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IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23

IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23 : BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022 , BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23, BHIC 106 Assignment 2022-23 , BHIC 106 Assignment, IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23 IGNOU Assignments 2022-23- Gandhi National Open University had recently uploaded the assignments of the present session for MEG Programme for the year 2022-23. Students are recommended to download their Assignments from this webpage itself.

IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2023 (if enrolled in the July 2022 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2023 (if enrolled in the January 2023 session).

Assignment – I

1. Discuss Takahashi and Rodney Hilton’s views on the debate on transition from feudalism to capitalism. 

Ans. The debate on the transition from feudalism to capitalism, originally published in Science and Society in the early 1950s, is one of the most famous episodes in the development of Marxist historiography since the war. It ranged such distinguished contributors as Maurice Dobb, Paul Sweezy, Kohachiro Takahshi and Christopher Hill against each other in a common, critical discussion. Verso has now published the complete texts of the original debate, to which subsequent discussion has returned again and again, together with significant new materials produced by historians since then. These include articles on the same themes by such French and Italian historians as Georges Lefebvre and Giuliano Procacci.

The crucial theoretical influence on Hilton and most other British Communist historians formed during the 1940s and 1950s came from Maurice Dobb’s Studies in the development of capitalism, first published in 1946, which proposed a model of the feudal mode of production that became the theoretical benchmark for all subsequent debates over the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Dobb followed Marx’s Capital in explaining England’s ‘truly revolutionary path’ to capitalism through class struggle—the ‘prime mover’—and class differentiation in terms of property rights to land, and defined the historical and theoretical problems with which Hilton grappled throughout his life as a historian. Marx’s theory of history rests on three pillars: a theory of class determination and class struggle; a theory of technological development; and a theory of the state, which—since the state requires a surplus to operate effectively—must include a political economy of markets.

However, for complex political and historiographical reasons that cannot be explored here, Dobb based his model on class struggle alone. This gave rise to two serious weaknesses in his and his followers’ approach to the transition from feudalism to capitalism. First, Dobb’s model was devised in essence to explain the transition to capitalism, that is, to explain why the feudal mode of production was destined to fail in a ‘general crisis’ vaguely dated between the fourteenth and the seventeenth century. Dobb argued that this failure was caused by systemic disincentives to capital accumulation and innovation, including peasant over-exploitation; but he did not have a convincing explanation for why the feudal mode of production had been capable of expanding, territorially, economically and technologically, for more than half a millennium before the crisis. The absence of a positive theory of development—which is a central feature of the Marxist theory of history and which must, ultimately, be mediated by some kind of scarcity-based transactions—probably also expressed the ‘anti-market bias’ that coloured Dobb’s views of socialist planned economies when he wrote the Studies in the 1930s and 1940s. At that time, as he subsequently recalled, he underestimated ‘the role of prices and economic incentives’ in socialist economies, and his view of the feudal economy was clearly analogous. That bias, and the subordination of positive incentives and markets in Dobb’s scheme were reinforced by his subsequent debate with the American Marxist economist Paul Sweezy, a debate that made canonical the misleading theoretical alternative among Marxists between long-distance trade as an exogenous, independent cause of change, or ‘prime mover’, and petty commodity production as an endogenous source of historical evolution.

2. Comment on the nature of trade and exchange in the sixteenth century.

Ans. In private communication, a prominent historian suggested that our debate with O’Rourke and Williamson in the April 2004 issue of the European Review of Economic History – on the birth of globalization – seems like a sporting event in which players invent rules while the game is underway. The metaphor is apt in that contrasting definitions of the term ‘globalization’ have indeed led inevitably to divergent conclusions regarding whether globalization was born in the 16th century ((Flynn and Giráldez 2004) or in the early-nineteenth century when certain prices converged (O’Rourke and Williamson 2004).

 Tea, silk, and porcelain were traded for wool, tin, lead, and silver. Slowly various goods from the East became available to the wealthy elite of Europe.  These goods were rare and considered luxury items.

Although trade between the East and West goes back thousands of years to the treacherous land crossing called the Silk Road, by the 16th century countries were establishing less dangerous and more profitable sea routes for important trade between Asia and Europe.  In China during the reign of the Kangxi emperor, 1661 to 1722, there was a great expansion in trade between the East and West.   In the 16th century, European mariner adventurers and traders explored the world in search of wealth and new shipping routes; in the 17th century these sea trade routes were firmly established.  The Dutch, British, and Portuguese vied with each other to cement trade relationships by sending ambassadors, emissaries, and expensive gifts from the royal courts of Europe to the Imperial courts of China.  The Portuguese dominated this trade in the 16th century, the Dutch in the early to mid-17th century, and the English arrived at the end of the 17th century.

