Articles, Blog

Why Early Globalization Matters: Crash Course Big History #206

August 27, 2019

Hi, I’m Emily Graslie and this is Crash
Course Big History, and today we’re talking about globalization – a process that goes
back hundreds of years, and deeply impacted the collective learning of humanity. As we’ve discussed in previous episodes,
collective learning is the process that has raised the complexity of human societies for
all 250,000 years of our history. It’s the accumulation of more innovation
with each generation than is lost by the next. It allowed us to get better at foraging, spread
out across the world and adapt to the harshest of environments. It gave birth to agriculture, industry, and
every other revolutionary technology. But collective learning has its vital ingredients
with the number of potential innovators and the connectivity of information flows between
them. Globalization, in its broadest possible sense,
brought the previously separate world zones of Afro-Eurasia, the Americas, Australasia,
and the Pacific Island Societies together, with both positive andv negative impacts. Today we’ll look at how three things were
shaped in the earliest waves of globalization and how they revolutionised our pool of collective
learning, for better or for worse: printing, potatoes, and plagues. Previously in Crash Course Big History, we
looked at how humans spread out of Africa 64,000 years ago. We expanded across Asia over the next 20,000
years and even accomplished the astounding feat of settling Australia. We entered Europe and Siberia 40,000 to 25,000
years ago, and hunted animals across the Bering Strait and down into North and South America. These migrations weren’t so rapid in human
terms- they took thousands and thousands of years. Even though humans inhabited almost every
region of the globe, we didn’t maintain regular contacts between the major world zones. The Americas were isolated in many ways, and
for over 10,000 years, they developed and diversified into lots of different cultures,
eventually giving rise to agrarian states in Mesoamerica. Before Columbus, before the Vikings, and,
as some historians assert, before the Chinese sailed off the coasts of America, there were
thousands of years where the collective learning of the Americas was done entirely by the Americas. And we see surprisingly similar results in
the rest of the world. The origin of agriculture, the beginning of
states and empires, and the development of monumental architecture including pyramid
building happened independently. In Australasia and the Pacific, environments
were largely rich enough in resources for populations to thrive without agriculture. For instance, in Australia, humans engaged
in a practice called “fire-stick farming” which isn’t the plant and animal domestication
we usually refer to as agriculture. Instead it was foraging through the use of
setting large forest fires that would clear new pathways through the brush, kill and cook
a large amount of game, and take advantage of the round of rejuvenation that naturally
follows a forest fire. Early agriculture usually leads to a decline
in the living standards of the foragers who adopt it, in terms of malnutrition, back-breaking
labour, and the resulting diseases and famines. Humans only give up foraging when they are
trapped by a lack of new ecosystems or by population pressure. Or both. Australasia only developed agriculture in
Papua New Guinea. The largest world zone, Afro-Eurasia, had
a lot of advantages from the start in many ways. We group Africa, Europe, and Asia into one
world zone because there was transference of collective learning – even if it was halting
and rarely traversed long distances. For instance, the silk roads enabled trade
right from China to the West of Africa and to Europe for thousands of years. Most individual traders didn’t travel the
entire silk road, but piece by piece and trader by trader, goods and information would travel
the entire route. It wasn’t exactly a brimming information
super-highway but it was something! In the past 10,000 years, agriculture independently
arose in Afro-Eurasia several times: in the Fertile Crescent, in East Asia, and in West
Africa. Agricultural surplus gave rise to agrarian
states, which then slowly grew in size. So, now we’ve reached the first wave of
globalization. Starting with the sustained colonization of
the Americas over 500 years ago, continuing with the colonization of Australasia and the
Pacific 200 to 300 years ago, humanity once again united into a single global system. This had a profound effect on the pace of
collective learning. Unsurprisingly, the modern revolution soon
followed. Like globalization today, the impacts took
many forms. Some of them were positive and some of them
catastrophically negative and that brings us to those three P’s, printing, potatoes,
and plagues. Firstly, printing. While humanity has had collective learning
for 250,000 years, orally passing along knowledge from generation to generation, I think we
can agree it’s a major step forward to write something down. Sort of like a giant post it note for humanity,
we can capture things in text to remind ourselves of something in case we ever forget. Writing also allowed for the communication
of more complex and sometimes abstract ideas. Even with writing, the greatest limitation
on collective learning is the circulation of written works. Most information was still passed on orally. Literacy was relatively rare until the modern
era. The books that were produced had to be copied
out by hand which was a process that took a long time and could include numerous mistakes,
and it made books so expensive that they were essentially luxury goods. Printing first emerged in China around 200
BCE. Blocks of wood were carved with the imprint
the printer wanted to make on the page. It did mean, however, that each page had to
be skillfully carved, which ate up a lot of time when trying to compile a full book. Every page had a unique woodblock. Around 1050 CE, the Chinese invented movable
type, where different characters on clay tablets could be rearranged to create a new imprint. But the thousands of unique characters made
the process impractical for most printers. And until the 20th century, printing in China
was still dominated by the woodblock. In the 1200s, the Koreans developed their
own metal moveable type which was more efficient than clay tablets. There was no printing press of any kind, but
instead the paper was pressed onto the inked type with a wooden spatula. These methods allowed East Asia to circulate
way more copies of books than ever before, at a rate that was much more efficient than
manuscripts copied by hand. In the meantime, paper and printing filtered
down the silk roads into the Arab world and by 900 CE, book production had advanced dramatically. The Middle East mostly had hand-written books,
