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1.

Definition of a civilization

Advanced
Cities

System of Advanced
Writing Technology

Civilization

Complex Skilled
Institutions Workers

2.Independent invention vs. diffusion


A major debate in the study of world history is the significance of independent invention and diffusion of ideas.
Specifically, a debate surrounds attaching importance to the opposing ideas: Which is more important? Which has led to more
progress for any given civilization?
• Independent invention: an idea or technology was invented/created independent of outside influence
• Diffusion: an idea or technology was introduced to a region/society/civilization by members of another civilization
3. The Agricultural Revolution
The first major world event studied in AP World History is the Agricultural Revolution, lasting from about 8000 BCE to
about 3000 BCE.
• Agricultural Revolution
- what: implementation of farming techniques, usually followed by the domestication of animals
- where: independent invention/development in this order: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River Valley, Yangtze and Huang He River
Valleys, Southeast Asia, Central America, South America (Andes)
^ uncertainty about diffusion vs. independent invention for some areas,
notably Egypt, Indus River, Southeast Asia, and South America
- significance: humans transitioned from foragers to farmers; marked the beginning of the Neolithic Age, impact on gender
roles; slash-and-burn techniques led to large migrations of farmers, which led to the spread of the use of agriculture; allowed
civilizations to develop (permanent settlements, specialized workers, advanced technology, record keeping,
government/institutions)

4. Characteristics of Early Agricultural Civilizations


It is imperative that you know and understand the common characteristics of early agricultural civilizations. Note that the
characteristics mentioned below expand on the definition of a civilization.

Characteristic Significance
Permanent settlements As people began to farm, they began to settle in one place. Eventually, villages, towns, and cities
developed. Important examples of early permanent settlements are Catal Huyuk and Jericho.
Early cities became the focus of a civilization because of their political, cultural, and economic
importance
Specialized workers As farming produced food surpluses, many people did not have to farm and were able to
specialize in other areas, such as ceramics and textile production. As civilizations advanced,
people were able to specialize in other professions, such as commerce, civil engineers, religious
leaders, and political leaders
Technological innovations Early agricultural/Neolithic civilizations developed the use of various metals (copper, gold, and
bronze in that order) for items such as weapons and other luxury goods; other examples of
technological innovations, largely due to the specialization of workers, include advanced irrigation
apparatus, the wheel, weapons, sundials, etc.
Governments As cities developed in the early civilizations, the inhabitants required large public works projects
beyond the scope of private citizens. As a result, governments formed to organize and oversee
the fabrication of roads, irrigation projects, public buildings, etc. and to regulate commerce
(through the establishment of laws, courts, and a system of punishment. Moreover, governments
functioned to protect citizens from invasions and to organize attacks on rival civilizations.
Governments also collected taxes from the city dwellers
Social Classes As people settled on land to farm, there were those who laid claim to more land than others, thus
forming the first elite social classes. Early civilizations had an elite social class comprised of
large land-owners. Many civilizations, such as Sumer, had a slave class, although in most cases
slaves could buy their freedom. Likewise, men could sell women and children into slavery to pay
off debts.
Religion As people began to observe more closely their environment in an effort to increase agricultural
productivity, knowledge of seasons and nature increased. Attempting to explain natural
processes and natural disasters, people developed elaborate stories about the origin of life and
rituals to appease gods they perceived as controlling nature. Over time, a group of specialized
workers emerged to lead these rituals and devote their lives to the worship of deities.

5. River Valley Civilizations


You are required to know the characteristics of the River Valley Civilizations, which were the first major civilizations in
world history

River Valley Specific Characteristics Shared Characteristics


Civilization
- earliest civilization - community cooperation to build large
- located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
public works projects, especially
- Achievements spread to Egypt and Indus Valley
irrigation projects
- Technology: bronze, copper, irrigation canals
- ~3500 BCE: Sumerians settle in southern - need for cooperation led to the
Mesopotamia development of increasingly centralized
• cuneiform to write governments
• ziggurats as religious monuments
- knowledge of metallurgy (whether
• Epic of Gilgamesh (flood story similar to
Mesopotamia independently invented or acquired
Genesis)
- flooding required construction of irrigation through diffusion) led to advanced tools,
canals, which required the formation of weapons, and art
government (city-states) - writing system
- Social classes: ruling/elite landowning class,
- development of social classes
slavery
- use of slave labor
- Patriarchal: men dominated government and the
family - patriarchy
• women wore a veil by the 16th century BCE but - polytheism
did have the opportunity to work outside the - trade with neighboring and far-reaching
home in commerce, religious roles, and in
record keeping civilizations
- Lack of natural barriers led to frequent invasions
- warfare: internal and external pressures
of the region: Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians,
Persians
- Babylonian King Hammurabi: Code of Hammurabi
• Distinction between class and gender in
punishments Shared Characteristics
- community cooperation to build large
public works projects, especially
irrigation projects
- need for cooperation led to the
development of increasingly centralized
governments
- knowledge of metallurgy (whether
independently invented or acquired
through diffusion) led to advanced tools,
weapons, and art
- writing system
- ~3000 BCE
- Nile River Valley - development of social classes
- Irrigation canals to channel annual floodwaters, - use of slave labor
construction of which led to the establishment - patriarchy
of government - polytheism
- some major cities, but mostly agricultural
- trade with neighboring and far-reaching
settlements
- trade along the Nile connected villages civilizations
- Pharaoh held significant power and authority, - warfare: internal and external pressures
Egypt
constructed pyramids to serve as tombs
- polytheistic religion
- mummification exemplifies belief in afterlife
- Defined social classes, opportunity for
commoners to rise in status through government
jobs
- Patriarchal: women rarely served in government
(regents of young pharaohs, priestesses, scribes)
- Gained knowledge of bronze tools from
Mesopotamia, iron working from the Kush
- hieroglyphics developed (possibly) from
cuneiform as a result of trade
- Protected from invasion by surrounding desert
- ~2500 BCE
Shared Characteristics
- Indus River Valley (modern Pakistan)
- unpredictable flooding of the river - community cooperation to build large
- Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro: cities with streets in public works projects, especially
Indus Valley a grid irrigation projects
- Technology: running water and sewage systems in - need for cooperation led to the
houses
development of increasingly centralized
- Harappan writing remains elusive (not yet
deciphered) governments
- Archeological evidence of trade between - knowledge of metallurgy (whether
Mesopotamia and Harappa (Persian Gulf) independently invented or acquired
- ~1500 BCE: Aryans invade and conquer Indus through diffusion) led to advanced
River Valley
tools, weapons, and art
• Blending of Aryan and Harappan cultures had
significant impact on the future Indian - writing system
civilization - development of social classes
- use of slave labor
- ~1760’s BCE – 1120’s BCE - patriarchy
- Most isolated: Deserts, mountains, seas
- polytheism
- Trade: Southwest and South Asia
Shang - trade with neighboring and far-reaching
- Shang dynasty was earliest to leave written
Dynasty/ records civilizations
Huang He - Technology: bronze (from Mesopotamia by means - warfare: internal and external
Valley of migrations), ironworking (~1000 BCE) pressures
- Flooding of Huang He led to irrigation projects
which called for the development of central rule,
strengthening Shang power
- Walled cities along river served as cultural,
military and economic centers
- Rulers built elaborate palaces and tombs
- Early writing used on oracle bones
- Social classes: rulers, artisans, peasants, slaves
Shang - Patriarchal, although prior to Shang rule Chinese
Dynasty/ society was matrilineal
Huang He - Ancestor veneration
Valley - Shang fell to Zhou: mandate of heaven called for
an end to Shang rule, Zhou continued trend of
centralization of government
- developed later than Eastern Hemisphere
civilizations
- developed along smaller rivers and streams as
compared to other River Valley civilizations
- llama was largest animal
- Technology: copper, irrigation systems
Mesoamerica - Olmecs, Maya constructed pyramids and temples
- Polytheistic
and Andean S.
• Quetzalcoatl: god that would return to rule
America people
- Social classes: ruling elite and priests at top,
commoners and slaves at bottom
- Mayan Innovations: calendar, system of writing
using pictographs, idea of zero as placeholder,
discoveries and knowledge of astronomy and time
- Mayan political organization: city-states ruled by
kings
- Mayan kings frequently fought each other, with
prisoners of war taken as slaves or for religious
sacrifices
- Andean civilizations isolated by mountains and
lack of pack animals
- Andean government: city-states separated by
mountains

