World History Homework Five Answers - Student Twelve

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World History Homework Five

1. The Five Pillars of Islam are as follows:

A. Submission to Allah, doing anything he wants you to do

B. Prayer to Allah five times a day

C. Fasting for all the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan

D. Almsgiving to the poor

E. Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) at least once in your life

This is a very powerful code, and it has controlled Muslims for 1400 years.

Excellent. Unlike many other answers to this question, you noted how the fasting is during daylight hours only. You also note the power of this set of rules.

2. Unlike Islam, Christianity does not, as a general rule, embrace the use of force to convert people, in spite of several events which historians love to point to, such as Cromwell’s massacres of Catholics in Ireland and Crusaders allegedly slaughtering men, women and children who refused to convert. By contrast, Islam takes a “convert or die” point of view—most choose to convert, and if they convert to some other religion they are executed.


3. I like Charles Martel (“martel” literally means “hammer” in French) because was a great military leader. The well-trained Muslim armies were among the toughest military forces to defeat, as the Islamic soldiers’ faith teaches that if they die in battle they automatically go to heaven, and thus attack regardless of losses. Besides, the Muslim horses and archers were perhaps the best in the world.

Wow, I didn't know that about the meaning of the word "martel"! Superb analysis of the military challenges.

4. On a properly run estate in medieval Europe, the peasants had an incentive to produce more food, as the more food they produced the more they had over the winter. However, if the lord took too much of their produce, they would have no incentive to make food at all, because no matter how much they produced, they would not have enough food to support their families. This is similar to Arthur Laffer’s theory of supply-side economics, which says that the more governments raise taxes, after a certain point, their revenue actually decreases.

Fantastic insight. Will use as a model!

5. Typically, the Sunnis are less violent than the Shiites, and their belief system is less strict. Most of the Muslim immigrants in the United States are Sunnis, and they hold power in Saudi Arabia, which is an ally of the U.S. (as long as we do not criticize their government.) The more violent Shiites hold power in Iran.

Right, and superb point about how the U.S. won't criticize the government of Saudi Arabia.

6. One of the greatest threats to Israel today, which is illustrated well by the fact that 84% of the population of the West Bank is Muslim, is the growing population of Arab Israelis. As of 2008, the Arab population of Israel was 20% of the total population, and increasing, as Arab families typically have more children than Israeli families. The Muslim population could eventually nominate Muslim candidates for public offices, and perhaps have a very large say in the government of the country.

Good insight.

7. There were five major ancient South American civilizations, four of which are discussed here:

A. The Teotihuacan civilization (where Mexico is today) lasted from A.D. 100 to 900; they had an upper class of priests and nobles. Many people lived in the main city, but numerous others lived outside in suburbs.

B. The Maya civilization (modern-day Guatemala) lasted from A.D. 300 to 900. They developed the concept of zero just as the mathematicians of India did; they lacked a monetary system and traded in cacao beans, salt, honey, shells, and spices.

C. The Toltecs were a nation of warriors who were powerful from A.D. 900 to 1200, although conquered the Teotihuacan city in 700.

D. The Aztecs were a powerful people group from A.D. 1200-1521. Their capital city of Tenochtitlan was built on an island in Lake Texcoco, where they constructed temples for human sacrifice, pyramids, and other buildings. Their empire was similar to Carthage in that the capital city held all the power, ruling over subordinate nations.


H1. There probably was some sort of British king, perhaps named Arthur, who held off the invading Anglo-Saxons for some time. However, the chivalry/knights part of it has no basis in fact, and was added by medieval storytellers to make the tales more interesting, translating it into a more “current” language, as it were.

Good answer.

H4. Islam may overtake Christianity in number of believers, as it is a very simple religion (some have called it a dumbed-down version of Christianity.) Adherents do not have to do a great deal of thinking about faith, or predestination, or any other meaty Christian topics. Uneducated people are drawn to it by its simplicity and conciseness.

Interesting argument. Of course the truth is not a popularity contest.

H7. The samurai of feudal Japan were first and foremost good Shinto’s, which embraced some of the teachings of Buddhism but was more of a way of life than a religion. Shinto required devotion to one’s lord, similar to the feudal setup in Europe, but the emperor was considered to be a god. However, the “god” usually was a mere figurehead, ruled by a military leader called a “shogun,” who was merely a powerful samurai. The samurai’s code of conduct and oaths to protect the weak and innocent inspired American filmmaker George Lucas, hundreds of years later, to create the Jedi knights of his Star Wars universe.

Excellent, will use as a model answer.
Superb: 100/100, one of the best in the class.--Andy Schlafly 20:57, 7 March 2009 (EST)
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