Four significant themes in World History that come to mind. Religion, the discovery of the New World, racial bigotry, and the current events that have all played an important role in changing our culture. The foundation of each individual society had a key part in history because these were the main factors that created our society to change for the better. Overtime, people, religion, wars, and culture have changed dramatically since the creation of humanity.
The discovery of religion gave us faith to believe in a higher power. It also helped in the creation of these societies to bring unity. It established communication between followers and led religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam to be as successful as they are today.
Preserving the freedom of religions help societies benefit. Societies can thrive when those of different religious beliefs have the freedom to voice their beliefs and ideals. With the freedom of religion it contributes to a more peaceful, secure and accepting society. Through the creation of the bible, it allowed Christians to believe in God and Jesus Christ who died for our sins. The Bible not only inspired us, it explained life and God to us. Judaism gave the Jews, who have been persecuted for centuries, their own country that is known as Israel.
Hinduism spread throughout Southeast Asia, most parts of India, and China. They believe in Gautama Buddha, which was their God, the basis of Hinduism, and the belief in the unity of everything. Islam became the second largest religion because it spread throughout the Middle East, Africa, and some parts of Asia. It continued to spread through trade and migrations.
The discovery of the New World was another important factor for societies to expand. They were able to spread their religion and culture into the New World. When Christopher Columbus discovered the Bahamas in 1492, it became an entrance in the development of something new for the people back in Europe. Every country rushed into claiming land and wealth for themselves, but the most important aspect of this was to spread their faith so that it can be stronger.
Trade also became an important aspect for these societies; gold and silver were found in South America and some parts of North America. New animals were discovered, and new animals were introduced to the local natives. Different foods were also introduced to the Europeans such as, maize (corn), potatoes, tomatoes, and peanuts. These foods were brought back to Europe to improve their European diet and was an important source of nutrition for many countries.
As a result, Europeans were living longer because they were eating healthier. Within the societies, racial bigotry also surfaced because of ones beliefs or their skin color. The events that led up to tensions and wars within societies resulted in persecution. For example, Jews were the main target of Nazi hatred; Nazis viewed them as racially or genetically “inferior.” The Nazis killed approximately 6 million Jews.
Because of the Holocaust, it played part in the formation of the State of Israel and viewed as a safe haven for many Jews. Racism in the United States was widespread for centuries. It erupted going back to the Civil War from 1861-1865. A century later, an African American leader, Martin Luther King, fought for equal rights for black Americans, which lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The civil rights movement gained attention and respect. Societies throughout history changed dramatically, but for the better. They had to adapt to the changes as the world was changing because of the different views.
There has been other changing events that occurred in our country over the past 18 years. Who would have thought, even the idea, of an African American being elected as President of the United States? It certainly made a powerful statement when Barrack Obama was elected President in 2008 and, importantly, how far the country has come on the issue of race. Unfortunately, terrorism also came into the focal point when on September 11, 2001 where a series of airline hijackings committed by militants linked to al-Qaeda against targets in United States. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil. The attacks caused emotional distress for our country as well as the world. Countries allied with the United States rallied to its support to put an end to terrorism.
Over the course of history, we have been able to learn and adapt from it. We were able to learn that the Holocaust should never occur again, that religion or color should not affect a person’s ability to be a part of a society, or that society should not live in fear because of terrorism. We, as one society, consistently learn how we can improve our lives because we have to. We have seen and learned of the horrifying events that occurred throughout history and it is our duty not to repeat those mistakes.
We all must move forward as one society joined together because that is how peace and harmony will exist.