but printing undeniably played a role, copying and disseminating knowledge wider and faster,
even in its woodblock form. The Middle East widely used woodblock techniques
to stamp amulets and playing cards. This stamping practice eventually reached
Europe via the Crusades. In Europe, printing became more rapid thanks
to the combination of stamping an imprint on a page via moveable type and a press inspired
by the wine press. This had a profound impact on collective learning. When Gutenberg developed the printing press
around 1450, the largest library in Europe was in the Vatican, and it was around 2000
books. A few centuries later in the 1800s a well-to-do
middle class lawyer could easily compile a similarly sized collection. Book printing went into overdrive. In just the short span of 50 years, between
1450 and 1500, there were more books printed in Europe than had been hand-copied in the
past 600 years. Printing presses grew more and more efficient. By the 19th century when roller presses got
involved, book production was quick and cheap. Written knowledge became available to more
people. This fueled the scientific revolution, allowed
for rapid exchange of extremely complex ideas, and greatly enhanced the connectivity of information
between millions and millions of potential innovators. OK, onto the potato. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The potato, humble hero of collective learning,
is a root vegetable first domesticated in Mesoamerica when farming was first getting
started. It has many important advantages for agrarian
societies that literally live and die by the harvest. (1) Potatoes can grow in all sorts of climates
and environments. (2) They enrich the soil rather than completely
draining its nutrients. They’re a cheap source of energy for humans,
and unlike wheat, don’t take as much work to prepare. In fact, the potato gained the nickname, “ready-made
bread” for its miraculous properties in a world before TV dinners. Potatoes fostered and fed the agrarian societies
of Peru and Bolivia for thousands of years. In these environments it wasn’t possible
to grow that other American crop – maize. But I’ll stick to one side of the grocery
aisle for now. The potato was established in Europe in the
1500s, due to Spanish and other European sailors packing them to eat on their trips back from
the Americas. Its yields played a big role in the agricultural
revolution in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which was a vital pre-cursor for
the industrial revolution. What is less well known is how the potato
was also introduced into East Asia in the 1600s, where it was gradually adopted along
with other American crops like yams and maize, and helped to raise the carrying capacity
of the growing population. Some historians assert that the introduction
of the potato helped delay some of the worst famines in Asia by a century. And the potato raising the carrying capacity
of East Asia brings us back to collective learning. Printing may have enhanced connectivity, but
the potato led to a clear increase in the number of potential innovators. Thanks, Thought Bubble. But when talking about the history of potatoes
it’s important to mention the Irish Potato Famine, where reliance on mostly one vulnerable
kind of potato and government inaction led to the starvation or migration of millions
of people. Or its introduction into Africa where for
generations it was viewed as a symbol of colonial oppression. These are definitely negative impacts of early
globalization And on that cheerful note, let’s go onto
the last of our three P’s, which is definitely the least fun. Plagues. Afro-Eurasia, with its teeming populations
and domestication of animals again had the lead – this time, in disease. It’s thought that the plague of Justinian
in the 6th century CE and the Black Death in the 14th century CE both arose out of the
agrarian lifestyles of humans. And with higher population densities, these
diseases can spread rapidly. It didn’t help that Afro-Eurasia was united
by the silk roads which carried the Black Death across long distances. Starting in 14th century East Asia, it killed
an estimated 25 million people. It then may have been spread by Mongol armies
across the super-continent, where most famously the Mongols besieging the Crimean city of
Kaffa reportedly flung plague-ridden corpses over the city walls. Somehow plague eventually got picked up by
traders from Europe, where it killed one third to one half of the population. While Afro-Eurasia’s large populations may
have been great in terms of potential innovators, it also produced a greater number of deadly
diseases. And when those diseases were introduced to
the Americas, where people had not built up resistances over previous generations, the
results were horrific. Measles, smallpox, and other illnesses struck
the Americas, for which they had no natural immunity. And the diseases spread with such lightning
speed that illness sometimes swept through American populations faster than Europeans
moved inland. We can’t understate this catastrophe. While it is difficult to know for sure what
the pre-Columbian population of the Americas was, the mid-range estimate is that these
diseases killed about 50 million people within a hundred years. This tragedy had a clear impact on collective
learning. The tremendous loss of human life wiped out
a massive number of potential innovators for several generations. The loss of population that came with the
Columbian Exchange devastated the cultures of America, and crippled their ability to
contribute to humanity as a whole. As a result, European ideas came to dominate
in the Americas. This homogenisation of culture is a familiar
aspect of globalization, and it doesn’t always benefit the pace of collective learning. The loss of 50 million people is an overwhelming
tragedy not just for the Americas, but for humanity as a whole, and its repercussions
continue to be felt today. The process of early globalization, uniting
all the world zones, is not just important for human history, it’s also a crucial moment
for the unifying theme of 13.8 billion years of change. The acceleration of collective learning by
linking together the globe into a vibrant and rapidly expanding pool of knowledge was
vital to the continued transformation of complexity in our Universe. And globalization is a process that has not
stopped. It’s intensifying, with all the positive
and negative impacts involved. But with luck, and a lot of wisdom, hopefully
the continued story of globalization will avoid the horrific human costs of the past
and continue to weave us together in a world of 7 billion, increasingly well-informed and
interconnected innovators. It is, after all, what will determine our
future, and the outcome of the cosmic tale in our little corner of the Universe. Thanks for watching.


