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World during the 1500s

During the 1500’s, the world was all experiencing a new era of change. The two places that were experiencing a lot of change China and Europe were both experiencing different advancements politically. This was an era of new discoveries and diseases. Additionally, this was an era of a search for peace.
In China, around 1570, Ming China was ruled by Emperor Wanli. The Imjin War in Korea that was going on against Japan took a huge toll financially wise on the Ming dynasty. Many officials got together to find a way to stabilize the government, but Wanli grew tired of all the political arguing and closed himself off from everyone else. Having their own problems at home, China didn’t dare to try to conquer other areas at the time. If they tried, there was always the question of what or who lived on these lands, would they need to split their military up to fight in two locations, and was it worth trying to stabilize another area when China wasn’t stabilized yet.
As China went through an era of war and struggling with stability, Europe went through an era of prosperity and expansion. Spreading north because of the renaissance in Italy, and going to places like England, England was flourishing, and many were well-off financially. With their trade and commerce going well, Europe created a type of capitalist government. However, as civilians of Europe started having larger families and inflation hit, poverty started to rise.
As Europe went out to discover, the ended up in the Americas where they saw the American Indians. Wanted the land from them, having better weaponry, and livestock, they quickly took over their land. Additionally, the Europeans spread diseases such as small pox to the American Indians, killing many of them.
Europe and China during the same era, went through many different struggles. China fighting for stability and Europe fighting to expand, all conquered their own problems.

Immortals

A couple of weekends ago, my friends and I went to see Immortals. It was based on a legend of the Greeks under the horrid attacks of King Hyperion. A regular man by the name of Theseus, lived in a village with his mother and mentor (Zeus), that was evacuating to get away from King Hyperion. However they didn’t escape fast enough and had to face King Hyperion. King Hyperion killed Theseus mother and let him live.

This movie had a few historical references. It referenced priest who cut used to cut out their tongues so they wouldn’t speak against whats right or sin. It also referenced how under King Hyperion, humans were burned alive as a way of torture. Additionally, there was a lot of references of the Gods and showed all of their personal “powers”. Lastly there was a reference of oricals, who were said to be pure and have healing powers. Additionally, this specific orical was able to see images from the future.   

The Lynching Curse

Last week, some friends of mine and I attended Reverse The Lynching Curse which was put on by Tommy Ford. In the beginning, they started off with “dessert” by opening up with a series of poets and singers. One poet, dressed like Frederick Douglas, had a twenty minute speech of his memorized. After the performances where over, the man who acted on the television show Martin, Tommy Ford hosted the rest of the event. They had two woman and two men who sat on the opposite sides of him. From then on, he asked a series of questions about how the woman and men think and feel about power, children, feeling towards the opposite sex, and race, to which the women and men both had very insightful answers. However, the most interesting part of the event was the presentation put on by one of the men who was being questioned. He talked about how all roads lead to Africa, meaning that Africa was where a lot of structural, medical, and activities originated from. Reverse The Lynching Curse was truly interesting and eye opening. I look forward to looking further into the subject in the future.

Madea

Women of many cultures have had to live by the saying to, “be seen and not heard.” However, this image was disrupted when the character Madea was created. A mad woman out for revenge, who no longer wants to hide her emotions. I believe this story has lasted for so long because it was so different and out of the ordinary for woman to act the way she did. The fact that she went back to kill her husband and kids shows that her emotions took over her actions.

Acting on ones actions I believe is secretly what everyone wants to do but they maintain self control. By seeing someone act on how they feel didn’t really inspire people to do the same, but to fantasize doing so themselves. An example would be Madea from Tyler Perry films, or the film itself called, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.” The character Madea, portrays the typical “mad black woman” image. However, little do people know its based on a story of a woman who went on a rampage after all the anger built inside her. Madea from Tyler Perry’s flims would threaten individuals without hesitation and is portrayed as a beastly, non-feminine woman. This gives the idea that hearing the actions of  the true Madea, was not seen as lady like and was very uncommon, making the characters derived from her masculine.

