Regional History

To get a complete and comparative picture of world history, it is very important to study regional history as well. Regional history is a method where you learn about the history of various countries during the same time span and then compare the common aspects. 

Historians also lay stress on the fact that historical developments cannot be studied in isolation. It is very important to study history countrywise and at the same time analyze them globally. Many historians focus on the patterns of political leadership and the rise and fall of empires in various countries while exploring regional history.

The empires that flourished around the Mediterranean, the Ganges and the Yellow River by the last centuries BCE are vital chapters of regional history.

The Ganges valley in India saw the rise of the illustrious Mauryan Empire. The Pandyas ruled southern India simultaneously. At the same time, The Qin and Han dynasties were the imperial rulers of China and brought about political stability and communication development in their country. Emporer Wu also created monopoly states in China.

Moving to the western world, the Ancient Greeks were then busy building a culture that would change modern western civilization forever.

Around the 3rd century BCE, the Roman Empire began to rise by territorial invasions and colonization. By the end of the 1st century, Roman Emperor Augustus was the undisputed monarch of the Mediterranean.

Egypt rose to prominence with the consolidation of Nile Valley politics around 3500 BC and is said to have come to decline in 30 BC when the early Roman Empire invaded and took over Ptolemaic Egypt.

The great empires rose to glory based on their military might and the world saw times of agricultural prosperity, political stability and international trade. These regional civilizations also shared common problems like the cost of maintaining huge military reserves and a centralized bureaucracy. The peasants had to suffer for these expenses while the corrupt landowners fleeced them and cleverly evaded taxes.

If the rise of the mighty empires formed a significant chapter of regional history, the picture remains incomplete without an analysis of their fall. Barbarian incursions were the reason for the civil unrest in the Han Empire in 220 CE. Their Roman counterpart also lost the centralized stability due to the same reason. At the same time Eurasia, America and North Africa saw the rise and fall of various empires.
The disintegration of the Roman Empire brought great instability in Europe. However, the spread of Christianity westward from the Middle East brought some unity. The Western Roman Empire was taken over by various Germanic tribes in the 5th century who however owed collective allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.

The eastern region of the Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire continued under a centralized leadership. Western Europe again saw some stability under the Holy Roman Empire.

Similarly, dynasties came and went in China — The Sui Dynasty Tang Dynasty, Northern Song Dynasty and the Mongol Empire, to name some. India saw the rise and fall of the Guptas and the Dravidian empires like the Cheras, Cholas, and Pandyas etc.

In Central America, the Maya and the Aztecs in Mesoamerica were some of the most prominent native empires. In South America, the Incas dominated for a long time.  The rise of Islam in the 7th century also led to the growth of religious empires in India, the Middle East and North Africa.

All these civilizations are vital to the study of history. Hence, regional history is an essential part of any history curriculum.

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