World History Homework Five- Model

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1. List the "Five Pillars of Islam."

The Five Pillars of Islam are:
Submission is to one God, Allah.
Prayer is to Allah five times a day while facing Mecca.
Fasting for the entire month of Ramadan, where no food is allowed to be eaten during daylight hours.
Almsgiving: Muslims must donate to the poor.
The Hajj or pilgrimage is made at least once during a Muslims lifetime to Mecca. (Amanda)

2. How is Islam different from Christianity?

The major difference between Islam and Christianity is that Islam combines governmental and military ideas with religious ones. Christianity instructs its followers to be good citizens and follow their own governments for the most part (Jesus said "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s," and the Bible and Christian tradition uphold good citizenship), while Islam, at least for much of its past, has militarily conquered land and set up its own government. Islam adopted some of the violence that seems typical in the Middle East, and contains elements of theocracy, making it both a religion and an ideology. Shariah is considered the only fully approved form of government in Shia Islam. (Addison)
Islam and Christianity are different in Islam has a military viewpoint in addition to its five pillars. Christianity requires to love God and everyone, and to obey the Ten Commandments. The god of Christianity is a forgiving god. (Nate)
Islam and Christianity are different because Islam is based on rules and laws to follow, while Christianity is based on having a relationship with Jesus Christ, and believing in God and we will have eternal life. (Leigh)

3. Charles the Hammer, Pepin the Short, and Charlemagne: which one is your favorite, and why?

Pepin the Short must have been pressured greatly by his people to live up to his father’s name, the great “Charles the Hammer”. In A.D. 752 Pepin was anointed King of the Franks by the Pope. Because the Pope approved of Pepin the Short, the people highly respected Pepin as God’s chosen ruler. Pepin offered protection to the Church by his powerful army if the Pope would grant him a blessing. Pepin the Short knew he could gain more awe and respect from his subjects if they saw the Pope, who represents Jesus, bountifully bless him. At that time, the Church in Rome was being attacked by the Lombards and the Pope sought help from the Franks since the Byzantine Empire did not want to interfere. Pepin helped remove the Lombards from Rome in A.D. 754. The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Franks increased because the Franks had kept their promise to aid the Church whenever it was in danger, while the ties between the Church and the Byzantines were weakened because they did not send help when it was needed. (Veronika)
My favorite of the three was Charles Martel, also known as Charles the Hammer. He protected Christian Europe by destroying the Muslim invasion at the Battle of Tours. (Leonard)
Charlemagne is my favorite. He truly impacted the world by renewing the emphasis on education. He seemed to possess a strong faith in Jesus Christ. Although he could have lived his life by the sword, he followed what Jesus taught and did not. In general he was a very prestige king who used his power to do good, not evil. (Jenna N.)
Out of the three, Charlemagne would have to be my favorite because he did so much. He educated children in palace schools and much more. (Kirstin)

4. Describe what you like about feudalism in Western Europe.

Feudalism was beneficial because it provided incentive for the workers. The serfs worked for the lord, and he benefited from the wealth that was produced. The lord in turn, provided protection and supplies for the surfs. (Zachary)
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. (Duncan)
... Everyone had their own weapons in case of war, and there was great prosperity when Feudalism was practiced correctly. ... (Jonathan R.)
... The reason I like feudalism is because it had no centralized government. ... A centralized government is a detriment to the rights of the people and their individual states, and a threat to the Nation as a whole. ... (Jenna S.)
I like the elements of free enterprise. Everyone in the feudal system could buy, sell, and inherit property. Also, since there was no centralized government, lords were free to become as strong and powerful as they wanted. (Kara)

5. Explain the difference between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and give examples of one country controlled by each.

