Putting together a concise history of the world from the most remote times through the early Modern Era is a challenge, given the length of time involved and the breadth of subject matter. One might organize the material on a regional basis (Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania, Americas.), highlighting key events and then comparing or contrasting regions. Another approach, and that used here, is thematic. Issues such as the rise of agriculture, or rise of empires, etc. are explained and then examples are drawn from around the world to illustrate the idea and contrast local or regional variations. The material is organized with each distinct “Part” comprising one theme. In the end, disparate peoples and states from around the world are shown drawn into a global system.
PATTERNS OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Despite a lengthy record of human activity and seemingly endless variety in languages, arts, dress and ornamentation, housing, etc. societies can all be viewed in terms of distinct levels of social development. The history of the world may easily be seen terms of this progression.
A. Factors affecting social development
1. Role of environmental factors
2. People are generally creatures of habit; change is forced on people, and not a conscious decision.
-Where these factors work in unison to support a population, it does not change. When one or more
of these factors fails or changes (too many people for the resources at hand, or resources give out, or
climate change, etc.) then people have to make adjustments.
B. Societal progression
-Bands are composed of small groups of maybe 15-20 persons (give or take), and represent
groupings of 2 or 3 nuclear families bound by marriage or familial ties.
-Band live off the land as...