Example: Compare and contrast the political and social structure of TWO of the following River Valley Civilizations:
Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, Huang He Valley, Egypt, Mesoamerica, Andean civilization
To write this essay, specific knowledge of two river valley civilizations is required. You need to point out specific
examples of similar characteristics to make the direct comparisons, as well as working knowledge of the general
characteristics to fill in any gaps and give you more examples.
6. Classical Civilizations
Classical civilizations are defined as those that had a large, enduring influence over a large number of people. Thus,
classical civilizations are important topics in AP World History due to the impact of these civilizations. Classical civilizations
include the Zhou, Qin, and Han dynasties of China, the Mauryan and Gupta dynasties of India, the Persian Empire, the Greek city-
states, Alexander the Great’s Empire, and the Roman Empire.

Classical Chinese Specific Characteristics Significance


Dynasty
- 1029 – 258 BCE - increasingly centralized
- used mandate of heaven to claim authority
government with growing
- worked to centralize the government
Zhou bureaucracy
- expanded territory to the south (Yangtze River Valley
- rulers (emperors) referred to themselves as Sons of Heaven - expanding influence to
- standardized spoken language include most of east and
- 221 – 202 BCE southeast Asia
- dynasty name gave name to country - increase in production of
- expanded territory to the south (northern Vietnam)
Qin luxury goods, such as silk
- construction of the Great Wall
- standardized: weights, measures, money, written language - increase in trade along Silk
- silk production encouraged and increased Roads
- construction of new roads - most advanced classical
- 200 BCE – 220 CE civilization, especially in
- bureaucracy strengthened
terms of technology
- expanded territory south and west (central Asia, Korea, Indochina)
- civil service exams based on Confucian values - basis of tradition
- trade increased (Silk Roads) established: patriarchy and
Han - relative time of peace government rule based on
- patriarchy strengthened Confucian values
- technology: iron production, canals, irrigation systems, ox-drawn
plows, collar for beasts of burden, paper manufacture, water-power
mills
- social structure: elites, peasants, artisans, unskilled laborers
Classical India Specific characteristics Significance
- ~1500 BCE, Aryans invade - Aryans had huge influence over
- Vedas: oral stories brought by Aryans, later written in Sanskrit
region, and their traditions and
- Vedic Age: early classical India (1500-1000 BCE)
customs continue to influence
- Epic Age: period when great epics, such as the Ramayana, were created (1000-600 BCE)
- Upanishads: basis for Hindu religion, collection of religious poems based on the Vedas India today
Aryan India - patriarchy - Development of Hinduism and
- social structure: distinctive/defined class system with Aryans on top, Dravidians (native Buddhism
Indians) below; largely based on ethnicity and complexion of skin (lighter-skinned
- Pattern: Periods of flourishing,
Aryans vs. darker-skinned Dravidians); during Epic Age, Priests (Brahmins) became more
united civilization followed by
important than the warrior/ruler class; untouchables = those outside of the social class
system who performed “undesirable” jobs; gradually became a very rigid caste system disintegration of the kingdom
- Religion: Aryans imposed their polytheistic beliefs which gradually blended with and fall to outside invaders
indigenous beliefs to form Hinduism - Caste system: increasingly rigid
and defined throughout the
- 322 BCE – 230 BCE
classical time period
- After Epic Age, India divided into 16 states, with Magadha the strongest
- Chandragupta founds Mauryan dynasty - increase in trade, especially
- large army, united almost all of Indian subcontinent along Silk Roads
Mauryan Dynasty - large bureaucracy established - Pattern: dramatic increases in
- Ashoka (grandson of Chandragupta) known for ruthless conquering of India, later technological and scientific
converted to Buddhism and helped spread Buddhism along the roads of India
discoveries, which had
- construction of roads that connected to China’s Silk Roads
- After Ashoka’s death, kingdom divided again and invaders from the North ruled India enormous impact as these ideas
until the Gupta’s rose to power spread to the West
Gupta Dynasty - 320 CE – 550 CE
- Hindu rulers, reinforcement of Hindu values, but Buddhism was tolerated
- local rulers retained control over local territories, provided they complied with Gupta
law
- Religion: solidification of Hindu values and traditions, construction of Hindu temples;
Buddhism spread through urban monasteries
- Patriarchy: women gradually lost status and privileges, married at younger age, sati
(widow suicide by burning)
- Sanskrit becomes language of educated
- Technology/discoveries: zero as placeholder, Arabic numerals, decimal system,
knowledge of astronomy, knowledge of surgical procedures and the prevention of
illnesses
- Trade: increase in volume of trade, especially with the East
Classical Middle East Specific Characteristics Significance
- 550 BCE - Large empire “at the center
- Cyrus the Great, first conqueror, expanded territory to include most of Southwest
of the world”
Asia
- coming together of many
- noted for tolerance of minorities
Persia - Religion: Zoroastianism, emphasized rewards in the afterlife for living a good life, or cultures
punishment for leading a bad life - roads facilitated trade and
- Technology: ironworking which spread throughout the empire communication between east
- Public works: extensive road system (The Persian Royal Road) to link all parts of the
and west
empire
- rivalries between Persians and
- Trade: with West (Phoenicians, Greeks) and East (India, China, Southeast Asia)
Greeks led to wars

