade. This triggered the invasion, in 
1840, of British gunships, against which the Qing armed 
forces proved to be no match. The First Opium War (map 1) 
came to an end in 1842 when, under the Treaty of Nanjing, 
the victorious British secured the lifting of the ban on the 
opium trade and the opening up to trade of the "treaty ports" 
(map 2). The state monopoly was over. 

The events of 1840 heralded the end of China as a world 
power in the 19th century. British and French allied forces 
extracted further concessions from China in the Second 
Opium War in 1856-60 (map 1), while the Russians 
annexed around 1 million square kilometres (386,000 square 
miles) of Chinese Siberia north of the River Amur, and 
further territory in Turkestan. Furthermore, China's control 
over its "vassal states" in Southeast Asia was weakened when 
Annam became a French colony after the Sino-French War 
in 1883-85, and China was forced to relinquish control of 
Korea after the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-95 (map 1). 

These successive military and diplomatic defeats cost the 
Chinese Empire dearly in terms of growing trade deficits and 
of mounting foreign debts, mainly incurred by war repara- 
tions. China was forced to adopt what amounted to a 
free-trade policy. By the end of the 19th century a series of 
treaties had resulted in the country being largely divided up 
by the foreign powers (map 2). Although China remained 
technically independent, its sovereignty was ruthlessly 
violated - a situation that led to the anti-foreign, anti- 
Christian Boxer Rebellion of 1899-1901. 

Internal strife 

Partly as a result of the numerous concessions made to the 
foreign powers, there was an upsurge in nationalism and in 
the widespread antipathy to the Qing rulers, who originated 
from Manchuria and were therefore not considered 
"Chinese". In the struggle for their own survival, the Qing 
rulers leaned increasingly towards the West, relying on 
Western troops, for example, to help suppress the Taiping 
Rebellion (map 3). However, while employing the support 
of the West delayed the demise of the Manchu Qing govern- 
ment for half a century, in the long term it proved a fatal 
strategy. In 1911 the Nationalists, who until then had been 
only loosely organized, rose up in armed rebellion (map 4). 
The revolution began in Hankou on 10 October 1911, and 
although the Qing troops recaptured the city on 27 
November, the movement to secure independence had by 

2 Foreign spheres of influence and treaty ports 


Iricn/ pert cc*ned •* 




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this time already spread across southeast and central China. 
Bowing to pressure from the Western powers, whose trading 
interests were likely to be disrupted by civil war, the Qing 
emperor signed a truce with the rebels on 18 December, 
which stipulated his abdication and the elevation of his 
general, Yuan Shikai, to the position of President. The inde- 
pendent provinces recognized Nanjing as their new capital, 
and elected the Nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen as provisional 
President on 1 January 1912, although he stepped down on 
14 February in favour of Yuan Shikai. 

▲ By the end of the 19th century China 
was effectively "carved up", with all its 
major ports and trading centres allocated by 
treaty to one or other of the major Western 
powers. In order to ensure a constant supply 
of goods for trading, the Western powers 
also exercised their influence over large 
areas of the Chinese hinterland. In addition, 
Britain was granted a lease on the territory 
of Hong Kong and the Portuguese gained 
the territory of Macau. 

•4 The 1911 revolution started with the 
Nationalists seizing control of Hankou on 
1 October. Similar uprisings in most of the 
major cities then followed rapidly. Only in 
the northeast, and in the province to the 
southwest of Beijing, were rebellions 
successfully put down by Qing troops. 
Following the truce of 18 December, 
Emperor Xuantong abdicated, and control of 
Beijing passed to General Yuan Shikai. The 
Nationalists subsequently established their 
capital in Nanjing. 

© MING AND MANCHU QING CHINA 1368-1800 pages 138-39 © THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA 1911-49 pages 224-25 


1 Urbanization, inoustriauzation and modern prefectures 

PopcAiton in T 930 FvjKairoge of working po&Jdfim rfi rrmrfwrurinrj 

■ vnt 1 million and services In 1930 

• $00,000-1 irJon B »"<• 80 s d] 40-SQ\ 

D 70O.OtM-5O0.OaD Z] iO-*™ J M-tOS 

O 1 00.000-200,000 3 50 -MS ] less than 30V 




,... KACV.isfiw/.j' MTW 


A Ai poit of rhe plan lo modernize Jcpan 
ohw the restoration of th» emperor in 
1 867. the feudal domains were abolished 
and replaced by tentirjlly adminhlered 

prefectures. By 1930 the etnnnmy had 

been transformed into one charrxterized by 
urbanization and industrialization. 




T Japanese acquisitions in ihe hue 19lh 
and early 20th centuries included the 
Korean Peninsula and ihe island ol Taiwan. 
both of *rhkh provided raw materials far the 
industrializing Japanese economy. In 1931 
Japan added to its overseas possessions by 
advancing inio Manchuria, 


(Soviet Union 







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Beijing ^ 

Tinnim' ' ' Ima^X ,. 

femibry M'nn 







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3 Acquisitions overseas 1870-1933 

| Japrnu Empie 1820 

| Tsrnroiy arquired 1 674 -9$ airli dale 

fWJ Trsirrlof^ otqiwed 1 905-1 D wlrli itaie 

kV! hocrose OHUBitoi 1918-2? 

1 I Mnmhirkuo 1 ?32 

3 Bw*TOedim«<Tirir>»IriMl933 

K SnbmlelW 

The collapse of the Tokugawa regime in 1867 initiated 
a period of momentous change in Japan, in which 
society, the economy and politics were transformed. 
After more than 200 years of isolation, in (he 20th century 
Japan emerged nnto the world stage as a major power. 

The new leaders believed thai tu achieve equality with 
the nations of the West. Japan had to pursue an aggressive 
foreign policy, and for this it needed a viable and modern 
military capability, backed up by a modem industrial sector. 
It would be a mistake to exaggerate the role of the state in 
the transformation of Japan into a modem industrial power. 
However, the government played a leading role in setting the 
tone for change and in laying the framework within which 
non-government enterprises could take the initiative, 


The new government moved swiftly, rapidly disbanding the 
old caste hierarchy, abolishing the domains (pages 140-A1 1, 
and ruling the country from the centre through a system of 
prefectures (map 1 ). All this was done in the name of the 
emperor, who had been the focus of the anti-Tokugawa 
movement. However, disagreement within the new ruling 
oligarchy, and problems in dismantling the social, economic 
and political structures of the Tokugawa government, meanc 
that the new imperial constitution did not take effect until 
1890. The constitutional structure arrived at involved main- 
taining a balance of power between the various elites: the 
emperor, the political parties within the diet (legislative 
assembly), the privy council, the military and the 
bureaucracy. This system remained in place until 194 5, 
with different groups dominant within it at different times. 

