High School for Environmental Studies ap world History Syllabus 2014-2015

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High School for Environmental Studies

AP World History Syllabus 2014-2015

Office: Humanities Office, room 2032

Overview: AP World History (APWH) is based on a multi-perspective global approach; students should have considerable analytical, research, and self-disciplinary skills. Students will be reading, discussing, and analyzing secondary and primary sources, as well as literary sources from the various cultures and time periods explored. The course is designed to encourage self-direction and self-discipline among the students. Socratic discussion, position papers, lectures, and student-led presentations will enhance the goals of the course to provide a rigorous and challenging curriculum. Course evaluations will consist of presentations, analytical essays, document-based questions (DBQs), position papers, and various historiographic assessments. By focusing on a student centered learning environment with independent ideas, constant writing and analytical exercises, students will refine their skills in preparation for the Advanced Placement World History Exam.
General Assignment Expectations: The expectations for APWH assignments may be much greater than you may have experienced in your previous class. Your answers to all assignments should be more analytical than descriptive, and should never be copied directly from the book!
All major assignments for APWH must be typed, Times New Roman font, and double spaced, or neatly written in blue or black ink on loose-leaf paper (if I cannot read your handwriting, your assignment will not be graded). Your writing should be clear and concise, Writing effectively for a college-level history course requires you to include the most relevant and germane information. Overly verbose writing will cost you time and could potentially negatively impact your grade. Your answers should tie in not only specific ideas but also the larger picture. Remember, in AP World History we are looking for themes and generalities, so your answers should reflect this type of thinking.
Course Text and Other Reading:

  • Main Text: Bulliet, Richard. The Earth and it’s Peoples. United States: Wadsworth Publishing

  • Alternate Texts (with primary source material):

    • Bentley, Jerry H and Ziegler, Herbert F. 2011. Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. 5th ed. AP ed. McGraw Hill.

    • Strayer, Robert W. 2011. Ways of the World: A Global History with Sources. Bedford/St. Martins.

  • Primary Source Texts:

    • Sterns, Peter N; Gosch, Stephen S; Grieshaber, Erwin P. Documents in World History, 5th Edition, Volumes I and II. 2009. Pearson Education.

  • Secondary Source Texts:

    • Mitchell, Joseph R; Mitchell, Helen Buss. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World History. 3rd Edition. Volumes I and II. 2010. McGraw Hill.

    • Sterns, Peter N. Cultures in Motion: Mapping Key Contacts and Their Imprints in World History. 2001. Yale University Press.

    • Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. 1999. W.W. Norton & Company.

Course Themes: There are 5 major course themes that we will be exploring in AP World History. Because of the breadth and scope of World History content, the 5 themes will be applied and examined throughout the course so that we may explore the common threads that exist in human history. AP World history focuses on the “big picture” of world history—comparing and contrasting different cultures, and examining continuity and change over time. We will be using the acronym SPICE to organize these themes.
Social—Development and Transformation of Social Structures

  • Gender roles and relations

  • Family and kinship

  • Racial and ethnic constructions

  • Social and economic classes

Political—State Building, Expansion, and Conflict

  • Political structures and forms of governance

  • Empires

  • Nations and nationalism

  • Revolts and revolutions

  • Regional, transregional, and global structures and organizations

Interaction Between Humans and the Environment

  • Demography and disease

  • Migration

  • Patterns of settlement

  • Technology

Cultural—Development and Interaction of Cultures

  • Religions

  • 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

  • Labor systems

  • Industrialization

  • Capitalism and socialism

Historical Periodization: The AP World History course is broken down into 6 chronological periods. Although historians have often struggled with dividing history into such periods because it gives preference to certain cultures and developments, it is necessary to structure the course. The period titles, date ranges, and instructional importance and assessment weighting follows:


Period Title

Date Range



Technological and Environmental Transformations

To c. 600 B.C.E.



Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies

c. 600 B.C.E. to c. 600 C.E.



Regional and Transregional Interactions

c. 600 C.E. to c. 1450



Global Interactions

c. 1450 to c. 1750



Industrialization and Global Integration

c. 1750 to c. 1900



Accelerating Global Change and Realignments

c. 1900 to the Present


Because this is a 2-year course, we will begin with Period 4, Global Interactions. You are responsible for the content covered in Periods 1-3 for the AP Exam. These will be reviewed briefly at the end of the year.