Classical Specific Characteristics Significance


Mediterranean
- 1700 BCE, Greek migrations into the peninsula - Political patterns established
- 800 BCE, Greeks adopt alphabet from Phoenician traders
during the classical time
- Geography: mountains and islands prevent to complete unification of Greek
continue to have an influence
peoples under one ruler (instead Greece was a collection of loosely allied city-
states); coastline allowed for easy access to the sea for trade and food on the modern world
- City-states: polis in Greek, Athens and Sparta were two of the largest and were - Cultural traditions and customs
also rivals shaped the arts for centuries
- Sparta: aristocratic government; focus on strong military; slave labor; emphasis
- development of major world
on agriculture
Greece religion: Christianity
- Athens: development of democracy (Pericles); many achievements in math,
science, the arts, and philosophy; emphasis on trade; slave labor - extensive trade brought new
- Persian Wars: alliance of Athens and Sparta to defeat invading Persians ideas and products to the
- After Greek victory, Athens dominates Greek city-states region
- distrust for Athenian rule led to Peloponnesian Wars in which the city-states of
- use of slave labor ultimately
Greece allied with either Athens or Sparta; Spartan victory coupled with
led to decline in economic
widespread plague led to a deterioration of the power of Greek city-states
- Culture: Greek theatre (tragedy and comedy); Olympic games; polytheistic expansion
religion with gods and goddesses vying for power and displaying human
characteristics; Aristotle and the foundation of Greek philosophy
- Expansion: Greek settlements/colonies throughout the Mediterranean (Italy,
Eastern Mediterranean, Black Sea)
- 336 - 323 BCE
Alexander the Great - Conquered Greece, Persia, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, parts of India
- Hellenistic culture: blending of Greek, Phoenician, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian
cultures; later adopted by Romans
- Trade: Alexander’s empire solidified trade contacts between Asia and the
Significance
Mediterranean world
Alexander the Great - Stoicism: use powers of reason to lead virtuous lives and assist others; popular - Political patterns established
philosophy during Hellenistic Age during the classical time
- Achievements: Euclidean geometry, Pythagorean Theorem, knowledge of continue to have an influence
anatomy, circumference of the world; geocentric theory (Ptolemy) on the modern world
- 800 BCE: Kingdom of Rome
- Cultural traditions and
- 509 BCE: king overthrown by aristocracy, beginning of Roman Republic ruled by
the Senate (aristocrats) customs shaped the arts for
- Expansion: Punic Wars bring defeat of Carthaginians (prime rivals) and centuries
domination of the Mediterranean; continued expansion in North Africa, - development of major world
Western Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean coastal lands religion: Christianity
- 45 BCE: advent of Julius Caesar, beginning of transition from Republic to
- extensive trade brought new
Empire
- 27 BCE: Augustus Octavian Caesar becomes Emperor, beginning of Pax Romana ideas and products to the
- Technology: large public works, such as aqueducts, roads, bridges; architecture region
Rome such as the coliseum, roman arches (adopted from Greek architecture) - use of slave labor ultimately
- Achievements: common coinage, common language (Latin), continuation of led to decline in economic
Greek/Hellenistic traditions and beliefs (alphabet, philosophy)
expansion
- Trade: extensive trade in Mediterranean and with the East along the Silk Roads
in the Middle East
- Religion: Roman polytheistic religion based on Greek gods and goddesses;
development of Christianity after birth and life of Jesus Christ in Judea
- Social structure: patriarchal; use of slave labor
- Government: during Republic, codification of Roman laws called the Twelve
Tables (innocent until proven guilty; defendants may confront accusers in court;
judges can nullify unjust laws); during Republic, legislative Senate with
executive Consuls (two) and power to elect dictator in times of trouble; during
Empire, rule of Emperor with Senate as advisors

Why you should know this: You are required to know specific characteristics about the Classical civilizations, as well as
the significance of these civilizations in terms of their impact at the time, and the lasting influence these civilizations produced.
You will be asked multiple choice questions about specific characteristics of each. You will also be asked to make comparisons
between the classical civilizations. Comparative questions may be in the form of multiple choice or a comparative essay.
Example:
1. Under both the Han and Roman empires
a. imperial roads were connected to the Silk Roads
b. new territories were added to the empires
c. a time of peace settled over both empires
d. enduring cultural traditions were established
e. all of the above.

Knowing a combination of specific characteristics and the significance of classical


civilizations would lead you to the correct answer choice (e).

7. Belief Systems and Religions of the Classical Period


Religious beliefs had an enormous impact on the political and social structures of classical
civilizations. Moreover, religious beliefs helped define the cultural characteristics of these
civilizations. An intimate knowledge of the fundamental beliefs, the impact of those beliefs on
society, and the spread of these beliefs is required of AP World History students