Democratic participation was limited. Universal male 
suffrage was not granted until 1925, women were barred 
from political life, and there were draeonian restrictions on 
labour activity as well as on ideologies and organizations 
deemed to be potentially subversive. The concept of the 
"family state" was promoted, according to which the 
emperor - said to he descended from ancient deities - was 
the benevolent patriarch of the Japanese. Any eritieism of 
the "emperor-given" constitution was regarded as treason. 

Three emperors reigned under this constitution: the 
Meiji Emperor (r. 1867-1912), who became identified 
with the national push for change; the Taisho Emperor 
(r. 19)2-26), who was mentally impaired and made no 
lasting impact; and the Showa Emperor (llirohito), who 
took over as regent from his father in 1921, and reigned in 
his own right from ]92d until his death in 1989. 


Modernization of the economy 

In their efforts to compete with the West, Japan's leaders 
studied and imitated Western economies, borrowing ideas 
as they saw fit. The legal and penal systems and the 
military were all remodelled along Western lines. Financial 
and commercial infrastructures were "westernized", and 
transport networks were improved; railway mileage, for 
example, expanded rapidly (map 2 and graph). A system 
of compulsory education was implemented from the turn of 
the century. Agricultural output (based on rice) increased 
substantially, and then levelled off from the First World War 
(1914-18) onwards, but there was sustained growth in com- 
mercial agricultural products, especially silk cocoons. 

Up to 1914 manufacturing remained largely focused on 
handicraft production of traditional products for the domes- 
tic market, which in turn enabled capital accumulation for 
the growth of larger-scale, mechanized production. By the 
end of the Meiji period, factory-based silk reeling and cotton 
spinning were both major export industries, and the first 
heavy industrial plants had been established. The First 
World War gave a major boost to manufacturing growth, and 
after 1918 the industrial structure was transformed. By 
1930 the percentage of the population in many prefectures 
working on the land or in fishing had fallen substantially 
(map 1). The relative contribution of agriculture to the 
Gross National Product had declined dramatically. The 
service sector had grown, and light industry (especially tex- 
tiles), while remaining crucial in exports, had been 
gradually overtaken by heavy industry. 

During the 1920s and 1930s some industrial sectors 
came to be dominated by business groupings called 
zaibatsu, who controlled multiple enterprises and huge 
assets. Some zaibatsu came under fierce attack in the wake 
of the Depression (1929-33), when falling prices and general 
instability brought agricultural crisis in some areas, and 
increasing internal political conflict. Despite the growth of 
the Japanese economy in the 1930s, living standards were 
squeezed and the distribution of benefits was unequal. 

Japan and the world 

One of the most pressing concerns of the new government 
was to rid the country of the "unequal treaties" imposed on 
Japan by the Western powers towards the end of the 
Tokugawa period. These treaties, forcing Japan to open its 
ports to trade with the West, had been an important 
contributory factor in the collapse of the Tokugawa regime. 
Japan eventually achieved a revision of the treaties in 1894, 

and in 1902 an alliance was concluded with Britain. 
Relations with her neighbours were rarely harmonious, 
however, as Japan gradually encroached on their 
sovereignty (map 3). Conflict with China over interests in 
Korea brought war between the two countries in 1894-95, 
resulting in a Japanese victory and the acquisition of Taiwan 
(Formosa). Tension with Russia culminated in the war of 
1904-5. Although the Japanese victory was less than clear- 
cut, it gave Japan a foothold in Manchuria and the freedom 
to annex Korea as a colony in 1910. In all its overseas terri- 
tories, but particularly in Korea, Japanese rule was harsh. 
After the First World War (1914-18) the League of Nations 
mandated the former German colonies of the Caroline, 
Marshall and Mariana islands (except for Guam) to Japan. 

Relations with China remained tense as Japan sought to 
obtain increasing concessions in the wake of the 1911 
Revolution, and to strengthen her control of Manchuria, 
regarded by the Chinese as an integral part of China's 
territory (pages 224-25). In 1927 Japanese troops in 
Manchuria were involved in the murder of a leading warlord, 
and in 1931 engineered an "incident", in the wake of which 
the Japanese army, acting initially without the sanction of 
Tokyo, occupied the territory. The following year the puppet 
state of Manchukuo was established. Tension between Japan 
and China finally erupted into full-scale war in 1937. 

< In the Battle of Tsushima Strait in May 
1 905 (map 3) the Russian fleet was 
overwhelmed by the Japanese under the 
command of Admiral Heihachiro Togo. 
Russian losses of men and ships vastly 
exceeded those of the Japanese and as a 
result of this humiliation, and other losses 
on land, the Russians conceded defeat in 
September 1905. 






National railways 

Slraeians (trams) 

▲ The nationalization of much of the 
railway system in 1 906 more than trebled 
the extent of Japan's state-owned lines. 

T The rapid development of a railway 
network was one feature of the dramatic 
changes in transport and other parts of the 
infrastructure that occurred from the 1 870s. 


, iM 




i it a 

I nfrt 

1^% ^SriCs/^V 1 

Nagasaki J ^Qj\ 

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e a 

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2 Growth of the railway network 

Ejrtwr of rnDpr railways 1 B93 

- k_'' 

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Major acfeiihare ro rcfroy system: 






' ' f i 

o c 

1920-1 MO 

© TOKUGAWA JAPAN 1603-1867 pages 140-41 O THE WAR IN ASIA 1931-45 pages 234-35 


T Early exploration of Australia and New 
Zealand was confined to the coastline, which 
was explored and charted by James Cook in 
the 1 8th century and, at the beginning of 
the 19th century, by separate expeditions 
around Australia under the leadership of 
Matthew Flinders from Britain and the 
Frenchman Nicholas Boudin. In the mid-) 9th 
century explorers ventured into Australia's 
inhospitable interior. Without the survival 
techniques of the Aboriginal population 
many perished from lack of water (most 
famously, Burke and Wills). In New Zealand, 
however, Dieffenbach and Brunner both 
took Maori guides, who were largely 
responsible for the white men's survival. 