During this time porcelain was produced only in China.  The secret ingredient, kaolin, and the process of high firing, was unknown to the rest of the world. Porcelain was prized for its strength, translucence, and its pure white color.  Porcelain was so associated with its origin, that  this expensive and important ceramic came to be known simply as “china,” “fine china,” or “china ware.”

In the 17th century, China began to create porcelain specifically intended for sale on the European market. Some of the earliest pieces of this “export” porcelain, Kraakware, dates to the late Ming dynasty, just before the Kangxi period.  The name “Kraakware” is believed to have come from Portuguese merchant ships called “carracks,” a type of masted sailing ship.  Kraakware is always decorated in underglaze blue and often characterized by a central image of flowers, birds, or animals, surrounded by panels with Chinese or other symbols. Porcelains decorated with different colored enamels became available in the mid-17th century, which coincided with the use of European motifs and subject matter on Chinese-produced goods that were intended for sale in the West.  Around 1740 Europeans began to send engravings to China for custom-decorated services. These often very large sets of tablewares bore beautiful hand-painted monograms, armorial crests, or more elaborate allegorical subject matter and even religious scenes such as the nativity. The market for these Eastern items created a fad in Europe for Chinese taste and decoration, called “Chinoiserie.”  The majority of pieces had a flower pattern that may have incorporated a beautiful landscape or figures in a pastoral scene.  This fad and these motifs were so lasting, that even though they are no longer the height of fashion, they are still produced and used today.  These small articles, originally made for everyday use by the aristocracy and rich burghers, have risen to being regarded as works of art in their own right. They tie us in the 21st century to the superlative handmade craftmanship of the past, and the incredible sea-roads these pieces travelled to be collected and revered for so long.


IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23

Assignment – II

3. How do you understand the rural base for the commercial revolution?

Ans. The Commercial Revolution consisted of the creation of a European economy based on trade, which began in the 11th century and lasted until it was succeeded by the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century. Beginning with the Crusades, Europeans rediscovered spices, silks, and other commodities rare in Europe. This development created a new desire for trade, and trade expanded in the second half of the Middle Ages (roughly 1000 to 1500 AD). Newly forming European states, through voyages of discovery, were looking for alternative trade routes in the 15th and 16th centuries, which allowed the European powers to build vast, new international trade networks. Nations also sought new sources of wealth and practiced mercantilism and colonialism. The Commercial Revolution is marked by an increase in general commerce, and in the growth of financial services such as banking, insurance and investing.

The term itself was used by Karl Polanyi in his The Great Transformation: “Politically, the centralized state was a new creation called forth by the Commercial Revolution. Later the economic historian Roberto Sabatino Lopez, used it to shift focus away from the English Industrial Revolution. In his best-known book, The Commercial Revolution of the Middle Ages (1971, with numerous reprints), Lopez argued that the key contribution of the medieval period to European history was the creation of a commercial economy between the 11th and the 14th century, centered at first in the Italo-Byzantine eastern Mediterranean, but eventually extending to the Italian city-states and over the rest of Europe. This kind of economy ran from approximately the 14th century through the 18th century. Walt Whitman Rostow placed the beginning “arbitrarily” in 1488, the year the first European sailed around the Cape of Good Hope. Most historians, including scholars such as Robert Sabatino Lopez, Angeliki Laiou, Irving W. Raymond, and Peter Spufford indicate that there was a commercial revolution of the 11th through 13th centuries, or that it began at this point, rather than later.

4. Discuss the link between science and the Renaissance. 

Ans. During the Renaissance, great advances occurred in geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, manufacturing, anatomy and engineering. The collection of ancient scientific texts began in earnest at the start of the 15th century and continued up to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the invention of printing allowed a faster propagation of new ideas. Nevertheless, some have seen the Renaissance, at least in its initial period, as one of scientific backwardness. Historians like George Sarton and Lynn Thorndike criticized how the Renaissance affected science, arguing that progress was slowed for some amount of time. Humanists favored human-centered subjects like politics and history over study of natural philosophy or applied mathematics. More recently, however, scholars have acknowledged the positive influence of the Renaissance on mathematics and science, pointing to factors like the rediscovery of lost or obscure texts and the increased emphasis on the study of language and the correct reading of texts.