  1. Homework assignments are designed to reinforce material covered in class or to prepare for the next day’s work. Written assignments will be collected and graded. Reading assignments will be checked with a brief reading quiz given at the beginning of class. Students that miss a reading quiz because of an excused absence are required to complete all the of the study questions for the assigned reading. Make-up reading quizzes will not be given.

  2. Essays are a critical part of this course and require students to master three specific skills: document analysis, comparative analysis, and change-over-time analysis. Practicing these skills leads to success on the AP exam while improving writing skills in all subject areas. Short projects such as presentations, research essays, and ongoing notebook checks are part of this category.

  3. In addition to the reading quizzes, other quizzes (announced and unannounced) will be given throughout each unit. These may be in either multiple choice or essay format.

  4. Examinations are given at the conclusion of each unit and include a variety of questions designed to assess students’ mastery of the materials and skills taught in each unit. These examinations will include a combination of short answer, short essay, and essay questions, some of which will be based on documents, maps, graphs, charts, or other visual sources.

  5. A history notebook will be maintained by all students in AP World History throughout the year. Organized as a right and a left side, students will keep all lecture and reading notes as assigned in the notebook. Also many handouts will be included in this notebook. Students will interact with their notes by developing a concept or skill on the left side, next to the notes they have taken. Unannounced notebook checks will be included in the essay/project category. More information on this will be distributed in class on the first day.

  6. Class participation is an important part of any course. Students are expected to participate in all class discussions, seminars, and debates. Additionally, absences and lateness will be reflected in the participation grade as well as other off-task behaviors such as talking off topic, doing other class homework, writing notes to classmates, or in not participating at all during a class or classes.

Classroom Policies and Procedures

A. Materials: All students are expected to bring their textbook, a pen, notebook, and binder to class each time unless otherwise advised. Students will generally need the following supplies for class:

  • Three-ring binder

  • Filler paper

  • Black or blue pen

  • Lead pen or pencil

  • Colored pencils

B. Assignments

  1. Homework will be randomly checked and/or collected. If a student misses a class because they were late to school or dismissed early, then they are responsible to hand in their assignment that same day. Homework may be done in pencil or blue/black pen or typed. Bringing homework to class on a USB does not mean it is “on-time.”

  2. Students that were excused absent for a class may turn in the assignment that was due as well as the assignment they missed (by being absent) the next time the class meets. Students are responsible for getting notes and assignments from their classmates or by checking the class webpage. Write “Make Up” on the top of the assignment and place it in your class bin when turning it in.

  3. Any assignment not turned in on time may be turned in by the end of the next consecutive calendar day for partial credit (50% deduction). Write “Late” at the top of the assignment. Remember that homework is not just checked for “completion” so a late assignment might earn less than 50% if incomplete or lacking in quality of work.

  4. Assignments may be written in pencil or blue or black ink only on white, lined filler paper (8 ½ by 11). Write your name, date, and class on the upper right hand side and the title of the assignment on the first line on the left side of your paper.

  5. In class essays are handwritten, on filler paper, in blue or black ink only. Essays assigned for homework may be neatly written or typed.

C. Unit Exams

  1. Write in blue or black ink only. Use filler paper to write any exam essay.

  2. Students are responsible for making up missed tests if the absence is excused. Make up tests are given after school and you have one week to make up this test.

  3. Semester exams will be given and weighted more highly than other exams for a student’s final semester grade. Students will also take a full mock exam in April, before the actual AP test is administered in May that will count as their second semester exam.

D. Quizzes

  1. Write in blue or black ink only on filler paper.

  2. Based on the format, quizzes vary in length and time. The longest type of quiz will be an essay quiz (to simulate the AP Exam). Students that are excused absent on the day of a quiz are responsible for making up the quiz the very next day (if they return to school the next consecutive day for example). Contact Mrs. Compton immediately to schedule your make up quiz.

  3. Reading quizzes announce themselves whenever students are assigned specific readings as part of their homework assignments.

