NCERT Textbook Chapter 3 - Changing Traditions, History(Theme in World History), Class 11 UPSC Notes | EduRev

History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

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UPSC : NCERT Textbook Chapter 3 - Changing Traditions, History(Theme in World History), Class 11 UPSC Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


  123
iii
The Three Orders
Changing Cultural Traditions
  Confrontation of Cultures
      CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


  123
iii
The Three Orders
Changing Cultural Traditions
  Confrontation of Cultures
      CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
124  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Changing Traditions
W
E have seen how, by the ninth century, large parts
of Asia and America witnessed the growth and
expansion of great empires – some nomadic, some based on
well-developed cities and trading networks that centred on them. The
difference between the Macedonian, Roman and Arab empires and
the ones that preceded them (the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chinese,
Mauryan) was that they covered greater areas of territory, and were
continental or trans-continental in nature. The Mongol empire was
similar.
Different cultural encounters were crucial to what took place. The
arrival of empires was almost always sudden, but they were almost
always the result of changes that had been taking place over a long
time in the core of what would become an empire.
Traditions in world history could change in different ways. In western
Europe during the period from the ninth to the seventeenth century,
much that we connect with modern times evolved slowly – the
development of scientific knowledge based on experiment rather than
religious belief, serious thought about the organisation of government,
with attention to the creation of civil services, parliaments and different
codes of law, improvements in technology that was used in industry
and agriculture. The consequences of these changes could be felt with
great force outside Europe.
As we have seen, by the fifth century CE, the Roman Empire in the
west had disintegrated. In western and central Europe, the remains of
the Roman Empire were slowly adapted to the administrative
requirements and needs of tribes that had established kingdoms there.
However, urban centres were smaller in western Europe than further
east.
By the ninth century, the commercial and urban centres, Aix,
London, Rome, Sienna – though small, could not be dismissed.  From
the ninth to the eleventh centuries, there were major developments in
the countryside in western Europe. The Church and royal government
developed a combination of Roman institutions with the customary
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


  123
iii
The Three Orders
Changing Cultural Traditions
  Confrontation of Cultures
      CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
124  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Changing Traditions
W
E have seen how, by the ninth century, large parts
of Asia and America witnessed the growth and
expansion of great empires – some nomadic, some based on
well-developed cities and trading networks that centred on them. The
difference between the Macedonian, Roman and Arab empires and
the ones that preceded them (the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chinese,
Mauryan) was that they covered greater areas of territory, and were
continental or trans-continental in nature. The Mongol empire was
similar.
Different cultural encounters were crucial to what took place. The
arrival of empires was almost always sudden, but they were almost
always the result of changes that had been taking place over a long
time in the core of what would become an empire.
Traditions in world history could change in different ways. In western
Europe during the period from the ninth to the seventeenth century,
much that we connect with modern times evolved slowly – the
development of scientific knowledge based on experiment rather than
religious belief, serious thought about the organisation of government,
with attention to the creation of civil services, parliaments and different
codes of law, improvements in technology that was used in industry
and agriculture. The consequences of these changes could be felt with
great force outside Europe.
As we have seen, by the fifth century CE, the Roman Empire in the
west had disintegrated. In western and central Europe, the remains of
the Roman Empire were slowly adapted to the administrative
requirements and needs of tribes that had established kingdoms there.
However, urban centres were smaller in western Europe than further
east.
By the ninth century, the commercial and urban centres, Aix,
London, Rome, Sienna – though small, could not be dismissed.  From
the ninth to the eleventh centuries, there were major developments in
the countryside in western Europe. The Church and royal government
developed a combination of Roman institutions with the customary
© NCERT
not to be republished
  125
rules of tribes.  The finest example was the empire of Charlemagne in
western and central Europe at the beginning of the ninth century.
Even after its rapid collapse, urban centres and trading networks
persisted, albeit under heavy attack from Hungarians, Vikings and
others.
What happened was called ‘feudalism’. Feudalism was marked by
agricultural production around castles and ‘manor houses’, where
lords of the manor possessed land that was cultivated by peasants
(serfs) who pledged them loyalty, goods and services. These lords in
turn pledged their loyalty to greater lords who were ‘vassals’ of kings.
The Catholic Church (centred on the papacy) supported this state of
affairs and itself possessed land. In a world where uncertainties of life,
poor sense of medicine and low life expectancy were common, the
Church showed people how to behave so that life after death at least
would be tolerable. Monasteries were created where God-fearing people
could devote themselves to the service of God in the way Catholic
churchmen thought fit. Equally, churches were part of a network of
scholarship that ran from the Muslim states of Spain to Byzantium,
and they provided the petty kings of Europe with a sense of the opulence
of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond.
The influence of commerce and towns in the feudal order came to
evolve and change encouraged by Mediterranean entrepreneurs in
Venice and Genoa (from the twelfth century). Their ships carried on a
growing trade with Muslim states and the remains of the Roman Empire
in the east. Attracted by the lure of wealth in these areas, and inspired
by the idea of freeing ‘holy places’ associated with Christ from Muslims,
European kings reinforced links across the Mediterranean during the
‘crusades’.  Trade within Europe improved (centred on fairs and the
port cities of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and stimulated by a
growing population).
The Palace of the
Popes, in Avignon, a
fourteenth-century
town in south France.
CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


