Why did early civilizations form around river valleys?
Early civilizations formed around river valleys because of the fertile soil for farming, fresh water for drinking, and for fishing. The Indus Valley Civilization sprung up around the Indus and Sarawati Rivers. Both of these rivers flooded gently and reliably, which made the people have a sense of security and well-being. Mesopotamia developed around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. These two rivers flooded unpredictably, leading the Mesopotamians to view their gods as capricious. Ancient Egypt centered around the Nile River which flooded predictably like the Indus and Sarawati Rivers. The Ancient Egyptians viewed their gods as benevolent and predictable as a result of their relationship with the Nile.
What are the four factors of production, and name an example of each?
The four factors of production are land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurs. The factors of production are what is needed to produce. Land describes natural resources--petroleum, coal, water, crops, lumber, anything that comes from the land, and is used to produce or provide a final food or service. Labor refers to the work that people do. For example, a realtor showing a house to a client, a baker creating a wedding cake, or a cashier ringing up shoppers. There are two types of capital--human capital or physical capital (also known as capital goods). Human capital is the knowledge and training which individuals have which enables them to do a job. For example, doctors attending medical school, new hire training at a retail store or restaurant, or culinary training for a chef. Physical capital, or capital goods refers to any good used to make a final product or provide a service. A milkshake machine at a fast food restaurant, an oven at a cupcake shop, or a lawnmower for a landscaping company. Finally, an entrepreneur is someone who takes a risk by starting a business. Generally an entrepreneur has a new idea for a product or service. Small business owners are entrepreneurs. Some famous examples of entrepreneurs are Oprah, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Henry Ford.
How did the Protestant Reformation change the course of history?
The Protestant Reformation changed the course of history in general by making people question authority and traditionally-held beliefs. The Protestant Reformation started in 1517 when a German monk named Martin Luther frustrated with the Church's selling of indulgences wrote his 95 Theses. Historians debate whether he nailed them to a church door or not, but they do not debate the effects of the Reformation on history. Luther was by no means the first person who had protested the Church with the hopes of reform. However, the Renaissance and Gutenberg's invention of the movable type printing press had created a climate in Europe which was open to new ideas. The Renaissance had led Europeans to be more interested in the secular. The Gutenberg press meant that information could be spread more quickly, and more Europeans were literate. Eventually, the Catholic Church responded with the Counter-Reformation, but the seeds of dissent were firmly planted in the Europe. During the Scientific Revolution visionary scientists like Copernicus, Newton, and Bacon questioned fallacious and commonly held beliefs about almost every aspect of the Earth and the Solar System. Then came the Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, where thinkers like Voltaire. Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau theorized about Freedom of Speech and Religion, Natural Rights, Separation of Powers, and Social Contract Theory. Without the Enlightenment, the Age of Revolutions would not have happened, and most of Europe would still be ruled by absolute monarchs. Additionally, without the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution would not have happened. Many of the ideas and inventions which have most impacted society came out of the Industrial Revolution--beliefs about capitalism, communism, the steam engine. hydroelectricity, the list could go on and on. Without the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism would not have happened and World War I would have played out very differently. If World War I had been less devastating or had been won by the Central Powers, World War II probably would not have happened. Without World War II, the Cold War may not have happened. Ultimately, the Protestant Reformation changed the entire course of history. The events it led to in Europe affected the rest of the world via colonialism, imperialism, and the World Wars. There is no way of knowing how many events would not have happened or would have happened differently if the Protestant Reformation had not taken place. After the initial blow to the Church's power which took place during the Reformation, the Church has continued to become less powerful in Europe, as European society became more focused on the secular.