  • Reply WeedMIC July 13, 2017 at 8:48 am

    The library of alexandria had over 2m books – well before the christians burnt it down b/c they did not like the idea of a woman being in charge.

  • Reply TheIronSavior July 13, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I'm DEFINITELY showing this to a buddy of mine who is hardcore into Alex Jones.

  • Reply Shiftees July 13, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Can you feel the repercussions of a missed opportunity?

  • Reply 4nd7ew 9 11 33 69 88 July 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

    The only thing keeping the human race from being controlled absolutely by one entity is the divided regions and systems they have in place. Globalization will be impossible to achieve without giving one group of people complete financial control. With how the world is set up today International Bankers like (oh know I'm a conspiracy nut for even mentioning the name) Rothschild family which in the past called on Britain to recognize Israel as the Jewish State where Palestine once was. Palestinians are being killed to this day and their homes destroyed but you won't hear it on the Mainstream media. When you live in a capitalist country you allow the purchase of politicians and media. We cant talk about Globalization while our world is as chaotic as it is today and when you realize it's all controlled chaos you really understand that Globalization is the Bankers end goal. Most American don't know that the Federal Reserve is a separate party from the Federal Government. They don't teach it in school that set your kids up to go bankrupt in college. And even more people don't know that the same people that run the federal reserve run most other world governments through their financial systems. These same people are censoring are internet today and starting wars in the Middle East with your tax dollars. Stop fighting Israel's wars and talk about globalization when their corrupt reign of terror is overtaken by the people of earth as world citizens against corruption and terror.