  123
iii
The Three Orders
Changing Cultural Traditions
  Confrontation of Cultures
      CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
124  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Changing Traditions
W
E have seen how, by the ninth century, large parts
of Asia and America witnessed the growth and
expansion of great empires – some nomadic, some based on
well-developed cities and trading networks that centred on them. The
difference between the Macedonian, Roman and Arab empires and
the ones that preceded them (the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chinese,
Mauryan) was that they covered greater areas of territory, and were
continental or trans-continental in nature. The Mongol empire was
similar.
Different cultural encounters were crucial to what took place. The
arrival of empires was almost always sudden, but they were almost
always the result of changes that had been taking place over a long
time in the core of what would become an empire.
Traditions in world history could change in different ways. In western
Europe during the period from the ninth to the seventeenth century,
much that we connect with modern times evolved slowly – the
development of scientific knowledge based on experiment rather than
religious belief, serious thought about the organisation of government,
with attention to the creation of civil services, parliaments and different
codes of law, improvements in technology that was used in industry
and agriculture. The consequences of these changes could be felt with
great force outside Europe.
As we have seen, by the fifth century CE, the Roman Empire in the
west had disintegrated. In western and central Europe, the remains of
the Roman Empire were slowly adapted to the administrative
requirements and needs of tribes that had established kingdoms there.
However, urban centres were smaller in western Europe than further
east.
By the ninth century, the commercial and urban centres, Aix,
London, Rome, Sienna – though small, could not be dismissed.  From
the ninth to the eleventh centuries, there were major developments in
the countryside in western Europe. The Church and royal government
developed a combination of Roman institutions with the customary
© NCERT
not to be republished
  125
rules of tribes.  The finest example was the empire of Charlemagne in
western and central Europe at the beginning of the ninth century.
Even after its rapid collapse, urban centres and trading networks
persisted, albeit under heavy attack from Hungarians, Vikings and
others.
What happened was called ‘feudalism’. Feudalism was marked by
agricultural production around castles and ‘manor houses’, where
lords of the manor possessed land that was cultivated by peasants
(serfs) who pledged them loyalty, goods and services. These lords in
turn pledged their loyalty to greater lords who were ‘vassals’ of kings.
The Catholic Church (centred on the papacy) supported this state of
affairs and itself possessed land. In a world where uncertainties of life,
poor sense of medicine and low life expectancy were common, the
Church showed people how to behave so that life after death at least
would be tolerable. Monasteries were created where God-fearing people
could devote themselves to the service of God in the way Catholic
churchmen thought fit. Equally, churches were part of a network of
scholarship that ran from the Muslim states of Spain to Byzantium,
and they provided the petty kings of Europe with a sense of the opulence
of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond.
The influence of commerce and towns in the feudal order came to
evolve and change encouraged by Mediterranean entrepreneurs in
Venice and Genoa (from the twelfth century). Their ships carried on a
growing trade with Muslim states and the remains of the Roman Empire
in the east. Attracted by the lure of wealth in these areas, and inspired
by the idea of freeing ‘holy places’ associated with Christ from Muslims,
European kings reinforced links across the Mediterranean during the
‘crusades’.  Trade within Europe improved (centred on fairs and the
port cities of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and stimulated by a
growing population).
The Palace of the
Popes, in Avignon, a
fourteenth-century
town in south France.
CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
126  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Opportunities for commercial expansion coincided with changing
attitudes concerning the value of life. Respect for human beings and
living things that marked much of Islamic art and literature, and the
example of Greek art and ideas that came to Europe from Byzantine
trade encouraged Europeans to take a new look at the world. And
from the fourteenth century (in what is called the ‘Renaissance’),
especially in north Italian towns, the wealthy became less concerned
with life after death and more with the wonders of life itself. Sculptors,
painters and writers became interested in humanity and the discovery
of the world.
By the end of the fifteenth century, this state of affairs encouraged
travel and discovery as never before. Voyages of discovery took place.
Spaniards and Portuguese, who had traded with northern Africa,
pushed further down the coast of western Africa, finally leading to
journeys around the Cape of Good Hope to India – which had a great
reputation in Europe as a source of spices that were in great demand.
Columbus attempted to find a western route to India and in 1492
reached the islands which the Europeans called the West Indies. Other
explorers tried to find a northern route to India and China via the
Arctic.
European travellers encountered a range of different peoples in the
course of their journeys. In part, they were interested in learning from
them. The papacy encouraged the work of the North African geographer
and traveller Hasan al-Wazzan (later known in Europe as Leo Africanus),
who wrote the first geography of Africa in the early sixteenth century
for Pope Leo X. Jesuit churchmen observed and wrote on Japan in the
sixteenth century. An Englishman Will Adams became a friend and
The Palace of the
Doge, in Venice,
fifteenth century.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


