Confrontation of Cultures
Question 1: Compare the civilisation of the Aztecs with that of the Mesopotamians.
|Aztec Civilization||Mesopotamian Civilization|
|This civilization flourished in the South America.||This civilization flourished in West Asia.|
|Land reclamation was done to develop human habitation.||No land reclamation was required as the civilization flourished along a river.|
|Almost all children went to school.||No such trend is seen.|
Question 2: What were the new developments helping European navigation in the fifteenth century?
Answer: Following developments helped European navigation in the fifteenth century:
- Compass was being increasingly used for finding location of a place on the earth.
- Circulation of travel literature and books on cosmography and geography created interest among the Europeans.
- Ptolemy’s Geography became available in print.
- Decline of European economy created a need to explore new regions for gold and silver mines.
- Many devout Christians wanted to bring many more people under the fold of Christianity.
Question 3: Give reasons for Spain and Portugal being the first in the fifteenth century to venture across the Atlantic.
Answer: Prince Henry of Portugal organized the coasting of West Africa and attacked Ceuta in 1415. After that, more expeditions were organized. The Portuguese started capturing and enslaving the Africans. Spain started the practice of contracts, called capitulaciones. Under these contracts, the Spanish ruler claimed rights of sovereignty over newly captured territories. The leaders of expeditions were rewarded with titles and the right to govern the conquered lands.
Question 4: What new food items were transmitted from South America to the rest of the world?
Answer: Following food items were transmitted from South America to the rest of the world: potatoes, chilli, cane sugar, tobacco, etc.
Question 5: Write an account of the journey of an African boy of seventeen captured and taken to Brazil as a slave.
Answer: I was captured early in the morning from my home. With my hands and feet tied, I was beaten black and blue. Then, I was dumped in a ship which sailed for many days. Finally, the ship reached a new land. There, I was forced to work in sugar cane plantations.
Question 6: How did the ‘discovery’ of South America lead to the development of European colonialism?
Answer: European maritime projects produced knowledge of continuous sea passage from ocean to ocean. England, France, Belgium and Holland invested in developing merchant navies. The merchants from these countries formed joint-stock companies and sent out trading expeditions. In due course of time, they established colonies in many countries of Asia, Africa and Americas.