The history of both Australia and New Zealand long 
predates the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th 
century. Australia had been inhabited by its Aboriginal 
population for around 60,000 years, while New Zealand had 
been home to the Polynesian Maori (who called it Aotearoa) 
for around 1,000 years. During the 17th century Dutch 
explorers charted the western and northern coasts of 
Australia, and in 1642 Abel Tasman sighted Van Diemen's 
Land (later Tasmania) and followed the coastline of New 
Zealand (map 1). In 1769-70, during his first Pacific voyage, 
James Cook charted the coast of New Zealand and landed on 
the eastern coast of Australia, which he claimed for Britain. 
The first British colony was founded at Port Jackson 
(Sydney) in January 1788, with the arrival of around 750 
convicts, guarded by just over 200 marines and officers. 
(Over the subsequent 60 years a further 160,000 convicts 
would be shipped out to penal colonies established all round 
the eastern and southern coasts.) As the land immediately 
around Sydney was unsuitable for agriculture, the colony 
relied heavily on intermittent supplies of foodstuffs shipped 
out from England throughout the 1790s. 

The growing economy 

Initially, economic activity in Australia was confined to 
whaling, fishing and sealing, but in the early 1820s a route 
was developed to the inland plains and, with access to vast 
expanses of pastoral land, newly arrived free settlers turned 
to sheep-rearing. The wool they exported to Britain became 
the basis of Australia's economy, and further colonies based 
on this trade were established over the next three decades 
in Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland. 

The ever-increasing demand for pasture brought the set- 
tlers into conflict with the Aboriginal population. As well as 
seizing land and using violence against the Aborigines, the 
settlers carried with them alien diseases such as smallpox 
and influenza. These imported diseases had disastrous con- 
sequences for the indigenous population, whose numbers 
certainly declined (to an extent that can only be estimated) 
and would continue to do so until the 1930s (bar chart). 

Large-scale immigration of non-convict, mainly British, 
settlers accelerated from the 1830s, as more agricultural ter- 
ritory was opened up (map 2). It was further encouraged by 
gold strikes in the 1850s. The development of overseas trade, 

dependent on coastal ports, and the expansion of mining 
industries helped to foster an increasingly urban society. 
Australia's population grew dramatically from 405,000 in 
1850 to 4 million by the end of the century. 

The Australian colonies developed political systems 
based on that in Britain, and most became self-governing 
during the 1850s. The creation of the Commonwealth of 
Australia in 1901 promoted freer trade between the states 
within this federation and facilitated a joint approach to 
defence. However, one of the first measures taken by the 
Commonwealth was to adopt the "white Australia policy", 
designed to exclude non-white immigrants. 

White settlers in New Zealand 

New Zealand was initially treated by the British as an 
appendage of New South Wales. It only became a separate 
colony following the controversial Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, 
which provoked decades of conflict between the white 
settlers and the Maori, mainly because the treaty, which gave 
sovereignty to Britain, was not clearly translated for the Maori 
chiefs who agreed it. While the Maori population declined, the 
settler population grew dramatically during the second half 
of the 19th century. Wool and gold formed the basis of the 
colony's economy, and with the invention of refrigerated ship- 
ping in the 1870s the export of meat became increasingly 
important (map 3). Tension over land triggered the Maori 
Wars of 1860 to 1872, after which large areas of Maori land 
were sold or confiscated by the government. 

New Zealand evolved quickly to responsible government, 
and a central parliament, including Maori representatives, was 
established in 1852. By 1879 the country enjoyed almost uni- 
versal male suffrage, and women obtained the vote in 1893. 
In 1907 New Zealand became, like Australia, a self-governing 
dominion within the British Empire, although its economy 
remained heavily dependent on British markets. 

Breaking ties with Britain 

Until the 1950s both Australia and New Zealand retained 
close political ties with Britain, fighting alongside Britain in 
the two world wars. Britain's inability to defend the region 
adequately during the Second World War, however, encour- 
aged both countries to enter into defensive arrangements 
with the United States, leading to the ANZUS Pact of 1951. 


1 Exploration oe Australia and 
New Zealand 1606-1874 

1853 Dcfe »rfen«it niaoMM 
A Pcndnbnr 
fcwro around mast by 

tons MM-IJ7 
— *■ tanon 1112-43 

>jito« 1(99-1700 
— * Ciok 17(9-70 
— * Flinders 1901 -3 
— *■ Bomfm !90!-3 
RnuTes raken in Australia by: 
— » Orfey 1819 
— * SM 1829-30 
- EyielrWMl 
—*■ ijidMilBM-45 
--♦ Siurr 1S44— 45 

U Gregory 1S55-S( 

--> BwtemiWfc 18(9-41 
■ ► 9wtlSiO-tt 
--» Wuhurton 1872-73 
--*■ J and A Fonssr 1 B?4 
tons Mm in Hn lentad by-. 
— » 0»*s*odt 1939-40 
--«■ 5el»ynl944 
--*■ Bmw and Ekthu 1941-41 
--*■ HnrneH!$7 


Australia's Aboriginal population 

-4 Australia's economy expanded during 
(he I9l)i century as territory in the east wns 
opened up to doiiy forming nnd. in 
Queenslond. to sugar cultivation. The success 
of the colony of South Ausltolio. founded in 
1 63i, wo! based on wool and groin 
production, and by the I Bids wheat had 
become on tmoottanl export product. Such 
(ulthrai™, haweyer, conlribuled to the huge 
decline in ihe Aboriginal papulation. 

tropic of Capricorn 


Part Motquart 

2 Economic development oe Australia 

too stilted: IS55 tort «f statu oitiiifnnj 

| 1 786-1 630 serr-go^ernnreni 

~H 1631-75 Knrwiy built. 

U 5374— 1900 bstomWu 

i aitn I9O0 19DO-5D 

nniiriilliirnl products: 
^ beef ante 
Kb rJdiry cattle 
^ sneep 

Q sygarcini 

Symbols in ■ mming 
intaUishail bdoio 1 90C 

Symbols in ■ ntttag 
esrobfclwrl pftsr 1 ?00 

an fjoM 
bs Si* 

* (out j Mongonese 
ft HI A Hided 

• • Inn on ■ lint 

♦ Suite a a Tii 

D Copper • Urannm 

■ Lend <> Dionunds 



'■ jbriani'tss r t*fco»<rP ~~ T AliUough New Zealand's economy 

suffered during ihe collapse in commodity 
A prices in the 1 880; an d ea r ly 1 890s, I h i 

i government borrowed heavily to subsidize 
public works, including ihe railway system. 
These measures encouraged immigration 
and led to a decline in the proportion of the 
population who were Maori - o trend that 
wos reversed somwbol ofter the 1 930s. 


K ° l Sc 

Economic ties with Britain also declined after 1945, 
especially once Britain joined the European Economic 
Community in 1973. Australia and New Zealand have 
increasingly focused on economic diversification and in 
developing ties with the United States, Japan and other 
countries of the "Pacific Rim" (pages 342— A3). 