E. Class Rules

1. Be Prepared

2. Be seated before class begins.

3. Respect yourself and others

4. No food or drink in class.

5. Observe other rules as stated in the HSES student handbook.
Sample Assignments and Instructions:

  • Current Events Assignment

Students will be required to identify an article from a newspaper (The New York Times, Washington Post) or a magazine (Newsweek, The Economist). Then they will pick a recurring theme (impact of technology on societies) and explain how the article or event in the article relates/connects to the theme. Students will be responsible for identifying continuities and changes throughout history, comparing and contrasting current and historical events. This explanation is written on filler paper, the article attached, and is placed in the class bin by the end of the due date.

  • Generic Annotated Trace/Timeline Assignments

Select one of the AP World History themes and 10 events for the time period assigned that the show the largest changes related to that theme for the time period and place each on the timeline. The annotations go below the timeline and explain why each event was significant to world history, as well as why the events might indicate a specific periodization. At the very bottom of the page, write a thesis statement about how the changes in the “theme” in this period show continuity and change over time. An example of a thesis might be: “Although manufacturing technology rapidly changed in the nineteenth century, many farmers continued to use the same tools their ancestors developed in the past.” Remember to title the timeline.

  • Generic Annotated Map Assignment

Take note of the large event or process assigned for the annotated map (for example industrialization, imperialism, World War II). Find 10 events related to that larger process or event and place them on the map. The annotations should go near the location on the map and explain why the event was important. Write a thesis statement at the bottom or on the back of the map on how the process or event shows continuity and change over time. Remember to title the map.

  • Study Cards/Vocabulary Assignment

For each of the terms identified in each unit, write the term on the front of an index card; on the other side, write a definition, historical example, explain the historical significance of that example, and the general significance of the term for world history. Students may instead, if preferred, write the assignment on regular paper.

  • Document Based Question Essay/DBQ Creation

Students will be responsible for writing essays that use a variety of primary source documents as evidence. In this essay, students will identify the veracity of the document, the point of view the document was written from, the purpose and/or intended audience of the documents, and the historic context of the document. Compose a well-organized essay that critically analyzes the documents presented and come to a conclusion about a historical event or problem. In addition, students will create their own Document Based Question Packets, which will include sources from different social sciences, including anthropology, archaeology, visual arts, literature, economics, geography and political science. Students must collect a variety of sources, including but not limited to written documents, maps, images, quantitative data (charts, graphs, tables), works of art. Students will then compose an essay answering a central question of their creation. (Component 15)

  • Generic Instructions for Socratic Seminars

  1. Understand the question(s) for the seminar.

  2. Read the source(s).

  3. Take notes from the source(s) to help you answer the question(s).

  4. Make one comment about one of the following (5pts)

    1. Information in the sources

    2. Validity of evidence used by the author(s)

    3. The strength of the argument (thesis)

    4. To respond to a question asked by someone else

    5. To respond to a comment made by someone else

  5. Ask one question about one of the following (5pts)

    1. Information in the sources (ex – vocabulary)

    2. Validity of evidence used by the author(s)

    3. The strength of the argument (thesis)

    4. To respond to a question asked by someone else

    5. To respond to a comment made by someone else

  6. Maximum of 10 points per student

  7. How to Construct an Argument

    1. Claim/Assertion + Reason + Evidence = Fully Developed Argument

  • Thesis Statement Construction

A thesis statement must

  • Fully address the question asked (not the one you’d prefer to answer)

  • Take a position in answering the question asked

  • Provide organization categories to support your position (these categories will be the subject of the topic sentences in the main body paragraphs)

Course Schedule:

Unit I: Foundations: c. 8000 B.C.E.–600 C.E. (5 weeks)

Major Topics Covered:

  1. Locating world history in the environment and time (Key Concept 1.1: Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth)

A.    Environment

      1. Geography and climate: Interaction of geography and climate with the development of human society

      2. Demography: Major population changes resulting from human and environmental factors

B.    Time - Periodization in early human history

      1. Nature and causes of changes associated with the time span

      2. Continuities and breaks within the time span

C.    Diverse Interpretations

      1. What are the issues involved in using "civilization" as an organizing principle in world history?

      2. What is the most common source of change: connection or diffusion versus independent invention?

  1. Developing agriculture and technology (Key Concept 1.2.: The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies and Key Concept 1.3: The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and Urban Societies)