1. Polytheism
• characteristic of early agricultural (River Valley) civilizations and Classical
Mediterranean religions
• animism: form of polytheism in which gods/goddesses are found in naturally
occurring objects (trees, stones, plants); characteristic of African and Polynesian
religions
2. Hinduism
• developed from the literature/oral traditions of the Aryans in present-day India
• no single founder
• polytheistic: many gods, principle gods were Vishnu (provider) and Shiva
(destroyer)
• Brahmins were priests, at the top of social structure
• Brahama = divine essence; meaningful life is union with Brahma through
reincarnation (this is called moksha and means the soul no longer experiences
suffering)
• karma = a person’s good and bad deeds; determines form of reincarnation
• dharma = moral code to guide life and actions
• worship of cattle as sacred (housing reincarnated souls); consumption of beef
forbidden
• Significance: religious beliefs reinforced caste system, strengthened patriarchy
by stressing obligations to community and family; beliefs continue to influence
Indian society today
• Spread: Hindu beliefs spread along the Silk Roads and to Southeast Asia via Indian
Ocean trade
3. Buddhism
• developed by Sidartha Gautama and his followers in Northeastern India in the mid
500’s BCE; “Buddha” = the enlightened one, but NOT a deity
• Similar to Hinduism: relief from worldly suffering through the union of soul with
divine spirit (nirvana); belief in reincarnation
• Departures from Hindu beliefs: stressed equal treatment of all people (therefore
opposed to caste system)
• Ideas of equality appealed especially to those of the lower classes
• Spread: Buddhist monasteries established along trade routes; monks and nuns
hosted travelers and spread beliefs; Mauryan emperor Ashoka promoted Buddhism
after he converted
• Significance: Buddhism achieved widespread popularity, especially in East and
Southeast Asia, although it lost popularity in India itself; offered an alternative
to Hinduism for those in the lower castes, providing these people with hope for a
better life in the future
4. Confucianism
Emerged during the Era of Warring States (between Zhou and Qin dynasties)
Kung Fu-tse (Confucius): Chinese scholar and philosopher who studied the literature of the Zhou
period and developed a theory of how to establish stability in China
Confucius taught that good, stable government depended on educated civil servants and adherence
to virtue; specifically stressed a series of patriarchal relationships such as obedience and loyalty
to the emperor, filial piety and veneration of ancestors
Followers recorded Confucius’ teachings in the Analects, which became the basis of the program of
study for those wishing to enter China’s bureaucracy (after the Han established the civil service
examinations)
Significance: Confucius’ teachings became the cornerstone of Chinese tradition and culture; civil
service examinations provided a greater level of competency among government employees;
Confucianism supported autocratic government in China and preserved patriarchal social
structures/gender roles; continues to have an influence in much of East Asia today
Spread: although Confucianism remains primarily a Chinese belief system, elements of Confucianism
have been adopted in areas that fell under Chinese control (such as Korea and Vietnam) or in areas
that imported heavily from Chinese culture (such as Japan)
5. Daoism
• Emerged during the Era of Warring States (between Zhou and Qin dynasties)
• Lao-zi (Lao-tsu) = founder of philosophy
• Philosophy: balance in nature (yin and yang) is preferable; human understanding of
nature and harmonious balance achieved by following “the Way” (the life force
found in nature)
• Political affiliations: Daoism, in stark contrast to Confucianism, teaches that
political activism and education are not necessary to harmony in nature because
the natural flow of events would resolve problems
• Significance: the Chinese adapted some Daoist principles to fit with Confucianism
to reinforce ideas about responsibility for the community and the importance of
meditation; ideas have influence on modern pop-culture (the Force, in Star
Wars)
• Spread: Daoism, like Confucianism, remains primarily a Chinese belief system,
however, elements of Daoism have been adopted in areas that fell under Chinese
control (such as Korea and Vietnam) or in areas that imported heavily from
Chinese culture (such as Japan)
6. Judaism
• ~2000 BCE: migration of Abraham from Mesopotamia to Canaan; followers called
Hebrews
• Monotheistic: the first people to have a monotheistic religion; have a covenant in
which Yahweh is their god and Jews are his followers; history recorded in Torah
(Hebrew scriptures, Old Testament of Christian Bible)
• History: migration out of Canaan to Egypt (famine?); enslaved by Egyptians; exodus
and freedom from slavery led by Moses; receipt of the Ten Commandments as law
for the Jews; return to Canaan (Palestine) and establishment of theocracy (rule by
religious leaders); establishment of Kingdom of Israel under Saul; Jerusalem
becomes capital of Israel under David; kingdom weakens under Solomon (taxes);
division of Israel into two kingdoms, Israel (North) and Judah (South); Northern
kingdom fell to Assyrians, 722 BCE, leading to first Jewish diaspora; Southern
kingdom fell to Babylonians (Chaldeans) in 586 BCE and Jews taken into captivity in
Babylon; Persian invasion led by Cyrus the Great led to renewed freedom for Jews;
Jews return to Palestine, which remains under Persian control until becoming a
part of the Roman empire (province of Judea, 63 BCE); 132 CE: rebellion of Jews
against Romans led to second diaspora
• Spread: Followers of Judaism did not try to convert others to their religion
• Significance: first monotheistic religion; foundation for future monotheistic
religions of Christianity and Islam; pattern of persecution against Jewish people
continues even today
7. Christianity
• 4-6 BCE: birth of Jesus Christ, believed Messiah prophesized by Jewish faith
• History: Jesus, as an adult, traveled around Judea, accompanied by 12 disciples,
preaching forgiveness of sins; called the Christ = “anointed”; Jesus’ teachings
perceived as a threat to Jewish and Roman authority in the region; trial and
execution of Jesus; resurrection of Jesus and foundation of Christianity as
followers of Jesus traveled the Roman empire spreading Jesus’ message; accounts
of Jesus’ life and teachings found in New Testament of Christian Bible
• Spread: missionaries used Roman roads to spread the message of Jesus; religion
spread rapidly throughout the empire, although for the first few hundred years it
was not openly tolerated; as Christianity gained popularity, Roman Emperors
accepted its existence and later emperors even converted, establishing
Christianity as the official religion of the Empire; after the collapse of the
western half of the empire, Christianity spread further north in Europe and East
into Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Russia
• Significance: Christianity continues to have an enormous influence on Western
Culture and is considered one of the West’s most important cultural heirlooms
from Roman times; Christianity had wide appeal among the poor and among women
because its stress on the concept of equality in faith; served as a unifying force
among Europeans after the fall of the Roman Empire; earliest organized
Christianity in the form of Catholicism, which had a significant influence on
Medieval and Early Modern European rulers

1. The Life of Muhammad


Because the life and teachings of Muhammad had such a profound affect on the Post-
classical world, knowledge of the major events of his life is required of all AP World History
students
 The life of Muhammad
• born in 570 in Mecca located in the Arabian peninsula
• Mecca was important location for commerce and religion (polytheistic shrine: Ka’aba); note
relationship between pilgrims and success of merchants
• Muhammad raised by merchant grandfather and uncle, married widow of merchant
• ~610: Muhammad receives first revelations from archangel Gabriel; only one god, Allah
(already familiar to Arabic peoples)
• Muhammad’s beliefs and teachings threatened success of merchants thriving on commerce
from pilgrims
• 622: Muhammad and followers flee to Yathrib (Medina) where he was free to practice and
teach his faith; flight referred to as the hijrah; start of Muslim calendar
• Umma: rules that governed daily life and included procedures for the care of widows and
orphans as well as mounting an army of defense
• 629: Muhammad returns to Mecca to visit Ka’aba; pilgrimage referred to as the hajj
• 630: Muhammad and followers conquer Mecca
• 632: Muhammad dies without a successor

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions in the multiple choice
section about the events and chronology of Muhammad’s life. You may also need information about
his life as background information or examples for an essay question.
Example:
1. Muhammad
a. made provisions for the future leadership of Islam
b. established clear class distinctions for Islamic society
c. built on the religious traditions of the Arabian peninsula
d. went against established gender distinctions in the practice of his faith
e. spoke out against military conquest as a vehicle for the extension of Islam
Knowing about how Muhammad developed the Islamic faith would direct you to the
correct answer choice (c). Muhammad taught that one of the gods already familiar to the
Arabic peoples, Allah, was the one true god
2. Islam
As with other major world religions/belief systems, you will need to know the fundamental
beliefs of Islam, as well as the significance of the religion in terms of its cultural, social, and
political impact on its followers. Additionally, you will need to know about how Islam expanded
from the Arabian Peninsula to India, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

