Due to the prominence of explorers in European history, the explorations which took place under the early

21. The Sui and their successors, the Tang, took China to new heights of power and prosperity. What were some of the key institutional reforms and policy initiatives that created these conditions in China?

22. The Ming dynasty came to power in 1368 after a century of Mongol rule under the Yuan dynasty. What were some of the grievances that the Chinese had against the Mongols that led to the revolt which placed the Ming in power? Once the Ming came to power, what were some of their major goals?

23. Due to the prominence of explorers in European history, the explorations which took place under the early Ming dynasty have attracted a great deal of attention in modern times. What was the purpose of these Ming naval expeditions and who led them? Why were these expeditions downplayed in the Chinese historical tradition?

24. Temujin, a dispossessed prince from an obscure nomadic tribe called the Mongols, managed to craft a great empire out of thin air. Describe the process by which Temujin became Genghis Khan and united the nomadic tribes to the north of China into a unified force. What were the primary problems that Genghis Khan faced in creating his empire? What was his strategy for conquering China?

25. The unified Mongol empire broke into various khanates around 1280 CE. However, most of these khanates functioned the same way on a governmental level. Describe the Mongol method of governance and use examples from the Ilkhanate, the Golden Horde, or the Yuan dynasty to back up your claims.

26. Timur the Lame is one of the most famous men in world history, but his success was far from inevitable. What obstacles and social stigmas did he have to overcome to create the Timurid empire? Why has he gone down as possibly the most feared leader in world history?

27. Korea, Japan, and Vietnam all grew up near China and experienced a similar clash between their native traditions and the importation of Chinese ideas. What was the shared significance and purpose of the native writing systems that emerged, what was done with those writing systems, and who were the chief early practitioners of these new written languages?

28. Mound-building was the chief characteristic which united the Native American populations of North America. What are these mounds and what functions do scholars think that these mounds served? When and why did people stop building mounds and why do we know so little?

29. The Maya civilization and its magnificent ruins have long fascinated scholars and visitors to the Yucatan peninsula. What were some of the key achievements and characteristics of the Maya? When did they reach their peak and why did their civilization decline after that point?

30. Compare and contrast the way that Aztecs and Inca administered their respective empires.

31. In this class, we have seen that periods of decline and collapse for states tend to have lots of similarities in terms of governmental decisions and structural changes. In general terms, what seems to be the cause of the decline and fall of states in world history? Use at least two different examples to advance your argument.

32. In the earlier portion of this course, we saw that civilizational collapses often occurred during periods of climate change. However, despite the end of the Classical Optimum in 500 CE, civilization around the world not only continued but continued to advance despite less favorable climatic conditions. Why do you think that civilizations around the world were able to continue to advance despite these unfavorable environmental developments?

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