World History AP with Mr. Duez - Learning Targets

Unit 4: THE EARLY MODERN WORLD 1450–1750

Chapter 14—Empires and Encounters, 1450–1750 


• To introduce students to the variety of empires of the early modern period

• To emphasize that empire building was not just a Western European phenomenon

• To explore the range of colonial societies that evolved and the reasons for differences between them

• To emphasize the massive social reordering that attended European colonization in the Western Hemisphere

Big Picture Questions

      BPQ1.   In comparing the European empires in the Americas with the Russian, Chinese, Mughal, and Ottoman empires, should world historians emphasize the similarities or the differences? What are the implications of each approach?

      BPQ2.   In what different ways was European colonial rule expressed and experienced in the Americas?

      BPQ3.   Why did the European empires in the Americas have such an enormously greater impact on the conquered people than did the Chinese, Mughal, and Ottoman empires?

      BPQ4.   In what ways did the empires of the early modern era continue patterns of earlier empires? In what ways did they depart from those patterns?

Margin Review Questions

      MRQ1.   What enabled Europeans to carve out huge empires an ocean away from their homelands?

      MRQ2.   What large-scale transformations did European empires generate?

      MRQ3.   What was the economic foundation of colonial rule in Mexico and Peru? How did it shape the kinds of societies that arose there?

       MRQ4.  How did the plantation societies of Brazil and the Caribbean differ from those of southern colonies in British North America?

      MRQ5.   What distinguished the British settler colonies of North America from their counterparts in Latin America?

      MRQ6.   What motivated Russian empire building?

      MRQ7.   How did the Russian Empire transform the life of its conquered people and of the Russian homeland itself?

      MRQ8.   What were the major features of Chinese empire building in the early modern era?

      MRQ9.   How did Mughal attitudes and policies toward Hindus change from the time of Akbar to that of Aurangzeb?

      MRQ10.   In what ways was the Ottoman Empire important for Europe in the early modern era?

Key Terms

Akbar: The most famous emperor of India’s Mughal Empire (r. 1556–1605); his policies are noted for their efforts at religious tolerance and inclusion. (pron. AHK-bar)

Aurangzeb: Mughal emperor (r. 1658–1707) who reversed his predecessors’ policies of religious tolerance and attempted to impose Islamic supremacy. (pron. ow-rang-ZEB)

Columbian exchange: The massive transatlantic interaction and exchange between the Americas and Afro-Eurasia that began in the period of European exploration and colonization.

conquistadores: Spanish conquerors of the Native American lands, most notably the Aztec and Inca empires. (pron. kon-KEY-stuh-dor-ays)

Constantinople, 1453: Constantinople, the capital and almost the only outpost left of the Byzantine Empire, fell to the army of the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II “the Conqueror” in 1453, an event that marked the end of Christian Byzantium.

creoles: Spaniards born in the Americas.

devshirme: The tribute of boy children that the Ottoman Turks levied from their Christian subjects in the Balkans; the Ottomans raised the boys for service in the civil administration or in the elite Janissary infantry corps. (pron. dev-sheer-MEH)

fixed winds: The prevailing winds of the Atlantic, which blow steadily in the same direction; an understanding of these winds made European exploration and colonization of the Americas possible.

“great dying,” the: Term used to describe the devastating demographic impact of European-borne epidemic diseases on the Americas.

jizya: Special tax levied on non-Muslims in Islamic states; the Mughal Empire was notable for abolishing the jizya for a time. (pron. JIZ-yah)

mercantilism: An economic theory that argues that governments best serve their states’ economic interests by encouraging exports and accumulating bullion.

mestizo: Literally, “mixed”; a term used to describe the mixed-race population of Spanish colonial societies in the Americas. (pron. mess-TEE-zoh)

Mughal Empire: One of the most successful empires of India, a state founded by Muslim Turks who invaded India in 1526; their rule was noted for efforts to create partnerships between Hindus and Muslims. (pron. MOO-guhl)

mulattoes: Term commonly used for people of mixed African and European blood.

Ottoman Empire: Major Islamic state centered on Anatolia that came to include the Balkans, the Near East, and much of North Africa.

peninsulares: In the Spanish colonies of Latin America, the term used to refer to people who had been born in Spain; they claimed superiority over Spaniards born in the Americas. (pron. pen-in-soo-LAHR-es)

plantation complex: Agricultural system based on African slavery that was used in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern colonies of North America.

Qing dynasty: Ruling dynasty of China from 1644 to 1912; the Qing rulers were originally from Manchuria, which had conquered China. (pron. ching)

settler colonies: Colonies in which the colonizing people settled in large numbers, rather than simply spending relatively small numbers to exploit the region; particularly noteworthy in the case of the British colonies in North America.

Siberia: Russia’s great frontier region, a vast territory of what is now central and eastern Russia, most of it unsuited to agriculture but rich in mineral resources and fur-bearing animals.

yasak: Tribute that Russian rulers demanded from the native peoples of Siberia, most often in the form of furs. (pron. YAH-sahk)

Zunghars: Western Mongol group that created a substantial state (1671–1760); the Zunghar threat provoked Qing expansion into Central Asia. (pron. ZOON-gars)