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The Russian Revolution (causes, events and consequences)

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The Russian Revolution happened all through 1917. It was not a sudden incident without any precedence. There were unrests and protests happening for almost a century. The Russian Revolution was very important because it threw out a system of governance and established one which was very new and unheard of till then. It was Marxism later called as communism or socialism.

Causes of the Russian Revolution

There were many causes for the Russian Revolution. The Tsars were the rulers who ruled Russia for many years. Over the years, the rulers weakened and stopped looking into the welfare of the people. Nicholas II was the final Tsar and it was this ruler who was overthrown. Nicholas II as a young boy was a witness to his grandfather being assassinated by terrorists. He also saw his father put down protests and revolts with a heavy hand and he followed the same kind of governance. He also stopped looking into the welfare of his people. He was more interested in getting his comforts and looking after his family. He believed that he was appointed by God to rule. This enraged the people and resulted in the revolution.

Another reason was the poverty. Russia was an agrarian land. But year after year the peasants were having very poor harvests and were on the verge of famine. When the rulers did not look into their concerns they were naturally angry. The army ravaged the lands of the peasants to take the lands for their families. It was situation where no one was happy. Industrialization was catching on slowly and the conditions of the workers were pathetic. The people other than aristocracy were suffering and they had enough of it.

Wars fought for many years in Russia affected its economy. Some of the wars were the following.

  • The Crimean War from 1854 to 1856.
  • The Russo-Turkish War from 1877 to 1878.
  • The Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905.
  • The World War that started in 1914 and ended in 1918.

It was during the World War I that the Russian Revolution happened and the Russian troops were pulled from the war.

The Events

Vladimir Lenin was a strong supporter of Marxian socialism. He had witnessed his brother being killed when he rose against the king. So he made sure he would bring about a change and the idea of socialism appealed to him. He left for Finland on a self imposed exile but was planning for the overthrow of the Tsars. Nicholas II went away to be a part of the war and his queen began Alexandra and her assistant Rasputin ruled Russia with a total disregard for the parliament. Rasputin was killed and on March 8th 1917 riots broke out in Petrograd. It spread among all ranks of people including soldiers.  Nicholas II soon gave in to this and established a council headed by Alexander Kerensky. They were opposed to the revolution and considered the war as a duty. The reforms that they tried to bring did not bring any effective change in the lives of the people. Lenin’s plan of armed uprising became successful on November 6th 1917.

Consequences of the Revolution

Lenin and his men took control of Russia. The first move was to pull out of the war. In 1918 the Royal family was killed. Land was nationalized. By 1920 Russia was stabilized and it emerged as another country. In the years to come it began to spread socialism and this was seen as an international threat. WWII happened; Russia became USSR and a super power. In 1991 there was a breakdown of the united soviet states.

Literary analysis of The God of Small Things

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The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things written by Arundhathi Roy, an Indian writer, bagged the Booker Prize in the year in 1997. This was her first novel and her only novel so far. This book put her into the league of other famous Indian writers like Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth and the book sold in 21 countries. Though the setting and theme is basically Indian, love and betrayal, a universal phenomenon, must have caught the fancy of the readers and made it one of the best sellers of that year. The style and language is unique; there are many Malayalam words in the novel. Though the book received laurels from many quarters it has been criticized for its language and theme.

Flash Backs and Flash Forwards

The story moves from 1969 to 1993 and it is told in third person and many times it is a narration by Rahel. It is the story of a rich Christian family whose family members leave their village for various reasons only to come back to their roots. The society and its cultural influences, forbidden love, betrayal brings about the twists and turns in the story. The main story happens in a village in Kerala, Ayemenem and is about the children and grand-children of Pappachi and Mammachi.

They have two children Ammu and Chacko. Chacko leaves for higher studies to Oxford. Rahel unable to bear the ways of her overbearing father goes away to Calcutta for a short time. There she meets Baba, a tea estate worker form Assam and gets married to him. Both these children come back for same reasons – failure in marriage. Chacko marries an English girl Margaret and has a daughter by that marriage. Soon after he realizes that she is having an affair with a man called Joe. Chacko divorces Margaret and comes back to his village.