  • Reply UFHoee July 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

    You know how good globalization is when you use the American colonies as an example.

  • Reply Tom Dalton July 13, 2017 at 10:10 am


  • Reply Daniel Macculloch July 13, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I don't really think that it is valid to say that the colonisation of the Americas and Australasia revolutionised the speed of collective learning. Surely ideas created by movements like the renasounce and prodistant reformation where more significant in the birth of the modern age.

  • Reply The LAN Cave July 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    The intro music is considerably louder than the narrator's voice. This is an issue particularly on headphones.

  • Reply Johny Ricco July 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Ugh so many mistakes. The potato originated in the Andes not Mesoamerica. The tuber that was a big hit in China was the sweet potato, a totally unrelated plant from tropical Central America. Yam is from Africa, not the Americas.

  • Reply Anindita Saktiaji July 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    JAVA i think belongs to Afro-Eurasia, due to it's habitat… And it's contact with a lot of cultures in Asia… Even building Empire with Asian-Indian Style – Majapahit….

  • Reply Stephen July 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    globalization is great.. in small doses
    i think this video overlooks the geopolitical landscape to make that point. there are a lot of dangers, you don't want to leave yourself open for another country to take advantage of you

  • Reply Rising Journey July 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    this eurocentric perspective on globalization is off putting. your facts might be correct, but check your content. I'm most offended by "columbian exchange". The more appropriate term is genocide.

  • Reply tfw no Bing account July 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    "if it doesn't agree with my opinion, then the comment section is just full of vicious ebil trolls"

    man up globalists and accept that people have differing views about your 'utopia'

  • Reply Metabeard July 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I love your jacket

  • Reply Jon Paior July 13, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    G'day… that's a Nope from me… it is not called a forest fire. It is called a "bushfire" not forest, not brush… it's a "bushfire"

  • Reply Roy Riley July 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Okay Crash Course Left. The native peoples of America had the same value as anyone based on their Humanity. Therefore you do not need to force false value on them by making the absurd assumption that with a relatively smaller and less advanced population they would have contributed as much as European or Asian cultures of the time towards technological innovation. If you base your valuation on this false assumption then when it falls through you are left with the conclusion that the genocide was positive!? But hey, maybe you would have sped the process of innovation among the Native Americans by kidnapping all the children of a generation and educating them in European schools? Too bad no one ever had this idea.

  • Reply Trash kills July 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Key word "early".

  • Reply john pardon July 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    not sure if the loss of indian lives was that bad. i mean, people dying sucks. but if they where still there conflict between those groups could have an even worst effect.

  • Reply Der Absender July 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Ouh those massive double edged swords which divide humanity, you are quite numerous.

  • Reply Friederich Huepfenstolz July 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Isn't the map at 1:56 a patent hoax?

  • Reply Mert Su July 13, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Oy vey, its science kids, ther mus be onr bank and one government goyim. Listen to this colorful presentation kids!

  • Reply Q-Hack! July 13, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Only one point of contention with this video… It wasn't the inaction of the Irish government, but rather that active suppression of the mostly Catholic poor with the Penal Laws, that lead up to the great famine of Ireland.

  • Reply The Biscuits July 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm


  • Reply RoanCarter July 14, 2017 at 12:51 am


  • Reply Heliogabalus Roses July 14, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Globalization to the point it is now is work of satan. Hope all u capitalist pigs die in hell.

  • Reply M. O. July 14, 2017 at 4:26 am

    I don't even care about the back and forth going on in the comment section. I'm here to figure out where the blazer with Dinos came from and how do I get my hands on similar attire?!

  • Reply matthewtryba July 14, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Am I the only one who can't find a Crash Course Big History Season 2 playlist on their channel?

  • Reply OMG Silvernight July 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

    You only ever meet your self !

  • Reply CrackHouse Librarian July 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    320 propagated anti-globalists who thought: "I already know what this is going to say and it's wrong because that's what I've been told!"

  • Reply reed scott July 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    The predominant present day aspect of globalization is the exponential growth of bureaucracy. As men find out that monstrous mega-structures of government cannot possibly manage the intricacies of huge complex societies leading to failure after failure …. their answer is more government, stricter control and the police state.

