Question 1. Why were the Mongols able to conquer such a vast
The Mongols conquered a vast empire due to several factors.
Firstly, they managed to unite their forces and stopped permanent,
devastating internal conflicts, at least for a significant
period of time. Secondly, being Nomads, the Mongols were extremely
mobile and moved faster than armies of any of their opponents,
while the number of the Mongols’ army, as a rule, exceeded
the number of their opponents (420). Moreover, they have advanced
weapon and used tactics which brought them success.
Question 2. Why did the Mongols fail to conquer Egypt, India
The Mongols failed to conquer Egypt, India and Japan mainly
because of physical conditions of these countries. Japan was
located on the island and Japanese fleet defeated Mongols
while the fortifications on the coast made them unsurpassable
for the Mongols who got used to war on the land but not the
sea. India, in its turn, were separated from the continent
by mountains which also became an unsurpassable barrier for
the Mongols (423). Egypt was also geographically remote and
physical conditions were unfavorable for the Mongols, who,
in addition, were focused on other territories which were
more prospective for their conquest.
Question 3. How did Kublai Khan’s reign blend Mongols
and Chinese traditions?
Kublai Khan produced a huge impact on the development of Mongols
and Chinese people. He was the emperor who the laid the foundation
of the Yuan dynasty, which ruled Mongolia, China proper and
some adjacent areas (429). In such a way, he created the dynasty
which united Mongolia and China that naturally contributed
to blending Mongols and Chinese traditions.
Question1. How did the climate change in the fourteenth century?
The climate started to grow warmer in the 14th century and
became more favorable for the development of agriculture across
Eurasia (428). The climate change stimulated faster socioeconomic
development of Euraisa.
Question 2. Which parts of the world suffered the most from
the plagues of the fourteenth century?
The plagues of the 14th century brought death to a large number
of people. In this respect, the most densely populated regions
suffered the most from the plague. Among such regions it is
possible to name western Europe where entire countries were
affected by the plague and where a large part of the population
lived in cities where people became victims of the plague,
the disease which they did not know how to treat and cure
(436. The same effect the plague had on China, especially
its Eastern coast and large cities.
Question3. What were the social and political effects of the
plague in China, the Islamic world and Europe?
Basically, the social and political effects of the plague
in China, the Islamic world and Europe were devastating since
numerous deaths undermined the demographic situation in these
parts of the world (455). At the same time, the plague contributed
to the social instability, while the political role of religious
movements and churches grew stronger because their beliefs
encouraged people to endure death and hard times.
Question 4. Why did some parts of the world not suffer from
The plague mainly affected parts of the world which were densely
populated and where contacts between different regions were
well-developed (468). For instance, the Islamic world was
affected because of the close trade and spiritual links between
different parts of the Islamic, while less populated and isolated
regions, such as Japan, were unlikely to be affected consistently
by the plague because the population of these regions did
not get used to cultural or economic contacts with strangers
that prevented them from the spread of the plague in their
Question 5. How did the absence of plague affected Japan,
Java, India, Mali, and the cultures around the Pacific Ocean
The absence of plague prevented these countries and cultures
from huge devastations. The demographic situation in these
countries remained unchanged and people were not concerned
with the problem of fast and unexpected death as other cultures
affected by the plague did (470). In contrast, the cultures
not affected by the plague maintained their traditional lifestyle
and even could benefit from the devastations in other regions
since they proved to be stronger military and economically
compared to countries affected by the plague.
Question1. Why were African states unable to establish long-lasting
empires during this period?
African states could not establish long-lasting empires because
they were rather fragile state structures (483). To put it
more precisely, African states often faced the problem of
internal conflicts, while the ethnic and cultural diversity
made the unification of peoples under one, strong empire,
practically impossible. At the same time, African states needed
strong armies to maintain their empires, but due to the instable
socioeconomic situation affected by natural disasters leading
to starvation or deaths of people, African states could not
evolve into long-lasting empires. Finally, they failed to
create dynasties which could normally inherit empires and
maintain their existence.
Question 2. Why were the Inca and Aztec empires so fragile?
The Inca and Aztec empires were fragile because they constantly
faced the problem of the strong opposition from the part of
conquered tribes, which attempted to rebel against their rulers.