Predicament of Ammu

Ammu on the other hand suffers at the hands of her husband who is an alcoholic. She gives birth to fraternal twins. His behavior and poor performance takes him to point where he is about to lose his job. His boss agrees to keep him if he allows having sex with his wife. Ammu is compelled by her husband to have sex with his boss but she refuses and eventually walks out. She also comes back to her village with both her children. The children are 7 years old and along with her parents Baby Kochamma is also in the house. Baby Kochamma is the aunt who has become bitter with what she faces in life and is a trouble maker.

Soon Chacko hears the news that Margaret’s husband dies in an accident and he invites them for Christmas to India. Margret and his daughter Sophie arrive and the children especially Estha the son of Ammu is a little weary about his cousin. But all is well and the three get along well. Velutha, a worker in Chacko’s pickle company frequents the household and becomes very friendly with the children. The children love Velutha and Ammu the mother soon realizes that she also loves him and they start their affair. When the affair comes to light Ammu is locked in the room and she calls her children a burden in her life. Rahel and Estha plan to run away from home and they plan to go to deserted house across the river. Sophie joins them but ill fate was beckoning the children. The boat overturns and Sophie drowns while the other two swim to safety.

Incidents around Velutha

Baby Kochamma alleges that Velutha tried to kill the children and rape Ammu and gives a complaint in the police station. The police beat up Velutha who dies in the jail. Ammu confesses about their relationship to the police and is sent away from the house. She goes away but dies soon. Estha is sent to his father. Rahel goes abroad for studies. She comes back to Ayemenem when she hears that Estha is back. They find each other, they also realize that there were happy in each other’s company and that no one could understand them as the other. This love crosses all boundaries and they find themselves in bed and in love with each other.

In and through this story, the communist leaning of the state, caste and religious discrimination is brought out through Velutha, Baby Kochamma and Ammu. This novel has not been staged nor filmed. The forbidden laws of love are broken and that is something that cannot be accepted by all readers. The main contention from the readers was the love making by the twins. That love and care can culminate in such an act is something Arundhathi Roy thought of.

Dark Characterization

The characters have more of negative shades than positive. Pappachi beats up his wife and mammachi a talented woman withdraws into her world. Baby Kochamma is the most bitter and vicious person in the whole story. In the next generation Chacko is by far a stable person while Ammu knowing the risks involved has an affair with someone from the lower caste. Ammu’s husband places an indecent proposal from his boss earlier on. The children are the ones with their innocence intact but that is also lost soon. The much loved Velutha is imprisoned and finally dies. The mother deserts them and Estha goes back to his father.

Estha becomes a silent person after all that happens in his life and it is Rahel come back that brings some meaning into his existence. Then again there is unexpected twist to their relationship which can shock the readers. A good story has been created by Arundhathi Roy and it has received wide appreciation and its share of criticism as well. Just like breaking the rules of love she also has broken the rules of the language but literature and art in the world has progressed to accept a new thought without crucifying the author or the artist. This book has raised many eyebrows and brought accolades as well but whether it will stand out as a classic, only time will tell.

Analysis of ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day’ by William Shakespeare

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Shall I compare thee to a Summer

Analysis of ‘Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day’ by William Shakespeare

Background

Critics have found Shakespeare’s sonnets to be tantalizingly mysterious. Nothing is known about the Mr. W.H. to whom the sonnets were dedicated. These have been conjectures aplenty but nothing definite or final is known. All 154 sonnets have an autobiographical feel about them but they are certainly not autobiography. Shakespeare explores different kinds of love in these poems. This particular sonnet is one of the best known in the English language. Better things have been written, by Shakespeare too, but the beauty and simplicity of the praise given to the beloved give it pride of place amongst English poetry.

Metaphorical inference

Comparing his friend to a summer’s day, the poet argues that that his friend’s personality is superior to it in many ways. Summer can be ruinous on the buds that are put forth in May, with summer itself having too short a life. On the contrary, the friend’s good looks and life are beyond the grasp of death. It is this sonnet that shall make him live as long as mankind itself.

Summary

The central idea of the poem is that the poet’s friend is fairer than the fairest summer’s day. This is because summer is too unpredictable: It could turn blustery with winds ruining the buds which come forth in May. Summer could also turn too hot for comfort or too cold. The season could also be dull without the golden sunshine that is expected in summer. On the contrary, the friend is like an eternal summer, with his glowing countenance unblemished. He shall remain beyond the grasp of death. He shall last as long as mankind itself. It is this sonnet of the poet that shall ensure this.

