✨ ap world survival packs are ready!
📑 Document Based Questions (DBQ)
🚀 Thematic Guides
Theme 1 (ENV) - Humans and the Environment
Theme 2 (CDI) - Cultural Developments and Interactions
Theme 3 (GOV) - Governance
Theme 4 (ECON) - Economic Systems
Theme 5 (SOC) - Social Interactions and Organizations
Theme 6 (TECH) - Technology and Innovation
🗺 Regional Guides
The Pacific from 1200 to the Present
🐎 Unit 1: The Global Tapestry
1.0Overview of Unit 1: The Global Tapestry
1.1East Asia from 1200-1450
1.2Dar al-Islam from 1200-1450
1.4The Americas from 1200 to 1450
1.6Europe from 1200 to 1450
🐫 Unit 2: Networks of Exchange
2.0Overview of Unit 2: Networks of Exchange
2.3Indian Ocean Trade Routes
2.4Trans-Saharan Trade Routes
2.5Cultural Effects of Trade
2.6Environmental Effects of Trade
🕌 Unit 3: Land-Based Empires
3.0Overview of Unit 3: Land-Based Empires
3.1Expansion of Land-Based Empires
3.2Governments of Land-Based Empires
🍕 Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections
4.0Overview of Unit 4: Transoceanic Interconnections
4.1New Technologies from 1450-1750
4.4Maritime Empires Established
4.5Expansion of Maritime Empires
4.6Resistance to European Expansion
✊ Unit 5: Revolutions
5.2Revolutions from 1750-1900
5.5Technology in the Industrial Age
5.7Economic Effects of Industrialization
🚂 Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization
6.0Overview of Unit 6: Consequences of Industrialization
💣 Unit 7: Global Conflict
7.0Overview of Unit 7: Global Conflict
7.6Causes of World War II
🥶 Unit 8: Cold War & Decolonization
8.0Overview of Unit 8: Cold War & Decolonization
8.2The Cold War
8.3Effects of the Cold War
8.4Spread of Communism After 1900
8.5Decolonization After 1900
8.6Newly Independent States After 1900
8.8End of the Cold War
✈️ Unit 9: Globalization
🤓 Historical Thinking Skills
Comparison in the AP Histories
Causation in the AP Histories
👉 Introduction to AP World
⏱️ 3 min read
June 20, 2020
In short, these empires formed like any other: Conquest of economically or strategically important areas. But in particular, there are a few unique ways these empires were forged.
🎥Watch: WHAP - Land Based Empires
Many of these empires are also known in AP World, and in many textbooks used in AP World, as “Gunpowder Empires” because they were some of the first to employ gunpowder armies en masse, several hundred years before Europe.
In the early days of gunpowder weaponry, it was a highly technical craft: an empire needed a large, skilled population to cast the metal parts for weapons as well as a resource pool to manufacture gunpowder. Training soldiers in gunpowder weaponry also took time and money, money only a large empire possessed. But even smaller states like the Tokugawa Shogunate owed their success to carefully trained use of gunpowder weapons.
The first gunpowder weapons were used by the Song Dynasty in China, but the Islamic Empires (Ottomans, Mughals and Safavids) and Qing China were the first to utilize them to a greater extent. The capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the conquest of Central Asia by the Qing in the late 1600s both owed their success to gunpowder weapons. Later, after 1800, industrial manufacturing would give Europe a decisive edge in this regard.
Cannon made castles obsolete and the use of gunpowder made possible rapid expansion of an empire. It was said Constantinople was impregnable, but this was no longer true after the rise of the cannon. Image Courtesy of University of South Florida
Another feature that helped a number of these empires rise to prominence was their friendly attitude towards merchants and reduction of existing taxes. The Ottomans and Mughals in particular are known for this. The Mughals, in the early days of their empire, abolished the jizya tax on non-Muslims (the majority of the population) and the Ottomans also had notably lower taxes than some of the empires they conquered, such as the Byzantines.
Many of the empires in this study guide toppled existing empires who had weakened over time. Sometimes these were established empires such as the Byzantines, toppled by the Ottomans, or Mali, which was subjugated by Songhai. Other times these were the descendants of nomadic conquerors, such as the Timurid Empire in Persia, conquered by the Safavids, or the Yuan Dynasty in China, overthrown by the future leaders of the Ming Dynasty.
Why empires weaken and fall is complex and unique to each empire. Nomadic empires often weakened after their initial conquest because of their limited experience governing settled landed states or because they adapted so much to local customs and lost their fighting edge and distinctive identity. Also, with the rise of gunpowder weapons, nomads in particular lost their edge when horses were no longer the most important weapon on the battlefield.
🎥Watch: WHAP - Expanding Empires in the Early Modern World
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