    Free market capitalism, though messy will always arrive at higher functioning systems. Globalists reject this and the world is suffering for it. Globalism as far as information sharing is advantageous however as presently conceived will bring about revolution, uprising and chaos as people refuse to be herded like cattle and forced into serfdom living on government handouts.

    Modern day globalists are nothing more than the latest form of command and control oligarchy. What we once called communism.

  • Reply Vigilant Sycamore July 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Printing press? Booze. Clear glass for scientific instruments? Dutch booze.
    Conclusion: Europe = Booze

  • Reply ncooty July 14, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    @2:30 It's a bit ironic to show a rabbit as part of a pre-colonial version of Australian land management.

  • Reply ncooty July 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    @10:08 "We can't understate this catastrophe." I think you mean you can't overstate it or you shouldn't understate it, but you can all too easily understate it.

  • Reply Billy Te July 14, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    10:00 Why is that guy drinking from the other guy through a straw???

  • Reply Andrew Benner July 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Sources? I've never heard these parts of history called globalization. The last minute was nothing but baseless assertion. And I have heard of the term "collective learning" in one TED talk period.

  • Reply Samuel Hauptmann van Dam July 15, 2017 at 12:44 am

    The writing needs more jokes and she needs to use her voice more nuanced. Nicole as an example does.

    And Craig and John most certainly have the jokes down. The theme is insanely interesting though. 🙂 Just trying to give some constructive criticism.

  • Reply Emily July 15, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Is anyone else having difficulty seeing the newest Big History videos under the Big History Playlist? Under the videos tab, I'm able to see all the new Big History videos. However when I go to the playlist tab, select the Big History Playlist, none of the new videos are set up on that queue. All of the other playlists like Film History or Computer Science show when they were last updated right below the image/icon of the playlist. However Big History doesn't say it's updated nor is it close to all the other playlists that are creating new content.

  • Reply John Payne July 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Why would agriculture arise independently in several locations around the same time? Perhaps the growing population began to put pressure on migratory habits.

  • Reply Oliver Bollmann July 16, 2017 at 3:47 am

    "… which is definitively the least fun. <cheery voice>Plagues!</cheery voice>" 😀

  • Reply jay5729 July 16, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Collective learning has come to a screeching halt now that truth has no meaning to a large swath of the population.

  • Reply jay5729 July 16, 2017 at 6:34 am

    7:46 flying Karamozov Brothers reference?

  • Reply C K July 17, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Another well presented video…

    But WTF White balance?

  • Reply Richard Pepper July 17, 2017 at 4:04 am

    You mean either "We can't OVERstate this catastrophe." or "We SHOULD NOT understate it.", but not "We can't UNDERstate it."

  • Reply killerlork July 17, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    The Irish potato famine; we still haven't recovered. Before 1840 the human population of Ireland was ~8 million, today it has only managed to get to ~4.5 million.

  • Reply J0cked July 17, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Do these alex jones/trump followers just see the letter combination "global" and immediately start making incoherent comments compulsively?

  • Reply TheJamesRedwood July 17, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    So NZ isn't Australasia? Interesting.

  • Reply James Burke July 18, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Total comments on globalisation in the video remains at 0.

  • Reply Peizxcv July 18, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Americas have 20,000 years to innovate but no, they have to wait till European colonialism in 1500s to potentially innovate and contribute to humanity. This is just politically correct historical revisionism. We are talking about people that haven't invented the wheel and bronze contributing to humanity only if they didn't all die.

  • Reply Ken Me July 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I applaud your manners, but why is everyone always thanking those thought bubbles?

  • Reply Keith Gaughan July 18, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Regarding the Great Famine, as it's known here in Ireland, it's worth noting why such a reliance happened in the first place:

    Irish peasant farmers were effectively serfs, and were only allowed to farm crops and raise livestock that were not wanted for export, and even then only to the extent that they didn't negatively impact the profits of the landlord. The Lumper was an extraordinarily good potato, giving excellent crop yields on even very marginal land, and as potatoes are almost a complete food, when supplemented by other traditional staples such as buttermilk, bacon, and cabbage, lead to a healthy population, in spite of the conditions they had to live in. IIRC, Irish people were, at the time, some of the tallest people in Europe.