Analysis

Of the 126 sonnets addressed to Mr. W.H., this one is the most famous. The sonnet, which is in the classic English sonnet format with three rhyming quatrains followed by a couplet, opens with a question. Most lines end in some kind of a punctuation showing the meaning to be complete, if not wholly, definitely partially. While the poet compares his friend to summer, the friend comes off better in all counts. Several problems can befall summer: the tender buds of May can be ruined by the keen winds that can mar summer, summer itself can be too short and sometimes, summer can be too hot. There are times when instead of warm golden sunshine there just jaundiced dull light. Nature is unpredictable and summer may not live up to its name. On the contrary, the poet’s friend’s fair countenance will last forever. Never can it be blemished with even death not being able to extend its cold grasp on to it. What grants it eternal life, will be this sonnet.

Overall impression

This sonnet is perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest love poem. In it, he explores the ability of his sonnet to bestow immortality on his subject. Beginning on a low-key note, the poet builds up the tempo to declare that his friend is a perfect being, more perfect than summer itself.

Analysis of ‘A Birthday’, by Christina Rossetti

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Analysis of 'A Birthday', by Christina Rossetti

Analysis of 'A Birthday', by Christina Rossetti:

Summary

In marked contrast to her other love poems, A Birthday by Christina Rossetti, is an exuberant poem that celebrates a fulfilled love that brings great joy. In a series of brilliant and densely beautiful comparisons, the poet says that her heart is full. It is like a singing bird, an apple bough laden with fruit, a rainbow that bridges the sky. Nay, her heart is “gladder than all these”. It is as though she has run out of similes. In the second stanza, she demands that she be made a dais richly decorated with “silk and down”, with carvings of “doves and pomegranates” (all symbols of romance and luxury) worked with images of peacocks and silver fleur-de-lys or lilies, that symbol of purity, because this day she is reborn as her love is coming to her.

Main Subject

The main subject of the poem is the unadulterated joy the poet feels as her true love is coming to her. She feels that she is coming alive once again; so this is a birthday – her second birth:

“Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.”

Purpose

The purpose of this poem is to celebrate the pure joy the poet feels; her heart is brimming with happiness that is knows no bounds. Her love is coming to her and she compares her heart to several symbols of nature, like a singing bird, a bough dense with ripening fruit and a perfect rainbow that bridges two ends of the sky.

Emotions

This is a poem that is surcharged with emotions. There is an ecstatic outpouring of joy at the coming of the poet’s love. The poet considers this emotional fulfilment a rebirth. That is why it is referred to as her birthday. Through a series of comparisons, the poet declares that she is suffused with happiness.

“My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;”

Technique / Craftsmanship

There is a sense of suspense created by the poet by reserving the lines on the birthday till the very last line. The poem moves away in the second stanza from descriptions of nature which though bountiful are all mutable. The descriptions in the second stanza are of more permanent structures. There is debate on the words “Raise me”. It could mean “resurrect” or “build”.

Structure:

This poem consists of two octaves of 8 lines each. The first one talks about the joy she feels at this emotional fulfillment. The whole of the first octave is set outdoors. The second octave is about the ceremonial stage that she wants made to celebrate this love. These two symmetrically structured stanzas create perfect unity.

Language

The poem, A Birthday stands out from the other love poems that Christina Rossetti wrote by the exuberant joy they depict. Here Rossetti chooses words that are so intensely lyrical that they produce musical tones. By repeating the words “My heart is like” several times, she is emphasizing the almost unbelievable joy that she seems to be experiencing.

Imagery

The whole poem is a string of images capturing beauty, fullness and fulfillment seen in nature. In the second stanza, similes turn into metaphors and more complicated images. The work of art she describes is elaborately wrought with images of “doves and pomegranates, peacocks with a hundred eyes, gold and silver grapes, leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys”.

Movement / Rhythm

The rhyme scheme goes thus – the second and fourth lines of both stanzas rhyme, the same with the sixth and eighth lines. The poet employs iambs where the second syllable of the two syllable pairs is stressed. This has such natural rhythm that when read, the poem feels propelled forward in a rush of speed. This is perfect for the highly excited tone of this poem.

