There’s so much wonder and mystery in the world. Parents, we’re curious: What are some burning questions your kids have been asking? No matter how big or small, we want to hear it! Sound off in the thread below.
My son just asked me yesterday, “is there anything that science can’t explain?”. It ended up being a long philosophical conversation.
My kids want to know why morning light looks so much brighter and different from the dimmer evening or twilight?
My youngest grandson, 17, asked yesterday what would happen if Roe V Wade was overturned, what it was, and why I was so angry. After we got done discussing my argument if favor of Roe V Wade, I said that it’s a slippery slope undoing other court cases like Brown V Board of Education. He said What? We talked about landmark civil rights cases, human rights - six hours. He’s gettings Howard Zinn’s Peoples History of the United States for Samhain.
My son was wondering why it’s mostly European people who have explored and settled every part of the world? Other than the Vikings, I’ve never heard of another people exploring, conquering, and occupying other continents like Europeans. Even the Vikings didn’t try to take over North America!
In hour 3.5 of a 4 hour car ride, my 4 year old daughter (who had been talking non-stop the entire time) asked, “why don’t snorkels have last names?” My husband and I could not stop laughing. Kids say the craziest things.
I’m not sure whether the intention of this thread is to eventually answer these questions, or what you might’ve told your son, but Europeans are far from the only peoples in the world with the impulse to conquer and expand.
I think we get the idea that Europeans reached furthest because they are among the most recent conquerors, and were specially successful by our modern perceptions because, as the most recent ones, they had the most advanced conquering technology, so were able to do it faster and more in line with our current definition of these terms. Also, the grouping as “Europeans” rather than seeing them as the separate, competing entities they were.
But the Mongol Empire is either the largest or second largest in history (depending who you ask and its comparison to the height of the British one). Polynesians are considered among the most skilled seamen ever, and occupying a triangle area with Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand at its corners was no small feat. They are maybe not seen as being so brutal or invading since they mostly reached islands without human occupants, but they still did many of the things associated with European conquest. They hunted animals to extinction (NZ’s moa), introduced invasive species and oppressed and enslaved other people (the Moriori).
Languages and religion are other good ways to judge the reaches of empires, specially in Asia and Africa. Islam and Arabic originated in the Arabian Peninsula and reached as far as Southeast Asia and nearly all Saharan Africa as well as Spain. Most languages of Vietnam, Korea, Thailand and Japan originate from early Chinese languages as well.
In the pre-Columbian Americas, the Aztec/Mexica are probably the best known empire, again with many characteristics considered emblematic of European expansionism, such as slavery, a demand for tributes/taxation and others.
Maybe I’m a cynic, but I’d say the impulse of conquest, expansion and occupation is nearly universal to the human species. WHO is considered the most successful people at it does seem to depend on WHEN and WHERE you ask. I can definitely see why, in the Western World, now, Europeans would be the most likely candidates though.
Hey all thanks a bunch for participating! This is for an ongoing project we are working on for our AO Entertainment department.
And modern Chinese really regret that Zheng He’s expeditions were curtailed…