    1. Agricultural, pastoral, and foraging societies, and their demographic

      1. Characteristics (Include Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia.)

    1. Emergence of agriculture and technological change

    2. Nature of village settlements

    3. Impact of agriculture on the environment

    4. Introduction of key stages of metal use

  1. Basic features of early civilizations in different environments: culture, state, and social structure (Key Concept 2.2: The Development of States and Empires)

    1. Mesopotamia , Egypt, Indus, Shang, Mesoamerica and Andean South America (Compare two)

  1. Classical civilizations (Key Concept 2.2)

  A. Major political developments in China, India, and the Mediterranean

B. Social and gender structures

C. Major trading patterns within and among Classical civilizations; contacts with adjacent regions

D. Arts, sciences, and technology

  1. Major belief systems (Key Concept 2.1: The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions)

A. Basic features of major world belief systems prior to 600 C.E. and where each belief system applied by 600 C.E.

B. Polytheism, Hinduism, Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Christianity

  1. Late Classical period (200 C.E.–600 C.E.) (Key Concept 2.2)

    1. Collapse of empires (Han China, loss of western portion of the Roman Empire, Gupta)

    2. Movements of peoples (Huns, Germans)

  1. Interregional networks by 600 C.E.: Trade and religious diffusion (Key Concept 2.3: Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and Exchange)

Primary Sources/Additional Readings:

  • Hammurabi's Laws on Family Relationships

  • Israelites' Relations with Neighboring Peoples

  • The Great Hymn to Aten

  • The Rigveda on the Origin of the Castes

  • Family Solidarity in Ancient China

  • The Voyage of Ru

  • Zarathustra on Good and Evil

  • Confucius on Good Government

  • Caste Duties according to the Bhagavad Gita

  • Socrates' View of Death

  • Tacitus on Corruption in the Early Roman Empire


Key questions/Assessments:

  1. In what ways did geography and climate affect the development of human society?

  2. What were the economic and social results of the agricultural revolution?

  3. What are the issues involved in using "civilization" as an organizing principle in world history?

  4. What is the most common source of change: connection/diffusion or independent invention?

  5. How do agricultural, pastoral and foraging societies differ?  Use evidence from Africa, the Americas and Southeast Asia.

  6. What was the impact of agriculture on the environment?

  7. What was the importance of the introduction of bronze and iron?

  8. Compare the basic features of two early civilizations?  Choose two of the following: Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, Shang, Indus

  9. Compare the development of political structures in China with those in India.

  10. How did social and gender structures in India differ from the Mediterranean?

  11. Which regions were favored as areas of human settlement, given the technology available during the Classic period?

  12. Describe the major classical period trading patters within and among China, India, and the Mediterranean?

  13. What were the scientific and technological contributions of China, India, and the Mediterranean?

  14. What were the artistic contributions of China, India, and the Mediterranean?

  15. What were the basic features of the major world belief systems?

    1. Polytheism

    2. Hinduism

    3. Daoism

    4. Judaism

    5. Christianity

    6. Buddhism

  16. What were the main emphases and the main changes in organized religion during the Classic period?

  17. What interactions among regions favored changes in human society?

  18. What changes in population and culture were brought about by migrations? What were the Greek approaches to science and philosophy?  Explain the role of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

  19. What led to the diffusion of the major religions?

  20. Why was the collapse of empire more severe in western Europe than it was in the eastern Mediterranean or in China?

 Unit II: 600 C.E.–1450 (7 weeks)

Major Topics Covered:

  1. Questions of periodization

A.    Nature and causes of changes in the world history framework leading up to 600 C.E. – 1450 as a period

B.    Emergence of new empires and political systems

C.    Continuities and breaks within the period (e.g., the impact of the Mongols on international contacts and on specific societies)

  1. The Islamic world

    1. The rise and role of Dar al-Islam as a unifying cultural and economic force in Eurasia and Africa

    2. Islamic political structures, notably the caliphate

    3. Arts, sciences, and technologies

  2. Interregional networks and contacts (Key Concept 3.1: Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks)

 .       A. Development and shifts in interregional trade, technology, and cultural exchange

