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era. Lasting contributions were made by two of the
greatest Chinese poets, Li Po and Tu Fu. Their poems,
written in words of great beauty and simplicity, still
inspire many poets in all parts of the world. During the
Sung period, the Chinese invented gunpowder, the
magnetic compass, and movable type for printing.
Scholarly advances also were made during the T'ang
and Sung dynasties. Chinese scholars produced impor-
tant dictionaries, encyclopedias, and histories.

^ yyj^ v Japan During
^^ The Middle Ages

Japan developed its basic civilization and rapidly
advanced to a golden age during the Middle .'^ges.
Little is known of Japan's early days. Buddhist monks
and merchants brought civilized ways of life to Japan
from China and Korea. By the a.d. 550's, many Japa-
nese were practicing Buddhism. They also were pro-
ducing arts and crafts similar to those of the Chinese.
1 he Japanese took over the Chinese system of writing,
and their scholars produced many works in Chinese
styles. The early Japanese also adopted basic Chinese
methods of government. Unlike the Chinese, however,
the Japanese thought of their emperor as godlike. They
believed an emperor must never be overthrown. The
Japanese also developed as important parts of their cul-
ture a belief in the superiority of soldiers, and a great
respect for stern militaiy conduct.

Civilization developed so rapidly in Japan that a
golden age flourished there from the late 700's to about
1150. During Japan's golden age, Kyoto was estab-
lished as the nation's capital. Kyoto became one of the
largest cities of the world during the Middle Ages. At
the height of Japan's golden age, the emperor lost much
of his political power to the heads of noble families.
These noblemen, called shoguns, ruled Japan for hun-
dreds of years. But they all ruled in the name of the
emperor. Deep respect for the emperors of Japan and
strict obedience to military- discipline lasted into Mod-
ern Times. In fact, these basic elements of Japanese
culture became strong influences on the course of his-
tory during the early 1900's. See Japan (History).

India During
The Middle Ages

India was invaded by many peoples during the Mid-
dle Ages. As a result, little progress was made in devel-
oping the civilization that had flourished in India
during Ancient Times.

The most important invaders of India were the Mos-
lems. They pushed into the plains of northern India
from Afghanistan and central Asia. Unlike the Mongol
invaders of China, the Moslem invaders of India did
not imite with the people they conquered. .Some Indians
gave up their Hindu religion and became Moslems.
But most Indians did not accept the Mo.slem customs
or the Islamic religion. Largely because of their re-
ligious differences, the people of India became cul-
turally divided. This deep cultural division has lasted
for hundreds of years. It became the basis for the politi-
cal partition of India into two independent countries —
India and Pakistan — in 1947.

..- yy^ ^ Other Civilizations During
^^ The Middle Ages

Most regions of Africa, North America, and South
America remained uncivilized during the Middle Ages.
But these continents did have some civilized areas.
Northern Africa, of course, had been civilized since the
days of ancient Egypt. Some civilizations also existed on
the west and east coasts of Africa. Similarly, only a few
areas of North and South America were civilized. In
parts of Central and South America, some Indian
groups developed highly advanced civilizations.

Africa. The Sahara separated the civilized northern
area of Africa from the largely uncivilized African
interior. Most Africans south of the .Sahara were Negroes
who had primitive tribal cultiues. During the Middle
Ages, Arab traders of northern Africa carried Moslem
culture to western Africa. There, the Arabs estab-
lished the state of Ghana. The Negroes of Ghana be-
came converted to the Islamic religion. They also
adopted many Moslem ways of life. The Negroes gradu-
ally gained control of Ghana and built a large empire.
During the lOOO's, the Malinke people conquered
Ghana and expanded it into the Mali empire. The
capital of the Mali empire, Timbuktu, became an im-
portant African center of trade and Moslem culture. In
southern Africa, the Zimbabwe civilization lasted from



Chinese Printing was a well-established art hundreds of years
before Europeans began using movable type in the mid-1 400's.
The Chinese invented printing about 770, during the T'ang dynasty.

about 900 to 1500. Ruins of fortresses of that Negro
civilization still stand in southern Rhodesia.

