Crash Course World History 2


  • Rethinking Civilization | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the idea of civilization, some of the traditional hallmarks of so-called civilizations, and why some people would choose to live outside the civilization model. You'll hear about Mongols, Zomia, anarchy, and swidden agriculture. Finally, we'll discuss what makes a civilization - whether it is one we would traditionally regard as such or one that is far from our typical ideas of civilized life.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Money & Debt | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about money - what it is, what it is for, how we use it - and debt, along with a slew of other interesting ideas on the way. We'll investigate whether money displaces barter and then leads to war, slavery, and what we think of as civilized social orders. A major work referenced is Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Disease! | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about disease and the effects that disease has had on human history. Disease has been with man since the beginning, and it has shaped the way humans operate in a lot of ways. John will teach you about the Black Death, the Great Dying, and the modern medical revolution that has changed the world.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • War & Human Nature | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about war - specifically, whether humanity is naturally warlike and hard-wired to kill or if war is perhaps a cultural construct. John will talk about the Hobbes versus Rousseau debate, the effects that war has on human social orders, and the effects that war has on individuals.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • War and Civilization | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about war and what exactly it may or may not be good for. Was war a result of human beings organizing into larger and more complex agricultural social orders, or did war maybe create agriculture and "civilization?" It's hard to know for sure, but it's definitely an interesting discussion.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Climate Change, Chaos, and The Little Ice Age | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling that occurred from the 13th to the 19th centuries. This cooling was likely caused by a number of factors, including unusual solar activity and volcanic eruptions. The Little Ice Age greatly impacted human social orders, especially during the 17th century. When the climate changed, and weather became unpredictable, the world changed profoundly. Poor harvests led to hunger, which led to even less productivity, which even resulted in violent upheaval in many regions.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Humans and Energy | Crash Course World History

    Join substitute host Stan Muller to learn about energy and humanity, featuring ideas put forth by Alfred Crosby in his book Children of the Sun. Historically, almost all of the energy that humans use has been directly or indirectly generated by the sun, whether that be food energy from plants, wind energy, direct solar energy, or fossil fuels. Stan looks into these different sources and talks about how humanity will continue to use energy in the future as populations grow and energy resources become more scarce.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Drought and Famine | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about drought, which is a natural weather phenomenon, and famine, which is almost always the result of human activity. Throughout human history, when food shortages hit humanity, there was food around. There was just a failure to connect people with the food that would keep them alive. There are a lot of reasons that food distribution breaks down, and John is going to teach you about them in the context of the late-19th century famines that struck British India.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • How World War I Started | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about World War I and the confusion surrounding its beginning. You'll learn about Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Pincep, the Black Hand, and why the Serbian nationalists wanted to kill the Archduke. While there's no good answer as to who exactly started the war, this episode of Crash Course will sort through the dates and confusion with lively discussion as always.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Who Started World War I | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the reasons World War I started and why the situation is so complicated. We'll try to get to the bottom of the confusion. However, it's very hard to assign blame to any one of the nations involved. Did the fault lie with Austria-Hungary? Germany? Russia? Julius Caesar? Join us for an interesting discussion in this episode of Crash Course!

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The End of Civilization (In the Bronze Age) | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the Bronze Age civilization (in what we today call the Middle East) and how the vast, interconnected civilization that encompassed Egypt, The Levant, and Mesopotamia came to an end. Was there such an empire? John will argue that through a complex network of trade and alliances, there was a loosely confederated and relatively continuous civilization in the region. Why it all fell apart was a mystery. We'll look into a few possibilities. As usual with Crash Course, we may not come up with a definitive answer, but there will be a great discussion in the process of learning!

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Rise of the West and Historical Methodology | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the methods of writing history by looking at some of the ways that the rise of the West has been recorded. In the episode, we'll cover what the West is, the Rise of the West, and the different ways that historians and other academics have explained how the West became dominant in the world. Also discussed are explanations from Acemoglu and Robinson's Why Nations Fail, Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order, and Ian Morris's Why the West Rules, for Now.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Asian Responses to Imperialism | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about Asian perspectives on Imperialism, particularly those of writers from countries that were colonized by European powers. We'll look at the writings of Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani from the Middle East, Liang Qichao from China, and Rabindranath Tagore from India. These voices from colonized countries give us a sense of how conquered people saw their conquerors and an insight into what these nations learned from being dominated by Europe. Much of this episode is drawn from a fascinating book by Pankaj Mishra called The Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Railroad Journey and the Industrial Revolution | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about railroads, some of the ways they changed the world, and how they were a microcosm for the Industrial Revolution as a whole. Prior to the invention of steam powered railroads, nearly all forms of locomotion had been muscle-powered. You either walked where you wanted to go or rode on an animal to get where you were going. The railroad changed human perception of time and space, making long distance travel much faster and easier. Railroads also changed habits, including increasing reading. People needed some sort of distraction. Like any new form of technology, railroads also scared people. All kinds of fears surrounded rail travel, but, over time, people got over them.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Population, Sustainability, and Malthus | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about human population. How many people can reasonably live on the Earth? In 1800, the human population of the Earth passed one billion. Thomas Malthus posited that growth had hit its ceiling and that the population would level off. He was completely wrong, as there are currently seven billion people on the planet! John will teach a little about how Malthus made his calculations and explain how Malthus came up with the wrong answer.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Islam and Politics | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about Islam's interactions with politics throughout history and into the present age. Islam has always been tied to political movements; Mohammed was not only a religious leader, but also the leader of an empire. How did this lead to modern movements like ISIS? After all, it is surprising that such a violent fundamentalist movement would come out of what has traditionally been a fairly egalitarian religion with scriptures that value peace. John will discuss these ideas and much more in this episode of Crash Course.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Mughal Empire and Historical Reputation | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the Mughal Empire, which ruled large swaths of the Indian Sub-Continent from 1526 to (technically) 1857. While John teaches you about this long-lived Muslim empire, he'll also look at the idea of historical reputation and how we view people from history. Namely, he'll look at the reputations of Mughal emperors Akbar I, who is considered to have made the empire great, and Aurangzeb, who is blamed for setting it up for decline. What really happened? Check out this episode of Crash Course to learn about these complicated situations.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Luther and the Protestant Reformation | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Prior to this event, almost everyone in Europe was part of the Roman Catholic Church. However, during Martin Luther's lifetime, the Church was in desperate need of spiritual and moral reform. Combined with the new ideas in the political and social scenes in Europe, this led Luther to leave the Church and start his own, which spread rapidly. Then, what started out as a doctrinal dispute turned into an all-out social revolt: peasants against landlords, and kings against the Catholic Church. Both politically- and faith-charged, this period had lasting repercussions on Christianity, politics, and social order.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the Holy Roman Empire and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Charles Hapsburg was also the King of Spain - and the King of Germany, the King of Italy, the Lord of the Netherlands, and the Count Palatine of Burgundy. In short, Charles ruled many countries and was also known for encouraging intellectual discourse. However, he considered himself to be a failure and broke up the Empire when he abdicated in 1556. The main reason for this is that the Holy Roman Empire didn't work very well: it was a huge area and didn't have any means of directly raising taxes. Plus, during this time of social and political upheaval in Europe, especially the Protestant Reformation, Charles found himself in charge of the Catholic-Church-Endorsed Empire. John will teach you how Charles put the Empire together, how it fell apart, and how the Diet of Worms plays into everything!

    Grades: 9-13+
  • World War II, A War for Resources | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about World War II and some of the causes behind the war. In many ways, WWII and the expansionist aggression of both Germany and Japan were about resources, especially food.

    Grades: 9-13+

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