As humans striving towards a brighter future through technological and cultural advancement, it is our duty to learn about those who came before us. It is only through the close examination of history that society can truly know where it came from and how to progress in the future. Studying what caused certain battles in the past can lead to the avoidance of similar wars in modern times. Particularly prosperous and productive civilizations can also be examined in order to implement their keys to success.
This paper will explore some ancient cultures, making notes of how they existed and what made them unique.
The Mongolian Empire still holds the title as the largest contiguous empire to ever have existed. The empire was ruled by the notorious Genghis Khan, declared leader in 1206. The Mongolians took pride in their military, making sure to extract skilled warriors and artisans that could be of help from every city that was conquered. All of the warriors were well-trained and in wartime would often use any available resources to create weapons like trebuchets in order to gain the upper hand.
The governance in the Mongolian Empire was very strict, imposing the death penalty for minor infractions. However, the strict law enforcement made the empire a very safe place, where citizens had no risk of being robbed or harmed. It is interesting to note that the Mongolian Empire was highly tolerant of various religions. The empire offered religious freedom to anyone seeking refuge from persecution. The economic system was one in which goods received in war were mostly evenly distributed among citizens.
Around this time, cultures from Africa and Asia also had a profound effect on history. The Mali Empire, which grew out of Manden, became an enormous empire, ruling people from every ethnic group in West Africa. Within the empire’s borders were an excess of gold. The gold mines within the empire accounted for half of the world’s gold supply at this time. The empire was able to maintain such power and prominence through a mostly decentralized governmental system.
The Delhi Sultanate was characterized by several dynasties, each with their own legacy. The Delhi Sultanate implemented a monetary based economic system founded around a network of market centers to draw traditional village economies into the wider economy. One of the most impressive things to note about the Delhi Sultanate is that it was able to protect the subcontinent from the invasion and probable destruction of the Mongolian empire. (Lensen, 1960)
The Latin West, the name for the western part of the Greco-Roman world, experienced several important historical occurrences throughout its existence. The Black Death is said to be one of the most devastating pandemics in history, occurring mostly in Europe, where estimates say the European population was reduced by about fifty percent. It is believed that this outbreak was an incidence of the bubonic plague. The Hanseatic League was a network of cities and their guilds allied to trade. This economic trading system even created its own legal structure and protection through mutual military enforcement.
The Renaissance was a period of cultural enlightenment that reformed education systems throughout the Latin West and other countries. This period is also characterized by a great amount of artistic pursuits and advancements. The Latin West also saw its fair share of conflicts, one being the Hundred Years’ War in which two royal houses battled for the then vacant French throne. The reconquest of Iberia was a period in which several Christian Kingdoms fought to retake the Iberian Peninsula back from the Moors. (Sherrard, 1959)
These three geographic areas all have their own unique history and their own contributions to the modern world. The massive Mongolian Empire experienced a great deal technological and social advancement through the strict control of the Empire’s borders. The Mali Empire and Delhi Sultanate also contributed to the modern day knowledge of governmental structure and economic systems. In the Latin West, a number of significant historical events took place, largely shaping world history. The more we, as humans, study these places and time periods, the more we learn about the current world. History does repeat itself, and the sooner this fact is recognized, the sooner modern society will be able to progress.