from the College Board's course description for AP world history

Concept Outline
A key concept defines the most essential course content knowledge particular to a given historical period. The key concepts and concept outline that follow provide a conceptual framework to help teachers and students understand, organize and prioritize historical developments within each designated historical period. The framework clearly indicates the depth of knowledge required for each key concept. To further clarify the depth of knowledge for each key concept, multiple supporting concepts (designated by Roman numerals in the outline) and supporting evidence for each supporting concept (designated by letters in the outline) are listed. By focusing the key concepts on processes or themes rather than on specific historical facts or events, the outline provides greater freedom for teachers to choose examples that interest them or their students to demonstrate the concept. 

Period 1:
Technological and Environmental Transformations, to c. 600 B.C.E.

Key Concept 1.1. Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth

The term Big Geography draws attention to the global nature of world history. Throughout the Paleolithic period, humans migrated from Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas. Early humans were mobile and creative in adapting to different geographical settings from savanna to desert to Ice Age tundra. By making an analogy with modern hunterforager societies, anthropologists infer that these bands were relatively egalitarian. Humans also developed varied and sophisticated technologies.
I. Archeological evidence indicates that during the Paleolithic era, hunting-foraging bands of humans gradually migrated from their origin in East Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas, adapting their technology and cultures to new climate regions.
     A. Humans used fire in new ways: to aid hunting and foraging, to protect against predators, and to adapt to cold environments.
     B. Humans developed a wider range of tools specially adapted to different environments from tropics to tundra.
     C. Economic structures focused on small kinship groups of huntingforaging bands that could make what they needed to survive. However, not all groups were self-sufficient; they exchanged people, ideas, and goods.

Key Concept 1.2. The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies
In response to warming climates at the end of the last Ice Age, from about 10,000 years ago, some groups adapted to the environment in new ways, while others remained hunter-foragers. Settled agriculture appeared in several different parts of the world. The switch to agriculture created a more reliable, but not necessarily more diversified, food supply. Agriculturalists also had a massive impact on the environment through intensive cultivation of selected plants to the exclusion of others, through the construction of irrigation systems, and through the use of domesticated animals for food and for labor. Populations increased; family groups gave way to village life and, later, to urban life with all its complexity. Patriarchy and forced labor systems developed, giving elite men concentrated power over most of the other people in their societies. Pastoralism emerged in
parts of Africa and Eurasia. Pastoral peoples domesticated animals and led their herds around grazing ranges. Like agriculturalists, pastoralists tended to be more socially stratified than hunter-foragers. Because pastoralists were mobile, they rarely accumulated large amounts of material possessions, which would have been a hindrance when they changed grazing areas. The pastoralists’ mobility allowed them to become an important conduit for technological change as they interacted with settled populations.

I. Beginning about 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic Revolution led to the development of new and more complex economic and social systems.
     A. Possibly as a response to climatic change, permanent agricultural villages emerged first in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean.  Agriculture emerged at different times in Mesopotamia, the Nile River Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indus River Valley, the Yellow River or Huang He Valley, Papua New Guinea, Mesoamerica, and the Andes.
     B. Pastoralism developed at various sites in the grasslands of Afro- Eurasia.
     C. Different crops or animals were domesticated in the various core regions, depending on available local flora and fauna.
     D. Agricultural communities had to work cooperatively to clear land and create the water control systems needed for crop production.
     E. These agricultural practices drastically impacted environmental diversity. Pastoralists also affected the environment by grazing large  numbers of animals on fragile grasslands, leading to erosion when overgrazed.

II. Agriculture and pastoralism began to transform human societies.
     A. Pastoralism and agriculture led to more reliable and abundant food supplies, which increased the population.
     B. Surpluses of food and other goods led to specialization of labor, including new classes of artisans and warriors, and the development of elites.
     C. Technological innovations led to improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation.
          Required examples of improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation:
            • Pottery
            • Plows
            • Woven textiles
            • Metallurgy
            • Wheels and wheeled vehicles
     D. In both pastoralist and agrarian societies, elite groups accumulated wealth, creating more hierarchical social structures and promoting patriarchal forms of social organization.

Key Concept 1.3. The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and Urban Societies
From about 5,000 years ago, urban societies developed, laying the foundations for the first civilizations. The term civilization is normally used to designate large societies with cities and powerful states. While there were many differences between civilizations, they also shared important features. They all produced agricultural surpluses that permitted significant specialization of labor. All civilizations contained cities and generated complex institutions, such as political bureaucracies, armies, and religious hierarchies. They also featured clearly stratified social hierarchies and organized long-distance trading relationships. Economic exchanges intensified within and between civilizations, as well as with nomadic pastoralists.  As populations grew, competition for surplus resources, especially food, led to greater social stratification, specialization of labor, increased trade, more complex systems of government and religion, and the development of record keeping. As civilizations expanded, they had to balance their need for more resources with environmental constraints such as the danger of undermining soil fertility. Finally, the accumulation of wealth in settled communities spurred warfare between communities and/or with pastoralists; this violence drove the development of new technologies of war and urban defense.

I. Core and foundational civilizations developed in a variety of geographical and environmental settings where agriculture flourished.  Students should be able to identify the location of all of the following required examples of core and foundational civilizations:
     • Mesopotamia in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys
     • Egypt in the Nile River Valley
     • Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus River Valley
     • Shang in the Yellow River or Huang He Valley
     • Olmecs in Mesoamerica
     • Chavín in Andean South America

II. The first states emerged within core civilizations.
     A. States were powerful new systems of rule that mobilized surplus labor and resources over large areas. Early states were often led by a ruler whose source of power was believed to be divine or had divine support and/or who was supported by the military.
     B. As states grew and competed for land and resources, the more favorably situated — including the Hittites, who had access to iron — had greater access to resources, produced more surplus food, and experienced growing populations. These states were able to undertake territorial expansion and conquer surrounding states.
     C. Early regions of state expansion or empire building were Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and the Nile Valley.
     D. Pastoralists were often the developers and disseminators of new weapons and modes of transportation that transformed warfare in agrarian civilizations.

