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Unit 6 - Spread of Ideas

  • Unit Question - Why do individuals have different perspectives and biases (How are biases formed)? 
  • Historical Context - World Religions, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Exploration
  • Final Assessment - Unit Exam

World Religions

A belief in a higher being, purpose, or need for an explanation for the unexplainable has been around nearly as long as human beings themselves, possibly coincidentally.  The major world religions expand and spread as people move throughout the world and as literacy rates increase while literature become more available to the masses.  As the crusaders, missionaries, pilgrims, and converts of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam moved around the world, their religions evolved and new believers became the masses. Many of the world religions have similarities that are often overlooked.  For example, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the same god.  Hinduism and Buddhism both arrive from Asia, believe in many gods or deities or Buddhas and have relatively similar beliefs in rebirth.  - Mr. Streit

Read p.212-219 (Hinduism), 220-227 (Buddhism), 454-459 (Islam), 402-414 (Christianity), & 170-181 (Judaism) in your My World History textbook and use the World Religion Resources (below, as you will need them) and answer the World Religion questions in your COMP books:

  1. Hinduism:  What are the roots (beginnings) of Hinduism?
  2. Hinduism:  What are the main points of Hindu beliefs?
  3. Buddhism:  According the Buddhist tradition, who was the first Buddha?
  4. Buddhism:  How are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path connected in Buddhism?
  5. Buddhism:  How could Buddhism be considered a peaceful philosophy and why might it appeal to people?
  6. Islam:  What is the relationship between Muhammad and Islam?
  7. Islam:  What is the Quran?  What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
  8. Christianity:  Do most Christians believe that Jesus was human, divine, or both?
  9. Christianity:  What is the New Testament?  What is it's importance regarding the expansion of Christianity?
  10. Judaism:  Who were the Jewish prophets?
  11. Judaism:  What are the 10 Commandments?  What is the Torah?
  12. What do the five major world religions have in common?  NOTE: Use World Religion Resources and try to explain specifics.
  13. How do the five major world religions differ?  NOTE: Use World Religion Resources and try to explain specifics.
  14. Where are the five major world religions most commonly practiced in our World?  NOTE: Use World Religion Resources and try to explain specifics.
  15. How many believers are there for each of the five world religions world wide?  NOTE: Use World Religion Resources and try to explain specifics.

The Renaissance (Rebirth) & Reformation

Toward the end of the 14th century AD, a handful of Italian thinkers declared that they were living in a new age. The barbarous, unenlightened “Middle Ages” were over, they said; the new age would be a “rinascità” (“rebirth”) of learning and literature, art and culture. This was the birth of the period now known as the Renaissance. For centuries, scholars have agreed that the Italian Renaissance (another word for “rebirth”) happened just that way: that between the 14th century and the 17th century, a new, modern way of thinking about the world and man’s place in it replaced an old, backward one. In fact, the Renaissance (in Italy and in other parts of Europe) was considerably more complicated than that: For one thing, in many ways the period we call the Renaissance was not so different from the era that preceded it. However, many of the scientific, artistic and cultural achievements of the so-called Renaissance do share common themes–most notably the humanistic belief that man was the center of his own universe.  Discover more:  History.com: ITALIAN RENAISSANCE

Read p.712-745 in your My World History textbook and answer The Renaissance (Rebirth) questions in your COMP books, you may need to use The Renaissance (Rebirth) Resources below:

  1. Define mercantile and Renaissance.
  2. Why did Italy lead medieval Europe in commercial growth?  How did trade promote new ideas and learning?
  3. Define humanism and individualism.
  4. Who invented the printing press?  How did the use of the printing press increase the spread of literacy and help the world?
  5. What types of literature did William Shakespeare write?
  6. How did the Renaissance help change people's thinking?  How does the Renaissance affect us today?
  7. What invention Leonardo De Vinci's do you think is the most interesting?  Why?  HINT:  Use The Renaissance (Rebirth) & Reformation Resources below 
  8. What practices of the Roman Catholic Church led to the Reformation?
  9. Who was Martin Luther?  What was his 95 Theses? 

The Age of Exploration

The Age of Exploration started in the 1400′s. Europeans were desperate to get spices from Asia. Spices were used to preserve foods and keep them from spoiling. Spices, however, were expensive and dangerous to get. Traders had to travel parts of the dangerous Silk Road (a land route from Europe to Asia) to get them. Because the Silk Road was frequently closed due to various wars, European rulers began to pay for explorations to find a sea route to Asia so they could get spices more easily and for cheaper. Portugal was the first European country that sent explorers to search for the sea route to Asia. Prince Henry the Navigator started a school of navigation and financed the first voyages to the west coast of Africa. In the 1400′s, however, sailors were afraid of sea monsters and boiling hot water at the Equator, so progress was slow. After Bartholomew Dias and his crew made it to Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Vasco da Gama and his crew became the first to sail around Africa and through the Indian Ocean to India.  Read more:  Mr. Nussbaum: Age of Exploration

Read p. 758-783 in your My World History textbook and answer The Age of Exploration questions in your COMP book:

  1. Why did the Portuguese & Spanish lead this new Age of Exploration?
  2. Why didn't the Italians finance the expeditions (journeys) of Christopher Columbus (Italian:  Cristoforo Colombo)?
  3. How did the voyages of Columbus change Europeans' views of the world?
  4. What two American empires did the Spanish conquer?
  5. What caused many native people to die even after the fighting was over?
  6. Critical Thinking:  What do you think would have happened if the first Spanish explorers (conquistadors) had been convinced there was little or no gold to be found anywhere in the Americas?
  7. According to mercantilists, what was the main goal of trade?  How did capitalists tend to use their profits?
  8. What was the Columbian Exchange?  Give specific details/examples of how the Columbian Exchange was both a positive and negative for the continents of Europe and the Americas.  

BONUS:  Where is the Cape of Good Hope?  Why were the Europeans interested in exploring Africa?