World History Homework Six - Model

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1. Identify the time period of the Middle Ages, and when the Crusades occurred within that period.

The Middle Ages lasted about 1,000 years from approximately A.D. 500-1500. The Crusades began in A.D. 1096 and lasted approximately 200 years until A.D. 1291. (Steven)

2. Who conquered the largest contiguous region in world history, and when?

The Mongols were the rulers of the largest contiguous empire in world history, outdistancing the Romans and Persians (the British had a territorially larger empire, but it was not all accessible by land). ... (Duncan)
The Mongol Empire under Genghis Khans’ rule was able to conquer the largest contiguous region in World History during A.D. 1206-1227. Historians consider Genghis Khan to be a military genius. He was also known as Chinggis. He built a powerful and massive army based on meritocracy. This system allowed for promotion based on merit not friendship or seniority. (Sandro)

3. Which of these modern countries were able to establish nation-states in the Middle Ages, and which were not: Germany, France, England and Italy?

France, and England were able to establish nation-states, while Germany and Italy were not due to failure to cooperate and infighting between city-states. (Jonathan R.)
England and France were all successful in creating stable nation-states and stable economies. Areas like current-day Germany were inhabited by a more barbarous people and had more difficulty making the transition from city-states to nation-states .... (Will)

4. Pick your favorite medieval architecture and describe something about it.

I like Gothic architecture. I have actually been to Chartres Cathedral, and the majority of the walls are intricate and colorful stained glass. The ceilings are high and the interior is colorful and bright. I find it interesting that the builders of these great churches were attempting to reach or emulate Heaven- at first it sounds like the evil Tower of Babel. However, the difference is that the builders of the Tower wanted to actually be like God by invading the heavens, while the builders of the Cathedral wanted to be close to God. (Addison)
I am very much intrigued by Gothic architecture. Its tall, long and intimidating, though artistic, form holds something mysterious, and makes the viewer feel as if they had stepped back in time. (Anna)
The thing that interested me was that "Gothic architecture," with its tall, pointed spires is said to reflect the desire of people of the Middle Ages to grow closer to God -- and now, "Gothic" is considered the complete opposite! I liked the original "Gothic" style. (Leigh)
... I like how the windows tell stories .... (Julie)

5. Pick one of the African kingdoms described in the lecture, and explain it.

The Kingdom of Kongo lasted from approximately 1000 A.D. to 1500 A.D., until the Portuguese came in. The area is now split into Congo and Angola. (Aran)
One African kingdom was the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. It existed in A.D. 1200s to the 1500s and controlled southeastern Africa all the way to the Indian Ocean. The city of Great Zimbabwe was based on trade. This society revolved around trading slaves, ivory, goods from other lands, and gold. (Jenna N.)
The Kingdom of Aktum, located where Ethiopia is now, accepted Christianity due to the influence of two shipwrecked Christians who became slaves in the palace of the king. They eventually converted the king to Christianity, and had great success with his subjects. This Christian group is known as the Coptics. (Duncan)

6. Pick your favorite aspect of Scholasticism, and describe something about it, or your view of it.

Scholasticism is wonderful because it helps the human mind understand better things that are beyond reason. Many people are discouraged that they cannot understand the theory of God or of other mysteries. They eventually give up and believe that there is no God since it’s beyond our understanding. Scholasticism helps people understand more clearly things that puzzle us by using reason, which the human mind uses continually everyday. Reason is the closest we will get in comprehending the mysteries of God and mysteries. (Veronika)
I like the fact that Scholasticism united opposing groups. It brought together the classical philosophers with medieval Christian theology, and it brought the realists and the nominalists together (Nate)
My favorite aspect of this was that it uses careful thinking…but this is not all, it triggered a thought in my mind: I couldn’t think of any religion other than Christianity that could stand up to a logical test. (Jonathan R.)
I like how it gave people hope and that there was a way to understanding God and because of it people kept to the Faith. It is not, however, an excuse for not reading scripture. (John)

7. Current events: What was the biggest effect of the Crusades in the Middle Ages, and why do people avoid using the term "Crusade" today?

