16. The Cold War

16 Days. 384 Hours. 23,040 Minutes.

No jersey today? Well, that's because Ric Flair doesn't need one (seeing as he's the 16x Heavyweight Champion of the World)...

The Cold War is a huge topic. It describes the clash of the world’s two superpowers in the time following WWII until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

6.2 Global Conflicts and Their Consequences

This topic is huge. But, the AP only mentions it a couple of times in the curriculum.

1. The Definiition
After WWII, the world’s geopolitical situation quickly evolved into a Democracy-Dictatorship, Capitalism-Communism, USA-USSR

2. Alliances 3.0
The new alliances are the United States friends (NATO-North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the Soviet Union and her friends (Warsaw Pact).  Think of this is the most recent version of Triple Entente vs. Triple Alliance (except the NATO-Warsaw alliances were much larger)

3. Dissolution of the Soviet Union
Sorry. Communism doesn’t work. There is no innovation. No reason to excel. Therefore, it collapsed in on itself. It ended with a series of reforms by Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. And, in response; a failed coup against the reform government.

There are a ton of hot wars in the cold war (Vietnam, Korea, etc.) but the above are the generics according to the College Board.

Here’s Johnny Green’s look at the Cold War:


Posted on April 25, 2017 .

17. WWII

17 Days. 408 Hours. 24,480 Minutes

The 20th Century is full of conflict.  We’ve got two gigantic ones left to mention.  Let’s talk WWII…

6.2 Global Conflict & their Consequences

WWII.  The biggest single event in history.  

Largest Armies in history. Check.

Biggest Battles in history. Check. 

Largest War in history. Check.

Largest death toll in history. Check.

Largest genocide (bigger than the others combined). Check. 

It’s a huge deal. It’s easy to get bogged down in the battles, and nazis, and the Empire of Japan.  Don’t fall into this trap.  There will be 10-ish multiple choice questions on the entire era.  10.  So, maybe one or two on WWII? So, if you’re non-stop studying Hitler and Eisenhower… you’re gonna have a bad time.  Here are the basics:

They want you to know that this (and WWI) are both TOTAL WARS. Total Wars are wars that completely occupy the nations involved. Everything they do (economic, social, political) is devoted to the war effort. This includes CONSCRIPTING (drafting) people from the nations’ populations to participate in the war (fight/die).

Beyond that, the curriculum is strangely silent on what to know.  Therefore I’ll give you two sources to use. 

First, TFIOS himself; J-Greezy:


Also, here’s my page with tons of videos, links, etc. (It is focused on the Virginia standards, but it covers WWII nicely).

Tomorrow, the other MASSIVE CONFLICT of the 20th Century… THE COLD WAR…

Posted on April 24, 2017 .

18. Interwar Period

18 Days. 432 Hours. 25,920 Minutes.


Okay. Before we head to the Big One (WWII), let’s hit the highlight tour of the Interwar Period (Outsiders-Some of this is specific to World History II in Virginia). 

6.2 Global Conflict and their Consequences

The Interwar Period is highlighted here.  Warning the previous link is from my site devoted to the World History II SOL in Virginia.

The AP wants you mainly to know the causes of the MAJOR GLOBAL CONFLICTS (WWI & WWII):


Last week we detailed Imperialism (aka Europeans seeking raw Materials and Markets to sell their factory made junk).  Well, this often led to conflicts, not only with the locals, but also amongst themselves.  Both World Wars had deep roots in these conflicts.


(See above)


Different groups fighting for statehood or national boundaries.  Serbia in WWI or Czechs and Poles in WWII.


Usually not directly at first, but the two big industrial powers of Europe both fought for power in both World Wars.


Serbian nationhood in WWI or Aryan Nazis in WWII.


We’ll let John Green handle this one:


Posted on April 23, 2017 .

19. Geographic Consequences of Decolonization

19 Days. 456 Hours. 27,360 Minutes

Wow.  Day Three of Decolonization? Ok.  Let’s head to the map…

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

So, some movements that emerged in the struggle for independence had no borders.  They were TRANS-NATIONAL (or across different states and borders).  Here are three examples:

These all either tie in an economic idea (Communism) or a cultural identity (Arab League) Or, Geographic… like the African Union.

Some states (once independent) took on new shapes… Here are three examples:

India was divided up in the Partition; Palestine was dispersed by the new Israel, and the Middle East became Mandates of the League of Nations.

