Ap world History Reading Log

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AP World History Reading Log

Answer each focus question in at least a paragraph. Provide the who, what, when, where, and WHY for the key terms. Key terms need to be at least one paragraph in length. Upload to turnitin.com and provide a hard copy on the date specified by the teacher.

Chapter 1

Key Terms

Paleolithic Age

Neolithic Revolution




Focus Questions

  1. How did the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages differ, and how did the Neolithic Revolution affect the lives of men and women?

  2. What are the characteristics of civilization, and what are some explanations for why early civilizations emerged?

  3. What achievements did early humans make during the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages, and how did those achievements eventually make possible the emergence of civilization?

  4. What roles did geography, environmental conditions, religion, politics, economics, and women and families play in the civilizations of Southwest Asia and Egypt?

  5. Compare and contrast the administrative and military structures and the attitudes toward subject peoples of the Assyrian and Persian Empires?

Chapter 2

Key Terms






Focus Questions

  1. What were some of the distinctive features of the class system introduced by the Aryan peoples, and what effects did it have on Indian civilization?

  2. What is the debate over the origins of the Aryan peoples, and why do many historians of India consider it to be such an important question?

  3. Why was Buddhism able to make such inroads among the Indian people at a time when Brahmanical beliefs had long been dominant in the subcontinent?

  4. What were some of the main characteristics of Indian politics and government during the first millennium B.C.E., and how can they be compared and contrasted with those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia?

Chapter 3

Key Terms

Mandate of Heaven




Five Relationships

Focus Questions

  1. What were the key aspects of social and economic life in early China?

  2. How did geography influence the civilization that arose in China?

  3. What were some of the key contributions in political structures, social organization, and culture that the Shang dynasty bequeathed to it successor, the Zhou dynasty? Does the Shang deserve to be called the “mother culture” of China? Why?

  4. What contributions did the ancient Chinese people make in the field of metallurgy? How did their achievements compare with developments in ancient Egypt and the Middle East?

  5. The civilization of ancient China resembled those of its contemporaries in Mesopotamia and North Africa in several respects, but the contrasts were equally significant. What were some of these differences, and how might geography and the environment have contributed to them?

Chapter 4

Key Terms






Focus Questions

  1. How did the geography of Greece affect Greek history? Who was Homer, and why was his work used as the basis for Greek education?

  2. How as Alexander the Great able to amass his empire, and what was his legacy?

  3. What was the polis, and why do many consider it an important development in the political history of Western civilization?

  4. In what was did the culture of the Hellenistic period differ from that of the Classical period, and what do those differences suggest about society in the two periods?

Chapter 5

Key Terms




Pax Romana

Natural Law

Focus Questions

  1. What were the chief features of the Roman Empire at its height in the 2nd century C.E.?

  2. Was the fall of the Roman Republic due to systematic institutional weaknesses or the personal ambitions of generals and politicians? Explain your answer.

  3. What were the chief features of the Han Empire?

  4. In what ways were the Roman and Han imperial systems of government alike? In what ways were they different?

Chapter 6

Key Terms





Focus Questions

  1. Who were the first Americans, and when and how did they come?

  2. What role did the environment play in the evolution of societies in the Americas?

  3. What are some of the reasons given for the collapse of Mayan civilization in the late 1st millennium C.E.? Which reasons do archaeologists find the most persuasive?

  4. What common features linked the emerging societies in the Americas during the pre-Columbian period? Does it appear that technological and cultural achievements passed from one society to another as frequently as in other parts of the world? Why?

  5. In what ways were the early civilizations in the Americas similar to the civilizations discussed in Part I, and in what ways were they unique?

Chapter 7

Key Terms

5 Pillars of Islam





Focus Questions

  1. What were the main tenets of Islam, and how does the religion compare with Judaism and Christianity?

  2. By what process was Arab power expanded throughout the Middle East and North Africa in the years following the death of Muhammad? What was the impact of that expansion on the subject peoples?

  3. What circumstances do some historians refer to when they say that the Muslim governments in Spain provided an example of religious tolerance?

  4. In what ways did the arrival of Islam change or maintain the political, social, and cultural conditions that had existed in the area before Muhammad?

Chapter 8

Key Terms







Focus Questions

  1. What effects did the coming of Islam have on African religion, society, political structures, trade, and culture?

  2. What role did migration play in the evolution of early African societies? How did the impact of these migrations compare with similar population movements elsewhere?

  3. What role did lineage groups, women, and slavery play in African societies? In what ways did African societies in various parts of the continent differ? What accounted for these differences?