Marie Boas Hall coined the term Scientific Renaissance to designate the early phase of the Scientific Revolution, 1450–1630. More recently, Peter Dear has argued for a two-phase model of early modern science: a Scientific Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, focused on the restoration of the natural knowledge of the ancients; and a Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, when scientists shifted from recovery to innovation.

5. Comment on the rise of the print culture and Reformation.

Ans. China, Japan and Korea developed the earliest kind of print technology, which was a system of hand printing. Books in China were printed by rubbing paper from AD 594 and both the sides of the book were folded and stitched. China for a long time was the major producer of printed material. China started conducting civil service examinations for its bureaucrats and its textbooks were printed in vast numbers. Print was no longer confined to scholar-officials. Merchants used print while collecting their trade information. Reading became a part of leisure activity and rich women started publishing their own poetry and plays. This new reading culture attracted new technology. In the late 19th century, Western printing techniques and mechanical presses were imported.

Print in Japan

Hand-printing technology was introduced by Buddhist missionaries from China into Japan around AD 768-770. The Buddhist Diamond Sutra is the oldest Japanese book, printed in AD 868, containing six sheets of text and woodcut illustrations. Printing of visual material led to interesting publishing practices. In the late 19th century, illustrative collections of paintings depicted an elegant urban culture and libraries and bookstores were packed with hand-printed material of various types – books on women, musical instruments, etc.

Print revolution is not only a new way of producing books it transformed the lives of people, changing their relationship to information and knowledge, and with institutions and authorities.

A New Reading Public

The cost of books was reduced due to the print revolution. Markets were flooded with books reaching out to an ever-growing readership. It created a new culture of reading. Earlier, elites are only permitted to read books and common people used to hear sacred texts readout. Before the print revolution, books were expensive. But, the transition was not as simple as books could only be read by the literate. Printers started publishing popular ballads and folk tales illustrated with pictures for those who did not read. Oral culture entered print and printed material were orally transmitted.

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IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23

Assignment – III

6. Maritime Insurance 

Ans. Marine insurance covers the loss or damage of ships, cargo, terminals, and any transport by which the property is transferred, acquired, or held between the points of origin and the final destination. Cargo insurance is the sub-branch of marine insurance, though Marine insurance also includes Onshore and Offshore exposed property, (container terminals, ports, oil platforms, pipelines), Hull, Marine Casualty, and Marine Liability. When goods are transported by mail or courier, shipping insurance is used instead.

In December 1901 and January 1902, at the direction of archaeologist Jacques de Morgan, Father Jean-Vincent Scheil, OP found a 2.25 meter (or 88.5 inch) tall basalt or diorite stele in three pieces inscribed with 4,130 lines of cuneiform law dictated by Hammurabi (c. 1792–1750 BC) of the First Babylonian Empire in the city of Shush, Iran. Code of Hammurabi Law 100 stipulated repayment by a debtor of a loan to a creditor on a schedule with a maturity date specified in written contractual terms. Laws 101 and 102 stipulated that a shipping agent, factor, or ship charterer was only required to repay the principal of a loan to their creditor in the event of a net income loss or a total loss due to an Act of God. Law 103 stipulated that an agent, factor, or charterer was by force majeure relieved of their liability for an entire loan in the event that the agent, factor, or charterer was the victim of theft during the term of their charterparty upon provision of an affidavit of the theft to their creditor.

7. The ‘Great Discoveries’of the late fifteenth century 

Ans. The 15th century was the century which spans the Julian dates from 1 January 1401 (MCDI) to 31 December 1500 (MD).

In Europe, the 15th century includes parts of the Late Middle Ages, the Early Renaissance, and the early modern period. Many technological, social and cultural developments of the 15th century can in retrospect be seen as heralding the “European miracle” of the following centuries. The architectural perspective, and the modern fields which are known today as banking and accounting were founded in Italy.

The Hundred Years’ War ended with a decisive French victory over the English in the Battle of Castillon. Financial troubles in England following the conflict resulted in the Wars of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England. The conflicts ended with the defeat of Richard III by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field, establishing the Tudor dynasty in the later part of the century.

Constantinople, known as the capital of the world and the capital of the Byzantine Empire (today’s Turkey), fell to the emerging Muslim Ottoman Turks, marking the end of the tremendously influential Byzantine Empire and, for some historians, the end of the Middle Ages. This led to the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy, while Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of a mechanical movable type began the printing press. These two events played key roles in the development of the Renaissance. The Roman papacy was split in two parts in Europe for decades (the so-called Western Schism), until the Council of Constance. The division of the Catholic Church and the unrest associated with the Hussite movement would become factors in the rise of the Protestant Reformation in the following century.