The Sunnis are more peaceful and have a less strict belief system than the Shiites. The majority of Muslims are Sunnis and this group has most of its power in Saudi Arabia. The Shiites promote violence and the terrorist groups of today are usually from the Shiites. The Shiites hold most of their power in Iran. (Sean)
... The Sunnis have controlled Saudi Arabia and Iraq while the Shiites control a majority of Iraq and Iran. .... (Sandro)

6. Current events: Comment on the table of Islamic populations by country. Do you notice anything interesting about it?

There are very few countries in the "middle ground." This is because Islam is an all-controlling religion, it's basically all or nothing. Once the population reaches fifty percent, it is usually a free-fall until the entire country is Muslim. (Anna)

7. Briefly describe four major civilizations or tribes in South America, as discussed in the lecture.

(A) Maya (A.D. 300-900) The Maya tribe was a Mesoamerican civilization known for its unique, fully-developed written language, which was the only one at that time noted in the pre- Columbian Americas. The tribe is well known for mathematical and astronomical systems which helped us discover things we could never have discovered without them.
(B) Moche (A.D. 200-700) The Moche tribe greatly thrived in northern Peru. They did not have many intellectual minds and were not politically organized. There were no classes or levels in their society. They all lived and shared a common elite culture. They spent a lot of their time painting exquisite ceramics, creating gold possessions, and building great huacas (great constructions) and irrigation systems.
(C) Incas (A.D. 1250-1537) The Incas were a civilization that flourished into a powerful tribe until a controversy weakened them against the Spanish. They were wonderful craftsmen and are widely known for their large gold earrings. They were a tribe of wealth and power. Most people think of the Incas when someone mentions the ancient civilizations in South America.
(D) Aztecs (A.D. 1200-1521) The Aztecs are known for playing ballgames, the use of a calendar, and customs of their ancestors. The only major difference is that the Aztecs were more war-like; the Aztecs were not intellectual. They themselves did not advance knowledge or civilization but used the methods of their predecessors. (Veronika)
The Teotihuacan people (A.D. 100- 900), who worshiped gods, lived in suburbs, and had an upper class.
The Mayans (A.D. 300- 900), numbering 5- 16 million, are known as the “Greeks of the New World”. They used a yearly solar calendar, traded using different materials, and they did understand the concept of zero.
The Toltecs (A.D. 900- 1200) resided in northern Mexico and were fighters who were also conquered by the sword.
The Aztecs (A.D. 1200- 1521) were very warlike and also fell by the sword. However, they had ingeniously invented plots of floating land to grow food on.
The Incas (A.D. 1250- 1537) developed an immense empire in South America, which is considered to be the largest civilization in all of the Americas. They had an excellent system of messengers and soldiers, and they did not demand any type of tribute to the empire. As great as an empire as the Incans were, a disastrous civil war weakened it and was no match for the Spaniards when they arrived there from Europe. (Olivia)
The South American civilizations were very violent believing in many sacrifices to many different gods like the sun and the earth. ... (Will)
... The Aztecs demanded tribute from all the people they conquered, along with sacrifices. Most of the sacrifices were prisoners of war, and were offered to the god of war. Another empire-like civilization in ancient America was the Mayans. The Mayans were located on the Yucatan peninsula. While the Mayans did offer up children to the gods, they were far more intellectual then the Aztecs, who mainly focused on war. ... (Cole)

H1. Do you think King Arthur, or anything told about him, is based in fact?

I think there are probably some facts behind the myths and legends. There was probably a real King Arthur, who saved Britain from barbarians, and tales were told throughout Britain of this hero who had saved them all. After a while, people found the truth to be boring, and embellished it. I don’t believe that he pulled the sword out of the stone, and I don’t think Merlin was real, either. My question would be whether it matters if Arthur is fact or fiction? It doesn’t change anything, it simply puts the popular legend in a bad light. I doubt that anyone wants to know, that would ruin it. (Michelle)

H2. Current events: Is democracy possible in Iraq, as the United States has been trying to accomplish for six years?

I absolutely believe that democracy is possible in Iraq. True, we have not fully succeeded in six years, and true, the Middle East is a traditionally violent place, but six years of partial failure does not mean we can never succeed. When there were elections in Iraq, common people were excited to come out and vote. I remember seeing a photo of a woman in a burqua smiling and giving the peace sign. ... I think that the common people as a whole really want freedom, and that if the theocracies and dictatorships were removed, there could be peaceful democracy. ... [I]t is almost impossible to destroy the desire for freedom that exists in man. (Addison)
It is possible but would take lots of money time and effort to establish it. (Anthony)
I do not think a democracy, or rather a lasting democracy, will ever be established in Iraq while it remains in its present state of disorder. ... [W]hile their loyalty to Allah and to their own family sects remains stronger than their loyalty to a reasonable, not a coercive, government, there will not be democracy. ... (Jenna S.)