The Arabs also established trading settlements on the
east coast of Africa, including Kilwa, Mombasa, and
Zanzibar. There, Arab goods were exchanged for iron,
ivory, and slaves from the African interior.

The Americas. The first people who lived on the
North and South American continents probably came
from Asia. They were later called Indians. Most Indians
of the Americas followed primitive ways of life. But
during the Middle Ages, some of these tribal peoples
developed civilized societies. Their societies reached
about the same cultural level as the cradle civilizations
of Ancient Times.

An important Indian civilization was developed by
the Mava of Central America. The Maya developed a
calendar, a system of writing, and a system of mathe-
matics. They built huge temples that were much like
the pyramids of ancient Egypt. The Aztec and the
Toltec developed civilizations in what is now Mexico,
and the Inca built a magnificent empire in what is now
Peru. Most of these Indian civilizations lasted until
early Modern Times. They were destroyed by European
conquerors. The customs and skills of the Indians were
of little interest to the Europeans. But the Europeans
learned about many new foods from the Indians. These
foods included cocoa, corn, peanuts, potatoes, and
tomatoes. See Indian, American.

Pyramids of the Maya, built about A.D. 1000, are relics of an early civilization of

the Americas. El Castillo, 75 feet tall, is at Chichen Itza, in Yucatan.

Lh^ii'lotU- s.iikowskl





MueeuTi of Fine Arts, Boston

Japanese Pafnttng reached a high stage of development dur-
ing the Kamakura period (1185-1 333), when artists recorded the
deeds of the samurai, o warrior class that controlled feudol Jopon.

Fouir Alt Museum

Indian Temples built during the 700's were covered with sculp-
tured religious figures. The famous Shore Temple, carved out of
granite, stands on the Indian Ocean coast, 30 miles from Modras.

Aztec Images of gods or goddesses were
decorated with rough carvings of religious
symbols. This massive stone stotue of the
goddess Cootlicoe is over 8 feet tall.



Modern Times

Early Period: 1453-1900

Mankind made giant cultural strides during an era that many historians
call the early period of Modern Times. They generally date this period from
the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453 through the 1800"s. It was an
era of scientific achievement, industrial revolution, and sweeping political
and social change.

The people of Western Europe made almost all the important cultural
advances during the new era. Little progress was made in the Middle East,
India, or China. As a result, these ancient centers of civilization came
largely under the control or influence of Western civilization.

The power of the Western European nations rose on a strong tide of
scientific achievements. Some of these achievements made possible long
sailing trips and voyages of discovery. Others increased food production and
revolutionized manufacturing methods. The European nations sent ex-
plorers and militaiT forces throughout the world. They sought markets for
European products and raw materials for European industries.

British, French, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies were established in the
newly discovered lands of the North and South American continents.
Thousands of Europeans migrated to these lands, and brought the customs
and ideas of Western civilization. Many colonists of the Americas also
wanted to develop certain new ideas that were sweeping Europe — democ-
racy, nationalism, and religious toleration.

By the early 1800's, most of the colonists of North and South America
had freed themselves from European rule. But European nations still gov-
erned large colonial empires in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. European
rule of these regions did not meet serious challenge until the 1900's.

The Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament, London

The Huntington I.lhrarj-

An Exploration Map of the Carib-
bean region appears in an atlas pub-
lished in 1 547. It is fairly accurate, but
by today's map-making methods, the
map shows the region upside down.


The Renaissance

The great advance of Western civilization during
Modern Times started during a 300-year period of cul-
tural awakening called the Renaissance. The Renais-
sance actually began in the early 1300's in Italy. There,
artists and scholars supported the idea of individual
freedom. They urged people to cast off the ancient
customs and rules that governed life during the Middle
Ages. The basic Renaissance idea of individual freedom
became a cultural force that spread throughout most of
northern Europe.

Important cultural achievements resulted from the
spirit and vigor of the Renaissance idea. Many world
masterpieces of architecture, literature, painting, and
sculpture were created. Famous Renaissance artists and
writers included Cei-vantes, Hans Holbein, Leonardo
da \'inci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and William .Shake-
speare. Revolutionaiy discoveries in astronomy and
physics were made by Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo.
Other Renaissance scholars, including Desiderius Eras-
mus and Saint Thomas More, developed a humanist
philosophy. This philosophy stressed the importance of
man and his enjoyment of life. It influenced many
political and social movements of Modern Times. The
humanist philosophy also inspired a strong religious
movement called the Reformation. The Reformation
led to the establishment of Protestant churches in
England, Germany, and many other countries. See
Humanism; Reformation.