III. Culture played a significant role in unifying states through laws, language, literature, religion, myths, and monumental art.
     A. Early civilizations developed monumental architecture and urban planning.
     B. Elites, both political and religious, promoted arts and artisanship.
     C. Systems of record keeping arose independently in all early civilizations and subsequently were diffused.
     D. States developed legal codes, including the Code of Hammurabi, that reflected existing hierarchies and facilitated the rule of governments over people.
     E. New religious beliefs developed in this period continued to have strong influences in later periods.
          Required examples of new religious beliefs:
            • The Vedic religion
            • Hebrew monotheism
            • Zoroastrianism
     F. Trade expanded throughout this period from local to regional and transregional, with civilizations exchanging goods, cultural ideas, and technology.
          Required examples of trade expansion from local to regional and transregional:
            • Between Egypt and Nubia
            • Between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley
     G. Social and gender hierarchies intensified as states expanded and cities multiplied.
     H. Literature was also a reflection of culture.

Period 2
Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies, c. 600 B.C.E. to c. 600 C.E.

Key Concept 2.1. The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions
As states and empires increased in size and contacts between regions multiplied, religious and cultural systems were transformed. Religions and belief systems provided a bond among the people and an ethical code to live by. These shared beliefs also influenced and reinforced political, economic, and occupational stratification. Religious and political authority often merged as rulers (some of whom were considered divine) used religion, along with military and legal structures, to justify their rule and ensure its continuation. Religions and belief systems could also generate conflict, partly because beliefs and practices varied greatly within and among societies.

I. Codifications and further developments of existing religious traditions provided a bond among the people and an ethical code to live by.
     A. The association of monotheism with Judaism was further developed with the codification of the Hebrew Scriptures, which also reflected the influence of Mesopotamian cultural and legal traditions. The Assyrian, Babylonian, and Roman empires conquered various Jewish states at different points in time. These conquests contributed to the growth of Jewish diasporic communities around the Mediterranean and Middle East.
     B. The core beliefs outlined in the Sanskrit scriptures formed the basis of the Vedic religions — later known as Hinduism — which contributed to the development of the social and political roles of a caste system and in the importance of multiple manifestations of Brahma to promote teachings about reincarnation.

II. New belief systems and cultural traditions emerged and spread, often asserting universal truths.
     A. The core beliefs about desire, suffering, and the search for enlightenment preached by the historic Buddha and recorded by his followers into sutras and other scriptures were, in part, a reaction to the Vedic beliefs and rituals dominant in South Asia. Buddhism changed over time as it spread throughout Asia — first through the support of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, and then through the efforts of missionaries and merchants, and the establishment of educational institutions to promote its core teachings.
     B. Confucianism’s core beliefs and writings originated in the writings and lessons of Confucius and were elaborated by key disciples who sought to promote social harmony by outlining proper rituals and social relationships for all people in China, including the rulers.
     C. In the major Daoist writings, the core belief of balance between humans and nature assumed that the Chinese political system would be altered indirectly. Daoism also influenced the development of Chinese culture.
     D. Christianity, based on core beliefs about the teachings and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded by his disciples, drew on Judaism, and initially rejected Roman and Hellenistic influences. Despite initial Roman imperial hostility, Christianity spread through the efforts of missionaries and merchants through many parts of Afro-Eurasia, and eventually gained Roman imperial support by the time of Emperor Constantine.
     E. The core ideas in Greco-Roman philosophy and science emphasized logic, empirical observation, and the nature of political power and hierarchy.

III. Belief systems affected gender roles. Buddhism and Christianity encouraged monastic life and Confucianism emphasized filial piety.

IV. Other religious and cultural traditions continued parallel to the codified, written belief systems in core civilizations.
     A. Shamanism and animism continued to shape the lives of people within and outside of core civilizations because of their daily reliance on the natural world.
     B. Ancestor veneration persisted in many regions.

V. Artistic expressions, including literature and drama, architecture, and sculpture, show distinctive cultural developments.
     A. Literature and drama acquired distinctive forms that influenced artistic developments in neighboring regions and in later time periods.
     B. Distinctive architectural styles developed in many regions in this period.
     C. The convergence of Greco-Roman culture and Buddhist beliefs affected the development of unique sculptural developments.

Key Concept 2.2. The Development of States and Empires
As the early states and empires grew in number, size, and population, they frequently competed for resources and came into conflict with one another. In quest of land, wealth, and security, some empires expanded dramatically. In doing so, they built powerful military machines and administrative institutions that were capable of organizing human activities over long distances, and they created new groups of military and political elites to manage their affairs. As these empires expanded their boundaries, they also faced the need to develop policies and procedures to govern their relationships with ethnically and culturally diverse populations: sometimes to integrate them within an imperial society and sometimes to exclude them. In some cases, these empires became victims of their own successes. By expanding their boundaries too far, they created political, cultural, and administrative difficulties that they could not manage. They also experienced environmental, social, and economic problems when they overexploited their lands and subjects and permitted excessive wealth to be concentrated in the hands of privileged classes.

I. The number and size of key states and empires grew dramatically by imposing political unity on areas where previously there had been competing states.
     Required examples of key states and empires (Student should know the location and names):
        • Southwest Asia: Persian Empires
        • East Asia: Qin and Han Empire
        • South Asia: Maurya and Gupta Empires
        • Mediterranean region: Phoenicia and its colonies, Greek city-states and colonies, and Hellenistic and Roman Empires
        • Mesoamerica: Teotihuacan, Maya city-states
        • Andean South America: Moche

II. Empires and states developed new techniques of imperial administration based, in part, on the success of earlier political forms.
     A. In order to organize their subjects, the rulers created administrative institutions in many regions.
        Required examples of administrative institutions:
           • Centralized governments
           • Elaborate legal systems and bureaucracies
     B. Imperial governments projected military power over larger areas using a variety of techniques.
          Required examples of such techniques:
            • Diplomacy
            • Developing supply lines
            • Building fortifications, defensive walls, and roads
            • Drawing new groups of military officers and soldiers from the local populations or conquered peoples
     C. Much of the success of the empires rested on their promotion of trade and economic integration by building and maintaining roads and issuing currencies.