B. Trans-Sahara trade

C. Indian Ocean trade

D. Silk routes

E. Missionary outreach of major religions

F. Contacts between major religions, e.g., Islam and Buddhism, Christianity and Islam

G. Impact of the Mongol empires

  1. China's internal and external expansion (Key Concept 3.2: Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions)

A. The importance of the Tang and Song economic revolutions and the initiatives of the early Ming dynasty

B. Chinese influence on surrounding areas and its limits

  1. Developments in Europe

    1. Restructuring of European economic, social, and political institutions

    2. The division of Christendom into eastern and western Christian cultures

  1. Social, cultural, economic, and political patterns in the Amerindian world

    1. Maya, Aztec, Inca

  1. Demographic and environmental changes (Key Concept 3.3: Increased Economic Productive Capacity and It’s Consequences)

    1. Impact of nomadic migrations on Afro-Eurasia and the Americas (e.g., Aztecs, Mongols, Turks, Vikings, and Arabs)

    2. Migration of agricultural peoples (e.g., Bantu migrations, European peoples to east/central Europe)

    3. Consequences of plague pandemics in the fourteenth century

    4. Growth and role of cities

  1. Diverse interpretations

    1. What are the issues involved in using cultural areas rather than states as units of analysis?

B. What are the sources of change: nomadic migrations versus urban growth?

C. Was there a world economic network in this period?

D. Were there common patterns in the new opportunities available to and constraints placed on elite women in this period?
Primary Sources/Additional Readings:

  • Anna Comnena on the Suppression of Bogomil Heretics

  • The Quran on Allah and His Expectations of Humankind

  • Benjamin of Tudela on the Caliph's Court at Baghdad

  • Cosmas Indicopleustes on Trade in Southern India

  • Life on an early Medieval Manor

  • Gregory of Tours on the Conversion of Clovis

  • The Mongols and Eurasian Integration

  • Nomadic Conquerors and their Contemporary Appeal

  • Ibn Battuta on Muslim Society at Mogadishu

  • Sundiata and the Reconstruction of Niani

  • Francesco Balducci Pegolotti on Trade Between Europe and China

  • Thomas of Celano on St. Francis of Assisi

  • Mexica Expectations of Boys and Girls



1. Analyze the changes and continuities in the Arabic world's acceptance of ONE of the following items between 700 and 1400.  Be sure to discuss the causes of the changes as well as the reasons for the continuities.





2. Describe and analyze the cultural, economic, and political impact of Islam on ONE of the following regions between 700 C.E. and 1450 C.E.  Be sure to discuss the causes of the changes as well as the reasons for the continuities.

            West Africa

            South Asia



3. Describe the developments and shifts in trade in ONE of the following regions between 600 and 1450 CE.  Be sure to discuss the causes of the changes as well as the reasons for the continuities.

            Indian Ocean


            Silk Road


4. Compare and contrast the economic and political choices made during the Tang/Song Era with those made during the first century of the Ming dynasty.


5. Describe and analyze the changing political structure of China between 600 and 1450 CE.  Be sure to discuss the causes of the changes as well as the reasons for the continuities.


6. Compare and contrast the economic and political effects of China on TWO of the following neighboring regions.





7. Compare and contrast the economic and political systems of two of the following regions between 700 and 1300 CE.


            Byzantine Empire

            Western Europe


8. Compare and contrast the Greek Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church using TWO of the following criteria:

            Religious dogma

            Role and responsibilities of clergy

            Organizational structure

            Art used in places of worship


9. Compare and contrast the social, political and economic patterns of the TWO of the following civilizations





10. Compare and contrast Japanese and European feudalism using TWO of the following criteria:

            Warrior class


            Role of king/emperor


11. Compare and contrast the impact of TWO of the following migrations:





12. Compare and contrast Islam and Christianity using TWO of the following criteria:


            Relation to the state

            Religious prophets

            Role of women


13. Describe the developments and shifts in the role of women in TWO of the following regions between 600 and 1450 CE:


            Dar al-Islam

            Western Europe


14. Compare and contrast the short and long-term effects of the Crusades on Western Europe and the Middle East.


15. Compare and contrast the role and function of cities in TWO of the following regions:

            Dar al-Islam

            Western Europe



16. Compare and contrast European and sub-Saharan contacts with the Islamic world using TWO of the following criteria:

            Degree of adoption of Islam

            Military conflict

            Economic relationship

            Treatment of minority/indigenous religions

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