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The agricultural revolution

Define and explain the significance of the following:

The Agricultural Revolution of the Middle Ages
1. Mayuran dynasty
2. Geocentric and heliocentric theory
3. Song Dynasty
4. Black Death
5. Gupta Dynasty
6. Feudal System
7. Renaissance

Essay questions:
1. Describe and analyze how the Medieval World laid the foundations for advances in modern science and technology.

2. Compare and contrast the Hellenocentric and Geocentric systems. In your answer, identify the role played by Copernicus, Kepler, Ptolemy, Brache and other scientists. Finally, explain how significant this discovery was for European social, scientific and cultural development.

3. Explain in your own words, what was the Scientific Revolution. How similar, or different, was European science from that practiced elsewhere in the world? Why did the Scientific Revolution take place in Europe? How did the rise of European science affect scientific traditions elsewhere?

4. What was the Industrial Revolution? Describe and analyze the social, economic and political changes and its significance to society as a result.

Solution Preview

OK, I gave you an outline here. I know this material well, and the sources I have below are mostly from my personal library. Of course, any of these can be a huge book. It is pretty obvious which books below fit with which questions.

The Agricultural Revolution of the Middle Ages: This one is easy. It was technological. Major inventions included the horse harness, the metal plow, and the three field system of rotation. Not to mention the fact that states, in the latter part of the middle ages, were beginning to a) centralize, b) monetize their economy, and c) develop rational budgets.

Mayuran dynasty: One of the largest empires of its time, based in Northern India. As I've said elsewhere, one significant element of this dynasty was the continued fusion of Hindu and Buddhist ideas. Its leadership was interested in what we might call ecumenism. It did not survive for very long and was based entirely on its charismatic leadership. It was also too diverse, and had no sense of unity. Yet, at least for a time, it enjoyed some peace, high literacy and a great dedication to languages and mathematics.

Geocentric and heliocentric theory: Geocentric means the earth is at the center of the universe, while heliocentric theory stresses that the Sun is the center of our solar system. Geocentric thought was very ancient, and yet, writers like St. Basil the Great (5th century) accepted the Heliocentric theory. During the Renaissance, the Medici family sponsored Galileo's research that suggested the earth moves around the Sun. He had no mathematical proof to offer, but it did make sense out of earlier problems in planetary motion.

Song Dynasty: Between the 10th and 13th century, this dynasty ruled the most advanced empire in the world. They developed new weapons using gunpowder, developed mechanical devices, created new advances in mathematics, and, so it is said, pioneered hydraulic engineering. Yet, regardless of their high level of material culture, constant ethnic uprisings, popular dissatisfaction and, most importantly of all, the Mongol invasions, brought this to an end. The Mongols were at a very low level of material culture, and yet had no difficulty defeating the Song. This might tell you something.

Black Death: This is one of the causes of the end of the middle ages. Probably from Asia, it came to Europe on Italian trading ships. It spread rapidly, destroying about one-third of the European population. No part of Europe was spared. It increased wages (fewer workers), and began a upthrust of popular religious devotion. Priests were killed in large numbers because they were the chief providers of medical care for the sick.

Gupta Dynasty: Functioned between 300-500 BC. It was not unlike the Song dynasty in that it saw great material development. Mathematics, physics and even human sexuality were all aspects of this development. After all the Kama Sutra was written during this period. Literature also flourished. Yet, like the Song, they were subject to both internal and external attack. The Huns, far inferior in culture to the Gupta, destroyed much of their empire.

Feudal System: A highly controversial concept. One way to see it is that after the fall of the Carolingian dynasty, central political control weakened. Once this happened, local nobles were more or less independent. As a result, politics became personal. Lords had their knights, and knights were given land complete with peasants who were, in general, not permitted to leave. Each layer in the system was bound by an oath of service. It existed in only a few place such as central France and Germany, but never developed in the Greek or Slavic worlds.

Renaissance: This is way too broad. I like to call this the age of "the Medicis". This was a powerful Florentine banking family that financed most of the art, science and business of Italy and most of Europe. Nothing in the renaissance would have happened had the Medicis not spend a fortune on it. Most say that this era saw the rebirth of classical learning. I say that this is false, since the medievals maintained a strong interest in the classics and, in the Byzantine empire, classical studies never ...

Solution Summary

The expert defines and explains the significance of the agricultural revolution of the middle ages.