Course Description: This is a survey of world history. It is organized into units that begin with pre-history and progress through modern day events. In studying history, students will learn the geography of the world’s regions. They will also develop a cultural understanding through the social sciences of economics, political science, anthropology, and sociology. Students will learn world history with an eye towards current issues and events. The goal is to enhance students’ awareness of the world around them.
Grading: Grades are divided into three categories: Formative, Summative, and Final Exam.
Formative grades make up 20% of a student’s average. These will include quizzes, in class essays, and some daily activities.
Summative grades make up 60% of a student’s average. These will include tests, projects, and take home essays.
The final exam makes up 20% of a student’s average.
Late work will not be accepted, except in the case of an absence from school.
Class attendance is essential to academic success. Students should not be absent or tardy without a serious reason. Students are responsible for any information or assignments missed during an absence.
Required Materials: Bring your textbook, notebook, and pen or pencil to class every day.
Academic Honesty: Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated in any way. This includes copying work from another student. This will result in a failing grade on the assignment/test and possible disciplinary action.
All NPHS rules and policies will be followed.
Tutoring is available before and after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Additional appointment times and days are available on a case by case basis.
*Items on the syllabus are subject to change at the teacher’s discretion. This includes assignments, essay topics, and sources used.*
Course Text and other reading:
Main Text: Bulliet, Richard W., et al. The Earth and Its People: A Global History. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Publisher’s supplements provide many additional resources: charts, maps, images, study guides, test banks.
Student resources for textbook available at: http://college.hmco.com/students
Primary Sources: Students will analyze a variety of primary sources from:
Andrea, A. and Overfield, J. The Human Record: Sources of Global History. Houghton Mifflin College Division, 2009.
Stearns, Peter N., et al. World Civilizations: The Global Experience. 5th ed. New York: Pearson, 2009
World History Sourcebook, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall
Visual and Quantitative Sources: Students will analyze graphs, charts, tables, images, and maps from a variety of sources, including the textbook and other secondary sources.
Secondary Sources: Students will study the works of historians and scholars interpreting the past.
Christian, David. This Fleeting World. Massachusettes: Berkshire, 2008.
Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel.
Other works of historical interpretation used in the course will be related to specific topics. See course outline below for examples.
Themes of World History: Students in this course must learn to view historically thematically. The AP World History course is organized around five overall themes that serve to unify threads throughout history into a “big picture.” The themes also provide a framework for comparisons and analysis of continuity and change over time. These themes can be remembered with the acronym “SPICE.”
Social: Development and transformation of social structures
Political: State-building, expansion, and conflict
Political structures and forms of governance
Nations and nationalism
Revolts and revolutions
Regional, trans-regional, and global structures and organizations
Interactions between humans and the environment
Demography and disease
Patterns of settlement
Cultural: Development and interaction of cultures
Belief systems, philosophies, and ideologies
Science and technology
The arts and architecture
Economic: Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems
Agricultural and pastoral production
Trade and commerce
Capitalism and socialism
Historical Thinking Skills: These nine thinking skills provide an essential framework for learning to think historically, and they are important to learn and practice for all fields of history.
Historical Argumentation: This skill involves the ability to construct arguments that answer questions about the past. In addition, it involves describing, analyzing, and evaluating the arguments of others.
Use of Historical Evidence: This skill involves the ability to analyze a variety of historical documents, extract useful information, make supportable inferences, draw appropriate conclusions, understand limitations, assess point of view, and recognize context.
Historical Causation: This skill involves the ability to identify, analyze, and evaluate the relationships between historical causes and effects, both short and long-term.
Continuity and Change Over Time: This skill involves evaluating patterns of continuity and change over periods of time, and relating these patterns to larger historical processes or themes.
Periodization: This skill involves the ability to analyze and construct models of historical periodization that historians use to categorize events into discrete blocks. It also includes identifying turning points in history and recognizing the bias involved in using particular events and periods.
Comparison: This skill involves analyzing similarities and differences between multiple historical developments.
Contextualization: This skill involves the ability to connect historical developments to specific circumstances of time and place, and to broader regional, national, or global processes.
Interpretation: This skill involves describing, evaluating, and creating interpretations of the past (found in primary and secondary sources) through analysis of evidence, reasoning, context, and point of view.
