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AP World History Period 6: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments, c. 1900 to the Present
Overview of Key Concepts
Key Concept 6.1: Science and the Environment
See 6.1 PowerPoint
Key Concept 6.2: Global Conflicts and Their Consequences
Europe dominated the global political order at the beginning of the 20th century, but
both land-based and trans-oceanic empires gave way to new forms of transregional
political organization by century’s end.
a. The older land-based Ottoman, Russian, and Qing empires collapsed due to a combination of
internal and external factors.
i. Economic hardship
ii. Political and social discontent
iii. Technological stagnation
iv. Military defeat
b. Some colonies negotiated their independence.
i. India from the British Empire
ii. The Gold Coast (Ghana) from the British Empire
c. Some colonies achieved independence through armed struggle.
i. Algeria and Vietnam from the French
ii. Kenya from the British
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.
i. Mohandas Gandhi – India
ii. Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam
iii. Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana
b. Regional, religious, and ethnic movements challenged both colonial rule and inherited
imperial boundaries.
i. Muhammad Ali Jinnah – “Father of Pakistan”; led Pakistani independence movement
c. Transnational movements sought to unite people across national boundaries.
i. Communism
ii. Pan-Arabism (Arab League)
iii. Pan Africanism
Political changes were accompanied by major demographic and social consequences.
a. The redrawing of old colonial boundaries led to population resettlements.
i. The India/Pakistan partition
ii. The Zionist Jewish settlement of Palestine
iii. The division of the Middle East into mandatory states (Mandates)
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.
i. South Asians to Britain
ii. Algerians to France
iii. Filipinos to the United States
c. The proliferation of conflicts led to various forms of ethnic violence …
i. Armenia
ii. The Holocaust
iii. Cambodia
iv. Rwanda
d. and the displacement of peoples resulting in refugee populations.
i. Palestinians following creation of Israel and Arab-Israeli wars.
Military conflicts occurred on an unprecedented global scale.
a. World War I and 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.
i. Military conscription “The draft”
ii. The ANZAC troops (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) fighting in WW I
b. The sources of global conflict in the first half of the century varied.
i. Imperialist expansion by European powers and Japan
ii. Competition for resources
iii. Ethnic conflict
iv. Great power rivalries between Great Britain and Germany
v. Nationalist ideologies
vi. 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 ideologies 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.
Although conflict dominated much of the 20th 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 promoted the practice
of nonviolence as a way to bring about political change.
i. The antinuclear movement during the Cold War – Organizations, nations, & protests
against nuclear armaments and power.
ii. Thich Quang Duc – Buddhist monk burned himself to death to protest persecution of
Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. 1963 in Saigon, South Vietnam.
b. Groups and individuals opposed and promoted alternatives to the existing economic,
political, and social orders.
i. Communist leaders such as Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong
ii. The Non-Aligned Movement, which presented an alternative political bloc to the
Cold War
iii. The Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa
iv. The Tiananmen Square protesters that promoted democracy in China.
c. Militaries and militarized states often responded to the proliferation of conflicts in ways
that further intensified conflicts.
i. The promotion of military dictatorship in Latin America and Africa
ii. The buildup of the “military-industrial complex” and arms trading
d. More movements used violence against civilians to achieve political aims.
i. IRA (Irish Republican Army) terrorist acts against British; in the name of Irish
ii. Al-Qaeda – Sponsored numerous terrorist attacks including 9/11/2001
e. Global conflicts had a profound influence on popular culture.
i. James Bond
ii. Video games
Key Concept 6.3: New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture
States responded in a variety of ways to the economic challenges of the twentieth
a. In the communist states of the Soviet Union and China, governments controlled their
national economies.
i. Stalin’s Five Year Plans
ii. Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution
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.
i. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to stimulate the economy
ii. Fascist corporatist economies in Italy, Germany, and Spain
c. In newly independent states after World War II, governments often took on a strong role in
guiding economic life to promote development.
i. Nasser’s promotion of economic development in Egypt
d. At the end of the twentieth century, many governments encouraged free market economic
policies and promoted economic liberalization.
i. The United States beginning with Ronald Reagan
ii. Britain under Margaret Thatcher
iii. China under Deng Xiaoping
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.
i. The League of Nations
ii. The United Nations
b. New economic institutions sought to spread the principles and practices associated with
free market economies throughout the world.
i. The World Bank
ii. The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
iii. World Trade Organization (WTO)
c. Humanitarian organizations developed to respond to humanitarian crises throughout the
i. World Health Organization (WHO)
ii. The Red Cross
iv. Doctors Without Borders
d. Regional trade agreements created regional trading blocs designed to promote the
movement of capital and goods across national borders.
i. The European Union (EU)
ii. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Mexico, U.S., Canada
e. Multinational corporations began to challenge state authority and autonomy.
i. Sony
ii. Coca-Cola
iii. Exxon
f. Movements throughout the world protested the inequality of environmental and economic
consequences of global integration.
i. Greenpeace
ii. Earth Day
People conceptualized society and culture in new ways; some challenged old
assumptions about race, gender, and religion, often using new technologies to spread
reconfigured traditions.
a. The notion of human rights gained traction throughout the world.
i. The United Nation’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
ii. Women’s rights
iii. The end of the White Australia Policy
b. Increased interactions among diverse peoples sometimes led to the formation of new
cultural identities…
i. Negritude
c. and exclusionary reactions.
i. Xenophobia – dislike or fear of people from other countries
ii. Race riots
iii. Citizenship restrictions
d. Believers developed new forms of spirituality…
i. New Age Religions
ii. Hare Krishna
e. and chose to emphasize particular aspects of practice within existing faiths and apply them
to political issues.
i. Fundamentalist movements
Popular and consumer culture became global.
a. Sports were more widely practiced and reflected national and social aspirations.
i. World Cup Soccer
ii. The Olympics
b. Changes in communication and transportation technology enabled the widespread diffusion
of music and film.
i. Reggae
ii. Bollywood