Due of the most important recent political developments has 
been campaigns in hoth New Zealand and Australia to 
achieve fairer treatment for the Maori and Aboriginal popu- 
lations. A cultural reawakening among the Maori was evident 
hy the beginning of the 20th century (in the Ratana move- 
ment), and Maori political campaigning began in earnest in 
the 1920s and 19,10s. Participation in the Second World War, 
urbanization and reviving population figures {bar churl) 
helped strengthen Maori assertiveness, and in the 1970s leg- 
islation was introduced to address grievances dating back to 
the Treaty of Wairangi. It took another 2(1 years and further 
protests, however, before any land was returned to the Maori, 
most of whom inhabit North Island. 

Australia's Aborigines had begun to assert their identity 
and demand an end to discrimination during the 1930s, but 
it was not until 1967 that they won equal citizenship. In the 
early 1970s (he federal authorities began to promote the 
return of land to Aboriginal communities, but although the 
number of Aborigines is rising, they remain the most dis- 
advantaged sector of Australian society. 

3 Economic developmikt 

or New Zealand 

tan serried 

■ by 1830 

J 1831-75 

"J IbVi-IMO 

| jitter two 

Symbols n ■ : economic irtniry 

(rsnbfanad try 1 eatjs 

Symbols in ■ ; economic activity 


D D EcUmimo. 

■ Coillrlmiing 

EJ Hydroelectric lower 

O njumimum smelling 

M* Simp hiring 

^ Dory luring 

k k In*' 



--- l!tB-30 

Population since 1 881 

I 1 Mum popJoMn 



rj "«.i nf 

a . 


* 'W fi n 
S e a 



B B «n t 0-*^" North 


: wwi 


" « I / i c 


e e 

« n 

© AUSTRALIA AND THE PACIFIC 10,000 bo-ad iixhi pages 26-37 



* In the mid- 1 9m century Europeon 
traders operated from basts on the com! 
supplied with goods by the Aftkon Iroding 
network. In the south the dominont Zulu 
nation caused the dispersal of other elhnic 
groups rhroughoui Ihe region. 

1 Principal African 
and European trading 
routes c. 1 s40 

Am conlroW hv non-Almar. powers. 

~^\ Omm 

2] Ortoram Empire 
iKf Atai siots a ertim jump 

Mllin node mote 

— *■ Mlwuw vnrfiire md papulmian 

Stale raure 

IrM of Yoonrettirs l!35-*0s 

A The city of Timbuktu served for centuries 
as o trading posl for trans-Sohotan 
caravans. By |ht 19th cenlury it hod 
declined in importance but was ■.■ill a kin 

of turiosity (or Europeans, fur whom travel 
in ihe region was made dangerous by 
Muslim antipathy to Christians. In 1 853-51 
Ihe German explorer Heinrkh Earth spent 
some time ihere in the tourse ol on 
extensive expedition (map 31, and the 
lustration above was published in his 
account of his travels. 

At the beginning of 
the I l )th century the 
interior of the African con- 
tinent was little known to outsiders, 
although there had been contact with 
the wider world since antiquity, espe- 
cially through trading activity. The 
North African coastal region was firmly 
integrated into Mediterranean trading 
systems, while well-established trans- 
Saharan trading routes (map 1 ), based 
on exchanges of slaves, salt, gold and 
cloth, secured the dominance of I si an 
from the north coast to West Africa. 

As the century progressed, trade in 
West Africa continued to be orientated to 
the north, but the Atlantic slave trade, 
initiated by the Portuguese in the loth 
century, became an increasing focus of 
economic activity. It is estimated that over 12 
million slaves were despatched to the Americas 
between 1450 and 1N70, of whom a quarter 
were exported during the 1'Jth century. The 
political, social and economic reverberations of 
European competition for slaves along the west 
and central African Atlantic coast extended far into 
the interior. Slaves were exchanged for firearms, metal 
goods, beads and other manufactured goods. With the 
formal abolition by Britain of the slave trade in 1807 (and 
despite the defiance by other European countries of this ban 
tor many years after), ivory, rubber, palm oil, cloth, gold and 
agricultural products assumed ever greater importance as 
trading commodities. 

In Kast Africa trading activities were somewhat less 
developed, as was urbanization and the formation of states. 
Nevertheless, Indian Ocean ports such as Mombasa, 
Bagamoyo, Kilwa and Quelimane were important in 
bringing Hantu-speaking Africans into commercial contact 
with Arabs, Indians and Portuguese [map 1 ). The slave 
trade in this region remained relatively unaffected by its 
formal illegality until the latter part of the l'>th century. 


At the start of the 19th century the European presence in 
Africa was largely restricted to the coastal regions of 
northern, western and southern Africa. The French 
invaded the Algerian coast in 1 8.K) and also established a 

Cope Tbwny 

presence on the west coast. Spain had 
been in control of the Moroccan ports of ( kmra and 
Melilla since the 16th century. The Portuguese were in 
possession of large parts of Angola and Mozambique. In 
West Africa, British interests were expanding into the 
hinterland from the slave-trading regions of preset LI -day 
Sierra Leone. Nigeria and Ghana. British influence in the 
region was consolidated after 1807, when the Royal Navy 
took on the role of enforcing an end to the slave trade and 
merchants extended the domain of legitimate commerce. 
A major area of British expansion was in southern Africa. 
where the Cape Colony was wrested from Dutch control in 
180f>. The frontiers of this settler society expanded 
throughout the 19tli century and a second British colony. 
Natal, in the east of the region, was established in 1845. 

African politics 

Dynamic changes occurred, sometimes intensified by 
European contact, at other times with little reference to 
encroachment from the outside. In southern Africa the 
rr\facane migrations, occasioned by the rise of the Zulu state 


3 European exploration 


— *■ fcnp M 1605-06 

— *■ Oaten. Cbpprtn ml Outer 16?}-}5 

— *> S<nlJLml«l)30 

— *■ wmi-r> 

—+ 6ti*t850-M 
— *■ Uw^sirn I8S3-S4 
--*- UmgMne IBH-M 
— ■» Wags*™ 1847-73 
— *■ BtfWr and 5psk« IBSf-S? 
— ♦■ SprteondOninM 840-43 
— *■ SdnntM 1848-71 
— •> Ngdihggl 1870-7* 
— -»■ txnmn 1073—74 
SUDiitoy 1374—77 

Cop* fcwwi 

during the 1820s, caused a massive dispersal of population 
throughout the region and resulted in the emergence of 
several new polities or nations, such as those of the Kololo, 
the Ndebele, the Swazi and the Ngoni (map 1). This political 
turbulence was exacerbated by the arrival in the southern 
African interior from the 1830s onwards of migrant Boer 
Voortrekkers, attempting to escape control by British 
colonists. They sought to establish independent states, largely 
in territory depopulated as a result of the mfecane, although 
they came into conflict with the Zulu in Natal, most spectac- 
ularly at the Battle of Blood River in 1838. Many moved on 
again when the British annexed the republic of Natal in 1845. 