    Of course, this health in spite of circumstances, masked a timebomb. When the blight hit, it hit hardest in Ireland. The British government at the time wasn't solely to blame. In fact, I'd put a lot of the blame within the British government at the feet of Sir Charles Trevelyan, who regarded the famine as '[an] effective mechanism for reducing surplus population'. Keep in mind that, at the time, the population of the island of Ireland was half that of England, whereas it is now 1/8 the size. He certainly achieved his wishes.

    Added to that, and arguably as culpable, where the landlords, who didn't want to divert profitable crops to feed the very people farming those crops for them. Right throughout the famine, Ireland was still the UK's bread basket.

  • Reply EDUARDO BEDOY July 20, 2017 at 12:35 am

    i don't know how you can explain Globalization in terms of the Americas without talking about to its relationship to Imperialism. It just doesn't make sense, European belief in their superiority was used to justify Imperialism, this is a greater factor for the destruction of the Knowledge from the Americas and its people then Globalization itself could ever be.

  • Reply Lauty Bend July 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    I love Emily's accent <3

  • Reply Onkel Jajus Bahn July 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Very interresting video, I love how unbiased, well researched, interresting and packed with new information it is. Thanks, keep up your great work. This is definitely a good side of globalization, that I can watch videos from America here in Austria.

  • Reply warcraftnut1354 July 28, 2017 at 9:04 am

    You said Mongols and there was no montage! I feel it should've been put in.

  • Reply jjoe50020023 July 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    nationalism best way to go

  • Reply Smufter16 July 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    If the definition of "globalization" is restricted to trade and sharing of ideas then I agree it is a good thing. However, if "globalization" is one world government, one world currency, mixing of populations to eliminate the races, and destroying countries thru forced immigration and international banking. Then no….H#LL No!!!

  • Reply Stephen Briddon July 30, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    More please?

  • Reply Johnny Darcalli August 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    She obviously does not understand what the term 'globalization' means.
    More Marxist-inspired twisting of words to warp the minds of the weak.
    Enjoy your servitude, plebs.

  • Reply Jonathan Shah Jahan August 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    This series is so dope

  • Reply barbarian jk August 9, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Hi! There's a mistake in the video. Potatoes were domesticated in the Andes, not in Mesoamerica. It'd have been a chance to mention that other cultural area as well, which I see is often ignored or left aside.

  • Reply Goyo el Pollo August 15, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Why not new video Emily? Please let me know.

  • Reply Sassy Books August 16, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Perfect explanation on why we, as Americans, are Eurocentric! Of course, there was Little cross cultural learning between Americans and Europeans so the more numerous population made the lasting effect. Duh! It's obvious if you think about it! But we often don't stop to wonder how things might have been different….

    Question? What was happening in Africa? Stereotyping in many history books over the last 100 years or more (up to and including 20 years ago for me) doesnt mention Africa's contributions to the World Zone's collective learning unless it's the Egyptian Civilization or the diaspora of early humans. Both great! But that's not all, is it? Only recently have I heard and in one sentence here are the West African Empire(s?) mentioned. Nubia? Ivory coast? Further south? Any information to expand in what context these regions added to Collective Learning? Only After(?) slave trade? Arab influence? Colonization? Just curious! Cause I've no idea When these regions might have added to Collective Learning and to what extent.

    And maybe more rounded information about influence of/on Eastern Europe and the Steppes and SE Asia. SOME of these areas (like central Africa) were not densely populated so, I'd have to Assume that's why history texts skip over them. True? I don't know!

    It would be nice if we all understood the influences Every culture had in the development of All the others. Thanks for what you do! Ya'll never FTBA!

  • Reply Manuel Falcon August 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Hey Emily, John, Hank!I believe I'm not the only one wondering what's happening with this series! care to elsborate? It's been over 1 month now

  • Reply Ben Sanders August 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    Is this the end of the series? We are going on 6 weeks without a new episode, last gap was ~2 weeks. I'm enjoying this return to the big history ideas, please keep it alive.

  • Reply Prerna Singh September 1, 2017 at 6:25 am

    desperately waiting for new big history 2 episodes !