  123
iii
The Three Orders
Changing Cultural Traditions
  Confrontation of Cultures
      CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
124  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Changing Traditions
W
E have seen how, by the ninth century, large parts
of Asia and America witnessed the growth and
expansion of great empires – some nomadic, some based on
well-developed cities and trading networks that centred on them. The
difference between the Macedonian, Roman and Arab empires and
the ones that preceded them (the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chinese,
Mauryan) was that they covered greater areas of territory, and were
continental or trans-continental in nature. The Mongol empire was
similar.
Different cultural encounters were crucial to what took place. The
arrival of empires was almost always sudden, but they were almost
always the result of changes that had been taking place over a long
time in the core of what would become an empire.
Traditions in world history could change in different ways. In western
Europe during the period from the ninth to the seventeenth century,
much that we connect with modern times evolved slowly – the
development of scientific knowledge based on experiment rather than
religious belief, serious thought about the organisation of government,
with attention to the creation of civil services, parliaments and different
codes of law, improvements in technology that was used in industry
and agriculture. The consequences of these changes could be felt with
great force outside Europe.
As we have seen, by the fifth century CE, the Roman Empire in the
west had disintegrated. In western and central Europe, the remains of
the Roman Empire were slowly adapted to the administrative
requirements and needs of tribes that had established kingdoms there.
However, urban centres were smaller in western Europe than further
east.
By the ninth century, the commercial and urban centres, Aix,
London, Rome, Sienna – though small, could not be dismissed.  From
the ninth to the eleventh centuries, there were major developments in
the countryside in western Europe. The Church and royal government
developed a combination of Roman institutions with the customary
© NCERT
not to be republished
  125
rules of tribes.  The finest example was the empire of Charlemagne in
western and central Europe at the beginning of the ninth century.
Even after its rapid collapse, urban centres and trading networks
persisted, albeit under heavy attack from Hungarians, Vikings and
others.
What happened was called ‘feudalism’. Feudalism was marked by
agricultural production around castles and ‘manor houses’, where
lords of the manor possessed land that was cultivated by peasants
(serfs) who pledged them loyalty, goods and services. These lords in
turn pledged their loyalty to greater lords who were ‘vassals’ of kings.
The Catholic Church (centred on the papacy) supported this state of
affairs and itself possessed land. In a world where uncertainties of life,
poor sense of medicine and low life expectancy were common, the
Church showed people how to behave so that life after death at least
would be tolerable. Monasteries were created where God-fearing people
could devote themselves to the service of God in the way Catholic
churchmen thought fit. Equally, churches were part of a network of
scholarship that ran from the Muslim states of Spain to Byzantium,
and they provided the petty kings of Europe with a sense of the opulence
of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond.
The influence of commerce and towns in the feudal order came to
evolve and change encouraged by Mediterranean entrepreneurs in
Venice and Genoa (from the twelfth century). Their ships carried on a
growing trade with Muslim states and the remains of the Roman Empire
in the east. Attracted by the lure of wealth in these areas, and inspired
by the idea of freeing ‘holy places’ associated with Christ from Muslims,
European kings reinforced links across the Mediterranean during the
‘crusades’.  Trade within Europe improved (centred on fairs and the
