Grade 10 - The world around 1600

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Topic Requirements as per Curriculum

TERM 1: GRADE 10

Topic 1: The world around 1600

What was the world like around 1600?

Background and focus

At this stage, it was not at all clear that Europe would come to dominate the world. The intention is to provide a broad  comparative overview of some of the major empires at this time with Europe, which was not an empire. Societies were dynamic and undergoing change - although the change was slower at that stage than after European expansion (Topic 2). In all units, include the role of women in society. The studies of the three empires should include accounts of the first contacts with Europe before conquests, when relationships were still balanced.

This consists of a broad comparative overview:

China: a world power in the 14th and 15th centuries (1368 to 1644):

Ӣ the Ming dynasty: government and society;

Ӣ travel and trade: ship building, navigation (compass), Chinese mariners mapping the world; trade and influence along the

Asian sea routes; treasure fleet expeditions of Zheng He from 1405 to 1433;

Ӣ scientific and cultural achievements of the Ming dynasty; and

Ӣ China looks inwards after 1433.

Songhai: an African Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries (around 1340 to 1591)

Ӣ the Songhai Empire under Sonni Ali: government and society;

Ӣ travel and trade in Songhai at the height of its power (Arab, Italian and Jewish merchants at Timbuktu);

Ӣ learning and culture; and

Ӣ fall of the Empire: Moroccan invasion of 1591.

India (Mughal) (1526 to 1858):

Ӣ the Mughal Empire: government and society;

Ӣ trade in the Indian Ocean and Islamic world;

Ӣ astronomy and technology (seamless celestial globe);

Ӣ architecture in the 16th and 17th centuries: the Taj Mahal; and

Ӣ Britain and the end of the Mughal Empire.

European societies:

Ӣ feudal societies;

Ӣ the black death: plagues and the consequences;

Ӣ travel and trade across Europe and the Baltic Sea;

Ӣ art, science and technology: the Renaissance; and

Ӣ changes in feudalism: emerging middle classes.

Topic 2: European expansion and conquest during the 15th to 18th centuries

How did European expansion change the world?

Background and focus

This topic follows on from the previous one. Having looked at a period when it was not clear that Europe would dominate the world, this topic now explores how and why, in less than two centuries, Europe was able to colonise large parts of the world.

The focus is on the early processes of colonisation and the consequences on the colonised societies, on ideas of racial superiority and on the balance of power in the world. This should be a broad overview.

Overview

Ӣ The reasons why European expansion was possible.

Case studies

The following case studies are included in this section:

Ӣ America: Spanish conquest; and

Ӣ Africa: Portugal and the destruction of Indian Ocean Trade; and the Dutch East India Company.

Each of the case studies include:

Ӣ the processes of conquest and colonialism;

Ӣ how colonisation led to the practice of slavery;

Ӣ the impact of slave trading on societies; and

Ӣ the consequences on the indigenous societies and in the world.

 

 

Key terms and definitions for this topic

Ancient: belonging to a period of history that is thousands of years in the past

Civilization: a society, its culture and its way of life during a particular period of time or in a particular part of the world

Colonize: to take control of an area or a country that is not your own, especially using force, and send people from your own country to live there

Conquest: the act of taking control of a country, city, etc. by force

Empire: a group of countries or states that are controlled by one ruler or government.

Expansion: an act of increasing or making something increase in size, amount or importance     

Explorer: a person who travels to unknown places in order to find out more about them

Independence: freedom from political control by other countries

Indigenous: belonging to a particular place rather than coming to it from somewhere else

Kingdom: a country ruled by a king or queen; an area controlled by a particular person or where a particular thing or idea is important

Merchants: a person who buys and sells goods in large quantities, especially one who imports and exports goods

Monopoly: the complete control of trade in particular goods or the supply of a particular service; a type of goods or a service that is controlled in this way

Prosperity: the state of being successful, especially in making money

Settler:  a person who goes to live in a new country or region

Slavery: the state of being a slave; the practice of having slaves

Smelt: to heat and melt ore (rock that contains metal) in order to obtain the metal it contains 

Trade: a person who goes to live in a new country or region

 

Source: Oxford (2014), Oxford Learners Dictionary, from Oxford [online] available at http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/ [Accessed: 17 January 2015]|

What was the world like around 1600?

Europe is considered as one of the world’s major super powers which played a significant role in Southern Africa’s development. For topic one, which is The World Around 1600, the intention of this lesson is to provide learners with a broad comparative overview of some of the major empires, which includes China as a world power in the 14th and 15th centuries; Songhai, an African empire during the 15th and 16th Centuries, and the Indian Mughal Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries. This topic also includes a discussion on the European societal structures during the abovementioned time periods.

The second topic follows on the previous one and it discusses how Europe could colonize large parts of the world in less than two years. This topic, called ‘European expansion and conquest during the 15th and 18th centuries’, focuses on the early processes of colonization and the consequences of colonized societies on ideas of racial superiority and on the balance of power in the world. It includes a broad comparative discussion on the processes of colonialism, how it led to slavery, the impact of slave trading on society and the consequences of this on the indigenous societies and in the world with a focus on American and African conquests.


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Last updated : 27-Feb-2018

This article was produced by South African History Online on 29-May-2011

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