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Some of the famous world historians contributed immensely to the social change we see in the 21st century. Some of them are discussed below:
Herbert Aptheker (1915-2003)
Herbert was a great historian in African American history. He specialized more on the slave movement when writing his works. He has authored or co authored over fifty articles on the subject but his most notable article was The American Negro Movement of 1942. He also immensely contributed to the development of the documentary History of the Negro People. Herbert has been a prominent figure in the United States (US) social movement in the 19th century. Most of Aptheker's contributions exposed slave movements. Through his dissertation on The American Negros Slave Revolts of 1943, he has been a celebrated historian especially in the Southern History and African American studies (Manning).
Pamela Kyle Crossley
Pamela Kyle Crossley is a great historian in China and Asian studies. Her studies are however understood on a global front. She has either authored or co authored many works but among her greatest contributions have been the Wobbling Pivot. Among her popular subjects were political and social movements that have occurred in China since the prehistoric era. From her works, she predicted China's economic boom that is evident today. She also predicted that China's political and social structures would resemble those of developed countries and that is what is seen today (Manning 364).
Margaret was among the world's greatest historians of her time. Her most celebrated work was the Peacemaker for the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which was initiated to end decades of war. She won the Duffer Copper prize for her outstanding contributions in the first of political history and she has also coveted the prestigious award of the Samuel Johnson prize among other honorary degrees. Her contributions towards the field of international relations still remains celebrated to date (Manning).
Hieroglyphics Nazca Lines
The hieroglyphic lines have adorned plateaus and hills around the world; providing a good field of photography which has led to the developed of some of the most amazing world pictures worldwide. The Nazca lines appear in most world locations and are thought to have a supernatural symbolic meaning; like a gift from ancient gods or a landing strip for aliens. They can be observed in most countries such as Chile, Egypt, Bolivia and even the US. It however still remains a paradox who dwelled in these magnificent areas and it is also yet to be established in Briton's hills, what created the amazing drawings (Marder 46).
Aztec Warfare Pyramids of the Sun and Moon
Teotihuacan (pyramid of the sun) is one popular tourist attraction site in Mexico and the third largest pyramid in the world. The pyramid of the moon is also located in the same place. These two pyramids represent a significant religious meaning because they represented sacred places in 150 BC (Aguilar-Moreno 12). It is currently not only an exclusive religious centre because it now has an economic significance and also a home of weapon making, considering its large black stones deposits. Back in the 400 AD, Teotihuacan had only 200,000 inhabitants but was ranked the sixth biggest city in the world and was home for Aztec warfare; though not much evidence of it remains today. Three hundred years after its development, it had been virtually abandoned and not much evidence of its magnificent structures remains to date (Aguilar-Moreno 12). A lot of theories have been advanced on why it was abandoned but its prehistoric meaning led to its reconstruction. It was a well-known fact that prehistorically, this was the location where men became gods and was also a burial site for great rulers. Currently, the pyramids of moon and sun remain great symbolic evidences of pre-modern civilization.
History of South Asia-Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
South Asia seems to have a rich history especially if analyzed in terms of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. However, the history of these two places seems to be forgotten over the decades. The Mohenjo-Daro was a popular city in the Indus valley of India which is currently situated in modern Larkhana city in Pakistan. The 2600 BCE was the era that marked the building of this prehistoric city. Mohenjo-Daro's existence is equated to the prehistoric times of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (Schmidt 12).
This city was also prehistorically an administrative centre of the Indus valley. It is regarded as one of the most developed cities in South East Asia and indeed one of the biggest cities of its time (during the pinnacle of its existence). The existence of this monumental city marked the Indus civilization commonly known as the Harappan civilization. The cultures of Pakistan and India are largely sourced from Mohenjo-Daro before its decline around the 1900 BC (Schmidt 12).
Harappa on the other hand was a popular establishment in present North East Pakistan. Harappa currently bears the ruins of the Bronze age fortified city which was also part of the Indus valley civilization culture and also part of the Cemetery H Culture. The city had among the largest populations of its time, with inhabitants of close to 24,000 people (a large population during that era) (Schmidt 12-13). The site was home to numerous agricultural and trade activities which was mainly undertaken with the neighboring Mesopotamia region. Various administrative regions and religious centers also existed. In other words, this was a fully flung city with most modern features characteristic of the 21st century. Recently, the site was noted to bear strong archeological artifacts and remains preserved to date because of the same reasons.