Sounds

There is innate music in the words used to construct A Birthday. The rhyme scheme used and the iambs used rushes the reader along a breathless merry-go round of emotion. Unlike the rest of Rossetti’s poems, there are only highs here. The images are so cheerful suggesting fullness and joy.

Figures of Speech

The poet starts off using similes, one after the other. The first octave has identical beginnings, but there the similarity ends. The poet runs from one simile to another in one breathless movement. The second stanza deals in a series of metaphors “And peacocks with a hundred eyes” referring to the patterns on the tail feathers, but the biggest metaphor of all is “the birthday of my life” referring to the rebirth on the day the love comes to visit.

Revision Questions on Israel-Palestine – Depth Study

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4 markers

1.       What was the Jewish claim to Palestine?

2.       What is the reason for the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs in Palestine?

3.       What is Zionism?

4.       What was the Arab claim to Palestine?

5.       How did the Jews trace their occupation of Palestine?

6.       How did the Nazi policy of anti-semitism lead to the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs?

7.       What was the Peel Commission?

8.       What was the White Paper?

9.       What were the demands of the Jewish Plan drawn during the Second World War?

10.   Describe the events of Irgun. OR What was the Irgun Butchery?

11.   What was the Hebrew Resistance Movement?

12.   What were the UN decisions on Palestine in 1947?

13.   Describe the Civil War in Palestine.

14.   Describe the events at Deir Yassin.

15.   Describe the first phase of the Israeli war of independence.

16.   Describe the second phase of the Israeli war of independence.

17.   Describe the third phase of the Israeli war of independence.

18.   What were the weaknesses of the Arab forces in the war of independence?

19.   What were the Israeli strengths in the war of independence?

20.   What was the significance of the war?

21.   What proposals were made for Palestine by the UN in 1947?

22.   Describe the events between 1946 and 1948 leading to Britain’s exit from Palestine.

23.   Describe the attack on King David Hospital.

24.   How important was the attack on King David Hospital in the decision to withdraw British troops from Palestine?

25.   Who were the Fedayeen?

26.   What was the Suez Crisis?

27.   What was the outcome of the talks between Gurion and the British in 1956?

28.   Describe the events at Sinai.

29.   What were the consequences of the war for Israel?

30.   What were the consequences of the war for the Arab world?

31.   What were the consequences of the war for Britain and France?

32.   What were the short term consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict?

33.   What were the long term consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict?

34.   What was the Suez-Sinai war?

35.   What was the Fatah?

36.   Describe the Six-Day war.

37.   What were the results of the Six-Day war?

38.   What was the Yom Kippur war?

39.   What were the results of the Yom Kippur war?

40.   What was the PLO?

41.   What was the Declaration of Principles?

42.   What was the Middle East Peace Accord?

43.   What was the impact of the Palestinian refugee issue?

44.   Describe the Israel-Lebanon conflict of the 1980s.

45.   Describe the efforts of the Intifada.

46.   What was the iron-fist policy adopted by Israel?

47.   What was Al-Fatah?

48.   What was the UNs view of the Palestinian cause?

49.   What was USAs view of the Palestinian cause?

50.   What were the worldwide perceptions of the Palestinian cause?

51.   Describe the events at the Olympic Games of 1972.

52.   What was the Oslo Peace Agreement of 1993?

53.   What was President Bush’s ‘road map’ for peace between Israel and Palestine?

54.   How have divisions within Israel affected the peace process?

55.   What are the obstacles to peace in the region?

56.   What was Operation Defensive Shield?

57.   What was Hezbollah?

58.   What were the aims of the Hamas?

59.   Describe the role of the UN in attempting to secure peace in the region.

6 markers

          Why did USA’s entry into WWII spark further potential for conflict between the Arabs and the Jews?

          Why was there violence in the region through the 1920s and early 1930s?

          Why was the Second World War significant for Palestine?

          Why did America start supporting the formation of the state of Israel by 1947?

          Why did the British hand Palestine over to the United Nations?

          Why did the Arabs reject the UN plans to partition Palestine?

          Why did the Arabs and the Jews reject the US plans declared on October 10, 1947?

