HIS 103 Final Project Help Sheet Choose two empires discussed *

| October 22, 2018

HIS 103
Final Project Help Sheet

Choose two empires discussed in the course, and
analyze three strategies that each of the two empires attempted to pursue in
order to create, expand, maintain, or defend their rule. As part of your
analysis, explain the consequences of these efforts, and provide specific
examples drawn from the scholarly sources you are using to support your
assertions and/or claims.

HIS103 Library Resources and Primary Sources(accessible through the online class)

Remember:Your project must incorporate clearly-defined
references to at least twodifferentempires, as theydeveloped
in two different world culture areas. World culture areas include
Europe, the Near East (also called the Middle East), India, Africa, the
Americas, and Asia.

You do not need to
consider three different strategies for each empire, or all four possible
applications. For example, you could look at three strategies that were common
to both empires, but only look at one of the following:

• creation of empire

• maintenance of empire

• expansion of empire

• defending the empire

As you think about
how you will complete this assignment, you can consider the issues listed below
to help you gain some focus. You do not have to respond to all of these points
in your project; these are just prompts to get you thinking.

the central features of empire-formation present in the political systems you
are considering. You do not need to identify all features that can be compared
or contrasted in order to give your work coherence.

the geographic, political, religious, social, economic, or social setting in
which each empire developed.

How is a specific political tradition reflected
in the society for which it holds meaning?

• Expressions of propaganda in art and architecture

Effect on
gender roles or gender relationships (e.g., think about marriage laws and/or
customs, inheritance practices, laws or customs affecting property ownership,
expectations about women’s roles in society, expectations about men’s roles in
society, etc.)

• Effect of imperial policies on religion (e.g.,
tolerance, intolerance, efforts to dictate religious belief or practice, use of
religious beliefs to legitimize rule, ideas about divinity of rulers, etc.)

• Relationship between religious belief and
political system.

• Expression of religious belief in law or codes of

• Attitudes toward warfare (including ethics of

• Attitudes toward other cultures and civilizations

• Institutional structures that maintain the
political and military system

• Structure of military forces

No matter the approach you take in your essay,
you must keep in mind the following:

How would
you explain the effects, manifestations, or significance of imperial traditions
within the context you are considering?

How do the
sources that historians use affect the conclusions they draw?

attention to both the strengths and weaknesses of the variety of primary
sources examined by historians and yourself, along with the ways these
documents can be interpreted.

Think about
the strengths and limitations of prescriptive sources. Prescriptive sources are
writings or other expressions of attitudes that represent an ideal form of
behavior or thought. So, prescriptive writings give us information about
ideals, but not necessarily how people actually behaved or thought. Law codes
are a good example of prescriptive sources, for instance.

How will
you include specific examples found in your sources to support your main

• How will you explain the significance of the
examples you choose? How do your examples support your main points?

Here are some specific questions about efforts to create, expand,
maintain or defend empire:

How did the
warring city-states of Mesopotamia merge into the world’s first military
dictatorship under Sargon of Akkad?

• How did Minoan Crete develop its vast sea-based
empire (thalassocracy)? What event undermined its influence and paved the way
for the Mycenaean rise?

What role
did geography play in the formation and consolidation of pharaonic Egypt?

Explain the
conditions for the rapid growth of the Mauryan Empire (ca. 323-185 BCE).

How and why
did Athens, the world’s first democracy, develop into an empire?

How and
when did the Roman Republic become an empire?

How and
when did the Roman Empire fall?

How did Qin
unify China? What did he do to keep it unified?

Explain the
rise of Islam and its establishment in the Levant, North Africa, and

Analyze the
fall of the Umayyad Dynasty and the transfer to Baghdad of the caliphate under
the Abbasids. What were the cultural implications of this move?

Analyze the
rise of the Mongol Empire. Why do some historians think it was a praiseworthy

the meteoric rise and fall of the Inca Empire? How did a handful of

overcome vastly superior numbers?

The Italian city-states were not empires
but some of them tried to be. Which ones? Why didn’tthey succeed?

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