III. Unique social and economic dimensions developed in imperial societies in Afro-Eurasia and the Americas.
     A. Cities served as centers of trade, public performance of religious rituals, and political administration for states and empires.
     B. The social structures of empires displayed hierarchies that included cultivators, laborers, slaves, artisans, merchants, elites, or caste groups.
     C. Imperial societies relied on a range of methods to maintain the production of food and provide rewards for the loyalty of the elites.
     D. Patriarchy continued to shape gender and family relations in all imperial societies of this period.

IV. The Roman, Han, Persian, Mauryan, and Gupta empires created political, cultural, and administrative difficulties that they could not manage, which eventually led to their decline, collapse, and transformation into successor empires or states.
     A. Through excessive mobilization of resources, imperial governments caused environmental damage and generated social tensions and economic difficulties by concentrating too much wealth in the hands of elites.
     B. External problems resulted from security issues along their frontiers, including the threat of invasions.

Key Concept 2.3. Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and Exchange
With the organization of large-scale empires, the volume of long-distance trade increased dramatically. Much of this trade resulted from the demand for raw materials and luxury goods. Land and water routes linked many regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. The exchange of people, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens developed alongside the trade in goods across far-flung networks of communication and exchange. In the Americas and Oceania localized networks developed.

I. Land and water routes became the basis for transregional trade, communication, and exchange networks in the Eastern Hemisphere.
     A. Many factors, including the climate and location of the routes, the typical trade goods, and the ethnicity of people involved, shaped the distinctive features of a variety of trade routes.
          Required examples of trade routes:
            • Eurasian Silk Roads
            • Trans-Saharan caravan routes
            • Indian Ocean sea lanes
            • Mediterranean sea lanes

II. New technologies facilitated long-distance communication and exchange.
     A. New technologies permitted the use of domesticated pack animals to transport goods across longer routes.
     B. Innovations in maritime technologies, as well as advanced knowledge of the monsoon winds, stimulated exchanges along maritime routes from East Africa to East Asia.

III. Alongside the trade in goods, the exchange of people, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens developed across far-flung networks of communication and exchange.
     A. The spread of crops, including rice and cotton from South Asia to the Middle East, encouraged changes in farming and irrigation techniques.
     B. The spread of disease pathogens diminished urban populations and contributed to the decline of some empires.
     C. Religious and cultural traditions were transformed as they spread.
          Required examples of transformed religious and cultural traditions:
           • Christianity
           • Hinduism
           • Buddhism

Period 3:
Regional and Transregional Interactions, c. 600 C.E. to c. 1450

Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks
Although Afro-Eurasia and the Americas remained separate from one another, this era witnessed a deepening and widening of old and new networks of human interaction within and across regions. The results were unprecedented concentrations of wealth and the intensification of cross-cultural exchanges. Innovations in transportation, state policies, and mercantile practices contributed to the expansion and development of commercial networks, which in turn served as conduits for cultural, technological, and biological diffusion within and between various societies. Pastoral or nomadic groups played a key role in creating and sustaining these networks. Expanding networks fostered greater interregional borrowing, while at the same time sustaining regional diversity. The prophet Muhammad promoted Islam, a new major monotheistic religion at the start of this period. It spread quickly through practices of trade, warfare, and diffusion characteristic of this period.

I. Improved transportation technologies and commercial practices led to an increased volume of trade, and expanded the geographical range of existing and newly active trade networks.
     A. Existing trade routes flourished and promoted the growth of powerful new trading cities.
          Required examples of existing trade routes:
            • The Silk Roads
            • The Mediterranean Sea
            • The Trans-Saharan
            • The Indian Ocean basins
     B. New trade routes centering on Mesoamerica and the Andes developed.
     C. The growth of interregional trade in luxury goods was encouraged by significant innovations in previously existing transportation and commercial technologies, including more sophisticated caravan organization; use of the compass, astrolabe, and larger ship designs in sea travel; and new forms of credit and monetization.
     D. Commercial growth was also facilitated by state practices, trading organizations, and state-sponsored commercial infrastructures like the Grand Canal in China.
     E. The expansion of empires facilitated Trans-Eurasian trade and communication as new peoples were drawn into their conquerors’ economies and trade networks.
         Required examples of empires:
            • China
            • The Byzantine Empire
            • The Caliphates
            • The Mongols

II. The movement of peoples caused environmental and linguistic effects.
     A. The expansion and intensification of long-distance trade routes often depended on environmental knowledge and technological adaptations to it.
     B. Some migrations had a significant environmental impact.
          Required examples of migration and their environmental impact:
            • The migration of Bantu-speaking peoples who facilitated transmission of iron technologies and agricultural techniques in Sub-Saharan Africa
            • The maritime migrations of the Polynesian peoples who cultivated transplanted foods and domesticated animals as they moved to new islands
     C. Some migrations and commercial contacts led to the diffusion of languages throughout a new region or the emergence of new languages.

III. Cross-cultural exchanges were fostered by the intensification of existing, or the creation of new, networks of trade and communication.
     A. Islam, based on the revelations of the prophet Muhammad, developed in the Arabian peninsula. The beliefs and practices of Islam reflected interactions among Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians with the local Arabian peoples. Muslim rule expanded to many parts of Afro-Eurasia due to military expansion, and Islam subsequently expanded through the activities of merchants and missionaries.
     B. In key places along important trade routes, merchants set up diasporic communities where they introduced their own cultural traditions into the indigenous culture.
     C. The writings of certain interregional travelers illustrate both the extent and the limitations of intercultural knowledge and understanding.
     D. Increased cross-cultural interactions resulted in the diffusion of literary, artistic, and cultural traditions.
     E. Increased cross-cultural interactions also resulted in the diffusion of scientific and technological traditions.

