If we lived on Earth, but with land and sea swapped, how would this affect civilizations on Earth?

This would include a total topographic inversion of Earth, so

  • The Mariana Trench would become the tallest mountain range on Earth
  • Mount Everest would become the deepest part of the oceans
  • Australia would become the largest lake/smallest ocean
  • etc.

Now, the world did not start with a giant Pangaea-shaped ocean, but there have been some minor tectonic shifts causing the formation of the mountain ranges, and making Mount Everest the deepest part of the oceans.

In this backwards world, how would the rise of medieval civilization be affected? Specifically, I am curious about

  • How the size and location of civilizations would be affected
  • If relations between different countries would change (more peaceful/more aggressive).
  • Would populations be more spread out
  • Would sea travel still be a valid option
  • Would the availability of fresh water cause major issues
  • How much of the land would not host livable conditions for civilization?

We can ignore how the world is scientifically possible (since they continents would break up very quickly) I'm just wondering how civilizations would have adapted due to all of the extra land and very limited water.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Flotolk. Conceptually I like this questions but it is WAY to broad at the moment. Can you focus this a little, maybe ask about a particular aspect? $\endgroup$ – James Mar 24 '15 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ Would it start out that way, or is there some sort of cataclysmic event going on that completely redefines the topography of the planet? Because the former probably wouldn't change much, while the latter would probably kill everything. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Mar 24 '15 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ It would look like this. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Mar 24 '15 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ I think they would all drown. Except the Atlanteans, who would be very confused. $\endgroup$ – Erik Mar 26 '15 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ Samuel, that picture is awesome, Erik, indeed they would. Flotolk, its too bad it got closed but I think as a general rule there would possibly be less habitable areas considering most of the land mass would end up closer to the poles or be so large they'd end up desertic. $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Mar 30 '15 at 19:20