World History Homework Six Answers - Student Eighteen

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Charles Thoreaux

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

The Middle Ages are used to identify a period ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire (c. 476) to the Fall of Byzantium or the Protestant Reformation (15th-16th century). The crusades occurred from the end of the 11th century through the 13th, with idiosyncratic crusades occurring through the 15th.

Good, but "Crusades" is usually capitalized because it refers to a specific series of battles.

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

The Mongolian leader Genghis Khan, who captured much of Asian and Eastern Europe during 1206-1227.

That works!

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?

None. Nation-states were an impossibility in the Middle Ages, as state boundaries were determined by lineage and heredity, rather than cohesive national identity, language, or culture. Nation-states did not emerge until the 19th century, with the advent of mass media, print culture, and romantic and nationalistic movements with distinct concepts such as the "volk" and "public." The German nation-state emerged from Bismarck's unification, the Italian from the efforts of Garibaldi and Cavour, the French from its revolution and events such as the Dreyfus Affair. The United Kingdom gained some national character with the 1707 Act of Union, but its multinational character precludes it from having clear nation-state status. Most other nation-states emerged in the post-WWI period as the doctrine of national self-determination held sway. The Middle Ages had nothing to do with the centuries-off concept of nation-states, but rather saw a movement toward centralized governance and bureaucracy, a key part of the Westphalian modern-state system.

The term "nation-state" has a broader meaning than what you suggest. England had a King. There was a State under that King such that in the early 1500s the King established a national church. Enough said. (Minus 1)

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

Late Gothic architecture is perhaps the only particularly beautiful architecture to come out of the medieval period. Notre Dame de Paris has simply stunning complexity, almost sublime in its magnitude. The extensive sculptures adorning the building give it an almost surreal aspect.

Good start, but there are more characteristics to the architecture than "stunning complexity." That description might apply equally to a poorly designed building. (Minus 1).

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

The Kingdom of Zimbabwe was situated in the southeast, from the 13th to 16th century. Constructed through the centuries, it was founded largely upon the ivory, gold, and slave trade.


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

Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica is a fascinating read, particularly as it seeks to establish a Just War Theory and validate Christian activity in state affairs where St. Augustine had disavowed each. The quinquae viae are also remarkable philosophy, though they've since been largely discredited.

You seem to miss, or misunderstand, the achievements of Scholaticism. Reading the lecture should help. (Minus 3).

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 largest effect was exposing Western European society to Asiatic culture. Returning knights brought back Islamic architecture, which was soon integrated European buildings, along with Islamic science, technology, and scholarship. Trade in good and ideas was sparked anew, assisting the rise of humanism.

A politically correct answer, one that might be expected of a public school textbook. But this course places a premium on the truth. (Minus 2).

[edit] Honors Questions (answer any 3 in addition to the above questions)

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?

Several? Only Joan of Arc and Ismail were mentioned, and Ismail was born into power and trained from a young age to rule, like any monarch. It is, at present, nigh upon impossible for a teenager to have a major impact upon history, and indeed always has been, due to lack of experience, training, clout, connection, etc. Joan of Arc is fantastically famous just for that reason; she is the rare exception.

"Two" is several, and I don't recall if others were referenced. The list of Great Achievements by Teenagers is long indeed. You seem to be in denial about their potential and achievements. Experience can be a hindrance by closing minds rather than opening them. (Minus 2).

H5. What is your view of the Crusades?

The Crusades are a wonderfully amusing cultural phenomenon. While they began as attempts to dominate the Levant, they were soon multipurpose excuses for military action, as crusades were declared against heretics, Slavs, Bohemians, and Teutonic Knights tried unsuccessfully to defeat Nevsky and convert Orthodox Russia. They also illustrate just how difficult it became in later years for European rulers to collaborate when they so deeply distrusted each other.

"Crusades against heretics"??? Maybe that's why you use a small "c". The question inquires about Crusades with a capital "c". (Minus 2).

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

This doesn't make even a modicum of sense. The nation-state as a political structure has no connection with epidemic illness. The plague began to subside long before the advent of the nation-state (see the Great Plague of London 1665–1666, the last major European outbreak). The decline was associated with improved sanitation, not a sovereign political body epitomized by a unified national character. Nay, antibiotics and international-monitoring are needed to guard against future plagues.

So you're saying that a global state is needed rather than nation-states? See the model answers. Countries today do have policies and procedures to guard against epidemics. You seem unaware of them, and unaware of even imagining them. Open the mind a bit, please. (Minus 1).
Score: 88/100. The potential is there, but you seem to be getting worse rather than better. Try rejecting falsehoods and welcoming the truth and you'll do much better. Godspeed.--Andy Schlafly 19:53, 15 March 2009 (EDT)
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