IV. There was continued diffusion of crops and pathogens throughout the Eastern Hemisphere along the trade routes.
     A. New foods and agricultural techniques were adopted in populated areas.
     B. The spread of epidemic diseases, including the Black Death, followed the well established paths of trade and military conquest.

Key Concept 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions
State formation in this era demonstrated remarkable continuity, innovation and diversity in various regions. In Afro-Eurasia, some states attempted, with differing degrees of success, to preserve or revive imperial structures, while smaller, less centralized states continued to develop. The expansion of Islam introduced a new concept — the Caliphate — to Afro-Eurasian statecraft. Pastoral peoples in Eurasia built powerful and distinctive empires that integrated people and institutions from both the pastoral and agrarian worlds. In the Americas, powerful states developed in both Mesoamerica and the Andean region.

I. Empires collapsed and were reconstituted; in some regions new state forms emerged.
     A. Following the collapse of empires, most reconstituted governments, including the Byzantine Empire and the Chinese dynasties — Sui, Tang, and Song — combined traditional sources of power and legitimacy with innovations better suited to the current circumstances.
     B. In some places, new forms of governance emerged, including those developed in various Islamic states, the Mongol Khanates, city-states, and decentralized government (feudalism) in Europe and Japan.
     C. Some states synthesized local and borrowed traditions.
     D. In the Americas, as in Afro-Eurasia, state systems expanded in scope and reach: Networks of city-states flourished in the Maya region and, at the end of this period, imperial systems were created by the Mexica (“Aztecs”) and Inca.

II. Interregional contacts and conflicts between states and empires encouraged significant technological and cultural transfers.
     Required examples of technological and cultural transfers:
          • Between Tang China and the Abbasids
          • Across the Mongol empires
          • During the Crusades

Key Concept 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences
Changes in trade networks resulted from and stimulated increasing productive capacity, with important implications for social and gender structures and environmental processes. Productivity rose in both agriculture and industry. Rising productivity supported population growth and urbanization but also strained environmental resources and at times caused dramatic demographic swings. Shifts in production and the increased volume of trade also stimulated new labor practices, including adaptation of existing patterns of free and coerced labor. Social and gender structures evolved in response to these changes.

I. Innovations stimulated agricultural and industrial production in many regions.
     A. Agricultural production increased significantly due to technological innovations.
     B. In response to increasing demand in Afro-Eurasia for foreign luxury goods, crops were transported from their indigenous homelands to equivalent climates in other regions.
     C. Chinese, Persian, and Indian artisans and merchants expanded their production of textiles and porcelains for export; industrial production of iron and steel expanded in China.

II. The fate of cities varied greatly, with periods of significant decline, and with periods of increased urbanization buoyed by rising productivity and expanding trade networks.
     A. Multiple factors contributed to the declines of urban areas in this period.
          Required examples of these factors:
            • Invasions
            • Disease
            • The decline of agricultural productivity
            • The Little Ice Age
     B. Multiple factors contributed to urban revival.
          Required examples of these factors:
            • The end of invasions
            • The availability of safe and reliable transport
            • The rise of commerce and the warmer temperatures between 800 and 1300
            • Increased agricultural productivity and subsequent rising population
            • Greater availability of labor also contributed to urban growth
     C. While cities in general continued to play the roles they had played in the past as governmental, religious, and commercial centers, many older cities declined at the same time that numerous new cities emerged to take on these established roles.

III. Despite significant continuities in social structures and in methods of production, there were also some important changes in labor management and in the effect of religious conversion on gender relations and family life.
     A. As in the previous period, there were many forms of labor organization.
          Required examples of forms of labor organization:
            • Free peasant agriculture
            • Nomadic pastoralism
            • Craft production and guild organization
            • Various forms of coerced and unfree labor
            • Government-imposed labor taxes
            • Military obligations
     B. As in the previous period, social structures were shaped largely by class and caste hierarchies. Patriarchy persisted; however, in some areas, women exercised more power and influence, most notably among the Mongols and in West Africa, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
     C. New forms of coerced labor appeared, including serfdom in Europe and Japan and the elaboration of the mit’a in the Inca Empire. Free peasants resisted attempts to raise dues and taxes by staging revolts. The demand for slaves for both military and domestic purposes increased, particularly in central Eurasia, parts of Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean.
          Teach one illustrative example of regions where free peasants revolted, either from the list below or an example of your choice:
            • China
            • The Byzantine Empire
     D. The diffusion of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Neoconfucianism often led to significant changes in gender relations and family structure.

Period 4:
Global Interactions, c. 1450 to c. 1750

Key Concept 4.1. Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange
The interconnection of the Eastern and Western hemispheres made possible by transoceanic voyaging marked a key transformation of this period. Technological innovations helped to make transoceanic connections possible. Changing patterns of long-distance trade included the global circulation of some commodities and the formation of new regional markets and financial centers. Increased transregional and global trade networks facilitated the spread of religion and other elements of culture as well as the migration of large numbers of people. Germs carried to the Americas ravaged the indigenous peoples, while the global exchange of crops and animals altered agriculture, diets, and populations around the planet.

I. In the context of the new global circulation of goods, there was an intensification of all existing regional trade networks that brought prosperity and economic disruption to the merchants and governments in the trading regions of the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Sahara, and overland Eurasia.

II. European technological developments in cartography and navigation built on previous knowledge developed in the classical, Islamic, and Asian worlds, and included the production of new tools, innovations in ship designs, and an improved understanding of global wind and currents patterns — all of which made transoceanic travel and trade possible.