The biggest effect of the Crusades in the Middle Ages was to introduce Europe to other cultures and ideas. This would lead to trade with other lands which would enrich Europe in ways that couldn’t be possible without the Crusades. (James G.)
The Crusades were a series of wars that covered almost 200 years of history. Many of the Crusades were not a success, in fact only two were successful and the rest failed. The purpose of the Crusades was to make Jerusalem a safe place for Christian pilgrimages. People today have different views on the Crusades. Some people, mainly Christians, are in complete agreement with them and even compare them to the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet others completely avoid the comparison between the two because the Crusades remain a controversial issue, mainly by opponents of Christianity who claim that it was unjust violence by Christians. (Amanda)
I applaud the Christian leaders of the Middle Ages for bringing on the Crusades. It was a just war and the enemy lost greatly. ... (Tom)
... [T]he Crusades opened up the East to the West. This was the first step in the events that led up to the Age of Exploration. ... (Cole)

H1. Comment on any ontological or cosmological proof of the existence of God.

The best argument for the existence of God I know is the first mover argument, a cosmological argument. (I like to state it like this:)
  • It makes no sense that the universe is infinite- it confounds logic and some scientific theories to think that the universe had no beginning.
  • But if it had a beginning, there needed to be something to cause the beginning.
  • It is simply a true statement that nothing comes from nothing.
  • Perhaps there was another universe, as according to the oscillating universe theory.
  • But that universe had a beginning.
  • An infinite line of oscillating universes is unscientific (per the Second Law of Thermodynamics).
  • Thus the universe has a beginning and an end.
  • The true beginning must have been supernatural, for no natural process could really make something out of nothing- and originally there must have been nothing.
  • So we say there is a creator of the universe, “God."
  • But if all things have a beginning, God had a beginning.
  • But the creator of God also had a beginning; this too creates an infinite regression.
  • We are stuck between infinite Gods, (illogical) and infinite universe with no creator (impossible.)
  • Thus, God is not bound by causality, and God is eternal and ultimate existence. Causality is an attribute of creation, as are the laws of science. To insist that God is bound by the need to have a beginning is no more correct than to claim that God must be bound by the law of gravity. (Addison)

H2. What is your view of the "Great Schism"?


H3. Do you think Joan of Arc had a calling from God?

Joan of Arc was a young woman who came from a very poor peasant family. She must have had a good reason to fight in the French army in the Hundred Years War because at that time it was very uncommon for a lady to serve in the army. I believe God called her to bring hope to the desperate soldiers in the army and to be a witness of His love for all. She had to have something to propel her to overcome her fears and be willing to die for Christ. She was not protected with wealth and status and had to find her way on her own. She was eventually burned at the stake after she was taken captive by her enemies because she was believed to be a heretic. Her enemies, the English, were greatly relieved after Joan had been killed, since she had brought so much success for the French army. She is a great role model for all young people. (Veronika)

H4. Several young teenagers played a very influential role in history in this lecture. Is that to be encouraged today, or is it impossible now?

I think that our society has greatly lessened the importance of teenagers in the social experiment of adolescence. Instead of being required to grow up, and shoulder responsibilities, we are allowed, almost expected to be irresponsible, and are not encouraged to be influential. I believe that teenagers are going to be adults, and to not allow them to participate in history, to bar them from being influential, is to shoot society in the foot. We are going to be part of history; we are going to influence it. The best course of action would be to encourage and guide this, as opposed to continuing the failed experiment of adolescence. (Michelle)
It's definitely to be encouraged! Teenagers have so many opportunities to have a huge impact today, maybe even more than back then. Kathryn Cunningham has her own company, Power-Up Gambia, that provides solar panels to Gambia. Kjerstin Erickson's project called FORGE has helped war refugees in five countries. We can make a difference with God's help. (Sarah)

H5. What is your view of the Crusades?


H6. Compare and comment on Muslim architecture to Romanesque or Gothic architecture. (This requires going beyond the lecture.)


H7. Are nation-states needed to guard against future plagues?

No. I think that the next destructive disease is going to be man-made. (Most of the natural ones have a cure). I think it would probably be administered/caused by a government agency. Giving a government the power to protect a nation from such a disaster would give them too much power over the disaster. We know that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That power could be twisted, and the very agency we would be trusting to save us, could condemn us. Any sort of government/nation-state protection against a plague would have to be secured against corruption and infiltration. But I don’t believe they are needed, because I don’t believe they would do any good. (Michelle)
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