 Islam
• term “Islam” means submission, a Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah
• Founder: Muhammad; believed his revelations were an extension of Jewish and
Christian teachings; believed he was last prophet (Abraham, Moses, Jesus are also
prophets of Islam)
• Major beliefs: “Five Pillars”
 Faith: proclaim belief in only one god, Allah
 Prayer: five times a day, facing Mecca
 Fasting: from dawn to dusk during holy month, Ramadan; commemorates
revelations to Muhammad
 Alms-giving: pay zakat (tithe) to charity
 Pilgrimage (Hajj): Muslims must travel to Mecca to visit the Ka’aba
• Holy book: Quran (Koran), completed in 650, revelations and teachings of Muhammad;
Hadith is collected sayings of Muhammad; Shariah is moral code for daily life, used to
guide politicians and judges (criminal justice)
• Expansion of Islam
 Early expansion:
 spread through military conquest
 most of Arabian peninsula after death of Muhammad
 651: Persia conquered
 End of 7th century: Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Egypt, Central Asia (around
Caspian Sea)
 8th century: North Africa, India, Iberian peninsula
 early Muslim conquerors more concerned with gaining power for Muslim leaders,
not so much for the spread of religious beliefs
 India and Southeast Asia:
 12th century: Muslim control of Indus River Valley and northern India
 Delhi Sultanate: ruled northern India, expanded control and influence through
military conquest in 13th century through the 16th century
 Particularly popular with Hindu lower classes (equality in faith for Muslims)
 Spread to Southeast Asia through merchants
 More converts in the islands than on the mainland
 Africa:
 jihad: Islamic holy war to spread Islam, brought Islam into Africa by the 8th
century
 spread along caravan routes
 10th century: Egypt became Muslim, under control of Muslim rulers
 easily adopted by Sub-Saharan rulers in West Africa: Ghana, Mali; largely
adopted by only ruling/elite classes, commoners tended to remain polytheistic or
blended Islamic teachings with their indigenous beliefs
 East Africa (coastal areas): brought by traders
 not much success in the interior of Africa
 many women resistant to conversion because they had more freedoms with
indigenous belief systems
• Role of women: lots of change from 630 – 15th century
 early days: women did not have to wear veil, not secluded, considered as equal in
faith
 after contact with Middle Eastern cultures: harem from Abbasid court (men could
have up to four wives, women could only have one husband)
 killing female children was illegal
 women could own property before and after marriage (her possessions did not
automatically become her husbands after marriage
 patriarchy established by Quran and shariah
 women had some legal rights, but these rights were countered by the fact that they
became increasingly secluded from the public
• Social structure: Muslims could not enslave other Muslims (except for prisoners of
war), but could own slaves; slavery not hereditary; Muslims could free their slaves
(especially after conversion to Islam)
• Dar al-Islam: the house of Islam, referring to all Muslims lands
• Significance: last world religion to develop; quickly spread to many lands through trade
and conquest; largest theocracy; Muslims preserved advancements made during the
Hellenistic Age; unified many people across the Eastern Hemisphere; competition
between Muslims and Christians for economic influence in both hemispheres led to
intense confrontations (Crusades); friction between Christians and Muslims (and
Muslims and Jews, for that matter) persists today; Islam, like Christianity, is a
monotheistic religion that shares beliefs with Judaism

Why you should know this: You will be asked about the specific beliefs and the significance
and impact of Islam in the multiple choice section, and you may be required to use information
about Islam to write an essay

Example: Using the following documents, analyze Islamic and Christian attitudes toward
trade and merchants from each religion’s origin through the 16th century. Do these documents
display changes over time? What kinds of additional documents would help you clarify Islamic and
Christian positions on commerce?

To answer this question, you would need to understand the basic teachings of Islam
and Christianity to use as outside/background information and to help you interpret the
documents. You would need to be familiar with the role of commerce in the regions where
these religions dominated, which requires an understanding of how religious beliefs
affected the general culture and society of the believers.
3. The Division of Muslims
The separation of Muslims into Sunni and Shi’ite branches had and continues to have a
profound affect on the Islamic world. AP World History students are required to know the
difference between the two groups of Muslims, how the branches split apart, and why there
continued to be contention between the two branches.

 Sunnis vs. Shi’ites


• Muhammad died before choosing a successor
• Caliph: successor to the prophet, combines religious and secular duties and authority in
one person
• Controversy over who should rightfully be caliph
• Shi’ites: only a descendent of the family of Muhammad may be caliph
• Sunni: any member of the umma (Muslim community) could be caliph
• Sunni is larger branch
• led to frequent, bloody conflicts that mirrored the political power struggle between
family clans to control Muslim lands

Why you should know this: You may be asked to identify differences between the two
branches or you may be asked to relate the separation to future conflicts between the two groups.

Example:
1. One of the weaknesses of the early Muslim empires was
a. intolerance of the legal traditions of non-Muslim peoples
b. disregard for the cultural traditions of conquered peoples
c. failure to resolve questions of succession
d. insistence on conversion of non-Arabs within the empire
e. indifference to the Sunni/Shi’ite split

Knowledge of the significance of the split between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims as a
dominating theme of early Muslim history would lead you to the correct answer choice,
(c).

4. Muslim Caliphates of the Post-classical Era


You need to know the general characteristics of the Muslim Caliphates, especially in terms
of expansion of influence, the blending of cultures, and the influence of Islam on conquered
peoples. Additionally, you will need to understand how Muslim advances in science and math had an
impact on the West.

Caliphate Specific characteristics Significance/general patterns


- 661 CE: Umayyad family comes to power (Sunni) - Islam blends government with religion
- capital in Damascus, Syria - Muslim caliphates worked to expand
- emphasized Arabic ethnicity (Arabs more Muslim influence in Africa, Asia, and
Umayyad
privileges than non-Arab Muslims) Europe through military campaigns
- People of the Book allowed freedom of worship - Muslims preserved Western traditions
- Poverty gap, sometimes caused rebellions that were lost to Europe at that time
- Overthrow of dynasty in 750 CE - Muslim advances and innovations had a
profound affect as they spread to Europe
- 750 CE: Abbasids come to power (Shi’ite) by means of trade (and later, the
- capital at Baghdad, Iraq Crusades)
Abbasid - Social structure: increasing poverty gap
- equal status for all Muslims
- trade increased that led to rebellions
- preservation and use of ancient Greek, Roman, - Women in Islam: as Muslims came into
and Persian philosophies (logic, art, architecture, contact with other civilizations,
literature); advances in math and science particularly Mesopotamia and India, they
- adoption of Indian “Arabic” numerals; tended to adopt more restrictive ideas
transmission of these numbers to the West about women
- discoveries: astrolabe, maps of stars, optic - The teachings of Islam reached most of
surgery the world’s population at that time and all
- growth of cities major trade routes ran through Muslim
- emphasis on learning; universities built lands
- art: calligraphy, arabesques for writing and - None of these caliphates succeeded in
pottery; new architecture: minarets; literary bridging the gap between Sunni and Shi’ite
Abbasid achievements
- Religion: mystic Sufis establish missions to
spread Islam
- High taxes
- Territory so large, hard to manage: kingdoms
arose within empire, headed by Sultans
- Sultan of Persia took control from Abbasids,
eventually conquered by Seljuk Turks
- Official end of Abbasids with the Mongol
invasions in the 13th century

Why you should know this: You are required to know the fundamental beliefs of the
world’s major religions as well as the impact of these religions on the societies they touched. You
must be familiar with the interaction/relationship between these religions and the political and
social structures they influenced. You must also be aware of specific cultural characteristics
displayed by each

Example: Using the following documents, analyze the responses of the spread of Buddhism
in China. What kinds of additional documents would you need to evaluate Buddhism’s appeal in
China?

