Overview of Modern World History


1. More on Contingency, accident, conjunctive
2. The "Biological Old Regime"
3. The Indian Ocean World System C.650-1500

Old Regime: period before the Enlightment
Biological old regime took an end with Industrial Revolution, Old Regime with the French revolution.
Population of the world in 1400: 350 millions

Period between 1400 and 1700, it doubled
Biggest areas, historic centers of world population, 70% of world pop: Europe, China and India.
Other 30%: Mostly in the Middle East, some in America and Africa
This population used to live on 7% of the dry land, so they can grow food

Nomads : Hunter Gatherers, lived near or in forests / pastoralists, lived on grasslands
They controlled huge area

The 70% of the world pop living in India, China and Europe were mostly farmers, probably about 90 95% of them (little less in China/India) . Presence of Organized religion, usually universalist.   Typically the peasants working for the elite, they don't own their land, agricultural producers for the most of them.
The peasant is not a slave, but he's kind of enslaved by his job, they can't quit but they also can't get fired. Lack of mobility

The Elite forms the smallest part of the population, not artisans, not merchants, not peasants, between 1 and 5% of the population. They control the population and the land. Usually part of the aristocracy. Some kind of military role, they collect taxes, and provide protection and justice to the peasants. Educated part of the population., literate, they can read some kind of classical language (latin, arabic, greek, classic chinese)
The surplus made by the peasants pay for the Elite, and fed them. Sign of prosperity

Little Ice Age: outrageous temperature change in Europe, decrease of temperatures since 1400 -> decrease in growing food, some people died of famine, war, disease.  
The Black Death came from China, was then carried by Mongolians who were at war in Middle East, was then...