Some of these breakups remained friends afterwards.  Here’s a big fancy AP word… METROPOLES.  These are cities in mother countries that attract people from the colonies… (London to people from India, or Filipinos to New York City or Los Angeles).  

Next up, the Interwar Period… Great Depressions and Dictators… 

Posted on April 22, 2017 .

20. Decolonization

20 Days. 480 Hours. 28,800 Minutes

So yesterday, we barely touched on the topic of Decolonization.  Specifically, some of the ways colonies went about it (violent vs. non-violent).  Today, let’s address the issue head on: DECOLONIZATION.


Not sure why I went all CAPS there… So, let’s do this right.  Here’s JGreenzy on Decolonization:


Here are some College Board specifics:


Gandhi: THE nonviolent leader.  He basically coined the phrase non-violence.  He gained independence for an entire subcontinent by refusing to follow their unjust laws and got nearly a billion people to back his movement.  Think if Washington and Bolivar had an Indian baby but took away all of his weapons.

Ho Chi Minh: The leader for independence in Vietnam.  He attempted to gain independence via self determination after the world wars but since France won those wars (and Vietnam was a French colony…) So, he turned to violence and although he died during the war; eventually led Vietnam to become the independent Communist state that it is today.  Think if Trotsky and Mao Zedong had a baby; but they promised not to do as much murder.

Kwame Nkrumah: Ghana’s first president, his non-violent works led the Gold Coast to become the first independent state in Africa.  Think if Gandhi and MLK had an African baby.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Pakistan’s first president who worked with Gandhi during and after the Partition to create the Islamic state of Pakistan.  Think if Gandhi and the Ayatollah had a baby.

Some movements are still around today.  Examples:

QUEBECOIS: These are French Canadians who want their own nation in Canada.  If you’ve ever been to this part of Canada, you will quickly recognize how French and different this region truly is.

BIAFRA: These guys want an old African kingdom to reform in Nigeria.  Expectantly, the Nigerian government is against it and has accused their leader of treason.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at some of the geographic consequences (movements, new nations, etc.) that came from the Decolonization movement.

Posted on April 21, 2017 .

21. Consequences of the Great War


21 Days. 504 Hours. 30,240 Minutes.

So, yeah.  The Great War happened.  It’s a lot to take in.  Plus, don’t sleep on this war.  The 20th Century goes the way it does because of WWI. The West was on the rise after the Industrial Revolution; and this was a self-inflicted wound.  Everything that comes after WWI is because of WWI. Yeah, it’s that big of a deal.

Let’s break ourselves away from the Great War and turn to what happened to some of those empires we were obsessed with last era.

6.2 Global Conflicts and their Consequences

There’s a bigger topic we’ll hit tomorrow (DECOLONIZATION). But, there are some subsets of that idea.  


OTTOMAN: The ‘Old Man of Europe’ declined over the years and had a similar downfall to the Qing (rebellions and failure to fully modernize).  The straw that broke the Turkey’s back was WWI. They were on the wrong side and after their loss, the Ottomans were divided up into Mandates (by the League of Nations) and later gained their independence.  Anatolia became the secular state of Turkey (led by one of history’s greatest names: MUSTAFA ATATURK… that’s just a great name…)

RUSSIA: The Russian Empire lost out in WWI, but quickly regrew during WWII and the COLD WAR.  After 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved and lost a ton of empire.  Russia has a real Continuity and Change century.  

QING: It’s been a long year.  Many dynasties came and went. But, the Qing are the last ones.  It’s unfair to call the fall of the Qing a 20th Century thing. Remember, Taiping, Opium, and Boxers? Well, that came to a head in 1911 with Sun Yatsen which led to the creation of the Chinese nation-state, which then became the People’s Republic of China (Communist).


INDIA: Funny, how the AP calls it “negotiation”. I’m sure when Gandhi was in prison for year after year, he didn’t see it as a negotiation.  Anyway, we’ll see him again later this week.

GHANA: Kwame Nkrumah was the African Gandhi.  He led non-violent protests until Ghana was granted independence from the British. 


Not everyone takes the “Ghandi” route.  Algeria, Vietnam, and Angola all led long violent wars to eventually gain their independence later in the 20th century.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at Decolonization and how that affected the globe in this era.  

