Advanced Placement World History

2012-2013  School Year


All the world's a stage,
                                      And all the men and women merely players:
                                      They have their exits and their entrances;
                                                     Shakespeare: As You Like It.

         I.             Instructor Information:  Larry E. Gates, Jr., J.D.
                                             Room 125

School Email:

Home Email:

Home Telephone:  365-8823

 Students and parents should feel free to contact me at any time to discuss any concerns that may arise.

 II.            Textbook: Stearns, et. al: World Civilizations: The Global Experience, 4th Edition. Students should bookmark the text website: .


III.           Course Website: In addition to textbook materials, substantial reliance will be made upon Notes posted on the Course Website:


IV.           Supplementary Readings: The following books will be assigned for reading throughout the term of the course. Due dates will be announced in advance:


a.      Daniel Boorstin:             The Discoverers

b.     Jonathan Phillips             Holy Warriors: A New History of the Crusades

b.      Ross E. Dunn              The Adventures of Ibn Battuta

c.       Giles Milton                Nathaniel’s Nutmeg

d.      Daniel Boorstin           The Discoverers

e.       Charles Dickens          A Tale of Two Cities


V.            Course Objectives:  It is anticipated that, at the completion of the course, students will be able to:

 §  Gain a working knowledge of the basic chronology and major events and trends in World History from Early Man to the present.

§  Develop an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern World History.

§  Analyze historical evidence and express historical understanding in writing.

§  Construct and evaluate arguments using evidence to make one’s argument plausible.

§ Analyze point of view, context and bias as well and understand and interpret information.  

§  Assess issues of change and continuity over time.

§ Work with a diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, bias, and frame of reference.

§ See global patterns over time and space while also acquiring the ability to connect local developments to global ones and to move through level of generalizations from the global to the particular.          

 VI.           Themes of World History: The list below is adopted directly from the AP World History Course Description published by Educational Testing Service. It contains some of the important areas that will be treated in the course. Some will be dealt with explicitly, others implicitly. This list may be expanded as the course develops, therefore it should not be considered exclusive. Questions on the AP World History Examination will require students to interrelate various categories and/or trace developments in a particular category through several chronological periods.

 § The dynamics of change and continuity across the world history periods covered   in the course and the causes and processes involved in major changes of these dynamics.

 § Patterns and effects of interaction among societies and regions: trade, war, diplomacy, and international organizations.

 § The effects of technology, economics, and demography on people and the environment (population growth and decline, disease, labor systems, manufacturing migrations, agriculture, weaponry.)

 § Systems of social structure and gender structure (comparing major features within and among societies, and assessing change and continuity.

 § Cultural, intellectual, and religious developments, including interactions among and within societies.

 § Changes in functions and structures and in attitudes towards states and political identities (political culture), including the emergence of the nation-state (types of political organizations.)

 VII.          Student Assignments:  Students will be assigned readings from the textbook and notes posted on the Class Website not less than weekly in anticipation of topics to be discussed in class. Additional reading material from a variety of sources will also be provided as part of individual lessons. Written homework from the text website will be assigned periodically. When practicable, these assignments should be submitted online.

 Additionally, unit tests will be administered at the end of each unit of study. Ample notice will be given before test dates. Tests will consist of multiple choice questions and a brief essay. Each part of the test will be equally weighted unless otherwise specified.

 Students will also periodically be assigned historical essays for writing, approximately one each week.  Essays will be assigned more frequently as students become comfortable with historical writing, and the date for the examination approaches. Every precaution will be taken that essays and tests are not scheduled too closely. During the first few weeks of class, essays will be assigned as homework, with students normally given two to three days to complete the same.  Other essays will be written in class with a time limit imposed similar to that imposed under actual testing conditions to acclimate students to writing under time constraints.  Whenever possible, essays will be drawn from previous DBQ’s or Free Response Questions (FRQ’s)

XI.            Due Dates:  All assignments will be due at the tardy bell on the date designated. No late work will be accepted unless a student is absent on the due date and an excused absence presented on the date the student returns to class. Assignments not handed in by the tardy bell on the due date will receive a grade of zero.  I reserve the right to require essays to be turned in at the beginning of the school day if circumstances warrant.

X.                Grading Scale: Grades will be determined as follows:

 Homework                                             20 %

Reading Quizzes                                    30 %

Unit Tests and Essays                            50 %        


The very nature of an Advanced Placement Course is such that daily attendance is essential to success.  Students should take care that they are absent from class only when attendance is impossible.  Students who are absent are responsible for all missed work.  Those students who present an excused absence report from the school attendance office will be allowed three school days to complete missed assignments.  This time may be extended for good cause shown.  Students who fail to present an excused absence report will not be allowed to complete missed work and a grade of zero assigned therefor.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.