  • Reply Robert Rodgers September 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Outstanding eipsideo! Thank You!

  • Reply Alice G September 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    What was the human population before the spread of disease in the Americas? Wondering what % loss was. Thanks!

  • Reply Oleksandr Honcharov September 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    the series finished..?

  • Reply kp1flush October 3, 2017 at 10:29 am

    who is this host? she's great

  • Reply Len Arends October 12, 2017 at 5:30 am

    The "Big History" seasons aren't listed on the Crash Course playlist page, and there hasn't been a new episode in two months … what's going on?

  • Reply ninjammer726 October 23, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    awesome video thanks guys

  • Reply Federico Jimbo Smithson October 29, 2017 at 7:33 am

    guns, germs & steel

  • Reply Motz 94 October 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

    CrashCourse BigHistory should be a mandatory subject in high school for everybody!! It broadens your horizons which makes you IMHO a better human being making you see the big picture of the universe, evolution, human history, how it all unfolded
    (or at least trying to)

  • Reply Ben Quinney October 30, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I boil potatoes

  • Reply PSFUOM December 2, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Collective Learning ? Please call it "Culture".

  • Reply motley416 February 11, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Globalization is something different than Globalism, which, is the continuing task of the most powerful people on the planet to reduce the rest of us to abject servitude with no rights, no self determination, and no relevance exceeding that cattle. This video is more about the roll played by collective learning, the black plague, and potatoes in globalization, which is the increasing integration of different areas of the world into a global economy. I find the confusion of these two words understandable and amusing. I am glad people are leery of what might go horribly wrong as thing progress. They should be.

  • Reply Dr. Atom March 21, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    God, Emily is so gorgeous!!

  • Reply Abdullah March 25, 2018 at 9:24 am


  • Reply Alicia Teele April 18, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I love this channel, but I’m a little concerned by the over simplification of a very important matter in this video. I’m very curious to know how many people understand that the destruction of indigenous and colonized populations was intentional. It wasn’t simply a chance byproduct of globalization. This is a vital fact to consider when discussing “globalization.”

  • Reply Alcaeus89 June 13, 2018 at 11:32 am

    John Green might as well be the one presenting every video on crash course, because every host annunciates and structures the flow of their speaking just like he does.

  • Reply David Luesink July 3, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    You lost me when you said "as some historians assert, before the Chinese sailed off the coasts of America." There are no historians of China (including in China) who assert this, only a publicity-seeking hoaxer (Gavin Menzies) with no knowledge of Chinese, and nothing more than fake maps and a feeling in his left hip that the Chinese must have sailed to America because there are currents that would take them there.

  • Reply Alexey Evseev July 24, 2018 at 12:27 am

    Great ending, thank you very much!

  • Reply Brian Hutzell August 3, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Recommended reading for this lesson: “The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century“ by Thomas Friedman. You may not agree with everything Friedman has to say—I know I don’t—but the book is a fascinating examination of globalization and its effects.

  • Reply EVZYL August 11, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Emily SUCKS. Please go back to the original John Green approach: just verifiable facts. Please NO more sanctimonious glorification of the 'noble indigeni' who were killed, speculation about the glorious works they could have produced had they survived. What are you referring to, Emily? Have you conveniently forgotten about their 'glorious' history of human sacrifices? Countless innocent children dragged up volcanoes and turned into mummies there?

  • Reply Irfan Ali August 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Wondering if there are citiations or sources we could use for further research. Please help.

  • Reply Ramiro Montecinos August 25, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Potatos are not from mesoamerica, they come from the andes plateau, in south america, precisely where Bolivia and Perú are. Another detail, maíz was widely consumed in south america, since it was also a native plant on the región…. and with potatos, the base of the andes gastronomy…

  • Reply Donna Brooks September 9, 2018 at 12:38 am

    Why the mention of the claim of Chinese people off the coast of South America, when there is little evidence of this, but no mention of the Norsemen who actually colonized North America long before Columbus?? Or did I just miss that part? That's a much more substantiated claim. There's physical evidence and although they didn't stay permanently, neither did the Chinese (IF they even made it to the Americas, which I doubt, due to the sheer size of the Pacific, and, again, the lack of evidence of which I'm aware). The Vikings were people of the sea, and they traveled the North Atlantic in shorter segments, moving from Iceland to Greenland to North America and colonizing as they went. The Chinese were not known for being people of the sea. The Japanese, maybe, but I just don't believe the Chinese made it across the Pacific.