Exploration and commerce expanded rapidly during
the Renaissance. The spirit of the times called for en-
joyment of the good things of life — tasty foods, elegant
clothes, and elaborate homes. Merchants were en-


'- Thf Picii»r,iit Moifian IJhrarj-


! Telescopes Used by Galileo to make revolutionary discov-
eries in astronomy ore displayed in a museum in Florence, Italy.
Galileo's chart of the solar system was published in 1 632. He has
been called the father of modern experimental science.

European nations and their colonies in the late 1 800's (black).

EARLY PERIOD: 1453-1900

1492 Christopher Columbus reached Americo and claimed it

for Spain.
1492 The Spaniards captured Granada and ended the rule of

Spain by the Moslem Moors.
1517 The Reformation began in Germany.
1519-1522 Ferdinand Magellan commanded the first voyage

around the world.
1526 Babar, a Moslem ruler, conquered India and established

the Mogul Empire.
1532 Francisco Pizarro invaded Peru, beginning the Spanish

conquest of the Inca Empire.
1588 The Royal Navy of England defeated the Spanish

Armada and established England as a great naval

1613 Michael Romanov became Czar of Russia and started

the 300-year rule of Russia by the Romanovs.
1644 Monchus conquered China and established their rule

that lasted until 1912.
1688 The "Glorious Revolution" deposed James II of England.
1763 The Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years' War in

Europe, and the French and Indian War in America.
1776 The 1 3 American colonies of England signed the Declara-
tion of Independence.
1789 The French Revolution began.
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at the Battle of

Waterloo, ending his ambition to rule Europe.
1824 Armies of Simon Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre de-
feated the Spaniards at Ayacucho, ending the latin-
American wars of independence.
1842 The Treaty of Nanking ended the "Opium War" and

granted important trading rights in China to Great

1847 Liberia was established as the first independent Negro

republic of Africa.
1853-1854 Commodore Matthew Perry visited Japan and

opened two ports to U.S. trade, ending Japan's isolation.
1858 Great Britain took over rule of India from the East Indlo

Company after the Sepoy Rebellion.
1865 Union forces defeated the Confederates in the American

Civil War offer four years of fighting.
1867 Emperor Mutsuhito regained his traditional power from

the shogun and established Japan's capital in Tokyo.
1867 The British North America Act established the Dominion

of Canada.
1869 The Suez Canal opened.
1871 Germany became united under the Prussian king, who

ruled the new empire as Kaiser Withelm 1.
1882 Great Britain invaded and occupied Egypt.
1885 Leopold II of Belgium established the Congo Free State

and controlled it as his personal possession.

1895 Japan took control of Formosa after the Chinese-
Japanese War.

1 898 The United States took control of Guam, Puerto Rico, and
the Philippines following the Spanish-American War.



couraged to bring fine goods of all kinds from distant
lands to European markets.

To meet the demands of the merchants, adventurous
explorers competed to find the best trade routes^ to the
Far East. Historic voyages were made by Pedro Alvares
Cabral, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Bartol-
omeu Dias, Ferdinand Magellan, and others. They
opened new sea routes for traders who wanted to
avoid the difficult land routes across the Middle East
and Asia. An important sea route to Asia was estab-
lished by way of the Cape of Good Hope. Other sea
routes led to the Americas. See Exploration and Dis-
covery (The Great Age of Discovery).

As goods poured into Europe from distant lands, a
commercial revolution developed. Gold and silver im-
ports created a new kind of wealth. Investment oppor-
tunities \vere provided by the creation of joint-stock
companies. These companies got money to do business by
selling shares of stock to a number of individuals. They
foiTned the basis of the corporations of today. The first
stock exchanges were also established.