To answer this question, you would need outside information about the basic,
fundamental beliefs of Buddhism to help interpret the documents. Additionally, you would
need to know the fundamental beliefs of Confucianism in order to help you interpret how a
follower of Confucianism might perceive Buddhism. Moreover, you would need to understand
the history behind the development of both religions and how Buddhism came to China. You
would also need to be aware of the significance of Confucianism in China: Confucius beliefs
were at the heart of Chinese government and a new religion might upset/destabilize the
authority of the government.

8. The Decline of Classical Civilizations


You will need to know and be able to compare circumstances surrounding the fall of classical
civilizations (Rome, Han China, and Gupta India)

Classical Specific causes for fall Shared characteristics


Civilization
- start of decline: 100 CE - weak emperors, deflection of power to military
- decline of interest in Confucianism and stress leaders
on education - decline in trade
Han China
- social unrest - taxes overburden peasants
- pressure from neighboring tribes - population decline/epidemic diseases
- bad harvests
- collapse of traditional values among the elite - poverty gap, especially with regards to land
- dependence on slave labor ownership
Rome
- use of non-Romans in the army - decline in morality
- inability to effectively rule large empire
- cessation of inflow of resources due to Shared Characteristics
Rome cessation of wars of conquest
- weak emperors, deflection of power to military
- regional leaders gained more power at the
leaders
expense of the power of the Gupta rulers
- decline in trade
Gupta - traditional values persisted
- taxes overburden peasants
India - population decline/epidemic diseases
- bad harvests
- poverty gap, especially with regards to land
ownership
- decline in morality

Why you should know this: You will be asked to identify specific reasons for the collapse
of classical civilizations, and you may be asked to compare the collapse of classical civilizations in
an essay. Additionally, you could be asked to analyze changes in classical civilizations, so you would
need to know about the development of these civilizations as well as their decline.

Example:
1. The declining years of Han China and the Roman Empire shared all of the following EXCEPT
a. a decline in morality
b. epidemic disease
c. assimilation of invading peoples into imperial culture
d. unequal land distribution
e. decline in trade
If you know the shared characteristics of classical civilizations in decline, you would
know that the only characteristic not shared by both is answer choice (c).
9. The Aftermath of the Fall of Classical Civilizations
It will be important for you to understand how these civilizations transitioned from classical
times to Medieval times.
Han China Rome Gupta India
- Daoism and Buddhism - small landowners forced to sell to large landowners - Invaders from
gain popularity - large landowners became increasingly self-sufficient, leading to a central steppes
- Invasions from nomads decline in trade, which led to a decline in urban populations from ~500 CE to
- Conflict with large Christian minority
(Hsiung-nu) ~600
- Constantine established second capital at Byzantium
- political decentralization - local rulers
(Constantinople) and converted to Christianity
- 589 CE: Sui dynasty - Western portion of empire steadily declined, while eastern portion (Rajput) replace
reestablishes order in thrived and continued to trade with the East centralized rule
China - Huns migrate out of Central Asia, pressuring Germanic tribes of of Guptas
- Confucian Central Europe to migrate/invade the Roman Empire - interest in
culture/traditions kept - Germanic tribes establish kingdoms within Roman empire, eventually Buddhism
by the elite classes overthrow western emperor by 476 CE declined, while
- invading nomads settled - Eastern portion (becoming the Byzantine Empire) faced less adherence to
pressure from outsiders and more economic prosperity, center for
and assimilated into Hindu traditions
arts
Chinese culture continued
- Attempt to revive empire during the rule of Justinian (Byzantine
emperor), but unsuccessful
- cities in the west deteriorated and culture/intellectual life declined
- centralized government replaced by allegiances to Germanic kings
Why you should know this: You will be asked, most likely in the form of a multiple choice
question, to identify events and patterns happening as classical civilizations collapsed and entered
the “Medieval” time period.

Example:
1. The decline of Han China
a. saw the end of Chinese established traditions
b. like Rome, saw invaders permanently dominate the empire
c. witnessed Daoism, rather than Confucianism, gaining popularity
d. was the end of Chinese dynastic rule
e. resulted in the decline of Buddhism in China

After considering the choices, (c) stands out as the only possible correct answer
because it is the only one that is true. Knowing what happened after the collapse of classical
China would lead you to this answer.

10. Interactions between Civilizations of the Classical Period


In addition to knowledge of the specific characteristics of Classical civilizations, you are
required to know about types of interactions, such as invasions (many of which have already been
discussed) and trade

1. Rivalries along the Nile


• Kingdom of Kush south of Egypt: admired Egyptians and adopted aspects of their
culture, such as hieroglyphics and religious beliefs
• Kush conquer Egypt ~750 BCE during a time when Egypt was weak
• Kush conquered by another rival kingdom, Axum ~300 CE
• Another rival kingdom, Ethiopia, was a Christian kingdom (Christianity brought to
region by Greek merchants ~4th century CE)
• All of these kingdoms traded along the Nile and across the Red Sea
2. Silk Roads
• roads linked China, India, and Mesopotamia
• trade often facilitated by Central Asian herders
• roads extended by Romans to include the Mediterranean region
• important route that gave access to luxury goods and exotic spices from the East to
the West
• Nomads linked to more advanced civilizations through their participation in trade
(often offering use of their animals)
• allowed the diffusion of ideas (including religious beliefs and scientific discoveries),
goods, technology, and diseases
3. Indian Ocean Trade
• an extension of the Silk Roads that allowed trade primarily between China, India, and
Africa
• sea merchants/sailors from China, India, Persia, Africa, Southeast Asia
• movement possible from monsoon winds to go from section to section across the
Indian Ocean
4. Trans-Saharan Trade
• trade across the Sahara desert
• use of camel caravans to cross the desert
• primarily exchange of salt and palm oil for gold and ivory
• significant in that sub-Saharan Africa was linked to North Africa and therefore the
Mediterranean trade routes, as well as the silk roads that the Romans extended into
North Africa

Why you should know this: You will be asked about specific trade patterns during the
classical age and may be asked to analyze and/or compare patters of trade during this time period.
You will also be asked about ways in which classical civilizations interacted.