III. Remarkable new transoceanic maritime reconnaissance occurred in this period.
     A. Official Chinese maritime activity expanded into the Indian Ocean region with the naval voyages led by Ming Admiral Zheng He, which enhanced Chinese prestige.
     B. Portuguese development of a school for navigation led to increased travel to and trade with West Africa, and resulted in the construction of a global trading-post empire.
     C. Spanish sponsorship of the first Columbian and subsequent voyages across the Atlantic and Pacific dramatically increased European interest in transoceanic travel and trade.
     D. Northern Atlantic crossings for fishing and settlements continued and spurred European searches for multiple routes to Asia.
     E. In Oceania and Polynesia, established exchange and communication networks were not dramatically affected because of infrequent European reconnaissance in the Pacific Ocean.

IV. The new global circulation of goods was facilitated by royal chartered European monopoly companies that took silver from Spanish colonies in the Americas to purchase Asian goods for the Atlantic markets, but regional markets continued to flourish in Afro-Eurasia by using established commercial practices and new transoceanic shipping services developed by European merchants.
     A. European merchants’ role in Asian trade was characterized mostly by transporting goods from one Asian country to another market in Asia or the Indian Ocean region.
     B. Commercialization and the creation of a global economy were intimately connected to new global circulation of silver from the Americas.
     C. Influenced by mercantilism, joint-stock companies were new methods used by European rulers to control their domestic and colonial economies and by European merchants to compete against one another in global trade.
     D. The Atlantic system involved the movement of goods, wealth, and free and unfree laborers, and the mixing of African, American, and European cultures and peoples.

V. The new connections between the Eastern and Western hemispheres resulted in the Columbian Exchange.
     A. European colonization of the Americas led to the spread of diseases— including smallpox, measles, and influenza — that were endemic in the Eastern Hemisphere among Amerindian populations and the unintentional transfer of vermin, including mosquitoes and rats.
     B. American foods became staple crops in various parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Cash crops were grown primarily on plantations with coerced labor and were exported mostly to Europe and the Middle East in this period.
     C. Afro-Eurasian fruit trees, grains, sugar, and domesticated animals were brought by Europeans to the Americas, while other foods were brought by African slaves.
     D. Populations in Afro-Eurasia benefited nutritionally from the increased diversity of American food crops.
     E. European colonization and the introduction of European agriculture and settlements practices in the Americas often affected the physical environment through deforestation and soil depletion.

VI. The increase in interactions between newly connected hemispheres and intensification of connections within hemispheres expanded the spread and reform of existing religions and created syncretic belief systems and practices.
     A. As Islam spread to new settings in Afro-Eurasia, believers adapted it to local cultural practices. The split between the Sunni and Shi’a traditions of Islam intensified, and Sufi practices became more widespread.
     B. The practice of Christianity continued to spread throughout the world and was increasingly diversified by the process of diffusion and the Reformation.
     C. Buddhism spread within Asia.
     D. Syncretic and new forms of religion developed.

VII. As merchants’ profits increased and governments collected more taxes, funding for the visual and performing arts, even for popular audiences, increased.
     A. Innovations in visual and performing arts were seen all over the world.
     B. Literacy expanded and was accompanied by the proliferation of popular authors, literary forms, and works of literature in Afro-Eurasia.

Key Concept 4.2. New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production
Although the world’s productive systems continued to be heavily centered on agricultural production throughout this period, major changes occurred in agricultural labor, the systems and locations of manufacturing, gender and social structures, and environmental processes. A surge in agricultural productivity resulted from new methods in crop and field rotation and the introduction of new crops. Economic growth also depended on new forms of manufacturing and new commercial patterns, especially in long-distance trade. Political and economic centers within regions shifted, and merchants’ social status tended to rise in various states.  Demographic growth — even in areas such as the Americas, where disease had ravaged the population — was restored by the eighteenth century and surged in many regions, especially with the introduction of American food crops throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. The Columbian Exchange led to new ways of humans interacting with their environments. New forms of coerced and semi-coerced labor emerged in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and affected ethnic and racial classifications and gender roles.

I. Traditional peasant agriculture increased and changed, plantations expanded, and demand for labor increased. These changes both fed and responded to growing global demand for raw materials and finished products.
     A. Peasant labor intensified in many regions.
     B. Slavery in Africa continued both the traditional incorporation of slaves into households and the export of slaves to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
     C. The growth of the plantation economy increased the demand for slaves in the Americas.
     D. Colonial economies in the Americas depended on a range of coerced labor.

II. As new social and political elites changed, they also restructured new ethnic, racial, and gender hierarchies.
     A. Both imperial conquests and widening global economic opportunities contributed to the formation of new political and economic elites.
     B. The power of existing political and economic elites fluctuated as they confronted new challenges to their ability to affect the policies of the increasingly powerful monarchs and leaders.
     C. Some notable gender and family restructuring occurred, including the demographic changes in Africa that resulted from the slave trades.
     D. The massive demographic changes in the Americas resulted in new ethnic and racial classifications.

Key Concept 4.3. State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion
Empires expanded and conquered new peoples around the world, but they often had difficulties incorporating culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse subjects, and administrating widely dispersed territories. Agents of the European powers moved into existing trade networks around the world.  In Africa and the greater Indian Ocean, nascent European empires consisted mainly of interconnected trading posts and enclaves. In the Americas, European empires moved more quickly to settlement and territorial control, responding to local demographic and commercial conditions. Moreover, the creation of European empires in the Americas quickly fostered a new Atlantic trade system that included the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Around the world, empires and states of varying sizes pursued strategies of centralization, including more efficient taxation systems that placed strains on peasant producers, sometimes prompting local rebellions. Rulers used public displays of art and architecture to legitimize state power. African states shared certain characteristics with larger Eurasian empires. Changes in African and global trading patterns strengthened some West and Central African states — especially on the coast; this led to the rise of new states and contributed to the decline of states on both the coast and in the interior.