Posted on April 20, 2017 .

22. The Great War

22 Days. 528 Hours. 31,680 Hours.


We’re going to go a bit out of order.  6.1 is all about science.  We will save that for last.  THE event that shapes the entire century is:

This was the war to end all wars… Well, it was supposed to be.  

It’s too big of a deal to go into here; but THIS is my page devoted to it.  It is based on the Virginia SOLs.  

Posted on April 19, 2017 .


23 Days. 552 Hours. 33,120 Minutes.

There’s only one thing left to know for this era… and that is:

5.4 Global Migrations

Good News: This section had its own essay a few years back.  So, HERE is a synopsis.

Posted on April 18, 2017 .


24 Days. 576 Hours. 34,560 Minutes

Industrialized European powers sought new markets and raw materials for their economies.  Well, here are some consequences of that:

5.2 Imperialism & Nation-State Formation

The intro sentence above is the main idea; but there are some offshoots the AP would like you to focus in on:

METHODS: Both Warfare and Diplomacy were used.  I’m thinking the “diplomacy” piece is dealing with the Berlin Conference, where the major European powers met to divide Africa amongst themselves.

SETTLER COLONIES: These have happened before (New World) but they take on a greater significance in this era.  It’s just a colony where there are far fewer colonists (white people or Japanese people) than the natives.  Best example is probably India, but also Algeria (French) and New Zealand (British).

ECONOMIC IMPERIALISM: The US was the king of this in Latin America (along with the British). This is where a state dominates another state via their economy.  You don’t conquer them. You don’t indoctrinate them. You just make them dependent on your economy for survival.  Another great example is the British making the Chinese dependent on Opium.  

MEIJI JAPAN: They deserve their own subsection here. Japan (after some internal debate/warfare and some passive aggressive coaxing from the US) began to rapidly modernize in the late 19th Century. This will play a huge role in the 20th Century, but even at the end of THIS era; Japan has won a war against China and received some concession territory in China. Japan is the exception! Not the Mongols… Think of Japan as another Imperial power.

LAND EMPIRES TOO! Don’t forget that Russia and the US expanded primarily over land.  Look at a map. Russia is blanking HUGE! The US and Russia both grew to their current sizes during this period.


OTTOMAN FAIL: The Ottomans have been around since 1452 (and before). But, as other states expanded their borders, the Ottomans contracted theirs.  They lose Egypt to the British, Balkans to independence, and North Africa to French and Italians.  The Ottomans do not make it very far into the 20th Century, but there were signs of decay even this early…

NATIONALISM: Nationalism plays a huge role everywhere in this period.  Nationalism is either the pride one has in their existing nation OR the aspirations of having your own nation; for us here, it is the latter.  It begins with Napoleon’s romp around Europe, but wherever the Europeans went in this era, they took this with them.  It then was used against the Europeans as a force for Independence.

SOCIAL DARWINISM: This was a favorite excuse of the Imperialists.  Remember how the Dodo bird died because it was inferior.  It was not the fittest.  Well, societies are the same way (according to this theory). Your way of life will die out because it will be replaced by a superior one.  So, when the Europeans are mocking your culture, or destroying your history… It’s not their fault… It’s science! (this is a totally racist/horrible excuse. Your culture is not better than any other culture… Proof).

Posted on April 17, 2017 .


25 Days.  600 Hours. 36,000 Minutes.

Enough Industry.  Let’s turn to the biggest political effect of the Industrial Revolution; the incursion of Industrial nations into non-Industrialized nations.  AKA=IMPERIALISM

5.2 Imperialism & Nation-State Formation

States that industrialized went from having colonies, to having an Empire.  Empires have existed before (Rome, Arabic, Spanish), but these new Empires were backed by industrial strength (machine guns, medicine, food, railroads, steam engines, etc.)  

There are two new players in the empire-building game; AMERICA & JAPAN. As they Industrialized, they spread.  Japan started later, but it will not stop them from building one of earth’s largest empires (albeit in the next era). AMERICA’s empire primarily took the form of MANIFEST DESTINY (westward expansion), but there were some acquisitions from Spain (Philippines).  RUSSIA was an old world power, but their expansion was also on the scale of Eastward expansion akin to Manifest Destiny.