XI.          The Advanced Placement Examination:  The AP World History Examination is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. Location will be announced well in advance.  South Carolina law requires that all students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses sit for the examination.  All fees for the examination are paid by the State of South Carolina

 Scores on the exam range from 1 – 5 with 5 the highest. Three is considered a passing grade.  Students who achieve a passing grade may be entitled to college credit.  Individual colleges determine the necessary scores required before credit will be awarded.

 XII.       Academic Integrity:  It is assumed all students understand that all work turned in for credit must be the student’s own work; it must not be plagiarized nor obtained by any other dishonest or inappropriate means.  Typical college policy is expulsion from the institution for the first offense.  Students guilty of cheating on any work for this course will receive a grade of zero for the assignment, and the student’s parents notified.  Additionally, the National Honor Society and Educational Testing service will be notified, and a signed report of the incident placed in the student’s scholarship file.

Please Note: The intense workload of an Advanced Placement Course will frequently cause inappropriate shortcuts to suggest themselves to students who are rushed for time. Resist the temptation! It isn't worth it. Past experience has shown that the first defense of those who commit dishonest acts is to adamantly deny having done so. Outrage, tears, and appeals for parental intervention are often part of the scheme. I have no intention of engaging in a swearing contest with those whom I suspect of cheating; however those who do so should not assume that they have "gotten away with it" simply because no sanction was imposed.  You, I, and your classmates will know that you a thief, that you have stolen from us, and cannot be trusted.

XIII.      Class Participation: All students are expected to be fully prepared and to participate actively in class discussion. Some students are more comfortable speaking publicly than others; therefore students who merely listen and are attentive will be considered to be actively participating in the lesson. All students must remain 100 per cent engaged throughout the course of the lesson. Sleeping, inattentiveness, and distractive behavior do not constitute active engagement, and any such conduct will bear heavily in my mind when grades are determined.  No one is perfect, and occasional lapses are to be expected; for that reason, warnings will be given liberally before anyone is penalized.  However any student who continuously or persistently fails to participate will be penalized. Students who are reading, working on assignments for other classes, or otherwise consciously disengaged will warrant immediate sanction. Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me you can do two things at once.

XV.          Course Sequence: The following Sequence of Instruction will be followed. Changes will be made when and where appropriate.

  1. Early Complex Societies 3500 to 500 B.C.E.
    1. Before History
    2. Early Societies in Southwest Asia and the Indo-European Migrations
    3. Early African Societies and the Bantu Migrations
    4. Early Societies in South Asia
    5. Early Society in East Asia
    6. Early Societies in the Americas and Oceana.


  1. The Formation of Classical Societies 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.
    1. The Empires of Persia
    2. The Unification of China
    3. State, Society, and the Quest for Salvation in India
    4. Mediterranean Society: The Greek Phase
    5. Mediterranean Society: The Roman Phase


  1. The Post Classical Era, 500 to 1000 C.E.
    1. The Commonwealth of Byzantium
    2. The Expansive Realm of Islam
    3. The Resurgence of Empire in East Asia
    4. India and the Indian Ocean Basin


  1. The Age of Cross-Cultural Interaction, 1000 to 1500 C.E.
    1. Nomadic Empires and Eurasian Integration
    2. States and Societies of Sub-Saharan Africa
    3. Western Europe during the High Middle Ages
    4. The America’s and Oceana.
    5. Cross Cultural Interactions


  1. The Origins of Global Interdependence 1500 to 1800
    1. Transoceanic Encounters and Global Connections
    2. The Transformation of Europe
    3. New Worlds: The Americas and Oceana
    4. Africa and the Rise of the Atlantic World.
    5. Tradition and Change in East Asia
    6. The Islamic Empires
    7. The Russian Empire in Europe and Asia


  1. The Age of Revolution, Industry, and Empire 1750 – 1914.
    1. Revolutions and National States in the Atlantic World.
    2. The Making of Industrial Society.
    3. The Americas in the Age of Independence.
    4. Societies at Crossroads
    5. The Building of Global Empires.


  1. Contemporary Global Realignments: 1914 to the Present
    1. The Great War: The World in Upheaval
    2. An Age of Anxiety
    3. New Conflagrations: World War II
    4. The Bipolar World
    5. The Retreat from Empire
    6. A World without Borders