In West Africa the advance of Islam, associated with the 
Fulani jihad of 1804, resulted in the disintegration of long- 
established kingdoms, such as the Yoruba empire of Oyo 
and the Bambara state of Segu, though the Fulani were 
resisted in Borno. By the 1860s the Fulani caliphate of 
Sokoto was pre-eminent in the region, having absorbed 
much of Hausaland into its aegis. 

In Egypt the autocratic modernization strategy adopted 
by Muhammad Ali in the early decades of the century trans- 
formed this province of the Ottoman Empire into an 
independent state in all but name; Egyptian authority was 
extended southwards and the Sudan was invaded in 
1820-22 in order to secure the upper Nile and find a more 
reliable source of slaves. 

Around Lake Victoria in East Africa, the kingdoms of 
Buganda, Bunyoro and Karagwe were linked by the trading 
activities of the Nyamwezi to the Swahili- and Arab- 
dominated coastal region, extending outwards from 
Zanzibar. To the north, in Ethiopia, the ancient Christian 
state centred on Axum was fragmented and in disarray until 
the mid-19th century. Thereafter, under the leadership of 
John IV and Menelik II, the Ethiopian Empire underwent 
consolidation and expansion; Ethiopia has the distinction 
of being the only African state to have successfully resisted 
19th-century European colonial occupation. 

2 The sp read of Islam 
and Christianity 

| j MiEfenmelUC 

I 1 QreiwuwQS 1840 

| AnkiDnfajoic 

— *■ Oristiui nraoncrr ocMy 

-4 The first European "explorers" in Africa 
were those that ventured into regions in 
West Africa already well known to Berber 
traders, but hitherto considered too 
dangerous for Christians. From the mid-1 9th 
century onwards Europeans made 
expeditions into central Africa. Their motives 
were mixed. David Livingstone summed 
them up as: "Christianity, commerce and 
civilization", but the pursuit of scientific 
knowledge also played a part. 

Rival religions 

The creation and expansion of new states and societies, 
whether originating from within Africa or from external 
forces, were accompanied by cultural change and accom- 
modation. Religion was a key aspect of such change 
(map 2). In North and West Africa, conquest and the 
spread of Islam were closely associated, although one did 
not presuppose the other. Christianity had been present in 
North Africa from the 2nd century and, though checked by 
the rise of Islam, had become firmly established in Coptic 
Ethiopia. Efforts to convert other parts of Africa to 
Christianity had been led by the Portuguese from the 15th 
century. It was in the 19th century, however, that intense 
Catholic and Protestant proselytization occurred; some, 
indeed, see missionaries as crucial precursors of European 
colonialism. Christianity did not, however, replace indige- 
nous African religious traditions in any simple manner. 
Adaptation and coexistence was more the norm and, in 
many instances, African forms of Christianity emerged that 
would later serve as an important ideology in mobilizing 
resistance to European colonialism. 

European explorers 

Along with trading and missionary activity, explorers played 
an important role in "opening up" Africa to Europe 
(map 3). At the start of the 19th century the interior of 
Africa was barely known to the outside world. Expeditions, 
whether motivated by scientific and geographic curiosity or 
the search for natural resources and wealth, attracted con- 
siderable popular interest in Europe; the exploits of 
travellers and explorers were celebrated both in terms of 
individual achievement and as sources of national pride. 
Among the best-known 19th-century expeditions were 
those that explored the sources of the Nile, the Congo, the 
Zambezi and the Niger. The exploration and mapping of 
Africa proved of considerable importance to the drawing of 
colonial boundaries in the late 19th century. 

A During the 19th century the two main 
religions - Christianity and Islam — 
competed for domination of the African 
interior. The Muslim religion spread south 
from North Africa (although the Coptic 
Christians held out in Ethiopia) and inland 
from Arab trading bases in East Africa. The 
Christian churches sent out missionaries 
from European colonies in the south, east 
and west of the continent, with the Catholics 
and Protestants vying for converts. 

© AFRICA 1500-1800 pages 136-37 © THE PARTITION OF AFRICA 1880-1939 pages 206-7 



Capo TbwrP 

2 The South African (Boer) War 1899 


ArHHomroUed ay 

IRS? Dg'l if fidapaiggnct 

^ Biihin at Duttareak of war 

■ Sieqs byr Ahikaiwn ' SW-1 900 

| Mrftners IBoml wifredt at w 

A tfrtmnKtay I8W-I°0Q 

Witorarj ign-nao 



O Boirtofti mnwg 

^| kurort 

O GoUnvng 

▲ The South African (Boer) War of 
1 899-1 902 was one of the longest and 
costliest in British imperial history. In the 
initial phase the Afrikaners secured notable 
victories, but in 1 900 their main towns were 
captured by the British. General Kitchener 
finally defeated them by burning their 
farmsteads and imprisoning civilians in 
concentration camps. In the Peace of 
Vereeniging (May 1 902) the Afrikaners lost 
their independence. In 1910, however, the 
Union of South Africa gained independence 
under the leadership of the Afrikaner 
general Louis Botha. 

Between 1880 and 1914 the whole of Africa was parti- 
tioned between rival European powers, leaving only 
Liberia and Ethiopia independent of foreign rule 
(map 1). The speed of the process was bewildering, even 
more so when one considers that most of the African land- 
mass and its peoples were parcelled out in a mere ten years 
after 1880. European competition for formal possession of 
Africa was accompanied by intense nationalist flag-waving 
and expressions of racial arrogance, contributing in no small 
manner to the tensions that resulted in the outbreak of the 
First World War. 