The BIG European Imperial powers were:

British, Dutch, German, Russian, French

Here is my page devoted to the Virginia SOL’s on Imperialism.  It has a ton of notes, videos, etc.  ENJOY!

Now that you’ve got the idea of how it worked, we’ll see the consequences tomorrow… (and it’s not pretty…)

Posted on April 16, 2017 .


26 Days. 624 Hours. 37,440 Minutes.

Today, let’s focus on the economics behind the Industrial Revolution.  AKA Capitalism, Classical Liberalism, Marxism, Utopian Socialism, and Anarchism

5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism:

This massive change in how things are produced and sold will reshape the way the global economy works.  Say goodbye to your precious Mercantilism and hello to some new ideas:

CAPITALISM: Get rid of that old Mercantilist way of doing things.  Adam Smith pioneered Capitalism in his work Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations (or justWealth of Nations).  Instead of government control of markets, individuals control the means of production and invest to make profits.  They then take those profits and reinvest.  The best products, ideas, services, etc. will succeed as the Invisible Hand pushes the market in the correct direction.  It is also known as Free Market capitalism or Laissez Faire due to the fact that the government does not get directly involved and the market decides on its own. 

CLASSICAL LIBERALISM: This is the movement that Capitalism flourished under.  It is the belief that during the Industrial Revolution, the new economy that emerged required a free market.  It required government to keep it’s hands-off (laissez-faire).  Think of it as the Tea Party Movement… The government needs to get its hands out of my ___________ (money, economy, rights, etc.)

MARXISM: The evil capitalists who control the means of production will grow so large and corrupt under the above that the people will rise up and take the means of production for themselves.  Then, they will share equally in the rewards.  In theory, the government will not even be needed as people will work for the sake of the community.  This sounds nice; but always ends with the deaths of tens of millions (Stalin, Mao).  It has never been fully implemented, but that’s because it’s an economic theory that can only exist in a perfect state/vacuum.

UTOPIAN SOCIALISM: Think of Utopian Socialism as the ideal under the early stages of Marxism.  Wealth is redistributed from rich to poor to provide equal opportunity for all.  This is most closely seen in Scandinavia today.

ANARCHISM: Some people just want to watch the world burn.  Anarchy is a state of no government.  Every man for himself.  It’s Rick, Darryl, and Michonne fending for themselves in a post-Apocalyptic Zombie-hellscape.  Ok.  Everything but the Zombies.

Posted on April 15, 2017 .


27 Days. 648 Hours. 38,880 Minutes.

We looked at the Industrial Revolution and how it worked.  But, what are the effects of this thing?

5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism

Here are some things that arose from the Industrial Revolution;

FACTORY SYSTEM: People doing work away from their homes? Sounds so 19th century.  But, when factory owners streamlined labor into one building around advanced machines, productivity grew. 

SPREAD: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  England couldn’t keep their industrial secret for long.  America, Russia, and the rest of Europe all quickly learned their methods and implemented them back at home.

SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: It’s hard to draw a hard line between IR 1.0 & IR 2.0 but it is essentially the second wave of inventions/innovations that expedited progress.  Best examples are Bessemer’s Steel and Automobiles.

GLOBAL ECONOMY: We’ll focus here in a few days, but the Industrialists sought out Materials and Markets around the world to sell their stuff and get materials to make more stuff.

DECLINE OF OLD ECONOMIES: If you lived in a non-Industrial region, you simply could not keep up with the Industrial strength of the West.  So, your economy is going to have a bad time. Example: Textile Industry in India suffered terribly as they were overrun with British textiles.

COMMUNICATION/TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS: These may seem obvious but with the Industrial revolution comes improvements like Railroads, Telegraphs, steamships, and Canals (most notably the Suez)

SOCIAL CLASSES: A new group emerged: THE MIDDLE CLASS. This was a group that filled in between the Peasants and Nobility.  Almost like the “Bourgeoisie”, they were often educated people who held skilled positions. Also, there was the INDUSTRIAL WORKING CLASS; this is basically anyone who went to work in the new factories.

UNSANITARY CONDITIONS: Coal is gross. It burns dirty. It made everything gross.  Also, living conditions in the new cities were not regulated and often amounted to nothing more than a shanty town.  Later regulations led to improvements, but initial industrial cities were gross.

