AP World History Syllabus

AP World History Syllabus
2019 -2020

North Buncombe High School
Benjamin B. Graham


The goal of this class is multifaceted, but overall we will attempt to
develop a more complete understanding of world history by: exploring the
ties that bind ALL cultures together, igniting curiosity, and
encouraging individual creativity through the study of history.

The past is prologue.  What role will you play?


Our ethos is to remember that Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you.


Stuff you need to know:

Text: Our primary text is The Earth and Its Peoples; these books typically stay in the classroom, though you will sometimes need to take it home to complete work.  Yes, it weighs more than a small mammal. No, you should not write in it.  Yes, you should hug it often. 

In class, we also do work out of: REA: AP World History Crash Course Review Book, The Human Record, and Rethinking Globalization.  

Get a Notebook: You will need to acquire a big ol’ three ring binder.  I talk
more than you can imagine, and you are going to have to take a lot of
notes, and read many documents - so bring a lot of paper (and grab some highlighters and colored pencils while you are at it!)

Weekly Essays/SSR:   The essay is (typically) assigned each week, and is due in one week. The basis of this course is analytical essay writing.

Weekly Reading Study Guides || Quizzes:  You are required to complete weekly reading assignments (The Earth and Its peoples).  They can vary from 20 pages to 60 pages in length, and are accompanied by a study guide.  Aside from identifications, the study guide requires each student to complete a few short answer essays each week. Each essay will fall into one of the following categories: Short Answer Questions (SAQ), Long Essay, or Document Based Questions. You will turn in the completed study guide with your weekly quiz on the reading that will (typically) occur on the following Friday.


Go get some Index cards, and colored sharpies:  We will use index cards daily to answer pop quizzes, and to write short essays.  We also use colored sharpies (or highlighters) in notetaking. One pack of cards/sharpies should get you started.


Exams:  We have 6 Thematic/Unit Exams throughout this course.  They count 40-50% of your grade.  The course culminates in the College Board AP Exam (Thursday, May 16) which determines whether college credit is given for the completion of this course.


Projects: For each Nine Week grading period (unit), each student must complete a research project. You will have approximately 3 weeks to complete it. You will (typically) NOT be provided class time to work on it.

The Course:


600bce – 1200ce

  1. The Rise of Human Societies

August - September 2019 (6 weeks)


9 Weeks Research ProjectAsheville Architecture


Thematic Exam – By the week of September 25

A. Cross-Cultural Empirical Traditions (ch. 4-8)
       1. Rome and China - The Crisis of late Antiquity
       2. Africa, Early India, and East Asia – networks of
            communication and exchange

A. Cultural Movements (ch. 9-11)
1. The Rise and Spread of Islam, Ummayad and Abbasid
2. European Middle Ages and Feudal Japan
       3. Sui, Tang, Yuan, and Ming China
       4. Korea, Japan, and Vietnam


Key Concept 2.1. The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions

Key Concept 2.2. The Development of States and Empires

Key Concept 2.3. Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication and Exchange

Understanding of how and why the collapse of the empire was more severe in Western Europe than it was in the eastern Mediterranean or in China.

Compare the Caste system to other systems of social inequality devised by early and classical civilizations, including slavery.

Compare the development of traditions and institutions in major civilizations; Indian, Chinese, and Greek.

Japanese and European feudalism

Developments in political and social institutions in both eastern and western Europe.

Compare the role and function of cities in major societies.

Compare Islam and Christianity.

Gender systems and changes, such as impact of Islam.

Outside Readings:

Tao of Pooh. By Benjamin Hoff (Dutton Books: 1982).
Guns, Germs, and Steel. By Jared Diamond. (Norton, 1999).
Ishmael. By Daniel Quinn. (Bantam, 1991).
Tao Te Ching. By Lao Tzu. Translated by D.C. Lau. (Penguin Books, 1963)




1200-1450 Period

Regional and Transregional Interactions

Time Period: October – November, 2019 (6 - 7 weeks)


Thematic Exam - By the week of November 8


9 Weeks Project - TBA

Global Connections (ch. 12-16)
       1. Classic/Post-classic Americas
2. Mongol Conquest and Ming Empire
3. Islamic Empires (Mali and Delhi) and Indian Ocean trade
       4. Black Plague, European Renaissance


Key Concept 3.1. Expansion and Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks

Key Concept 3.2. Continuity and Innovation of State Forms and Their Interactions

Key Concept 3.3. Increased Economic Productive Capacity and Its Consequences


Aztec Empire and Inca Empire.

Compare European and sub-Saharan Africa contacts with the Islamic world.