  • Reply Donna Brooks September 9, 2018 at 12:46 am

    I was also surprised you didn't mention the Columbian Exchange, since that started the whole devastation of ecosystems from the spread of invasive species which is still continuing today!! That's had a huge impact on other species (driving species to extinction or near extinction), and Big History isn't just about humans! We are now fighting everywhere to protect native species and to remove or control invasive species. I could do a video about this myself (Asian carp, the kakapo, kudzu, garlic mustard, the introduction of cats and other carnivores, Japanese honeysuckle, the Emerald Ash Borer, the American chestnut, etc.), but you guys could do it so much better with your animations. Plus you might know of examples I don't.

  • Reply David Mithen September 24, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Recently revealed personal accounts from the early European settlers include observations of farming practices being used in Australia. There were selective grasses grown for grain and grinding stones that have been dated before the Egyptians started. Unfortunately the English law at the time required a status of terra nullis to claim the new found land. The grasses grown were better adapted to the harsh Australian climate but with the introduction of grazing sheep and cattle the grasses were eaten out.

  • Reply Engr Sehrish September 26, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Globalization is a good concepts for world, but only if national interests are not hampered.

  • Reply Arya Pourtabatabaie November 14, 2018 at 6:31 am

    5:50 The Middle East is not “the Arab World” goddammit.

  • Reply Jackson Mccreery November 29, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Yeah, the irish potato famine was at least 60% england's fault.

  • Reply Scott Mitrasing January 19, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    The Death of the Native americans was invetable if a chinese ship landed first the same thing would have happend

  • Reply dietofsteamedhams January 31, 2019 at 3:55 am

    in ROB we trust

  • Reply Jimmy Neutron February 7, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Someone needs to calm down these mad bois down in the comments

  • Reply Kannan Ravinther April 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Fire-stick farming is interesting bcs it gave a lot of food and also rejuvenates the forest ….and also potato is great ,cheap source of energy

  • Reply hadley bayley May 6, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Isn't the host just amazing though? Emily, if I could have babies, I would bare them for you.

  • Reply AGENT OF JUSTICE May 31, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    thank you SO MUCH for the big history series

  • Reply Anna Young June 25, 2019 at 5:15 am

    As a teacherr, the commentary runs too fast to really have students grasp what is being taught. The jump from one topic to another also makes this very confusing to the point of being rather dull. The cute computer graphics just don't cut it.

  • Reply Stella Maris July 29, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide.

    As a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalization is considered by some as a form of capitalist expansion which entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy.

    Globalization has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology.

    With the increased global interactions comes the growth of international trade, ideas, and culture.

    Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects.

    However, conflicts and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and modern globalization.

    Economically, globalization involves goods, services, the economic resources of capital, technology, and data.

    Also, the expansions of global markets liberalize the economic activities of the exchange of goods and funds.

    Removal of cross-border trade barriers has made formation of global markets more feasible.

    The steam locomotive, steamship, jet engine, and container ships are some of the advances in the means of transport while the rise of the telegraph and its modern offspring, the Internet and mobile phones show development in telecommunications infrastructure.

    All of these improvements have been major factors in globalization and have generated further interdependence of economic and cultural activities around the globe.

    Though many scholars place the origins of globalization in modern times, others trace its history long before the European Age of Discovery and voyages to the New World, some even to the third millennium BC.

    Large-scale globalization began in the 1820s.

    In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the connectivity of the world's economies and cultures grew very quickly.

    The term globalization is recent, only establishing its current meaning in the 1970s.

    In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge.

    Further, environmental challenges such as global warming, cross-boundary water, air pollution, and over-fishing of the ocean are linked with globalization.

    Globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, socio-cultural resources, and the natural environment.

    Academic literature commonly subdivides globalization into three major areas: economic globalization, cultural globalization, and political globalization.

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