EDUCATION: Kids were initially working in the factories (cheap labor). But, unions pushed to get the kids out of the factory (so they could get those jobs). But, what do we do with them? A: Book Learnin. Kids went to school and created an educated workforce/voting population. States could instill nationalism (did you say the Pledge of Allegiance yet today?). 

Posted on April 14, 2017 .


28 Days. 672 Hours. 40,320 Minutes.

We built this revolution. We built this revolution on advanced machinery.

5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism:

The AP wants you to know two examples of machinery that led to all of the things we looked at yesterday.  And, its not just them; the Industrial Revolution was built on the backs of two power sources:

1. The Steam Engine (Improved by James Watt)

Prior to Watt’s invention, most factory’s still held close to rivers and used waterwheels as the key power source.  But, rivers freeze, overflow, etc.  There has to be a better way? James Watt, the Scottish inventor, developed what you see above.  Using the same small source of water, water is heated via burning coal that creates pressure that moves a piston and creates force.  Boom.  That’s it. That allows factories to be moved closer to ports and coal sources.  Also, you take this bad boy and strap it to a train or a boat; and you have a nice little energy source.

2. The Internal Combustion Engine

Most of you don’t have steam engines that get you from Point A to Point B. What you probably use more is the internal combustion engine (above). I’m no engineer but burning fuels (gas) directly in the engine creates more force than heated water (steam) can provide.  All I know is that if you crank up your car and hear a sound coming from under the hood, its one of these.  This may be the only thing on the AP test that you have in your possession… unless you have the plague… Then, sorry about that…

Tomorrow, what does it all mean? We’ve got Industrialization built on Steam and Gas… Where does it go from here? 

A: Global. Europe leaves the friendly confines and heads around the world for Markets for these industrial goods, and Materials (raw) for their factories.

Posted on April 13, 2017 .


29 Days.  696 Hours. 41,760 Minutes.

Take a look at the banner for the 1750-1900 era… Go ahead… look at it.

(These things don't make themselves :) )

(These things don't make themselves :) )

Anyway… The banner should tip you off to the THESIS of this era.  It’s the Industrial Revolution, stupid! (Sorry, you’re not stupid… You’re a unique intellectual star. It’s a famous quote popularized by President Clinton in the 90s as to how to win elections, “It’s the economy, stupid.”)

Yeah, it’s that big of a deal.  It changed everything.  And, when I say everything, I MEAN UHHRTHANG.  If I had 10 seconds to sum up human history to aliens, I would say, “People left Africa, farmed, Columbus, Industrial Revolution, Moon landing, Zelda.”  This is gonna take a couple days to cover, so… Industrial Revolution: DAY ONE:

5.1 Industrialization and Global Capitalism

The Industrial Revolution is the answer to a lot of questions.  Here are some:

What started in England and spread to Europe and America?

The Industrial Revolution. Europe was uniquely positioned for global domination following the Columbian Exchange.  Plus, the Atlantic System was the perfect highway system to funnel precious raw materials (I’m looking at you cotton) back to the continent…

What was totally fueled by timber, coal, and iron? 

The Industrial Revolution.  Your little spinning wheel in your house was made out of a tree that fell on your property a few years back.  Its powered by your feet.  That’s not revolutionary.  One spinning wheel isn’t cool.  You know what’s cool? A billion spinning wheels!

And that kind of production can’t happen in Mongolia or Mali.  It can’t happen in Arizona or Arabia.  It requires Raw Materials.  It’s no longer GOD GOLD & GLORY the Europeans want… It’s Raw Materials…

When did European population growth go through the roof?

The Industrial Revolution.  I’m not talking about, “Hey, did you hear the Andersons had another kid?” I’m talking about the entire population of Europe doubling in one century… Doubling.  From 100 million to 200 million.  

Cities sure are big these days… When did that start happening?

The Industrial Revolution.  Improvements in farming (Scientific Farming) and increases in population led people to the cities in search of work in the new factories.  Take a look at the two charts above.  Not a ton of European Cities on the left, but on the Right? It’s only cities that developed during the increase in Urbanization in this era. 

If the first Agricultural Revolution was the introduction of farming, when does the next Agricultural Revolution take place?

The Industrial Revolution. Scientific Farming put agriculture under the microscope. Crop rotation, selective breeding, etc. led to greater yields.  More food with less workers=more calories, more unemployed.  Luckily, there’s always those city jobs you can take in the big city.

