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Study Guides for Every AP World History Unit

⏱️  5 min read

written by

Harrison Burnside

harrison burnside

October 20, 2020


AP World History: Modern may seem like a daunting class to take with the amount of historical figures, events, and concepts spanning 800 years of human history, but worry not! These study guides will help you not only ace the AP exam and get that fancy 5 but also understand the foundations of what we see today in global politics, society as a whole, the environment, culture, economics, and technology. This post shares unit study guides specifically, but check out all of Fiveable's AP World History content

All of these study guides were created by AP World teachers and students who have aced the exam. They include everything you need to know to get a 5 on the exam.

🐎 Unit 1: Global Tapestry

🔥 Quick Tip: Don't spend too long on this unit. Focus on the big trends. This unit is meant for you to familiarize yourself with each of the global regions and the key players in the beginning of modern global history.

1.0 - Overview of Unit 1

1.1 - East Asia from 1200-1450

1.2 - Dar-al-Islam from 1200-1450

1.3 - South and Southeast Asia from 1200-1450

1.4 - The Americas from 1200-1450

1.5 - Africa from 1200-1450

1.6 - Europe from 1200-1450

1.7 - Comparisons in the Period from 1200-1450

🐪 Unit 2: Networks of Exchange

🔥 Quick Tip: Know the trade networks and their impact on local and regional trade, empire-building, and cultural diffusion! Networks like the Silk Roads and the Indian Ocean allowed landlocked empires to interact, grow economically, and expand their state religion!

2.0 - Overview of Unit 2

2.1 - Silk Roads

2.2 - The Mongols

2.3 - Indian Ocean Trade Routes

2.4 - Trans-Saharan Trade Routes

2.5 - Cultural Effects of Trade

2.6 - Environmental Effects of Trade

2.7 - Comparison of Trade from 1200-1450

🕌 Unit 3: Land-Based Empires

🔥 Quick Tip: Identify the major similarities and differences in the different empires mentioned in this unit. That way, you'll be able to make comparisons and at the same time connect how empires were built and administered during this time period (1200-1450).

3.0 - Overview of Unit 3

3.1 - Expansion of Land-Based Empires

3.2 - Governments of Land-Based Empires

3.3 - Belief Systems of Land-Based Empires

3.4 - Comparison of Land-Based Empires

🍕 Unit 4: Transoceanic Connections

🔥 Quick Tip: Understand the reasons behind the Age of Exploration, the long-term consequences of the Columbian Exchange, and the skyrocketing of Europe, especially Spain and Portugal, into global power after the discovery of the New World.

4.0 - Overview of Unit 4

4.1 - New Technologies from 1450-1750

4.2 - Exploration from 1450-1750

4.3 - Columbian Exchange

4.4 - Maritime Empires Established

4.5 - Expansion of Maritime Empires

4.6 - Resistance to European Expansion

4.7 - Class and Race from 1450-1750

4.8 - Continuity and Change from 1450-1750

✊ Unit 5: Revolutions

🔥 Quick Tip: Don't stop at knowing what happened in each of the four main revolutions. How are they connected to each other? (Trust me, they are.) When looking at industrialization, focus on its economic, political, and social impact on societies.

5.1 - The Enlightenment

5.2 - Revolutions from 1750 to 1900

5.3 - Industrial Revolution

5.4 - Spread of Industrialization

5.5 - Technology in the Industrial Age

5.6 - State-Led Industrialization

5.7 - Economic Effects of Industrialization

5.8 - Responses to Industrialization 

5.9 - Social Effects of Industrialization

🚂 Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization

🔥 Quick Tip: Industrialization directly led to two key developments between 1750 and 1900: more imperialism and mass migrations!

6.0 - Overview of Unit 6

6.1 - Rationales for Imperialism

6.2 - Expansion of Imperialism

6.3 - Indigenous Responses to Imperialism

6.4 - Global Economic Development from 1750 to 1900

6.5 - Economic Imperialism

6.6 - Causes of Migration from 1750 to 1900

6.7 - Effects of Migration from 1750 to 1900

6.8 - Causation in the Imperial Age

💣 Unit 7: Global Conflict

🔥 Quick Tip: The Global Conflict Unit is the first time that we see alliances forming and when we see new interconnections of the globalized world! Make sure to look for causes and effects from all of the major conflicts and see if you can find other similar causation in contemporary world history!

7.0 - Overview of Unit 7

7.1 - Shifting Power Post-1900

7.2 - Causes of World War 1

7.3 - Conducting World War 1

7.4 - Economy in the Interwar Period

7.5 - Politics in the Interwar Period

7.6 - Causes of World War 2

7.7 - Conducting World War 2

7.8 - Mass Atrocities after 1900

7.9 - Causation in Global Conflict

🥶 Unit 8:Cold War & Decolonization

🔥 Quick Tip: This unit looks like it is about economics and war, but it is so much more than that! In Unit 8, you see all kinds of contemporary conflicts and how they are conducted due to Globalization, watch out for Unit 9 for a more in-depth explanation! Try to find how different events are connected and try to find reasoning, aka Rationales, for every action takes in the Contemporary Era!

8.0 - Overview of Unit 8

8.1 - Context of the Cold War

8.2 - The Cold War

8.3 - Effects of the Cold War

8.4 - Spread of Communism after 1900

8.5 - Decolonization after 1900

8.6 - Newly Independent States

8.7 - Global Resistance in the 20th Century

8.8 - End of the Cold War

8.9 - Causation in the Age of Cold War and Decolonization

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