China's Varied Geographical Distribution
China has a rich geographical makeup. It stands on a total area of 9,596,961 sq km with a distribution of 9,569,901 sq km of land and 27,060 sq km of water. It is comparatively, the fourth largest in the world and is slightly smaller than the US. It has a coast line that extends 14,500 km of regional borders with Hong Kong and Macau. The country has a territorial sea of 12 nm and a contiguous zone of 21nm as well (Brugger 128).
The country has a predominantly tropical climate composed of diverse extremes. To the South of the country, the tropical climate is extreme and mild subarctic climate to the North. This climate supports agricultural activities because about 14% of the country is arable and about 1.27% of the arable land is dominated by permanent crops. Some parts of the country's agricultural land is under irrigation too.
China is predominantly characterized by high mountains, high plateaus and fertile plains. An aerial view of the country would show that the country descends in about four steps, starting from the West to the east. The eastern part of the country descends into the Ocean in a continental shelf with the water here being less than 200 meters deep. The country is also abounding with many rivers. The current of rivers number is approximately 15,000. Most of the tributaries stem from the Qinghai Mountains in the Tibet region making the country a strong hydropower destination because of its numerous water resources (Brugger 128).
China's land make up is dynamic. Part of the country is greatly composed of grasslands, forests and cultivated land while other parts are comprised of many highlands and mountains than plateaus and basins. The land also has an unbiased distribution of land makeup because the arable land is concentrated to the East while the grasslands are majorly situated in the Western and Northern parts of the country. Forests are also unevenly located in the Northeast and South west (Brugger 129).
Battle of Salamis
A naval contest between Greek and Persian states best characterized the battle of Salamis. This battle was fought in 480 BC between the mainland and the Salamis Island near Athens. The Salamis war majorly characterized the second invasion of the Persian states into Greece, at the peak of the war. After suffering huge losses and losing Thermopylae, the Greek retreated, thereby enabling the Persians to conquer Boeotia and Attica. However, this was not the end of the war because the Greek reorganized its forces and went back to war, managing to sink or blow up about 200 Persian ships. They also managed to conquer the Persian army at the battle of Plataea and also defeated the last of the Persian army at the battle of Mycale (Goodrich 183).
These wars have a great historical significance. The battle of Salamis has a great historical significance in Greco Persian wars because it enhanced the superiority of the Greece and reaffirmed their authority, making the Persians seem weak and defenseless. After the Greek totally defeated the Persian army and navy, they both moved to a counter offensive face and some form of respect developed between the two factions.
The victory of the Greek facilitated Macedon's revolt against the Persian rule and the Aegean islands together with Ionia were reverted back to the Greek rule from the Persians. This eventually led to the weakening of the Persians. Historians have often referred this battle as one of the greatest conquests in human history though other battles like the marathon are equally phenomenal (Goodrich 183). Some analysts are of the opinion that if the victory was won by the Persians, the balance of power in western civilization would totally change. This conclusion is essentially down from the fact that most western philosophical bases are drawn from the Greek. This would ultimately affect the field of philosophy, science, personal freedom, and democracy.
Reasons for the Collapse of the Roman Empire
The reasons why the Roman Empire collapsed are still debatable to date. The collapse of the Roman Empire was essentially characterized by a breakdown of the societal, political, economic and military structures. The decline was gradual and is estimated to have reached its final stretch on September 4, 476 over a 320 year period (Gibbon 1-5). The final existence of the empire was characterized by the deposition of the final roman ruler by the German chief man, Odoacer. A lot of speculations have however been advanced to explain why the empire collapsed (Gibbon 6).
Some historians argue that the empire grew quite rapidly and subsequent inflationary tendencies may have led to the decay of the empire. In this regard, there was a huge budgetary constrain on the part of the administration to maintain the infrastructure of the empire including the roads, transportation and communication networks and the likes. The many territorial fights the empire was fighting due to its expansion efforts also compounded the financial problems because the empire was using a considerable amount of gold and silver to maintain its army (Gibbon).
The rising of German mercenaries in the Roman army is also considered a huge contributor to the downfall of the empire. This led to cultural dilution and adornment of new practices, nonexistent before. Moreover, it shifted loyalty from the Roman government to the Roman commanders. As a result of the German invasion into the empire, there was a notable decline of civic virtues among the Roman citizens. Consequently trust shifted from the Roman government to mercenaries for the protection of the empire. These mercenaries later turned on them.