Synthesis: This skill involves finding meaningful understandings of the past by applying all of the other skills and drawing ideas from other disciplines. Additionally, it involves application of historical lessons to other contexts, such as the present.
Course Outline: Unit One: Technological and Environmental Transformations
Periodization: c. 8000 BCE to c. 600 BCE
Unit Focus: Introduction to World History and Historical Thinking Skills
World Regions: Neolithic Societies of the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Papua New Guinea, as well as Major river valleys of China, India, and The Middle East
Duration: 4 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 1-3
Key Concept 1.1: Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth
Paleolithic migrations lead to the spread of technology and culture
Key Concept 1.2: The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies
Neolithic Revolution leads to new and more complex economic and social systems
Agricultural and pastoralism begins to transform human society
Key Concept 1.3: The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and Urban Societies
Location of early foundational civilizations
State development and expansion
Cultural development in the early civilizations
Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Topics: What is History?, Neolithic Revolution, What is Culture?, Characteristics of Civilizations, Geographical Impacts on Early Civilizations
Writing Assignments: Students will compare the development and political structure of two early civilizations, working to formulate a thesis statement and develop a coherent, organized essay.
Primary Documents: Excerpts from The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Code of Hammurabi, The Book of the Dead, The Analects of Confucius, Images of The Iceman and Ancient Alphabets
Additional Assignments: Students will discuss the advantages of the Neolithic Revolution, then read Jared Diamond’s The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race and the first chapter of David Christian’s This Fleeting World. They will then discuss and write a response on the benefits and drawbacks of settled agriculture.
Students will examine the impact of archaeology and linguistics on our knowledge of Neolithic Societies and Ancient Civilizations.
Additional activities will introduce World Regions, Themes, Historical Thinking Skills, and Effective Study/ Note Taking Skills.
Unit Two: Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies
Periodization: c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE
Unit Focus: The Classical Era in World History
World Regions: Religious, Trade, and Political Development in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Mediterranean, South Asia, East Asia, and Australasia
Duration: 6 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 4-7
Key Concept 2.1: The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions
Codifications and further development of existing religious traditions
Emergence, diffusion, and adaptation of new religious and cultural traditions
Belief systems affect gender roles
Other religious and cultural traditions continue
Artistic expressions show distinctive cultural developments
Key Concept 2.2: The development of States and Empires
Imperial societies grow dramatically
Techniques of imperial administration
Social and economic dimensions of imperial societies
Decline, collapse, and transformation of empires (Rome, Han, and Maurya)
The geography of trans-regional networks of communication and exchange
Technologies of long-distance communication and exchange
Consequences of long-distance trade
Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Topics: Development of Major Belief Systems: Polytheism and Animism, Monotheism, Hinduism and Buddhism, and East Asian Philosophies; Development and Decline of Classical Civilizations: Rome, Han, Maurya/Gupta; Early Trade Networks: Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, Silk Road, Trans-Saharan, and Trans-American
Writing Assignments: Students will write a Comparison Essay on the diffusion of Buddhism and Christianity, or on the role of women under the Romans, Hans, or Gupta.
Students will work on the basics of writing a Continuity and Change over Time Essay (CCOT) on the Political and Cultural developments of Classical civilizations: Han China, Rome, or Gupta India.
Primary Documents: Excerpts from Plato’s The Trial and Death of Socrates, Selected documents on Early Christianity and Early Buddhism from Fordham University’s World History Sourcebook, Selected documents on the status of women from Strayer’s Ways of the World
Additional Assignments: Students will debate the perception of Alexander the Great as either a Hero or a Villain based on his actions and impact.
Students will examine the periodization of Units 1 & 2. Why was the period 600 BCE to 600 CE divided from the previous period? Might there be a better break date?
Students will analyze the causes and consequences of the decline of the Han, Roman, and Gupta empires.
