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Ms. Powelson
Room D-19
[email protected]
Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made
of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.
Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC - 43 BC)
Primary Textbook:
World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 3rd ed.
The Earth and Its Peoples
Supplemental Texts: World History to 1648
World History from 1500
Welcome to what I hope will be a challenging and stimulating course. You can expect a lot of reading,
a lot of writing, and, hopefully, a lot of learning. Throughout this course we will delve deeply into
the study of global history, in an attempt to arrive at an understanding of the forces, correlations,
and discourses at work in the periods and places that we study.
Course Description
The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of
global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This
understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate
analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their
causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies.
Course Outline
This course will utilize the following chronological breakdown. The time in parenthesis is the
approximate amount of time that will be devoted to the corresponding chapters in this course.
Please note that this course will utilize the designations BCE (before the common era) and CE
(common era). These labels correspond to BC (before Christ) and AD (anno domini).
Unit 1: c. 8000 BCE – 600 CE
Focus questions: What is “civilization”? Who is “civilized”? Does change occur by
diffusion or independent invention?
Topic 1: Locating world history in the environment and time
Topic 2: Developing agriculture and technology
Topic 3: Basic features of early civilizations: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus, Shang;
Mesoamerican and Andean
Topic 4: Major Belief Systems: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity,
Confucianism, and Daoism; polytheism and shamanism
Topic 5: Classical civilizations: Greece, Rome, China, and India including migrations of the
Huns, Germanic tribes
Topic 6: Interregional networks by 600 CE and spread of belief systems
Comparisons: early civilizations, major belief systems, systems of social inequality, cities, political
systems, trading systems, migrations, role of nomadic peoples.
Unit 1 Assessments: Daily reading quizzes, Chapter study guides, PERSIA Charts on Ancient and
Classical Civilizations, APPARTS on various ancient documents, DBQ (on Buddhism),
Compare/Contrast essay comparing river valley civilizations
Unit 2: 600 – 1450
Focus questions: Should we study cultural areas or states? Did changes in this
period occur from the effects of nomadic migrations or urban growth? Was there
a world economic network during this period?
Topic 1: The Islamic World, the Crusades, and Schism in Christianity
Topic 2: Silk Road trade networks, Chinese model and urbanization
Topic 3: Compare European and Japanese feudalism, Vikings
Topic 4: Mongols across Eurasia and urban destruction in Southwest Asia, Black Death
Topic 5: Compare Bantu and Polynesian migrations, Great Zimbabwe and Mayan empires
and urbanization; Aztec and Incan empires and urbanization
Topic 6: Ming Treasure Ships and Indian Ocean trade networks (Swahili coast)
Comparisons: Japanese versus European feudalism, European monarchy versus
African empires, role of major cities, Aztec versus Incan empires.
Unit 2 Assessments: Daily reading quizzes, Chapter study guides, PERSIA Charts on various
civilizations (Mongols, Aztecs, Incas, etc.), APPARTS on various historical documents, DBQ (Spread
pf Islam and Impact on the role of women), Compare/Contrast essay comparing various trade
Unit 3: 1450 – 1750
Focus questions: To what extent did Europe become predominant in the world
economy during this period?
Topic 1: “Southernization” in Western Europe and the Scientific Revolution and
Renaissance; Change—Reformation and Counter Reformation
Topic 2: Encounters and Exchange: Reconquista, Portuguese in Morocco, West Africa,
Spanish in the Americas
Topic 3: Encounters and Exchange: Portuguese in Indian Ocean trade networks, Manila
galleons and the Ming Silver Trade
Topic 4: Labor Systems in the Atlantic World—The Africanization of the
Americas (slave trade, plantation economies, resistance to slavery);
Labor systems in the Russian Empire and resistance to serfdom
Topic 5: Expansion of Global Economy and Absolutism: Ottoman, Safavid,
Mughal, Bourbons, Tokugawa, and Romanov
Topic 6: Effects of the Atlantic Slave Trade on demography in West Africa, resistance to the
Atlantic slave trade, and expansion of Islam in sub-Saharan
Comparisons: Imperial systems in Europe versus Asia; coercive labor systems,
empire building in Asia, Africa, and Europe; interactions with the West
Unit 3 Assessments: Daily reading quizzes, Chapter study guides, PERSIA Charts on Ottomans,
Safavids, Mughals, APPARTS on various historical documents, DBQ (Labor Systems),
Compare/Contrast essay comparing various systems of coerced labor.
Unit 4: 1750 – 1914
Focus questions: Through what processes did the influence of industrialization
spread throughout the world? How did the rights of individuals and groups change
in this period? To what degree did new types of social conflict emerge during the
nineteenth century?
Topic 1: European Enlightenment, American, French, Haitian, and Latin
American Revolutions, Napoleon
Topic 2: British Industrial Revolution and De-Industrialization of India and
Topic 3: Imperialism and Industrialization
Topic 4: Nationalism and Modernization
Topic 5: Anti-Slavery, Suffrage, Labor, and Anti-Imperialist movements as
Reactions to Industrialization and Modernization
Topic 6: Chinese, Mexican, and Russian Revolutions as Reactions to
Industrialization and Modernization
Comparisons: Industrial Revolution in Europe versus Japan, political revolutions,
reactions to foreign domination, nationalism, western interventions, women in
Europe of different classes.