port cities of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and stimulated by a
growing population).
The Palace of the
Popes, in Avignon, a
fourteenth-century
town in south France.
CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
126  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Opportunities for commercial expansion coincided with changing
attitudes concerning the value of life. Respect for human beings and
living things that marked much of Islamic art and literature, and the
example of Greek art and ideas that came to Europe from Byzantine
trade encouraged Europeans to take a new look at the world. And
from the fourteenth century (in what is called the ‘Renaissance’),
especially in north Italian towns, the wealthy became less concerned
with life after death and more with the wonders of life itself. Sculptors,
painters and writers became interested in humanity and the discovery
of the world.
By the end of the fifteenth century, this state of affairs encouraged
travel and discovery as never before. Voyages of discovery took place.
Spaniards and Portuguese, who had traded with northern Africa,
pushed further down the coast of western Africa, finally leading to
journeys around the Cape of Good Hope to India – which had a great
reputation in Europe as a source of spices that were in great demand.
Columbus attempted to find a western route to India and in 1492
reached the islands which the Europeans called the West Indies. Other
explorers tried to find a northern route to India and China via the
Arctic.
European travellers encountered a range of different peoples in the
course of their journeys. In part, they were interested in learning from
them. The papacy encouraged the work of the North African geographer
and traveller Hasan al-Wazzan (later known in Europe as Leo Africanus),
who wrote the first geography of Africa in the early sixteenth century
for Pope Leo X. Jesuit churchmen observed and wrote on Japan in the
sixteenth century. An Englishman Will Adams became a friend and
The Palace of the
Doge, in Venice,
fifteenth century.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  127
counsellor of the Japanese Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the early
seventeenth century. As in the case of Hasan al-Wazzan, peoples that
the Europeans encountered in the Americas often took a great interest
in them and sometimes worked for them. For example an Aztec woman
– later known as Dona Marina –  befriended the Spanish conqueror of
Mexico, Cortes, and interpreted and negotiated for him.
In their encounters, Europeans were sometimes cautious, self-
effacing and observant, even as they frequently attempted to establish
trade monopolies and enforce their authority by force of arms as the
Portuguese attempted to do in the Indian Ocean after Vasco da Gama’s
arrival in Calicut (present-day Kozhikode) in 1498. In other cases,
they were overbearing, aggressive and cruel and adopted an attitude
of superiority to those they met, considering such people ignorant.
The Catholic Church encouraged both attitudes. The Church was the
centre for the study of other cultures and languages,  but encouraged
attacks on people it saw as ‘un-Christian’.
From the point of view of non-Europeans, the encounter with Europe
varied. For much of the Islamic lands and India and China, though,
Europeans remained a curiosity until the end of the seventeenth
century. They were perceived as hardy traders and seamen who had
little to contribute to their sense of the larger world. The Japanese
learnt some of the advantages of European technology quickly – for
instance, they had begun large-scale production of muskets by the
late sixteenth century. In the Americas, enemies of the Aztec empire
sometimes used Europeans to challenge the power of the Aztecs. At
the same time the diseases the Europeans brought devastated the
populations, leading to the death of over 90 per cent of the people in
some areas by the end of the sixteenth century.
CHANGING TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
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