H3. What is your view of "chivalry"?

I think chivalry is a very good thing but can often times be misused. When someone is being chivalrous, the other person needs to respect that and be the same way back. For instance if a boy opens the door for a girl but the girl just walks right in without saying anything she is not being chivalrous back and is abusing the fact that the boy was trying to be polite. (Amanda)
I strongly believe that chivalry is a good thing, and that if people become more comfortable practicing it, maybe it would be easier to stand up when that woman walks in the room, or help that girl carry those books, or boxes, etc. If we could get a whole class of 50+ students to adhere to this, I don’t know what effects it would have outside the class, but it can’t be bad. (Jonathan R.)
In the world today, chivalry has been suffocating under feminism and socialistic beliefs. ... (Tom)
My view on chivalry is very positive. In my opinion, I think a boy holding a door open for me, or pulling out my chair, or doing anything else like that is VERY attractive. Manners have lost their importance in the 21st century, and that is very upsetting. That is why I have always wanted to live in the 20th century, around the 1920's or 1930's .... (Jenn V.)
I think chivalry isn't used enough these days. I myself am very polite to older people, as well as younger ones. I think Senior citizens are greatly thankful for young people who still hold doors for them. I have a lot of guy friends, and only one ever opens the door for me. I'm used to the door not being held open for me. So when my one friend holds the door for me, it feels nice. (Julie)
... I think we should try to keep chivalry alive because the world would be a a better, kinder and safer place where people would be looking out for each other. (Steven)
... Things like opening doors for girls, being respectful to guys, and keeping your word are still great concepts to instill in life and everyday conduct. (Sarah)

H4. Do you think Islam will overtake Christianity in the number of believers? Explain your view.

No. Christians just have to stand for their belief and we will never be taken over. (Benjamin)

H5. Why do you think feudalism developed independently in Western Europe and Japan at around the same time in history?

It may have been the Silk Road connection between Europe and Asia that led to a similar feudal system. Or, considering the extent of knowledge and technology at the time, it was just the most apparent thing to do and so both nations wisely practiced the same system. (Tom)

H5. Revisit the issue of Muhammad Ali being allowed to avoid the United States draft based on converting to Islam. Islam allows fighting only in "Holy Wars," and Ali said that the Vietnam War was not a "Holy War" and thus it was against his conscience to fight in it.

What could possibly make a war holy? I am not a pacifist, but I think that war is a horrible, bloody, heartbreaking thing. I know that some Muslims believe that Allah told them to go on a jihad and kill people, but all the same, how is that holy? And if that is “holy”, how do they determine what wars are holy? Is there some sort of criteria they have to meet? Something I would like to know would be whether or not there were other Muslims fighting in the war. How did they decide that the war was holy? I think that if he was going to live in America, he should have been required to serve, just like every other American. That is the price of our freedom. (Michelle)

H6. Do you think the term "faith" properly applies to any religion other than Christianity?

No - the very fact that faith is a Christian idea removes the possibility of it applying correctly to any other religions. That is the simple, concise answer! (Deborah)
... [T]he Christian faith is in fact different from every other religious faith. Through going back to the Hebrew language this becomes clear. The Hebrew word for faith which is used in the Old Testament is emunah. Emunah is an action oriented to the word “support”. So when I say that I have faith in God, I am not just saying that I have confidence that God exists, like people in other religions say, I am going even further. I am saying that I fully support what I know God can do and is going to do. So the Christian faith is different from the faith in any other religion. (Jenna N.)
I do not believe that “faith” can be properly applied to any other religion because most religions either believe in multiple gods with human desires and temptations or one god that acts on “whims.” (Olivia)

H7. Comment on the history of feudalism in Japan.

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. (Duncan)