European standards of living rose with the growth of
commerce and the use of goods from other countries.
European markets were supplied with luxurious chintz
fabrics, porcelains, rugs, and silks. Foods from distant
lands included bananas, cocoa, coffee, lemons, oranges,
and tea. In the same period, a slave trade developed
with Africa.

The expansion of overseas commerce led to the estab-
lishment of European colonies in many countries. Some
of the colonies, chiefly those in tropical coimtries, were
established almost entirely as trading centers. They
served as temporaiy outposts where European manu-
factured goods were exchanged for raw materials. Many
other colonies became permanent. They included the
English colony of Virginia, the French colony of Que-
bec, and the Spanish colonies of New Spain (Mexico)
and Peru. These colonies in North and South America
formed a pattern for European colonization of many
other lands in the years to come.

Life during the Renaissance, and the many cultural
achievements of this period of histoiy, are described in
the article Renaissance.

^^^^ The Age of Reason

During the 1600's and 1700's, an intellectual revolu-
tion swept over Western Europe. Traditional principles
that had served scholars for hundreds of years were dis-
carded. The leading thinkers of the era insisted that
reason was the sole test of truth. The period became
known as the Age of Reason.

The most important contribution of the Age of
Reason was probably the development of the modern
scientific method. Scientists now applied the reasoning
process to their studies of basic natural laws. They or-
ganized general rules for reaching scientific conclusions
that are still followed today (see Science [How Scien-
tists Work]).

One of the steps of the scientific method was careful
experimentation. To cany out such experimentation,
scholars needed precise instruments. Their needs were
met by inventors of the era. Many important instru-
ments were developed, including the microscope, sex-
tant, slide rule, chronometer, air pump, and adding

With important new instruments to aid them, scien-
tists advanced rapidly. The discoveries of Sir Isaac
Newton revolutionized astronomy. Benjamin Franklin
and Alessandro V'olta discovered the nature of elec-
tricity. Robert Boyle, Antoine Lavoisier, and Joseph
Priestley foimded modern chemistry. Rene Descartes
invented analytic geometry'. William Harvey discovered
how blood circulates in the human body.

The scientific method was so Successful in solving
problems of nature that some philosophers applied its
principles to human problems. A group of French schol-
ars used the tests of reason in dealing with problems ot
economics, education, government, and religion. The
French scholars, known as the philosophes, attacked
many evils of the times. These evils included religious

The Study of Human Anptomy opened the way to important medical discoveries in Europe
during the 1 600's. Rembrandt portrayed this study in his famous painting The Anatomy tesson.

Magellan's Ship, Victoria, was the
first to circle the earth.

intolerance, superstition, tyranny, unjust laws, and the
slave trade. The most famous member of the French
group was probably Voltaire. Others included Montes-
quieu, Denis Diderot, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Their writings not only attacked evils, but also ex-
pressed a basic faith. That faith symbolized the spirit of
the era — belief in mankind's ability to solve problems,
with reason as the most important tool.

The Age of Reason was also a period of achievement
in the arts. The forni of the modern novel was developed
by Heniy Fielding. The poem took on new brilliance in
famous couplets written by Alexander Pope. Great
painters of the era included Thomas Gainsborough,
Francisco Goya, William Hogarth, Rembrandt, Sir
Joshua Reynolds, and Antoine Watteau. Many modern
forms of music, such as the concerto, opera, symphony,
and oratorio, were developed. Outstanding composers
of the period included Johann Sebastian Bach, George
Frideric Handel, Joseph Haydn, and Wolfgang Ama-
deus Mozart.

^P Democracy and Nationalism

Two powerful political forces — democracy and na-
tionalism — took shape during the 1600's and 1 700"s.
Democracy developed from revolutions that established
the right of people to govern themselves. Such revolu-
tions ended despotism (absolute control by a ruler) in
England, America, and France. Nationalism developed
from the strong feelings of national pride that united the
people of each countiy as they fought for their demo-
cratic ideals.

The English Revolution of the 1600's was the first
important attack in Modern Times on the absolute
power of kings. The attack was stimulated by the demo-
cratic ideas that developed during the Age of Reason.
The English revolution actually was a series of strug-
gles. At one time, the fight was led by the Puritans, a
religious group with strong democratic principles. A
republic called a commonwealth was established in
England in 1649. As a republic, England came under

Plays of William Shakespeare were often staged in the court-
yards of English inns during the late I 500's and early 1600's.

