71. Teaching of the Scholars

71 DAYS. 1704 HOURS. 102,240 MINUTES.

As we continue on our journey to spiritual understanding, we will take a two day layover in China.  China is truly a land of three belief systems.  The two home grown belief systems are both born in China around the same time (the two founders actually met).  Confucianism and Daosim do as much to shape the East Asian world (China/Japan) as Hinduism and Buddhism shaped the South Asian world (India).  The third belief system is Buddhism (see yesterday).  Today we focus on Confucianism... Tomorrow=Daoism.

If I was playing Civilization or Age of Empires-style game, and I had to enter at the beginning of the game what type of belief system my people should follow... I would choose Confucianism.  It's great (if you are a man).  Everyone knows their place in society.  There are respectful relationships from father-to-son all the way up to the Emperor.  Everyone works hard and does as their elders tell them.  I'm assuming you're a teenager.  If so, this must sound terrible.  You're probably Daoist.  We'll cover them tomorrow...

For everything you need to know about Confucianism... CLICK HERE.


Posted on March 1, 2017 .

72. The Middle Path

72 DAYS.  1,728 HOURS.  103, 680 MINUTES

Welcome back to Religions Week here at Around the (AP) World in 80 Days. (Like that #72? Of course you do... It's the Fridge... An all-time great Clemson Tiger)

Over the past few days we went over the “Super-Old” religions; Hinduism & Judaism.  The 6th Century BCE (500s) was the most important century for Belief Systems in Earth’s history.  Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Greco-Roman philosophy all got their starts here.  Since we went over Hinduism yesterday, Let’s stay in India and look at Hinduism 2.0- Buddhism.

Buddhism stems from the exploits of a Hindu prince (Siddhartha Gautama) as he tried to save the world from suffering.  I’ll cut to the end of that journey; stop wanting.  The cause of your suffering is desire.  If you stop desiring things… You’ll stop suffering.  It’s the transitive property of Nirvana.   This process is known as the Four Noble Truths.

If you desire to see Keanu Reeves re-enact that for you, click here.  If you’re so Buddhist that you do not desire to see that, keep reading…

That prince came to be known as the Buddha or “Awakened One”. They believe that he was the first person to reach Enlightenment.  And, if you want to reach Enlightenment too, you need to follow his lead.  

How do I do that,” you ask?  Just follow the 8-fold Path 

Buddha denounced the Caste System and taught that one should want to leave the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (the end of the cycle is calledMoksha).  

This may have gone down in history as a rando-Indian sect of Hinduism if it weren’t for the efforts of people trying to spread these teachings.  The most famous was the Prince Ashoka who converted to Buddhism and spread the teachings of the Buddha all over Asia.  

CLICK HERE for my page devoted to Buddhism.

This whole story is covered quite nicely by John Green in the second half of the Crash Course video on Buddhism & Ashoka.  Here it is.  Tomorrow? We start looking at the Chinese belief systems: Confucianism & Daoism.

Posted on February 28, 2017 .

73. Earth's Oldest Religion

73 DAYS.  1,752 HOURS. 105,120 MINUTES

Yesterday we looked at Judaism.  Mazel.  Today, we turn to the OTHER belief system that dates back before this era... 

In class the other day, we were trying to think of a business that had been around for more than 200 years.  Hinduism (in one form or another) has been around for 6,000 years.  That's an incredible amount of time.  Today, it's the 3rd largest belief system on earth.  It is focused primarily in the Indian subcontinent.  Hinduism is made up of 1,000s of different groups each with a different take on the system.  There is no single ruler.  There is no single book.  Hindus follow the cycle of reincarnation that is governed by Karma.

Hinduism works like this.  You are born with a purpose.  You arrived at your current station in this life due to what you did in the last life.  You were reincarnated into what you are today.  Since you can read, you must have been pretty decent.  If you weren’t very nice, you are some lesser being today (and probably can’t read).  There is one god, Brahma, but there are multiple, multiple manifestations of Brahma (often leading people to think that it is Polytheistic.  In reality, it’s Pantheistic.)  If you do good in life or bad in life this affects your karma which in turn determines your placement in the next life. If you are human, you will fit into one of the many Castes, (social hierarchy).  

Hinduism derives from the Vedic texts of the last era (Foundations).  It probably arrived with the Aryan migrations of the last era and blended with local traditions.  These Vedic texts (Vedas) along with other poems, stories, etc. (Ramayana) create the foundation of the belief system.  It is all encompassing and governs the daily lives of everyone.  It is THE most important thing to know about India. 