Outside Reading:
The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century. By
Ross E. Dunn. (University of California Press, 2004).
Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World. By Jack Weatherford
(Three Rivers Press, 2005).

1421: The Year China Discovered America. By Gavin Menzies (Harper Perennial, 2004).



Global Interactions

Time Period: November, 2019 – January, 2020 (6 weeks)


Thematic Exam/Midterm – By the week of January 24


Class Project: TBA

A. Expansion and Knowledge (ch. 17-18)
       1. Exploration
       2. Growth of Royal power - Enlightenment and Scientific
B. Cultural Interaction (ch. 19-20)
       1. Colombian Exchange and the American Colonies
       2. Atlantic System and African Slavery
C. World In Transition (ch. 21-22)
       1. Empires: Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal, and Indian Ocean trade
       2. New Russia, Ming and Qing China, and Tokogawa Japan


Key Concept 4.1. Globalizing Networks of Communication and Exchange

Key Concept 4.2. New Forms of Social Organization and Modes of Production

Key Concept 4.3. State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion



Imperial systems: European monarchy compared with a land-based Asian labor.

Coercive Labor systems: slavery and other coercive labor systems in the Americas.

Comparative Knowledge of empires (general empire building in Asia, Africa, and Europe).

Compare Russia’s interaction with the West with the interaction of one of the following (Ottomans, China, Tokugawa, Mughal) with the West.

Outside Reading:

A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World.  By Tony Horwitz. (Henry Holt and Co, 2008).
1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the
  By Roger Crowley. (Hyperion, 2006).
Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, and Pyrotechnics: The History of the
Explosive that changed the World.
By Jack Kelly. (Basic Books, 2004).




Industrialization and Global Integration

Time Period: February - March, 2020 (6 weeks)


Thematic Exam - By the week of March 12


9 Weeks project - TBA


A. Revolutions (ch. 23)
       1. American, French, Congress of Vienna, Haitian Revolutions
B. Impact of Industrialization (ch. 24, 25, 26)
       1. Industrial Revolution
2. Latin American Independence and Reform
3. Britain goes wild!
C. European Dominance (ch. 27, 28, 29)
       1. Ottomans, Qing, and Japan try to Cope
       2. New Power Balance
3. Imperialism across the Globe



Key Concept 5.1. Industrialization and Global Capitalism

Key Concept 5.2. Imperialism and Nation-State Formation

Key Concept 5.3. Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform

Key Concept 5.4. Global Migration



Compare the causes and phases of the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe and Japan.

Comparative Revolutions (compare two of the following: Haitian, American, French, Mexican, and Chinese)

Compare reaction to foreign domination in: Ottoman Empire, China, India, and Japan

Compare nationalism

Compare forms of western intervention in Latin America and in Africa.

Compare the roles and conditions of women in the upper/middle classes with peasantry/working class in Western Europe.


Outside Readings:
King Leopold’s Ghost. By Adam Hochschild. (Mariner, 1999).
Salt: A World History. By Mark Kurlansky. (Penguin Books, 2002).
Cod: A Biography of The Fish That Changed The World.  By Mark Kurlansky (Penguin Books, 1998).




Accelerating Global Change and Realignments

Time Period: March – April, 2020 (6 Weeks)


9 Weeks Project – TBA


Thematic Exam – By the week of April 24


A. The Impact of Modern War (ch. 30-31)
       1. WWI and Global Impact
       2. Depression, Fascism, and WWII
B. Revolution (ch. 32)
       1. Independence - India, Africa, and Latin America
C. Change in Perspective (ch. 33-35)
       1. Cold War and Global Impact
       2. End of Cold War and New Challenges
       3. Globalization, Diversity, and Fear


Key Concept 6.1 Science and the Environment

Key Concept 6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences

Key Concept 6.3 New Conceptualizations of Global Economy, Society, and Culture



Patterns and results of decolonization in Africa and India.
Revolutions’ impacts on the roles of women.
Compare the effects of the world wars on areas outside of Europe.
Compare legacies of colonialism and patterns of economic development in two of three areas (Africa, Asia, and Latin America)
“The West” and “The East” in the context of Cold war ideology.
Compare Nationalist ideologies and movements contrasting European and colonial environments.
Compare the different types of independence struggles.


Outside Reading:

This Fleeting World, By David Christian (Berkshire, 2007).  
The World That Trade Created: Society, Culture, and the World Economy. By Pomerantz and Topik. (ME Sharpe, 2006).
Runaway World: How Globalization Is Reshaping Our Lives. By Anthony Giddens.  (Routledge, 2002).
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families:Stories from Rwanda. By Philip Gourevitch. (Picador, 1999).


 AP World History Exam – Thursday, May 14 2020