I. Rulers used a variety of methods to legitimize and consolidate their power.
     A. Rulers used the arts to display political power and to legitimize their rule.
     B. Rulers continued to use religious ideas to legitimize their rule.
     C. States treated different ethnic and religious groups in ways that utilized their economic contributions while limiting their ability to challenge the authority of the state.
     D. Recruitment and use of bureaucratic elites, as well as the development of military professionals, became more common among rulers who wanted to maintain centralized control over their populations and resources.
     E. Rulers used tribute collection and tax farming to generate revenue for territorial expansion.

II. Imperial expansion relied on the increased use of gunpowder, cannons, and armed trade to establish large empires in both hemispheres.
     A. Europeans established new trading-post empires in Africa and Asia, which proved profitable for the rulers and merchants involved in new global trade networks, but these empires also affected the power of the states in interior West and Central Africa.
     B. Land empires expanded dramatically in size.
          Required examples of land empires:
            • Manchus
            • Mughals
            • Ottomans
            • Russians
     C. European states established new maritime empires in the Americas.
          Required examples of maritime empires:
            • Portuguese
            • Spanish
            • Dutch
            • French
            • British

III. Competition over trade routes, state rivalries, and local resistance all provided significant challenges to state consolidation and expansion.

Period 5:
Industrialization and Global Integration, c. 1750 to c. 1900

Key Concept 5.1. Industrialization and Global Capitalism
Industrialization fundamentally altered the production of goods around the world. It not only changed how goods were produced and consumed, as well as what was considered a “good,” but it also had far-reaching effects on the global economy, social relations, and culture. Although it is common to speak of an “Industrial Revolution,” the process of industrialization was a gradual one that unfolded over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, eventually becoming global.

I. Industrialization fundamentally changed how goods were produced.
     A. A variety of factors led to the rise of industrial production.
          Required examples of factors leading to the rise of industrial production:
            • Europe’s location on the Atlantic Ocean
            • The geographical distribution of coal, iron and timber
            • European demographic changes
            • Urbanization
            • Improved agricultural productivity
            • Legal protection of private property
            • An abundance of rivers and canals
            • Access to foreign resources
            • The accumulation of capital
     B. The development of machines, including steam engines and the internal combustion engine, made it possible to exploit vast new resources of energy stored in fossil fuels, specifically coal and oil. The “fossil fuels” revolution greatly increased the energy available to human societies.
     C. The development of the factory system concentrated labor in a single location and led to an increasing degree of specialization of labor.
     D. As the new methods of industrial production became more common in parts of northwestern Europe, they spread to other parts of Europe and the United States, Russia, and Japan.
     E. The “second industrial revolution” led to new methods in the production of steel, chemicals, electricity and precision machinery during the second half of the nineteenth century.

II. New patterns of global trade and production developed and further integrated the global economy as industrialists sought raw materials and new markets for the increasing amount and array of goods produced in their factories.
     A. The need for raw materials for the factories and increased food supplies for the growing population in urban centers led to the growth of export economies around the world that specialized in mass producing single natural resources. The profits from these raw materials were used to purchase finished goods.
     B. The rapid development of industrial production contributed to the decline of economically productive, agriculturally based economies.
     C. The rapid increases in productivity caused by industrial production encouraged industrialized states to seek out new consumer markets for their finished goods.
     D. The need for specialized and limited metals for industrial production, as well as the global demand for gold, silver and diamonds as forms of wealth, led to the development of extensive mining centers.

III. To facilitate investments at all levels of industrial production, financiers developed and expanded various financial institutions.
     A. The ideological inspiration for economic changes lies in the development of capitalism and classical liberalism associated with Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.
     B. Financial instruments expanded.
     C. The global nature of trade and production contributed to the proliferation of large-scale transnational businesses.

IV. There were major developments in transportation and communication.
     Required examples of developments in transportation and communication:
        • Railroads
        • Steamships
        • Telegraphs
        • Canals

V. The development and spread of global capitalism led to a variety of responses.
     A. In industrialized states, many workers organized themselves to improve working conditions, limit hours, and gain higher wages, while others opposed capitalist exploitation of workers by promoting alternative visions of society.
     B. In Qing China and the Ottoman Empire, some members of the government resisted economic change and attempted to maintain preindustrial forms of economic production.
     C. In a small number of states, governments promoted their own state-sponsored visions of industrialization.
     D. In response to criticisms of industrial global capitalism, some governments mitigated the negative effects of industrial capitalism by promoting various types of reforms.

VI. The ways in which people organized themselves into societies also underwent significant transformations in industrialized states due to the fundamental restructuring of the global economy.
     A. New social classes, including the middle class and the industrial working class, developed.
     B. Family dynamics, gender roles, and demographics changed in response to industrialization.
     C. Rapid urbanization that accompanied global capitalism often led to unsanitary conditions, as well as to new forms of community.

Key Concept 5.2. Imperialism and Nation-State Formation
As states industrialized during this period, they also expanded their existing overseas colonies and established new types of colonies and transoceanic empires. Regional warfare and diplomacy both resulted in and were affected by this process of modern empire building. The process was led mostly by Europe, although not all states were affected equally, which led to an increase of European influence around the world. The United States and Japan also participated in this process. The growth of new empires challenged the power of existing land-based empires of Eurasia. New ideas about nationalism, race, gender, class, and culture also developed that facilitated the spread of transoceanic empires, as well as justified anti-imperial resistance and the formation of new national identities.

I. Industrializing powers established transoceanic empires.
     A. States with existing colonies strengthened their control over those colonies.
     B. European states, as well as the Americans and the Japanese, established empires throughout Asia and the Pacific, while Spanish and Portuguese influence declined.
     C. Many European states used both warfare and diplomacy to establish empires in Africa.
     D. In some parts of their empires, Europeans established settler colonies.
     E. In other parts of the world, industrialized states practiced economic imperialism.

II. Imperialism influenced state formation and contraction around the world.
     A. The expansion of U.S. and European influence over Tokugawa Japan led to the emergence of Meiji Japan.
     B. The United States and Russia emulated European transoceanic imperialism by expanding their land borders and conquering neighboring territories.
     C. Anti-imperial resistance led to the contraction of the Ottoman Empire.
     D. New states developed on the edges of existing empires.
     E. The development and spread of nationalism as an ideology fostered new communal identities.