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Hyauanr.omtto. ^

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M;ti9 rt^:!.iifiiuaHrur


Till ir;itiii§Jiar({Iim»a


German Consulate General

Page of a Prayer Book of

the 1 400's, found in France.

Bettmann Arrhlve

Utopia, a mythical country, was
described by St. Thomas More.

A Bakery, shown m a French
encyclopedia of the 1 700's,

N«-w York Piihllc Library


the rule of Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan leader. Cromwell
niled as a dictator. The monarchy was restored in 1 660.
But the English people continued to fight for a strong
voice in their government. In 1688, James II was de-
posed during the "Glorious Revolution," and William
and Mary took the throne. The English revolutionary
movement ended in 1689. That year, Parliament
adopted the Bill of Rights, assuring the basic rights of
the English people.

The Bill of Rights took away most powers of the
English monarch and guaranteed the liberty of the
English people. The document became an important
rallying point of English nationalism. The Bill of Rights
provided legal grounds for people to revolt against a bad
government. This idea spread to many other countries,
chiefly through the works of John Locke. Locke, a
political scholar, was probably the most influential
writer of early Modern Times. See Locke, John.

The American Revolution was based chiefly on the
right of people to revolt. This right had been established
during the English revolution. The American colonists
restated it in the Declaration of Independence of July
4, 1 776. The Declaration was written by a committee
headed by Thomas Jefferson. The committee borrowed
from the works of Locke and other political writers, but
the language of the Declaration had a special force.
Phrases such as "all men are created equal" made the
Declaration of Independence one of the most important
documents in the history of human liberty. See United
States, History of (Declaring Independence).

British rule in the colonies ended, and a new na-
tion — the L'nited States of America — was formed dur-
ing the Revolutionaiy War (1775-1783). The new na-
tion's first system of government, established by the
Articles of Confederation, proved unsatisfactory. A new
system of government under the L'nited States Consti-
tution was set up in 1789.

The Constitution established the United States as a
republic. The Constitution also framed a system of
federalism that divided power between the national and
state governments. In 1791, the first 10 amendments to
the Constitution came into force. These amendments,
known as the Bill of Rights, state the basic rights of all
citizens. The United States Constitution became a
model for the constitutions of many other countries, in-
cluding most of the Latin-American republics.

During the American revolution and the eaily years
of the republic, strong feelings of democracy developed
in the United States. Since then, democracy has become
the chief rallying point of American nationalism. Many
events of today are influenced by America's support of
democracy throughout the world.

The French Revolution (1 789-1 799) was a great polit-
ical and social upheaval, marked by disorder and vio-
lence. During the First French Republic (1792-1799),
most symbols of despotism or privilege in France were
wiped out. Titles of nobility were eliminated, and
"citizen" became the only French title. The French
revolutionists issued a great document of democratic
principles— the Declaration of the Rights of Man (see
Rights of Man, Declaration of the).

The French revolutionary struggle was climaxed by
a reign of terror imder the rule of radical leaders such as


Georges Jacques Danton and Maximilien Robespierre.
The guillotine, a beheading instrument, became a sym-
bol of the French revolution. Thousands of aristocrats,
and many citizens who opposed the radicals, were
guillotined. During this period, the French armies won
many victories against foreign enemies of revolutionai'y
France. In 1 794, the period of terror ended. Soon after,
the nation came under the stern rule of Napoleon Bona-
parte, the great French military genius. The stirring
events of the 10-year French revolutionai'y struggle are
described in the article French Revolution.

Napoleon led France to victoiy after victory until,
in 1812, the French controlled most of Western Europe
(see Napoleon I). The French soldiers fought to defend
and spread the democratic principles in which they be-
lieved. Their battle cry of "liberty, equality, and fra-
ternity" stirred the democratic and nationalistic feelings
of many peoples. Almost all the European monarchs
lost most of their powers in revolutionary movements
that swept over much of Eiuope.

Online LibraryField Enterprises Educational CorporationThe World book encyclopedia (Volume 20) → online text (page 73 of 103)