World History with Mr. Salisbury - World History


    A note to AP World History students.
    To all AP World History students I am glad to see that you have signed up to take the AP World History course.  As you are aware taking an honors course is quite challenging in terms of workload and intellectual rigor.  Your final decision to take AP World History should not be made in haste, but with consideration of all the relevant factors.
     The AP World History course offers motivated students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the processes that, over time, have resulted in the blending of the world into a tightly integrated whole.  AP World History presents an approach that allows you the student to “do history” by going through the steps, a historian would take in analyzing historical events and evidence worldwide over a millennium.  This course offers balanced global coverage with Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe each represented.
     It is important to realize that AP World History differs significantly from the “usual” high school course; it will require greater mental preparation to cover the range and depth of the topics, and a greater time allotment to accomplish work.  Intrinsic motivation is something that every student should possess to succeed in AP World History.  There is very little even the best teachers can do to motivate a student in an honors or AP class.  The workload and rigor of such courses usually overwhelm artificial forms of motivation.  However, good teachers can aid in the development of the skills and qualities of a successful history student.  Developing these will be a major element of AP World History, but students entering the course should be well on their way in each of the categories below:

    Each AP World History Student:

    • Must be self-motivated, self-dedicated and self-disciplined in approaching a history

    • Must be willing to keep up with the reading load and read with a purpose, mastering
      both the factual and analytical content of the material.

    • Must have basic library and research skills in order to navigate the many sources of
       information available.

    • Must be willing to consider and develop an understanding of the concepts of geography,
       environment, economy, social organization, and government in world history.

    • Must be willing to subject all historical assumptions to analysis, interpreting, and
      drawing conclusions from historical data within a chronological framework.

    • Must be willing and able to take a position on a multitude of historical subjects,
       formulating effective oral and written arguments based on evidence and logic.

    If you possess the above skills and qualities, and more importantly are motivated to develop them further, then AP World History is the course for you. 



    World History is the study of human patterns of interaction with a particular focus on change over time, global exchange, and those phenomena that connect people, places, and ideas across regional boundaries.  By focusing on human interaction on all levels, we can see the big picture as well as the details of individual lives.  World history also gives us a perspective of the past that goes beyond a national or regional viewpoint—a perspective that embraces large comparisons both spatially and temporally.


    Themes are taken from the 2011-2012 AP World History Curriculum Framework.

    AP World History highlights five overarching themes that receive equal attention throughout the course beginning with the Foundations section.

    1.Interaction Between Humans and the Environment:
    -Patterns of settlement

    2.Development and Interaction of Cultures:
    -Belief Systems, philosophies and ideologies
    -Science and technology
    -The arts and architecture

    3. State-Building, Expansion and Conflict:
    -Political structures and forms of governance
    -Nations and nationalism
    -Revolts and revolutions
    -Regional, Transregional, and global structures and organizations

    4.Creation, Expansion and Interaction of Economic Systems:
    -Agricultural and pastoral production
    -Trade and commerce
    -Labor systems
    -Capitalism and socialism
    5.Development and Transformation of Social Structures:
    -Gender roles and relations
    -Family and kinship
    -Racial and ethnic constructions
    -Social and economic classes



    The AP World History course addresses habits of mind or skills in two categories:
    1) those addressed by any rigorous history course.
    2) those addressed by a world history course.

    Four Habits of Mind are in the first category:

    • Constructing and evaluating arguments: using evidence to make plausible arguments.

    • Using documents and other primary data: developing skills necessary to analyze point
      of view, context, and bias, and to understand and interpret information.

    • Developing the ability to assess issues of change and continuity over time.

    • Enhancing the capacity to handle diversity of interpretations through analysis of
       context, bias, and frame of reference.

    Three Habits of Mind are in the second category:

    • Seeing global patterns over time and space while also acquiring the ability to connect
       local developments to global ones and to move through levels of generalizations from
       the global to the particular.

    • Developing the ability to compare within and among societies, including comparing
       societies’ reactions to global processes.

    • Developing the ability to assess claims of universal standards yet remaining aware of
       human commonalities and differences; putting culturally diverse ideas and values in
       historical context, not suspending judgment but developing understanding.    



    The AP World History Exam is approximately 3 hours and 25 minutes long.  

    Test format:

    55 Questions in 55 minutes.
    Short-Answer Questions 4 in 50 minutes.

    Document-based question (DBQ)
    and Long Essay Question (LEQ) in 90 minutes.
    (includes a 15-minute reading period)


    The multiple-choice section consists of 55 questions designed to measure the students’ knowledge of world history from the Foundations period to the present.  This section follows the percentages below:
    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


    In AP World History, you will develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts including interactions over time.  The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies.  Moreover, it emphasizes relevant factual knowledge used in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence.  The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage.  Students will take the AP exam in May of their second year of the course.