In addition, the socioeconomic basis of the Inca and Aztec
empires was not very solid since the development of their
economies heavily relied on the natural environment, while
techniques of agriculture were poorly developed (491). Therefore,
their economies could not afford the fast growth of the population,
while neighboring states and tribes always attempted to undermine
the power of the empires. As a result, such a combination
of internal and external factors made both empires very fragile.
Question 3. What strong new empires arose on the Eurasian
The 14th century was marked by the emergence of new empires
n the Eurasian borderland. In this regard, the Ottoman Empire
was one of the major new empires which started to play the
dominant role on the Eurasian borderland. In fact, the empire
became a bridge between the Islamic world and Europe, while
its economic, political and military potential made the empire
the major power in the world (498). At any rate, the Ottoman
Empire progressed consistently in the 14th century and managed
to take the leading position in the region at the epoch.
Question 4. Why did China not establish a maritime empire
in the fifteenth century?
China failed to establish a strong maritime empire in the
fifteenth century because of the presence of Japan which was
the major maritime power in the region and opposed to the
strengthening of China as a maritime empire (503). In addition,
China did not have advanced technologies in shipbuilding which
could allow the empire to take the leading position as a maritime
state. At the same time, the creation of the fleet needed
substantial financial resources and China could not afford
the building of a powerful fleet in the fifteenth century.
Question 5. Why did Europe begin to reach out across the oceans
in the late 1400s?
In the late 1400s Europe needed to reach out across the oceans
because it was an objective economic necessity. Europe could
not develop its international contacts with Eastern world
and could not develop its trade with such countries as India,
for instance. As a result, Europe turned to be in the isolation
from the rest of the world because the Ottoman Empire and
the Islamic world were quite hostile in relation to Europe
(519. In such a situation, the overseas expeditions were the
only alternative allowing overcoming the Ottoman and Islamic
opposition to Europe.
Question 1. What can cave painting from over 30,000 years
ago tell us about the people who made them? What purpose did
ice age art serve?
Cave painting was the result of the creative activity of people
living 30,000 years ago. Cave painting mirrors the lifestyle
of people living at the epoch since they depicted their surrounding
environment and elements of their daily life, for instance,
the depiction of hunting scenes. The purpose of the ice age
art was dubious: to convey experience to the next generations
and to express their creative potential.
Question 2. Cave painting are one type of material evidence
we have from prehistoric times. Why is material evidence of
a culture so important?
The material evidence of a culture is extremely important
because it uncovers the historical experience of the prehistoric
civilization. In fact, the material evidence is the illustration
of the level of the development of prehistoric people, their
Question 3. Can we speak of continuities of culture over a
period of 15, 000 years - from Chuvel to Lascaux? What elements
of culture might be continuous? How could they survive over
such a long period?
Basically, the cultural development is unstoppable. At the
same time, the culture cannot appear in a day. What is meant
here is the fact that the culture of a particular epoch is
created on the ground of the past cultures. This is why it
is possible to speak about the continuity of the culture of
a period of 15,000 years. However, it is important to underline
that the culture changed and evolved in the course of time.
Question 4. If the work of individual art can be identified
despite shared style and techniques, what does that imply
about ice age society value?
This implies that each individual had a unique personal identity
and individualism was appreciated at the epoch, but individuals
were subordinated to the community.
Question 5. Why would artists choose to paint animals rather
than humans? What might account for the shift to humans at
the end of the ice age?
In all probability, artists did not distinguish humans from
the rest of the nature and they perceived humans as a part
of nature. At the same time, they felt the power of animals
with whom they associated themselves and which they depicted.
At the end of the ice age humans started to view themselves
as superior to other animals.
Question 6. How does the half human, half animal portrayal
reflect the role of the sharman in society? What does the
existence of shaman tell us about magic, religion, and power
in ice age society?
Magic and religion played an important role in the life of
the ice age society. People believed animals are their ancestors
this is why they depicted half humans half animals. Sharman
were intermediates between the real world of humans and the
world of spirits.
Question 7. What might the caves and the paintings have been
for? Do the images support rival theories such as that the
caves were used for rituals or as schools for hunters?
Basically, caves and paintings could be effectively used for
both rituals and schools for hunters. In all probability,
prehistoric people combined or did not distinguish rituals
from learning and the learning occurred in the form of rituals.
Question 8. What might the signs be for? What kind of information
might ice age people be recording in this way? Can we call
Signs could be called as first attempts of humans to create
their writing because signs born certain message and had certain
meaning. They were used as the written means of communication.