          Why was Israel able to win the war of 1948-49?

          Why was the war of independence a catastrophe for the Arabs?

          Why did the Arabs reject the UN’s plans for partition?

          Why was Israel able to win the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973?

          Why was the Suez Canal important in the Israel Palestine conflict?

          Why did Nasser announce the nationalisation of the Suez Canal?

          Why did the Israelis attack southern Lebanon in 1978?

          Why were there many Palestinian refugees?

          Why did Arab states not always support the Palestinian cause?

          Why did the Arab states not support the PLO?

          Why were towns on the West Bank a source of tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians?

          Why was the PLO formed?

          Why has the UN not been able to secure lasting peace in the region?

          Why were the discussions at Camp David in 1978 important?

 

10 markers

1)      The First World War was a turning point in the Arab struggle for independence and the Jewish struggle for a homeland. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

2)      The actions of the Palestinian Arabs in response to British actions were justifiable. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

3)      The war of 1948-49 was completely avoidable. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

4)      The involvement of the superpowers was very significant in the Arab-Israeli conflicts of the 20th century. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

5)      Oil played a major role in changing the nature of the Arab-Israeli conflict. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

6)      By the 1990s, most of the problems between Israel and her neighbours had been resolved. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

7)      The PLO was very effective in promoting the Palestinian cause. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

8)      Arafat’s leadership changed the way the west viewed the conflict in the region. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

9)      Attacks carried out by the PLO and their results majorly contributed to the hostility between Israel and Palestine and with the rest of the world. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

10)   International perceptions of the Palestinian cause changed a lot over time. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

11)   The lack of support for the PLO from the Arab states was significant in the preservation of the state of Israel. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

12)   It is impossible to resolve the Arab-Israel issue. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

13)   How far have international diplomatic negotiations improved Israel’s relations with Arab states and the Palestinians? Explain your answer.

14)   Rivalries among Palestinians have affected progress towards a settlement in the region. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

15)   Divisions within Israel affect the attempts to bring peace to the region. To what extent do you agree with the statement? Explain your answer.

Analysis of ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is short story or a novella written by Gabriel Gracia Marquez in Spanish. It was published in the year 1981 and it was translated into English by Gregory Rabassa. In 1995 it was adapted as Broadway musical by Graciela Daniele. It was adapted onto the big screen in Spanish, Italian-French production and a Romanian film. Gabriel Gracia is the author of many popular Spanish novels and short stories. His style and story has a powerful impact on the readers. He started his career as a journalist and finally became a master story teller. He won the Noble Prize in literature in 1982.

Story of Honor and Revenge

Chronicles of a Death Foretold is indeed a chronicle as it is narrated by an unknown person whose sister and mother come as live characters in the novel. Its narration is nonlinear and has a journalist touch. It is a story of revenge for honor and the revenge is in the form of death. Santiago Nasar is a rich man in a Latin country. One day he is murdered. The small town he lives in is abuzz with the news that he is going to be killed but it does not reach his ears or even if it reached he chose to ignore it as a rumor.

It is not a rumor as he is killed by the Vicario twins. Pedro and Pablo Vicario’s sister Angela is married to Bayardo San Roman, a flamboyant young man who comes to their town is search of a girl. He spots Angela and decides to marry her even though she was not the prettiest and poor by his standards. Angela reluctantly agrees and then it is celebration days. All through the celebrations Angela carries an untold fear, she was not virgin. On the wedding night Bayardo gets to know this secret and sends her back home. When her brothers get back early morning after the wedding revelry and find their sister back in their house, they are enraged and ask who was responsible for the shameful act. Angela names Santiago and the twins vow to kill him.

Santiago’s Death Sealed

It can be that the twins want people to stop them from killing Santiago because they tell their intention to all and sundry. But no one really takes the initiative to warn Santiago. It can be that the Bishop’s arrival on their shore was creating more flutter than this news. Early in the morning the news of Angela returning to her home also reached the people and this was also shocking as people were still having a hangover of the elaborate celebrations of the wedding. Maybe all this actually dwarfed the news that Santiago was to be killed by the Vicario twins. Or maybe people would have thought that these were ranting of the drunken brothers with some business rivalry.