III. New racial ideologies, especially Social Darwinism, facilitated and justified imperialism.
Key Concept 5.3. Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform
The eighteenth century marked the beginning of an intense period of revolution and rebellion against existing governments, and the establishment of new nation-states around the world. Enlightenment thought and the resistance of colonized peoples to imperial centers shaped this revolutionary activity. These rebellions sometimes resulted in the formation of new states and stimulated the development of new ideologies.  These new ideas in turn further stimulated the revolutionary and antiimperial tendencies of this period.

I. The rise and diffusion of Enlightenment thought that questioned established traditions in all areas of life often preceded the revolutions and rebellions against existing governments.
     A. Thinkers applied new ways of understanding the natural world to human relationships, encouraging observation and inference in all spheres of life.
     B. Intellectuals critiqued the role that religion played in public life, insisting on the importance of reason as opposed to revelation.
     C. Enlightenment thinkers developed new political ideas about the individual, natural rights, and the social contract.
     D. The ideas of Enlightenment thinkers influenced resistance to existing political authority, as reflected in revolutionary documents.
        Required examples of revolutionary documents:
          • The American Declaration of Independence
          • The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
          • Bolivar’s Jamaica Letter
     E. These ideas influenced many people to challenge existing notions of social relations, which led to the expansion of rights as seen in expanded suffrage, the abolition of slavery and the end of serfdom, as their ideas were implemented.

II. Beginning in the eighteenth century, peoples around the world developed a new sense of commonality based on language, religion, social customs and territory. These newly imagined national communities linked this identity with the borders of the state, while governments used this idea to unite diverse populations.

III. Increasing discontent with imperial rule propelled reformist and revolutionary movements.
     A. Subjects challenged the centralized imperial governments.
     B. American colonial subjects led a series of rebellions, which facilitated the emergence of independent states in the United States, Haiti, and mainland Latin America. French subjects rebelled against their monarchy.
        Required examples of rebellions:
          • American Revolution
          • French Revolution
          • Haitian Revolution
          • Latin American independence movements
     C. Slave resistance challenged existing authorities in the Americas.
     D. Increasing questions about political authority and growing nationalism contributed to anticolonial movements.
     E. Some of the rebellions were influenced by religious ideas and millenarianism.
     F. Responses to increasingly frequent rebellions led to reforms in imperial policies.

IV. The global spread of European political and social thought and the increasing number of rebellions stimulated new transnational ideologies and solidarities.
     A. Discontent with monarchist and imperial rule encouraged the development of political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, and communism.
     B. Demands for women’s suffrage and an emergent feminism challenged political and gender hierarchies.

Key Concept 5.4. Global Migration
Migration patterns changed dramatically throughout this period, and the numbers of migrants increased significantly. These changes were closely connected to the development of transoceanic empires and a global capitalist economy. In some cases, people benefited economically from migration, while other people were seen simply as commodities to be transported. In both cases, migration produced dramatically different societies for both sending and receiving societies, and presented challenges to governments in fostering national identities and regulating the flow of people.

I. Migration in many cases was influenced by changes in demography in both industrialized and unindustrialized societies that presented challenges to existing patterns of living.
     A. Changes in food production and improved medical conditions contributed to a significant global rise in population.
     B. Because of the nature of the new modes of transportation, both internal and external migrants increasingly relocated to cities. This pattern contributed to the significant global urbanization of the nineteenth century.

II. Migrants relocated for a variety of reasons.
     A. Many individuals chose freely to relocate, often in search of work.
     B. The new global capitalist economy continued to rely on coerced and semicoerced labor migration.
        Required examples of coerced and semicoerced labor migration:
          • Slavery
          • Chinese and Indian indentured servitude
          • Convict labor
     C. While many migrants permanently relocated, a significant number of temporary and seasonal migrants returned to their home societies.

III. The large-scale nature of migration, especially in the nineteenth century, produced a variety of consequences and reactions to the increasingly diverse societies on the part of migrants and the existing populations.
     A. Due to the physical nature of the labor in demand, migrants tended to be male, leaving women to take on new roles in the home society that had been formerly occupied by men.
     B. Migrants often created ethnic enclaves in different parts of the world
which helped transplant their culture into new environments and
facilitated the development of migrant support networks.
     C. Receiving societies did not always embrace immigrants, as seen in the
various degrees of ethnic and racial prejudice and the ways states attempted
to regulate the increased flow of people across their borders.

Period 6: 
Accelerating Global Change and Realignments, c. 1900 to the Present

Key Concept 6.1 Science and the Environment
Rapid advances in science altered the understanding of the universe and the natural world and led to the development of new technologies. These changes enabled unprecedented population growth, which altered how humans interacted with the environment and threatened delicate ecological balances at local, regional, and global levels.

I. Researchers made rapid advances in science that spread throughout the world, assisted by the development of new technology.
     A. New modes of communication and transportation virtually eliminated the problem of geographic distance.
     B. New scientific paradigms transformed human understanding of the world.
     C. The Green Revolution produced food for the earth’s growing population as it spread chemically and genetically enhanced forms of agriculture.
     D. Medical innovations increased the ability of humans to survive.
     E. Energy technologies including the use of oil and nuclear power raised productivity and increased the production of material goods.

II. As the global population expanded at an unprecedented rate, humans fundamentally changed their relationship with the environment.
     A. Humans exploited and competed over the earth’s finite resources more intensely than ever before in human history.
     B. Global warming was a major consequence of the release of greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere.
     C. Pollution threatened the world’s supply of water and clean air.  Deforestation and desertification were continuing consequences of the human impact on the environment. Rates of extinction of other species accelerated sharply.

