60. Trade Tech

60 DAYS. 1,440 HOURS. 86,400 MINUTES.

We've met the Classical Civilizations.  We've then connected them.  What technology aided this connection?

KEY CONCEPT 2.3: The Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication & Exchange

  • TECHNOLOGY: Stirrups, saddles and yokes all allow more goods, people, ideas, etc. to be spread over longer distances
  • ANIMALS: Strap those technologies from above to horses, cattle, llamas, camels, or oxen and you've harnessed some serious power.


  • MARITIME TECHNOLOGY: Lateen sails (triangular) and Dhow ships allowed for a massive increase in Maritime Trade 
  • NEW CROPS: Exchange of goods and ideas also led to the spread of new farming techniques.  For the College Board/AP, this means all of the water gathering devices seen above.


  • DISEASE: Animals carry disease.  People carry disease.  On these trade routes, you have both! SOme of earth's deadliest diseases were spread along with everything else (including the diseases that rocked the Roman and Han Empires).


  • RELIGION: One of the big idease to spread around the trade routes during the Classical Period is Religion.  For this Period, that means Christianity & Buddhism.

Posted on March 18, 2018 .

61. Get Classically Connected

61 DAYS. 1,464 HOURS. 87,840 MINUTES

We've looked at the different major empires of the Classical era (and their belief systems).  But, how were they connected? The Classical era is technically called, "Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies"  Part of the reorganization involves interconnectivity between them.  Let's look at the Classical Trade routes:

Key Concept 2.3: Emergence of Transreagional Networks of Communications and Exchange

Translation: All those civilizations are trading back and forth.  With real global trade eing non-existent in the previous era, this is the first time large scale trade (in the Eastern Hemisphere) was taking place.  

  1. EURASIAN: This trade route connects Europe to the rest of Afro-Eurasia.
  2. SILK ROAD: Not one road; and not just delivering silk; this is THE major trade route until Columbus hits America.
  3. TRANSAHARAN: Connecting the people of West Africa (and their Gold/Salt) to the Mediterranean & Asia.
  4. INDIAN OCEAN: AKA The Maritime Silk Road. This trade route (unlike the others in this era) will remain important for the rest of history.
  5. MEDITERRANEAN SEA LANES: This is how the Phoenecians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans moved/traded around.

These are the trade routes that they want you to know for 600BCE-600CE. Most will stay intact until the Early Modern Period (Columbus, Da Gama, etc.)  Tomorrow, we look at the technology that faciliated these trade routes.

Posted on March 17, 2018 .

62. Classical Mediterranean


62 DAYS. 1,488 HOURS. 89,280 MINUTES.

See that?  That number up there? 2 months.  2 months from yesterday is May 17th.  Starting to get real yet?  

OK. We've got one more Classical Civilzation left to discuss.  I'm gonna spend less time on this one because guaranteed your teacher wouldn't shut up about the Greeks/Romans.  Most of the state end of course exams are pretty heavy on these guys.  So, of everything we've discussed thus far; this is probably the thing you're familiar with the most, the West.  This means the following groups: PHOENICIANS, ATHENs, SPARTA, ROMAN REPUBLIC, ROMAN EMPIRE.  

This is meant to be a daily review.  And, (as you're probably noticing in your class right now) there is not enough time to cover everything in great detail.  So, look back over your notes, classwork, etc. on this. 

Here are some wrap up videos that could help you out:

Beyond John Green, here are the specifics that the AP mentions in the curriculum:

  1. BELIEF SYSTEMS: The Med. is home to TWO of the belief systems that are crucial to this era (for that matter... China (Conf/Dao) and India (Hindu/Buddhism) each have two).  The big ones are Greco-Roman philosophy & Christianity.  Arguably, these are the two most important things to know about the Classical Mediterranean.
  2. ARTS/LITERATURE: Know the Greeks for the concept of Drama.  Tragedy and Comedy are both theirs.
  3. ARCHITECTURE: Columns.  Your teacher may have been obsessed with columns.  "Memorize the different types of columns." - Your Teacher... Don't. Just be able to recgonize the Colisseum, Parthenon, Aqueducts, etc.  Greek and Roman stuff should stick out as distinctly Mediterranean. 
  4. GRECO-BUDDISM:  The big syncretic event of the Classical period is Greco-Buddhism.  Syncretism is just when two ideas come together and start to blend/share ideas.  Like when you sync your phone with something.  Greco-Buddhism is when the Greeks moved easward (Alexander) moved ean
  5. GOVERNMENT: Know these people for DEMOCRACY (Athens/Rome) and centralization of a large empire.  Diplomacy and Army building are also associated with the Classical Mediterranean.  Don't forget.  "All roads lead to Rome." (Road building)
  6. CITIES: There are a few Classical cities that are required for you.  The Mediterannean ones are: ROME, ATHENS, CARTHAGE, ALEXANDRIA, & CONSTANTINOPLE.  By far the most cities of any Classical Civilization.
  7. THE FALL: The Fall of Rome happened for a myriad of reasons.  Again, check back over your notes.  But, the AP does want you to specifically know one reason: DEFORESTATION.  Oh, and invasions.  Don't forget about the Germanic Invasions from the north and east. 

Is there more to know than this? Yes.  Will the AP probably ask you more than just these points? Probably.  But, the above are specifically mentioned.

If you want more, HERE's  my page on the Classical Mediterranean.

On a sad note... this is the end of the Classical Civilizations... So, I give you the Classical Civilizations: IN MEMORIUM:

Posted on March 16, 2018 .

63. Classical China

63 DAYS. 1,512 HOURS. 90,720 MINUTES.

Classical China laid the foundations for arguably the single most important civilization in the history of the planet. Any stereotypical ideas you have about the way China is from borders, language, writing, technology, empires, rulers, etc. come from this era. From the point where the region was first unified under the legalist Qin Shi Huangdi to the fall of the Han empire, what we know as China today took shape.

Western schools often overlook the importance of Han China (instead focusing on Greece and Rome). Don't fall into this trap. According to the AP, Europe cannot be more than 20% of the exam. In my opinion, China should garner your attention more than any other culture over the span of history. So... pay attention.

Grandaddy of them all China.  I know China can be intimidating.  It’s on the other side of the planet, different beliefs, different culture, different writing.  But, for AP World History; there is no better place to spend your time studying/reviewing.  China may seem to be overshadowed by the West in recent history.  However, for the majority of human history, it’s the other way around.  China “begins” in the Classical era.  So, let’s look at Classical China.


You may have heard of the song to help you memorize the Chinese Dynasties:

Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

Shang, Zhou, QIn, Han

Sui, Tang, Song

Sui, Tang, Song

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Mao Zedong

Deng Xioping

The classical portion of this song deals mainly with the Qin & Han (Zhou as well, but they were not nearly as centralized as the Qin & Han).  CLICK HERE for my page devoted to these societies.

Here are what the AP expects you to specifically know about China:

BELIEF SYSTEMS: Both Daoism & Confucianism sprang up during the 6th century BCE.  They will impact China going forward.  Look them over.

ANCESTOR VENERATION: Worship of Ancestors plays a huge role in China.  It is also done in the Americas as well as Africa.  But, when I think of Ancestor Veneration, I think of China.

BUREAUCRACY: Civil Service Exam.  Can’t stress this enough.  It is a major difference from the rest of the planet, is developed here, and will be around for centuries!

TRADE ROUTES: Don’t forget about the Silk Road!

Posted on March 15, 2018 .

64. Classical India

64 DAYS.  1,536 HOURS. 92, 160 MINUTES.

So, we’ve seen the lesser of the Classical Civilizations over the past few days (Persia, America).  Now, let’s talk about the major classical societies.  In fact, if you refer to the Classical era, you are referring to an era who’s entire existence rises and falls with them.  600 BCE-600 CE is code.  Translation: What were the Mediterranean, Indian, and Chinese people up to?

