Year Overview

Unit 1 The First Civilizations ca. 10,000 B.C.E. – ca. 630 C.E.

  1. DEVELOPMENT OF CIVILIZATION: The development of agriculture enabled the rise of the first civilizations, located primarily along river valleys; these complex societies were influenced by geographic conditions, and shared a number of defining political, social, and economic characteristics. 
  2. BELIEF SYSTEMS: RISE AND IMPACT: The emergence and spread of belief systems influenced and shaped the development of cultures, as well as their traditions and identities. Important similarities and differences between these belief systems are found in their core beliefs, ethical codes, practices, and social relationships. 

Unit 2 Classical Societies 600 B.C.E. – ca. 900 C.E.

  1. CLASSICAL CIVILIZATIONS: EXPANSION, ACHIEVEMENT, DECLINE: Classical civilizations in Eurasia and Mesoamerica employed a variety of methods to expand and maintain control over vast territories. They developed lasting cultural achievements. Both internal and external forces led to the eventual decline of these empires.

Unit 3 An Age of Expanding Connections ca. 500 – ca. 1500

  1. RISE OF TRANSREGIONAL TRADE NETWORKS: During the classical and postclassical eras, transregional trade networks emerged and/or expanded. These networks of exchange influenced the economic and political development of states and empires.
  2. POLITICAL POWERS AND ACHIEVEMENTS: New power arrangements emerged across Eurasia. Political states and empires employed a variety of techniques for expanding and maintaining control. Periods of relative stability allowed for significant cultural, technological, and scientific innovations.
  3. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL GROWTH AND CONFLICT: During the postclassical era, the growth of transregional empires and the use of trade networks influenced religions and spread disease. These cross-cultural interactions also led to conflict and affected demographic development.

Unit 4 Global Interactions ca. 1400 – 1750

  1. THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND THE MING DYNASTY PRE-1600: Islam, Neo-Confucianism, and Christianity each influenced the development of regions and shaped key centers of power in the world between 1368 and 1683. The Ottoman Empire and the Ming Dynasty were two powerful states, each with a view of itself and its place in the world.
  2. AFRICA AND THE AMERICAS PRE-1600: The environment, trade networks, and belief systems influenced the development of complex societies and civilizations in Africa and the Americas ca. 1325–1600.
  3. TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA: Western Europe and Russia transformed politically, economically, and culturally ca. 1400–1750. This transformation included state building, conflicts, shifts in power and authority, and new ways of understanding their world.
  4. INTERACTIONS AND DISRUPTIONS: Efforts to reach the Indies resulted in the encounter between the people of Western Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This encounter led to a devastating impact on populations in the Americas, the rise of the transatlantic slave trade, and the reorientation of trade networks.