Period 1: Technological and Environmental Transformations, to 600 BCE

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Key Concept 1.1 Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth
Key Concept 1.2 The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies
Key Concept 1.3 The Development and Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and Urban Societies

Period 2: Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies, 600 BCE to 600 CE

Silk Routes
Silk Routes

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

Period 3: Regional and Transregional Interactions, 600 CE to 1450 CE

Route of the 7th expedition of Zheng He's fleet (1431-1433)
Route of the 7th expedition of Zheng He's fleet (1431-1433)

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 Productive Capacity and Its Consequences

Period 4: Global Interactions, 1450 to 1750

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

Period 5: Industrialization and Global Integration, 1750 to 1900

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
"China-the Cake of Kings (1898 French Political Cartoon)
"China-the Cake of Kings (1898 French Political Cartoon)

Period 6: Accelerating Global Change and Realignments, 1900 to present

Gandhi picture in Internet café in Varanasi, India, 2001
Gandhi picture in Internet café in Varanasi, India, 2001

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


Click here for the AP world history course page:
The first link on the course page is the current Course Description.

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For the overall course see Unit 1: Maps, Time and World History and Unit 2: History and Memory focused on historical meaning and change of Columbus, the Maya, and museums.

The World History Association (WHA) is the organization that has been most influential in changing the field of world history in its scholarship and teaching. The WHA publishes the Journal of World History and has many local affiliates.

game_icon.svg.pngGaming the Past: Historical Simulations in the Classroomoffers reviews and links to popular world history games for learning.

Children & Youth in World History provides primary source and teaching resources for learning about the experiences of young people in history.

Bibliography, the following are mostly journal readings for history teachers. They could be useful to give students for additional reading or extra credit assignments. Some are framed as extra credit assignments.

Compare the website: to in terms of point of view, content – what is left in and what is left out, the WHAP habits of mind and skills and how they’re applied, etc.

Read William McNeill’s “Why Study History” on the American Historical Association’s Perspectives here:

and Peter Stearns’s “Why Study History” on the American Historical Association’s Perspectives here: then compare with FFA’s introduction.

Read March/April 2008 H-World discussion on the textbook The World. Search H-World discussion logs, find March 2008 and read posts from March 21-25 (can do more too – hard to stop once you start). What is the overall sense of the book you get from the posts?

Read about “American exceptionalism.” Is the course “world history” a case of American exceptionalism and/or a case of American colonialism?

Read William H. McNeill, "An Emerging Consensus about World History?," World History Connected November 2003 [14 paragraphs]

Read William McNeill, “The Rise of the West after 25 Years” in the Journal of World History here:

Read Gilbert Allardyce, “Toward World History: American Historians and the Coming of the World History Course: in the Journal of World History here:

Read Ralph Crozier, “World History in the People’s Republic of China” in the Journal of World History here:

Read Jerry Bentley, "Sea and Ocean Basins as Frameworks of Historical Analysis," Geographical Review 89, no. 2 (April 1999): 215–25. Available through Bridging World History here:

Read David Christian, "World History in Context," Journal of World History 14, no. 4 (December 2003): 437–52. Available through Bridging World History here:

Read William Everdell, "How to Use the Theme of Technology in Teaching the World History Survey Course," World History Connected May 2004> [22 paragraphs]

Fred Spier, "The Small History of the Big History Course at the University of Amsterdam," World History Connected May 2005 [16 paragraphs]

Watch Craig Benjamin’s Big History videos through this site: You can also read articles there too for extra credit.

Read David Christian, "What's the Use of Big History?," World History Connected October 2005 64 paragraphs with many pictures and graphs from a powerpoint.

Read selections from the Big History Forum from World History Connected, minimum is to read Benjamin’s introduction, Cynthia Stokes Brown’s article on civilization and at least one other (don’t be afraid to read them all!).