Other scholars have also identified that environmental degradation did a lot to kill the economic and human conditions in the empire. Deforestations and over grazing led to soil erosion and loss of arable land, thereby leading to poor productivity in the empire. From this analysis, the degradation we see in the world today should be analyzed as a crucial component that could either build or destroy the economical and social aspects of the society. Nevertheless, a lot of theories have been advanced towards the degradation of the empire.
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Life on an Early Medieval Manor
By far, a medieval manor was well endowed with supplies of food and livestock to feed the entire community and even have enough to sell. The land for provision of this food was however stratified into three categories. The first category consisted of land that was primarily used to feed the homestead. Secondly, there was land which was toiled by peasants on behalf of the lord while the third piece of land was toiled by peasants but with permission from the lord because they had to pay rent to him. This land was for their benefit and not for the benefit of the lord (Cels 2-5).
Lords had a lot of security in the medieval society but a king could easily take a medieval manor from the lord if he so wishes. The peasants were often subjects to the lord and were in turn given protection by the Lord in times of war or danger. As an additional task, they were required to work on the lord's land on weekly basis but the males could be summoned occasionally to assist in military fights.
The medieval manor society had court records which enabled historians to comprehend the life in the prehistoric age. The lords regularly held court sessions. However, the laws to be implemented by each Lord were varied, depending on the location of the Lord and the local customs of the area. This society however died upon the advent of the Black Death which hit Europe in 1348. During this period many people died and land was virtually left unattended. This however meant that surviving laborers lived better lives because they received high wages due to the scarce labor (Cels 5-10).
Militant Islam Today
Islam militants have had a very bad record in the past. In essence, they have killed Christianity in the Middle East and also persecuted believers of other religions. In over 1400 years, it is estimated that 270 million Non-Islams have been killed. These killings have been majorly orchestrated by extreme Jihadists. It is also estimated that over sixty million Christians were killed in the Middle East and North Africa during this religious conflict. About half of the existing Hindu population were annihilated and close to eighty million Hindus were killed. The number of Buddhists murdered by the Islamic military movement is also considered to be 10 million. Most people have considered Islam a killing machine but today that perception is slowly changing (Europa Publications Limited 19).
The understanding of Islamic Jihadists has been recently demystified by Islamists themselves. Nevertheless, this military group has been observed to draw its inspiration from the Quran and is known to perceive non-believers as enemies. In this context, the military group still remains active to date. America has witnessed a great spillover of Islamic military force with a series of Embassy bombings in Beirut and even Kenya and Tanzania. The biggest wake up call on the power of the Islamic militants came about in the September 11th attacks on the US soil.
Islamic militants haven't taken a peaceful stance to date with wars being fought all over the world. In Sudan for example, there have been conquests from Islamic militants in the North against the Christian South. This conflict has probably caused one of the greatest humanitarian disasters the world has seen. In Nigeria, a conquest currently ensues between Islamic militants and Christians. The death toll to date is projected at more than 100,000 (Europa Publications Limited 19). Islamic militants are essentially acting as the custodians of the Islamic faith and are probably among one of the many worldwide vivacious groups.
The Sub Saharan region is majorly used to characterize the southern part of the Sahara in Africa. Its geography is therefore characterized by those countries that lie to the south of the Sahara desert. This zone of Africa is primarily defined in contrast to Northern Africa which is considered a subsidiary of the Arab world. The Sahel is primarily the transitional area between the Sahara and the savannah or the forest area in the Sudan region. This also characterizes Northern and Southern Sudan which traverses the Sub Saharan geography (Hobbs 455).
Somalia is also another zone that characterizes the geography of the Sub Saharan Africa, though it cuts into the Northern part of Africa which is otherwise considered the Arab world. In some historical aspects, the sub Saharan is synonymous with the word "black Africa" to symbolize the dominant black population in the area. Sub Saharan Africa is majorly differentiated by the harsh climate that cuts across the geographical zone (Hobbs 455).
