WHAP - Mr. Duez                                                                      Periodization Activity - AP Review

Periodization: How historians divide history up into eras.

Ex.) “Post-Classical Period” - which begins c. 600 CE in AP World History.  There’s plenty of debate over when historical eras begin & end. AP World History curriculum wants you to be aware of that. (That’s what the “c.” meaning “circa” is for)  

Standard dates AP World - historical periods - followed by some alternate dates that historians offer for each era:


Directions: Review each of the time periods below. Then review each of the “alternate dates” proposed by world historians. Discuss among yourselves which date you believe best represents the era.  Answer the following questions for each:

  1. Why is the suggested date important? What is the significance of the event tied to each date?
  2. How would history be different if the event had not taken place?
  3. How does it compare in relative importance to the other suggested dates?

Make your final decision with your group & be prepared to defend it!  


Period 1: To 600 BCE: FOUNDATIONS (FIRST WAVE CIVILIZATIONS)

  1. c. 8000 BCE: beginning of the Neolithic Revolution
  2. c. 7000 BCE: agriculture in Mesopotamia & China (independently)
  3. c. 6000 BCE: agriculture in the Nile region
  4. c. 3000 BCE: agriculture in the Andean South America
  5. c. 3500 BCE: first cities emerge in Mesopotamia & the Nile Valley
  6. c. 2500 BCE: city of Mohenjo Daro (Indus Valley) & Yellow River (Huang He - China)
  7. c. 1200 BCE: Olmec (Old Mexican, pre-Mayan/Aztec) civilization develops in Mesoamerica

Period 2: c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE: THE CLASSICAL ERA (SECOND WAVE CIVILIZATIONS)

  1. c. 800 BCE: Rise of Greek city-states
  2. c. 320 BCE: Rise of the Mauryan dynasty
  3. c. 250 CE: Beginning of Mesoamerican Classical era

Period 3: c. 600 CE to c.1450 CE: POSTCLASSICAL ERA (THIRD WAVE CIVILIZATIONS)

  1. 220 CE: Han Dynasty ends
  2. 476 CE: Western Roman Empire ends
  3. 550 CE: Gupta Empire ends
  4. 608 CE: beginning of Tang Dynasty
  5. c. 622 CE: beginnings of Islam

Period 4: c. 1450 to c. 1750: EARLY MODERN ERA

  1. 1433: Ming voyages of exploration ended (Zheng He)
  2. c. 1440: Printing press in Europe
  3. 1453: Ottomans conquer Constantinople
  4. 1492: Columbus reaches the New World

Period 5: c. 1750 to c.1900: MODERN ERA

  1. c. 1730: beginnings of Industrial Revolution in Europe
  2. 1757: Battle of Plassey begins English colonization in India
  3. 1775: start of American Revolution
  4. 1789: start of French Revolution
  5. 1791: start of Haitian Revolution

Period 6: c. 1900 to the present: POSTMODERN (ACCELERATING CONNECTIONS)

  1. 1868: Meiji Restoration in Japan
  2. 1898: beginning of Spanish-American War
  3. 1911: Dynastic cycle ends with Chinese Revolution
  4. 1914: start of World War I
  5. 1917: Communist Revolution in Russia