CLICK HERE for the page devoted to terms, notes, videos, etc. on Hinduism.

Posted on February 27, 2017 .

74. The Chosen People...

74 DAYS.  1,776 HOURS.  106,560 MINUTES

Ahhh.  The Classical Period.  Enough of that super ancient historical stuff.  The Foundations era basically is the board upon which we will play the game of AP World HIstory.  Those are the seeds from which we will grow the course.  BUT, even the Classical Period (which your teachers last year were obsessed with) still only counts for 15% of the test.  The rest of the periods are all worth 20% each.  

The Classical Period is divided into three sections (pretty much all of the periods are).  The first one is: 

2.1: The Development & Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions

Translation: World Religions.  So, we are gonna break them down one by one... Let's start with the Grandaddy of them all...

Judaism is the basis for the world's two largest religions (Christianity & Islam).  It's also one of two belief systems that technically started in the LAST PERIOD (the other is Hinduism).  For a quick review of Judaism, CLICK HERE for notes, videos, maps, etc.

Posted on February 26, 2017 .

75. The Development & Interactions of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, & Urban Societies

75 DAYS. 1,800 HOURS. 108,000 MINUTES.

People exist.  Check.  They left Africa.  Check.  They farmed.  Check.  What happened next?

Let's finish off the Foundations Era.  Don't fall into the biggest trap in AP World History... THE RIVER VALLEY CIVILIZATIONS. Pyramids are cool.  Harappa is cool.  But, it's 1/3 of 5%... That's 1.6% of the test.  Here is a brief overview of 1.3

Focus here on literature, architecture, and world belief systems (Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, & Judaism).  That's what 1.3 is all about.  Know the River Valleys.  Know a little bit about each one.  But, stop there.  There's no point spending days on this.  In fact, one day is enough.  CLICK HERE FOR A ONE PAGE SUMMARY.  Tomorrow, we move into the Classical Era.


Posted on February 25, 2017 .


76 DAYS.  1,824 HOURS. 109,440 MINUTES

So, yesterday we found out people exist.  And, they love them some Hunter-foraging.  They started in Africa and then left with fire and coats and tools and stuff.  This is the setting of AP World History.  By around 10,000 BCE, people are pretty much everywhere on earth that they are now.  We've set the scene.

But there is still one MASSIVE change coming to the good Homo Sapiens of earth... The change? FARMING!

NEOLITHIC means FARMING (OK. It means "New Stone Age"... but for our purposes it means FARMING).  People start farming around 10,000 BCE.  It's a big deal.  People began to settle down.  Not all in the same place at the same time.  But, over time FARMING catches on.  I could list out the key terminology of the NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION for you here.  But, luckily; the staff here at FREEMAN-PEDIA has compiled it all into one sweet little study guide.  CLICK HERE FOR THE STUDY GUIDE

Posted on February 24, 2017 .

77. Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth

77 Days.  1848 Hours. 110, 880 Minutes

You know the test.  You know the periods.  Let's start by breaking down the first one: FOUNDATIONS (Big Bang to 600 BCE).  Look back at that chart from yesterday on the different periods... This one:

See how Foundations (Technological and Environmental Transformations) is only 5% of the test.  That's tiny.  The Multiple Choice section of the AP test is 70 questions long.  5% of 70=3.5.  So, you're looking at a maximum of 4 out of 70 multiple choice questions on this ENTIRE PERIOD!  Therefore, let's not waste our time.  Over the next three days, we will look at the key info from each of the three subsections of this PERIOD.  But that's it.  If you're spending more that 20 minutes looking at this stuff before the AP test YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME!


14.3 Billion years ago there was a Big Bang.  That is our starting point (thanks Dr. Hawking).  Fast forward a bit to 300,000 years ago.  That's when you showed up (Homo Sapiens) in Africa.  Around 60,000 years ago, you left Africa.  That's it.  That's 1.1: BIG GEOGRAPHY & THE PEOPLING OF THE EARTH. 

Accompanying this mass migration is the rest of 1.1.  You took tools and fire to help you adapt to these new surroundings.  You joinedin small kin-ship groups because there is safety in numbers.  You were hunter gathe.... Sorry.  Hunter-Foragers.  You were as Egalitarian (equality among the sexes/classes) as you will be until present day.  

If only someone compiled this into a handy study guide of some sort...  Wait a second... The staff here at Freeman-pedia did!  CLICK HERE FOR THE STUDY GUIDE.  

Again, don't camp out in the Paleolithic era while reviewing... Be like them, linger briefly before moving on to better grounds... Enjoy the free time because tomorrow, you start farming (and that's exactly as fun as it sounds).