All those rivers and canals in England/Europe… What could those help out with?

The Industrial Revolution.  How do you move product? Water.  It’s cheap and easy.  It fuels steam engines.  In England (where it all began) you can pretty much get anywhere within a few days.  Compare that to the United States or Russia…

Tomorrow, we look at the machinery all of this was built on.  Word.

Posted on April 12, 2017 .

30. A different kind of Revolution

30 Days. 720 Hours. 43,200 Minutes.

One month...

Not all revolutions are enlightened.  To be honest, a lot of them aren’t even revolutionary.  Everyone know George Washington and Maximilien Robespierre… But, Wovoka? Hong? Let’s look at some other ‘movements’ that weren’t so successful…

5.3 Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform

Spend most of your time in 5.3 on the Revolutions we went over a few days ago.  But, here are some other attempts (some successful, some not) that took place in this era.

Let’s start with the successes:

SLAVERY/SERFDOM ABOLISHED: This is a HUUUUUGE deal.  Up until this point slavery/serfdom had been omnipresent in most civilizations around the world.  But, through the work of the British Navy and women’s groups (among others) around the world, this scourge on humanity was erased from the earth.  Most notably by war in America, Tsarist Decree in Russia, and laws passed around the world. The last large one was Brazil in 1888.

SLAVE RESISTANCE: Who doesn’t like a good revenge story? Well, the ultimate one took place in Haiti where Maroon Societies (escaped slaves living in the hinterland) succeeded in overthrowing Napoleon.  Sadly, this is the ONLY time this worked.  Most often they were defeated by their former slave owners :(

SUFFRAGE: LADIES!!!!! You did it.  This is the era where women showed that they were equal (somewhat) to men.  At least in the field of suffrage (VOTING RIGHTS), women began to gain voting privilege in this era.  However, most women do not receive the right to vote until the beginning of the next era.  The roots of women’s suffrage took hold at the end of the 19th Century. 

REFORM MOVEMENTS: This could go in either category.  Some were somewhat successful (Tanzimat reforms) others were not (Self-strengthening movement).  You take the good… You take the bad… Here are some that didn’t work out:

CHALLENGES TO CENTRALIZED STATES: Not all states just conquered and succeeded everywhere.  In fact, all major empires that succeeded in expanding throughout their geographic region step forward… NOT SO FAST MUGHALS! The Mughals actually lost an expansionary war (Deccan Wars) to the Murathas.  It was a 27 year war where Aurangzeb’s goal of Mughal control of the subcontinent was forever shattered.

ANTI-COLONIALISM: Nobody likes an outsider moving into your territory and bossing you around, making you feel like a second class citizen.  Well, that’s exactly how Africa and Asia felt.  However, if you attempt to fight back against an Industrialized power, you’re gonna have a bad time.  The AP gives two examples: 

  1. SEPOY REBELLION: Indian soldiers in the British East India Trading Company were forced to use a gun that required them to ingest animal fat to open the protective packaging.  This led to a rebellion that was squashed by the British in 1857. However, it was a big enough rebellion to cause Great Britain to take over for the British East India Co. (meet the new boss… same as the old boss)
  2. BOXER REBELLION: The Chinese peasants (along with the spirits of their ancestors) decided to fight back against foreign/Christian incursions into China. They were successful for a minute before being crushed by an international coalition of forces, including both Japan and the United States.

MILLENARIANISM: Technically, it MILLENARIANISM means a belief that the world will end on years ending in 1000; in this case it refers to a mystical belief that the world will end or a major change will occur due to an upcoming prophecy.  

Posted on April 11, 2017 .

31. You say you want a Revolution?

31 Days. 744 Hours. 44,640 Minutes.

This era, the Modern Period, truly breaks down into 4 big ideas:





To make things easier, let’s go chronologically and start with the Revolutions.

5.3 Nationalism, Revolution, and Reform:

There are four major revolutions.  Luckily I have a page devoted to each.  

American Revolution 2.png

Obviously, the greatest revolution ever; it was also the first.  Click HERE for my page.

French Revolution.png

Next up, France.  This is also the order they appear in Assassin's Creed.  I could talk to you all day about the French Revolution.  HERE is a nice summary.  

Haitian Revolutions.png

Ever wonder why slaves never rise up and kill the slave masters? People have tried forever.  It only worked once.  Where? Haiti.  HERE is my page. 