  4. In what parts of Africa did the first states and city-states emerge? What conditions led to their appearance?

Chapter 9

Key Terms






Focus Questions

  1. What were some of the chief destinations along the Silk Road, and what kinds of products and ideas traveled along the route?

  2. How did Buddhism change in the centuries after Siddartha Gautama’s death, and why did the religion ultimately decline in popularity in India?

  3. What impact did Muslim rule have on Indian society? To what degree did the indigenous population convert to the new religion, and why?

  4. What were the main characteristics of Southeast Asia social and economic life, culture, and religion before 1500 C.E.?

  5. New religions had a significant impact on the social and cultural life or peoples living in southern Asia during the period covered in this chapter. What factors caused the spread of these religions in the first place? What changes occurred as a result of the introduction of these new faiths? Were the religions themselves affected by their spread into new regions of Asia?

Chapter 10

Key Terms

Grand Council


Foot Binding



Focus Questions

  1. What major changes in political structures and social and economic life occurred during the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties?

  2. Why were the Mongols able to amass an empire, and what were the main characteristics of their rule in China?

  3. Why is the Tang dynasty often described as the greatest and most glorious era in Chinese history, and do you think its reputation is justified? Why?

  4. What are the arguments on both sides of the debate over whether Chinese society underwent fundamental changes during the period discussed in this chapter? Which arguments do you find more persuasive, and why?

  5. The civilization of ancient China fell under the onslaught of nomadic invasions, as did some of its counterparts elsewhere in the world. But China, unlike other classical empires, was later able to reconstitute itself on the same political and cultural foundations. How do you account for the difference?

Chapter 11

Key Terms






Focus Questions

  1. How did Japan’s geographic location affect the course of early Japanese history, and how did it influence the political structures and social institutions that arose there?

  2. What were the main characteristics of economic and social life in early Korea?

  3. What were the main developments in Vietnamese history before 1500? Why were the Vietnamese able to restore their national independence after a millennium of Chinese rule?

  4. How did Chinese civilization influence the societies that arose in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam during their early history?

Chapter 12

Key Terms




Common law


Focus Questions

  1. What impact did the Vikings have on the history and culture of medieval Europe?

  2. How did the revival of trade and cities affect the economy and society of Europe in the High Middle Ages?

  3. What contributions did the Romans, the Christian church, and the Germanic peoples make to the new civilization that emerged in Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? What was the significance of Charlemagne’s coronation as emperor?

  4. In what ways did Europeans begin to relate to peoples in other parts of the world after 1000 C.E.? What were the reasons for the Crusades, and who or what benefited the most from them? Why?

  5. In what ways was the civilization that developed in Europe in the Middle Ages similar to those in China and the Middle East? How were they different?

Chapter 13

Key Terms



Black Death



Focus Questions

  1. What were Justinian’s major goals, and how did he try to accomplish them? How successful was he in achieving his goals?

  2. Why does the chapter use the phrase “zenith of Byzantine civilization” to describe the period from 750 to 1025?

  3. What impact did the Black Death have on Europe and Asia in the 14th century? What problems did Europeans face during the 14th century, and what impact did these crises have on European economic, social, and religious life?

  4. What were the main features of the Renaissance in Europe, and how did it differ from the Middle Ages?

  5. In what ways did the Byzantine, European, and Islamic civilizations resemble and differ from each other? Were their relationships generally based on cooperation or conflict, why?

Chapter 14

Key Terms




Columbian Exchange

Middle Passage

Focus Questions

  1. What were some of the key features of the Columbian Exchange, and what effects did they have on the world trade network?

  2. How did Portugal and Spain acquire their empires in the Americas, and how did their methods of governing their colonies differ?

  3. What were the main features of the African slave trade, and how did European participation in that trade affect traditional African practices?

  4. Why were the Spanish conquistadors able to complete their conquest of Latin America so quickly when their contemporaries failed to do so in Africa and Southeast Asia?

  5. Christopher Columbus has recently become a controversial figure in world history. Why do you think this is so, and how would you evaluate his contribution to the modern world?

Chapter 15

Key Terms


Protestant Reformation



Divine-right monarchy

Focus Questions

  1. What did Louis XIV hope to accomplish through his domestic and foreign policies? To what extent did he succeed?

  2. What were the tenets of Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anabaptism, and how did they differ from each other and from Catholicism?

  3. Why is the period between 1560 and 1650 in Europe considered an age of crisis, and how did the turmoil contribute to the artistic developments of the period?

  4. How and why did England avoid the path of absolutism?

  5. What was the relationship between European overseas expansion (ch.14) and political, economic, and social developments in Europe?

