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AP World History

Unit 1: c. 1200-1450

The Global Tapestry

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Throughout the world, religion played an important role in politically unifying certain regions and kingdoms

  • As kingdoms grew larger & started bordering each other, they fostered cultural & trade relations with each other

Unit 2: c. 1200-1450

Networks of Exchange

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Improved environmental knowledge, maritime tech, and commercial practices → Expanded reach of trade routes

  • Increased volume of trade → Fostered grow of new trading cities & states

  • Increased cross-cultural interaction → Diffusion of different cultures in key trading cities

Unit 3: c. 1450-1750

Land-Based Empires

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Various land-based empires emerged, and they all used common themes of tax-collection, monumental art & architecture, religion, military elites, bureaucracies, and gunpowder to expand & legitimize their rule

  • Interactions between different religions led to divisions among a religion (Protestant Reformation), conflict between religions (Ottomans vs Safavids), and the creation of syncretic religions (Sikhism)

Unit 4: c. 1450-1750

Transoceanic Interconnections

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • Europeans started to explore the world, creating global trading post empires, fostering the growth of certain economic partners, challenging the power of existing elites, and colonizing new lands

  • Europeans established the triangular trade to supply the agricultural economy of the Americas with a fresh supply of African slaves, which led to lots of social, political, economic, cultural, and demographic changes

Unit 5: c. 1750-1900


Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • The spread of empiricist Enlightenment ideals & liberal ideologies influenced many political revolutions & reform movements

  • The industrial revolution (originating in Britain) had many social effects and required the rest of the world to react to it, causing many states to decline or implement reform movements

Unit 6: c. 1750-1900

Consequences of Industrialization

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • As Europeans industrialized, they gained an economic advantage in the global economy → Colonized other lands to gain raw materials to support their economy

  • European imperialism → Westernized all their colonies & contributed to the global migration of millions of people

Unit 7: c. 1900-Present

Global Conflict

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • The competition between the overly nationalistic European states came to climax in WW1, leading to huge casualties

  • The interwar period had lots of political and economic instability, largely due to unresolved post-WW1 tensions

  • WW2 was a result of unresolved political tensions from WW1, and it also led to huge casualties

Unit 8: c. 1900-Present

Cold War and Decolonization

Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • The World Wars diminished the power & influence of Western Europe → Allowed US & USSR to emerge as global superpowers

  • Diminishing European power after the World Wars → Nearly all colonies declared independence

Unit 9: c. 1900-Present


Main Ideas of the Unit:

  • New technologies made life easier & allowed for a more interconnected world

  • Economic globalization → The Spread of American culture throughout the world

  • Growth of economic inequality → Calls for reform

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