Example: Compare patterns of trade along TWO of the following trade routes during the
Classical period: Indian Ocean, Silk Roads, Trans-Saharan

To answer this question, you would need considerable knowledge about these trade
routes (products exchanged, civilizations involved). You would need to be able to cite
examples of similarities and differences of trade along these routes as well as discuss the
significance of the interactions through trade in these areas.
5. Post-classical China
You need to know the patterns and trends of the Post-classical Chinese dynasties, as these
dynasties had a significant impact on Post-classical East and Southeast Asia

Dynasty Specific Characteristics Shared Characteristics


- 589 CE: Sui reestablish centralized government - pattern of internal disorder, then
in China after a period of disorder following the reestablished centralized rule
collapse of the Han dynasty
Sui - trend of increasing lands controlled
- very brief rule, followed by internal chaos again
by the Chinese
- 618 CE: rise of the Tang - revival and strengthening of the
- expanded Chinese authority to include Central civil service examination system
Asia (Modern Afghanistan), Tibet, Manchuria, - increase in status of scholar gentry
and Vietnam
- continued increase in the volume of
- continued construction of the Great Wall
- use of diplomacy to control and regulate huge trade accompanied by the
territory participation in trade over seas
- revival of scholar-gentry (Confucian scholars as (connected to the Indian Ocean
workers in the bureaucracy) trade routes)
Tang - Buddhism gained popularity and acceptance;
- trend of strengthening the
rapid and prodigious construction of Buddhist
monasteries; Empress Wu supported Buddhism; patriarchy
tax exemptions led to monasteries growing
wealthy; later Tang rulers worked to stop the
growing influence of Buddhists
- Confucianism regained popularity as Buddhism
receded into the background
- Tang rule weakened and collapsed due to
rebellions and invasions from the North
- Achievements: trade/travel protected and
increased; trade by sea increased (junk ships
very advanced); use of paper money and earliest
forms of credit (letters of credit); urbanization;
public works projects like canals and irrigation
increased agricultural production; land
redistribution; invention of gunpowder
- population in rice growing areas (south) becomes
larger than in wheat-growing areas (north)

- 960 CE: Song dynasty gains control of most of


China, but pays tribute to settled invaders in
Song
the north
- Neo-Confucianism: blending of Confucianism and
Buddhism; reinforced traditional ideas about
respect for authority, family values, and gender
roles
- Song preference for scholars over soldiers Shared Characteristics
prevented the Song from overpowering the - pattern of internal disorder, then
northern invaders ; taxes to pay tribute reestablished centralized rule
burdened the peasant class - trend of increasing lands controlled by the
- Northern part of Song China invaded by nomads Chinese
Song in the North and Song influence retreated south - revival and strengthening of the civil
of the Yangtze River service examination system
- Song continued to rule this area of China until - increase in status of scholar gentry
the late 13th century - continued increase in the volume of trade
- Achievements: advanced weapons (catapults); accompanied by the participation in trade
moveable type; compasses; abacus over seas (connected to the Indian Ocean
- Patriarchy: footbinding and deterioration of the trade routes)
status of women - trend of strengthening the patriarchy

Why you should know this: You will be asked questions about the general (shared)
characteristics of Post-classical China. You may even be asked to differentiate between the Tang
and Song dynasties. You may also need knowledge of the specific characteristics of Post-classical
Chinese dynasties for the essay portion.

Example:
1. The position of Chinese women
a. resulted in greater freedoms under Neo-Confucianism
b. changed markedly between the seventh and thirteenth centuries
c. was defined by Confucianism
d. was more restrictive under the Tang than under the Song
e. declined in regions where Buddhism was popular
In this question, you are asked to remember the trend in the treatment of women,
which was defined by Confucian values. Although Neo-Confucianism saw a revival and
modification of Confucianism, the role of women in traditional Chinese society remained
the same. The correct choice is (c).

6. Post-classical East and Southeast Asia


Because China exerted a strong influence on its neighbors during the Post-classical period,
AP students are required to know major events in these areas. Students are also expected to know
in what specific ways China influenced these areas

Country Post-classical events Examples of Chinese


influence
• 7th century: Japan has contact with China • Chinese writing
• Buddhism blends with Shinto (indigenous Japanese belief) • Confucianism
• rebellion against use of China as model leads to fragmentation into large • Chinese bureaucracy
Japan
estates whose owners built powerful armies • Buddhism
• power of emperor declines while power of aristocrats grows (feudalism • artistic expression
in Japan)
• bushi: aristocrats that owned large amounts of property and wielded
armies; samurai were the knights of the bushi; bushido = code of honor
• peasants became serfs, bound to the land of the local lord Chinese influence
• 12 century: powerful clans emerged (Fujiwara) with the help of
th
• Chinese writing
alliances among local lords • Confucianism
• Gempei Wars: destructive wars between samurai and peasants, led to • Chinese bureaucracy
the victory of the Minamoto family who established a military • Buddhism
government (emperor becomes puppet figure) • artistic expression
Japan
• Move toward feudalism meant isolation from China
• Powerful families controlled shoguns (military leaders)
• 14th century: civil disorder leads to bushi taking control and dividing
Japan into nearly 300 kingdoms, ruled by a daimyo (warlord)
• code of bushido declined by the 15th century
• 16th-17th centuries: increase in centralization, tax collection, and trade
resumed with China
• unique culture: tea ceremony, ornamental gardens

• conquered by Tang • metallurgy and agriculture


• 668: Silla kingdom in Korea pushes Tang out of Korea in exchange for an • Buddhism
agreement to pay tribute • Chinese culture spread
• Silla unites Korea after departure of the Tang when settlers moved to
Korea • trade with China and others in Indian Ocean network via South China Korea during Han rule
Sea • Chinese writing
• Buddhism popular with elite • Confucian literature
• Mongol invasions in 14th century interrupt contacts with China • Civil service exams
• porcelain manufacture
• Vietnam valued independence • Buddhism
• traded with China • agricultural and irrigation
• conquered lands in Southeast Asia (Cambodia) techniques
• distinct language • Confucian concepts
• women had more freedoms (veneration of ancestors)
Vietna • Buddhism more popular in Vietnam than in China • importance of the
m • conquered by Han China extended family
• rebelled against Chinese rule: received independence during Tang rule, • civil service examinations
939 • military organization and
technology

7. Medieval Europe
AP students will need to know about the political, social, and economic structures of Post-
classical Europe (typically referred to as the Medieval time period in European History).
Additionally, students will also need to know about cultural characteristics and achievements in
this time period.