Let's start with India... 

Easily the most overlooked of the "Classical Civilizations", the Mauryan, and later Guptan Empire laid the foundation for what is quickly becoming the largest civilization on the planet today. When looking at Classical India, focus more on the social and religious; both of which were tied directly to the world's oldest religion: Hinduism.

Classical India really means two dynasties: MAURYAN & GUPTAN.  The Mauryans took power after the retreat of Alexander the Great out of India.  They are most famous for their ruler Ashoka Maurya.  He famously built his rock and pillar edicts.  These tell the story of how he converted to Buddhism after winning a bloody battle (Battle of Kalinga).  

The Guptan Empire is the dominant Classical Period empire in India.  It's often shown to be a contemporary of both Han China and the Roman Empire.  This isn't really true.  The Guptans took over in 375 CE.  At that point, the Han have been gone for almost 200 years and the Romans are in really bad shape at this point (Constantine had been dead for 40 years!).  The real contemporary of the Han and Romans was the Kushans (who for some reason get no love).  

Anyway, the Guptans are the people to focus on (besides Ashoka and the Mauryans).  They are near the epicenter of world trade, built huge buddhist monasteries, and had many scientific/technological  breakthroughs (Zero, Heliocentricity, Chess, base-10 numerals, etc. etc.)  

CLICK HERE for my page devoted to Classical India.

Posted on March 14, 2018 .

65. Coming to America

65 DAYS.  1,560 HOURS. 93,600 MINUTES. 

So, the MAIN civilizations to know in this period are the Mediterranean, Chinese, and Indian.  But, besides the Persians, they also want you to know about the Classical Americans.  The Americans you're thinking of (Incans and Aztecs) are both in the next era.  So, this is more of a foundational look at the American civilizations...

The Americans are descendants of those who crossed the Ice Bridge from Asia to America via Alaska 20,000 years ago (Side Note: Recent studies suggest all of the Native Americans are descendants of only 70 of these people! 70!… Anyway…)  Not just people migrated.  Horses and camel-like creatures too; but, they went extinct.

When the AP asks you to know the “Classical American Civilization”, they’re really asking you to look at the ancestor states of the much larger Inca and Aztec civilizations.  For the Inca, that means the Moche people.  For the Aztecs, that means Teotihuacan & the Mayans.

Moche:  The Moche are probably most famous for leaving behind the trap that almost got Indiana Jones (the giant rolling ball after he picked up that gold head?).  But, they existed during the second half of this era (100 BCE-750 CE).  They were farmers with pyramids, temples, pottery, etc.  We don’t know too much about them (City-States? or Empire?).  These people may have invented the famous Quipu knot tying record system later used by the Inca.  My favorite Moche fact? They had a Spider God named the Decapitator.  So, they’re probably pretty warlike.

Teotihuacan: Located just 30 miles east of Mexico City today, Teotihuacan is often confused with Tenochtitlan.  Don’t confuse them.  They’re separated by 30 miles and 600 years.  It was located near an obsidian (volcanic rock) mine and they used the rock to create everything from tools to weapons.  Built on a grid, it was surrounded by Meso-America’s best farmland.  It had all of the American-style temples and pyramids one tends to associate with this time period.  Think of this as the prequel to Tenochtitlan.  

Mayans: The book we use in my AP World class doesn’t give much love to the Mayans.  I’m not sure why.  They were the first civilization to use chocolate!  I mean… Chocolate! Anyway, they were located all around the Yucatan Peninsula (Seen in yellow here). It was a collection of large city states (Largest- Tikal with 100,000 people).  They were polytheistic and practiced human sacrifice (not Aztec level human sacrifice, but human sacrifice nonetheless).  They are also famous for the Ball game.  How do you play the ball game?  Watch these guys.  They had huge pyramids and a system of hieroglyphics.  

Tomorrow, we head to China!

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to the Classical Americans.

Posted on March 13, 2018 .