Posted on February 23, 2017 .

78. Periodization


78 Days.  1,872 Hours. 112,320 Minutes

Great.  You and the AP World Test have met.  You got to know each other.  Now that you know the mechanics of the test (When, Where, Tips for test taking); it's time we start looking at the curriculum (stuff they want you to know about history).  

Something I had a problem with at your age was that there is just SO MUCH information that I could never possibly learn it all.  GOOD NEWS: YOU DON'T HAVE TO LEARN EVERYTHING THAT's EVER HAPPENED EVER... You just have to know what the College Board thinks is important.  That's still  a good bit of information.  Like any other thing in your life, it helps to take big tasks and 'chunk' them into smaller ones.  The AP World Curriculum does just that:

There are 6 eras.  Start thinking about history as 6 Films.  Break it down like Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.  Each PERIOD has a distinct beginning, middle, and end.  Each PERIOD may not be as fun or interesting as another PERIOD in your mind; but you need to know them all.  

Star Wars Periodization Example.jpg

You need to know:

  1. The PLOT (What's going on? What events happen? What opens the PERIOD? What brings it to a close?)
  2. The MAIN CHARACTERS (What Empires are important? Are there any specific people you should know?)
  3. The SETTING (What are the key areas to focus on? Are certain areas featured more heavily than other areas?)
  4. The CLIFF HANGERS (Does anything carry over from a previous PERIOD? What things are left unresolved?)

Knowing the PERIODS is one of the best investments of your time.  These PERIODS frame the essays.  Generally the essays will be asking you to analzye something in/and around these time restrictions.  (My website is divided by these same PERIODS).  


Like I said earlier, not all of them are your favorite.  Also, check that chart again.  Not all of them are as important.  Therefore (much like Star Wars) we will start with the most worthless PERIOD... The first one (I'm obviously referring to Phantom Menace as A New Hope is the greatest of the Star Wars films... Just wanted to clarify).  Tomorrow, we start with FOUNDATIONS...

Posted on February 24, 2016 .

79. Know Your Enemy...

79 Days. 1,896 Hours.  113, 760 Minutes. 

Let's start off by getting to the beast you will be fighting in 79 days.  The AP World History test begins at 8:00 am on May 11 (Thursday). Plan on getting to school by at least 7:30.  If you're late... you're late. You will not be allowed to take the test and, no; you will not get your money back.

The test itself will divide up like this:



Here are three generic tips I have for taking this test:

 1. Never underestimate the AP Test. Expect the unexpected...
It's gonna be early. For many of you (sadly), this will be the earliest you've been up all year. So, once you've completed the College Board's PRECIOUS paperwork, it will be you and the multiple choice section. Don’t just show up with a #2 pencil and expect everything to work out. It won’t. This is not some rando test you're taking. You’ll have to be on your toes pretty early in the morning. The first section will be a wake up call. Don’t expect to just breeze through the multiple choice section. There will be multiple images, cartoons, readings, and quotes. You've been working on this stuff all year. Now is your chance to prove it. Remember, they can ask you anything that's ever happened ever.

2. Pace yourself...
55 questions in 55 minutes. Clock Management will become your greatest asset. The multiple choice section is where you will run into time issues. (Very few people run out of time on the essay portion) You want to have at least a shot at all 55 questions. So, DO NOT GET STUCK ON A SINGLE QUESTION. If you find yourself lingering for more than a few minutes… skip it. You want to at least have a shot at each question. You don’t want to get bogged down on a question on Zoroastrianism for 20 minutes and end up not answering the last 10 questions. What if the last 10 questions were ones you knew? So, rule #2: Pace yourself.

3. Trust your training...
You've been preparing for this bad boy all year. Your teacher isn't some evil genius who is trying to destroy you (maybe they are...). Your teacher put you through SAQs, LEQs, and DBQs for a reason. The College Board will present you with the exact same thing on May 11.



Posted on February 23, 2016 .

80. Around the (AP) World in 80 Days...

80 Days. 1,900 Hours.  115,200 Minutes.  

In 1873, Jules Verne (Journey to the Center of the Earth20,000 Leagues under the Sea, etc.) wrote Around the World in 80 Days.  The premise: Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days.  Today, we begin our attempt to review all of World History before May 11th at 8am.  Check back here each day as we piece our way through everything that's ever happened ever.  This includes history, curriculum, essays, test taking skills, and whatever else fits.  While Phileas Fogg did this for money ($1.6 million in today's money); we'll do it for free....  See you tomorrow...

Posted on February 22, 2016 .