The Nile River which is one of the world's longest rivers cuts across the geography from Lake Victoria (the second largest fresh water lake in the world) all the way into the Mediterranean Sea. Contrary to popular belief, the Sub Saharan region has a wide variety of climatic zones. It is comprised of tropical, afro tropic, and desert climates (Hobbs 455). A great part of the region is comprised of rain forest and savannahs that have become popular habitats for wild animals. The entire sub-Saharan region cuts across East, Central, Southern and West Africa. The zone is primarily dotted with all kinds of geographical landmarks and also hosts one of the highest mountains in Africa and indeed the world, Mount Kilimanjaro. It also has snow peaked mountains, rivers and lakes abound.
Almaty is essentially the largest city in Kazakhstan with a population of over 1.2 million people as at 2008. It was also the capital for Kazakhstan and still remains a big commercial centre for the area. In the prehistoric era, farming was the main economical activity going on in the periods of 1000 and 900 BC. Currently a lot has changed and the area is primarily characterized by many precious metals such as silver and gold. The economic activities of the area have therefore changed in this regard and the engineering, construction and mining industries have consequently grown (Hussey 158).
The zone has an inevitably rich history, easily portrayed from the sculptures and artifacts from the area. The ancient city ruins also bear a historical significance of the area by symbolizing the culture and way of life of the generations that lived there. Almaty remains an important location in the area because of its rich history in farming and trade in the prehistoric middle ages.
A part of the great Silk Road traverses this region, symbolizing a rich history of the main activities like archeology, monumental art, architecture and the likes. This was evidence of the rich interaction between the nomadic and agricultural communities in the Asian region. This road had a very big historic significance because it traversed china through to the West, back in the sixth and seventh centuries. This Silk Road greatly opened up the region and is attributed to be the facilitator for modern developments of the area.
The contemporary design and architecture of the road manifests a mix of the traditional and modern traditions. This is a symbol of the coexistence between modern and past experiences to everyone who visits it. Many caravans have in the past canvassed through the road and today, the road still remains an important aspect of current economic and social makeup of the region. Due to its natural beauty, the road has developed to be a magnificent tourist site of the area (Hussey 158).
Battle of Agincourt (1415)
The battle of Agincourt greatly symbolizes the English and French wars which were fought over a hundred years. The English were the victors in this conquest. This victory made a significant impact on the power of the French because it weakened its army. Henry, who was the English ruler, then married the daughter of the French ruler, further increasing a new face of war because his son was supposed to inherit the French kingdom (Bennett 5).
The existing French ruler at the time went into war with Henry VI. This war was a landmark in weaponry because it marked the massive use of the long bow in the English army. This warfare method however posed a number of challenges because the horses were usually agitated and often scattered when they were struck by the arrows. This weakened the English (Bennett 5). However, the French engaged the hand to hand fighting technique though it proved to be a daunting task because they had to do this under a hail of arrows.
The French were however armored in helmets and arrow-proof clothing. This amour nevertheless restricted their oxygen supply and vision. Moreover, they had to canvass through heavy mud under heavy arrow bombardment till they pushed the English back into their line with few casualties. Nonetheless, by the time the French reached the English line they were exhausted because they carried up to 50-60 pounds of armor clothes on their bodies and had to walk through mud. It is recorded that they were unable to stand up again after being knocked down (Bennett 6). They were later killed in huge numbers and this marked the victory of the English through the use of the English arrow bows. The French rulers later acknowledged the victory and allowed Henry's heir to inherit the French throne (Bennett).
Viracocha was termed the creator god in South America during the Inca rule. He was considered an important deity and could create almost anything or provide the materials to which things were created. He was also considered the creator of the moon, sun, stars and the sun because of his ability to make the sun move across the sky, thereby leading to the creation of time as well (Gose 71).
According to ancient history, Viracocha hailed from the sea and came into the Inca kingdom as a provider of light. His phenomenal coming also symbolized his departure because he is said to have walked right into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, never to be seen again. He is said to have traversed the earth and often taught his followers many aspects of civilization, though he lived under the pretext of a beggar. He is said to have often wept when he saw the kind of misery his creations lived in and consequently appeared only in times of problems.
It is alleged that he had two daughters and a son. He destroyed everybody in a flood but spared two people who later founded the Inca civilization (Gose 71). In other legends, he is said to have fathered eight children who started the Inca civilization from his relationship with a woman, identified to be his wife. His life and times still remain unclear, considering the numerous legends that have been advanced about his existence.
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