Unit Three: Regional and Trans-regional Interactions
Periodization: c. 600 CE to c. 1450 CE
Unit Focus: A Time of Accelerating Connections
World Regions: Inter-regional Conflicts in Afro-Eurasia; Post-classical Empires in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas; Expansion of Inter-regional Trade Networks in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean
Duration: 7 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 8-14
Key Concept 3.1:Expansions and Intensification of Communication and Exchange
Improved transportation technologies and commercial practices and their influence on networks
Linguistic and environmental contexts for the movement of peoples
Cross-cultural exchanges fostered by networks of trade and communication
Continued diffusion of crops and pathogens throughout the Eastern Hemisphere
Greater inter-regional contacts and conflict encourages technology and cultural transfer
Key Concept 3.3: Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Increasing productive capacity in agriculture and industry
Changes in urban demography
Changes and continuities in labor systems and social structures
Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Topics: Development and Diffusion of Islam; Development of Post-Classical Empires: Byzantines, Germanic Europe, China, Turks, Mongols, Sudanic Kingdoms, Swahili City-states, Aztecs, and Incas; The Crusades; Migrations: Polynesians, Vikings, Bantu, and people from the Asian steppe
Writing Assignments: Students will write a Comparison Essay on the Effects of Mongol Conquest and Rule on two regions: Russia, China, India, or the Middle East.
Students will write a CCOT on world trade from 500 BCE to 1000 CE in one of the following regions: the Mediterranean, the Silk Road, The Indian Ocean, or Sub-Saharan Africa.
Students will practice the basics of writing a Document Based Essay (DBQ) using documents from the Crusades.
Primary Documents: Excerpts from Marco Polo in China and Ibn Battuta, The Koran, The Life of Charlemagne, The Decameron, Diary of a Plague Doctor, Various documents on the Crusades for DBQ
Additional Assignments: Students will discuss the causes and consequences of various global migrations: the Vikings, Bantus, Polynesians, and people from the steppe of Central Asia.
Students will compare and contrast the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
Students will analyze the causes and consequences of religious conflict during this time period (Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox, Sunni/Shiite, The Crusades).
Students will research the origins and effects of the Bubonic Plague. The class will then debate the possibility of a new global pandemic and its possible effects on modern society.
Students will examine the role of religious art and architecture as it relates to our knowledge of history using art from the Byzantine Empire, Buddhism, Hinduism.
Unit Four: Global Interactions
Periodization: c. 1450 CE to c. 1750 CE
Unit Focus: The Early Modern World
World Regions: All world regions becoming connected by exploration and trade
Duration: 5 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 15-20
Key Concept 4.1: Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange
Intensification of regional trade networks (Mediterranean, trans-Saharan, overland Eurasian, and Siberian trade routes)
Environmental exchange and demographic trends: Columbian Exchange
Spread and reform of religion
Global and regional networks and the development of new forms of art and expression
Key Concept 4.2: New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production
Labor systems and their transformation
Changes and continuities in social hierarchies and identities
Key Concept 4.3: State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion
Techniques of state consolidation
Competition and conflict among and within States
Activities and Assignments:
Discussion Topics: The Origin and Diffusion of Renaissance and Reformation Ideas, Technological Developments leading to Exploration, Global Spread of Belief Systems, the Columbian Exchange, the Slave Trade and other Labor Systems, Islamic Empires (Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal), Competition, Conflict, and Expansion among and within States
Writing Assignments: Students will write a Comparison Essay on the effects of cultural interaction within two of the Islamic Empires (Ottoman, Safavid, or Mughal).
Students will write a CCOT Essay on cultural beliefs and practices from 1450 CE to 1750 CE in one of the following regions: Sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America/ Caribbean.
Students will write a DBQ on the causes and consequences of the Atlantic slave trade.
Primary Documents: Artwork from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Documents from The Council of Trent, Multiple sources on Christopher Columbus, Diaries and Journals of Slaves and Slavers
Additional Assignments: Students will analyze the continuity and change of artwork from the European Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Reformation.
Students will debate the perception of Christopher Columbus as either a Hero or a Villain based on his actions, impact, and primary sources.
Students will research the scale and impact of the global slave trade by consulting primary sources, statistics from The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, and by watching the PBS Documentary Black in Latin America.