III. Disease, scientific innovations, and conflict led to demographic shifts.
     A. Diseases associated with poverty persisted, while other diseases emerged as new epidemics and threats to human survival. In addition, changing lifestyles and increased longevity led to higher incidence of certain diseases.
     B. More effective forms of birth control gave women greater control over fertility and transformed sexual practices.
     C. Improved military technology and new tactics led to increased levels of wartime casualties.

Key Concept 6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a European-dominated global political order existed, which also included the United States, Russia, and Japan. Over the course of the century, peoples and states around the world challenged this order in ways that sought to redistribute power within the existing order and to restructure empires, while those peoples and states in power attempted to maintain the status quo. Other peoples and states sought to overturn the political order itself. These challenges to, and the attempts to maintain, the political order manifested themselves in an unprecedented level of conflict with high human casualties. In the context of these conflicts, many regimes in both older and newer states struggled with maintaining political stability and were challenged by internal and external factors, including ethnic and religious conflicts, secessionist movements, territorial partitions, economic dependency, and the legacies of colonialism.

I. Europe dominated the global political order at the beginning of the twentieth century, but both land-based and transoceanic empires gave way to new forms of transregional political organization by the century’s end.
     A. The older land-based Ottoman, Russian, and Qing empires collapsed due to a combination of internal and external factors.
     B. Some colonies negotiated their independence.
     C. Some colonies achieved independence through armed struggle.

II. Emerging ideologies of anti-imperialism contributed to the dissolution of empires and the restructuring of states.
     A. Nationalist leaders in Asia and Africa challenged imperial rule.
     B. Regional, religious, and ethnic movements challenged both colonial rule and inherited imperial boundaries.
     C. Transnational movements sought to unite people across national boundaries.
     D. Movements to redistribute land and resources developed within states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, sometimes advocating communism and socialism.

III. Political changes were accompanied by major demographic and social consequences.
     A. The redrawing of old colonial boundaries led to population resettlements.
     B. The migration of former colonial subjects to imperial metropoles maintained cultural and economic ties between the colony and the metropole even after the dissolution of empires.
     C. The proliferation of conflicts led to various forms of ethnic violence and the displacement of peoples resulting in refugee populations.

IV. Military conflicts occurred on an unprecedented global scale.
     A. World War I and World War II were the first “total wars.” Governments used ideologies, including fascism, nationalism and communism, to mobilize all of their state’s resources, including peoples, both in the home countries and the colonies or former colonies, for the purpose of waging war. Governments also used a variety of strategies, including political speeches, art, media, and intensified forms of nationalism, to mobilize these populations.
     B. The sources of global conflict in the first half of the century varied.
        Required examples of the sources of global conflict:
          • Imperialist expansion by European powers and Japan
          • Competition for resources
          • Ethnic conflict
          • Great power rivalries between Great Britain and Germany
          • Nationalist ideologies
          • The economic crisis engendered by the Great Depression.
     C. The global balance of economic and political power shifted after the end of World War II and rapidly evolved into the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union emerged as superpowers, which led to ideological struggles between capitalism and communism throughout the globe.
     D. The Cold War produced new military alliances, including NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and promoted proxy wars in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
     E. The dissolution of the Soviet Union effectively ended the Cold War.

V. Although conflict dominated much of the twentieth century, many individuals and groups — including states — opposed this trend. Some individuals and groups, however, intensified the conflicts.
     A. Groups and individuals challenged the many wars of the century, and some promoted the practice of nonviolence as a way to bring about political change.
     B. Groups and individuals opposed and promoted alternatives to the existing economic, political, and social orders.
     C. Militaries and militarized states often responded to the proliferation of conflicts in ways that further intensified conflict.
     D. More movements used violence against civilians to achieve political aims.
     E. Global conflicts had a profound influence on popular culture.

Key Concept 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture
The twentieth century witnessed a great deal of warfare and the collapse of the global economy in the 1930s. In response to these challenges, the role of state in the domestic economy fluctuated, and new institutions of global governance emerged and continued to develop throughout the century. Scientific breakthroughs, new technologies, increasing levels of integration, changing relationships between humans and the environment, and the frequency of political conflict all contributed to global developments in which people crafted new understandings of society, culture, and historical interpretations. These new understandings often manifested themselves in, and were reinforced by, new forms of cultural production. Institutions of global governance both shaped and adapted to these social conditions.

I. States responded in a variety of ways to the economic challenges of the twentieth century.
     A. In the Communist states of the Soviet Union and China, governments controlled their national economies.
     B. At the beginning of the century in the United States and parts of Europe, governments played a minimal role in their national economies. With the onset of the Great Depression, governments began to take a more active role in economic life.
     C. In newly independent states after World War II, governments often took on a strong role in guiding economic life to promote development.
     D. At the end of the twentieth century, many governments encouraged free market economic policies and promoted economic liberalization.

II. States, communities, and individuals became increasingly interdependent, a process facilitated by the growth of institutions of global governance.
     A. New international organizations formed to maintain world peace and to facilitate international cooperation.
     B. New economic institutions sought to spread the principles and practices associated with free market economics throughout the world.
     C. Humanitarian organizations developed to respond to humanitarian crises throughout the world.
     D. Regional trade agreements created regional trading blocs designed to promote the movement of capital and goods across national borders.
     E. Multinational corporations began to challenge state authority and autonomy.
     F. Movements throughout the world protested the inequality of environmental and economic consequences of global integration.

III. People conceptualized society and culture in new ways; some challenged old assumptions about race, class, gender, and religion, often using new technologies to spread reconfigured traditions.
     A. The notion of human rights gained traction throughout the world.
     B. Increased interactions among diverse peoples sometimes led to the formation of new cultural identities and exclusionary reactions.
     C. Believers developed new forms of spirituality and chose to emphasize particular aspects of practice within existing faiths and apply them to political issues.

IV. Popular and consumer culture became global.
     A. Sports were more widely practiced and reflected national and social aspirations.
     B. Changes in communication and transportation technology enabled the widespread diffusion of music and film.

© 2011-13 Lea Burnside