Mr. G's AP World History

Chapter 1

You’ll be expected to understand the main ideas in these books. These ideas will lay the foundation and provide a context for much of the material that’s found in this course. See the Homework section for relevant assignment.

Book cover



 Theocracy; Hammurabi’s Law Code


 Bronze, iron; writing (cuneiform); irrigation; specialization of labor


 Mass human migration, cultural diffusion





 Animism; polytheism; monotheism (Judaism)


Paleolithic Era vs. Agricultural Revolution (Neolithic Rev.); nomadic to sedentary; domestication; advanced cities; civilization; ethnocentrism

Map of Theoretical Human Migration

Watch “Guns, Germs, & Steel”

Jared Diamond’s journey of discovery began on the island of Papua New Guinea. There, in 1974, a local named Yali asked Diamond a deceptively simple question: “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”

On November 15th 1532, 168 Spanish conquistadors arrive in the holy city of Cajamarca, at the heart of the Inca Empire, in Peru. They are exhausted, outnumbered and terrified – ahead of them are camped 80,000 Inca troops and the entourage of the Emperor himself. Yet, within just 24 hours, more than 7,000 Inca warriors lie slaughtered; the Emperor languishes in chains; and the victorious Europeans begin a reign of colonial terror which will sweep through the entire American continent.

So far, Jared Diamond has demonstrated how geography favoured one group of people – Europeans – endowing them with agents of conquest ahead of their rivals around the world. Guns, germs and steel allowed Europeans to colonize vast tracts of the globe – but what happened when this all-conquering package arrived in Africa, the birthplace of humanity?  >


One Response

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  1. gibault1 said, on August 13, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Here are some questions you should be able to answer after reading Chpt 1.

    a) Describe human migration across the globe.
    b) How and where did agricultural societies first emerge?
    c) How did sedentary agriculture lead to societal changes?
    d) What are the characteristics of civilization and where did the first ones arise?
    e) How did geography influence the rise of civilizations?
    f) What political, social, economic, and religious institutions emerged?
    g) What social hierarchies, gender relationships, and social inequalities arose?
    h) Describe the contributions of Judaism.
    j) How were the first civilizations similar and different?

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