Structure Early Middle Ages High Middle Ages


- Manorialism: typically organized into feudal - nation-states begin to develop in England
estates as small landowners sold land to larger (after invasion of William in 1066) and
landowners; some peasants moved to cities, France
others stayed to work the lands of those they - Italy, Germany remain a collection of large
sold to estates (princedoms, duchies)
- Feudalism: large landowners (nobles, lords) - Spain continued to be ruled by Muslims
gave parcels of land to vassals (sometimes - Development of Parliaments: an
knights, sometimes lesser nobles/lords) in extension/evolution of feudal relationship
Political
exchange for military service; serfs worked between lord and vassal; England, France,
the lands of the lords and vassals in exchange Germany
for protection - Conflict between Catholic Church and
- Loose kingdoms/Empires developed monarchs: power struggle for who has more
(Charlemagne, Holy Roman) influence (investiture)
- Sometimes conflicts between estates; largest - Hundred Years’ War: between England and
threat to security were Viking invasions from France
the North and the Crusades

- trade diminished, estates had to become self- - renewed trade opportunities and motivations
sufficient after the crusades
- Feudalism: serfs gave a portion of their crops - early banking systems
and had to work the lands of their lords - technology: gunpowder, cannons
- Technology: renewed contacts with the East
~900 brought plows and improved agricultural
Economic techniques
- An increase in trade sparked peasant
migration to cities which allowed landowners to
buy more land and pay serfs wages to work the
land
- Crusades: brought attention to products from
the East, Europeans wanted these goods; led
to an increase in trade and an increase in
rivalries between Christian and Muslim
merchants

- Feudalism: lords, vassals, knights, serfs - Urbanization


- Status of women generally declined - Increased population due to better
Social
- Serfs could be freed from obligations by living agricultural techniques
in a city for a year and a day - Increase in rights for peasants/serfs
- Laws/punishments tended to favor higher (especially after the development of
classes over lower, men over women Parliaments that attempted to protect their
- Nobility through landownership, military rights
accomplishments, alliances, service to the - Development of primitive middle class:
Social
state wealthy families from banking and commerce
- Gradual increase in status of most peasants

- Chivalry: code of conduct for knights and - Gothic architecture: influences from
lords; unlike bushido in that it involves a Muslims
reciprocal relationship and does not apply to - Expansion of universities, increased
women emphasis on learning
- Religion: Catholic Church dominated cultural - Renewed interest in Greco-Roman heritage
beliefs and traditions (architecture, art, - Increases sense of national identity
Cultural literature), especially before the revival of - Development of literature in vernacular
trade and the development of early kingdoms languages
- Viking invaders tended to settle and adopt the
culture of where they settled (Normandy)
- Departure from Roman and Greek traditions
after the fall of Rome and throughout the
Early Medieval times

Why you should know this: You will be asked specific questions about the structures of
Medieval Europe and you will be asked to compare post-classical Europe to other post-classical
civilizations (Muslim world, Japan, China, etc.). You will also be asked to understand
changes/transformations in Europe from the Early to High Middle Ages

Example: Compare feudalism in Post-classical Europe and Japan.

To write this essay, you will need to understand not only feudal structures in Europe
and Japan, but also the ways in which they were similar and different. You will need to analyze the
impact of feudalism on politics, economics, and social classes in both areas. Moreover, you would
need to address changes in the feudal structure in both areas.

8. Mongols
Because the Mongols had a significant impact on multiple civilizations (Russia, Middle East,
China, Central Asia), AP students are required to know the story of their rise to power as well as
their impact on each society.
1) Origins of the Mongols
a) Nomads from steppes of Central Asia
b) Used horses, powerful military
c) Organized into tribes, traded for what they couldn’t produce
d) Women: right to participate in tribal councils
e) Chinggis Khan: leader who united Mongol tribes
f) Adopted weapons technology from Chinese
g) Began conquering Central Asia, China, and moved into the Middle East
2) Mongols in Russia
a) 1237-1240: conquest of Russia (only successful winter conquest in history)
b) Called Tartars by Russians
c) Cities that resisted were destroyed, people killed or sold into slavery
d) Tribute empire: Golden Horde
e) Feudalism developed as peasants sought protection from Mongols
f) Moscow was main tribute collector for the Mongols (gained territory when estates
couldn’t pay taxes)
g) Orthodox Church became dominant church in Russia at request of Mongols
h) Mongols kept Russia isolated from Western Europe
i) Mongols attempted to push further west into Eastern Europe, but attacks were
repelled
3) Mongols in Persia
a) 1258: Mongols burned Baghdad
b) Mongols execute Abbasid ruler and end the caliphate
c) Mongols expelled from the Middle East by the Mamlukes of Egypt
4) Mongols in China
a) 1271: Kublai Khan controls most of China, establishes the Yuan Dynasty
b) Chinese not allowed to learn Mongol language, intermarriage outlawed
c) Religious toleration, but end of civil service examinations
d) Mongol women had more freedoms than Chinese women
e) Mongols used foreigners in government positions
f) Merchants gained status as trade was encouraged
g) Mongols attempted to expand China by conquering Japan and Vietnam (both failed)
5) Impact of Mongol Rule
a) Trade along Silk Roads protected and encouraged
b) Spread of the Plague
c) Foreign rule in China, caused revival of Confucianism (Neo-Confucianism)
d) Russia cut off from Western European advances and the practice of serf labor
developed
e) Timur the Lame (Tamerlane): renegade Turk tried to recreate Mongol invasions by
rampaging through the Middle East and Central Asia

Why you should know this: You will be asked questions about the Mongol invasions and
the impact of the Mongols on each society. You may also be asked to compare the paths of Mongol
conquests to those of the Vikings or Arab invaders.
Example:
1. Mongol rule in Russia and China differed in that
a. In China, the Mongols maintained Chinese traditions of isolation from foreigners
b. Eurasian trade routes under Mongol protection connected Russia more than China to
Western European trade centers
c. The Mongols became more involved in administration in China than in Russia
d. The Mongols were more interested in controlling trade in China than they were in Russia
e. Russia advanced culturally under Mongol rule while China became increasingly backward
Knowing how the Mongols established control and how they treated the native
peoples would allow you to immediately recognize the correct answer, (c).
10. Post-classical Indian Ocean Trade Patterns
You are expected to be aware of global trade routes and patterns for the AP test.
Post-classical Indian Ocean Trade Patters
China Middle East Europe India
- increased trade - merchants used - European technology - “middle” section of
during Tang, Song, monsoon winds to advances allowed trade routes
Yuan, and Ming travel to India and Europeans to explore - India broken into small
dynasties the Spice Islands more extensive trade in kingdoms,
- Ming send - merchants blended the Indian Ocean establishment of
expeditions to with Bantu to form - Europeans were trading ports for
display wealth of Swahili; especially interested in Chinese, Arabs, and
“Middle Kingdom” established spices from the “East Europeans
(Zheng He); traveled wealthy city- Indies” -
across ocean to states - Unfavorable balance of
Middle East; - attempted to trade for Europeans (no
expeditions stopped prevent European one really
by Confucian gains in the Indian wanted/needed
scholars, but trade Ocean European goods)
continued -
- -