- Long-term growth, despite some temporary dips, in the world’s population beyond any level reached in ancient times. A great increase in agricultural and city-dwelling populations in the world compared with hunters and gatherers, whose numbers steadily declined.
- Technological advances that gave humans power to produce greater amounts of food and manufactured items, allowing the global population to keep rising.
- An increase in the interconnection and encounters between distant regions of the world. Expansion of long-distance seagoing trade, as well as commercial, technological, and cultural exchanges. By the first millennium BCE (Before Common Era), these networks spanned most of Afroeurasia (the huge interconnected landmass that includes Africa, Europe, and Asia). In the Americas, the largest networks were in Mesoamerica and the Andes region of South America. After 1500 CE (Common Era), a global network of intercommunication emerged.
- The rise of more numerous and powerful kingdoms and empires, especially after 1450 CE, when gunpowder weapons became available to rulers.
- Increasing human impact on the natural and physical environment, including the diffusion of plants, animals, and microorganisms to parts of the world where they had previously been unknown.
- Chapter 11 | California History–Social Science Framework