Unit 4 Assessments: Daily reading quizzes, Chapter study guides, PERSIA Charts on Post
Industrial civilizations, APPARTS on various historical documents, DBQ (Spread of Technology),
Compare/Contrast essay comparing revolutions.
Unit 5: 1914 – Present
Focus questions: How do ideological struggles provide an explanation for many of
the conflicts of the 20th century? To what extent have the rights of the individual
and the state replaced the rights of the community? How have conflict and change
influenced migration patterns internally and internationally? How have international organizations
influenced change?
Topic 1: World War I, Total War, and Reactions to the 4 Points
Topic 2: Rise of Consumerism and Internationalization of Culture
Topic 3: Depression and Authoritarian Responses
Topic 4: World War II and Forced Migrations
Topic 5: United Nations and Decolonization
Topic 6: Cold War, Imperialism, and the End of the Cold War
Comparisons: Decolonization in Africa versus India, role of women in revolutions,
effects of the World Wars on areas outside Europe, nationalist movements,
impact of Western consumer society and culture on others.
Unit 5 Assessments: Daily reading quizzes, Chapter study guides, PERSIA Charts on regions
affected by WWI, APPARTS on various historical documents (specifically Treaty of Versailles and 14
points), DBQ (Decolonization in Africa), Compare/Contrast essay comparing nationalist movements.
As this is an AP course, you can expect a heavy reading load. You will be responsible not only for
readings from the texts, but also several outside readings which will be made available to you either
as handouts or through the class website. Treat these readings as you would an assigned reading
from the text – they are not optional. You will be responsible for the material covered in
these readings for quizzes and exams.
Written Assignments
As with the reading, you will be expected to complete many in-class and take-home writing
assignments. These will include DBQs (document based questions), analytical essays, etc. This will
not only help to prepare you for the free-response portion of the AP test in May, but it will also help
you to synthesize the information you have learned, as well as forcing you to take varying
perspectives of the same information.
The exams in this class will consist of a combination of multiple choice, identification, and essay
questions. The essay questions will vary in length in kind, ranging from analytical questions to
DBQs. Not only do I feel this is a good way to assess and reinforce your learning, but it will also help
you prepare for the AP exams in May. The midterm and final exams are exclusively multiple choice,
roughly 70 questions in length.
The majority of homework assignments in this class will consist of readings and cornell notes. You
are responsible for any readings the date they are due, as this is necessary in order to have
intelligent discussions in the classroom. Quizzes may be given to assess whether or not the assigned
readings were completed. Written assignments will be collected at the start of class. I will not
accept any turned in after that time, unless prior arrangements have been made with me.
You will have approximately 2-3 quizzes per week, and will not be told on what days the quizzes will
be. Therefore, it is imperative that you read every night whether there is a quiz or not. Please be
warned…. These quizzes are not easy and generally have 5-10 questions. Mere skimming of the
chapter will NOT help you pass the quizzes. During the 1st semester it will most likely be necessary
for you to read through your nightly reading more than once.
Course Policies
Every student is expected to comply with the rules listed by the school. All policies (including dress
code, attendance, and general behavior) will be enforced in this classroom.
Students are to follow all set school rules regarding attendance. In regards to the specifics of this
class, no student will be allowed entry to class after an absence without the appropriate form from
the main office. All students will be held responsible for any and all material missed. To that end, I
am available, as usual, to all students at the end of the school day or via email. Any assignments
due during the absence are due immediately upon return to class -- no exceptions. If possible, prior
notice should be given before a missed exam, and it will be scheduled before the absence. If an
absence is unavoidable, an alternate form of the exam will be administered at the earliest date
Tardiness is disruptive to both myself, and the class. In that light, please be advised that no student
will be allowed late entry into the class without the proper forms from the main office, or a valid hall
pass from another teacher. If you are denied entrance into the class, you will be held responsible for
any material missed, assignments due, etc. I will not, however, let you take a quiz you missed due
to tardiness. Please bear in mind that you are expected to be in your seat and ready to work by the
time the tardy bell rings.
Classroom Behavior
It is my hope to conduct this class in a manner that is conducive to an open and civilized exchange of
ideas. To that end, it is imperative that everyone is treated with respect. Talking over others,
shouting out answers without first having been recognized, and other disruptive behaviors will not
be tolerated. A warning will be given the first time, after which you will be asked to leave the class
(again, you are responsible for any missed material, assignments due, etc.).
Moreover, no phones, MP3 players, or other similar devices are allowed anywhere in the classroom -no exceptions. They are disruptive and disrespectful.
AP Exam Reviews
As we move closer to the AP exam in May, I will hold approximately 8 review sessions, one review
session for each of the 3 essays and one review session for each of the five major time periods. In
order for you to be recommended to take the exam; I require that you attend at least 5 of the 8
review sessions. Only recommended students will have the testing fee paid for by the school.
Plagiarism & Cheating
Don't do it! Fair warning - you will have earned a zero and that is what you will receive. In
addition, depending on the severity, you may have also earned an 'F' for the class. Moreover,
appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.
Late Assignments
This one is simple, there is NO LATE WORK! This is an AP course, what did you expect? 
Class Participation
Your participation in class discussions is an integral part of this class. To that end, every student is
expected to contribute to the class discussions. The level and quality of a student's participation will
be factored into the final grade.
The grade you earn is the grade you will receive on your report card -- I do not grade on a curve.