Many explanations have been given for the partition of 
Africa. Some lay particular stress on economic factors: the 
attractiveness of Africa both as a source of raw materials 

▲ The partition of Africa was formalized at 
the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, attended 
by all the major European nations. It was 
agreed that a nation that was firmly 

established on a stretch of coast had the 
right to claim sovereignty over the 
associated hinterland on which its trade 
depended for the supply of goods. 

and as a virtually untapped market for finished goods during 
Europe's "second" industrial revolution. Others view the 
partition of Africa in terms of intra-European nationalist 
rivalry, emphasizing the prestige associated with possession 
of foreign territory and the ambitions of individual states- 
men and diplomats. Another explanation relates to geo- 
political concerns, in particular the strategic designs of 
military and naval planners seeking to preserve lines of 
communication, such as the route to India through the Suez 


Canal (opened 1869) and around the Cape. A variant of this 
theory emphasizes conditions on the ground, claiming that 
European powers were sucked further and further into 
Africa as a result of local colonial crises and trading oppor- 
tunities. Technological advances (including the telegraph), 
as well as more effective protection against disease, facili- 
tated the "scramble for Africa". 

One of the first examples of colonists fighting for 
freedom from European domination occurred following the 
discovery of diamonds and gold in territory controlled by 
Afrikaner farmers (descendants of Dutch settlers, known to 
the British as "Boers"). Prospectors of all nationalities 
flooded into the region, and Britain was concerned about a 
possible alliance between the Afrikaners and the Germans 
to the west. In October 1899 the Afrikaners took pre- 
emptive action, besieging British troops massing on their 
borders (map 2). British reinforcements won several major 
battles, but the Afrikaners then adopted guerrilla tactics 
which were eventually overcome by the ruthless approach 
of General Kitchener. 

Relations between Africans and Europeans 

The partition of Africa cannot be satisfactorily understood 
without taking into account the dynamics of African societies 
themselves. In some instances colonial expansion was made 
possible by indigenous leaders who sought to enrol 
Europeans as convenient allies in the struggle to establish 
supremacy over traditional enemies. Trading and commer- 
cial opportunities encouraged certain groups of Africans to 
cement ties with Europeans. Some African leaders proved 
adept at manipulating relationships with European powers to 
their own advantage, at least in the short term; elsewhere, 
land or mineral concessions were made to Europeans in the 
hope that full-scale occupation could be averted. 

In a number of celebrated instances (map 1), Africans 
resisted the initial European colonial advance, or rose in 
rebellion soon after. Common informal means of resistance 
included non-payment of taxes, avoidance of labour 
demands, migration, or membership of secret religious soci- 
eties. Usually, Africans sought some sort of accommodation 
with the advancing Europeans in order to avoid outright con- 
frontation. Appearances are therefore deceptive: although the 
map indicates European possession of virtually all of Africa 
by 1914, in many areas control was notional. Portuguese 
control of Mozambique and Angola was especially tenuous. 
In non-settler societies and beyond major towns and centres, 
many Africans were more or less able to ignore the European 
presence and get on with their own lives. 

Labour markets and trade 

Perhaps the surest measure of the intensity of colonial rule 
is the extent to which Africa was integrated into the world 
economy (map 3). In southern Africa, the discovery and 
exploitation of diamonds and gold created huge demands for 
African labour. Migrant workers came from as far afield as 
Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Demands 
for agricultural labour threatened the viability of indepen- 
dent African cultivators in the region, although in some 
areas - as in the case of cocoa production in the Gold Coast 
and Nigeria, for example - colonial systems relied on 
indigenous peasant cultivators, who were frequently able to 
prosper from their participation in export markets. Forced 
labour was widely used by agricultural concession compa- 
nies in Mozambique and Angola, and by the rubber 
plantations of the Belgian Congo. 

Communication infrastructure 

Railway networks werre built that linked coastal ports to the 
hinterland and served as a major stimulus to trade and com- 
modity production. Railways proved particularly important 
for the development of mining as well as for commercial 
agriculture. They were also vital for the supply of labour and 
were crucial for the economic development of the region. 

After the initial phase of railway construction, road- 
building programmes, especially in the inter-war years, 

brought some of the most remote areas into direct contact 
with the colonial economy. The arrival of trucks stimulated 
the re-emergence of an African merchant class, particularly 
in West Africa. Rapid urbanization, a remarkable feature of 
the colonial era, was stimulated by the development of trans- 
port links and of internal and external trade. 

Education and religion 

In much of colonial Africa the spread of education was 
closely linked to religious change. Christianity in particular 
underwent exponential growth. The spread of Western edu- 
cation, building on earlier missionary endeavours, tended 
to be geared to the requirements of colonial regimes - pro- 
viding skilled workers, clerks and petty officials. Many 
Africans eagerly embraced education, often as a means of 
social advancement. Thus, the spread of literacy opened up 
new horizons and possibilities that could not easily be con- 
trolled by the colonial powers. It is striking that many of the 
early African nationalists were the products of mission 
education - men who became politicized when the oppor- 
tunities opened up by their education were denied them by 
the inequalities inherent in colonial rule. 

Education and Christianity were not, however, univer- 
sally welcomed by Africans. While offering social mobility 
to many, these agencies also threatened the power of tradi- 
tional elites. Frequently, forms of Christianity evolved which 
combined African belief systems and traditions with 
Western ones. The Bible also offered fertile ground for rein- 
terpretation in ways that challenged European rule. 

Colonialism was the source of great and profound 
changes: economic, political, social, cultural and demo- 
graphic. Significant and wide-ranging as these changes were, 
however, innovations were seldom imposed on a blank slate. 
Rather, colonial institutions were built on existing struc- 
tures and moulded according to circumstances. Far from 
capitulating to alien rule, many African societies showed 
great resilience and adaptability in surviving it. 

T The export of row materials from Africa 
affected agriculture and labour markets 
throughout the continent. Although mining 
operations and large plantations were 
controlled by colonists, small-scale peasant 
production did survive in many places and 
benefited from export markets. Railways 
were crucial to economic development, in 
particular for the transportation of mineral 
ores. Their effect, however, was mixed: 
because they tended to disturb more 
traditional forms of transport, the areas 
they bypassed often suffered economically. 

3 Colonial economic development 

TO THE MID-1 930S 


iwjof wpmti' 

• toccm 



9 .-V 




•* graundnufe 



T piin piDrJurts 

:l'V:;il ]■;■ 







Carnlbwti 1 

© AFRICA 1800-80 pages 204-5 © AFRICA SINCE 1939 pages 256-57 




A The strengthening al 'colonial ml* was 
linked to o number of economic and poliikol 
lotion including ihe need (or row materials 

to supply rapidly industrialiring ecanomie^ 
and the desire to find new markets far 
manuloctured goods. 


[exports plus imports in 
millions al dollars) 


A lWe wos a particularly shrjfji inmost 
in wotld trade between 1900 nnd 1910. with 
the build-up el armaments by Britain and 
Germany - and the associated demand lor 
row materials - a contributory factor. 