Simon Bolivar was a beast.  He makes Washington and Robespierre look lazy.  HERE is my page for Latin American Revolutions.  

Posted on April 10, 2017 .


32 Days. 768 Hours. 46, 080 Minutes

For some reason the last post only posted half of what I was going for... Anyways, here's the rest:

One of the major topics of this period is the Political Revolutions that took place.  They really changed the layout of the planet.  This is the first period where we've had major revolutionary changes to government systems.  That being said, these revolutions didn't happen overnight.  They have roots in the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment.

The Scientific Revolution actually began in the last era.  Most textbooks like to look at it along with the Enlightenment.  HERE  is the link to my Virginia SOL page on the Scientific Revolution.

The Enlightenment takes the logical approach to government.  It’s where all of the revolutions got their ideas.  It’s America. It’s Venezuela. It’s the National Assembly in France.  HERE is my Virginia SOL page on the Enlightenment.

Posted on April 9, 2017 .



33 Days. 792 Hours. 47,520 Minutes.

There it is.  We’ve only got TWO left.  Two eras.  34 days to cover it.  I think we can do it… 

Here's what this period looks like cartographically:

Posted on April 8, 2017 .

34. Land Based Empires

34 Days. 816 Hours. 48,960 Minutes.

Before we leave this period, there is one more group that we gotta talk about.  Who are they?

Let's run through them one by one:

The Manchu Empire came from our old friends north of the wall: THE JURCHEN.  They united under Nurhaci to become the Manchus.  The Manchus took advantage of the fall of the Ming Dynasty in China and took over.  They are the last Chinese Dynasty.  You also know them as the Qing Empire.  You can find more on them here.  

Arguably the greatest of the great Islamic Empires, the Mughals began as a Central Asian group descended from the Mongols.  They rose to take over India and see one of history's greatest rulers (literally, Akbar the Great means Great the Great).  They even build the Taj Mahal! This is the last group to rule India until the British take over in the next period.  Here is my page on the Mughal Empire.


When the Europeans were all crusading into the "Holy Land" during the last period; this was their worst nightmare.  A powerful, disciplined, organized Islamic empire knocking on their door to the east.  Well, here they are.  The Ottoman Empire are a massive empire that essentially took over for the Byzantines in 1453.  Religiously tolerant, militarily dominant, and perhaps the longest lasting empire ever; here is my page on the Ottoman Empire. 


The Russian Empire is the French Empire of the Land Based Empire.  Yeah, they have a land based empire, but it is truly of little consequence (for AP World) until the next period.  It is the largest nation on earth.  They do have Peter the Great.  But that's about it.  Here is my page on the Russian empire. 

Posted on April 7, 2017 .

35. New Kids on the Block (NKOTB)

35 Days. 840 Hours. 50,400 Minutes.

5 Weeks from this morning… You’ll be staring down the barrel of the AP World Exam. Just a heads up…

Today, we look at the business of European Maritime Reconnaissance.  That means Trading Companies.

4.3 State Consolidation and Imperial Expansion

After the Spanish and Portuguese split the world at the Treaty of Tordesillas, the colonial map of the world was set.  Well, it was set to them.  The British, Dutch (and to a lesser extent the French) saw the world as wide open.  They took their faster ships, better financing and took it around the world.  When the dust settles, the British are in India, the Dutch are in Oceania, and the French are… well… not really anywhere.


The British will build the largest empire in history during this era.  Bigger than the Persians.  Bigger than Napoleon.  Bigger than Hitler.  Way bigger.  Bigger than the Mongols.  Yeah, I said it.  Bigger than the Mongols.  Here’s the story of how the British took over..

The French are more of a Continental Europe power in this era.  I’m talking about Louis XIV and Versailles.  THE Centralized power of Europe.  But, this is all about Empire… And, the bulk of what will become the French Empire is taken in the next era… Just know that they did have one... Mainly Canada and some spots in Asia.  So, here’s my page on the French Empire.

The Dutch Empire is the peak of Dutch power in AP World History.  The Dutch East India Trading Company (VOC) is the biggest business in the history of the planet.  The Dutch countered the Spanish and Portuguese by leaving the missionaries at home and focusing on trade.  Here’s my page on the Dutch.

Posted on April 6, 2017 .