    Note: Coverage of United States History
     The United States is included in the course in relation to its interaction with other societies: its colonization in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its revolution, and its expansion.  The internal politics of the United States in not covered.  Coverage of the United States is limited to appropriate comparative questions and to U. S. involvement in global processes.  Topics that focus on the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century, such as the end of the Second World War, the Cold War, and the globalization of trade and culture, may be assessed with appropriate reference to the United States.   

    Note: Maximum Percentage Coverage of European History
     Coverage of European history does not exceed 20 percent of the total course.  This encourages increased coverage of topics that are important to Europe in the world and not just Europe itself, as well as attention to areas of the world outside Europe.; 2007 College Board




    Readings from two major college textbooks provide background reading for students.  The textbooks are:

    Primary textbook
    Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler.  Traditions and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, 3rd ed.  Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

    Student resources for textbook available at:

    Secondary textbook
    Stearns, Peter N., Michael Adas, and Stuart B. Schwartz, World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 4th ed.  New York: Harper Collins, 2006.


    I have selected two main source books that provide you with primary as well as secondary readings and have useful introductions.  A variety of other primary and secondary sources will be used during the course.

    Reilly, Kevin, Worlds of History A Comparative Reader, 3rd ed.  V. 1 (0-312-44687-X) and V. 2 (0-312-44686-1) Bedford St. Martins Press.

    Stearns, Peter, Stephen Gosch, and Erwin Grieshaber, Documents in World History, 4th ed.  V. 1 (0-321-33054-4) and V. 2 (0-321-33258-X) Pearson Education.



    • Successful completion of a prescribed summer assignment, which is due the first day of

    • Prepare to take the AP Exam upon completion of the course.

    • Actively participate in class and complete all assignments thoroughly and promptly.

    • Attend class daily, arriving on time.

    • Make up work when absent—contact instructor and send assignments due electronically
       if needed; make arrangements for planned absences; two days allotted for each day
       absent to turn in work.  If you miss a quiz, make it up promptly.

    • Keep a well-organized and complete notebook for the entire year; bring to class daily.

    • Keep a well-organized 3” three ring binder for handouts, primary and secondary source
      readings, etc.

    • Keep a well-organized journal that includes the following:
     • Entries at least once per week based on activities, debates, key questions, thesis
                   practice, etc.

     • Occasional current event and practice essay entries.

     • Practice essays will be read and suggestions for improvement will be given by
                   the instructor.

     • Reading reflections required for each major topic (variety needed: narrative,
                   visual, graphic organizers, etc).

     • Graded at least twice per quarter.

    • Form a study group for tests and other large assignments. 

    • Ask instructor for help if needed—I am committed to supporting your efforts!

    • Challenge yourself to work hard and maintain high standards.

    • Take advantage of opportunities to redo work for mastery of the content and skills of
       the course.

    • Be courteous of others and refrain from talking when you should be listening or

    • Be honest; do your own work.  No copying off someone’s homework.

    • No food or gum allowed in the classroom. 

    • Be aware of your language.  At no time will verbal or written obscenities be allowed.



    Each type of assignment will be weighted by a percentage.




    I have incorporated an introductory unit on the philosophy of world history into the pacing of the AP World History course.  Most teachers begin the year with some sort of historiographical unit, which introduces methods as well as large overarching concepts to students.  This unit serves that purpose by introducing you to worldview, big conceptual issues of geography and civilization, the underlying AP themes and habits of mind as well as ways of thinking about and doing world history.  This does provide a conceptual framework with which to look at world history that may be quite different from what you have encountered before. 

    “New World History”
    Thinking differently about the world-using habits of mind
    Local to global and what is world history?
    AP themes overview—civilization
    Brainstorming for foundations
    Courtesy: Dr.  Deborah Smith Johnston—AP Institute, St. Johnsbury Academy, Summer 2006.

    Textbook Periodization
    UNIT I
    UNIT V
    The Early Complex Societies, 3500 to 500
    B. C. E.
    The Formation of Classical Societies, 500
    B. C. E. to 500 C. E.
    The Postclassical Era, 500 to 1000 C. E.
    An Age of Cross-Cultural Interaction, 1000 to 1500 C. E.
    The Origins of Global Interdependence, 1500 to 1800
    An Age of Revolution, Industry, and Empire, 1750 to 1914
    Contemporary Global Realignments, 1914 to the Present

    AP College Board Periodization
    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