Victoria Guzman, the cook in Santiago’s house hears about the threat to his life quite early in the morning but keeps quiet. It was her sweet revenge on Santiago. He had used her as his mistress and when he was tired made her his cook and was trying to woo her daughter Divina Flor. Many reasons can be given why such a grave threat was taken lightly but the final result was that Santiago died at the word of a girl. He did not get a chance to prove his innocence if he was innocent. He gets butchered, killed is too a mild word for the gory sight that was seen in the kitchen of Santiago’s house. Santiago had a dream where he saw trees and bird droppings. His mother who was good at reading dreams did not see anything amiss in this dream and did not warn her son.

All’s Well That Ends Well

The Mayor of the town takes away the knife from the twins and sends them away with good counsel but it goes in vain as they soon pick up another pair and lay in wait of their prey. They kill and surrender and there is no remorse because they killed for honor and that was accepted or not looked down in the Latin countries. Since they surrendered and it was an honor killing they are let off after three years. Pablo marries his sweet heart and continues with his normal life. Pedro goes back to the army from which he had taken a short break.

Angela realizes that she has fallen in love with Bayardo and sends him letters for seventeen long years. Bayardo is found in a state of near collapse after the wedding celebrations and disappointments. He is taken away by his family to their native town and it is to this address that Angelo sends letters. After seventeen years she is surprised to see Bayardo come back to her with all the letters unopened. He had become fat and was balding but had the same flamboyance around him. They then live together or rather continue their married life.

Story Recalled

One word from a girl changes the life of many people and all in the name of honor. And everything is set right in a matter of few years but the loss to Santiago’s mother and family alone cannot be reverted as he was sent away from this world. The whole story is said by an undisclosed narrator who is a family member of Santiago and a good friend and it is being said after twenty seven years.

Honor and revenge form the main theme of the story and it is very obvious. Some subtle aspects that come out are the sex roles. Women especially Angela is brought up without any exposure to the outside world while her brothers are groomed to be loud men, drinking and partying and looking after their father’s business. Deception is what really plays havoc in the story. Angela’s deception to her mother, society and finally her husband that she was a virgin is what sets the stage for the incidents that follow. Supernatural things like dreams and voices also figure in the story. With so many themes inter locked and interesting characterizations, this story is really gripping and offers a lot for stage play.

Aspects of the history of medieval Europe and the Islamic world

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Wars and warfare

During 600 and 1450 AD the military technology was retained from the earlier times but iron and steel had replaced Bronze. Large scale weapon production began in China, Byzantine, Islamic and Persian empires. Poisonous gas and smoke bombs came to be used. The cross bow which was used in Western Europe in the 10th century was first developed by China but it disappeared soon after. Its effects were so lethal that the church was against the use of it on Christians but they could use in on Muslims. Building huge walls became a protection for important cities in the empires.  A fire thrower which was invented in India, refined in China was used by the Byzantine Empire and was called Greek fire.  Gunpowder was invented in China and it was used in warfare soon. Slowly guns and cannons made out of cast iron started to evolve and they became bigger and more sophisticated as over the years.

Armies of the empires had infantry as its main battalion. They were supported by cavalry. In places like India one could find the elephants corps.  Soldiers came from family of soldiers, some were long-term recruits and many were recruited at the time of war. They were distinguished from the common people by the way they lived and the arms they bore. Most major empires did not depend solely on land. They had a strong maritime presence too. The inland rivers were used too for attacking. It was mostly used for trade but sometime it helped during wartime too.

There were many wars between 600 and 1450 AD which changed borders and brought about many other changes as well.

  • The Ridda Wars were a series of battles launched by Caliph Abu Bakr against rebel Arabian tribe between 632 and 633. The tribes were considered rebels as they did not accept Abu Bakr as the Caliph and their surrender was only to Prophet Mohammed who had died. However Abu Bakr managed to defeat these tribes and integrated into the caliphate. This war was also known as Wars of Apostasy.
  • Civil wars between 656 and 685 were a series and have been named first, second and third Fitna. Fitna means trial in Arabic and t was atrial as the first war that brought a divide in the Muslim community into Shiites and Sunnis.

There were many more wars during this period. Normans tried to conquer England on the 11th century. England and France were at war during the years between 1154 and 1204. The famous Hundred Years War was also during this period between 1337 and 1396.