66. The Largest Empire in the History of the Planet*


66 DAYS. 1,584 HOURS. 95,040 MINUTES.

The next big chunk of the Classical Period (2.2) involves the Major Empires.  So, this week is dedicated to those Empires.  The AP gives us 6 to know...


We will start with the largest*.

*Ok, Ok... It is not the largest empire in the history of the planet physically.  BUT, it is the largest empire in the history of the planet in terms of % of earth's population. Under Darius the I, the empire was made up of 44% of all of the humans on earth...  That Empire?


The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great is one of history’s most impressive.  Cyrus was religiously tolerant (allowing the Jews to return from exile gaining him the title Savior).  He also built the famous Royal Road that connected the empire.  He is also the most important Zoroastrian you need to know.  Here is the important info to know on the Persians. 

While you're here; might as well take a quick look back at the Qanat irrigation system.  

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to the Persian Empire. 

(There are 6 Classical Empires to know.  All empires are equal but some are more equal than others.  Focus more on Rome, Gupta, and Han China.)

Posted on March 12, 2018 .

67. Wrapping Up 2.1

67 DAYS.  1,608 HOURS. 96,480 MINUTES

We've covered the major belief systems of the Classical Period.  And, don't worry; this is the bulk of the religion for the entire course.  The only other MAJOR religion that will show up is Islam (in the Post Classical Period).  There will be variations of the religions we've covered, but no other huge new belief systems (besides Islam).  So, here are the remaining tidbits of Classical Belief Systems:


Both Buddhism and Christianity encourage Monasticism.  Monsasticism is the Monk Life.  Monks live religious lives away from the rest of the world.  Think of Buddhist monks meditating to reach Nirvana or Christian monks following Monastery rules to attain eternal life in Jesus's model.


Confucianism is THE Filial Piety belief system.  It's the main idea of Confucianism.  Filial Piety is respect for both elders and ancestors. 


Shamanism/Animism is the name given to the belief systems that exist outside of the "core civilizations".  Shamanism refers to a plethora of belief systems that are led by a Shaman (religious leader with access to spirit world) who leads the followers in spiritual activities.  Animism refers to the beliefs that non-human things here on earth that possess spiritual qualities.  Both of these are prevelent in the Classical Period outside of the core civilizations.


Remember Mulan.  What was her dad doing at the beginning?  He was praying at a shrine to his ancestors. Praying and respecting your ancestors in the after life affects your life here on earth.  This is not just a Chinese thing.  It is also present in the Americas,as well as Africa.


At this point, 2.1 takes a turn and looks at more cultural than religious ideas.  They want you to know that distinct forms of literature (writing) and drama (theater/plays) began in this era.  These will have cultural repercussions on these cultures in the future.


Think about architecture (buildings) in different parts of the world.  If you have an idea as to the stereotypical styles of a certain region... Those begin in this period.  Luckily, someone made a handy chart:



Greco-Buddhism is the most literaly thing on the AP Exam.  As Alexander the Great moved East into India, Greek culture blended with Buddhist culture to create... GRECO-BUDDHISM! It is seen in the architecture and art forms throughout the Middle East and India.  

Tomorrow, we begin our week of Classical Cultures with Persia.

Posted on March 11, 2018 .

68. The Good News


68 DAYS.  1,632 HOURS.  97,920 MINUTES.

Good News. Bad News.  I'll go wih the Bad News first.  You got about two months before you have to slay this beast.  The Good News? Well, that's what the Christians call the words, stories, ideas, etc. of their founder, Jesus of Nazareth...

See what I did there? With the crosses for "t"s?  Just checking.  Anyways...

This is the biggest religion on earth.  There are over 2 billion Christians out there (there's a billion Catholics!).  The whole thing started in the Middle East as a local Jewish carpenter claimed to be the son of god.  He was later crucified by the Romans.  According to the Christians, he came back from the dead and then went to heaven.  This story has had a massive influence on the rest of history.  If you live in the United States, you can't miss this story as Christianity is the predominant religion here.  This is also (besides Buddhism with Ashoka and Siddhartha) the only religion that requires you to know TWO people in this era: Jesus and Constantine.

