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Ch 18: Early Civilizations in Asia

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the different aspects of how Asian cultures and countries came into being. The quizzes that follow each lesson can help you gauge your comprehension of the materials.

Early Civilizations in Asia- Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Within the vast continent of Asia are many countries and cultures, and the history of how these regions developed has been a captivating story. At one point, the Mongols ruled one of the largest empires the world has ever known. Control over simple trade goods, such as spices, led to major conflicts and bloodshed between Asian countries and European nations. Religious influences and control also attributed to the cultural development in certain regions. Upon completing this chapter, you should possess greater knowledge of the following:

  • Different Asian countries and cultures
  • The rise and fall of Asian dynasties and empires
  • Historical government systems
  • The rise of independent states
  • Influences of the spice trade
  • The impact of Europe on Asia

Video Objective
Chinese Civilization's Influence in East Asia: Korea & Japan Identify how Korea and Japan were influenced by Chinese traditions, but nonetheless kept most of their own traditions during the pre-1500 C.E. era.
Innovations of the Sui, Tang & Song Dynasties of China Discuss the three dynasties that took China out of chaos and into a state of order, and go over how government reforms and innovations in technology and agriculture led to prosperity.
The Mongol Empire & Dynasty in China Examine the rise of the Mongol Empire and point out the factors that led to the Mongols gaining one of the largest empires in the world.
Literature & Art of Golden Age China Review the art and different types of literature that were created during China's golden age.
The Rise of the Early Japanese State Show the relationship between Japan's unique development and Japan's geography, and then analyze the power struggles that occurred between the independent families and Japan's rulers.
The Emergence of Korean Culture Discuss the development of Korea as an independent country.
Southeast Asian Civilizations' Land & People Examine the social structure, culture, religious practices, and economy of the people in South East Asian countries, and then describe how the following states were formed: Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Angkor, and the Malay world.
Islamic Expansion & Influence in India Consider how the Islamic influence was extended into Hindu kingdoms by Hohman of Ghazni, discuss how the power of the Muslim faith reached northern India, and go over Timur Lenk's campaign as he conquered northern India.
Southeast Asia During the Spice Trade Investigate the Portuguese occupation of Moluccas, analyze how the Dutch pushed the Portuguese out, and review how Malay was impacted by the arrival of Europeans.
Dutch & Spanish Dominance in South & Southeast Asia Examine how the Spanish and the Dutch gained dominant positions in the region.
The Decline of Mughal India's Effect on European Traders Identify how European traders in this area were affected by Mughal's decline.

11 Lessons in Chapter 18: Early Civilizations in Asia
Chinese Civilization's Influence in East Asia: Korea & Japan

1. Chinese Civilization's Influence in East Asia: Korea & Japan

China's influence on the cultures of its neighbors is impossible to overstate and nowhere is this more true than in Korea and Japan. That said, those two countries managed to still develop very distinctive cultures.

Innovations of the Sui, Tang & Song Dynasties of China

2. Innovations of the Sui, Tang & Song Dynasties of China

Many of the most famous innovations of Chinese history occurred during the years preceding the Mongol Conquest. Three dynasties, the Sui, Tang, and Song, ruled supreme during this period.

The Mongol Empire & Dynasty in China

3. The Mongol Empire & Dynasty in China

The Mongol Empire was the second-largest empire in history, and the largest ever seen up until its time. This lesson explains how the Mongols were able to conquer China, as well as innovations that allowed them to conquer other regions, before concluding with a discussion on the Yuan Dynasty.

Literature & Art of Golden Age China

4. Literature & Art of Golden Age China

China underwent a great period of change during the time of the Tang and Song dynasties, and while innovations such as paper money and the cultivation of tea were important, art and literature also experienced high points.

The Rise of the Early Japanese State

5. The Rise of the Early Japanese State

With a relatively wide barrier of sea to separate them from any undesired outside influences, the Japanese are unique in that they were largely able to develop on their own. That said, there were surprising parallels between Japan and other parts of the world.

The Emergence of Korean Culture

6. The Emergence of Korean Culture

Despite being pressed against one of the most powerful cultures in history, the Koreans were able to keep their cultural identity and, more often than not, their political independence.

Southeast Asian Civilizations' Land & People

7. Southeast Asian Civilizations' Land & People

One of the first crossroads of the world, Southeast Asia may have been originally peopled by groups from China, but much of what would influence its numerous cultures came from India.

Islamic Expansion & Influence in India

8. Islamic Expansion & Influence in India

While Islam would never manage to convert more than a small percentage of India's population, it would have a considerable impact on the history of India, as well as the development of culture in the subcontinent.

Southeast Asia During the Spice Trade

9. Southeast Asia During the Spice Trade

Pirates, gold, and spicy food. The story of European involvement in Southeast Asia shows how the Portuguese inability to adapt, combined with the joint-stock companies of the Dutch, were able to change the face of Southeast Asia.

Dutch & Spanish Dominance in South & Southeast Asia

10. Dutch & Spanish Dominance in South & Southeast Asia

While many of us think of the Spanish operated solely in Latin America during the colonial period, a surprising amount of its wealth went west. Likewise, the Dutch built many fortunes by focusing on Asia instead of its scattered colonies in the New World.

The Decline of Mughal India's Effect on European Traders

11. The Decline of Mughal India's Effect on European Traders

The Mughal Empire was one of the most powerful countries on the planet, and its downfall was largely preventable. This lesson explains why and provides details on how the British made the most of the situation.

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