Chapter 16

Key Terms





Sublime Porte

Focus Questions

  1. How did the social policies adopted by the Ottomans compare with those of the Mughals? What similarities and differences do you detect, and what might account for them?

  2. What is meant by the phrase “gunpowder empires,” and to what degree did the Muslim states discussed here conform to this description?

  3. What problems did the Safavid Empire face, and how did its rulers attempt to solve them? How did their approaches compare with those in the other Muslim empires?

  4. What role did Islam play in the Mughal Empire, and how did the Mughal’s approach to religion compare with that of the Ottomans and the Safavids? What might explain the similarities and differences?

  5. What were the main characteristics of each of the Muslim empires, and in what ways did they resemble each other? How were they distinct from their European counterparts?

Chapter 17

Key Terms





Focus Questions

  1. What factors at the end of the 18th century might have served to promote or impede China’s transition to an advanced industrial and market economy? Which factors do you think were the most important? Why?

  2. How did the society and economy of Japan change during the Tokugawa era, and how did Japanese culture reflect those changes?

  3. To what degree did developments in Korea during this period reflect conditions in China and Japan? What were the unique aspects of Vietnamese civilization?

  4. Some historians have declared that during the Tokugawa era the Japanese government essentially sought to close the country to all forms of outside influence. Is that claim justified? Why?

  5. How did China and Japan respond to the coming of the Europeans, and what explains the differences? What impact did European contacts have on these two East Asia civilizations through the end of the 18th century?

Chapter 18

Key Terms

Scientific Revolution



Natural rights


Focus Questions

  1. Who were the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution and the Englightenment, and what were their main contributions?

  2. What colonies did the British and French establish in the Americas, and how did their methods of administering their colonies differ?

  3. What were the causes, the main events, and the results of the French Revolution?

  4. What aspects of the French Revolution did Napoleon preserve, and which did he destroy?

  5. In what ways were the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the 17th century English revolutions alike? In what ways were they different?

Chapter 19

Key Terms






Focus Questions

  1. What are the major similarities and differences between the first and second Industrial Revolutions?

  2. What actions did Cavour and Bismarck take to bring about unification in Italy and Germany, respectively, and what role did war play in their efforts?

  3. What were the chief ideas associated with the ideologies of liberalism and nationalism, and how were these ideas put into practice in the first half of the 19th century?

  4. In what ways was the development of industrialization related to the growth of nationalism?

Chapter 20

Key Terms




Natural selection


Focus Questions

  1. What is meant by the term mass society, and what were its main characteristics?

  2. What were the main characteristics of Romanticism and Realism?

  3. What were the similarities and differences in the development of Latin American nations, the United States, and Canada in the 19th century?

  4. What intellectual and cultural developments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries “opened the way to modern consciousness,” and how did this consciousness differ from earlier worldviews?

  5. In what ways were the intellectual and cultural developments in the Western world between 1800 and 1914 related to the economic, social, and political developments?

Chapter 21

Key Terms


Indirect rule

Direct rule


Informal empire

Focus Questions

  1. What arguments have been advanced to justify the European takeover of colonies in Asia and Africa during the latter part of the 19th century? To what degree are such arguments justified?

  2. What were some of the major consequences of British rule in India, and how did they affect the Indian people?

  3. Which Western Countries were most active in seeking colonial possessions in Southeast Asia, and what were their motives in doing so?

  4. What factors were behind the “scramble for Africa,” and what impact did it have on the continent?

  5. What were the consequences of the new imperialism of the 19th century for the colonies of the European powers? How should the imperialist countries be evaluated in terms of their motives and stated objectives?

Chapter 22

Key Terms

Open Door Notes

3 People’s Principles

3 Obediences


Meiji Restoration

Focus Questions

  1. Why did the Qing dynasty decline and ultimately collapse, and what role did the Western powers play in this process?

  2. To what degree was the Meiji Restoration a “revolution,” and to what extent did it succeed in transforming Japan?

  3. How did Western values and institutions influence Chinese and Japanese social mores and traditions during the imperialist era?

  4. How did China and Japan each respond to Western pressures in the 19th century, and what implications did their different responses have for each nation’s history?

Chapter 23

Key Terms




Deficit Spending

New Deal

Focus Questions

  1. What were the long-range and immediate causes of World War I?

  2. What were the causes of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and why did the Bolsheviks prevail in the civil war and gain control of Russia?

  3. What was the aftermath of WWI, and what problems did Europe and the U.S. face in the 1920s?

  4. What were the causes of the Great Depression, and how did European states respond to it?

  5. What was the relationship between World War I and the Russian Revolution?

Chapter 24

Key Terms

Civil disobedience

Young Turks

New Culture Movement

Taisho democracy

Good Neighbor Policy

Focus Questions

  1. What were the various stages in the rise of nationalist movements in Asia and the Middle East, and what challenges did they face?

