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AP® World History, Part 2 (HST560B)

AP® World History, Part 2 (HST560B)

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Quick Overview

This course spans the Neolithic Age to the present in a rigorous academic format organized by chronological periods and viewed through fundamental concepts and course themes. Students analyze the causes and processes of continuity and change across historical periods. Themes include human-environment interaction, cultures, expansion and conflict, political and social structures, and economic systems. This is the second semester of HST560.

Teacher-Led Course (one-time payment)   $450.00

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Course Overview

This course spans the Neolithic age to the present in a rigorous academic format organized by chronological periods and viewed through fundamental concepts and course themes. Students analyze the causes and processes of continuity and change across historical periods. Themes include human-environment interaction, cultures, expansion and conflict, political and social structures, and economic systems. In addition to mastering historical content, students cultivate historical thinking skills that involve crafting arguments based on evidence, identifying causation, comparing and supplying context for events and phenomenon, and developing historical interpretation. This is the second semester of HST560.

Course Outline


Unit 1: Human Transformations

(c. 8000 BCE to c. 600 BCE)

Students learn how the Agricultural Revolution altered social and gender structures and subsequently paved the way for the emergence of civilizations. They encounter the earliest human societies and major civilizations in China, Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, Mesoamerica, and Andean South America.

  • An Introduction to World History
  • The Dawn of History
  • Early Humans on the Move
  • The Neolithic Revolution
  • The Birth of Civilization
  • Social and Economic Structures in Early Civilizations
  • Early Civilizations in the Middle East
  • Early Civilizations in the Asia and the Americas
  • The Early Heritage of Gender, Art, and Trade
  • The Comparative Essay

Unit 2: Organization of Human Societies

(c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE)

Students explore the rise of major world religions and classical civilizations in the Mediterranean: Greece and Rome. The cultural and material exchange along Eurasian trade and sea routes are examined. Students turn to major developments that gave rise to powerful empires. Differences between the development of civilization in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres appear.

  • Religion in the Vedic Age
  • The Rise of Buddhism
  • Confucianism and Daoism
  • Zoroastrianism and Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Classical Greece
  • Greek and Hellenistic Culture
  • The Development of the Roman Empire
  • Imperial Expansion and Domestic Problems
  • The Decline of Rome
  • The Early Byzantine Empire
  • Qin and Han China
  • Early Japan and India
  • Hesse's Siddhartha
  • Trade Routes of the Hellenistic Era
  • The Impact of Long-Distance Trade

Unit 3: Writing the Document-Based Essay

Students explore ways to formulate and support written responses to historical documents such as political speeches, propaganda, statistics, eyewitness accounts, and more. Information for grouping documents and analyzing documents for point of view are provided.

  • Document-Based Question Essays and Point of View

Unit 4: Regional and Transregional Interactions

(c. 600 CE to c. 1450 CE)

Students explore the rise and spread of Islam. They examine regional and long-distance interactions among African societies and study larger networks of trade, including the trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean trade networks. The social, political, and economic impact of Mongol rule are discussed, along with features of Andean and Mesoamerican civilizations, early Japanese state building, Indian empires, Europe in the Middle Ages, and Pacific island cultures.

  • Overview, c. 600 CE to c. 1450 CE
  • The Trading Network
  • The Genesis of Islam
  • The Rise and Spread of Islam
  • Religious Tensions
  • Centralized Imperial Rule In China
  • The Song and Tang Dynasties in China
  • The Making of the Mongol Empire
  • Genghis Khan on Trial
  • The Ming Dynasty in China
  • Religion and Feudalism in Japan
  • Transformations in India
  • India and Southeast Asia
  • The Rise of the West
  • Religious Divisions in Europe
  • African Societies
  • The Spread of Islam in Africa
  • Central and South Africa
  • African Cultural Traditions
  • Paths to Power in Europe
  • Medieval Europe
  • The Peoples to the North
  • Civilization in Mesoamerica and Andean Regions
  • Civilizations in the Pacific

Unit 5: Writing the Change-Over-Time Essay

Students explore the techniques required to write a stellar change-over-time essay.

  • Change-Over-Time Essays and Chronology

Unit 6: Global Interactions

(c. 1450 CE to c. 1750 CE)

Students explore European involvement in Africa and New World colonization. They analyze the impact of the slave trade and Colombian Exchange. The unit turns to imperial China and the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan and sweeping changes that resulted from the Crusades and Black Death. Students examine the humanist world view of the Renaissance, the ramifications of the Protestant Reformation, and the paradigm shifts associated with the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment.