The late 19th century witnessed dramatic changes, 
not only in the world economy but also in the 
relationship between the manufacturing countries 
anil those regions of the world from which raw materials 
were obtained. The volume of international trade more than 
trebled between INTO and 1914 tliur vliart I) alongside 
large-scale industrialization in Europe and the United 
States, and the spread of colonial rule, particularly in Asia 
and Africa. By 191,1 Britain had been replaced by the United 
States as the world's leading manufacturing nation, but it 
still handled more trade than any other country [bur 
chart 2). London remained the world's leading financial 
centre through its operation of the international gold stan- 
dard, which defined the value of the major currencies and 
SO facilitated trade. 

Transport and communications 

The enormous expansion of international trade was greatly 
helped by technological developments, especially in trans- 
port and communications. Sailing ships gave way to larger 
and faster steam vessels, which required coaling stations 
strategically placed around the globe {map 1), and mer- 
chant .shipping fleets expanded to cope with the increased 
volume of trade. Voyages between continents were facili- 
tated by the opening of the Suck Canal (1869] and the 
Panama Canal (19141. Railways also helped to increase 
trading activities, notably in Xorth America and Asiatic 
Russia. The electric telegraph network made business trans- 
actions between continents easier {mup 2). These techno- 
logical developments also encouraged massive migrations, 
including that of 30 million Europeans who emigrated to 
Xorth America during the 1 9th and early 20th centuries. 

The creation of wealth in the industrialized countries 
led to growing interest in investing some of that wealth in 
the developing countries. By financing railway building or 
mining development in these areas, industrial economies 
helped to increase imports of food and raw materials, and 
to create larger export markets for their manufactured 
goods. Britain, France, other European countries and later 
the United States made substantial overseas investments 

1 Empires and patterns of world trade 



■ rMn 

1 1 BfJjM 

~~ f Wepsitanf tarty 

| Fiona 

L | farm* 

^J WepwdwtCMTtTYpiwoufls 1 

^] CwrnnTy 


under European umfrri 

J ftrtJCjul 

| IHiduN 

~^\ Major shipping raito 

_| Spain 

I] IussId 

— **■ Nm hoot In m matwofc 

^2 Ntlttetlir* 

I li: iuii 

— ^ Mom hod* li> mrjiui'HhrorJ gawk 
D Mojof bm and roding stotlm 

(nuip 2 and pie chart), and were anxious to safeguard these 
from political instability and from rivals. 


In the late 19th century the world economy was becoming 
more integrated, with different regions increasingly depen- 
dent on one another. Inevitably, competition between 
states intensified, spilling over Into the political sphere. 
Britain's early lead as the first industrial power was linked, 
by many observers, to the expansion of the British Empire 
from the late 18th century onwards, above all in India. 
( )ther countries tried to emulate Britain by building up 
empires of their own. As business conditions worsened in 
the 1870s and 1880s, a growing number of countries also 
sought to protect their home markets, imposing tariffs to 
limit the influx of foreign goods. The attraction of untapped 
markets in Africa and Asia intensified as a result. 

Political factors in Europe also contributed to the 
growth of imperialism. National prestige was always a 
major consideration, hut it became even more so as inter- 
national rivalries heightened [pages 2} 6-17). The newly 
formed countries of Germany and Italy, as well as the 
declining state of Portugal, saw the acquisition of colonies 
as a way of asserting their status as world powers. Overseas 
expansion also helped to divert attention from chc domes- 
tic social problems created by industrialization and 
population growth. Further motivation was provided by 
Christian missionaries, who were effective in lobbying 
governments to defend their activities overseas. 


Political and economic changes taking place within 
non-European societies created important opportunities for 
the European powers to increase their influence. Local 
"elites" - groups who became wealthy through trade and 
collaboration with European powers - often facilitated the 
colonization of an area. Territory was sometimes acquired 
in order to protect existing colonial interests from rivals, 
or because it was particularly valuable for strategic, rather 
than economic, reasons. Often, however, the colonizing 
powers found that in order to support a limited initial claim 
it became necessary to expand inland from coastal bases 
and establish further trade links. 

Although no single factor can explain the growth of 
imperialism in this period, the results were nevertheless 
far-reaching, as evidenced by the "scramble" for overseas 
territories in the 1880s and 1890s. By 1914 nearly all of 
Africa had been divided up between the European powers 
- chiefly Britain, France and Germany - which had also 
extended their control of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. 
China, also highly prized by the Western powers because of 
the enormous potential market it represented, escaped 
formal partition only because the Western powers could 
not devise a means of dividing it that was acceptable to all 
of them. Even here, however, European influence was 
strengthened following victory for Britain and France in the 
"Opium Wars" of 1840-42 and 1856-60 and the opening 
of "treaty ports" (pages 198-99). 

The European powers were not alone in their enthusi- 
asm for overseas expansion. After defeating Spain in the 
war of 1898, the United States inherited many of the 
former Spanish colonies, notably the Philippines and 
Puerto Rico. Japan, too, lacking economic resources to fuel 
its rapid modernization, increasingly looked to China and 
Korea. It was the Europeans, however, who gained most 
from this phase of imperialism. By 1914 the British Empire 
covered a fifth of the world (map 1 ) and included a quarter 
of the world's population, while the second-largest empire, 
that of France, had expanded by over 10 million square 
kilometres (4 million square miles) since 1870. 

Although this phase of activity generated great tension 
among the colonial powers, aggravating their already exist- 
ing mutual suspicions and feelings of insecurity, it was 

accomplished without direct conflict between them. (The 
partition of Africa, for example, was largely the result of 
diplomatic negotiation at the Berlin Conference of 
1884-85.) The actual process of laying effective claim to 
territories was, however, often accompanied by extreme 
violence against indigenous populations, in campaigns of 
so-called colonial "pacification". 

The consequences of colonial rule 

Imperial control had far-reaching consequences for the new 
colonies. Their economies became more dependent on, and 
more vulnerable to, fluctuations in international trade. 
Transport and other infrastructures tended to be developed 
to meet the needs of colonial, rather than local, needs. 
Artificial colonial boundaries frequently included different 
ethnic or linguistic groups, sowing the seeds of future divi- 
sions. Initially, the social and cultural impact of colonial 
rule was limited, but Western education, medicine and reli- 
gion eventually led to a devaluing of indigenous cultures. 
Although the colonial powers lacked the resources to 
employ force on a routine basis, they maintained their 
dominance of a region by repeated assertions of their 
superiority, alliances with local interest groups and occa- 
sional displays of firepower. 