  2. What problems did China encounter between the two world wars, and what solutions did the Nationalists and Communists propose to solve them?

  3. How did Japan address the problems of nation building in the first decades of the 20th century, and why did democratic institutions not take hold more effectively?

  4. What problems did the nations of Latin America face in the interwar years? To what degree were the problems a consequence of foreign influence?

  5. How did the societies discussed in this chapter deal with the political, economic, and social challenges that they failed after WWI, and how did these challenges differ from one region to another?

Chapter 25

Key Terms

Totalitarian state


Final solution


Cold War

Focus Questions

  1. What were the underlying causes of WWII, and what specific steps taken by Germany and Japan led to war?

  2. What were the main events of WWII in Europe and Asia?

  3. How did the attempt to arrive at a peace settlement after WWII lead to the beginnings of a new conflict know as the Cold War?

  4. What were the costs of WWII? How did WWII affect the European nations’ colonial empires? How did the Allie’s visions of the postwar world differ, and how did these differences contribute to the emergence of the Cold War?

  5. What was the relationship between WWI and WWII, and how did the ways in which the wars were fought differ?

Chapter 26

Key Terms

Truman Doctrine

Marshall Plan



Vietnam War Syndrome

“Star Wars”

Focus Questions

  1. How and why did Mao Zedong and the Communists come to power in China, and what were the Cold War implications of their triumph?

  2. This chapter has described the outbreak of the Cold War as virtually inevitable, given the ambition of the two superpowers and their ideological differences. Do you agree? Why? How might the Cold War have been avoided?

  3. How did the wars in Korea and Vietnam relate to the Cold War and affect its course?

  4. Why did the Cold War briefly flare up again in the 1980s, and why did it come to a definitive end at the end of the decade?

  5. How have historians answered the question of whether the U.S. or the U.S.S.R bears the primary responsibility for the Cold War, and what evidence can be presented on each side of the issue?

Chapter 27

Key Terms



Great Leap Forward

Four Modernizations

New Democracy

Focus Questions

  1. How did Nikita Khrushchev change the system that the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had put in place before his death in 1953? To what degree did his successors adopt Khrushchev’s policies?

  2. What were the key components of perestroika, which Mikhail Gorbachev espoused during the 1980s? Why did it fail?

  3. What were Mao Zedong’s chief goals for China, and what policies did he institute to try to achieve them?

  4. What significant political, economic, and social changes have taken place in China since the death of Mao Zedong? How successful have they been at improving the quality of life in China?

  5. Why has communism survived in China when it failed to survive in Eastern Europe and Russia? Are Chinese leaders justified in claiming that without party leadership, the country would fall into chaos?

Chapter 28

Key Terms

Welfare state

Consumer society



Ethnic cleansing

Focus Questions

  1. What directions did Eastern European nations take after they became free from Soviet control? Why did they react as they did?

  2. What political, social, and economic, changes has the U.S. experienced since 1945?

  3. What problems have the nations of Latin America faced since 1945, and what role has Marxist ideology played in their efforts to solve these problems?

  4. What role did popular culture play in the Western world after 1945?

  5. What were the similarities and differences between the major political, economic, and social developments in the first half of the 20th century and those in the second half of the century?

Chapter 29

Key Terms



African Union



Focus Questions

  1. What are some of the key reasons advanced to explain why democratic institutions have been slow to take root in the Middle East?

  2. How have dreams clashed with realities in the independent nations of Africa, and how have African governments sought to meet these challenges?

  3. What problems have the nations of the Middle East faced since the end of WWII, and to what degree have they managed to resolve them?

  4. What factors can be advanced to explain the chronic instability and internal conflict that have characterized conditions in Africa and the Middle East since WWII?

Chapter 30

Key Terms


Green revolution


Guided democracy


Focus Questions

  1. What kinds of environmental problems are currently being faced by the nations of southern and eastern Asia? How have the region’s political leaders sought to deal with the problems?

  2. How did Gandhi’s and Nehru’s goals for India differ, and what role has each leader’s views played in shaping modern India?

  3. What kinds of problems have the nations of Southeast Asia faced since 1945, and how have they attempted to solve them?

  4. How did the Allied occupation after WWII change Japan’s political and economic institutions, and what remained unchanged?

  5. What differences and similarities do you see in the performances of the nations of South, Southeast, and East Asia since WWII? What do you think accounts for the differences?

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