Islamic Spain became dissolved through the Christian Reconquista, followed by the forced conversions and the Muslim rebellion, ending over seven centuries of Islamic rule and returning southern Spain to Christian rulers.

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8. Maurice Dobb on the transition from feudalism to capitalism 

Ans. The feudal system was primarily based on agrarian subsistence economy. The manor or the large tract of land was the centre of the feudal system and the manor was owned by the feudal lord. This land was allotted to the feudal lord by the overlord or the king. The feudal lords, being the superior class, did not cultivate lands themselves. The land was cultivated by serfs, who were tied to the landlords’ manor having limited control over their labour power and partial control over small patch of land on which he and his family survived. The serf was the actual tiller of the land who worked on the lord’s land (demesne) and also on the plot of land allotted to him. The serfdom was based on use of extra-economic coercion for controlling the labour and fate of serf-cultivators by feudal lords. The feudal lords enjoyed legal and judicial power and privileges over serfs. The entire system worked on mutual obligation. The king allotted land to the nobles and the nobles were supposed to provide money and soldiers to the king. Similarly, the feudal lords got the land grant and were supposed to provide protection and services to the overlords. Serfs were expected to till the feudal lord’s land and his land (a small patch of land from the lord for the subsistence of his family) and in return the lord provided them protection. So in a feudal society, the king was at the top and the serf was at the bottom of the feudal hierarchy. But apart from secular lords, the clergy or the priestly class also owned large tracts of lands and acted like feudal lords. The Catholic Church was the largest land lord of the medieval Europe which was equally oppressive despite its claim to work for the salvation of the people. In such society, access to social opportunities and status was determined by the accident of birth. The ascribed role or status of individual was assigned by virtue of factors outside his or her own control. This assigned role was rationalized as divinely ordained and natural and was legally recognized and approved by religious-normative order of the society. However, many towns also coexisted with manors in medieval Europe representing non-agrarian segment of the economy. These towns were involved in manufacturing activities. The manufacturing in these centres was done by an association of artisans, craftsman and professionals called guild. The guild was responsible for the production and sale of commodities. The quantity and quality to be produced and the price was determined by the guild. The guild was also responsible for the socio-religious aspects of its members, and their lives. The produce of the guild was sold to manors and to long-distance markets.

IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23

9. The demographic trends in the sixteenth century 

Ans. For the continent as a whole, the population growth under way by 1500 continued over the “long” 16th century until the second or third decade of the 17th century. A recent estimate by the American historian Jan De Vries set Europe’s population (excluding Russia and the Ottoman Empire) at 61.6 million in 1500, 70.2 million in 1550, and 78.0 million in 1600; it then lapsed back to 74.6 million in 1650. The distribution of population across the continent was also shifting. Northwestern Europe (especially the Low Countries and the British Isles) witnessed the most vigorous expansion; England’s population more than doubled between 1500, when it stood at an estimated 2.6 million, and 1650, when it probably attained 5.6 million. Northwestern Europe also largely escaped the demographic downturn of the mid-17th century, which was especially pronounced in Germany, Italy, and Spain. In Germany, the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) may have cost the country, according to different estimates, between 25 and 40 percent of its population.

Cities also grew, though slowly at first. The proportion of Europeans living in cities with 10,000 or more residents increased from 5.6 percent of the total population in 1500 to only 6.3 percent in 1550. The towns of England continued to suffer a kind of depression, now often called “urban decay,” in the first half of the century. The process of urbanization then accelerated, placing 7.6 percent of the population in cities by 1600, and even continued during the 17th-century crisis. The proportion of population in cities of more than 10,000 inhabitants reached 8.3 percent in 1650.

10. Features of Western Absolutism

Ans. Absolutism is characterized by the ending of feudal partitioning, consolidation of power with the monarch, rise of state power, unification of the state laws, and a decrease in the influence of the Church and the nobility.

Absolute monarchs are also associated with the rise of professional standing armies, professional bureaucracies, the codification of state laws, and the rise of ideologies that justify the absolutist monarchy. Absolutist monarchs typically were considered to have the divine right of kings as a cornerstone of the philosophy that justified their power (as opposed to the previous order when the kings were considered vassals of the Pope and Emperor).

Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism (c. 1610 – c. 1789) is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites. Absolutism is typically used in conjunction with some European monarchs during the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and monarchs described as absolute can especially be found in the 16th century through the 19th century.


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IGNOU BHIC 106 Solved Assignment 2022-23  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

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