2 The value of foreign trade 1913 

(exports plus imports in millions of dollars) 

Foreign investment in 1914 

(in millions of dollars) 

I 1 Mhlin 

r 1 Frnnre 


▲ European overseas investment was 
considerable. Its aim was to ensure a 
continuing supply of raw materials and to 
stimulate new markets for finished 
products. The United States, which was less 
reliant on overseas trade, made a 
comparatively small investment given the 
size of its manufacturing output. 

-4 In 191 3 the United Kingdom was still 
the largest trading economy, with Germany 
second. Hie United States was by this time 
the world's leading manufacturer, but with 
its rich supplies of raw materials and 
enormous internal market it had less need 
for external trade. 

T By 1914 an extensive intercontinental 
telegraph network facilitated the conduct of 
overseas business and enabled stock 
markets to communicate with each other. 
European nations not only invested in their 
colonial possessions in Africa and Asia, but 
also in projects in North and South America 
and in other European countries. 



T Population growth in the 1 8th and 1 9th 
centuries was unevenly distributed. Europe's 
population trebled, with Britain experiencing 
a near fourfold increase. The United States 
saw the most spectacular growth, caused by 
settlers flooding into the country, although 
the number of Native Americans, already 
decimated by war and foreign diseases, 
continued to decline. 

High population growth around the world 
was matched by the development of large 
conurbations. In 1 800 there were some 40 
cities in the world with a population of 
between 100,000 and 500,000, of which 
nearly half were in Asia. By 1 900 many of 
these had more than doubled in size and 
new cities had sprung up in the United 
States. There were now about 80 cities with 
a population of between 250,000 and 
500,000, but only just over o fifth of these 
were to be found in Asia. 

It is estimated that between 1500 and 1800 the world's 
population more than doubled, from 425 to 900 million. 
Then, from around 1800 the rate of increase began to 
accelerate so that the world's population almost doubled in 
just 100 years, reaching over 1,600 million in 1900. This 
dramatic increase was unequally distributed around the 
world (map l).ln some regions it was caused by a a higher 
birth rate, in others by a decline in the death rate, but in 
most cases it was due to a combination of the two. 

Factors contributing to population increase 

The birth and death rates in each country were affected by 
a range of socio-economic factors. One of the main ones was 
the increasing supply of food, which reduced the number of 
people dying from malnutrition, and improved people's 
overall health, causing them to live longer. The Agricultural 
Revolution in 18th-century Europe had led to the use of 
more efficient farming techniques, which in turn had 
increased food production. The expansion of the inter- 
national economy and improvements in transport also 
contributed to improved food supplies by enabling large 

quantities of cheap food to be transported from North 
America and elsewhere to Europe. 

Industrialization was another major factor in the popu- 
lation growth of the 19th century. Although initially it 
created a new urban poverty, in most industrial countries 
the living standards of the working classes rose from the 
mid-19th century onwards as new employment opportuni- 
ties became available. Medical advances made childbirth 
less dangerous, and the increasing use of vaccination helped 
prevent major epidemics. While in western Europe the use 
of birth control led to a drop in the birth rate from the 1880s 
onwards, at the same time birth rates in Asia began to rise. 

Inter-continental migration 

One consequence of the rise in population was an unprece- 
dented intercontinental migration of people (map 2). 
Although it is usual to distinguish between "voluntary" 
migrants - including those seeking improved economic 
prospects - and "involuntary" migrants - such as those 
ensnared in the slave trade - for many individuals the 
motives for emigrating were mixed. They might involve both 

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"push" factors, such as poverty at home, and "pull" factors, 
such as the availability of work in the country of destina- 
tion. Between the 1880s and the outbreak of the First World 
War in 1914 around 900,000 people entered the United 
States alone each year, the majority settling in the industri- 
alizing north and east of the country (pages 186-87). Before 
the 1890s most of these migrants came from northern and 
western Europe, but subsequently the majority came from 
central and southern Europe. Europeans were particularly 
mobile during this period, settling not only in the United 
States but also in Latin America, Canada, Australasia, South 
Africa and Siberia. 

Migration on this unprecedented scale was facilitated by 
the revolution in transport, which substantially reduced the 
cost of transatlantic travel, and by the investment of 
European capital overseas, which created opportunities for 
railway building and economic development. Chinese 
migrants settled in Southeast Asia, Australia and the United 
States, to work in mines and plantations or to build rail- 
ways. Pressure on resources in Japan also led many of its 
citizens to emigrate to Manchuria and the Americas. 

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Increasing urrbanization 

In addition to witnessing a large increase in overall popu- 
lation levels, the period 1800-1914 saw an increasing 
concentration of the world's population in cities (map 1). 
This was due both to population growth and, especially in 
Europe and the United States, to the development of new 
industries in the towns. At the same time, technological 
change in agriculture, particularly in Europe, led to a con- 
traction in the demand for labour in rural areas. 

At the beginning of the 19th century the country with 
the most rapid rate of urbanization was Britain, with 20 per 
cent of the population of England, Scotland and Wales living 
in towns of over 10,000 people (as against 10 per cent for 
Europe as a whole). By 1900 around 80 per cent of Britain's 
population lived in towns of over 10,000 people, and 
London's population had increased to over 5 million. 
However, despite the fact that by 1900 many large cities had 
developed around the world, the majority of people still 
lived in rural areas. 

Urban infrastructures were often unable to meet the new 
demands being made on them, leading to inadequate 
housing stock, water supplies and sewage disposal. Such 
conditions were a factor in the cholera epidemics that 
affected many European and North American cities from 
the 1840s to the 1860s. As a result, measures to improve 
public health were introduced in the 1850s, and the last 
major European outbreak of cholera was in Hamburg in 
1892. Improvements in transport, especially in the railway 
system, encouraged the building of suburbs, which greatly 
eased the problem of urban overcrowding. 

-4 Rapid industrialization gave rise to urban 
growth that was frequently uncontrolled and 
unplanned. The overcrowded housing that 
resulted often led to squalor and disease. 

T As the wider world became known to 
Europeans, many of them left their native 
countries in search of a better life for 
themselves and their families. The earliest 
of these European migrations was to the 
Americas. Around 30 million people left 
Europe between 1815 and 1914 bound for 
the United States, driven across the Atlantic 
by rising unemployment at home in times of 
economic depression and, in the case of one 
million Irish emigrants, the disastrous potato 
famine of the mid-1 840s. 

Sometimes migrants left Europe in order 
to avoid persecution of various forms, as 
was the case with the Russian Jews, who 
from the 1 880s were the target of officially 
encouraged pogroms. Later European 
settlers headed for South Africa and beyond, 
to Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere in 
the world millions of Chinese and Japanese 
migrated in sea