Unit Five: Industrialization and Global Integration
World Regions: Increasing global connections between all regions
Duration: 6 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 21-27
Key Concept 5.1: Industrialization and Global Capitalism
New patterns of global trade and production
Transformation of capital and finance
Revolutions in transportation and communication: Railroads, steamships, canals, telegraph
Reactions to the spread of global capitalism
Social transformations in industrialized societies
Key Concept 5.2: Imperialism and Nation-State Formation
Imperialism and colonialism of trans-oceanic empires by industrializing powers
State formation and territorial expansion and contraction
Ideologies and imperialism
Key Concept 5.3: Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform
The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought
18th century peoples develop a sense of commonality
Spread of enlightenment ideas propels reformist and revolutionary movements
Enlightenment ideas spark new transnational ideologies and solidarities
Key Concept 5.4: Global Migrations
Demography and urbanization
Migration and its motives
Consequences of and reactions to migration
Assignments and Activities:
Discussion Topics: Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment Ideas, The Age of Revolutions (English, American, French, Haitian, and Latin American), Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, Industrialism, Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Reactions to these Global Changes
Writing Assignments: Students will compare Slavery and Imperialism as European forms of economic control.
Students will write a CCOT on long-distance migrations in the period 1700 to 1900, using specific examples from at least two different world regions.
Students will write a DBQ on the causes and effects of European imperialism in Africa, as well as African views towards imperialism.
Primary Documents: Excerpts from Galileo and Newton; Excerpts from Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire; American Declaration of Independence, French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and writings of Toussaint L’Ouverture; Excerpts from Adam Smith On the Wealth of Nations; Excerpts from Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels Communist Manifesto and The Condition of the Working Class in England, Writings from Rudyard Kipling
Additional Assignments: Students will analyze the periodization between units 4 and 5. They will determine reasons for the periodization used by College Board and Bulliet, and they will create their own periodizations for the units.
Students will examine the writings of Enlightenment philosophers and the ideas expressed in revolutionary documents. Then they will compare the lasting impacts of global revolutions to the ideas that served as inspiration.
Students will compare various reactions to industrialism and modernization.
Students will debate the justifications of European Imperialism (Social Darwinism, The White Man’s Burden, and Imperialism)
Unit Six: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments
Periodization: c. 1900 to the present
Unit Focus: The most recent century
World Regions: World regions connected through conflict and the expanding global economy
Duration: 6 weeks
Textbook: Chapters 28-33
Key Concept 6.1: Science and the Environment
Rapid advances in science spread assisted by new technology
Humans change their relationship with the environment
Disease, scientific innovations, and conflict led to demographic shifts
Key Concept 6.2: Global Conflicts and Their Consequences
Europe’s domination gives way to new forms of political organization
Emerging ideologies of anti-imperialism contribute to dissolution of empires
Political changes accompanied by demographic and social consequences
Military conflicts escalate
Individual and groups oppose, as well as, intensify the conflict
Key Concept 6.3: New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture
States, communities, and individuals become increasingly interdependent
People conceptualize society and culture in new ways
Popular and consumer culture become global
Assignments and Activities:
Discussion Topics: Anti-Imperialism, World War I, Post-War Peace Negotiations, Global Depression, the Rise of Totalitarian Governments, World War II, Communist Revolutions (Russian and Chinese), The Cold War, Decolonization, International Organizations, Genocides (Holocaust, Cambodia, and Rwanda) Post-Cold War World, and Globalization
Writing Assignments: Students will write a Comparison Essay on the political goals and social effects of revolution in Russia and China.
Students will write a CCOT on the development of nations from 1900 to present in one of the following regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, or Southeast Asia.
Students will write a DBQ on the effects of the Cuban Revolution on women’s lives and gender relations in Cuba from 1959 to 1990.
Primary Documents: Propaganda Posters from WWI & WWII; Soldiers journals, memoirs, and interviews from WWI, WWII, and the Holocaust; 14 Points Plan and The Treaty of Versailles; Cold War documents; Cuba DBQ documents; Speeches from Independence Leaders; Videos and Interviews about Global Terrorism
Additional Assignments: Students will examine the similarities between propaganda posters from WWI and WWII and from different countries. Posters will be analyzed for purpose and point of view.
Students will identify the causes and consequences of global violence in the first half of the 20th century by examining international agreements. They will also identify the cause of the global nature of these conflicts.
Students will compare the idea of “East vs. West,” as well as the “Third World,” in Cold War ideology, including the origins of conflict and the differing views of both sides.
Students will discuss differing from on globalization by reading articles from various historians and economists.