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to this belief system. Your best bet? Watch John Green's clip at the bottom.  As usual, he does a nice job with this topic.

Posted on March 10, 2018 .

69. Love of Wisdom

69 DAYS. 1,656 HOURS. 99,360 MINUTES.

See that? We are now officially under 100,000 minutes until the AP test.  Don't worry.  You've come to the right place.  We've got you covered.  Stick with the Around the AP World in 80 Days blog and you'll be fine.  It's been a Classic week.  Today, we wrap up our Belief System Week with a look at Greco-Roman Philosophy (also, save your criticism of the banner... I know that it makes no sense mixing up the letters... So, what... It looks cool... Deal with it).

Going back to the 5th Century BCE; you know, the one where Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all walked the earth professing there certain brand of philosophy?  At the same time, another man walked the streets of Athens espousing his views.

His name was Socrates and he created Western Philosophy.

The College Board wants you to know that Greco-Roman Philosophy emphasized logic, empirical observation and the nature of political power and hierarchy.  Think of it as Confucianism for Mediterranean people.  

Philosophy (Greek for ‘Love of Wisdom’) is the foundation of Western thought.  Be sure to be able to recognize the Big Three Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. 

Logically, someone created a lovely page summary of the basics of Greco-Roman Philosophy.  Your best bet: watch the first video at the bottom of the page.  It gives you a nice wrap up.  Hopefully, by the end of today; you will have left your cave.  CLICK HERE to get to this page.

Posted on March 9, 2018 .

70. The Way

70 DAYS. 1,680 HOURS. 100,800 MINUTES.

Part II of our II part series on East Asian Classical Belief Systems lands us squarely in the world of Daoism.  

Where Confucianism is all about hard work, respect for others and responsibility; Daoism is just the opposite.  Lao Tzu was a Zhou librarian who became fed up with society and left China.  But, on his way out, he wrote the Tao Te Ching.  It’s a 25 page complex book about Daoism.  To be brief, Daoism follows that everyone has and should follow their own Dao (the way).  This Dao is the guiding principle for all things.  Simply put, one should “go with the flow” of the Universe.  Follow your Dao, not your ancestors, parents, etc.’s Dao.  

I like to compare them like this.  Confucianism is a loyal German Shepherd. Trained.  Obedient.  Loyal.  Loving. Helpful.  Daoism is like a cat.  Aloof. Distant. Unpredictable. Doing-whatever-it-wants.  

Don’t think Daoists are anarchists.  In fact, Daoists can be of other religions.  If your Dao is to obey your elders, work hard, study, etc. then you are Confucianist… but, you’re still following your Dao… Daoists have had a profound impact Asian medicine, poetry, and architecture.

For notes, maps, videos, etc. on Daoism CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow, we follow our Dao to the Mediterranean.  All of the belief systems we've been covering this week are recognizable religions. You probably know Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.  But, the 4th of our 5 part series on Classical Belief systems is slightly different.  Tomorrow= GRECO-ROMAN PHILOSOPHY.

Posted on March 8, 2018 .

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 7, 2018 .

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 called Moksha).  

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 March 6, 2018 .

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 Panentheistic.)  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 March 5, 2018 .

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.  

Let's start with the layout and the chronology:


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


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 March 4, 2018 .

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 Core Civilizations.  


Know a little bit about each one.  Know the trade routes. Know the migration routes.


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 March 3, 2018 .


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 (below).


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 March 2, 2018 .

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 55 questions long.  5% of 55=2.75.  So, you're looking at a maximum of 3 out of 55 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!

Here's a cartographical representation of the Foundational World... it's a map.


Timegrids are a thing I made up to describe a timeline of the era divided by region. This way, you can visualize each era chronologically and cartographically... When and where things are...


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 joined in 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 March 1, 2018 .

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 28, 2018 .

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 17 (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 17.



Posted on February 27, 2018 .