Instances in which one preindustrial civilization was a major factor in the collapse of another?And why is this so rare?

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rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Native American history before and even after contact is full of examples of preindustrial peoples bringing about the collapse of other societies. So is African history prior to the nineteenth century. So, for that matter, is European history- Germanic invaders contributed to the collapse of Romano-Celtic societies as well as Rome itself. As others have pointed out, this is hardly rare.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As previous posts have listed, it's not difficult to identify one preindustrial civilization caused the collapse of another. Are we missing something in your question that would change the outcome to make it a rare occurrence?

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You might want to read Diamond's excellent book entitled Guns, Germs and Steel, which deals with many such cases of pre-industrial civilisations overthrowing each other. One poignant example is what happened in the Chatham Islands when Maoris from mainland New Zealand completely subjugated their former kinsmen who had left for these generations ago.

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I'm not sure I completely understand the question. If by "pre-industrial" you mean "before the industrial revolution," then the first post offers many counter-examples. If by "pre-industrial" you mean "relatively primitive in technology," then again the first post offers many counter-examples. The second post deals with a case in which cultures relatively primitive in technology were able to undermine a more technologically advanced society.  That is indeed a rare occurrence.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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How about the sacking of Rome? I would say that it is rare because one preindustrial civilization would not have too much of an extra advantage over the other, whereas an industrialized and advanced civilization could have a clear advantage, especially when it comes to weapons.
aglaiapapaya's profile pic

aglaiapapaya | Student | (Level 1) Honors

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How about the sacking of Rome? I would say that it is rare because one preindustrial civilization would not have too much of an extra advantage over the other, whereas an industrialized and advanced civilization could have a clear advantage, especially when it comes to weapons.

Perfect. Thank you.

etotheeyepi's profile pic

etotheeyepi | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The Spanish over the Aztecs. The Romans over Carthage. The combination of Persian and Greek conquest of the Middle East buried Sumerian and Babylonian culture. After the Mongols conquered China, the Mongols became Chinese in a sort of reverse conquest.

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