  • Trends from 1450 to 1750 and Exploration
  • The New World
  • Cultures in North and South America
  • The Columbian Exchange
  • North America and the Pacific
  • Economics and Religious Controversies
  • A Lesson in Absolutism
  • A World in Flux
  • Enlightenment Salon

Unit 7: Semester Review and Test

Students review the environmental, social, gender, political, religious, and economic spheres of world History from c. 8000 BCE to c. 1450 CE They prepare for and take the semester test.

  • Semester Review
  • Semester Test


Unit 8: More Global Interactions

(c. 1450 CE to c. 1750 CE)

Students examine Ottoman dominance in the Middle East and the Safavid Empire in Iran. The unit turns to the cultural conservatism in Islamic empires, imperial China, isolationism in Japan, and Mughal rule in India.

  • The Chinese Empire
  • Rise of the Ottomans
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • The Mughal Empire
  • Culture of the Islamic Empires
  • The Ming and Qing Dynasties in China
  • Toward Unification in Japan
  • The Tokugawa Period

Unit 9: Industrialization and Global Interaction

(c. 1750 CE to c. 1900 CE)

Students explore African trading empires along with the moral pressure and global economic changes that resulted in the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They investigate the dual role of industrialization and nationalism and the transformation of European, African, and Asian societies as a result of the New Imperialism. The unit turns to political, economic, and social setbacks in the Ottoman Empire, internal crisis in China, and Japan's limitations on imperial powers. Students learn about nineteenth-century nationalist movements as opposed to European colonial domination, compare revolutions, and study events that foreshadowed World War I.

  • Trends from 1750 to 1914
  • The American and French Revolutions
  • The Napoleonic Era and Revolutions Abroad
  • Europe in the 1800s
  • Slavery and "Isms"
  • An Age of Nationalism
  • Italy and Germany Unite
  • Foundations of the Industrial Revolution
  • The Engines of Industry
  • Effects of Industrialization
  • Global Effects of Industrialization
  • The United States and Canada in the 1800s
  • Worlds Collide
  • Transformations in Russia
  • Conflict in Russia
  • An Open Door in China
  • Meiji Japan
  • Introducing Imperialism
  • Imperialism in Asia and Africa
  • Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost
  • The Legacy of Imperialism

Unit 10: Global Conflict and Modern Times

(c. 1900 CE to the Present)

Students explore the demise of colonial rule in Africa and Asia. Two world wars, the Depression, and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and United States are deliberated. Students investigate the optimism and disappointment of the Post-Cold War World. The unit turns to the divergent paths taken by China and Japan in the twentieth century.

  • A War to End All Wars
  • The Great War
  • The Costs of War
  • Between the Wars
  • The Rise of Dictators
  • North Africa and the Middle East in the Interwar Period
  • Conflict in China
  • Japanese Militarism and Growing Nationalism
  • Reformers in India
  • Latin and South America After World War I
  • Africa in the Early 1900s
  • The Road to War
  • World War II in Europe and Asia
  • Inhumanity and the Costs of World War II
  • A War of Ideology
  • The Race for Global Superiority
  • Concluding the Cold War
  • Decolonization
  • Palestine
  • The Postcolonial World
  • Lasting Effects of Imperialism
  • Global Economic Interdependence
  • Matters of Global Concern
  • Into the Millennium

Unit 11: Semester Review and Comprehensive Test

Students review the political, economic, literary, artistic, social, religious, philosophical, scientific, and technological spheres of world history from the Neolithic Age to the present. Students prepare for and take the practice test for the College Board exam along with the second semester test.

  • Semester Review
  • Comprehensive Test

Unit 12: After the AP Exam

Students will generate projects and participate in activities that take them beyond the scope of material required for the College Board exam.

Additional Information

Course Length 4 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials No
Course Start Date

Courses Taught by a K12 Teacher

Courses with a teacher have designated start dates throughout Fall, Spring, and Summer. Full-year courses last 10 months and semester courses last 4 months. Courses are taught by teachers in K12 International Academy. For details on start dates, click here.

Teacher Assisted Yes, this course is taught by a K12 International Academy teacher. If you are looking for a teacher-supported option with additional flexibility and year-round start dates, click here to learn about the Keystone School, another K12 online private schooling option.
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To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.