Textbook Focus Questions, Semester One
Topic One Focus Question: Why does the textbook call the Neolithic Revolution “the greatest revolution in human history?”
Ch. 1.1: Origins of Civilization
Ch. 1.1: Origins of Civilization
- What is meant by the term prehistory?
- Do historians interpret past events objectively? Explain. (then skip ahead to p. 8)
- What is the “Out of Africa” theory? Ch. 1.2: The Neolithic Revolution
- What skills did Old Stone Age people develop to adapt and meet their needs?
- What is the fundamental difference between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of prehistory? How did this fundamentally change their way of living?
- What is meant by domesticated plants and animals? How did people use domesticated animals?
- What role did gender play in early Neolithic villages?
- What specific technologies does your book mention that initially emerged as a direct result of the Neolithic Revolution? Ch. 1.3 Civilization Begins
- Describe how river valleys were ideal locations for the development of civilization.
- List and describe the primary purposes for each of the seven features (in addition to cities) typical of civilizations.
- What is cultural diffusion? How did warfare influence cultural diffusion?
- What is a city-state? How is it different from an empire? Topic Two Focus Question: How did India’s geography influence its historical developments?
Ch. 3.1 Early Civilizations in South Asia (p. 62+)
- How did mountains influence India’s developments?
- Why was it hard to unify the people of India? (then skip to Aryan Civilization and the Vedas)
- What were the four classifications of people introduced by the Aryans? How did the story of Purusha explain these origins?
- How are Indian epic poems such as Ramayana similar to the Epic of Gilgamesh? Briefly summarize its plot. Ch. 3.2: The Origins of Hinduism and Buddhism
- Why do Hindus worship many gods if there is only one spiritual force: Brahman?
- What are the concepts of moksha and reincarnation?
- What are the concepts of karma and dharma?
- How did the caste system provide a sense of order in Indian society?
- How did Siddhartha Gautama become the Buddha?
- Which two groups helped spread Buddhism to other parts of India? Ch. 3.3: Powerful Empires Emerge in India
- What was Ashoka’s legacy?
- How did trade help link the separate kingdoms of the Deccan?
- What role did religion play in influencing learning and the arts in Gupta India?
- What is a dowry?
- Why was the joint family so important to everyday Indian life? Topic Three Focus Question: Why is China the only relatively continuous civilization from the ancient era?
Ch. 3.4: Ancient Civilization in China (p. 81+)
- According to the introduction, how did the geographic barriers isolating China influence its developments?
- Why was the Yellow River called the “River of Sorrows?”
- What was the name of the ancient Chinese dynasty?
- What are the Mandate of Heaven and the dynastic cycle?
- How did the Zhou dynasty facilitate economic growth?
- Why did the Chinese begin the practice of venerating their ancestors?
- On what two worldly goals did focus Confucius’ philosophy focus?
- Why did Confucius emphasize correct behavior? What was filial piety?
- Describe Confucius’ main ideas about government.
- What was the focus of Daoism?
- Why did the Chinese keep the process of silk making a secret?
- What were oracle bones, and into what did they evolve? Ch. 3.5: Strong Rulers Unite China
- How does Legalism differ from Confucianism? What dynasty adopted Legalism?
- In what ways was the Great Wall of China symbolic?
- Beginning in the Han dynasty, how could a Chinese citizen become a government official?
- Why did the Chinese call themselves “the people of the Han?”
- What world religion started to gain influence in China by the end of the classical era? Ch. 5.2: The Greek City-States (p. 131+)
Topic Five Focus Question: How much power should the government have?
- How did mountains and islands influence Greece’s developments?
- How did new military technologies impact Greek society?
- Why was discipline important in Spartan society?
- How was democracy limited in Athens?
- What factors unified the city-states of Greece (be thorough, the textbook mentions lots)? then skip to page 139
- How did the Athenian government encourage the lower classes to participate in government?
- What is a direct democracy?
- What was ostracism? 5.3: Greek Thinkers, Artists and Writers
- How did philosophers reflect a shift in thinking in Greek society? What is rhetoric?
- What is the Socratic method?
- Why were Plato and Aristotle opposed to democracy?
- What values did Greek art and architecture reflect?
- How was drama used to influence Greek society?
- Why is Herodotus considered the “Father of History”?