Walking to the live performance called The Life Tour, I knew very little about what I was going to see. However, when the show started with ‘The Male Ego’ I knew right away it was going to be very interesting and powerful. The men were telling different stories about their lives behind closed doors; the thoughts they had that they didn’t share with others. What I learned from the men were to release what your heart needs to confess and not to hold it in to try to fit in. From ‘Her Story’, which was the next performance, I learned many different things. I learned that women should love who they are and the way they look. I also learned that woman should have their own goals in life and not just look forward to getting married and being a good mother. The whole performance taught me that its okay to feel pain and to express myself.

Monotheism

Monotheism was said to be brought into the world by the religion Judaism. From then on, many different religions branched off from Judaism with distinct difference. Monotheism is very significant in shaping our history in a sense that it tried to develop a national unity although not all individuals  liked the idea of it. For instance, when monotheism was tried in Egypt, but not forced, many of the Egyptians continued to practice their previous religions.

Eventually, monotheism became more than just a religion but also a law in specific places. In the eighth and ninth century, there was authority and divine inspiration to obey the oral law that was recorded in the Mishnah of the Jewish religion.  Or the Muslim religion which believe prohibits should force conversion towards people of any religion. However even when religion is forced among individuals, there have been many cases of people being caught worshiping their own previous religion sometimes resulting in imprisonment or death. What this says to me is one can never truly force individuals to change their religion in their hearts even if it’s the law.

There is a major significance of the covenant between God and the Hebrew people. One main covenant is when God promised Noah he wouldn’t flood the earth again. Since God made a promise to “them” meaning the Hebrew people, they are referred to as the “Chosen People” which opens up the door for anti-Semitism.  Like I said before since individuals are usually against changing their religion, creating more tension between different religions.

The covalent additionally affected Hebrew land, culture and conversion. In the book of Genesis, it states that God gave the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendents. Since God has blessed Abraham’s descendents, being the Hebrew people, they feel entitled to the land of Israel. This sacred gift from God led the Hebrew people to hold on to their land and culture going through the obstacles of war and diversity. Since Hebrews believe they were chosen to live on the land, their is controversy between different types of religions residing in the chosen land of Israel.

Monotheism has been around for many years, and continually branches out as many people change what they don’t like about the previous religion. I personally believe monotheism changing throughout history can be perceived as a good and bad thing. If religion keeps changing to fit everyone’s wants, then less individuals would try to rebel unlike they would if they were forced to practice a certain religion. However, if religions keep changing to keep up with this corrupt society, then religions may not be so “religious” anymore.

In many ways the environment strongly influenced ancient cultures which then influenced ancient government. From the beginning of the world of individuals trying to form order to the free world around them, culture formed and among the culture came rules.  From then on the Egyptians were heavily influenced by their environment, being the Nile. Individuals learned to survive and adapt as well as creating a type of hierarchy.

In the beginning, individuals needed to learn to survive and adapt. Using the Nile river as their main source for resources, they heavily relied on rain. From being provided with the resources, individuals began to praise a higher being, or a Pharaoh who was a God on earth to the people of Egypt. The Pharaoh decided who got what, which in return, helped form a more distinguished hierarchy.

Hierarchies created civilizations with Pharaohs, scribes, peasants, and slaves. The Egyptian government didn’t have as descriptive laws as the Mesopotamian Babylonian laws. However, they relied strongly on their hierarchy decided who gets what, and how others are treated. Many peasants had wants of becoming a scribe to move their way up on the latter and get better treatments than other peasants and slaves because many did not know how to read and right.

Another culture that was effected by their environment was Greece. Living on a very “rocky” land, filled with heels, it is extremely hard to produce many products. However, the Greeks found things they could grow on their rocky land such as, and herded goats as well. Since Greece is surrounded by water, one of their main exports was fish, having people come from all over the world to get their supplies Greece had. Since they about growing props for their own  fortune, many didn’t question the government. Instead, they believed in Epicureanism and stoicism. Believing their was nothing one could do to change the government so enjoy life or have no emotion at all, which became a main part of Greeks culture.

These reasons are the basis for why the environment influenced ancient cultures and the government.

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